Thank you to everyone who have continued to read this fanfiction after so many years. I know my chapters are short and sporadic, but I do appreciate the feedback and that people are still reading this story. I really appreciate it!
Kevin was reading a newspaper when Lucy got back from visiting her father. "How did it go?" he asked.
Lucy shrugged. "He says he'll see what he can find out."
Kevin smiled. "Good thing I married into such a nosey family."
Lucy laughed and playfully hit him on the arm. "We'll see how things go."
"Yes, we will."
Eric entered the police station. The place was not particularly busy, but there were still people around; one guy was sitting by a desk on his computer, drinking coffee; one was engrossed in looking at a file; and two more were standing there, talking. Eric couldn't hear them. He cleared his throat. One of the officers who had been talking glanced in Eric's direction. The officer looked young, like he was just out of training. He was tall and broad shouldered with brown hair and light green eyes. He walked over to Eric. "Can I help you?"
"I'm looking for Captain Michaels."
The police officer looked him up and down, a look of distaste clearly displayed across his face. "Whom should I say is calling?"
"You're a cop; don't give me that attitude. I'm Reverend Eric Camden, I used to be the minister of the Glen Oak Community Church."
Before the officer could respond, another voice was heard throughout the station. "What's going on over here? Officer Valmar, is there a problem?" It was Captain Michaels.
"No, no trouble at all. Sir."
"There had better not be. Now get back to work," he said, and cocked his head towards the back of the station, by the desks. He looked at Eric. "Sorry. He's a good guy, he's just new to town; he doesn't realize you've been helping me out for years, or that Lucy is the pastor at the church."
"So what's up? What brings you on by?" he asked, leading Eric towards the front door. He stopped to look at Eric. "Maybe we should grab a cup of coffee. You don't look so good."
"Yeah, a cup of coffee sounds like a good idea."
"Detective Mannie!" Captain Michaels called out to the guy who was working on the computer.
Detective Mannie stood up and walked over to Captain Michaels. "Yes, Sir?"
"Keep an eye on this fort while I'm gone, will you? And watch Officer Valmar and Officer Rolidex. Make sure the two of them are doing their jobs."
Eric and Captain Michaels went to a little café a few blocks away from the station. Once the coffee had been ordered, Captain Michaels looked at Eric. "You look like you've seen a ghost, Eric. Is it your family?"
"I'm not that bad."
"I don't know, Eric. It's been awhile since I've seen that look on your face."
Eric sighed. "I was talking to Ben, and…" he glanced down at the table, and took a few deep breaths. He looked up again. "Remember that girl Lucy went to school with, Sarah Foster? Sarah and Jen were in that terrible car accident, and Sarah was…"
Captain Michaels nodded, his face grim. "I remember that visit to her parents very well. No one should ever have to go through that, or make that kind of visit."
Eric nodded, and then didn't waste any time: "Ben's dating Jen."
Just then, their coffee appeared. Captain Michaels and Eric nodded to the waiter in acknowledgment, to a pretty, petite blonde haired, blue eyed girl, who looked no older than 18 years. "Ben Kinkirk? Kevin's brother?" Eric nodded. Captain Michaels let out a low whistle. "Does Lucy know?"
"Not yet. She and Kevin both know something is up, but they aren't sure what. Ben asked me not to tell them…Should we warn Lucy? Talk to Jen's parents first?"
"Eric, I think it's going to be okay. Let her come by, get to see her again."
Eric sighed. "It's going to be tough on Lucy."
"Tell me: is the relationship serious? Because from what I remember, Ben was crazy about Mary…"
Eric shrugged. "I think he's finally moving on from that. It has been what, four years? Mary and Carlos are happy together with their three kids."
"Okay, good." Captain Michaels glanced at his watch and finished his coffee. Eric left his. "Let Jen stop by. Talk to her. Don't mention the accident; it'll only make her run. See how things go." He stood up, and Eric followed suit. "Let me know."
"Thanks," Eric replied, and shook Captain Michaels' hand.
Ben paced back and forth in the apartment. Should he call her? Text her? Just wait for her to contact him? He knew he wanted to talk to her and sort this out. He picked up the cell phone and dialed her number. After hitting the first three digits, he put the phone down again. He picked up the phone again, and got to the fourth number before hitting End on his phone. Maybe I should wait until later, he tried to tell himself. What are you, a wimp? He argued. He picked up the phone yet again, and this time, managed to dial all of the numbers and let the phone ring once before ending the call. He grit his teeth. You can do this, he told himself. He hit redial, and this time, waited for her to answer…
She answered on the second ring. "Hello?"
"Hi Jen, it's Ben."
"I'm glad you called."
"You are?" He breathed a sigh of relief. "I was wondering if we could talk…"
There was no hesitation on her end. "Sure. Could you come by?"
"I'll be there in fifteen minutes."
"Sounds good, I'll see you then."
Ben hung up the phone with renewed energy. There was hope.
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