Hana entered the office as I finished my last phone call to Casey’s new partner. I was making last minute arrangements for her to work at the house. Pear was still training when he wasn’t at school, but he wasn’t what Casey needed. Bull was exactly the type of person Casey needed.
Hana waited until I hung up. She sat on my lap and smiled. Kissed my lips while I was in mid-speech. I pulled her closer to me, and held her tight. “I’ll see you then after the weekend, Bull.”
“Thank you again, Mr. Rain. Merry Christmas.”
“Merry Christmas. Enjoy the holiday.” I hung up the phone and gazed at Hana. “Hey beautiful. What’s going on?”
“Checking on you. You’ve been hiding out. Kal is wondering if you’re going to help him and Casey with the decorations?”
“I was making last minute phone calls.”
“Did you call Jon?”
“Yes. He and Dan made the flight. They will be here tonight with Cait and Aaron.”
And your brothers?”
“Scott called and said he, Charlie, and Sean were on their way. Relax Hana. Everyone is going to be here. This is your Christmas, Moneypenny.”
“He and Carter are stuck in traffic, along with Joe, Jahi, and Dani.” I kissed her lips and pulled the stray locks from her wig out of her face. The wig was made of her hair—just as she promised—it was different though for me. I still enjoyed playing with it, but it just wasn’t the same. “You ready for your last Christmas?”
“Who said it was my last?”
I looked at her expectantly. Was she serious? As much as I hate to admit it, I knew Hana didn’t have a year of fighting left in her. She was so frail now. She barely could walk around the house without the use of a cane or a walker. She uses the elevator more frequent, and stopped coming down the stairs from our apartment. I sighed and caressed her face, “Hana we both know the reality.”
“I know. I just am trying to give you some hope. Don’t think of this as my last, Parker. It’ll only hurt you more, and I can’t bear to stand seeing you hurt.”
“I’ll try to keep a happier spirit about things, but you have to realize that this is killing me inside. I’m losing the only woman I have ever loved. My Moneypenny.”
She softly kissed my lips with her dry ones to shut me up. My eye was sore from holding back tears. I never broke down in front of her. I waited until I was alone on the balcony along with a glass of Vodka.
Hana’s hands were on my face, “No crying. Not yet. I’m still here.”
“Not crying,” I whispered. I pulled her head down and kissed her like it was our last, because that was how I have always kissed her.
The sound of the gate alarm interrupted our moment. We were out of breath and chuckling. She scooted off my lap, and I turned my chair to check the monitor. It was Jahi, Joe, and their daughter, Dani. I clicked open the gate for them. “Jahi and Joe made it.” I told Hana. She grabbed her cane and headed off to see her daughter. I stood and followed her, helping her as she walked. I chuckled as she held on my arm as I remembered a time when the roles were opposite. “Remember how you use to help me walk with a cane?” I asked.
“Yes, you wouldn’t keep your bum leg straight, and I had to yell at you constantly.”
“Hey, it hurt.”
“You still walk and stand with it bent.”
“I do not.”
Hana chuckled, “Sometimes you do.”
We headed outside and found Jahi and Riddle hugging each other. Kaliq screamed down from my balcony, “Hey Jen, is it me or did the snow dye your hair?”
“Shut up Isaac! I see some silver in your hair, jerk.”
Kids. Hana and I both laughed at their banter. “Just wait till Oni gets here,” I whispered to Hana.
Jahi turned to see us and gasped. She ran to her mother and hugged Hana for dear life. Joe came up and shook my hand. We chatted about the drive they had, and how things were with each other. Dani nervously came over to me. She was always a little frightened about me. “Hi grandpa,” she stuck her hand out.
“What, no hug?” I pulled her into a hug. “You’re still a shy little one, aren’t you.”
“I’m not shy, not really.”
Joe wrapped his arm around Dani, “Dani is running for city council in Bridgeport.” I congratulated her. Jahi gave me a hug and a kiss, and all of us chatted for a while, catching up on things. Joe retired from the fire department, and he and Jahi were enjoying their time spent at home and often going off on vacation across the world. As we spoke a truck stopped outside the gate, and I noticed it was Carter and Jamie. The gate swung open, and Carter pulled up as close as he could to the garage. It was a tight fit in our drive with all of the cars.
Carter hopped out of his truck and helped Jamie out before gathering little Kyle who was barely two years old. “Paw-Paw!” He yelled as his little feet tried to carry him over to me. I picked him up and gave him extra kisses as I watched Carter help Jamie to his chair.
Hana hugged her grandson before demanding me to give her Kyle. “He’s too heavy, Hana.” I said.
“Grandpa is right, Grandma,” Jamie added. “He’s pretty heavy now.”
“Nonsense, give me him. KyKy you want to play with Nana, inside?” Kyle nodded his head so hard I was afraid it would snap off.
I carefully handed off Kyle to her and watched her slowly head to the front door. I knew her “playing with Kyle” was an excuse for her to sit down. She would never admit that standing wore her down. She came up with clever excuses to sit down, and the family and I tended to follow along. As the rest of the family acquainted themselves, I stepped up to Carter and pulled him to the side. Casey was helping Kaliq with the lights, and I had already given him the warning I was about to give to Carter.
“You know this is Hana’s last Christmas, right?” I asked, and Carter nodded. “I’ve already spoke to Casey, and I am speaking to you now. I don’t want any issues between the two of you this weekend. I can’t ask you two to fix and solve your differences, but I can ask for you two to be civil and respect mine and Hana’s wishes for an amazing holiday. Understood?”
“Yes, Sir. Besides, Jamie already promised to figure out a way to kick my ass if I caused problems.”
“Good. Just try and stay away from him.”
“Will do, Sir.”
I really respected Carter. He was a military man, and it showed. I patted him on the back, gave one warning look up to Casey before I went in search for my great-grandson and wife.