I have written scores of H & M stories for years, usually when I was bored to tears at work. I have them all saved on a CD, and sometimes I go back and look at them. Some I'd like to trash immediately, others I try to work on or make changes. I had a devil of a time getting "Change Partners & Dance" to end. So I borrowed the end of an old fic that I still am not happy with, but decided to use it anyway to wrap up this story for Chapter 4 & the Epilogue. Maybe I'll find something else in my bag of tricks later on for posting.
Hunter stood guard near the Baptismal fountain, protectively watching the priest pour holy water over the back of his newborn daughter's head. The child was sound asleep in the arms of her Godfather, Charlie Devane, who was holding her over the fountain for the baptismal waters to bless her. The stout Irishman had instantly turned to mush the minute he held the tiny baby the day after her birth, and was relegated to a puddle of tears when Hunter asked him to be her godfather.
"Well," Devane said after blowing his nose and wiping his tears. "I guess this makes up for not being invited to the wedding," he said, trying to laugh between his tears. "Thank you. I'm honored."
When the blessing was over, he handed the child over to her mother, who he could tell was growing more and more impatient by the second to have her back in her protective arms. The baby was a miniature version of McCall, with perfect, delicate rosebud lips, flawless skin and a light cap of raven-colored hair. Her blue eyes, however, along with the tiny dimple at the lower corner of her left cheek, had Hunter's trademark.
"She's beautiful," Devane told Hunter. "You're gonna be in big trouble in 16 years. I pity the poor kid who dares ask her out or try to take her on date."
"I just hope the lucky boy likes riding in the back of a police cruiser," Hunter said. "Hopefully I'll be retired by then. I'll have all kinds of time on my hands."
McCall snickered and rolled her eyes. Devane just shook his head. "And I hope I'm retired before that happens. We'll have to take up golf."
McCall cradled the child in one arm and put another around Devane. "Thank you, Charlie, for being here," McCall said to him. "When we started thinking about Godparents, you were the first one we both thought of. It means a lot to both of us."
"Not a problem," Charlie said, gently stroking the baby's downy cheek with the back of his forefinger. "Your leave is almost up. Have you decided what you're going to do?"
McCall looked at Hunter. "Well, I think I'm going to make my leave permanent," she said softly. She looked down at the baby in her arms and cuddled her close. "I thought it would be so hard to leave the force, but now it's not such a difficult choice. It would be 1,000 times harder to leave her with someone else."
"We don't want anyone else raising our children," Hunter said, matter-of-fact.
"Children? Plural?" Devane asked, laughing while Hunter choked after hearing the unstoppable words come out of his own mouth. "You better get busy then, because you're not getting any younger, old man."
McCall turned serious. "I'll give you my notice in writing tomorrow, so you can find a new partner for Andrea," McCall said.
"No need. I got her notice on Friday."
"What?!" McCall asked. She and Andrea had turned out to become good friends, and her partner never said a word.
Hunter chuckled, and McCall scowled when she realized he was holding information from her.
"Yes, well it appears Crosby and Andrea are expecting," Hunter told her. "He swore me to secrecy. Andrea wanted to tell you in person, but I guess she wasn't feeling well enough to come today."
McCall smiled. "That's good news for them," she said, and then turned to Devane. "Well, I guess it is working out after all."
He smiled at her. "Yes it is. We all had to dance around it a little, but it worked out for everyone. "