“Savannah Piper! Is it true that your girlfriend’s mother died gruesomely in child birth?”

“Miss Piper, has Morgan come forth to you with any details about the death? Any accusations of foul-play?”

“Is it true that her own husband allowed her to die?”

The reporters assaulted Savannah and swarmed around her like an angry crowd of hornets the moment she stepped onto the Charm Estate the next morning. Police tried their best to keep the riot of media under control, but there was about a dozen reporters for every police officer present. Scowling, Savannah shoved everyone in her way out of her path, refusing to bite their petty bait and accidentally say something that would only put Morgan under more stress. She knew these reporters would say just about anything to provoke her and get her angry enough to slip up and release confidential information. She had been with Morgan long enough to know how this media circus worked.

“GET OUT OF HERE, YOU FILTHY VULTURES! I’M NOT TELLING YOU A DAMN THING!” she shouted, knocking on the door. The heavy wood door creaked open just a crack, enough to let Savannah slip in without letting any stray reporters inside. Not that they didn’t try. “Thanks, Raphael,” she gasped to the housekeeper who had let her inside. “Where’s Morgan?”

Raphael pointed to the kitchen where Morgan was sitting at the breakfast nook, hunched over with her head cradled in her arms, sobbing. She didn’t have her hearing aid in. Savannah didn’t blame her. She didn’t want to hear the media frenzy going on outside, either. She ran over and put her arms around Morgan, kissing her temple. Morgan jumped at first, but dissolved into fresh tears and clung to Savannah once she knew who it was. “I’m so sorry, Morgan,” Savannah signed, her own wide blue eyes brimming with tears. “I’m so sorry…”

“Sorry…” Morgan whispered, not really seeing Savannah, then her eyes went wide and she took in a sharp breath. “Your party…” she mumbled, a little disoriented. “I wasn’t there… I’m sorry I didn’t go to your party.”

She’s in shock, Savannah realized. Savannah shook her head fervently and wrapped her arms around Morgan, pulling her close. “Forget about the stupid party. It’s not important,” she signed to her when they broke apart. “You’re what’s important. I love you so much,” she whispered out loud, unsure if Morgan had bothered to lip-read that, then deciding it didn’t matter and pulled her into another embrace.

Suddenly, Savannah heard the wailing of a newborn baby upstairs. After a few moments, it was clear no one was bothering to tend to the crying. Savannah lifted Morgan’s chin and kissed her. “I’ll go get him, but I’ll be right back,” she assured her. Morgan didn’t even appear to have noticed, but Savannah was already up the stairs heading to the baby’s room.

She walked in to a nursery that was decorated to look like a jungle, with stuffed jungle animals swinging from the ceiling and walls and jungle-themed wallpaper and furniture. Savannah remembered helping Margaret pick out the baby’s things with Morgan a month or two ago and the tears in her eyes spilled over. She missed Margaret, too. She’d been the closest thing to a mom Savannah had since her parents died, but she couldn’t grieve. Not when the woman she loved was downstairs in so much pain and her family was in shambles. No, it was Savannah’s job to take care of Morgan and her family. They’re going to be my family soon, she reminded herself. Hopefully, anyway. She reached into her pocket and fingered the engagement ring she had saved up for the last year. It wasn’t near as extravagant as a woman like Morgan deserved, but it was everything Savannah had to give. She had planned to propose last night at her birthday party, which was why she’d been so crushed when Morgan hadn’t come, but it all seemed so petty and juvenile now. Asking Morgan to be her wife would have to wait for now.

She peered into the crib and smiled when she saw baby Johnathon looking up at her. He stopped crying as soon as she picked him up and started rocking him. “Were you just lonely, Johnny?” she asked softly. “Poor thing. I know it’s going to be rough around here for a while and you’re not going to understand why no one’s paying much attention to you, but everyone here is really sad right now. It’ll pass, though, I promise. Things won’t be so lonely for you forever. I’ll be here to help out… at least, I hope. I hope your big sister will let me move in so I can help take care of everyone here, especially you,” she murmured softly, rocking him gently as he yawned and started to drift off to sleep.

“Do you mean that?” a shaky voice came from the doorway. Savannah whirled around in surprise to see Morgan standing there, her hearing aid back in. Savannah nodded slowly.

“I want to help take care of you,” she told her settling Johnathon back in his crib so she could wrap her arms around Morgan. “I want to help take care of all of you. I know it’s probably so hard to take care of Johnathon while you’re grieving for your mom. I can help take care of him, too. I can help with the funeral… anything you need. Just ask and I’m here for you.” Morgan sighed and rested her head on Savannah’s shoulder, who held her tight.

“I love you, Savannah,” she whispered.

“I love you, too… please let me help you. I want to make sure you’re okay,” Savannah whispered back.

“I’ll tell my dad you’re going to live with us. I think he’ll be glad to have the help,” Morgan agreed with a thin, wobbly smile.

By the next morning, Savannah had all her belongings in Charm Manor and she and Morgan were sharing the right wing’s master bedroom. The first thing she did was call her work to tell them she was quitting. She had only taken the job in the first place to save up for Morgan’s ring, and now that she was living with a family as wealthy as the Charms, she didn’t need to worry about money anymore, which was just as well, because she was needed here in the home. Johnathon needed constant attention that no one else could give him right now, William’s grades were slipping and Savannah needed to keep on top of him to finish his homework every night, Miraj wasn’t taking proper care of himself and Morgan was a wreck.

No one challenged the sudden authority Savannah had taken. They were all grateful to have someone to keep everything together while they grieved, but the large amount of pressure was taking a toll on Savannah. She was often shaky and tired from not enough sleep and working too hard around the house during the day. The only person who really noticed was Morgan.

“You’re tired…” she whispered to her one night as Savannah slipped into bed with her. Savannah shook her head in denial.

“A little, but I’m okay,” she assured Morgan with a kiss. “Don’t worry about me.” Morgan gave her an unconvinced look, but was already drifting off to sleep before she could protest and settled for simply putting her arms around Savannah.

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