The Son of a Son of a Cop

Info silverhawk
13 Jul. '19

By Silverhawk

I’ve never considered myself to be an emotional guy. Being a cop means you have to keep your emotions to yourself most of the time. People in the community judge you by how you act, and letting your emotions show tells them you’re not the strong protector of their safety they expect. I tried, that day, but I wasn’t very successful.

I was OK until the two bagpipers and drummer led the graduating class between the rows of empty seats in the center of the large auditorium. It was the same bagpipe tune I marched to when I made that trip down the aisle between the rows of empty chairs, made a snap turn at my row, and then marched in front of the chair where I’d take my seat once commanded to do so.

That was the culmination of twenty-two weeks of physical and mental hell the Nashville Metropolitan Police Department calls the Metro Police Academy. I entered the Academy full of excitement at becoming a police officer like my dad. After the first day, I was wondering if I’d made a good choice. It was sort of like my basic training in the US Army, but this wasn’t what we called “harassment” in basic. The stressful situations were constant and unrelenting. Everywhere we went and during everything we did, we were constantly inspected for appearance and demeanor or questioned about anything and everything we’d studied so far, and one didn’t fail more than once or twice. Those who did soon left for other occupations.

I was proud of myself that day, and as I look back on my weeks at the academy with the eye of a seasoned cop, I understand the reasons for the training methods. All that discipline and questioning served to weed out those not suitable to wear a uniform and instilled confidence, pride, and teamwork in those of us who made it through.

I still felt that pride, but my pride in Jeremy pushed it into the background. When I saw him in full uniform complete with service belt and white gloves, a lump formed in my throat, and I could feel my eyes getting wet. It seemed like only last week he was six and now he was a grown man who, just like I’d done with my dad, had followed in his father’s footsteps. He had two sets of footsteps to follow that day. I was so proud because one of those sets of footsteps was mine. I was also proud because I knew Jeremy was man enough to fill them both.

I wasn’t ashamed of how I felt because I knew there were several other officers in the audience who, like me, were wearing a full dress uniform and were feeling the same way. They had a son or daughter who’d applied to The Academy, been accepted, and was graduating that day. A couple were there for a grandson or granddaughter, and I was wishing my dad had lived to be there. I saw more than one man or woman in uniform look around and then quickly wipe their eyes. I did the same thing after Cindy nudged me and then handed me a tissue.

There were speeches I only half listened to before the Commander administered the Oath of Office to the new officers. I remembered repeating those words and being proud to say them, and the lump in my throat got a little bigger. After that, the graduates marched from their seats and formed a line to receive their graduation certificates.

My lump got bigger yet when the presenter called “Jeremy Wells”, and Jeremy marched smartly up to receive his certificate. He then walked a few steps for a photograph with the Chief of Police and the Mayor of Nashville. My cue was when the flashes stopped.

I stood, straightened my uniform jacket, and walked up beside Jeremy. He grinned and whispered, “I made it Dad”. I shook his hand and then turned for another set of photos. I’d have one of those on the wall of my den as soon as they were processed. After those photos were taken, Cindy’s dad joined us. His Chicago PD uniform fit a lot tighter than when he patrolled the streets on the north side, but he looked proud to be wearing it. The photos of the three of us would join the one with just me and Jeremy on my den wall.

Afterwards, we went back to our house. Cindy had gone all out for the party even though it was just her, me, Jeremy, our daughter Melody, and Cindy’s mom and dad. She had pictures of Jeremy on the table from that day when he was six up until the day he graduated from MTSU with a degree in Criminal Justice Administration. A lot of the pictures were of him and me doing stuff together and as Jeremy looked at them, he kept saying “Hey, I remember this. This is the time we…”

I don’t know how many times I told Jeremy I was proud of him. He kept saying, “Dad, you already told me that”, but I didn’t care.

I did care that day sixteen years before when I was driving my regular route and saw a small boy wearing jeans and a blue T-shirt riding down the street on a bicycle with training wheels. I didn’t see any adults around and he was in danger of being hit by a car, so yelped the siren once. When he stopped, I pulled my patrol car in behind him and turned on the light bar to stop any traffic in that lane, then got out and walked up to him. He looked up at me with fear in his eyes, and that fear was the last thing I wanted him to feel. I grinned and stuck out my hand.

“Hi there, buddy. I’m Officer Wells. How’s it goin’?”

He looked up at me.

“Are you gonna put me in jail?”

I chuckled.

“Nah, I just thought you looked a little tired. How about if I put your bike up on the curb so we can talk while you rest up?”

He nodded and got off the bike. I picked it up and carried it off the street, then asked him to follow me to the passenger side of my patrol car.

“It’s kinda hot out here. How about if we get in my car to talk? It’s air conditioned.”

He nodded again, so I opened the passenger side door. Once he was inside, I closed the door and then got into the driver’s seat. I keyed the radio.

“Dispatch,4501, ten-eighty-four on Richey between Elm and Hickory.”

“Marsha’s reply came back a second later.

“4501,ten-four to your ten-eighty four.”

I looked over at the kid then. His eyes looked as big as saucers.

“What’s that”, he asked.

“That’s a police radio. I just told the dispatcher where we are and that I was helping you out. That’s to let them know not to send me on another call until I tell them I’m done. The lady dispatcher told me she got the message. Now, what’s your name?”

The little boy dropped his eyes.

“Jeremy.”

“How old are you, Jeremy.”

“Six.”

“Six? You look pretty big for six. Where are you going?”

“To see my dad.”

“Oh. Where does your dad live?”

“Mom says in a place called Chicago.”

I tried not to smile.

“Chicago’s a long way from here. How long do you think it’ll take?”

Jeremy shrugged.

“I don’t know. I just wanna see my dad. Can I go now?”

Obviously, I couldn’t let him go, but I didn’t want to scare him.

“In a little while, but I have to write a report about how I helped you today and I need some more information before I can do that. Where do you live?”

“With my mom.”

“I see. Where does your mom live?”

“In a blue house across from the park.”

I was about to ask him if he knew the name of the park when the dispatcher’s call came over the radio.

“All units near the 200 block of East Elm. Small boy reported missing. Age six, name Jeremy O’Neil. Jeans, blue shirt, black tennis shoes. Mother is Cindy O’Neil, 206 East Elm.”

There’s a small park in that block of East Elm, and the description matched, so I keyed my mike.

“Dispatch, 4501. I think I have your ten-sixty. I’m ten-sixteen that location.”

“4501, ten-four”.

I turned to Jeremy.

“That call was about you, Jeremy. I think your mom’s worried about you. Let me get your bike in my trunk and we’ll go talk with her.”

I saw tears in Jeremy’s eyes.

“She’ll be mad ‘cause she doesn’t want me to see my dad.”

“Nah, she’ll be happy you’re safe. Just sit tight when we get there and I’ll help straighten things out with her.”

After I put his bike in my trunk, I drove to 206 East Elm. Like Jeremy said, the small, pale blue house was directly across from the park.

Next to traffic stops, I dislike calls like this the most. It’s not that they’re as dangerous as traffic stops. They usually aren’t, but sometimes they can make you question your faith in humanity.

I was pretty concerned about this one. In those days, most parents let their older kids roam the neighborhood with their buddies because it was safe to do so, but six was pretty young to be out on the street with a bicycle. It was a possible case of child neglect, or at least a case of a parent not watching their kid closely enough. I’d have to make that call and if it was child neglect, have the kid watch me cuff his mother and haul her off to jail while Social Services took him. If that happened, it was going to teach Jeremy that cops separate you from your mother and he wouldn’t trust cops for a long time, if ever.

I parked in the drive and then turned to Jeremy.

“You sit here and listen to the radio for me while I go talk to your mom. If you hear 4501, that’s me, so you come get me, OK?”

He nodded, so I got out and walked up to the house. I only got half way to the door before it opened and a woman ran out. She was crying and seemed to be genuinely distraught.

“Did you find Jeremy? Oh, God, please tell me he’s all right.”

“Are you Cindy O’Neil?”

“Yes. Did you find him?”

“Yes, I found Jeremy. He’s in my car and he’s fine. Tell me what happened today.”

She wiped her eyes with the back of her hand.

“We were in the back yard. I just bought Jeremy a bicycle and was teaching him how to ride it. I had to use the bathroom, so I went inside to do that. I couldn’t have been gone for more than five minutes, but when I came back out, the gate was open and he was gone. I called the police then.”

The timing jived pretty well with where I’d found Jeremy and when I’d heard Central’s call about a missing boy. He’d gotten only a block and a half from home, so her story seemed reasonable.

“Well, he got only a block and a half before I saw him. He told me he was going to see his father, and that his father lives in Chicago.”

She sighed.

“That started when he went to kindergarten. He never said anything about a father before then. I guess it’s because the other boys at his school talk about their fathers, but one day, he asked me where his dad was. It’s become something he asks me about almost every day now. I keep telling him he can’t go see his dad, but I haven’t found a way to explain why yet.

I said she should just tell him his dad lives too far away. She sighed.

“I’ve tried that and he still wants to. He can’t. Jeremy can’t see his dad because his dad is dead. Dan was a police officer in Chicago. I was six months pregnant with Jeremy when Dan was shot and killed by some drug dealer, so Jeremy has never seen him.

“Once Jeremy was born, I lived with my parents until he was one, but it wasn’t working out very well. Dad was a cop too. Since you’re a cop, you know how messed up their schedules can be. Dad was gone most days and some nights so Mom had to take care of Jeremy by herself while I was at work. She never said anything, but she has a bad back and I know it was hard on her.

“It was hard on me too, to stay where Dan was killed. When Jeremy was two, I decided to leave Chicago. My grandparents retired from Chicago to Nashville a few years earlier. My grandfather had passed away, but my grandmother still lives here, so I applied and got a job here and then moved. Grandma took care of Jeremy while I was at work and we had the weekends together. Everything was fine until he started school.

“When he asked about having a dad, I didn’t think he was old enough to understand, so I just said his father was in Chicago and we couldn’t go there. I guess I’ll have to tell him now and try to make him understand so he won’t try this again. I don’t know how I’m going to do that though. He’s just like his father – bull headed enough to not listen if it’s something he doesn’t want to hear.”

Her explanation seemed reasonable and I hadn’t seen anything about Jeremy that would indicate any type of child abuse. I finished taking notes and then looked up and smiled.

“Well, Jeremy seems to be a pretty smart kid. He knows he did something wrong, and he’s pretty sure you’re going to be mad at him for trying what he did. I think if you sit him down and explain things, he’ll understand. I’ll go get him now.”

I talked to Jeremy for a few seconds before I let him get out of my car.

“Jeremy, your mom’s been really worried about you. I think you ought to tell her you’re sorry, and I want you to promise her you won’t try something like this again.”

“Is she mad at me”, he asked.

“No. She’s just really worried that something had happened to you. I think if you say you’re sorry she’ll forgive you. Why don’t you go try and see? I’ll come with you.”

Jeremy got out of my car and walked to his mother with his head down. I watched as he stopped in front of his mother, looked up, and said “I’m sorry Mom.”

The woman started crying again, and dropped to her knees and hugged him tight.

“Jeremy, I was so worried. Why did you do that? Something really bad might have happened to you.”

“I just wanted to find my dad.”

“I know, Honey, and we need to talk about that. Go inside and I’ll get you some cookies and milk after I thank the police officer for bringing you back home.”

I took Jeremy’s bike out of my trunk, pushed it up the walk and parked it beside the step.

“I think I’m about done here. I’ll write in my report that I brought Jeremy home and everything’s OK now.”

Cindy shook her head.

“I hope so. Thank you so much for finding him. I promise I won’t let him try this again.”

I was on duty again the next Saturday, and on a whim, drove past the O’Neil house. I saw Cindy and Jeremy on the walk in front of the house. Jeremy was on his bike and Cindy was trying to keep him upright and off the training wheels.

When he saw my patrol car, he jumped off the bike and ran over to the curb waving his arms. I pulled into their drive and stopped. Jeremy ran up grinning so I rolled down my window.

“Hey there, Jeremy. How’s it goin’.”

“Mom’s helping me learn to ride my bike better.”

“So I see. Looks like you’re doing better than last week.”

Cindy had been following Jeremy, and got to my car then.

“He is, but I can’t seem to make him understand about balancing.”

I figured it wouldn’t hurt if I took a little break, so I got out of the car.

“Let’s see. Hop on your bike Jeremy.”

Jeremy got his bike, brought it to my car, and then climbed up on the seat. He’d have fallen off again if I hadn’t caught him, because he let his weight rock the bike onto one of the training wheels and it started to tip over.

“Whoa there buddy. You need to put a foot down when you’re stopped so you won’t turn over. That’s better. Now, to start off, you need to push off with that foot and then pedal. Once you get going, pedal fast enough to get up a little speed. If you can do that, it’ll be easier to keep the bike balanced. Let’s go out to the walk so you can try.”

Jeremy pushed off and started to pedal slowly. He was wobbling back and forth on the training wheels, but he was still upright. I yelled, “pedal faster, Jeremy” and started running along beside him in case he started to fall.

It took him four tries, but he finally got the hang of balancing the bike. On the last trip up and down the walk, the training wheels only touched the walk a couple of times and he’d quickly brought the bike back on two wheels. Cindy was grinning when he rode up to her, stopped, and put his foot down.

“I can’t believe it was that easy to teach him. I guess he just needed a man to show him what to do.”

“Well, I don’t know about that, but I think he’s got it now. You can probably take the training wheels off. He’ll probably fall down a couple of times, but he can’t go fast enough yet to really hurt himself, and the training wheels are keeping him from feeling when the bike goes over too far.”

Cindy looked up at me and frowned.

“I had a hard enough time getting them on. Could you…would you take them off?”

Cindy brought me an adjustable wrench and a pair of pliers. I took the training wheels off the bike and then we watched Jeremy ride up and down the block again. He did fall off, twice, but got back up each time with a determined look on his face. I figured Cindy was right about him being stubborn, because he wasn’t about to quit. As he made another trip, Cindy told me she’d explained to Jeremy about his Dad.

“I didn’t think he’d understand, and he didn’t at first. I explained to him that his dad was a police officer who was trying to help someone when a bad man shot him. He asked me if getting shot was why his dad didn’t stay with us, and I had to explain that sometimes people who get hurt don’t get well, and that his dad had died.

“I didn’t think Jeremy knew anything about death, but when I said his dad was dead, he asked if that was like when Martha’s goldfish died. Martha is a girl at his school, and evidently she told him about that. I said yes, it was like that. Jeremy then asked if his dad was in the ground like Martha had buried her goldfish. I said yes, he was in the ground in a cemetery in Chicago.

“He seemed to think about that for a while, but then asked if someday we could go to Chicago so he could see where his dad’s buried. I said we could do that when he gets a little older and he seemed satisfied with that. What he said next really choked me up. Jeremy asked if I could find him another dad.”

Jeremy rode up then.

“Mom, I can do it now. Watch me.”

Jeremy turned his bike around and started for the end of the block again. Cindy was grinning when she turned back to me.

“I guess he does need a dad to teach him stuff like this, but I doubt that’s going to happen. It’s not like I’m trying not to find a man. It’s just that as soon as a man finds out I have a little boy, he starts making excuses for why we can’t see each other.”

I didn’t quite know what to say to that. I’d never met a woman I wanted to date who had a kid. I thought about that for a second or so, and I couldn’t see what the big deal was. I mean, yeah, the kid wouldn’t be mine, not biologically, but Jeremy was a smart kid and other than trying to ride his bike to Chicago once, seemed to be a pretty good kid.”

“Well, I imagine you just haven’t found the right guy yet. I’m sure there’s a guy out there who wouldn’t let Jeremy turn him away.”

Cindy sighed.

“I hope you’re right. I don’t know how I’m going to teach Jeremy about all the stuff boys do. I’ve never played baseball or gone fishing or camping or any of those things.”

As I continued to drive my route that day, I thought about Cindy’s problem and I couldn’t see why having a son would keep any guy from being interested in her. She wasn’t gorgeous, or at least, she hadn’t looked gorgeous the two times I’d talked with her, but I thought if she’d have been wearing makeup, she’d probably be at least a pretty good looking woman. I happen to like dark brown hair on a woman, and Cindy’s was a glossy dark brown that contrasted nicely with her pale skin. She wore it shoulder length with a flip at the ends, and it framed her arched brows, small nose and mouth and rounded chin.

Like any man would, I’d looked at her body as well, and she had nothing to fear in that area either. She was feminine without being extreme anywhere, and when she walked, her hips had that soft, side to side sway I find to be more than a little erotic.

Now, I’d look at a woman, of course, but her body and face wouldn’t be all that attracts me to her. I’m not one of those guys who think appearance and sexuality are everything because they’re not. What’s really important is the person inside that body. I didn’t know Cindy very well, but she seemed like an intelligent and level-headed woman. I hoped for both her and Jeremy’s sake some man would see what I was seeing.

After that, if I was on duty on Saturday, I’d drive by Cindy and Jeremy’s house at least once on my patrol route. If I saw them outside in the front yard, I’d yelp the siren once and then wave. Jeremy seemed to like that. He’d grin and wave at me like crazy, then hop on his bike and race me to the end of the block. He never went any further. He’d just ride to the end of the block, wave as I drove on, then turn and ride back.

I started looking forward to that. I mean, Jeremy was a great kid and I figured doing this did two things. It made him happy, and it also kept teaching him that cops were good people.

It was on one of those Saturdays in June when Cindy was waiting at the curb when I drove by, and she flagged me down. I turned into her drive and then rolled down my window. She had a look on her face like she was worried.

“Officer Wells, I’m into something I don’t have a clue about and I’m hoping you might be able to help. Jeremy bugged me for three days until I agreed to let him join the Cub Scouts.”

“Well, that’s good. I was a Cub Scout and then a Boy Scout. Scouting is a great way to help boys grow up like they should.”

Cindy sighed.

“That’s what I thought too, and the den meetings and first two pack meetings were fun. I made cookies for them and helped the other women with the games and crafts. It was at the last pack meeting the Cubmaster announced they’re going to go fishing at the lake next Saturday. I was wondering, do you know anything about fishing?”

I said I fished every chance I got and had since I was about Jeremy’s age. Cindy frowned.

“You’re lucky then. I’ve never fished in my life and neither has Jeremy. Most of the other boys have been fishing before because their dads take them. We went to the library and checked out three books on fishing, and Jeremy’s been looking at them every night until he falls asleep. He keeps showing me pictures of what he needs, but I don’t know a fishing rod from a coat hanger. Is there any way you could help me decide what he really needs? If you can help me do that, I can probably get one of the dads to help him out once we get to the lake.”

I couldn’t figure out a way to say no, especially after Jeremy ran up to my car.

“Officer Wells, Mom says you might help me get a fishing rod. Can you, please?”

I was off that Sunday, so Sunday afternoon, I met Jeremy and Cindy at Walmart.

Jeremy could read a little, but the bigger words tripped him up so he didn’t know the names of everything. He knew it when he saw it though. Unlike most young boys would have done, he didn’t pick a rod and reel with some cartoon character on it. No, he wanted what he called “a regular” rod and reel. We looked at several before I convinced him a low-priced spinning rod with a closed face reel would be a good way to start fishing. After that, we looked for and found a small tackle box, some hooks that would be the right size for the panfish I figured they’d catch, a box of split shot, and a couple bobbers.

Jeremy was beaming when we walked out of the store and Cindy was happy too.

“I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate this. Jeremy’s so happy.”

I shrugged.

“I didn’t do anything you couldn’t have done.”

“Yes, you did. I might have been able to help him pick out a fishing pole, but the rest of the stuff…I don’t even know what some of it is for.”

I’d been thinking about that since Cindy had asked for my help. I figured one of the dads would probably help Jeremy some, but they’d all be more interested in helping their own boy. I had a solution for that. I just didn’t know if Cindy would go for it or not.

“Mrs. O’Neal, a lot of us cops donate some of our free time to good causes in the community, and one of those causes is Scouting. What would you say if I donated next Saturday to Jeremy?”

Her mouth fell open.

“You mean you’d take him fishing? Won’t your wife want you to be with her?”

“Well, I’m not married and yeah, I’ll be happy to take him. It’ll be fun to see him fish for the first time.”

“God…I could just hug you to death.”

Before I could tell her she didn’t need to do that, she did…well, obviously not until death, but she did hug me.

It was a strange feeling. I’d dated some in high school, but right after that I’d enlisted in the Army, and right after my four years was up, I’d applied to The Academy. Since graduating, I hadn’t met a woman I felt anything for, so when Cindy hugged me, it was sort of a first, or at least a first in a long time.

It didn’t last long, but when she eased back down off her tiptoes and took her arms from around my neck, I found myself wishing it had lasted longer. Cindy looked embarrassed when she looked up at me.

“I’m sorry. I just got carried away. I know Jeremy’s going to be so happy. Thank you so much.”

Well, that Saturday was a blast for me and for Jeremy too. I stopped at a bait shop for a box of nightcrawlers on my way to pick them up, and half an hour later, we were at the lake.

Most of the boys had brought their dads, and after a short talk by the Cubmaster about making sure they didn’t leave any trash behind and to be good sportsmen, we headed down to the lake. Jeremy picked what he said would be a good fishing spot so I got him rigged up and showed him how to thread a worm on a hook.

I’d fished the lake before and the Cubmaster had picked a good stretch of bank. The shoreline was thick with small bream, so thick you could see them cruising around in the water. It took only a couple of minutes before Jeremy’s bobber dived below the surface. I yelled at him to start reeling, but I was too late. Jeremy was already reeling like mad. He was reeling so fast, the small bluegill flew out of the water and hit me in the chest.

Jeremy was ecstatic, and so was Cindy. She’d brought her camera and took several pictures of him holding up the fish and she insisted I be in some of them. After that, I showed him how to remove the hook. When I asked Jeremy if he was going to keep it, he shook his head.

“Mom helped me read one of the books from the library, and it said you should throw them back so there will keep being fish in the lake. It’s called conservation. If I catch a big one, I might keep it though. The book said it’s OK to keep one or two.”

Well, he didn’t catch anything very big so we didn’t keep any, but Jeremy caught a lot of fish that afternoon. When the Cub Master went around and told all of us it was time to stop, Jeremy was tired, Cindy had taken about a hundred pictures, and I’d had the time of my life. I remembered fishing with my dad when I was about Jeremy’s age. I didn’t remember much, but I remembered how proud and happy I was. I knew Jeremy was feeling the same way.

Jeremy was asleep in my back seat about five minutes after we left the lake. Cindy looked back at him, and then touched me on the arm.

“Officer Wells, you made Jeremy’s day today, and I can’t thank you enough for that, but I’d like to try. Could I fix dinner for you some night when you’re not working?”

I said she didn’t need to go to all that trouble because I’d had fun too. She wasn’t having any of that, though.

“I have to cook anyway, so it’s no trouble, and since you’re single, I’ll bet you probably don’t eat very well. I make some great fried chicken, or so my husband used to say. When are you off again?”

The Sunday evening a week later, I finished my third piece of fried chicken and second helping of baked beans and potato salad, and politely refused Cindy’s offer of another. I was going to refuse the slice of chocolate cake too, but she sat it down in front of me before I could. Even though I was stuffed to the gills after finishing it, I was glad I hadn’t. Cindy was a great cook.

It was also great to be sitting there at her table with her and Jeremy. It just felt right, you know, like it was perfectly normal instead of just her paying me back for the fishing trip. It was hard to tell them I had to go, and even harder when Jeremy walked up, shook my hand, and thanked me for taking him fishing.

I did a lot of thinking when I got home that night. Like I said, being there with them both seemed pretty great. I didn’t know if it was because I liked them both, or if it was just that eating by myself was just something I didn’t like but had to do. What I did know was that fishing with Jeremy had given me a thrill I hadn’t had in a long time and that when Cindy had hugged me that day, I was sorry the hug had ended.

It was against department policy to use a patrol car for personal business, but I told myself that driving by their house the next Saturday was just showing the neighborhood that I was on duty and protecting them. When Jeremy flagged me down and I pulled into the drive, I told myself I was just stopping to help a citizen, even though he didn’t look like he needed any help. When Cindy got up off the front step and walked over to my patrol car, I told myself I was just being the friendly neighborhood cop.

I couldn’t tell myself that asking her if she’d like to have dinner that Saturday night was anything but personal, but her response put that far in the back of my mind.

“You’re asking me out…like on a date?”

“Well, yes.”

“Even though you know about Jeremy?”

“Yeah. Maybe even a little because of Jeremy. I like both of you.”

She put her hand on her chest.

“Officer Wells. I don’t know what to say.”

I grinned.

“Yes would be a good answer, and you should call me Mike.”

That dinner was fantastic and turned into dinner together about every night I wasn’t on duty the next day. Sometimes it was just the two of us, sometimes it was with Jeremy along. Sometimes it was at a restaurant, sometimes it was at Cindy’s house. A couple of times it was a picnic in the park across from her house, and Jeremy and I played catch after we ate.

After three months of that, it was really hard to drop them off and go home or say it was getting late and I should probably leave. Cindy made that even more difficult after the first time I kissed her. After six months, I decided I didn’t want to be separated from either of them. Cindy looked at me with a questioning face when I told her that.

“Do you mean living together or do you mean something permanent?”

“I know this is a dumb way to ask, but I couldn’t just live with you. I’d want…I want to marry you.”

Cindy put her arms around my neck.

“Are you sure you know what you’re getting into?”

“I think so. I’ve thought about it a lot. How do you feel about it?”

She raised up on her tiptoes and kissed me, then eased back down and grinned.

“That’s how I feel about it, but what about Jeremy?”

“I want to know what he thinks before you give me an answer. I like Jeremy and I want him to agree. I don’t know what I’ll do if he says no, but I think I should ask him.”

Jeremy’s answer was a grin.

“You’d be like a real dad?”

“Yes, like a real dad.”

Jeremy ran up and hugged me, and that sealed it. Cindy and I were married a month later. It wasn’t a huge ceremony, but a lot of the guys on the force came and wished us well. Jeremy grinned through the whole thing. Before we got in my car and headed to Chattanooga for our honeymoon, he gave us both a hug, then turned and walked away with Cindy’s grandmother. He’d stay with her for the week we’d be gone.

Chattanooga was great, but we didn’t really see much of it that week. What we did was get to know each other a lot better. That meant we spent a lot of time in our room and…well, we were newlyweds after all.

That first night, Cindy kissed me until I had to stop to breathe, then took something from her suitcase and said for me to get into bed and she’d be right back. I usually sleep in my underwear, but I’d bought a pair of pajamas for the occasion. I stripped, put them on, and sat on the bed to wait.

All the time we’d dated, we’d never done anything except kiss and then only when Jeremy wasn’t with us. I knew Cindy had a pretty nice figure, and I knew she was a pretty woman when she dressed up. When she came out of the bathroom wearing a white teddy, I realized I had a very seductive woman for a wife.

She stopped, turned slowly around and then grinned.

“Well, what do you think? Do I pass inspection?”

I stood up and grinned.

“So far, but I have a lot more inspecting to do yet.”

She put her arms around my neck and grinned again.

“Then shouldn’t you be inspecting instead of talking so much?”

Well, we sort of inspected each other that night. She didn’t get to keep that teddy on for very long. It was a real problem until I lifted the hem and then pulled it over her head. She evidently didn’t like my pajama top either, because as soon as I got the teddy off her, she unbuttoned my top and then pulled it off my shoulders. Then she smiled, put her arms around my neck again and pressed her bare breasts into my bare chest.

“Mmm”, she purred. “I could get used to this.”

I cupped her ass cheeks and then squeezed.

“It feels pretty great on this end too.”

Cindy chuckled.

“Your end or the end you’re squeezing?”

“Both actually.”

“My end likes it too…a lot. Think you can make it feel even better?”

Well, I did try and I think I did, or at least the way Cindy was panting and thrusting her hips up into my strokes made it seem like I did. That didn’t happen right away, of course. Neither of us was in a hurry. We both wanted that first time to be something we’d remember.

I don’t remember taking off my pajama bottoms, but I do remember kneeling and rolling the little white panties down Cindy’s hips and thighs, and I remember looking at her dark brown bush. She’d trimmed it some, I think. After sixteen years, she still does, and I love it. Those crinkley brown hairs are somehow really erotic still, and they were that night too.

As we lay in the bed together, Cindy was all soft kisses that turned into little moans when I stroked her breasts and nipples or slipped my hands up her inner thighs until my fingers touched those dark hairs. For a while, that’s all I did, just tease her into arousal, though I don’t think I’d have had to. It wasn’t long before I felt her hand brush the hair on my chest, then slowly stroke down my belly to finally touch my stiff cock.

Cindy circled the shaft with her small, slender fingers, whispered “I could get used to this too”, and then started slowly and gently stroking me. That was my cue to do more than just brush the pouting lips that were hidden by her bush.

She was already a little wet when I slipped a fingertip between those lips, and she moaned when I probed a little deeper. My fingertip on her little clit caused her to moan again, and when I pushed that fingertip down, she lifted her hips to let it go deeper.

I don’t remember much after that until the point at which Cindy started pulling on my cock. She whispered, “I need you, Mike.”

That first stroke was unbelievable. I was trying to go slow, but Cindy met me half way and pushed my cock almost all the way inside her. She wrapped her arms around my back then, and moaned, “Oh, God, I want you.”

Well, she got me that night, and if I hadn’t already known I loved her more than anything, that night would have convinced me. Cindy was more lover than I’d ever imagined. She didn’t just lay there while I stroked slowly in and out of her body. Her hands were on my back, gently stroking up and down, then on my ass and pulling my cock deeper inside her, then gripping the sheets as she moaned, “Oh God, Mike, don’t stop”.

I couldn’t have stopped. I was still trying to go slow, but I suppose instinct was taking over. I sped up my strokes a little and then felt Cindy’s hands on my ass again. She groaned and started to lift her hips, then fell back down and grabbed my ass tight enough it was hard to pull back out. When I stroked back in, she cried out and raised up again. I felt her thighs start to shake and then Cindy sort of began dancing her hips around and up and down.

That was more than I could take. The surge started in my loins and raced up my shaft just as the base of my cock flattened Cindy’s lips. She cried out again and raised up a little more, then gasped. I felt her passage contract and then release as I stroked out and then back inside her. The second spurt was just as fantastic as the first and left me gasping. I was still gasping and Cindy was still shaking like a leaf when the third spewed from my cock and deep inside her writhing body.

I was done, but Cindy wasn’t. Her hands fell to her sides, she grabbed the sheet again, and then dug her heels into the mattress and started rocking her hips over my cock. About all I could do was stay there on my hands and knees and pant until she moaned, “Oh, wow”, and then eased back down on the bed. She wrapped her arms around my back then and pulled me down on top of her. After kissing me again until I had to either pull away or suffocate, she murmured, “Let’s stay like this for a while. It feels good.”

I woke up the next morning because Cindy was stroking my chest. When I opened my eyes, she grinned.

“Wake up, Mike. We have things to do.”

“Oh, and what might those things be?”

She swirled her fingers through my chest hair.

“Well, I thought maybe you’d make me feel like you did last night and then we’d take a shower together. After that, we’ll see what we feel like doing.”

It was a good thing I was still young then or I’d never have lasted the whole week. The second time was fantastic, and showering with Cindy pretty much took my mind off eating breakfast. We skipped the trip to a restaurant for another session in bed. This time, Cindy rolled me on my back, straddled me, and grinned as she impaled herself on my cock.

“I like this way sometimes. How about you?”

I did like it. I liked it that afternoon too, and when Cindy threw her thigh over mine that night and whispered, “Let’s try it this way”, I liked it again.

The rest of the week went the same way. Cindy and I made love every night and every morning, and usually in the afternoon too. We did take a trip to see Rock City, but that was about the end of our sight-seeing except for seeing each other naked and straining out the intense contractions of each climax.

Well, that was several years ago, but Cindy’s still the same. We don’t do it every night and morning anymore, and having Jeremy live with when we were first married us forced us to choose our times. My job also dictated those times to a certain extent, though we had some really fantastic weekends when Jeremy stayed with Cindy’s grandma.

Along the way, I adopted Jeremy. He was happy that he got to change his name from O’Neil to Wells, but he was happier to have me around. Over the years, we went fishing a lot, and I endured eating half-cooked food and sleeping in a sleeping bag on rocky ground during Boy Scout father and son campouts. I helped Jeremy build three pinewood derby cars, and a few years later, helped him get an old Ford running well enough it was reliable and safe enough to get him back and forth to his summer job.

When Jeremy was eight, Cindy gave birth to our daughter, Melody, and when the time came, that made it easier to explain to Jeremy about men and women and how they show their love for each other. He was thrilled to have a sister, and as soon as Melody was old enough to crawl, Jeremy appointed himself as her protector. If he wasn’t in school, he was watching her so she didn’t get into trouble. Melody loved the attention and the bond between them grew stronger every day up until the time she was eight. Then she wanted to do things on her own and started telling Jeremy to leave her alone. I had to settle a couple disputes before he realized he could love her but didn't have to watch her every move.

We also made several trips to Chicago to see Cindy’s parents and one to see Jeremy’s father’s grave when he was fifteen. Jeremy walked up to the headstone and didn’t say anything for a while. Then, he came back and looked up at my face.

“I know he was my dad, but I never even knew him. You’re the only real dad I’ve ever had.”

I hugged Jeremy so he wouldn’t see the tears in my eyes.

Through all of those years, Cindy recorded everything, first with a film camera and later with a digital camera. Those pictures were the ones on our dining room table after the graduation ceremony.

As I looked at those pictures, I was a little shocked at how much weight I’d gained. It was a combination of Cindy’s cooking and not having to run much once I made detective. I had to smile at the few pictures that showed Cindy. She was a little heavier now too, but was still a very sensuous woman.

That evening, Melody went to spend the night with a couple girlfriends, Cindy’s parents went to a motel, and Jeremy went back to his apartment. After Cindy cleaned up all the plates and glassware from the party, she walked into the living room where I was watching TV and sat down on the couch beside me.

“I guess it’s just you and me tonight.”

“Yeah. Wanna go out for dinner?”

She stroked my earlobe, a little cue she uses to tell me when she wants something.

“No, I’d rather stay in. I’m feeling kind of old after watching Jeremy today. It seems like yesterday that you took him fishing that first time, but now he’s all grown up.”

I put my arm around her.

“You’re not old. An old woman wouldn’t be as sexy as you are.”

She grinned.

“Wanna Chattanooga and show me?”

“Chattanooga” is the little code we used when the kids were young so they wouldn’t know we were going to have sex. They both figured it out by the time they were about fourteen, but Cindy still likes using it.

“Well, I suppose we could Chattanooga, but only once.”

Cindy stroked her hand up my thigh and then rubbed my cock.

“Once won’t be enough to convince me. I’ll need once tonight and once tomorrow morning to do that.”

“So, how do you want to Chattanooga, bottom or top?”

“I don’t know yet. Let’s start and we’ll see.”

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