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Back In The Day

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“Don, you’ll never believe what my father just showed me,” Angell said, dropping a photo album on Don’s lap as he jumped slightly in surprise.

He looked down at the book, then at his fiancée who had a huge smile on her face, and then back at the book. “What am I supposed to be looking at?”

“This picture of me at the age of four,” she said, pointing. “Does the boy next to me look even the slightest bit familiar to you?”

He pulled the book up closer, really looking at the picture, and then his jaw dropped. “That’s me! When I was six or something like that!”

“Mom was going through a bunch of stuff she had saved from my childhood to see if there was anything I’d want to put in the baby’s room and she ran across three of these. We were looking at the pictures together and pulled that one out and saw it was you and me.” She lowered herself onto the couch next to him, awkwardly since her belly was huge and she was still getting used to how much space she would take up. “I just had to show it to you.”

“You know why this was taken? ‘Cause I don’t remember ever meeting you before you made detective.”

She settled in and began rubbing her belly absently. “It was a birthday party for my dad. A lot of cops were there with their kids, and your family was invited. I mean, I knew my dad knew your dad but I didn’t realize they’d been close at one point.”

“Well, I didn’t know that either,” he said, turning to her. “Dad rarely talked about work at home, and the only cop I really remember hanging around the house as a kid was his partner.”

“Dad told me why they don’t like each other,” she said. “My father had a suspect, and your father was in a bad mood and something the suspect said pissed him off so your father roughed him up and my father had to let him go. He killed another woman before they caught him again.”

Flack whistled soundlessly. “I can see why he’s still holding the grudge.”

“Well, at least our mothers get along,” Angell said with a grin. “They’re forceful women. They’ll get our dads to let it go. Or at the very least, get them to be civil when they’re around each other.”

“I don’t think we’ll want to get them together all that much, though.”

“Well, I want them both there when the baby’s born. And if they piss me off I’ll have them both kicked out, and then you can yell at them.” She grinned at him. “You’re scary when you yell.”

“When have I ever yelled at you?” he asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Never,” she said, slightly surprised. “I was talking about when you yell at suspects. How many cases have we worked together where a suspect has rubbed you the wrong way and you’ve set them straight by raising your voice?”

“Oh,” he said sheepishly. “I was just thinking maybe I yelled at you after the undercover gig.”

She reached over for his hand. “No, Mac and my father yelled, not you. You were there for me in a way that I needed and you never ever yelled, even though Danny told me later you wanted to. So thank you for that.”

“You’re welcome,” he said, squeezing her hand.

She grinned at him and then her eyes widened. She pulled their hands over to her stomach. “She kicked.”

“Really?” Flack asked excitedly.

“Yeah. You’ve never felt her—“ A satisfying thump was felt under his hand. “Now you just felt your daughter kick.”

“It’s a good, strong kick,” Flack said, his voice tinged with awe.

“Yes it is, even though seventy-five percent of the time it annoys me because it feels like she’s trying to kick her way out through my ribs,” she said as the baby kicked again.

Flack pulled his hand away and shifted slightly so he could put his arm around her shoulders and pull her closer. She relaxed into him and closed her eyes with a sigh when he put his other hand on her stomach. “I wonder if she’ll want to play soccer.”

Angell felt the laughter bubble up and didn’t even try and stop it. “Oh, Don.” She turned her head and kissed his cheek. “I love you.”

“Love you too,” he said with a grin. “Still hope she wants to play soccer.”

Angell chuckled and opened her eyes. “You want to look at some more pictures of me as a kid?”

“Yeah,” he said, taking his hand off her belly and reaching over for the album. “And you say you’ve got three of these?”

“From birth to high school graduation,” she said with a nod. “And I’ve got them all with me, so you can laugh at me to your heart’s content.”

“I don’t know if I’ll laugh at you too much,” he said, flipping back to the first page. “You look like a really cute kid.”

“Thank you,” she said. “It gives me hope that our kid will be cute too.”

“I’ll get Ma to dig up some of the photos of me as a kid. Between your cute and my cute I think we’re destined to have a cute kid.”

“Good to know,” she said before they began concentrating on the pictures. She just hoped that her daughter was as lucky as she had been while she was growing up. Then it would be all worthwhile.