After a secret whirlwind romance, Holly and Bobby were married. It was a simple affair, with Nedward, Lieutenant Foy, Senior Chaplain Phillips, Earl and Rachael in attendance. Instead of the traditional wedding dress or facsimile, Holly wore her “suit of arnor” in memory of her late father.
There had been some playful banter before the wedding about Holly keeping her maiden name. Bobby jokingly told her that he would leave her at the altar if she didn’t take his name. When he struck a pose and said “my name is powerful and classy,” Holly would laugh and say “you have so many. Which one are you talking about? Nobody even knows your real name and I don’t want to be known as ‘Mrs. Who Are You Today’?”
Playful banter was all it really was. In fact, Holly was proud to carry Bobby’s name. She was proud to be his wife and they were the perfect couple. Six months after they were married, Holly was pregnant.
Although she was elated beyond words, she knew that she was nearing the end of her career. She would never be a Captain but somehow, it didn’t matter anymore. She was going to be a mother and her hope was that she would be the kind of mother that her mother had been to her.
Just as Nedward had warned, Bobby was often absent, sometimes for weeks at a time. Holly took it in stride and Nedward kept a close eye on her. He was her stalwart and tried to keep her spirits up as much as he could.
They would talk about the baby and he would smile as she giggled and said “oh, Nedward. I just can’t wait!”
The day finally came for Holly to deliver and Nedward was the one who took her to the hospital. Bobby was furiously trying to get to her but was stuck in traffic. He called Nedward and told him to tell Holly to “hold on.”
Nedward told Bobby to park his car and a patrol officer would come get him. Lighting it up, the officer got Bobby to the hospital just in time to see his little one come into the world. The pride on his face said it all. “Hello, my precious son,” he said.
Bobby had been orphaned when he was a little boy and Holly’s parents had been killed, so there were no bragging grandparents on either side but it was clear that this child was going to have several very attentive “uncles” in Nedward, Earl and even Foy.
There had never been any question that if it was a boy, it would be named after Bobby. When Lieutenant Foy arrived, even that hard-edged, no bullshit man got misty-eyed, but only for a moment. He walked over, patted Holly on the shoulder and said “it was good working with you. Keep in touch, okay?”
Holly had told Foy that after the baby was born, she was dedicating her life to her child and her husband. Before he left, Foy handed her a gold Captain’s badge. “Put this in your memory book,” he said. “Dreams do come true, you know. Sometimes, they’re just different dreams.”
The next few weeks were almost blissful. Bobby immediately took to calling Bobby, Jr. “little dude.” He tried to be around as much as he could but his determination to bring down Roi Fantôme’s empire was still paramount. Holly knew that and understood. She leaned heavily on Nedward, Earl and Rachael and their bond was stronger than ever.
The inside word was that Bobby had finally cracked the ultimate layer of Roi Fantôme’s empire. It had taken years for him to get that close and his newly acquired “sources” had given confirmation that the Ghost King did indeed live on an island, accessible only by boat or plane.
For the last ten months, Bobby had assumed the identity of a powerful drug lord, whose demands for product were far greater than his local supplier could deliver. He had successfully worked his way inside with a promise to the King’s right hand man, that there would be untold wealth for the Ghost King.
He wanted to set up a meeting for a cool million initially and in the future, that amount would be weekly. The caveat was that he would provide half up front and only after a personal audience with the Ghost King, would he deliver the rest and seal the future deal.
“Impossible” was the answer. “Nobody meets the King in person.” Bobby played it cool and asked if he didn’t think he should at least present the offer to the King. “I mean, what is he going to say when he finds out that you eighty-sixed a potential five million dollar a month deal?”
Angered, the Ghost King’s right hand man said “I’ll get back to you.” Bobby knew he was in. He had news for Holly and that was cause for a celebration. He didn’t know it at the time, but Holly had her own news.
They planned a night out, something they rarely if ever, got to do. Rachael was going to keep “little dude” long enough for them to have a beer and was going to meet them after, to drop him off. Bobby, Jr. had never spent a night away from home and although it would be late, Rachael didn’t mind meeting them.
Bobby decided they should go to “Grady’s.” It had been and still was, the local bar where most of the police officers, active and retired, went to unwind.
It was a little hole in the wall, with a somewhat risqué decor. The walls were papered with plump, nude women of a by-gone era when full figures were lusted after. The bathrooms had the old fashioned pull chain toilets, which lent another layer of nostalgia to the place. An old fashioned slop bucket sat on the bar and the regulars would take turns throwing in a twenty. It didn’t matter if they drank one beer or five. It always evened out in the end.
Bobby and Holly found a booth for two and ordered two beers. When Holly declined the beer in lieu of a glass of water, she couldn’t hide the grin on her face. Bobby teasingly said “what have you done?” He knew that grin and it always meant that she was up to something. She very calmly said “I didn’t do anything. You did.”
Bobby was gobsmacked when Holly told him that she was pregnant.
“Seriously?” he all but screamed. “Drinks on me! My lovely wife is going to have a baby!”
Cheers were all around and now Bobby was the one with the grin on his face. They held hands, talked about “what it might be” and laughed like they were newlyweds.
After Bobby ordered and drank another beer, Holly leaned over and said “don’t look now, but why does that man over there keep staring at you?” Of course, Bobby immediately turned around.
“I told you not to look!” said Holly.
Bobby said “I don’t know but I’m sure he’s looking at you. You are hot, you know.” Holly said “I don’t think he’s looking at me. I think he’s looking at you and it’s giving me the creeps.” Bobby laughed and said “don’t worry about it. He’s probably just schnockered.”
After she shuddered she said “what was your news?” Bobby said “I can’t tell you too much you know, but just suffice it to say….I’m in.”
Holly was suddenly a bit pensive when she said “I don’t know whether to say congratulations or be scared.” Bobby said “there is nothing for you to worry your pretty little head about. I’ll be fine. You know that.”
Holly smiled an obligatory smile and looked at the antique clock on the wall. “Oh goodness. Look at the time. I’d better call Rachael and tell her to head up this way.” She smiled and said “then, when we get home and get little dude put to bed…..”
His arm wrapped around Holly and grinning from ear to ear on the way out, Bobby threw in another twenty. He looked at Holly and said “for good measure and for good luck.”
After a few minutes, Rachael pulled up. When she got out of her car, she looked at them and said “oh my God. You two are grinning like Cheshire cats! What’s going on?”
Holly leaned over and whispered “I’ll tell you tomorrow.” Bobby collected a sleeping little dude and they headed for their car.
They didn’t notice the staring man walk out of the door.
To be continued__________