A/N: I almost forgot - I intended to tie up a few loose ends with an epilogue, so here it is. Thanks to all my wonderful online friends, especially Alf and Sharon who I most recently called on to help beat the last chapter out of my muse. Thanks, ladies!
The day before New Years' Eve, in Lawrence...
Bear was working in the prep area of the back room when Angel let herself in the back door. "Hey, Angel," he greeted her as she shed her coat, hat, and gloves.
"Hey, Bear. Are you expecting something? There's a UPS truck pulling in to the back lot."
"Maybe it's the DVD's I ordered for Christmas finally showing up," he joked, smirking. He nodded toward the door as the buzzer rang. "Would you get it?"
Angel opened the door to the familiar uniformed man carrying a large package and a UPS envelope.
"I have a delivery here for David Navarre," the man stated. "It requires a signature."
Bear sighed, dried his hands and stepped forward to take the electronic pad. "I'm Navarre," he said as he scribbled his name on the touchscreen.
The UPS man looked at the signature, touched something that beeped to save it, then smiled. "Then these are for you." He leaned the large, flat package against the wall next to the door, handed the envelope to Bear, grinned at Angel, and left.
Angel looked at the large package and then at the envelope in Bear's hand. "Um, neither one of these look like DVDs."
Bear found the zip strip and ripped the envelope open, reaching inside to pull out a thin sheaf of papers. Paperclipped to the top was a pale blue sheet. Turning it right-side up, Bear quickly read through the cover letter. Then he staggared back a step and sat down hard on the stool next to his worktable.
"What is it?" Angel asked, worry clear in her voice. "What's wrong?"
The chuckle startled her, being basically the opposite of the reaction she had been expecting. But she took the papers when Bear pushed them at her as he headed for the package.
She tried to skim the words of the cover letter but was distracted by Bear tearing open the cardboard box. '...by signing this....Devil's Fund....Fifty thousand dollars....' "Bear, what does this mean?"
"It means both Jersey and Ranger are crazy, but in a good way," he said distractedly as he pulled something wrapped in bubble-wrap from the box and began to unwrap it.
It turned out to be two framed posters, and when Bear turned them around for Angel to see her grin grew from ear to ear. One poster was of Stephanie dressed up as the Jersey Devil for Halloween - and Angel wondered who had taken it, because it was from when Stephanie was 'modelling' her outfit for them before the bar opened. The other poster was a collage of pictures of Stephanie from New Jersey intersperced with newspaper headlines. At the top, in large type, was one that said "The Bombshell Is Back!" There were pictures of burning cars, pictures of Stephanie tackling men much larger than herself, a couple of pictures of her dressed for distractions, one with a group of big men dressed in black, and near the bottom, one of Stephanie with Ranger's arm around her, both of them smiling.
"Oh, wow!" Angel breathed, and Bear grinned proudly.
"But what about this? I don't understand it," she said as she returned to the sheaf of papers.
"Basically, they've set up a charitible trust called the Devil's Fund, to be used to finish the apartments up on the third floor and to help other people who need it - like I helped Jersey and now Beverly. All I have to do is sign the papers and I'll have access to a start-up of fifty thousand dollars, with an additional ten thousand a year to keep it going." He looked up to find Angel gaping at him wide-eyed. "Yeah," he sighed, "I miss them, too." He handed one frame to Angel and picked up the other and headed for the door into the bar. "Come on - let's find a good spot for these..."
-oOo-The End -oOo-