One Breath Away

After quitting the force, Claire Owen now leads a "normal" life. With a fantastic job and loving family, everything is perfect; that is until a mysterious package arrives on her doorstep. The package tears her life in two, leaving her to pick between her future and her past.
However, only one path will allow her to remain alive.

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4. 4.

Claire flung her legs out of the side of the bed and got up. She felt the chill of the house; the radiators were not due to come on for another hour and a half yet. She put on her fluffy dressing gown and made her way out into the hallway. The house was silent. There were three bedrooms upstairs; Samuel's bedroom, Emily's bedroom and the master bedroom.

Quietly edging her way along the landing, she decided to check up on her children- a habit she had begun when her friend had lost her child to cot death. Closest to the master bedroom was Emily's room; Samuel had upgraded to the larger bedroom when Emily had been born. At two years old, Emily could walk and say a few simple words - her first had been 'Mummy', much to Claire's delight. She had a baby gate on the outside of the door so that at night she would not leave her room in search of adventure, which could turn out to be a disaster. Claire gently eased the baby gate and the door open and peeked inside. 

There was a small cabinet which held Emily's clothes inside of it, with a little Whinnie the Pooh lamp on top of it, the gentle glow giving the room a rather calming atmosphere. The colour scheme was the typical pink, but Claire had made sure that it was a baby pink, not a ridiculous hot pink which would make her baby's room look as if some spoilt brat lived there. No, Claire had made 100% sure of that. In the centre of the room was a zebra rug, a baby zebra forever stuck in a jumping position on top of the carpet. The carpet itself was a grassy sort of colour; it had been there since Samuel had the room but Robert had never got the chance to change it. The pink and green went surprisingly well together. On the far corner of the room was a princess wardrobe; it was pink with spires rising out of the top of it like some grand fairy castle. Although Emily could not yet talk coherently, she had made it perfectly clear that that was the wardrobe she wanted. Against the wall on the right hand side of the room was Emily's bed. She had just moved into it after one and a half years of being in a cot. There was still a protective bar on the side which was uncovered, but Emily was more than pleased to be in a 'big girl's bed'. She was snuggled up to the wall on one side, and was cuddling a reasonably sized stuffed toy dog on the other. Her face was the epitome of peace and innocence; there was so much that she had yet to learn about the way in which the world worked. Claire walked over to the bed, accidently treading on the zebra's face in the process. She kissed the top of her daughter's head, pushed one of her petite golden curls to the side. Claire gazed upon Emily for a moment., it was an unusual occurrence that the female child looked most like the father and the male child looked just like the mother. Claire could see so much of Robert in Emily: she had his shining sapphire eyes, the bone structure that spoke of glamour and royalty, hair that made the prettiest golden coloured curls. Claire could sense that Emily would grow up to have her father's confidence and bravery also. 

She sneaked out of the room, this time taking care not to stand on the zebra's face. She shut the door and baby gate again, and set off to visit her other child.

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