Chapter Twenty Five

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Lindsey swiftly loaded the bags into the passenger seat of the car while Stevie slipped into the back and clipped Lily into her car seat. As they pulled out of the hospital parking lot, Lindsey glanced up into his rear-view mirror and smiled to himself at the sight of Stevie lovingly fussing over Lily.

Although he would never have envisioned their reunion taking quite a turn like this, Lindsey now could not imagine his life without either of his girls – he would not have had it any other way.

Spellbound by the sight of them, Lindsey was suddenly snapped back to reality when he saw the headlights of another car swing into view, almost tail-gating them in pursuit. The jerking car movements, the hot-on-your-heels chase and the men with sunglasses and gigantic camera lenses sitting in the front seats; Lindsey knew from experience that it was a paparazzi car.

Not wanting to sound the alarm and panic Stevie, Lindsey took matters into his own hands and tried to lose the cars – after having spotted a second one just behind the first.

“Lindsey? Where are we going?” Stevie asked in confusion as he pulled off the main avenue and into a side street.

Lindsey was so concentrated on trying to lose the cars that he did not respond to her question; instead, he put his foot on the gas and tried to out-do them with speed.

“Lindsey!” Stevie gasped in shock at his erratic driving. “Lindsey, stop it! I want us to all get home in one piece!”

“We’re being followed, Steph.”

“What?!”

Stevie looked over her shoulder out of the back window and saw two cars speeding up behind them.

“Lindsey, how long have they been following us?!”

“I think they saw us coming out of the hospital.”

“Shit!” she cursed.

Sensing the change in atmosphere in the car, Lily began to cry and Stevie tried to rock her in her car seat to keep her calm.

“Sssshhh… Everything’s alright, baby, everything’s okay!” she soothed with a smile.

“Lily-bee!” Lindsey chimed in and the baby looked around curiously at the sound of his voice. “I’m right here, princess!”

“Lindsey, what if they saw you?! People are going to know that you’re back!”

“Right now, that’s not what I care about.”

“I’m not ready for people to see her yet, Lindsey!”

“I know Steph, and they won’t,” he said, his voice deep with purpose. “Here, take this and cover the car seat…”

Lindsey leant into the diaper bag to pull out Lily’s pink fleece blanket and handed it back to Stevie, who draped it over the car seat to shield Lily from the prying eyes and lenses of the paparazzi.

As they pulled into the street leading to Stevie’s house, Lindsey tried to activate the electric gate before they arrived there, so that they could swing straight into the driveway and out of view of the cameras.

“Come on, come on, come on,” he pleaded, pressing the remote sensor several times as they approached the gates.

The gates slowly began to open, but the two cars suddenly came to a screeching halt behind them and four burly men with large cameras spilled out and ran towards their car.

“They’re coming, Lindsey! Hurry!”

Bright flashes of light suddenly filled the inside of the car as several camera lenses were held up against the black-out windows, blinding Stevie and aggravating Lindsey. She tried to shield her face with her hands but the men became more and more boisterous the longer they were denied the money-shot they were after.

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