She IS my fiance. Boy, women can sure suprise you.
Last Tuesday night, I went out on a ride-along with one of the APD's veterans, O'Dougal, a guy I'd known since I was a rookie.Officially, I'm not allowed to do that, but sometimes, rules get bent. Jimmy showed me the ropes, and kept me straight when it was really tempting to grab a little somethin' on the side, or get a wee bit too proactive on some jerk in the street.. By the book,, he should have retired about five years ago, but who's gonna kick him out?
Anyhow, we get a "shots fired" call from a South End address, a housing project where some folks still love turnin' the joint out regularly, and we rolled to the scene. As got out of the cruiser, a guy came running out of the front door, aiming a pistol at me. Just as I was sure I'd be standing in front of my Lord and Saviour shortly, a blue bolt shot from above, blasting the gunman, killing him instantly.
Nightwitch landed in front of us, her right hand still smoking from the release of energy, an image of deadly beauty. She didn't speak, but simply rose back into the night skies, leaving a message in my mind, "Your place....later." She was out of sight faster than you could count to three.
"Later" was about a little after midnight; I was still awake, shook by my close call, and by what else I'd seen. Dougie was in his usual spot on the sofa, asleep, when she knocked on my door. I called out, "Come in", and the door opened, and Susan walked in, lovely, and....vulnerable, like a little girl not sure if she's lost. Dougie got up, to re-settle on her lap after she'd sat down.
Silence....a long silence. I knew what I wanted to say, but I didn't know how to say it. I'd used deadly force myself , twice in fact, but this was different. It wasn't about her not being "official", but just the nearness of it all. That hand, which had struck down the gunman, had caressed my cheek, stroked my cat, gestured in conversations with me, belonged to the woman I loved.
It wasn't really even about all that, as much as it was to explain to her that it was okay. Yes, I was a litle unsettled by it, yes, I'd need to wrap my head around it, but this was Susan, someone I'd already pledged myself to in my heart, and I could tell she was wondering if this changed things.
It did-how couldn't it- but she still was the woman God had put into my life.
I thought about Dougie's reaction to her. She'd been here both as Susan and as Nightwitch, and Dougie treated them both the same- as a friend with a warm lap and nice hands. Really, that made more sense than anything else. Also, I knew that our Lord still saw her as His child, flawed, but forgiven.
I said nothing....I just opened my arms, and she rushed into them, crying, as was I, tears of release, of joy, of something nameless, but precious, and rare.