"So... you sure about this?" He asked me as he stopped the car. "Well, no, but I have no idea where else we could go, since my apartment is too small for the three of us, just like that van you sleep in." "Hey, I'm building a cabin." "I know, but the van is still too small. Anyhow, I... don't want to be separated, you know? Not now." "Yeah, I get it, neither do I, but you really think she'll take us in?" "We can try." "I still think a hotel is a better idea." "And risk the press finding us?" "They'll find us anyway." "They'll find us sooner if we stay at a hotel." He sighed, "Whatever." He started the car again, "Where does she live." I gave him the address. "Huh, not too far from here. Did they move?" together for a while after what happened, for the sake of the boys but, they couldn't keep it up much longer." "Sad." "Oh well, it would have been worse for them if they'd stayed together." "That's true." "So, yes, it may be said, but it's probably for the better."
It wasn't long before Owen pulled into the driveway. "Where are we?" Maisie asked us from behind us. "We're... well... at the house of a family member of mine," I told her. "And we can stay here?" "I hope. Maybe it's a good idea if I talk to her first, you know, just for a few seconds," I said as I turned to Owen. "Yeah, but don't take too long." "I won't, I promise."
I opened the door of the car and got out. I took a deep breath, slammed the car door shut and walked up to the door. There I breathed out before ringing the bell. It didn't take long for the door to open up. "Hey Karen," I said as my sister appeared in view. "Claire?" "Hi." "You... ARE YOU OKAY?" "You heard about what happened on the island, didn't you?" "OF COURSE I DID, THE WHOLE BLOODY PLACE WAS COVERED IN LAVA!" Can you maybe stop screaming?" "WE THOUGHT YOU DIDN'T MAKE IT!" "Well... I did... surprise?" She then hugged me, "Dammit Claire, don't ever do that to me again!" "Yeah, I don't think I'm ever going back to an island with an active volcano. Not really an ideal holiday destination." She chuckled as she let go of me to take me in. "What happened to your leg?" "Dinosaurs. Dinosaurs happened. Uh... look, I have a lot to explain and I've had quite a rough 24 or I don't know how many hours... could we talk inside?" "You me and the people in that car?" She asked me as she looked past me, "Is that Owen?" "Yes, and yes." "Claire..." "It's a long story..." "Are you guys back together again?" "Well... uh... maybe. I did kiss him." "Did you tell him about..?" "You really think I had the time for that? Tonight? After the whole dinosaur thing?" "You could have told him when you tried to get him on your team." "Yeah, like he would have come then. Can we come in or no?" "Sure, come in. I want to hear your story, how you survived the lava and all." "Good, let me call them. Owen, Maisie, are you guys coming?"
"You did what?" I was telling the story, but Karen kept interrupting me. "You fell into the water in one of those giant hamster balls?" "Yes." "You could have drowned!" "But I didn't, I mean, I almost did, but I didn't." "You almost drowned?" "Mom, cam you please calm down?" Grey had come downstairs as soon as I had rang the doorbell, now he was sitting next to his mom, listening to the story Owen and I were telling them. "She almost drowned Grey!" "But I got out! And we got to the coast safely!" "You could have been dead!" "Mom, come on, she's alive, and she's okay. Can you please relax?" She took a deep breath, "Okay, fine, continue." "So, we reached the coast safely, like Claire said, you know, dodging all the dinosaurs and all." "Not working, Owen." "And as we got there we were angry as we realized that all of this, well, most of this had been a lie. Because well... they did take the dinosaurs, but they were gonna sell them on a bidding." "That's awful!" Grey exclaimed. "Yeah, it was." "So, we followed them onto their ship, because they thought we were dead." "You should have seen it," Owen said, "Claire drove the truck and literally jumped onto the ship with it." "Awesome!" Grey said in response. "Really Owen?" He grinned at me, "What?" "Are you trying to freak Karen out even more, look at her." She looked pretty freaked out by what she'd heard. "Hey, at least I didn't tell her about you riding the t-rex to tap her blood." "You tapped blood from a t-rex?" "It was to save Blue!" "The velociraptor?" "Yes." "Yeah, that makes it better." "Oh come on, you would have done the same thing if you'd known her. I did something good, okay?" She sighed, "If that's what you call it." "Yes, that's what I call it, can you please let us continue our story now?" she nodded, "Sure, go on."
She let us finish our story, eventually, and she was very worried about my leg of course. And we didn't tell her too much about Maisie, we wanted to wait with that till we knew we could stay. Which of course was exactly what Karen expected. "So, I expect you guys don't want to be separated from each other... not after everything you've been through in the last 24 hours." "Uh..." "Yeah, humans are weird like that." "Well, yes, I was going to ask that... because-," "Your apartment doesn't have enough room for the three of you." "And-," "Neither does Owen's van and you don't want anyone to have to sleep on the couch." "And we didn't want to go to a hotel because-," "The press will found out that the mansion has security camera's, they will find out you're still alive and they'll come look for you if they find out that you booked into a hotel room." "How do you do that?" "I'm your sister." "It's scary." "You're welcome." "So... can we... stay?" "Of course you can, you're my sister." I sighed of relief, "Thank you, Karen. You're the best."
Sometime later Owen was bringing Maisie to bed, even thought it was close to noon. None of us had slept that night, but Masie had fallen asleep now. "So, what's it about the girl that you didn't want to tell me right away?" "Seriously?" "Claire, I'm your sister, I know your facial expressions, your looks. I know there's something you didn't want to tell me right away. I saw it when you talked about her." I sighed, "She's kind of a... strange story." "Tell me." "Well, I said she was the granddaughter of Benjamin Lockwood, right?" "Yes, and her grandfather died, so now you and Owen want to take care of her..." "Yes, but... she... isn't really his granddaughter." "What?" "Remember when I said that something drove a wedge between Lockwood and Hammond?" "Of course I do, you never knew the specifics though." "Well, I do now." "That little girl?" "Well, in some way, yes. Look, Maisie isn't what she seems to be. The... technology that was applied to create the dinosaurs was also used to make her." "What?" "Maisie is a clone of Lockwood's daughter and is therefore actually also his daughter I think. I'm not sure." "That's..." "Crazy? I know, I find it hard to believe myself, but she showed us a picture of her nanny Iris with her "mom" and... that's... they look so much alike, they can't even be twins, she really is a clone..." "Wow." "Yeah, I know..." "Is that why she..?" "Why she opened to gates to let the dinosaurs through, to free them after I opened their cages? Yes, that's exactly why she did that." "The poor girl. I can't imagine what that must be like, it must have turned her whole world upside-down. You're sure you're ready to raise her... a kid like that, who might have mental issues after hearing that?" "Karen..." "It's a lot of work Claire." "I was park manager of Jurassic World for years, that was a lot of work too." "Yeah, even too much work to spend some time with your nephews." "You're brining that up again? Seriously? Well, I'm sorry the containment of the animals was so important. I'm sorry I couldn't reschedule my appointments. Are you happy now? I was just doing my job, Karen." "I know, I know, sorry. So... you're up for this huh? You're really up for this?" "Yes, I am."
"Who's up for what?" Owen asked as he walked into the room. "My sister is questioning me, wanting to know if I'm really up for it to raise Maisie... if we get the rights to do so." "Ah. Oh, great, forgot we had to..." "Yes, that's gonna be fun. More courtrooms and all that. Mind you, we probably already had to because the dinosaurs might have escaped... and well... It might have kind of been my idea to get them from the island... I mean, I just needed some help for that and Eli Mills offered that." "Yeah, and they can't get to him cause he's dead. Great, can't wait." "Sorry?" "Hey, no need for you to be sorry, you just tried to do what was right. It's not your fault it all went to hell." "I just hope this time they decide to put Wu behind bars. He created both the Indominous and the Indoraptor." "Yeah, InGen should be shut down. As soon as possible." "But we'll probably get the "It's not their fault, they just did as they were told," story again." I huffed, "Bastards." Owen chuckled. "What?" "It's funny to hear you attempt to swear." "Shut up." He just kept grinning. "Wipe that grin off your face." "Hmm, no." "It's not funny." "Yes it is." "I'm trying to be serious." "I know, that's what makes it so funny." "That's... that's not funny." "It kinda is." "Can we please focus?" "Yes sir!" "Owen..." "Okay, I'll focus."
But, before it was time to focus it was time to sleep. Now that Maisie had gone to bed we realized that we were exhausted. So... Owen and I went to bed. "Hmmm, this is a soft mattress," Owen mumbled as he laid next to me. "Yeah, it is." "Kinda bouncy too." "It is indeed." "Hey, how's your leg?" "It's good, why?" He pulled back the blankets to look at my leg, "Looks like it stopped bleeding by now. Still hurts?" "Not too much... when I don't put pressure on it." "Hmm, pity." "What's a pity?" "A hole in such a pretty leg." "That's the weirdest way in which a man ever tried to flirt with me, do you know that?" He shrugged, "You're welcome." I sighed and mumbled, "Idiot." I pulled the blankets back up and I pulled Owen down with it. "You know, if you want me to come down to your level you could just say so." "Owen." "What?" "No." "Okay..." "We ran from lava, almost drowned, ran from a dinosaur, we barely made it." "It's a good way to relieve some stress..." "No." When Owen finally stopped flirting we fell asleep, only to wake up again around six, when Karen had made dinner. She knocked on the door, loudly and yelled, "Dinner's ready." Maisie of course got a much gentler treatment.
As we arrived at the dinner table, Grey and Zach were already sitting there. "Aunt Claire, nice to see you," Zach greeted me. "And Owen...?" "It's a long story." "Yeah, mom told me some of it." "So... Zach, heard you only stay here in the weekends now, huh?" "Well, yeah, I come here every Friday night and I leave every Monday morning. Which means I have to leave quite early... And what do you do now, Owen?" "I'm uh... building a cabin?" "In the woods?" Zach asked jokingly. "Yeah, and I'll drag pretty women there to do unspeakable things with them. Starting with your aunt." "Owen!" He winked at Zach, who tried to hide the fact that he did find it kind of amusing. "How about we just eat, huh," Karen came in between before the conversation could get any worse." Turned out the three of us were pretty hungry, but Karen had already thought of that. "People tend to be hungry after something shocking like that happens, because they usually forget to eat. Because they're busy surviving in other ways."
After dinner Karen and I were doing the dishes while Owen was keeping the boys busy by telling them some of his wild stories. Maisie was listening to them too. "So... you're sure about... you and Owen?" It wasn't a question I had expected. "What?" "Well... he did, you know, leave you before." "Well, yes... but only because I told him to." "Really, you're still holding on to that?" "Well, yes, because I did tell him to." "Claire..." "It's the way it is, okay? And no, I'm not... that sure. I mean, it hasn't even been a day. But..." I sighed, "You do want it... him." "Yes. I know, it's weird. I mean, look how different we are... but... maybe that's a good thing." "Yeah... it might be... but what if he walks away again?" "Karen..." "I'm being an annoying older sister again, huh?" "You sound like mom again." "Oops." "Yeah, right. Like you're actually sorry." "So... you think you're gonna tell him any time soon, about-," "There's no time for that now, Karen. We got other things going on and I can't have... I mean... I don't want to go through that all again, not now. And... Owen he might get mad and... I can't handle that with the whole dinosaur thing going on again." "You have to tell him someday." "I know, now's just... not the time." "If you say so."
Later that night we went back to bed, because miraculously we were still tired. "So, what were you and Karen talking about, huh?" "Oh, she just wants to know if I'm sure about... you know, you?" "What did you say?" "Well... I mean... I'm not 100% sure but..." "But what?" "Well... I know that I want this. That sounds weird, right?" He chuckled softly, "Sometimes you're kind of adorable. So, what's it, she's afraid you can't handle it if I would ever walk off again? Small chance. Or does she think you can't handle me?" He was teasing me now. "Oh please, if there's any one of us who can't handle the other than it's you." "Oh really? And why is that?" "Do you have any idea how tricky and fierce redheads are?" "Oh, so that's the case... Well I did have a little taste." "Hmmm, just a little taste huh? Poor you." "Yeah, poor me." "What you gonna do about it?" "Huh?" "You heard me." "What? What am I gonna do about it?" "Mhm." "Well, I'll show you what I'm gonna do about it."
The next morning we woke up completely naked under the blankets. "Wow... what a night huh?" Owen said softly. "Yeah, that was good," I said with a smile as I turned to him. "Hey, any chance you might have been holding yourself back before?" "What?" "Because this was waaay better than before I left you." "Well... maybe, you'll never know." "So, you're not gonna tell me." "Nope." "Hmmm." He got up and almost walked out of the door. "Maybe you should put on some underwear before you leave this room." He looked down, "Ah, yes... that does sound like a good idea. Thanks." "You're welcome." He picked his underpants up from the ground where left it last night and then he walked out of the room, "See ya in a bit."
"Hey, Claire, what time is it?" Owen asked as he walked back into the room. "I don't know, why?" "Because... well... the house is kinda empty..." "What?" I looked at the clock. "It's 1 a.m.!" "Well, that makes sense..." "Oh God. She's at our parents... I'm sure of that, because I should be there too." I rushed out of bed, got some clean clothing out of the closet. Yes, I have clothes at my sister's house, no, that's not weird. Then I rushed over to the bathroom. All the while Owen was just staring at me.
Eventually we got to my parents' house, just the two of us, turns out Karen had taken Maisie with her. "I'm sorry were late," I said as my mother opened the door. Instead of saying anything she just gave me a hug. It made me realize that pretty much my whole family had thought that I was dead after what had happened on the island. "It's okay," she said, "We still got coffee and cake." My father came to the door and hugged me too as my mother made small talk with Owen. "I'm happy to see you, little girl." "Dad, I'm not little anymore." "I know, but you'll always be my little girl." Hearing that made me happy for some reason. "Sometimes I still see that stubborn little red haired girl, even now that you're a grown up. I think all parents have that. I have it with Karen too." "I wasn't that stubborn." "Even now you're still stubborn." "Da-ad." Owen and my mother were watching us, both looked as if they thought our conversation was amusing. "Wipe that smile off your face, Grady." "Nah, I kinda like keeping it where it is, thanks." My mom grinned. It looked quite like Karen when she found something amusing. Karen with grey hair. My mom used to have red hair like me, Karen got her blonde hair from our dad.
"Maybe we should take this all inside, we'd like to hear your story firsthand," mom said as she almost shoved us into the house. "You mean Karen already told you most of it but you need more detail?" "That's exactly what you mother means. She actually wanted to call you, but I told her that we knew enough for now." "We'd like to know more about the girl... and about..." she didn't finish her sentence, but I saw her glance at Owen. "Ah." So Karen hadn't told them much about Maisie it seems. "Well, the girl's Maisie Lockwood. She's the granddaughter of Benjamin Lockwood." "That's the man who offered you help to rescue those oversized lizards, isn't it?" My dad asked. "They're not oversized lizards dad." "Actually, dinosaurs have more in common with birds than they do with modern day reptiles," Owen told him. "Ah... they're still oversized lizards if you ask me." "Who are oversized lizards?" Maisie asked as we walked into my parents' living room. "Dinosaurs," my father replied. "But they have more in common with birds than with modern day reptiles," she said. "You can give up already, Maisie, I already tried telling him that, but he doesn't want to listen." "Where do you think his youngest daughter got her stubbornness from?" I said teasingly. "Well, you didn't get it from me, I still got it myself." "I'm glad you admit it," mom said. Maisie smiled. "Now, you want me to start to call those dinosaurs oversized chickens?" "How about oversized turkeys?" Owen suggested. "Ah, yeah, turkeys are little shits, even more so than chickens." "Dad..." "Oh, oops, there are children here. I meant to say, turkeys are little human droppings even more so than chickens." "Dad!" Maisie just laughed. He winked at her. I walked over to the couch and sat down next to Karen with a sigh.
"Uh, Claire?" "Yes?" "You got something," shepointed at her collarbone. "Huh?" I took out my phone, switched to front facingcamera and saw a big purple bruise on my collarbone. "Oh god..." Karen lookedamused. "Owen," I groaned. Karen started to laugh. "That's not funny! Mom anddad... Oh god they must have seen it... How could I miss it, I even showered beforeI came here and all!" "And you missed a hickey? Good job Claire." "Shut up."She continued to laugh silently. "I'm gonna murder that guy... he knows I go tomy parents on Saturdays. Stop laughing." "Sorry, it's just. I don't get how youmissed it." She continued to laugh, but she did hand me the scarf she waswearing. "Here, try to hide it before anyone mentions it." "They have alreadyseen it anyway." I still took the scarf to hide it though. Just to be sure.Just as I was done adjusting it Owen walked back into the living room withcoffee, cake and my parents. He saw the scarf around my neck and grinned. Iglared at him, which only made him grin even wider. Idiot, I thought. He's such an idiot.