Christy got out to move up to sit beside Bea, and Jan maneuvered herself toward the door, wincing as she stretched her legs out a bit. Smiling at me, as if I was going to take it personally that she was moving away from me, she motioned with her head for me to slide across next to her, but Ron climbed up and settled herself in between us. I poked Ron in the shoulder and motioned toward the window. She climbed across my lap as I slid over so I was in the middle. My wife immediately leaned against me and I put my arm around her.
I must have dozed for a while, as we zipped through the night, because I woke up as we pulled up onto the bridge, and I saw that the sky was growing light. Christy had turned around in her seat and was regarding me with an impish smile.
Jan was leaning against me, her arm around my middle, sound asleep, but there wasn't anything in that to make Christy smile.
Then I noticed Ron, on my other side. She was also leaning against me, sound asleep, drooling slightly, her thin arm around my stomach, resting on Jan's arm.
The car stopped at the base of the bridge, right before the barricades, and I woke Jan and Ron. We got out and stretched, thanking Bea profusely as she turned the car around and drove away. I made a mental note to try to think of an appropriate "thank you" gift for her.
Christy smiled. "Well, I usually go for a run in the morning anyway. I'll see you later." She waved and trotted off.
Ron sat on the barricade. "I'm gonna wait for the mail," she said, then she looked up nervously, but Jan smiled.
"We rely on you, Ron," she said, and Ron smiled back as I placed her bag next to her. "If there's any mail for Marshall or me, hold it for tomorrow. We're going home to bed." Ron nodded.
My wife looked exhausted, and I knew her leg was sore, so I picked her up in my arms. "Shall I carry you home in triumph?" I asked.
She glanced around to make sure nobody was watching, except for Ron, but it was about 6:30am in U-town and not a creature was stirring. She nodded and leaned her head against my chest.
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