Safety lessons

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This is a short story based on something that happened to a co-worker's daughter. It sounded like something one of Paul's girls would do. So here it is with all the standard disclaimers. I own none of the characters and am only writing this for fun.

Liz, this is for you sweetie. You go girl!

Paul Blaisdell sat back in his chair rubbing his eyes. He really, really hated budget time. Begging was not something he was good at, and he hated playing politics. He would hate it more, however, if his department got cuts, so he would butter up the right people and plead with them for the things his people needed.

A picture taken at the cabin last summer caught his eye. Hard to believe that Carolyn would be going off to college next fall. Time went by so fast, seemed like only yesterday he was on his hands and knees giving her horsey rides in the living room. Equally hard to believe was that his baby was old enough now that she could be left home alone for the day. Well, kind of, she was going to those art classes by the elementary school a few blocks from the house. Since it was only a few blocks and was in their neighborhood she was allowed to walk there and back on her own. She did, however, have strict instructions that she was to go right there and right back and was not to have anyone over while they were gone. Kelly was a bit of an imp but he doubted she would disobey on her first time trusted alone.

"Blaisdell," he answered the ringing phone.

"Daddy?" came a very familiar voice.

"Kelly? is everything all right, honey" This was not good, not good at all. he looked at his watch, she should be at the school.

"I'm at home, Daddy. I was walking to the school and this boy drove up and was honking and whistling at me so I told him to go away and leave me alone and kept right on walking. Just like you and mom told me to do."

Paul sat bolt upright. "Kelly, did he hurt you or try to touch you at all?" Every bad thing that could happen to a child ran across the police captain's mind.

"No, he didn't touch me at all but he was saying some really mean and nasty things and when I tried to cross the street he kept moving the car so I couldn't. I remembered what you had said to do in a case like that and ran away form him. I cut through the park and Ms. Adams backyard and came home that way so he couldn't drive after me. When I got home I went inside and locked the door and then called you right away," Kelly explained very carefully.

"Good girl, Kelly! You did just the right thing. Can you tell me what he looked like or what the car looked like?" he asked, more relaxed now that he knew his daughter was safe.

"It was a sports car like Peter, except red. The boy was a little shorter than Carolyn and had dark brown hair. The license plate was FIW-629," the pre adolescent continued calmly.

"I'm impressed that you remembered all of that," Paul praised her, amazed that she remember all those details.

"You always say to be aware of everything around you," the girl answered, amazed that she was having to remind he father of one of his cardinal rules.

"I'm glad you remembered that, sweetheart. I'm on my way home now, will you be okay or should I call someone to come and stay with you until I get there?" Paul asked, having gotten the papers he was working on in his briefcase while he was talking.

"I'll be okay since the house is locked. But the boys are across the street so you might want to come fast," she answered.

Paul swore under his breath and hoped it wasn't loud enough for his daughter to hear. "Okay, Kelly, you go upstairs and hide under my bed." he instructed

"Paul, Could you..." Kermit Griffin, Paul's oldest friend and newest detective stopped in mid sentence as the older man thrust a note at him.

Paul was very glad Kelly didn't hear Kermit's response as he flew out of the office, grabbing Blake and Frank Strenlich as he went.

Sending up a prayer, Paul continued talking to his daughter who was now on the bedroom extension. Thankfully, she didn't seem scared at all.

"Daddy! there's six cop cars out here and Uncle Kermit and Uncle Blake, and uncle Frank too! I think uncle Kermit said something to the boys in the car because they're bawling, now," Kelly related.

"How do you know this when you're supposed to be under the bed?" Paul asked, exasperated but trying not to raise his voice.

"I have to be able to look out the window or I'll miss everything, but I'm sitting real low so no one can see me," Kelly assured him brightly.

Paul groaned. "Is uncle Kermit heading towards the house?"

"Yes, and uncle Frank is standing over the boys looking mean," she reported.

"Okay go and let Kermit in and put him on the phone, okay?" Paul asked.

"Kids, all of fifteen, Paul. Evidently his sister is one of the girls Kelly's friends with and he has a crush on her. He took his dad's car for the day and was trying to get a date with her. When he realized he had scared her he came back here to wait for her and apologize. His biggest fear at the moment is that we will tell daddy." Kermit brought his captain up to speed.

"He was wanting to get a date with my twelve-year-old!" Paul roared.

"He didn't seem to realize she's twelve, I think he thought she was a bit older," the younger man explained.

"He is not dating Kelly, I don't care old he thought she was," the father growled.

"Well, turns out Frank knows this kid from church and his father has already been called. Bad day for junior all the way around," Kermit replied.

"Stay there and I'll head home and we can fill out the report there," Paul ordered.

"Got it," Kermit said, disconnecting and smiling down at the child next to him.

"Daddy's coming home, isn't he?" Kelly asked.

"Yep, what do you say we get some sandwiches ready for lunch and you tell me all the gruesome details?" Kermit offered.

"He doesn't need to come home, I'm fine, really," Kelly offered.

"I know, but he isn't, He's a daddy and this scared him," Kermit explained.

"Someone follows me home and he gets scared?" Kelly asked in disbelief.

"Oh, yeah, It's a parent thing."

"I get it. Kind of like when mom's cold so she tells me to put on a sweater," Kelly nodded her understanding

Kermit chuckled. "Exactly like that."

Standing in the kitchen, the two made sandwiches and watched as the irate father came to collect his son and his car.

"Thanks for staying, Kermit," Paul said, entering the house a few moment after the kid and his parent had left.

"Not a problem, I always like having lunch with a pretty lady," Kermit grinned and headed back to the precinct.

"You're really okay, Kelly?" Paul asked, hugging his baby.

"Yeah, I'm okay. I'm sorry I was looking out the window when you said to get under the bed. That was stupid of me," She apologized, her voice slightly muffled by his shirt.

"I'm glad you realized that," Paul smiled down at her.

"Kelly? Paul, what are doing home this early?" Annie Blaisdell asked, entering the house.

"Why don't you sit down, Babe. It's kind of a long story," Paul offered, holding out an arm to guide his blind wife to the chair.

Annie took the chair and waited for the tale.

"Well, mom, it started when I left for the school, today..." Kelly began.

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