group that went to see Mrs. Wheeler was somewhat encouraged.
She welcomed them into the drawing room and listened to all they
had to say as they poured out their concerns regarding Trixie and Helen.
they had finished, Maddie shared a little bit of her earlier conversations
with Trixie regarding the problems with Helen; however, she didn’t have
a great deal of information because Trixie had not been very forthcoming
with details. She had only
told her friends’ mother that things were very tense at home, that she
felt like her Moms had it in for her, and that she felt like she
couldn’t talk to her at all anymore.
then reassured them, saying she had already made plans to have lunch with
Helen on Monday. “So far,
I’ve only heard from Trixie. Helen
is my friend, and something is clearly bothering her.
Maybe, if I talk to her, I can get to the bottom of this
smiled at the group of friends before her.
“I’m glad you came to talk to me.
I want to do what I can to help, and, the more information I have
going in, the easier it will be to figure out where the problem lies.
Of course, that doesn’t mean it will be easy to solve.”
She grimaced at that thought.
“Oh, well, we do what we can.”
realized Mrs. Wheeler was excited about trying to help, and she thought to
herself, She just wants to be needed.
Di went over and hugged Maddie.
“I’m so glad we could come to you with this.”
eyes lit up as she returned the embrace.
The boys noticed this and nodded to each other.
Mrs. Wheeler was definitely the right person for this job.
They all thanked her before returning to the clubhouse.
Jim and Trixie finally reappeared at the clubhouse later, they were
laughing and joking. Trixie
looked happy and relaxed, which made her friends feel hopeful that things
were working out.
closing up the clubhouse, the Bob-Whites went to dinner at the Lynches’
home. Ted and Sherry were
thrilled to see them all together, and were happy to host a fun-filled,
cheerful meal. They planned
to relax and have a fun evening, especially since Sherry had given the
cook the night off. She went
about preparing the meal herself and had all the Bob-Whites helping in the
was enjoying the freedom of having her kitchen to herself, without any
staff around. She chopped
vegetables from a position at the kitchen island where she could see all
the activity around her, and frequently waved the knife in her hand as she
gave orders and directions to those around her.
Beldens had dropped Bobby off with Miss Trask before leaving for the City.
She brought him over in time to help the twins set the table for
the fourteen diners without major mishap, for which the children were
was full of playful banter, and Ted claimed center stage with stories to
tell. He also took great
pleasure in grilling Brian and Jim on their studies and social life in
Boston. The boys shared
anecdotes about their roommates, Clay and John, and several other friends
from school, including Preacher. Trixie
found it very interesting the way Jim carefully avoided any mention of Ria.
She twinkled her eyes at him, and he blushed.
She wondered just what kind of retaliation Jim feared Brian would
throw his way if he dared to bring Ria into the conversation.
the end of the meal, Sherry announced it was time for dessert and asked
Honey and Di to help her. They
returned wheeling a cart carrying a large birthday cake. Brian was thoroughly surprised, to the delight of the girls.
As they shared cake and ice cream, the young man was showered with
well-wishes and impromptu, silly gifts, since the Bob-Whites had mailed
his real presents to Boston.
the surprise party, just as the kitchen was nearly cleaned up, Ted took a
plastic jello mold out of the refrigerator.
He turned, tripped over Melly, and it flew from his hands and
landed on the floor across the room.
The mold shattered, and bright red jello exploded in every
was a moment of stunned silence. Being
jolly people able to find the humor in any situation, Ted and Sherry burst
out laughing and were soon joined by everyone else. The whole group began to clean up the mess and were soon
amazed by the places where they found spots of jello.
It was on the walls, floor, and cupboards. It was also found in smaller quantities on the windows, the
ceiling, and the doorways. It
was in people’s hair and on their clothes.
It had even managed to escape out the doors, and was found out in
the hallway and down the cellar stairs.
Jello seemed to have ricocheted off every available surface.
twins made a game of discovering every last splat of red throughout the
large kitchen. The farther
they got from the site of the explosion, the more excited they got about
finding jello spots. There
were frequent calls of “Found another one!” or “Holy cow, it’s all
the way over here!” They
ended up referring to the adventure as the “World Jello Olympics”, and
Larry demanded a prize for having found the most spots.
eight o’clock, everyone was aching from laughing so hard.
Jim and Brian also needed to get on the road to return to school,
so the gang headed back to the Farm to send them on their way.
they stood in the driveway at Crabapple Farm passing hugs and farewells
all around, Trixie walked quietly up to Jim.
She stared at him with a serious expression and offered a tentative
smile. “Thank you, for
always being here when I need you,” she told him.
smiled back and tugged on her curl. “I
always will be, Shamus. Don’t
ever forget that.” He
pulled her into a bear hug and whispered, “If you want to talk, you know
where to find me.”
nodded and held tight for a long moment.
When she thought she could look up without tears in her eyes,
Trixie stepped back. “Have
fun, College Man. Catch ya
walked around the car and gave Brian a long hug. “Thanks for coming home this weekend. I know you really did it for your birthday, but I’d have
been lost without you.”
know I wanted to spend my birthday with my best girl,” Brian said
tenderly. “Will you survive
without me until Thanksgiving?”
might. If not, I’ll
grinned. “I’ll keep my
ears sharp.” He gave her a
soft but stern look. “Let
Mart help, okay?”
smiled. “Okay, okay.
As long as you don’t stand me up anymore, everything will be just
He laughed before kissing her forehead.
“I love you, Princess.”
love you, too.” She turned
away and hurried into the house before she could be caught getting
emotional all over again.
the boys drove away, everyone else said their goodbyes for the evening and
went their separate ways. Mart
headed upstairs to talk to Trixie. Instead,
he found her sound asleep, with Bobby gently tucking her in.
answered Mart’s quizzical look with a whispered reply.
“She was asleep as soon as her head hit the pillow.
I think she was gone before Brian was even out of the driveway.”
He turned off her light and joined Mart in the doorway. “Tough weekend?”
nodded. “I guess so.
Emotionally exhausting, I think.”
looked pensively over at his sister’s sleeping form. “She seems to get tired easily these days.”
He visibly shook off his train of thought and changed the subject.
“Hey, I could use some help with my homework.”
ruffled his hair. “Sure
thing, small fry. Let’s get
October 23, 1995
Trixie got on the bus Monday morning, she sat in front of Honey instead of
beside her. Dan took the hint
and sat next to Honey. Honey
frowned at Dan, who merely grinned and nodded as the bus pulled up to
Tad’s stop. Honey rolled
her eyes, but conceded with a smile.
glared at them both, as Tad made his way to the seat Trixie had saved for
him. Honey answered Mart with
a silly grin.
eyes danced merrily as she whispered to Mart, “Remember.
You promised to let Trixie set the pace.”
only response was a guttural growl.
sat beside Trixie and greeted her. “Good morning, lovely lady.
And how are you this fine day?”
giggled. “Not too bad for a
Monday morning, kind sir. Did
you do anything exciting this weekend?”
Tad hesitated. He made up his
mind, then looked her right in the eye.
“I had lunch yesterday with Chris Zack.”
stared at him so intently that she completely missed the looks of shock
from Honey and Di and the pale-faced looks of terror from Dan and Mart.
an eyebrow, she said archly, “Excuse me?”
Her temper started flaring quickly.
“And just how often do you two meet to discuss me behind my
watched her carefully, trying to guess her feelings. “It was sort of accidental.
I planned to meet someone else, but I ran into him.
He told me to stay the hell away from his girlfriend.”
and Dan breathed a sigh of relief. They
were grateful that Tad hadn’t mentioned whom he had intended to meet,
and equally grateful that the bus had just pulled up at school.
That is, until they realized Chris was standing at the curb waiting
for the bus.
Mart thought, throwing Dan a look of panic.
exploded. “How dare you!”
she yelled at Tad. “How
dare either one of you!” She
leaned close to him, speaking harshly and quietly through gritted teeth.
“I am not a piece of property, and I don’t belong to anyone!”
jumped up and stormed past him toward the door.
smacked him upside the head. “Nice
shrugged. “I wanted to know
how she’d react.” He
grinned. “Not exactly the
reaction Chris would have hoped for, now was it?”
had to laugh. “That was
grin got wider. “But not
deceitful. That was 100%
got up, and stood over Tad, scowling fiercely.
“Looks like you’re playing hard ball.”
stood and faced Mart calmly. “He
stared at him with narrowed eyes and clenched jaw. “Just remember what happens if she gets hurt.”
He turned and stormed away.
turned and found Dan giving him a cool warning look. “Sometimes the people you're trying to protect get caught
in the crossfire.”
gave him a serious look. “I
won’t let that happen.”
nodded succinctly. “Better
rest of the Bob-Whites filed off the bus, leaving Tad feeling like he’d
been pummeled. Great.
And the day hasn’t even begun.
Trixie had flown off the bus in a rage.
As soon as she saw Chris, she made a beeline for him.
He smiled a warm greeting, until he saw the look on her face.
smile faded as she stormed up to him.
“What’s wrong, Blue Eyes?”
you dare ‘Blue Eyes’ me!” she fumed.
“And don’t tell my friends to ‘stay the hell away from your
look of understanding crossed Chris’ face.
“I see Tad’s been busy this morning,” he grumbled.
stood toe-to-toe with him, craning her neck to stare furiously up at his
face. “Do you deny saying
stared down at her. A
detached part of his mind registered how comical she must look to others,
trying to ‘stare down’ the basketball star, who was almost a
foot-and-a-half taller. The
more focused part of his mind was a little intimidated by the little
raging ball of fury. Seeing
her temper in action for the first time, he realized how bad it would be
for him if Trixie ever caught him lying to her.
All thoughts of denying the accusation fled.
admitted with resignation, “Yes, I said it.”
paused. Okay, he gets
points for admitting it. And
he called me his girlfriend! A
little thrill shot through her. HOWEVER…
Chris the same narrow-eyed, gritted teeth look she had used on Tad
earlier, Trixie spoke deliberately. “Then
don’t blame Tad for the very large foot you put in your own
mouth. I pick my own friends.
I decide with whom I spend how much time.
I am no one’s property. You
don’t own me. Do I
make myself clear?”
nodded. “Crystal,” he
go of some of her anger, she continued.
“I am also only 15 years old.
My father is barely able to tolerate me dating.
‘Going steady’ and getting serious are well beyond the
had gotten close enough to hear the last comment. His eyebrows shot to his forehead. He knew full well that Trixie had never had any such
conversation with Dad. Pulling
out the ‘Protective Father’ card to create your own safety zone?
Impressive, Little Sister. Maybe
you can hold your own.
narrowed his eyes. “So
you’re saying I need to back off and tolerate Tad or just walk away
Trixie’s voice was still strong and steady, but she was a
quivering mass on the inside. Giving
him an ultimatum like that was not necessarily the brightest move, and she
had no idea how he was going to react.
looked up and caught Beth Fleming staring at Chris and Trixie with obvious
glee. He quickly changed the
focus of his attention.
was fuming. A part of his
mind was screaming, Just walk away!
You don’t need this crap. You
could have any girl in the school!
But, as he once again got pulled into the depths of the most
beautiful blue eyes he’d ever seen, Chris realized he didn’t want any
girl in the school. He only
sighed. “I really hate this
idea.” His face softened,
and he gently trailed a finger along her cheek.
“But I think you’re worth it.”
blue eyes widened in surprise, and she caught her breath.
The last shreds of anger disappeared, and a delicious warmth
flooded her. She smiled
smiled. Running his hand
through her curls, he answered, “Really.”
stepped back a few paces and sat on the stone pillar at the bottom of the
nearest set of steps to the school building.
This particular pillar was the perfect height for him; sitting
there, with Trixie standing right in front of him, he could face her
eye-to-eye. He pulled her to
him. As she lost herself in
his clear gray eyes, he wrapped his arms around her.
She was smiling now, and he felt like everything was going to be
changed my mind,” he whispered. “I
know you’re worth it.” He
claimed her lips in a soft, gentle kiss.
Fleming’s eyes blazed fire and fury.
She turned and stormed away. Mart
quietly followed her.
reached her locker, slamming the door opened and muttering comments about
“that little Belden slut” and grumbling, “She’s gonna pay for
walked up and casually leaned against the locker next to hers.
glared at him. Sneering, she
warned him, “Belden, if you know what’s good for you, you’ll stay
the hell away from me right now.”
gave her a cool once-over. “And
if I said I was planning on following you around like a lost puppy?”
scream ‘rape’,” Beth said bluntly, a cold and vicious glint in her
light brown eyes.
eyebrow raised, Mart asked, “So, that’s how you handle things?
Lying, cheating, and damaging other people’s reputations.
Thanks for confirming my suspicions.”
slammed her locker shut. “Don’t
mess with me, Belden. You
don’t want to get in over your head.”
flashed his most charming smile and leaned in close. “I could offer you the same advice. If you mess with my sister, you’ll be surprised at how much
trouble will come your way.”
waiting to see her reaction, Mart casually sauntered down the hallway
toward his own locker.
lunchtime, news of Chris and Trixie kissing outside school that morning
had become the prime topic of every conversation.
As Mart joined Dan in the lunch line, he groaned, “She is not
going to be happy about this.”
shrugged. “She’s in her
own little ‘Chris likes me’ oblivion.
I’m not so worried about her.”
He lowered his voice and gave Mart a pointed look.
“If you want to worry, watch the football players.
It’s like they’ve all suddenly noticed what a little hottie she
is. They’re leering and
drooling, and I have a serious need to smack them all.”
had taken a carrot stick off his tray and shoved it in his mouth.
Now he choked on it. “Did you say ‘a little hottie’?
Please tell me you did not just describe my sister that
gave Mart a withering glare. “Wake
up, Mart. She is.”
absolutely can not think of her that way.”
aren’t supposed to. You
have to be aware, however, that everyone else does.”
Mart handed his ID card to the cashier to be scanned, he groaned and hung
his head. “This is going to
be such a long year.”
snickered. “I figured that
out the first day of school. About
time you woke up to reality.”
had been waiting for them at the end of the line. “Now what are you two bickering about?”
grinned at her. “Trixie
being a hottie.”
flushed. “Would you please
stop calling her that!”
laughed. “Oh, my poor
baby!” They reached
their table and set their trays down.
Di moved to stand behind Mart and rub his very tense shoulders.
was already sitting at the table, her nose buried in a book.
She looked up at Di’s laughter.
“What’s the poor baby’s problem now?”
grinned conspiratorially at Honey. “Trixie’s
turned to glare at her. “Et
Honey was desperately trying to smother her laughter. “Ssshhh! Here
slammed her bag on the table in aggravation.
“I absolutely, positively HATE Mondays!”
approached her. “Hey, Trix?
I realize you eat with the Bob-Whites on Mondays, but may I at
least escort you through the lunch line?”
entire demeanor changed. She
relaxed, smiled a devastating, utterly flirtatious smile, and winked.
“I guess you’ve earned that much, at least.”
walked away, Chris’ arm around Trixie’s shoulders, hers around his
waist, the pair lost in each other’s smiles.
and Di had been momentarily stunned by her flirtations.
Now they grinned like Cheshire cats and gave each other high-fives.
that girl is good!” Di crowed. “I’m
so proud of her!”
nodded. “And all this time
I thought she wasn’t paying attention to our lessons on flirting.”
shoved his tray away and buried his head.
“I’m not hungry.”
gave the girls a one-eyebrow-raised deadpan expression.
“Hell has officially frozen over.”
The Bob-Whites’ laughter echoed throughout the cafeteria.
Trixie returned with her tray. The
others were nearly done eating, but Mart still had his head down and had
not yet touched his tray. Trixie
looked at him, eyes dancing with amusement.
She leaned her chin on one hand and pretended to look thoughtful.
“How can I distract Big Brother from his current worries?”
lifted an eyebrow in a silent question to Honey. Di smirked, while Honey grimaced and mouthed Just shoot me
now before nodding her assent.
deliberately turned to Honey and asked, completely for Mart’s benefit,
“So, Honey, how many Homecoming invitations are you up to now?
Last count I heard was ten.”
rolled her eyes. “Well, as
of the start of the lunch period, I’m up to twelve.
Not that more than 2 or 3 are worth considering, but it is
flattering to be asked.”
head shot up, and he and Dan turned to Honey in unison, “Excuse me?”
and Di broke off into peals of laughter.
Honey stuck out her tongue at them.
“Thanks a lot for siccing the Big Brother Patrol on me.”
trying to share the wealth!”
scowled at Trixie. “Watch
it, squaw.” Turning his
attention back to Honey, he began his interrogation.
“Who, exactly, asked you to Homecoming?”
Honey began airily, “the first person I turned down was Dan.
He only asked me because Jim made him.”
flushed bright red. Trixie
hooted. “Oh my God!
I knew he was more overprotective than Brian. I just knew it!”
glared at Dan. “So, when
you didn’t get Honey, why didn’t you just ask Trixie?
It would have made my life much simpler.”
patted Mart’s hand and answered gleefully, “Oh, I believe that had
something to do with Honey’s threats to Dan’s family jewels if he
pulled the same crap on Trixie.”
choked on her drink. “Honey!
carefully inspected her perfect manicure.
“I don’t remember the exact phraseology, but…”
laughed so hard she fell out of her seat.
Dan held his face with both hands.
Mart chuckled. “Mangan,
you are so whipped!”
gave Honey a menacing glare. “You’re
gonna pay for this, Wheeler.”
only answer was a smug smile. Any
further discussion was interrupted by the bell. Mart hurriedly shoved an entire half sandwich in his mouth
while the group cleaned up their trays.
Only Di noticed that Trixie hadn’t actually eaten anything.
rushed to catch up with Trixie, who had ducked quickly out of the
half turned. “What?
I have to get to French.”
if I walk with you?”
shrugged and kept walking. Mart
waited until they cleared the immediate crush of traffic outside the
cafeteria before speaking. “I
just wanted to say that I’m impressed.”
looked at him curiously. “By
way you handled yourself with Chris this morning.”
stopped and stared at Mart. As
if she couldn’t quite believe her ears, she leaned a little closer.
“What was that again?”
gave her a sheepish grin and a look of reluctant admiration.
“Apparently, you can take care of yourself, and you don’t need
jaw dropped. She smiled and
shook her head at him. “You
really didn’t want any of the Bob-Whites hearing you say that, did
winked. “No way.
And, if you try to repeat this conversation, I will deny every
word.” They laughed
together. “Seriously, Trix.
I won’t interfere. But, if you need me, I’m here.”
gave him a quick, impulsive hug. “Thanks,
Mart. That really means a
looked up and saw Beth Fleming coming down the hall. His face hardening, he said, “Come on, let’s get you to
Trixie turned and started walking, she said, “Hey, I thought you said I
didn’t need a watch…” She
broke off as she spied Beth and swallowed nervously.
“Yeah, let’s hurry.”
they turned the corner of the hallway, Mart leaned closer.
“Remember what I said. And
it doesn’t just apply to the guys.”
flashed him a grateful smile and made one final comment before entering
her classroom. “Have I
mentioned that you’re pretty cool for a big brother?”
caught his answering grin before the door shut behind her.
slid into her seat beside Tad, who was staring despondently at the doodles
he was drawing all over his notebook.
As soon as Trixie sat down, Tad slipped her a note.
in the doghouse in a big way, aren’t I?
rooted around in her backpack and pretended she couldn’t find her
textbook. Then she slid her
seat closer to Tad’s, so she could share his book.
He spied the top of her book poking its way out of the opening and
whispered, “Zip the bag.”
one smooth movement, she reached down, grabbed a pen and her notebook from
the bag, and zipped it. Once
she had herself settled comfortably next to Tad, she reached over and
wrote in his notebook.
I spend the entire class writing notes back and forth with you,
better help me catch up on the lesson.
grinned and relaxed.
oui, ma cherie.
were trying to cause trouble this morning.
suppose that’s kind of true. But
I was also trying
see if something had happened Saturday night
change things between us.
how weak-minded do you think I am?
don’t. I just needed to
Next time, change your approach.
sorry. I really am.
what did you say to Chris?
I told him that my father wasn’t ready for me to
going steady with anyone.
turned to stare at her. She raised an amused eyebrow at him. He broke into a face-splitting grin.
He’d better get used to you being around, or
take a walk.
gave him an ultimatum?
or after the kiss that fueled today’s Gossip Mill?
absorbed this information. The
situation was definitely improving.
have a lot of brownie points to make up.
love making brownie points with you.
That’s a good thing.
You have a long way to go.
just gave her a winning smile, full of promise.
walked slowly towards her locker after the last bell.
It had been quite a full day, and her head was pounding.
She thought about going home and had a sudden vision of the barn. The sound of a gunshot rang in her ears, and a sea of blood
appeared before her eyes. She
closed her eyes to fight back the memories and was overcome with a wave of
exhaustion. All she wanted to
do was go to bed.
right. Moms’ll let me get
away with that, I’m sure,
she thought cynically.
she approached her locker, Trixie halted suddenly. She was more than a little surprised to see the figure that
not waiting for me, are you, Sergeant?”
Molinson looked up and fixed her with a typical scowl.
“Yes, as a matter of fact, I am, Miss Belden.
Get your stuff together. You’ll
be riding home with me today.”
stared at him in confusion. “Why?
What did I do now?”
discuss that in the car,” he said brusquely.
and Di arrived at the lockers. Hearing
Molinson’s statement, Honey gave Trixie a worried look.
“What’s going on, Sergeant?”
that concerns you, Miss Wheeler. Come
on, Belden, let’s go.”
grabbed her stuff and meekly followed Molinson to the car, throwing a
helpless look at the other girls. They
hurried to let the boys know where Trixie had gone.
drove in silence. He pulled
into Washington Park, a beautiful little place that overlooked the Hudson,
and got out of the car, motioning for Trixie to follow. They walked along the length of the park quietly, watching
the children who were enjoying the sunshine and warmth of the tail end of
finally stopped by a stand of trees, which marked the boundary of the
park. Molinson stood looking
out over the river for a long time before he spoke.
I was in high school, this wasn’t a nice park,” he began, eyes never
leaving the Hudson. His voice
was quiet, and Trixie had to concentrate carefully on his words. “It was where the rough crowd hung out, drinking and
smoking and being generally obnoxious.
The leader of the pack was a classmate of mine, Eric.
We had been really close in grammar school, but, as we got older,
he got really rowdy and we drifted apart.
I didn’t want to be like him.
When I left town after high school, I lost touch with him
paused, weighing each word. When
he spoke again he seemed lost in a distant memory. “About five years ago, I was working with the NYPD.
One night my partner, Dave, and I got called to the scene of a
hold-up. Some kid, high on
crack and brandishing a gun, was trying to rob a convenience store.
We got there in time to catch him.
We disarmed him and tried to put the cuffs on him.
But, like I said, he was on drugs.
He thought he was invincible, and he had that crazy kind of
strength people can sometimes get when they’re high.
He fought us off and bashed Dave’s head into a brick wall.
Fractured his skull. He
lived, but was never fit for duty again.
He had to take medical retirement at age 26.
druggie kept charging at me. I
warned him off. I whacked him
in the head with my billy club, but that didn’t even faze him. Then he reached for my partner’s gun. I had no choice. I
had to shoot him.”
past the lump in his throat, he continued in a voice laced with pain.
“When he was lying there, so still, I finally got a good look at
was quiet for a long time. Trixie
tried to wait for him to go on, but she couldn’t stand the silence any
more. “Was it Eric?” she
nodded. “I can’t come
here without thinking of him, how my best childhood friend died, and the
fact that I killed him.
But I come anyway.
keep this park clean, and I keep the rough-housers away.
I do it so no other cocky kid will use this place to become leader
of the pack, fueling his arrogance, until he goes off, does something
stupid, and gets himself killed.”
turning to look at her, he said, “I realize that I wouldn’t take such
good care of this place if it weren’t for what happened to Eric.
So I come here and see the happy people enjoying this beautiful,
peaceful spot. I come and see
the good here; and this park reminds me that, even though I killed my
friend, I can still do good in this world.”
knew what he was trying to do, but couldn’t quite come to terms with it.
She shook her head. “You
were doing your job.”
fixed his pale blue stare on her, intently as ever, but kinder than usual.
“If I hadn’t shot Eric, he would have killed me.
And he never would have felt bad about it, either.
He would have killed my partner, too; every time I see Dave or his
kids, I know I made a difference.”
where did I make a difference?” she asked cynically, kicking viciously
at a rock on the ground.
frowned in confusion. “What?”
continued to stare at her intently. “I
have no illusions about what would have happened if Luke had killed you.
Somehow, some way, Dan would have gotten past me.
And he would have killed Luke.
In rage and fury, yes, but intentionally – he would have killed
him. And then Dan would have
spent the rest of his life in jail.
breath of freedom that boy ever takes is because Luke died in that barn
instead of you. Everything
Dan ever does, every life he ever touches, is because you saved him
stared back at him. She could
feel the tears coming again. She
clenched her jaw and looked away.
gaze softened, and he walked over to her.
He gently lifted her chin until she looked up at him.
“Trixie, you have an amazing instinct.
You have a heart of gold. And
you have the courage to step out of your comfort zone to help anyone that
needs it. I get frustrated
because you make my job – protecting you – very difficult.
But that doesn’t mean I want you to ever stop helping
day, when you look at Dan, remember that there is still good that you can
do in this world.”
tears were streaming down her face, and she couldn’t hold back the sobs
any longer. The gruff, burly
policeman gave her a soft, gentle, comforting hug.
After a moment, Trixie stepped back and wiped her face with her
hands. He offered her his
handkerchief, which she took gratefully.
sergeant spoke softly. “I
know your friends can’t even imagine what you’re going through right
now. If you ever need to
talk, just tell me you'd like me to escort you safely through the park.”
smiled through her tears. “Thank
you,” she hiccupped.
smiled and ruffled her hair. “Come
on, detective. I need to get