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Thread: [M] Mystery In Carter Lake (Storm & Bluemoon) (IC)

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    Default [M] Mystery In Carter Lake (Storm & Bluemoon) (IC)




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    Welcome to Carter Lake, Washington, population 5800. Carter Lake is located between Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Olympia. It is known as the largest little small town.

    Located three miles from an Interstate 5 off ramp, it has all the conveniences of city life yet being off the main highway, does not attract city traffic. Carter Lake is able to maintain a small town feel even though several tech start ups have office space due to the surprising low rent of office space. The town managers continually rely on other sources to keep the town thriving.

    Carter Lake's population comprises of many tech employees as two tech companies were created by former Microsoft Engineers who moved from Redmond six years ago. Another segment of the population are Military families due to the close proximity to US Army base Fort Lewis and McChord Air Force base. Carter Lake has been seeing growth since the first tech company opened six years earlier to the disappointment to some of the original residents.

    The town is considered one of the safer communities in the region, like with the tech recruitment and Military family’s drawn to this off the main road community, the police department mostly consists of former Military Police and State Police who chose to be away from big city politics prevalent in larger metro departments. Carter Lake police department is not the traditional small town department.

    With the influx of population, within the last several years there has been an uptick in missing persons reports and more reports of unusual activities. Some of the original residents displeased with the expansion refer to their selves as Pre Tech Carter Lakeiens.

    There has been some Tavern Talk recently. Some speak of mysterious outsiders doing super natural things. Residents tend to dismiss these stories as ‘Old people who watch too much Netflix’ or simply lushes who got a bad batch of moonshine. Reporters frequently press Town Managers and Police Representatives for comment on missing persons and odd happenings recently. Typical canned responses of "Hysterical people unhappy with progress spreading unfounded rumors to hurt progress."

    Today Carter Lake thrives, people enjoy the comforts of small town life with all the amenities of their large city counterparts, life goes on … so do the rumors … and the missing. Carter Lake does get visitors, many wanted, yet with any small remote location, not everyone … or everything… that visits has good intentions.

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    It is another Friday night in Carter Lake, Sergeant Nichols sits parked along access road 15 in his
    Spoiler: Police Interceptor SUV 
    monitoring traffic along I-5. Interstate 5 has a 3 1/2 mile stretch that is considered concurrent jurisdiction for the town of Carter Lake and often officers would sit along an access road to run radar or monitor traffic for DWIs considering this interstate in one that service members drive to get to and from Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Looking at the time display on the SUV readout, 2:13 AM, good time to watch for soldiers to speed home as the base clubs have just recently closed.

    Sergeant Nichols monitors the various radio calls going out. Prowler on West Center Road and 84th. He couldn't help but to laugh. Mrs. Barton calling again since she is lonely and would offer warm cookies to the responding officer that chases away the bad man who peeks in her window. There is never a 'bad man' peeking in her window, just a lonely 81 year old widow who doesn't have family visit her often enough. The routine nuisance call that no one on the force minds responding to. Mrs. Barton after all is a nice enough woman and does not occupy much time, let her know that we chased that bad guy away and would keep an eye on her home. Take the cookie and talk with her for a few minutes then back on patrol. Officers who drive by her house would run a spot light along her front yard and have the side blue and red strobes on so she has something to talk to the other retiree's when she goes there during the day. Jim gets the cookie tonight it seems.

    "Car 24 Control"
    "Car 24 144th and Maple"
    "Car 24, see the guard, Red Cross blood bank, 20714 Blondo Street, possible intruder there now, code 2"
    "Car 24, 10-67"

    This radio traffic perks Sergeant Nichols attention. Tapping an inquiry on the tablet in the SUV, does a quick look up of the Red Cross building and pulls up maps to see what might be around the area. There is nothing unusual about the call, but Dave has a nagging feeling for some reason about this particular call. Nothing seems to stick out about this facility which opened a month earlier. Part of an expanding town, no other business around as the strip mall which is still seeking to attract retailers to sign rental contracts. Quiet little strip mall surrounded by trees. Still a itch on the back of his neck, Sergeant Nichols closes the open tabs before looking back to the radar as a dark dodge dart passes. Six miles over, nope, another one or two over and the dart would be stopped, but Dave typically would not do a stop for less than 8 over.

    *beep* *beep* *beep*
    "Squad 3, 20714 Blondo Street, Red Cross blood bank, shots fired."
    "Car 24, security reporting shots fired, call now Code 4"
    *siren heard over the radio* "10-4, copy shots fired, ETA 2"
    "Control Squad 3, 10-67 Red Cross"
    "Control Car 24, clear, Control Squad 3, Clear, All available units, Shots Fired, 20714 Blondo Street, Red Cross blood bank"

    Dave has already switched the light bar and headlights on and the SUV's police interceptor engine breaks the quiet of the morning as it accelerates down the access road. The radio is filling with traffic, King County Sherriff has several units responding in addition to the three Carter Lake patrols. Having seen a State Police unit pass I-5 earlier, Dave is certain that WSP would make an appearance as well though they have not radioed their response.

    As sergeant Nichols turns on Blondo Street, he hits the gas for the minute that it will take him to arrive. As he crosses the intersection at 206th, the siren is cut off. As he turns on 207th, the parking lot is already filled with responding cars from Carter Lake and King County Sherriff, and yes, the State Police did make an appearance. Pulling to a stop along the Red Cross along several other cars and the Ambulance, Dave exits the SUV grasping the tablet.

    Deputies are already returning to their cars to return the shot guns they had out on arrival. Deputy Karin Larson is close by returning to her car when she notices Dave. Resting the shotgun over her shoulder, approaches with a look of disgust on her features.
    "Hey Dave, good luck, Kevin shot Elvis."
    Rolling his eyes, Dave only responded "Great, you are full of good news tonight Karin."
    "Yea, that is why you love me, huh." she offered with a smirk before heading back to her car.

    One of the Carter Lake officers approaches sergeant Nichols and before the officer could speak, Dave more grumbles "Don't tell me, our guard is Kevin Kucerra?"

    The officer finding it slightly amusing responds "Yep, he's shooting lil green men tonight."
    "Just fuckin great, oh well, where do you have the fuckin wanna be?"

    The guard at the Red Cross tonight is well known to local law enforcement. Kevin Kucerra, age 25, repeatedly applied and repeatedly rejected by every department in the region since he turned 21. Kevin is the nuisance that officers have grown to despise. Kevin has been ticketed by almost every department at least once for operating unauthorized emergency equipment, a minor misdemeanor, for driving with a portable tear drop blue light. He routinely is seen on the interstate doing traffic stops calling for police to ticket drivers doing his citizen's arrest as a reason. Now this guy is going to tie Dave up in paper work over he was sure was something stupid to try and pad, in Kevin's mind, seemed to be reasons that every department has made a mistake in not hiring him.

    As Dave enters the front of the Red Cross suite, the initial responding officer is walking down the hall toward sergeant Nichols. Dave asks "So where is Super Cop?"
    The officer in an unusual expression on his face, one not on distain, but one on concern "Sarge, got to be serious with ya, think the fuckin wanker has finally lost it."

    This stops Dave, looking to Officer Johnson "How so?"

    "The fuckin kid says he shot a ghost, or a monster, he is rambling on about what he shot was not human. This isn't the typical crap he pulls, think he might finally be doing meth or something, something is fucking with his mind to come up with this story."

    "Has he been drinking?"

    "I already smelled the coffee in his thermos, it is spiked, but it is full, and I couldn't smell alcohol on his breath."

    "Alright, lets get CSI in here to process the area, get Super Cop down to the station to interview him, and for Gods sake, try to keep him off his fucking blog."

    A smirk comes to the officers face as he pulls put his own smart phone "Sorry Sarge, Super Pud has already been tweeting his insane heart out.

    Looking at the twitter account each officer follows Kevin on, more to use as evidence in rejecting any applications he might submit, Dave runs his hand down his face "Well, just fuck me to tears already."

    ~Carter Lake, open your eyes, I shot a monster tonight and it didn't bother it. The monster was after blood. Monsters are real and are already here~

    Dave ready the tweet thinking a moment "Well, did the wanker end up shooting anything? Know cleaning crews don't come in till 6."

    "Found 7 shell casings but only 4 holes in the wall but the donation window is broken. Wanker is on about the monster leapt through the window, probably going to find the other 3 rounds in the field, I am sure the pud shot out the window."

    Dave mumbled "Thank you Captain Obvious for telling me something I didn't already know. Damn it, press is going to eat this shit up. Ron, can you do me a favor and just shoot me now, certainly less painful than talking to the press in the morning, and get Super Cop to the station, let the detectives talk to the loser, I am not ready to deal with this idiot now."

    Ron has a look of amusement come across his face as he holds up his smart phone with the scanner app "I am just full of good news Sarge, the press is already on the way, they apparently follow Super Cops twitter too"

    Dave sighs "You know the drill, active crime scene, ongoing investigation and all, no comment due to this being an active scene. Have to find a way to leak the alcohol in the thermos to the press. Anyway, get numb nuts down to the station. This was starting to be a such a good weekend too."
    Last edited by Storm; 12-04-2018 at 07:08 PM.

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    Rayne got a call a little after 2 am from her boss (prompted by the code 4 from the Carter Lake PD) requesting that all hands were needed at the Red Cross blood bank. With a blanket wrapped around her and a glass of red wine in one hand, she moves through her small home with a quick step, entering her bedroom at the end of the hall. She sets her wine down and lets the blanket fall to the floor as she looks at herself in the mirror--wrinkled tank top and short shorts--not her best look, but it is her sleeping attire. Not that it does her any good, she is going on three nights now with less than two hours of actual shut-eye. And her face shows it, the dark circles under her eyes giving her a ghoulish appearance. Quickly she runs a brush through her hair, dabbing some make-up on and slipping into a semi-casual dress and heels. She grabs her notebook and pen--old school--and is out the door in five minutes.

    The drive is a short one, but by the time she arrives the street is already bustling with reporters and camera men. She curses her luck, but climbs from her car and works her way as close to the front as she can. Standing on her tiptoes, she catches a glimpse of Sergeant Nichols and almost has to laugh at his expression--gloomy as always. She has yet to get more from him than a "no comment", his gruff exterior always on the forefront. With her press pass hanging from a lanyard around her neck, she pushes closer, finally getting to the front. She is halted by another officer, his arms acting as a temporary barrier. With determination, she leans forward until she can see the PR man again.

    "Sergeant Nichols," she shouts at him, "...can you tell us anything about the reported shots fired?" Word is already bustling about Kevin's blog and the rumor is spreading of the "monster" he has shot. Rayne unfortunately has not had a chance to be in on the man's hysteria and the tales of the night's caper had come to her second hand.
    Last edited by bluemoon; 12-05-2018 at 04:43 AM.

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    Just as Dave finishes his spill of preliminary investigation underway and is ready to ignore the reporters that continue pressing for more details … that woman’s voice comes through the crowd. He knows this woman is like a bloodhound, and the word ‘no comment’ is a scent that she pounces on. Dave looks over in Rayne’s direction and in an authoritative voice replies to the question, hoping this would tie the press over till he could come up with something more tangible to dangle in front of them.

    “The shots fired you heard over the radio was a result as an accidental weapons discharge which shattered a window. We do plan on speaking to C.L. Security Services and request they remind their guards that it is not appropriate to bring alcoholic beverages on the job so their guards don’t get spooked by shadows.”

    Dave made sure he crafted his words carefully so not to actually say Kevin was drinking, which he obviously was not … yet, he hopes that the press would bite at that one for now.

    Rayne raises one dark brow in a look of query. “So are you saying his weapon accidentally discharged multiple times? From what I have heard, there were ‘multiple’ shots fired.” She is actually surprised he has given her a direct answer, but of course, she is not satisfied with it. She wants the truth, and it is obvious he is holding something back. She wonders if she might be able to get access to the building once all these others are gone. She might even be able to get Kevin to let her in...but as she searches the premises, she realizes he is not about.

    Dave releases a sigh, she pounces on no comment and does not bite at a hastily made up statement. Looking now more toward her he offers
    “Miss Summers, as I mentioned in my statement, there was a weapons discharge. I did not need to speak about any poor decisions of contract guards or their condition while at work, that will be addressed when I speak to C.L. Security in the morning.” trying to look in another direction “Any other questions, I remind you all that this is an active ongoing investigation and full details will not be yet available to discuss.” hoping someone else asks a fluff follow up question.

    “So is that a ‘no comment’ Sergeant?” she presses, smiling inwardly at his discomfort. Behind her, other questions are coming up, but the tension between the two is being picked up by the other reporters. ‘So he knows my name’, she thinks. That was progress. At least she is making an impression, even if it is analogous to a bad case of the hives. She whispers something to the officer she has been leaning against and he turns to look at the sergeant with an odd expression. When he turns back to her, she smiles and pats his shoulder. “Keep up the good work Michael.”

    Attentively watching as the annoying reporter whispering to the rookie officer, Rayne would notice him biting at his bottom lip, worried about what she might have said, sergeant Nichols will speak to Michael at the station. The other reporters lower their questions waiting to see what the sergeant responds to their colleague with. Refocusing to the matter at hand, he offers a polite
    “Miss Summers, I would not no comment here, I have mentioned that there was a weapons discharge, an ambulance was dispatched as a precautionary measure, additional information will be made available..” thinking soon as I could write up a good prepared story “...as soon as our investigation concludes, you would not want me to give you any information that is not accurate that your paper will have to retract like Tacoma had to do…” with a slight smirk of his own, he has done a little homework on this particular woman “...would you… Miss Summers?”

    A dark look comes over her features which she quickly tries to hide. ‘Bastard’, she thinks, then forces a smile. “Of course not Sergeant...and thank you for your input. I will be sure to mention you have been very cooperative.” Her eyes seek out his...and if looks could kill, they would at that moment. ‘..and fuck you very much’, she continues in her head. She leans into the rookie again and this time when she pulls away she is laughing lightly. Without another word she allows herself to be swallowed back into the crowd, disappearing within their ranks.

    As Dave watches Rayne and Michael and the rookie’s reaction, he bites at his bottom lip. It has been a long shift, he is tired and this Kevin stuff had him already irritated. Thoughts drift through the sergeant’s mind that he perhaps went a bit overboard with the swipe he took at Miss Summers. Other questions seemed to fall on deaf ears as he watched Rayne disappear into the crowd. His tone a little more civil as he offered to the reporters still snapping pictures, holding phones recording and the few news vans with cameras out

    “I will offer more in the morning..” takes his phone pressing the side button bringing the screen to illuminate, it just has the home screen but he uses the lit screen to his exit strategy “...sorry, I have to respond elsewhere.” while slipping his phone in his back pocket. Dave presses past the reporters and starts toward his SUV hoping to perhaps speak to Rayne before heading back to the office.

    Dave notices Rayne moving toward a car, he quickened his pace calling out “Miss Summers, a moment if you can?” as he closes the gap.

    With keys in hand, she turns, her expression neutral. Her jaw clenches as she sees him. “I’m in a bit of a hurry,” she states with aggravation. She tries to keep herself from slapping him for digging up old wounds. In her profession, a smile and a friendly face get you farther than a scowl, so she tries again. “Sorry….you just hit a sore spot back there. What can I do for you?”

    A different expression is on his features than she may be used to seeing. One that is not rehearsed like usual when speaking to the press, one a little more human, his tone unusually soft
    “The swipe I took at you was out of line, I didn’t think before I spoke, I just wanted to sincerely say that I am sorry for not professionally acting just then.” combined with recent events, the demands the chief and mayors office have been throwing on him, without much other thought he offers
    “If it would make a difference, I could speak to you when we wrap things up, after tomorrow mornings 8 AM briefing, I can speak further over breakfast at Jackies Cafe.”

    Rayne’s looks at him, struck mute for a second by his offer. He seems like a different person, but she can also put on new faces and she dismisses it as part of his apology. She smiles. “An exclusive? How could I say no? I will meet you there.” She turns and puts her key into the lock, then turns back to him. “Good night...or should I say morning...Sergeant.” When she turns back to her car, she frowns. ‘Doesn’t change a thing’, she thinks. ‘He is still a bastard.’

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    Home. Rayne kicks off her shoes and throws her keys on the kitchen counter, pouring herself a fresh glass of wine as she pulls out her tablet. Sleep is just a distant thought as she opens a new document and easily slips into reporter mode and loses herself in the story. She embellishes the simple act of an accidental discharge into several paragraphs teemed with her actual thoughts of the occurrence and adds some of Kevin's words from his blog to further add an air of fanaticism. An hour seems more like a minute and when she sits back to reread her words she stops dead and groans. The article is filled with emotion...hers...and there are so many curse words in bold print that she pounds the table with her fist. In a fit of anger, she highlights the entire page and deletes it, her hand pausing over the keyboard as her eyes mist over.

    She has not thought of Tacoma in almost a year. ...nor the lives she ruined there. Two officers lost their careers as a result of her mistake. She tried to blame her informant, but she had not checked her facts, had not questioned the information. Instead of exposing the actual officers behind the crimes, she poisoned the lives of two innocent men who had families that depended on them. It didn't matter that they were cleared once it was discovered the damning evidence was planted...the damage was already done. ...and those in the wrong were never identified. All because of her...

    Rayne grabs up her glass of wine and throws it, the crystal and its contents shattering and covering the wall in a scarlet display. She screams in frustration, hitting the table with her fist, her tears flowing freely now. "Bastard!" she growls through her teeth, slamming the lid of her tablet closed then going into her bedroom. She yanks at her clothes, pulling them roughly from her and leaving them in a heap on the floor. She paces, her fists clenched, but it is her reflection that stops her. It taunts her, the pale hollowed visage that stares back. Turning angrily from herself, she collapses on the bed, hoping that she can cry herself to sleep. Her fists scrunch into her pillow and she buries her face in its depths, sobs, but only succeeds in wearing herself out, physically and emotionally, and she finally gets up again and enters the kitchen. She cleans the mess, scrubbing the walls and floor, and picks up the glass, but not with out giving herself a nice reminder of her little temper tantrum. Wrapping a paper towel around her right palm she sits before her tablet again and starts retyping her story. It is an hour of numb recollection. Finishing, she hits send, then rests her head on her arms which are crossed before her on the scarred surface of her table. In the morning she wakes, a few hours of sleep under her belt, and an appointment to prepare for.
    Last edited by bluemoon; 12-05-2018 at 06:52 AM.

  6. #6
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    As Rayne leaves the Red Cross parking lot, sergeant Nichols returns to his SUV and leaves CSI do their thing. He will touch base with CSI and the detectives to find out what Super Cop had to say, he also left word that when Kevin was transported to the station to run a breathalyzer on him for any trace of alcohol that the field test might have missed.

    The shift resumes a normal Friday/early Saturday morning routine. Leaving the scene the sergeant comes up on an abandoned car just West of the Red Cross strip mall, appears to have front end damage, driver seems to have abandoned the car. The plates are out of state so issues an abandoned vehicle tag after running wants and warrants which comes up clean.

    Several DWI roll bys to do. A missing pet report Jim takes at 5:45 AM is thankfully the most dramatic event of the rest of the night.

    6:30 AM, Dave pulls into the station parking lot so as to touch base with CSI and the detectives who were going to interview Kevin, figuring they still have him at the station, after all, the twirp did kill a window tonight thinking with a slight laugh to himself.

    As he entered the station and down the hall to CSI, walks in looking for evidence bags and nerds looking in microscopes, he gets an odd look over his face as the team is simply playing cards.

    “Ummm, finished processing already?” asking in a rather stern tone.

    Jeromy looks up holding a straight flush in his hand
    “No one told ya sarge? Soon as ya’ll left, Pam from Homeland shows up with a team and tells me she was taking the scene.”

    Dave narrows his eyes thinking ‘what the hell is Nichols doing there. How is an idiot killing a window a Homeland Security matter’ and only gruffly responds “And you let her?”
    Jeromy raising the ante figuring his hand is better than the others at the table simply responds back sarcastically “Oh yea. I threw the power of our town and our Mayor behind keeping my little scene. Ya know, she only had the power of the Federal fucking Government behind her. Yep, when I flexed my small town muscle to her, she tucked tail and ran.”

    “Okay smart ass, I get it, did she bother telling you why she was taking over?”

    Setting his flush on the table pulling in the chips, Jeromy dryly “Does miss thang ever?” before chuckling “Oh yea, don’t bother looking for Rambo, her people talked to the twirp for a minute and let the jackoff go.”

    Dave rolls his eyes thinking ‘and here I thought the night would end nicely’ before heading to his office now that he doesn’t have to see the detectives. As he starts down the hall, he notices Curt’s door open and the light on in his office. As he passes by the door, from inside the office, Chief Johnson calls out “Hey asshole, get in here a minute.”

    Dave stops and steps into Chief Johnson’s office. Curt sits behind his desk, laptop open, coffee on his desk, looking up from over the laptop, Curt mumbles
    “Do you know who I got a call from at 4 this morning?”

    Dave shrugs “Well, since you are here, I guess it was not Publishers Clearing House telling you that you won 7000 dollars a week for life.”

    A slight flash on anger across Curts face before rolling his eyes
    “What the hell were you thinking. C.L. Security head is buddies with Mr. Mayorie boy. What the fuck were you thinking saying he has drunks with guns on sites?”

    Dave gets a bit of a scrunch in his face “Suppose that wasn’t the best PR thing I could have said.”

    Closing his laptop, Curt offers “No shit Shirlock Holmes, you finally found a clue. Sometimes I wonder why I brought you here.”

    Dave shrugs “Then it wasn’t to have warm showers with you in the wee hours of the morning?”

    Curt sighs “Can you get serious for a minute. You have to fix this C.L. cluster fuck you opened. And what was that shit you let dick head write about monsters?”

    “Oh, you know, there is this annoying little thing that I think is called the constitution, well, unless we were recently Annexed by North Korea that I missed.”

    A smile comes on Curt’s face that alarms Dave a bit before Curt continues “Tell you what, don’t come in at midnight tonight. Why not work a 2:00 AM to 10:00 AM shift tonight, that way at 9:00 AM tomorrow morning, you could go over to C.L. and personally apologize to Rick, and no, that is not a request or suggestion.”

    Dave had kind of figured something like this would eventually happen, he turns and heads out of the chief’s office before Curt gets the ‘good news’ that Pam took a crime scene from them.

    After dropping his gear in his office, a trip to the locker and a shower, he slips into jeans and a loose fitting blue sweatshirt, tennis shoes and slips his waistband holster placing his Glock 22 service weapon and pulling the sweatshirt over. Thoughts of ‘why did I offer to meet that woman this morning anyway, oh well, can not be as painful as what Curt has instore for me for his early morning wake up call’.

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    Rayne steps into the shower and sighs as the hot spray hits her skin. As she rubs the soap over her skin, she tries to erase the events of last night from her memory. She cannot decide how she feels about breakfast with Nichols...it is something she has hoped for...a chance to pick his brain...but he just rubs her the wrong way. It was probably the whole ‘cop’ thing. One relationship with an officer has been enough.

    Drying off, she decides to go the casual route for today and picks out a pair of black slacks, gray blouse, and flat heels. Grabbing her trusty notebook and pen, she exits her home at 8:25 and pulls into the parking lot of Jackie’s Cafe at 8:35. One of the advantages of a small town is the accessibility of most conveniences within a few minutes drive.

    Dave has already obtained a booth and has ordered a coffee, having looked at his watch several times, with each passing 10 minute increment, becoming more and more hopeful that Miss Summers did not take the invite seriously and would skip the invitation. He certainly has not pondered how he will explain away that his department had the crime scene taken away and that any mention of Homeland Security would spark interest in even the most rookie journalist, let alone a gifted investigative reporter that Miss Summers was. As he sees Rayne’s car pull into the parking lot, a million things run through his mind. The embarrassing visit he has to do at C.L. tomorrow, just why did his big sister showed up out of the blue at a nothing shooting, how cute that woman looks. Even though she is such a pain to deal with when she is on the scent of a story.

    Rayne enters the cafe and immediately recognizes the back of the sergeants head positioned above a booth--he is hard to miss with his broad shoulders and military haircut. She makes her way to him quickly, rather surprised that he had beaten her here. As she takes a seat across from him, she motions for the waitress to bring her a coffee.

    “Eight AM briefing get cut short?” she asks.

    Trying to not show his concern over Homeland taking this nothing shooting, he looks to his coffee figuring a skilled reporter would see right through his concerns if he looks eye to eye with her, offering in a pleasant tone, and a forced smile

    “Oh, there has been nothing develop new from last night so I asked Amanda to do a quick update to the guys and gals that were at the briefing.” thinking deflect now “I might recommend the pancake stack, no one makes them better than here.” now looking at the menu.

    Rayne quirks an eyebrow at the man before her, even though he is not looking in her direction. “So, we are back to this...cold hard-assed cop and annoying reporter? If you are going to give me the old routine, then why did you invite me here?” She has a growing sense of dread that she is going to hit a dead end with this little venture...and she vows she will get to the head of this story if it kills her.

    Dave looks up from the menu, an odd look on his features, yes, the news of big sis knowing some of the things she has been working on is eating at him, he is not ready for his old routine on nonchalantly spinning words into meaningless tidbits to keep reporters happy. He looks to Rayne a moment, picking up on subtle body language cues that she is annoyed - though would not take a rocket scientist to realize this. All he can offer in a sincere tone

    “Please don’t think I am spinning things as usual… there have been … complications… since last night. If I were able to let you about them, I would, but is is hard to bring someone in out of the dark when I am in the same dark room.” A slight wrinkle in his facial features as he mentally ‘shut up idiot, you are just giving this woman something you can not ungive her’.

    “So pancakes it is...and we can just sit here and enjoy each other’s company in uncomfortable silence?” she say sarcastically. “Tell me sergeant, are you married?”

    Knowingly or not, the question out of the blue touched his own memories, the accident five years earlier when he was still in the Army. It was rainy night and he was in hour 18 of extensive processing of evidence and reports of a black market ring they just broke up. His wife had made sandwiches and coffee for Dave and the investigators. The State Police accident report listed the accident as her losing control on mud that had slid down an embankment on a curve, no way to recover from loss of traction, the only comfort he held onto was the Trooper that showed up at the station was that she did not suffer, it was instant. After the funeral, he elected not to reenlist and take his former Captain up on the offer to come to Carter Lake where he simply buried himself in work. There is an absence in his expression and tone as he simply says

    “No I am not, and no, I don’t think sitting in uncomfortable silence is what you deserve.” still conflicted in what if anything he should … or could… discuss with the woman before him.

    Rayne observed him closely as he considered his answer, seeing something that was unspoken, but unsure of its content. She nodded, then decided she wasn’t going to heed the visual clue that she had brought up a tender subject. It wasn’t that she was without empathy, but this man had opened a long closed wound just when it was finally scabbing over. ...and call it revenge, or just plain ugliness, but when she heard his monotone answer she just couldn’t help the words that came out of her mouth.

    “Didn’t think so...you’re just not the type. Career professional with little time for anything else...or anyone.”

    Before Dave reacts to that body blow, there is a momentary pause in the stage unfolding as Rayne’s phone rings.

    Fumbling, she gets her phone from her pocket and gives him an apologetic glance, holding up a finger as she slides the bar to answer. “Hey Ang, I’m kinda busy right now. What’s up?”

    In an overly excited tone ‘Hey Rey, trust me, you’re goin to want to hear this. State Police brought in a body not too far from where you were last night, road just behind that Red Cross building. They were there to do an abandoned car tow, when looking for the driver, they found the body… and do you know what the autopsy showed?” sounding like a kid waiting to tell what the present under the tree was.

    Rayne gets up from the booth and puts her hand over the microphone and says softly. “I’ll be right back...have to take this.” Going outside she pipes up and feels a thrill through her entire body. This could just be the break she needs. “I have no idea...what did it show?”

    As Rayne takes the call, Dave figures it is just a story her editor wants her to take, after all, he gets calls at some of the most inopportune times. As Rayne goes out, Angelia continues

    “We don’t know. When the body shows up and Doc is getting everyone scrubbed in, this Fed shows up with a warrant taking the body and everything the State Cop brought in…” Ang allows the dramatic pause “...but, the Fed never asked for it so I didn’t give him the two tickets I was looking at, gussy who wrote the tow ticket… None other than Icey (the name she often refers to sergeant Nichols as since he is usually icy when showing up at the hospital). Girl, seriously, I can’t your source, the Fed said that he or the body were never there and said things like Federal Prison. Can you work with that without using me as your source hun?”

    “Wow...and of course I can. You know I would never name you. But you will never guess who I am having breakfast with...Mr. Icey himself. I’ll have to work on the story afterwards, but can I stop by during your lunch break? We can discuss it then.”

    Angelia gives a little laugh “Seriously girl, if you don’t want to tell me who you are having breakfast with, it’s cool” somewhat not believing that Icey would have breakfast with anything other than the town ordinance books “...lunch it is, and I will get out of you who you had breakfast with, so you question me while question you.” with a light hearted laugh despite the concern she also feels.

    Rayne promises to be there at noon before she hangs up, feeling her morning has been saved by her friend’s news. She was really going to get under the noses of the hounds with this story, and she has every plan of naming someone’s name right at the top. With a noticeable skip to her walk she returns to the table and sits down again. “Sorry about that. Now, where were we?”

    As Rayne sat back down, Dave simply said in a casual tone

    “Oh, that it is understood why I am single, career professional with little time for anything or anyone, you forgot the one about my mistress are the law books in town hall.” looking to her while taking in her expression.

    Rayne gives him a fabricated look of concern. “Oh, did I strike a nerve? Let me try again. Married. Divorced. No kids or pets. But maybe a mistress in the background. Am I getting any closer?”

    The tough guy shell fades for just a moment, a softness in his tone “Widowed.. Will be 5 years on Monday, feel free to use that as a front page headline.” before taking a sip of his coffee.

    It is Rayne’s turn to feel a stab of regret and she looks down at the table and mumbles a sincere apology. “Don’t worry, I won’t be using that in any story. I’m...well, I didn’t know...and unlike you, I haven’t done any research on you. I’m truly sorry for your loss.” She feels like a total idiot. Who would figure the Iceman would have had a wife?

    “Can we start over?” she asks. “Just keep it professional...no personal stuff?”

    He looks up to her, offers sincerely “I do think that would be nice, and I don’t normally have the words sorry come from my mouth, my apology to you last night was sincere, and you do make a good point, really, besides for the chief, you are perhaps the only one in town who I have mentioned that last to.” pondering just why he is opening up to a reporter like this for before continuing “I would like to start this over, and I am truly sorry for opening an old wound, I know how that hurts.” Regrouping a little “Professional to professional … anything you want to know about police work?”

    Rayne’s mouth twitches a little at the mention of the ‘old wound’, but she glazes over the incident and nods. “How about the abandoned car last night by the Red Cross building? Any thing about it that warranted mention?”

    A slight smile comes to his lips relieved that she only is asking about a nothing abandoned car as he has not received word yet that it was impounded by Homeland Security. He offers in a friendly tone

    “Would like to make it more exciting than it was, leaving the Red Cross, happened upon that car, engine was cool so had been there for a little while, out of state plates so since the road was town, county and state jurisdiction, I tagged as abandoned and entered it in the computer for the state to impound and look into the minor front end damage.” as he looks to Rayne noticing how her eyes seemed tired but attractive at the same time.

    “Hmmm...and there was no one about? Injured, dead, or just walking the road?” she asks, knowing damn well he didn’t find, or possibly even look for, anyone. She is baiting him, hoping he will make a mistake, once again going into her aggressive questioning tactic. She doesn’t know exactly why she is being such a bitch, but some people just brought it out in her. Even after trying to do the whole ‘start over’ thing, she couldn't change her feelings about him. He reminded her too much of someone from her past.

    Dave simply offers her a smile feeling like she is a defense attorney grilling him for flaws in his story to get a defendant off. He offers in an unchanging friendly tone

    “I did a spotlight scan of the area, called out for anyone and tagged the car.” offering a little inquiry of his own “Why do you ask, was someone found around the car, was your phone call to say that the car was now stolen… or used in a robbery somewhere?”

    “I think that is more your area than mine. I am just the reporter. But to answer your question, the call was just a friend with some exciting news. She’s pregnant. But I will be looking into the car...and the Red Cross...perhaps the two are connected? Maybe I can shed a little light into that dark room you have left us in.” She is aware of the door opening at the cafe and the ever brooding Kevin walks in and sees her at the table with Nicols. He gives her a thumbs up and walks over.

    “Hey Sarge…Rayne. Nice to see you both here...together. When you’ve got some time Dave, I have a great story for ya’. Damn feds.” He laughs, knowing he has also peaked Rayne’s interest. He shrugs then walks off, hoping to get a call tonight from his favorite reporter.

    As Dave smiles at her explanation of a pregnant friend, simply offers “Yes, I discuss pregnant friends outside too…” not wanting to press for her private conversation about the time Kevin walks in. As Kevin speaks, Dave simply rolls his eyes. As Kevin walks to another part of the diner, knows that Rayne easily would have heard the ‘Feds’ part that Kevin mentioned. Casually he continues “As far as the car, if anything panned out, State would contact me.” looking toward Kevin’s direction as he is talking to the waitress and typing on his blog.

    Rayne’s eyebrow goes up...an irritating habit she has grown to despise. “Yep, pregnant friends, abandoned cars...feds. It seems we both are keeping secrets. I’ll tell you mine if you...well, you know the rest. I’ll tell you what. I’m writing a new story this afternoon and if you really want to know what my phone call was about you can wait for it to come out in print and buy a copy. I really have to get going...and thanks for the ‘exclusive’ Dave.” The last is said with a bit of sarcasm as she never addresses him by his first name. She stands without waiting for him to argue and places a twenty on the table. She had barely touched her food or coffee, her appetite having faded with her inability to sleep. “Let’s do this again...real soon.”

    Dave simply sits there thinking ‘This is spiraling out of control real fast’ ready to head over to Kevin to coax what his sisters team had to say to him however he is already out of the diner. He thinks definitely it might be time to give his big sis a ringie dingie. He was going to suggest that the reporter not write anything as there might be more to the story than she is aware of, then the little talk he and Chief Johnson had and his own words on ‘little matter of the constitution resinate’ yet, his sister does seem to do some things that might be at odds with regular law enforcement.
    Last edited by bluemoon; 12-05-2018 at 09:04 PM.

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    Dave eventually makes his way to his midnight blue Lexus 350. Sitting in the car for a few minutes letting the events of the night and his breakfast meeting with Rayne drift through his mind, finally starts the vehicle and starts on the quiet drive to his modest home. Parking in the driveway, Dave walks quietly to the front door. Unlocking the door and entering, he enters the alarm code in the keypad that started squealing.

    As Dave closes and locks the front door, a lamp in the living room illuminates. A feminine voice comes from the recliner in the living room.

    “Really, still using her birthday as an alarm code, when are you going to change that?”

    “Hey sis, would say I am surprised to see you, but, well, you know.”

    Pam stands and waits for Dave to enter the living room. She says with some amusement in her voice “Sheesh, you could at least act surprised to see me.”

    “Let me take a guess, Red Cross were your people?”

    Pam laughs “Come on Davy, can’t you at least act surprised.” while holding his laptop “So your task force is just fluff to keep people thinking that those running this lil town are actively concerned about their well being?”

    Dave simply replies, “They told me that the laptop had NSA encryption.”

    “Don’t worry, it does, there are perhaps 5 organizations in the world that could crack that encryption, your big sis happens to belong to one of them. Really was surprised when I didn’t find anything on this laptop, I didn’t think you would play the role of fluff task force.”

    As Dave reached the kitchen, pours a cup of coffee Pam already made before returning to the living room sitting in his recliner while Pam sat on the couch next to the recliner. “Going to let me know what is up at the Red Cross?”

    Pam now with a tablet with an open file, lets out a little laugh “The kid has been rejected 30 times, would think he would have already gotten a clue that he will never be a cop.” before looking up from the tablet before flipping to another page “Yea, that. Fasten your seat belt, always keep your hands in the cart and get ready for the ride of your lifetime. With your clearance with the several assignments on Presidential Security details, I was given the okay to read you in on this.” she quirks a brow while reading the file she is currently looking at.

    Dave only says “30 times? Had no idea the guy had applied that many times.”

    Pam smiles “Yea, you might only know of his Washington applications. He has also applied in Oregon and California.” looking at the other file again “I am not sure that I like her. It would really be awkward if I kill her at Thanksgiving dinner…” lets out a giggle “…just kidding… not really kidding. But seriously, pancakes and coffee? And you let the girl pay, what am I going to do with you Davy?”

    Dave’s tone a little heightened “So when not spying on me, what else you been doing sis.”

    Closing the other file down, Pam leans back on the couch “Settle down lil bro, just playin’ round a bit. But really, my eyes that were at the Diner mentioned that Wyatt Earp was talking about feds.” She shakes her head “and here I thought he understood that bad things could happen if he keeps talking about monsters and feds.”

    Dave quirks a brow “I can handle the guy, don’t want the guy involved in any non accidental accidents.”

    Pam sips her coffee casually “There won’t be, we were simply going to frame him for something to ruin his reputation. And don’t give me your constitution spill, the kid was warned, it was his bed he ruffled. Anyway Davy, there is a file folder in your locked safe next to your ammo, and try to get a better safe too, it would be an interesting read. Know Monday is going to be hard on you, so will stop by in a few days to chat again.”

    With that, Pam stands and leans in giving Dave a peck on the cheek before walking casually out of the home, down the driveway and into a black SUV which pulls up along the street.

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    Once outside the diner, Rayne stands by her later model Nissan watching Kevin walk up, his childish grin charming her in opposition to his confident swagger. He is a jokester, a blogger, and a geek. ...and her friend. Shaking her head, she laughs, then points to the car. "Get in Romeo. You really think that walk is going to catch you a girlfriend?"

    His smile broadens as he gives her a quick once over and a wink. "The only girl I want is falling for Icey," he teases as he slips into the passenger seat. As is typical, he is wearing designer skin-tight jeans, a metal band t-shirt, black leather jacket, and motorcycle boots. He is a walking contradiction, but she has a soft spot for him none-the-less. For the past two years, he has been giving her information in exchange for using his name in her articles to help promote his chances at the police station--a partnership that has only been rewarding to one side up to this point...hers.

    "Gah...I am not," she says in an exasperated tone, "...that was supposed to be business, but he played me...again." She pulls out of the parking lot and turns left, heading towards Mercy Hospital. "You actually saved me from a longer engagement, so thanks," she says, turning on the radio so Kevin can't start up the teasing again. In short time, the hospital is in sight. It is just outside the limits of Carter Lake, a three story building that dominates the landscape with silver mirror-like siding and huge windows. It is a state of the art facility, despite its humble location, and as Rayne pulls into a parking space she looks up at its reflective surface with awe. 'It never fails to impress,' she thinks as she grabs her purse and climbs out.

    The two walk up together and as they are just starting to enter the building Ang runs up, grabbing their hands and pulling them into a group hug. "Hi...hi.." she says with enthusiasm. "Come on....I have a table already...you gotta see this." They nearly run behind her, her pregnancy not slowing her down as she leads them to the basement level. For the first few minutes, there is small talk, then Ang looks at Rayne seriously and asks her about breakfast.

    "Really Angela...it was with Icey...just ask Kevin." When the boy nods, Ang's eyes get large and she clasps her hands to her chest.

    "Oh be still my beating heart," she exclaims. "You little devil. Was it a date? No...no...don't tell me...business. God, I know he is a cold S.O.B., but I would do him." Ang's face flushes with embarrassment, but she winks at Rayne, then shrugs. "I would..." she repeats then laughs.

    Rayne just shakes her head. "You're a harlot...and you would not. What would Jeremy say?" Angela has always claimed to be a happily married woman with two children and now one on the way, but she loves to tease, and Icey has been the subject of her affectionate goading for a while now. Mostly because he is an eligible single man. That and the fact that he is known for his cold shoulder routine.

    It is a few minutes of Icey talk before Rayne can finally get the subject of the dead man on the table. Ang repeats her story to Kevin, then slides the tickets across to Rayne. After pocketing them, Rayne looks around the room, feeling like eyes are upon them, a common enough paranoia when you are doing something that may be considered wrong. "What about any pictures of the body...or his name?" she asks.

    Ang shrugs. "Well, we took a photo when he was admitted, lots actually, but they were erased or taken, and we hadn't had a chance to ID him yet. But I can describe him to you...um...he was about 6 foot and had a scar on his cheek, blue jeans and blue shirt. Maybe 30...or 35. He was bruised up and really pale with some gouge marks on his neck, but no obvious cause of death. Oh, and he had a tattoo of an eagle on his right forearm. That's about it. Sorry, those Feds were thorough. They didn't leave anything behind but those tickets."

    Rayne offers a smile. "No, really, that's great, and I'll be sure not to name your name. It's strange, Kevin also had a run in with the Feds...seems there's more to whatever is going on then they want to tell us," she surmises.

    As Rayne finishes her thought, Kevin leans forward. "Holy shit. I just remembered the name of the female Fed from last night. I can't believe I didn't think of it earlier. Nichols...Agent Nichols. Just like the Iceman. And she was one scary sonofabitch. Pretty..kinda...but with these vacant eyes and a thin stern mouth. Maybe we should call her the Snowman...Icey and the Snowman." His eyes twinkle as he laughs, a higher pitched sound than would be expected, then they all join in.

    When she catches her breath, Rayne adds, "I think that is supposed to be 'Falcon'..." and the laughter starts again.

    An hour later and Rayne is back at her home, sipping a glass of wine with her tablet open before her. Kevin is gone and Ang back to work, but the stories they gave her are combined and rewritten in a way to connect them. She titles it, Second Version, and gives yesterday's date as a reference. It starts simply with an officer named Sergeant David Nichols finding and ticketing an abandoned vehicle (no body found), then moves to the driver's body being recovered later near the scene and taken to the hospital where it, and all evidence of it's existence, is removed shortly afterwards by Federal agents (source unnamed). Then the story backs up and the reader is led inside the Red Cross Blood bank where a security guard, named Kevin Mercury, is drawn to the storage room while on duty only to find an intruder inside. He fires three shots, almost point blank into a strange man who laughs at him and calls him a 'stupid human'. (Rayne audibly sighs at this point.) At that point, the intruder runs and leaps through a window, an additional four shots being fired without impact. Once again the Feds arrive to reclaim a scene. There are pictures of the issued tickets, the hospital, the wall at Red Cross with obvious bullet holes (compliments of Kevin), and the broken window.

    Rayne leans back to look over her work and smiles. 'Take that Mr. Policeman,' she thinks and hits send. "Let's see him try to gloss that one over," she says to the empty room before grabbing her wine and taking a seat on the sofa. She flips through the channels before finally settling on a home cooking show. She decides it should be boring enough to fall asleep to, but by its end she has only accomplished learning how to make a raspberry cheesecake.
    Last edited by bluemoon; 12-06-2018 at 05:28 AM.

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    With the covers pulled over his head getting some sleep before the extended midnight shift, his sleep is stirred. Looking over at the clock on the nightstand, 4:27 PM. Thought drifts through his mind thinking he mis set the alarm till he realizes his sleep is disturbed by his phone. The phone rings again, the ring tone set aside for Curt. He rolls over taking his Galaxy 8 note sliding ‘answer’ mumbling
    “Hey C.J., change your mind about my shift change?”

    The screaming on the other end of the call perks Dave up quickly.

    “What the living hell are you doing at night, I told you to handle that shit and missy over at the Gazette just put out a story in the evening edition … shit … I should just make things easy on myself and have you spend the rest of your career directing traffic at a dead end intersection…”

    Dave has already set the phone down and walked away knowing Curt will spend at least 10 minutes yelling, telling him that he has the sense of a Q-Tip and other things, always best to let the guy yell his little heart out. After getting the coffee going, he returns to his phone.

    “... mayor's office for the last twenty minutes… how the fuck you going to fix this?”

    Dave smiles, timed that one perfectly. Now that he’s more awake, puts on a sincere tone though it is more to handle Curt so the chief’s high blood pressure doesn’t spike “Damn Curt, I was looking this over already…” this is what the Chiel always liked was how Dave always was on top of things, the Chief is so easy to play runs through Dave’s mind “...Let be get back to figuring out how to resolve this.” hanging up before Curt has a chance to ask for details.

    Dave walks over to his laptop and brings up his online subscription to the paper, quirks a brow at the front page article. Under his breath mumbles ‘Pam is going to flip over this’ before looking up his phone database. Finds Rayne’s phone number and thinks it might be time to speak to this rather attractive woman. Ad he enters her number in the dial pad, hits call and sits back in his recliner, coffee on the end table.

    Rayne is just starting to drift off when the call comes in. With a start, she grabs it up and looks at the caller ID--and swears under her breath. She holds the phone, her fingers hovering over the answer button, trying to decide if she is in the mood for an argument. Finally deciding ‘for’ the argument, she swipes.

    “Good afternoon Sergeant,” she answers in a sweet tone.

    Looking further at the article and his phone on speaker phone mode, in a calm tone

    “Yes it is Miss Summers, thank you for taking my call. I am reading the article in tonight's paper, rather interesting close up on a routine tow tag, I am sure that Kevin sounded convincing when he talked to you. I was wondering if you might be free to speak a little more in depth about your article?” the file folder his sis gave him to the side of his laptop.

    Rayne laughs, almost a nervous twitter, before she answers him. “You want to talk...seems we already tried that this morning. But sure, my day is clear...we can talk.” She really had been expecting this although she has no idea what he hopes to accomplish. The article has already been published..the damage already done. “Where would you like to meet this time?”

    Already standing from the recliner picking up a few loose this and that's around the living room, almost without thinking answers
    “I was thinking a more quiet and comfortable setting, perhaps my place?”
    Not a millisecond after the words came out, a thought of ‘DAMN, how did that sound’ rushes through his mind.

    “Your place?” she repeats, thinking it odd that he would willingly offer his home up to a nosey reporter, but without skipping a beat she agrees. “Okay...just give me the address. I can be there in about 15 minutes.” And unless he lives outside of town, she is sure that would be plenty of time.

    As he already made the offer, and in the back of his mind somewhat surprised she accepted, he was not going to contradict himself by withdrawing the offer, what would she think of him then. A side of him is sort of happy she did accept as well. He simply responds
    “Address is 413 East Chandler Drive, tan house on the corner of the street. Look forward to seeing you Miss Summers.” while disconnecting the call. Quirks a brow ‘look forward to seeing you’ hope she doesn’t misread that drifts through his mind.

    He quickly heads to the bathroom washing his face and shaving. After shaving puts on some cologne and putting on a fresh polo shirt before heading back to the kitchen and puts on fresh coffee before heading back to the living room to await the reporter.

    With her phone still in her hand, Rayne starts to second guess her decision, but considering he is a police officer and an upholder of the law, she can’t imagine what could go wrong. She scoffs at her reasoning as she opens her purse to reassure herself the small dispenser of pepper spray is still inside, then goes to her bedroom to change. Jeans and a t-shirt is what she emerges from the room wearing--not her typical attire, but this is not a professional setting and it is her that is on the questioning block this time.

    Rayne knows the general area of the address she was given, and it only takes her ten minutes to get there, but she spends another five just sitting in her car looking at the area and the outside of his home. Everything is neat and orderly, if not a bit sparse. Personally she would plant some flowers to liven up the yard, but she thinks his lifestyle prevents that. Without another thought, she steps out of her car and walks up to his door, feeling a little underdressed for the cooler weather. Without hesitation, she knocks.

    As he hears the knock on the door, walks to the front door unlocking the door and opening it. He takes a brief moment looking at Rayne thinking how attractive she looks before snapping back to why she is here. He offers a polite

    “Thank you for coming on such short notice Miss Summers, please come in.” before stepping back and starting to the living room “would you like some coffee by chance?” as he reaches the entrance to the kitchen just in case she does feel like coffee.

    “Please...just black,” she responds, her curiosity getting the better of her as she looks at his home. She has already noticed his appearance and the way he smells and subconsciously regrets she didn’t put more time into getting ready. ‘He’s an ass,’ she reminds herself, trying to refocus her thoughts to why she is here. She stands near the entrance to the living room, watching him and continuing to look around. “You have a nice home...neat...orderly.”

    Coming out of the kitchen simply responds “Thank you, I try to keep things straightened up…” well at least when someone comes over, which is almost never “Please, make yourself comfortable.” while walking over to the recliner setting the two coffees on the end table motioning to the other recliner on the other side of the end table.

    She sits where indicated, picking up one of the mugs as she does so. Her eyes drift to a officially marked folder, wondering if he left is there just to entice her. She smiles pleasantly, trying hard to keep her inner bitch at rest this time. “So...you wanted to talk to me...about my article I presume?” she says, getting to the meat of the situation without having to get through too much talk of pleasantries, which she always fails at.

    As he sits in the other recliner, he focuses on the file his sis gave him. He was so busy tidying up, he overlooked the one thing he did not want the reporter to see. He knows she has to have seen it already. He simply casually takes the folder and sits it along his chair sliding it slightly under. His tone friendly as a smile comes to his face as he looks toward her, the smile natural and no ruse

    “Yes, of course I did want to talk to you about the article. I trust that you are a straight to the point woman so I just wanted to say, well, there might be some in … places … that might find your article, well, not something they wanted to see come out.”

    He simply leaves those words hanging so as to give her time to fly off on some rage about constitution and freedom of the press or some rage he would expect from Curt or the Mayor’s office.

    Rayne watches his face closely as he speaks, not missing a thing--not even the relocating of the file--and decides he is being genuine even if he is saying something that is already obvious. She responds simply with “...and…”, her mind going immediately to the Federal agent with the same last name. She suspects it is his sister, since he already mentioned his wife was dead, but it could just be a coincidence.

    Rather surprised that he does not have to clean up broken glass from a thrown mug of dry coffee from the luxury vinyl he has for flooring, his tone still friendly but a little more relaxed

    “Somehow I don’t want to play the usual smoke and mirrors I do at the morning press conferences…” a little concerned about the details he has read in the file sis gave him “... but … this is awkward … there are things that are around that can not really be casually written about. I know the whole public right to know thing, but the Mayor’s office tends to deny permits to people that he is displeased with, orders increased traffic enforcement around businesses when he is unhappy with them, even fires without cause staffers who give him bad news…” gives those words a moment to sink in, before she has a chance to do the ‘thank you captain obvious for telling me something I already knew’ … his tone a little hesitant “... if you could think of the Mayor’s office on steroids, that is what I worry more articles might bring out from outside influences.”

    He looks to her, genuine concern on his features, still waiting for the mug to be thrown.

    Rayne chews at her lower lip, nodding her head. She directs her gaze to his, ebony eyes meeting hazel. “Are you threatening me Sergeant...or maybe your...sister...put you up to this? I am not easily deterred or scared off...as I am sure you are aware. My ‘sources’ are convinced we are not dealing with ordinary circumstances here, and the public does have a right to know what the hell is going on...so fuck your warning.”

    Dave is still surprised at the restraint that the woman sitting with seems to be showing. Even with her seldom used colorful language, this is going better than he anticipated. His tone still remains respectful “Miss Summers, I would never threaten you and if you knew me, I do not do other people’s bidding. I simply wanted to express an concern I have with … people … you might not know the extent they are wi…..”

    His words cut off as scratching is heard from the front door. A moment later the door opens as Pam still holding her lock pick enters. “Didn’t I tell you that you should get a better lock Davy?” as she steps into the living room.

    A broad smile forms on her lips as she giggles
    “Oh, my two people” looking to Dave “my favorite” then to Rayne “and my new least favorite.” she strolls casually into the living room looking to Dave’s appearance giggling again
    “Really? I was just joking about thanksgiving dinner. This is going to be precious, and here I was just going to have you pass this on to missy.” she presses the button on the radio “XRay 7, go” while sitting on the couch resting the radio on the end table, a cat eaten the canary look on her face as she looks to Rayne.

    Rayne is unsure what is going on, but suddening she gets the feeling she does not want to wait around and find out. Her gaze shifts from the Sergeant to his sister, apprehension showing on her features. As soon as Pam sits down, she rises from her chair, grabbing her purse from the floor. “I think I should leave…” she says simply, turning towards the front door.

    Pam simply giggles “And after I got this stage all set, I think you should stay and listen to the first act…” while snapping her fingers, I rather large framed man enters the front door standing in the way. Pam smiles “really lil brother, didn’t I tell you that I didn’t think stories of monsters should go out?”

    The radio squaks
    ‘District 14, traffic stop I-5 mile marker 17, suspect vehicle in the abduction APB, request back up’

    With that Pam clicks the radio off, looking to Rayne “Seems like lil Kevie has been a bad boy, he is going to be kinda tied up for a lil”

    Dave rather loudly “Sis, that IS NOT necessary, and crossing the line!”

    “Really lil bro, you really want to bring miss thang into a family squabble. No lil bro, crossing the line will be the tax audit that the girl’s paper will be under in the morning.”

    Rayne, her feet rooted to the spot, watches the interactions with her mouth open as though ready to speak. She is not sure how to respond, but her blood is boiling and she finally turns her anger towards the Sergeant. “You...this...did you plan this? Inviting me to your home so you could sic your sister on me? That’s low...and...fuck,” she now turns to the agent, “...just what the fuck did you do? Kevin is not to be...just...fuck…” She turns toward the door again and starts to make her way towards it, taking what she decides is the easier of two roads. She reaches into her purse and pulls out her pepper spray, with every intention of spraying it into the beefy guys eyes if that is what it takes to get past him.

    The man at the door simply moves his hand out open palmed as though signaling traffic to stop. Pam looking to Rayne in an amused tone “Oh, you give my baby bro too much credit, trust me girlie, if eyes in the diner this morning didn’t see him panting over you, you would be the one with the issue to deal with, now what am I doing with Kevie, nothing that can’t be undone, I’d be more concerned about the tax audit you are bringing onto your paper..’ while looking at a tablet with various files ‘and the cute receptionist at the front desk, bad bad girl, she could be gone with no doctoring at all.”

    Dave loves his sis and all, not the shit she does, moves over to her “Sis, give me 24 hours, call the wolves off the kid.”

    Pam looks to Dave “You can do much better than that…” nodding in Rayne’s direction before letting out a sigh. “And here I spent so much time getting everything all pretty and ready…” Pam picks up the radio “All units 10-22.”

    Pam looks to Dave almost like Rayne didn’t exist. “There lil bro, just know this, I will not pull the next act should I play it.” before heading to the door, as she passes Rayne simply offers “Toodles hun, pleasure and all that stuff, think you and my baby bro have stuff to talk about.” giggling “and damn, Kevie will certainly have an interesting conspiracy story to tell, diff is babe, people listen to you and take you serious, and can easily be hurt by words, toodles…” as she and Beefy guy head out the door to an awaiting Black SUV along the street.

    A few seconds pass after the front door closes and in those moments Rayne’s mind races through her options. Surprisingly she has remained silent through the conversation between David and Pam and she is still uncertain where things stand, other than she is facing another chance to ruin other people’s lives. She wants to scream at him, say ‘fuck you’ and storm out, but instead she stays by the door and looks at him, a look in her eyes that for once does not portray confidence. “I...what the hell...now what? I just sit down and listen to the new rules? This is unfair and you know it.” She leans back against the wall and clutches her purse to her chest.

    Dave has heard his sister talking about ruining lives and entire companies before yet this is the first time he has been where she was doing it at. He himself is somewhat perplexed, all he could mutter is “Mayor’s office on steroids…” before stepping over to Rayne. A rare tone of confusion in his tone “I wish I had the answer, I wish I could fix what she is doing, I am so sorry for what just happened, I just don’t know what to do.” as he reaches out to try to softly hold her shoulders. Thoughts run through his mind on letting the woman before him look through the file his sis gave him, dreading the thought on what his sister might be capable of next time if that information got out.

    Rayne cringes when his hands make contact with her, an impulse to slap out at him and scream in his face still the foremost reaction her body is working towards. He seems sincere in his apology, but she can’t wrap her head around the situation. With him so close she can feel his body heat and smell his cologne and his sister’s words replay in her head...’you can do better than that’. Just what the hell did that mean? ..and at the diner, was there something she missed? His closeness is distracting and she puts her hands on his chest to stay any further contact. “Don’t…” she hoarsely whispers.

    As her hands rest against his chest, his heart races faster as he steps slightly back, his eyes still looking into hers, for the first time in the last five years, he has a feeling of uselessness run through him. The thought for what he wants to say is interrupted as Rayne’s phone rings. He steps further back offering “I am so sorry for what ‘she’ “...a slight bitterness in how he used the word she in his tone “... is doing.” unable to think of more to say, his face warm, skin a slightly red flush to it, comes back to focus allowing Rayne take her call.

    Rayne is aware all too well of what is happening between them and she feels a sense of relief with the interruption when her phone rings. She answers with a simple ‘yeah’, then listens silently as Kevin tells her the latest news of his life’s adventures. It takes her a moment to slow her increased respiration and heart rate as the moment between her and the Sergeant ends.

    Signature created by the awesome .Quirky.

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