A cool, gentle breeze whipped through the warm air bringing temporary relief to the passersby walking down the street just in front of the courthouse building that blistering June morning. It wasn’t even officially summer yet, but in Washington D.C., they had already surpassed the record high four days in a row. The heat was unbearable and easily passed up for the cool air held indoors. For this reason, most everyone in the nation’s capitol stayed inside. But then there were those who ached to be set free…
“Judging from the information received from both sides, am I correct in assuming there are no more witnesses, and we can proceed on to the closing arguments?” the short, stubby man from behind the elevated bench asked.
“Yes, your honor. There are no more witnesses for the defense.”
“Counselor?” the judge asked, turning his attention toward the prosecutor, D.A. Calvin Lawson.
“No, your honor. The state has one last witness.”
“Objection!” the defense attorney declared in surprise. “Judge Bowen, the defense was not apprised of this witness. Therefore, we couldn’t possibly be prepared for cross examination.”
“I agree. Mr. Lawson, why was the court not made aware of this witness’s presence until now?” asked the judge.
“The defendant had a hit taken out…”
“Allegedly,” the defense attorney, Mr. Xavior, cut in.
“The defendant had allegedly taken a hit out on the state’s witness, your honor. We couldn’t risk this man’s safety.” Judge Phillip Bowen sat quietly in his chair for a few moments glancing at the lawyers before him, contemplating whether or not this witness should be permitted to testify.
“Objection denied. Call your next witness, Mr. Lawson,” the judge finally said, causing a defeated Michael Xavior to take a seat next to his client, Alejandro Montoya.
“The state calls Palm Beach’s Sgt. Christopher Lorenzo to the stand.” A guard opened the door to the right of the witness stand, and in walked a very much alive Christopher Lorenzo.
“How’s the sorting coming along, Captain?”
“That’s easy. It’s not! I’ve been going through these files for days, lieutenant, and although some of these rookies aren’t half bad, I still don’t think they’re right for my department.”
“You’ll find someone to replace Booker, Captain. I’ll even help you sort through some of the prospects if you’d like,” Captain Richard Sulley’s top detective offered.
“You’ve got enough on your plate. I wish Detective Booker had given more notice before he left, but I can handle it. This would take up a lot of your time, and I know someone much more deserving of that time than me.” The lieutenant smiled at her captain. “How is that little boy of yours anyway, Lt. Lorenzo?” Rita smiled at the thought of her son.
“CJ is great! He’s getting bigger everyday,” she said, her voice clearly full of love for her son.
“Well, you cherish every moment of that boy’s childhood because before you know it he’ll be graduating from high school, getting married, and having kids of his own,” Captain Sulley said as his thoughts began drifting back to when his own son was CJ’s age.
“Believe me. I already do,” Rita said, glancing down at the chain she wore around her neck every day, the chain that carried her dead husband’s wedding ring.
“You still miss him?” Captain Sulley asked when he noticed her eyes drifting down at the ring.
“More now than ever,” Rita said with sadness in her voice. “I look at CJ, and I see Chris in him more and more each day. I just wish he were here to watch his son grow up. I wish he were here period, but that’s something that will never happen.”
“He’s here in spirit, Lorenzo.” Having her new captain continually call her “Lorenzo” always brought about a warm feeling within her. She wasn’t Rita Lance any longer. She was Rita Lorenzo. And she was proud to go by the name of the man who owned her heart.
“Yeah, that’s what everybody tells me,” she finally said, coming out of her reverie.
“Well, it’s late. You should go home and have dinner with your son. I’ll finish up this stack of papers, and what do you know? Maybe, we’ll actually find a new detective around here one day in the near future… another one for you to boss around,” he said with a wink.
“Maybe,” Rita smiled back at him. “Goodnight, Captain. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Christopher Lorenzo paced back and forth in the small waiting room of the courthouse building. Thoughts ran through his head like a wildfire through the woods, fast and furious. ‘Four and a half years,’ he thought to himself. It had been four and a half years to the day that he had died. God, he missed his wife! It killed him to know that she lived everyday thinking that he was six feet under. It wasn’t his choice to fake his death, but in the end, he complied to the FBI’s demands nonetheless.
At the moment, the FBI and what they had done to him… played God with his life… didn’t matter anymore. His part was over and done with. He’d testified against Alex Montoya, the brother who had taken over since the death of Palm Beach’s most infamous drug lord, and now he would be free to go home to his wife and the son he’d never met.
The door to the small courthouse waiting room opened, startling Chris from his thoughts. A tall, broad-shouldered man with dark eyes and gray hair entered the room.
“Sgt. Lorenzo, on behalf of the bureau, I’d like to thank you for…”
“Thank me?” Chris cut him off in disbelief. “You didn’t give me much of a choice. Now, tell me where my wife and son are, and I’m outta here.”
“I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, but unfortunately, we lost track of your wife and child about a year ago,” the agent said with regret.
“You what?” Chris asked in shock as he felt the anger begin to rise within him.
“Like I said, I’m sorry…”
“Sorry? Why wasn’t I informed of this? I had a right to know.”
“We couldn’t take the chance that you’d try and escape our custody again, Sgt. Lorenzo. After your first attempt, we...”
“I missed the first four years of my son’s life, and my wife believes I’m dead because of you people! Now, you’re telling me that you don’t know where they are?”
“I’m sorry,” the FBI agent repeated for the third time. A deafening silence filled the room while the two men stood facing each other until Chris finally spoke.
“I don’t need you. I’ll find them myself,” Chris said, anger still evident in his voice. “Where was the last place you knew of their whereabouts?”
“Their last known location was Palm Beach, Florida about a year ago. They visited your former captain and his wife. Then, they left Palm Beach again, and we lost track of them.”
“Fine. Thanks for all your help!” Chris said in anger as he exited the room.
And after years of waiting and wondering, Christopher Lorenzo set off to find his family and get his life back.
Chris slowly drove down the streets of the city where he’d spent most of his life and couldn’t help but remember. Palm Beach was now foreign to him. Everything was different. He used to be able to drive down a city block and know exactly where he was going without one single glance at a street sign. The landmarks were his guides for every journey he took. But now, as he drove down his former street, the sights he saw were those of things he couldn’t place. Trees that were recently planted. Roads now repaved. And the park where he’d spent most of his free time playing basketball, now... a parking lot? All of these things only served as a reminder of the years he’d lost.
Inching closer and closer to their old loft, his and Rita’s, the emotions swirling inside him and curiosity of what had become of their first home together caused him to park the car and take a look. He had to be sure that it was still standing, to be sure that the life he’d spent the last four and a half years remembering was not a dream.
As he looked out the passenger side window and at the front of the building, he noticed a chain lock around the door handles and a sign posted above it. It was hard to read the sign from his rental car, so he took a deep breath and got out of the car. He walked up to the front door slowly, taking in the scene around him and read the sign:
“Foreclosed? I guess things have changed more than I thought,” he said sadly. He knew he shouldn’t, but Chris couldn’t bring himself to leave without first going inside.
A shiny object caught his eye from the glare cast upon it by the sun. He leaned down and found a pin lying at his feet.
“Parfait!” He plucked it from the ground and used it to pick the lock.
The amount of dust contained in the building caused Chris to sneeze as he ascended the stairs and mulled through the halls. There were beams down every couple feet, and he had to walk carefully, so as not to trip.
As he came upon the door to their old loft, he found it unlocked and slowly opened it. His first steps inside soon proved too much, as the memories of the first night in their new home flooded his mind.
“So, what do we do now?” Chris asked.
“Well, why do we have to do anything?”
“You know. It seems like something should be different. We’re married.”
“So, this is it? Nothing’s different.”
“Well, it’s legal now.”
“Well, there’s that.”
“Why don’t you umm… why don’t you work out on your heavy bag?
“Nahh? What happened to ‘I wanna work out. Where’s my heavy bag?’ Remember that?”
“Ahh… I said that?”
“Yeah, you said that the other day.” There was a short silence.
“You… you do realize … that we’re on our honeymoon, don’t you?”
“Funny, this doesn’t look like Hawaii.”
“Oh no, no. This is much better than Hawaii.”
“We don’t have to do the luau thing.”
“Or hula lessons.”
“No, I hate hula lessons.”
“Why don’t you say we just skip right to the honeymoon?”
“Oh, I like that.”
“You like that?”
“Yeah.” They kiss. “Maybe, we’ll have a mirror on the ceiling.” They kiss again. “Or a little room service.”
“Why don’t we go see?” They got up and moved their celebration to the bedroom, kissing the entire way.
The walls suddenly felt as if they were closing in on him, and his breathing became tight. He had to get out of there. Chris exited the building with such haste that he could have been easily confused for a man in pursuit of a criminal. He jumped in his car, trying desperately to escape the sadness over the loss of the last four and a half years of his life.
Rita entered her son’s room at around a quarter to eight that morning as she ran a brush through her hair. She walked over to his bed and opened the blinds of his bedside window, engulfing the room in the soft morning light.
“Up and at ‘em sleepyhead,” she said as she gently shook the little boy. He gave no response. “Come on, CJ. You gotta get up. Grandpa’s gonna drop you off on his way to the office. You don’t wanna make him late.”
Since leaving Cap and Frannie in Palm Beach, Rita and CJ had started a new life in San Francisco, and Benny Lorenzo was an everyday part of that life. When Rita had told him that she didn’t know where she was headed now that Chris was gone, Benny had quickly suggested that she and CJ move in with him. After some consideration, Rita agreed.
Benny really enjoyed spending time with CJ. To him, it made up for the time he’d missed with his own son. He only wished Chris were there to see it.
“Let’s go, CJ. Time to get up.” He stirred slightly and opened his eyes, taking a second to adjust them to the light.
“Do I have to, mom?”
“Yes,” she smiled at her son. “Grandpa’s gonna take you to your friend Joey’s house, and I’ll pick you up after work. Then, we’re going to eat dinner at the park tonight, remember?”
“Yay! Can I get an ice cream cone? Please?”
“If you’re up and dressed in fifteen minutes, then I’ll consider it.”
“Ok, I’m up!”
Chris pulled into Cap and Frannie’s driveway as questions ran rampant through his head. Where was she? How was she? What was his son like? Did she make Cap and Frannie the godparents as they had planned?
He walked up to the door and rapped lightly a few times before a stunned Frannie opened the door.
“Chris? How...?” She blinked her eyes a few times, processing the information.
“Hi Fran. How’re ya doing?” She looked as if she were going to faint, so he led her inside.
As they walked into the living room, Harry spoke without looking up. “Who was it, Frannie?”
“Hey, Cap.” Harry’s head shot up from his morning newspaper, and his eyes fixated on Chris.
“Lorenzo? It can’t be.”
“I was there... at the hospital. Four and a half years ago, they pronounced you dead. I... I don’t understand.”
“It’s a long story, Cap, but first I need to know where Rita is.”
“Oh my god! Rita! Does she know about this?”
“No. That’s why I need to find her.” Cap and Frannie still looked floored. “I know this must be hard to believe, but this is the earliest I could get to her. I wanted to be there. I wanted to see my son be born. For goodness sake, I missed his first four birthdays!”
“CJ,” Cap said slowly.
“His name. It’s CJ, Christopher Lorenzo, Jr.” Chris smiled.
“Yeah, I know. It still amazes me that Rita named him after me. You know we argued about that before... before I ‘died’.”
“She told us,” Frannie said sadly. “She made us the godparents, you know?”
“I’m glad. I couldn’t think of better godparents for my son.” He smiled fondly over Cap’s shoulder and went to pick up a picture of a little boy with his dark hair and complexion and Rita’s unmistakable deep green eyes. “This is him.” It wasn’t a question.
“Isn’t he beautiful?”
“Looks just like Rita.”
“Funny,” Frannie laughed. “She says he looks just like you.”
“Yeah? Do you have a number where I could reach her?” He changed the subject quickly so as not to get emotional.
“I don’t think the phone is such a good idea, Lorenzo. This may be something you wanna do in person considering the reaction Rita’s sure to have.”
“I hear you. This will be a big enough shock as it is. Do you have her address?”
“Yeah. She and CJ live with your father in San Francisco,” Frannie said as she wrote the address down for him.
“Your dad left Philadelphia around the time that Rita wanted to settle down, and I think she felt closer to you somehow by being near him,” said Cap.
Frannie handed him the address, and he stared at it for a few moments before looking back up at them.
“For what? I’d do anything for true love,” said a winking Frannie.
“For the address. For caring. For looking after Rita and CJ. For everything.”
“You’re very welcome. Now, if I’m not mistaken you have a wife and son to find,” Cap said. He stuck out his hand to Chris. “Good luck, son. Give us a call when you’re settled.” Chris shook his hand and pulled his former boss in for a hug. He then hugged Frannie and was on his way to finding his dream.
“Wow! That sounds really cool.” CJ and his friend Joey were in Joey’s room playing video games. “I can’t believe you got an autographed baseball. I’ve never even been to a game!”
“Doesn’t your dad ever take you?”
“No, I don’t have a dad,” CJ said sadly.
“What do you mean? Everyone has a father.”
“Not me. I live with my mommy and my grandpa. My mom says that my dad died before I was even born. But she said he loved me a lot.”
“My grandma died last year. I really miss her.”
“I miss having a dad too, even though I never met him. I wish my daddy was alive.”
“CJ! Your ride’s here,” Joey’s mom yelled from downstairs.
“I gotta go to eat dinner. See you soon.”
“Bye.” CJ walked down the stairs to find Benny there waiting for him.
“Hey, Champ. Did you have fun with Joey?” he asked his grandson.
“Yeah. I thought mommy was picking me up. We were supposed to go eat dinner at the park.”
“You still are. She’s just running a little late tonight and asked us to meet her there.”
“You’re eating dinner with us?” he asked, excitedly.
“Yep, and I brought a surprise. It’s in the car.”
“Cool! What is it?”
“Go check the backseat.” CJ ran off to the car as Benny said his good-byes to Joey’s mother and followed him.
“A new baseball mitt!” CJ yelled.
“Yup. I was thinking you and I could toss the ball around for a little while... maybe break in your new mitt for little league.” CJ smiled brightly at his grandfather. “Since it’s your first year, I thought I’d teach you a thing or two, so you can outshine all those other four year olds,” he kidded.
“You’re welcome, Champ. Now, what do you say we go meet your mom for dinner and play some baseball?”
“Yay!” CJ said as he excitedly got in the car and tossed a ball up and down, catching it in his new mitt. Benny laughed at his enthusiasm as he hopped into the driver’s seat, fastened CJ’s car seat and his seatbelt, and headed for the park.
Two young children sat on the living room floor playing happily with each other, while watching television. A ten-year-old CJ bounded down the stairs and past the younger children, a boy and a girl.
“Missy, Ian, you seen mom and dad?” he asked, peeking into their office and not finding them there.
“Nope,” Missy, the little girl, replied, too focused on the television screen to look up.
“They’re in the kitchen, but beware. They’re going at it again,” said Ian.
CJ made a disgusted face and walked into the kitchen, unsurprisingly finding his parents ravishing each other’s lips.
“You guys gross me out.”
Chris and Rita pulled back and looked at their oldest of three children in amusement.
“Believe me son, you won’t think so when you marry to a woman as beautiful as your mother.”
“Girls are gross, dad. What are you smoking?” Chris and Rita laughed.
“I agree with CJ. He’s never getting married. He’s gonna live with his mother forever, right honey?” CJ rolled his eyes, and Chris laughed.
“Keep dreaming, Sam,” Chris teased his wife.
“So anyway, back to the reason I came in here,” CJ went on.
“You mean it’s not your old man’s whit and good looks?” Chris asked.
“You’re funny, dad. Seriously, I need twenty bucks. Jim’s mom is picking me up and taking us to the movies in five minutes.”
“That’s all we’re good for? Money?” Rita asked.
“Of course not! Because one of you has to pick us up in a few hours since Jim’s mom is dropping us off.” Chris shook his head and handed CJ a twenty. “Thanks, Pop. See you guys later.” CJ left the kitchen and went to wait for his friend’s mom to beep the car horn for him.
“Why’d you let him tell us what we’re doing and when?” Rita asked surprised at her husband’s willingness to let their son dictate their life.
“Well, if I started arguing with him it would have meant I couldn’t be doing this,” he said before moving his lips to the sensitive spot behind her ear. Rita groaned in response and wrapped her arms around him as he pulled back to look her in the eyes.
“Good idea,” she smiled, bringing her lips up to meet his.
Chris looked up in confusion to see a stewardess in front of him.
“Huh?” he asked.
“I was just going to take your drink order, sir.”
“Oh, sorry. Daydreaming. I’ll just take a coke.”
He sat back and remembered his dream as the stewardess poured him a coke and placed it on the tray in front of him. A home, three kids, and the woman he loved at his side. He could have been well on his way to that dream life right now, but instead he was on a plane in search of the wife he had not seen in years and the child he’d never met. He vowed to himself that he would have this one day. And the first step in that direction was finding his wife.
Rita watched her son and father-in-law as they tossed the ball around the diamond, while she set their dinner out on the picnic blanket. The pure joy on her son’s face brought a smile to her own. He was getting older and beginning to have more and more questions about his father, and Rita’s heart broke each time she was forced to answer them. All she’d be able to think about was Chris. She was very glad for the time he got to spend with Benny.
The questions had started when the three moved to San Francisco. While rooting through some boxes, Benny had come across some old photos of Chris as a child. Rita was amazed at how much CJ looked like his father. It was a mixed blessing; she was continually reminded of what Chris was not there to see, but it led her to believe that Chris’s memory would forever live on through their son. Seeing the photos was what had brought out the whole slew of questions from CJ.
Placing the last plate on the blanket, Rita signaled Benny and CJ over for dinner.
“I’m starved. Let’s dig in,” Benny said as he and CJ took a seat on either side of Rita.
Throughout dinner, Rita listened contently as CJ explained what his Grandpa had taught him so far about the game of baseball. His enthusiasm was overwhelming, and he couldn’t wait for little league season to begin. Finally, the three finished their dinner.
“Mommy, can I go get a drink of water from the water fountain?” he asked, indicating his empty cup. Rita knew she’d forgotten something... the extra juice.
“Sure. G’me a second, and I’ll walk with you.”
“No, I can do it, mommy. I’m a big boy now,” he insisted. Seeing that the water fountain was no more than twenty feet away, Rita reluctantly shook her head yes, and watched her son skip happily off toward it. “Yes, but be careful,” she warned.
“Rita, doll, this won’t fit,” Benny said, trying to be helpful and fit all the containers and empty plates back into the picnic basket. Rita turned her head for a matter of a few seconds to help Benny place them all in neatly and turned her head back toward the water fountain to see that her son was nowhere in sight.
“CJ?” she said loudly, in case he had ventured off on his way back.
“CJ?” she tried a little louder, getting up from her seat on the ground and shielding her eyes from the sun as she circumvented the park, looking for her son. “Benny, I don’t see him anywhere,” she said, starting to get a little panicked. Benny got up and glanced around the park himself, not seeing CJ anywhere. “Benny, do you see him?” Benny shook his head.
“Don’t panic. We’ll find him. You know how he likes to wonder off. You search from the fountain to the parking lot, and I’ll search from here to the baseball fields.”
Rita was frantic at this point as she carefully began searching every crevice of the park but to no avail. She met back up with Benny who had no luck either.
“What are we gonna do? God, how could I have turned away. I can’t loose my son, Benny. He’s my lifeline.”
“I know, sweetheart. I called the police already,” he indicated his cell phone, “and they waved their twenty-four hour waiting period because of CJ’s age and because you’re on the job. They’re on their way. We’ll find him Rita. I promise,” he said, drawing his daughter-in-law into a comforting hug.
“We have to,” she said, in tears.
After spending hours at an airport in Arkansas, where the plane from Palm Beach was forced to land due to technical difficulties, Chris had finally gotten a flight to San Francisco. The best he could do was a flight with a stopover in Michigan, so he didn’t land at San Francisco International Airport until late the following night. He’d been tired and hungry, but he refused to stop and rest until he had found Rita. So, with that in mind, he’d hailed a cab and gave the driver Rita’s address.
Chris’s cab pulled up in front of his father’s San Diego mansion, and Chris gasped at its' appearance. He’d never been here before, but that seemed fitting to him, since this visit would be one loaded with firsts. His first time in San Diego. The first time he’d see his father in six years. The first time he’d see his wife in almost five years. The first time he’d ever lay eyes on his son.
He paid the driver after grabbing his bags from the trunk, and that’s when he noticed the herd of reporters huddled around the open gates. He made his way up to the front of the crowd and tried to push his way through the barriers, attempting to get inside.
“Sorry, sir. This area is off limits to the press. The family should have a statement out shortly,” an officer explained.
“Statement?” Cops surrounding the house. Barriers blocking off the entrance. What was going on?
Then, he heard the reporters belting out questions.
“Can we get a description or recent photo of the child?”
“When was he last seen?”
“What was he wearing at the time of his disappearance?” they fired, question after question.
Chris was now not only confused but worried beyond belief. The officer he had spoken to less than a minute ago turned toward the hoard of inquisitive reporters, and Chris saw this as his opportunity to make a clean break. He dashed past the crowd and in through the open front door. He followed the sound of voices, which led him to the living room as a few officers chased after him.
The next few moments seemed to play out in slow motion as Chris caught sight of Benny and Rita’s backs while they stood talking to one of the detectives. The two officers that had chased after him, were now holding Chris back and trying to drag him out of the house, but Chris’s will proved stronger, and he held his ground.
Rita suddenly felt an overwhelming sensation flooding her mind, telling her to turn around. She did and thought her eyes were playing tricks on her when she saw the face of the one person she needed most in the world at a time like this... the one person that couldn’t possibly be there to support her.
“Chris?” she wondered aloud.
Chris finally broke free of the officers trying to restrain him and made a mad dash for his wife. She took a few steps forward as well, meeting him halfway. Arms wrapped around each other as Chris lifted her off the floor and spun her around, not willing to let go. This moment was years in the making, and he’d be damned if he were going to cut it short now.
“God, if this is a dream, please don’t wake me,” Rita whispered, her words audible only to Chris.
“It’s not, Sammy. I’m here. I’m alive. I love you! Never stopped.”
Hearing Chris call her by their mutual nickname proved too much for Rita, only adding to the stress of CJ’s disappearance, and she proceeded to collapse to the floor.
Her eyes adjusted to the soft light of the room as she crossed the boundary between sleep and consciousness. She rolled onto her side, feeling the bed beneath her, and began to wonder why she was not out looking for her son. It was then that her eyes became transfixed on the object not ten feet from her, her husband, and it all came flooding back. So, it wasn’t a dream...
Chris watched, from the chair he’d placed next to her bed, as she opened her eyes and remembered the events of the last couple hours. After Rita had fainted in his arms and Benny had convinced the officers attempting to remove him from the premises that Chris was not a reporter sneaking in to get an interview, Chris had carried Rita to her bedroom, watching as she tossed and turned for the next couple hours. Her movements confirmed that she hadn’t collapsed out of illness, but out of stress. Benny then confirmed this, explaining the cops’ presence by telling Chris of his son’s disappearance.
“Chris? Is it really you?” Rita asked, attempting to get up. The urge to touch him, to know he was alive, was too strong for her to ignore. Chris jumped up from the chair and moved to hold her down, not wanting her to move to fast and pass out again.
“Stay still, Sam. It’s me.”
Rita brought an unsteady hand to his face and closed her eyes at the feel of his skin. “I don’t understand,” she said as the tears began to flow freely from her eyes. It really was him. Her husband was alive.
“I know, Rita, I know. The FBI kept me hostage until Alex Montoya was brought to trial. They drugged me.”
“Alex Montoya? Drugs?” Rita began crying harder, and Chris pulled her into his arms, holding on for dear life.
“Jesus Montoya’s brother. They made it appear as if I were dead, and by the time I was conscious again, they had me locked up someplace. To this day, I still don’t know where.” He pulled back and framed her face with his hands, needing to look in her eyes as he spoke. “They told me that if I complied and testified against Alex Montoya, they’d let me go. I agreed because at that point I didn’t know it was the FBI that held me captive, and I just wanted to get out of there. I wanted to be with you and CJ. I had no idea it’d take this long to bring him to trial.”
“I’ve spent the last four and a half years thinking you were dead. Do you even know how many times I wished you were here with me? Helping raise our son. God, our son! He’s missing Chris. Our little boy’s missing.”
“I know. I talked to my dad.”
“I’m so sorry, Chris. I should have been paying more attention. I should have...”
“Hey,” he cut her off. “You can’t watch him every second of the day.”
“But he’s only four, and...”
“Sam, look at me.” Chris placed his hand under Rita’s chin and guided her eyes to his. “From what Benny told me, CJ was trying to show his independence and asked to go to the water fountain by himself, right?”
“Yes, but I should have insisted I go with him,” she whispered.
“My father also said that the water fountain was less than twenty feet away. Twenty feet, Rita! Nobody could have predicted this. It’s not your fault. When this is all over, you’ll see that.”
Rita heard every word that Chris had to say, but she still felt responsible. And until her little boy was home, safe in her arms, she would continue to feel responsible.
She tried to turn her head away from Chris again, but he refused to let her.
“Do you trust me?” Chris asked softly.
“With my life,” she answered without even a hint of hesitation in her voice.
“Then trust me when I say that I won’t give up until CJ is happy, healthy and home with his parents,” he promised.
“I trust you, Sam,” she said tearfully.
Chris framed her face with both his hands and brushed her tears away with the pads of his thumbs. Then, he slowly brought his face closer to hers and kissed her softly, starting at her forehead and ending with a chaste kiss upon her lips. They pulled away from the kiss, but their foreheads remained touching. The tears nothing but a distant memory, Rita leaned in for one more gentle kiss proceeding to get up and walk over to the bookcase in her bedroom.
“I just got back. You leaving me already?” Chris teased, lightening the serious mood. Rita grabbed a book off the top shelf and rolled her eyes at him, as she walked back over to the bed and hopped in.
“C’mere,” she said, patting the empty space next to her. Chris complied, sitting on the bed and pulling her into his arms.
“What’s this?” he asked, eyeing the book in her hands.
“It’s CJ’s baby book. I thought you might like to see it.”
Genuinely touched by her thoughtfulness, Chris looked into Rita’s eyes and smiled brightly at her, “Thank you, Sam. I’d like nothing more.”
Rita opened the book to the first picture and explained. “This was taken the day I brought him home from the hospital,” she said, pointing to the picture of herself rocking CJ in a beautifully carved, old rocking chair.
“Cap and Frannie’s?” he asked, recognizing the background in the photo.
“Yup, what are you? A detective or something?” she winked at him.
“How’d you guess?” he shot back.
She shook her head in defeat, knowing her husband had a comeback for everything, and proceeded to show him more pictures of their son.
An hour later, Benny decided he should check and see how Rita was doing. He walked down the hallway, towards her bedroom, and slowly opened the door. He was quiet, not wanting to wake her in case she was getting the rest she desperately needed. But as he opened the door and peeked his head in, he was surprised to find both Chris and Rita sound asleep, lying in each other’s arms, amidst all sorts of baby pictures of CJ. He smiled, knowing they’d each found temporary comfort in each other, and vowed to find his grandson and make them the whole family they longed to be.
Chris awoke to the most wonderful sensation in the world, something he hadn’t felt in nearly five years. In his arms lay the sleeping form of his beautiful wife. Her head was comfortably resting upon his chest, directly over his heart. Her arms were wrapped tightly around his torso, as if she feared that letting go would cause her to lose him again. Her left leg lay intertwined with his.
Chris’s hands, which had been clasped together resting on her lower back, began moving in circular motions. The soft, soothing movements slowly woke Rita from her much needed sleep. She groggily lifted her head and smiled brightly as her eyes focused on the sight of her husband.
“Hey, Sammy,” Chris whispered.
Her smile grew brighter, if that were even possible. “Hi handsome.”
“You really do wonders for my ego,” he said before placing a gentle good morning kiss on her lips.
An excited Benny suddenly entered the room, unknowingly catching them in a kiss.
“Hey you two! Rise and shine. I just heard from...” he stopped when he saw their position and apologized, “Sorry to interrupt, but this is news you’ll want to hear.”
“Hi, Pop,” Chris said as Rita blushed and laid her head down on his chest. “Good news?” he asked hopefully.
“Actually yes! That’s what I came in here for.”
Rita perked up at that.
“Did they find CJ? Is he okay?” she sat up quickly.
“Your little boy is safe and sound at the San Francisco PD. Officer James just called.”
“Oh, thank you God! My baby’s okay.” She turned back to Chris. “Are you ready to meet your son, Sam?”
“More than you’ll ever know.” And the threesome headed for the police department.
Upon entering the police station, Rita quickly passed up her captain in the hallway, frantically searching out her son, with Chris and Benny following close behind. Her heart flip-flopped in her chest when she saw him sitting at Officer James’ desk playing with a toy fire truck. He looked okay, and Benny had said the officer on the phone had told him that he was okay, but, like any mother, she couldn’t be sure until she could hold him in her arms.
“CJ!” she yelled, making a mad dash for her son.
“Mommy,” he said excitedly as she embraced him in a tight hug, unwilling to let him go. “The mean lady said you went to Heaven like Daddy,” CJ said in a pained voice.
“It seems a young woman, whose son was stillborn about a year ago, couldn’t cope with the loss and kidnapped CJ when she saw him at the park,” Officer James explained.
“Someone spotted them at the airport and noticed CJ’s picture from the TV reports,” another officer jumped in. “Then they called the station and we were able to pick this woman up before she could leave the country with CJ. She’s in lock up now. They’ll surely send her for psychiatric help.”
“Thank god!” Rita looked down at her son, wrapped in her arms where he belonged. “Oh, baby, Mommy’s okay. I didn’t go to Heaven, sweetheart. And Daddy didn’t either.”
“What do you mean, Mommy?” CJ asked, looking at the man whose hand was gently running up and down Rita’s back in a soothing motion. But after taking a closer look at Chris, CJ whispered to Rita, “Mommy that man looks like the man from all your pictures. He looks like Daddy.”
Rita smiled and leaned back against Chris’s chest as his arms enveloped her and CJ. “That’s because he is your Daddy.”
“Hi CJ,” Chris said, offering his hand to the little boy. CJ shied away and tucked his head in his mother’s neck.
“I thought you said Daddy went to Heaven. And when a person goes to Heaven you can’t see them anymore, right?” CJ mumbled into Rita’s neck, not yet ready to look at Chris.
“That’s right, CJ, but this is a very special exception.” Rita turned toward her boss, who’d followed her into the squad room after she’d rushed passed him in the hallway. “Captain, would you mind if we used your office for a second?” she asked, knowing this conversation needed to be held in private.
“No problem, Lt. Lorenzo,” he said, ushering them into his office and closing the door.
Chris and Rita sat down on the Captain’s couch with CJ on Rita’s lap. Benny waited outside, knowing his family needed a moment alone.
“CJ,” Rita began, “When I told you that Daddy was in Heaven, I believed that to be true. See, some people that work for the government... they’re sort of like police officers, like Mommy... well, they took Daddy away from us and made everyone think that he had died.”
“You mean like the mean lady that took me and made me think that you were dead?”
“Yes, something like that. But I just found out that Daddy didn’t die like I thought he did. He’s been alive all these years trying to get back to us, and most importantly he loves us very much.”
“Yes, I do,” Chris decided he should speak up as well. “And I want to be with you and your Mommy every day for the rest of my life.”
“And Grandpa too?” Chris and Rita laughed.
“Yes, and Grandpa too,” Chris said with a smile.
“Mommy, this means my wish came true,” said CJ.
“What wish, sweetheart?”
“When I was at Joey’s house, he told me about how his daddy took him to a baseball game, and I made a wish that my daddy were alive again. And now he is,” the little boy said, shyly looking in Chris’s direction.
“Yes, I am. And I promise to take you to as many baseball games as you want,” Chris smiled.
“And basketball too?”
“Oh you are definitely my son, CJ. Yes, basketball too,” Chris said happily.
“I bet your dad could teach you how to play basketball too.”
“Really, Daddy?” Hearing his son call him daddy brought tears to Chris’s eyes.
“Yeah, kiddo. I can teach you how to play basketball.”
“All right. I just want to go home and be with my son in his own house, where I know he’s safe and sound. What do you say we get out of here?” Rita suggested.
“Good idea, Sam.”
“Wait a second, Mommy? I don’t want to leave Daddy yet,” CJ said, throwing his little arms around Chris’s neck for the first time, forgetting his shyness toward the man he’d just met.
“I’m not going anywhere but with you guys, okay kiddo?”
“Really? You’re coming home with us?”
“And you’re gonna live with us?”
“You bet! Is that okay with you?”
“Yeah!” Chris stood up with CJ in his arms and moved back so they were looking in each other’s eyes.
“Good. Then CJ, I promise you I’m not going anywhere.” CJ’s response was to wrap his arms tighter around Chris’s neck, which didn’t bother Chris in the least. “Well, looks like we’re ready to go home, Sam,” Chris said to Rita. “As a family.” And they did.
The events of the last few days had proved to be the most emotionally draining either Chris or Rita had ever experienced, and so the remainder of the day flew by before they even had a chance to catch their breaths. After leaving the stationhouse, the foursome headed home, where a message telling Benny that one of his client’s cases had been moved up was awaiting them. Benny had suggested having someone fill in for him, but Chris and Rita insisted he go. They then had CJ checked over by a doctor to ensure that he was truly okay, which he was. So before they knew it, it was time for CJ to head off to bed. And although he protested, it was obvious through his yawns and inability to keep his eyes open that the young boy was tired. Chris and Rita then tucked him snugly into his bed but stayed by his side, even after he was asleep.
Chris stood near the bed with his arms wrapped comfortably around Rita’s waist. There was only one word to describe the pure joy they were both feeling at that moment. Heaven.
“My god, Sammy, do you know how good this feels?”
Rita smiled, telling him she was on cloud nine herself, and buried her head back further between Chris’s neck and shoulder. “I feel like I’ve got a second chance at life,” she answered.
“You do. So do I. And so does CJ. And we’re not gonna lose each other this time, Rita. I promise. There’s no way that life could be so cruel as to tear us apart twice in one lifetime.”
He wrapped his arms tighter around her waist and brushed his lips against the soft chestnut strands of hair at the top of her head. Then he moved away from her and pulled CJ’s desk chair over to the side of his son’s bed.
“Hey little man,” he whispered to his son. “I know you’re asleep and can’t hear a word of what I’m saying right now, but there are just a couple things I’ve got to tell you before I lose my nerve. I guess I should start by saying it wasn’t my choice to leave you and your mommy,” he said, glancing at Rita, who smiled back at him, knowing he needed to do this as a way to release all the pent up emotions inside of him. “It’s a very long and complicated story, and one day when you’re older and awake, I’ll explain it all to you. But I just need you to know...” he started to choke up. “I need you to know that I didn’t leave because I didn’t love you. I do love you. I love and your mommy more than anything in the whole world. And I wanted to be here, CJ. I really did. I wanted to see you take your first steps and hear you speak your first words. I wanted...” At this point Chris was clearly sobbing, so Rita came up behind him and wrapped her arms around his neck to console him. He took comfort in her embrace and knew he didn’t have to explain himself to her. She knew what he was thinking and feeling. She knew he was apologizing for leaving his son like Benny and Anna had done to him.
“It’s not your fault, Sam. You’re not your parents. You didn’t have a choice, and CJ will understand that. He’s a smart kid.”
“I know he is. I just want him to know that he can count on me. I need him to know that no matter what happens in his life, I’ll always be there for him. I never felt that with my parents, and I promised myself I’d never do it to my own children.”
“He already knows it. You saw how excited he was to have you home.”
“I hope you’re right,” Chris said, staring at CJ. “I guess I just needed a little reassurance.”
‘I’m always right,” she kidded. “Now, come on. Let’s let him get some sleep. I think your dad’s waiting to talk to you in the living room anyway.”
“All right,” he assented.
Chris took a moment to compose himself then released the arms that were still tightly wrapped around his neck, but not before bringing Rita’s hands to his mouth and lightly brushing her palms with his lips. She smiled as she pulled back and watched her husband place CJ’s chair back under his desk then lean over to kiss his forehead. She heard Chris’s soft whisper of “I love you” to their son and stepped up to his bed to do the same. She then made sure CJ’s covers were still snugly wrapped around him and the monitor beside his bed was turned on so they could hear his movements from their bedroom. And after looking back at their sleeping son one final time, Chris and Rita left the room.
As Chris entered the living room a few moments later, he found his father anxiously awaiting his return as Rita had predicted. She'd decided to wait in their bedroom so Chris could have some time alone with Benny.
“Hey Pop,” Chris said, startling the older Lorenzo from his thoughts.
“Hey son. CJ asleep?”
“Yeah,” he answered, taking a seat next to Benny on the couch. “He fell asleep a while ago, but I just couldn’t bring myself to leave the room. He looked so peaceful, as if the kidnapping had never even happened.”
“Don’t worry. He’ll be all right. Kids are resilient. They bounce back pretty quick.”
“I hope so.”
“So, where’s Rita?”
“She’s in the bedroom waiting for me.” He smiled at his father’s raised eyebrows. “It’s not what you’re thinking, Pop... or at least not yet,” he shot a pair of his own raised eyebrows back at his father. “She just wanted to give us some time to talk.”
“Yeah. I’ve been wanting to talk to you... to reassure you about Rita and CJ and their life while you were ‘gone’.” He paused a second before continuing wondering where to start. “After your ‘funeral’, Rita traveled a bit. I think she was trying to escape the memories, ya know?” Chris nodded his understanding. “But eventually she realized she needed to settle down for the baby’s sake, so I invited her to move out here to San Francisco with me.”
“She told me the whole story today after we got CJ back. And I wanna thank you for all you’ve done for my family. I don’t know how I can ever repay you.”
“Hey, they’re my family too. There’s no need.”
“Well, thank you anyway, Pop. But that’s not what I wanted to talk to you about.”
“It’s not?” Chris shook his head in the negative.
“No, I wanted to explain where I’ve been all this time and why I’ve been there.”
“There’s no need for that either.”
“What do you mean? I haven’t really explained anything to you. With CJ’s kidnapping and all, there’s been no time. You’ve gotta know what happened and that I would never willingly leave Rita and CJ.”
“Son, I know you’d never leave your wife and child. That goes without saying. And I know the basics of the situation. Captain Lipshitz and his wife called for an update before, and I told them all about CJ, and they told me all they knew about your situation with the FBI.”
“Yes, and the specifics can wait till tomorrow. Right now, you’ve got a beautiful wife waiting for you upstairs.” Benny winked, and Chris smiled anxiously at his father.
“Thanks, Pop,” Chris said, while embracing Benny in a hug that was gladly returned.
“Now, go upstairs and make me another grandchild.”
“What? A guy can’t hope?”
“Goodnight,” Chris said in mock annoyance, while ascending the stairs with a grin spread across his face.
“Goodnight, son. Welcome home.”
As he approached the bedroom door, Chris could feel and hear his heart rapidly beating within his chest. He’d waited for this night for almost five years, and the anticipation was practically killing him. He reached for the doorknob and took a calming deep breath before entering the room.
“Sam?” he anxiously called out to his wife with an involuntary squeak in his voice.
“I’ll be right out,” she called from behind the closed bathroom door. “Make yourself comfortable.”
Smiling to himself, Chris locked the bedroom door and walked over to the bed. He laid back, stretching himself out on the bed, trying to patiently wait for his wife, but after a few moments, he decided the patient approach wasn’t working for him. So, he quickly sat up and removed his shoes and socks. Then, he began unbuttoning his shirt but suddenly had a thought. Rita had always taken pleasure in removing that particular item of clothing, in effect building the anticipation, so he briskly re-buttoned it just in time to hear his wife unlock the bathroom door.
He stood to face her and let out a sharp gasp at the sight in front of him.
She was beautiful, truly beautiful. Not that he hadn’t already known this, but seeing her standing before him in an ankle length, pale blue, practically see-through, silk nightgown was too much for his heightened senses to handle. The material looked as if it would feel softer than the skin of a newborn baby, but Chris was hesitant to reach out and touch her. The scene playing out before him had been the focus of many dreams for the longest time, but now that it was becoming a reality, he couldn’t work up the nerve to initiate his fantasy.
Rita was also hesitant and nervous. She believed his reaction to be that of disappointment, thinking he wasn’t quite ready to make love, and promptly averted her eyes from his.
Chris took a couple steps closer and reached out his hand to lift her chin and look her in the eyes, then smiled at her.
“Hey,” Chris said, an apprehensive smile forming at his lips.
“Hi,” she replied, just as nervous.
“You know we don’t have to do this tonight, Sammy. I’ve waited five years. I can wait longer if you’re not ready. Hell, at this point I’d be content just to hold you in my arms again...”
“I’ve never been more ready,” she interrupted.
“I’m glad,” Chris smiled in satisfaction. He stepped back a moment, surprising Rita, until she saw him head for the stereo. “Just a little mood music,” he winked at her. Then he walked back over to his wife and looked from her eyes, down to her lips, and back up to her eyes again before descending his mouth slowly upon hers as the music began to filter through the room.
Something in your eyes
Makes me wanna lose myself
Makes me wanna lose myself
In your arms
Something in your voice
Makes my heart beat fast
I hope this feeling lasts
For all of my life
Their lips brushed back and forth many times before Rita pulled back and whispered in his ear, “I love you, Sam. I’ve always loved you.”
“I love you, too.”
Chris began kissing his way around Rita’s neck and shoulders, pushing a strap of her nightgown out of his way in the process.
“God Chris, I’ve missed you. I’ve missed this. Make love to me. Please.”
“Your wish is my command,” he said softly before devouring her lips with his own. His hands immediately found their way to her pinned up hair and carefully let it down, running his fingers through the chestnut waves. His lips once again caressed their way across her shoulders and neck, removing the other tiny scrap of silk holding it in place. He pulled back slowly to gaze at her smooth, satiny form as her nightgown found its way to the bedroom floor.
If you knew how lonely my life has been
And how low I've felt for so long
If you knew how I wanted someone to come along
And change my world the way you've done
Rita, still somewhat shy at his scrutiny, began to slowly, savoringly unbutton his shirt. But he caught her hands and brought them to his lips.
“Not yet,” he whispered, taking the time to kiss each and every one of her fingers.
Rita knew that in assenting to him, she was giving up complete control over the situation, but there was no other person she’d rather give that power to. She carefully brought her hands back to her sides and sighed as his lips found their way to her collarbone.
Chris’s hands held her hips in place while hers ran freely through his hair, keeping his mouth pressed against her. He slowly ventured his way lower to the smooth mounds that were her breasts. He trailed kisses around her left breast, finally settling at her hardened peak, elated to hear and feel her cries of pleasure. With his mouth exactly where it wanted to be, his hands continued down further to the elastic of her silk panties. Rita felt one hand travel beneath the soft fabric, and before she knew it, they joined her lingerie in a pile on the floor.
Feels like home to me
Feels like home to me
Feels like I'm all the way back where I come from
Feels like home to me
Feels like home to me
Feels like I'm all the way back where I belong
Chris moved to a kneeling position as he brought his tongue from its place at her breasts past her stomach to find the dark curls at the juncture of her thighs.
Rita was barely coherent when she pulled Chris’s face back after letting him explore and looked directly in his eyes and cried out, “Chris, now... please!”
Chris stood so they were face to face, and Rita’s usually slow, enjoyable process of taking off his shirt was completely forgotten as she ripped the garment from his body. Her hands then tugged at his belt as he unbuttoned his pants. Rita then pulled down his zipper and his pants in one swift motion.
Chris barely had the time to smile as he was pushed onto the bed and practically pounced upon by his wife.
“Quite the aggressor tonight, aren’t we Sam?” he teased, more than happy to be the recipient of that aggression at the moment.
“We tried it slow and steady, but after five years of abstinence, a girl’s got needs to be fulfilled... now,” she added with a lustrous look. “Why? Not up for the job?” she asked, removing the final barrier between them, his boxers.
“Take a closer look, and you’ll clearly see I’m definitely ‘up’ for it,” he shot back.
“That you are,” she purred. “Now do you wanna talk or play?”
“No contest,” he said, leaning up to capture her lips. He then took back control, rolling them over so he was straddling his beautiful wife. He pulled back to look in her eyes, memorizing her face, as he slowly began to enter her core, giving her a chance to adjust.
But Rita was having none of that and roughly grabbed his buttocks to draw him all the way into her. The numerous fantasies had by each over the years could not even compare to the feeling of pure bliss this moment held for them.
If you knew how much this moment means to me
And how long I've waited for your touch
If you knew how happy you are making me
I never thought I'd love anyone so much
They both moaned in ecstasy as Chris set a rhythm that Rita fought to keep up with. Finally, they each reached their climax, struggling to keep their eyes open so they could savor in the moment forever.
Lying together in a sweaty, tangled heap of limbs upon the bed, Chris was mildly aware of the extra weight his body was exerting on Rita, so he clutched her to him and rolled onto his back.
“That was amazing,” Chris whispered against Rita’s forehead.
“I guess some things never change,” Rita mumbled into his chest.
And they fell asleep in each other’s arms, neither wishing they were somewhere else for the first time in five years.
Feels like home to me
Feels like home to me
Feels like I'm all the way back where I belong
As the sun reared its head in San Diego the next morning, Rita’s eyes slowly fluttered open to find herself completely encompassed by Chris’s arms. They lay skin to skin covered only by the soft silk sheets of her... make that their... bed she thought to herself.
She brought her hand up to trace the muscles of his chest, savoring in a delicacy that had long been lost from her life. It was funny how, when given a second chance at happiness, even the small things in life meant so much more. She sighed, happier than she’d ever thought possible just a few days ago.
Chris felt her movements and gradually began to wake.
“Hey there, handsome. How’d you sleep?” Rita asked, noticing his open eyes.
“Wonderfully during the rare intervals where we actually got sleep,” he teased, making her smile. “God woman, what are you? A machine? We must have made love six separate times last night.”
“Only six? I counted seven,” she smiled. “Which brings up a serious point.”
Chris’s ears shot up at the word ‘serious’. “Which is?”
“We didn’t use anything last night, Sam.”
“And by this you mean...?” he asked confusedly.
“Well, considering I thought you were dead and that I had no intention of dating, taking birth control pills hasn’t exactly been the first thing on my “To do” list in quite a while. And it’s not exactly like we stopped to use a condom at any point during last night,” she explained.
“True, but would it be so bad if we did get pregnant?” he asked apprehensively, not sure of her reaction.
“Not for you. You don’t have to carry the baby and gain all that weight. Do you have any idea how long it took me to get my figure back after having CJ?”
“No, I’m sorry. I didn’t think...”
“Hey,” she cut him off. “I was just kidding, Sam. I would love to have your baby again and have you with me from the begging this time.”
“And I’d love to be there,” he said softly as he leant in to kiss her.
Just as they were about to take the kiss further, Rita pulled back, “hold up there, Chris. My guess is we’ll have a very hyperactive four year old knocking at our door in oh about...” she checked her watch, “5... 4... 3... 2... 1...”
“Mommy, Daddy? Let me in,” CJ called from the other side of the door as he tried to turn the locked knob to no avail.
“How’d you do that?” Chris laughed, throwing Rita her nightgown and putting on his pants.
“It’s a gift,” she teased as Chris opened the door and let their son in. “Hey kiddo, come on in,” she called to their son. CJ bounded into the room and climbed on the bed next to Rita as Chris came and sat down on the other side of him.
“Mommy, how come the door was locked? It’s never locked in the morning,” CJ asked.
“Well, sport,” Chris said, pulling the boy onto his lap, “Mommy and I were just so tired last night that we locked the door so we could get some sleep without anyone coming into the room,” he explained, looking over at Rita to see if he’d done a good job. She nodded and smiled at him.
“Oh,” said CJ, accepting his father’s answer.
“Hey, how about you go tell Grandpa to get up so we can all go out for breakfast?” Chris told his son.
“Yay! Can I get pancakes? And bacon?”
“All right! Grandpa!” he shouted making his way out the door and down the hall to his grandfather’s room.
“I guess that means we should get up and get dressed, huh?” Rita said as she stood to get out of bed.
“Get back here,” Chris called out, pulling her back into the bed with him. “I’m not through with you yet.”
“Chris, the door’s wide open, and our son’s down the hall. Now’s not the time for...”
“Not that, although anytime is the time for that. I have to ask you something serious.”
“Good serious or bad serious?” she asked, curiously.
“Definitely good serious,” he said with the Lorenzo grin plastered across his face.
“Well, don’t keep me in suspense then. Ask me,” she begged.
“Hmmm, I don’t know if I should now that I’ve got your complete attention. I could use this to my advantage.”
“Christopher,” her voice threatened.
“Okay, okay. I was just thinking that maybe we should renew our wedding vows. Ya know, have everyone there with us this time, show that we’re still in this for the long haul. So, what do ya say? Will you remarry me?”
Rita’s eyes lit up as she quickly responded by kissing him all over his face excitedly.
“Ah, is that a yes?” he laughed.
“Yes! Yes! A thousand times yes!” she cried out.
“Somehow I thought you’d say that,” he said, bolting from the bed and rooting through his suitcase.
“I did,” he said, returning to the bed with a small velvet box in his hand.
“But what about the ring I already have?”
“You have a wedding ring. We never got around to an engagement ring, so tada,” he sang as he opened the box to reveal a 3 kt. diamond ring.
Rita gasped. “Ohmigod, Chris it’s gorgeous. It’s so big.”
“I know, and I know you never really went for big and flashy, but you deserve it. May I?” he asked, removing the ring from its place in the box.
“Yes, you may,” she excitedly held out her left hand.
Chris removed her wedding ring, still in its rightful place on her ring finger, and placed her ‘engagement’ ring there as well as her wedding ring. Then he brought her hand to his lips and kissed it.
Rita then leaned over to open her nightstand drawer and removed his wedding ring, hanging on one of her chains.
“May I?” she repeated his question.
“Yes, you may,” he said happily as she removed the ring from the chain and placed it on his finger.
“Back where it belongs.” She kissed his hand as well.
“Back where we belong,” he said, his lips descending upon hers in a never-ending kiss to last a lifetime and beyond...
You know what’s coming, but it’s gotta be done. Chris, Rita, Harry, Frannie, and the rest of the gang are not mine. They belong to USA Network, Stu Segall Productions, and Stephen J. Cannell. Any character that never made an appearance on Silk Stalkings, however, is mine. “Feels Like Home To Me” is by Bonnie Raitt. I have no claims to that either.
Also as I’m sure all of you know, the flashback scene of Chris and Rita’s first night in their new loft was taken from the episode “Till Death Do Us Part”. Many of us have this episode and tons of others on tape, and if you’re going through yet another bout of Silk withdrawal, I suggest you take a break from life, sit back, and enjoy the whole episode for what I’m sure will be the five millionth time.
The actual kidnapping scenario was very weak, in my opinion, although my “critics”, so to speak, have told me otherwise. For those of you that agree with me, sorry about that. I was gonna make it out into a long, drawn out thing, but my wanting to write Chris & CJ’s meeting each other took precedence over a better kidnapping plot.
And I want to send thanks out to Joy for reading and commenting on basically every silk story I’ve written. Seems like I always thank her, but when you’ve got a good thing going, stick with it! See ya in two weeks! Thanks to Lia for the same. You did not fail me! And your next story would be coming out when? And, last but not least, because this is my first story since combining pages with Lisa and I use fanfic as a kind of forum to thank people, I wanna thank her most of all. Thanks not only for generously being my editor and friend, but for all you do with the page as well. She may not think it’s a lot, but it is. So thank you, Sis!
And that’s about it. As always, comments are welcome and appreciated, suggestions even more so. I’m always looking for ways to improve upon my writing. They’re to be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hope you enjoyed and stay tuned to Lisa’s and my site for future stories!!
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