"Teresa and I were just talking about it the other day, and we think that getting remarried will be a good thing for you," Patrick Jane said to Wayne Rigsby as they sat in the justice of peace's office. "The kids need a mother, and you can't spend the rest of your life raising them alone. Seven years is long enough, it's time."
"Look who's talking," Rigsby said dryly. "The man who waited ten years after his wife died to move on with somebody else."
Jane pulled a face.
"You know why he waited Wayne," Kimball Cho said impatiently. "He didn't want anything to happen to her."
"That's just an excuse—" Rigsby began.
"Sorry it took me so long to get her Wayne," Bianca Wordsworth said as she breezed into the waiting room and kissed her fiancé's lips. "The traffic was unbelievably horrendous!"
"It's fine," Rigsby assured her with a smile. "All that matters is that you're here now."
Bianca shot a sugary smile in Jane's direction. "Hello there Patrick, it's so good to see you today!"
"Same to you Bianca," Jane replied with false nicety.
"Teresa couldn't join you?"
"She stayed with Ella and Austin," Jane said. "She's sorry that she couldn't join us today, but she told me to offer you her sincerest congratulations."
The truth was his wife could not stand Bianca. She thought it was good that Rigsby was finally moving on, but she often wondered why it couldn't be with Sarah Harringan. The lawyer he had dated for a short period of time before getting back together and marrying Grace Van Pelt.
They had almost convinced him to look Sarah up when Bianca Wordsworth had arrived in his life like a hurricane. He had met her while investigating a case. She had been the best friend, comforting the grieving widow. After they had solved the case, and finding out he had been widowed for a year, she'd called Rigsby up and asked him out on a date. The pair, much to Teresa Lisbon's chagrin, had been inseparable since their first fateful date six years previous.
And now, after a whirl-wind engagement, they were eloping with Cho and Jane as their only witnesses.
Jane wondered how Rigsby had talked the snooty, socialite into eloping in the first place. A clandestine wedding definitely wasn't the woman's type; she loved being in the spotlight. They had all been subjected to her over-the-top soirees on more than one occasion.
There was no talking sense into the younger man anymore. He was too far gone to even consider listening to reason. So, Jane and Cho had agreed to do the only thing that they could; go along with their friend and college, even though they both knew it would probably be the worst mistake of his life.
"Where's Daddy and Uncle Patrick?" ten-year-old Ella Rigsby asked, leaning on Teresa Lisbon Jane's knees and looking up at her with her inquisitive hazel eyes. "I thought Daddy didn't have to leave until tonight."
"They had to do something important before your daddy left," Lisbon answered, putting her book aside.
"Something important for work?" Austin Rigsby asked, his large brown eyes growing solemn. He was the one who felt every death, every murder the team had to investigate. Lisbon could have sworn he was older than his eight years, he seemed to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders.
"Not this time sweetie," Lisbon said, rumpling his red hair. "How about we make some lunch? Uncle Patrick and I stocked up on macaroni & cheese."
"Because we have to stay with you while Dad's away?" Ella asked. "And he knows it's the only thing that Austin will eat since Mom died?"
"Right," Lisbon answered, feeling the usual twinge of awkwardness that she did whenever Ella mentioned Grace. "Do you want to help me make lunch?"
"Yes please!" Austin said, jumping up and down slightly in his spot.
"Well, come on then!" Lisbon said cheerfully.
"Auntie Teresa, why haven't you and Uncle Patrick had any kids yet?" Ella asked.
"Because, we're both too old to have kids," Lisbon answered, rummaging through her cabinets for the blue box of mac & cheese. "Besides, we have our hands full with you and the Cho kids. Do you really think we could manage children of our own?"
"I dunno," Ella answered, shrugging her slender shoulders. "Why don't you try?"
"I already told you," Lisbon said, sighing as she counted to ten. "We're both in our early fifties now, we're too old to have kids."
"You guys could always adopt. . ." Ella started tentatively "Please Auntie Reese! We NEED more kids around here!"
Lisbon took a deep breath. "Why don't we just drop this subject for now Ella? My brother's kids are coming for a visit this Christmas, so they'll be plenty of kids around here."
"Is Annie coming too?" Austin asked hopefully.
"Yes, she's coming too!" Lisbon assured him with a broad smile.
Austin sighed almost in relief. "Oh! Good! So she hasn't forgotten about us since she started at the police academy."
Lisbon could barely contain her laughter as she ripped open the box of mac & cheese and dumped it into the boiling water.
The doorbell rang just as she was finished making the mac & cheese. She told the kids to stay put and hurried off to answer it, thinking maybe it was Jane playing a trick on her.
She opened the door, ready to throw her arms around her husband and give him a kiss, when she realized that Grace Van Pelt née Rigsby, was standing on her threshold.
"May I come in?" Van Pelt asked.
Wordlessly, Lisbon held the door open for her.
"Thanks," she said, offering her an easy smile. "I was just at my house, where is everybody?"
Lisbon finally found her voice. "The kids are in the kitchen waiting to eat lunch—"
Lisbon hesitated for a second before deciding just to bite the bullet. "Well, there's no easy way to tell you this—"
"It probably already happened," Lisbon answered, glancing at her wristwatch. "Van Pelt, what are you doing here? You're supposed to be dead."
"It's a long story," Van Pelt answered. "Are they going anywhere for their honeymoon?"
"Just to Las Vegas," Lisbon replied. "Wayne didn't want to be away from the kids too long."
"I'm assuming that you have the hotel information?"
"Of course," Lisbon said. "Do you want to come with me while I get it—?"
"No! No. . . I'll just stay here." Van Pelt answered.
"We're starving Auntie Reese!" Ella whined as Lisbon jotted down Rigsby's information on a pad of paper. "Can we please eat now?"
"Just give me five more minutes and then I'll feed you," Lisbon promised absent-mindedly.
Ella sighed and crossed her arms. "Please!"
Lisbon's sigh echoed Ella as she threw some mac & cheese on two paper plates and plunked them down on the table.
"I'll be right back!" She said. "Remember the rules—"
"We can only stay in the kitchen with our food," Ella said, rolling her eyes impatiently. "Yeah, yeah. . . we know. It's not like we're babies anymore."
Lisbon smiled affectionately at Ella. "Yeah, I know. Just stay here, okay? I'll be right back. I need to give the person at this door this information."
Ella nodded before digging into her lunch.
"Here's all the information that you're going to need," Lisbon said, handing the slip of paper to Van Pelt along with her car keys.
"Thank you," Van Pelt replied appreciatively.
"Don't think you're off the hook though," Lisbon told her. "When you get back, I want a full explanation to how you survived."
"I promise, I'll tell you everything!" Van Pelt assured her.
"Go on then," Lisbon said. "Heaven knows I hate Rigsby's choice of a wife. The sooner you save him, the better."
"Thanks again!" Van Pelt said, pulling her former boss into an embrace.
"My car's in the garage, I'll go open it for you and then you can be on your way."
Van Pelt smiled gratefully and squeezed Lisbon extra tight before letting her go.
TBC. . .
Good? Bad? Let me know! I promise, I'm building the story up and you'll know all about where Van Pelt went and what happened to her. You'll also find out how Jane and Lisbon finally got together, and that they're deeply, madly, passionately in love (for an older couple.) Hope you're interested!