Sensitive subject matter but not offensive. (I dont think one
never knows I did try to deal with it carefully.) Let me know what
you think I have three kids who are getting to the age when they will
ask the dreaded questions Im open to suggestions! Thanks to
Keisha for the Teddys Picnic Idea and to her sister for the
Comments: Squeakypeep@hotmail.com -
Saturday 12th August
No! JD collected all the articles
that had mysteriously appeared in the shopping cart and handed them to Casey
to return to the shelves.
I told you, Rorie, only one candy choice. I am not having you wired
on sugar all weekend. Casey Welles raised her brows at her boyfriend
and chuckled. JD sounded more like a parent than Ezra usually did. He was
taking this first time sole guardianship duty seriously.
JD had volunteered to watch the child for the weekend while both her father
and her usual guardian, Vin Tanner, were out of town for an ATF re-certification
seminar. Casey was surprised that JD could be so Adult, she had
been expecting to have to watch the pair of them but JD proved stricter than
she could have imagined. It occurred to her at that point that JD was actually
more mature than she gave him credit for and she tucked that away for further
Rorie turned pleading emerald green eyes in her direction and she felt her
own resolve crumbling. She was glad JD was the bad guy. Dont
look at me sweetie. Uncle JDs the boss this weekend. Casey grinned
at JD who pulled a face.
You arent gonna make me eat Sushi are you? Rorie was horrified.
Uncle JD wasnt the pushover shed anticipated.
No. Dunne laughed. How about we go to Fuddruckers for
They managed to get to the checkout without further incident. Ahead of them
in line was a matronly woman with a little girl a bit older than Rorie. By
the time theyd stood in the queue for five minutes the girls were firm
friends. The mother smiled at the young couple.
Its nice to see that young couples today are making such a good
job of bringing up their children. It restores my faith in our youth. I suppose
you must have faced a lot of criticism for having had a child so early but
I have to tell you, your daughter is charming.
Casey flushed scarlet and hurried to explain. Shes not ours.
JDs my boyfriend and Rories his niece. Were just watching
her for the weekend.
Oh. Sorry, I assumed
The woman stammered her apology.
Its okay maam. Id love to have one just like her,
but not yet! Casey chuckled as JD gave her a speculative look.
Well be giving her back after the weekend. I cant imagine
having to cope all the time, its exhausting. Full-time parents have
my undying admiration. Just keeping her occupied for two days is enough of
a challenge for us.
The woman smiled at them. If youre looking for things to do,
theres a Teddy Bears Picnic at the park on Powers Avenue
at three this afternoon. You just bring the child and their bear and the
tickets are sold on the gate. I have three daughters and theyve all
enjoyed the picnics. Amy and I will be there.
JD and Casey exchanged looks as Rorie began to jump up and down. Can
we go? Please? Uncle JD? I can take George and he can meet all the other
Well see. JD turned back as the woman paid for her purchases
and made to leave. Three oclock at the park on Powers?
The woman nodded and grinned knowingly. See you later!
Powers Avenue Park
They spread the blanket on the ground and
made themselves comfortable. Casey sat and watched all the children running
about with their teddies. She glanced over at the organiser, a peroxide blonde
in a painted on dress, and then at JD. He was watching the blonde.
What? He looked startled.
Stop gawking. The womans a floozy! JD cast a quick look
at his charge, cringing as her mouth opened to ask what a Floozy
was. He was rescued from having to explain.
Rorie! Amy, the little girl from the grocery store, came dashing
over to her new friend, a small yellow bear tucked under her arm. You
made it. This is Bruno. She held up her own stuffed animal, which squinted
lopsidedly through one eye.
JD and Casey were stretched out on the blanket, basking in the August sunshine,
but they both leaned up to solemnly shake hands, or rather paws, with Bruno
Hi Amy. This is my bear, George. Rorie held George round the
neck and despite the fact she was standing up, his feet were
still trailing on the ground.
Wow. Hes big.
Yahuh. Rories voice was filled with pride.
Wanna come meet my friends?
Rorie looked at JD questioningly. He nodded, but qualified his approval.
Stay where I can see you.
Okay. The two little girls set off to Amys family, taking
their furry friends with them. JD turned to Casey but she forestalled him
with a raised hand.
Sorry! I forgot she was there. You shouldnt have been staring
at that woman though. She glared at him.
Case, cmon, Ive got better taste than that! I was just
wondering why she was dressed up like that for a little kids party.
I chose you didnt I?
Casey grinned delightedly and kissed his lips lightly. He tried to deepen
the kiss but she slipped away smiling. Thats the nicest thing
youve ever said to me JD Dunne!
JD raised his brows. All those lectures from Buck and the hours spent practicing
his how to woo a woman speeches and she liked the plain stuff.
Women were supposed to like poetry and flowery compliments. Hed never
About twenty minutes later there was a loud growl and an adult in a bear
suit called all the teddies and owners to the decorated tables laid out on
the grass. Bear shaped helium balloons tied to the back of each chair danced
in the breeze as the children seated themselves for the party food. After
tea there were games like The Great Honey Hunt and Pin
the Nose on the Bear and prizes for the best-dressed bear, the bear
most likely to become famous, Mr and Mrs congeniality bear and such like.
The children were invited to stand up and introduce themselves and their
toys and to tell how they had got their bears. There would be a prize for
the best story. Rorie, never backward at coming forward, was one of those
who stepped up to speak. JD watched through the lens of his video camera.
Im Rorie and this is my friend George. I used to live in Atlanta
but when my Mummy died at Easter I moved here to live with my new father
and all my uncles. My Uncle Chris gave me George at the airport when we got
here so that I would have a friend in Denver.
The buxom, over-dressed woman organising the picnic smiled benignly at the
small elfin child with the big green eyes and dimples. Very cute. Im
sure some of it is even true. She winked at the audience, clearly thinking
the child had made up a sob story in an attempt to win the prize. Rories
lips pressed together in a tight line. And what does George have to
George told me he likes all the other bears and he enjoyed the food
and the games. Rorie eyed the woman and JD sucked in a breath at the
expression on her face. Hed seen that look on Ezra enough times to
recognise impending mischief. He started praying under his breath and Casey
gave him a weird look.
He muttered under his breath. Shes up to no good.
He wants to know something. Can I ask you a question? Rorie smiled
innocently up at the woman, an expression at odds with the devilish glint
in her eye.
Are you really a floozy? There was a stunned silence followed
by titters from some of the mothers. JD groaned.
They left shortly after.
Oh God! Yes! Bucky baby, higher!
Buck Wilmington kissed his way up the flat belly, his head burrowing under
the loose t-shirt of his date who was writhing beneath him on the sofa. His
roving hands trailed inside the undone fly of the skin-tight jeans, moving
without pause. He had just closed his mouth over her breast when there was
an unexpected interruption.
Did you lose something Uncle Buck?
The ladies man gasped and shot out from the tunnel of his dates shirt.
His hair stood on end with the abruptness of the withdrawal and he gaped
at the small, blonde voyeur in pink pyjamas standing less than two feet away.
His date clutched her t-shirt against her chest, trying to re-fasten the
bra, which was loose underneath her clothes and very uncomfortable.
Rorie? He gaped at the sleepy looking child.
What were you looking for under there Uncle Buck? She yawned
and rubbed a fist into one eye.
He ignored the question, surreptitiously refastening his jeans.
Youre supposed to be asleep in JDs room. Whats the
I heard a noise. What were you doing? Bucks date snorted
and he sent her an apologetic look.
Ive got to go anyway Buck. Call me? She kissed his mouth
hotly, nibbling at his lower lip and running a fingernail down his bare chest,
before disentangling her limbs and letting herself out of the apartment.
Cindy! Wait! She just waved over her shoulder as the door closed
behind her. Buck turned to his niece.
Do you need the bathroom? She shook her head. Water?
Another negative shake. Anything else?
No thank you. What were you doing Uncle Buck?
Buck ran a hand through his hair. Hed forgotten they had a small visitor
this weekend. Ah
. we were just playing.
What were you playing?
Its a grown up game.
Oh. Whats it called?
The Birds and Bees. Buck hustled her back towards
JDs room where she was supposed to be sleeping on a cot.
I didnt see any animals. Why were you hiding her under her clothes?
Is that part of the game?
Sort of. Listen Darlin, youre too small for this game and
you shouldnt have seen it. If you have any questions you should ask
Buck tucked her back into bed, noting that JD had slept though her midnight
wanderings and snored away merrily under his quilt. He hoped she was more
asleep than she looked and wouldnt recall enough of this in the morning
to actually ask any questions. Ezra would kill him.
Uncle JD? JD was making pancakes.
Yeah Ror? He took a sip of his coffee which promptly choked him.
Do you and Casey play Birds and Bees?
What? The young Bostonian wheezed.
Uncle Buck plays Birds and Bees with Miss Cindy. I was just
How did you know that?
They were playing it last night on the couch. JD gaped for a
full minute. He thumped his mug down on the table. Throwing some pancakes
onto a plate he placed them in front of the little girl. Can you manage
the syrup yourself? I have to have a word with UNCLE Buck.
Sure. Rorie eyed the big bottle of syrup and wondered how much
she could get on two small pancakes.
BUCK! Dunne threw open the door to the older Agents bedroom.
It slammed against the wall with a bang.
What? The ladies man, although startled upright,
wasnt really awake and was shocked to find his younger friend looming
over him at dawn.
What the HELL happened here last night? Did you let Rorie catch you
making out? JD sounded like he was Bucks parent.
Buck groaned and slumped back against the pillow. I was hoping she
was too sleepy to remember. Whatd she say?
JD related their conversation in the kitchen and Buck reassured him that
she hadnt actually seen very much at all.
YOU get to explain this to Ez. Ill be sure to say something nice
at your wake. JD turned on his heel and went back to the kitchen, only
to find the four-year old elbow deep in maple syrup.
Buck lay silent for a moment contemplating his alternatives. He pulled out
Chris, old buddy old pal.
What did you do?
What makes you think
Buck. Cut the bullshit. I know you. WHAT DID YOU DO?
Did Adam ever catch you and Sarah making
out? There was a silence and then a huff of air, loud in the earpiece.
It sounded like half groan, half laugh.
Did you leave me anything nice in your Will?
Vin blearily opened his eyes, peering at
the closed bedroom door. Cmin. The door slowly squeaked
open and Rorie appeared. He found himself grinning at her as she trotted
over and climbed in. Theyd only been gone two days but hed missed
her. Especially in the mornings. Hed really come to appreciate the
quiet time they spent together at the start of every day.
Hey pumpkin. He accepted the sloppy childish hello
kiss and waited as she settled in next to him, cuddled up against his side.
Ya have a good time with Uncle JD?
Yahuh. She told him all about the Teddy Bears Picnic, leaving
out the bit where she called the woman a floozy. Vin half listened, making
the appropriate noises when he seemed to be expected to answer. He drowsily
stroked a hand through her soft sleep-tousled curls. He was very tired from
the re-certification testing and was dozing lightly when she asked if he
knew how to play Birds and Bees. He wasnt sure hed heard correctly
and asked her to repeat the question.
Uncle Buck and Miss Cindy were playing a game called Birds and Bees.
He said its for grown ups but I was wondering if you knew how to play
There was a heavy pause. Ummmm
Thats what Uncle JD said. She propped herself up on her
elbows to look into his face and sharp joints dug into his collarbone. He
was fully awake.
He was blushing.
Uncle Buck shouldda knowed better than ta
with you there. Tanner winced. Ez was going to kill their ladies man.
They were going to need a new surveillance expert. I think ya better
ask yer Dad.
Rorie huffed. This was getting very frustrating. Nobody would tell her anything.
Okay. She climbed out of Vins bed.
Rorie, yad best let him have coffee first.
Nope. He said I could ask him anything, anytime. Even in the middle
of the night if I wanted. She disappeared down the corridor. Vin lay
back against the pillows and started to laugh. He wished he could be a fly
on the wall for that conversation.
Hello Daddy. Ezra rolled over
and mumbled incoherently. The small child eyed him specutively. Her question
had made everyone else sit up and take notice. Time to try it again.
Daddy whats the Birds and the Bees?
WHAT? Ezra bolted upright.
Vin chuckled at the incredulous bellow echoing down the empty hallways. He
padded down to the kitchen to make coffee. Poor Ez was going to need it.
He was never at his best in the morning, especially early morning, especially
early Monday morning.
Team 7 Offices
The elevator pinged, announcing the new arrival.
The assembled team members all gazed at Buck and then watched as their dapper
Undercover brother sauntered nonchalantly into the Bullpen.
Mr Dunne. Good morning. Thank you for taking such excellent care of
Rorie this weekend. She appears to have had an enjoyable visit. The
Southerner kept his green gaze fixed on their youngest.
Yeah. We had fun. She was no trouble. JD smirked and shot a look
at his roomy. Buck was trying to become invisible.
The gambler ambled over to his desk, carefully placed his Starbucks
on the mat, and fired up his terminal. There was silence as everyone watched
the riveting scene play out.
After a few minutes Buck couldnt stand the suspense. If he were going
to be killed, hed like to get it over with. He cautiously approached
the Undercover Agents desk.
Ez? Standish raised his head and gazed at him, expression unreadable.
Buck hopped from foot to foot. He pulled at his collar and looked around
at the others. They were all smirking. Chris was leaning against his office
door and he sent him a desperate look of appeal. Larabee shook his head
imperceptibly and winked. Buck scowled at him.
Did you require something, Mr Wilmington? Ezra stared hard at
him over the rim of the Styrofoam cup. Buck felt like a particularly nasty
She told you didnt she?
I assume you mean my daughter? My sweet, innocent, four year old
daughter. He emphasised the Sweet and Innocent
and Four year old and the gaze turned icy. Buck swallowed painfully.
Wilmington nodded. There was an uncomfortable pause. Standish continued to
stare. Buck sighed. Bastard was going to make this as difficult as possible.
Im sorry Ez. I forgot she was there. One elegant eyebrow
rose over the unblinking green eyes.
She didnt see much, wed only just started to get, um,
close. He shuffled his feet. He felt like a teenager caught making
out in his parents bed.
The eyebrow climbed higher.
The ladies man ran a hand through his hair as he started to sweat. I
didnt know what else to tell her when she asked what we were
He trailed off and looked at Standish. His expression
hadnt changed. Buck had no idea what he was thinking, not unusual in
itself, but in these circumstances it made him much more nervous. He wiped
sticky palms down his jeans and waited for the axe to fall.
Mr Wilmington. Ezra rose to his feet. Buck took an automatic
step backwards and then stood still. He closed his eyes, anticipating the
blow he was sure was coming. He knew he deserved it for corrupting the child.
He felt Ezra stop inches from his face. He waited.
You owe me lunch. For a month. From restaurants of my choosing.
Wilmington opened his eyes at the calm statement.
Thats it? He watched Ez wander over to Chris and hand him
a file. You dont want to kill me?
And violence would achieve what exactly? Ezra slipped back into
his chair. The matter has been resolved Mr Wilmington. However, in
light of your irresponsible actions, I feel recompense is due. Do you
agree? Buck nodded. Excellent. You will provide sustenance, as
requested, for the duration specified and I will endeavour to forget your
reprehensible lapse in judgement.
Buck shuffled back to his seat, chastened. Throughout the morning he cast
anxious looks at the Southerner, as if expecting him to shoot him at any
moment. Finally Ezra sent him to a Japanese restaurant to fetch his lunch.
He went without protest.
No sooner had the elevator door closed than Standish found himself the center
of a curious circle.
What happened? Chris pulled up a chair and sat down with his
feet on the Undercover Agents desk. Ezra glared at the offending footwear
but wisely didnt comment. He glanced at the other curious faces and
Actually it wasnt as disastrous as Mr Wilmington perceives.
Earlier that Morning
so then I asked Uncle Vin but
he just went red and told me to ask you. Rorie cocked her head to the
side and gazed steadily at her father. Hed tell her, she was sure.
Ezra was flat on his back against the pillows, his curious little girl perched
happily on his chest. He had used the time it took for her to relate her
story to decide how much he wanted to tell her, and how to phrase it so she
could understand. He wasnt embarrassed and he was aware that such questions
Having said that, he hadnt expected to have this conversation just
Rorie, you know boys and girls are made differently, that boys have
a penis and girls dont? She nodded. Well, when youre
little it doesnt really make much difference, boy or girl, but when
you grow up to be a lady and grow breasts then you will be big enough to
have babies. To make babies one needs a man and a woman. The man puts his
penis inside the woman and places a tiny seed in her tummy. The seed grows
in the woman and eventually becomes a baby.
Rorie laid down flat on his chest and put her chin on his sternum so she
could continue to watch his face.
Ezra grinned inwardly. He had her complete attention.
In reality the act is called sex, although I prefer
making love. Usually the man and woman love each other very much
and they make a baby on purpose. There isnt a baby every time they
make love and often they have to try many times before they succeed. In other
circumstances the man and woman just make love because it feels good and
sometimes a baby is made by mistake because the couple are just enjoying
the feeling of touching each other.
So Uncle Buck and Cindy were trying to make a baby? She sounded
like she thought that was an interesting prospect.
No. They were from the other group. They were touching because it feels
good. Ezra sat up, pushing Rorie onto his lap, raising his knees to
lift her up so they were eye to eye. He gently gripped her chin and gazed
into her eyes.
Listen to me carefully now. What Im going to tell you is very
important. Are you paying attention?
She nodded solemnly. Yes Daddy.
It doesnt feel good until youre a grown up. Thats
what Uncle Buck was trying to tell you when he said its a grown up
game. NOBODY should EVER touch children that way. To do so is very wrong.
If they do try to touch a child it is because they are trying to hurt them.
If anybody EVER touches you under your jeans you tell me or another adult
you trust. Immediately. Regardless of what the person trying to hurt you
says. You understand?
Yes. Nobodys allowed to touch me and if they try I have to tell
Good girl. Now, remember that you can ask me anything, so if you have
any questions just tell me, okay? If Im not here then you may ask Uncle
Nathan or Uncle Chris or Uncle Josiah. Dont go to Uncle Vin with your
questions. Youll just embarrass him. They shared a chuckle. They
both knew how easy it was to get Vin flustered.
Daddy? Rorie watched as Ezra got up and pulled a pair of sweatpants
over his customary nighttime boxers, intending to get his much deserved morning
coffee from the kitchen.
Why did Uncle Buck call it the Birds and Bees? There arent
any. Ezra grinned.
Because some grown ups dont want to talk about making love. They
find discussing anything to do with their bodies embarrassing, especially
with children. Some are so embarrassed by their man or woman body parts that
they wont even to go to the doctor if they hurt.
You mean theyre shy? Like Uncle Vin?
Precisely. The t-shirt he was pulling over his head muffled his
voice. He moved over and knelt in front of her.
Do you have any more questions? No? Okay then. Let us go and break
our fast. He took her hand in his much larger one and they set off
for the kitchen.
They were halfway down the stairs when Rorie thought of something else.
Daddy? She tugged the hand holding hers and her father stopped.
Yes Honeybee? Ezra could smell the coffee but concentrated on
What about you and Mummy? She gazed up at him and her eyes filled
with tears. It was a mistake when you made me wasnt it? I was
Ezra knelt on the step and gathered his child against his chest. He stroked
her hair as he hugged her.
No Sugah. We may not have set out to make you but you were never a
mistake. He pulled her away from his chest and kissed the tip of her
Gazing into her eyes, one hand on each curved cheek, he told her,
You were a miracle.
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