Christopher Lorenzo sat on the living room couch of his San Diego home seemingly deep in concentration. A little girl about five or six years old walked into the room and took a seat on his lap.
"Can you tell me another story, Daddy?" she asked pulling him out of his reverie.
"What kind of story, Sami?"
"The one about the detectives from Florida. Itís my favorite!"
"Oh, that one," he said with a smile. "Well, where did I leave off last time?"
"Chris and Rita were trying to catch that mean guy Montoya."
"Oh yeah. I remember now. Letís seeÖ What happened next? Hmm," he teased, pretending to have forgotten. Sami saw right through him.
"Daddy! Stop teasing me!"
"Okay, okay," he said with a smile. "Chris and Rita were trying to catch Montoya, and these secret agents came to them and said that the only way to put Montoya in jail was for Chris to testify against him." He related the story in a childlike manner, so it was easily understandable to his daughter.
"What does testify mean?"
"Testify is when you tell a judge all the bad things a person has done," he said simply.
"Oh, ok. Keep going. Keep going," Sami said, anxiously awaiting the end of the story.
"Well, Chris didnít know what to do. If he testified against Montoya, he and Rita might be killed, but ifÖ"
"Why would Rita be killed?" asked the inquisitive little girl.
"Because she was Chrisís wife, and he loved her very much. But if Chris chose not to testify, heíd be letting a bad man go free, and he couldnít do that."
"Because he was a poilceman?"
"So, what did he do?"
"He chose to testify, but Montoya died before he could be sent to jail."
"Then, everything was ok, right?"
"Well, not exactly. See, the secret agents had come up with a plan. They were gonna make it look like Chris was dead and put him and Rita in the Witness Relocation Program." Before Sami could ask another question, Chris answered it for her. "The Witness Relocation Program is when the secret agents set up a new life for you in a brand new place. But by the time the secret agents found out that Montoya was killed, they had already put their plan into action, and it was too late to call it off."
"Because everyone already believed that Chris was dead."
"Then what happened?"
"Well, Chris and Rita moved to California, had a beautiful daughter, and lived happily ever after."
"Daddy, this is a true story, right?" Sami asked, pondering the idea a little bit.
"Yes, it is."
"Itís about you and Mommy, isnít it?"
"Yes, it is. Youíre a very smart little girl, Sami," he said with pride in his voice and a smile on his face.
"Just like her mother," said Rita Lorenzo as she walked into the living room.
"Are you insinuating that Iím not smart, Sam?" Chris asked his wife as she took a seat next to him and Sami on the couch.
"What if I am?" Rita asked with a smile. Chris covered Samiís little ears with his hands so she wouldnít hear what he had to say.
"Yeah? Well, I seem to recall some ideas I had last night that you thought very highly of," he said referring to their still existent newlywed tendencies. Rita smiled at him.
"I do believe I donít know what youíre talking about," said a still smiling Rita in mock surprise.
"Iíll have to refresh your memory later," said Chris as he released his daughterís ears.
"Now, back to the reason I came in here. Samantha Rose Lorenzo, your room is a mess! Please go clean it up, now," Rita said sternly.
"Yes, Mommy." Sami got off Chrisís lap and went to go clean her room.
Chris slipped his arms around Rita and pulled her on top of his lap. He started nibbling on her neck from behind, and Rita started giggling at her husbandís playfulness.
"Trying to refresh my memory, Sam?" Rita teased.
"What if I am?" Chris asked, using her own words against her. Rita smiled thinking that turnabout is fair play. She slowly spun around to face him, not removing herself from his arms. Then, she shocked her husband by quickly pushing him backwards on the couch and covering the length of his body with her own. She brought her lips down to his and kissed him long and hard. Then, she abruptly broke the kiss and rested her head on Chrisís chest while looking into his deep blue eyes as he stared into her bight green ones.
"Do you know that I love you more than anything in the world?" Chris asked after taking a moment to compose himself. Rita had always had the power to distract him to the point of being rendered totally speechless.
"Why? Because Iím such a great kisser?" she asked jokingly.
"That too! But Iím serious, Rita. I love you so much that I canít bear to be without you for one second." Rita looked directly into his eyes as her own eyes started to glisten.
"I love you too, Christopher." She slowly descended her mouth onto his once again and desire took over as they each began using their hands as a tool for exploration.
Captain Harry Lipshitz and his wife, Fran, walked hand in hand through San Diego International Airport. Fran had finally convinced her husband to take a vacation for the first time in years. Well, sort of. Harry was offered the opportunity to go to a seminar in San Diego, and Fran had talked him into going and staying for a few extra days.
"Letís go out to eat tonight," Fran suggested.
"Frannie, we just got off the plane. Letís work on getting our luggage and checking into the hotel first, okay?"
"Oh, Heschy, youíre no fun!"
"No wonder I hate going on vacation," he mumbled under his breath.
"What was that, dear?" Fran asked.
"Nothing, sweetheart. Letís go get our bags."
"Mmmm... That feels so good," Rita moaned, while Chrisís hands journeyed their way under her shirt to the snap of her bra.
"How much time do you think we have before Samiís done with her room?" Chris asked before capturing Ritaís lips with his. The idea of their daughter walking in on them had the effect of an ice cold shower for Rita.
"Not enough, so weíd better stop," Rita said as she pulled herself away from her husbandís tender kisses. She looked down at the frown on his face from her position, straddled in his lap. "Donít pout, Sam. Itís not becoming of you," she added with a smirk. She kissed him lightly on the lips one more time before getting up and heading into the kitchen.
"Iím not pouting," Chris said as he got up and followed her. Rita turned to glance at him and saw a look on his face that directly contradicted his words.
"Donít worry. Weíll continue where we left off later," she said with raised eyebrows.
"You promise?" he asked, his mood softening.
"Good," Chris said in response as Sami walked into the room.
"My roomís all finished, Mommy. Can you and Daddy take me to the park now? Pleeeeeeeeease," the little girl pleaded. "Daddy promised me yesterday that we could go."
"He did, huh?" Sami nodded. "Okay then. Letís go."
"Yay!" Sami said happily. The Lorenzo family headed to the park.
A couple hours later, Chris and Rita sat on a small wooden bench at the local park watching Sami on the swing set with a few other children. It was beautiful weather for an evening at the park, and Chris and Rita were enjoying it together. Rita rested her head on Chrisís shoulder, and he pulled her closer with the arm that was already wrapped around her. Chris noticed a distant look in Ritaís eyes and a smile forming at her lips.
"What are you thinking about?" he asked softly.
"Us," Rita answered, followed by a contented sigh.
"Care to elaborate? ĎUsí is a broad topic, Sammy," he said with a smile.
"I was just thinking about when we met all those years ago. Who would have thought that weíd end up married with a daughter?"
"Everyone but us!" he said seriously, bringing a smile to Ritaís face.
"I guess we were a little blind, huh?"
"A little? Iíd say we passed little after the first year of not getting together, Sammy."
"Well, it may have taken us a while to get here, but in that time, we built a friendship that I wouldnít trade for the world."
"Neither would I." Chris leaned down and gave Rita a tender peck on the lips then turned his attention back to Sami.
"Iím a little thirsty, so Iím gonna go get a drink. You want one?" she asked, pointing to a small concession stand about thirty yards away.
"Ummm... yeah, sure. Iíll take one. And you might as well grab us some hot dogs because itís getting late, and we havenít eaten dinner yet."
"Okay. Iíll be right back," she said as she headed for the food stand. Chris just sat on the bench with a smile as he watched Sami play on the swings. His life was pretty perfect, although at one point he didnít think itíd ever be that way. His only regret was not being able to tell his friends and his father that he was alive and that he and Rita were happy with their little girl.
He turned back in Ritaís direction a few minutes later and smiled at her as she tried to walk over juggling three sodas and three hot dogs. Not an easy task! Then as she was crossing the bike path on her way back to the bench, a roller-blader appeared out of nowhere and bumped right into her, knocking the sodas and food to the ground.
"Hey! Watch where youíre going!" she yelled as the roller-blader continued down the path without stopping to help or see if she was okay.
Chris got up and walked over to help Rita pick up the mess. "Heís got some nerve!" he said in frustration.
Meanwhile, an elderly couple approached the park as they walked through the cool evening air.
"Can we head back now?" the annoyed man asked his wife.
"Nope, you insisted on eating that greasy cheeseburger for dinner when you could have had a perfectly good grilled chicken sandwich. Now, you have to pay the price, Heschy."
"But Frannie, the hotel is a mile away, and weíve already walked two miles!"
"Stop complaining. You know your health is not something to play around with."
"Can we at least take a break and sit in the park for a while? Look, there are children on the playground. We can watch them play for a while."
"Well, I suppose we could take a small break."
"Yes!" Harry cheered to himself.
"But only for a few minutes. Itís fun to watch the children anyway," Fran said as she and Harry walked into the park and took a seat at the bench recently vacated by Chris. A second later, they heard a crying child on the playground, so they walked over to her.
"Hey, sweetie pie. Whatís wrong?" Fran asked.
"I hurt my knee when I fell off the monkey bars, and I canít find my mommy," the little girl said as she began to cry again.
"Whatís your name?" Harry asked as a crowd began to form around the child.
Chris and Rita finished picking up the spilt soda and hot dogs then headed back over to the bench where they saw a small crowd forming around the playground.
"Whatís going on over there?"
"I donít know, but I donít see Sami," Rita said as she quickly walked over to the herd of people. Chris followed close behind. "Sami? Where are you?" Rita called out as she made her way through the crowd to the center. There she saw Sami sitting on the ground crying, looking at her knee that seemed to be slightly bruised.
"Mommy!" the little girl cried out as Rita knelt down and took her in her arms. Chris fought his way through the small crowd and over to Rita and Sami as well when he saw something he never though heíd see againÖ Cap and Frannie were standing over Rita and Sami with their jaws practically glued to the ground. He had to be dreaming!
"Are you okay, my baby? What happened?" Rita asked.
"I fell off the monkey bars and you and Daddy werenít here, but that lady was nice to me." Sami said pointing toward Fran.
"Which lady?" Rita said as she stood up with Sami in her arms and turned toward Chris, too occupied with her daughter to pay attention to what she was saying. She saw Chrisís gaze was fixed on something behind her. "What is it, Chris?"
"What?" she asked in confusion. ĎWhat would Cap have to do with Sami being hurt on the playground?í she thought to herself. Chris pointed over Ritaís shoulder, and she turned to see two surprised and confused faces staring back at her. "Oh myÖ"
"I canít believe this!" said Fran. "We found you, and youíre alive!" she said for the hundredth time that hour as she looked at Chris.
"Lorenzo, tell me Iím not seeing things," said Cap as they all sat in Chris and Ritaís living room.
"Ahh, youíre not, Cap... Surprise! Iím alive," Chris said sheepishly.
"How? Why? I donít understand whatís going on here." Cap turned toward Rita. "When you didnít call and tell us that youíd had your baby, I figured Iíd never hear from you again. I had no idea Chris was alive."
"Thatís the way it had to be, Cap. It wasnít our choice," said Rita.
"Whatís that supposed to mean? Will one of you just tell me what happened already?" Cap asked, clearly frustrated.
"Mommy, heís scary," Sami whispered to her mother.
"Iím sorry, kiddo. I didnít mean to scare you," Harry said as he lowered his voice. "Iím your Uncle Harry, and this is your Aunt Frannie," he said, gesturing toward his wife. "I heard your mommy call you Sami. Is that your name?" She nodded her head.
"Her full name is Samantha Rose Lorenzo," said Chris.
"Wow! I canít believe Iím finally seeing my goddaughter for the first time. And you, Lorenzo. Are you gonna tell me what happened or not?"
"Itís kind of a long story, Cap."
"Well, weíve got plenty of time," said Frannie.
"All right, I guess Iíll start from the beginning."
"That would be nice," Cap joked.
"Well, after Chris was shot, Agents Johnson and Andrews came to us with some options," said Rita.
"Johnson and Andrews? Werenít they...?"
"Theyíre the FBI agents that were trying to catch Montoya before he got thrown in our laps."
"So, what does that mean? What Ďoptionsí?"
"They told us that we could take our chances in Palm Beach knowing that Montoya would go after me again because I knew about his illegal dealings, or we could go into the Witness Relocation Program," said Chris.
"Witness Relocation Program? Rita, I saw you crying at Chrisís funeral and at his grave, and now youíre telling me that that was all an act."
"The tears were real, Captain. I didnít know that Chris was alive until after I left Palm Beach and went to see Benny, Chrisís father, in Philadelphia."
"I donít understand," said Fran.
"Well, after I saw Benny in person to try and explain Chrisís death, I left Philadelphia with no idea where I was headed. Then, Agents Johnson and Andrews contacted me and told me to meet them in Washington D.C., and when I did, I got the biggest shock of my life," she said with a smile. "My husband was alive!"
"I still donít understand why you had to do all this even after Montoya was dead. There was no one to testify against."
"We know, Cap, but at that point the plan was already in action." Cap and Frannie looked more confused than ever. "See, Johnson and Andrews came to us when Chris had woken up. They told us about our options, and since I wanted to protect Rita and the baby from anymore attempts from Montoya, I agreed."
"Then, I found out that Montoya was shot and killed, but the monitor in Chrisís room started going nuts, and I thought he died," Rita said sadly.
"What really happened was I was given a drug to slow my heart rate enough so the doctors would believe I was dead. What I didnít know when they gave me the drug was that they hadnít told Rita about it. And so, she thought I was dead and didnít find out otherwise until she left Philly."
"But why did you have to go through with this even after Montoya was dead?"
"Like we said, they had already given me the drug, but that wasnít all."
"Thereís more! Geez, Iím gald Iím sitting down for this," said Fran, sarcastically.
"Well, when I woke up from the drugs and found out that Rita and everyone believed I was dead and Montoya was dead, I wanted to go back to the way it was, but the FBI told me about Marco Rodriguez."
"Marco Rodriguez? Whoís that?"
"Heís Montoyaís younger cousin. After Montoya died, he took over, and the FBI was sure that if he knew I was alive, theyíd come after me again."
"So, what does all this mean now? Are you still in danger?" asked Fran.
"Well, Rodriguez doesnít know Iím alive, so weíre safe for now, but we can never go back to Palm Beach. Even though itís been over four years, itíd still be too big a risk. Thereís no way Iím putting my wife and daughter in that kind of danger," said Chris.
"Well, now that we found you and we know Chris is alive, what happens next?" asked Fran.
"What do you mean?"
"You donít think weíre just gonna go back to Palm Beach and forget about this whole trip. Do you?"
One year later...
"How much longer, Aunt Frannie?"
"I donít know, Sami."
"But I wanna see Mommy and the baby."
"The baby hasnít been born yet, sweetie."
"How about I take you to the cafeteria to get a soda, Sami?" asked Cap.
"Okay, but you have to promise to come get me if Mommy has the baby, Aunt Frannie."
"I promise, sweetie." Cap and Sami walked off to the cafeteria.
Meanwhile, Chris and Rita were welcoming their second child into the world.
"Hey there, kiddo. Iím your daddy," Chris said to the small boy in Ritaís arms. "Heís beautiful," he said to Rita.
"He looks just like you," Rita said with tears in her eyes. "I want to name him after you."
"Come on, Sam. We had this discussion when you were pregnant with Sami. I donít want my kid to have my name. Think about how confusing it would get. Think about how confusing it already isÖ three Sams in the house! Now, you wanna make it two Chrisís."
"But Chris. Itíd be so cute. Chris and Chris Jr.," she said with a grin. Then, she gave him the puppy dog face. That did it!
"All right, all right. I give up! Christopher Lorenzo, Jr. It is."
"Good. See, I always get my way," she said triumphantly.
"This is true. I donít know if I should be giving away my secrets, but you wanna know why you always get your way, Sammy?"
"Because I love you so much, and I want you to have everything youíve ever wanted in life."
"I have everything, Chris. I have you and our daughter and now our son. And we have Cap and Frannie. My life is pretty perfect, Sam."
"Parfait!" he said in the usual Chris Lorenzo manner.
"You know, Iím glad Cap and Frannie moved in with us."
"Me too. We may not have realized it, but there was something missing in our lives. And although itís not the same as back in Palm Beach, Cap and Frannie are here with us, and weíve got the family weíve always wanted, Rita."
"It guess it just goes to show that although you canít live in the past, your memories live on in your heart forever."
"I think youíre right, Sam."
"Of course, I am. Iím always right."
And their playful banter continued throughout the morning and for the rest of their lives.
Ok, I know I changed some things around from what happened to Montoya and company on the show, but who cares? Right? And Iím not so dumb as to think that people in the Witness Relocation/Protection Program donít have to change their names. I just like Lorenzo too much to change it. *g*
This was just a short story I started a long time ago, and rather than drop it totally, I decided to just finish it up and post it on my page... good or bad. So, if it seems amateurish, then forgive me. Itís not my best. If you want to give me feedback anyway, then email me at email@example.com. My old email address, firstname.lastname@example.org is no longer valid.
Now, the normal spiel... Christopher Lorenzo, Rita Lee Lance, Harry Lipshitz, and Frannie Lipshitz are property of USA Network, Steven J. Cannel, etc... Theyíre not mine *s* I just used them to have a little fun in my rather boring life. Sami, on the other hand, is all mine. So, no stealing. *g*