Lucy, Nick, and Kyle were sitting there watching the kids when Lucy heard her phone ring. She looked at it and saw a text from Lauren.
“I’ve got to go. Lauren’s at the house and a cop is there,” Lucy said.
“I’ll go with you, sis. Colby! Danny! Lily! Time to go, guys!” Nick said.
“Daddy!” Daniel said.
“Mom is at Aunt Lucy’s house,” Nick said.
“I’ll come with you,” Kyle said.
“Bentley! Brittany! You guys too,” Nick said. The little ones came running to them and they walked to Lucy’s house.
“Kevin?” Kyle said.
“Kyle, what are you doing here?” Kevin asked.
“Daddy!” Bentley said.
“Daddy!” Brittany said.
“My babies!” Kevin said. He hugged them close.
“We were at the park and Nick was there with his kids and I met his sister-in-law,” Kyle said.
“What’s going on, Kevin?” Nick asked.
“Kids, go in the house with Lauren,” Kevin said. Kyle took all the kids into the house. Lucy looked at Kevin.
“So, you’re Kyle’s brother?” Lucy asked.
“Yes, I’m here on police business,” Kevin said.
“I haven’t broken any laws,” Lucy said.
“No, you haven’t. I have to give you these,” Kevin said. He handed her an envelope. She pulled out the papers and read them. She leaned against the doorframe.
“Lucy, sis, what is it?” Nick asked.
“Brad’s parents are taking me to court. They filed for sole custody of my daughters. They want to take my kids away from me,” Lucy said.
“What!” Nick said.
“They think I’m emotionally unable to give them the care they need and they believe it’s best they have them,” Lucy said.
“I’m sorry, Lucy,” Kevin said.
“They never liked me. They never thought I was good enough for their son. Brad cut them out of our lives after we got married and they never met their grandchildren because of it.
Now that he’s gone, they want to take them away from me!” Lucy said.
“Lauren!” Nick said.
“Yes baby,” Lauren said.
“Call your brothers,” Nick said.
“I already did. They are on the way,” Lauren said.
“Do you have a lawyer?” Kevin asked.
“My brother, Mark,” Lucy said.
“Since my kids are here, I’ll hang around, if that’s okay?” Kevin asked.
“You don’t need to go back to work?” Lucy asked.
“I’m at the end of my shift. This was the last stop before home,” Kevin said.
“Sis!” Mark said.
“Mark!” Lucy said. He took her in his arms as Marco, Maxwell, Mitch, and Michael came up and hugged her as well.
“This is Kevin. He’s a police detective and he’s neighbors with Lauren and Nick,” Lucy said.
“You delivered the papers?” Mark asked.
“I didn’t have much choice. I didn’t know exactly what they were and I was just asked to drop them off on my way home,” Kevin said. They all went inside.
They sat in the living room. Mark looked through the papers and looked at Lucy.
“I can’t believe they are doing this, wanting to take your children away because you are grieving. They lost their son and they think they are better off,” Mark said.
“They never liked me. Brad cut them out of his life once we got married,” Lucy said.
“Bros, let’s go pay them a visit,” Mark said.
“Mark,” Lucy said.
“No sis, they are not doing this to you,” Mark said.
“I’ll come with you in case it gets out of hand,” Kevin said. They went out the door. Nick and Lauren hugged Lucy.
“I may be grieving my husband, but I am taking care of my kids,” Lucy said.
“We know, sis,” Lauren said.
“We will do everything we can to make sure you don’t lose your girls,” Nick said. The doorbell rang. Nick got up and opened the door. Lucy held Olivia in her arms. Nick came back with a woman.
“Mrs. Parker, I’m Mia. I’m with social services,” Mia said.
“And why are you here?” Lucy asked.
“This visit is in conjunction with the custody order you got today. I’m here to assess your abilities as a mother to your children.
“I will write up a report for the case your in-laws brought against you,” Mia said.
“So you are here to declare me an unfit mother and help them take my girls from me,” Lucy said.
“No ma’am, I’m not here for them. This is for the court. The judge sent me here and sent a colleague to their house to see if it is suitable for children,” Mia said.
“Oh, I bet it is, they have probably been planning it since my husband died. They want me destroyed, they never liked me, and they’ve never met their grandchildren,” Lucy said.
“And why haven’t they?” Mia asked.
“My husband cut them out of his life when we got married because they never accepted me. They thought I wasn’t worthy of their son.
“My husband fought with them and chose me over them. He cut them out of his life and moved us here to Lubbock,” Lucy said.
“And he’s from Dallas,” Mia said.
“Yes,” Lucy said.
“So they are wealthy?” Mia asked.
“Yes. They thought I was after his money because my family wasn’t as wealthy as theirs. They wanted him with someone more in their social circle,” Lucy said.
“But they couldn’t see how much you loved him and not his money,” Mia said.
“They thought all I saw were dollar signs, but I didn’t. I fell in love with him before I knew he came from a wealthy family. He could have been poor and I still would have been with him,” Lucy said.
“Lucy, I can see with my own eyes that you love your children and are taking care of them like any mother would. I don’t see what they said was going on,” Mia said.
“What exactly is that?” Lucy asked.
“Probably that you are so depressed from the loss of your husband that you don’t get out of bed to take care of your children,” Lauren said.
“This is my sister, Lauren, and her husband,” Lucy said.
“You have family here for you. I don’t see why they think you are alone with your kids,” Mia said.
“So they assumed I was alone with my kids with no help and my girls were being neglected,” Lucy said.
“Apparently that was their assumption, but I see they were totally wrong about that. Lucy, this is going to be a glowing report on your behalf.
“I came here and saw a loving mother who, despite the grief of losing her husband who was the love of her life, is a strong woman who puts her kids first and loves them.
“I see someone who gives them the love and care they need. You have your family around to help when needed, but mostly it is just you and your girls.
“You are fit and they are wrong. Very, very wrong,” Mia said.
“My girls are my life. They keep me going. If I didn’t have them, I couldn’t go on,” Lucy said.
“Me, her sister, and her brothers…we all are here for them,” Nick said.
“She isn’t alone, so let her in-laws know that they will have to fight us to get the girls,” Lauren said.
“I will do everything in my power to keep the girls with their mother, I promise you that. I won’t let them take them from you,” Mia said.
“Thank you, Mia,” Lucy said.
“You’re welcome. Take care,” Mia said. She left. Lauren hugged her.
“I have never hated anyone more than I hate my in-laws,” Lucy said.
“We do as well,” Lauren said.
A few hours later, Lily and Olivia were in their beds asleep when the guys came back. Bentley and Brittany were asleep in one of the spare rooms with Colby and Danny.
Kyle, Lucy, Nick, and Lauren were in the living room. The guys sat down.
“So, what happened?” Kyle asked.
“Well…,” Michael started to say.
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