Sometimes the best part of my job is that my chair swivels.
-Downy to Memphis
“He’s not going to make it,” I said sullenly.
Not only wasn’t Downy going to make it, but I didn’t see my mom or dad either.
A freak storm had stalled their ride, and of course, my dad would only ride six hours on a bike. He didn’t do cars for that long.
I was dressed head to toe in my gown and graduation cap, looking out at the crowd behind me with what I was sure was a worried look on my face.
Names of graduates were being called, and I was very close to being called up on stage to get my diploma.
My friend Brianne, who was graduating with me today, said, “He’ll make it.”
I pulled up the local news app on my phone, knowing that had to be a rising development going on in the area to keep him away and wasn’t surprised to see ‘breaking news bulletins’ flashing across the top of the screen.
“Wow,” I said, showing the phone to her. “Does that say what I think it says?”
She squinted at the display, and then her eyes widened in shock. “Holy fucking shit.”
Police Officer attacked by own dog, the news bulletin read.
I wasn’t worried.
I knew that whatever had happened, it didn’t have anything to do with Downy.
The attack had taken place over an hour before. If it’d been Downy, I’d have had half the SWAT team escorting me to his bedside.
“It wasn’t a stray, at least,” Brianne said thoughtfully.
I nodded. “That was the last thing we needed. It sucks that he was hurt by a dog, but the good thing is, is that it wasn’t some dog off the street that would set the town out to kill every dog it sees off his leash.”
She was a huge animal activist and had been greatly upset, originally, when the dogs had been stolen from the animal shelter. Especially since she went up there once a week to help out.
I’d met Brianne my first day of sonographer school, and we’d been study buddies ever since. However, she had a family and three kids under four, so it wasn’t all that often, outside of school, that we got to hang out unless I wanted it to be at the animal shelter.
Which I couldn’t handle, because there was no way I’d be able to go to the shelter and not come home with a pet of some kind. One of which I couldn’t afford to feed, although I suspiciously didn’t owe anything for my rent this month, and I suspected it had to do with the red headed boyfriend of mine, rather than my dad who still found a way to pay for some of my things, even though he was six hours away.
“Memphis Tennessee Conner,” Mrs. Bower’s voice boomed over the loud speaker.
Sighing, I stood up, when a deafening roar filled the auditorium.
Startled, I turned around, frozen to the spot, to find not only the entire KPD SWAT team, Downy right in the front, but also my father and about half of his club members.
They were all standing against the far wall, beyond where I’d been looking for them in the seats.
Which shouldn’t have surprised me any. They weren’t the type to take seats.
My mouth dropped open, and I heard Mrs. Bower’s snickering voice call my name again.
Turning on shaky legs, with what I was sure was a loony grin on my face, I walked up the steps to the stage.
My high heels cracked against the wooden stage, announcing my approach to damn near everyone that was within hearing distance.
“You did well, my dear. I hope to see you soon,” Mrs. Bower smiled down at me.
She’d offered me a job, and although I hadn’t accepted yet, I knew I would.
“Thank you, Mrs. Bower,” I smiled.
Patting my hand, she handed me my diploma and I turned to the crowd, staring straight at my father.
Pointing to him, I gave him a smile.
“That’s my baby girl!” He boomed, using his cop voice so he could be heard over the crowd.
Causing the crowd, of course, to jump, because it was just that authoritative and demanding.
Smiling wide, I turned my grin to Downy, and then blew him a kiss.
The manly man that he was, caught my ‘kiss’ and pressed it to his heart.
Full SWAT gear and all.
My heart was so full.
I loved that man with all my heart.
Walking down the steps, I kept my eyes on my feet as I made my way back to my seat, followed shortly after by Brianne.
“My husband was loud, but he couldn’t compete with your family,” Brianne teased, bumping my shoulder.
I beamed at her. “They’re pretty awesome, right?”
“My husband is a construction worker, and I wasn’t really aware they could get any more alpha than that…but I think your man has him beat.” She shook her head.
I snorted. Her husband was a big guy. Bigger than Downy.
He was also more muscled from hours and hours of solid, backbreaking labor.
He was categorized as a ‘construction worker’ but he owned his own construction business where he built houses.
“You’re nuts,” I teased her.
She smiled. “After having three kids, in four years, and not having my tubes tied? Yes, yes I am.”
I snorted, but didn’t say anything, as I thought about my own possibility with kids.
When I’d been attacked, when I was younger, I’d been given a slim chance of ever having kids. That didn’t stop me from wanting them, though.
Downy had never confirmed, nor denied, that he wanted any of his own, but I was willing to work on him.
At least trying to have them would be fun.
I smiled inwardly at that. Yes, it’d be fun indeed.
Another hour passed as we chatted back and forth, talking about everything under the sun while we waited for the ceremony to finish.