© Written By: Kitty Croft - Wandering Star Resource

   It had been a cold winters night and snow was falling rapidly. The wind was blowing hard outside making the branches of tress and bushes bang against the windows. It had been the first snow of the year; Christmas was only a week away. Their first holiday as a married couple and he had pleaded with her, tried to stop her from leaving. He had now realized he’d made a huge mistake telling her she had to choose.
  "Come on Alice please don't leave."
   She said nothing she just ignored him and continued to pack her bags. They had just gotten home from their honeymoon. Their wedding had been beautiful it was the perfect wedding. With a bouquet of red and white rose, Alice’s favorite flowers, the cake had been a three-tier vanilla cake with red and white decretive roses. It had been the wedding Alice had always dreamed of.
   The honeymoon was romantic; they had taken a trip to Italy a place Alice had wanted to go all of her life. She had learned a little bit of Italian from the last guy she’d dated. She’d also learned Spanish from high school, French from her grandmother, and German from her partner.
  It had been a hard chose to make, deciding whether to go to France or Italy. Two of a million places Alice wanted to see when she was a little girl.
  She’d gotten the pleasure of seeing London on a family vacation when she’d been thirteen. And she’d visited Hawaii at the age of sixteen with friends. Alice had traveled to a million places in America on job assignments. She considered herself to be one of the luckiest girls in the world. How many people got to see all the wonderful places she had?
  "Alice, please!" Dave pleaded with her as he tried pulling clothes from her hands.
  "You gave me an ultimatum, Dave. You or my job...I love you Dave, but I can't just walk away from my job. Its my whole life." Alice continued packing her bags without even stopping to look at him.
  She did love him, but she loved her job. It was her whole life, but so was Dave. She’d wanted to be a cop since she had been just a little girl. Her father, grandfather and great grandfather had all been cops. It was a family business.
  She’d always wanted to be like her father growing up. Or was it approval she wanted? She’d been an only child; her father had wanted a son. He wanted his son to be come a cop just as his father and grandfather before him had been. And she knew he had been disappointed when he never got a son.
  She remembered the day she’d graduated from the police academy just like it was yesterday. Her father seemed proud, but seemed as though he would have been prouder if she’d only been a son and not a daughter. Alice tried her hardest to get her fathers approval and never seemed to have gotten it in any thing she’d done.
  "I thought I was your whole life?" He grabbed her shoulders and turned her to face him. His grip was tight, his eyes on her and they were full of worry. His dark brown eyes grew darker with anger by the response she gave him.
   "You were...are. And so is my job." She pushed his hands away from her shoulders and continued to pack her bag.
   “You’re only keeping this job because you’re so determined to get daddy’s approval.”
   Alice ignored him and continued packing. She knew he was right.
   “Alice you’re never going to get his approval. You’ve spent your whole life worrying about what others think of you. Its time you stop and think about your self for once.”
   Alice picked up her bag, grabbed her purse and keys and headed for the front door. Dave followed closely behind her still pleading with her to forget the whole thing. Forget every thing he had just asked her to do.
   When she continued to ignore him, he grabbed the bag and threw it on the floor. His arms were on around her and he pulled her against him into a kiss before she could protest.
   How was it after so long of being together he could still bring up that spark in her? She didn’t want to leave, but she couldn't just leave her job either.
   "Now try to walk out." He smiled letting her go and folding his arms across his chest. He was quite proud of himself and thought that would change her mind. The smile slowly faded when he saw no change in her eyes.
   Without a word she just picked her bag up and walked out. She unlocked the car door and got in when she turned around she saw Dave at the window.
   "Dang it Dave! Don’t scare me like that."
   "Are you really going to walk out on me after all we went though?"

Flash Back

   It was a nice warm spring day, the air smelled of fresh blooming flowers. It was a beautiful day with a slight breeze. She’d walked into the store to buy a few things that she need. It was a small store owned by Kay Thomson, her and her husband had owned it for many years now.
   She saw a man standing by the door. He seemed a little off. Nervous, sweaty, he was pacing with his hands in his pockets and he was staring down at the ground. Alice just figured he was waiting for some one. But she couldn’t shake the feeling that some thing was wrong. Being a cop you were trained to notice people’s behaviors and figure out if they were up to some thing.
   "Alice its great to see you. I haven't seen you in a while." The woman standing behind the register said cheerful.
   "Hey Mrs. Thomson." Alice said looking up at her with a smile.
   Mrs. Thomson was Alice's neighbor she was a sweet old lady in her late eighties. She had been like a grandmother to Alice. Alice would always help her out around the house. She didn’t have any children or grandchildren that lived near by. They had all lived out of state or out of the country.
   Mrs. Thomson had been alone in the house; her husband had died more then seven years before. He’d been a cranky old man who hated all the kids who played or ran across his lawn. He was always complaining about some thing. Always complained when Alice tired to help out. Told her he could do it, he wasn’t that old. Until he would try to bend over and his back or a hip would make a cracking noise. Then he’d fuss and moan about how he was in pain.
   He really was a sweet old man when he wanted to be. Alice considered him to be like a grandfather. He actually reminded her of her grandfather. He would fuss and moan about the same little things to. Always wanting to be on his feet doing some thing. Never wanting any one to do it for him. He would always tell you how to do some thing if he didn’t feel you were doing it right.
   "So how’s police work these days." Mrs. Thomson asked as she began to ring up the items and place them in the bags to her left.
   "Great I guess."
   "Why what’s the matter dear?"
   "Oh nothing just working on a case. I can't talk about it. It just got to me you know. I always tell myself ‘Never take any case personal’, but…" She paused to think over the case a bit. “It just got to me.”
   "Oh well, I'm sure you'll get the guy soon." She gave Alice a quick smile before going back to ringing up the items.
   Alice noticed some one on another register. She turned to look over at him. He looked cute, must have been no taller then five eleven, short black curly hair. He wore a button down shirt under a sweatshirt and jeans. One of the things she’d notices was he didn’t have a wedding band. How could a guy like that not be married or at least taken? Maybe he was, what woman couldn’t resist him.
   “Dave Cruz, he's a very sweet man."
   “Excuse me?”
   Mrs. Thomson pointed her thumb over her shoulder “I saw you were looking at him.” She laughed when she saw Alice’s cheeks turn red. “I’m training him to take over for when I leave.”
   "Oh you’re quitting?"
   "Well sweetie I have to. I am almost eighty-nine." She laughed. “I’m and old woman I cant do this job forever.”
   “Eighty-Nine? Well that’s not that old.” Alice just laughed when Mrs. Thomson sent her a look. "Well he’s cute." Alice said never taking her eyes off him.
   Mrs. Thomas just chuckled as she finished ringing up the items.
   Just then the sound of a gun shoot echoed though the store and a man started shouting. "Everyone get down!"
   Alice ducked to the ground with the rest of the people in the store and tried to reach for her gun.
   "DONT! You call any one I will shoot you." He turned to walk away. He was that man Alice had seen at the door he was now joined with another man.
   Alice moved to see if Mrs. Thomas was ok. "Kay? Are you ok? Mrs. Thomas?" Alice reached for her pulse. "Nothing." Alice bowed her head and dropped her hand from Kay’s neck. Heart attack, she thought to her self.
   Alice turned and saw Dave reaching for a phone. "Don’t" She tried to whisper it but the man still heard her anyways.
   The man turned when her heard Alice and saw the same thing she did. Dave reaching for the phone the man panicked and shot him. Alice heard screams ripple from every one in the store. When he walked off Alice ran to Dave's side.
   "Are you ok?"
   Holding his wound and trying to breath through the intense pain. "I've just been shoot what do you think?"
   She laughed. “Right stupid question.” Alice pressed down on the wound in Dave’s leg to stop the bleeding. She looked around for some thing to hold on the wound. She saw a man in a suit near by. “Hey.” When he turned she motioned to his tie. "Your tie."
   "Give me your tie, I need it to put on his wound to stop the bleeding."
  He nodded and quickly undid his tie and handed it to her.
   Alice wrapped the tie around Dave’s wound and tied it tight. "Now I want you to hold this as tight as you can. Ok?"
   Alice reached for her gun and stood up. "Police drop your weapon."
   The man turned, gave her and evil smile and pointed the gun at her. He obviously didn’t have any thing to lose. Just when he was about to pull the trigger, Alice pulled hers first. She saw the other man had already left the store. Some partner he was leaving his partner to face the cops alone.
   Alice picked up her phone and called in the station. "This is Agent Collin I need a bus. There’s been a robbery one suspect has fled the scene, one suspect down and hostage shot." Alice bent down to check on Dave. "You’re going to be ok."
   "What’s your name?"
   "Alice Collin."
   "Well thank you Alice." He smiled.

   "Alice?? Please don’t leave. I’m sorry I take it back okay? Just please stay with me."
   Alice didn’t say any thing she just started to cry.
   "Alice I don’t care if you quit or stay with your job. I just don’t want you to leave."
   "I need some time to figure things out." She then drove away.
   Dave watched her till she was out of sight. He slowly walked back inside the house. He couldn’t believe she was gone. After every thing they'd been though. She was gone just like that and it was his fault. If he hadn’t made her choose she’d still be here.
   Alice just drove; she didn’t know where to go she just drove. She thought of all the things they had been though together. She thought of the way they met the way fate had brought them together.
   She thought of their beautiful wedding and honeymoon. Then her mind drifted off to the first time they’d gone out on a date. It was just after the robbery at the store. She had visited him in the hospital. He seemed so pale from the blood lose and from experiencing some thing like that.
   It was terrifying but he seemed to have handled it better then she’d seen most people handle it. She handled that day just like any other day. She was a cop, trained for that sort of thing. But it had felt like an eternity from the moment the first shot was fired to the time the robber went down. The entire thing had only taken twenty minutes. But it seemed like it went on forever.

Flash Back: Hospital

   "Hey how's your leg?" Alice said pulling a chair up beside the bed and sat down.
   He hadn’t expected her to come. But he was glad that she did. She was beautiful, long dark brown hair pulled back neatly in a ponytail. Those blue eyes staring back at him, he could tell that she was worried bout him. Did she do this with all robbery hostages? Or was he just special? He smiled at her and saw that the worry in her eyes started to fade. "Fine the doctors say I'll be out of here by tomorrow."
   She sighed with relief before she could stop it. Why was this guy different from all the other lives she’d saved? There was just some thing about this man. "That’s great, I am so glad your ok."
   "I was thinking since you saved my life and everything. Maybe I could take you out some time. As a thank you."
   She smiled and considered it a moment. It probably wouldn’t be such a good idea. Getting too attached to the victims, she told her self. But the words were out of her mouth before she could stop them. "That...would be great. I would love to." She said with a smile.
   “I really should be going I just wanted to come by and see how you were doing. I’m glad you’re okay.”
   “Thank you.”

   That Saturday Alice began to get ready for her date. She kept praying she wouldn’t get called in. She took a quick shower fixed her hair back into a ponytail. She didn’t put on a lot of make-up; Alice never really liked putting on a lot of make-up.
   She put on just enough to enhance her natural beauty. She wore a black tank top under a leather jacket and dark blue jeans tucked into knee high stiletto boots. She stepped in front of her full-length mirror and gave a nod of approval.
   She glanced at the clock and noticed he was ten minutes late. Maybe he was stuck in traffic. Was he even coming? Maybe he changed his mind?
   Why was she nervous about her date? She'd never been nervous about a date before. But this guy was different. He made her feel things she hadn't felt in a very long time. She jumped when she heard the doorbell ring. She opened the door and saw him standing there. He looked amazing, wearing a simple black shirt and jeans.
   "You look beautiful." He smiled at her and wrapped his arm around hers and led her outside.
   "Thank you, you look good too." She closed the door behind her and they walked to his motorbike. "You have a motorcycle?"
   "That a problem?"
   "No." She just smiled.


   "I had a really great time." She said as she played with her keys.
   "I did to." He smiled, after a couple of awkward seconds he leaned in and kissed her. When he pulled back she couldn't help the big grin that crept across her face. "Would you...like to come in?"
   "I'd love to." He followed her in and closed the door behind him. "This is a nice place."
   "Thanks, It's not very big but I like it. Two bedrooms two bath, a very tiny kitchen."
   He just laughed.
   "That’s okay I hardly cook as it is any ways. Being a cop you tend to be too busy to cook a big meal. Never know when you'll get a call."
   "Is it hard?"
   For a moment she was silent. "It can be, I mean don't get me wrong I love my job. But some times its just like I don't know." She paused to set her things down on the kitchen counter. "I'm working on this case right now which involves kids. And those are always the hardest."
   "Yeah I bet."
   "If you want I can give you the tour of the house." She smiled.
   "I'd love that."
   "Ok well this is the kitchen, this is the living room." She said without even moving from the spot she was in. She began to walk down a hallway looking back to make sure he was following her. "This is my guest bed room. And the bath room next to it." She began to walk a bit further down the hall. "And last but not least this is my bed room and my tiny bathroom over there." She said with a laugh.
   "I like it." He smiled.
   "Best room in the house, this is were I spend most of my time." She laughed and just watched him explore her bedroom.

   She awoke the next morning remembering the night before. She hadn’t been on a date in a long time. The job prevented her from it. And this guy was different then any guy she’d ever went out with before.
   She thought about lying in bed all day since it was her day off. Then she huffed and got out of bed, she walked to the kitchen and thought about fixing breakfast when she got a phone call. "Collin...Yeah…No you didn’t wake me...Yes I'll be there in a few minutes." She hung up the phone and walked in her room took a quick shower and got dressed. Strapped on her handcuffs and her gun, she paused when she heard noises out side her bedroom. She pulled her gun from her holster, and pointed it up just as the door swung open.
   "WOH! Don't shot! I'm unarmed." Dave laughed sticking his hands in the air. "Sorry the door was unlocked so I wanted to make sure you were okay."
   That was strange of her to forget to lock her doors. Had some one come into her house in the middle of the night? No it couldn’t be, she was a light sleeper and would have heard some thing. She must have forgotten, that night had messed up her head. She couldn’t get Dave out of her head from the moment he left to the time she fell asleep. She’d have to make sure to never forget to lock up again. It was dangerous.
   He moved to her and leaned in to kiss her. "I hope I didn’t scare you."
   "Not at all." She smiled and kissed him back. "But I cant stay long I got a call and I have to go in." She started heading for the door. "Yeah I can’t stay too long any ways I got to get back to work.”
   "Right you were taking over the store for Kay."
   "No I decided after what happened I didn’t want to go back. Too many memories."
   “Yeah, every time I go back there I remember how I would always go to her. She was just so sweet. She suffered a heart attack when the gunmen shot his gun." Alice paused again trying to hold back the tears. "She was my neighbor, she was like a grandmother to me. She was a very sweet lady."
   "I'm sorry." He pulled her toward him and held her in his arms.
   She cleared throat as she backed away. "I've got to get going."
   "Maybe I'll see you again tonight?"
   "Yeah I’d love that."


   Alice pulled over "What am I going to do??" She laid her head down on her steering wheel and just cried. ‘I can’t leave him.’ She thought, ‘But he said it was either him or my job.’ She leaned back in the seat and just stared out the window. Why was this a hard decision to make? Why was she so determined to get her fathers approval? She knew she was never going to get it. No matter what she did, he had still rather her be a son then a daughter.
   Alice was never close with her father, not just because he’d worked all the time. He never helped her with school, never did any thing for her or with her.
   Maybe she should just quit her job and finally for once be happy. She didn’t need her father’s approval any more. She knew what she had to do. She started the car again and pulled back on to the road and drove.

   The next day Dave went back to work. He was now a bartender at a club a few blocks from his home he shared with Alice.
  "Hey Dave, How was your honey moon?" Matt said patting him on the shoulder giving him a wink.
   "I don’t want to talk about it."
   "Oh that good huh??" Matt nudged him a bit.
   Dave didn’t say any thing; he just sat on one of the stools in front of the bar.
   "So where is your new bride anyways??"
   "I don’t know some where."
   "What?" Matt looked at him puzzled. "How can you not know where your wife is? Why isn’t she here?"
   For a moment Dave didn’t say any thing. "I didn’t want her to be a cop having to worry every day she may not be coming home."
   "Dude! Don’t tell me you gave her and ultimatum??"
   "Yeah I did and she walked out on me."
   "Oh dude I'm sorry. Guess she’s not worth it."
   "Yeah whatever." Dave just walked away. He decided to go for a walk he needed the fresh air. He needed to clear his head and figure out how he was going to get his wife back. He walked out of the club to see her there. Dressed in that black beautiful dress she wore on their very first date.
   "I made a mistake Dave. I love you, I should have told you before you married that stupid cop."
   Dave smiled. "So Tiff, You want a drink?" He asked pointing to the club.
   "Yeah sure I'd love one." They walked in together just as Alice was pulling up.
   She saw them; she saw how happy he was with out her.
   "Dave what are you doing!!"
   Dave turned to see Alice, and he could tell that she was very angry.
   "What are you doing? You’re married, and you’re on a date with...that!" Alice said pointing to the blue eyed blonde in a tight skimpy black dress that and looked as if it would have a wardrobe malfunction if she moved in just the right way.
   "Hey excuse me!" She said putting her hands on her hips.
   "And why should you care? You made your choice."
   "No! I said I needed time to think. I quit my job Dave."
   "Your my world, your more important to me then a stupid job and more important then daddy’s approval."
   Dave smiled and kissed Alice. "Why don’t we go home?"
   "Yeah that would be great."
   "Dave!! What about me??"
  Dave ignored her and continued walking with Alice.

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