Bringing the ‘A’ Game
Deputy Tom Lawton rattled the door of the doughnut shop. It was almost 5 a. m. and Billy usually had the coffee ready by now.
Tom circled the building. His boots crunched on the desert sand, and his eyes caught glints from his flashlight off the chrome and stainless steel inside, but the scent of coffee and fresh doughnuts was absent. He got back in his car and headed up Route 2 to intercept Billy, who invariably road in on his bicycle.
About two miles up the highway his headlights illuminated a shock of blond hair from the head of a young woman waving her arms from the middle of the road. He saw a car parked at the overlook at the roadside and two people lying in the sand. 'What happened?' Lawton asked as he illuminated the woman's face with his flashlight.
He recognized her as Phil Clark's daughter, Heather. The pale skin of her face was dirty and tracked with tears. Her dress was torn, and her undergarments exposed. 'Deacon wouldn't take 'no' for an answer.
' She was visibly shaking. 'I said 'No Deacon' like a dozen times. I hit him and pushed him away, but he wouldn't stop. ' Lawton kneeled to check the bodies as she spoke - both had strong pulses.
Deacon was near the driver's door. Billy was just behind the rear bumper and was beginning to stir. Lawton called for ambulances and then took out his note pad to get a detailed statement. Heather's story was that Deacon had tried to force her into sex.
Heather escaped and started to run into town, but Deacon caught her and dragged her back to the car. Before he got her into the car Billy road up on his bicycle and intervened. Deacon had at least 50 pounds and 5 inches on Billy, so Lawton surmised the intervention didn't last long, however, it did give Heather enough time to fish a baseball bat out of the backseat of Deacon's car and go to work on his back.
Billy was alert by the time the first ambulance arrived. His story aligned with Heather's, but he was more concerned with getting to work than anything at the scene. 'Can I go now?' 'You should really have those gashes on your face looked at, and I have a few more questions I'd like to ask.
' 'I've got to open up the shop. ' Billy grabbed the handlebar of his bike and said, 'You know where the coffee is. ' as he mounted the bike and cranked down on the pedal. The generator headlight whined and its brightness pulsed with each stroke of the pedals.
Coffee and doughnuts were late that morning. Mr. Gresham, the owner of the shop, burst into the kitchen ready to crack heads, but when he saw the state of Billy's face he realized that would be redundant. 'What the hell happened to you?' 'I'm sorry Mr.
Gresham, I was late this morning. ' 'No, what happened to your face. ' Mr. Gresham pointed to where the wounds would be on his own face.
'That's why I was late. ' 'Yea, I figured that, but what happened?' 'Can we talk about it later? I'm really busy. ' Billy was working is ass off trying to make up for lost time, so Mr. Gresham let it drop.
He saw that everything would soon be under control, so he poured himself a cup of coffee and got out of the way. 'Jane gets home this morning. ' 'I thought she got home yesterday. ' 'Her plans changed.
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