Chapter 1

A Happy Life

Chapter 1

Chapter 1
Present Day
There’s nothing like a handful of Junior Mints after hot, passionate, sex. Sure, some people smoke, some people drink wine, for Charlotte Rinning, she had to have her addiction. Which was Junior Mints. The candy sat in a sparking real crystal dish that her husband, Steven got her when he was overseas just for the addiction.
As he looked over to her shaking his head, she smiled. He tucked a blond lock of hair behind her ear and stared into those gorgeous light blue eyes that were to die for. He began to work his way to the corner of her mouth with his tongue and when he licked the rest of the chocolate residue away, she giggled. He continued with his tongue up her high-cheek bone to her ear. He finished and she continued to smile over to him.
She stared into those golden eyes of his as she ruffled his brown Jai hair that was kept short and neat. Char poked his dimples that were the cutest she’d ever witnessed on a man. That stubble across his upper lip and dimpled chin made him even more sexy.
“How did I ever get so lucky nabbing you from all the other women in the world?” she asked.
“I ask myself that same question every day. We were just meant to be together. This month off you’ve had from the force, has been amazing. Is this the start of possibly our someday?”
“Babe, you know I plan to go back to work.”
“But you were shot. I’m so worried and bored when you’re at work.”
She sighed heavily. He knew her goal. The goal to be captain of the Starling Police Department. She wasn’t going to stay in the K9 Unit forever.
“I know babe, but I love my job. You knew that when we first met back at that sub shop.”
“Yeah. But I just want to be with you.”
“I know.”
“I’m sorry. I thought we could talk about this.”
“Every time we do, you know the end result.”
“I’m sorry. I just want our someday.”
“I know, I really do. So, where were we? Oh yeah. Before you, there was just darkness. A whole lot of darkness. Me being my badass self. Just plugging along. Doing what I do and then bam.”
“And then bam?” he laughed.
“Yup, bam, there you were. When I first saw you, I was like nope. Never gonna happen.”
“Seriously, you thought that?”
“Yup. But then, there you were. You came over to me while I was shall we say, in a heated argument at my favorite sub shop four years ago.”
“I saw you there for the first time and instantly thought you were taken. I thought. What is she going to want with a firefighter like me? A job so dangerous. But I walked over to you cause you were in that scuffle with a douchebag. And you, you tossed me like a rag doll to the floor. I said that’s my future wife.”
“Yup. That was all it took,” she giggled.
“Hey, you changed subjects without me looking.”
She laughed again. “Yes, I did. Steven, I can’t retire, not now. There’s so much, unfinished business I have to take care of.”
“Like what?”
“Just stuff.”
“Char! Just stuff? Really?”
“Yes! Can we drop it?”
“We always just drop it. We never talk about it. It’s always about your work.”
“No, it isn’t. Look, please, I’m doing this for us.”
“And that’s what you always say.”
She shook her head and placed her finger on his lips just before he was about to say something else. She knew he was pissed. But there was no way she was retiring. No way.
As they continued their love making, Char moaned while he went slow and easy into her. While this was a regular night for them the past month, she never once thought about work. Imagine that! The workaholic who had so much vacation never once thought of that evil word. Unless they were talking about their Someday. But she giggled to herself anyway.
“Something funny? Am I being funny?” Steven asked.
“I was thinking how I’m such a workaholic that I haven’t even given that vile word a thought this whole month.”
“Ahhh. Yes, that is funny. They had to force you to take a leave after you got shot.”
“Right. Damn them asshats. I stole that from Penelope, from Criminal Minds.”
They both laughed.
“I seriously thought you were going to leave me after I lost my left leg in that fire that happened last month,” he started.
After he finished and broke from her, she propped her elbow up and placed her head to her hand and narrowed her eyes to him. She’d never leave him. In fact, she was taking it upon herself to investigate that unsolved fire which took her husband's leg. She’d never retire, never rest, until she solved that case. Sure, it wasn’t up to her, but she had a hunch it was deliberately set.
“For better, for worse, ‘til death do us part. That’s what that means Steven. When that call came in, I, I totally freaked,” she said.
“I know. I’m so sorry. If I could go back.”
“Don’t do that to yourself. I know, I do it all the time as well, but don’t. We are still here. We got many more days like this. So, what we don’t have a ton of friends and haven’t seen anyone since September. We got each other. And that’s a lot for love…”
“We’ll give it a shot!” he sang.
“God, I love your voice! You sing just like some of my favorite singers, David Coverdale from Whitesnake and Jon Bon Jovi and Joe Elliot from Def Leppard, my three all-time favorite bands.”
“Thanks.”
When they heard that ever familiar ring tone, they both groaned. How dare they. She wasn’t scheduled back to work ‘til tomorrow morning at zero-seven hundred. They sighed and rolled their eyes. But they knew that ring tone on Char’s phone. That ring tone of the Stars Wars theme whenever Darth Vadar was shown meant it was work.
Steven continued to move his tongue to the right side of her cheek. “Ignore it,” he said. He continued going slow as he moved with her.
Char reached across him to her end table and checked the smart phone as it flashed Dispatch across the screen. She shook her head. It had to be pretty important if they were calling her back a few hours early.
“Babe, please, don’t answer!” Steven begged.
“I have to babe. It must be pretty important. Let me just find out, okay?”
“How are we supposed to finish this amazing vacation if you have to…”
She placed a finger on his lips, and he narrowed his head to her. Char chuckled. But she loved her job. She couldn’t leave. Not with so close to being promoted soon. That promotion was going to be Lieutenant of the K9 Unit, then soon Captain. She also knew Steven’s goal. But being Char was only four years and five months on the force, she couldn’t leave, not now. Not at only twenty-nine years old. Steven was going on thirty.
When he worked his way up to her other ear, those sweet nothings he whispered had her heart fluttering something fierce. She batted him on his chest, but he just chuckled. He released himself from her and groaned as he turned over onto his back. She grabbed the phone and swiped the screen to the right and clicked on answer.
“Rinning,” she said.
“We need you over at Fifteen Mile and Van Dyke,” a familiar male voice stated.
What was her Captain, Chuck Henderson, doing calling her from the Dispatch line? Now she was even more curious. This had to be pretty damn important.
“Um, I’m not scheduled to be back yet,” she said.
“Sergeant Rinning, I know. Believe me I know. I need you and Neo. It’s urgent.”
She sat up fast. Whenever they said urgent, they meant urgent.
“Oh, urgent, well then, we’re on our way. What’s going on boss?”
“A murder.”
“But that’s homicide. What do you need me and Neo for?”
“There’s been some drug use and weapons found in the house. I have Mitch and his German Shepard, AJ here too.”
“Okay, AJ can do just as good of a job as Neo, if not better.”
“Char, please. We’re calling all hands-on deck here.”
“All hands, wow. Okay then.”
Steven kept whispering into her ear. And she batted his chest once more. He went down to her breasts and kissed each one. He plucked at her nipples and her brows raised. She batted his chest once more.
“How fast can you get here?” Chuck asked.
“Give me fifteen at least. I’m less than a mile, but you know, Steve and I just, well, you know,” she giggled.
“Damn it Char, I’m your boss!” he chuckled. “thanks for the um… visual. We need you! Are you cleared to come to work yet?”
“Yes. I was gonna make my surprise entrance in the morning. But I’m ready.”
“I figured after your close call of being shot on the warehouse job with Charles Poleski, I thought that you’d never come back.”
“Yeah. We talked about it. It scared us both, me being shot. Me being close to death. But he understands. He gets it.”
She continued to giggle while Steven worked his way back up to her neck. He began to scruff his teeth against her neck. Her neck was the most ticklish spot on her entire body. She howled with laughter.
“Char?” Chuck checked.
She batted Steven away once more. “No hickies before work!” she whispered.
“Char?”
“Sorry boss. I’ll be there.”
“See you then. I’ll text you the address.”
She laughed. “Mmmm, um okay. Thanks. Oh Steven, oh, oh!”
“Damn Char, thanks for that.”
She heard Chuck laugh as he ended the call. Steven fell back on the pillows and shook his head.
“I know, I know,” she said.
“When will you be home?”
“Not sure.”
“We talked about our “Someday” after you were shot. That was supposed to be now.”
“I milked it as long as I could babe.”
“But you promised. You said that getting shot put things in perspective for you. Now you’re going back out there?” he asked.
“I know. Look, I know we talked about it but babe, I can’t leave. They need me. I’m the only other K9 Officer on the force. You know Starling PD is small. That’s what I love about it.”
She paused and he stared at her with those golden eyes of his. Char hated that look. That was his pouty face look and he usually got what he wanted that look was used. But not this time.
“Look, in the four years I’ve been there, I’ve worked my way up the ladder. Faster than anyone, ever. This was always my dream. Ever since I watched the first episode of Chips. Even before I met you,” she chuckled.
He nodded. Steven knew that. But he still loved her and married her anyway. It was a risk for both of them. However, he still had his dreams too. She also knew that.
“I know. It will happen. Just not now, okay. Is that okay?”
He blew out a frustrated breath. She did too and she could now feel his aching heart. It was like a punch to the gut that made you keel over. A whole month they had together with nothing standing in their way. She realized he thought he had her convinced she didn’t need the job.
But she wasn’t going to let anyone decide her fate. Not even the sexiest retired firefighter ever. She smiled at him. She blinked her eyes at him to try and get him to come around.
“Fine!” was all he said.
As she got off the bed, Steven grabbed her and pulled her down. He kissed her passionately. As he held a tight grip on her. She squirmed to get away. But his grip wasn’t budging as she tried to shimmy her way out.
“Dude, really?” she laughed.
“Don’t go!”
“I have to.”
“Charlotte, no you don’t.”
“Hon, look, you know this is the stipulation with me.”
“I know. But –”
“Please don’t do this now.”
“Okay. Guess I’ll still have Bosco to keep me company while you’re gone.”
“Great.”
Bosco was Steven’s pitbull and he was snoring away next her K9 Dog, Neo. Bosco and Neo became the best of friends when Char joined the K9 Unit of Starling Police Department in 2014. Neo was a hefty Golden Retriever male and Bosco was also a male.
“All this testosterone in here, I need some estrogen to help me cope,” she laughed. “Neo buddy, come on, time to go,” Char instructed. She clapped her hands and both dogs woke. Neo trotted over to her and so did Bosco.
“Um sorry Bos, just me and Neo right now,” Char said.
Bosco whimpered as if to say how dare you.
She laughed while she unlocked the drawer of her nightstand, grabbed her service weapon, a baby Glock, her gold badge, and cuffs. The ammo was in her top dresser drawer. Char always separated the weapon and the ammo, because it was just her thing. Steven looked on as she grabbed her blue jeans, her black bra Steven loved so much, a Michigan football sweater, and running shoes. As she pulled over the bra, Steven looked on and licked his lips after he watched her slip on her bikini briefs.
“God that’s so hot. I actually missed watching you get ready for work,” he admitted.
She grinned. First thing she grabbed was her famous watch, and her chakra bracelet given to her by her best friend, Marcie. She also donned a black leather necklace that featured a sterling silver wolf she got from her friend Brooke. Char never left the house without any of these.
She finished by pulling over the sweater and putting on the jeans. Char grabbed a mini-holster and strapped it to her right ankle after pulling up her pant leg and showing her socks. Being she was a lefty; she could grab the weapon faster that way. She had a hips holster on her right hip to hold her service weapon.
“See you soon, I hope!” she said.
She blew him a kiss. He caught it and rubbed it all over his chest.
“I’ll be dreaming of you,” he said.
“Okay, thanks.”
She giggled as her and Neo left the room. She got to the kitchen and grabbed her car keys off the counter. As she walked out of the house into the garage, she opened the garage door. After getting in Neo in the back seat, she went up to the driver’s seat of the SUV. And backed out of the driveway. She put on the Blue tooth from the steering wheel and hooked it to her phone. The song as always, Let It Go from frozen.
Even though they didn’t have any kids, it was her favorite niece Elle, who got her addicted to Disney movies. Char laughed as she sang along so horribly, if the neighborhood dogs were out, they’d be howling saying, please, make the bad woman stop. She laughed at her own joke. When she checked on Neo, he was laying down with his paw over his nose. She laughed again.
She shook her head at the traffic this late at night. Always a city girl, this was one thing she did not miss when she was off.