Jack hadn’t seen the humor when she’d asked if her mannequin needed a lawyer. Jared would have gotten the joke. He had the same slightly warped sense of wit she did, and would’ve known she was just releasing stress with her off-the-wall comments. Jack had promised to have a patrol car cruise by a couple of times per shift until they caught the culprit. Annie hoped it wouldn’t take long, she didn’t like being nervous in her own town.
She breathed in crisp chilly air, bundled her coat a bit tighter, and tried to keep out of the cooler shadows next to the buildings. Before they knew it, winter would be upon them. She’d better look into buying Chris a new jacket and boots soon. Every time she turned around that boy grew another inch. He was going to be tall; like his father.
Now that she’d had some space to process Jared’s return, Annie knew she had to talk with both of the men in her life. Jared deserved to know he was a father and Chris could only benefit from having another male figure to look up to in his young world. Jack was great with him, taking him to ball games and rides in the squad car, but nothing could compare to having your own father there for you; she should know. Annie only hoped Jared would get to know his son before he left again. Grace had mentioned he planned on staying this time, and she knew he’d gone to work for Ty, but in her heart she was doubtful. The men in her life never stayed.
Included in Love in Times of War