Cents and Nickel
Things moved rapidly that day. The Sheriff told her that the judge had signed the order and his prison van was on the way. Dollars nodded. The reporters were gone for the morning though I knew they would be back if there was anything happening. The prison van arrived and all the prisoners were loaded and made it safely to the detention center. That allowed things to calm down. Dollars got the call from the Mayor. She thanked him but told him she would have to talk to her fiancé and pray before she could make a final decision. He asked her to be the interim captain and start recruiting new officers. She did agree to that.
We talked later at the farm. She said, “Abraham, how do you feel?”
I looked at her. “I’m not sure what you mean. I’m glad it’s over. We’re okay. You have some decisions to make.”
The eyes flashed and she straddled me. I had a feeling that she liked that position. “Abraham, we have decisions to make. We’re a team. I’m not making a decision without your input. I hope you would be the same.”
I smiled gently. “I think that’s part of what we pledge to each other when we marry.
“I think you would make a fine chief. You think well on your feet. You’re a good cop. You are known and respected by the people and members of the force and of other forces. It’s more money and we could use that.” I chuckled when she looked at me like I was crazy. “Besides, I enjoy ‘working’ under you like I am now.” I kissed her softly.
She got that dreamy look. “Abraham, you should be the chief. You handled the emergency. I think, if Captain Jenson had lived, he would have had you in charge like you were. You are the hero.”
“That may be. These events weren’t police work. It was the type of fighting for which I was trained. Even Jorgie stayed behind me. He is combat trained and even experienced but all this was different. Police work is your training. You can do this, Dollars. If you want another opinion, talk to your father. He will know.”
She moved enough to pull her phone out. She made the call. “Hi, Mom. It’s Cents.” She listened. “Hang on, I’m going to put you on speaker. Abraham is here.” She thumbed the button to speaker. “Now, is Dad home? I want to bring both of you up to date and get an opinion.”
“Okay. Tom, come in here. It’s Cents! My opinion is you should marry him now!”
“Thanks, Mom. I’ll stick to the schedule. It’s going to be a little busy.”
“Good afternoon, Cents. Abe, are you there, too?”
“Good. Try to keep her out of trouble.”
“I’m trying but she has a mind of her own.” I chuckled.
“Mom, Dad, everything is all right. I have a very small flesh wound in my arm and it’s pretty much healed. The bandage and sling are to keep Abraham happy. I have his thirty-two in the sling just in case but I think the shooting is over. We have sent the prisoners to Lee Detention Center for holding.
“Dad, Mossy, Ray Jones, and I are the only ones left. Those murderers killed all the rest including Captain Jenson.”
“I knew Jenson. He was a good man.”
“Yes, Sir. We will be having a service for him and the other officers and families next week. That’s not what I want to ask you about though.”
“Uh, Okay, Cents. Ask away.”
“The Mayor wants me to be the new chief. Mossy suggested me and Abraham is for it. Dad, I’m scared.”
Missus Ingram said, “That’s a wonderful opportunity, Dear.”
Dollars said, “That’s not all. The Sheriff offered me a job on his force as spokesperson which I turned down because I’m a cop and not a figurehead or a talking head. He didn’t take my ‘no’ but plans to come back with a different offer that includes that.”
Mister Ingram said, “I watched you on television. I’m proud of you and the way you handled yourself on the air. I’ve heard from the people here about how well you did. No one said that it was due to the circumstances but just that you did very well.
“Now, you are seeing the results of your good work. How does Moss feel?”
“He turned the job down and recommended me!”
‘I’m not surprised. I wouldn’t think he would want to be chief. I wouldn’t. You, on the other hand, would make an excellent chief.”
“Dad, I’m not sure that was the answer I wanted from you.”
“Why? Would you want me to lie? Would you want me to tell you to hide the obvious abilities that you have?”
“Dad, I was hoping you would agree with me. I think I’m too young and don’t have enough experience.”
He just said, “Sorry.” There was a long silence.
Missus Ingram softly said, “What does Abe say?”
“He says I can do it and do it well but that it is my decision.”
“Well, Cents, he’s right of course.”
“Cents, he makes good choices. He chose you. He has made a recommendation but left the choice to you. What’s hard about this?”
Dollars was quiet. I said, “She’s thinking.”
Mister Ingram said, “Where is she doing this thinking?”
I said, “She straddling my lap.”
Her parents were chuckling in the background. I heard Missus Ingram. “Tom, that’s where some of my best decisions were made including the one to get pregnant!”
“You’re not helping!”
“Sure I am. You just don’t want to admit it.”
“Okay, parents. I will pray about it. Unless God sends an obvious sign, I will tell the Mayor ‘yes’ in the morning.”
Her mother and father said, “Good night, sweetheart.”
Dollars said, “Good night.” She thumbed the disconnect button.
“Dollars, what other major issue needs a decision this fine night?”
She grinned. “Whether you’re going to kiss me or I’m going to kiss you.”
We kissed together. Before we finished, we were both panting. We lay together that way. Before we went to sleep and my back started to hurt, I got us up and directed us to bed. It was quiet and we had the first night’s solid sleep in days. In the morning, we cleaned up and went into the station.
It looked good. The place was cleaned up thanks to the cleaning crew that the city employed. They were just leaving as we came in. Dollars thanked them for their hard work.
The lady who supervised them said, “Now that we have a lady chief, I’ll bet you’ll keep Mossy from making such a mess.” She grinned and left.
Mossy stood when she walked in. “Good morning, Captain, Ma’am. I have your coffee ready.” He was holding out a mug with a big green dollar sign on it. He winked. He handed me one. “Ellen got each of you one.” Mine had a Marine logo on it.
Ray Jones was there and didn’t stand but saluted her. “Good morning, Captain.” He smiled at her sincerely.
She was quiet though smiled shyly. She walked into Jenson’s office and the mayor was there. He was setting a nameplate on her desk. “Good morning, Captain. I have a temporary nameplate here. I understand that, in less than a month, we’ll have to change the last name. I look forward to that day.” He put out his hand to shake.
She shook it and said, “Th-thank you, Mister Mayor.”
“From now on, I’m Bob, Captain.”
“Okay, Bob. I’m Cents.”
“I know. Thank you for accepting the job. I really have confidence in you and the city will find it easy to back you.” He smiled at her and pulled a package from his pocket. “You need to put these on. I bet Ace will be glad to help you.” He handed her the captain’s bars. He left after shaking hands with me, too.
She looked at me. “Abraham, would you pin them on me, please.”
“Of course.” I moved to her and kissed her thoroughly. I pinned one on each shoulder. I pulled my pocket knife and carefully cut her stripes off. “Now, you’re in proper uniform. I’ll get you out of uniform later.” We grinned at each other.
We went outside and Barbara had come into the station along with the head of SWAT. Everyone clapped. Lieutenant Moody said, “That beats our offer. I’ll tell the Sheriff.”
“Thank you.” She looked at me. “Abraham, please put your badge on your belt. We’re going to walk the block.” There was activity from the outside back of the building. “Starting with back there.”
I came to attention and saluted. “Yes, Ma’am, Captain.” I smiled at her. I pulled my official wallet and slid it through my belt to let the badge show.
Hand in hand, we walked out and around back. Her new bars gleamed in the sun. There were four guys working but they stopped when they saw her. One said, “Congratulations, Captain. We’re proud of you. You and your guy are a credit to all of us.”
“Thanks. My guy is Abe and he is going to be my husband at the end of the month.”