Mr. Grandmom Chapter 1

"Danko!" Lt. Ryker barked noticing Mike's lack of attention. "You gotta problem?" Mike shifted in his desk. "No lieutenant," he answered a bit embarrassed about being singled out at morning muster. "OK. Check your pin maps, hit the streets. Dismissed." Ryker sounded his usual commands as the parade of officers filed out of the room. "Danko, Gillis, Webster, in my office now!" The three officers exchanged glances wondering what trouble they had gotten into this time. Ás they entered the Lieutenants office he shut the door and turned to them.

"I don't know what is going on with the three of you lately but I have one word to sum up your performance." "What's that lieutenant?"Mike asked not sure if he really wanted to know. "DISTRACTED!!!" Ryker thundered. "You three are not with us. I mean that your body is here but your mind is in left field. There's one thing I can't afford to have on the streets and that's a distracted officer. Now I know that what goes on in your home is your business but when it effects your work here, it becomes my business.So what's the deal?' The men stood silently. They were sure their commander didn't want to hear what they had to say. "How about it Danko?" Ryker asked. Mike cleared his throat and looked down. "Well Lieutenant, things have been really hectic for Jill and I .Having an 8 month old and a 4 year old takes its toll. I mean, like last night, Faith had a nightmare about bears again and I am the only one that can.." "Spare me the sorted details Danko." Ryker interrupted with an intolerant expression. "I haven't had my coffee yet." "OK Gillis what about you?" Willie spoke hesitantly "Well, Sir.Kate has lesson plans to write each night and the twins have both had ear infections and well Caroline wants to set up all night. Kate and I have not gotten much sleep." Ryker exhaled impatiently and rolled his eyes.
"Webster? How about you? You don't have kids yet so what's your story?"
"UMMM. Well sir, you know Jackie's in her 8th month and she's had quite a few restless nights not to mention cravings for hot fudge sundaes. Do you know how hard it is to find an ice cream parlor open after 11:00?"
Eddie Ryker folded his arms tightly across his chest and looked at the three officers in disbelief. "I DON'T BELIEVE THIS GENTLEMEN! YOU'RE TELLING ME THAT THE LACKLUSTER PERFORMANCE YOU'VE SHOWN LATELY IS BECAUSE OF CRYING BABIES, EAR INFECTIONS AND LATE NIGHT CRAVINGS?" Ryker was livid. "WHAT HAPPENED TO THE OLD DAYS WHEN THE MAN WORKED AND THE WOMEN HANDLED THE HOUSEHOLD?" He seemed totally perplexed. The friends looked to each other in search of an answer then Willie shrugged and replied. "We don't know sir. We weren't parents in the old days." Ryker looked as if he were going to explode. "WELL I DON'T KNOW WHAT THE PROBLEM IS BUT YOU WILL HANDLE IT AND YOU WILL HANDLE IT IMMEDIATELY. NOW GET OUT OF HERE THE THREE OF YOU!!" he yelled waving them out. "DISMISSED!!" Mike, Terry and Willie headed out without another word. They walked silently to the parking lot, ears still ringing from Ryker's rampage. "You know," Mike began. "I guess to a tough old bird like Ryker those excuses were wimpy." "Yeah I suppose we really did sound kind of henpecked." Willie added. Terry agreed, "Those reasons just weren't masculine enough for Ryker. He would have rather heard that we were bored with making arrests and writing tickets and wanted to move onto controlling riots and making multimillion dollar drug busts." Mike continued, "Well I'll have to admit I was a little embarrassed myself about the reasons but, hey, we're married." 'Yeah, try telling a woman you're not going to do what she says when she's pregnant with your baby. It's not a good scene." Terry exclaimed. Willie and Mike nodded sympathetically. "Hey they don't even have to be pregnant and it's still not a good scene." Mike addded. "Well, what can we do about it?" Willie asked. Mike and Terry smiled as they chimed in unison, "NOTHING."

Chapter 2 Barbara Ryker, the Lieutenant's wife and Jill Danko's mother, whisked into her husband office with his breakfast. He had rushed out this morning, as was the usual case, explaining that he would get breakfast sent in. Barbara refused to allow him to dine on prune Danishes and strong coffee and appeared in his office with low cholesterol eggs on whole wheat toast and a cup of fresh fruit. Ryker pretended to be bothered. "Now Barb, I told you I would get breakfast sent in. You don't need to come way down here just to bring me breakfast." Barbara, an attractive woman in her early fifties kissed her husband on the cheek. "Now Eddie you know that what you have sent in is not a healthy meal. You'd eat prune danishes everyday if I didn't bring you breakfast." "Well I'm not in the mood to eat anything today!" Ryker grumbled. "In a bad mood already, hon? It's not even 8:30." "Yeah I'm in a bad mood! Largely because of your son-in-law and my neice's husband as well as their partner in crime,Webster." "Oh come on now Eddie," she crooned sweetly, "Mike, Willie, and Terry are 3 of the best officers that you have. What could they have done?" Ryker related the story to Barbara and in a totally exasperated tone finished his tale of woe with. "Can you believe that?" "Well, yes I can dear." She said sweetly. Eddie Ryker was speechless. She usually took his side on most matters. "HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY UNDERSTAND THIS?" he roared. She frowned at his outburst and continued "Eddie, you have to remember these are married men. They are men with young families and let me tell you it takes two to raise." She stopped short remembering the tragedy that he had suffered when his young wife died in childbirth and he felt compelled to give his own daughter up for adoption. Barbara quickly apologized. "I'm sorry honey. I didn't mean to bring up bad memories." Ryker stood quiet for a moment then spoke softly. "You're absolutely right Barb. I don't have any idea what it is like to raise a family. Those men should put their family first. I don't know.They're so distracted.. I just don't want anybody to get hurt." "I know, I know." Barbara reassured him then perking up exclaimed, "Hey maybe you could arrange for them to have some time off. They could sure use it." Ryker nodded. "That's a good idea. There's a three-day training session about two hours from here that I have to send some officers to. I'll get those lunkheads to go." Barbara felt that he had missed the point. "A training session is not exactly what I had in mind. That is going to take them away from their family." "It will do them good besides they can even take their wives. I mean we have to put them up in a hotel anyway. I'm sure they won't object to 2 nights alone with their wives." He smiled coyly. "Well, I'm sure they could use some alone time with them." Barbara agreed. "But who is going to keep the kids?" Ryker turned to face her wearing a big fatherly smile. "We are!" he said confidently. "Now let's eat." Barbara paled at the thought of keeping 4 kids for three days. "I'm not hungry." She muttered.

Chapter 3 Mike exited the shower with a towel around his waist and paused to watch Jill. He never tired of seeing her brush her long, dark hair. Slipping up quietly behind her, he wrapped his arms around her waist and slid his lips along her neck. "So what do you think of Ryker's proposal?" he asked as he kissed her shoulders lightly. Jill closed her eyes, concentrating on her husband's touch "Come on Mike. You know I'd love to go but we can't leave the kids with Mom and the Lieutenant." "Yes we can," he said. "Jill your Mom was a pediatric nurse for 20 years and Ryker supervises over 50 police officers. Surely they can handle 4 kids for 3 days." "I don't know Mike. It just doesn't seem right to me." Mike pulled away for a moment, took his wife's hands, looked into her eyes, and spoke very seriously. "Jill, we need this time. I need this time. I mean I love my children more than life itself but I miss my wife."
Jill smiled thinking about all of the times she had made the same
plea. "Hey, Danko. That's my line," she whispered sweetly. "I'll tell
you what, I'll really think about it tonight and let you know in the
morning. Okay?"
Feeling a little dejected Mike mumbled, "Okay. What can I do to help
you decide in my favor?"
"Oh I can think of a lot of things you can do," she smiled as she
tugged on the towel and let it fall to the floor. Mike, obviously
aroused, pulled her close and kissed her deeply as they moved toward
the bed. Moving his hands under her gown he lifted it over her head
and dropped it along side the towel.

"You are so beautiful," he whispered pulling her down to him as he sat
on the bed's edge. Jill pushed him back and lay on top of him kissing
him passionately.
"Mike I want you." She said breathlessly. Mike rolled over onto her
and .

"Daddy! Daddy! Open the door!"
Jill dived under the covers and Mike leapt up, grabbed a robe and
jerked the door open. There was Faith standing there looking up at him
with her blue eyes full of tears.
"The Bear is back in my room."
"Faith, didn't I tell you that bears are hibernating this time of
"Uh-huh, but I think the big one woke up.and he is hungry." "Faith, bears are asleep in their caves like you should be asleep in your bed." Mike tried to reason. "I heard him Daddy. He was outside my window." Mike realized there was no appeasing this child short of checking it out. He looked at Jill and shrugged. "I'll be right back." Jill smiled and gave a quick wave.

Thirty minutes later Mike returned. Jill had her gown back on and was reading a book. "Did you chase the bear away?" she grinned. "Well actually we set a bowl of honey on the deck as a gesture of friendship." "I didn't know we had honey," Jill said. "We didn't but pancake syrup was a close substitute." Jill laughed, "You're a good father, Michael Jonathan Danko." "Thanks," he replied. "What kind of lover am I?" he asked dropping his robe and slipping under the covers. "I'll let you know this weekend," Jill teased. "Does that mean what I think it means?" He asked hopefully. Jill nodded, "What time do we leave." "Anytime you say, milady. Anytime you say."

Chapter 4

William Gillis had not yet convinced his wife, Kate, to join him for the weekend. Even though he, Mike and Terry would have class from 8 to 3 he reasoned that they could spend the evenings (and nights) alone. The twins, Will and Caroline were now 18 months old and a true handful. Both had dark curls and dark eyes. Caroline was quiet and shy, while Will was one hundred percent boy. He terrorized everything in his path except his sister whose shrill shrieks kept him in line.
Willie and Kate were thrilled with their new family but found it hard to find time for each other. Kate taught part time and Willie, of course, had his demanding job as a police officer. Then there was playtime, dinnertime, bath time, quiet time and finally bedtime. Willie and Kate often fell asleep before making it to the bed.
When Willie approached Kate with the idea of a weekend away he thought she would jump at the chance; however, she, like Jill had reservations.
"We've never left the children overnight," she protested.
"And that's exactly why we need to do it." Willie reasoned after putting the twins down for the night. "We need to get away. I love the kids but I love you too and we need some time together.You know what I mean?"
Kate nodded. "Yeah. I know exactly what you mean," she said slipping her arms around her husband's broad shoulders. "I've missed you."
Willie held her close breathing in the sweet fragrance of her perfume. "Oh baby, I've missed you too."
"Do you think the kids will be all right?" Kate asked.
"Yeah," Willie laughed. "The question is will Ryker and Barbara be all right."
Kate smiled, "Well it would give Uncle Eddie and taste of what being a father is all about. Maybe he will be a little more understanding when you are not yourself."
"Hey, that would be a definite plus." Willie agreed. "Are we on then?" he asked wrapping his strong arms around her.
Kate thought for a moment, "Yeah, Let's do it."
Willie kissed her tenderly. "Those, my dear, are some of my favorite words to hear you say."

Chapter 5

Eddie and Barbara Ryker arrived at the Danko's early Thursday morning. Faith was asleep and Mike was giving Jonathan his bottle. Jill rushed around giving her Mom and the Lieutenant every detail she could possibly think of. "Now Jill," her mother reminded, "I've taken care of these children before. We'll be fine and if I need anything I will call you." Jill smiled, "I know Mom, I am just a little anxious about leaving them for 3 days. I don't know how you talked the Lieutenant into this but thanks. Mike and I need this time." "I know you do Sweetie. But I've got to confess it was Eddie's idea to keep the kids. He's so excited; he's had reservations at Chucky Cheese for two weeks." Jill giggled. "He has no clue what he's in for does he?" "Not really but don't worry, everything will be all right." The doorbell rang and Lt. Ryker opened it. "Well it's about time you two got here." he barked as Willie and Kate entered carrying the twins. They were going to stay at the Danko's for the next two days. While Kate gave instructions to Jill's Mom, Willie and Mike paraded in with a barrage of toys, portable cribs, high chairs, a play pen and other assorted items. "Good grief!" Ryker moaned. "What did you have to do rent a U-Haul?" "It's all a part of the package," explained Willie good-naturedly. "Well I don't know why you need that pen thing. We're not going to use it. Only animals belong in a pen," the lieutenant noted. He got on his soapbox and continued. "Children need interaction. Putting them in a pen is not an acceptable alternative, Gillis." Willie nodded allowing Ryker to give his two cents worth then added. "Well just in case I'll set it up over in the corner." "Go ahead," Ryker boomed, "But you're just wasting your time." "Hey, hey, hey! You guys ready to go?" exclaimed Terry as he and Jackie strolled in. "As ready as we're ever going to be." Kate replied exchanging glances with Jill. "Come on, ladies no tears please." Mike requested. "Let's say our goodbyes and head out." As Jill began to walk out the door she turned quickly. "Oh, I forgot Mr. Roger's comes on at 1:30. That's Faith's favorite show. She'll want to watch that." "Do you mean that dopey man with the obnoxious song? Ryker scoffed. "That would be the one." Mike groaned. "Well," Ryker continued, "We'll see. I don't think we will be watching T.V. You know experts say kids watch way too much television anyway." "Okay, but I don't think Faith's going to take that advice very well." Jill remarked. Finally, after a few last minute details from the Moms, Willie, Kate, Mike and Jill kissed their precious babies then before the Mommas could think of having second thoughts, they were quickly whisked away by their husbands.

Chapter 6 Barbara was watching the twins eat their eggs as they sat in their highchairs. Caroline ate fairly neatly, while Will had bits of egg and cheese everywhere. Dressed in her pink kitten pajamas, Faith wandered into the kitchen, "Papa, whatcha doin'?" she asked as the lieutenant stirred something in a pan. "I'm cooking your breakfast. How do bacon, eggs, and pancakes sound?" "How about Fruit Loops?" Faith suggested. "FRUIT LOOPS?" Ryker exclaimed. "That's not a breakfast." "But I like Fruit Loops, Papa." "I'll tell you what. You sit right here and I'll fix you some kitten pancakes.You like kittens don't you?" Faith nodded her head. Ryker poured the batter onto the griddle in a circular shape and added two triangular ears. He flipped the pancake over and said to the wide-eyed four year old, "Watch this Faith." He scooped the pancake high in the air and caught it on a plate. Faith laughed and clapped her hands. "That's funny, Papa!" "Now let's give the kitten some whiskers," he said as he cut a piece of bacon in half and lay it on the pancake. Raisins became eyes and apple slices became a mouth. "Here you go.Miss Danko. Your kitten pancakes." Faith was delighted. She started nibbling the ears and soon had consumed her entire breakfast.
Ryker turned to watch the twins enjoying their morning meal. He looked in bewilderment at Will who was smiling widely, hair, hands and face covered with eggs. "I'll say one thing." Ryker announced. "What's that?" Barbara asked. "That one," he pointed to Will, "is a true Gillis."

Chapter 7

It was 4:15 when the three officers arrived at the hotel. After several hours of shopping, Jill, Jackie and Kate were taking a much needed cat nap. Mike entered the room and popped Jill on the rump startling her. She let out a little yelp and rolled over. "Hi Sweetheart. You back already?" Mike stretched out on the bed beside her. "What do you mean already? You mean you haven't been counting the minutes before your sexy husband returned to make mad passionate love to you." "Not really," Jill said coolly. "We went shopping...without kids." Mike smiled, "Oh. well, that explains things."
"Are you well rested?" he continued.
"Uh-huh. Why?"
Mike moved close to her and slipped his arms around her. "Do you know how long it has been since I've been able to make love to you as soon as I walked through the door?"
"No, how long?"
"Well. I can't remember but it's been a long, long time."
"That's true. Are you interested in rectifying that situation?"
"What do you think?" he asked in a husky voice.
Jill straddled him and began to unbutton his shirt leaning down to kiss his hard chest. Inch by inch she moved lower. Mike moaned softly. She pulled the shirt from his pants and slowly began to unbuckle his belt. Mike watched her with adoring eyes for a few moments then closing his eyes he let her continue to explore.

Chapter 7 "Kate?" Willie called as he entered room 24. He looked around but did not see his wife. He walked to the bathroom door and knocked softly. "Katie?" "In here," she answered "Come on in." Willie entered the bathroom to find Kate submerged in bubbles up to her neck. Candlelight illuminated the room and the fragrant scent of bubble bath filled the air. "I see you are making use of our upgraded room." Willie observed. "MMMMM," Kate sighed. "I've been in here nearly an hour and no one has called for me, banged on the door, or shoved cookies underneath." "What are you making for supper?" Willie joked. "Reservations," she replied splashing him playfully. "Hey! You're getting my shirt wet!" he half-heartedly complained. "So take it off." Kate suggested. Willie pulled his T shirt off and sat on the edge of the large tub. Kate's eyes roamed his body. She had almost forgotten how much she enjoyed seeing him bare-chested in Levis. "I like your bubbles." Willie said playfully reaching into the water. "Hey! Watch it," she giggled splashing him again. "Okay! Okay!" He retreated and exclaimed. "Now my jeans are wet.' "That's too bad." Kate said pretending to be remorseful. "I guess you have to take them off too." Willie raised his eyebrows quickly understanding his wife's little game. He kicked off his shoes and socks, pulled off his jeans and slid slowly into the water. "OW! This water is HOT!" "Wanna get it a little hotter." Kate challenged. "And how would we do that?" Willie played along. Kate rolled onto him and kissed him warmly. "That would work." Willie observed pulling her up onto his chest. His lips touched hers lightly and playfully. Planting each kiss a little deeper and longer they continue to kiss and tease until their passion reached a fever pitch. Finally Kate pulled away, 'I think it's hot enough in here. Let's continue this in the bedroom." "It's going to be a lot hotter in there." Willie assured her. "Promise?" she asked. "Promise." Willie said confidently.

Chapter 8 The first day as substitute parents was tiring but enjoyable. The Ryker's had, however, overdone it a bit, taking the kids to the zoo, the park, and finally Chucky Cheese. The children were cranky and tired when they finally arrived home. Although the adoring grandparents had had a wonderful day with their grandchildren the Ryker's were totally exhausted, but there was no rest for the weary. "I'll get the twins in the tub," Barbara directed. "You give Jonathan a sponge bath and get him ready for bed." "I can do that," the Lieutenant said trying to convince himself that it would be an easy job. Jonathan however was not going to make it easy. Overtired and over stimulated he was in no mood to have a bath. Faith handed her grandfather a warm rag and a clean towel. She watched carefully as Lt. Ryker laid the baby tenderly on the changing table and began to take off his diaper. "Momma doesn't do that first," Faith observed. Not use to being told what to do by a 4 year old, the lieutenant replied, "Well this is how I do it." He began washing Jonathan's face and hands. The infant screamed in protest turning bright red. "Does he usually do this?" Ryker questioned. "Sometimes. Momma says he's having a Danko fit." Ryker, a little less sure of him now, tried to hurry. He quickly sponged the baby's chest and tummy. Without warning Jonathan sprung a leak. A fountain of spray hit the lieutenant right in the face.
"SHI.." he exclaimed catching himself before finishing the word that he was thinking.
"That's why Momma doesn't take his diaper off first," Faith explained.
"Now you tell me." He replied looking down at the baby who had suddenly stopped crying. Then seeing the humor in the situation he chuckled as he asked Jonathan, "Did your Dad put you up to this?" Jonathan just smiled and stuck his thumb in his mouth.

After three failed attempts to get the diaper on correctly Ryker managed to get Jonathan changed, in clean pajamas (never mind that they were on backwards), fed and in bed fast asleep. With a heavy sigh, he flopped down in the overstuffed recliner. Barbara had gotten Will down and was dressing Faith when the little night owl, Caroline, came pitty-patting down the hallway. She was wearing her footy pajamas and was dragging a small doll that was a little worse for wear behind her. She put the doll in the lieutenant's lap then crawled up, laid back on his chest and made herself comfortable.
He couldn't help noticing how much she reminded him of Kate. She had large brown eyes with thick lashes and chubby cheeks. However, Caroline, like Willie had a head full of curls. Ryker smiled thinking of the pleasant summers he had visited Kate in North Carolina. Somehow it made having to give up his own daughter a little more bearable. He was lost in his thoughts when he heard a quiet sniffle. He looked up to find Faith in the doorway. "I want my Daddy." She sobbed.
Ryker patted his knee. "Come here Sweet Pea," he said.
Faith climbed up into his lap and sat next to Caroline. "Daddy had to go to school for a couple of days but I'm going to take good care of you until he gets back."
"But Daddy is the only one who knows how to make the bear go away."
"Bear? What bear?"
"The mean bear that trys to get me at night." she cried.
Barbara entered the room. Ryker looked at her perplexed.
"Why is the child scared of bears?" he asked
"Smokey came to her preschool a month ago and he tried to give her a hug. BAD idea," Barbara explained.
"Oh I see." He paused trying to figure out a way to explain the situation to a four year old. "Faith, that wasn't a real bear. It was only a person dressed like a bear."
"He said he was real," she insisted.
"No he wasn't, honey. See. a man gets inside a bear suit and he just pretends to be a real bear. It's like Halloween when you dressed up like a pumpkin. You were not a real pumpkin now were you?"
"No sir." Faith admitted. Ryker was patting himself on the back for clearing the matter up until Faith said "..But that was a real bear." Exasperated, the lieutenant did what he did best. He pulled rank and took charge. He grabbed the phone and pretended to dial. "Hello?" he yelled in his commanding voice. "This is Lt. Edward Ryker. I want a 24 hour stake out at the home of Faith Danko. I want a police car watching this house at all times. If a 6 foot tall bear wearing jeans and a ranger hat comes around, I want him arrested and put in jail. Is that clear? OK. Goodbye." He slammed down the phone and looked at Faith and Caroline who were gazing at him in awe. "There. Now the police are going to watch this house all the time. I'm not going to let that bear get my grandbabies." Somehow this strong show of force soothed Faith's fears. "Are you going to arrest him Papa?" "Yep, if he comes around here." Faith nodded, "Well if he gets arrested me and my Daddy will send him some honey." She kissed his cheek, slipped off of his lap and skipped down the hall, turning only to say, "Night, night Papa. I love you."

Chapter 9
Day two of the of the romantic rendezvous was not without incident.
The Danko's, Webster's, and Gillis's had just finished a wonderful dinner and were enjoying the live band that was playing at the hotel. Jackie and Terry excused themselves to return to the room. Her legs and feet were swollen from all the walking she had done over the last two days.

"I can tell right now the only action I am going to see this weekend is when I give Jackie a foot massage and breakfast in bed." Terry complained good-naturedly.
"We've been there, Buddy." Mike sympathized.
"Well it was your action that got me in this predicament." Jackie joked elbowing him playfully.
"I can't deny that," Terry laughed. "Goodnight guys."
"Goodnight." The four friends replied.

The other two couples ordered a few drinks and sat talking. A few minutes later, Terry walked up to the table. "Hey man, we've got to go."
"Go where?" Mike asked.
"There was a message when I got back to the room. We have to go back to the firing range and take a picture I.D. tonight."
"Why tonight?" Willie asked.
"I don't know. They forgot to tell us today when we signed in. The paper work has to be completed tonight because were scheduled at 8:00 in the morning."
Mike looked apologetically at Jill. "Sorry Babe. It won't take but about 30 minutes; the range is only a few miles up the road."
"It's okay. Kate and I will wait here for you to come back."
The men gave their wives a quick kiss and dashed out the door.

Kate sighed, "They are really never off duty are they?"
Jill shook her head, "No. You always have to be prepared for them to be called away.And I don't think you ever get use to it."
Kate agreed, "After my Dad was killed I promised myself I would never marry a police officer. I just didn't want to go through what my Mom went through.but then I fell in love with Willie and realized that all of the worry is worth being with him.
"Is it?" Jill asked knowing the answer already.
"Definitely," Kate remarked. "Is it for you?" "Oh yeah. Especially when we have nights like last night." she smiled mischievously. "Oh, so you had one of those Earth-shattering evenings." "Uh-huh," Jill said with enthusiasm. "How about you two?" "No complaints here." Kate remarked with a shy smile. "It was wonderful to be able to enjoy each other without being exhausted or having to keep your ears tuned to crying babies." Jill laughed, "Tell me about it. Faith gave us a heart attack last week. If we hadn't thought about locking the door she would have been traumatized for life." Kate reminisced, "You know Jill, Willie and I owe a great deal of our being together to you and Mike. I mean you helped me get the job at the hospital where I met Willie. Then we met again at your apartment. You calmed my fears about starting a relationship again after Steve and advised Willie to take it slow. Most of all your marriage to Mike inspired him. He saw the wonderful relationship that you two had. That's one thing that he said to me when he proposed. He wanted what you two had." "Aww. That's sweet. Although we've have had our moments." "I don't think I've ever heard you two argue." "We'll we don't really but he does do things that bug me at times. I just chalk it up to being male." Kate snickered, "Oh yeah? Like what?" "Well, he tends to downplay things that happen on the job; then I find out through the grapevine how serious a certain situation was. I know he doesn't want me to worry but it really bugs me.What bothers you about Willie? If you don't mind me asking." Jill inquired. "HMMM. You know what really bothered me?.... He had this brown shirt that he wore all of the time. I got SO sick of that shirt. He had gotten as a gift from Nancy. It was his absolute favorite thing to wear. I didn't know she had given it to him until I happened to find an old picture of them that was taken on his birthday at college. She was holding it up in front of him. " "Oh yeah. I definitely remember that shirt. What ever happened to it?" "Well you know it was the strangest thing. It somehow got mixed up in the rummage sale box that the church was having." Kate smiled giving a revealing wink to Jill. The two wives giggled. "I've got to go to the ladies room." Jill announced. "I'll go with you." Kate exclaimed. They quickly got up from their table and headed to the restroom not noticing the two men who were eyeing their every move.

Chapter 9
The ladies exited the restroom and were returning to their table when they were suddenly blocked by a large man placing his leg across the doorway. Jill looked at the man who was obstructing their path.
"Excuse me please." She said sternly.
The man made no attempt to move.
"I said excuse me please." She said a bit more forcefully.
The man still did not budge and looked her over with a leering gaze.
Jill did not waver. "Are you going to move your leg or am I going to call the manager over?"
With a smirk, the man removed his leg from the doorway and eyed her and Kate as they walked past.

The women returned to their table fuming. "OOOH! Men like that make me so angry." Kate hissed. "What a jerk." Jill agreed. "AWWW! Come on ladies don't be so mad. We were only having a little fun," came a slurred voice from behind her. Jill and Kate looked up to find two men stumbling up to their table. They had obviously had too much to drink. One was very muscular and dressed in a white suit with a blinding red shirt. Several gold chains adorned his overly hairy chest. The other was slender with long hair and a bushy beard. He reminded Kate of a dirty mop. "Mind if we sit down?" said the large one as he slipped into the booth next to Jill.
"Yes we do. We are expecting our husbands back any minute." Jill said tersely.
"Any men that would leave two luscious ladies like you alone are fools if you ask me," said Mopman.
"Actually, they are cops." Kate replied hoping for a reaction.
"OOOOOOOO! Cop's wives. We know about them don't we Slim." roared the Beefcake.
Mopman grinned showing horribly stained teeth. "Yeah. We do."

"We just wanted to buy you a drink." Slurred Beefy
"We already have a drink." Jill did not blink as she glared at him.
"You're not being very friendly," the big man replied as he attempted to put his arm around Jill. She pushed him away and the man laughed heartily.
The manager noticed the Beefcake's unwanted advances and hurried over.
"Is there a problem ladies?"
"YES!" Kate and Jill exclaimed in unison.
The manager, a rather puny man, cleared his throat and spoke nervously. "AAHHHMMM. Gentlemen. Please honor these ladies wishes and excuse yourself from their table."
The muscular man stood up. "And what are you going to do if we don't?" he challenged.
Though his intentions were honorable, the manager did not have the backbone to stand up to the hulking figure. He rushed off to call the police.
The big man sat back down and tried once again to put his arm around Jill. Meanwhile Mopman was nuzzling up to Kate. Both women were struggling to get these groping jerks away from them.
In an instant, Mike and Willie were there and the two men were wrenched from their seats and pushed aside.
"Hey man take your hands off of me," yelled Beefcake.
"Look fellas. Let's not have any trouble here," Mike said trying to remain calm. "You and your friend need to find someplace else to sit. These ladies are our wives."
"You think you are some hotshot policeman. You can't tell me what to do," mumbled Beefy.
Willie spoke up, "We're not telling you as police officers. We are telling you as their husbands. Find somewhere else to sit."
"Go to hell." The big man yelled striking Mike on the jaw without warning.
Mike stumbled momentarily then struck the man hitting him right across the bridge of the nose. The big man hit the floor unconscious.
There was an instant flash of light. Pulling a knife from his pocket Mopman lunged for Mike. Willie caught his arm, twisted it behind him and yelled, "Drop it..NOW!!!"
Although brandishing a weapon, Slim was no match for this well- trained police officer.
"OW, OW, OW!" the man yelled. "Okay! Okay! That hurts!!" He dropped the knife with little contest.
By this time the local police had arrived. When they discovered that Willie and Mike were fellow officers they shook their hands. "We appreciate your help," the older officer exclaimed. "Our pleasure." Mike replied glaring at Beefcake and without further incident the two playboys were hauled away.

Chapter 10
"Our heroes," Jill teased as Mike and Willie sat down.
"We're always available for beautiful ladies." Mike joked.
"I bet you are," Jill teased. "The question is in what capacity are you available?"
"When it comes to you I'm available in any capacity that you choose," he leaned over and kissed his wife seductively.
"I think we need to give the Danko's some privacy," Willie suggested as he turned to Kate. "You want to dance?"
"Sure," Kate said taking her husbands hand. "Let's go."
"She sure has got him trained," Mike grinned. "At one time we had to practically run him out of our apartment to have time to ourselves."
Jill laughed, "Yeah, I remember. We didn't seem to have that problem once Kate came into the picture."
"I have a feeling that he discovered he needed his own private times." Mike observed. "It worked out good for both of us. Wouldn't you say?" He kissed Jill again warmly.
"I would definitely agree with that." Jill remarked returning her husband's passionate kiss.

Willie held Kate closely and looked into her dark eyes as they danced.
"Are you having a good time?" he asked.
"Uh-huh. I always have a good time with you," she smiled leaning up to kiss him then continued. "I'm sorry that we've haven't had a lot of time to spend together. Since the twins have been born it's hard to find the energy to continue to be together at the level we once had been."
Willie kissed her forehead, "I know but that's the way it is when you're parents of two toddlers..I'm not complaining though. You and the kids are the best things that have ever happened to me. I love our life together."

Kate held her husband tightly. "Me too," she said laying her head against his chest as they continued to sway to the music.

Chapter 11
Lt. Eddie Ryker was quickly finding out that taking care of four children, although rewarding, was quite a bit more difficult than he expected. He read the Three Little Pigs at least 25 times to Faith and attended at least 10 tea parties. He had rolled the ball for hours to Will, ridden Caroline for what seemed like miles on his back and thrown Jonathan into the air so many times his shoulders ached. He had also been wet on, spit up on, hit with a plastic bat, had spaghetti spilled all over his lap, been woken up several times during the night, and roused up before 6:00. And then there were those diapers. He was struggling to get use to the "changing" requirement. Although he loved playing the role of grandfather, he was looking forward to their parent's return. "What time did they say they were getting back?" he asked Barbara.
"Around 2:00. I think. Why? Are you getting tired?" Barb replied.
Never willing to admit defeat he replied, "Nahhh, just wondering," as he glanced at the clock. .

Chapter 12
The young lovers made good use of their last morning together. They didn't have to check out until 11:00 and they opted to skip breakfast and spend their last few hours in bed but not asleep.

Willie and Kate truly made up for lost time. They just couldn't seem to get enough of each other. "I'm going to need a vacation from our vacation." Willie sighed while lying in bed. Kate slid close to him and ran her hand down his chest, across his firm stomach and under the sheet. Willie smiled and gave her a sideways glance. "What are you up too, Mrs. Gillis?" he whispered. "The question is what are you up to, Officer Gillis?" Kate asked as she continued to touch and tease. "I'm up for you," he responded pulling her close and kissing her again and again and again. Then rolling over to her they made extremely good use of their last hour together.

Mike rolled onto his back and collapsed. He slipped his arm
around Jill and pulled her close. Jill lay breathless enjoying the
sensations that continued to ripple through her body. They remained
silent for a few minutes listening to each others' heavy breathing
subside. Finally Jill spoke, "Mike?"
"HHMMM?" he answered tracing his fingers lightly on her arm.
"I love you," she whispered.
Mike kissed the top of her head. "I love you too."
Jill continued, "In a way I hate to leave but in a way I can't wait to
get home and see the kids."
"Yeah, I feel the same way." He agreed.
"I think we just need to schedule a more time for just us." Jill
"UUMM-HUH,"he replied.
"We should plan a date night once a month and slip away for dinner and
a movie or maybe "go parking". Or we can check into a motel for a few
hours," she suggested touching him in a way she knew would get a
Mike's eyes fluttered open. "Great idea but for now I think I'm out
down for the count."
Jill chided, "Don't I excite you anymore?"
Mike exhaled audibly, "Babe, what you do to me goes beyond
excitement. It borders insanity."
She smiled, "Good. I just don't want you to get tired of me."
"I'll never get tired of you." he assured her as he lifted her
chin gently with his finger and began kissing her once more.

Chapter 13

The Danko's house was a wreck. Macaroni covered the kitchen floor (Will loved to throw everything he could get his hands on.) Toys were scattered throughout the house, Play-dough sculptures were lined up on the bar while balls of the sticky substance lay underneath. An entire pack of 64 crayons were dumped on and below the kitchen table. While Barbara was busy feeding Jonathan and getting him ready for an afternoon nap, Ryker decided to pull rank. "Okay guys," he said to his three recruits, "It's time to clean up. Mamma and Daddy will be her in an hour and we are going to get this house in ship shape."
Will and Caroline looked at him clueless as to what he meant and continued to pull toy after toy out of the chest. Ryker picked one up in each arm and set them in the unused playpen. The twins gave wails of protest. "Sorry guys," the lieutenant apologized. "It will only be for a few minutes." Then lowering his voice whispered, "Just don't tell Gillis."
Faith obediently helped her grandfather pick up. After getting everything in order he collapsed in a chair. "MAAAMMMAAA !" came a shrill sound from underneath the cushion. Ryker leaped to his feet, "Holy cow!" he exclaimed grabbing his chest. "What did I sit on?"
Faith reached under the cushion and pulled out Caroline's doll which she dropped into the playpen. "Here Kay-Kay," she said sweetly. "Don't cry." Caroline picked her doll up by the leg and held it to her lips. She kissed it on the head then lay down quietly and closed her eyes. Within moments Caroline was asleep.
"Well, I'll be.That's what she wanted," Ryker said aloud. "Let's put you in your crib, sweetheart." He lifted the adorable toddler gently from the playpen. Pausing for a moment, he looked down to see an angelic face framed in spiraling curls. Long dark lashes brushed her cheeks and chubby little hands held her doll close. Overcome with a softness that he rarely displayed to anyone other than these children, Ryker kissed her tenderly on the head and laid her in her own bed. He then turned to see Will who was standing in the playpen holding a ball. Ryker leaned down to pick him up. "Ball!" Will exclaimed as he threw it bouncing it off the side of Ryker's head. Barbara entered the room. The Lieutenant looked hopelessly at his wife. "I think this kid is out to get me." "Don't be silly," she laughed. " He just wants to play ball. "You know Kate said Willie played nearly every sport in high school. Will just takes after him." "You can say that again," muttered Ryker rubbing the side of his head. "Come on Buddy," he said lifting Will. "Ball?" repeated Will. "Let's watch ball," Ryker suggested switching on the TV and sitting Will down along side of him. There was a football game on that he really didn't want to miss. Being the bright young lady that she was, Faith piped up. "Papa if you are going to turn on the TV may I please watch Mr. Rogers?" Realizing that he was caught in a compromising situation he reluctantly agreed, "Okay, go ahead," he mumbled. When Ryker heard the first few bars of "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood.." He shuddered. "Let's take a nap," he suggested to Will as he put the foot rest up and closed his eyes.

Chapter 14 Mike and Jill entered the house quietly. They looked around to see Ryker sprawled out in the lounge chair holding Will who was draped across his stomach. Both were sound asleep. Faith was sitting quietly watching TV She didn't even notice that her parents had entered. "Hey guys! We're home!" Mike called out. Ryker shot out of the chair like a bullet, startling Will who was still half asleep.

"Daddy!!! Mommy!!" Faith cried out as she ran to Mike and was swept high into the air. "How's my girl?" Mike asked kissing her playfully. "I missed you," Faith said softly. Jill hugged her daughter. "I missed you too, Sweetie. We brought you a surprise." She handed Faith a bag. Faith pulled out a trolley identical to the one on Mr. Roger's Neighborhood and rolled it across the floor. It began to play "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood." Ryker grimaced and closed his eyes. "Thanks Momma and Daddy!" exclaimed Faith.

Willie and Kate entered a moment later. They found Ryker holding a sleeping Will. "We were just getting ready to play ball," the lieutenant explained. "I can see that." Kate said taking the groggy toddler from her uncle while Willie picked up his precious daughter from the crib. She opened her eyes long enough to say, "Daddy." Then laying her head on his shoulder she continued her nap. "How'd you ever get this one to nap?" Willie asked. "That's Faith's and my little secret isn't it?" he said to Faith who nodded. Kate kissed her son and then kissed Lt Ryker on the cheek. "Thanks Uncle Eddie. I know the twins are a handful."
"Are you kidding? It was a piece of cake. The whole weekend was a piece of cake. No problems at all."
Barbara rolled her eyes. Then Faith added, "Except when Jonathan tinkled on you..and when Will hit you on the head with the ball..and when you sat on Caroline's.."
Ryker interrupted her. " AHH, young lady, why don't you finish watching Mr. Rogers." Mike looked at Jill, Kate, and Willie as they all tried to contain a smile.
"Okay." Faith replied as she scooted out of her Dad's arms and skipped away. Suddenly she turned and said, "Hey Mommy, guess what?...I ate a kitten for breakfast and oh, Daddy, that mean bear is not gong to scare me anymore because if he does Papa is going to arrest him. And he can do it too because he is the boss of the jail."
Mike smiled and scratched his temple, "You got that right."

"Well," Lt. Ryker said, "I guess we had better be heading home. I've got to be at the precinct tomorrow and so do you. I hope you all rested well because it's back to the grindstone tomorrow."
The couple exchanged glances knowing that they really didn't get a lot of rest.
As Ryker entered the bedroom Jill turned to her mother. "Thanks again Mom. We really appreciate this." Willie added, "We certainly do. I know it wasn't an easy weekend." Barb whispered, "We did have fun but I think you're going to find that Eddie will be a little more understanding concerning family duties. He got a little taste of what real parenthood is all about."
"Come on now Barb," the lieutenant called out as he walked into the room carrying their suitcase. "We better be heading out." He looked at Willie and Mike. "I'll expect to see you two bright and early tomorrow . No excuses accepted for being distracted. If I can handle all four kids you surely should be able to handle two. You got that"
Willie and Mike glanced at Barb and without missing a beat answered. "Yes sir, we got. it."
"Papa, don't go!" Faith cried. "You and Granny can spend the night."
"Granny and Mommy can sleep with me and you and Daddy can sleep in Daddy's room."
Mike looked petrified at the thought. Ryker leaned down. "Now see Faith that wouldn't work because I have to go and make sure that the policemen are watching out for the bear. I have a big job to do you know."
Faith hugged him tightly, "I love you Papa," she exclaimed as she kissed him on the cheek.
Ryker, a little shy about receiving mushy kisses with an audience, whispered quietly, "I love you too, Sweetheart," and without another word he was out the door.