Dale Rogers the new chief.
Mayor Laura Jamison
Lester Haines Sightly heavy night officer.
Mike Simpson day officer. Gym rat also a short 5’4”
Lucy Kerby chubby young secretary.
Jim Sloan evening officer
Adams the realtor.
Wesley Brown handyman.
Andrew Rice my roof repairman and plumbing repairman
Betty Booth the Sergeant at arms of Happy Valley
Colonel Williams rep for Happy valley
Diane Rogers his ex wife
Sarah Rogers his daughter
Wilson Thomas Daine’s bf
Allison Dempsey lucy’s temp
Raul, andrew rice helper
Juanita Rauls wife
Myra Rauls daughter and Sarah friend.
Randy Reynolds Sarah’s bf
Mallo and Silvers the SBI Agents.
Marty the SBI computer nerd.
Angelo Martinez the pornographer
building 513 main st
Ed Marx and his son Eddie
Gayle Arnold widow on the pier
Jessie smith social security cheat.
The three days between meeting Gayle Arnold and Sunday passed Quickly. First of all the two red necks and the bomb maker got arraigned. They looked menacing, but I figured they were harmless at that moment at least. Betty began getting out more. Where she went and what she did remained a mystery to me. Mostly because I didn’t care enough to ask, or pay attention when she explained.
Sunday morning I got a phone call from Gayle. “Dale what are you doing today?”
“My plan was to call you and see if you wanted to walk on the beach,” I suggested.
“That’s why I’m calling my husband’s mother is going to take the boys to church and then for a drive in the mountains. They wont be back until late. I was going to see if you wanted to take a long walk and tell each other stories from out childhood,” she suggested.
“I don’t have any interesting stories. I would love to hear yours though,” I admitted. Sure my stories were interesting to other cops. I expected she would run for the hills, if heard them. Nothing like a Russian murder contract on her date to scare a nice conservative lady.
“I don’t really either how about we just go out and enjoy the day?” she said.
“Great, I don’t suppose you would wear a bikini for me?” I asked.
“I do not own a bikini. I have the body of a forty year old woman who gave birth twice. I also have lots of things going on, however the gym isn’t one of them,” she said.
“The gym is highly over rated,” I said. “I do not wear the men’s version of a bikini. I don’t have any excuse except I love pizza and beer. I no longer get the have the beer, but I still have the pizza. So how do you want me to do this? Come get you or would you rather meet me somewhere?”
“How about we meet at the very south end of the beach road on Wrightsville Island.” she suggested. “How about 10:30 can you do that?”
“I can. I warn you I’m going to pressure you into joining me for lunch,” I suggested.
“That sounds great, good conversation and a nice lunch,” she suggested.
“I was thinking more of a hot dog and coke from the Coney Island Food Truck, if I can find it,” I explained.
“You get to choose the first choice, but I get to choose the next one,” she said.
“Fine with me as long as I can wear shorts and sandals,” I said.
“You can, but you have to wear a shirt as well,” she said.
“You couldn’t pay me to run around in public without a shirt,” I said it and meant it.
I arrived ten minutes early and I saw her sitting in her car. It looked to be a new Honda SUV. I hoped she was doing okay. Financial problems came with being a single mom.
“Hello there beautiful lady, would you like to take a walk while we get to know each other better?” I asked.
“Of course,” she said getting herself out of the car.
I was surprised again by how small she way. If she was over five feet it had to be only a fraction of an inch. She had short hair the color of a mink coat, not that I knew anyone with a mink. Her eyes were very dark and her skin was tanned. It was what I would call gently tanned. She had a body that was just a little out of proportion. Her butt was a couple of inches too large for her chest. I didn’t object at all, I just noticed it. My guess what her breast were small enough not to sag too much. Again I wouldn’t object if they did, I expected her to sag a bit. She wasn’t large enough to have them hang to her knees, I hoped.
We walked until lunch time. She rode to Mercer’s pier with me in the truck. It wasn’t romantic but I got the impression she wasn’t ready for romance. She would be a good friend for a while I suspected. she might never be more than that. Again I wouldn’t mind that either she was good company. After purchasing our hot dog from the dog house on wheels, we walked to the end of the pier. I stopped along the way to speak to several of the fishermen. It was a Sunday, so the pier was filled with fishermen. I didn’t know any of them but I’m a friendly guy.
Gayle and I were very quiet while we ate. We had been talking for the last hour and half with hardly a break. So it was time for a break from the conversation. Gayle I notice was dressed in cutoff jeans and a blouse that showed her less than average cleavage. Still she was very attractive. I took a couple of pictures of her with my cell phone. “Something to remind me the day and what a great lady you are,” I explained.
“So what fun thing do you want to try next, surfing?” I asked.
“Hardly, how about we go to your place and watch a movie. I’m a member of Netflix and can download to any TV. So how about it?” She asked.
“I’d love that, but I have to explain about my living arrangements,” I started.
“Crap you are married. I knew it was to good to be true,” she said.
“I’m not currently married, and the woman I live with is not a girlfriend. As a matter of fact she is a lesbian. We don’t live together, she is just staying at place for awhile. It’s hard to explain, but there are some bad guys out to kill us both. Don’t worry you are safe, I think. This is too hard to explain.”
“So, if I go to your house I will be in danger?” she asked.
“Probably not,” I said.
“Probably?” she asked.
“The odds are ninety nine to one nothing will happen,” I said.
“This just gets worse doesn’t it?” she asked.
“If you really want to know I’ll explain it all in great detail,” I said.
“This I have to hear,” she said.
So I gave her the full explanation. I even went into detail about the latest twist. The rednecks and Russian connections.
When I finished she asked, “So you are that cop who broke the child porn ring and now you have people who want you dead?” she asked.
“Yes, I’m guilty of that,” I admitted.
“And this Betty was part of the adventure?” she asked.
“Yes, so it would be best if we didn’t go there,” I said. “Betty actually was the one who broke the ring. Well the one who put the State Bureau of Investigation on it.”
“What if I wanted to live dangerously for a change?” she asked.
“You could came watch a movie and take your chances that today isn’t the day work war three starts,” I suggested.
“I’ll do it if you make sure no one know who I am or follows me home from your place,” she added.
“I can do that first we leave your car in any public parking lot. No one has followed up so far. You can sneak in and out of my place. Trust me I know how to be sure no one is following me. I’ll drop you back at your car after dark,” I said.
“Sounds like you have don’t this before,” she said.
“No just the accumulation of thirty years on the line,” I said.
“Damn that makes you as old as my dad almost,” she said laughing.
“I’m older than you for sure, I’m not going to deny that,” I said. I found my homeless disguise behind the seat. It consisted of a gray knit cap and a rain jacket with the Philadelphia fliers logo on it. That and a pair of her own sunglasses completed her disguise. She had a problem tucking all her hair inside the cap but she managed. When she finished applying it all she looked like a seventy year old homeless lady, even in her shorts.
I was glad Betty was out when we arrived. I was able to give Gayle the tour without worry about Betty dropping hints. After the tour Gayle said, “You guys sure have a lot of guns.”
“Occupational hazards,” I said playing it down. I walked to the refrigerator and brought back a couple of canned cokes. “I don’t have anything but some frozen pizza from the dollar store. We stopped ordering out after the Russian threats started.”
“How is that going?” she asked.
“To be honest the first attempt was pretty clumsy. The guys they sent had never worked in a town so small. The stuck out like a sore thumb. The state agents were able to wrap them up no sweat,” I explained.
“So the threat is over?” she asked.
“I’m not going to lie to you, we don’t know,” I said. “The next risk is when we leave but I’m pretty sure it’s going to be fine,” I said.
“To be honest Dale this is pretty exciting. The most dangerous thing I do in my real life is drive to the beach and talk to strangers on the pier,” she said with a smile.
“I’m not really dangerous,” I said. “So what’s the movie?”
“How about something racy? She asked.
“I’m always game for that,” I said getting past my shock.
Her idea of racy was a man and woman hinting at an affair. Oh they had the affair but there was very little little actual sex involved. I was disappointed, but said nothing. She did let me kiss her during the movie. She actually kissed back. Her body was soft as I would expect a forty year old woman’s body to be. She seemed to enjoy everything I did to her, so I slowly progressed to touching her in places she most likely had not been touched in a while.
I got as far as massaging her breasts and had my hand inside her shorts when Betty opened the door. Gayle quickly pulled herself together.
“So you finally stopped acting like a monk,” she said.
“Betty, I didn’t know where you were,” I said.
“Hi Betty, I’m Marty. Dale has told me all about you,” Gayle said.
“Hello Marty ordinarily you would have to watch out for me, but I promised Dale I wouldn’t hit on his friends,” Betty said laughing.