Learning Curve, Part 3

by Ri


            Veba was on her back with her head raised on a two pillows. The little black puppy was curled in a ball on her stomach fast asleep.

            “Did she enjoy the tour?”

            Veba’s smiled brightly and nodded, “Oh yes, I think she did. She is very tired though. Does she have to sleep in her new bed tonight? It’s her first night.”

            Rickie smiled sweetly and said, “I know that, Darling. I have two excellent reasons why she should sleep in her own bed though. First, she is a baby and I don’t think either of us wants to roll over onto accident.”

            “Oh? I did not think of that.”

            “Second, considering the way we both twist and turn all night we might squish the poor little thing.”

            Veba nodded and bent down so she could kiss the puppy on the head. “You are right of course, Love. I just adore her already. I do not want to let her go even to put her to bed.”

            “I know, so do I. She is already a well loved puppy. It’s just that I know some of the drawbacks to having a pet. They are a lot of fun but little Lari is not perfect she will have accidents.”

            “Yes, I do understand. What do we do?”

            “Can you gently put her in her bed so we can set up the room for her?”

            Veba nodded, she gently put the puppy in the puppy bed then she got up and walked to her wife.  “What would you like me to do first?”

            Rickie chuckled, “Wash your face and brush your teeth.”


            Rickie tilted her head, “Puppy drool.”

            Veba laughed and said, “Oh? Ok, I see what you mean.” She shook her head and walked into the bathroom.

            Rickie laughed too and took the stack of papers to start to puppy proof their bedroom. Most of the papers went by the puppy bed which was on Veba’s side so she could be close to her new baby. Rickie put a stack by the bathroom door. Then scooped up the puppy and sat on the edge of the bed with it cuddled in her lap. The puppy looked up with sleepy brown eyes and nuzzled Rickie’s hand.

            Veba was all smiles when she came out of the bathroom to witness the scene.  “You do like her.”

            “Of course I do. Why would think I didn’t?”

            “Well all the stuff…um…you seem…”

            “Baby, she is going to make mistakes and have accidents. She can’t help it. She is a little baby. Of course I love her; she’s adorable and sweet. I puppy proofed her side of the room could you do the same with the bathroom please?”

            Veba studied the way Rickie placed the newspapers and nodded. “Yes, I can do that.” She took the papers and went into the bathroom. Rickie placed the puppy on the bed and looked around to make sure there was nothing on the floor. She put some shoes in the closet and picked up a couple of odds and ends on the floor.

            “Rickie I put the papers on the floor and anything I thought was bad for Lari I put in the cabinet. Is that ok?”

            “Good girl. Ok put the little one to bed and let’s get some sleep.”

            Veba smiled brightly and nodded. She scooped the puppy up and placed her lovingly in her bed. Then she said, “Ok Baby, Rickie and I right there. If you need us we will be here in seconds. I promise,” she kissed her on the head and then stood up and walked toward Rickie.

            Rickie smiled her arms crossed and said simply, “Love, puppy drool”

            “None, I kissed her head.”

            “Come on Baby, wash your face.”

            Veba rolled her eyes but obediently went to the bathroom to wash her face.

            Rickie chuckled as she changed for the night. She watched the puppy walk around in a circle to get comfortable then settle down and go to sleep. She got into bed and waited for Veba.

            Veba came in and jumped on the bed. “No more doggy anything. May I kiss you to prove it?”

            “Sure my love.” They kissed passionately when they pulled back and Veba said softly, “Thank you Rickie, I love her so much.”

            “I know, so do I. I think she’s a perfect addition to our family.”

            “I’m so glad,” Veba pulled Rickie on top of her and showed her just how much she loved her with total abandon.

            ***                  ***                              ***                  ***

            Around 3am little yelps woke up Veba. She blinked her eyes and realized that it was her new baby. She carefully looked over the edge of her bed not wanting to step on the puppy and found the little girl with her paws on the bottom draw of her side table that was slightly pulled out. She saw that the puppy was desperately trying to climb up to her.  She smiled sweetly scooped her up and cuddled her close kissing her on the top of the head.  Lari happily licked Veba’s face in joy at being picked up by her new Mommy.

            The light came on and a sleepy blonde looked over at Veba and Lari with smirk. “Looks our little one had a good time this morning.”

            Veba looked toward where Rickie was pointing and her eyes widened in surprise. The news papers were scattered and Lari had an accident half on one of the papers by the bathroom and by her new little bed.

            “Oh? I didn’t even think to look…”

            “I know all you knew was your baby needed you. I’ll clean it up you play with her….”

            “No Sweetheart, she is both of ours. We are suppose to share the responsibility.” She said slowly making sure she said each syllable correctly.

            Rickie leaned over and kissed Veba on the forehead. Then she scratched little Lari on the head. The puppy was already sound asleep in the warm loving arms.

            “Its ok, you entertain her while I clean this up in peace.”

            Veba looked confused but said, “Ok, if you say so.” She shrugged and petted her puppy.

            When Rickie was done she held out her arms and said, “Ok, let me put the busy girl back in bed.”

            Veba nodded and kissed Lari on her nose then smiled as she handed her to Rickie. Rickie tenderly put the puppy back in bed scratching her behind her ear.

            Then she slipped back into bed cuddling close to her Veba.

            “Was it bad?”


            “Why did you not let me help then?”

            “You can do the next one.”

            “Ok, but why not help this time?”

            “It was easier to just clean it up with out a curious puppy trying to sniff her own creation.”

            “Oh? Do they do that? Why?”

            “I have no idea why, but yes they do. I guess they’re just curious.”

            “Are you mad at her?”

            “No Love, I expected it.”

            “You did?”

            “Yep, I do constantly. She is an adorable, lovable trouble maker. She has such a cute little face you can’t get mad at her.”

            Veba’s smile got brighter and brighter then she pulled Rickie up to her and kissed her passionately. “I love you so much. You are just such a loving, kind-hearted doll.” She kissed Rickie til the detective forgot what they were talking about.

            ***                  ***                  ***                  ***     

            Rickie woke to a rough little tongue licking her shoulder. She knew it wasn’t her love so her eyes opened to find big brown ones looking back. Lari moved up and happily began to lick her face.

            Rickie smiled and scooped the puppy into her arms kissing the top of her head. She looked into the playful eyes and said with a voice still full of sleep, “Where is your Mommy baby?”

            “I’m behind you, Love.” The dark woman had just stood up and smiled at the rumpled woman in bed cuddled with their new puppy.

            “Good morning Beautiful. Is there a reason Lari is joyfully licking my body?”

            “Um, I needed her to be busy.”


            “She had a little accident.”

            “Uh, huh…”

            “She, um…made all over our bathroom.”

            “Yuck! Why didn’t you wake me?”

            “It was my turn…”

            “Veba darling, you are not expected to handle stuff like this all by yourself.”

            “She was my idea…”

            “Well she is my responsibility too. We are sharing her aren’t we?” Rickie asked, she looked very hurt.

            “Of course, You are my wife and partner. I love you more than life…I just do not want you do feel that I am…Well that Lari is…that we are…” Veba had jumped into bed and pulled her upset love into her arms kissing every inch of her.

            Rickie slowly pulled back, she cupped Veba’s cheeks, “That your causing me trouble.”

            Veba had tears in her eyes as she nodded.

            She kissed Veba’s nose and said, “I love trouble.”

            “I am so glad you are my wife,” she kissed Rickie passionately.

            ****                ***                  ***                  ***

            Two tired women came into the kitchen carrying a lively playful pup.

            Doris smiled and said, “I take it that she was quite a bundle of trouble last night?”

            Rickie smiled and said, “She was a typical puppy, not real trouble. She is adorable isn’t she?” said the blonde rubbing her cheek against a very happy Lari’s soft fur. She looked up and licked Rickie on the nose which made Veba smile.

            Veba glowed bright as sunshine, she had been worried that Rickie was only putting up with the puppy because she loved her. After Veba had gotten back into bed and they had made love, Rickie, hopped out of bed scooped up Lari and brought the puppy into their bed. The three of them played for quite a while. Rickie had an old sock and had taught Veba how to play with Lari using it. Lari was pulling and growling her little butt up in the air trying to get it out of Rickie’s strong grip.

            Veba was so happy and relieved. Rickie was really having fun with little Lari, and now their puppy worshipped the blonde detective. Rickie had said, “Ok, my loves time to eat.” Then she scooped up Lari took Veba’s arm and escorted them both to the kitchen.

            Stephanie playfully scratched the little girl under her chin, “Yep, she is adorable all right. What did she do last night?”

            Rickie rolled her eyes, “Let us not discuss it at breakfast. Ok Sweetheart, I want to introduce you to your eating area.” She then looked around at her family and said firmly, “We are not giving her any scraps right? A. It’s a bad habit. B. It’s is very bad for her tummy. C. We don’t want to start her life with us on the wrong foot, agreed?” She asked looking around the table.

            All heads bobbed, Veba said softly, “I never even planned to do that, Rickie.”

            “I know but look at this sweet face. She will come to your feet and beg for whatever you’re eating. It’s just the way all animals are. So we are all agreed she will only get dog biscuits and dog food right?”

            Everyone nodded.

            Rickie kissed the puppy on the head and tickled her tummy. “Don’t worry Munchkin you have a learning curve the human’s don’t.”

            “Learning curve, we are not going to grade her are we?” Veba smiled brightly as she watched the puppy wolf down her puppy chow.  Rickie smiled too, “Hey take it easy there Munchkin, You’re worse than Mommy Veba with any form of sugar.” She kissed Veba sweetly and then cupped her cheeks saying softly, “No Sweetheart, we are not grading her. I just meant she is allowed as many mistakes as she makes. We are responsible, intelligent humans that understand our responsibilities.”

            “Was there a question of it?” Asked Veba still unsure of Rickie’s point.

            “Sweetie sometimes when you look at a cute little face like our new baby we forget what’s best for her and give her what she wants.” Doris explained as she started to put plates and glasses out for their breakfast.

            “Oh… yes…I want to pick her up and hold her all the time but Rickie says it’s not good for her.” Veba looked lovingly at the sweet pup who had just finished her water and came sniffing around under Rickie’s feet as she poked around the refrigerator.

            Rickie, noticing the extra feet under her and said, “Lesson one, puppies do not belong in a refrigerator unless they want to be eaten.” She gently turned the little girl around and patted her back in the other direction.

            Lari didn’t seem to mind she just trotted over to Veba and sat on her bare foot. That made Veba chuckle, she reached down and scratched her behind the ear. Lari yawned and curled up in a ball on her Mommy’s foot and went to sleep.

            Veba felt very good about the puppy on her foot. She smiled at Rickie and then scooped out eggs and bacon and toast onto one plate for Rickie and the other for her. Rickie was pouring orange juice for the two of them.

            Doris was pouring coffee for herself and Stephanie.

            As they ate they discussed the puppy. A head popped into the kitchen. “Good morning, this is a charming picture,” said Clark with a wide grin.

            Rickie smiled and said, “Good morning sleepy head. Did have a nice long chat with Sandy and the kids?”

            “Yep, they all send their best. Where is the new puppy? I don’t want to step on her.”

            “Oh? It is all right Clark; she is sleeping on my foot,” said Veba with a sweet smile as she scooped out a plate for the agent as he sat down between Doris and herself.

            “Thanks Veba,” Said Clark as he ate his food.

            “Did you talk to your office this morning?” Asked Rickie with a mouthful of eggs.

            “Yes I did Rick; we finished setting up the parking lot. Doris…um, Dory how would feel about us putting a wire on you? Its not like when we were at the academy. They are very light, you won’t even feel it.”

            Doris banged down the fork against the plate she had been eating from. “You know, little Lari almost succeeded in making me forget the whole thing for a bit.” She took a piece of toast and looked at her Sister and Sister-in-Law and knew they both wanted her to do it. Stephanie took her free hand in silent support. “I guess. Ok, I don’t have to do it til tomorrow, right?”

            “Yes, I…well I sort of already set it up. I knew it would be sensible.”

            Doris rolled her eyes, “Yeah, that’s me. Miss Sensible. Excuse me please,” She got up and left the table followed by an equally upset Stephanie.

            Clark looked at Rickie and Veba, “I’m sorry it was important and…”

            “There is no need to apologize Old Man. You were right. Eat your breakfast; you can help me when we put the collar on Lari after breakfast.”

            “Ok, I’ll be happy to.”

            “Why will you need his help?”

            “She won’t like the collar, Sweetheart.”

            “Why not?”

            “Puppies are free spirits they don’t like confinement. It will take her a couple of days to get used to it. Though knowing our Lari she might try taking it off a several times.”

            “How would she do that?”

            Clark chuckled and said, “Anyway she can. Puppies are very creative creatures.”

            “Yes, very creative. Last night and this morning she showed us just how creative she is.”

            “Oh so Veba has already seen her little one’s art work.”


            Wide blue eyes went from Rickie to Clark and then asked very confused, “Art work?”

            “You know what she did last night in our room and the bathroom?”

            “Oh yuck!” said Veba shaking head, “You know how much I adore and love you but you are very strange sometimes.”

            “Yep,” said Rickie with a playful smile.

            ***                  ***                  ***                  ***

            After Clark and Rickie battled little Lari to get her collar on, Veba asked if they could play with the puppy at the park.

            “Not yet Sweetheart. She is too little. We can play with her in the backyard though.”

            “Oh? Ok, that will be fun. I just wanted to introduce her to some of the kids there.”

            “They can come here and play with her. She will have to be a bit older though to play in the doggy run their.”

            “How old does she have to be?”

            “About a year.”

            “Ok, but Rickie what will we do when we all go out?”

            “We will introduce her to the joys of the bathroom.”


            “Darling, do you want accidents all over the house? Also someone as tiny as she can get into a lot of trouble all alone.”

            “Yes…I guess…I just hate the thought of locking her up.” Veba’s eyes filled with tears as she watched her precious chasing the ball they were rolling between them. “She loves to be free and to run around.”

            “She will be almost all the time and as soon as she is potty trained she will get free run of our whole house.”

            “Potty trained? She is so little. How can she do that?”

            “No Love, not on our toilet. We will train her to hold it til we let her outside. The back yard will be her potty. Right now though we need to puppy proof this place.”

            “Oh yes, that makes more sense to me,” said Veba as the new puppy waddled over to her and collapsed in her lap. “She is so tired.

Should I put her in bed?”

            “Yep, I think that is a very good idea.”

            Veba nodded pulled the puppy into her arms and stood up.  “Would you like to say goodnight to her?” she asked Rickie with a sweet smile.

            Rickie’s face lit up as she looked at the sweet picture and nodded. She kissed the sleeping puppy’s head and then received a tender kiss from her loving wife.

            “Night Clark.”

            “Night Veba,” Clark watched Veba disappear down the hall.

            “To be honest, I think you two will be great parents. I love watching you two with that pooch and I had no idea you knew so much about dogs, old friend.”

            Rickie shrugged as she leaned back against the couch. “I have always loved animals. When we were kids our pets were suppose to be everyone’s responsibility but it ended up being mine. Dory didn’t have the patience. I really do love little Lari.  She is so sweet, and she can’t help being a pain in the ass. Its part of a puppy’s nature.

            “I agree. I think you will be great with a baby and Veba will be sensational. Have you talked yet?”

            “No, not til after all this shit with Dory is settled. I wonder if I should talk to Dory.”

            “You mean about the mike?”

            “No, I mean about quitting school. She is so scared and she may drop out so she doesn’t have to deal with it anymore. I don’t want her to do that she will loose and the Looney will win. I hate that idea.”

            “I don’t like it either. Yeah, I think you should talk to her.”

            ***                  ***                  ***                  ***

            Stephanie answered the door. Rickie could see her sister lying on the bed crying.


            “Hi, would you mind is if I spoke to my sister for a couple of minutes?”

“No, I think that’s a very good idea,” She waived Rickie out and whispered once she closed the door behind her. “She is terrified Rickie. I don’t think she’s thinking straight.”

“I know that. I need to talk to her. I know just how to calm her down. It’ll be ok. My sister has never been a quitter and I won’t let her start now.”

“I know. I don’t want her to be either. I just want to protect her but she won’t let me. What I really want is to kill the bastard.”

“I do too. That won’t help Dory though will it?”

“I guess not. I just…I am…Shit.” Stephanie met Rickie’s eyes sheepishly. “I’ll go keep Clark company.”

Rickie opened the door and went inside her sister’s room. She sat on the edge of the bed and smiled sweetly at her.  Doris looked up at Rickie, she wiped her eyes with her fingers and said, “Hi.  Where’s Stevie?”

“She’s keeping Clark company. Can I talk to you, Sis?”

Doris sat up against her pillows and nodded.

“I know your scared. I also know you like a book and I can see what’s going on in that brain of yours. You want to quit instead of catching this creep cause your worried about the rest of us.”

Doris closed her eyes and nodded. In a tiny whisper she replied, “Yes.”

“Honey, I know how frightened you are and but I know your heart. You wouldn’t want him to go after another target.  What he if went after one of us?”

            “I’d want to kill him.”

“Just like we do. We can’t do that. We can only help Clark and his people catch him. Will you do that?”

Scared hazel eyes met loving green and gained strength. “Ok.”

“That’s my big sister.”

Doris rolled her eyes and laughed lightly. She kissed Rickie on the cheek and said in soft emotional voice, “Brat.”

            ***                  ***                              ***                  ***

Veba was sitting with Stephanie and Clark. As soon as Rickie came in Veba asked, “Is Dory ok?”

“Yes Love, she’s going take a nap.”

Stephanie nodded and left with out another word.

Rickie sat down beside Veba and asked, “Where is the munchkin?”

“Asleep in her bed and I closed the door like you told me too.”

“You’re such a good Mommy.”

Veba blushed brightly and brought Rickie onto her lap cuddling close. “So are you.”

                        ***                  ***                  ***

Friday morning Clark’s crew arrived to work on the car they were taking to school that night.  Clark had brought the set up and demonstrated how it would work to the women and puppy gathered in the living room. Lari sat on Veba’s lap sucking her fingers and wagging her tail happily.

When he finished he asked Doris, “Are you ok with this? Do you have any questions?”

“Yes. Won’t it interfere with our computers in class?”

“No, its set to a very high frequency and the only people to be able to pick it up will be my team.”

“Do I put it on before I leave for school or after our English class?”

“Before you go. I can use a brush up on my English.” said Clark with a smile.

Veba chuckled at that then asked, “Will Dory be able to speak to you too?”

“Yes. It’s two-way. We will hear everything and she can speak to us. If she needs us we’ll be there in seconds.”

“What are you doing to Veba’s car?” asked Stephanie concerned since that was her responsibility.

“Were putting a multi camera rig and Lojack in it just in case.”

“In case of what?” asked Veba innocently.

Clark looked down at Rickie in the chair beside Veba on the couch. She looked up at Clark and instantly knew why he was so slow to answer. She then looked at Veba and answered her quietly.

“In case they try and take our Dory away.”

“No!!!” cried Veba she almost knocked Lari off her lap but settled her baby and looked imploringly at Rickie.

Dory swallowed and said, “I think I will take a nap.” She was crying, she got up slowly and walked out of the room. Stephanie walked right behind her.

Rickie moved to sit beside Veba on the couch absently petting Lari as she said reassuringly, “It’s a worst case scenario my love. It’s not going to happen. Is it?”

“Absolutely not.”

Veba leaned her head on Rickie’s shoulder tears falling down her cheeks. “I am so scared, Rickie.”

“I know Love, we all are.”

            ***                  ***                              ***                  ***

Veba was very reluctant to leave her little puppy all alone in the bathroom while they were at school.  She was worried that her baby would need her but she and Rickie wouldn’t be there.

“Sweetheart, she has to get used to it.  So do you, it will be ok. I promise you. She has her water, food and all her toys. She will probably sleep.”

“But she is in there crying,” cried Veba who had tears falling down her cheeks. She was sitting on the bed and Rickie was holding her back from letting the little puppy out of the bathroom.

“She will curl up and go to sleep as soon as she smells that we’re gone.”

“She’s crying now.”

“Come on my Love. Let’s conduct a little experiment. We will get our books from the office as soon as we close the door and she sees we’re gone she will be quiet.”

Veba swallowed her bottom lip and nodded.

They went to the office and Rickie tried to distract Veba but all the tall woman could think of was the unhappy puppy.  When ten minutes passed they went back to their room. They stayed out side Rickie put her finger to lips and motioned for Veba put her ear against the door.  Then she smiled at her with a surprised expression. Rickie then motioned her down the hall. They quietly closed the door to the hallway.

“See, she settled down as soon as she knew we were gone. She will be fine. We’ll only be gone for a few hours.”

Veba nodded, “I know that you are right I just miss her already. Is this what being a Mommy will be like?”

Doris kissed her sister-in-law on the cheek and said, “Yes, Sweetie.”

“I do not think I will be able to do that.”

“Yes you will, all parents go through it. Sandy and I did. It took me months just to get her to go out to dinner after our first child was born,” said Clark with a great deal of sympathy.

“Do you think I’ll be a good Mommy, Clark?”

“I think your going to be great at it.”

“Really?” Her thumb was slowly going into her mouth.

Rickie gently pulled the thumb out and kissed it. Clark smiled and nodded. “I think you both will be great.”

“I think your going to a perfect Mom,” said Rickie hugging Veba tight.

Veba’s face lit up, “Really Rickie?”


***                              ***                              ***                  ***

The three women were very nervous during their computer class.  Veba was very distracted during her speech class all she could think of was her family down the hall.

Her teacher gently motioned for her to join him away from the rest of the class and asked, “Veba what’s wrong with you today? I don’t think you have heard a word I said all night.”

Veba looked at her favorite teacher with tear filled blue eyes and replied quietly, “I’m sorry Mr.  Andrews I am…I…well I have…I can not…” She shook her head. She promised Rickie and Clark she wouldn’t tell anyone but she couldn’t lie to the kind man either.

“You don’t have to tell me Veba. I’ll tell you what I’ll put together a packet for you to take home. That way you can just go home and take care of your personal business. How does that sound?”

Veba swallowed, then nodded, she smiled very slightly and gently touched his arm. “Thank you for understanding. I will be better next week.”

“I know you will. Take care of yourself.”

Veba simply nodded and swallowed her bottom lip nervously.

****                ***                  ***                  ***

Veba went to where Clark and his team were hidden. 

“Veba, what are you doing here? Your suppose to be in class.”

“I… I was very scared Clark…I could not listen.  My teacher was very nice and let me take my lesson home.”

Clark nodded and stepped aside to let her into the small shed they were set up in.

“Has anything happened yet?”

“Not yet Veba.”

She nodded and sat next to young blonde agent she had met earlier. “Hi Kelly.”

“Hi Veba. Was it a bad class?”

“No I…”

The other team member Peter an attractive young man with a crew cut called for their attention. He looked like a typical TV style FBI agent. He motioned them over to his surveillance screen, “Hey look at this weirdo!”

A figure was stealthily heading toward Veba’s car. He was dressed in black from head to toe.  “Its 85 degrees outside and he’s wearing a sweater and knit hat and mask. It’s got to be the guy,” Said Kelly who was now behind Peter.

“Ok Veba you stay here with Peter. Kelly come with me,” directed Clark briskly.

Veba watched them leave then turned toward Peter, “What are they going to do?”

“They can’t do anything until he does something. Keep watching,” explained Peter.

Veba nodded and watched the screen.

The figure moved to the car very slowly. He took a tool and expertly broke into the car. He got in and closed the door. 

“He broke into our car!”


Clark was slowly coming to one side and Kelly on the other. Clark nodded and they both opened the two doors at the same time. Clark pulled the figure out. Something happened and Clark crumbled as the figure got away. Kelly ran to Clarks side then yelled into her walkie talkie, “Call 911 Peter now!” Then she ran after the suspect.

***                              ***                              ***                              ***

Clark opened bleary eyes to see several pairs of red rimmed eyes looking back at him. 

“Hi,” croaked Clark as he tried to sit up.

A gentle hand pushed him back against the pillows, “Lie back down, old man,” said Rickie gently.

“Clark, I’m so sorry I should have crawled through the car and jumped him…”

Kelly, how many times…do I have…to tell you…not to second guess your…self…” panted Clark having a hard time talking, his voice still rough from the pain. He stopped took a deep breath,  “Please believe me, you didn’t do this. The perp did.”  He smiled at Veba and looked up at Rickie who was beside him. “Where are Dory and Stevie?”

“They are home with our little Lari. Peter is there with too to keep them all safe,” replied a very quiet Veba.

Clark looked at his tall friend her eyes full of tears leaning against a wall trying not show how upset she is. “Tiger why aren’t you home with your baby?”

“Stevie will take care of her…I worried…I was worried about you.”

“Thank you my friend. I’m fine…um… How bad am I?”

“The knife wound hit the stomach and missed the lungs. You will be out ICU tomorrow,” said Rickie quietly. “And Sandy is on her way.”

“Did you call or did the agency.”

Veba shrugged and said, “I called.”

“You are such a doll.”

“You’re my friend, Clark.”

“I know. I am so grateful. Thank you.”

Veba nervously put her thumb in her mouth. Rickie stood up and gently pulled it out. She hugged her tight rubbing her back comfortably. “You ok, Baby?”

Veba nodded.

Rickie kissed her on the cheek and said, “The doctor will be here soon. They will kick us out, so we will be back tomorrow. Anything you want us to bring you.”

 “Yeah that assholes head on a platter.”

***                  ***                  ***                  ***

Veba was in bed with Lari in her lap. She was tenderly petting her puppy but her mind was on her friend in the hospital.

Rickie sat on the edge of the bed. She gently caressed Veba’s cheek, “You ok, Sweetheart?”

“Yes…I think there was something strange man about that man who attacked Clark.”

“You think this was a man?”

Veba bottom lip went in between her teeth and she nodded. Her eyes were on the puppy.

Rickie gently lifted Veba’s chin and said, “Tell me.”

The big blue eyes blinked and she replied, “Yes…I feel it was a man.  He had no reason to attack Clark.  He could have just pushed him down and run away. He didn’t have to stab him.  He wanted to hurt someone.” Frightened blue eyes seared into understanding green. “I am very mad and even more scared then I was before.”


“What if he attacks us next? He knows we all go to class and we all are Dory’s family. How can we protect her and stay safe.”

“Why would he do that?”

“He wants to hurt us, Rickie we are stopping him from being with Dory. I am so very worried about Stevie.”

“Because they are a couple?”

“Yes and because of what he said in that horrible note.”

“Which part?”

“I am going to take you from that unhealthy home.” It is because we love each other, does it not?”

“Yes Baby.”

“So our Stevie is in danger and so are we.”

“Yes, but Sweetheart I have already taken steps to protect us all.” Rickie hugged Veba, little Lari climbed up Veba’s chest so she could get in on the hug. They laughed and Rickie picked up the little girl and cuddled her, “You had a good day in spite of your confinement huh?”

Veba smiled slightly, “Yes, she was fussed over when they came home so she is feeling much better. Dory had come right into here picked up Lari and took her in the living room so she could love and pamper her.”

“And who cleaned up the mess the little darling left?”

Veba’s smile widened in wonder and she scratched Lari’s head as she asked, “Stevie did. How did you know?”

“She was upset so she did what came naturally. Did you give Stevie a treat?”


“Well not a dog biscuit.”

Veba laughed, “How about a brownie? There are still about five of them.”


“I was upset.”

“Three brownies?”

“They were very good.”

Rickie rolled her eyes, “How many biscuits did you get little one?” She asked the puppy tickling her tummy.

Veba smiling brightly as she tickled her under chin, she didn’t look at Rickie as she said softly, “Six.”

“Veba my love you’re spoiling her.”

“She was upset too.”

“So am I. Veba I could eat a whole gallon of ice cream by myself but I’m not…”

“Would you like me to get that for you Love?” asked Veba as she seductively ran her finger down Rickie’s chin.

“Yes….mmm…no….Sweetheart your distracting me…”

“I know,” Veba picked up Lari and leaned over and tenderly kissed Rickie on the nose. Then she put Lari in her bed and said over shoulder as she headed for the door. “I’ll be right back with your ice cream.”

“But…”It was too late the tall beautiful woman smiled brightly and she left the room.  She looked at Lari who was walking in circles til she settled in a little ball in her bed.

“You have one stubborn Mommy, Short Stuff.”

***                  ***                  ***                              ***

Peter answered the door the next day; a pretty woman smiled at him and said, “Hi Peter.”

A smile spread across his face when he saw his superior’s wife. “Sandy! How are you?”

“Ok, I guess I came as soon as I could. I had to make sure there was someone to take care of the kids. Why are you so out of breath? Where are the girls?”

“Outside chasing the new puppy. She somehow got out between our legs and she discovered the game catch me if you can. She’s having a ball. Even Veba can’t catch her.”

“Hmm, where do they keep the puppy’s biscuits?”

Lari was very happily running all over the back yard. Her Mommies and all the family were trying to catch her and she was enjoying the new game of dodging them. Suddenly she heard her favorite treat and ran right to it causing Doris and Kelly to run right into each other.

Sandy was sitting on the porch Peter leaning on the door behind her. She was a small woman with bright green eyes and beautiful short red curly hair. Lari ran for her treat and when she just about get her treat Sandy grabbed her and brought her on her lap. She gave her a biscuit and pet her. Veba and Rickie came up to the porch. Veba sat next to Sandy and Rickie nearly fell into her lap she was so exhausted. Veba gently rubbed Rickie’s tummy; she kissed her then smiled at Sandy and Lari. “Hello Sandy, you are very smart you caught our Lari.”

Veba smiled at the sweet woman with the puppy who was now cuddled on her lap she was almost fast asleep from the run and the gentle petting she was getting.  “Hi Veba. I’m not smart I have lots experience with three kids and a menagerie of pets.”

Rickie just caught her breath and said, “Hi Sandy. Yeah but this little rug rat runs like the wind and avoids us like a quarter back.”

“Hi Rickie. They all do dear. She is sweet,” said Sandy as she petted the sleeping pup.

“Thank you for catching our Lari, Sandy. She is very clever as well as sweet. She just discovered this game. Kelly and Peter were going to do something out here and she escaped out of the kitchen door. I almost caught her by the fence but she just wiggled right out of my hands,” said Veba with a chuckle as she reached over to pet her on the top of the head.

“Little brat is too clever. Thanks Sandy at least we now know how to catch the little Houdini,” said Rickie with exasperated affection.

Sandy actually laughed for the first time since she got Veba’s call about her husband’s wounds. “Thanks I needed a laugh. Children and animals always respond to food. She just wanted to play a bit. Didn’t you girl?” The tired puppy snuggled against her fingers in her sleep as Veba and Sandy gently continued to pet her.

“Thank you for helping us Sandy…um, did you see Clark?”

“Yes Veba, I stopped there first. He really wants to get out of there.”

Rickie smiled and said softly, “Sounds like the old man.” She petted Lari and then leaned against Veba’s shoulder. Stephanie and Doris collapsed on the lawn chairs. Kelly and Pete went into the house.

“Clark is worried about you all. He wants to get out so he can capture the bastard that stabbed him,” replied Sandy her eyes were full of deep concern.

“He will not leave the hospital before he is supposed to will he?” Asked Veba worried, she remembered how Rickie had been in the hospital.

“He wants to but Sweetheart please believe me he won’t. He will be a good boy or else.” Sandy with a wicked smile.

“No nookie?” asked Rickie with a smirk.

“You got it.”

“Nookie?” Asked Veba confused.

“I’ll explain it to you in detail tonight, my love.”

“Why tonight? Why not right now?”

“Because I will demonstrate it for you.”

“You will? Um…Ok…” Veba was really confused but she shrugged her shoulder. She knew Rickie would explain it to her. Rickie tenderly stroked her innocent love’s hair then she kissed her cheek. Veba’s eyes fluttered closed in response. “Why don’t put our tired little baby to bed? I’ll take Sandy to the office to show what progress we have made.”

Veba nodded and picked up her sleeping puppy and kissed Rickie on the cheek. Rickie smiled as she moved out of Veba’s way. The tall woman took the baby to their room.

Sandy watched Rickie watching Veba with a sweet smile. “Veba has grown so much since I first met her but she’s still so sweet and innocent.”

“Isn’t she amazing? She is wonderful with Lari. I think we will adopt a baby.”

“Or have one?” asked Sandy.

“Maybe, I don’t know…Veba would like to do that but she’s worried about me…”

“Isn’t she always?”

Rickie snorted and nodded, “Full time job, like Clark.”

“Yes, she asked me about that before you had your commitment ceremony. She was worried about being a good wife since she worried so much…”

“What did you tell her?”

“I told her the truth; I think that shows just what a great wife she would be.”

“And you were right. She’s wonderful.”

“Yes, she is. She is an amazing woman.”


***                              ***                              ***                              ***

Continued in Part 4, Conclusion


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