To The Rescue

By JSRobertson


It was Wednesday morning and Seaview had just returned from a three week mission testing out some new equipment for the Navy.*  She would be in port for a few weeks while the crew rebuilt her engines and removed the special equipment they installed for the Navy’s test. 


The admiral, Lee, Chip, Jamie and Janet were standing in the control room waiting for the crew to leave when the admiral said, “Could I please see all of you in the observation nose before you leave?”


“Yes sir,” they all replied as they waited for Chief Sharkey, Kowalski, Patterson and Riley to leave as they were always the last crewman off the boat.


As soon as they were up the ladder and out the hatch, the five of them went into the observation nose.


“Jamie and I have decided that we all need vacations.  Lee and Janet are going to take the first week,” the admiral stated as he looked at Lee and could see he was tired even though he wouldn’t admit it.  Jamie had placed him on light duty which was the only way he could even go on the mission as he was still recovering from several gun shot wounds from a previous mission.  But Lee being Lee not wanting to give anyone else more worked pushed himself more than he should have.


“Sir...” Lee started to say but was interrupted by Jamie.  “Lee, you need a rest.  How about I call Becky & Jimmy?  You haven’t used the gift card for the bed and breakfast we got you for Christmas and it would be the perfect place to just relax and do nothing.”** The owner of the bed and breakfast was a friend of Jamie’s and promised he would watch over the Crane’s as they had a habit of getting into trouble when they went on vacation.


Janet looked at Lee and agreed with the admiral and Jamie.  “Lee, you could use the rest,” she said softly.  “Please let’s go and enjoy ourselves.”


Lee knew he was going to lose the argument so he gave up trying to fight the three of them. 


The admiral continued, “Chip, you and Jamie can go when Lee and Janet get back.  I’ll bring the test results to the Navy early next week and then I’ll squeeze in some time off before we sail on the next mission.”


Jamie wasn’t happy about that but knew the admiral wanted to make sure Chip got his vacation.  The five of them left the boat and returned to the institute to check in and see how much work there was to be done.


Since Lee had accumulated quite a bit of shore leave, as they drove to the institute he decided they would take a couple of extra days and go to San Francisco as it wasn’t that far away from the bed and breakfast and Janet had never been there.  They would leave early Saturday morning and take the Pacific Coast Highway.  The highway was right next to the ocean most of the way and had spectacular views all the way up the coast.  It would take about eight hours to get to San Francisco but the ride was worth it. 




As soon as Jamie arrived at Med Bay he phoned his friend, Jimmy.  “Is there a problem if the Crane’s come for a few days next week?” Jamie asked.


“No, we’ll be glad to have them.  We don’t get many visitors during the week so we would welcome the company,” Jimmy assured Jamie.


“Thanks Jimmy.” As soon as Jamie hung up he called Janet’s office.  “No problem with you going to the B & B next week.  They’re looking forward to seeing you.”


“Okay, Jamie,” Janet answered just as Lee walked in her office.  “We’re going to Santa Cruz,” she said with smile.  Lee was smiling too as he had just made arrangements for their trip to San Francisco.




Since Wanda would be covering for Janet, she wanted to make sure all her work was completed so she and Lee left rather late on Friday.  They both caught up on everything that had accumulated on their desks while they were gone. Before they left for their week off, they had dinner with Chip at the diner before going home to pack. 


Sitting in their favorite booth, “Thanks Chip for covering for me at the office,” Lee said.  “I know you’re going to have a lot on your plate with the admiral also being gone.”


“Don’t worry about it,” Chip said taking a bite of his burger.  “You’ll just have to cover for me when I go on vacation.”  Looking at Janet Chip asked, “Are you excited about going to San Francisco?”


“Yes, but I have no idea what we’re doing.  Lee hasn’t told me anything,” she smiled looking at him.


“Just in San Francisco, when we get to the bed and breakfast, I’ll let you plan our time,” he replied putting a fry in his mouth. 


They finished up their dinner and drove Chip home.  “Have a good trip,” Chip told them as he got out of the car. “And please be careful,” he implored.


“We’ll have a good time,” Janet replied with a grin, “And I promise we’ll be careful.”  She gave him a hug before they left for their house.


Once they got home, Lee got their suitcases out of the garage and brought them upstairs to the bedroom.  He also got the extra backpack out of the garage and put it by the front door.  He took his ONI backpack from the closet downstairs, emptied it out and put it with the other one. He was hoping to go hiking at one of the many state parks near Santa Cruz so he packed raincoats, extra sweatshirts, water and granola bars.


Lee walked upstairs and went into the bedroom.  “What’s the weather like up there?” she asked as she laid some clothes on the bed.


“Should be in the 50’s and 60’s and it’s usually a little foggy and cool in the mornings.  Bring your hiking boots as there are a couple state parks to hike near Santa Cruz.”


“Okay,” she replied as she went to the back of her closet to look for her boots. She found them, dusted them off and put them on the floor next to the bed.  “I thought I got to plan our time at the bed and breakfast,” she teased.


“Well most of the time,” he answered walking over to her and giving her a hug.


“Lee, should I bring a dress?”


“Yes, bring that short black dress,” he told her with a devious grin.  “We’ll be going to a couple of nice restaurants in San Francisco.”


“If we’re going to two restaurants, I’ll need two dresses,” she told him shaking her head.


“Can’t you wear the same one?” he asked furrowing his eyebrows still not understanding women and their clothes.


“No Lee,” she replied with a grin as she went to her closet and took out the short black dress.  She found a dark blue dress with a slit up the side so she gave them to him to put in the garment bag with his suit and shirts.  She had gone to the lingerie store after work on Thursday and bought a couple of sexy nightgowns so she put them in her suitcase along with jeans, shirts, sweaters, and NIMR sweatshirts, sweatpants and a cream shawl to go with her dresses.  She packed her shoes in another bag and the toiletries she would need in another case.  Space wasn’t problem as there was plenty of room in the car.  She had everything packed and put the suitcases by the door so she could take them down later.


Lee saw the suitcases by the door, “How much are you taking?” he asked seeing two cases as he had everything he needed in one suitcase and garment bag for his suit and her dresses.


“Lee, I can’t put the shoes with the clothes and the toiletries have to be kept separate.  Beside there’s plenty of room in the car,” she told him as they carried the bags downstairs and put them by the front door.  She saw the backpacks by the door and knew Lee had packed them with what they would need for hiking.


Since they were leaving early the next morning and it was already pretty late they went to bed.  Janet climbed in bed while Lee made sure everything was turned off and locked downstairs.  He got ready for bed and joined Janet in bed where he kissed her goodnight and pulled her close to him which led to his favorite part of being married.  They fell asleep very tired and happy.




Lee was up at 0600 hours and turned the water on in the shower.  He jumped in the shower while Janet made the bed and joined him before he finished.  He left her in the shower so he could get ready.  Putting on a pair of jeans and a denim shirt, he rolled up the sleeves, grabbed his toiletries and brought them downstairs.  She put on a pair of jeans and a white shirt.  She brought her bag of toiletries down with her and put them by the door with the rest of the suitcases. Janet went into the closet and took out jackets for both of them.  While the coffee was brewing Lee put the bags in the car.  He returned to the kitchen and finished making breakfast.  Standing in the doorway as she watched him in the kitchen, she thought he looked very sexy in his jeans and denim shirt.   He saw her standing there, smiled at her and put breakfast on the table. They finished eating, cleaned up; made sure all the doors were locked, checked to make sure they had their phones, chargers and got in the car.  Lee would have taken the Cobra but they were calling for rain and the PCH could be blocked by mudslides so they took the SUV. 


“Ready,” Lee asked as they buckled their seatbelts. They were leaving right on schedule at 0700 hours.


“Let’s go,” Janet said eagerly.  She was looking forward to going to San Francisco but was more excited about being alone with her husband for the next six days. 

They went to the exit at NIMR and stopped briefly at the security gate.  “Hi Peter,” Lee said smiling, “we’re going to be gone for a few days.  If there’s a problem, you can call Mr. Morton and he will be able to get in touch with me.”


“Yes sir,” Peter replied. “Have a safe trip,” he added knowing they had trouble on their previous vacations as did most of the people at the institute. 


“Thanks,” Lee chuckled as he drove out of NIMR and headed for the PCH.  He patted Janet’s hand as they left the institute as he too was looking forward to spending time alone with her.




The drive was going smoothly until they got to Morro Bay where they ran into a traffic jam.  It was 1230 and Lee and Janet had been driving for five hours and decided to stop for lunch.  They were only a few miles away from the city of Monterey so they decided to stop there.  They drove around looking for a place to eat when they found a sandwich shop.  When they saw how large the sandwiches were, they ordered one to split between them. After they finished eating, they walked around for a while before getting back in the car for the rest of the drive to San Francisco. 


“Enjoying your ride,” Lee asked as they pulled back out on the highway.


“Yes, it’s really a nice ride.  The scenery is gorgeous,” she replied looking at her husband lovingly.


He took her hand and rubbed the top of it, “I agree the scenery is beautiful,” he answered back grinning. 


As they were driving down the highway, they spotted a car parked on the side of the road.  There was a woman trying to change the tire on her car.  Janet looked at Lee and asked, “Can we stop to help her?”


“Sure, I was going to stop anyway.  She looks like she could use some help,” Lee replied as he pulled his car in front of the disabled one.   


They both got out of the car and Lee walked over to the woman as she was trying to loosen the lug nuts on the wheel.  “Hi, I’m Lee, let me do that,” he said as he took the jack handle from her. 


“Thanks,” she replied looking him over not seeing Janet right away. 


Noticing two children in the car Lee suggested, “Why don’t you take the children out of the car and stand off the road while I do this.”


Walking over to the woman, “Hi, I’m Janet. Let me help you with the children.” she said as they took the boy and girl from the car.  They walked to the Crane’s car and stood there watching Lee change the tire.


It didn’t take Lee very long to put the spare on the car and when he was finished he put the flat in the trunk.  The woman saw he needed something to wipe off his hands so she walked to her car and took out some baby wipes.


“This is all I got,” she said offering him a couple of wipes.  “I can’t thank you enough.  My phone went dead so I couldn’t call for help.  Let me pay you for your time,” she said reaching for her purse in the front seat.


“No, please I would hope someone would stop and help my wife and children if they had a problem,” Lee answered as he wiped off his hands. She and Janet put the children back in their car seats and they watched her drive away.  Lee had a smudge of dirt on his face so Janet took one of the wipes and cleaned it off his face giving him a kiss when she was done.


“You’re wonderful,” she said as they walked back to their car and continued on their way.




They drove for another three hours before they got to San Francisco.  Lee pulled up in front of the Grand Hyatt Hotel located in the Union Square district.  He took the suitcases out of the car and left it with the valet.  They were met at the door by a bell hop who took their luggage.  Lee took Janet’s hand and walked up to the front desk. 


“Hello, I’m Lee Crane and I have a reservation,” Lee said to the woman at the desk.


She looked Lee over from head to toe as she typed his name in the computer.  “Yes, Mr. Crane, you have a room with a bay view.  If you’ll sign here I will make sure your luggage is taken to your room,” she told him as she handed him a slip to sign and a key card.  “Enjoy your stay Mr. and Mrs. Crane,” she told them staring at Lee.


“Thank you.  I’m sure we will,” Lee answered with a grin. 


As they walked away from the desk Janet giggled, “Mr. Crane.  I don’t remember anyone ever calling you Mr. Crane.  She caught me by surprise.  I’m so used to having you called sir, skipper, captain or commander I had to stop and think who she was talking to.”


“She caught me off guard too,” Lee replied laughing as they got to the elevators. They stepped in the elevator and Lee pressed the button to the thirty-third floor.  Exiting the elevator they found their room around the corner, Lee unlocked the door, letting Janet go in first.  They looked at the room and it was very nicely done in mahogany furnishings.  Looking out the windows, the view was breathtaking as it looked over the bay.  Lee stood right up against the window and looked down.


“Janet, come here,” he said to her as she stood about fifteen feet away from the window.  “You can see down to Union Square.” Then he looked up and gazed out the window, “There’s the Golden Gate Bridge.  How about we go over the bridge tomorrow?” he said excitedly.


“No that’s okay,” Janet replied as he turned around to look at her and could see she was a little uneasy.


“Sweetie, are you alright?” Lee asked with concern as he went over to her.  He took her hands in his and they were cold and clammy.


“Do we have to go over the bridge?” she wondered.


“No, not if you don’t want to,” he answered cautiously, “What’s wrong?”


Taking a deep breath, “I’m afraid of heights and bridges over water,” she told him softly.  “I’m sorry if you really want to go over the bridge we can.”


Lee was surprised at what his wife just revealed to him as he thought he knew everything about her.  “No sweetheart we don’t have to go,” he said as he could tell she was really nervous.   “Didn’t you have to drive over bridges to get here from Illinois and how about when you’re on the conning tower on Seaview that’s pretty high?”


Sighing, “That was the hardest part of the trip.  Driving through the mountains didn’t bother as much as going over the bridges over water,” she replied shuddering.   The conning tower doesn’t bother me too much but looking down to the ground from up here…I guess that makes me a wuss,” she stated sadly.


Gently squeezing her hands, “No it doesn’t,” he remarked as she put her head on his chest.   No sweetie you are not a wuss after everything I’ve put you through, he thought as he rubbed her back.    Lee eased her away from him and kissed her passionately. 


“What was that for, Mr. Crane,” Janet asked as she wrapped her arms around his waist.


“Just because Mrs. Crane,” he answered kissing her again as he led her over to bed. 


There was a knock on the door before they could do anything more.   “Whoever that is, their timing stinks,” Lee exclaimed as he went over to the door and let the bell hop in with their luggage.


“Thank you,” Lee told him as he reached in his pocket for a tip and handed it to him after he put the luggage in the dressing area.


Taking the money from Lee the bell hop said, “Thank you and have a nice stay.”  He left the room shutting the door behind him.


Spoiling the moment Lee suggested, “How about we go look around Union Square before dinner.  I’ve made reservations at the OneUp restaurant here in the hotel for 8:00.  We still have a couple of hours before we need to get ready.”


“Okay let’s go,” Janet replied as she put her jacket on and took her purse.  They walked out of the room hand in hand to the elevator.  When they got outside, the weather had turned a little chilly and it looked like rain but they walked around Union Square anyway.  As they walked around, it started to rain so they ducked into one of the department stores.  They walked by a table with pajamas on sale; both of them looked at each other. 


“Did you pack some?” Janet asked grinning.


“No I didn’t and I guess you didn’t either,” Lee replied laughing.


Neither one of them had packed a pair because they don’t use them at home but since they are staying at the bed and breakfast and not knowing if the room had a private bath, they figured they better buy a pair.  They quickly found pairs in their sizes.  As Janet was waiting to pay, she saw a table with Christmas wrap and stickers on clearance. She picked up some paper and stickers.  Since she didn’t buy Lee a present for Christmas, she would wrap the pajamas in the Christmas paper and give it to him when they got back to the room.  Lee took the bag from her not noticing the Christmas paper and they walked back to the hotel.  By the time they arrived back at the hotel Janet was freezing.  They went up to their room where Lee turned on the shower so by the time they got in the water would be warm.  As they waited for the shower, Janet turned down the bed.  Lee went back in the bathroom turned off the shower and helped Janet take off her clothes and she climbed into the bed while Lee removed his clothing.  Pulling the blankets over them, they spent the next hour enjoying each other.


Both of them fell asleep. Lee woke up an hour later and looked at the clock, “We better get ready for dinner,” he remarked waking Janet up as he got out of bed and went into the bathroom.  She got out of bed and took her dress out of the garment back and followed Lee into the shower.  They finished up quickly and were getting ready.  Lee was tying his tie in the room while Janet put on her make-up in the dressing area. She slipped on her dress and shoes.  She took the paper and wrapped it around both sets of pajamas and used the stickers to hold it in place. 


It doesn’t look too bad, she thought as she left the bathroom with the packages.


Lee was looking out the window and heard her heels clicking on the tile floor in the dressing area so he turned around when they stopped knowing she was in the room. She walked over to him with the package wrapped in Christmas paper, “Honey, I finally got you a Christmas present,” she snickered.


Lee took the package from her as she handed it to him, “Sweetie, when did you get this?” he told her with a perplexed look on his face.


As he opened the package he burst out laughing, “Pajamas, just what I wanted,” he told her as she stood there laughing with him.  He took her face gently into his hands and gave her a kiss.  “What am I going to give you?”


“You can give me this,” she said as she handed him the other package.


“Sweetheart, I know you really wanted these,” he snorted handing her the pajamas she bought.


“Thank you,” she said playing along with him.  “I can’t wait to try them on,” she giggled.


“They won’t be on for long,” Lee said playfully putting on his jacket and took her hand as she grabbed her shawl and they left for dinner 




Taking the elevator down to the mezzanine level to the restaurant they arrived promptly at 8:00 and went to the hostess station.


“Hello, I’m Lee Crane and I have a reservation for 8:00,” Lee told the young hostess as he held Janet’s hand.


Checking her book she replied after staring at him for a couple of seconds, “Yes Mr. Crane, right this way.” She led them to a table near the back.  “Enjoy your meal,” she told them as she looked him over again.


“Thank you,” Lee replied as he held out the chair for Janet who had a smile on her face.  Another one smitten with Lee Crane. I’m so lucky he’s mine, she thought.


The waiter came over and introduced himself as Jacob, “Can I interest you in a drink?”


“Can we see your wine menu,” Lee asked and the waiter handed him the list on an I Pad.


Smirking, “Chip would love this,” he said as he picked out a bottle of Pino Noir.  The waiter brought over the wine, uncorked it, gave him the cork to smell and put some in a glass for him to taste.  Lee nodded his head in approval so the waiter poured a glass for Janet and added more to his.  He handed them menus and left them to decide what they wanted for dinner.  They ordered a steak with sea salt seasoned tater tots and baked brussel sprouts.  The dinner was delicious and they decided to splurge and have dessert and coffee.  The waiter recommended the chocolate royal cake which was fantastic.  When they were finished Lee paid the bill and as they were leaving the restaurant he suggested, “How about we go to the lounge?  It has live music and dancing.  I feel like dancing tonight so I can hold you in my arms.”


Surprised that he wanted to dance, Janet took his hand and they looked for the lounge. They located the lounge and it was crowded but they found an empty table so they put their belongings down and she took him out on the dance floor before he had a chance to change his mind. 


While they were dancing close, Lee whispered in her ear, “I guess this was a good idea.” 


“Yes sir,” she replied, “an excellent idea.”  They continued to dance for the next two slow songs before they sat down and Lee ordered two martinis.


“Are you trying to get me drunk,” Janet asked sipping the martini.


“Maybe.  I can’t wait to see you in those pajamas,” Lee replied mischievously.  Little did he know that Janet had a surprise for him.


“What’s on the agenda for tomorrow?”


“I thought we could take the downtown loop bus tour and stop at Fisherman’s Wharf and Ghirardelli Square.”


“That sounds fun.  I’ll bring some chocolate back with us,” she agreed. “What time are we leaving for Santa Cruz on Monday?”


“Since it will only take two hours to get there, how about 1000 hours.  Most of the Bay area rush hour traffic should be over by then.” 


“I’ll be ready.”  He took her hand and led her out to the dance floor again.

After dancing a couple of more dances, they finished their drinks, Janet took her wrap and purse and they headed for the elevators. 




Once back in the room, Lee removed his tie and unbuttoned his shirt putting it back in the garment back as Janet stood there in the dressing room doorway watching him.  He saw her and took her in his arms.


“Something wrong,” he asked kissing her while he unzipped her dress letting fall to the floor.


“Not a thing,” she replied stepping out of the dress.  “Why don’t you finish getting undressed and I will meet you in bed in a few minutes,” she said deviously.  


“Okay, but don’t be too long,” he answered removing the rest of his clothing and getting into bed after dimming the lights.  Janet removed the rest of her clothes and put on one of the sexy nightgowns she bought.  She walked into the room where Lee saw her.


“That sure isn’t the pajamas you bought,” Lee said whistling softly.


“No,” she replied as he pulled back the blankets and she climbed in the bed next to him.  He kissed her passionately and promptly removed the nightgown tossing it on the floor.  She gently pushed him on his back and ran her hand down his body; he responded to her touch obviously pleased. She moved to sit astride his hips where she lowered herself down and kissed him deeply.  Happily sated and satisfied they fell asleep in each other’s arms.




After sleeping in they got ready for the day, ate breakfast and went to catch the bus for the downtown loop tour that would take them to eleven different spots in downtown San Francisco. They got off the bus at Fisherman’s Wharf and looked around there before walking to Ghirardelli Square.  After touring the Ghirardelli store and buying chocolate to take back to NIMR, Lee and Jane ate lunch at The Pub restaurant that overlooked San Francisco Bay.  Seated next to the window they enjoyed their lunch watching the boats coming and going before leaving for the bus that took them back to the hotel.  While they were waiting to board the bus, there was an older woman loaded down with packages trying to get on the bus but as she stepped on the step she lost her balance and would have fallen under the bus if Lee hadn’t caught her by the waist.


Turning around to look at who caught her, the woman said, “Thank you very much.  I lost my step.”  Janet picked up her packages while Lee took her hand and helped her onto the bus.  She was still staring at him when the bus arrived at her stop.  Lee helped her off and handed her the packages.  “Thank you again,” she replied as she watched Lee board the bus wishing she was a few years younger. 




When the bus returned to the hotel, Lee and Janet went to their room.  They still had a couple of hours before they would need to get ready for dinner.  Even though it was Sunday, Lee decided to call Chip and find out how things were at home. Chip picked the phone up on the first ring.


“What I need to come and help you...are you hurt?” Chip asked before saying hello.


Smiling, “Nothing has happened and no to your other two questions,” Lee replied as Janet motioned she was going to take a shower.  He nodded his head acknowledging he understood.


“Sorry, but you know you’re track record for vacations isn’t very good,” Chip answered.  “How is your trip so far?”


“Actually we’re having a nice time,” Lee remarked as he stood looking out the window.  “Everything okay there...did the admiral leave for Washington?”


“He’s leaving tomorrow taking the flying sub and should be back by Tuesday.”


“We’re leaving tomorrow about 1000 hours for Santa Cruz as the morning rush hour should be over by then.  We should be there by 1230 hours if we don’t run into any problems.”


“Alright. Please be careful,” Chip pleaded.


“We will, I promise,” Lee laughed as he hung up the phone.  By the time he was done talking to Chip, Janet had finished her shower and was putting on the blue dress and her heels.  She had taken Lee’s other shirt out of the garment bag and pressed it as it was a little wrinkled.


Noticing she pressed it he said, “Thanks sweetie.”


‘No problem.  You better hurry so we aren’t late for dinner. I’m not going to be able to walk that fast in these heels,” she told him as he got in the shower.  They were ready to leave by 5:30 and that would leave them thirty minutes to get to the restaurant.  It was a nice evening when they left the hotel and were able to take a leisurely stroll to John’s Grill just down the street from their hotel.  When they arrived the host seated them right away. They ordered dinner after enjoying a glass of wine.  Janet ordered the lobster ravioli while Lee had a filet.  The food was good and they were in no hurry to get back to the hotel so they indulged in dessert and coffee again.  It was a lot colder when they left the restaurant and Janet’s shawl wasn’t warm enough so Lee removed his jacket and put it around her shoulders as they walked hand in hand back to the hotel.




When Lee and Janet got back to their room, Lee took his jacket and hung it in the garment bag in the dressing area.  When he returned to the room, Janet was standing about ten feet away from the window looking at the lights in the city.  Lee came up behind her and put his arms around her waist.  She put her hands on top of his. “It’s really a beautiful view,” she said as she leaned against him and he nuzzled her neck.


She turned around and gave him a very satisfying kiss.  They got ready for bed and lay next to each other looking out the window as the lights in the city slowly turned off for the night. They fell asleep and when Janet woke up the next morning she put her head on Lee’s bare chest as he wrapped his arm around her.


“Thank you for a wonderful trip so far,” she said lovingly.


“You’re welcome sweetheart,” Lee replied as he laid her on her back and lowered himself down for a kiss that led to other pleasures.  They took a shower and packed up their belongings for the next part of the trip.  They would stop for breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant before checking out. 


“Let’s hope the next part of the trip goes as smoothly as this one,” Lee said as they took the elevator down to the restaurant.  The place was fairly crowded for a Monday morning but they were seated right away and ordered omelets and coffee.   They finished breakfast, went back to the room where they took their luggage and waited out front for the valet to bring their car around. 


Handing Lee the keys, “I hope you enjoyed your stay,” he told Lee as he put the suitcases in the SUV and shut the hatch.  As Lee tipped him he replied, “Yes, we had a very nice time.”  The valet opened the door for Janet who got in the car as Lee made sure there was no traffic coming and left the front of the hotel.




Lee made his way to the PCH for the two hour ride to Santa Cruz. Most of the rush hour traffic was gone so traffic was pretty light.  He had gotten directions to the bed and breakfast from Jamie before they left NIMR.    He smiled at Janet who smiled back as she enjoyed the scenery as they drove down the coast. The day was cloudy and looked like it would start raining any minute.  They made it to Santa Cruz and Lee turned right on Water St. as that was the road that would take them to the bed and breakfast.  He knew they would be on this road for a few miles as the bed and breakfast was located in a private cove on the ocean.  Before they left San Francisco, Lee called to let Becky and Jimmy, to let them know they would be arriving that afternoon.


They found the B & B with no problems and parked the car near the front door.  It was an elegant old Victorian house that had been converted into the bed and breakfast. It was a fairly large house but still looked quaint and romantic.  They noticed only one other car there.  Lee took their suitcases out of the SUV and they walked up to the porch that had been converted into the check in area.  Lee and Janet went to the counter and were greeted by a couple around Jamie’s age. 


“Welcome to the B & B. I’m Jimmy and this is Becky,” Jimmy said pointing to the woman next to him.  “You must be Commander and Mrs. Crane,” Jimmy continued with a huge smile on his face. “Will has told us a lot about you so it’s finally nice to meet you in person.  Come on and I’ll show you to your room.” 


“Please call us Lee and Janet and I hope he didn’t tell you too much,” Lee replied smiling as they shook hands.  Lee picked up their suitcases while Janet grabbed their smaller bags. 


“No not much at all,” Becky grinned as she took one of the bags from Janet as Jimmy lead them up the stairs to the third floor, they checked out the living room and dining room which were nicely furnished but yet looked very homey and comfortable. 


“I hope you don’t mind being on the third floor but it’s the nicest room and quietest,” Jimmy told them as he opened the door to a huge room that faced the ocean.  The room had a sitting area, a king size bed and large private bath.


As Janet looked around she asked, “Are you sure this is our room?”


Smiling Becky replied, “Yes this is your room.”  Janet put down the suitcase she was carrying and walked over to the window.  As she looked out the window admiring the view she saw a small boat on the ocean.


Lee put down the suitcases he had and joined Janet at the window, “The view is magnificent,” Lee said also noticing the boat.


“This room does have the best view,” Jimmy answered.  “We serve dinner at 5:00 every night and breakfast from 7:00 until 9:00.  We just ask that you let us know if you’re going to be here for dinner so we know how many we are serving.  Enjoy your stay and if you need anything, please don’t hesitate to let us know.  Just for your information, there is only one other couple here and they are leaving tomorrow so you’ll have the place to yourself.”


“Thank you,” Lee said to Jimmy as he left the room.  As they stood looking out the window, Lee could see that a storm was brewing in the distance.


“Lee,” Janet said, “Do you see that boat?”


“Yes, I’m a little worried about it.  They look like their having trouble getting it back to shore,” Lee replied.

The boat was about one hundred yards off the shore. The wind was picking up and the waves were getting rougher.


“Janet, I’m afraid that boat is going to capsize,” Lee said as he ran down the stairs with Janet following close behind. 


Jimmy and Becky heard them running down the stairs and went over to them before they opened the door.

“Lee what’s wrong,” Jimmy asked.


“There’s a boat out there and it’s in trouble.  Do you have boat I can use to bring them in?”


“No that is my boat,” Jimmy replied with a worried look on his face as he opened the door.  “I told them not to take it out.”


With Jimmy leading, the others followed him down to the dock. Once on the dock Lee removed his shoes and socks, gave Janet his wallet and phone and dove into the water.  They lost sight of him in one of the waves and were afraid he went under.


“Damn,” Jimmy mumbled under his breath, “No wonder he’s Will’s favorite patient.”


Janet heard what Jimmy said and sighed deeply.


Lee came out on top of the wave right near the boat and climbed aboard.  He was able to get the motor started and brought it back to the dock.  The two people on board were very frightened, cold and wet as they got out of the boat.


With chattering teeth the man said, “Thank you.  I was afraid the boat was going to flip over and I couldn’t get the motor started.”


“Lee, are you okay?” Janet asked worriedly afraid he was hurt as he still was recovering from his gun shot wounds.


“Yes sweetie, I’m fine,” he assured her as he helped Jimmy secure the boat to the dock.  They heard a crack of thunder and ran back to the house before it started to rain.


“Thanks again,” the man said to Lee shaking his hand as they stood in the kitchen.  “I’m Brian Seams and this is Holly.”


Drying his hand on the towel Becky handed him, Lee replied, “I’m Lee Crane and this is Janet.” 


Holding his hand a little longer than necessary, “We better go upstairs and change,” Holly said as they took the towels Becky handed them too.


After Brian and Holly went upstairs to change, Becky and Jimmy both glared at Lee who was still dripping on the kitchen floor.  He knew what was coming.  “Will told us to watch over you,” Becky scolded, “you haven’t even been here an hour and you’re already in trouble.  He will have our hides it anything happens to the two of you.” 


As he dried off Lee replied, “Sorry, but I knew they were in trouble and I had to help them.”


Sighing deeply Jimmy responded, “I would have done the same thing when I was younger too.”


“Lee, you better get out of those wet clothes before you catch a cold,” Becky told him.  “After you change, bring them to me and I’ll see that they are dried.  Jimmy will you make us some coffee?” she continued, “Will told us you like it nice and strong.  Must be a Navy thing, Jimmy likes his that way too.”  


Lee and Janet went upstairs to their room.  Once in the room he took off his wet clothes and headed to the bathroom to take a hot shower.  Janet went to his suitcase and found a pair of jeans and turtleneck for him to put on.  When he came out of the shower, she was putting the pair of pajamas they bought back in the suitcase, “I guess we don’t need those after all,” he said grinning.


“Lee,” Janet said but before she could continue Lee still getting dressed replied, “I know, I’m sorry."  I’ll be more careful.”




They made their way downstairs and saw that Becky had put out some mugs of coffee, tea and hot chocolate on the server in the dining room with some homemade cookies.  Seeing Janet with the wet clothes she went over to her, “Let me have those.  I’ll put them in the dryer for you.  Help yourself to the refreshments,” she told them as she walked to the kitchen.


“Thank you,” Janet responded as she took a cup of coffee and gave it to Lee along with a couple of cookies.  She took a cup of tea for herself.


Jimmy had come into the dining room just as Brian and Holly came in with their wet clothes.  He took them and gave them to Becky to dry too.  As Lee and Janet stood there drinking their drinks, the couple came over to them.  “Thanks again for coming to our rescue.  You sure are a strong swimmer,” Brian said.


“You’re welcome,” Lee replied taking a bite out of his cookie.


Brian and Holly went over to the server and took some hot chocolate and cookies.  Jimmy and Becky walked back into the dining room.  “Your clothes should be dry in a little while,” Becky remarked as she took a mug of coffee and handed it to Jimmy then took a mug of tea too.


Brian standing next to Lee asked, “Lee what do you do for a living as you handled that boat with no problem.”


“I’m a commander in the naval reserves and captain of the submarine Seaview based in Santa Barbara,” Lee replied softly.


“A Navy man just like Jimmy here,” Brian said patting Jimmy on the shoulder, “Is that how you know each other?”


“No, we have a mutual friend I work with.”


Before taking a sip of her tea Janet asked, “Brian what do you do?”


“I’m an investment banker in San Francisco,” Brian answered as he nibbled on a cookie. 


“Holly do you work?” Janet asked as Holly stared at Lee and winked at him.


“Oh no,” she answered with a look of disdain. “Do you?” she asked her eyes never leaving Lee’s face.


“Yes, I work with Lee,” Janet replied jealous of the way she was looking at her husband.  “Lee would you like some more coffee?”


Smiling at his wife, he handed her his mug his hand lingering on hers a little longer than necessary, “That would be great.”  Janet took his mug along with Jimmy’s and got them both more coffee.  Not wanting to be rude, she also got more hot chocolate for Brian and Holly.


As they were talking it had started to rain.  The wind had picked up and was blowing the rain against the windows.  Becky looked at her watch and noticed it was time to start dinner so she walked into the kitchen.  Janet followed Becky into the kitchen with her empty mug. 


“Can I help you make dinner?” Janet asked watching the rest of them talking in the dining room as Holly continued to flirt with Lee.


Grinning Becky looked at Janet, “You haven’t been married very long have you?”


“Just three years.  Why...does it show?” Janet replied embarrassed. 


“I don’t think you have any worries,” Becky said patting her hand, “He only has eyes for you and yes you can help with dinner.  How about peeling the potatoes?”


“Sure no problem,” Janet answered back as Becky handed her the potatoes.  Janet stood at the sink looking outside.  It was raining so hard you couldn’t even see the ocean.  She finished the potatoes and helped Becky remove the refreshments from the server and dried the dishes as Becky washed them.  The dryer chimed letting them know the clothes were dried so Janet went to the laundry room and took out the clothes.  She folded Lee’s clothes.


She took the rest of the clothes to the dining room, “Here are your clothes,” Janet said handing them to Holly who noticed Lee’s were folded.  She took them from Janet and went upstairs.  Janet followed her up as the men moved to the living room so Becky could clean up the dining room for dinner.  Janet put the clothes on the bed and went back downstairs to help Becky with dinner.  When she returned Brian was gone leaving only Lee and Jimmy in the living room.   She went over to Lee who took her hand and gave it a squeeze.  She squeezed back and went into the kitchen where Becky said there was nothing more she could do, so she set the table as Becky finished up dinner. 


When Janet was done with the table she went to the living room with Jimmy and Lee who were talking about Will.  “How did you meet Will?” Lee asked wrapping his arm around Janet’s waist when she came over.


“I was a corpsman on Will’s first boat,” Jimmy told them.  “He was fresh out of med school and joined the Navy.  He was a little nervous but we hit it off and have been friends since.  He turned out to be a great doctor.”


“Don’t I know that,” Lee replied with a huge smile.  “And he’s also a good friend.”  Jimmy agreed nodding his head in affirmation.


They stood there talking for a few more minutes when Becky came in to get Jimmy so he could carve the roast.  Brian and Holly came downstairs and went directly into the dining room.  Lee and Janet joined them and they all sat down to a delicious dinner of roast beef, mashed potatoes and green beans.  They talked mostly about the investment banking business, Holly’s shopping trips and charity work.  Lee and Janet didn’t get a chance to say much which was just fine with them.  After they finished dinner, Brian and Holly left the dining room and sat in the living room while Becky, Janet, Lee and Jimmy cleaned up.  Becky shooed Lee and Jimmy out of the kitchen and into the living room to sit with Brian and Holly.  Becky and Janet put the food away and Janet helped with the dishes.


Becky looked at Janet, “I’ll be glad to see them leave.”


Grinning Janet replied, “They don’t seem very helpful and a little self-centered.”


“I don’t expect our guests to help out but those two were very demanding.  We don’t get a lot of guests during the week so when they made the reservations we were glad to have someone here but they were a little bit of a pain,” Becky said softly with a smile.


“Well if we turn out to be a pain, please tell us,” Janet responded with a smile.


They finished up in the kitchen and joined the rest of them.  It was still pouring rain but now there was also thunder and lightening.  After talking for awhile, Holly and Brian excused themselves from the group.  They wanted to pack so they could leave early in the morning.  They were debating about staying another day but they were calling for rain for the next two days so they decided to go home as planned.


Lee and Janet stayed with Becky and Jimmy a little while longer.  “What do you have planned for the rest of your stay,” Jimmy inquired hoping they were staying around the B & B so they could keep an eye on them.


Smiling Lee replied, “We hoped to go hiking in Henry Cowell State Park and look at the redwoods and maybe Wilder Ranch State Park.  Also, if we have time we want to check out the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk but it doesn’t sound like the weather is going to cooperate.” As a large clap of thunder was heard.


“Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound good for the weather.  No clearing until Thursday,” Becky said.


“Jimmy,” Lee stated, “I know Will has you on ‘Crane watching’ but you can’t be with us if we want to go as I’m sure you have other things to do.  If we can’t go hiking, we’ll help out.”


“I couldn’t impose on you.  You’re guests,” Jimmy said quickly.  “But we will have a full house this weekend.”


“I’m sure you can find something for us to help you with,” Janet answered, “there must be a lot to do before your guests arrive for the weekend.”


“Let’s see what tomorrow brings,” Lee replied with a yawn.  “Janet, how about we hit the sack?”

“Sure,” Janet replied looking at Lee as he did look a bit tired.  Not surprisingly after his swim.


Lee and Janet went upstairs while Becky and Jimmy made sure everything was locked up for the night and went to the back part of the house where they had put an addition on the house for their private space.  It contained a small sitting room with a large bedroom and bath.  This way all the rooms could be rented out for guests.  There were four additional suites besides the one Lee and Janet were using. 




Lee and Janet got ready for bed.  Lee finished first and climbed in the huge bed.  By the time Janet finished getting ready, Lee was softly snoring.  She joined him in bed and put her arm around him.  She was a little worried about him and hoped he wouldn’t get sick after his swim in the ocean.  She knew what Lee had done would get back to Jamie and Lee would be in big trouble with him.  It was still very windy and Janet could hear the rain splattering against the window.  The lightening strikes over the ocean were spectacular as she watched them before falling asleep.




It was still raining quite hard when Lee woke up the next morning. He heard pounding outside the window.  He quickly put on a pair of sweatpants and went to the window to see if he could tell where the pounding originated.  Looking out the window he saw Jimmy on the roof trying to nail down a tarp.  The wind was blowing the tarp all over and Lee was afraid he was going to fall off the roof.  Janet woke up just as Lee was putting on a sweatshirt.


“Lee, what’s wrong,” Janet asked sitting up in bed, “Where are you going?”


“Jimmy’s on the roof.  I’m going out to help him,” Lee said as he grabbed his jacket and headed out the door.  He’d left his raincoat in the car with the backpacks.


“I’ll be right down,” Janet replied as she got out of bed and quickly dressed running down the stairs.


Lee ran outside and saw Becky standing there with an umbrella.  “What happened?” Lee asked urgently.


“The roof sprung a leak in the sitting room.  Jimmy’s trying to cover it.  I can’t climb up there to help him,” Becky answered worriedly.  Janet ran through the kitchen and noticed a bucket with umbrellas in it.  She grabbed one and ran out the door and stood next to Becky.


“Don’t worry, I’ll help him,” Lee responded as he climbed up the ladder and grabbed a corner of the tarp and held it down as Jimmy nailed Lee’s corner down.  Lee took the hammer from him and scaled to the upper part of the roof and nailed down the other three corners.  He put a few more nails along the edge of the tarp making sure it would stay in place.  He waited as Jimmy went back down the ladder making sure he was on the ground before he started down.  Lee took the ladder away from the roof and followed Jimmy to the garage and put the ladder away.


“Thanks, Lee,” Jimmy said wiping the water off his face.  “I don’t think I would have got the tarp down without your help.”  Jimmy was grateful for Lee’s help but was relieved when he didn’t get hurt helping him.


“Jimmy, you should have called me for help,” Lee chastised.  “I don’t mind helping out.” The two of them walked back to the house where Becky and Janet were waiting for them.


“Let’s get out of the rain,” Becky said as she went in the house followed by Janet and the two men.  Lee and Jimmy were soaked to skin.  Once in the house Becky looked at her watch and it was already after 7:00.  She hadn’t even started breakfast and the Seams’ would be down shortly.  She quickly put on a pot of coffee.


“Damn,” she muttered when she finished making the coffee.


“Becky, what wrong?” Janet asked seeing she was upset.


“In all the commotion, I forgot to put the breakfast casserole in the oven.  Holly and Brian are expecting breakfast before they leave,” she sighed.


Janet spoke up, “Do you have pancake batter, eggs, and syrup?”




“I will make you the best pancakes you have ever tasted.  I’m sure Will has told you about our cook’s famous pancakes.  He gave me the recipe so I’ll make them for us.”


“Will has raved about those pancakes.  He tells me about them every time I make them for him.”


Becky took all the items Janet needed from the pantry and refrigerator.  Janet mixed everything she needed added a few more ingredients from the spice shelf over the oven.  She found the skillet she needed and as soon as Holly and Brian arrived for breakfast she would start making them. 


“Lee, you’ve only been here a day and you’re wet again.  Both of you go change and bring me those wet clothes,” Becky insisted.  “Will isn’t going to let you come back if we keep dousing you in water,” she chuckled.


Lee went upstairs and changed into a pair of jeans and denim shirt.  He took the wet clothes and gave them to Becky who was waiting for them.  He then immediately headed over to the coffee pot and poured a large mug of the hot brew.  Taking a long swig, he sighed deeply finishing up that cup and getting another.


Brian and Holly showed up in the dining room looking for breakfast.  Becky quickly put the coffee pot on the server along side the cups she had put out last night. 


“Breakfast will be ready shortly,” Becky told the pair as they poured their coffee.  Becky quickly returned to the kitchen and saw that Janet had already started to make the pancakes.  Becky gave her a platter to put them on and took the butter and maple syrup placing it on the server along with some fruit she had cut up earlier.


“What was all that pounding this morning,” Brian asked curtly.  “We were hoping to sleep in since it’s still raining.”


Jimmy heard him and went into the dining room. “Sorry for the disturbance but there was a leak in the roof and we needed to get a tarp over it before it did too much damage,” he explained.


Before Brian could say anything more, Janet brought in the plate of pancakes and put them on the server.  Brian and Holly went over to the server and took four pancakes each.  Janet went back to the kitchen to make another batch but waited until Brian and Holly were done before she started them. 


“Those pancakes were the best I’ve every tasted,” Holly said taking the last two pancakes.  She gave one to Brian who gobbled it up.


“Would you like some more?” Becky asked hoping they would say no. 


“No thank you.  I’ve never eaten five pancakes,” Holly said as she got up from the table.  “I’m going to finish packing and then we will be leaving.”


Brian followed her out of the dining room and upstairs.  Once they left the room, Janet started another batch of pancakes.  She brought them in to the dining room as the four of them sat down to eat.  Lee poured each of them another cup of coffee. 


Becky tasted the pancakes.  “These are fantastic,” she said taking another bite.  “How did you get the cook to give you the recipe as most cooks don’t like to share them?”


Lee snorted, “He gave her the recipe so she’ll stay out of the galley.”  Jimmy and Becky looked at Lee then Janet who had a huge smile on her face.


Becky asked, “Will you give me the recipe...And Janet, thanks for coming to my rescue.”


“No problem,” Janet replied as she put another piece of pancake in her mouth.


The four of them finished eating and cleaned up.  Lee grabbed another cup of coffee and winked at Janet as she wrote down the pancake recipe for Becky.  He knew Cookie wouldn’t mind seeing she was a friend of Jamie’s.




As they stood in the kitchen, Jimmy heard Brian and Holly come down the stairs.  He and Becky went to the front hall to see them off.  Janet took Lee’s clothes out of the drier and as she folded them she whispered, “You better stop getting wet.  I’m worried you’re going to get sick.”


“Sorry sweetie but so far being wet is better than being hurt and I feel fine,” he snickered as he gave her kiss.  They waited in the kitchen for the Seams’ to leave not wanting to deal with them again.


“Thank you for staying with us...sorry the weather was bad...we hope you’ll come back again,” Jimmy said pleasantly as he opened the door for them and helped them take out their luggage.


“Maybe we’ll be back,” Holly replied as she ran for the car trying not to get wet.


Jimmy put their luggage in the trunk, shook Brian’s hand and hurried back into the house before he was drenched again.  He saw Becky standing there along with Janet and Lee.  “I hope they don’t come back,” he chuckled.


“Well what are you going to do today,” Becky asked the Cranes.  “The rain isn’t going to stop all day.”


“Let’s take a look at the leak in your room,” Lee said to Jimmy and they headed to the back of the house.


“You must have to clean up after the Seam’s,” Janet said, “Come on show me what to do and I will help.  We aren’t the type that can just sit around and do nothing.”


“You’re guests and guests don’t work,” Becky insisted.  Janet took her hand and they walked upstairs to the room.  Janet removed the sheets from the bed, took the towels out of the bathroom and headed downstairs to where the washer and dryer were.  She put the items in the washer and went back upstairs.  The two of them had the room cleaned and ready for the next guests in two hours.


As they walked downstairs Becky said, “I can’t thank you enough.  That would have taken me about four hours to clean.  They sure weren’t very neat.”  Becky went to the laundry room and folded the sheets and towels while Janet looked for Lee.  He and Jimmy had finished fixing the leak temporarily from the inside until they could get a roofer out but would leave the tarp on as a pre-caution.


She walked up to them as they looked at the ceiling. “I didn’t know you could fix a leak,” she said grinning at Lee. 


“Sweetie, I have to know how to fix leaks, I work on a submarine,” he chuckled. 


Grinning, “He did a fine job,” Jimmy said as he squeezed his shoulder.  “Thanks Lee.”


“No problem.”


The three of them retuned to the kitchen where Becky was preparing dinner.  Janet was going to help Becky get dinner ready but she insisted Janet’s work was done for the day so it was late afternoon by the time Lee and Janet returned to their room.  Lee yawned as he sat down on the bed on removed his shoes. After they were off, he laid down.  Janet had gone into the bathroom to put away the clean towels Becky gave her; by the time she had put them away and retuned to the bedroom, Lee had fallen asleep.  She climbed in the bed next to him and pulled the covers over both of them.  She fell asleep with her hand on his chest.




Becky made the meatloaf and put it in the oven.  She peeled the potatoes and had them ready to go.  She went to check on Jimmy and found him sound asleep on the bed.  Looking at her watch, she still had an hour before she needed to finish cooking dinner so she lay next to him and fell asleep too.  She woke up about ninety minutes later.  I never take a nap during the day, Becky thought, must be the rainy weather.  She got up and went to the kitchen hoping Lee and Janet weren’t looking for her or Jimmy.  Not seeing them around, she smiled and thought, they must have taken a nap too.  She turned on the potatoes and made a salad.  She was just getting ready to set the table when Jimmy woke up.


“This weather is sure making me tired,” he said as he rubbed his eyes.  “Where are Lee and Janet?” he asked panicking not seeing them anywhere or a note.  “I hope they didn’t go out.”


“I bet their napping just like we did,” Becky answered hopefully.


Lee woke up about an hour after he fell asleep.  Janet still had her hand on his chest.  He saw she had her clothes on but he would take care of that shortly. He gently brushed his lips against hers. 


“Is that the best you can do?” she asked opening her eyes looking directly into his amber ones and saw mischief.


“No,” he replied as he deepened his next kiss which she gladly returned.  “Now that’s much better,” she sighed.


They slowly removed each other’s clothing enjoying every moment as they did.  They slid beneath the covers where Lee slowly and skillfully caressed every inch of Janet’s body.  He could feel her shiver under his touch.  He pressed his body against hers. “Oh Lee,” she said breathlessly as they joined.  “That was fantastic,” she panted as they lay next to each other catching their breath when they were finished. 


Sighing deeply he nodded his head in agreement as he kissed her temple. “We better get up before Becky and Jimmy wonder what happened to us,” Lee said as he got out of bed and made his way to the shower grabbing some clothes.  Janet joined him there a few minutes later.  They finished up and headed downstairs to find Becky and Jimmy in the kitchen.


“Sorry, we fell asleep,” Janet said as she saw that Becky was getting ready to set the table and took the dishes from her.


“Don’t feel bad, so did we,” Becky laughed, “Must be the weather.”


The two of them set the table while Jimmy got Lee a beer and opened up a bottle of wine for Becky and Janet.  The four of them sat down to eat dinner.  After they cleaned up, Lee and Jimmy went into the living room and talked about the Navy while Becky and Janet were in the kitchen making cookies and cakes for the weekend guests.


Pouring the last of the wine into their glasses, “Sorry about the weather,” Becky said to Janet as they waited for the cookies to bake. “It doesn’t usually rain here and especially this much.”


“You can’t control the weather and we’re enjoying our stay here anyway,” Janet reassured her as she took the cookies out of the oven.  Lee and Jimmy came in from the living room and took a couple of cookies.  Becky made a pot of coffee to go with the cookies.  The four of them sat in the kitchen and talked for awhile eating cookies and drinking coffee before Lee noticed it was 11:00.


“We better get to bed,” Lee said stifling a yawn. “Maybe the rain will stop tomorrow and we can go hiking.”


“I sure hope so,” Jimmy replied.  “Anymore rain and we’re going to have some flooding issues especially down by the creek.”


When Janet and Becky finished cleaning up the kitchen, she and Lee walked up the stairs to their room.  They quickly got ready for bed but feel asleep as soon as they laid down.  Becky and Jimmy also went to bed but they didn’t fall asleep right away enjoying some mischief first.




Lee woke up the next morning at 8:00, sat up in bed and could see it was still raining.  Janet leaning on her arm sighed, “Still raining.”


“Yes,” Lee replied dejectedly.  “I’m sorry it’s still raining so we can’t do very much.  Do you want to leave?”


“No.  Even though it’s raining, I’m enjoying being alone with you,” she answered running her hand down his body which led to a bout of love making.  They showered and dressed but before going downstairs, Lee called Chip to see how things were at NIMR.


Chip seeing Lee was calling picked up the phone immediately, “Lee are you alright...are you in trouble...when do you want me there?”  The admiral was walking by Chip’s office when he heard him talking to Lee so he went into Chip’s office with a worried look on his face.


Grinning broadly Lee said, “Geez Chip, calm down.  Nothing is wrong...we aren’t in trouble and no you don’t have to come.”  Chip could hear Janet giggling in the background.


“So you’re not calling to tell me you have a problem?” 


“No, just checking in.  How’s the weather down there.  It’s done nothing but rain the last two days and it’s going to rain all day today too.”  Chip shook his head letting the admiral know there was no problem, he let out a sigh of relief and went back to his office.


“Not raining here anymore but it was yesterday.  You sure you’re all right?”


“Yes, we’re fine.  Has the admiral returned from Washington?”


“He came back yesterday and gave the report to the SecNav.  Nothing new to report on that front for now.”


“We might be back on Friday instead of tomorrow.  It’s supposed to stop raining and we’re going to try to go for a hike.”


“Okay.  Lee, please be careful,” Chip stressed.


“Yes mom,” Lee replied laughing.  Janet could hear Chip laughing too.  He disconnected the call.  “He’s afraid something is going to happen.”


“Can you blame him as our track record for vacations isn’t very good.”


“I guess you’re right,” Lee replied as they went downstairs where Becky and Jimmy had breakfast already set up for them.  Lee got coffee for Janet as well as himself.  They were enjoying their stay with Becky and Jimmy.  While they were finishing breakfast, Jimmy’s phone rang.  They could tell from the conversation that something was wrong.  “Okay.  I’ll be there as soon as I can,” Jimmy replied and hung up the phone.


“Jimmy, what’s the matter,” Becky asked seeing the worried look on his face.


“The creek has overflowed and Miss Minnie’s house is in danger of flooding.  I need to go help sand bag around her house before it floods.  We’re going to have to take her out of there and you know she’s going to put up a fuss about leaving,” Jimmy said sighing as he got up from the table and headed for the door.


“Jimmy, let me help you,” Lee volunteered as he got up from the table.  “I can maybe help get Miss Minnie out of her house and sand bag.

“Lee, I can’t impose on you like that.  You’re on vacation.”


“There’s not much to do in the rain.  I would rather be busy than just sit here,” Lee replied.  “Just let me get my raincoat out of the car.”  Before Lee headed upstairs to get the keys, Janet said, “Get mine too.”


“Sweetie, you don’t need to help,” Lee insisted as Jimmy nodded in agreement.


“Jimmy, I’m coming too,” Becky told him.


“Janet, Becky,” Lee started to say but Janet cut him off.  “More hands can make more sand bags.”


Jimmy looked at Lee and knew they were going to lose the argument.  Becky and Janet left to go change their clothes while Lee ran out to the car and brought in their backpacks.  The four of them donned their raincoats and climbed in Jimmy’s SUV.  They headed down Water St. but before they got to the PCH Jimmy turned right on Creek Drive.  As they drove down the road they could see parts of it were covered in water.  They reached the end of the road where there was a house surrounded by water.  Someone had brought a rowboat and had it tied up to the mailbox.  They could see the water was rising and if they didn’t get some sandbags around the house soon it would be flooded.  The four of them got out of the car and walked over to a sheriff’s officer.


“Hi Jimmy, Becky,” Larry, the officer, greeted them but also acknowledged Lee and Janet with a nod.  “We’re going to have to hurry to save her house and you know she’s not going to want to leave.”


“Larry, this is Lee and Janet Crane.  They’re guests at the B & B but insisted on helping sand bag.”


Shaking the Crane’s hands he said, “Thanks for the help.  We could use it.”  They walked over and joined a group of people already filling the sand bags.  They were putting them in the boat and were ready to bring them to the house.


“Jimmy,” Larry said, “You’re going to have to get Miss Minnie to leave.  You know she’ll only listen to you.”


“Okay,” Jimmy replied as he hopped in the boat that was filled with sand bags.  There were two people waiting for them so they could unload and stack the sand bags.   


Lee climbed in the boat with Jimmy, “Let me help you.  I can at least help put around the sand bags.”


“Okay,” Jimmy replied as Lee grabbed the oars and started rowing toward the house.  He skillfully maneuvered the boat into position near the house and tied the boat off on the mailbox post. He helped place the sand bags around the house and could hear Miss Minnie giving Jimmy a hard time.  When they were finished putting the sand bags around the house, Lee went inside to see if he could help Jimmy with Miss Minnie.


Jimmy spotted Lee and smiled.  “Miss Minnie, this is Lee Crane.  He’s staying with us but he came to help us sand bag.”


Flashing his special smile, “Miss Minnie, let me take you out,” Lee said.  “You can’t stay here, it’s too dangerous.”   Miss Minnie looked Lee over from head to toe and smiled. His hair was a mass of wet curls and his wet jeans clung to him.


“Let’s go,” she agreed as she handed Jimmy her purse and the carrier that held her cat.  Lee picked her up and she wrapped her arms tightly around his neck.  He brought her out to the boat and gently set her down.  Jimmy climbed in along with Lee who rowed them back to the end of the road.  He picked her up and walked over to the sheriff’s car but she didn’t let go of his neck.  “You sure are one handsome man...if I were a little younger,” she sighed finally letting go of him.  Blushing Lee said, “Thank you, ma’am.”  Larry took her purse and carrier from Jimmy.


“Thanks Lee,” Jimmy said with a grin on his face.  “She sure took a liking to you,” Jimmy continued as his patted Lee on the shoulder.


The two of them walked back to the group making sand bags and helped put them in the boat for the next load.  Janet looked at Lee and grinned.  Chalk up another woman infatuated with Lee Crane, Janet thought.  They filled the boat again and Lee rowed it back to the house.  After filling sand bags for four hours, they had the house completely surrounded and safe from the overflowing creek for now.  Seeing that her house was safe, Miss Minnie got out of the car and went over to the people who helped save her house and thanked them all.  She went over to Lee, “Thank you for rescuing me,” she told him as she planted a kiss on his cheek, “You’re wife is one lucky lady.”  Lee smiled as he helped her walk back to the sheriff’s cruiser. She would stay at a friend’s house until the water receded.  By the time they were ready to leave it had stopped raining.




Becky, Janet, Lee and Jimmy climbed back into the car.  They were soaked, dirty, hungry, very tired and all had muscles hurting they never knew they had.  Once back at the B & B, Janet and Lee headed upstairs to shower while Becky and Jimmy went to their part of the house to shower too.  Before she took a shower Becky took out some homemade spaghetti sauce for dinner.  After showering, Becky and Jimmy started dinner.  Lee and Janet came downstairs a little while later.  They set the table while Becky and Jimmy brought dinner to the dining room.


“Lee, Janet,” Jimmy started, “We can’t thank you enough for all your help.  We’d still be sandbagging if you hadn’t helped.”


“No problem,” Lee replied grinning, “By helping, you could keep an eye on us so we wouldn’t get into trouble.” 


Jimmy and Becky just grinned and shook their heads.  “Will is going to be very happy we’ve kept you out of trouble so far.”  Lee and Janet grinned back.


After cleaning up, the four of them were too tired to do anything more.  They retired to their rooms for the night.  Janet gave her husband a kiss goodnight.  “I think you have another admirer.”


“Not jealous are you?”


“No,” she replied as Lee wrapped his arm around her and fell asleep.  Not at all, she thought as she fell asleep.




Lee and Janet woke up and saw the sun was finally out. “How about we go hiking today?” Lee said he and Janet got out of bed and groaned as their backs were a little sore from sandbagging.


“Sounds good to me,” Janet replied pulling on an old pair of jeans, a long sleeved t-shirt and a denim shirt.  Lee pulled on a pair of jeans, a turtleneck and denim shirt also.   He grabbed their backpacks after checking to make sure they had everything they would need for a hike.  Their raincoats were downstairs drying.


They went downstairs where they found Becky and Jimmy standing in the kitchen looking out the window admiring the sunshine.


“Looks like it’s going to be a nice day,” Lee commented as he got coffee for Janet and himself.


“A little cool but at least the sun is out,” Jimmy remarked.  “What are your plans for the day?” he asked cautiously.


“I think we’re going to go hiking in Henry Cowell State Park. It’s not too far from here,” Lee replied looking over the edge of his mug waiting for Jimmy’s reaction.


Looking back Jimmy said, “I thought you would go hiking today.  I know you’ve been cooped up for the last few days so I don’t blame you for wanting get out.  I just have one request, please be careful.  I don’t want to have to call Will and tell him the first time I let you out of my sight you had a problem.”


Patting Jimmy on the shoulder with a grin on his face, Lee answered, “I promise we’ll be careful.  I don’t want to have to face Will either.”


“Will you be back by 5:00?” Becky asked concerned about dinner. 

“Yes, we will.  I believe the parks closes at 5:00 so we’ll be back by then,” Janet answered taking a drink of her coffee.


“Let me make you some sandwiches for lunch,” Becky insisted as she took out the bread, ham, cheese and mustard and made two sandwiches each.  “Do you need anything to drink?”


“No, I’ve already packed some water bottles.  Thanks,” Lee replied as he took the sandwiches from Becky and put them in his backpack. 


Becky had started omelets so they sat down to eat them before they left.  Once they were finished, Becky and Jimmy shooed them out of the kitchen and started to clean up.  Lee went to car and brought back their hiking boots.  They sat on the back porch and put them on while Becky and Jimmy watched from the kitchen window.  Janet took their raincoats off the hooks by the door and put hers on and handed Lee his.  Once they were ready they said good bye to Becky and Jimmy, got in their car and drove away.


Watching them drive away Becky sighed deeply, “I sure hope they’ll be okay.”


Patting her hand Jimmy answered, “They’ll be fine.  Lee’s a smart man and will make sure they stay safe.”


The two of them had a few chores to do before the next round of guests arrived on Friday so they would be busy most of the day. 




Lee and Janet found the state park with no trouble.  They drove in the main entrance and parked the car.  Grabbing their backpacks, Lee helped Janet put hers on and then put his on.  They walked hand in hand to the ranger station and took a map of the trails.  The ranger told them that a couple of the trails were closed because of the heavy rain but suggested they take the northern trail.  Following his advice they headed for that trail.  While they walked the trail, they noticed there was a deep ravine on one side of the trail and could hear water rushing in the ravine from the heavy rains.  They walked hand in hand for a few miles enjoying the redwood trees and tranquility. They stopped for a drink of water and while they were standing there, Janet heard a voice calling for help.


“Lee, did you hear that?” she asked with a worried look on her face.


“Yes, but I don’t see anyone around,” he replied looking up and down the trail and into the woods.


“Help, help,” the weak voice yelled again.


This time Janet looked over the side of the trail and saw a woman and a girl on a small ledge.  She could see the woman was not moving and the girl was crying.  Wasting no time, Janet quickly started to go down the side of the slope.


“Janet, wait,” Lee ordered but she ignored him.  He could see she was having a hard time walking down the steep slope.  Finally not able to walk anymore without falling, she took her backpack, moved it to the front and slid down the rest of the way on the back of her raincoat to the small outcropping.  She scraped her arm on a branch right before she got to the bottom.  She went over to the woman as the girl stood next to her crying.


“It’s okay, honey,” she said to the girl patting her hand.  “I’m Janet, what’s your name?”


“Elsa.  Mommy’s name is April.  Did daddy send you?” she asked wiping tears out of her eyes.


“No, he didn’t but I’m sure he’s getting someone right now,” Janet reassured her.  She went over to the woman and saw she was unconscious and maybe had a broken arm.  She opened her backpack, took out her sweatshirt and placed it over April along with her raincoat.  She removed her shirt and wrapped it around Elsa.


Yelling up to Lee, “The woman is unconscious and I think she has a broken arm.  The girl said her daddy went for help.”


Lee was already making his way down the slope to Janet.  He was able to walk down a little farther than her before he too had to slide down on his raincoat.  “Janet,” he snapped, “I told you not to go down there.”


Still stooped next to April, “Lee, I’m sorry but the little girl looked so frightened I just couldn’t help it,” she said looking up at him.


Patting her hand, “Sorry I snapped at you,” he apologized.   He looked at the woman and Janet was right about her arm.


“Elsa,” Janet said, “This is Lee.  He’s going to help your mommy and get us out too.”


Nodding her head, “Daddy went for help too but he didn’t come back.”


As Lee stooped over the woman, mounds of mud starting sliding down the side of the slope towards them. Using his body he covered up the woman while Janet covered up Elsa.  Lee was afraid the whole side of the slope was going to come down on them before they could get out of there.  If the slope gave away it would take the outcropping they were on and send it crashing down to the bottom of the ravine.  He also knew that the only way out would be by helicopter as the side was too unstable to safely get a Stokes litter down and up again.  Looking up to the top, Lee saw two rangers, a man and a couple of policemen staring down at him.


“Daddy, daddy,” Elsa yelled when she looked up.  “Please help mommy.”


“We’re going to get mommy out of there,” Stewart, Elsa’s father, answered. 


Yelling to the men on top, “I’m Lee Crane and this is my wife Janet.  We were walking by and heard Elsa crying for help.  April has a broken arm and is unconscious. I’m afraid she has a concussion.  I don’t think you’re going to be able to send a litter down the side; the slope is too unstable,” Lee told them.


One of the rangers yelled down, “Mr. Crane, we have a Coast Guard helicopter on its way.  It should be here in about twenty minutes.”


“Thanks,” Lee responded.  He could see Janet was starting to shiver so he took his sweatshirt out of his backpack and handed it to her.  She took it from him and put it on.  “Thank you,” she said squeezing his hand.


“Elsa, are you hungry?” Janet asked hoping to divert her attention from her mother.


“Yes,” she replied softly.  “I haven’t eaten since breakfast and that was a long time ago.”


Smiling at Elsa, Lee took the sandwiches out of his backpack along with two bottles of water.  He handed Elsa one of the sandwiches and a bottle of water.  “Thank you, Lee,” she said politely, unwrapped the sandwich and took a big bite along with a drink.


Lee offered one to Janet but she shook her head but did take the water.  She wasn’t hungry so Lee put them back in his pack.  She took a drink of water and gave the bottle to Lee who also took a drink. The three of them sat next to April trying to keep her as warm as possible.  In the distance they heard the helicopter approaching. 


“Mr. Crane, once the helicopter is in position, there will be a rescue person lowered down from the chopper. He will tell you what to do,” the ranger said.  Smiling at Janet, “Okay,” he replied.  Lee knew exactly what would take place once the rescue person got down.  Looking at Janet he could already see she was nervous about flying in the helicopter.  He wasn’t sure how she would handle being taken up in a harness.  He took her hand and gave it a gentle squeeze.  It was already cold and sweaty. 




The helicopter hovered over the outcropping and lowered down the rescue person.  Removing his harness he said, “I’m Dave and I’m going to help you get out of here.”


“I’m Lee, this Janet,” he said pointing to her.  “The little girl is Elsa and April is her mother.”


Dave and Lee went over to April.  “She’s not doing to well,” Dave said after a quick assessment.  He signaled the flight mechanic to lower down the Stokes litter. 


“Lee, I’m going to need your help strapping her in.  We’ll send her up and then I’ll take up Elsa.  I’ll come back down to get your wife and then you.”


“No need to come back down for us,” Lee explained.  “I’m in the naval reserves and familiar with harness and helicopter rescues. I’m afraid this slope is going to come down on top of us if we don’t hurry.”


“No problem Lee,” Dave said as he grabbed the Stokes litter now on the ground.  He undid the straps and placed it along side April.  He un-wrapped the blankets so they could put April in.  Lee and Dave gently picked her up and laid her in the litter.  Dave made sure her arm was secure and wrapped the blankets around her making sure she was tightly wrapped and tied securely in the litter.  Lee helped Dave re-attach the straps as Dave signaled the chopper to bring it up.  The two of them steadied the litter until it was out of reach.  Once aboard the helicopter, they sent the harness back down. 


Lee went over to Elsa and stooped down.  “Honey, Dave is going to take you up into the helicopter.  He needs to strap you to him so he can bring you up.  Don’t be afraid.  I’m sure Dave has done this many times before.”


She looked at Lee with a frightened look on her face.  Stewart yelled down to his daughter, “Do what Lee says, honey.  I’ll see you soon. I’m going to meet you at the hospital.”


“Okay daddy,” Elsa answered as Dave landed on the outcropping.  He strapped Elsa to him and signaled the chopper to bring them up.  They hauled them up and were safely in the chopper when they sent the harness down again.


“Okay sweetie it’s your turn,” Lee told Janet. As he strapped her securely in the harness he could see the look of terror in her eyes.


“Lee, I’m so scared,” Janet said her face as white as a sheet and her hands were shaking.


Taking her face into his hands, he looked her in the eyes, “Don’t look down.  Only look up.  I’ll be with you shortly.”


Taking a deep breath she replied, “Okay let’s go.” 


Lee signaled the chopper to bring her up.  He could see she had her eyes closed.  “You’ll be fine,” he reassured her as they hauled her up. Janet clung to the harness with her eyes closed the whole way up.  She had never been so afraid in her life.  Dave helped her off with the harness and could tell she was very scared and actually looked ill.  After he sent the harness back down for Lee, he went over to Janet to check her out.


“You okay,” he asked her.


“No, I think I’m going to be sick,” she told him with tears in her eyes.  He went over to his medical case and gave her bag in case she got sick.  By this time they had Lee aboard.  He un-strapped himself from the harness and looked down.  The outcropping they were on had just been washed away by a mudslide.


“That was close,” Lee said wiping his brow and looked over at his wife.  He noticed her eyes were closed, she was very pale and that Dave had given her a bag in case she got sick.  He sat next to her and wrapped his around her.  “You’re safe sweetheart.  Just relax.”


Dave was taking care of April and looked up at Lee.  “Not a fan of helicopters?”


“Afraid of heights and helicopters,” Lee chuckled softly.  Dave smiled back at him.


The helicopter made their way to the hospital in Santa Cruz where Elsa’s dad was waiting for them.  Stewart made his way over to the helicopter as they unloaded April.  He took Elsa from Lee’s arms.


“Mr. and Mrs. Crane, I can’t thank you enough for your help,” he told Lee and Janet as he shook their hands.  Elsa gave them both a kiss on the cheek.  “Thank you,” she said softly as she clung to her father’s neck.  They stayed until the attendants took April into the emergency room


“We’re going to take you back to the park,” the pilot told Lee.  “I understand your car is there and it’s on the way back.”


“Thanks,” Lee answered the pilot.  “Nice job back there.”


“No problem,” the pilot responded.  “I take it you know how to fly a chopper.”


“Yes,” Lee smiled at him thinking of his ‘baby’ FS-l. 


The helicopter took off from the hospital for the short ride back to the park.  Janet was still very pale and shaking.  Lee gave Dave a wry grin. The pilot gently landed the helicopter in the parking lot of the park where the rangers and police were there waiting for them. 


“Thanks for the ride,” Lee said quickly to the crew as he jumped out of the chopper and helped Janet out.  She ran directly to the restroom.  Lee followed her into the restroom and found the stall she was vomiting in. He stooped down next to her and held her hair out of her face.  When she was done, she sat on the seat with tears running down her cheeks. Lee went to the sink, pulled a couple of towels out of the holder, wet them and brought them to her. He gently wiped off her face and helped her up.


 “I’m sorry,” she said embarrassed as they left the restroom.  “I was so scared but I didn’t want to be sick in front of them.”


Kissing her temple Lee replied, “Its okay sweetie.” 


 They walked over to their car and Lee unlocked the door so Janet could sit down.  The park rangers and police walked over to them.


“Is she okay,” one of the rangers asked.  “We can get an ambulance here if she needs it.”


“No she’ll be fine,” Lee assured them.  “She’s afraid of heights and not a fan of helicopters.”


Smiling, “Thanks for your help Mr. Crane with the rescue,” one of the policeman said.  “This could have turned out a lot worse.”


“You’re welcome.  It is okay if we leave?  I would like to get my wife back to the B & B.”


“Go ahead and go,” the ranger replied.  “Take care, Mrs. Crane and thanks for your help.”


“Thank you,” Janet said softly.  Lee closed the door and she leaned her head back against the head rest.  He got in the car and rubbed her hand.


“Sure you’re okay?” Lee asked concerned as she was still a little pale.


“I’m fine.  Please let’s just go back.  Lee, what time is it?”


Looking at his watch, “Damn,” he said loudly.  “It’s 6:00.  Becky and Jimmy are going to be worried we aren’t back yet.” Lee quickly dialed the number of the B & B.


“Hello,” Becky answered before it finished ringing.  “Lee is that you...where are you...are you in trouble?”


“Yes Becky, it’s Lee.  Sorry we’re late...we’re fine.  I’ll explain when we get back.  We should be there in thirty minutes.”


“Alright Lee,” Becky replied and breathed a sigh of relief as she hung up the phone.  “They’re fine,” she told Jimmy.  Jimmy took another swig of his beer and sighed too.




Once Lee and Janet were back the B & B, Lee helped Janet out of the car as Jimmy and Becky came running out.  Looking them over, they didn’t see any injuries but then the two of them were quite dirty.


“Are you alright?” Becky asked noticing how pale Janet still looked.


“I’m fine,” Janet replied smiling weakly as the four of them walked to the house.  Before going in, they removed their boots which were caked in mud.


“What’re not hurt are you?” Jimmy asked once they were in the house.


“Jimmy, let us take a shower and I will tell you all about it.  But we are not hurt at all; so please relax,” Lee assured them


“Take your time,” Becky told them.  “I’ve got homemade chicken soup and bread for dinner.  We’ll eat when you come down.”


“Thanks,” Janet said as they made their way upstairs.  Lee turned on the shower while Janet took off her muddy clothes and put them in a plastic bag she had brought.  She just stood in the shower letting the water run over her while Lee removed his clothes and put them in the bag.  He joined her in the shower and saw that she was looking a little better.  He also noticed a long deep scratch on her arm. 


“Where did you get that nasty looking scratch,” Lee asked examining at her arm.


“I caught it on a branch when I slid down the slope.  I brought a first aid kit,” she replied with a weak grin.


Grinning back, “You brought a first aid kit?  You’re getting as bad as Jamie.”


They finished their shower and dried off.  Lee smeared some ointment on Janet’s scratch and put a couple of band aids on it.  They dressed and went down stairs where Becky and Jimmy were waiting for them in the dining room.  Becky had put the soup tureen on the table along with some warm bread.


She sat down next to Janet who looked a little better than she did before but sensed something was wrong.  “Do you want some wine?” she asked Janet.


“No, I think I’ll make a cup of tea,” she replied as she got up to go to the server but Becky stopped her and made the cup for her.


Handing Lee a beer, Jimmy said, “Okay what happened,” and sat down at the table.


Taking a long swig of beer, Lee sat down next to him and told him what had taken place on the trail, the helicopter ride and how Janet doesn’t like heights or helicopters.  He did leave out the part where she got sick.


Becky spoke up after Lee was finished, “So that’s why you looked like hell when you came back.”


“Yes and I ended up getting sick when we landed,” Janet answered a little embarrassed.  “I hope I never have to fly in a helicopter again.” 


Chuckling Jimmy said, “I know how you felt.  The first time I took a ride in chopper I did the same thing.  After a couple more times aboard one, I got use to it.  So don’t be embarrassed.”


“Thanks Jimmy,” Janet replied as Becky put soup in their bowls and gave them each a thick slice of bread.


They finished dinner and they were cleaning up when Becky noticed the bandages on Janet’s arm.  “You said no one got hurt then why does Janet have those bandages on her arm?”


“I scraped it on a branch.  I didn’t bring any big bandages so I had to put a couple of small ones on.  It’s only a scratch so please don’t report it to Will,” Janet begged, “or he’ll have me in med bay for two days.”  The four of them started to laugh as they knew he would do it. 


They sat around the table talking for a few more minutes when Janet started to yawn.  “I’m sorry,” she said, “I’m just a little tired.  I’m going to turn in.  Lee, you can stay and talk if you want.  I still have a few more things to pack up.”  Lee looked at her and could tell she was done in. 


“No, I’ll help you pack up,” Lee responded as he turned to Becky and Jimmy.  “Sorry we worried you.  Thank you for waiting dinner.  It was excellent.  We’d probably gain ten pounds if we stayed here too much longer,” Lee chortled.


Chuckling Becky replied, “You two could afford to gain ten pounds.”


Lee snorted, “Now you sound just like Will.” 


As he and Janet walked up the stairs, Becky looked at her husband and said, “They’re a nice couple.  Let’s hope they can make it home with no problems.”




Once in their room, Janet packed up the items they wouldn’t need for tomorrow. As she was putting the items in their suitcases she looked at Lee, “I really enjoyed our stay here and the trip to San Francisco but I can’t wait to get home.”


“Me too.  I miss my ‘gray lady’ and of course the admiral and Chip,” he said as he closed his suitcase and put it by the door.  He went over to Janet and took her by the waist and gave her a kiss.  “I’m proud of you.”


Wrapping her arms around his neck she replied, “You’re proud of me...for what...I got sick from a helicopter ride.”


“You didn’t think twice about going down that slope to help Elsa and her mother.  Not many people would have done that.  Now as far as the helicopter ride; you’d better get use to them.  You never know when you might have to ride in one again,” he teased.


Sighing, “I know.  I’m sure you’ll figure out a way to get me on one again,” she answered as they got ready for bed and were asleep in minutes.




Becky and Jimmy were up early the next morning and had breakfast ready for Lee and Janet.  They knew they would be getting an early start on their drive home.  Before they went downstairs, Janet took the sheets off the bed and also grabbed the towels to take down to Becky.  She also left a box of chocolates they got at the Ghirardelli store on the table for them.  Lee brought down their suitcases and put them in the car while Janet took the dirty linens to the laundry room.  Becky gave Janet a dirty look when she saw the linens.  Janet then grabbed their muddy boots; put them in a plastic bag and into the back of the SUV.


As they were eating breakfast, Lee asked, “Where’s the hospital from here?  We would like to check on April and see how she’s doing.”


“Actually it’s right on your way home,” Jimmy said as he gave Lee directions.


After they finished eating they put the dishes in the kitchen when Becky said, “Just leave them, I’ll do them later.”  She went over to Janet and Lee and gave them each a hug and a kiss on the cheek.  “Please come back again.  We really enjoyed having you here.”


Janet returned her kiss and hug replied, “We’ll come back and you won’t have to worry about ‘Crane sitting’.  Sorry you had to watch over us but you know Will, he’s such a worry wart.” Janet snickered.


Jimmy answered, “Well, yes he is. Thanks again Lee for rescuing me on the roof and helping with the sand bagging.  You went above and beyond the call of duty.”


“No problem, Jimmy,” Lee responded shaking his hand and hugging Becky.  Janet gave Jimmy a kiss and hug.  They walked them out to their car and waved good bye as they drove down the drive to the road.


“You better call Will and tell him they’re on their way home,” Becky said grinning, “We don’t want him calling us.”  They went back to the house and Jimmy called Will and let him know they had left and had a few interesting adventures to tell him about.  “I’m going to miss them,” Becky said.  “Now I know why Will is so fond of them.”




Lee and Janet stopped at the hospital to check on April.  Stewart and Elsa were there too.  She woke up not long after she got to the hospital.  Her arm was in a cast and Elsa insisted they sign her mother’s cast which they did.  April thanked them for taking care of her and Elsa.  Stewart explained to them that he went back to the car to get their jackets and when he came back they were gone.  The area which they were standing on just slide down the slope.  He also thanked them again for helping his family.  Lee and Janet said good bye and headed for home.




Even though there was a shorter way home, Lee took the PCH highway.  They were leaving early enough so they could take a leisurely drive home as who knows when they will get another vacation. There wouldn’t be any more time off for awhile as Seaview had quite a few missions scheduled.


Before leaving the hospital Lee called Chip.   He picked up the call on the second ring, “Now what...what did you do...aren’t you coming home soon?”


Laughing as he answered, “We’re on our way home...nothing has happened...we’ll see you around 1400 hours.”


“Thanks for letting me know but I won’t relax until you’re on institute grounds,” Chip replied and hung up.  Chip went to the admiral’s office where he was meeting with Jamie.


He knocked on the door before going in.  “Come in,” the admiral said as he sat at his desk.


“What is it Chip?” he asked with a worried look.  He knew Lee and Janet were supposed to come home today.


“They’re on their way home.  So far no problems, they should be here around 1400 hours,” Chip reported.


Jamie spoke up when Chip was finished, “I just got a call from Jimmy.  He said they had some interesting adventures regarding a boat, roof, sandbags and helicopter but no injuries.  He wouldn’t tell me what the adventures were and said Lee would fill us when they returned.”


“Wonder what adventures they ran into and didn’t get hurt,” the admiral mused.  “Thanks Chip.  Let us know when they arrive.”


“Will do,” Chip replied and left the admiral’s office and went back to his where he returned to checking the inventory and what needed to be ordered for the next mission.




Lee and Janet drove straight to NIMR not bothering to stop for lunch.  They arrived at the security gate and Peter came out to greet them.


“Welcome back Commander, Mrs. Crane,” he said looking them over.  “I hope you had a wonderful trip.”


“Yes, we did,” Lee replied smiling. “You can report to Mr. Morton that we are on NIMR property.”


“Yes sir,” Peter smiled back as Lee drove to the institute office.  He knew Chip would have told the guard to report to him as soon as they arrived.  They parked the car in front of the building.  Lee waited for Janet to get the bag out of the back seat and grabbed her hand as they walked in the office and took the elevator up to the first floor.


Janet noticed that Wanda wasn’t at her desk.  I hope she didn’t have a lot to do while I was gone, Janet thought as she put a box of chocolates on her desk.  When they got to her office, the light was off.  She turned it on and saw that her desk was clear of work.  Lee checked his office and found all of his work completed also.  Going to Angie’s office, they noticed she was gone too.  Janet also put a box of chocolates on her desk as they went directly to the admiral’s office where he was waiting for them along with Chip and Jamie.  As they entered the admiral’s office the three men stood up and looked them over from head to toe.


Grinning Lee said, “We aren’t hurt...bruised...nothing is broken.”


Jamie noticed the bandage on Janet’s arm.  “I see a bandage...what happened...let me look at it.”


Sighing Janet removed the bandage.  “It’s just a scratch from a tree branch when I slid down a slope to help a woman and girl,” she stated.


“What,” all three men yelled at once.


“You’d better start at the beginning,” the admiral sighed and sat down. 


“I better get us some coffee as this could take awhile,” Chip remarked as he left and returned a few minutes later with five cups and the pot.  He poured coffee for all of them, sat down next to Lee and Janet on the couch while the admiral and Jamie sat across from them.


“Where should we begin,” Lee wondered as he looked at Janet with a smirk.


Losing patience the admiral said, “At the beginning in San Francisco.  Did you go across the Golden Gate Bridge? I know, Lee that you wanted to do that.”


Smiling at Janet he replied, “No.”


“What do you mean no.  Everybody that goes to SF goes over the bridge,” Chip said in disbelief.


Lee looked at Janet and let her take over.  “Not if you’re afraid of bridges over water,” she answered softly.


“Uh,” Jamie said confused.


“Janet’s afraid of going over bridges over water and she’s also afraid of heights.”


Barely containing their chuckling, the three men looked at Janet.  “I didn’t know that,” Chip remarked hiding a grin.


“Either did Lee,” Janet replied then changed the subject, “We did have a nice time there.  Lee also saved a woman from going under a bus,” she continued on nonchalantly.  The three of them looked at Lee with their mouths open, so he explained what happened.


“Thank you again for the gift card to the B & B,” Janet told them.  “Jimmy and Becky are wonderful people. We enjoyed their company and will go back to stay with them again.”


“Jimmy said something about a swim as soon as you got there,” Jamie mentioned.


Lee explained to them what took place with the couple and the boat and that he had to swim out to get them.


When Lee was done, Jamie sat there glaring at him, “You went for a swim in the ocean....that water must have been freezing...what the hell were you thinking?” 


If Jamie knew about the swim in the ocean, Lee knew Jimmy probably told him about their other escapades so Lee proceeded to tell them what had taken place.


“You climbed on a roof in a rain storm?” the admiral said in disbelief, “You could have fallen off.”


“I know but Jimmy was having a hard time with tarp and I was afraid he would fall off,” Lee stated.


“Uh hu,” the admiral said shaking his head.


“That still doesn’t explain the scratch,” Jamie remarked at he looked at it.  “It looks infected.”


Pulling her arm away, “It’s not infected.  You’re just looking for trouble because we didn’t get into any,” she told to him tersely.


Surprised at his wife’s outburst, “Calm down sweetie,” Lee said with a grin.  “I’m sure Jamie didn’t mean anything.”


“How did she get the scratch,” the admiral questioned.  “And what’s this about a helicopter?”


Lee told them about Elsa and April and how they slid down the slope and that’s where Janet got the scratch.  He mentioned that the only way out was by helicopter and they had to be airlifted from the outcropping which was then washed away into the ravine. 


“So you did get into trouble but were able to fly your way out of it,” Chip quipped.


“Yes, but we didn’t get hurt,” Janet answered, “sorry for my outburst.  Just the thought of that helicopter ride still gives me the chills.”  Lee looked at her with a huge grin on his face as he knew she would be too embarrassed to tell them she got sick after she got off. And if she did, Jamie would have her in med bay checking her out.


They all stood up when Lee was finished.  “All that matters is that you managed to go on vacation and not get hurt or need our help,” the admiral remarked smiling.  “Maybe the tide has turned and you won’t need ‘Crane sitters’ anymore,” he continued patting Lee on the shoulder.


Lee wrapped his arm around his wife’s waist and said, “Hopefully but maybe next time we won’t have to do any rescues either.” 


The three men shook their heads in agreement at that comment.  Chip noticed the bag on the floor Janet had brought in with them.


“What’s in the bag,” he asked walking over to it and tried to take a look at what was in it.


Gently slapping his hand, Janet teased, “I don’t know if I should give you what’s in there after laughing at me.”  Chip gave her one of his smiles and she relented handing each one of them a box of Ghirardelli chocolates.


After thanking them for the chocolates, Chip opened his up, took out a piece and ate it.  Knowing Chip was probably hungry; the admiral looked at his watch and piped up, “How about we go to dinner to celebrate an almost perfect vacation?”


Everyone nodded so they shut off the lights in the office, locked the door to the institute and left for dinner.


“Now let us tell you what went on while you were gone,” Chip said laughing as they walked out the door.




The End.



*See stories, “When Dreams Come True” and ** “Alone”