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Prologue

 

              “How was your flight, Bridget?” the dark haired woman embraced the blonde.

              “ Wonderful, long, but I was so excited.  I’m so happy that Ted took the job at the English Embassy,” Bridget Randall grinned.

              “ Who’s this?” Elaine Bloom crouched down.

              A young brown haired girl peeked fearfully from behind Bridget’s skirts.

              “ This is Louise,” Bridget gently pulled her daughter to the front.

              “ Hi, Louise, you can call me Aunt Elaine,” the woman extended her hand.

              “ It’s very nice to make your acquaintance, Miss Elaine,” Louise took it very professionally.

              “ My, my, she’s so grown up for four,” Elaine smiled, “ My fireballs are waiting at the baggage claim with my Mum.  Come on, I can’t leave them for too long.  My two are enough to make anyone go insane.”

              The 3 moved down the long hallway.  Bridget swung Louise up into her arms when the girl fell behind.

              “ She’s quite small for her age.  Compared to mine when they were that old, she’s a toddler’s size,” Elaine said softly.

              “ The doctor’s said it was best to let her see all she can.  She’s always wanted to be the Queen of England, so bringing her here is the best we can do,” Bridget replied.

              An understanding look flashed between the two.

              “ Mummy,” a little dark haired boy ran up, “ Who’s the baby?  Where’s the person I get to play with?  Grammy put Sam on timeout.”

              “ Orlando,” Elaine sent him ‘the look’.

              “ What?  She’s little, like a baby,” he crossed his arms defiantly, tipping his proud little chin.

              “ Do you want a whippin, Orlando Bloom?” Elaine asked slowly crossing her arms.

              Both the 8 year old and 4 year old’s eyes both widened to huge saucers.  Louise’s little mouth dropped open fearfully as Orlando shook his head vigorously; his silky shoulder length curls bobbing around.

              “ Mommy says that I’m special cuz I’m little.  That I’m a little angel,” Louise said proudly.

She wriggled out of her mother’s arms.

              “ I’m Orlando,” he said.

              “ I’m Lou,” she replied.

              “ Come on,” he pulled on her hand.

The 2 ran away as if nothing had happened.  The 2 mothers let out pent up breaths.

              “ And they’re only 4 years apart.  Lord help us in raising them,” Elaine muttered.

The 2 joined the other 2 Blooms before leaving in search of the 2 kids.

~*~

              “ Back to the States for a year or even two?  That’s mad and not fair,” 16-year-old Orlando Bloom plopped angrily on the couch beside her.

              “ I know.  I tried telling Mother and Father I don’t wanna go, but they’re too busy eating with Prince Charles and the Queen Mother to listen to their own daughter,” Louise replied, a faint tract of bitterness detectable in her voice.

              Orlando put an arm around her waist pulling her close.  His chin fell on top of her head.

              “ I’ll ask Mum if you can stay here,” he said, “ Or maybe I could go with you.”

              “ Let’s ask,” Lou jumped up, pulling him with her.

              She still only came up to his mid-chest.  Lou sighed, looking up at him.

              “ Why are you so tall?” she wailed.

              “ Come on, Lou,” Orlando led her inside.

~*~

              “ God please let him be ok,” Lou whispered as she burst through the hospital doors, “ Aunt Elaine.”

The stately woman seemed to have aged twenty years as she looked up.

              “ I found out when school ended.  How is he?” Lou asked.

              “ Louise, I think you need to sit down,” Elaine stood.

              “ How bad is it?” Lou defiantly stayed standing, tears beginning to mist her eyes.

              “ He might not walk again,” Elaine answered.

              “ Don’t tell me that.  How is he?” Lou asked again, the tears bubbling out of her eyes.

              “ He wants to see you,” Elaine tipped up Lou’s chin, “ He’s depending on you.  Be strong.”

              Lou hesitantly walked back towards the room she’d been told.  She paused outside the door to wipe away her tears.  She took a deep breath and entered.

              “ Who’s there?” Orlando could barely move his head to see her.

A fresh wave of tears misted her blue eyes.  She pressed her lips together, approaching the bed.

              “ Looks real bad, huh, Lou?” Orlando asked.

              “ You’ll walk, Orli.  You’re Superman,” Lou took his hand.

              “ Don’t cry, Louise.  You don’t want me to start blubbering do you?” Orlando said.

              “ What were you thinking, Bloom?  On top of the roof?  No wonder I’m the brains.  Even I’m not that stupid to think I can defy gravity by jumping 3 stories,” Lou replied angrily through tears.

              “ Well, excuse me,” Orlando looked up at her, “ I can tell you think I’m not gonna walk again.”

              “ I know what the Doctor’s think, but it just can’t be true.  Not you.  You have your whole life ahead of you.  You haven’t gotten that big role that’ll make you a star.  That’ll make all these girls make web pages about you and wish they’d marry you and all that crap,” Lou bent awkwardly so her head rested on his chest.

              “ I’ll walk out of here, Lou,” Orlando replied, “ I know I will.”

Lou couldn’t look him in the eye and tell him only a miracle would let him even feel his little toe again.

~*~

              “ Mum, Mum,” he burst through the door.

              “ In the kitchen, Hun,” Elaine yelled calmly.

12 days after the accident, Orlando had walked out of the hospital.  Lou, Elaine and Sam, Orlando’s big sister, all turned around.  Orlando swept Lou up.

              “ You’ve done it again.  I told you she was my good luck charm.  I got a part,” now 23 years old, Orlando’s chocolate eyes glowed, “ I’m gonna be an Elf, not that other guy’s brother.”

              “ Orli gets to wear tight tights,” Sam giggled.

              “ Not funny, Samantha,” Orlando rolled his eyes, “ It’s gonna be so cool.  I’m leaving in two days to begin training.”

              “ I’m so happy for you,” Lou gave him a hug, and then added in a whisper, “ I knew you could do it.”

He grinned down at her.

              “ Wanna come?” he asked.

              19-year-old Louise froze. 

              “ Me?” she squeaked.

              “ Yeah, there’s one more month before you have to go back to school.  Please,” Orlando pleaded, “ Don’t make me grovel.”

              “ I don’t know,” Lou shifted.

              “ Viggo Mortensen will be there,” Orlando replied.

              “ Book me a ticket, Superstar,” Lou quickly agreed.

~*~

              He wearily collapsed in an over stuffed chair.

              “ Orlando?” a light turned on as Lou came out of her room.

He was a sad sight.  All bruised from the extensive training.  Lou worriedly reached out to touch his cheek.  Orlando turned his face away.  She wordlessly went to the kitchenette and pulled out the many bags of ice.  She set them beside him and turned towards her room.

              “ Lou.”

She turned.

              “ Thanks, Luv.  I’m glad you came,” he tried to smile.

Lou sent him a smile, then disappeared inside her room.

~*~

              “ Do you have to go back?” Orlando asked.

              “ Don’t worry, Orli, we have our cell phone and I have email, but since you are a chicken,” Lou began.

              “ Don’t even start.  Computers hate me, end of story,” Orlando clearly enunciated every word.

Lou was clinging.  She didn’t want to go.  Orlando didn’t want her to go either.  She was the only part of home he always knew would be there.  A tear crept out of the corner of her eye.

              “ Lou, you’re going to make me cry.  You know I have a reputation now.  How would it look if they saw me as a crying idiot?” Orlando asked.

              “ I don’t give a bloody,” Lou began.

              “ Last call to London,” the flight attendant said.

              “ Bye,” Lou gave his cheek a quick kiss.

And then she was gone.  Orlando went to the window.  His hand followed the plane’s trek into the sky.  Lou sighed as she watched the airport fade.  She pulled her long sleeves down to wipe away her tears.

              “ I’m such a bloody crybaby.”