Cents and Nickel
Chapter 11

Before reaching the Interstate, her eyes widened as a car almost left the road because the driver was paying too much attention to Sweet Adeline. She said, "That's the real danger when driving her, isn't it, Abraham?"

"Yes, other drivers can be mesmerized by her and not watch where they are going." We were stopped at a stop sign. "After you're on the Interstate, pull that handle and she will go into overdrive. She'll run seventy easily all day." Dollars nodded. She pulled onto the Interstate and effortlessly went through the gears including shifting into overdrive.

The two Interstates we were on weren't busy but Dollars watched carefully. Only one other car was ever worrisome but it soon took an exit. A couple of others followed us for a while before speeding off. I chuckled. "Abraham, what's so funny?" Dollars was a little exasperated because I hadn't said anything about what was funny.

"Sweet Adeline usually gets all the attention but then they get closer and it's also her driver who is drawing attention today."

She grinned then. "And they can't even see my legs!"

She drove us to Greenville and took an exit. She delivered us to her parents' house without any difficulty. "It's a different ride than my Mustang but Sweet Adeline is so smooth to drive that I feel relaxed." She smiled at me. "It's time to go in and face my 'rents." Her smile turned into a grin.

We didn't make it to the front door before her parents were outside greeting us. I got a hug from her mother and my hand shaken by her father. Her father led the way inside with his arm around Dollars. Missus Ingram took my arm. She said, "Don't worry. We won't bite hard." She chuckled.

We came inside and Missus Ingram offered the two of us seats on the couch. Dollars sat in the middle giving me only a choice of which side of her I would sit. I sat down with my hands in my lap. She looked at me crossly. "Abraham Charles Easton, if you don't put your arm around me, I will slap you!"

"That didn't work out to well last time you tried that, Dollars."

"At least you'll have to touch me to protect yourself."

Her mother was grinning broadly. I put my arm around her and she snuggled in tightly. Dollars' dad didn't look daggers at me. Missus Ingram said, "Abe, what is that pin on your jacket?"

I gave her the same answer that I had given Dollars. "I wear it to remember friends who didn't make it back, Ma'am."

"Abraham, I asked you to call me, Betty. I will now tell you."

"Yes, Ma'am, Betty. I have trouble calling Dollars' parents by their first names."

"Dollars? How did that come about?"

"After I met her and watched her shoot, I felt she was worth more than a few cents. Dollars just makes sense to me."

"Mom, there are things he isn't telling you. First, that lapel pin is worn by Medal of Honor recipients. Second, I shot my best round at the Lee Combat Range and he beat me by one point with a possible. Third, he called me that when I was leaving his place after being forced to take him to supper because I lost that match."

Mister Ingram said, "Abraham, is that all true?"

"Yes, Sir."

"What branch of the service were you with?"

"I was in the Corps, Sir."

"Dad, he was in Marine Recon."

"Cents said that you beat her in a match?"

"Yes, Sir. She had tried to slap me before and is beautiful when she's angry. I had to get her out of uniform and see what she looked like when there was no fire in her eyes and she was wearing civvies."

"Back to the match, Cents said she scored her highest so far, a forty-nine. You beat that? That means you shot a possible."

"Yes, Sir."

"Dad, he's only been on that range twice. However, he has never improved."

"That means."

"Yes, Dad. That means he has shot two possibles on his two runs of the course."

"Abe, that is some extraordinarily fine shooting. I've only shot it once and was thrilled to get a forty for my efforts. I watched about ten guys run it before my turn. How many people have you watched run the course?"

"One, Sir."

Dollars muttered, "Shit!"

Mister Ingram said, "Millicent, you know better than to use those words."

"Dad! Yes, Sir. He watched me run a forty-nine before he shot his 'second' possible."

Mister Ingram said, "Shit!"

Missus Ingram said, "Cents, I need your help in the kitchen." The two ladies left.

"You say that she tried to slap you?"

"Yes, Sir. It was the Wednesday we met and I was provoking her. I sensed that she would have rejected any request for a date. I had to get her in a match and beat her to get her to go out with me. It was the only way. Also, I didn't want her to hit me. She was swinging hard."

He chuckled. "Her mother and I never taught her to do things half-heartedly."

I said fervently, "That's so true."

"Are you working with the police department?"

"Yes, Sir. I have a badge and credentials but I'm really just the firearms instructor. I'm not a policeman. However, I have been told that I will be asked to ride on New Year's Eve."

Dollars came in as I was speaking. "He's riding with me, Dad. I feel very safe with him. Has he told you how he came the department's notice?" He shook his head. "He took out two convenience store robbers. He used a short-nose thirty-two at thirty-five feet."

"Mister Ingram, it wasn't anything special. I just happened to be at the store filling my coffee cup. I warned them before I shot. They didn't make a good choice."

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Story tagged with:
Ma/Fa / Romantic / Fiction / Violent /