The weather took a mean turn as soon as they got back. Winter was in full bore and they had to bundle up every time they left the house. Breena wasn’t a fan of all the extra clothing and let her mother know it when they went shopping with Mimi and Siobhan. Siobhan told her how Aaron was the same when he was about her age and let her know it too.
“He would carry on so much!” Siobhan said, you would have thought he was being abused!
“And I was a perfect angel, right Mom?” Mimi asked.
“Whatever you say dear,” Siobhan replied, patting her daughter’s hand, making Lorelai laugh and Mimi fake outrage.
January was the National Western Stock Show and Aaron and Lorelai walked around pushing their daughter around to look at the animals. They had a great afternoon and Breena had fallen asleep at lunch and was sleeping soundly in her stroller as Aaron and Lorelai were making their way through the crowds to head home when Aaron tensed up and swore under his breath.
“What’s wrong?” Lorelai asked.
“Hannah is walking this way with some guy. I just hope she doesn’t see us,” He whispered.
Lorelai immediately got pissed and Aaron felt the anger build in her and he stopped her and made him look at him, “Hey, remember- we are great together and you are the love of my life. She is a nasty lying bitch and has no hold over us. Ok?”
She nodded and he leaned in and kissed her softly. They continued on and saw that she had two kids with her and was pregnant again. Lorelai gasped when she saw who was with her and felt Aaron’s arm go around her and kiss her temple and they pushed on to leave without being noticed and inwardly groaned when he heard Hannah speak.
“Well, well, well. What do we have here?” Hannah asked with a tone in her voice.
“Why Hello Lorelai,” Joe Hawkins, smirked.
“What do you want Hannah?” Aaron asked.
“Oh just saying hi. I know you remember Joe, Lorie,” Hannah smirked too.
“It’s Lorelai,” Aaron growled, “And Joe and I already had a discussion about leaving my wife alone!”
A little confused about his response, Lorelai looked at him in question. Hannah and Joe grinned.
“Aaron didn’t tell you about his little visit to me?” Joe asked, “He was so nice to remind me of our time together Lorelai!”
“There was nothing to our time Joe!” Lorelai spat, “You sexually harassed me!”
“Oh you know that if that little friend of yours hadn’t come into the store room we would have had a great time! Your skin was so soft and you smelled so good!” He said like he was reminiscing.
Lorelai tensed up again before Aaron growled, “If you say one more word, I will contact the school district and tell them to go on with the reprimand! You leave my wife alone! What the hell is the matter with you Hannah? You have your two kids with you listening to this exchange!”
“They are too young to understand,” she said dismissively, “And Joe and I talked after your little visit and agreed if we saw either of you again, we would bring this up.”
Lorelai couldn’t believe how messed up the whole situation was and just wanted to leave and take her daughter home.
“Why can’t you just grow the hell up Hannah?” Aaron asked and ushered his wife and daughter back to walking.
“It was nice seeing you again Lorelai! Hopefully we can do it again!” Joe called and she recoiled.
Aaron turned back and whispered to him, “Leave my wife the fuck alone or we WILL have a problem!!”
He went back to his wife and they walked quickly back to the truck and got in after securing Breena and they drove home. Lorelai didn’t talk the whole ride back as much as Aaron tried to engage her. She put the baby down as soon as they got home and Lorelai changed into some sweats and a hoodie and went back down to finish dinner. She had set a stew in the crockpot before they left.
Aaron knew she was pissed and went into the kitchen to get a beer and watch her, “So are you going to tell me what’s wrong?”
“What could possibly be wrong?” She asked as she grabbed some pepper and put it in the stew and stirred it.
“Lor, don’t do that. Talk to me!” He said.
“Why? You didn’t bother to tell me that you had talked to Joe! When the hell did you even see him?” She asked spinning to face him.
Aaron sighed, “I saw him at a basketball game I was working in early December.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?” She asked again.
“Because I didn’t want to upset you!” Aaron pleaded.
“Well that didn’t work!” She fumed and turned back around and threw her towel into the sink in frustration. She kept her back to him so he wouldn’t see the tears run down her face.
Aaron could always tell when she cried, there was a certain way that her shoulders moved and he saw that when she turned around. He felt terrible and walked over to her and took him into his arms. Lorelai relaxed when he surrounded her with his big, warm and protective arms.
“Hey a ghrà, I’m here. I’m sorry that I didn’t tell you I saw him. I really just didn’t want to upset you when you had so much going on finishing up at the school,” He said kissing the top of her head.
“Why does my past keep coming back to hurt us?” She sobbed.
“Hey, this isn’t just you! My past is in on this too, but we are not hurt! They can’t do anything to hurt us anymore,” Aaron reasoned with her.
“Are you sure?” She asked.
“Oh there is NO way they can hurt us! We are solid and NOTHING they can do or say can touch us. I love you and no one else. You are my heart and I learned the hard way-twice how nasty Hannah can be and I will NOT allow her to mess with us again!” Aaron pledged.
Lorelai looked at him and saw the truth in his eyes and hugged him tightly, not saying anything else. Aaron let the hug talk for him and he just held her until she pulled away and asked for a kiss. And never being able to deny her, he kissed her softly and whispered how much he loved her. She whispered it back. Aaron kissed her again, starting to deepen it when Breena made her presence known on the monitor and Lorelai pulled back.
“Our daughter has impeccable timing, doesn’t she?” He asked.
“It’s like she doesn’t want to have a sibling!” Lorelai said.
Aaron laughed as he went up to get his daughter. He changed her and brought her back down and set her in the high chair as Lorelai got her food ready. Aaron fed her while Lorelai finished their dinner with Thor waiting for something to fall on the floor for him.
Aaron was worried when the head of the K9’s called him into his office a couple of weeks later.
“Captain, How are you?” Ian Cleary asked, shaking his hand.
“Good, Thanks Sir.” Aaron replied sitting in the offered seat with Thor right beside him.
“Good to hear. Listen Aaron, I’m going to get right down to it. Thor is Eight years old now and his last vet check showed some arthritis setting in. It’s time Aaron,” he said.
Aaron was floored, “Are you serious? He has to retire?”
Ian nodded, “Yes. He has put in a lot of good years and worked his ass off. He deserves to enjoy the rest of his years in style. You, of course, have the first right to adopt him. If you don’t want him, he can be adopted out to the public. But if you want to continue in K9, you can’t take him. Too much alpha in one house isn’t good.”
Aaron was pissed, “Of course I want him! He has been the best partner and K9 in this department!”
“So then you don’t want to continue in K9?”
“I do, but if I can’t take a new dog and keep Thor, Thor comes first,” Aaron simply replied.
“I’m glad this is your decision. Chief and I want you to consider taking on Traffic. Roberts is retiring and that leaves a new position for Captain Supervisor over there and we think you would be perfect for that.” Ian explained.
Aaron was stunned, this was not how he pictured his day going! He had done K9 for so long, would be ok not doing it? He couldn’t let Thor go to anyone else, and he knew Lorelai would skin him alive if he even considered it. He was truly stuck and almost forced into the leadership role whether he liked it or not!
“Can I think about it? Talk with Lorelai?” Aaron asked, rubbing the back of his neck.
“Of course! Take the weekend and let me know Monday,” Ian said and dismissed Aaron.
Aaron called Thor’s name and they left and got in the car. Eight hours later, Aaron pulled into the driveway to hear laughing and giggling as soon as he entered. Thor made a beeline for his best friend and Aaron smiled as Breena came toddling in the living room, squealing in delight with Lorelai hot on her heels and Thor right behind. Life has been very lively with Breena learning to walk a few weeks after they returned from Mexico.
Lorelai was exhausted the last few days trying to keep up with her. She lived for nap time and instantly fell asleep on the couch as soon as she closed the door to her daughters’ bedroom. She came in and saw the underlying sadness in his eyes.
“Aaron, what’s wrong?” She asked, coming over and wrapping her arms around his chest.
“Let’s talk after I change,” he said and kissed both his girls on the top of the head.
She nodded, took Breena from his arms and he went upstairs. She went to check on dinner and turned the oven down so the au gratin potatoes didn’t burn. She sat on the couch watching Breena play with some toys on the floor. Aaron came down and sat next to her and sighed.
“So what happened?” She asked.
“So Ian Cleary called me into the office this morning,” He started.
“He’s in charge of K9 right?” Lorelai asked.
“Correct. He had Thor’s recent Vet report on his desk and he told me that Thor has to retire. He is over eight years old and there is arthritis starting to form in his joints,” He explained.
“Oh my poor boy!” Lorelai said sadly, “You stay home with Mommy and Breena.”
Thor thumped his tail on the floor when she talked to him.
“There’s more a ghrà. I can’t keep Thor if I continue in K9.”
“WHAT?! You are not getting rid of him!” Lorelai gasped.
“No, I know you would react like this. New rules state that you can’t keep your old K9 and get a new partner, too much alpha in one house or some shit like that,” Aaron added.
“So what are you going to do? I know you like K9,” Lorelai said.
“Cleary then dropped another bomb on me. They want me to take over as supervisor for Traffic since I am now a Captain and Roberts is retiring,” Aaron said.
Lorelai’s eyes went wide, “Really?”
He nodded, “Yep. Big raise, but more bullshit to deal with.”
“What about your hours?” She asked.
“I can still make my own schedule like I do now, so we can do what works best for us,” He assured her, “I can still do overtime and work special events if I want. Although there will be times that I have to go out in some cases if they need support.”
She nodded and looked at him, “So what do you want to do?”
“K9, but I won’t send Thor somewhere else. So I guess that leaves just one thing…”Aaron sighed.
“Aaron, you don’t have to take it. Can’t you laterally move somewhere else?” She asked.
“Not without losing my seniority to make my own schedule and I don’t want to work midnights or weekends,” he explained.
“Aaron, whatever you want to do with me is fine. I would hate not having you my side at night, but I could manage. Weekends would just be a bit different. I just want you to be happy!” She said touching his leg.
“I know a ghrà. I just need to think about it. He gave me until Monday to get back to him,” Aaron said.
“Just not a great weekend for you to sit and think…” Lorelai reminded him.
“SHIT! I forgot about the party! I’m sorry Lorelai!” He pleaded.
“Captain, it’s ok! You have a lot on your mind! Everything is planned. I just need you to pick up the balloons and cake tomorrow morning. I have the rest ready to go for our baby’s first birthday!” She smiled at him.
He kissed her and thanked her.
“Hey, why don’t you ask your mom and dad to come over early? Have your Dad go with you to get balloons and the cake and you can talk,” She recommended.
“Good idea! How did I marry such a brilliant woman?” He said kissing her.
“Just lucky I guess. Now let’s finish dinner so I can fall asleep on you while pretending to watch TV. I am exhausted!” She said.