Jump Street Archive


Chapter 1

Dennis Booker stood up and looked her square in the eyes. Elaina Chyanne Taylor, she was beautiful. Tall, long legs, great tan, auburn hair and blue eyes, clear blue, like the reflection of the ocean on the Hawaiian Islands. She smiled back at him. Her lips parted revealing clean pearly white teeth. Her check bones rested high on her face. Her nose perfect in proportion to her entire face, she was beautiful. Booker reached out to pull her face towards him and his lips fell upon hers as he passionately kissed hers. His stomach leapt at the brush of her curvy body against his. She was perfect. How did he get so fortunate? Everyday he woke up next to his earthly angel he would sit and stare marveling at her beauty.

"My Princess…" He would whisper to her as she slept. He would brush her face with the tips of his fingers as the pale moonlight danced across her face. She would wake up and look at him stretching her arms toward him and he would fall into place beside her on the bed locked tightly in a love embrace.

"I love you Dennis." The words murmured in a sleepy velvet soft voice settled easily into his ears as he gently kissed her closed eyes. He would pull her tightly to his bare chest. The smell of her perfume would play, intermingling with the cool night air.

As he released her lips from his she looked up at him and then shyly looked away biting her lower lip. He could feel the yearning of his body for hers as she made the common beautiful gesture. She would act almost as if she felt unworthy of him making him want to prove his love for her even more. She was amazing. The morning was ticking by as they both remembered they had commitments for the day.

"I'll meet you after work." She stated with a smile. Her lips painted lightly with a delicate pink sheen. The gloss reflected against even golden tan on her face. The waves of her hair tucked behind her delicate ears adorned with the sparkle of the pink diamond earrings he had given her six months previous.

He had found a pink diamond that had belonged to his great grandmother and his mother had given it to him with her blessings. He was going to ask her to be his wife. It was only a matter of when. He had picked up the ring from the jewelers two days ago. He was so excited he had taken it to Judy. Who better to show it to than the person who had paired them together? When things hadn't worked out with Hoffs after a few months she had mentioned she had a friend who was single and was getting ready to go to a company party. Booker was the only male she had known who was single at the time. Although he was not a fan of blind dates he had owed Judy a big favor and now was he ever glad he had conceded. They were a perfect pair from the start. Hanson, Penhall and Ioki had all done a double take when the beauty came into Jump Street Chapel for the first time.


"That's her?" Penhall had swallowed hard as he swooned over the angel in the red dress picking up their rude, vulgar, arrogant partner for dinner. Hanson stared hard as Booker melted into her arms. Judy had beamed watching the two openly show their affection for each other. She had found Booker's soul mate. She had still been a bit envious as she still felt like she and Booker could have been so much more but it wasn't meant to be.

"Booker." The sly voice of Captain Adam Fuller cut into the endless embrace of the young couple. Fuller had grinned as he watched the two.

"Sir…" Booker had tried to regain his composure after forgetting he was at work. Elaina blushed and looking down at the floor and then at Fuller, a gentle but genuine smile across her face. "Uh Captain, please… I'm sorry… this is Elaina Taylor… my girlfriend." He beamed at his superior officer. He had been caught off guard and didn't want to embarrass Elaina any more than he had already.

"Elaina, it is a pleasure." Fuller had reached out to shake the soft manicured hand that was offered by the beautiful woman in front of him.

"It's very nice to meet you sir." She smiled back at the older man.

"Please, it's Adam." He grinned. He reached up patting Booker on the back and looked at the floor and then at Booker scratching his bearded chin. The smile on his face and the look of being caught off guard was enjoyable to Fuller as he looked up at the younger man. "Booker, I believe you have a beautiful lady waiting to go to lunch with you, so get out of my building." He laughed.

"Yes sir." Booker responded. He had started to move in the direction of the door when he caught the eye of Hanson, Ioki and Penhall standing near the filing cabinets. He stopped and smiled at the gentle face of the enchantress at his side and then spoke.
"Hey, I want you to meet someone." He excitedly grabbed her hand and pulled her over the filing cabinets where the three men stood watching intently.

"Ok." She giggled as she was pulled playfully along.

"Boys, this is my girlfriend, Elaina Taylor. Elaina, this is Tom Hanson, Doug Penhall, and Harry Ioki." He could hardly contain the grin on his handsome face. He ran a hand along the back of the lady in front of him as she reached out and shook each hand. She smiled and greeted them with an exuberant "Hello."

"Elaina, could I ask you a question?" Hanson asked as he looked from her smiling face to Booker's face.

"Sure, shoot." She replied.

"How on earth did you find it in your heart to go out a second time with someone so, ugly?" He jibed.

"Hanson!" Judy scolded. The three men laughed and Booker stood at Elaina's side coolly running a hand through his ebony hair, a cocky smirk spreading across his face.

Elaina looked at Hanson and with out missing a beat smiled at the officer and responded, "Honey, if he looked like you he would have never gotten a first date." Hanson looked at Elaina and then at Booker…

"You better hang onto this one, or I'll take her home with me. Elaina, I have to get back to work. It had been such a pleasure ma'am." With that Tom Hanson took her hand in his and kissed it and then quickly turned and walked back to his desk.

"She got you Hanson…" Penhall laughed.

"I'll say. See ya Booker!" Ioki hollered at the two walking out the door arms wrapped tightly around each other. "Man that is a fine looking woman." Ioki shook his head.

"Yes she is and that's my best friend, partner!" Judy half scolded, half laughed at the comments in the room.


"Judy!" Dennis exploded through the door from the hallway of Jump Street Chapel. "Judy, I have to show you something."

Judy Hoffs jumped up from her desk and moved swiftly over to meet Dennis Booker halfway. "Is everything ok… I mean…"

"No, it's not that, were fine… come over here. I have to show you something." Dennis rushed over to his desk with Judy stumbling over others in order to keep up. Once at Booker's desk Dennis pulled a small black velvet box out of jacket pocket. He held it up to Hoffs who gingerly picked the soft surfaced cask up and gently opened the lid. She couldn't contain the gasp as the glittering sparkle of the pink pear shaped stone twinkled brilliantly back at her.

"Oh Booker!" She sighed… "It's beautiful… it's breath taking… your going to ask her to…"

"I'm gonna ask Elaina to marry me."

"Oh my GOD, Booker!" Judy gripped the ring box tightly as she jumped into his arms and hugged the officer. "I never thought…"

"Me neither… she's a perfect fit Jude… I love her." Booker's words echoed in Judy's head as she smiled back at the taller officer and reached up to plant a kiss on his cheek.

"I'm so happy!" She exclaimed. She stepped back and examined the ring again. "May I?" She asked signaling to the ring, she so desperately wanted to look at the priceless bobble.

"Please." He answered. As Judy plucked the ring from it's protective casing Dennis interjected. "Look… the inside.. it says 'My Princess' on it. It was my great grandmothers."

"Oh Booker, a pink diamond... you did really well. When are you ask her?"

"Tonight I think." He responded.

"Dennis…" Judy could feel the tears pricking at the back of her eyes. The emotions were unstoppable, and she had a part in his happiness. She was thrilled. "I am so happy for you both and I think she's the lucky one to have found you."

"Thanks Jude." Booker smiled and pulled the officer in closely for a tight embrace. She had done so much to help make his life at Jump Street tolerable at the beginning. She had introduced him to Elaina. She was such a great friend to him. He was so grateful to Judy Hoffs for so many reasons.

"Here, take this back before I keep it." Hoffs sniffled wiping a tear away and thrusting the box back into Booker's hands. "Tonight?" she asked again.

"Yeah… tonight." Booker answered dreamily. He looked down at the piece of pink carbon… the lights of the chapel danced brilliantly off of the surface of the faceted stone. "Tonight." He said one more time to himself.

Chapter 2

The afternoon air was crisp and clear as Dennis Booker walked nervously downtown, he as on a mission. He had to get calla lilies; Elaina loves pink calla lilies and red roses. He had thought long and hard about the perfect way to propose. He had talked to Fuller and told him his plan to propose and the man had let him have the afternoon off to prepare. The whole afternoon was sliding by so quickly that he had actually called his mother to lay out his suit so he could get ready before she got home. His mother had been only too excited to help her son as he prepared to propose to his beautiful girlfriend. He had debated on wearing his normal everyday denim jeans, black t-shirt and his black leather jacket, for whatever reason that combination seemed wrong today. He made his way to the florist on Main Street and one everything was in placed he left to get changed. He was going to meet his mother get his suit and then he was going to get the carriage in place and get ready. He had exactly one hour before she was off work.

"You look so handsome Dennis, like your father." Joyce Booker smiled at her son. He had made her so proud when he had told her about the amazing woman that Judy Hoffs had fixed him up with. When he brought her home she had been polite and willing to help with the dishes. Dennis had never brought home a girl who had offered to help with the dishes before. She was lovely. She had brought Joyce a bouquet of fresh flowers and hugged her tightly when she met her the first time. She had carried on a full conversation with her that hadn't involved "like the other day" or "so, like when I met him" she was a breath of fresh air and far better than Joyce could have ever wished for her son.

"Thanks mom…" Dennis smiled at the older lady in front of him. He reached up and wiped a tear from her cheek. He leaned over and kissed the forehead of the raven haired women in front of him. She reached out and hugged him tightly and then pushed him away at an arms distance. She reached up and adjusted his tie. Once she was satisfied with the way he looked she cupped his cheek in her hand and looked at her son.

"Your father would have been so proud of you."

"I know ma…" Booker turned on his heals and looked at his reflection in the large mirror in front of him. "You think she'll say yes?" He cocked an eyebrow as he tugged at the bottom of his light grey silk suit jacket. His dark complexion and inky locks appeared bold against the light color of the suit jacket.

"She would be a fool to say no to my beautiful boy." She answered. She handed him a small dark mahogany wooden box with hand carved flowers on the top.

"What's this?" Booker asked as his fingers explored the deep groves of the top of the lid. The flowers were in the shape of roses and had bits of ivy leafing from them. The work on the top of the box appeared almost rustic, as if whittled by hand. He turned the box to the side and saw a second piece of wood that appeared to pass through the lid and the side of the box. It was a different kind of wood; it was almost a pink color, similar to cedar. He pushed on the small inserted wood and it separated from the rest of the box and the lid then opened easily to reveal the twinkling pink diamond surrounded by plush red velvet. "Where…"

"Your grandfather made that for me when I was a little girl. I want you to pass it onto my future daughter." She looked at the box in his hand and then looked at the little boy in front of her. She wondered when he grew into the man is had become. "Now, get out of here, you have a carriage to meet, or you will be late. I will call her at work and see if I can get her delayed so you can pick her up. Now scoot!" She turned him towards the door and pushed him over the threshold and out the front. He turned to look at her and she stood at the front waving him on. No matter how much she tried she still couldn't shake the feeling that her was nine years old with his backpack on his shoulder waving to her as he walked down the side walk. He was a man now…

"Metro Savings, Elaina Taylor speaking." Her voice was clear and sweet over the phone as Joyce Booker fought the urge to scream, 'he's on his way to propose to you!' The words stuck in her throat but instead she responded.

"Hello beautiful girl, how has your day been?"

Elaina scrunched her eyebrows together and thought, 'why does this voice sound familiar?' "Joyce?" The words fell off of her pursed lips.

"Yes, hey, I was wondering if you and Dennis would be able to come over for dinner tonight."

"Um, well, I thought that Dennis said he had plans, but I can…" Her voice dropped off as the phone receiver slipped out of her hand and landed with a crash on the desk beneath it. A tall man walked majestically through the front revolving door of the bank wearing a light grey hued suite and holding a bouquet of flowers, pink calla lilies and deep red roses.

"Elaina… Elaina are you okay? Elaina… hello…" Joyce knew from the crash of the phone and the silence on the other end that Dennis had made it to the bank to start their beautiful evening together. She strained and waited as she heard the words from Elaina's mouth.

"Dennis?" Elaina was caught off guard. She had only seen Dennis Booker put on a suit one other time. The simple sight of him in front of her wearing this suit caught her off guard. He reached across the counter and presented her the flowers which he had sought desperately to find. She slowly reached up and took his offering, gently caressing the delicate petals. Deliberately she lifted the flowers to her nostrils, closing her eyes she breathed in the fragrant, alluring aroma. She gracefully gazed up at the attractive, pulchritudinous man in front of her. She smiled before she realized there were scores of coworkers watching her. A flush of crimson radiated across her cheeks. She instinctively bit her lip and looked down.

Booker reached across her desk and lightly touched her chin lifting her face and her eyes to meet his own. "I understand that you're off work for the rest of the day."

"Uh, I work till five, I…" Elaina stammered and was interrupted by a deep voice behind her.

"Have a great afternoon Miss Taylor." Elaina turned around to see the bank manager standing behind her with his placed firmly on the back of her chair. He leisurely pulled the leather high back chair back and helped her to her feet. The smartly dressed man winked at Booker as the two made their way to the door. Unbeknownst to her he had contacted Mr. Yeager two days prior to let him know his plans. Don Yeager was all to please to help as he had always like Elaina. "She's an ideal employee." He had told Booker. In all the excitement Elaina had forgotten that she had left Dennis Bookers mother on the phone as it lay on her desk. Mr. Yeager picked up the phone and quickly finished the conversation with Joyce Booker. He smiled as he explained his favorite employee's reaction to all that was going on at his institution.

The couple walked to the door where Dennis Booker swept the entrancing women out the door and into the back seat of a white carriage drawn by two cream colored steeds. The coachman waited quietly on the front seat watching the couple float from the bank lobby to him. He noted the dashing man who had made all the arrangements for the day's excursion and the tall auburn haired stunner making their way to his coach. She was striking in her short red dress and sleeveless white vest covering perfectly sun kissed shoulders. She was the most beautiful women he had ever seen. The man chivalrously covered the beautiful lady with the elegant red velvet and fleece lined blanket. She sank into the grandiose velvety splendor of the seat beneath her.

"Driver…" Booker spoke up in a richly snobby deep voice.

"Yes sir?" The coachman responded.

"Drive on!" Booker's voice provoked a giggle from Elaina who looked up from the beauty of the bouquet of flowers. Her clear ocean like eyes swept from Bookers face to the eyes of the driver who nodded and lifted his top hat to her.

"Yes sir." He responded bearing witness one last time to the enchantress in the seat behind him he snapped the reins and guided the horses into the surrounding traffic as the young couple headed towards Conservatory and Butterfly Gardens.

Chapter 3

The carriage had come to a halt in front of the Eastern Butterfly Gardens and Conservatory. Booker stood straight up appearing stately in his slate-colored suit. He calmly stepped down from the carriage and then turned to his love that was waiting patiently in the seat next to where he had been waiting, her flowers still in her hands. She had Dennis Bookers coat draped over her shoulders. She stood carefully making her way over to the dapper man waiting eagerly for her. He extended his arms and effortlessly lifted her off of her feet and spun in a circle with her firmly in his embrace. She had wrapped her arms tightly around his neck and laughed loudly as she threw her head back catching last rays of the early evening sun. He stopped spinning and set her on her feet and held onto her as the giddy-headed couple stood with their heads together waiting for their senses to stop spinning. Their laughter slowed to a passionate kiss as Booker lifted the slightly shorter women off of her feet. With a staggered "pop" she lost one shoe and then the other as she wrapped her smooth shapely legs around Booker's narrow waist. Quietly the driver mounted his carriage and took one last look at the young couple and departed as his services ended upon their arrival at the Gardens.

After a time the kiss ended with a long tight embrace.

"I love you." Elaina whispered into Dennis Bookers left ear.

Booker nuzzled the neck of the women in his arms as he slowly placed her back onto her feet. He could smell the floral top notes of the perfume he had purchased for her birthday. He had met an older woman who had been making perfumes for years. He had picked out the different scents made from oils to have a perfume made for her. She had loved it and the idea that it was hers.

"I have something to show you." He took her hand and led her to the building. The couple made their way into the building just as it was closing for the evening.

Dennis… they're closing." Elaina commented.

"Not for us." Booker retorted as he lead the woman through the building and into the Conservatory. The sound of water gliding over the top of a waterfall and falling thunderously to the base while washing over numerous boulders and stones was deafening. Elaina stopped dead in her tracks when she saw the massive man made waterfall. The theme for the room was the rainforest. She stared with wonderment at the area around her.

"How beautiful..." She stated in an almost whispered tone.

"Come on princess, we have a little ways to go. Booker smiled at her absolute wonderment at the world around her. He continued to lead her from exhibit to exhibit; each one commanded her attention as she passed. It was when they were nearly through the building that the lights went out. Elaina jumped and grabbed a hold of Booker's arm.
"Dennis…" She pleaded with the officer. He pulled her in close to him and smiled slyly on the inside.

"Its OK princess… we're almost there." He calmly reassured her. Together they proceeded down the hall. "Look, over there… what's that?" Booker asked her.

There was a soft glow at the end of the hallway coming from a room. Booker could see through the large plate glass window at the end of the hall the sun as it was starting to droop in the sky the colors running together on the horizon. The crimson, gold, and orange colors mingled with the deep blue as the first star appeared on the horizon. Booker guided the beauty into the secluded observation room.

Elaina audibly gasped as she walked through the solid double door into the observation room overlooking the butterfly sanctuary. There was a large plush white fur like blanket spread across the floor with small pillows and an ice bucket with a bottle and two glasses. Elaina froze in the doorway as she noticed rose petals scattered over the floor. She felt Booker's powerful hand guide her forward into the room over to the blanket on the floor. He effortlessly lifted her into his puissant arms and walked carried her the remainder of the way to the pillows where he set her gently onto the floor whiled taking his place beside her.

Dennis smiled at her as she continued to look around the room and then her eyes were transfixed on his face as he produced a small wooden box from his pocket. He slipped the box into Elaina's hand that carefully studied the box and looked up at Dennis.

"It's beautiful." She sighed. Gingerly she ran the soft pads of her long fingers across the elegant hand carved roses and vines. She noted the inconsistencies in the size and texture of the carvings. She knew then that this was a truly special gift.

"My grandfather made it for my mother when she was a little girl. Go ahead and open it." He whispered.

She fumbled with the box until she noticed the different color of wood running along the opposite directed of the wood grain. Gently she pushed the cedar wood through and felt the lid slide. She looked up at Dennis and smiled as he watched her intently. The nerves and butterflies knotted and floated throughout his stomach. He took a deep breath and held it as she finished opening the box only to reach her hand up to her mouth. The audible gasp wasn't quite stifled. She held her hand out in front of her as her eyes darted in the direction of Dennis Booker. Dennis reached out and gently extracted the ring from its bed and then took the box from its new owner. He placed the small cask on the floor beside him and reached out and took Elaina's left hand placing the ring on her left ring finger. With ease the golden ring slipped into place. The pink stone glittered brilliantly against the glow of the candles.

"Elaina Cheyenne Taylor… will you do me the honor…of becoming my wife?" The moment was overwhelming. Dennis's words and the afternoon washed over Elaina as tears began to stream down her cheeks. Dennis waited after the words were spoken for what felt like a hundred years when she reached out her arms towards her fiancé.

"I will, I will!" She exclaimed. "I love you so much." Her words were mixed with tears and laughter as the couple tumbled the rest of the way to the floor. The warm glow of the room caressed the skin on her arm as his large hand ascended the length of her arm to her long neck. Booker slowly lifted the hair off of her shoulder and let his lips taste the surface of her skin. Elaina felt as if she would jump out of her skin as the two shared the exhilarating splendor of the moment.

The evening had been beautiful, as Booker led Elaina to his car. He opened the passenger side door and helped her inside. He then circled the car and jumped in on the driver's side, cranking the engine he then took his future bride to his mother's home where she had dinner and a few guests waiting to meet the new couple.

"Elaina, Dennis!" She shouted joyfully as the couple walked inside the door. Hanson, Penhall, Hoffs, Ioki and Fuller all rose to their feet as the elated twosome strolled in the front door. "Let me see it!" Joyce exclaimed. Elaina lifted her hand to reveal the glittering elegance of the pastel pear shaped heirloom diamond on her ring finger.

"Elaina, it's beautiful." Hoffs gushed.

"Wow Dennis, I think that the department is paying you all together too much!" Fuller commented as he looked at the brilliant bobble on her finger.

"Yeah, it was my great grandmother's diamond. I thought she deserved something special." He smiled as he ran his hand along Elaina's spine.

"Alright folks, I have dinner ready and I am not sure what took you both so long, but we're all hungry, so go take a seat and let eat!" Joyce led the way to the dining room. Hoffs was at the back of the line of people and turned to see Booker reach up and gently remove his overcoat from the shoulders of Elaina. He reached around the woman to place the coat on the hook. Hoffs could feel tears of joy sting her eyes as she watched Dennis Booker lift Elaina's hand to his lips and gently kiss it. She bit her lower lip as he looked into her eyes and then pulled her into his chest and embraced her tightly.

"Absolutely not, I am not going on a blind Judy… NO! I just broke up with Jessica and I'm not ready."

"Booker, it is just her officer Christmas Party, no commitment. Just go have a good time and go home."

"Come on Dennis, she's a good girl."

"Good Girl… you know what that means..."

"What Dennis… what does 'GOOD GIRL' mean? Besides Booker… you owe me!"

"Aghh…FINE! I'll go!"

"Hey." Hanson whispered.

"What…" Hoffs jumped. "Sorry… you startled me."

"They look good together." Hanson commented.

"I know… they are beautiful." Hoffs stared dreamily at the two. She was so proud. They had been her first attempt at being a matchmaker. Although he had fought her tooth and nail about the date, he had eventually given in.

"Come on; let's go get some dinner… let the two love birds do their thing." Hanson smiled at Hoffs and wrapped his arm around her shoulders. Judy Hoffs smiled back at Tom Hanson and the two proceeded into the dining room.

Chapter 4

Dennis Booker stood fidgeting impatiently at the front of the church while Penhall stood relaxed at his side. Booker was sharply dressed in a tailored long white tuxedo jacket with white pants. He wore a crisp white tie and white vest. He was festooned with a single delicate red rose on his lapel. Doug Penhall had been asked to be Booker's best man. He had been all too excited to stand up with Booker. He had also been even more excited about a possible bachelor party that is until Jessica had flown in from California. He had taken Booker and Elaina with him to the airport to meet her. The two had thought that Elaina could get together with her and Hoffs while she was here. Once she had arrived Elaina had connected so quickly with Jessica that she had asked her to be a bride's maid for the couple's wedding.

The music had started and the couples began to walk down the isle. First came Adam Fuller who escorted Joyce Booker down the isle. He was dressed to the nines in a black silk suit and white banded collar shirt. He walked the tearfully beaming mother to the elaborately carved wooden pew and set down beside her. Next down the isle came Harry Ioki, dressed in a black tuxedo with a crimson tie and crimson vest. He also wore a single red rose on his lapel. He was escorting Penhall's California dream.

Doug shot Jessica a crooked smile and she returned it glowing in her scarlet colored sun dress. Her flowing blond hair hung in ringlets down her neck and back. It was pulled back on the sides and secured with pins and petit red roses and babies breath. In her hands she held a single white calla lily. Her elongated neck sparkled with the splendor of fire red and white gemstones fashioned to a sliver chain. Judy Hoffs was radiant as she walked alone down the endless cobble stone isle of the cathedral style church. She carried a single white calla lily, her chocolate skin glowed in the scarlet sundress. Her ears twinkled with the identical fiery gemstones Jessica wore. The sides of her hair were drawn up with the identical roses and babies breath in her hair. Doug strolled up the center isle and met Judy halfway. Gently he lifted her right hand and tucked it into the fold of his left arm.

"You look amazing." He whispered into her ear.

"You don't clean up half badly either Penhall." She replied with a smile. The two proceeded down the isle and parted ways at the front as the doors to the back of the church were then closed. The minister asked the surrounding congregation to rise in preparation for the entrance of the Bride.

Outside Tom Hanson waited to escort the future Elaina Booker down the isle. Hanson still couldn't believe that the twosome had asked him to giver her away. Elaina had lost her mother to cancer when she was eighteen. Her father had died shortly thereafter. Elaina had been an only child. Adopted at the age of one, she had known only Glenn and Mable Taylor as mom and dad. She had never wanted to locate her biological mom as the young woman had been a teenager who could not take care of Elaina so she gave her up.

Hanson blew out a deep breath as the butterflies in his stomach began to shift and dance. Out of the corner of his eye he saw something move. He looked once and then again as Elaina stepped around the corner.

Hanson's jaw dropped as he watched entranced by her beauty. His eyes were drawn to her crystal blue eyes which glimmered through the white tulle blusher. The traditional white floor length gown was embroidered with crimson stitches of roses and the tiniest emerald green ivy. Her long neck was decorated with a ruby and diamond necklace worn by her mother on her wedding day. The strapless dress fit perfectly to reveal the supple fullness of her youthful bosom. The line extended to the narrowness of her waist which was adorned with a matching crimson sash which flowed gently over the fullness of the foundation of the dress to the floor. In her hands she carried a bouquet of white and red calla lilies and roses. The ensemble was finished off by her veil which was embroidered with matching crimson roses. Her wavy auburn locks flowed freely down her back. The sides pulled up with tiny ringlets cascading down the side of her face. Hanson stared astonished as he watched her float towards him. She smiled brightly as she lifted her dress just above her ankles revealing strappy silver healed shoes. Ever carefully she made her way over to the anxiously waiting officer.

"What's wrong?" She asked a puzzled look across her face.

"Nothing… just… Wow! You look absolutely gorgeous." He stuttered as he ran his hand through his hair. She smiled at the officer and bit her lip and glanced at the floor. She then drew a deep breath as she thanked the officer. "You ready?" Hanson asked.

"Yeah, I'm nervous… do you think…"

"Hey, none of that talk. He's going to be blown away." Hanson drew Elaina in for a hug and lifted her veil planting a kiss on her forehead. "You are so beautiful. He is so fortunate to have found you." Hanson's words touched Elaina. She smiled back at the young man in front of her preparing to give her away. He looked so dashing in his black tuxedo. He could steal the heart of any young girl with his chocolate brown eyes and wavy hair. She knew the history of Hanson and Booker; she also knew that the two men respected each other. They had done their best to work out their differences and work better together. They would never be the best of friends, but they would always do their best to get along in any situation. Hanson had looked at Booker with a confused expression on his face when he had been asked to give the young lady away.

"Thanks Tom." She smiled again and turned to prepare to walk out the door. She lightly placed her gloved hand in the crook of his arm as the large wooden doors opened and the two began their lengthy walk down the interior isle of the church she had spent so much time in as a youth.

Booker's stomach leapt into his throat as the oversized ornamental doors were open. There she was. Elaina began walking down the isle guided by Tom Hanson's gentle hand. Her face was lightly covered by the translucent material of a veil brushing the tops of the flowers. His heart nearly stopped as he caught her eyes. She smiled softly at him and then as she always did she looked nervously at the floor. He had always adored the shy side of her. She had done the same on their first date when their fingers brushed as she had reached for the handle on the door of his car. He wanted so badly to reach out and hold her closely. They had been apart since dinner the night before. He yearned for the passion of her kiss; he longed to feel her skin, warm beneath his fingertips. My GOD she looked amazing. The couple came to a halt just before the preacher who began his service.

"Who gives this woman to be wed to this man?" The older pastor requested. He looked in the direction of Tom Hanson who cleared his throat.

"Uh, I do." He smiled slyly raising his finger. With that he lifted the bride's veil to reveal her glowing, dewy features. Her full lips shimmered, urging Dennis all the more to bend forward over and kiss them fervently. Carefully Hanson laid the veil over and leaned over and kissed Elaina on her cheek. The attractive woman thanked Hanson by planting a delicate kiss on Hanson's cheek in return.

"Thanks Tommy." She smiled at Hanson.

Hanson turned to Dennis Booker and shook the other officer's hand and the two men exchanged a hug.

"Thanks Hanson…" Booker whispered.

"Take care of her." Hanson returned. He winked at Hoffs and then turned to take a seat with Fuller.

With that Booker eagerly stepped up next to Elaina. He gazed into the softness of her eyes as the clergymen continued speaking. The rings were lost as he continued to gaze at her soft pronounced features. The clergyman then asked for the rings. Penhall patted his chest and didn't feel the ring there. He tapped on his pants pocket watching the panic in Booker and Elaina's eyes. Hoffs jaw dropped as she assumed that Doug Penhall lost Elaina's ring.

"Here it is." He smiled as he presented the pastor with the dainty gold ring. The minister raised his eyebrow over the rim of his glasses as he took the delicate band. Hanson covered his mouth trying to stifle a chuckle. Fuller elbowed Hanson while he tried to keep a straight face. Leave it to Penhall to screw the whole service up. Ioki rolled his eyes and looked down at the floor.

The couple began to recite their wedding vows as the congregation looked on.

"I Elaina… take you Dennis Booker to be my husband… from this day on… until the end of our days together on this earth." She then gently placed a golden band on Booker's ring finger.

"I Dennis take you Elaina Taylor to be my wife… from this day on… until the end of our days together on this earth." He then took the delicate golden band and slipped it on her fourth finger.

"I now pronounce you husband and wife… Dennis… please kiss your bride."

"Thank you." He replied with great relief. He leaned over and tilted her chin towards his and with great expectation felt the stars move as their lips connected with zeal. As the two continued their exchange Booker leaned over and lifted his wife off of her feet and with his arms around her waist holding her body close to his.

"I love you." He whispered in her ear as the kiss broke and he continued to hold her tight against him. She was his forever as the congregation broke out into applause.

Chapter 5

Booker strolled into Jump Street Chapel with a dumb smile on his face. He sauntered over to his desk and plopped down in the chair. The hustle and bustle of the day at the Chapel seemed hold no regard to the newly wed man. He kicked his feet up on his desk and chewed on a toothpick while playing with his gold wedding band. Judy rushed over and perched on the desk in front of him while Hanson, Penhall and Ioki joined her.

"So…" Judy asked in expectation of a response.

"So what?" Booker retorted.

"How was it?" She asked.

"You want to know how our week in a cabin in the middle of the woods in the middle of nowhere following our nuptials went. You want all the little details?"

"Yeah." Judy raised her eyebrows through the suspense.

"You want to know what my beautiful bride and I did while we were away."

"Yeah." Hoffs answered.

"You really want to know… all of you?" Booker asked.

"Yeah sure…" The group of men and one woman stood waiting for details.

"None of your business." Booker ended as he continued to jaw on his toothpick.

"Dennis… come on!" Judy huffed.

"Jude… it was our honeymoon… what the hell do you think happened?" Booker asked.

Ioki rubbed his head as he realized they were all prying into something they didn't really want all the details on.

"Okay, I'm going back to my desk… this is more than I want to hear." Ioki announced.

"Just a little detail, Booker… just one." Penhall pleaded.

"No." Booker stated.

"Come on… I'll tell you about the rest of Jessica's stay." Penhall raised his eyebrow.

"Yuck! Doug… I don't want to hear about you and Jessica. That will scar me for life… well, maybe not the part about Jes… No Doug… No!" Booker exclaimed.

"Booker, Hanson… you're up!" Adam Fuller shouted through his office door. Hanson and Booker walked towards the office of their Captain.

"You're a lucky man." Hanson commented as the two made their way to the office to receive their assignment.

"Yep." Booker agreed. "By the way, thanks for walking her down the isle. She liked you a lot when she first met you. She seems to think that we're destined to help each other in some important way some day. Sounds a little hokey to me, but hey… I never said I understood women, I just like em a whole lot!"

Hanson shook his head as the two walked into the officer and took a seat in the chairs opposite of Captain Fuller.

"Gentlemen, this is going to be a fairly open and shut case. Two juveniles from the Metro Juvenile Correctional Facility have gone over the wall. They are probably hiding out with their gang, The Vipers."

"We've taken down members of the Vipers before, haven't we Coach?" Hanson asked, he was a little concerned knowing there was a chance they could have busted a Viper who was out on parole.

"Yeah, there was a major bust by Penhall and Ioki and that's why it is the two of you going in, so watch your back. These guys are dangerous. You're both going in as dealers and have both done time. You're Dennis Bowers and Tom Houston." Fuller continued as the men flipped through the manila folders Adam Fuller handed them. "Get in with them and find these two. Their names are Caleb Greene and Tate Tyson." Fuller explained. "Your best bet is to find the kid they call Hoop and try to get in with him."

"I thought you said this would be open and shut, it sounds like a lot of work to me." Booker responded.

"Booker, it will be open and shut once you find the two juvenile delinquents. Is your wife prepared for the long hours at home alone and coming home late?" Fuller asked.

"She'll understand. She did before." Booker answered.

"Yeah, they all do before you put the ring on their finger." Fuller retorted. "Get going you two, oh and Booker…"

"Yeah Coach?"

"You gotta loose the ring."


"Booker, your undercover, not married. Don't forget and blow your cover."

Dennis arose slowly while staring down at the golden band encircling his finger as he reflected on the morning. He had awakened early; Elaina was still resting next to him in their queen sized bed. He had watched her hair with the morning sun glistening off it. He had listened intently to her breath as he watched her chest rise and fall in the midst of sleep in the early dawn hours. She had made the slightest noise in her sleep as Booker reached over and stroked her face feeling the warmth beneath his finger tips. Her eyes had fluttered open as he withdrew his hand.

"Good morning." He whispered.

"Good morning." She had whispered back.

He had leaned over to kiss her and the two found themselves promptly engulfed in the throes of passion.

"Dennis!" Hanson looked wide eyed at his partner. "Get your head out of the clouds and let's get going."

"Oh, sure… sorry." Booker walked past Hanson and out the door of Jump Street Chapel.

"That boy's got it bad." Hoffs shook her head as Booker moved by.

"Yeah, let's hope he can put it aside for five minutes to do his job." Hanson commented as he headed out behind his partner.

"Yeah… I think I remember Tyson talking about you boy… your from Jersey right?" Ben Hooper or Hoop as he liked to be called talked to Hanson and Booker. He was looking the men up and down as he struggled to put their faces together in his head. Hoop was a tall man who wore a lot of athletic apparel. He had made a name for himself feeling out the future sales and acting as a liaison for potential buyers and sellers. Hoop was a big man who also got rid of a lot of people whom the gang leader at the time didn't want around. No one messed with Hoop.

"Yeah, we did some time together at Metro JDC once." Booker presented. He was tough always had been wearing his leather jacket and boots with his torn blue denim jeans and black t-shirt. His wild hair and wilder eyes were intimidating to most. Hanson stood next to the officer dressed down in his a white t-shirt with a red and black flannel shirt under a blue denim jacket the phrase "CHOSEN" across the back in large red letters. His jeans were worn and torn at the knees; on his feet he wore his typical black combat boots.

Hoop was feeling the men out. Why did they want to see Tyson and Greene? The word was getting out to every cop and bounty hunter that two gang bangers went over the wall. He wondered to himself if they were cops, but then he realized how young the two men looked. They were almost the same age as he.

"Look, were trying to score some smack. Can you tell us where we can find them? They always hooked us up on the inside." Hanson asked. He had his hand in the air pointing it at Hoop. His russet eyes were catching the light as he tried to seal the deal with Hoop and locate their objective. He didn't want to spend anymore time in this gang world than he had too. He was growing uncomfortable with the questions they really had to stretch the truth to answer. He knew that in all likeliness Tyson and Greene would be able to pick them out as cops if they had to tell anymore stories about being in JDC with them.

"Who are they?" Tyson asked. The two men were upstairs in the apartment building above the streets of the city.

"I've never seen them before." Greene commented. "There's something fishy bout the two of them."

"Yeah bro… seems I seen that dark haired one before." Tyson scratched at the almost beard growing on his chin, his eyes never departing from the two men below him. "You still got that paper from last night?"

"Yeah, right here." Caleb Greene stood up and walked across the room and gathered the remnants of a day old newspaper with a headline announcing "Jail Break at Metro Juvenile Detention Center." He handed tattered paper to the coolly waiting man who continued to scrutinize the men conversing with Hoop on the crumbling walkway beneath them. The man rose to his feet up and began to flip through the thin typed pages while meandering through the dingy room. He came to a stop next to a white wall which was showing signs of crumbling. Ancient brown boards showed through the chipped plaster and graffiti.

"Right here." He handed the article which contained an image of a dark haired gentleman in an almost colorless tuxedo with a slightly shorter woman wearing a white wedding dress with a dark sash around the waist. The couple stood cheek to cheek smiling brightly. The woman caught his eye with the slightest sign of a dimple in her left cheek and her bright white teeth and long flowing hair. She was a real stunner. The caption below read "Booker and Taylor exchange vows.

"Hello Mrs. Elaina Cheyenne Booker."

Chapter 6

It had been two weeks since Booker and Hanson had been assigned the "open and shut" case of tracking down two missing juvenile detention escapees. The duo was not much farther along than they had been at the beginning. Hoop was stalling trying to get the men to loose interest in his "boys" while Tyson and Greene were stalking Hanson and Booker. The two men were sure there was something about the young men asking about them. They had not wanted to meet with or discuss anything with Dennis Bowers or Tom Houston. They wanted more on them first. Tyson was sure that at least on was a cop. Why else would he change his name and be looking to score smack. He had followed Booker home the same night. He had followed the officer as he lit his cigarette up on the street in front of his apartment. He has to be a cop, but he never goes to the office to check in at the end of the day. Tyson had watched through the windows as the cop's "hottie" wife welcomed him home for the evening. He had watched from the roof of the building across the street as the twosome had curled up together on the sofa only to end up making out in front of the television. Tyson had watched almost obsessively as the two lived out their lives together.

"You know, it's amazing what people don't realize you see while they're busy living their happy go lucky lives." Caleb Green pointed out as he took a draw on his cigarette.

"Damn she's a fine lookin women." Tyson remarked to the young man watching Elaina Booker from the roof of the adjacent building as she was fixing dinner. "She works at the bank out on Glenn and Gilmore Street."

"Pig's is gonna be makin some bacon later with that one." Greene launched the obscene comment through the smoke that wafted from his chapped lips. He laughed as the comments seemed to tickle him.

"I think I want myself a woman like that… she sure is fine." Tyson took the cigarette from the hand of his friend and took a long drag on the end of the white stick. He looked at the fiery ember on the end and then handed it back to Green.

"Shit Tyson, your never gonna land a fine lookin girl like her… it's just bitches and hoes for you… you gutter trash."

"Fuck you Caleb! That's all you'll ever you land stupid fag!" Tyson fired back.

"You could have her you know. Teach the pig a lesson about stayin home on the farm." Caleb's eyes flickered with delight as he looked back at the unsuspecting female attending to dinner in her apartment. "Keep him from messin with us too."

"I almost like the way you think, Caleb… mm-mm that's tight…" the boys returned to their cigarette as Dennis Booker strolled through the door of their second floor apartment.

"Dennis!" Her voice carried through the hall as the dark haired man snuck through the door and wrapped his powerful arms around her slender waist. She put up as half fight as the buried his head in her wavy auburn locks pressing his lips to her neck. The floral aroma of perfume and shampoo penetrated his nostrils. He intently devoured her neck and deliberately turned the woman to face him. She had a frying pan in her hand which she tried to place on the stove but only managed to drop it as Booker grabbed her wrists and secured them behind her back with his powerful and larger hands.

"Shit… Dennis… I dropped…"

She was interrupted again by a ravenous tumultuous kiss. His tongue thrust into her mouth teasing hers while pulling her head back by her hair. She could feel him lift her off of her feet as he released her wrists. Her stomach turned in knots of excitement and anticipation as he pulled back from her breathing heavily. She touched her lips with the tips of her fingers and stared back at him lost in the feeling of desire, held captive by the fire in his eyes. His chest lifted and fell as he stared silently back at his wife. He studied her every feature. Her finely arched brow, the errant lock of hair dangling across her forehead separated from the rest which were secured in the back. Her glossy full lips, the shapeliness of her body to her lengthy tanned legs. Powerless to stop himself he reached over to her and pulled her back into his grasp lifting her easily off of her feet, carrying her across the threshold of the bedroom closing the door with his foot.

"Dennis?" The soft almost whisper came across his ears. Elaina had been resting her head on his bare chest her warm body lay intertwined with his.

"Yeah?" Dennis answered as he reached up blindly running a finger across her chin.

"If we have a boy, do you want to name him Dennis?" She asked propping her chin up on her hand and starring back at Dennis Booker. Her loose hair fell down around her face as Dennis sat up in bed looking at her.

"What do you mean?" He asked he could feel the excitement rising in him.

"I mean if this little one is a boy do you want a little Dennis Booker, Jr. running around."

"Wait a minute, are you…" Booker's eyes grew wider as he watched Elaina's face, a smile spread across her lips.

"I think so; I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow to be sure. I'll be able to tell you when you get home from work!" Her smile so sincere how did he get so lucky? He was going to be a daddy! He leaned into his wife and wrapped his arms around her soft skin holding her warm body close to him. He released her from his embrace and then ran his powerful hand over her flat stomach as he leaned in and kissed it. He then sat up and looked seriously at his wife.

"To answer you question princess, I want to name them all Dennis, even the girls!" He laughed as Elaina scrunched her eyebrows together and started to slap playfully at the man beside her. She was soon easily overpowered by the bigger man who held her down and slowly and passionately showed his love for her.

"Booker, Hanson please tell me that there's progress on the Greene, Tyson case." Adam Fuller addressed the two officers sitting in front of him.

"Well Coach, it's like this, we've been stuck with dealing with 'The Hoop' for a week. We can't get passed him yet." Hanson responded. "These guys are tighter than a drum not letting anyone in."

"Well you two keep on him, I've got City Hall breathing down my neck on this one. These are rough boys and they want them off the streets before something happens."

"Sure thing Coach!" Booker stood up saluting Fuller as Hanson watched a puzzled look across his face.

"What was that?" Fuller questioned.

"I have no clue." Hanson dragged his fingers through his hair and continued to watch as his partner walked away. "You know, I always thought all Booker needed was a nice piece of…"


"Yeah Coach."

"Get out of my office."

Hanson turned beat red as he realized what he had just about said. He gathered his belongings and took off after his partner. "Yes Cap'n."

Fuller shook his head grinning as the young officer let out a deep breath as he rapidly rushed away.

The hour neared five thirty in the evening when a tall grey haired man and a short sandy blond haired woman walked into Jump Street Chapel. They were dressed in suits that dripped detective. The shorter lady walked forward and collided with Harry Ioki.

"I am so sorry, are you ok?" He asked as he grabbed the detective around the waist to keep her from falling.

"I'm fine. I'm Detective Laura Andrews and this is Detective Jake Bentz and we're looking for someone, perhaps you could help."

"Sure." Ioki responded.

"We're trying to find Captain Adam Fuller or Officer Dennis Booker."

"Uh, Dennis is on assignment and Captain Fuller is through that door." Ioki pointed to his superior's office.

"Thanks Officer…"

"Ioki, Harry T. Ioki." He smiled as he shook the ladies hand. She was very attractive. She was in her early thirties and was built well. Her eyes were soft brown and her long sandy blond hair was pulled back loosely from her shoulders. She smiled and looked back at her partner and the two stepped towards Fuller's office door. They knocked and then entered quietly. There was a loud slam as Adam Fuller bolted from the door and shouted to Hoffs, Ioki and Penhall.

"Find Booker and get him back here NOW!!"

Chapter 7

Dennis Booker and Tom Hanson walked through the door of County General Hospital. Penhall had been instructed to take Booker to the hospital with no explanation as to what was going on Hanson had tagged along as they had Driven his Mustang. The three officers were met at the front door by a somber looking Adam Fuller and Detectives Laura Andrews and Jake Bentz.

"Officer Dennis Booker?" Laura Andrews stepped forward and offered her hand. Booker reached out to return the customary greeting. "I'm Detective Andrews and this is Detective Bentz were with the Metro Crime Lab."

"Hey that's nice, why am I here?" He asked

"Officer Booker…"

"Dennis." Booker responded.

"Dennis… I… there's no easy way to tell you this. Your wife was beaten, robbed and raped and left in an alley for dead. She's here and not expected to pull through."

Dennis's expression went from puzzled to stormy. His eyes were wide as he looked for answers in faces that couldn't offer any. His jaw was slack as the words sliced through him like razors.

"Where is she…" His voice cracked as his glazed expression leveled on Fuller.

"ICU. Hoffs and Ioki are with her right…" Fuller couldn't finish the sentence as the officer sprinted through the double glass doors racing headlong through the hallways to find his wife. Booker arrived at the locked frosted white glass doors outside of the Intensive Care Unit. He bolted through the open door to see Judy Hoffs tear stained face. Harry Ioki stood his arms wrapped around his partner's shoulders. The two watching intently through glass separating them from the patient as a doctor pulled a sheet over her face.

Booker let out a gasp as he pushed towards the door.

"Sir, you can't go in there." A nurse dressed in scrubs grabbed his arm.

"Booker, she's gone…" Judy pulled away from Ioki's tender embrace. She caught his arm as he jerked it away and pushed past the nurse.

"Sir please…" The nurse continued to try and block his entrance.

"THAT'S MY WIFE!" Booker exclaimed through clenched teeth.

The nurse relented as the doctor nodded allowing the officer passage. Booker walked gradually across the small room approaching the cot. The room was eerily silent. He circled around the bed and slowly pulled the white sheet back. There lay Elaina Booker. Her face bruised and cut. A slice from where a knife had cut across her soft right cheek, her left eye swollen and black. A small trickle of dried blood was crusted at the base of her right nostril and from the corner of her delicate mouth. Tears stung the back of Dennis Booker's eyes as he reached out and cupped her once warm cheek. Her skin no longer glowed with the sun kissed bronze color; instead a pale ashen shade had taken its place. He sat without due consideration on the unyielding bed next to the lifeless remains of his best friend, his soul mate, his wife. He lightly ran his finger along her lips and she didn't move. He leaned over and placed a kiss on her mouth. Her lips were no longer warm and pink but were starting to cool; a bluish purple hue had taken over. Dennis Booker lifted her lifeless head as her chilly hand fell into his lap. He gasped and cried aloud as the tears began to flow openly down his cheeks. He cradled her lifeless body in his arms and whispered to her.

"Please come back to me… Please come back to me… I love you princess… please… don't leave me… I'm sorry… Please…"

The officers watched broken hearted as the man who showed no emotion withered while he held Elaina's deceased body in his arms.

Dennis slowly emerged from the room. His face was blotchy and red, his eyes were swollen from the tears which had overflowed. He had his left hand on his forehead as he walked towards his fellow officers. Their sullen faces etched into his memory next to the vivid picture of the remains of Elaina.

"Dennis…" Booker threw his right hand up in the air at the direction of Hoffs voice. It hurt to hear her. She had introduced Booker to Elaina. He was supposed to protect her from the world. He had failed. He had failed at things before, but this time it cost him his wife and his baby.

"She was pregnant Jude… I messed up… I…"

"Dennis…" He looked up from the floor and into Judy Hoffs deep brown eyes. "It's not your fault Dennis…" Judy's jaw dropped at the word, pregnant. She stepped forward wrapped her arms around his neck and held him through a second barrage of tears. The other officers moved around Booker encircling the two as they all shared in the cry.

Chapter 8

The days following the death of Elaina drug on endlessly; Dennis Booker kept to himself locked in a world of quiet anguish. He thought about the day he had come him to finder her cooking in the kitchen. He could feel her touch, he could smell her perfume. He wanted to have it all again. He was asked to take a week off from work after he reported to Jump Street Chapel early three day after.

"Dennis Booker… what are you doing here?" Adam Fuller had questioned.

"I have work…" Booker responded.

"No, Dennis, you are on leave as of the day before yesterday. You need to stay out of here until next week at the earliest."

"Coach… I…" Booker protested

"Dennis… you have a funeral to prepare for and a doctor to see."


"Yeah, department policy, you lost your wife under tragic circumstances. You're going to see the department shrink."

"Cap… I don't need…" Dennis pleaded with his smoky eyes, pain flickering like hot coals.

"Booker… yes, you do need to talk to someone. Look at yourself, did you even bother to sleep last night. You're in the same clothes you had on yesterday and you have an appointment at three today."


"Dennis, if you don't show up for that appointment you will be suspended indefinably." Fuller demanded.

Booker let out a deep sigh as he looked down at his feet. He felt complete defeat. In truth he hadn't gone home since the night his life had blown up in his face.

He had surrendered a copy of his apartment key to Detective Andrews after trying to return with her to check their apartment. Hanson had walked in the apartment to check it out when he could not bring himself to even cross the threshold. Judy had waited with him outside the door, her arms around him in a warm embrace.

"Everything looks ok." Hanson then walked out of the apartment and stopped in front of Dennis Booker making eye contact with the devastated man. Booker's eyes were bloodshot and he looked tired. Hanson felt uncomfortable as the eye contact Booker did make with him was emotionless. He was almost vacant with his stare.

"What am I going to do without her Tommy?" A single tear slipped down his cheek as he searched for yet another answer that would not come.

"Why don't we see about getting you some clothes and you come and stay with me or Penhall?" Hanson suggested.

"Can't… I have to go see mom… I have to tell her..." His voice trailed off as his gaze settled on the picture on the coffee table. Her smile, radiating… her red dress they were surrounded by the rest of his fellow officers. His mother had taken the picture the day he had proposed to Elaina. A taunting reminder of the life… lives he had ruined.

"Let me drive you." Hanson suggested.

"Tommy… I… OK." Dennis let go of his fight and walked out the door with Hanson and Hoffs; the three left to let Booker's mother know about the tragic events of the day.

He had spent the evenings wondering the streets after his mom was certain he was in bed. He had walked to the bank and peered in the glass at the desk she would have occupied the next day. Her name still on the plate across from her high back leather chair as if waiting for her next return. But there would be no returns. She was gone. He walked to the alley where her body had been found tortured, beaten, ravaged and broken. The corner of Fifth and Broad, the alleyway was now clear of nearly all of the yellow "POLICELINE" tape. A single stray piece blew in the cool night air. He had walked to the end of the alley looking for anything. A clue, but he knew that there was nothing. The crime lab had combed the alley multiple times searching for the missing evidence. There had to be something, anything that would point to a possible suspect or credible witness. He wanted to find her rings; the bastards had stolen her engagement ring and wedding band.

It had been just over one week since the death of Elaina Booker. The body had been released from the morgue for burial. Joyce Booker had taken over control of the funeral arrangements when it had become clear Dennis couldn't do it. He would sit at her side and agree on whatever she would ask. He was shutting down emotionally. His eyes were glazed over as he thought to himself. What if I hadn't married her? Would she have died? Why did she have to go? What had she done wrong?

"And what will we be burring the body in… do you have something in mind?" The undertaker had asked. He looked up over the rims of his thick black horn-rimmed reading glasses.

"White." Dennis responded. "I want her to wear white." He then pulled his gold wedding band off of his finger and handed it to the undertaker who looked at it and then at Booker. "Put this on her, hers was… stolen…" After saying what he did he stood and left the room he proceeded outside to light up a cigarette. The wind was cool and crisp. He couldn't stop thinking about Elaina. The season of summer was about to give up into fall. She had always loved to walk through the woods, listening to the leaves crunching beneath her feet. In front of him he watched a leaf dangling from a tree slowly fall to the soft green grass below. The next day was going to be longest of his life.
"Today we commend the body of our dearly departed Elaina Cheyenne Booker to the ground… ashes to ashes, dust to dust…" The words were cold. The preacher had tried to console Dennis, but he was untouchable. His emotions had run dry. His mother stood behind him her hand warm on his left shoulder. Occasionally he could hear a sniffle from her. Judy Hoffs had tried to put on her strong game face on only to fall apart once she walked into the funeral home. Now at the graveside Hanson, Penhall and Ioki struggled to help hold her together. Fuller stood at Joyce Booker's side one arm around her shoulder and the other on Dennis Booker's right shoulder. The day was cold and gray. The sun was hidden behind the clouds almost as if it too was in morning for his wife.

"This concludes the graveside services for Elaina Booker please join the family at their home and trust that we will take care of everything here. You are welcome to remain as long as you like." The words were so wrong. Why are they leaving, they can't be leaving. They can't put her in the ground. Dennis stood up and walked towards the oak box containing the earthly remains of his wife. He walked to the box his hand outstretched shaking. He could feel his knees weakening. He leaned over the casket tears falling leaking across the finished ornate sides. He kissed the surface of the wood between silent sobs sliding his fingers across the top. The roses atop of the large box shook with the quaking of each ragged breath, it was then he felt a gentle hand on his lower back.

Booker stood up and turned looking eye to eye with an auburn haired fair skinned Angela Miller. The officer took one look at the woman and melted into her motherly arms. The two singing into the grass as Dennis Booker's legs finally gave out.

"Oh GOD Ang… she… my baby… please… why…" his words were choked by the tormented sobs. Angie Miller sat on the ground with Dennis Booker in her arms sobbing looking up at her husband Dean. Adam Fuller stood next to Dean a sullen look on his normally cheerful face. Tom Hanson, Doug Penhall, Judy Hoffs and Harry Ioki watched as for the second time Dennis Booker lost control of his emotions.

Chapter 9

Angie Miller tip toed out of Dennis Bookers upstairs bedroom. His mother stood at the end of the hallway and watched in awe as the somewhat younger woman had succeed in getting Dennis Booker to sleep. She had cradled him in her arms in the backseat of the family car all the way home from the cemetery. With the help of Adam Fuller and Doug Penhall she had helped him to his room and run her fingers through his hair and caressed his cheek as she hummed a child's lullaby to him while he laid his head in her lap. Judy had helped her lift his head onto a pillow so the woman could slip out from underneath him. Hanson and Ioki had stood outside the door waiting for Angie to emerge.

"Angie…" Hanson had started to speak up.

"Shhh." Angie lifted her index finger to her lips and waved the younger men to the stairs as she gently closed the door.

Hanson and Ioki obeyed walking down the steps to the living room to join Dean Miller, Fuller and Penhall in a cup of coffee. Joyce had beaten them all down the stairs as the rest slowly emerged.

"Now get over here and give me a hug Tommy." Angie quietly spoke. Hanson walked over to the outstretched arms and melted into her. He let himself get lost in her tight squeeze. The smell of her perfume wafted over him as a strand of her auburn hair tickled his face. He closed his eyes and rested there. He had forgotten how wonderful he felt being next to her. It just felt good to have someone hold him tight. He had kept it to himself for a while but he had been dreaming of the fateful 3.3 seconds that haunted him so long ago. He could feel Amy once again.

"How have you been, and why haven't you called?" Angie asked out of the blue. Hanson was caught off guard as he sat up and looked at Angela Miller the smile on her face indicated the light hearted sarcasm. Hanson ran a hand through his hair as he smiled and apologized for not calling.

"It's been a little busy since we've been back." He smiled back at her. He missed his "Aunt Angie." She had made such a trying assignment so easy to handle.

"We need to talk, I can see it in your eyes. I need to sit down with Mrs. Booker for a spell, and then I want to talk a bit with you. Gentlemen, please excuse me." Angie winked as she walked to the kitchen where Joyce Booker sat alone at the kitchen table.

Angie glanced at the kitchen. The counters were loaded with food, drinks and cards. People had come and gone leaving the kitchen in shambles. Joyce Booker had her head buried in her hands in a feeble attempt to hide her distress.

"Mrs. Booker…" Angie's voice startled Joyce who looked up at the woman. Her tear stained face reflected the sadness she struggled to hide.
"Please call me Joyce." She said through her sniffles. "Let me get you some coffee." She started to stand as Angie shook her head.

"No… I can get it myself… you sit." Angie walked over to the counter and lifted the pot pouring the dark aromatic liquid into a glass mug. She then stirred in a spoonful of sugar and some cream. Quietly she sipped the hot liquid as she turned to the elder Booker. "Can I get you anything, Joyce?" She asked sincerely.

"May I have a cup of please." Her bloodshot eyes and tearstained face echoed the same pain she had seen on Dennis's young face.

Angie walked over to the table with the steaming liquid and sat down next to her.

"Look I am really sorry about today if I stepped on your toes…" Joyce raised her hand and shook her head as she stopped Angie in mid sentence.

"Angie…" Joyce said gently laying her hand down on top of Angie Millers. "Dennis has been so far removed this last week that I am relieved he opened up at all. He is just bottling it up and then just exploding. I am worried about him."

Angie breathed a sigh of relief as she patted Joyce's hand and the two were able to easily talk about the events leading up to meeting Dennis, Doug and Tom.

Three days had passed since Booker had buried his wife and unborn child. Dennis had clamed up, not communicating with anyone but his friends Jack and Jim. He had purchased a large fifth of Jack Daniels Whiskey and headed to the apartment he and Elaina had shared. He climbed up the steps and stared at the blue wooden door as he tore open a cap and took a long swallow of the harsh burning liquid. He wiped a small amount from lips with his leather sleeve. He pulled the metal key from his hip pocket running his fingers across the ridges in the metal. He slowly slid the key into the lock and turned it. He then turned the knob and pushed the door open. There in front of him on the coffee table was the picture of Elaina and himself on their wedding day. Both smiling joyously at the camera man, but what did they have to smile about now? If only I had had the good sense to stay away from her… maybe… perhaps she would still be here.

Dennis stumbled across the threshold and towards their bedroom. On the floor lay her silk nightgown. All over the place were the remnants of someone who was going to be home in an hour or five minutes. Perhaps she was just on a small vacation she had forgotten to tell him about. Dennis sat down on the bed and picked up the garment. He held it to his nose breathing in her scent as it remained on the delicate fabric. Dropping his arm to the side while still clutching the gown he walked to the dresser. On the top of the surface was a bottle of perfume. The floral shaped bottle contained a mixture of oils which he had designed to be hers alone. He remembered the day he had handed her the bottle. She had nearly jumped out of her skin. "You had a perfume made for me!"

He sprayed the mist from the bottle and breathed in the scent. As he continued to hold her gown in his large hand longing to hold her body near to his own. He placed the bottle back on the desk and walked over to the bed where he sat down and took another long drink from the Whiskey bottle.

Joyce Booker had called Tom Hanson when she had realized Dennis had gone and not told her where he was going.

"Tom, I don't know who else to turn to. You… you've been through this before… maybe you can help him."

"Sure Joyce, I'll see what I can do."

Hanson had walked to his Blue Ford Mustang and fired up the engine. He had left the parking lot heading in the direction of Dennis and Elaina's apartment. He had remembered the conversation Angie and he had had.

"Angie… I keep having this dream…" Hanson began.

"About what Tommy?" Angie had looked intently at the young officer as a feeling of helplessness played across his face.

"Amy… I just. It's been so long since I had this dream. I felt so helpless for so long and ever since Booker and Elaina… well… I just… It hurts."

"Tommy, there is a saying that says 'Time will heal all wounds'. The thing about this saying is that it does not imply that they go away. It just says it heals them; you will always have the scar. There is always going to be something that will claw or cut into that scar and make it bleed again."

Angie's words made sense. He thought that the pain would go away and never come back. The hurt just goes away for a little bit and comes back again on occasion. Maybe that was how he was going to be able to help Booker.

Chapter 10

Tom Hanson cautiously walked up the steps to the second floor of Booker's apartment building. The trek up was nerve wracking. What was he going to say to Dennis?

"Sorry bout your wife man…" or "Dude, just hang in there, it'll get better…" it all sounded so lame. He knew that Dennis was on the verge of a breakdown, but what could he do to stop it? He walked to the door, "second to the right, it's bright blue." Elaina's words rang in his head. She had asked the building supervisor if she could paint over the black graffiti laced surface before she had moved in. She had planned on changing the color a bit, but for obvious reasons had never gotten around to it.

He approached the room cautiously as the door was open and only one light was on.

"Dennis…" he wrapped on the door as it creaked the rest of the way open. "Booker… are you in here?"

"Go away Hanson." Booker's words were slurred and flat. He could smell the whiskey as he entered the bedroom. Booker sat at the edge of the bed on he floor his right leg pulled to his chest supporting his right arm and the mostly finished fifth of Whiskey. He lifted the bottle to his lips as he watched Hanson slowly enter the dimly lit room.

"Hey Book… your mom sent me to check on you. You ok?" Hanson asked timidly. He was alarmed at the rumpled look of Dennis Booker. He wasn't the best put together man on the department but he was normally fairly tidy. His tattered jeans were set off by the black combat boots which were laced up over his jeans. His black t-shirt looked like it was stained and his leather jacket hung limp on the bed. His hair was messier than normal and his eyes were vacant and stormy.

"I'm bloody fantastic." He responded coldly. He didn't even glance at the officer standing near him.

"Look Dennis, we… I thought that I… we could talk. I mean I know what your going through…"

"Really Hanson… you really know what I'm going through." Booker leaned forward and pointed accusingly at Tom Hanson who watched his partner sink into a bottomless pit. "With your experience with what… Amy?"

"Yeah Booker, I watched my girlfriend die in front of me!" Hanson fired back. He was getting fed up watching this man stew while everyone walked around on egg shells to make him happy.

Booker let out a mocking laugh as he rose to his feet and looked down at slighter man in front of him. "Yep, you have all sorts of experience… you didn't even love her… or wait… you weren't sure if you loved her. Admit it Hanson, the only guilt you felt was from making her think you were in love with her." Booker then raised the bottle to his lips as Hanson roughly slapped it away send the bottle sailing into a wall spilling the bitter contents to the floor.

Booker grabbed Hanson by the shirt collar and slammed the officer in to the wall behind him. Hanson winced clutching at the powerful hands on his collar. Hanson shoved the bigger man back and charged at him taking Dennis Booker to the ground punching and swatting at the bigger man. Booker easily overpowered the smaller officer and slammed him into the same wall again as he drew back his right leg and landed a powerful kick in Hanson's side. The smaller officer groaned as he drew up trying to protect his head from a second kick. A third kick landed in Hanson's stomach causing Hanson to wretch on the floor.

"Book-er… STOP! It's… me…" Hanson tried to stop the punishment raining down on him.

Two hands reached down and pulled the wounded officer to his feet. Hanson struggled to hold his thoughts together. He squeezed his eyes shut at the violent tug to his feet holding tightly to his damaged side.

"Dennis…" Hanson's voice was just short of a whisper. "…please Dennis… it's me…"

"What the hell… Booker… Hanson…" Doug Penhall raced into the room. He was dumbstruck at the sight he saw Booker drawing back to strike at Hanson who was barely standing on his own feet. Booker stopped and instantly let go of Hanson who held onto the wall to keep himself on his feet.

"Doug… Tommy…" Booker's voice was pleading as he looked at the two men standing there. He then looked down at his hands shaking violently. "Tommy…I… they… gotta find…" His words were jumbled as he came back to reality realizing who he was assaulting. Booker raced for the door as Penhall raced towards Hanson as his legs buckled and he listed towards the ground.


"Hanson… Tommy… hey buddy…"

"Doug…" Hanson croaked out. "Where's Booker?"

"I'll worry about him in a second; we gotta get you some help."

"NO! Booker needs us now!" Hanson insisted.

"Hanson you have a broken rib…" Penhall tried argue back.

"No this… is a cracked rib… had broken ones… before… this is cracked. We gotta find Dennis."

"Hanson, you are the only one I know who puts the man who kicked you ass ahead of yourself in life." Penhall scolded his partner. He watched a painful play of emotion navigate across Hanson's handsome features.

"Booker's… gunnin for trouble… if the wrong people… get a hold…" Hanson tried to finish.

"You don't have to tell me twice… give me your keys, I'm driving." Penhall said helping Hanson off of the bed. The two men scrambled to Hanson's blue Mustang speeding off in the night.


Booker arrived at the alleyway where Elaina's body had been dumped. He walked down the alley pulling his lighter out of his pocket he started to light a cigarette when something hard and metal caught him across the forehead taking him out of the land of consciousness.

"Hello Officer Booker." An unrecognizable voice was toying with him. Booker couldn't see or move his arms. His hands were pinned behind his back with a tight prickly rope which cut into his wrists. Something was over his head making it stuffy and hard to breathe. Booker took shallow breaths as he regained consciousness and then the bag was pulled from his head to reveal a dimly lit room. He was somewhere he had never been before and he didn't like it. His head was sore and he felt a trickle of blood oozing down from a bruise on his forehead.

Once Booker opened his eyes he could recognize the faces of the two men in front of him, but their names were escaping him. He knew that he should know who they were.

"Who… are you?" Booker asked swallowing hard. A slap across the back of his head was the only answer they would give.

"Awe Dennis, I am ashamed you don't know who we are. We know who you are though." There was a dark haired boy and a light haired boy. The dark haired boy was doing al the talking while the light haired boy stood behind Dennis snickering.

"You see, we met your wife once…" The dark haired boy stated.

"Slammin body." The light haired boy responded as he walked around and faced Booker.

Dennis felt his blood pressure starting to rise as he fought the ropes around his wrists. He could feel every single prick of the needle like pines from the surface of the ropes lacing his wrists together. They smarted as the dug deeply into his wrists drawing blood to the surface. He was sitting in a chair and tried to rise only to be shoved angrily back into it. Booker was getting tired of this game when the dark haired boy said something that caught his attention and held him still.

"She was quite hospitable you know. She let me run my hands all over her body inside and out; and then she let me taste her. Boy she was good." He grinned almost congratulating himself. "She moaned a little for me… Oh… oh… oh." The disgustingly mocking words filling Dennis Booker with an unquenchable rage as the two men continued to described how they had raped his wife repeatedly. "Oh yeah and when she screamed well oh my GOD! I couldn't stop myself that was the best part. I had to go back for more" He said as he leaned forward his stale breath blowing against Bookers face. The menacing glare in his eyes held against flickers of anger in Booker's eyes. Their taunting words sinking deeply into Booker's pain ravaged soul.

"She took every inch I gave her, and begged me for more." The light haired boy whispered in Bookers left ear. That was it. The ropes had loosened enough that Dennis could feel them falling away. The burns and blood on his wrists weren't enough to stop him as he threw himself against the dark haired kid while the light haired kid fought to free his friend. Once the adrenalin had kicked in there was no stopping Dennis Booker.

Chapter 11

Hanson shouted at Penhall to stop as they reached the alleyway at the corner of Fifth and Broad.

"This is where he went… I'm sure." Hanson stated. Tom hadn't wanted to be much of the conversational type since his recent beating at the hands of Dennis Booker but deep inside he knew it was deep seeded emotion that Dennis was holding back. He also knew from talking to Joyce Booker that Dennis had been taking walks that lead him to this location nearly every night. He knew from dealing with his own issues from the shooting death of his girlfriend Amy that he was going to fight this for a long time.

"Hanson, of all the places in this city…"

"Doug, trust me, he came here. His mother told me that he comes here nearly every night. This is where they found his wife." Hanson stated cutting Penhall off.

Penhall parked the Mustang and stepped out of the car. He walked around and aided Tom Hanson to his feet. The smaller officer was bleeding from his head and holding his side. Hanson gritted his teeth as he stood up with the assistance of the bigger man.

"Tommy you sure you want to do this?" Penhall asked watching his partner agonize with each step. Part of him wanted to pound Booker until his brains popped out of his feet and the other wanted to wrap his arms around the man and hold the man through his pain.

"Doug stop!" Hanson shouted for the second time tonight.

"What?" Penhall responded.

"Down there… Booker's lighter." Hanson pointed to the silver Zippo.

Penhall stooped down and carefully picked up the metal plated lighter. On the side was engraved "THE LIGHT OF MY LIFE". Elaina had given it to Booker before their wedding. Dennis had proudly displayed the lighter for everyone to look at. He remembered how she had smiled at him when he had gently kissed her full crimson lips at the reception when he thanked her for it. Tom remembered how much he knew Elaina had hated the fact that Dennis smoked, but wanted him to have the lighter he had admired.

"Shit Hanson… his cigarette's and that one… it looks like its still smoking." Penhall looked up at his injured friend holding the still smoking cigarette in his hand. "That means he's not too far from…"

There was a loud crash coming from above the officers. Hanson and Penhall both looked up. There was an open window above them and the sounds of a struggle. The two men bolted for the door leading up the steps to the second floor apartment.
The two officers clambered up the staircase to the second floor. The building was mostly vacant so sorting out which room they were in was fairly easy. Penhall was being followed by a weakening Tom Hanson. Both had their weapons drawn. They had been advised to wait for back up when they called Fuller to tell them they were in pursuit of Booker. The sound they had just heard was the reason they were worried. Hanson was sure that it was Dennis shouting but he heard other voices too. Someone had grabbed Dennis?

Penhall found a door that he was sure the sound was emanating from. He pointed to the other side where Hanson slowly took his place. Both men pointed their weapons at the door when Penhall reached across and checked the knob. He slowly twisted the cold orb shaped object. The click and then creek of the door indicated it was going to open as Penhall pushed it open quickly. Both men twisted abruptly witnessing Dennis Booker being savagely assaulted with kicks and punches. Tate Tyson turned his head as the door shot open. His dark hair was dripping sweat, his face bruised and swollen. Caleb Greene also ceased his kicking as he turned to stare at the intruders entering the room.

"Don't move!" Penhall shouted as Dennis Booker took advantage of the lull in the assault on his failing body to launch himself at Caleb Greene taking the boy to the ground.

"I'm going to fucking kill you!" Booker shouted as he started to pound the fair haired boy with bitter hatred. Hanson stumbled to Booker in an attempt to prevent the office from doing what he said he would do. Tate Tyson didn't wait around to see if Booker made true on his promise. He dashed towards to window only to be grabbed by the shirt collar by a quick thinking Doug Penhall and handcuffed to the nearest column.

"You're lucky I don't finish you off myself." Doug stated as he left the teen to await his fate.

Hanson leaped onto Dennis Booker in an attempt to prevent the officer from doing what he said he would. Caleb Green tried to stand only to run square into Doug Penhall who took the boy and with a second pair of handcuffs fastened the boy to a second nearby column.

"Booker stop… it's me… Tommy…" Doug could hear the sounds of Hanson trying to calm and soothe the hysterical officer. Doug saw something glint on the ground by the window. He walked over to it and stooped to retrieve the objects. A broken gold chain and two rings lay in the moonlight. IT was unmistakable. An antique gold ring housing a pink pear shaped diamond with the words "PRINCESS", and a delicate gold band with the words "MY ELAINA" engraved inside. These boys, the escapees from the Metro Juvenile lock up had raped and beaten Elaina Booker. These boys had murdered Dennis Booker's wife and unborn child.

Penhall turned to see Hanson holding the officer in his arms as he continued to sob uncontrollably. Doug walked over and joined the two men on the floor. Doug looked long and hard at the tear streaked face of Dennis Booker before he reached out and took his hand. Doug opened the officers hand placed to the rings in his hand. Booker looked up at Penhall and then at Hanson both men swallowed hard as Booker grasped the rings tightly in his fist.

"Elaina…" was all Booker could choke out as he collapsed against Penhall and Hanson who held the sobbing man tightly as Fuller arrived with their requested backup units to begin processing the suspects.

"Tom Hanson?" The nurse walked into the waiting room where the Jump Street officers had gathered awaiting news of Dennis Booker who had been brought into County General for observation. Hanson had been x-rayed and released with a total of two cracked ribs which he got tripping out the door when he arrived at the crime scene. Or at lease that was what he and Penhall had told Fuller. Adam Fuller had looked at the two men and shook his head. He knew they were covering something, but he also knew that he didn't want to know about it.

"Yeah." Hanson stood making eye contact with the nurse. She looked him up and down taking note of the butterfly bandage on his forehead and the nearly unbuttoned flannel shirt showing a bandage wrapped chest.

"Um, Mr. Booker has been given a sedative to calm him down. He wants to see you." The nursed stated.

Hanson looked behind him at the rest of the officers who waited to hear news of Booker.

"Ok." Hanson followed the nurse down a long corridor and into a room where Joyce Booker sat next to her son's bed holding his hand. Dennis Booker lay in the white sheeted bed wearing a blue hospital gown. When Hanson walked into the dimly lit room Dennis had his eyes closed. The officer proceeded cautiously forward catching the eye of Joyce Booker. She looked up at the young officer and nodded her head, smiling slightly through tears. Hanson slowly walked towards to bed as Dennis's eyes fluttered open. He looked groggily up at Tom Hanson grabbing the man's shirt sleeve with his left hand. Hanson reached down and lightly took the man's hand.

"Tommy…" Booker said his voice was horse from the medication.

"Yeah Dennis… it's me." Dennis struggled to keep his eyes open as he talked to his fellow officer.

"Tommy… I'm sorry… about earlier… about Amy… I never should have…said what I did." Tom Hanson looked down at Dennis Booker as a tear escaped the corner of his eye. He felt something against his hand as he looked down he caught sight of Elaina's engagement ring and wedding band on his pinky finger. He could feel emotion rising in his throat as he tried to answer the man. He could feel a tear prick at the back of his eyes as he tried not to remember Elaina's face as she met him outside of the church the day he gave her away. Her smile radiated through the white transparency of her veil. He didn't want to feel her kiss on his cheek as she thanked him for his compliment when he told her how beautiful she looked. He wanted to run for a corner as he remembered how Booker had secretly confided in him and Penhall telling the two men that Elaina might have been pregnant. He felt it all wash over him as tried to answer the officer.

"Dennis… its ok…" Tom sniffled a little trying to hold onto the tear that streamed down his cheek. "There's nothing to apologies for." Hanson said gently. "Look I'm gonna get out of here and let you get some rest… I'll be by tomorrow to check on you." Tom stated as he tried to excuse himself.

Dennis was unaware that the officer had slipped out the door. Tom looked back across the mentally exhausted officer. His head was wrapped lightly in a layer of gauze from where he was clipped across the head by a metal pipe. Hanson looked over at Joyce Booker who mouthed a thank you to him as he nodded his head leaving the officer to sleep.


It had been nearly a month since Booker had lost Elaina. He had spent nearly a week in the hospital battling exhaustion and depression when the department psychiatrist had finally released him to return for light duty. He still had to visit the doctor at least once a week for a while. Dennis was going to visit the cemetery his wife was buried in. He had asked Hanson and Penhall to go with him as support.

The trio walked down the rows of stones until they reached one secluded beneath a large oak tree. Booker stopped and looked at the red granite head stone. The stone was carved delicately out of a large heart. The name of BOOKER was carved into the surface in large letters. A smaller area read Elaina Cheyenne Taylor aged twenty three years. Beloved wife and best friend. In the middle of the heart was a small white angel kneeling in prayer. Beneath the angel read Baby Booker, Our Little Angel. There was a space left for another name. Where Dennis's name could one day be placed. A bouquet of red roses and lilies adored the site where the earth still lay mounded up. The grass tried vainly to push up from the overturned ground.

Booker stood for a long time looking at the grave. Surreal thoughts swimming in his head as he looked at the picture he held in his hand. In his other hand he held a bouquet of pink and white calla lilies and roses. The pleasant smell of flowers cut the crisp autumn air. He watched the stone from a distance as Hanson and Penhall stood on either side of the man.

"Would you please… I mean… can I…" Booker searched for the words to say to Hanson and Penhall.

"We'll wait here Dennis." Hanson finished his thought as the lost Booker looked at Tom and Doug and slowly moved towards her plot. He crossed over the ground and stopped just in front of the raised soil. He looked down at the flowers and raised them to his nostrils breathing in the fragrance as he had seen her do so often. They smelled amazing.

He then raised his eyes to the stone. Above the angel in the middle was a circular round frame which held a picture of her. Her dimpled cheeks and toothy smile accented by her high cheek bones. Her crystal blue eyes glistening in the midday sun were complimented by the curls of auburn hair hanging down around her face. In the picture beside her was a man. He had dark ink black hair with dark eyes. His smile was proud and happy teeth showing. He had an olive complexion with a solid square jaw line and equally high cheek bones. They looked beautiful together. He couldn't recognize the man in the picture beside the beautiful princess. It had been so long since he had smiled. He wasn't sure he ever would again.

"Hello…" He began. There was no answer but the chirping of birds and the rustling of leaves in the cool autumn air. "I… miss you…" He sniffled a little as he felt a tear tried to push past his eye. "I started back to work. Doc says I need to take it easy for a while." He ran a shaking nervous hand through his dark hair. He could feel himself shaking as he looked forward at the beautiful woman staring back at him. "Mom, Judy, Tom… they all… they all said to tell you hello. Doug and Tommy… they came with me today. We, Doug, Tommy and me, we caught the guys who… did this to you." Dennis choked out. "Doug found your rings… I have them with me." He ran his hand over the gold chain around his neck holding the precious symbols of their love. "You know things… they're hard with out you… real… hard." He looked down at the flowers and then over at the stones on either side of him. Tears starting to spill down his cheeks. "Why'd you have to go Princess? Why… did I not love you enough? I tried to protect you. I loved you… as much as I could…" His shoulders shook as he sucked in a ragged breath. "I… just wanted to hold you… forever. Do you remember the night… that night… I made you drop the skillet." Booker tried to smile as he remembered the love the two had shard that night. "You remember you told me about… the… our baby. I told you I wanted to name our daughters Dennis. It wasn't supposed to be like this. We were supposed to be together longer than that little bit of time. What did I do wrong!" Booker shouted. "Why did you have to… go?" Dennis fell to his knees on the lumpy earth where his love was buried. He dropped the flowers and reached a hand out to the stone running a tear soaked hand across her face in the rounded glass frame. He pitched forward laying prone on the ground. "I wish we… could have had that chance together…" He sobbed "I love you Princess… Elaina… I love you…"

Hanson and Penhall ran in the direction of Booker when they saw him fall. The two officers were there to support their friend and now he needed it. The two men helped Dennis to his knees. The heartbroken man lay his head against Penhall's large chest as Hanson sat next to him.

"It hurts Hanson. When is it going to stop hurting?" Booker's eyes reflected emotion as the rims glistened red with tears.

"Dennis, Angie reminded me of something I had forgotten about. Time heals all wounds. That doesn't mean that the hurt will go away forever. You will always have that scar. Someday something will happen that scratches the surface of that scar and it'll bleed and then it'll mend. Dennis, you'll miss her forever, but she'll be with you forever… they both will."


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