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The Girl With A Bicycle 33


The girl With A Bicycle - 33 By Wandering Lanes

Codes (no-sex, slow)

The fateful day had arrived. It was Wednesday and I had an appointment
with the courts. I was nervous, Hell I wasn't nervous, I was scared -
would John allow me to adopt Becky? If not would my idea work?

Sharon and Kylie had stayed overnight - Sharon had received a day off
work from Isabel with a request to ensure that we won otherwise Isabel
promised that she let Rob interview me about the case! With a threat like
that I had another reason to win!!

I was checking my clothing for a third time, Kylie smiled, "Uncle Mike,
you look fine, now don't worry."

I laughed, here she was trying to calm me, I thought I was supposed to
keep her and Sharon calm, "I'm sorry pumpkin, I just want the case to be

She shook her head, "How can it be over, it hasn't even started yet!
Now come on Uncle Mike, relax!"

Sharon came down stairs and overheard the last of Kylie's words, "Yes,
Mike, relax, you won't do Becky any good if you're all jittery. Now sit

I sat down, heavily, Sharon smiled at me, Kylie went to me and sat in my
lap, she looked at me, "There you are Uncle Mike, now you've nothing to do
until we have to go."

I leaned back, and then moved forward, "I forgot to let Becky know that
we'll be there."

Sharon placed a cup of tea in my hands, Kylie, by just being where she
was, kept me in the chair, Sharon said, "You told her yesterday Mike, now
please just stay there, I don't know anyone would think you were an
expectant father, they're supposed to have nerves."

It didn't help, because in a way I was going to be a father, I sat back
and thought. That's right I was going to become a father today, well
that's if John make the right decision.

"Uncle Mike!" Kylie's voice interrupted my thoughts "watch your cup,
it's tipping."

I managed to steady the cup before I drenched either Kylie or my lap,
and I didn't want to have to change my clothes, "Thank you Kylie," I said,
"I think I'd better drink this before it goes to waste." And I downed the
tea, to find it was weak and sweet, I looked at Sharon.

"I wanted to help you with your shock," Said Sharon, reminding me of our
first meeting, when I had made her a cup of warm sweet tea, I just glared
at her, she smiled back.

Kylie laid back on top of me, holding me with her arms. "Don't worry
Uncle Mike, you know Becky will be alright no matter what." She looked at
me her eyes serious, "And Becky knows you'll be doing your best, and Joan
and Paul have said they'd look after Becky, and we can always visit her
whenever we want, so it isn't the end of everything is it?"

I just looked at her, trying to work out what she had said, then I said,
"But I want to be the one to look after Becky, I do know she will be
alright, but a part of me says that I should be there for her."

Kylie smiled, "But Uncle Mike, you've always been there for us both, we
know that and we both trust you." I hugged her - I wished Becky was with us
so I could hug her too.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Finally it was time to get to the court, I gave Sharon the choice of the
front or back seat, and so Kylie was allowed to sit in the front. Sharon
kept a close watch on Kylie and was amazed at how she coped with the

We parked at the shopping centre car park, and walked to the courts, as
we passed Greg's shop he gave a thumbs up, hopefully encouraging us. Kylie
waved to him.

We arrived at the courthouse, Joan, Paul and Becky were waiting for us
outside, Paul shook my hand, "Well here we go, good luck Mike." Joan echoed
the words to Sharon and the two kissed, Becky and Kylie hugged each other,
and started to whisper to each other.

We went to the waiting area where I looked around for Hugh, I was still
searching when we were approached by a solicitor in robes, "Mr. Moore, my
name is Knapp, I'm the junior to Hugh, we've heard that one of the nurses
on the Intensive Care ward has returned from her holidays, he wanted to
ensure that he contacted her himself, normally that's a job for the office
staff, but Hugh though it was better if he did it."

I looked at my watch; "Well he going to be cutting it fine, what's the
plan if he isn't here when the case is called?"

Knapp looked awkward, "I hope to be able to convince the judge to allow
a delay of half an hour, and with any luck Hugh should be back by then, if
not then we'll have to play it by ear. I've got all the notes here."

I didn't hold much hope for his chances, but then I realised they were
also my chances as well!!

The case was called and we filed into the courtroom, Becky and I were
directed to seats near the front of the court, Knapp sat down on one side,
I noticed that there was no prosecution attorney. Then John appeared at
the judge's bench, an Usher called out, "All rise. The case of Rebecca
Smith, Ward of Court, will be heard, all those persons with interest in
this case are called to bear witness."

The Usher bowed to the judge, who sat down, the rest of us were then
allowed to be seated.

Knapp rose from his position, "My lord, I'm afraid that my learned
friend Mr. Hugh Fawkes sends his regrets and begs the court's indulgence,
he requests that a delay of half an hour be allowed."

John looked down from the bench, "May I enquire as to the reason for
this delay?"

Knapp looked at John, "My lord, we have found a witness vital to this
case, we beg leave to be able to produce this person as she has evidence
that may prove for our client Mr. Moore."

John contemplated for a moment, "Why was this witness not presented
during the interview phase?"

Knapp looked through his notes, "My lord, it would appear that she was
mentioned by Mr. Fawkes during his deposition, she was a nurse on duty
when Mrs. Mildred Smith sadly passed away, after that day she was on
holiday, she is expected to arrive back at any moment."

John looked at his watch, "Very well Mr. Knapp, I will allow a fifteen
minute delay, but no longer." He motioned to the Usher and rose up out of
his seat, to retire to his room behind the courtroom.

Becky looked up at me, "Why did he have to do that, I though we wanted
this over as quickly as possible."

I hugged her, "We do, but if Hugh's witness is as necessary as he
thinks, then it may help us, we'll have to see." I looked up to the
audience and found Sharon and Kylie sitting next to Paul and Joan, Sharon
showed me her hands with the index and middle fingers crossed, I smiled at

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

After fourteen minutes Knapp was talking on his mobile phone, I could
hear his side of the argument, "But how much longer . . . No I don't think
I can . . . Well when do you think the train will arrive? . . . How long?
. . . Oh! . . . I'll see what I can do . . . Yes, but hurry please . . .
Okay, bye." He turned to face me, "Problems!" he said, "The train's
delayed, Hugh is waiting on the platform for it to arrive, if you're excuse
me." He went over to the Usher and started to speak to him, and then he
wrote a note, which the Usher took to John's room.

After a few minutes the Usher returned, he was shaking his head, he
spoke a few words to Knapp, who then returned to us. "It's no use, it
seems that another case needs this room immediately following the decision,
we have to go with whatever we've got."

While he was saying this John had reappeared and was motioning to the
Usher who again boomed out "All Rise." Which we did, John then mounted the
bench and sat down, allowing us to sit as well.

John looked at Mr. Knapp and then spoke, "I understand that your
witness is not available at this time Mr. Knapp?"

Knapp rose and spoke, "I'm afraid not M'lord, she is expected to arrive
at any time, but her train is delayed, I'm sorry to say."

John nodded, "Yes, most unfortunate, most probably leaves on the line
again, however we cannot delay proceeding due to the railways, I'm afraid
that the due process of the law cannot be delayed by the elements, I've
given you all the time I can spare. I'm sorry but I must proceed with the

John Mortimer looked at his notes and started to speak.

"With regards to Mr. Michael Moore's application to adopt Miss Rebecca
Smith, Ward of this court, " He looked up, "If I could ask both of you to
approach the bench."

Becky looked apprehensively at me, I smiled at her, took her hand and we
both went up before John. He looked at us both, noted Becky's hands
holding onto my hand and arm and shook his head,

"I'm sorry but I think I will have to deny the application," Becky's
mouth opened, but John continued, "I have read all the evidence before me,
the reports from the Social Services, the Police. I have noted Mr.
Moore's action with regards to you Rebecca, and I agree he has your
interest at heart, but I also have to consider his lifestyle, he is single,
has never married - How would he cope with a juvenile of your type?

"If there was a more stable situation - were he married there would be
no doubt that he would be the better type of father for you, but not as he
is now, I'm sorry but I'm afraid I have no choice but to. . . ."

Now was the time, if this didn't work then all was lost. I interrupted
his decision, "Pardon me your honour, can I ask a question before you make
your decision final?" He nodded, I continued - "As I am single you don't
think that I'm suitable to bring up Becky, uhm I mean Rebecca." Again he
nodded, I turned to the courtroom looking at the people there, looking,
looking - found her - as I knew she'd be there, I turned to John again,
"Your honour, can I ask if Mrs. Sharon Williams can be called down here?"

He looked at me, "Does she have a bearing on this action?" I nodded - he
turned to an Usher and gave a direction.

The Usher stood up and intoned "Call Mrs. Sharon Williams." I saw
Sharon rise up and make her way down to the bench, Kylie remained in her
seat, smiling.

I held Sharon's hand, and said to John. "Your Honour, this is Mrs.
Sharon Williams, mother of Kylie Williams, Rebecca's best friend, in some
cases the two have been mistaken for sisters." Sharon gave a nervous
'hello' to John.

He moved his gaze to me, and said, "Mr. Moore, whilst I find these
facts fascinating, how does this apply?"

"If you will bear with me Your Honour," I turned to Sharon, "His Honour
is going to tell Becky that I'm unable to adopt her, because I'm single," I
turned to John, "Is that not correct your Honour?" He nodded, I turned to
Sharon again, dropped to one knee, held her hand, "Sharon, we haven't known
each other long, but I think we are aware of how much we mean to each
other, I would like to ask you to do me the honour of agreeing to marry

Sharon looked at me, and then at the Judge, "If I agree to marry Mike,
how will this affect Becky?"

John smiled as he considered, "Well his situation would have changed,
and with your daughter, she would have a friend to be with, and a mother and father is always better, so I would say that in this case I would find
for the application."

Sharon looked at me, "Then I accept, I would be happy to be your wife."

John regarded her, "you know that I could consider this as a promise
made under duress - in which case you could decide not to marry Mr. Moore
- At that point Rebecca Smith would have to be returned to court."

Sharon spoke to John, "Your honour, I spoke to Mike, I mean Mr. Moore
several weeks ago, he explained why he wasn't going to propose to me, and I
agreed with his reasoning. It is true we haven't really known each other
for long, and it was due to my daughter that we met, Becky - Rebecca, sorry
- is my daughters friend and has been part of our family for some time.
For her sake I would do anything," She looked at me, and smiled, "Even
marry this man for her."

John looked at us both, weighing up the situation, he shook his head,
"Mr. Moore, Mrs. Williams - you have both promised to marry each other in
this court, Now any such promise I deem to be legally binding, but has to
be witnessed by the court - I suggest you get the invitations ready, Oh and
don't forget mine!" John looked up, "In the matter of Rebecca Smith - I
rule that she be placed in the custody of Mrs. Sharon Williams and to be
tasked with the duties of a bridesmaid, after which time she shall legally
be under the guardianship of Mr. And Mrs. Michael Moore." He looked at us
both, and still smiling said "and may the lord have mercy on your lives!"

I smiled and kissed Sharon, then Becky, She clung hold of me and said,
"Does that mean I can call you Daddy Mike?"

I hugged her, "Becky, you can call me anything you wish, I've promised
to look after you and will, until the time you decide to marry."

Becky looked at us both, "Daddy Mike, can't I marry you?" the court bust
out in laughter.

John looked at her smiling, "I'm sorry Becky, but Mr. Moore is now
spoken for, you'll have to find a young gentleman of your own, when you're
older. Usher, this case is now concluded, Case for the applicant Mr.
Michael Moore." He banged his gavel.

Then the doors of the courtroom opened and Hugh rushed in with a young lady in tow, "My lord, I must ask for a slight delay, I've found a witness
on behalf of Mr. Moore, she's only just returned from holiday."

John looked at Hugh, and shook his head, "I'm sorry but I've already
decided on the case and have pronounced sentence, your witness is too

Hugh approached the bench, "But your honour the witness was present when
Becky's mother asked my client to look after the girl, you have to hear her
statement before deciding, its only right!"

John looked at me and smiled, then turned his attention to Hugh, "I'm
sorry, the decision is made, Becky is to be adopted by Mr. Moore, and
nothing you can do will change that!"

Hugh hadn't been listening, "YOUR HONOUR I MUST OBJECT, you can't just
dismiss. . . . What did you say?" his ears had finally managed to get his

John burst out laughing, "You know Hugh, if you don't attend the cases
you will never know what happens - I have agreed to allow Mr. Moore to
have custody of the child Reb. . Becky Smith, now I believe you were going
to accuse the court of some form of malpractice?"

Hugh pulled himself together, "err, err I, err I your honour, I w.
would never, err never presume to, to do such a thing."

John snorted, "And a good thing too, now you were late to this court,
but your junior has been persuasive about your absence so I won't say any
more about it. Mr. Moore, Mrs William and of course Becky, I'll see you
at the wedding, now go before I change my mind."

Before we could leave Becky unhooked herself from my grip, and ran
behind the judges bench, to reappear beside John, she kissed his face and
said, "Thank you, I'm glad you were on my side."

He smiled, "Well if I knew I would be rewarded for my judgement, I'd
have said that earlier, now go before the prosecution asks for a retrial
stating undue influence of the judge." She kissed him again and then ran
off to reappear next to me.

We quickly left the court to find Nancy and Maria waiting outside, Maria
spoke first - "Well done Mike, we knew you could do it, but I don't know
how to break it to Joan and Paul."

Just then the pair in question showed up behind her, they had Kylie with
them, Paul said, "That's okay towel head." Becky sniggered, "We had to be
here with Becky, I must say we're sad to lose her, even if it was only
after couple of weeks, but we're glad she's where she is, Mike will take
good care of her, I know it."

Joan spoke up, "And Maria, you know when Paul says something like that
he's normally right!"

Maria nodded, "Yes Aunt Joan, I know." She turned to me, "Mike you do
realise that we'll have to keep an eye on Becky, not that either Nancy or
myself don't trust you, we do, but it's all part of the Social Services

I smiled, hugged Becky and said, "Maria you and Nancy can visit at any
time - Oh can you give us an hours notice to untie Becky and make sure the
manacles are hidden away."

Becky gave an indignant 'Humph'; Maria smiled and said, "Oh I think I
can arrange that, I'll make a special note in the file!"

Then an usher arrived and checked our names, when told he handed Sharon
a piece of paper, he said, "I hope you put this to good use!" Sharon looked
at it and laughed.

She then showed it to me, it was a special Marriage licence - which
allowed us to arrange an almost instant marriage at any church or registry
office, Sharon looked at me, "Let get married now!" She said.

I shook my head, "We can't, we've got to organise the invitations, and
the reception - I mean we did promise John that we'd invite him."

Hugh looked at us, "You did? Well you'll have to invite his wife as
well, do you know her," We shook our heads, "I thought you did, her name's
Margaret, she's the Brown Owl of the local Brownie pack!"

Sharon and I just looked at each other - that explained her words on
Sunday. I shook my head, "Just when you think you know everything,
something else crops up!"

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

After saying goodbye to Joan and Paul, and promising to keep in touch,
we walked back to the car, first of all we went to the paper's offices and
up to Isabel's office, when she saw all of us she smiled, "Well Mike it
seems I don't need to get that interview done after all, I take it you did
win your case?"

I nodded, Sharon smiled and said, "It was wonderful, Mike proposed to me
in the middle of the courtroom, I had to say yes, and I didn't want to
disappoint him." Then she looked at Becky and added, "Or lose Becky in the

Isabel looked at Becky, "And what about you Becky, are you happy? Or
are you having second thoughts about Mike?"

Becky shook her head, "Oh no, Daddy Mike is the bestest thing that could
have happened."

Kylie looked a bit down, I went to her and asked what was wrong, she
shook her head and said, "It's not fair, how come Becky can call you Daddy
when I call you Uncle, why can't I call you Daddy as well?"

I smiled at her, "But Kylie when I marry your mother I'll be your daddy
won't I? So you can call me Daddy Mike, or even just Daddy, can't you?"

She threw her arms around my neck, "Do you mean that Daddy? Really?" I
nodded; she looked at Sharon who also nodded, "Oh Daddy, I'm so happy."
Then she became serious again and asked, "But I won't have to forget about
my real daddy do I?"

I knelt down so that we were looking eye to eye, and said, "Kylie, I'm
not here to replace your father, you can always think of him, I'm sure
where-ever he may be he's keeping an eye on you, and is proud of you. I
know I am, so no! And I'm sure your mother will never forget him either."

Sharon came over to us and also lowered herself to our level, she kissed
Kylie, "Oh Kylie, no, never forget your daddy, he was the most wonderful
man. All I ask is that you'll also make a space in your heart for Mike.
Can you do that?"

Kylie smiled, "Of course I have mummy, he's been with me as Uncle Mike
and will be with me as Daddy Mike, I do love him as well you know."

Becky was just standing to one side, not sure what to do, I reached out
to her and pulled her into the group, "Becky, Kylie, I've promised to marry
Sharon, but this doesn't mean that you are not part of the family - I hope
we're closer than a family, I think we are all friends which is more than
some families can ever be, we are here for each other now and for always.

Becky sniffed, "Yes Daddy Mike, I do know that I think your more of a
father that my daddy was, I was so scared that I'd lose you," She hugged
Sharon and Kylie, "All of you - I know Aunt Joan and Uncle Paul were really
nice, but they're not like you, promise you won't send me away. Please?"

Sharon held her tightly, "Becky Smith! - No - Becky Moore! We'll never
send you away from us ever, as Mike said 'we are a family' we may shout,
scream and argue with each other at times, but we will never, and I mean
NEVER send you away." At this her voice cracked, we stayed in this group
hug for a few minutes.

Isabel was watching us, tears pricking at her eyes, when we separated
she said, "I've never seen that before, it was so, so, moving"

I smiled at her, "We've never really thought of ourselves as a family before, just a loose association of friends, I suppose you could say this
is the first time our family has really met each other so we're still
learning about ourselves."

Isabel smiled back, "Well if this was the real start, I don't think
you've anything to worry about. Now if you don't mind, I've got a paper to
get out, Sharon I suppose I'd better give you a couple of day's off, unless
there's anything else you need?"

Sharon shook her head, then said, "Oh yes, I'll be needing some more
time off to arrange a wedding."

Isabel shook her head, "I don't know, I mean you've had more time off
than many secretaries normally have, I'll have to think about it."

Sharon smiled, "Okay, but don't blame me if I forget to send you an
invitation to the wedding."

Isabel relented, "Well if you're going to resort to dirty tricks, I
suppose I could give you some time off, see me later okay?"

Sharon nodded, "Fine, I'll see you on Monday then, okay?"

Isabel smiled again, "That's okay, you need time to get to know your

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

We left Isabel to work on in her office, I remembered I promised Kylie
to replace her radio that she had given to WPC Pembroke, so we went back to
Greg's shop.

As we entered Greg smiled to see all of us, "There you are Mike, looks
like you're really getting into the family thing. At least she's better
than that other one," at my blank look he continued, "You know the one with
the big," His hands gestured at his chest, "and hardly any brain."

Sharon smiled, and the girls giggled, I decided that the joke was going
too far, "Greg, I'd like to introduce you to my fiancé Sharon, my daughter to be Kylie and my adopted daughter Becky."

Greg's jaw dropped, "You're actually going ahead with it? Good on you
boy, I thought you'd never get hitched. May I congratulate the bride to

Sharon nodded and went over to Greg, who gave her a brotherly kiss on
the cheeks, which I must admit surprised me. I heard him say to her,
"Thank you, and don't forget to look after him." She nodded, and then
returned to me.

Then Greg got all businesslike, "Okay Mike, now we've got that out of
the way, you need to sign these papers, they're the patent forms for the
invisible tether idea you had, George had checked and no-one has yet
suggested such a thing before, we've talked to the original team that
invented the radios, they seem excited - nobody seemed to give their idea
any chance of working, that is until you brought the rights to them, now
they're ready to work for you, all you have to do is give the word and
they'll get the prototypes ready."

I smiled, "Greg tell them the word is given, I want to get these out
cheap enough for most parents to be able to afford them, we could try to
get some of the chains stores, you know Mothercare or Toys 'r' Us, to
sponsor the productions, that may reduce the overheads, and get
country-wide coverage distribution."

He just looked at me, "Why not just give them away, I mean the profit
margin will be so low that we might not break even."

I nodded, "True, but then at least we'd be making lives a bit safer for
the children and parents, look on it like that."

He shook his head, "You know Mike, it might give you a warm feeling, but
I'd like it to be in a more concrete form, remember money? You can spend
that, but you can't spend feeling!"

I clapped him on the back, "Don't worry Greg, you'll get your profits,
remember if we franchise these out we'll be paid for each one made and
sold, now don't worry, have I ever steered you wrong?"

He thought for a moment, then shook his head, "Okay Mike, I'll trust
you. I'd better get on the phone and get the ball rolling I suppose."

I nodded, "Fine. Oh by the way, you don't have another spare master
unit, Kylie lost hers"

He looked at Kylie and said, "She should be more careful, do you know
where she lost it."

Kylie smiled and said, "At the police station, I gave it to a

Greg shook his head, "and she kept it? I don't know the crooks are
everywhere these days. Did you get her name?"

Kylie nodded, "Yes, its WPC Pembroke, she's the community liaison
officer, I thought it would be easier if I gave her my radio to use, Uncl.
. . Daddy Mike said he'd replace it."

Greg smiled, "You've done it again haven't you Mike, you're a sucker for
a pretty face, okay here's a master unit." He reached under the counter and
remove a radio with a blue strap, instead of the normal black one.
"Another one of your ideas Mike, black straps for the normal radio and blue
for the Master units, easy to identify and at no extra cost." He handed the
radio to Kylie who placed it on her wrist, then tuned it into 'our' private

"Thanks," She said simply and went back to Becky, Greg and I spoke for a
few more minutes before we left him to his work.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

We decided to go back to the restaurant for lunch, the staff was quite
puzzled when we turned up and was expecting to see Joan and Paul as their
'daughter' was with us. We didn't try to correct them, it was a lot easier
for a start, then Kylie and Becky decided to have fun by both calling me
Daddy - this did confuse the waitresses, until I had to explain the

After they finally understood, we were treated to a party atmosphere,
balloons were presented to the girls (normally given at birthdays), and we
were given a special ice-cream sundae, with extra cream.

When we left the restaurant we felt so full up that we didn't expect to
eat again for the rest of the day.

We went back to Sharon's house where Kylie and Sharon packed away some
clothes to take back to my house, Becky sat with me, then she looked up at
me, "Oh Daddy Mike," she said, "I'll need to get clothes from my house." I
started to nod when I remembered that all her belongings had been removed.

I left her in the house while I went to the car and picked up the papers
that we were given last week, there was a telephone number at the top of
the sheet, I returned to the house and dialled the number.

"Council Depot - How may I help you?" the voice was of a youngish
female, I identified myself and quoted the reference number at the top of
the page, "One moment please while I bring up the details . . . . Ah yes,
Mr. and Mrs. Smith deceased, property of (she gave Becky's home address).
Right Mr. Moore why are you interested in this property?" I explained that
I was now the legal guardian of Rebecca Smith and she needed to reclaim her
clothing that would have been taken away for storage and that she needed

She asked for details of Becky (although she did call her Rebecca),
which I obtained from Becky, finally she said, "That all checks out Mr.
Moore, when can you come to pick up the items you need?" I said 10 minutes
and that was agreed on.

I shouted up the stairs that Becky and I were going out for some minutes
and we went to the car, just as we were about to start off Kylie came
running out of the house and up to the car, "Can I come as well Daddy," She
said and got into the back seat with Becky.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

We arrived at the depot and announced ourselves to the lady in the
reception area, a badge on her chest said she was called Sandra, "Ah Mr.
Moore, you phoned a short time ago, do you have the documents with you?"

I handed over the forms given to us by the driver, she looked them over
then at Kylie, "You are Rebecca Smith," Kylie shook her head and prodded
Becky who said, "No, I am, I need to get my clothes please."

Sandra smiled at her, "I'm sorry about your loss Rebecca, I hope coming
here doesn't cause you a problem."

Becky shook her head, "Not just at the moment, I've got my new daddy to
look after me."

At Sandra's quizzical look I explained, "I'm just been granted custody
of Becky, she trying to wear out the name daddy for me."

She congratulated me then said to Becky, "Mr. Moore called you Becky,
is that how you'd like me to call you?"

Becky nodded and said, "Yes please Sandra," she had noticed the badge as
well, "I'm afraid I don't like my name at the moment"

Sandra nodded in understanding, although I don't think she understood
what Becky was saying. She escorted us further into the storage area, it
was a large warehouse space, split up into sections, each section holding
furniture, a mute testament to the people who had owned them, after a few
rows it began to be downright scary, I was expecting to see the ghosts of
the owners sitting on their chairs, reading papers and smoking pipes!

Finally we arrived at the area set up for Becky's Furniture, she could
see her wardrobe and she ran to it, I looked around the are and found some
suitcases, I opened one which was empty, Becky started to sort through her
clothes for the ones she wanted to keep, I noticed that she was packing
dresses and skirts instead of her usual jeans or trousers, I also notice
that she hadn't packed any socks or underwear, she blushed when I pointed
that out, but started to fill up the suitcase, I picked up another case for
her to use, when I opened it I found some photographs in frames of George
and Mildred, and a couple of young Becky which I kept, there was a picture of all the family, Becky saw me looking at this, and said, "I remember
that, I was about six at the time." And she smiled with the memory, I also
kept that one, it was the only one with Darren in the shot.

I notice there were some other pictures, not in frames, just
photographs, I looked at a couple, then threw them down, then realising
that there was a chance that others might find them I asked Sandra to
witness that I had found the photographs in the suitcase, I didn't tell her
what they were, but informed her that I would be taking them to the police
to be destroyed. I noticed that Becky hadn't seen what I had done, and
asked Sandra not to mention them to her. But it seems that Darren had
another stash of pictures hidden away.

Kylie was watching me and seemed slightly worried at my reaction, but I
gestured to her not to say anything, at which she nodded.

When we had all the clothes that Becky thought she needed I asked her if
there was anything else she wanted, she looked at the remnants of her
parents possessions and shook her head, "No Daddy Mike, I don't really want
to keep anything else, they have too many bad memories."

Sandra then told Becky that they would be holding onto the property for
six months before they were either given to another family or thrown away,
and that Becky could come back during that time if she changed her mind.

We thank Sandra and left the depot to return to the car, with me
carrying both suitcases of clothes.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

As I was driving back, I could feel the photographs' burning a hole in
my pocket, at least that was how it felt, I mentioned to the girls that I
had to just visit the Police station and asked them to stay in the car. -
Much to their annoyance.

I parked outside the station and went to the front desk, the officer, a
sergeant, looked up and smiled, "Good Afternoon Mr. Moore, and how are
you?" He'd been on duty that previous Sunday, I said I was fine and asked
if DS Nichols was available to see me, the officer picked up his phone and
spoke into it, after a few minutes Nichols came out a shook my hand.

"It's good to see you again Mike," He said, then asked how he could help
me, I explained the problem, he put a serious look on his face, then spoke
to the desk sergeant and asked for a closed evidence bag, which was handed
over to him.

I then handed over the photographs he glanced at one just before dumping
the rest into the bag, he shook his head, "That poor child, I'm glad she's
safe with you." I thanked him and asked what was going to be done with the
pictures, he looked at me and said to follow him, but Becky running into
the front entrance interrupted us.

She was crying and looked at us, "Kylie said you had pictures of me,
were they the ones Darren took of me?" I held her, and nodded, she said, "I
didn't know he was taking them, I don't want you to see them, please say
you didn't."

I hugged her and replied, "I saw two of them before I put the rest away,
DS Nichols has them in that bag, and he was about to show me what was going
to be done with them!"

He nodded and then said, "Becky, with this type of evidence, as soon as
the case is over the evidence is destroyed. If you both will come with
me." He nodded to the sergeant who buzzed us through the door into the
station proper.

We walked down the corridor, passing several officers who said 'hello'
to us, we entered another room, one which I didn't recall on our tour of
the station, I mentioned this to Nichols, who shrugged his shoulders,
"Well, no, you see this isn't really shown to visitors but I thought Becky
would feel better if she knew about it."

We found ourselves in a boiler room there was a police officer seated at
a desk, Nichols went up to him and spoke for a few minutes, I could get
part of the conversation, ". . . Extra evidence to closed case . . . not
booked in . . . couldn't hurt . . . destroy them . . ." Finally the
officer accepted the bag and, without opening it, went to the boiler, where
he opened a small flap in the door - we could feel the heat emanating from
the flap - and dropped the bag inside, the flap was closed and Nichols
gestured for us to look inside a small window, I lifted Becky up so that
she could watch as the bag started to burn and fold in on itself, the
yellow flame erupting from inside as the photographs were blackened and
crisped up into ash.

Nichols then spoke to Becky, "I'm sorry to say I had to look at the
other pictures Darren had taken, I can promise you that they are all
destroyed, just as those were, don't worry about them again."

Becky allowed me to put her down on the ground, and then she turned to
me, "You knew about the pictures didn't you."

I nodded, "Yes I did, Nichols mentioned that some had been found, but he
didn't say what they showed and also he said that your parents never knew
about them." She looked at him, he nodded, I continued, "I don't know what
was in the pictures, and I don't want to. That's in the past and doesn't
concern us now, if at some time you want to talk about it, that's fine as
well, but it's up to you."

Nichols escorted us back to the front office, and before we left Nichols
stopped Becky, "I hope you're not worried about those pictures, I know it's
difficult but they are all gone now."

She put on a brave face, "I didn't want to have them taken, but Darren
wouldn't take no for an answer, the only trouble is I don't know how many
more there might be hidden away."

Nichols nodded, and then said. "Do you want us to go through the
furniture again, we could, as a prevention!" Becky though for a moment,
then nodded, Nichols nodded as well, "Thank you, I will assure you that any
thing else we find will be destroyed as well, do you want me to let you
know if we found anything?"

She shook her head, "No. I'd rather not, I'll just worry about who
looked at them first, just get rid of them please."

Nichols nodded, "I understand, don't worry Becky, we'll be discrete."

We left the station and went back to the car, Kylie was sobbing in the
back seat as we entered. "Oh Daddy, I'm sorry I didn't mean to tell Becky
but she was insistent, and I didn't know what pictures you'd found. And,
and. . ." She went back to crying

I reached over to her and tried to hold her, a difficult thing to do as
I was in the front seat and she was in the back, Becky came to our rescue,
by holding Kylie, "It's okay Ky, I didn't want anyone to know about the
pictures, I didn't know that Daddy Mike already knew, I was trying to stop
him from looking at them!"

I added, "But I did know about them, and knew that the police were able
to destroy them, we've already sorted that out so don't worry Kylie it's
alright, now dry your eyes, and we'll be on our way."

The drive back to Sharon's house was subdued, a fact that Sharon noticed
as we entered the house, I gave a quick explanation to Sharon who hugged
Becky, while I reassured Kylie that I wasn't annoyed at her.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

That night we had a light meal, after still being full following the
dinner, just sandwiches. The girls were tired out after the events of the
day and went to bed early.

They both washed their hands and faces and dressed in their bedclothes,
nightdress for Kylie and pyjamas for Becky, I tucked them both into their
beds, Kylie held her arms up for me to bend down and kiss her goodnight,
she whispered, "I love you Daddy, can you read to us please."

Becky's voice came from her bed, "Yes please Daddy Mike, please read a

I kissed Becky's cheek and said, "Alright girls, but I expect you both
to stay in your own bedroom tonight, we're all tired and I don't expect to
be disturbed, we've also got a lot of work to do tomorrow, so expect to be
up early."

I picked up a book that Kylie had pointed out - Emile and the
detectives, about a young boy in Holland who goes visiting and is robbed of
some money - I'd got as far as him meeting the young children when I notice
that both girls were asleep, I book marked the page and quietly walked out
of the room.

I returned to Sharon who was sitting downstairs, I kissed her gently,
she giggled, "Mike," she started, "do you mind if we just go to bed
tonight, I mean to sleep, I really don't feel like doing anything after

I groaned, "Oh I see, first you tempt me with your body, then once I
propose you put yourself off limits, I can see how our marriage is going to
go now."

She picked up a cushion and started to hit me over the head, saying,
"That's not what I mean and you know it! I'm just too tired after the
court case."

I held out my hand, "I know darling," I said, "and I do know what you
mean." she took my hand and we walked up the stairs into 'our' bedroom,
where we undressed and went to bed, and fell asleep immediately.

- 30

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