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    C James
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

In Memory of Ed Wooton

For the Love - 11. Bullet Riddled Body

I stared ahead at the highway, hoping against hope that Steve would slow down, but he was much too far ahead for me to see.

Chad slammed his fist into the steering wheel, "There is no way we can catch him. He must have been doing a hundred and fifty when we saw him. He's gonna hit Piedmont about fifteen minutes ahead of us," he yelled.

I knew Chad was right, and shivered, in spite of the heat. I saw that we were nearing the dirt road that Steve and I had chased Eric down, and wondered if I'd ever see Steve again. My head sank down, as I fought in vain against the feeling of loss that was overwhelming me.

This was all my fault. If I hadn't doubted Steve, this wouldn't be happening. If I'd headed for the highway on the dirt road instead of looking for a back way into Lonesome Valley, I would've met Steve head-on instead of chasing after him in a loosing race.

An excited shove on my shoulder caused me to glance up at Chad, and I saw him pointing ahead, his eyes wide, and a smile on his face. I snapped my head around, and up ahead was a big pickup truck, on the side of the road in front of a car. It was Veronica's truck, but it was the car that held my gaze: Steve's Charger!

I began to breathe again, as Chad hit the brakes and pulled in behind the Charger. I leapt out as I saw Veronica standing in front of her truck. We ran to each other and she hugged me, "Oh, Chris, Thank god you are ok."

"Where's Steve?" I gasped, as she squeezed me tight.

Veronica pointed down the dirt road, "He ran that way, he wanted to try and get a better view."

Turning to run after him, I raced hard down the dirt road, barely able to see in the fading twilight. I sprinted for all I was worth as I spotted Steve's familiar silhouette standing just fifty yards ahead, looking towards the hills.

I skidded to a halt behind Steve, as he turned, a shocked look on his face. He leaped towards me, seizing me in a hug so tight that I couldn't breathe. I wrapped my arms around him, holding on just as tight, feeling the joy in his pounding heart against my chest and my own thundering heart beating in sync with his. I ran my hand over his back, feeling the tense muscles through his t-shirt as I gasped, "I'm so sorry, I was stupid, I never should have..."

I stopped, feeling Steve pull away, "Me too," he said, grabbing my hand, "but we have to get out of here. Veronica says they are still looking for you," he continued.

We ran, hand in hand, back to the cars, Steve staring in surprise for a brief moment when he saw Chad. Veronica shouted at Steve and I, "You two take the Charger; it's the fastest, just in case we run into more police. Go back to my place."

We dashed for the Charger, but Steve called out as he jumped in, "Wait. Veronica, who knows where you live?"

Slapping her forehead, she said, "Yeah, they do at work, and I work in Piedmont. Head for Rob and Joe's. Keep us in sight, but take off at the first sign of a cop. It's not Chad and me they are after. GO!" Veronica shouted.

Steve fired up the Charger, and wheeled around in a slow U-turn, before hitting the gas as Veronica and Chad pulled in behind us. I felt his hand seek out mine, as I babbled, "I'm so sorry, I thought the worst when I found that letter you wrote to Billy. I went to see Veronica, and she straightened me out, but then the Sheriff showed up, and I..."

"Don't worry about that. I'd have freaked if I was in your shoes," Steve shook his head, "We have bigger problems right now. We gotta deal with the cops being after you. When we get to Rob and Joe's, I'll phone my Dad. I hope he has some ideas."

We reached the edge of Lonesome Valley, and Steve pulled into the alley that lead to the back of Rob and Joe's auto repair shop with Chad and Veronica right behind us. We all pulled into the auto repair yard, as Rob came ambling towards us, a bemused look on his face.

Rob stopped at the front of Steve's Charger, and pointed to a dent in the front bumper, and shot Steve a questioning look as Steve said, "Close the gate. I don't want anyone to know we are here. The cops are after Chris."

Rob nodded and ran for the gate, pulling it closed as Veronica and Chad climbed out of their vehicles, Veronica saying to Rob, "They are after Steve, too. But he doesn't know it yet."

I opened my mouth to ask why, but Veronica stormed over to us, "Hold that thought, both of you. We have a lot to talk about. The first thing we need to do is sit down and talk. I found out a lot today, and it ain't good."

"Maybe I should call my Dad first?" Steve asked.

"Nope, hold off on that. This will only take a minute, and then you can tell him the whole thing, some of which you don't know yet," she turned to Rob and asked, as he clicked a padlock on the gate, "is Joe home?"

"Yeah, he's upstairs, follow me." Rob answered, as he led us up the stairs and into his living room. Steve and I settled into a loveseat, and the others sat on the couches as Joe joined us.

Veronica got right down to business, "Okay, let me run through this to bring everyone up to speed. We don't have a lot of time. Chris figured out that something was going on with Steve at school, then found a letter from Steve to Billy that he thought was new, and wanted to find me because of something I'd said. That stuff doesn't matter right now."

Veronica took a deep breath, and continued, "The cops in Piedmont often eat at the Diner where I work, and some of them have been really agitated over something. The Piedmont Sheriff is the brother-in-law of that fundy nutcase who is stirring up all the shit lately, but I heard a few of them talking about getting their hands on Chris and Steve." She looked over at me, arching an eyebrow, "then Chris showed up, looking like hell, so I told him all about Billy, and about Steve's car being vandalized. I got him calmed down and was just about to tell him to get out of there when I saw the Sheriff's car roar in and stop behind Chris' Jeep in the parking lot. That's when I realized that the cops I'd heard weren't just mouthing off over the homophobic bullshit; they really wanted to get Chris and Steve. So I told Chris to run for it."

Glancing back at me, Veronica continued, "Chris went out through the kitchen, and since his Jeep was blocked in, he took off on foot. So, I went driving around looking for him in my truck. I drove all over Piedmont and couldn't find him. After an hour and a half of looking, I phoned Chad from a pay phone to tell him what was going on. Steve was there, and he took off for Piedmont." Veronica shook her head, "I went back to the Diner to have one last look and saw that Chris' Jeep was gone, but there were tire marks all over the wall and street. I also heard some other cops who were standing around, talking about a chase up in the hills."

Veronica sighed, then continued, "I knew I had to stop Steve before he got to the county line, or worse yet Piedmont. I got on the highway, and hadn't gotten halfway to Lonesome Valley when I saw Steve's car flying the other way, about a mile in front of me. I flashed my lights and pulled into his lane, and lucky for me he stopped in time. Steve was frantic, but I managed to get him to understand what happened, and told him about the chase in the hills. So, we drove about a mile to a dirt road where he said Chris would be coming out. He ran off to take a look from a rise a few yards down the road, when Chad and Chris pulled in behind me. OK, that's my part of it.

Joe asked me, "How did you get away?"

I told my part, including the foot chase, jumping my Jeep over the wall, then losing the Sheriff in the hills, and finally I wrapped it up by saying I'd taken the back roads and arrived at Veronica's right after Steve left for Piedmont.

Steve asked, "So your Jeep is at Veronica's? Did you do much damage going over the wall?"

I heard Chad cough, then say, "It's in the desert outside of town. Wait till you hear why."

I hadn't planned to tell Steve about that little detail just yet, as I figured he wouldn't exactly be thrilled to hear it. I glared at Chad for a second, then shrugging, I said as calmly as I could, "I took a bullet in the oil pan during the chase, and ran out of oil. I stashed my Jeep in some bushes and ran the rest of the way. I got to Veronica's house right after you left." Veronica gasped, and Steve latched onto me, hugging me tight.

"They were fucking shooting at you? Shit!" Steve said, as he hugged me even tighter. I couldn't breathe, and I didn't mind, it was just good to be in his arms again.

Joe whistled, shaking his head, "Whoa. This is some heavy shit. Steve, go call your Dad."

Steve let go of me, his hand lingering in mine for a moment, before he walked to the kitchen and picked up the phone.

While Steve talked, Rob asked me, "How bad is the damage, Chris? Was it just a hole in the pan, or worse?"

I shrugged;"I think it's just a hole. I scraped it up underneath pretty bad when I jumped the wall at the Diner, and then framed out on rocks a few times during the chase, plus some hard landings when I caught air a few times, but I think its ok, and I don't think the bullet was high enough to hit anything in the crankcase."

Joe nodded, "I've got some JB Weld that should fix the hole, for a while anyway, then maybe we can put some oil in, and drive it back here to have a look."

"I'll have to fill up the radiator, too. It was boiling over, but I've got water in the back we can use for that." I said.

Joe smiled, "Glad to hear it was boiling over. That means it didn't blow out the freeze plugs. Those would be a bitch to replace out in the desert. OK, when we can, I'll take you out there on my bike, and we can get your Jeep back here. Might be a good idea to get it fixed so you have wheels, in case you need ‘em quick."

Steve returned, looking less gloomy than I expected, "Dad already knew. He's been going apeshit. The Piedmont Sheriff reported it as suspected drunk driving, so he issued a bulletin on you, said he smelled alcohol on your breath. Oh, and there is one out for me, too, same reasons."

I was about to ask, but Chad beat me to it, "Dude, why report you two as drunk drivers? You weren't even in Piedmont, only Chris was. What the fuck is going on?"

Steve shrugged, "Dad said that it looks like the Piedmont Sheriff wants us, but won't try and issue APB's or alert other police departments except for the drunk driving thing. Dad thinks this is tied up with the fundy vendetta somehow. He said we should be safe, and that he talked to his Sheriff and the other guys on the force here and they all agreed that even if the Piedmont cops issue an APB, or even get a warrant, they won't act on it. Oh, he said one thing over and over; Stay the Hell out of Piedmont!"

I sighed in relief. "So, we are ok? We aren't being hunted?"

Steve shook his head. "Sorta. They still have that drunk driving call out. We should be safe enough here in town, but Dad told me to tell you that IF you haven't had any alcohol in the past 24 hours, that we should go to the police station. He will meet us there and they will give us a breathalyzer test." Steve shrugged, "He can't do it himself due to conflict of interest. If we blow a zero, that gives them the right to terminate the alert on us over the drunk driving ‘cause we ain't drunk. But he reminded me that Arizona has a zero tolerance law for minors and alcohol, so if you have had anything, even cough syrup, in the last 24 hours, don't come in. I told him I'm clean, and I was sure you are, too."

I nodded. "The last alcohol I had was at the pool party last week, so I'm clean. OK, I guess we gotta go to the police station. Joe, we can swing by after and pick you up, and take you out to my Jeep. The dirt road between here and there isn't too bad; Steve's car would be fine except for the last hundred yards."

Joe nodded in agreement, and I walked up to Veronica and gave her a big hug, "Thanks for everything," I whispered, "For talking me down, and above all for stopping Steve. There was no way Chad and I could have caught up to him. If he'd reached Piedmont, with that Sheriff gunning for us, I-I..." My voice started to break, and I couldn't go on.

Veronica patted my back. "Yeah, I know, but it's over now. I'm just glad everyone is ok."

Steve joined in the hug, and thanked Veronica, too.

We walked down the steps to his car as Joe trotted down to open the gate. Joe paused to have a look at the dent in Steve's front bumper, as Steve explained, "I hit Veronica's mailbox when I took off from her house. I kinda tore up her lawn, too."

Joe smirked. "The bumper I can fix with a dent puller, that's easy. You, on the other hand, get to deal with Veronica when she finds out about her lawn and mailbox."

Steve hopped into the Charger as he replied, "Yeah, I might have been better off with the Piedmont Sheriff."

I grabbed my shirt from Chad's car and settled into the passenger seat next to Steve, as Joe pulled open the gate and we were off.

I took Steve's hand as we drove the two blocks to the Sheriff's substation. It was hard to let go when we parked, but I did, getting out beneath one of their ubiquitous mercury-vapor lights, blinking from the glare. I pulled my shirt back on, only to find Steve staring at me, a concerned look on his face, "Dude, you got some scratches on you. What happened?"

I shrugged as we walked together into the Substation, "When I was running from the Sheriff on foot, I had to climb over a fence and then dive through some bushes. Just a few scratches; I'm ok."

Steve shook his head, "Just a few scratches, plus having to run for your life, drive like a maniac, and then get fucking shot at. Yeah, not a good day."

I grabbed Steve by the arm, and spun him into me as I wrapped my arms around him and kissed him, right outside the substation door. I broke the kiss, and whispered, "I'm just glad we are both ok. My biggest fear was that I'd never see you again." I kissed him again, as a cough from behind us made us jump and pull apart.

I looked into the smiling face of Officer Juarez, a large woman I'd met a few times before, as she stood in the now-open door, chuckling, "I guess you two really are as out as they say. Officer Williams said you two would be coming in, and he's on his way. Let's get the breathalyzer test started so y'all can get out of here."

Steve and I both blushed furiously as we followed her inside. Officer Juarez led us to a small room, where a large grey device sat on a small table. It had an attached keyboard, digital readout, and a nameplate proclaiming it an Intoxylizer 8000.

Mr. Williams entered the room, in full uniform, and excused officer Juarez, telling her to return in two minutes. As soon as she left the room, he turned to us, "Guys, let's be really sure about this. If either of you have had any alcohol, in any form, even in food, within the past twenty-four hours, do not take the test. That includes cough syrup, and most any kind of mouthwash, though mouthwash should be out of your system within an hour unless you swallow it. If you take the test, and it detects any alcohol, Officer Juarez will be obligated to arrest you. That might even mean you being shipped back to Piedmont, too. So, be damn sure."

Steve and I glanced at each other, nodded, and Steve sat down at the machine.

Officer Juarez, right on time, returned. She placed a small disposable tube on the end of a hose that connected to the left-hand side of the machine, and told Steve, "Take a deep breath, and then when the light comes on, blow hard, and keep blowing until it goes out. Ready?"

Steve nodded, and Officer Juarez hit the button. I don't know why, but I was a little apprehensive. I knew I hadn't had any alcohol, but one wrong reading, and one or both of us could be in deep trouble.

"Ok, that's a zero. Next." She smiled in my direction, and then replaced the mouthpiece with a clean one.

I was relieved when my test came back Zero, too. Mr. Williams grinned, and waited while the printer produced the report, telling us, "Okay, this will do it. I'll go enter it immediately, and that should take the heat off you guys. We still need to figure out what the hell is going on with the Sheriff over in Piedmont, but at least you two should be safe IF YOU STAY OUT OF PIEDMONT." He stated, ending with a yell. He shook his head, telling us, "OK, you two, get out of here, and I'll see you back at the house. I'll be off duty in about an hour." With the printout in hand, he hurried down the hallway, as Steve and I headed for the door, only to find Joe, with a heavy pack slung over his broad shoulders, in a conversation with officer Juarez, who appeared grim.

Joe turned to us, "I figured I'd meet you here, to save time. I've got what I need in my backpack. Let's roll."

Joe sat in the back of Steve's Charger, along with his backpack, as I directed Steve to the dirt road that led to my Jeep. As we reached that road, I noticed Steve nervously glancing in his rear-view mirror. I looked back, and saw a set of square headlights, gaining fast. Joe looked, and muttered, "I think we got company."

Steve accelerated as we neared the end of the paved road, "Chris, were there any side roads, and what is the dirt road like; can we get through anyplace?"

I glanced back at the car rapidly approaching behind us, now just thirty yards back, and replied, "No. You couldn't get through some of the gullies and I don't remember any side roads at all. We're trapped." I said, as the crunch of gravel announced that we had left the pavement behind.

The glittering blue and red flashes that lit up the interior of the Charger made us jump, their sudden appearance removing all doubt that the car pursuing us was a police cruiser.

Steve looked back, and then ahead, "I have an idea. I'll wait until we are in a wide spot, then pull over. I want to see if it's a Local or a Piedmont police car. If it's local, let's just see what he wants, and Dad can help. If it's Piedmont, or I can't tell, I'll wait until he comes up on foot, and flip a U-turn and floor it. If that happens, keep down in case he shoots at us."

Steve saw a likely spot, where the road was bordered by relatively flat ground, and pulled over. The cruiser pulled in behind us, as Steve stuck his head out the window and looked back, squinting against the glare. The headlights and flashing lights clicked off, but the parking lights remained on and Steve slumped back into his seat, sighing, "It's Lonesome Valley."

I felt better when I heard that, and even better when Steve leaned out the window and hollered, "Hi, Dad."

Mr. Williams ambled up to Steve's window, "Ok, Guys, Officer Juarez just told me that you were going after Chris' Jeep tonight. You should have told me that." he shrugged, "And I should have warned you to leave it alone. Something is going on here, because Sheriff Johnson should have reported shots fired if he fired on anything. He didn't. So if that really is a bullet hole in the oil pan, I need to see it, and bag the bullet to preserve the chain of evidence. How bad is the road ahead, Chris?"

I leaned towards the window, "Fine for a car until we get to the first big gully, which is where I hid my Jeep. We will have to stop about a hundred yards from it."

"OK, take it slow and I'll follow," Mr. Williams rapped the roof of Steve's car twice, and then headed back to his patrol car.

The road was a little rougher in paces than I remembered, and in the dark, I soon lost track of where we were, until the road ahead dropped away into the blackness of the wash, and I said, "We're here."

Mr. Williams threw a few things into a bag, and joined us, flashlight in hand, as Steve said, "Dad, you sure scared us back there. If there had been a way out, we were gonna run for it."

Mr. Williams chuckled, "Yeah, I figured that. I'd have just stopped and turned around if you had. I figured you would see that and know it wasn't somebody after ya. I was just gonna beep the horn, but it's broken."

Joe handed me a flashlight and I lead the way down into the gully. It was just a dozen steep feet to the flat bottom of the gully, and from there we walked towards the other bank while I played the flashlight to my left, searching for the clump of trees. A glint of red from one of my Jeep's rear reflectors rewarded my effort, and we left the road to cover the last twenty yards of rough ground.

When we reached the Jeep it was still tight in amongst the trees, and Joe suggested that we push it back out to make it easier to work on.

Mr. Williams walked up to the back end, shining his light around the tailgate, suddenly very interested in my spare tire. He turned to me, "Didn't you say the bullet hole was in your oil pan?" He asked.

"Yeah, it is. At least, I think it's a bullet hole." I replied.

He waved me over, pointing to a depression in the metal, with a small mound of brass in the center, near the top edge of the rim, "Looks to me like it wasn't the only one. That looks to me like a slug from a .357. I think I see a hole in your bumper, too. Now, tell me exactly what happened at any time you think that he could have gotten a few shots off."

"I don't think he could have, right up until the first stretch of rocks when he had to stop. He'd closed in and I had to slow down to get over them."

Mr. Williams angled his head, talking to me but still staring at the bullet holes, "Did you see how he stopped? And how close was he?"

"Yeah, I looked back from the road when it curved around, and he was stopped at the edge of the rocky stretch, kinda diagonal to the road. I guess he was only a few yards behind me when he stopped." I replied.

"OK, think carefully. Was he stopped with his front end pointing towards the left or the right side of the road?"

"The right," I replied, after thinking about it.

Shaking his head, Mr. Williams looked me in the eyes, "When he stopped, he swerved right so he could fire out his window at you, resting his hands on the frame. He could shoot very accurately that way. Normal procedure would be to go for your tires, but his shots look grouped on the vehicle centerline, and high. Looks to me like he was trying to hit you, not the tires."

I felt Steve's hand slip into mine and squeeze enough to hurt, as Mr. Williams continued, "I doubt I can prove it, but this looks to me like a murder attempt. He didn't report that he had fired. He was after you on false grounds. This thing stinks six ways from Sunday. Chris, I'm going to need your Jeep for at least a day. I want the department's forensics guy to have a good look and record everything. Let's get it patched up, and then take it right to the substation."

I nodded numbly, reassured by Steve's hand in mine, as Mr. Williams gave me a hug, "Y'all had a close call today, son, but it's gonna be ok."

Mr. Williams took a few photos with a digital camera, and then we pushed my Jeep onto the road. Joe jacked it up and Mr. Williams scrambled underneath for a look, and a few more photos. He emerged, and informed us that it was indeed a bullet hole. Joe climbed under for a look, and I heard banging. He crawled back out, "I can hear the bullet in the pan. It should be heavy enough to say out of the oil line, it has so far. I'll leave it in there. Forget the JB weld for this, I'm just gonna use some gum," He informed us, as he unwrapped a stick and of gum and started to chew, "It got this far with the hole open, and after we leave this gully its pretty flat the rest of the way, so this should do."

Joe put the gum in place, lowered my Jeep, and we retrieved five quarts of oil from his backpack. While Joe added the oil, I opened up the tailgate to get my plastic Jerry Can of water so that I could top off the radiator. It was usually heavy due to the weight of several gallons of water, so I grabbed the handle and heaved. I stumbled back, nearly falling on my ass, as the weight of the can offered no resistance. I held it up to look, seeing the reason; the plastic had been shredded and split in several places, and the can was empty.

Mr. Williams took the can from me, twisting it in front of his flashlight, "I got some water in my patrol car, or at least I should. This thing stopped a bullet. The hydrostatic shock tore it apart."

Shivers ran down my spine, and Goosebumps formed on my skin. That can had been right behind my seat. It was damn near me that was torn apart.

I followed the beam of Mr. Williams' flashlight as he re-checked my tailgate. He used his hand to brush away some of the road dust that was caked on it, and used his pen to confirm that there was yet another bullet hole. I shook my head, wondering how many other rounds had riddled the body of my Jeep.

Joe coughed, "I checked the water level, and it's low, but it should be enough to get it out of here."

I was a little skeptical, but I fired the Jeep up and everything seemed fine.

Joe rode with me, keeping an eye on the gauges, and we had no problem reaching the police sub-station, with Steve and his father following right behind us.

Mr. Williams took my keys in the parking lot, "OK, I'll have it back to you as soon as I can."

"No hurry," I replied, "If Steve can give me a ride to school in the morning, I'll be fine."

He quickly shook his head, "No. I want you two to both stay home tomorrow. I need you both to go over every detail, and write down everything you can remember, everything, no matter how insignificant. The longer we wait, the more likely you will forget something. And keep this to yourselves, and only your friends who were directly involved."

With that, we left the substation, dropped off Joe, and headed back to the Williams house after a stop at a drive-through for some much needed food. By the time Steve had filled his mother in on the day's events, she was hugging me as Mr. Williams arrived home. Even Beelzebub the cat was nice to me, and didn't draw so much as a drop of blood. Mr. Williams reminded us both to start reviewing things and writing them down first thing in the morning, and with that, they bade us goodnight as we left for my apartment.

I'd no sooner locked the door when Steve pulled me into a hug from behind, "I nearly lost you today. I promise, no more secrets."

"And I promise not to doubt you again. I almost lost you, too. When Chad and I were chasing after you, I knew there was no way we could catch you. If Veronica hadn't stopped you..." Steve's finger pressed my lips, interrupting my lament.

"I know," he said, his blue eyes sparkling, "I also know that you were heading for Piedmont right behind me, after being shot at and barely escaping with your life. Come on, let's go to bed."

Steve let me go, and walked towards my bed, pulling off his shirt and kicking off his clothes as he went, then climbing in. I stripped off too, and settled in beside him, pulling him into a hug, which soon turned into more.

A few hours later, we were both exhausted and drained, as sleep took us into its welcome embrace.

An urgent pounding on the door jarred us awake the next morning, and I stumbled towards it, pulling on my jeans before opening the door. The sight that greeted me was not, as I'd expected, Mr. Williams. Instead, it was Veronica, with the remains of her shattered mailbox clutched in her hands. I looked sleepily at her and then the twisted metal in her hands, before saying, "Steve, it's for you."

Veronica barged in, and saw Steve, still in bed, rubbing his eyes, covered from the waist down by the sheet, and hollered, "Okay Blondie, mind telling me why you neglected to mention this little detail? Or ruining my lawn?"

Steve yelped as the sharp-edged object was dumped in his lap, and I struggled to hold in a laugh. Veronica turned to me, "Chris, you and I can sit and shoot the breeze while we watch your boyfriend fix the mess he made."

Veronica rounded on Steve, "You decent?" She asked.

Steve nodded, but before he had a chance to speak Veronica had him by the arm, towing him behind her, out of the bed, and out the door. My last glimpse of Steve was his naked bubble butt, as he stumbled out the door, still behind Veronica. I knew it wouldn't take long...

A shriek split the air, "You're naked! You said you were decent..." Veronica's voice boomed.

I heard Steve reply, "Uh, yeah, I had a sheet over me. But you dragged me out of bed."

Veronica increased her volume, "I could see the sheet, you goof, and don't just stand there discussing it and waving your arms and... stuff around. Go put some damn clothes on."

Steve strode in the door, wearing nothing but a shit-eating grin, "I knew she was gonna do that..." Steve said, pulling on a pair of boxers. Veronica hesitantly re-entered my apartment.

She spotted Steve's grin, "Okay Blondie, I'll get you for that. Paybacks are a bitch and I'm a bitch to be reckoned with. " She shook her head and laughed, "I was just winding you guys up, but I really do need to talk to you both. Get dressed," She turned to Steve,

"That means put some clothes on, and keep them on."

Steve pulled on a pair of Boardies as Veronica told us, "I've rounded up a bunch of people to attend the Church meeting tomorrow."

She must have seen the blank look on my face, "Come on guys, remember, the meeting at the Unitarian Church down on Front Street? Friday, which is tomorrow?"

With everything that had happened, the meeting had slipped my mind, and I admitted it. Veronica stared at me for a moment, "Geeze, a car chase and a bullet in the oil pan, and y'all forget a meeting. OK, just try and remember to show up. Now, what do you guys have planned for Saturday?"

I looked over at Steve, who shrugged, so I said, "Nothing, I guess."

She smiled, "Okay, come on over to my house around ten on Saturday morning, and you guys can help Chad repair the damage. Then, we can have another party to celebrate the fact you two are still breathing. The food and beer is on me, and I've even scrounged up another mailbox, it just needs planting. I'm cleaning out the spare bedroom, so you guys should stay over. With this trouble with the cops, you don't want to be driving with any alcohol in you."

After Veronica left, Steve and I sat down to write out our notes on the day before. That took us a few hours, and we were close to finishing up when Mr. Williams stopped by, in uniform, and again uttered the words that I had grown to dread,

"Boys, we have a problem."

©Copyright 2007 C James; All Rights Reserved.
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Please let me know what you think; good, bad, or indifferent.  The feedback thread for this story is in my Forum. Please stop by and say "Hi!"

Many thanks to Conner for editing, support, encouragement, beta reading, and suggestions on this chapter.
Many thanks also to my editor EMoe for editing and for his support, encouragement, beta reading, and suggestions (and for thinking up a title!).

Thanks also to Shadowgod, for beta reading and advice, and for putting up with me.
Any remaining errors are mine alone.

Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

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I keep thinking I'm going to take a break (I have some laundry that really needs some attention) but every time I get to the end of a chapter there is something new happening and I just have to continue (this way my laundry will never get inside the closets, and the stuff in the machine ... well).


It's an entertaining story. The characters are definitely likable (except for Eric that is, and whoever he is doing his evil scheming with). I like how something is happening all the time, so there are no calm or boring periods, new questions arising that I want answered and I want to keep reading.


Unfortunately I have to take that break now, though. I'll be back for more.

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Great chase scene worthy of the original TV series "Dukes of Hazard".  (Yeah I know there are better chases, but I'm limited by the age of the boys, the setting and how cute they are. They didn't come much hotter than Luke and Bo back then.)  Attempted murder? What kind of people did Eric get mess up with?  A fun chapter with superb writing.

Dukes Of Hazzard Television GIFDukes Of Hazzard Television GIF

Edited by raven1
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