In The Name of Lynch

-In the Lateness of the Hour-

Everyone had heard the splash. But it had been Oliver, Jenny, and Robin who had gotten up first to

check and see what had made the noise.

Each of them had their own reason for checking.

Robin had gone because he was worried now that Marian hadn't come back or called him. He'd

figured before that she would call him in the morning when she came to her senses. Now he wondered if she had gotten lost in the dark trying to return to the farm in the middle of the night.

Oliver had gone because he knew how dangerous the pond could be from past experience.

Jenny had gone because she knew that Bryce would go there if he was upset to try and relax. The moon would be pretty on the water. But it was also be dangerous. The two of them had already fallen in once. When she heard the splash, it brought that little incident back to mind. Then it had been safer and even funny. It wasn't funny now.

By the time Robin and Oliver had arrived, Jenny was lying on her stomach near the edge of the water. Bryce was in the deep pond, trying to climb out, but unable to attain a firm grip on the slimy mud Not wanting to fall in herself, Jenny had lain on her stomach and grasped Bryce's wrist with one hand. Then she had grabbed his shirt just below the collar, pulling him out of the freezing water just after he'd gone under.

"Get help," Oliver shouted to Robin as he knelt beside Jenny and helped her to pull Bryce out of the water.

Bryce was unconscious as they pulled him out of the water. And was still out of it when Edison and Murray arrived, arguing as they walked.

"I do need some sleep, Edison," Murray was complaining. "I can't stay up all night babysitting. Especially when the person in question is not a baby."

"You still knew he was upset," Edison exclaimed as they arrived.

"He didn't try to kill himself, Edison," Robin said. "My son would never do that. He simply fell in. Now lend a hand."

Edison and Murray remained on solid ground just behind the slimy area and grabbed onto Jenny and Oliver. With a hard tug, they collectively managed to pull Bryce out of the pond.

Despite his age, Edison picked up Bryce and ran with him back to the farmhouse. The others followed, a little more slowly, but still at a rapid pace.

The rest of the house was awakened by Edison practically knocking the front door off its hinges as he ran inside and into the guest room where he was sleeping that night.

"Jenny," he said, "get me some dry clothes for Bryce. Oliver, get a towel for me to dry him off with."

Without waiting, Edison carefully positioned Bryce's arms above his head and pulled off the t-shirt he had been sleeping in. He tossed the soaking wet garment on the floor in the corner as Oliver and Jenny returned with the things he had asked for.

Jenny actually growled at Edison when he started unbuttoning Bryce's dripping jeans, indicating that she would not put up with anyone seeing Bryce completely nude other than herself.

"He stays pure," she snapped, casting a tender gaze at Bryce.

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