For the A-to-Z April Blogging Challenge, I’m writing a story, aiming for 1000 words a day (every day except Sundays). Continuing today with part 5 of a story about the character Codie Snow.
If you’re new to this series of posts, you might want to start here:
So “Going Somewhere” means multiple things…one of which is that we’re out of the scene that dragged on for days–something I might need to chop during revision. But, without further ado, here’s today’s part!
Codie was quiet for a few seconds, because she knew why Pete was irritated with her. She’d disobeyed a direct order from him. Now, granted, he wasn’t her boss or her father or anyone who should matter, and she didn’t really care if he was angry with her or not.
But she didn’t want him to end the ride-along.
“Look, Pete, I know you’re mad at me—”
“I’m not mad at you, Codie. Yeah, I’m a little peeved that it’s like you didn’t hear a word I said, but I’m not mad.”
Huh. His voice said otherwise…but Codie wasn’t going to say another word. Instead, she turned her head to look out the passenger side of the window. She had never spent hours driving around their little town, especially in the dead of night. There’d never been any reason for it. She’d always figured it was a lot like when she was a little kid—maybe one car somewhere on the road in the dark of night and you were lucky if the largest convenience store stayed open till midnight and reopened at six. The bars stayed open latest and even they rolled up shop fairly early. But nowadays the small town never slept, and even though Codie had known that, she hadn’t witnessed it. The truck stop at the edge of town was open 24/7—but that hadn’t been the edge of town when she was a kid. It had been out of town a bit. Now it was part of Dalton and the town fully embraced it. There was also another coffee and pancake restaurant in the middle of town that stayed open twenty-four hours, plus two convenience stores, and a good many businesses stayed open till eleven. Oh, and the giant super center on the west end of town never closed—except for Christmas.
Yeah, lots had changed.
Pete’s voice pulled her out of her introspection. “Thing is, Codie, I still have to protect you. That’s my job. You might have heard that one before? ‘To serve and protect’? That still applies, even to you, even if you’re riding along.” After a second, he said, “And if you’re getting ready to argue again that you were never in any real danger, let me tell you something. The supposed suspect, who was supposed to have fled on foot, was still there, drinking a beer and chilling in front of his TV. It doesn’t even matter that the supposed victim was actually the aggressor. What does matter is what if the guy had been really violent? What if he’d had a gun? If you’d bebopped in the house without a care in the world while I was trying to hold the guy at bay, someone could have gotten hurt. You, me, the victim. There are all kinds of possibilities, none of which are pretty. And if the situation had gotten hairy, I would have had you in the way, making my job even harder than it already is.”
Codie understood where he was coming from, but it was lame. “Why’d I even bother?”
Pete sighed. “Look…we usually have ride-alongs wear a vest and sign a release, so if they get hurt, it’s on them, right?”
“I signed a release.”
And then it dawned on Codie. “Why didn’t I get a vest?” Pete turned a corner in the cruiser and kept his eyes on the road. “You were supposed to give me a vest, weren’t you?”
He let out another heavy sigh, but Codie saw no signs of defeat in this man. After what seemed like minutes, he said, “Yeah, we were supposed to give you a vest.” He blinked a couple of times before he added, “But a body like yours shouldn’t be covered up like that.”
Of all the things she’d expected Pete to say, that wasn’t it. She felt herself frown as she tried to wrap her mind around it. Was Pete still attracted to her all these years later? “So I’m being punished because—”
Pete pulled the car over, switching off the lights, and Codie felt her heartbeat begin to race as she lost her train of thought. What the hell? She half expected Pete to pull her close and profess his undying love. But when she looked over, his eyes were focused outside. “You know where we are?”
Codie shrugged. They were in north Dalton. Whoop-de-doop. Looked the same as any residential area in south Dalton, east Dalton, west Dalton. Especially without the sun beating down on any of it. “No clue.”
“You’ve heard of the Dalton Devils?”
It tickled her brain. “Biker gang?”
She could barely hear the sardonic sound of Pete’s voice when he said, “They prefer the term motorcycle club. Like how calling a strip joint a gentleman’s club makes it classier.” A voice on his radio broke a short silence as Pete scrutinized the house. “This is the house of the president of the Devils. Right next door is the junkyard. Did you know the junkyard is owned by the Devils?”
“I don’t know. Maybe?”
“What you might not know is their clubhouse is directly in the backyard of the president’s house. Now…the club pretends they only have legitimate businesses and everything’s on the up-and-up, but we know better. It’s just hard making shit stick to ‘em. They have a good lawyer too.” Codie’s ears perked up at that. Her sometimes-boyfriend Slade wasn’t their lawyer, was he? “So I make sure I drive out here at least once during every shift, sometimes twice, and I just observe.”
“That’s not illegal? Or harassment?”
The lights on the dash allowed Codie to see the slight grin appear on Pete’s face, but he didn’t say a word. After another minute, the radio caught his attention again and he picked up the mike. “Eighteen here. Go ahead.”
“A possible one-eight-seven at 807 Central.”
“Roger that. On my way.” Pete turned on the ignition and they were once more speeding down the highway. What the hell was the hurry?
“What’s a one-eight-seven?” Codie asked.
See you tomorrow with more!
UP NEXT: H is for HOMICIDE