Thank you, Alice, my fearless beta reader. Thanks to all my readers, this story took longer than I expected and went in directions I didn't expect so I hope you were not disappointed. Oh, and Beth... sorry.
"Hiding out from the in-laws and the out-laws," Rick Dunbar stage whispered when he found his brother, Jim, sitting on the sun porch with Jaime Jansen on his lap.
"No, we just needed some us time, didn't we kiddo," Jim said as he gave Jaime a tickle squeeze. "Okay, go find Benny and Caleb, 'cause I think Uncle Ricky wants to get mad at me." Jim grinned at the quick kiss Jaime laid on his cheek before he jumped off to find his new 'cousins'. "So, are you mad at me, Sergeant Dunbar?"
Rick threw himself down on the sofa beside his big brother. "God, how could I be mad at you when you gave me the biggest laugh this year. We couldn't find the fuehrer for over two hours and when we did… man, you should have seen Captain Jefferies, Jimmy. He looked like he was gonna pop an aneurysm right there at headquarters. I swear he must've been wearing a leather thong and chaps under that damn Santa Claus coat. The night sergeant had to use his alternate contact number to find him," Rick chortled.
"You're full of crap," Jim could barely talk through his laughter, "he'd have been an instant eunuch going out like that in the cold."
"I would never lie about that, I don't want to find coal in my stocking tomorrow… but then I don't want to find an IAB investigation when I get back to work." Rick sighed, "We got an ID on Pop Smith. He's Etienne Vermette originally from Chateauguay, Quebec. He's thought to be the number three man in the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Gang of Montreal. He knows where all the bodies are buried, unfortunately you found some."
"Oops!" Jim just didn't sound sorry.
"Nothing on Eleanor Vermette, nee Smith, we'll never see her again." Rick looked around for the youngest brother. "Have you heard from Tommy yet?"
"Not since you put him in a squad car and sent him home. He's supposed to be here tonight."
Rick tried not to sound to annoyed. "I wouldn't count on it, Jimmy; Margaret seems to think were all just one step above the street since her daddy decided to become a state senator. Kissing asses in corn country got old man McBride enough votes for the state senate and now he wants to go to Washington."
"Hey, we are one step from the streets and those are those nasty Red Hook streets."
"Not our Tommy, he's pure Indiana farm boy and when daddy-in-law says jump baby brother says up, up and away." Rick stood and stretched. "He was trying to do a good deed and take care of his poor, handicapped brother, something McBride would be proud to use in his next campaign, and then you end up saving him. Having your son-in-law cowering by a toilet instead of saving the day is not politically correct. Anyway, get off your butt and get a beer with me."
"Rick, that's the best thing you've said today."
Together Jim and Rick wandered into the kitchen and joined the rest of the family party.
Tom never even phoned in his regrets.