Watchtower, Part 1
Disclaimer: These characters,
aside from the originals, are not mine. They belong to Michael Sloan and Warner
Brothers. No copyright infringement is intended.
This is an AU story.
I'm not a KFTLC aficionado. I just like some of the characters. Thanks as always
to my beta, TAE and to my Blaisdell-beta, Paige.
Part One 1980
He turned into the drive and
parked his car. In the kitchen, a chime sounded when the car crossed the electric
eye and she smiled, knowing he was home. He got out of the car slowly, shut the
door and locked it, then walked up to the house. He unlocked the door and walked
in, hanging up his coat in the closet. In the kitchen, the chime chirped differently
and she knew he was on his way upstairs to change his clothes.
He walked up
the stairs and into their bedroom. Unstrapping his holster, he hung it up on the
door of the closet. He kicked off his shoes and emptied his pockets into the dish
on his bureau. Walking back into the closet, he took off his suit, hung up his
tie, and put on a pair of comfortable grey trousers. He slipped his feet into
a pair of moccasins and loosely tucked his shirt in before walking downstairs.
He walked into the kitchen, his shoes making small squeaks on the tile floor.
"Hello, sweetheart," Annie said, turning from the counter to face him.
Babe. Sorry I'm late," Paul Blaisdell said, kissing her.
She put her arms around
him, drawing him against her for a strong hug. She felt his ribs as he breathed
and wondered silently when he had dropped that weight. Paul buried his face in
her hair, breathing her wonderful scent. They stood in the kitchen, kissing, and
caressing for several minutes before Annie broke, holding him loosely around his
"Much as I would love to stand here all night with you, I made some
terrific beef stroganoff that I think you should try," Annie said, smiling.
Babe. You're the boss," Paul said, drawing her face to him for one last passionate
"Would you like a glass of wine with dinner?" Annie asked.
Can I do anything to help?" Paul asked.
"No, why don't you sit down. I can
handle it," Annie replied.
He loved Kelly, Peter and Caroline, but he cherished
these moments when he and Annie were alone. They had developed a quiet routine,
meals in the kitchen, cuddling on the sofa listening to music, going to bed early.
This week, however, the routine had been disrupted; his past was invading into
"Paul?" Annie repeated, putting her hand out to touch him.
hon? I'm sorry, I guess I was distracted," Paul replied, taking her hand and squeezing
it to calm her fears.
Annie brought the plates to the table and then returned
with two glasses of wine. Paul carefully took them from her and waited until she
sat down. He put the wine at her one o'clock position and placed his own on the
table. Paul took his napkin, put it in his lap and took a forkful of the stroganoff.
He groaned, in spite of himself, at the amazing taste in his mouth. He swallowed
and looked up at her.
"Annie, you're right. This is terrific beef stroganoff,"
Paul said, reaching his hand out to touch hers.
She blushed in spite of herself
and smiled. He grinned back, loving it when she blushed.
"Thank you, there's
plenty left," She said.
"Well, you know Peter will be by this weekend, so we
could freeze it," Paul pointed out, continuing to eat his dinner.
and started to eat her stroganoff. She worried about Paul. He wasn't sleeping
well and although she felt that they could talk about everything, there were parts
of his life that he refused to speak about.
"Penny for your thoughts?" Paul
asked, looking up at her.
"It's nothing, never mind," Annie replied.
please, tell me, what's got you so concerned?" Paul asked, setting his fork down.
"Paul, if you can't talk to me, you must talk to somebody. You haven't been
sleeping well for the last two weeks and your nightmares are becoming more violent,"
Annie said, quietly but firmly.
"Annie, we've talked about this," Paul started,
"Wait, what do you mean, violent?" Paul asked, his eyes narrowing.
want to upset him further, but the night before, Paul had really scared her.
night you had a nightmare. Paul, you picked me up and held me against the wall.
You were strangling me," Annie said, listening for his response.
quickly, jostling the table, causing the red wine to spill. Annie stood also,
listening to him back away from her.
"You didn't hurt me. You let me go. But,
Paul..." Annie said, stopping when he stopped moving.
"What?" he whispered.
"You scared me," She whispered in return.
Paul walked towards her, gathering
her in his arms, and pulling her close. He tried to be gentle but he wanted to
hold her tightly, his emotions running high.
"Oh, Babe, God, I am so sorry,"
Paul said, his voice catching.
"It's over, I'm fine, and I'm just worried about
you," Annie said softly, reaching up to feel his face.
She was not surprised
to feel tears on his cheeks. Paul turned his face to her hand and kissed it. They
stood together for a time, just holding each other. Suddenly, Paul stiffened and
stepped out of her embrace.
"I've got some work to do," He said, starting to
clear his side of the table.
"Did you have enough to eat?" Annie asked, already
knowing the answer.
"Yeah, I'm full," Paul said, leaning forward to kiss her.
Paul left the kitchen and Annie was left trying to figure out what decision
he had just made. She walked to the refrigerator and felt for the phone on the
wall. Picking up the receiver, she called the one person who might be able to
help her husband.
"Hi, Annie, what's up?" the voice said.
"Kermit, it didn't
even ring on my side," Annie replied, slightly distracted.
"Oh, sorry, what
can I do for you?" Kermit asked.
"Can you come over here tonight? Paul's been
having some trouble and maybe he'll talk to you," Annie said.
"What kind of
trouble? Never mind, I'll be there in forty minutes," Kermit replied.
you," Annie said.
"Don't worry, Annie. He'll be okay," Kermit said.
so, bye," Annie said.
"Bye," Kermit said, hanging up the phone.
Paul walked into the study and closed the door. In the dark, he walked quickly
to his desk and turned on the light. Comforted by the pale glow, he reached for
the remote control and pressed play. Billie Holiday's voice came through the small
speakers hung in the ceiling. He walked to a small cabinet, opened it, and poured
himself a glass of scotch. Closing the cabinet, he walked to the desk and sat
in the leather chair, his back to the light. Paul sipped the scotch, and thought
about what Annie had said. He knew he wasn't sleeping well, but until Annie said
that he tried to kill her the night before, he hadn't put it all together. Paul
balanced the tumbler of scotch on his chest and closed his eyes.
her plate and put it in the microwave to heat it up. She waited the thirty seconds
and removed the plate. Walking back to the table, Annie sat down and resumed her
dinner. Twenty minutes later, Annie had finished her dinner and was putting dishes
into the dishwasher. The chime rang and she knew that Kermit had just driven up.
A few minutes later, there was a knock on the kitchen door. Annie walked to the
door and opened it.
Kermit said, walking in to hug her.
"Kermit," Annie said, and burst into tears.
"Annie, you're scaring me here. What's going on? Where's Paul?" Kermit said,
holding her at arm's length.
"Kermit, I'm losing him. His nightmares have returned,
but he isn't aware that he's having them. We're both scared," Annie said, calming
"All right, where is he?" Kermit asked.
"In the study, I think.
He said he had work to do," Annie said.
"Well then, you'll know where I will
be." Kermit said, releasing her.
"Thanks," Annie said, quietly.
friends for?" Kermit asked with a smile.
Kermit walked out of the kitchen and went to the study door. He knocked softly
and got no response. Opening the door, he slipped inside and shut it behind him.
He smiled and took off his glasses, folding them and slipping them into his pocket.
Kermit walked to the desk and saw that Paul had fallen asleep, his feet on the
file cabinet behind his desk. Kermit reached over and removed Paul's glass and
put it on the desk and turned down the volume on the stereo. He then walked over
to the cabinet and poured a drink for himself. Sitting opposite Paul, Kermit sipped
his scotch and waited.
his scotch and stood to get a refill. As he walked to the cabinet, Paul started
to dream. At first, he was just mumbling, nothing coherent, but then it became
clearer. Kermit put down his glass and walked around the desk to face Paul. His
eyes opened suddenly and he leapt to his feet, slamming Kermit against the bookcase.
Kermit didn't resist until Paul shifted his forearm over his neck. Kermit put
two hands up to keep Paul from strangling him.
"Paul, Paul, it's me Kermit.
Paul, wake up," Kermit said, through his clenched teeth.
Paul's gaze never
wavered and it was a look Kermit didn't want directed at him. It was a look of
pure murder. They struggled for a few minutes before Kermit felt Paul's strength
begin to wane. Kermit took the opportunity to turn the tables and slam Paul against
the bookcase, hoping he would wake up. Paul growled and spoke again. Kermit's
head snapped up when he realized what Paul was saying. They were words that he
hadn't heard in over fifteen years.
"Paul, I swear to God, I'm going to slug
you if you don't snap out of this," Kermit said, trying to keep Paul pinned against
Paul took a deep breath and shoved Kermit away from him. He moved
to the center of the room facing the bookcase. Kermit fell onto the chair in front
of the desk and quickly regained his footing. He looked up quickly to see Paul's
fist coming at him. He moved just out of reach, stepped in and punched Paul square
on the jaw. Paul fell backward and landed on the sofa; out like a light. Kermit
walked over to him, grabbed his collar and positioned him so he wasn't uncomfortable.
Kermit turned to go back to the cabinet to make a new drink. He drank it quickly
and poured another one. Kermit leaned against the bookcase and wiped his brow
with a shaky hand. He leaned over and righted the other chair at the desk. Pulling
it up to the couch, he sat down and stared at his friend. What the hell was going
on? Sure he had memories, maybe a flashback or two, but he didn't scream in Vietnamese
at the top of his lungs.
Paul started to stir and Kermit took a chance.
bao nhieu Viet Cong?" Kermit said.
Paul continued to stir but did not awaken.
"Co bao nhieu Viet Cong?" Kermit repeated, loudly.
Paul opened his eyes
and stared hard at Kermit. "Cho," Paul said, slowly.
"Why are you speaking
to me in Vietnamese?" Paul asked, feeling his sore jaw.
"Why did you speak
to me in Vietnamese and ask me where my tunnels were hidden?" Kermit asked.
Paul asked, sitting upright, staring at Kermit.
"You grabbed me and shoved
me against the bookcase. Five minutes later, you threw your forearm against my
windpipe and tried to strangle me while asking where my tunnels were. You didn't
wake up, so I slugged you. Sorry," Kermit said, standing now, to pace off the
Paul looked to the floor and put his face in his hands. He took some
shaky breaths and tried to keep it together.
"I almost killed her," Paul said,
softly, looking at the floor.
"What?" Kermit said, dropping to his knees in
front of Paul, gently lifting his head to look into his eyes.
I had the same nightmare, dream, whatever you want to call it, and I put my forearm
against my wife's throat and I tried to kill her," Paul said, looking at his friend,
tears now streaming down his face.
"But you didn't, you stopped. We'll get
through this, you and I. You'll be fine. Now, wipe your face, go find Annie and
tell her you love her. Then tell her that just for tonight, you'll sleep down
here with me," Kermit said, seriously.
Paul wiped his face with the sleeve
of his shirt and stood. Kermit stood with him and walked him to the door.
get some ice for that chin," Kermit said, with a smirk.
Paul smiled and walked
out of the room to go talk to Annie.
He walked up the stairs slowly, feeling the fatigue in his body catching up
to his brain. He opened the door of the bedroom and wasn't surprised to see Annie
reading in bed. The lamp on the night table on Paul's side of the bed was on,
as she always did, and the rest of the room was dark. She looked up at him, putting
her book down beside her. Paul walked to the bed and sat on the edge gathering
her into his arms.
"I am so sorry I'm scaring you," Paul whispered into her
Annie started to cry and Paul held her as tightly as he dared. He kissed
her softly on her forehead and gently wiped the tears from her face.
helping?" Annie said, sniffling slightly.
"Let's say we had a meeting of the
minds," Paul said, reaching for her hand and placing it on his bruised chin.
sweetheart," Annie said, placing a kiss to the bruise.
"Annie, for tonight,
Kermit feels I should sleep downstairs in the study," Paul said, quietly.
happened? I heard you shouting but I couldn't hear what you were saying." Annie
"I had the same nightmare with the same result except that when I went
to strangle Kermit, he was strong enough to push me away," Paul replied, looking
down at his hands.
Annie reached again for his face, the face that she knew
so well, ran her hands across it, trying to read his emotions. His face was flushed
and she felt the heat emanating from him as well as the dampness beneath his eyes.
"I understand. Sleep well, my darling. I love you," Annie said, pulling him
into a kiss.
Paul kissed her passionately in return and stood up.
the extra blanket from the hall closet for Kermit. You know he always gets cold,"
"Thanks, Babe," Paul said, leaving the room for the night.
Annie began to weep silently for the man she adored, feeling helpless and alone.
She took her book and put in on the night table, pulled the covers up to her chin,
and waited for morning.
on his dark glasses and walked to the kitchen. He found a zip lock bag and a kitchen
towel and set them on the island counter. Opening the freezer, he pulled an ice
tray out and opened it into the bag. Filling the ice tray, he replaced it in the
freezer and shut the door. He zipped the bag, getting most of the air out, and
wrapped it in the kitchen towel and then walked back to the study. He heard Paul's
steps in the hallway above and watched him walk down the stairs with the extra
blanket. They walked into the study and closed the door. Kermit removed his glasses
and traded the ice for the blanket. Paul heaved a heavy sigh and sat down on the
sofa. He kicked off his moccasins and lay back, stretching his length out on the
sofa. He put his ice bag on his chin and groaned softly.
"Serves you right,
you know," Kermit said, tossing the blanket on to the chair.
Paul opened his
eyes and shot a glare at him.
"Want a drink?" Kermit said, with a grin.
what time is it, anyway?" Paul asked.
"Ten or thereabouts," Kermit replied,
his hands busy with scotch.
Kermit walked to Paul with the drink and handed
it to him, settling in his chair, sipping his own drink. Paul sat up a bit more
and took a large mouthful of scotch. The two men sat in silence, the CD long since
Kermit looked over at Paul and noticed that he had fallen asleep, the
ice bag now sitting on his chest and the empty scotch glass on its side on the
sofa. Kermit stood and removed the ice bag and glass. He reached to the back of
the sofa and opened the plaid wool blanket, stretching it out over his friend.
Kermit moved his chair to be out of harm's way in case Paul had another violent
dream, and fell asleep.
downstairs and listened at the study door. Hearing nothing, she walked into the
kitchen and started her normal breakfast schedule, black coffee and cereal for
Paul, tea and scrambled eggs for herself.
Kermit had given up on the chair, opting for the thick carpet. He slept soundly,
waking up when he smelled the coffee. He got up and cracked his neck, wrists,
and knees to relieve the pressure. Glancing at his watch, seven, he then looked
at Paul. He had turned onto his side, facing the back of the sofa. Kermit smiled,
knowing that in the old days Paul would never have put his back to a door. Kermit
removed his jacket and replaced his holster.
"Paul? Let's go, time for breakfast,"
Kermit said, as he finished the last adjustment.
Paul groaned and rolled onto
his back. His chin was a lovely shade of purple that extended along his jaw. Kermit
reached over and took the blanket from him, folding it and putting it back onto
the sofa. Sitting up, Paul quickly put his hand to his head. He reached down with
his other hand and slipped his moccasins back on. When he looked back up he saw
Kermit's outstretched hand. With a tired smile, he took hold as Kermit pulled
him to his feet. Kermit walked out of the study first, with Paul following, on
their way to the kitchen.
Kermit reached into his pocket and began to jingle
the change in his pocket as he approached the kitchen.
"Morning, Kermit," Annie
"Morning, Annie," Kermit replied, kissing her neck as she cooked.
"Is he up?" Annie asked.
"I'm up and I have a killer headache," Paul said,
walking into the kitchen.
Annie put the spatula down and turned to give him
a hug. Paul hugged her back and kissed her. Releasing her, he walked to the coffeemaker
to pour himself a cup.
"Can I do anything to help?" Paul asked, leaning against
"Kermit, are you eating solids this early?" Annie asked.
will do just fine, thanks," Kermit replied, sitting at the table.
do you want eggs today or just your cereal?" Annie asked.
"Cereal will be fine,
thank you," Paul said, turning around to get a bowl from the cupboard.
you can get yourself breakfast. Mine should be ready shortly," Annie answered.
Paul half-filled his bowl with Cheerios, topped it off with a bit of milk,
picked up his mug of coffee, and headed for the table. Kermit nudged a bottle
of aspirin towards him. Paul tapped out three tablets onto the table to slug down
with his coffee when it cooled. Quietly they sipped their coffee, waiting for
Annie to join them. Shortly, she finished with her eggs, turned off the stove
and headed to the table.
"How did you sleep, dear?" Annie asked, sitting down.
"No dreams," Paul answered, starting to eat his cereal.
"If your head is
really killing you, why don't you take the day off?" Annie asked, in between forkfuls
of scrambled eggs.
"I can't. I have to go to the range for my monthly test,"
"When's your appointment?" Kermit asked, quietly.
around two," Paul responded.
"Just take it easy today, Paul," Annie said, gently.
"I will, Babe," Paul replied.
The rest of breakfast was filled with small
talk, mostly about the upcoming weekend.
"I've got to take a quick shower,
and change. See you at the office?" Paul asked Kermit.
"Yeah, what's your schedule?"
"I'm running late, so I'll be in around nine," Paul replied.
"Okay, see you there. Thanks for the coffee, Annie," Kermit said, standing.
"You're always welcome, Kermit," Annie replied.
Kermit walked out the back
door and Paul stood to lean over to kiss Annie. He took his dishes to the sink
and then walked back to her.
"I'm going upstairs to shower," Paul said, putting
his hands on her shoulders.
"All right, dear," Annie said, tilting her head
to touch his hand.
He kissed the top of her head and walked out of the kitchen.
Walking upstairs, Paul went into the bedroom and pulled a fresh suit, socks, shorts,
shirt and tie and laid them out on the bed. He unbuttoned his shirt, tossing it
in the hamper. He kicked off his shoes and picked them up, placing them neatly
in the closet. Taking off his trousers, he hung them up, removed his shorts and
socks; throwing them in the hamper as well. Padding into the bathroom he looked
at his face and noticed the bruising on his chin and jaw. Shutting the door of
the bathroom to keep the steam in, he reached into the shower and turned the water
on, catching a glimpse of himself in the full length mirror. Sighing again, he
stepped into the shower stall and ducked his head under the hot spray. He washed
and soaped and washed again, trying to feel a little more human. Turning off the
water, he stepped out of the shower stall and wrapped a towel around his waist.
He walked to the mirror over the sink and looked again at his face. The dark circles
under his bloodshot blue eyes and the bruise on his chin distracted from the fact
that Paul hadn't shaved. He toweled off, hung up all of the towels and walked
into the bedroom to dress quickly.
Finishing tying his tie, he then pulled
it loose and unbuttoned the top button. He walked to the closet and took his pistol
and harness from the door. He slid into it, relaxing to the comforting feel. Finally,
he put on his jacket and picked up his wallet, pens and change from the bureau.
Taking one last look for anything that might injure Annie, he walked downstairs.
"Babe?" Paul called.
"In the living room," Annie answered.
in and found her reading a book. He leaned over and kissed her on the cheek.
got to go. I'll call you this afternoon. I should be home by eight," Paul said,
"Kelly's still on that school trip until Saturday, remember,"
"I haven't forgotten," Paul said. "Love you, see you later."
you, too," Annie said.
Paul opened the door, listening to the chime from the
kitchen and left the house.
into precinct and endured the questions and the teasing about his chin. He carefully
did not mention Kermit's bruised hand . Paul walked into his office and shut the
door behind him. He pulled off his coat and hung it on the coat rack before sitting
in his worn leather chair. There was a knock on the door.
"Come," Paul said.
Kermit walked in, dark glasses firmly in place, and flopped down in the chair
opposite Paul. "How ya doing?" Kermit asked.
"Fine, really," Paul said, standing
to pour himself a cup of coffee that some kind soul had started earlier.
never got a chance to talk last night. I am concerned. So I think maybe you and
I should have a heart to heart; get blind drunk this afternoon after you qualify,"
Paul looked again at this young man whom he considered to be one
of his best friends. He sat down and sipped his coffee, his eyes lowered. He was
never any good talking about himself or his problems, but he knew that Kermit
wasn't going to let this go. Very slowly, Paul nodded.
"Fine, I'll meet you
at the range at a quarter to," Kermit said, standing up.
The rest of the day flew by. Paul sat at his desk, slogging through reports, four
hours without a break. At one o'clock the phone rang.
"Blaisdell," Paul answered,
rubbed his eyes.
"Just a reminder, see you in half an hour," Kermit teased.
"Yeah, I'm leaving in fifteen minutes," Paul said, the fatigue showing in his
"Okay, just checking," Kermit said. "See you then."
Paul said, then hung up the phone.
Kermit sat in his office and looked at his computer screen. After having coffee
with Paul and Annie, he went home to shower and change. The episode with Paul
got him to thinking and he pulled a box of photos from under his bed. He opened
it and pulled ten photos. Laying them on his scanner, he scanned them to his computer
and then down loaded it to a floppy. Now, he was looking at a photo of himself
and Paul in 1966. A lifetime ago.
Kermit picked up the phone and dialed a number.
"Hello, Annie," Kermit said, with a smile.
"Hello, Kermit. How
are things today?" Annie asked.
"We're going to have a heart to heart talk
this afternoon. I was wondering if you wanted to maybe go out and have dinner
with Peter or a girl friend," Kermit suggested carefully.
"Is this going to
be as hard for him as it sounds??" Annie asked cautiously.
"I would say yes,"
"Maryjane has been asking me to go shopping with her. Maybe
we could go to the mall. I don't want to abandon Paul, though, Kermit," Annie
"I know you don't. But we both know him and he won't want to talk about
it in front of you and hurt you," Kermit pointed out.
"All right, I'll be here
until you come home and then I'll leave," Annie said, quietly.
"Thanks, I gotta
go and meet Paul at the range," Kermit said, standing.
"See you soon, Kermit,"
Kermit hung up the phone, turned off his computer and left his
office. It was a short drive to the range and there wasn't any traffic, still
he beat Paul there which was his intent. He stood leaning against his car. Five
minutes later, Paul drove up.
"You look beat," Kermit noted.
answered, getting out of his car and locking it.
They walked in together. Paul
signed in, showing his badge and ID.
"Hiya Paul. I've got you at the other
end of the building. Sorry. The cadets are in so you'll be in the SWAT range,"
The Sergeant said.
"No problem, Jimmy. Want me to take shooters from here or
do you have them over there as well?" Paul asked.
"Take a pair from here. Kermit?
You're not scheduled today," Jimmy said, looking at his calendar.
just here with Paul," Kermit replied.
"Okay, good shooting, Paul," Jimmy said.
Paul and Kermit walked the long two block building and finally arrived in a
large room, one hundred feet by three hundred feet.
"Captain Blaisdell?" a
young man in cammos asked.
"Yes, but call me Paul," Paul replied.
sir. You're here to qualify on your service pistol. My paperwork says you have
a Smith & Wesson 659. Is that still accurate?" the man asked.
said, removing it from his holster, ejecting the magazine, and clearing the chamber
before handing the gun to him, butt first.
"Nice gun, good weight to it. When
did you fire it last?" the man continued.
"I was involved in an altercation
on the fifteenth of this month and had to discharge my weapon," Paul said.
turned to him in surprise. This was the first he was hearing about it.
after you were cleared by the Shooting Board, you cleaned your weapon?" the man
"Yes," Paul answered.
"Okay, I put the target on the chase bar,
so you're ready to go," The man said.
Paul nodded to him, taking back his gun
and reloading it. He put his shooters on and gazed at the target in the distance.
Kermit knew Paul could qualify in his sleep, he was still rated as a marksman.
Paul raised his gun from his side and shot five bullets in quick succession into
the target. He lowered his weapon and looked back at the young man. The target
came back to them. The five bullets were all in the center in a dice-configuration.
The young man smiled and put up another target, sending it back out into the warehouse.
The next test was also for five bullets but this time the gun had to be pulled
from the holster. Paul holstered his now cool gun counted to three and pulled
the gun, again shooting five bullets quickly. The target came back in the exact
condition as the first.
"Paul? Is that you?" a voice called from behind them.
Kermit tapped Paul on his shoulder and pointed. Paul took off his shooters
and turned around.
"Fitz, what are you doing here?" Paul asked, holstering
his pistol before embracing the other man.
"It's intro to big guns for the
cadets today," Fitz replied.
"This is a friend and colleague, Kermit Griffin,"
Paul said, introducing them.
"Hi, Jack Fitzsimons," Fitz said, extending his
"Hi," Kermit said, shaking the other man's hand.
"Hey, I have something
to show you," Fitz said to Paul.
Fitz walked to a table where two large gun
"You used an M-16, right?" Fitz asked, opening the brown case.
Paul said, looking at the gun case with interest.
Kermit came to his side immediately
to look at the weapon.
"This is a Remington 700, or the Police model, which
is what SWAT is using now," Fitz said, handing Paul the rifle.
Paul moved away
and sighted down the gun, feeling its weight. He handed it to Kermit, who smiled.
"This is mine. It's a M21 the upgrade from the-" Fitz started.
rifle we used in Vietnam," Paul finished for him.
He reached over and gently
took the gun. It had a polished wooden stock with an Adjustable Ranging Telescopic
sight. It was a beautiful weapon.
"Go ahead. Mikey, set up Paul with a couple
of targets. How far do you want to go?" Fitz asked.
"The building is only three
hundred feet long, so I guess the wall," Paul said, accepting a magazine.
actually, we do sniper qualify outside. We start at two hundred meters," Mikey
"Set him up for three hundred meters, three targets," Fitz instructed.
"Yes, sir," Mikey said, leaving the building.
Fitz zipped up his other guns
and locked them up in the wire locker. The three men left the warehouse out to
the exterior range. Five minutes later, Mikey came back.
"All right, Paul.
Three targets at three hundred meters. I have to go in to check on the cadets.
Fitz,..." Mikey asked.
"Yeah, I'll stay with them. Just tell the cadets that
two old farts are messin' around out here," Fitz said with a grin.
too, but Paul was very serious. He walked out to the edge of the field and raised
the gun to his eye to sight the first target. He dropped to the ground, ignoring
his suit. Reaching out, he picked up a handful of dirt and dropped it. Watching
the wind move the dirt he adjusted the gun. He knew the target was at three hundred
meters out and estimated 2 meters high, so he adjusted for altitude. Now he just
had to take the shot. There was noise behind him but Paul didn't hear anything.
Kermit turned and stared the group of cadets down. Mikey handed Fitz a pair of
binoculars. Fitz locked in on the first target, Bugs Bunny. He watched, heard
the gun discharge and saw the nose and whiskers disappear.
Paul searched for
the next target and found it; Wiley Coyote. Paul chuckled and shot him quickly.
The last target was the Tasmanian Devil. Paul counted to one and that was it.
He stood up and handed Kermit the smoking gun while he dusted himself off and
removed his shooters. Mikey set out on the dirt bike to collect the targets. The
cadets were yammering about what kind of shot this guy could be. Fitz walked up
to Paul and spoke quietly in his ear. He reached up and they embraced. Mikey came
back and tried to hand the targets to Paul. Fitz walked up and gently took them.
"Gentlemen, this is what a marksman does. No fanfare, just his job," Fitz said,
holding up the three targets.
The cadets were silent.
"Let's get going Kermit.
Annie will worry," Paul said, turning to walk back to the car.
Mikey took the
shooters from him and smiled.
"Come by anytime, Paul. You are more than qualified,"
Paul was silent walking
back to the car, his hands dug deep into his pockets.. Kermit snuck looks at him
but said nothing.
"Paul, what shooting were you involved in?" Kermit asked.
Paul turned quickly, is finger in Kermit's face. Kermit raised his hands up
to surrender and noticed that Paul was shaking with anger. Paul turned and walked
to his car, got in and sped off. Kermit stood in disbelief. He ran a hand through
his hair and then walked to the pay phone.
"Strenlich," the familiar voice
"Frank, it's Kermit," Kermit said.
"Are you and Paul coming back
from the range?" Frank asked.
"No, Paul's got something going on and I'm trying
to help him out," Kermit said.
"What do you mean?" Frank asked.
he's having flashbacks. What can you tell me about the shooting a couple of weeks
ago?" Kermit asked.
"Paul was following up on a case. He had to interview a
guy who worked at the zoo. The guy pulled a gun, Paul's a better shot," Frank
"Did you talk to Paul afterwards?" Kermit asked.
"No, I had to go
talk to the brass about budgets. I didn't see him till the next day," Frank replied.
"Ok, thanks. I'll keep in touch," Kermit said.
"Please do, Kermit and if
I can help in any way, call me," Frank said.
"Thanks, Frank. Goodbye," Kermit
"Goodbye, Kermit," Frank said.
Kermit walked to his car and got in.
He started the engine and headed towards Paul's house.
Thirty minutes later, he pulled into Paul's driveway and was surprised not
to see his car. Kermit pulled the Corvair to the side and walked to the kitchen
door. He rang the bell and Annie opened it a few minutes later.
Has he called you?" Kermit asked, stepping into the kitchen.
"What? No, he
hasn't called. Where is he, Kermit? What's happened?" Annie asked.
her down at the breakfast table and held her hands, explaining what happened at
"Annie, did Paul talk to you about a shooting that occurred a couple
of weeks ago?" Kermit asked.
"No, why?" Annie asked.
"I think that's what
started it," Kermit said.
His pager went off but he didn't recognize the number.
Kermit walked over to the phone on the wall and dialed the number.
Griffin, someone paged me," He said, into the receiver.
"This is Pete Dugan,
from The Skunk Pit,"
"Okay, what can I do for you?" Kermit asked, looking at
Annie across the kitchen.
"I got a guy here at my bar. He's pretty drunk. He
gave me his keys and wants you to come get him," Pete said.
"Let me guess,
looks like he was in a bar fight? Bruised chin, bloodshot eyes, unshaven?" Kermit
asked, seeing Annie standing up and walking to him.
"Yeah, that's him," Pete
"Okay, this is important. You tell him 'Kermit has his six'. You got
that?" Kermit asked.
"Hey, Kermit says, he has your six," Pete said. "He gave
me the thumbs up sign."
"Good, that's the correct sign. I'm on my way. Uhm,
where are you?" Kermit asked.
"I'm on Laurel beyond Cordon Drive. Can't miss
us. There's a forty foot skunk outside," Pete said.
"Gotcha, thanks," Kermit
"No, thank you," Pete said, hanging up the phone.
"He's all right.
He's drunk at a bar. I'm going to go get him," Kermit said.
"I'm staying here,
Kermit. He's my husband and what upsets him affects me," Annie said, crossing
"You are the most obstinate and wonderful woman I've ever known,"
Kermit said, kissing her on the forehead, and then walking out the door to his
Twenty five minutes later,
Kermit saw a brightly illuminated gigantic skunk. He turned his car into the parking
lot, found a place, and got out. Walking into the dark establishment, Kermit folded
his glasses into his pocket and walked to the bar.
"Pete? I'm Griffin, where
is he?" Kermit said, to the only person behind the bar.
"After I hung up with
you, he asked if he could lie down. He's a real orderly guy, not the normal crap
that comes in here. Oh, here's his keys. Hey Joanie, take this guy to my office,"
"Thanks, Pete. What's the bar damage?" Kermit asked.
paid for his drinks ahead of time. He knew exactly what he was doing. He paid
for eight scotches and he drank eight scotches," Pete said.
Kermit smiled and
then followed the pretty brunette to the office. She unlocked the door and he
walked in, shutting the door behind him. Paul was lying on a cot, asleep. Kermit
put on his glasses and turned on the overhead fluorescents.
"Paul, it's Kermit.
Time to go home," He said softly.
Paul didn't move.
"Paul, let's go," Kermit
This time, Paul opened his eyes and then immediately squinted
against the glare from the fluorescents.
"Hey, Kermit," Paul greeted him.
yourself. Can you stand?" Kermit asked.
"Not without a crane," Paul said, smiling.
"Then I am at your service," Kermit said, reaching down to pull him up to a
Kermit reached over and pulled him to his feet, sliding his
arm across Paul's back.
"Come on, help me, would you? Put your arm across my
shoulder. Thanks," Kermit growled.
Together they walked into the bar and then
out into the parking lot towards Kermit's car.
"You can throw up now," Kermit
Paul stepped away but kept a grounding hand on Kermit's arm. He
held on so tightly that Kermit knew there would be bruising tomorrow. When Paul
was done, he pulled a handkerchief from his hip pocket and wiped his face.
on, we've got to get you home," Kermit said, helping him to the car.
time is it?" Paul asked.
"Around five," Kermit answered, reaching over to strap
Paul into his seat.
Paul reclined the seat slightly and put his head back against
the seat. He was asleep before Kermit left the driveway.
Kermit turned into Paul's driveway and drove all the way to the rear, not wanting
to have to manhandle Paul in public if he couldn't wake him.
"Paul, we're home,"
Kermit said, opening his door.
Paul looked at him blankly. Kermit reached in
and undid the seat belt. Paul turned his body and placed his feet on the ground.
Kermit pulled him to his feet and helped him up to the kitchen door. Seeing Annie
in the kitchen, Kermit knocked on the door. Annie opened it quickly and smelled
the scotch emanating from Paul.
"Ah, the boozehound is home, I see," Annie
said, turning on her heel and walking out of the kitchen.
"I'm sorry, Annie,"
Paul murmured, looking at the floor.
"Paul, sit down. You need some fluids
before you go back to sleep or you are going to be one hurting puppy tomorrow,"
Kermit said, helping him into a chair.
Kermit walked to the fridge, opened
it and looked through the shelves. Finding what he was looking for, he removed
a large glass and filled it full. He walked back to the table and set it in front
"Drink all of it," Kermit instructed.
Paul looked up to see the
large glass of tomato juice and groaned. He picked it up and started to drink
slowly. Kermit got another glass and filled it with room temperature water, setting
it in front of Paul.
When Paul finished both glasses, his colour was better,
but the fatigue had returned.
"Okay, big guy. Off to bed now," Kermit said.
"I don't think I'll be welcome upstairs," Paul said, quietly.
"No, and I'm
not sure that a dinner comprised of scotch is going to chase away your nightmares,
either," Kermit said, helping Paul to his feet.
They walked to the study and
Kermit carefully helped Paul to the sofa. Paul sat on the sofa and laid his head
"I'm going to go get you some more water. I'll be right back," Kermit
"Not going anywhere for a while," Paul said, softly.
"Oh, yeah," Kermit
said with a smirk.
Kermit closed the door behind him and walked to the kitchen.
Passing the living room, he noticed Annie sitting on the sofa. She appeared to
be reading but Kermit heard some sniffles too.
"Annie, you okay? Can I do anything
for you?" Kermit asked.
"Kermit, I am so mad at him. He can't talk to me but
he can go get stinking drunk? Why doesn't he trust me?" Annie asked, standing
to walk to Kermit.
"Please, please believe me when I tell you that he adores
you. I don't think he trusts himself right now. He's full of rage and raw emotions
from memories that he thought were long buried. He can't put a face to these memories,
but if he tells you, then you will know a part of him that he has worked very
hard to hide," Kermit said, embracing her.
"Kermit, I know he loves me but
I am so frustrated," Annie said, into his neck.
"I know, sweetie, I know. You
just need to be patient with him. He is trying in his way to protect you. I'm
going to talk to him now. Don't wait up for him. In his current state, he won't
be fun to sleep with anyway," Kermit said, pulling back to look at her.
you, Kermit," Annie said, wiping her eyes. "Can I make you any supper? I was going
to throw a salad together,"
"No thanks, but I will walk with you into the kitchen
because I need to get him one more glass of water. I figure I'll fix a sandwich
later," Kermit said.
"All right," Annie said, leading the way to the kitchen.
Kermit pulled a glass from the cabinet, threw in some ice, and filled it with
"Take care, Annie and try not to worry," Kermit said.
help it," Annie said, turning to face him.
Kermit walked up and gently hugged
her, taking care not to spill Paul's water. He kissed her forehead and then walked
back to the study.
Opening the door,
he walked into the study, closing the door behind him. Kermit walked to the desk
and put the glass of water down. He went to the cabinet and poured himself a scotch.
He took his jacket off as well as his gun and harness, putting them on the desk
chair. Picking up his scotch, he walked to the chair and sat down opposite Paul.
"Let's go," Kermit said, sipping his scotch.
Paul opened his eyes and looked
"Paul, I have flashbacks about 'Nam from time to time. Certain things
set me off, a smell, a sound, a situation. But I don't act on them and I don't
speak in Vietnamese, hell up until last night, I didn't know that I even remembered
any," Kermit said in a low voice.
Paul didn't answer but changed his glance
to the ceiling. He crossed his arms over his chest, his hands clenched into fists.
The room was quiet except for the settling ice in Kermit's glass.
stop it," Paul said, softly.
Kermit looked at him closely.
stop what, Paul?" Kermit asked, keeping his voice soft as well.
"I went to
do follow-up on a guy that we were pretty sure was part of a car theft ring. Maybe
I should have had backup but nothing in this guy's jacket suggested he was violent.
He worked at the zoo. Everything was fine until I arrived at the building he worked
in; the Asian building. There's a rain forest that rains and animals from the
rain forest are there; that sort of thing. I was supposed to meet him at his office,
behind the animal habitats. I walked in and then I was in Vietnam. There was that
same smell of rotting vegetation, animals, mud, everything. I guess he saw me
and panicked. He turned off the lights putting us both in the dark. Suddenly it
was a night patrol. I heard the snick when he cocked the gun," Paul paused.
he didn't hear you because you had taken off your shoes. He had no idea where
you were," Kermit said, softly.
"He started firing wildly and the animals became
agitated. It was loud and dark and," Paul paused again.
"And just like the
night patrols we would do," Kermit said, remembering.
"So I fired back," Paul
said, turning his gaze to Kermit.
"And he died," Kermit said.
did. I had to get out of there but I couldn't see an exit sign so I started to
search," Paul said, standing up, starting to pace.
Kermit stood as well and
walked to the bookcase, leaning against it. He sipped his scotch and watched the
way Paul moved.
"What happened next?" Kermit prompted softly.
"I came to
a door and opened it. I walked in, it was ink black, and I fell face first into
a pile of rotting plants. The smell was so strong. I jumped up and ran back into
the open room and then the lights turned on. There were two police officers with
guns drawn, a corpse<...> and me," Paul said, stopping to drink the glass
"Okay, that explains why Vietnam is in your thoughts. But what about
these nightmares?" Kermit asked.
"I went to the precinct and showered, but
the smell was in my clothes. I came home, changed clothes, had dinner, and came
in here. I could still smell it. I started to remember what I had tried so hard
to forget," Paul said, turning to face him.
Paul's face was flushed, the perspiration
dotting his shirt.
"Take off your jacket, Paul," Kermit recommended.
took off his jacket and threw it on the desk. He followed with his tie and then
unbuttoned his cuffs, shoving them to his elbows. Kermit's eyes were drawn to
Paul's wrists and the angry scars that had not entirely faded.
"It was one
of our first missions as Team Apostle, June of '66. We were supposed to take out
a couple of NVA guys in Laos. They choppered us to the border. We were thirty
five klicks from our FOB in Kon Tum and we humped in from there. God, it was so
long and so hard. There were just seven of us, then. Me, Ryker, Steadman, Jensen,
Francis, Cavanaugh, and Harris."
"We had pretty good intel but this was still
early in the war and we really didn't understand the VC well enough. We headed
to a village in Attapu province. From there, we were supposed to be able to track
down our targets, but we ran into difficulty."
Kermit walked to the cabinet
and refilled his scotch. Paul had resumed his pacing. He had also removed his
shoes and socks. As he told the story, his body reacted to each part.
the ville and waited outside, just looking and listening for two hours. I couldn't
explain it, but something felt wrong. Ryker felt it too and started to get nervous.
To top it off, it started to rain. Finally I decided we had no choice but to go
into the village. So we started in, classic formation and the first bouncing betty
went off. That took out Harris and blew any element of surprise to hell. The second
one went off behind me and took Francis. I got hit with a bunch of shrapnel, although
most of it went into my pack. So now we are five men trying to do the job of seven.
Steadman starts doing a hooch search and finds an old woman sitting on the floor
spitting betel juice. I took his six and as he turned to talk to me, she pulled
out a gun. I pushed him and fired a warning shot above her head."
Kermit looked at him, setting his glass down. Paul had started to shake. He looked
at Kermit and then at his hands. His shirt was soaked and clung to his body. The
waistband of Paul's trousers were wet from the perspiration running down his torso.
"I lost it...I lost control. I handed my M-16 to Steadman , knocked the gun
out of her hand and picked her up by her clothing, slamming her against the wall.
Co bao nhieu Viet Cong? I kept shouting. Co bao nhieu Viet Cong? But she wouldn't
answer, so I put my forearm against her windpipe and started to push. Ryker, of
all people, pulled me off of her. I was so positive that she could tell us where
the VC were.
"So here we were, without the intel to finish the mission. Steadman
handed me back my gun and went out on his own to see what he could find out about
the NVA guys we were supposed to hit. Steadman was something of a linguist and
studied Vietnamese at Sandhurst. Twenty minutes later he returned with a guy and
tells me he's our guide. The mission was back on.
"The rain was falling so
hard we could barely see. It was getting dark and we headed back into the jungle.
We walked until morning without rest. As the sun rose, the temperature did as
well. We took a break, trying to regroup. Jensen tried to call in a status report
but he couldn't raise anybody."
"We walked for two more days, evading VC patrols.
Finally we were in the area of our NVA targets. I had been carrying the sniper
rifle after Francis had been killed and only then did I have a chance to fieldstrip
it. The stock was shot to hell but it was fine otherwise. Ryker was my spotter
and we left the camp early the next morning to complete the mission. The rest
of the team stayed in reserve, a radio call away."
"It was easy, really. Only
one thousand feet out, one shot one kill. Ryker and I were in and out quickly
and made it back to camp. In that time, Steadman had vectored where we were and
established that we had to walk at least twenty klicks east towards Vietnam to
have any chance of an air evac. So off we marched and fought for days until Steadman
turned to me and smiled. At last, we were within range. Jensen called for an extraction
and we waited to pop smoke until the chopper was near enough."
to the cabinet and poured himself a scotch without water and took a large gulp.
He then reached into his desk and pulled out a cigarette. Lighting it quickly,
he took a drag and drank more scotch. Kermit took notice of Paul's first cigarette
in fifteen years and also the fact that there had been an open pack in his desk.
"Cavanaugh got hit first. He was dead before he hit the ground. Bullets were
flying everywhere so we just started to run toward the LZ. Ryker led, then Steadman,
Jensen and me. We got to the edge of the clearing and I could just make out the
noise of the Huey above the firefight. I grabbed the radio to make sure they knew
the LZ was hot and we were ready. We had our backs to the LZ, using up ammo like
there was no tomorrow. I heard Ryker scream for me and I turned and ran towards
the chopper. Jensen was right next to me and went down. I slung him over my shoulder
and ran for the chopper for whatever I was worth. I got him in the Huey and it
took off. I jumped for it; half in and half out. Ryker and Steadman grabbed me
and pulled me into the chopper."
Paul paused again, his scotch glass empty,
his cigarette out. He walked back to his desk and pulled another cigarette and
lit it immediately. It was only then that Kermit noticed they had no filters.
Paul poured himself more scotch and continued.
"Jensen was dead, of course,
but I didn't know until I turned him over and saw the hole in his chest. The three
of us just looked at each other and...and..." Paul stopped speaking.
walked up to Paul and caught him as he collapsed, dragging him to lean against
the sofa. Paul wrapped his hands around his bent knees, pulled up to his chest
and started to rock slowly. Kermit reached over and removed the cigarette from
Paul's tight fingers. Walking to the desk, Kermit picked up the scotch glass and
refilled it, field stripping the cigarette automatically.
"What happened in
the chopper, Paul?" Kermit coaxed softly.
"We started with seven men and then
we were three. We just started to cry. It was all so senseless," Paul said, as
tears slipped from his eyes.
Kermit put the scotch glass into Paul's hand.
"Take a sip of that, Paul. You'll feel better," Kermit advised.
a breath and chuckled a little. He took a sip and was quiet.
when you got back to your FOB?" Kermit asked.
"Such a mess as we were, they
sent us back to Camp Radcliff, outside of An Khe which was our main camp. I remember
getting out of the chopper, there was so much blood, and we were all covered with
it. The medics couldn't figure out if we were hit or not. I started to walk to
my hooch and I remember, someone calling my name. I didn't stop, just kept walking.
Somehow I got to my hooch and walked inside. I think I sat on the floor, sort
of like this," Paul said, looking at his knees.
"Yeah, you did," Kermit confirmed.
"And there was this kid sitting on my trunk. The most serious kid I had ever
seen," Paul said.
"Yeah, that was me. I had just turned sixteen and faked my
id to get into the Army and out of the reach of my parents," Kermit said softly.
"You sat on the floor and just stared. You were covered with dirt and blood and
stunk like I don't know what."
"Bartholomew Kermit Griffin," Paul said slowly.
"Yes, but you knew someone called Bart and you hated him, so that day, I became
Kermit," Kermit said, shyly.
"You took care of me," Paul whispered.
were hardly able to take care of yourself. After much discussion you let me take
your rifle. I got you to your feet and got you down to shorts and boots before
escorting you to a hot shower. Your back was covered with small hunks of metal
from that bouncing betty, you had bug bites, elephant grass cuts, your feet were
a mess and you were exhausted. I got you into clean shorts, and then back to the
hooch where you passed out for two days straight. Ryker and Steadman stopped by
and they coerced some blonde nurse to take a look at you," Kermit said, looking
"That would be Nancy," Paul said, his voice stronger.
about right. When you finally woke up, you didn't remember the mission, or if
you did, you never told me. At least not until tonight. All I knew was the next
day I was Team Apostle's new sniper," Kermit said, softly.
"God, I am so tired,"
Paul said, leaning his head back against the sofa.
"I know," Kermit replied,
looking at his watch; three a.m. "Let's get you on the sofa and you can sleep
Kermit helped Paul stand up and removed his gun and harness.
Paul sat down and then stretched out on the sofa. He turned his back to Kermit
as he stretched the blanket out again. Kermit picked up the scotch glass and looked
around the room. Locating his own, he poured another scotch and sat in the chair
again, watching Paul.
A loud clap
of thunder woke Kermit. He had slept in that chair and his back was not in good
shape. His watch read seven am. Four hours, functional, okay, he thought to himself.
Kermit stood and cracked his neck. He pulled Paul's blanket up to his chin and
left the study. He could hear Annie humming in the kitchen. As usual, he jingled
his change as he walked into the kitchen.
"Good morning, Kermit," Annie said,
walking towards him to give him a hug and kiss. "Kermit Griffin, you were not
smoking in this house."
"Actually, it was Paul," Kermit said.
a shower," Annie remarked, going back to the stove.
"I'll go home and leave
you guys alone when he wakes up. He'll be okay, but you guys need time alone.
He's pretty fragile right now." Kermit said.
There was another clap of thunder
and the lights went out.
"Damn, great," Kermit said, walking quickly out of
"Kermit, what's wrong?" Annie called.
"Power's out," he replied
over his shoulder.
Kermit walked to the study and opened both doors to allow
the weak daylight to enter the room so it wasn't pitch dark. Paul couldn't be
in a dark room and Kermit had no idea why. Confident that if Paul did wake up
right then that there was enough light, Kermit walked back into the kitchen.
sleeping. Can I help you?" Kermit asked.
"No, but you might want to drink the
coffee before it gets cold. Thank God for gas ranges," Annie said with a giggle.
"Oh, yeah," Kermit said, pouring himself a large cup of coffee.
Kermit and Annie spent the morning together. The power came back on after a
couple of hours. Kermit called in sick days for Paul and him, assuring Frank that
they would both be back to work the next day. The thunderstorm continued, with
high winds and driving rains. Perfect weather to sleep in.
Kermit sat in the
living room with Annie on the large sofa.
"Good morning, I hope?" Paul said
to Annie, his face drawn with fatigue, not able to look at her.
Annie ran to
him, knocking him against the open door. She hugged him hard, not wanting to let
"How are you?" Annie asked, softly, into his ear.
"A little rough;
not enough sleep or food." Paul replied, groaning from her tight grasp.
released him and took a step back.
"Or hygiene, Thaddeus Paul Blaisdell, until
you shower, shave, and brush your teeth, those scotch and nicotine ridden lips
aren't coming anywhere over here." Annie said.
"I'm sorry," Paul answered,
"Sweetheart, I love you unconditionally. I will love you whether you
clean up or not, whether you're able to tell me your life story or not, and whether
you're a cop or not. You are my best friend and that's all I need from you." Annie
said, looking towards him, fighting back tears.
Kermit smiled, but Paul seemed
to still be uncomfortable. Kermit walked up to him, standing next to Annie.
you're my best friend. Paul, you don't have to do everything by yourself. You
can lean on me, sometimes. I'm not going anywhere. Hell, how many soul-searching
sessions have you and I had where the topic of discussion was my marriage?" Kermit
"I know I guess, it's just..." Paul started.
"Hard, I know sweetheart.
Just remember, if you ever get scared again, we're both here." Annie said.
both my anchors, keeping me grounded and focused." Paul said, looking at his two
"It's mutual." Kermit replied.
"You saved me today. I don't
know how to thank you," Paul said, embracing Kermit.
"You don't need to. We're
even. Pleiku, Kundahar, Beirut, Belfast....the list is too long," Kermit said.
"I don't .....I ...." Paul started, not knowing what to say.
okay. You need some more sleep and I do, too. I'll pick you up tomorrow at seven.
We have to go rescue your car from the Skunk Pit," Kermit said, stepping back.
"What?" Paul asked.
"I'll tell you later, dear. Seems we have a bit of catching
up to do," Annie said, standing by his side.
"Night, Kermit, and thanks," Paul
"Night, Paul. Night, Annie," Kermit replied, and left through the front
"All right, Paul, shower and
then into bed." Annie said, linking her arm in his.
"Is that an order?" Paul
"You bet it is," Annie replied, walking with him up the stairs. "and
then I'd like to talk to you about those cigarettes you have hidden in the study...."
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