(Title links to part 3)
“Hi babe! I am so glad you are home!” Francis walked over to Jack, smiling and wiping her hands on a towel. He took his hat and coat off and turned towards her. She reached him as he was in the doorway to the living room, put her arms around his neck, pulled his head towards hers and kissed him fully on the lips.
Jack always was amazed at how lucky he was. They had been married 20 years yet she was as glad to see him come home today as she had been when they first got married those many years ago. Damn he was one lucky individual, unlike that one lady he had a run in with today, which reminded him, “Oh, I have to tell you what happened to me today,” Jack said looking Francis in her deep blue eyes, “Sometimes I really don’t get people.”
Francis took her arms down from around his neck and grabbed his hand, “Come on in the kitchen and tell me, I am working on Christmas dinner, you can tell me while I work”
“What do you want me to do?” Jack asked her as they walked to the kitchen.
“Sit down a minute and relax, you just got home, then if you don't mind, you can peel those potatoes over there.” Francis answered pointing at the pile of Idahos by the sink. He smiled back at her as he took a seat at the bar. He was facing her while she was chopping nuts. “Now, talk to me.” She said.
“Well let me start off with saying that to be a cop in this town I was having a rather unusually great day. Then about half an hour before it was time to call it quits I get this woman. She comes running up to me babbling on, some people...” His voice drifted off for a moment, he paused, took a breath and started over, “I had a lady run up to me today all in a tizzy, screaming at me in a harsh, shrill voice about a group of men who tried to accost her. You should have seen her, not a hair on her head was out of place, her clothes where immaculate, no dirt, no wrinkles, DAMN nice coat. She was carrying loaded bags from Barney’s and Saxs 5th and going on and on about these guys who she says practically molested her. She kept asking me what I was going to do about it and everyone that passed couldn’t help but stare. I was even caught rolling my eyes by this one lady, but I could see in her gaze back that even she didn’t get what all the fuss was.”
“Here try this,” Francis said as she passed him a piece of fudge, “What do you think her real problem was?”
“I think she was a bitter old rich hag with nothing better to do!” Jack answered back, regretting it the minute he said it. “I’m sorry, I know I shouldn’t look at people that way, but it is Christmas time, it was pretty darn cold outside and starting to snow and she had nothing better to do with her time than make up things that obviously didn’t happen. I had been walking my beat and just came from the direction she had pointed.” He popped the chocolate bit of heaven in his mouth.
“Uh huh,” Francis said as she glanced up at him from the nuts.
“The only thing I saw was a bunch of people out doing what they do on a Christmas eve. Frank and his bunch were gathered outside this one shop, but they weren’t hurting anything. It had to be them that she was talking about and they wouldn’t hurt a flea! Hell they are homeless for God’s sake and just looking for a warm place to be.”
Francis could hear the frustration in Jack’s voice.
“That fudge is excellent as always my dear,” Jack told her, his voice eased some, “My compliments to the Chef!”
“You can thank me later,” She answered back while giving him a wink. “So what did you do for the lady, or should I say to the lady?”
They both laughed.
He got up from the bar and walked past her, headed for the stack of potatoes. He patted her on the butt as he walked by, “I had her walk back the way she came with me, show me where the incident happened and it was about where Franks group was standing around by the way. Luckily, if it was them, they where gone on already and there was no sign of a scuffle, so...” He opened the drawer and took the peeler out and sat it on the counter. He looked out the window and saw a couple walking down the street, “You know, I don’t think she ever understood why I couldn’t, wouldn’t do anything. What did she want me to do arrest the next unfortunate soul that crossed her path?” He turned around towards her, leaned back on the sink and rolled up his sleeves, “ I bet her watch could feed all the needy in New York for a month and I also would bet you that she would never miss it! Anyway, she finally resolved to herself that all her fuss was going nowhere, I walked her across the street to Macy’s, put her in a cab and sent her on her way. I was thinking to myself whatever happened to her compassion?” He turned back around and started removing the potatoes skin, “Enough of her, but I do want to add in that after I sent her on her way, I turned around and the lady that caught me rolling my eyes was right there. She never saw me though. I was kinda glad too. Anyway, what time are the festivities tomorrow?”
"Everyone should be here by noon" Francis said.
They continued cooking together, joking and laughing with each other.