Title: Mom's Wish
Category: Books » Janet Evanovich
Language: English, Rating: Rated: T
Published: 05-25-15, Updated: 06-12-17
Chapters: 20, Words: 20,615
Chapter 1: Chapter 1
Helen was in St. Vincent's hospital. She had some type of virus and Ranger was in Boston somewhere doing something, so Steph could not get in touch with him.
Steph looked out of the room and saw Tank coming up to the room.
Steph walked out of the room and walked up to Tank. He wrapped her in his arms.
"I thought you were in here," Tank said.
"No, my mom is. They don't know what she has. I haven't left her side. Neither has my dad. Valerie has been coming when she can but it's not often. The girls keep asking when they can see Grandma Plum but we don't know if they can catch whatever she has. So Valerie told them no they can't visit. It's a mess Tank," Steph finished saying.
Tank picked up his cell and called Bobby.
"Yo," Bobby said.
"I need you at St. Vincent's. Steph's mom is ill," Tank said.
"I am on my way," Bobby said.
Then Tank hung up.
"Bobby is on his way and will check out your mom," Tank said.
"Thanks Tank," Stephanie said.
Bobby came in and knocked on Helen's door.
"It's open," Stephanie said.
"Hey there sweetheart what is going on?" Bobby asked.
"My mom is sick. Can you help her? Her doctors are stumped as to what is wrong with her," Steph said to Bobby.
"I will do what I can," Bobby said and then took out his bag and started taking vitals.
"What is going on?" Helen asked.
"Hi mom. Bobby is taking some blood so he can find out how come you're sick," Stephanie said.
"All I want is for you to be happily married, and settle down and give me grandkids. Is that too much to ask?" Helen asked shakily.
"No, mom, that is not too much to ask but right now you need to rest," Steph said.
While all this was going on Tank was on the phone with Ranger.
"Yo," Ranger said.
"We have a problem here in Trenton, boss. Steph's mom is sick and is in the hospital. We have Bobby looking at her right now but it does not look good. Steph has not left her mom's side. She is very tired but refuses to go home and rest. She needs you, boss."
"I am on my way right now," Ranger said then he hung up.
Meanwhile in the Plum's room Bobby was just finishing up with his exam.
"Well, whatever it is it is not contagious so I don't think anybody else will get it, but she is very weak so I will start some IV fluids. To see if that will help her recover some of her strength." Then Bobby started an IV for fluids.
"That is all I can do right now until I get the blood work back," Bobby said and then he left leaving Steph with her mom, Dad, and Valerie.
"Did you call Ranger?" Bobby asked Tank.
"Yes, and he is on his way. If anybody can convince Steph to go home and rest he can," Tank said to his friend.
"Agreed," Bobby said.
Three hours later Ranger came walking into the hospital.
"Tank, where is she?" Ranger asked as he walked up to him.
"She is in that room." Then Tank pointed down the hall.
"Thanks," Ranger said and then he walked into the room.
He saw Steph on the pullout bed. He walked up to her and moved some of her hair and whispered in her ear."Steph."
"Mumm," Steph opened her eyes and saw Ranger.
"Ranger." She wrapped her arms around his neck. He leaned in and kissed her.
"I got here as quick as I could. How is she?" Ranger asked.
"No change," Stephanie said sat up.
"Ranger, I have been thinking. I want to get married," Steph said. He looked at her sat down next to her.
"Are you sure?" Ranger asked her.
"I am. I want to make my mom a grandmother before she dies, please help me?" Stephanie asked him.
He took her in his arms and held her for a few minutes.
"Babe, of course I will marry you, and we can definitely start a family together," Ranger told her, and he kissed her.
"Steph, I will be back. I am going ring shopping. You stay here and stay with your mom," Ranger said he got up and walked out of the room.
"Hurry," she said.
He turned and walked back to Tank.
"She is really upset Tank. I am going shopping. I will be back," Ranger said and then he left.
Two hours later, Ranger came back and saw Tank outside the room.
"Hey, Boss," Tank said.
"Hey, do me a favor. Get the local Reverend that works here have him come to this room," Ranger told him.
"Okay boss," Tank left to look for the Reverend.
Ranger walked into Helen's room and saw Frank there.
"Mr. Plum," Ranger said.
"Hi Ranger, what is going on?" Frank asked.
"I want to marry your daughter right now," Ranger said.
"Are you sure?" Frank asked.
"I am sure," Ranger said.
"All right," Frank said.
Ranger walked over to Steph who was sleeping on the foldout couch again.
He kissed her and she woke up.
"Hey, you are back" Steph said.
"Yes, and I bought you this, so go get changed." Ranger said.
Steph opened the garment bag and saw a Red gown with a low cut top.
"You want me to change into this," Steph asked him.
"Yes, I don't want to marry you in jeans. Now get going, Tank will be here any minute with the Reverend," Ranger opened the door to the bathroom Stephanie went in to change.
Steph came back into the room and Frank said, "You look great darling."
"Thanks Dad," Stephanie said.
Valerie and Mary Alice, Lisa and Albert Jr came in with Albert and Grandma Mazur as well.
"Ranger," Grandma Mazur said.
"Grandma Mazur," Ranger said and he walked up to Stephanie placed the engagement ring on her left hand.
"Ranger, I love it," She said, and then kissed him.
Tank came in with the Reverend, "Thanks for coming, Reverend. I would like to marry Stephanie here and now. Can you do the ceremony?" Ranger asked.
"Okay your name is Ricardo Carlos Manoso," the Reverend said.
"All right is there anyone here that does not want them to be married."
Steph's mom woke up asked "What is going on?" in a weak voice.
Steph walked up to her mother and said "I am getting married. I am marrying Carlos, mom," Steph said and added "Now hush and watch and listen."
"Do you Ricardo Carlos Manoso take Stephanie to be your wife?" The Reverend asked.
"I do," he said.
"Do you Stephanie take Ricardo Carlos Manoso to be your husband?"
"I do," Stephanie said.
"The rings please" The Reverend asked them
Ranger took out the rings gave them to the Reverend.
"Now repeat after me, Ricardo."
"I, Ricardo, take you Stephanie to be my wife." The Reverend said.
"I, Ricardo, take you Stephanie to be my wife," Carlos said and then placed the ring on her left hand.
"Now, Stephanie, repeat after me," The Reverend said.
"I, Stephanie, take your Ricardo to be my husband," The Reverend said.
"I, Stephanie, take you Ricardo to be my husband," Stephanie said placed the ring on his left hand.
"I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss your bride," The Reverend said.
Ranger took her in his arms and kissed her. There was a huge round of applause.
"Now you two go and have a honeymoon. I will be fine," Helen said weakly.
"Mom, are you sure?" Stephanie asked.
"Yes, now go both of you," Helen said weakly.
"Okay mom. We will be back soon." Then Steph and Ranger left to go to a hotel. Ranger called and made reservations for a honeymoon suite.
They got to the suite and Steph just started to cry.
"Babe," Ranger said and sat down next to her.
"Your mom will be all right," He took her in his arms as he told her this.
"Ranger, make love to me. Let's try to conceive a baby," Stephanie said.
Ranger then kissed her and slipped off her dress. Steph took off his cargo pants and Rangeman t-shirt and then they made love.
Then next morning Ranger got a call from Bobby.
"Yo," Ranger said.
"I know what is wrong with Steph's mom and I can fix it. She is short a couple of vitamins so with some vitamin shots she should be okay," Bobby said and then added, "I am on my way now to fix this."
"That is great, Bobby. We will meet you there," Ranger said then he hung up.
"Steph." He then went over to her and kissed the nape of her neck.
"Humm," she said.
"Bobby just called and your mom is going to be fine. She was short a couple of vitamins so he is going to give her some vitamin shots. We should get over there," Ranger said.
"Okay, just give me a couple of more minutes," Stephanie said and then she fell back asleep.
After an hour of letting her sleep he tried again to wake her up.
"Steph we have to go," Ranger said as he bent down and nibbled on her ear.
"Okay I am up," Steph said and then she got dressed.
When they got to the hospital room Bobby was there waiting for them.
"I gave her the shots and she is coming around. You can go in and see her," Bobby said.
"Thanks for everything Bobby." Then Stephanie hugged him and she went in to see her mom.
"Mom," Stephanie said.
"Hi there, Steph," Helen said.
"How are you feeling?" Stephanie asked.
"Better. What happened?" Helen asked.
"You had a vitamin deficiently so you were very weak but thanks to Bobby you will be fine now," Stephanie said.
"Did you really marry Ranger?" Helen asked.
"Yes, I did. Now you rest," Stephanie said.
"I am happy for you," Helen said and then she fell asleep.
Chapter 2: Chapter 2
While Helen was recovering, Ranger and Steph were getting used to being married.
"Steph, I can't give you the classic Burg life," Ranger told her.
"I don't want the classic Burg life, I want to be with you. Ranger, I love you." Steph said to Ranger as she walked up to him and kissed him.
Ranger picked her up and carried her to the bedroom. He looked at her as he lay down next to her.
"Stephanie, I am never known to be open about my feelings...but I want you to know something." Stephanie was looking into his eyes. She was afraid of what catastrophe was about to befall her. Ranger lifted his "blank face" as Stephanie called it. He let her see how sincere he was. "Babe, when we first met I was totally afraid of the feelings you stirred up in me." He put his finger on lips. "I knew that I loved you from the very first time I looked into your eyes. I saw how afraid you were and I wanted to be the one to protect you from those fears. I never once thought of how many changes that decision would bring to my life. I kept everything bottled and pigeon holed so I did not have to deal with them. You taught me that I can be myself and you still love me...even if some of those feelings were dark." Stephanie smiled at him...doesn't she understand that the reason his walls, so carefully constructed, melt under that smile?
He continued to open up to his Babe. "I realize I sent you back to Joe but it wasn't because I liked the idea of his hands touching my territory. I was afraid I wasn't capable of opening up enough to keep you interested in me. I felt dirty and damaged beyond repair. You deserve a whole man, even if it wasn't me. But you are the one who refused to give up on me. You have no idea how much you have changed me. Knowing I have you to come home to has made me change my views on how I live my life. I am still working on looking for the good in people. But I am also trying to rebuild my own humanity with your help. It won't happen overnight but knowing you are by my side, guiding me, trusting me and still believing in me even when I slip back into my old ways. You are so loving when you confront those slips and you are always willing to show me a better, loving way to handle things. I may never be able to reach the giving level you are on but I want you to know that if you are willing to train me in your methods I want to spend my whole life trying to become more open to my family and friends. Just as long as you let me keep my Bad-ass Attitude to the outsiders when needed.
Stephanie smiled at him and quickly kissed him. "Ranger, I don't want you to change who your core person is. I just want you to understand that your ways are not the only solutions but together you and I together can come up with a good solution that we each win on some points and we can still obtain the goal but sometimes compassion produces a deeper life changing moment for us and those we deal with. Together, we are a team. It takes us both with input to make the decisions which are best for whoever we come in contact with. You are a good person, despite what your past was, and together we will make a good life together. I don't think you realize just how totally happy you have made me and how you have counteracted all the hurts, the put-downs, the failures I have felt all my life. No, it was not your money but your unshakable faith in the person you saw I can be. Because of you, your faith and belief in my abilities, I have become a stronger person. I still am impulsive which I know puts me in danger but with your help and training I am getting better about thinking before I act and try to think things through and the consequences before I act. All thanks goes to you. Thanks to the training you forced me to do I have more self esteem and confidence that I can ever remember having my whole life. I also felt unworthy of a sex god like you. Because Dickie cheated on me I have always felt inadequate in the bedroom. There is no way you could ever know how it feels to be inadequate in the bedroom but you have showed me you don't think I am."
"Babe, there is no other woman who has pleased me in the bedroom than you have."
"Ranger are you telling me that I am enough for you?"
"Babe, there is not another woman in the whole world that could make me happy in or out of bed but you". Ranger reached over and pulled her to him. He looked deep in those magnetic blue eyes. "Babe, until the last breath I take there is no woman who could ever affect me the way you do. God made you for me, I am just sorry it took so long for me to realize it." Ranger kissed her with such a deep passion that it almost as their talk had unleashed more passion than they had ever experienced in either of their lifetimes. Hours later they lay tangled together and neither wanted to break the connection. Stephanie looked up at him and smiled. "Babe, you are playing with fire!" Stephanie grinned at him. "You are man enough to stir it up then you are man enough to tame the beast, huh?" Ranger bent over to kiss her again. Who knew where this would lead?
Chapter 3: Chapter 3
It was Friday the next day after the talk, and Steph was on the phone talking with her mom.
"I know it is Friday Mom and I know that the family meets at your house for dinner, but I have to talk it over with Ranger."
"Why do you have to talk it over with him?" Helen asked.
"He is my husband mom, and he will be joining me there tonight." Stephanie said.
"Fine if you have to bring the baboon." Helen said and then she hung up.
Stephanie just shook her head, and said to herself "Mom will never accept Ranger as my husband"
All of a sudden she looked up and saw Ranger staring at her.
"Dinner at my Mom's tonight you don't have to go if you don't want to I will understand." Stephanie said to Ranger and then walked into his arms.
"I will go they are part of my family now" Ranger said and then kissed the top of her head.
"I have to get a bond with Tank, Hal and Bobby are going to finish helping you move your stuff into this apt." Ranger told her.
"All right, I will see you tonight and be careful." Steph said to her husband. Ranger turned and walked away.
Once Steph Hal and Bobby got into Steph's apt she looked around at all her furniture and her small nick knacks. She looked at Rex and said "you are definitely coming" Then she put his cage on the counter top.
"So where do we start?" Bobby asked.
"You can start in the living room and I will start in the bedroom" Steph said and then she took a couple of boxes and started packing.
In the middle of packing there was a knock on the door, and Hal answered it.
"Oh it is you, Morelli. What do you want?" Hal asked him
"I came to talk to Steph and then he walked past Hal and into the bedroom.
"Steph is it true did you marry Manoso?" Joe asked
"Yes I did and I love him and he loves me too." Steph told him
"I hope he takes care of you, and keeps you out of danger and he does not put you in more danger by marrying him." Joe told Steph and then gave her a hug and then left.
Steph watched Joe leave and then continue to pack. After she was packed she went to the living room Hal and Bobby were loading the furniture onto a loading truck.
She looked around at her empty apt and took Rex's cage and left. She gave the keys to the landlord and then left the building and went back to Rangeman.
When Steph got back to Rangeman she took the elevator up to seven put Rex on the counter top. She saw her boxes of clothes there and started to remove them to put them away, she could not believe that she was really married to Ranger.
Meanwhile Tank and Ranger were in the bad part of town after their bond. They spotted him and he saw them and started running.
"Why do they always have to run?" Tank asked.
They got right behind him and tackled him to the ground. They got the cuffs on him and dragged him back to the SUV and shackled him in there.
"Thanks boss for your help" Tank said.
"No problem Tank" Ranger said and then they got in and went to the station to pick up their body receipt.
Once they got back to Rangeman Bobby and Hal came up to him.
"Boss, it is getting out you being married to Stephanie, Morelli knows and that means more than half the Burg will know too" Bobby said to Ranger.
"All right I can take a wild guess as to who told who. I will have to have a talk with her tonight when I see her." Ranger said and then added "Is Steph all moved in?"
"Yes, sir she is putting her clothes away right now." Hal added.
"Good thanks guys" then Ranger left to talk to his wife.
Ranger walked into the apt and put his arms around his wife's waist and then kissed her neck.
"Hey there" Steph said and turned to face him.
" I heard that Morelli knows that we are married." Ranger said.
"Yes which means half the burg knows too." Steph said as she laid out some clothes for him to wear to her mother's.
"I will talk to her tonight tell her not to tell anybody else." Steph told him.
"I hope she listens to you I don't want there to be trouble." Ranger told her and went into shower.
After Ranger was cleaned up and Steph was ready they walked out the apt and went to Steph's family's house.
When they got there they were greeted by Steph's nieces.
"Hi Auntie Steph and Uncle Ranger" Angie said.
"Hi Angie where is your Mom?" Steph said as Ranger took Steph's coat and hung it up in the hall.
"She is with Grandma Plum in the kitchen." Angie said.
"All right I will go in the kitchen and you go talk to my father." Steph said to Ranger and then kissed him on the cheek.
Then they went their separate ways.
When Steph got to the kitchen she saw her mother, grandmother and sister there making dinner.
"Hi Stephanie glad you made it, is your hunky husband here too?" Grandma Mazur asked.
"He is talking with dad." Stephanie told them and added. "Mom we need to talk, you can't go around telling the whole Burg that I am married to Ranger it would put me in danger if you did that." Stephanie said.
"But I am excited for you even though it is not Morelli that you are married to." Helen said.
"I know but because of Ranger's business we have to be careful now promise me you won't tell anybody else." Stephanie told her mother.
"I promise I won't tell anybody else" Helen said.
"Good" now I am going to see how Dad and Ranger are getting along" She left to see her dad and her husband.
When Steph entered the living room she saw Ranger on the couch her dad in his recliner holding his only grandson.
"Hi Steph I was just going to ask my son in law why he was not wearing his wedding band?" Her dad asked.
"I can't wear it while I am working sir no jewelry allowed." Ranger told him.
"Okay and call me Frank" Steph's dad said.
"Okay Frank you can call me Carlos" Ranger replied.
"Dinner should be ready soon" She walked back into the kitchen.
It was definitely odd seeing Ranger and her dad in the living room like that. This whole situation was odd and would be for a while until her family got use to Ranger. Steph thought to herself.
"Dinner is ready" Helen yelled. The ladies brought out dinner to the table and the men walked in and Steph's dad took his seat at the head of the table.
It was silent at dinner, when Helen broke the silent and asked, "So when are you two going to make me a grandmother?"
"Mom, we just got married three days ago we are still getting use to each other and being around each other so much, it might be a while." Stephanie said as she sipped her wine.
"Ranger looked at his mother in law and thought, "this is a very awkward dinner"
He put his arm around Steph's shoulder and kissed her cheek. All of a sudden Ranger's phone rang.
He answered it, "What?"
"We have a problem boss there was a threat on Steph's life" Tank said.
Ranger looked over at his wife who was staring at him.
"All right we are on our way to Haywood." Ranger said and then shut off his phone.
"Sorry babe but something came up and we have to go" Ranger said to her.
"All right, Mom we will talk later I really have to go" Ranger and Steph got up and left the house.
When they go into the SUV Ranger said "There has been a threat on your life and I am taking you back to Haywood now" Ranger said and then he started the car and they left to Rangeman and their new home.
Chapter 4: Chapter 4
Two Fires in one night chapter 4 Mom's wish
They were a block away from Steph's parent's house when they smelt gas.
"Ranger, I think we should get out of the car" Steph said and then Ranger pulled over and they got out, only to see the car go up in flames.
"Well there goes another car" Steph said and noticed that Ranger was on the phone.
After a few minutes the fire trucks, police cars, and Rangeman were there.
"Boss, are you all right?" Lester said as he came over.
"Yeah I am," Ranger told Lester and then walked over to Steph who was just staring at the car.
"Babe here take this" Then Ranger put his dress jacket over Steph's shoulders.
"Thanks that is better" Steph said as she put her head against Ranger's chest. Ranger smelled Steph's perfume and it was driving him wild. He had to get her back to Haywood.
Morelli finally came up and said, "All right you guys can go we will be in touch if we need anything else."
"Morelli I want Rangeman to help with the investigation. Both Steph and myself were almost charbroiled." Ranger told him.
"Fine, they can help but they tell us everything they do" Then Morelli left.
Ranger led Steph to one of the other Rangeman SUV's put her in the back he joined her and then Tank drove them back to Haywood.
When the three of them got back to Haywood they noticed a fire on the seventh floor.
"Ranger, what is going on first our SUV and now the seventh floor is on fire." Steph said to her husband.
They saw Bobby coming out with Rex.
"Bobby what happened?" Ranger asked him.
"I don't know boss, I went to the seventh floor and saw smoke coming from your apt, and I kicked in the door to get Rex out and then the whole apt went up in flames." Bobby said and then he handed Rex to Ranger.
Ranger walked up to the SUV opened the door and put Rex in. The chief of the fire department walked up to Ranger and said, "Well I hate to tell you this Ranger but your apt is gone with everything in it."
Ranger looked at Rex and said, "Not everything chief."
"The damage was only done to your apartment so you can rebuild but you will have to stay somewhere else for now." The Chief said and then left.
"Well babe, we have three choices, choice one: We could stay at your parent's house. Choice two: we could stay at my parent's house, but they don't know I am married too you yet or choice three: we could stay at one of Rangeman's safe houses." Ranger told Stephanie.
Stephanie just looked at Ranger and said, "Your parents don't know you are married to me yet!"
"No, I was going to tell them but with everything going on it just did not seem right." Ranger said hoping to hell he could smooth things over with Stephanie who had a look that could kill.
"Well I guess that we could stay at my parent's house." Ranger made a face. "Or do you have a better idea." Steph said to her husband.
"What about a Rangeman safe house?" Ranger said to Steph.
"Ranger we have been married for three days, and so far, my mother was sick to the point I almost lost her, then the SUV blew up then our apartment blew up with all of our things. The only thing we have left is Rex." Then it hit her and she broke down in tears.
Ranger came over to her and put his arms around her. "Shh it will be all right we will get through this."
"I have an idea" Tank came up to Ranger.
"I have a cabin about five miles out of Trenton, its not much but you two could stay there until you rebuild the apt upstairs" Tank said to the both of them.
"Well babe what do you think?" Ranger said as he looked at her puffy red eyes.
"Sure I like that, and while we are on our way we can stop by your parent's house and you can tell them about us." Steph said as she crossed her arms.
"Okay let's get going" Then he, Steph and Rex got into his Porsche Cayenne and left for his parents' house, and then after that to the cabin.
Chapter 5: Chapter 5
The Visit Chapter 5 Mom's Wish
They got to Carlo's parents' house and Ranger's niece came running out to him.
"Hi, Uncle Carlos"
"Who is this?"
"Well this is a great surprise I have for everyone. So why don't we go inside and I will tell everyone together." Carlos said to his niece.
Amy and Carlos walked in hand and hand. Ricardo's Mom came up to him and gave him a big hug.
Then she noticed Stephanie coming up behind Carlos.
"I know who you are." Carlos's mother said. She gave Stephanie a great big hug.
"You are my new daughter in law and Amy's new aunt. Welcome to the family."
"Um thanks but how did you find out?" Steph asked her.
"Yeah, mama how did you find out?" Carlos asked his mom.
"I saw the announcement in the paper" She said and then showed them the paper.
"Great, now what to do we do?" Steph asked Carlos.
"We can yell at your mother again, but I don't think it would do any good, so for now we do nothing." Carlos said to his wife.
"Uncle Carlos, Grandpa wants to see you" Amy said to her uncle.
"Okay" Then Carlos went into the living room.
"Hey Dad what is going on?" Carlos asked his father
"I wanted to talk to you; it was not Steph's mom who put the announcement in the paper. It was me. I wanted to let everyone know that my only son had gotten married" Ricardo Sr. told his son.
"Dad you could have put Stephanie in a lot of danger." Carlos told his father.
"I did not know that. I only wanted to show off my son and my new daughter in law" Ranger's father told his son.
"I realize that, but you have to be careful, if anything happened to Steph I could never forgive myself" Carlos told his father.
"I am sorry, I will be more careful." Ricardo Sr. told his son.
"Good so what else is going on?" Carlos asked his father.
"Not much. Work is good. It is very busy at the store. Things are going well." Ricardo Sr. told his son.
All of a sudden Ranger's sister came in and sat down. "What are we talking about?" Rachel asked.
"What else guns" Ranger told his sister.
"Can't this family talk about anything else but guns?" Rachel said out loud and added, "I love my sister in law she is great and Mom is really happy. So I want to know when I am going to be an aunt?"
"I don't know we are not trying right now, because we have only been married for three days, but we do think of it." Carlos said to them.
"Think of what darling?" Steph said as she sat next to her husband on the couch.
"Having a baby, Babe" Carlos said to her as he looked at her with a soft face.
"Yeah that, can't we just be happy to be together first?" Steph said with a smile on her face.
"Of course you can, Steph but I am not getting any younger and I have been waiting for a long time for my only son to settle down and start a family." Ricardo Sr. told Steph.
"Dad you have Julie" Ranger said to him.
"Yeah, but she is in Florida and I want another grandchild around here in this city" Ricardo Sr. told Carlos.
Steph looked out of the living room window for any sign of something to go wrong.
Ranger put his arm over the couch so that Steph would be a little more comfortable. Ranger's Mom came in and said "Dinner is ready"
"Yes finally." Amy said.
Then they all went into the dining room and Ricardo Sr. sat at the head of the table and said grace and then they ate.
After they all finished their dinner, Carlos's mother came out with an Apple cake which was Carlo's favorite.
After dessert Carlo said, "Well this has been fun, but Steph and I have to go." Then he gave his sister, niece, Mom, and Dad a hug and then he grabbed his jacket and gave it to Steph and they left.
While Ranger were driving the Cheyenne Ranger said, "Sorry about my Dad, but the gun shop has been in the Manoso family name for three generations and he was hoping that I would be the fourth, but I wanted to open my own security business now he wants to retire and have someone in the family to take it over. So he is putting pressure on me to leave Rangeman and take over the family business."
"Carlos don't worry about it, Rangeman is doing great, and I am glad that I am part of it when I work with you." Stephanie said as she put her hand on top of his hand as he was shifting the Cheyenne.
"That was nice of Tank to let us use his cabin, I hope that it has a double bed at least." Stephanie told Ranger.
Ranger just looked at her and smiled.
Chapter 6: Chapter 6
Ranger and Steph play Chapter 6 Mom's wish
Ranger and Steph got to the cabin.
"Wow, this is not a cabin it is a castle Ranger." Stephanie said as she looked toward her husband.
"Yeah it is nice, so why don't we see what kind of bedroom he has. Knowing him it is going to be a king size bed." Ranger said and then he unlocked the door and they entered.
Carlos picked Stephanie up and carried her upstairs, he kicked the bedroom door open and put her gently on the bed. He then took off his jacket and then his dress shirt. "Come here please" Steph said he then came to her and unzipped her red dress. "You have been driving me crazy all night babe." Carlos told her and then he was on top of her. She unbuttoned his pants and they fell to the floor. His hands were on her bare back and moving down to her butt where they stopped, he then entered her softly at first and then he got harder. They then fell asleep in each other's arms.
The next morning when they woke up they heard knocking at the door.
"Carlos someone is knocking at the door" Steph told her husband.
"That is not knocking at the door babe, that is your cell phone" Ranger said as he started to nuzzle her neck.
"Hi Mom what is going on?" Steph asked Helen and Carlos stopped nuzzling her neck.
"Steph can you put me on speaker phone please." Helen asked her daughter.
"Sure" Steph answered her.
"Carlos, I am sorry that I keep giving you a hard time. I always pictured Stephanie with Morelli, but I did realized that Steph's happiness is all that mattered to me. I will mind my manners from now on." Helen said to Carlos.
"Thank you Helen and I promise I will take care of Steph." Carlos said over the speaker phone.
"Thank you and I hope to see you both at dinner next Friday." Then Helen hung up.
"Babe what just happened?" Carlos asked her.
"I think my mother just accepted you and welcomed you to the family" Steph told her husband with a smile on her face. Ranger then looked at her and said, "I can be a little late for work." Then Ranger was on top of her again.
A couple of hours later Ranger looked at the time and sighed. "I have to go to Haywood for a while. I want you to stay here where you are safe."
"I want to go with you and see the damage of the seventh floor and our apartment, besides we need to go shopping for new clothes." Steph told her husband.
"All right but you are to take one of the guys with you when you go shopping he stated. He got out of bed and Steph just watched her husband from the back side and said, "Oh my"
"Babe, I need to go to work" Ranger said as he looked at his wife in the bed. All of a sudden he called Tank.
"Tank, I am staying home today" Ranger told him he hung up on Tank and went back to bed with Steph.
"I thought you had to go to work?" Steph asked her husband. "I can skip a day" Then he was on top of her again, kissing and sucking on her breasts, and moving his hands on her thighs, she said, "Please Carlos stop teasing me" Steph told her husband and then he entered her again and again.
They fell asleep again and woke up three hours later at eleven o'clock in the morning and Ranger said, "How about we do some shopping to get some new clothes" He said as he put on his pants.
"Oh are we done, can't we play some more?" Steph asked as she gave him a puppy dog look.
"Babe we have to get some new clothes along with other stuff" he laid next to her in bed.
"I promise we can play later, and then he traced his finger on her lips and she sucked on it.
Ranger sighed and put on his dress shirt.
"Fine I will put on my dress and we can go shopping." She said and then she stepped out of bed naked.
Babe, stop teasing me" Ranger said and then handed Steph her dress. After they were dressed they got outside and into the Cheyenne. Ranger looked at her he could tell she was happy. "Are you ready to go and do some shopping babe?"
"I guess so but I really wanted to play" Then she put her hand on her husband's thigh and moved it up.
Ranger removed Steph's hand and said, "Babe, we have to do some chores, we can play later." Then he kissed her lightly on the lips.
She grabbed his face and returned the kiss but then managed to get her hand on his junk. He just looked at her and then kissed her. He put his seat back and she jumped on top of him. He took off her dress and then she managed to get his pants off and he pulled her to him he entered her a couple of times after they finished he sighed said, "That is it, we need to go shopping as he found his pants and put them on." and then added, "You are going to become pregnant if we keep going like this".
"Oh" Steph said, then she sat in her seat and they went to the store to get new clothes.
Chapter 7: Chapter 7
The attempted kidnapping Chapter 7 Mom's Wish
After they went shopping they stopped at Rangeman to get changed.
"Hey the day is done and you are coming in now" Tank said to Ranger.
"I called you to tell you I would not be in today" Ranger said, "We are only here to change." he added
"I need to check in with Connie at the bond's office" Stephanie said to Tank and Ranger.
"Babe I don't think you should be working right now, you have to remember there is a threat on your life" Ranger told her.
"I know that but I still have to go in I am not going to stop living my life because of some threat" Stephanie said.
Ranger saw her blue eyes light up he knew that she was right.
"All right we will go to the bond's office after we change" Ranger said and then asked "How is the apartment looking?"
"Well some contractors were here to look and it is going to cost us big time to fix the apartment but it will get done." Tank said he could see Steph going in to the ladies locker room to change.
While Steph was in the ladies locker room she heard something so she turned around to look and a guy with a ski mask come out of a shower stall and jumped on her, she tried to kick and scream but then he put a rag to her face and she went unconscious.
"Now to get you out of here" the guy said. But he did not know that one of the female co- worker were in the locker room with Steph. The guy with the ski mask picked Steph up and was elbowed in the face. He dropped Stephanie and tried to fight with the female Rangeman worker only to go unconscious himself. The female coworker then hit the alarm that there was trouble and she finished getting dressed before the guys came in the locker room.
Meanwhile Ranger was out in the hall after he changed into a spare set of Rangeman clothes when he heard the alarm. They ran into the girl's locker room and saw Laurie over Stephanie and a guy with a ski mask on the floor a few feet away.
Laurie said, "He tried to kidnap Stephanie and I stopped him but she is unconscious"
Ranger leaned over her and said, "She is alive it smells like chloroform was used to knock her unconscious."
Tank got the guy and said "lets have a look here," He removed the mask and it was Vinnie from the bond's office.
"Well this is strange, why is Vinnie trying to kidnap Stephanie" Tank said as he removed him from the ladies locker room and put him in interrogation for questioning.
Ranger covered Steph and then carried her to the medical wing so she could wake up. She was on a bed waking up with Ranger besides her.
"Easy babe," Ranger said to her then he helped her sit up.
"What happened?" she asked.
Laurie came in and said, "You were attacked in the locker room, but we got the creep who did it."
"Okay who are you?" Steph said looking at the six foot one brunette haired lady with bright green eyes.
"I am Laurie and I am new here." she said as she held out her hand.
"You must be Mrs. Manoso it is a pleasure to meet you" Laurie said.
"I am the new secretary here at Rangeman I was in the locker room when the guy attacked you." Laurie told Stephanie.
"Well thanks, I owe you one now." Steph said then added "Where are my clothes?"
"Right here babe." Ranger said as he gave Stephanie three shopping bags full of her clothes.
"Bobby can I go now, I really am fine" Steph said as she was pulling out clothes so she could put them on.
"Sure there is no damage done so you are free to go" Bobby said then he pulled the curtain closed so she could get dressed.
Stephanie overheard Laurie and Ranger talking, "Thank you Laurie you saved my wife, if there is anything you need please let me know."
"No problem Ranger I was glad to help, I would have done it if it was someone else too." Laurie said. Steph came out from behind the curtain and saw Laurie leave.
"I am all set Carlos, and I would like to see the guy who tried to kidnap me" Steph said as she looked into her husband's eyes.
"All right but you won't like it" Ranger said and then he and his wife walked to the interrogation room.
Steph saw Vinnie in the room and got on the phone which she put on speaker, "Bond's office this is Connie"
"Hi Connie it's Steph is Vinnie there?"
"Of course he is you want to speak to him?"
"Yes," Steph said
"Where are you you're are support to be here catching bad guys" Vinnie snapped at Stephanie.
"I am at Rangeman, Vinnie someone dressed like you just tried to kidnap me." Steph told her cousin.
"Oh okay" Vinnie said,
"I am on my way now with Ranger" she hung up.
"So that is not Vinnie in there" Steph said as she looked through the one way glass, "So who is it?" Ranger said and then went to talk to Tank. "I want to find out how someone else got in here" First the fire in my apt and now someone tries to kidnap Steph. Find answers Tank!" Ranger yelled at Tank, and went back up to Steph kissed her on top of the head. They left for the bond's office.
Chapter 8: Chapter 8
Ranger and Stephanie went to the bond's office to go speak with Vinnie and then they were going to the Plums for dinner.
"Hi Connie, we need to speak with Vinnie is he still here?" Stephanie asked her.
"Vinnie we are coming in" Ranger said.
He walked right into Vinnie's office with Steph behind him.
"Vinnie I don't want Steph working here right now, because if she is kidnapped by someone that is close to her it could be trouble." Ranger told Vinnie.
"I agree but I need someone to take her place other than Lula" Vinnie said to Ranger.
"Hey do I get a say in this?" Stephanie asked them.
They both shouted "No" at the same time.
"Okay, so who is going to take my skips?" Stephanie asked
"What if I have a couple of newbies at Rangeman that could take over Steph's skips for right now how would that be?" Ranger asked Vinnie.
"Perfect, I like it so it is settled until this business with Steph is done Rangeman will take over her skips." Vinnie told Ranger.
"Good, come on Babe we have to go to your parents' house for dinner." Carlos replied to Vinnie. The both of them walked out of the bond's office to the Cheyenne. When they got to her mother's house for dinner.
Grandma Mazur was waiting at the screen door and said "You're pregnant Stephanie you have that glow!" grandma Mazur yelled.
"Who is pregnant?" Helen asked as she rushed up to Steph and Carlos.
"Steph is, I know I am part gypsy so I know these things." Stephanie looked at Carlos and said, "Okay this is going to be fun"
"Yup" Carlos said and then went into the living room to visit with Frank.
Steph then went into the kitchen and started to pick at food. Valerie came in with Lisa, Mary Elisabeth while Albert Jr was with his grandfather.
"hi aunt Steph when am I going to be a big cousin?" Lisa asked her aunt.
"For the last time I am not pregnant." Steph said then stomped out of the kitchen and went to the living room.
"Hi daddy." Steph said as she sat down next to Carlos.
"Hi baby, what is this about you being pregnant?" Frank asked her.
"For the last time I am not pregnant" Steph said. Ranger just looked at her and kissed her on the cheek.
"Okay, so how is work going Steph?" Her dad asked her.
"I am not working right now something came up and I can't work." Steph said and Grandma Mazur said, "Yeah and that is because you are pregnant."
"No I am not" Steph got up and went outside on the porch to sit in the swing bench.
"Hey there cupcake" Morelli said as he came up and stood on the porch"
"How did you find us?" Steph said to Morelli
"Well I know it is Friday and you spend it with your family on Fridays. I also knew that your baboon husband would be here so I came over to speak with him." Joe told her.
"'He is inside go right in." Stephanie told him. Joe opened the door and went inside.
"Joseph it is so good to see you." Helen said as she gave him a hug. "Thanks but I am here to talk to Ranger"
"You need to speak with me" Ranger said as he came out of the living room.
"yeah lets go outside." Morelli told him
"I got a whole bunch of prints from your apartment that are not in the system, and found a cylinder that had some flammable stuff in it that caused the fire. So in other words you have nothing" Ranger said to Morelli.
"Yeah, maybe your people could have better luck; I gave the information to Hector so he could work on it." Morelli told Ranger.
"Okay thanks for the update maybe together we can figure out who is after my wife and myself" Carlos said and then Morelli left.
Ranger sat down next to Steph, "Babe are you okay?"
"I guess, I mean could I be pregnant Carlos I mean we have been having a lot of fun lately." Steph said to Carlos.
"Yes, we have been having a lot of fun lately. I tried to tell you this could happen but I don't know babe, but we can find out if you want and get a pregnancy test and do it back at the cabin." Carlos whispered in her eye .
"I am scared that I might be with everything else going on, I mean with someone after me." Steph said looking into Carlos's eyes.
"Babe, nothing is going to happen to you I am right here and I will always be with you always." Carlos said and then he softly kissed Steph on the lips.
"Okay we will stop at the drug store on our way back to the cabin" Steph said, and added "Let's go inside and eat I am starving." Carlos opened the door for Steph and they both walked into the house and ate.
"Steph would you like wine?" Helen asked and then added "Oh yeah your pregnant so you can't because it would hurt the baby."
"Mom for the last time I am not pregnant." Steph finished her meal in silence.
After everyone finished eating Carlos said, "Okay Stephanie it is time to go"
"Okay" Steph and Carlos said good bye to everyone and they left for the drug store.
"Babe, do you want me to go in?" Carlos asked his wife.
"No I will I just need your card Darling" Steph told him. He gave it to her saying "Okay here." A few minutes later she got in the Cheyenne and they left for the cabin.
When they got to the cabin, Steph said, "I really like this place Carlos I mean it is nice and big. It has a fire place in the living room, a full size bathroom upstairs and one downstairs and a spare room downstairs. With two extra rooms upstairs not to mention the good sized kitchen. Tank is so lucky to have this place."
"It is pretty nice huh" Carlos said as he put his arms around Stephanie. Then he started to nuzzle her neck.
"Carlos, I don't think I can do this." She said as she looked at the plastic bag that had the test in it.
"I will be there with you babe, and I promise I will not go anywhere. Now let's get this done." Carlos took her hand and lead her to the bathroom.
Carlos had has arms folded across his chest as he leaned against the wall waiting for the answer.
"Can I really be a father again, am I lucky enough to get a second chance at this." He asked himself.
"Babe, how are you doing?" Carlos said through the door.
"Well the test is done so now we just wait." she came out of the upstairs bathroom. Carlos enclosed her in his arms. She just relaxed breathed and waited with her husband.
After about ten minutes, Steph said, "Well let's go see." She went back into the bathroom when she came out there were tears in her eyes.
"Babe," Ranger saw the tears and held her.
"You are going to get a second chance at being a father, I am pregnant Carlos" Stephanie said as she looked up at Carlos.
He then bent down and kissed her he was so happy.
Chapter 9: Chapter 9
Ranger was up early the next morning he was sitting at the kitchen table drinking a protein drink when Stephanie came in wrapped her arms around Carlos's neck.
He kissed her arms, "Morning Babe, how are you feeling" Carlos asked his wife.
"Good, still nervous about the baby but I am feeling better about it." Stephanie told her husband.
"Good, because I made you an apt with a ob specialist and I am going with you so let's get you and the baby fed after that we can head out." Ranger told her, he got up and pulled out a chair for her. Ranger made her breakfast, which consisted of a fruit salad with a glass of milk along with a bagel and butter.
"Where is the bacon, eggs, sausage, and all the good stuff?" Stephanie asked Ranger.
"You have to start to eat healthier, you are eating for two." Ranger said with a smile on his face.
"I want real food Carlos" Steph begged as she looked at her husband.
"That is real food now eat before we go to the doctor's" Ranger kissed Steph on the cheek.
All of a sudden the doorbell rang, "I will get it" Steph was up and running to the door. She opened it and saw Lula with a dozen of Tasty Cakes.
"Hey girlfriend I thought I would bring donuts." Lula told her.
"I love you Lula come in and give me some" Stephanie said as she took the box went into the kitchen.
Ranger saw Stephanie with a dozen of Tasty Cakes, and said, "Who got you those?"
"Hey tall, dark and sexy" Lula said to Ranger.
Ranger just shook his head and said, "No way, how did you find us Lula?"
"Easy Connie told me that Steph was staying with you so I followed Tank who should be coming in now." Lula told them.
Tank walked in and saw Lula and the tasty cakes, and said, "Oh shit I am in trouble, she followed me huh?"
"Yup she did." Ranger said. Lula noticed the wedding ring on Steph's finger.
"You got married and you did not tell me" Lula said to Stephanie.
"Yes, Ranger and I did three weeks ago Lula we are very happy" Steph said as she was putting her third Tasty Cake in her mouth.
Ranger then said, "enough three is your limit Steph." Then he took the Tasty Cakes away and gave them back to Lula and said to Lula, "Now you go back to the bond's office because I have to take Steph to an apt." Ranger said as he got Steph's coat.
Steph just shrugged her shoulders and said, "I will call you later Lula"
Ranger and Steph took off leaving Tank and Lula alone. "So is there an empty bedroom up here?" She asked Tank.
"Wait up boss I am coming with you!" Tank yelled jumped on the hood of Ranger's Car.
Ranger stopped the car and Tank went flying of the hood.
"Tank are you nuts?" Ranger said.
"Sorry boss but Lula wants to go upstairs, so I am coming with you" Tank said.
"Carlos we are going to be late" Stephanie told her husband.
"I don't have a back seat in this car, sorry Tank." Ranger said and then got back in the car and left him with Lula.
"What was that all about?" Steph asked Carlos.
"Lula wanted to take Tank upstairs" Carlos told her.
"Poor Tank" Steph said as she shook her head.
They got to the Doctor's office and entered. Steph walked up to the receptionist and said, "Stephanie Manoso I have a ten o'clock apt."
"Right Dr. More with be right with you if you would like to have a seat" The receptionist told her.
Steph went to sit down with Carlos in the waiting room when, Mary Ellen came out and sat back down.
"Steph how are you it has been too long" Mary Ellen said.
"I am good Mary Ellen, I know we should do something sometime how are the kids, I have been too busy to call you but we should do some shopping or something" Steph said to her best friend.
"Absolutely I will call you" Mary Ellen said and then the nurse came out and said.
"Stephanie Manoso you can come in."
Carlos and Steph walked into an exam room, Dr. More was waiting for her "Hey Steph how have you been? The doctor asked.
"I think I might be pregnant, I missed my last period last week, and I took a pregnancy test and it came out positive." Steph told her.
"Well let's take some blood and I will put you on maternity vitamins, we will follow up next week." Dr. More said to them.
"Okay sounds good except for the taking some blood part." Steph said out loud.
"Come on babe let's get this done." Ranger said as he took Steph's hand.
Carlos and Steph went to the lab Steph stuck her arm out the nurse put an needle in her arm and Steph put her head on Ranger's chest.
"All done Mrs. Manoso." The nurse told her.
"Good let's get out of here." Ranger and Steph went back to the cabin noticed that Tank's truck was still there.
"Thank god you two came back here; please I will give you this cabin if you can get Lula off my back." Tank said to Ranger. "I even have the deed to the cabin in my truck, I was going to give you the cabin because I am happy at Haywood, just please get Lula of my back." Tank begged Ranger.
"You heard the man go get rid of Lula" Steph told her husband.
"Fine," Ranger went into the cabin.
Ranger went to the upstairs spare bedroom and saw Lula in the bed there.
"Lula I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Tank is seeing someone so he is not interested in you anymore" Ranger told her.
"Fine be that way" she got up butt naked grabbed her clothes and her purse and left the room. When Lula was outside, she walked up to Tank and said, "You have a girlfriend huh" and then she whacked him with her purse and he went down hard on the ground. She got in her t-bird and left. Steph walked into the cabin laughing. Ranger came out of the cabin with a smile on his face. "You had to tell her I was seeing someone huh?" Tank replied to Ranger as he got up off the ground walked to his truck and got the deed then the two of them walked inside to the cabin.
Carlos was waiting at the table in the kitchen Tank pulled up a chair, "Here I already signed the deed, it just needs your signature" Pierre said and he gave the deed to Carlos.
"Are you sure about this Tank?" Carlos asked him.
"Yes, I am very happy at Haywood so I don't need this place so you and Steph are the first choice." Pierre told him.
"We will take it, we could use the extra rooms" Carlos signed the deed. "Okay I will drop this off at city hall on my way back to Haywood. This place is yours enjoy it." Tank said then he left the cabin.
Carlos just shook his head and said to himself, "A house and a baby all in one day wow!" Carlos went to talk to Steph but when he got upstairs she was already sleeping. "See you tonight mommy" He whispered in her ear left the cabin to go to Rangeman.
Chapter 10: Chapter 10
Ranger finds out the truth Part 10 Mom's Wish
When Ranger got to Haywood he noticed Morelli was there trying to get in.
"Hey did you come to see me?" Ranger said from behind Morelli.
"Yeah, and I am sorry I keep calling you a baboon, but I am still having a hard time getting use to you and cupcake being married." Morelli said.
"I know what you mean, I am still getting used to having her by my side every morning we have been married for only a month." Ranger told him.
They both got into the elevator, and went to level five. They went past the control room, and into Ranger's office where Tank was waiting for them.
"Hey there about time" Tank said and then he saw Morelli and said, "Hey"
"Tank close the door." Ranger said and then Tank closed it behind Morelli.
"All right let's get to it, we have an update, there was a drug bust on Stark Street and, a couple of the preps said that a Latin/Hispanic guy came up to them and payed them 5,000.00 to kidnap a girl named Stephanie Manoso" Morelli told them, then added "they had this guy on a security tape." Morelli put in the security tape on the VCR in Ranger's office and Tank and Ranger got up from their seats as they saw Ranger's dad pay the peeps.
"I take it you know this guy" Morelli asked.
"Yeah I do, he is my father!" Ranger shut off the video. "Morelli thank you for your help, if it okay I would like to speak to my father after you take him into custody." Ranger told him.
"Yeah no problem we will get a warrant for him right now" he walked out of Ranger's office and closed the door.
"Carlos, you should be with Stephanie right now, I will handle everything here" Pierre told his boss and friend.
"Yeah you are right Pierre I should go home," Ranger hugged Tank and left his office. He got to the parking lot just in time to see his Cheyenne blow up. "Oh Fuck" Ranger said, and then the fire department and cops came with Tank, Lester, Hector running to the garage.
"I just can't seem to get away from you Manoso" Morelli said as he came into the garage. "I will kill the person who blew up my Cheyenne" Ranger said, Morelli who was standing next to him said, "I don't blame you I would kill someone too if they blew up a car like that."
"Morelli I just walked out here to go home and my car blew up. This happens to my wife not me and my people are going to look into this but right now I need to go home and be with Stephanie" Ranger said.
"All right go, if I need to speak to you I know how to reach you." Morelli said, "Let's go boss I will take you home" Tank told Ranger.
They got into Tank's truck and he drove Ranger home. "How am I going to tell Steph that it was my dad that paid to have her kidnapped?" Ranger said out loud.
"Very gently boss."
"Tank she is pregnant, I don't want to put any more stress on her then I have to" Ranger said to his friend.
"That is why you were so happy to get the cabin." Tank said out loud.
"Yeah, it means a lot to the both of us, thanks for that" Ranger put a hand on Tank's shoulder.
"I think she needs to know who is after her Carlos. Steph is strong she can handle a lot and you know that." Tank told him.
"I know that I am just worried about how she will react when I tell her." Ranger said as he looked out the window and saw his house coming up.
He saw Stephanie outside sitting in the grass with a huge smile on her face.
"She looks so happy" Ranger said out loud.
"Do you want me to come in with you?" Tank asked.
"Thanks Pierre but I have to do this without you. I will talk to you tomorrow. Just find out who bombed my car!" Ranger exited the truck and walked up to Steph. He looked down at his wife helped her up and they went inside to talk.
Tank took a deep breath and went back to Haywood.
Ranger got inside with Stephanie and they sat down in the living room. Carlos started a fire in the fireplace. He sat down and put his hand on her lower abdomen and then he kissed her hard. She moved in close to him she could feel his penis getting hard. "Carlos let's take this upstairs." She got up grabbed his hands and they left for their bedroom.
When he got her on the bed, she took off her shirt, bra, pants and underwear. He could tell she was pregnant because her breasts were a little bigger. He then stripped off his clothes and joined her in bed. Then they made love. "Stephanie thank you, I needed you today" Carlos told her.
"What happened today Carlos if you keep it in it will destroy you." Steph said as she touched his hair. he started to cry and he put his head in her chest.
"I am right here, what happened?" Steph asked again.
He looked up with tears in his eyes and she said, "Come on tell me darling, it will be alright we will figure something out."
"My dad was the one that tried to kidnap you." Carlos told her. Her mouth dropped.
"I don't understand Carlos why would he do that?" She looked into her husband's hurt eyes.
"I don't know and I don't want to find out why." He said as he held his wife.
"Shh it will be alright we will get through this together," Steph told her husband as she was holding him trying to calm him down. Just then the phone rang. "Yeah" Carlos said.
"Carlos this Dr. More I am calling to tell you that Steph is pregnant, so I will need to make an apt with her for a follow up."
"Okay Dr. I will tell her thank you" Then Carlos hung up, "Darling was that Dr. More?" Steph asked.
"Yes, and you are pregnant babe." Ranger said and added "My father and mother are going to be grandparents again"
"Why would he do this, it does not make sense I know that he is not happy with me for not being in the family business, but this seems over kill" Ranger said out loud. The phone rang again, "Yes, mom" Carlos said.
"Carlos your father has been arrested for attempted kidnapping do you know what is going on?" His mother asked.
"Mom, I don't know what is going on, but I can't talk right now. I will talk to you later I promise." Then Carlos hung up and looked at his wife. "What do I tell her" They both just held on to each other trying to figure this all out. When he was sure that Stephanie was asleep he went downstairs to box so he could think things through. Steph woke up three hours later and heard him downstairs she knew that he was working through some stuff, but she also knew that she needed to check on him. She got into her robe and made her way downstairs, when she got there she saw him wrapping his hands in bandages he found in the closet down there.
She walked up to him and she sat down in his lap he just held her while his whole body was shaking. "I have to go see him Stephanie"
"I know you do but you are not going alone I am going with you. We are married which means we deal with this stuff together she kissed him and they both went upstairs.
Chapter 11: Chapter 11
Once Carlos and Steph were changed into clothes, they called Rangeman and had one of Ranger's other car's brought to the house.
Tank knocked on the door, "It is open" Ranger said.
" Here is your Jeep" He handed the keys to his boss and added,
"What are you going to do now boss?" Tank asked him.
"I am going to speak with my dad and Steph is coming with me then I am going to try to explain things to my mom" Ranger told him.
"Good luck" Tank left with Lester.
"Babe are you ready?" Carlos said to her.
"Yeah I am let's go. Are you sure you want to do this?" Stephanie asked Carlos.
"I have to find out what is going on." Carlos said to his wife.
"Okay let's get this done" They both walked out of their house got in the jeep and left for the County Prison.
Ranger just looked at the scenery while driving. Stephanie said, "My parents are expecting us for dinner on Friday, but if you don't want to go I can tell them we can't make it."
"I need to think about Babe." Carlos told her.
"No problem," Steph said back.
Steph did not know what to do so she turned on the radio, "Anything is better then this silence" she thought to herself.
Carlos hit his hand on the steering wheel, "Damn it why would he do something like this, it does not make any sense."
"Carlos, you need to calm down before you see him. If you go in all gun ho he will never tell you anything," Stephanie told him.
"I know you are right, it just hurts that he would do something like this" Carlos said, and added, "He better have a good explanation."
Steph looked at her husband, and she could see the hurt he was feeling and she did not know how to make this better or if she even could.
They parked in the visitor's parking in the prison's parking lot and went in.
"Yes," a guard said to Ranger
"I would like to speak to Ricardo Manoso" Ranger said.
"I just need your gun." the guard said.
Carlos handed his gun over and they were escorted into a visitor's lounge where they waited.
About ten minutes later Ricardo Manoso Sr. came into the lounge saw Carlos and Steph there.
"Hi son" Sr. said.
"Dad why did you do it?" Carlos asked his father.
"I need the money for the shop, we are going broke so I had to do something" Sr. told Carlos.
"So you tried to kidnap my wife so I would pay you to save the shop" Carlos yelled at him.
"I had no choice I was being blackmailed by someone he stated that if I did not kidnap Stephanie he would burn the shop down" Ricardo Sr. replied.
"Why didn't you come to me so I could help you?" Carlos asked.
"I thought that you had enough on your plate already with getting used to being married and taking care of Rangeman I did not want to be a pest" Ricardo Sr. told him
"Dad you could never be a pest to me" Ranger told him and said "Okay so we need to find out who is blackmailing you and find out how to stop it." Ranger said, and then added, "Does Momma know about this?"
"No, and I don't want you to tell her any of this I don't want her to be in danger." Ricardo Sr. told him.
"You don't want Mamma in danger, but you will put my wife in danger"! Carlos yelled at his father. Then Carlos stood up and walked away from the table. Steph came up to him and said "Carlos, you need to calm down a little bit"
Carlos took a deep breath.
"I know I screwed up but I knew that you had the resources to protect Stephanie" Ricardo Sr. told his son.
"All right I am going to talk to Momma because she is worried sick, and then she is going to move in with us so we can protect her too. I am going to look at the shop's financial records and see if we can save it. Your bail hearing is when?"
"Monday," Ricardo Sr. told him.
"Okay I will go talk to my cousin in law and see if we can use him for your bond. Don't worry we will figure this all out." Carlos told him.
"Time to go Steph," Carlos told her. They both walked out and drove to his mom's house. "This next stop should be fun" Carlos said out loud.
Chapter 12: Chapter 12
While Ranger was driving, Steph called Tank, "Hey can you meet us at Carlos's parents' house we have some updates to tell you."
"Sure thing, I am on my way right now." Tank said and he hung up.
"Well, I don't know what to do, my Dad does not want me to tell Momma what is going on but she does have a right to know." Carlos said to Steph.
"Darling you have to tell your Mom what he said," Steph replied to her husband. "Do you believe him about the shop and him being blackmailed to kidnap me?" Steph asked her husband.
"I don't know I have to work in the shop to find out what is going on." Carlos said, "Which means taking some leave time from Rangeman."
"You did not tell him about the baby either Carlos" Steph said as she traced her finger down his neck.
"Babe we have to wait, to do that stuff." Carlos told her even though he wanted her right now, even though he needed her right now they had to wait until later tonight when they were home he thought to himself.
When they arrived at his parents' house Tank was already there, and having some coffee. Carlos and Steph walked in and Amy came running up to her uncle and then jumped up and gave him a big hug.
"Thanks little girl, I needed that," Carlos said to his niece. He then put her down, and gave his sister a kiss on the top of the head and gave his Momma a hug. Stephanie pulled up a chair and so did Carlos next to Stephanie.
"Carlos, did you speak with your father?" Anna asked her son.
"Yes, Momma, I did and here is the story. He is being blackmailed by somebody he does not know who ordered him to pay some perps to kidnap Steph so he could get the money to save the shop." Carlos told them.
"Why did he not call you if he needed help at the shop, Carlos?" Anna asked her son.
"He knew that I was busy at Rangeman and he thought he could handle it himself you know the Manoso pride Momma that is a killer to both me and him." Carlos told her. "Momma I want you to pack a bag and stay with Stephanie and me, we have enough room, because Pierre gave us his cabin. I want you safe, because the kidnapping attempt failed so because of that we don't know if this guy will quit and leave us alone or comeback and try something else." Carlos continued to speak. "I also want a look at the financial aspect of the shop Rachel do you know where they are?"
"I do, they are locked in Dad's safe, he would not let me look at them I don't know why but I knew that we were in some trouble but I did not think it was this bad." Rachel told her brother.
Steph said, "I don't mean to butt in but, Carlos if you work there at the shop you will be putting me in more danger because you won't be around to protect me, and I want you safe, so can you please put another person in the shop?"
"I will do it" Tank said out loud. Carlos looked at Pierre and said, "Are you sure you want to?"
"Yes, you guys are like my own family and I want to help I can go in as your cousin." Tank told Carlos.
"Okay, but I still need to see those financial reports so I need to get into Dad's safe somehow." Carlos said.
"I can help with that too, I will get you the financial papers that you need and then go over to see you later Carlos I promise." Tank said to his friend.
"So it is settled, Tank will work at the shop, Momma will come and stay with Steph and me for a while and we will find out who was blackmailing Dad." Carlos stated.
All of a sudden Steph threw up on Tank's boots in front of everyone. Anna said to Steph, "Darling are you all right or are you sick?"
Steph looked at Carlos and he put his arm on the back of her chair and said, "She is not sick Momma she is pregnant. You are going to be a grandmother again"
"You mean it? Did you tell your father? He will be so thrilled," Anna said. Then she gave a cloth to Steph so she could wipe her face.
"Sorry, Tank," Steph said, "It's all right I was looking for a reason to buy new boots." Tank said to her and then kissed her on the head.
"As for your answer Momma I did not tell Dad about the baby. I was and still am too mad at him to tell him right now," Carlos told his mom.
"I promise, Momma, I will tell him after this mess is taken care of," Carlos added and said, "but for now we need to stick to the plan, so why not have Steph help you pack so you can stay with us for a while."
"I will be fine I don't need any help packing." Then Anna left to go to her room to pack.
"I will get you those documents tonight." Tank said and then he yelled, "Hey, Amy, I am leaving and I want my hug."
"Bye, Uncle Tank see you soon." Amy hugged him and he left.
"Amy, come on we need to open the store," Rachel yelled to her daughter. Amy came and gave Carlos and Steph a hug then they left leaving only Anna, Carlos, and Steph left in the house.
Carlos took Steph into the living room and asked, "Babe, are you sure you are okay with my Momma staying at the house with us?"
"Yes, Carlos, I am fine with it, while you are at work, I will have some company instead of being by myself." Steph said with a big grin on her face.
"Okay, as soon as she is ready we will go back home" they sat on the couch and waited.
After about half of hour later Anna came out and said, "That is it. I am ready"
"Okay, let's go" Then all three of them walked out of Ranger's parents' house, and were headed to Carlo's house.
Chapter 13: Chapter 13
Anna could not believe her eyes, as they pulled up to Carlos's house.
"Carlos you house is very nice but who is that?" Carlos's mom pointed to Lula.
"Oh boy this is just what we need." Carlos said out loud.
"That is one of my coworkers she works with me at the Bond's office kind of." Steph said to her mother in law.
"What does kind of mean?" Anna asked Stephanie.
"It is a long story I will tell it to you sometime?" Steph told Anna.
All three of them got out of the jeep and walked up to the cabin.
"Hey there white girl, I brought you Tasty Cakes." Lula said to Stephanie.
"Stephanie looked at the cakes and at Ranger, hoping that he would say something and he did, "She is trying to cut back on her sugar intake Lula so take them away, now!" Ranger yelled at her.
Steph just shrugged her shoulders and said, "We are really busy right now Lula I will call you but right now is not a good time for a visit."
"All right but I will be back" Lula strutted off in her tight spandex skirt and her halter top.
"I wonder who raised her" Anna said as she entered the cabin.
"Good question, we actually don't know who raised her" Steph replied to Anna.
"Momma I will put your bags upstairs if you want to sit you can go into the living room or the kitchen." Carlos told her.
"How many rooms are there?" Anna asked.
Steph replied to her question with, "One master bedroom, two guestrooms the living room, kitchen and two bathrooms and an office for Carlos."
"Wow you have a lot of land, did you two ever think about getting horses and building a stable for them." Anna told them.
"We are not getting horses Momma. We are too busy to care for them." Carlos.
"Carlos, can we get a dog?" Steph asked her husband who just finished coming back downstairs.
"Maybe" he answered her, and put his arms around his wife.
"Hey I am hungry, darling can I have some food before bed it is already eight thirty p.m." Stephanie asked her husband.
"Sure I will see what we got why don't you two go sit down in the living room" Carlos told them. He went into the kitchen and started to cook while Steph and Anna sat in the living room.
"I want to thank you for taking good care of Carlos I can tell you two really love each other." Anna said to Stephanie.
"Anna I love Carlos and he loves me and we are very happy together we will all work together to figure this situation out." Steph said to her.
"Thank you darling but I want you to concentrate on staying healthy for both you and the baby" Anna told her.
"Don't worry about me or the baby, we will be fine, right now we have to handle this situation with Carlos's father." Steph told her.
Carlos voice came from the kitchen, "Dinner is ready"
"About time I am starving" Stephanie said then her and Anna sat down at the kitchen table with Ranger and ate.
After dinner Stephanie started to help with the dishes, but Anna said, "I will take care of those you two go and relax please."
Carlos looked at Steph and took her to the living room where he started a fire and sat down with Steph, he joined her on the couch and just held her for a few minutes. She turned her head and gave him a deep passionate kiss.
"Oh boy" he said, "I now wish we were alone." Carlos whispered in her ear.
"Just because your mom is here does not mean we can't have some fun" Steph said. Carlos started to nuzzle her neck. When the doorbell rang, "Perfect" Ranger said as he got to the door, and answered it.
"Hey there" Ranger said to Tank
"Hey I can't stay, but I just wanted to drop these off they are the papers from the shop." Tank said.
"Got I will look at these in the morning, and thanks Tank for everything" Ranger said as he held out his hand.
"No problem boss, I will contact you tomorrow" Tank left.
Carlos looked at the paperwork and put it in his office for now. "I will deal with this in the morning" He looked at Steph and said, "Momma if you are all set both Steph and I are going to bed for the night." Carlos asked his mom.
"I am fine I will be up in a while you two just do whatever you want." Anna said.
"Come on darling you heard your mom." Steph said as she went upstairs.
"Okay then" Carlos said to himself. He walked into his bedroom and saw Steph lying in bed waiting for him.
"Babe I know what you want, but my mom is here," Carlos calmly stated to his wife.
"Yes, darling but she do whatever we want, and I want you. Now come here please." Steph said as she cocked a finger at Carlos.
He took off his shirt and pants and joined her in bed. She started to kiss his chest, and moved her hands on his back, he then started to get in the right mood sucked on her breasts and then he was inside her. He could tell she was loving every minute of it.
"Good, I love making her happy" Carlos said to himself. Then they fell asleep in each other's arms.
Chapter 14: Chapter 14
Steph woke up in Carlos's arms, she was getting tired of having fun every night, but she had to do something to calm him down because of the situation. "I have to talk to him about this" Steph told herself.
She got up slipped on one of his T shirts and then went downstairs only to see his mom making French toast.
"Oh my word, that looks so good" Stephanie said as she sat down at the kitchen table.
"Thank you, and here you go something sweet for you and the baby." Anna said.
"Is my son up yet?" Anna asked her.
"No he is still sleeping and that is a good thing, he has been so overworked lately I am worried about him" Stephanie told Anna.
"I am sure his father did not mean for it to go this far, I mean this situation." Anna continued, "And I feel bad that you and Carlos is in the middle of it"
"Don't worry we can handle it, we have been in a lot of different situations before and we are used to dealing with this kind of stuff." She got a tingle down her back "your son is here" Stephanie said, as she felt her husband's hands rubbing her shoulders.
"I figured you would be down here, and I smelled my momma's French toast." Carlos said as he took a plate of his own.
"I thought you only eat healthy." Stephanie said to her husband.
"It is not often I get my Momma's French toast." Carlos said with a large grin on his face.
Just then Ranger heard the door open and Tank saying, "Something smells great."
"We are in the kitchen" Carlos yelled to Tank.
"Hey boss, are you kidding me are you really eating French toast?" Tank said in shock.
"Yup and I am enjoying every minute of it." Carlos told him.
"Pierre come sit and have some. Everyone else is." Anna said to him.
"Oh, if I don't I will hurt your feelings so all right" Then Tank sat down and had some French toast too.
"Well I am going to work at the gun shop, so I hope it will be busy." Tank said to everyone.
"We need the money for Ricardo's bond" Anna cried.
Carlos came up to her put his arms around her, "It will be all right Momma, I will somehow fix everything"
"Carlos even you are not superman you can't fix everything." Anna said.
"Momma I promise I will do everything I can try not to worry," Carlos said to her. "Now Tank and I have to go and talk in my office for a few minutes so why don't you go rest."
"What about the dishes" Anna asked.
"I can load them into the dishwasher" Steph said, and added, "Carlos is right you need to rest too."
"Okay I will be upstairs if you need me" Anna said as she went to the guest room to lay down.
"How are you feeling Wonder woman?" Tank asked Stephanie
"I am feeling pretty good, thanks to Batman" Stephanie told Tank as she looked at her husband.
"Babe," Ranger said and added, "Okay Tank to my office"
"Okay, Boss." The boys went to Ranger's office to talk things over.
Stephanie loaded the dishwasher, looked out the window to see two men she did not know making their way to the house with ski masks on.
"Oh no here we go." She heard shots and bullets started to fly. She got down on the floor saw Ranger and Tank run into the kitchen and fired back. They got one guy but the other ran into the woods.
"Tank, go and see if we know that guy" Ranger told him.
"All right but Boss don't you go looking for the other guy in the woods you will not find him trust me" Tank told Ranger as he looked through the window that had bullet holes in them now.
Anna came down stairs and said, "Was that shooting?"
"Yes, Momma a couple of guys came here and started to shoot at us" Carlos told her. And added, "But they are gone now" He went up to Steph and asked, "Are you all right Babe?".
"Yeah, I don't think I been shot." She answered him, then got up. Ranger checked her up and down for bullet holes but did not find any.
"Tank you need to get to the shop, and I will stay here with Momma and Stephanie." Ranger told Tank.
"Got it" Tank gave Momma a hug and left.
"Momma are you all right, were you hurt?" Carlos asked Anna.
"No, I am fine, but I don't think I will go back to bed for a while".
"Okay you can sit in the living room and watch some TV for a while. I need Stephanie with me in the office to go over Dad's paperwork." Ranger said. Steph gave Anna a hug went into the office with her husband. Once there she said, "Carlos we need to talk, I don't know how to tell you this, but I am tired and I can't keep having sex with you, I need to rest. I need a break for the physical bedroom stuff. You need to find another way to get out your frustration out." Steph told him bluntly.
"Steph was that the only reason you were having sex with me was to keep me calm?" He asked her with a grin on his face.
"Okay, not the only reason. Being with you the sex is fabulous, but I am tired I need a break, darling, please try to understand." She put her arms around Carlos.
"I get it, I guess I was using you to get out my frustration, I need to find a better way, I am sorry and you know something, I am tired too. You are right you need your strength so I will keep my distance in the bedroom." Carlos told her while he was holding her.
"Well I just hope you don't put too much distance between us in the bedroom, darling" She kissed his softly on the lips.
"Promise I won't put that much distance between us." He sat down in his chair and asked, "Now can we please do some work?" He asked his wife.
"Of course" She pulled up a chair and they went through the gun's shop paperwork.
"Carlos I think I found something." Steph said, Carlos came and looked over her shoulder. He asked, "Who is that Jake Barns and why are there checks made out to him for five thousand dollars a piece" Carlos said out loud.
"I don't know but there are five checks made out to him, could he be the black mailer?" She asked him.
Ranger got on the phone to Lester, and said; "I need you to check out a Jake Barns and get back to me" Ranger hung up.
"Good catch babe." He nuzzled her neck.
"Carlos remember our talk earlier" Steph said
"Right, why don't you go back to bed and sleep for a little bit I will take care of it from here" Carlos said. He watched his wife walk out of the office and go upstairs.
Chapter 15: Chapter 15
After a few minutes, Ranger's cell phone rang "Talk to me"
"Boss, turns out that this Jake Barns is a bookie, for horse racing." Lester said.
"Is there anything else right now or is that it?" Ranger asked Lester.
"That is all there is sorry Boss." Lester told him.
"That is okay Lester, I will stay in touch." Then Ranger disconnected. He looked around his office, where there was desk that he was sitting at, a filing cabinet to the right of that a computer and phone on his desk.
"Someone in the family owed this Jake Barns money from horse racing. Time to have a heart to heart with Momma" Carlos said to himself.
Carlos came out of the office to see Momma in tears, "Okay Momma I know what is wrong, I know that somebody in the family owes money to Jake Barns who is a bookie for racing horses, now please tell me so I can help."
"It is Todd your brother-in -law, he owed money to him, but your father paid him with the profits from the shop and now I guess Jake Barns wants more money out of your father." Anna said as she put her head to her son's chest.
"Do you know where I can find this Jake Barns?" Carlos asked her.
"No, but Todd might the only thing is no one can find Todd he has disappeared. He has been missing for four days now." Anna said.
"And no one called the cops to report him missing" Carlos stated in shock.
"Your father said that he would find Todd, but I guess that is not going to happen now." Anna said.
"I know a detective on the Trenton P.D. Who might be able to help us out? I will give him a call. Then I will give Rachel a call too and tell her to get over here." Carlos told her.
He called Morelli first.
"What is it Manoso?" Morelli growled.
"Well you are in a good mood, I need your help, and I am texting you my address can you come over here please it is important." Manoso said.
"Sure I can, I will be there shortly" then Morelli hung up.
Carlos called Rachel, got her voice mail, "I know you are there I also know why you are not picking up. I know about Todd and his gambling problem. I can help I am texting you an address so come over I will be waiting with Momma love, Carlos Ranger hung up.
"Now we wait until everyone shows up, I am going to check on Steph." He walked upstairs into their bedroom he knew that she was tired but he needed to be with her. He knew that he promised her he would find another way of calming down. So he just laid down in bed held her until he too fell asleep for a while.
When he woke up a couple of hours later her heard voices, saw that he was alone in bed. "She must be down stairs" he said to himself. So he put on a shirt and went down stairs saw Morelli, his Momma, Steph, his sister, and his niece there.
"Well did you tell him or do I have to?" Carlos asked everyone.
"You're sister was just filling me in, I will see what I can come up with" He left a few minutes later.
"Hey Uncle Carlos are you going to find my dad?" Amy asked sweetly.
"I am going to try sweetheart," Ranger told her. He picked her up held her for a few minutes.
"Hey Sis, do you have a few minutes to talk to me?" Carlos asked Rachel.
"Yeah, I do let's go talk in your office." Rachel answered him and followed him in.
When they got into Carlos's office Rachel just hugged him and put her head in his chest.
"It will be okay" he said to her and then added, "Do you have any idea where he might be?"
"No I don't, Carlos. I have no idea I gave a photo to that detective Morelli and he said that "he would check into it." Rachel told him.
"I really screwed everything up" she said.
"It was not you it was dad and Todd that screwed everything up" Carlos told her then added " we will get through it together I just hope for Amy's sake that nothing bad has happened to her father" Carlos told Rachel.
"I know, Amy loves Todd a lot. She is the apple of his eye, he adores her and you know it you have seen him with her." Rachel replied. Carlos nodded his head, "Are you and Amy going to be alright at your place, will the Jake guy come after you?" Carlos asked her.
"I don't think so" she replied.
"All right I am going to have Tank stay with you until we finish this business." Carlos told her then he called Tank.
"Yo" Tank said
"Hey will you stay with Rachel and Amy until this business is finished, I will have her fill you in when you get to her place." Ranger asked Tank
"No problem boss, consider it done I will follow her home, did you want me to come by or meet up with her somewhere?" Tank asked him.
"She will meet you at the shop." Ranger hung up.
"Tank will follow you home from the gun shop call me if you need anything else." After he told Rachel this they left the office.
"Come here sweetheart," Carlos said to his niece.
Amy rushed into his arms, "don't worry I am doing everything I can okay beautiful" Carlos said to her.
"Okay," Amy said
"Good now go to the shop with your mom" Carlos told her as he watched them get into their car and leave.
Steph just looked at Carlos and said, "You are going to be a fantastic father with our baby you know that right?"
"No I did not know but I do now and thanks, I needed to hear that" Carlos hugged Stephanie and added "So how about we get some lunch"
The three of them went to the kitchen and had lunch.
Chapter 16: Chapter 16
Ranger, Stephanie, and Momma were in the kitchen when there was a knock on the
Ranger went to answer it when he opened the door he saw, Grandma Mazur and Lula.
"Grandma Mazur, Lula what are you doing here?" Ranger asked.
"We need to talk to Stephanie now." Lula yelled all of a sudden Steph got a call from her mom.
"Steph, have you seen your grandmother, I looked outside through my door and I saw her getting into a red firebird." Helen said.
"Hang on mom" Stephanie said, "Hey Carlos is my Grandmother with Lula?"
"Yes, they have something to tell you." Carlos told Stephanie.
"Yes, mom Grandma Mazur is here" Steph told her mother.
"Well where are you I will come and get her." Helen said to her daughter.
"All right but you can't tell anyone else where we are do you hear me?" Steph told her mom.
"All right I promise now where are you so I can pick her up." Helen asked.
Steph could hear her father in the background, "I have looked everywhere. I think she is gone for good."
"Frank she is not gone for good, she is over at Steph and Carlos's place. Stephanie just gave me the address so we are going to pick her up now. We will be there soon Stephanie." Helen hung up.
Stephanie walked out to the living room saw Lula in a tight mini skirt, and a low cut shirt in which it showed her boobs, and her hair was dyed blue today.
"Okay what did you two see and you better make this quick because Mom and Dad are on their way to get you Grandma" Stephanie told them.
"We were walking down lower Stark Street when we saw a man who was lying in the street with three stab marks in him. We saw the guy who stabbed him running away from the wounded guy so we tried to stop him but he got away." Grandma Mazur told her granddaughter.
Carlos's mother went white, Ranger got on the phone to Morelli.
"Hey there Manoso I was just going to call you we found your brother in law and he is alive he has an interesting story to tell." Morelli said to Manoso.
"Yes, there are two ladies at my place who saw the stabbing but did not call the police." Manoso told Morelli.
"Let me take a wild guess, Lula and Grandma Mazur." Morelli said to him.
"Good guess" Ranger replied to him.
"Son of a …..." Morelli said over the phone "I am on my way make sure they stay put"
"Got it" Ranger said.
"Morelli wants you both to stay put until he speaks to you" Ranger said, and then added, "Momma did you get in touch with Rachel."
"Yes, and she is dropping Amy off here and her and I are going to the hospital to speak with Todd Tank is coming with us of course"
"Good I will stay here and take care of Stephanie, Grandma Mazur, and Lula. Helen is going to love this,"
"Don't worry about mom I have it under control" Stephanie brought out the whiskey along with the glasses.
"I don't want to know where you got that" Carlos said as he was shaking his head.
"My mother kept it at my apt when she visited in case she needed it." Stephanie told her husband.
There was a knock on the door Ranger saw Morelli he checked through the peep hole answered the door, "Come on in I would make this quick because Helen and Frank are on their way over." Ranger told him. He was followed by Amy and Rachel.
"Hey Uncle Carlos I hear you and Aunt Steph are going to watch me for a while." Amy said with a smile on her face.
"Yes we are sweet heart some come on in." Ranger picked his niece up and held her for a little while.
Anna was putting on her coat while Rachel was talking to Carlos.
"I don't know how long we will be at the hospital but we will be back as soon as we can." Rachel told Carlos.
She gave Amy a hug and her mom and her left to go to the hospital.
While they were on their way out they saw Helen and Frank getting out of their car.
"Hello, you must be Helen and Frank. I am Anna Manoso Carlo's mom and this is his sister Rachel" Anna said and added, "I wish we could stay and talk but we are in a rush everybody else is inside you can go right in"
Helen and Frank came in and were in awe when the saw the living room of the cabin, they heard Lula and Grandma Mazur telling their story to Morelli.
Morelli replied, "So let me get this straight, you saw the attack and both of you tried to stop it and this guy ran off."
"That's right, I could have shot him, but my gun was unloaded because someone unloaded it." Grandma Mazur shot a look at Helen.
"I need a drink" Helen looked at Stephanie who had a glass of whiskey in her hands. Helen looked at Steph saw the glass, asked "Can I have that?"
"That is why I poured it, here mom" Stephanie said to her mother.
"Uncle Carlos what is going on?" Amy asked
"Well Detective Morelli is just taking a statement of what happened to your dad from these two ladies here." Carlos told Amy.
"So who are these two people?" Amy asked.
"Helen and Frank I would like to introduce my niece Amy" Carlos said, "Amy I would like you to meet Stephanie's parents." Carlos said.
"Nice to meet you" Amy said, and asked, "Can I go outside for a while?"
"Can you wait a few minutes until I am free then I will take you outside?" Carlos asked Amy.
"Okay" Amy said to her uncle.
"Well I have everything I need for now" Morelli said he left after that.
"Hey mom while you are here did you and dad want to stay for dinner?" Stephanie asked.
"Sure, why not" Frank said he walked into the living and turned on the TV. "Hey mom why don't I show you around the cabin I think you will like it" Steph took her mom around the cabin.
"Uncle Carlos who is the black lady dressed liked a clown" Amy asked trying not to laugh.
"That is Lula and the old one is Steph's Grandma Mazur"
"Now let's go outside to play" Then Carlos and Amy went outside.
"He is going to make a great father someday Stephanie you two should start to make me a grandmother as soon as you can" Helen told Steph.
"Already done I am pregnant" Stephanie replied her mom hugged her for a long time.
Chapter 17: Chapter 17
Stephanie, Carlos, Helen, Frank Grandma Mazur, and Amy just sat down for dinner, when Tank, Anna and Rachel came in.
"Boss," Tank said
"We are in the dining room come in and join us" Stephanie told them.
Tank, Anna, and Rachel walked in to the dining room to find, everybody including Lula there.
"So how is Todd?" Ranger asked.
"Good, he is stable and awake; I will tell you his story after dinner" Tank told Ranger.
"Mom, when can I see dad?" Amy asked.
"Maybe tomorrow sweetheart we will see,he d id say that he loved you very much and he misses you" Rachel told Amy.
"So Stephanie when are you coming back to work at the Bond's office?" Lula asked.
"She is not going back she is pregnant." Helen said with a grin on her face.
"Mom, I will go back to the bond's office after I am off maternity leave." Stephanie told everyone.
"For right now I am just staying here taking care of Carlos and getting ready for the baby." Stephanie told them.
"We still have to figure out where the fake Vinnie came from and find out if he is related to our current situation." Carlos said to Tank.
"How is everything going at the gun shop Tank?" Carlos asked.
"It is slow we still have not heard a peep from Jake Barns but I think he might have a couple of people come in today to check things out" Tank told Carlos "So I am thinking that I should hear from him soon." Tank also added to Carlos.
"Good, I want to finish this business soon so I can start thinking of the baby." Carlos told them.
"Got it boss" Tank said.
Amy asked Lula, "Why do you dress like a clown?"
"Huh what do you mean I dress like a clown?" Lula asked.
"Well I do have to admit you do dress a little wild." Helen told her.
"Well I use to be a hooker so I have the clothes for the job." Lula said to them.
"What is a hooker?" Amy asked.
'I will explain it to you when you are older" Rachel told Amy.
"Ops I forgot that she was here." Lula said and then added "I am sorry"
Then all of a sudden there was a loud bang outside. Tank and Carlos ran over to find Lula's firebird on fire.
"Well looks like I will be giving Lula a ride home tonight" Tank said.
"Why what happened?" Lula asked.
"Your car is on fire, I am calling the police and fire department now" Tank said. Tank noticed that his car had a couple of flat tires on it. "I am also calling Rangeman to come and look at my car so I won't be bothering you tonight."
"Oh my word" Helen said she took another drink of Whiskey.
Grandma Mazur got up from her chair went outside, "Wow it is really burning look at it. It looks like it was hit by lighting."
"Grandma Mazur, come back in now." Helen stated Flatly.
"Oh man, well at least nobody was in the car when it went up in flames." Grandma Mazur said out loud.
Lula just looked at her red t-bird in shock.
"How could someone blow up my car, it happens to Steph not me!" Lula shouted as she raced outside to see her car up in flames.
Ranger looked at Frank who was just eating his meal and shaking his head, and saying to himself, "It does not matter where we are something always happens at dinner."
Chapter 18: Chapter 18
After dinner Tank drove, Lula home he then went home with Rachel and Amy.
"Well that was an interesting dinner" Helen said.
"Yeah, now how about we bring Grandma Mazur home" Stephanie looked at her father after that comment and he had a sad face on.
"Can't we stay just a little longer; I want to shoot some bullets in the back yard." Grandma Mazur told Helen.
Helen then took another shot of Whiskey and said, "No we need to go now."
"Hold on Mom maybe Grandma Mazur should stay with me and Ranger right now, she did witness an attempted murder Ranger and myself will be able to protect her," Stephanie asked her mother. Ranger just looked at his wife and said to himself "It must be the hormones."
"I don't want you to bug Stephanie so you are coming home with us." Helen said she, Frank and Grandma Mazur left after her mom yelled at Grandma.
"Well that was fun" Carlos said as he sat down in the living room. Stephanie joined him and said, "I hope mom and dad will be able to protect Grandma,"
"I am sure they will be fine" Carlos started to nuzzle her neck. "Well I thought your parents were great." Anna said.
"My grandmother is super excited most of the time so this was a relatively calm night for her" Stephanie told Anna.
"She seems super nice, and now it is late and I am going to bed good night you two." Anna left to go upstairs.
"Carlos did you really mean it when you said you wanted to stay home more to help me with the baby?" Stephanie asked Carlos.
"Yes, I did" Carlos said looking into Steph's eyes.
"You and the baby are the most important thing in the world to me. I want to make sure that the both of you are happy and healthy." He got up and helped Stephanie up they went to the bedroom to get a good night sleep.
The next day Tank was working at the gun shop, he was standing behind a counter that had some AK 45's and some other type of guns in when Jake Barns came in to the shop. "I want to speak to who is in charge now" he said.
"That would be me, I am Ricardo Manoso's cousin what can I help you with?" Tank asked him.
"I want you to give me 5,000.00 each week or your aunt will see some trouble." Jake Barns told him.
All of a sudden Morelli, came in with Ranger, Lester, and Hector. All of a sudden Tank had a machine gun pointed at Jake Barns.
"I don't think so your days of blackmailing my family are through." Tank said in a stern voice.
Morelli said, "I have been waiting a long time to do this, you are under arrest for blackmailing and attempted murder you have the right to remain silent and so on."
"You have not heard the end of me I will be back" Jake Barns told him.
After Morelli left with Jake Barns Ranger came back behind the counter, and said, "It has been a while sense I have been behind this counter, maybe I should work here for a while to see if I can make the shop work." Ranger said to Tank.
"Are you thinking of leaving Rangeman?" Tank asked with an eye raised.
"More like a leave of absence just to help my dad out a little here for a while." Ranger told him.
"Well if you really want to I will get the paper work ready for you." Tank made a sad face.
"Thanks I would like that." Ranger said to him, and Tank said, "Do you need me for anything else?"
"No Tank go back to Rachel and Amy for now I will let you know if I need anything." Ranger told him and Tank left for the day.
Chapter 19: Chapter 19
Chapter 19: Mom's Wish
After Ranger closed up shop for the night, he went home when he got home, he saw Stephanie asleep on the sofa. He locked the door to the house made the rounds. He went in to the living room kissed Stephanie on the forehead. She moaned then opened her eyes, "Hey there you look tired, "I tried to wait up for you darling."
"Babe" Ranger told her. He picked up his wife brought her upstairs. They had just gotten settled in for the night when Ranger's cell phone rang, "What it better be important!" Ranger shouted into the phone.
"Hey boss, I am over at the Plums house and it is totally engulfed in flames, it is gone, I have Helen, Frank and Grandma in the SUV I am giving you a heads up that I am dropping them off at your house." Tank told Ranger over the phone.
"Okay I will be ready for them thanks Tank." Ranger hung up and breathed in a deep breath.
"What happened Carlos?" Stephanie asked her husband.
"There was a fire at your parents' house they are fine but the house is gone. Tank is bringing them here Babe, you try to go back to bed I will take care of this." Ranger told her.
"No way I'm up and I am staying up until I know what is going on." Stephanie told him.
"Alright let's get dressed and go down stairs" Ranger and Steph got up dressed went to wait for the Plums to come to their house.
When they got down stairs, Stephanie's mom came right in the house she sat down on the sofa and cried.
"Well at least I still have my gun and purse" Grandma Mazur said.
"Carlos do you have a beer or something I could use a drink." Frank asked his son in law.
"All I have is wine I will get you a glass." Ranger walked into the kitchen opened up a red wine that he poured a glass and brought it out to his father in-law.
"Here you go Frank" Carlos gave the glass to him.
"Thanks" Frank finished the glass in one shot.
Ranger watched his father in-law and said "wow"
Meanwhile Stephanie sat on the couch and asked her mom, "How are you doing?" Stephanie asked her mother.
"How do you think my home is gone." Helen yelled at Stephanie.
"Mom I do understand, my apartment was blown up how many times." Stephanie told her mother.
"I know that, how do you deal with it?" Helen asked her.
"You take it day by day, and learn how to move on. It does get better mom." Stephanie told her mom got up and went to the kitchen. She saw the wine, and Ranger said, "I don't think so babe."
"My mom is going to drive me crazy Carlos" She walked into his arms and he held her for a few minutes.
All of a sudden her mom came into the kitchen and asked, "Where is your grandmother Stephanie?"
"Oh my word, Ranger does not wear underwear or boxers." Grandma Mazur said so loud that everyone heard that downstairs.
Stephanie and Carlos ran up to their room, and saw Grandma Mazur looking into Carlos clothes.
"Grandma get out of my husband's dresser and get out of our bedroom." Stephanie yelled at her.
"Oh rats I am caught." Grandma Mazur walked out of Steph's and Carlos bedroom.
"Okay I am definitely getting a lock for our room in the morning." Carlos told his wife.
"Good Idea" Stephanie told him they went back downstairs to try to control the situation with Steph's family there now.
Chapter 20: Chapter 20
Chapter 20 Mom's wish
When Ranger and Stephanie got down stairs they saw Helen ironing some of Carlos's clean Rangeman uniforms.
"There might be some benefits to having your mom here." He went into the kitchen to join her.
"Helen, you don't have to do that" Ranger told her as he made his way to the fridge and then told her, "Listen it is late, why don't you go upstairs to one of the guest rooms and try to get some sleep"
"Listen this is how I blow off steam so I am going to this until I get tired and go to bed." Helen snapped at him.
"Right I will go and see how Grandma Mazur and Frank are doing?" Ranger left leaving Helen to iron.
When he got into the living room he saw Grandma with her gun. "Sorry Grandma Mazur, but I am going to take that." He grabbed the colt from her hands.
"What, that is mine," Grandma Mazur snapped back.
"I know and you will get it back when you guys move back into a house but until than I am the only one who have guns." Ranger said.
He put Grandma's gun in his gun safe and locked it. He sat down , Frank you can stay here as long as you need to." Carlos told him.
"I know and thank you." Frank said as he sat on the couch and looked at the fire.
The doorbell rang all of a sudden. "Okay it is eleven thirty at night who else is coming over?" Stephanie said, and she opened the door to see Tank.
"Hi there what brings you back?" She asked Tank.
"I have some paper work for your husband to sign may I come in?" Tank asked her.
"Of course, come on in" Stephanie said as she brought Tank to the living room.
"Carlos, Grandma Mazur is trying to get into your gun safe." Stephanie said, and then added. "Why?"
"He took my gun and put it in this safe, I want it back." Grandma told her granddaughter.
"Good luck getting into the safe Grandma I can't even do that, darling Tank is here." Stephanie said as Tank walked in and saw Grandma on the far side wall messing is the safe.
"Good, Babe, Tank come with me into my office." All three of them went into Ranger's office.
"Babe I thought about for the past couple of days, I have decided that I am going to take a leave of absence from Rangeman and work at my father's gun shop/factory for a while." He told Stephanie.
"Okay that sounds good to me" Stephanie replied back to him. "Good, Tank I take it this is the paperwork." Ranger asked him
"Yup just sign here and then there and then there. There you go Ranger you are officially on leave from Rangeman.
In the time they were in Ranger's office, Grandma Mazur found a red stick in her purse. "I wonder" She lit it with match she found and it started to spark.
"Oops" she threw it against the wall were the safe was. Frank noticed it and "Shit" he grabbed Grandma and ran into kitchen when all of a sudden there was a loud Boom!
Steph flew into Tank and Ranger fell off his chair. "That was an explosion" Stephanie ran out to the living room to find Grandma holding her gun.
"Hey I got my gun" Grandma Mazur said.
"Carlos my wall" Stephanie said in tears and put her head in her husband's chest.
Tank went to look at the hole in the wall and noticed the police and fire trucks coming up the driveway.
"Dynamite" Tank said as he held up what was left of the stick.
Helen came in and yelled "Grandma where did you get the dynamite from."
"From Lula" she answered "she did not need it so I took it, but I swear I did not know it was dynamite." Grandma Mazur told her daughter with a smile on her face.
Morelli came in saw Grandma Mazur with her gun and the big hole in the wall.
"It is just Grandma Mazur everyone can go home." The Fire department and Morelli left just as quick as they came in.
Stephanie just stood there and shook her head then yelled, "That is it, everyone upstairs in bed now!" Then Stephanie stomped upstairs to her bedroom hoping that it was still in one piece. "Wow okay I am leaving call if you need anything." Tank ran to his truck and went home.