What I Did For Love - Chapter 3

Chapter 3: Looking For Love!
Love isn't something you find.
Love is something that finds you!
Loretta Young
It had been a month since Ranger had blown town, and if you twisted my arm, I might have admitted that I had been a little pissed off at him for disappearing like that, but only for about fifteen seconds. If I wanted to be mad at somebody, then the only somebody I had to be mad at was ME! Ranger almost never told me when he was going off on some mission. Why would that change just because we spent a day and a half in bed together? I can pretty much guarantee that his mind was NOT on his schedule. That's one of the reasons, after being furious for a heartbeat, I got over it.
I mean, think about it. Ranger had always been very upfront about wanting to get me into bed, and every single time, I turned him down flat. He was probably more surprised than I was that I actually took him up on his offer. In fact, you should have seen the expression on his face. Okay, so maybe you wouldn't have been able to see the difference, but I knew Ranger and let me tell you … he was shocked!
Ranger always said that his life didn't lend itself to relationships, and this just proved it. He didn't lie or try to deceive me, didn't promise me everlasting love and commitment, he never promised me anything at all. And I wasn't some poor, naïve little virgin (insert eye roll here) that he seduced, had sweet talked into bed, then ruined and abandoned. I was the grown up woman who dragged him into my apartment and into my bed. And believe me … I had NO regrets at all.
I mean, I wasn't some starry eyed romantic. I knew exactly what I was going to get with that man … mind blowing, bone melting, soul satisfying sex to the point that I couldn't have squeezed out another ****** if my life had depended on it. I'm pretty sure that some of the things we did to each other are still illegal in some Southern states! Here it was, weeks later, and I was still experiencing aftershocks! How could anybody complain about that?
On top of it all, I expected him to get up in the morning and walk out again. I never in a million years thought he'd stay for breakfast, much less lunch and dinner and another breakfast. The thought of Ranger and me, lying in bed, stark naked, sharing containers of Chinese food, feeding each other Fragrant Shrimp and Emperor's Delight, just never even crossed my mind. Who knew that steamed dumplings could be so erotic?
Anyway, I had decided that there was nothing to be pissed about. What we had was a 'friends with EXCELLENT benefits' package, no pun intended, and I'd wait and see what happened when Ranger got back in town. In the meantime, if my Prince Charming showed up on his white steed and galloped off with me, so much the better. Hey! A girl can dream, can't she?
While I was waiting for my Prince to appear, I had been doing some extra training with the Merry Men. I had mastered take down techniques, so I wouldn't embarrass myself anymore, and shooting the crotch out of paper men at the gun range, you know, important stuff like that.
It was Tank's idea that I should start doing some skip tracing for RangeMan, just so I wouldn't get bored, he said. The man knows me a little too well! I guess a bored Stephanie Plum spelled trouble for the Merry Men. The whole idea was for me to start with the low bond skips, you know, the non-violent crowd that RangeMan normally doesn't take. Once the Merry Men knew I could handle them, I'd work my way down, couldn't really call it working my way up, to the next level. It was kind of like working my way through the seven circles of Hell.
I right away decided I'd take a pass on the real dangerous, high bond weirdos and crazies that Ranger and the Merry Men went after… I really didn't look good in SWAT gear, all that Kevlar and stuff just wasn't the fashion statement I wanted to make. Okay, so the truth is that the Merry Men duded me up in their riot gear, helmet, body armor, jack boots … the whole nine yards. They took one look at me and laughed so hard they almost pissed themselves. I kept forgetting how entertaining I was.
When I worked for Vinnie, I spent a lot of time chasing after skips. I mean literally… chasing them down the street and over fences, through yards and stores and across parking lots in snow and rain and sleet and wind and blistering heat. I had been pelted with food, rolled in garbage, held at gunpoint, hosed down the stairs, cursed, shot at and generally abused to the point where I actually quit bounty hunting for a while. Hell! I lost so many pairs of handcuffs that I was able to take them as a write off on my taxes. And even though I almost always got my man, it was a hell of a lot of work!
Of course, this wasn't gonna be anything like the bounty hunting I used to do. RangeMan put a whole different spin on skip tracing and had pretty much raised it to an art form. First of all, I got to use top notch RangeMan search engines so I could track down the scum bags without doing any actual leg work out on the street. Then, I got to use top quality RangeMan issued equipment … a RangeMan vehicle, a gun with bullets in it, handcuffs I didn't have to pay for, even a stun gun that was all charged up and ready to go.
And last but not least, but the very best of all, I got to use my very own, RangeMan issued, Merry Man, who'd go out on the pick ups with me. It was long standing RangeMan policy … nobody went out on a take down by themselves, not even Ranger. I didn't even have to drive! It really didn't get much better than that.
My first day out skip tracing for RangeMan, the Merry Man du jour was Cal, who came complete with flaming skull tattoo on his bald head. Let me tell ya, intimidation went a long way in bounty hunting and Cal was the king. He'd just stand there and snarl at a skip and they'd wet their pants and practically cuff themselves.
Me, on the other hand, I was a light weight in that department. The only time I was capable of striking fear into the hearts of men was when I was PMS-ing and even the Merry Men didn't want to tangle with me then. They knew a seriously deranged woman when they saw one. Unfortunately, that didn't work on skips and I obviously never looked like I was a threat to life and limb. Probably if I had, I never woulda been rolled in garbage and the cops wouldn't be running pools on me, now would they?
Anyhow, we got out on the street early to pick up our first upstanding citizen. Since that turned out to be my old pal, Ronnie Klineman of fire hose fame, we knew he wouldn't exactly be standing up. Seems the night he got out of court ordered rehab, he and his buddies went out to a local watering hole to celebrate his new found sobriety. Ronnie went ape **** and assaulted the bar tender when the guy cut him off after about a dozen boilermakers.
The cops showed up and carted his butt off to the Ronnie Klineman Memorial Drunk Tank. When he sobered up, Vinnie went and bonded him out and Ronnie returned to his favorite past time, big surprise. His court date got lost in an alcoholic haze. So here I was … again. I wondered if Ronnie realized what an unhealthy pattern of behavior he had.
Ronnie's building super hadn't been real forgiving about the whole fire hose incident, or the mess it caused, and he told Ronnie that if he ever pulled a stunt like that again, he'd be out on his ***. So I was hoping that Ronnie would remember that and behave this time… What? I told you I was a dreamer!
We spotted Ronnie stumbling around outside his building, drunk as a skunk and carrying on an animated conversation with an invisible friend. Cal and I joked that Ronnie's sidekick was an eight foot tall rabbit named Harvey. I hopped out of the shiny, black SUV and strolled over to Ronnie while Cal pulled around the corner and parked.
Ronnie tried to focus his bleary eyes on me as I walked up to him. "Hey, Snooky," he grinned, peering into my face, the alcohol on his breath making my eyes water. "How you doin'?" He pointed to his invisible friend and slurred, "You know mi amigo, right?"
I rolled my eyes. "Sure I do, Ronnie. We're best buds," I snarked, the sarcasm lost on him. I went into my spiel, "Look, I'm a Bond Enforcement Agent for Vincent Plum and blah, blah, blah..."
Ronnie's eyes got huge and his mouth dropped open as recognition flashed across his face. He held his hands out in front of him and starting backing away, like he was trying to ward me off. "Run!" he screamed, to his buddy I guess. "She'll put us back in rehab!" He whirled around, and made a mad dash down the street. Looking over his shoulder, he yelled, "Hurry up! Don't let her get you!" I guess his pal wasn't as fast on his feet as Ronnie was. Cal stepped out in front of Ronnie just as he turned the corner and Ronnie bounced himself off of Cal's chest. He staggered back and fell right into my arms. Out cold.
"Woooo-hooo, Cal!" I whooped! "You're better than a stun gun!" Cal grinned as we bumped fists over Ronnie's inert body. It took about thirty seconds for me to get him cuffed and for Cal to toss him in the back of the SUV. RangeMan skip tracing just couldn't be beat.
Ronnie was the last skip I had hauled in before I went to work for RangeMan, so it had been a couple of months since I had paid a visit to the station. I couldn't wait to march him up to the booking desk in my pristine RangeMan uniform, all neat and clean and pressed, make up perfect, not a single hair out of place, not even a chipped, French manicured fingernail. I wondered if the boys in blue had any pools running that would pay off on that. Naaah! They probably thought it was too far fetched.
I did get a bunch of wolf whistles from the guys, though, along with a couple of winks and a thumbs up. Eddie waved and yelled, "Looking good, kid!" as he pulled his squad car out of the parking lot. Nice to know they noticed.
Anyway, Robin Russell was at the booking desk and she smiled when she handed me back my cuffs and the body receipt for Ronnie. I turned to leave and there, lounging against the wall, hands in his pockets, was a grinning Joe Morelli. He had been gone on assignment for months and I hadn't heard a word from him. Seems to be a habit with the men in my life, doesn't it?
But I had to admit, Joe looked pretty damned good. After he made detective and got out of uniform, Joe almost always wore jeans and t-shirts to work. Now here he was, all dressed up in a suit and a blue dress shirt, and he was even wearing a tie. Not only was he drop dead handsome, he looked like a grown up.
"Hey stranger!" I gave him a huge smile and walked toward him with my arms open.
Joe pushed off the wall and wrapped me in a bear hug. "You're a sight for sore eyes, Cupcake! I missed you!" and he gave me a big smacking kiss on the mouth.
I pushed away a little so I could look up at him. "Yeah, I could tell how much you missed me from all the cards and letters and phone calls I got from you," I said playfully and arched an eyebrow at him.
He shrugged his broad shoulders and gave me those damn puppy dog eyes that used to make me forgive him anything. "Well, I meant to call you. I thought about you, a lot."
"Oh, you lie like a rug, Morelli," and I smacked him lightly on the shoulder. "You haven't changed at all!" We both laughed at that.
Cal stuck his head in the back door and called, "Hey Steph, you done? Connie called and we got a couple more to pick up."
"Okay, Cal, I'm coming!" I reached up and planted a kiss on Morelli's cheek. "Gotta go, Joe. See you around?"
"Sure Steph. Maybe we could grab a pizza or watch a game."
"Sounds great," I said as I scooted down the hall. "Give me a call sometime!" I waved at him and went out to the parking lot where Cal was sitting in the idling SUV, waiting to go after the next skip.
Boy, this was great! All I did was knock on the second skip's door, go into my spiel and then Cal stepped up behind me. The guy took one look and whimpered. I almost laughed as his shoulders slumped and he held out his hands to be cuffed... no sweat! And back to the station we went.
It was only noon by the time I hauled the third skip through the back door and into the station, still neat and clean. This clown had made a rep for himself by boosting cars to order. You know, you want a silver Lexus, all you had to do was call this guy. His ego was so overblown that when we pulled up on him in our RangeMan uniforms, in a RangeMan vehicle, he thought we were bringing him a trade-in. Idiot! When he finally realized who we were, he tried to buy me off with the car of my choice. I got to toss him up against the side of the SUV and cuff him while Cal patted him down. It was so sweet!
And so it went. I partnered with whichever Merry Man was scheduled for skip tracing that week and I learned something from each one of them, with the possible exception of Lester who seemed more interested in my carnal knowledge, if you know what I mean. I learned how to cuss in Spanish and to flip open a butterfly knife like a pro from Hector. Woody taught me some basic field first aid that I hoped I would never need to use. Tank taught me driving techniques and Cal demonstrated how eye contact and body language helped in take downs. Each one of the guys helped to turn me into a lean, mean bounty hunting machine. Okay, so maybe I wasn't so lean and maybe I was more wussie than mean, but in my own mind I was hot ****!
Anyway, I wished that the guys had taught me something that would help the situation I found myself in one night after work. My mother had called as I was leaving RangeMan, all upset because Grandma Mazur had been gone all day and hadn't checked in. Mom said that Grandma had a 'hot date' with her latest stud muffin and that they were going to the park to feed the ducks. Mom wanted me to go check the park. I was afraid that 'feed the ducks' was a euphemism for something else that I really didn't want to know about. But off to the park I went.
Chambers Street Park was filled with people out enjoying a beautiful afternoon in the city. There were joggers and people pushing baby carriages, lying on blankets, sitting on benches, and yes, feeding the ducks. I was standing at the edge of the lake, scanning the duck feeders, when I heard somebody behind me yell, "Look out!"
I turned just in time to see a blob of orange fur hurtling toward me, ears flapping, mouth open, tongue hung out. Just as the blob launched itself into the air, I instinctively sidestepped. Bob went flying past me, front and back legs out-stretched, in a comical version of Super Dog, an 'Oh ****' expression on his furry face. He sailed out over the duck filled lake, wild eyed, his feet treading thin air, and with a yelp, he dropped like a rock into the water, scattering the ducks.
As far as we had ever been able to tell, Bob was part Yellow Lab, part Golden Retriever, and completely unable to swim. He was floundering around when the ducks regrouped and attacked. They quacked and flapped at Bob, pushing his head under water and by the time Morelli caught up, Bob was going down for the third time.
I had pulled off my Cats and was just about to go in and rescue Bob, when Morelli jogged past me and went straight into the water. Bob and the attack ducks had attracted a lot of attention and a small crowd had gathered to watch the show. When Joe grabbed hold of him, Bob leaped into his arms and wrapped his paws around Morelli's neck like a scared little kid. Joe carted traumatized Bob up onto dry land and acknowledged the round of applause he got from the onlookers with a little wave.
Bob bounded over to me and like any good dog, he shook himself off, showering me with lake water, and then slammed himself into my legs, knocking me on my ***. The dog was all over me, wanting me to pet him, yipping and licking, with me trying to fight him off.
"Bob, heel!" Joe commanded and when Bob totally ignored him, Joe hauled the dog off me by the collar, then held out his hand and pulled me to my feet. "My sister said she put him in obedience school," Joe said dryly, "but I think he flunked out."
Bob was jumping on his hind legs, trying to lick my face while I grappled with him. "Bob, heel!" I figured I had nothing to lose.
The dog immediately got down and sat by my side. I grinned at Morelli, he glared at me, and we both laughed. I grabbed my boots and we walked over and sat on the nearest bench so Joe could pull off his sneakers and dump the water out of them. There wasn't much he could do about his khaki shorts, just let them drip dry. Bob flung himself on the ground at our feet, exhausted from his duck ordeal.
I was watching Morelli ***** off his sopping wet shirt and wring it out when my phone rang. It was my mother, telling me that Grandma had come home for dinner. Thank God I was off that hook. And I turned my attention back to Joe's abs which were looking mighty good!
"So," I said to Joe as I laced up my boots, "you back for good? Or are you going off gallivanting again?"
"Nope, I'm home, for a while, at least. I'm tired of being on the road all the time and living out of suitcases." He looked around the park. "It's good to be back."
"Your Mom and Grandma Bella must be happy, after all, you're the baby of the family." I grinned as Joe rolled his eyes. He was almost as good at it as I was.
"They won't stop feeding me," he said like that was a bad thing. "There's enough food in my fridge to feed a small army. They must think I didn't eat at all in the past six months." He turned to look at me. "You still go to your parents' house for dinner?"
I shot him The Look. "You know damn well that death is the only acceptable excuse for missing dinner."
He shook his head and chuckled. "Some things never change." Then he looked at me, like he was studying me. "You have though. There's something different about you."
I raised my eyebrows. "Liiiiike…?"
"I'm not sure." He thought about it for a minute. "You look, I don't know … focused, confident … something."
"Well thanks, I think. When you decide, let me know, okay?" At least he didn't say I looked fat.
He stretched his arms out over the back of the bench and crossed his legs, one ankle resting on his other knee. He looked relaxed, at ease. That was odd for Morelli. He had always reminded me of a coiled spring, all that tension ready to let loose. I guess he had changed, too.
"The other day, when I said that I thought about you a lot?" I nodded. "I meant it, yoyou know." He was quiet for a long time. "I did a lot of thinking about us."
"Oh yeah?" I didn't know what I was supposed to say. "So what did you think about? About us, I mean?"
"I think we did it wrong, Steph."
"Ummmmm, what exactly did we do wrong?" I knew he couldn't be talking about the sex. That was just about the only thing that we always did right.
"Just about everything, I think. Right from the beginning, we screwed it all up." He turned sideways on the bench to face me. "To begin with, we always treated each other like **** buddies."
"I thought we were very successful **** buddies!" I said in our defense.
"Jesus, Steph! We got the **** part right, but that was it. We even sucked at being buddies! We were both unhappy and we didn't know how to fix it. Look how many times we were on again/off again. Can you tell me why we couldn't make it work?"
I shrugged, "Who knows why? We just weren't compatible, I guess." Okay, so I was clueless.
"Oh, I can tell you why! We failed because neither one of us had any idea what the other wanted or needed. We never once had a serious conversation about what we expected or where we wanted our relationship to go. We were doomed to failure from the get go!"
I was surprised at how intense he was. "Wow! You really have been thinking about this, haven't you?" He nodded, but didn't say anything else. I reached out and touched his hand. "How come you started thinking about this now?"
"I had a lot of time on my hands with this assignment, and nothing to do but think. I guess I tried to figure out why it didn't work between us. I mean, we loved each other and it seemed like we tried so many times. But when I thought about it, I realized that we never really tried at all. When things went wrong, we'd cut and run and then when we got horny, we got back together. But we never fixed anything."
I thought about what Joe had said. At first I wanted to argue, to tell him he was wrong, to show him that we had worked hard on our relationship. But I couldn't. Joe was right about everything. Neither one of us had made any effort at all.
"We aren't any good talking about our feelings. And God knows we both have commitment issues. Maybe we're just the two wrong people." For some weird reason I felt like crying.
"I think we owe it to ourselves to find out, don't you?" He said softly, watching me, looking for my reaction.
I chewed that over for a minute. "So, how would we do that?"
"Have dinner with me," he said, like it was the most logical solution in the world.
I snorted. "Oh you're just trying to clean out your fridge, that's all," I teased.
"No," he laughed. "I'd like to take you out to dinner, to a restaurant. Maybe Saturday night? We could go into Philly or New York."
"Out? You mean like a … date?" I must have sounded like I didn't understand the concept; but honestly, this was new territory for us.
"Yeah," he said. "I think we should start at the beginning." He held out his hand, "Hi, my name is Joe. Would you like to go to dinner with me?"
I put my hand into his, still a little stunned. "Hi, I'm Stephanie, and I'd like that a lot."
"Good," he replied as he shook my hand. "It's a date!" And we grinned at each other.
We had been sitting there in the park so long that the sun had set and it had gotten dark. The lights were on and the joggers and kids had been replaced by couples, holding hands, necking on benches. Joe and Bob walked me around the lake to my car. I patted Bob and kissed Joe on the cheek, got in my car and drove home, my head spinning with everything Joe and I had talked about.
I had a knot in the pit of my stomach and as I replayed our whole conversation, I realized that the knot was excitement. I had a date. Holy ****! I had a DATE! All of a sudden I was thinking about what I was going to wear, and getting my nails done, and all the girly things I hadn't thought about in years. By the time Saturday night rolled around, I had butterflies in my stomach.
I mean this was nuts! I kept telling myself that this was just Joe, but apparently I wasn't listening to myself. This wasn't just Stephanie and Joe back together again. This time it was going to be new and different. Whether or not it worked, well, we'd have to wait and see, but if it didn't work out, at least we'd both know that we gave it our best shot.
It was a great date, though. We laughed, we ate, we danced, we talked. Joe brought me home and walked me to my door, kissed me on the cheek … and left. Kinda the way you think a first date is supposed to be. It was followed by lots more dates. We went to the movies and to the beach, we went to the concerts in the park, we met for lunch, went to Seaside Heights and went to the arcades on the boardwalk. But most of all, we talked. Something we really never did before, but should have.
What we didn't do was tell anybody, like our families, that we were seeing each other again. I'm not sure how Angie Morelli would have reacted, but my mother would have had the Elk's Lodge booked and my china pattern pick out for me. Nope, this was just gonna be between Joe and me until we figured out if this was really going anywhere this time.
We also agreed that we weren't gonna sit on the couch with pizza and beer and watch TV. Andweweren'thavingsexeither. Oh, cut it out! You look like a goldfish. It's not that big a deal! We decided that we weren't just gonna fall back into bed together like we always did. We needed to make sure that there was more going on than just sex. But that all changed on the 4th of July.
Joe and I went back to his house after the big concert and fireworks display at Waterfront Park. It was kind of like the Boston Pops, Trenton style. We wore red, white and blue and ate hot dogs and drank beer, waved little flags and sparklers and sang along with all the songs, and ooh-ed and ahh-ed over the fireworks.
I was sitting on the back steps watching the fire flies blinking at each other across the little backyard while Joe put the car in the garage. He slid the door shut and leaned back against the doorframe.
"You know what the fire flies are doing, don't you?" he asked.
"You mean when they blink?" I couldn't see him in the dark, but I knew he was watching me.
"They blink because they're looking for a mate." I could hear the smile in his voice.
"Really?" I looked back at the yard filled with little blinking bugs.
"The boy bug flashes a signal, hoping the girl bug sees it. And if the girl bug is attracted to him, she flashes back the same signal. He flies over to her and it's a love match."
I saw the lighter that Joe carried for the sparklers flame … once, twice, three times.
I laughed as I pulled my car keys out of my pocket and pressed the button on the tiny flash light that hung there. Three flashes back.
"No mixed signals, huh?" Joe asked as he crossed the yard to me.
"Nope, not a one." I put my arms around his neck and kissed him as he lifted me and carried me into the house and up the stairs to his bedroom.
The next couple of months flew by. I won't say that everything was perfect, but it was pretty damned good. When problems cropped up, Joe and I really did try to work on them. Some we solved, and some we just agreed to disagree, which in itself was something of a miracle.
By now everybody knew that we were seeing each other again, including our families. We both made it perfectly clear that if either side pressured us, we'd stop coming to dinner. Man, that worked like a charm! I think my mother had permanent perforations in her tongue from biting it all the time, but she never said a word. She did, however, always look like she was ready to vault the dining room table and bar the front door in case Joe made a run for it.
Angie Morelli just smiled and made small talk. One Sunday during dinner, though, Grandma Bella put her hand to her forehead and started moaning.
"I am having a vision," she told the family. "I can see you, Joey! Oh … God help us! It's awful …"
Joe froze, his wine glass half way to his mouth. "Grandma Bella," he warned.
"You can't deny the visions, Joseph!" she intoned dramatically, her gnarled hands clutching her heart.
"Joseph," she moaned. "I can see you and … THAT ONE …" She pointed a bony finger and glared at me. "I see you …."
Joe threw his napkin on the table, pushed back his chair and stood up. "Fine!" he announced. "You can see me and 'THAT ONE' leaving!" He grabbed me by the hand and hauled me out the door.
Angie caught up with us out on the stoop to tell us that Bella had the sudden need to go to her room and lie down. Happily, Bella never had another vision while Joe and I were around.
I stayed at RangeMan. Joe may not have been thrilled about it, but he knew that I was safer there than if I was out skip tracing by myself, so he didn't make a big deal out of it. He didn't even ***** about me going to Shorty's with the Merry Men on Friday nights. After all, he went out with his buddies and played poker and did all that guy stuff. Life settled into a nice routine and we were both pretty happy.
I looked at the clock again. I was due at my parents' for dinner at six sharp and I was already running late. Tank needed some background checks and I couldn't leave until they were done. I wouldn't have time to make it home to change. I'd have to remember to lock my gun and utility belt out of sight in my car so that Grandma Mazur couldn't get her hands on any of the equipment. We had an 'incident' last week when I came to dinner. She pulled my Sig out of my bag and put a bullet through the ceiling. It went up into the bathroom and shattered the toilet and my father almost had a heart attack.
Remember, it's a one bathroom house. Talk about a catastrophe! The upstairs flooded, my father threatened to move out, the neighbors called the cops, and the betting pools started all over again. Worst of all, my mother had to suffer terminal humiliation in front of the neighbors. Until the toilet got replaced, a bright orange Port-A-Potty sat in the backyard, like a glow-in-the-dark outhouse. Oh yeah, it was all my fault.
****, **** ****! I was so late. I slung my bag over my shoulder, picked up the stack of background checks for Tank and flew down the hall to his office. I pushed open the door to leave the files on his desk and somebody grabbed me. I know I screamed as the files slipped out of my hands, scattering all over the place. My bag hit the floor and I was shoved back against the closed office door. I tried to fight the guy, but he grabbed my hands and pinned them over my head as his mouth came down, hard and hot, on mine.
Oh, I knew this mouth, I thought, as all the fight went out of me and I melted into him.
Ranger was back in town.
Oh ****!
StephanieManoso StephanieManoso
31-35, F
3 Responses May 16, 2012

Romantic and wonderful......

This chapter was terrific as Stephanie began to find herself, build confidence, and fall in love...then...is it ever easy?<br />
The flow of this chapter was really smooth and so it was easy to read.<br />
Once again, the main character is out of a dream and would just be <br />
an incredible human being in real life. I could write a whole page of great traits she has. Like I said, "out of a dream."

i like