Book Four: Part 8 - Rhyming Evil - Chapter 3
Tuesday – June 26th
The Squad Room – 8:28 a.m.
“So, now you all know. Once you get everyone you can see out of the buildings, look in places for those you can’t see. The ones we missed yesterday, would have been considered severely injured, or dead. And none of us want dead on our watch.
“Today, and for the rest of the week, look three times harder. Get everyone out alive and into that shelter.
“That’s it. Beyond the drill, yesterday was quiet. Let’s hope we can keep it that way. So, if there are no questions, get out there and be safe, and keep our streets safe.”
Baker’s cell phone rang.
“Hi ’ya, bub. What’s up?”
“Nothing much, but you remember that writer that was at Sallie’s Emporium about a year or so ago?”
“I know who you mean, but I can’t remember his name. Why?”
“I just saw in the paper today that he’s coming back to Sallie’s. He’ll be doing another autograph session, signing copies for his newest book, ‘Road to the Other Side’. And his name is Edward Carter, mom.”
“I remember him now. He was there during an attempted robbery. Let me guess. That’s where you would be if I need to find you, if I had to go looking for you.”
“He will be here tomorrow from two to five. And, if I wouldn’t be there, I’d be with Ellie, or at home.”
“I know. Let me ask you one last time though; are you sure you’re okay with not being on the baseball team?”
“I’m good with it, mom. My head means just as much to me as it does you. Besides, come the fall, I can still help Coach with the basketball plays. I’d be just as happy on the sidelines as I would be on the court. So really, it doesn’t bother me.”
“As long as you’re sure. I don’t ever want you to think we would deny you anything that would bring you happiness.”
“Mom, I’m good, really I am. Anyway, when you get home tonight, can I have thirty dollars so I can get his new book and autograph again?”
“Here I thought you called because you miss your mom.”
“Mom? Please. You know you are always number one in my life.”
“Good comeback, Stevie. The money won’t be a problem. Where are you off to today?”
“Back to the lake with Ellie. She’s packed a lunch and we are going to hang out there for a few hours, but her mom and dad invited me over for dinner tonight.”
“Don’t ask; you can go. We’ll see you tonight if you don’t get back late.”
“You rock, mom. I love you!”
“I love ….”
Gone with the wind.
City Council Chambers – 4:17 p.m.
Baker, Satchell, Stan Henley, and the Chief Fire Marshal, all sat around the glass desk-top as they faced the city council members and heard the numbers.
Councilman Wayne Salor said, “Not bad. But we still need improvement.”
Mayor Jean Marsh, added, “The numbers were much better, far better than we hoped for. The law of averages tells us that during an earthquake or flooding’s, or any form of natural disaster; such as hurricanes, tornados, and even electrical storms, two to five percent of the population of any given city will either be severely injured, or result in death.
“Here, in Montie, taking those stats into accordance, that would mean 3,700 lives in an about Montie would be at severe risk. Per capita, we are at a higher risk of loss than any other city in the state, except for Buffalo, Albany, and of course, New York City.
“But we did do better today. Except for thirty-one people, we saved many lives today. Tomorrow is day three. Let’s work even harder and lower that number even more.”
Millard Arms Estate – 5:45 p.m.
In a house on Murphy Lane, fingers fly across a keyboard trying to get a copy of the plans for the easiest access inside Montie’s High School Band Room.
Bottom room behind the school. No windows within public view. All that would be needed are sturdy boots to break the glass, gloves to open the window for easy-in, easy-out. One roll of toilet paper, and next Thursday night, the school would be hit, and riddle number two would be in place.
Closing out blueprints.com, the mouse scrolled over an icon that went directly to Facebook, and then over to Twitter. Looking at the wall clock, there wasn’t time left to do anything but shut down the computer and get ready for the evening as it has been for years.
But changes are coming. Big changes. Permanent changes.
Rastabella’s Eatery – 7:45 p.m.
As neither couple were aware of at least one other couple in the restaurant; Patrick and Cliff, grabbed a table for two in a semi-lit area of the dining room. Cliff ordered the spaghetti and meatballs, where Patrick, ordered the manicotti.
In more toward the center of the dining room, sat both Michael and J.W. Both ordered the lasagna. Oddly enough, both tables ordered cheese sticks for appetizers. Neither couple ordered any wine, beer, or other spirits.
It was when they were halfway through their meals, did J.W. happen to glance up and notice Patrick. It was just a glancing look, but his eyes kept looking Patrick’s way.
“If I’m boring you, J.W., just say so.”
“I’m sorry. What were you saying?”
“You keep looking at Mr. Davenport. He owns and operates the animal clinic. You keep staring at him. Do you find him attractive, or more to your liking?”
“No. That wasn’t why I was, I guess, staring. I just remember him from another time that isn’t registering in my head right now. I’m not attracted to the man, for god’s sake. It’s my cop instinct kicking in. It happens now and then.”
“I see. Because he too, is gay. If he weren’t, he wouldn’t be with Cliffy. He is such a bottom. I wouldn’t be surprised if Mr. Davenport gives up on him in a few weeks.”
“How do you know so much about him?”
“We dated a few years ago. As you may have learned, Montie isn’t exactly a mega-plex for gay pride. There are less than four dozen gay men and lesbians in the entire county.
“We aren’t shunned or ridiculed mind you, but neither do we openly flaunt ourselves. Not good for business, shall we say.”
J.W. took another quick glance and then he remembered. He explained to Michael about the car accident and where Daniel Watson was killed, and how Mr. Davenport came with Daniel’s mother, so she could identify her son.
“Sounds to me like there is more to that tragic ending you don’t know. I’m willing to put my years of courtroom experience on the line, and say that Mr. Davenport and that Daniel Watson, were in all likelihood, were living together, and lovers.”
“Maybe, but that didn’t concern me then, and it doesn’t now. Right now, I’m off cop-mode, and my attention is focused on dinner, and us.”
From across the way, Cliff couldn’t see what Patrick could see because his back faced J.W.’s direction. Patrick remembered the man who kept looking in his direction, and it dawned on him, he was one of two policemen originally on the scene at Daniel’s accident. Patrick motioned his head, asking Cliff, if he knew the two men who were having dinner together.
Cliff turned for a quick look.
“The one, is Michael Collins. He’s an Assistant D.A. for the county. A bit of a horse’s ass, too. Acts all high and mighty, but he screams like a little girl when he gets his.”
Patrick smiled somewhat.
“I take it you two were an item before.”
“Yes, and he was too much for me to handle with his ball-busting attitude. Everything had to be his way, or out the door you went. After some time with him, I walked out the door. That was almost three years ago. Good riddance, I say. He was such a controlling bitch.
“The other one, I don’t know him. He’s new.”
I know him, thought Patrick. Maybe he could get him to have lunch with him and just talk. Maybe there is something about Daniel, he forgot to mention.
“Hello? Patrick? Come back to earth, please.”
“Sorry. I went into a zone just then.”
They finished their dinner and decided on a dish of Raspberry and a dish of Butter-Pecan ice-cream. When Patrick next looked up, the police officer, and the attorney, Michael, were gone.
Looking at his own watch, he saw it was going on 10:30. The time had evaporated. He also remembered he had an employee meeting at 8:30 in the morning, and he had to be sharp as a blade for it.
With dessert finished, Patrick drove Cliff back to his home, parked the car in Cliff’s driveway, the engine still running.
“What? You aren’t coming in?” It sounded more an accusation that a question.
“Forgive me, but I have a meeting with my staff in the morning and I need to make sure I’m bright-eyed and aware. Fresh as a daisy, too.”
Cliff put on his best pouting face.
“Another night, then. I so want us to be in bed together, Patrick. We can be so good for each other.”
“Maybe another night, Cliff. But not anytime soon, at least not yet. Please. I’m willing for us to get to know each other better, but it’s only been a short time for me. I don’t hop into bed because someone is cute. Besides, I still have feelings for Daniel.”
“That’s fine. Call me tomorrow, Daniel, and let’s do lunch.”
Cliff unhooked his seat belt, leaned toward Patrick, and kissed him briefly on the lips. He tried to worm his tongue inside, but Patrick pulled away.
“I’ll call tomorrow. Sleep well, Cliff.”
Once Cliff was out of the car, Patrick drove home, undressed, showered, brushed his teeth, then slid 8under the covers. Just before he turned the light on the nightstand, he glanced at Daniel’s picture.
“I can almost hear you yelling at me to drop him. I probably will. I’m still missing you. Goodnight, Daniel.”
Before he was rooted deeply into la-la land, he would make it a point that one day this week, he would talk with that cop again.