Renny was closing Gibby's that night when Bupe appeared from her apartment to assist, something she hadn't done since she taught Renny the basics of closing.
"Oh, Hi," Renny said when he saw Bupe appear in the tavern. "You're up late."
"Couldn't sleep," she admitted. "I'm still coming down from the Florida high."
"You'll be able to go back whenever you want," Renny told her.
"Why don't you come upstairs?" Bupe suggested. "I'll tell you all about my trip."
"Okay," Renny agreed.
Bupe helped him with the last of the closing responsibilities and then he followed her up the stairs to the apartment, Mr. Phelps happy to make an appearance with his master present.
They took seats on the living room couch and Bupe let out a laugh.
"What's so funny?" Renny wondered.
"I was just thinking about all the times you were up here," she said. "I wanted to do scandalous things with you but I was too chicken-shit with my father just downstairs."
"It would have been awkward if he caught us," Renny agreed.
"I was sitting at the kitchen table pining over your wedding write up in the paper and my father said 'How'd you let him get away!?' And I thought to myself 'By not doing scandalous things with him when I had the chance!'"
"How was Florida?" Renny asked.
"Oh, Christ, who cares about Florida now, Renny?" Bupe groaned. "I'm talking about us!"
"Are things different between us now?" Renny asked nervously.
"I'd like to hope so," Bupe answered honestly. "I mean, all our memories….don't you want to keep making them?"
"I've made a lot of mistakes, Bupe," he sighed.
"You don't have to keep saying that," she groaned. "Whatever dreams you once had can still happen, just in a different way."
"I'm not a cop anymore." He finally said it as a statement of fact instead of a protest of disappointment.
"No, you're not," Bupe agreed.
"But I've had the old feeling again since coming back here," he admitted.
"What kind of feeling?" She asked warmly.
"Happiness. Friendship. Warmth. Nostalgia. Serenity."
Renny knew by the way that they were looking at each other that things were definitely different between them. Or maybe they had simply evolved to the place they were meant to be all along.
"And so here we are," Bupe said. "Blessed with the freedom to discover what we the future might hold."
The entire time they had been talking, Bupe had been rubbing her back against the couch cushion behind her.
"Are you okay?" Renny finally asked.
"Oh, I got a sunburn on my back," she complained. "Now it's peeling and driving me crazy."
"You have anything to put on it?" Renny wondered.
"Yeah, I just can't reach all the spots."
"I could put it on for you if you want," Renny offered.
"Okay," Bupe agreed. "Give me a minute."
She stood and left the room, leaving Renny behind with a curled up Mr. Phelps giving him the suspicious eye from his spot on one of the easy chairs across the room.
"You can come in now!" Bupe called from the bedroom.
Bupe had moved into her father's old bedroom and it was quite attractive but Renny was taken by surprise when he stepped into the door way to find Bupe lying on her stomach on her bed, naked, her white buns in stark contrast to the rest of her Florida-tanned body.
"Is this scandalous enough for you?" She smiled, glancing over her shoulder.
"It's a start," Renny smirked, unable to take his eyes off her white tail.
Bupe held out a bottle of lotion to him. "Start squirting," she said.
Renny gladly sat on the bed beside her and began rubbing the lotion all over back – and further south, causing Bupe to moan when she felt his hands on her backside.
"I'm beginning to think that Tasering that kid in the balls was the best thing that ever happened to me," Renny said.
"You can Taser me anytime you want, Renny," Bupe let him know as she rolled over onto her back to let him see the rest of her. "Starting right now."