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Isabelle sat up with a start and looked around the room. She looked to see her father sleeping in the chair next to her bed. Climbing from the bed she lay a blanket over him and kissed his forehead.

She looked up to see Dianna standing near the doorway.

“ You ok?” She asked. Isabelle shook her head and looked towards her father.

“ He’s been here all night?” Isabelle asked.

“ Yes he has. He wanted to be here for you in case you had a nightmare.” Dianna said smiling. Isabelle looked at her sleeping father and knew that maybe things where going to be better for her and her family now. She looked outside to see that the sun was about to rise.

“ I should go help the cook in the kitchen.”

“ Why, he’s got plenty of help and you need your rest young lady.’

“ But I like to help.”

“ Until your feeling 100% I don’t want you helping him. Just stay here with your father and enjoy your time with him ok?”

“ All right.” Isabelle said sitting down on the chair near the door. “ Are you going to visit too?”

“ Later I will. For now you both need your rest, now get back into bed and I’ll come get you when breakfast is ready.” Dianna said looking at Isabelle. Isabelle could swear she had heard her mother’s voice in Dianna’s for that split second. A smile spread across her sad features as she turned and headed back to the bed. Dianna turned and quietly closed the door. She was walking away when she heard the door open.

“ Thank you.” Kevin said quietly. Dianna smiled but never turned towards him.

“ Your welcome get back to bed.” She said as she walked away from the quarters. Kevin smiled and headed back into the room closing the door behind him.

Isabelle woke several hours later to the sounds of shouting. She moved closer to the door and saw several soldiers running past with guns in their hands. Frightened that the events of the convent were happening again she moved away from the door and near to her father.

“ What’s wrong?” He asked her.

“ The soldiers. There is something wrong outside.” Isabelle said holding onto him. The door burst open and Jerold and Dianna quickly entered the room shutting and locking the door behind them.

“ What’s going on?” Kevin asked looking at his brother.

“ There has been an attack on the fort.”

“ By whom?”

“ Southern troops, there are about 200 of them, my men weren’t prepared for this and several have already been killed.”

“ Jeremy?”

“ Is fine. Isabelle I need you to be brave.” Jerold said looking at his niece.

“ Yes uncle.” She answered. She looked at Dianna and saw the fear deep in her eyes. She knew that her uncle was keeping things from her but wasn’t about to challenge that. Suddenly she remembered that Brian was still among those that were out side of the room.

“ What about Brian?”

“ They won’t shoot a priest. It’s some kind of code with all soldiers.” Jerold reassured her. “ He is tending to wounded.”

“ But it’s not safe for him.” Isabelle said looking at her uncle.

“ I know but he refused to seek shelter. Brian is a stubborn man has been for a long time.”

“ Yes that he has. It’s all right baby, Brian will be fine.” Kevin said soothing his daughter. He could see that she wasn’t going to be able to handle yet another loss if Brian or Jeremy were killed in this attack.

“ I’ll fight with you. Give me a gun. This is my home now too and I won’t let anyone come and take it.” Kevin said looking at his brother.

“ You’re still very ill brother and I don’t want you getting hurt more than you’ve all ready been.”

“ Let me fight Jerold. I need to do this.” Kevin said standing. Dianna knew that Kevin was as stubborn as Jerold and neither would win this fight.

Nodding Jerold handed Kevin a pistol and headed for the door. Opening it they both slipped out of the room. Dianna moved towards Isabelle and held the smaller woman close.

“ It’ll be fine.” She whispered. Isabelle wasn’t so sure, she had visions of the night the convent had been burned down, and when her own home had been attacked.

It seemed as if the fighting had gone on forever when it suddenly stopped. Silence now became the once chaos that had been there before. The women could hear the soft talking of men moving around outside the room they hid in. Isabelle held tightly to Dianna and looked up as the door slowly opened. Dianna grabbed an object to protect them as the door opened fully. She raised it to defend them when she saw Jeremy enter the room.

“ It’s ok.” Jeremy said raising his hands to deflect the blow.

“ What are you out to get killed?” Dianna scolded him.

“ No ma’am I was told to come check on you both.”

“ Who won?”

“ We did for now. We had help though.”

“ Who?”

“ Another unit from the north had seen the fighting and came to help.”

“ How many dead?”

“ Half dozen of ours and at least that of theirs. A few more have been wounded from both sides.”

“All right I will go to the infirmary and help out.” Dianna said standing and leaving the room.

Jeremy looked at Isabelle and held is arms open, she moved into them and held him close.

“ I had feared you had been wounded or worse.”

“ I won’t leave you Issa.” He said moving his fingers slowly over her cheek. Isabelle held onto him tightly and just stood there. Kevin entered the room and saw the two in their embrace. A smile slowly spread over his face.