Friday, April 8, 2011

Feature Friday: Astraea Press Collaboration of a Short Story Continues...Part 2

 And so the story continues of the attack llama name Satan, the millionaire cowboy accused of double murder and the detective investigating with more than a slight interest in the handsome cowboy. To see how it all began a head over HERE for the first installment. Today Jean Joachim throws in her style and voice to this ongoing story. 

“You here about Selena?” he asked her.
“Good guess.”
“I didn’t kill her, where’s Brian?” the cowboy asked.
“You tell me.”
“You mean you don’t know,” he asked her rising to his full height.
“Didn’t you take him when you set the house on fire?” She asked him.
“What are you, crazy?”
“Lots of men get rid of their wives to avoid divorce, alimony and the sting of infidelity. What makes you so different?”
“I love my son. I wouldn’t kill his mother!”
“Did you hire someone to do it?”
“Same answer. What are you doing to find my boy?”
“Talking to you. Where is he?”
“You’ve got it all wrong.”
“Do I?”
“If you’re not going to do anything about finding him, I sure as heck am,” he said, rising up and attempting to push past her.
“I don’t think so,” she said, pulling her weapon, “I’m not through with you.”
Her face flamed as a few ideas of what else she’d like to do with this handsome cowboy entered her thoughts.
“Sit down and stay down,” she said, waving the gun at a chair.
He sank down, shooting an angry glance at her.
“For a man worried about his son losing a mother, you don’t seem too broken up about it.”
“We had our differences, but I didn’t want her dead.”
“Could’ve fooled me.”
“What do you mean?”
“I heard about your session with the lawyer. Pretty nasty stuff,” she said.
“So what? A divorce isn’t a picnic in the park, officer.”
“But there’s nasty and there’s evil. Which one were you?” She asked him, levelling a cool stare into his gray eyes.
He laughed.
“I guess she’d have said ‘evil’ and I’d say ‘nasty’,” he replied.
“If you don’t have your son, who else would want him? Who would murder your wife and her lawyer lover with a bullet between the eyes and take your son if it wasn’t you?”

He sat quietly for a moment, holding his hat and raking his fingers through his gorgeous head of hair. Ellea looked at him and wished he’d been begging her to fix a parking ticket instead of a murder suspect.
‘My first wife might be a good bet.”
“First wife?”
“Yeah. I was married before. Mary Jo wasn’t the most stable person. When she found out she couldn’t have children, she had a breakdown.”
“So you dumped her?”
“Of course not. She recovered and divorced me. But she never stopped contacting me. After my son was born, she would drop by unannounced from time to time. I had to get a restraining order out on her. Hated to do it…”
“Your kid. So she wanted your kid, eh? You expect me to believe that?
“It’s the truth. You can check on the restraining order.”
“Don’t think I won’t.”
“While you’re talkin’, my son is still missing.”
“I’m taking you down to the station so I can check your story. If you check out, we’ll need your help to find your son.”
“That’s the first sane thing you’ve said. Let’s get going.”
“Tie up that attack camel out there.”
“He won’t hurt you?”
“I’ll believe it when he’s tied up.”
“Okay, okay, I’ll go first.”
He stepped in front of her, his big hands on her waist, guiding her behind him and holding her there. His touch was heaven, but she tried to cover it up by coughing and moving around so he wouldn’t feel her trembling.

She put him in the back of the squad car, behind the cage and locked him in.
“Is that necessary?” He asked her.
“Procedure,” she lied.
Ellea wasn’t taking any chances. She didn’t get where she was taking unnecessary risks and she wasn’t about to start now with that hunk of cowboy in the backseat.

The station house was a dusty, dry two-story building alive with the sound of fingers on keyboards tapping in the background, feet shuffling along the gritty floor and the smell of pure male sweat in the air. Ellea pushed open the doors with enough force for the two of them to go through at the same time so she could keep her hand on Deuce’s arm. If he made a move, she would feel it in his muscles before he could get away. Besides, he had sexy arms.

Once inside, she sat him in the chair facing her desk while she attacked her computer, checking his story about the restraining order. She pulled up all the information she could find on him and sure enough, he was married before to a Mary Jo Stevens. Everything he said checked out.
Rats, dead end! But secretly she was glad he had fallen far down on the suspect list.

“Okay Deuce, how do we find Mary Jo?” She asked him leaning her elbow on the desk.
“She has a couple of friends and used to hang out at this bar, Ye Olde Gin Mill on Center Street.”
“Give me the name of her friends,” Ellea said, clicking on a pen and grabbing a pad.
She wrote down the names and leaned over to the desk on the right of hers, Joe Callon’s desk.
“Joe, you working the double murder, right?”
“Like you, yeah.”
“Check out these names. Friends of Deuce’s first wife, might know her whereabouts.”
Joe turned his gaze to hers and his dark brown eyes lit up. Joe had been asking Ellea out every week since he started there. She always turned him down, not interested in having her personal business brought into the station, but he was persistent and with those bedroom eyes and his good build, she was weakening.
“Anything for you, Ellea,” he replied, raising his eyebrows.
Deuce looked at Joe, then at Ellea and chuckled to himself.
“What are you laughing at?” She asked, printing out a picture of Mary Jo, folding it up and putting it in her pocket.
“Nothing,” he said, hiding a smile behind his hand.
“Let’s go next stop, Olde Gin Mill,” she said, rising out of her chair, checking her gun and walking next to Deuce.

None of this ladies first stuff, just gives him a chance to hightail it out the back. Deuce kept abreast of her, looking her over once. She grabbed a couple of bottles of water and handed him one as they walked through the door.
“Think about anyone else who might want your son. Anyone hate you, besides your dead wife?”
“Not to my face,” he shot back.
They walked into Ye Old Gin Mill and stopped for their eyes to adjust. The bar was dark and appeared to be empty. Ellea put her hand on her gun while she looked around the room, getting the layout of the bar, entrances, exits and a glance at the patrons. She could size up the people there quickly having seen their types a thousand times before. There were two men and a woman sitting at the bar.

Old rock and roll was playing softly in the background. The walls of the bar were dark brown with greasy signed pictures of movie stars in frames and a cheap painting or two hanging up for decoration. As if anyone drinking in this dump could care what’s on the walls! The floor was warped wood, giving the floor a little rise as fall as they walked in. The bartender was a middle aged man, not heavy, with steel gray hair and hard brown eyes. He was dipping glasses in soapy water then drying them off. Remind me never to drink here.

Ellea turned to Deuce,
“Is that her,” she asked, nodding to the half-drunken woman sitting at the bar.
Deuce shook his head.
“She’s shorter and probably not drunk. It’s not seven yet, she’s still sober. Besides, she’s a brunette or was when I last saw her,” he said.
“According to this picture, she’s a blonde,” Ellea corrected him.
“Beats me,” he said, shrugging his shoulders.
Ellea pulled out the picture and walked up to the bar, her hand still on Deuce’s arm.
“Good afternoon,” she said, flashing her badge at the bartender.
He nodded.
“What can I do for you, officer?”
“Ever see this woman before?” She asked, handing him the picture of Mary Jo.
“Sure, but not for a month or so.”
“How often did she come in here?”
“Every night.”
“Know where she lives?”
“Buddy over there might. He and she were…an item…for a while,” he said, indicating a tall thin man drinking a beer at the other end of the bar. 

I'm sorry I just love that llama photo. LOL. So tune in next Friday to see what happens next....

More from the author....

Caroline Davis White is a well-known artist and married to a wealthy, controlling man. She has everything money could buy except one thing: Love. Brad refuses to give her a divorce she so desperately wants.  With no money, family, or friends, she flees to the Catskill Mountains where she spent her summers as a young adult.
Mike Foster has achieved success and made more money than he could have thought possible, but it destroyed his marriage and cost him his son.  He is wary of every woman he meets, knowing his money may be more attractive than his good looks.
Caroline reconnects with the life she had and friends from long ago. Mike stepped out of her teenage dreams into her life again, looking more handsome and tempting than ever. Caroline knew Mike back then, but is he still the man she fell in love with?

No comments:

Post a Comment