SYNOPSIS: Jason Franco is an aspiring novelist stuck in a dead-end job working for a newspaper in a small town where nothing exciting happens until someone rapes and murders a young woman only eighteen years old. All evidence points to the woman's boyfriend who confesses to the crime. Jason is assigned to write a follow-up story for the paper and soon suspects that the local police are covering up for one of their own. Jason enlists the help from a high school classmate who works at the state crime and the two soon fall in love. Jason and his girlfriend, Tina, follow the leads, and Jason finds himself a target for the rapist turned murderer. An attempt on Jason's life puts him in the hospital as the alleged rapist commits suicide. An unexpected turn of events put Jason back in the cross hairs of a different killer.
Benedict Foxx, Defense Lawyer
August 1, 2015
(Chap. 24 part 2 cont.]
“Look at the street,” said Sean. The small group looked at the street where officers Boyd and Marini stood leaning against one of their patrol car. They were double parked, one behind the other.
“Holy shit! What the hell do they want?” asked Jason.
“I know what they want,” said Paulo.
Benedict put his hand on Paulo’s shoulder. “Now don’t do anything stupid, son. If they come onto your property, I’ll file a complaint about police harassment. Just ignore them.”
“I know what they want,” said Paulo. He went to the buffet table and grabbed two plates.
“I see what he’s doing,” said Jason. “I’ll help.”
Jason and Paulo filled two paper plates with food and then built four hamburgers with everything at the BBQ grill. Jason grabbed two sodas and put them into his pocket. Together they strode over to officers Boyd and Marini. The officers took the plates and sodas and began to eat. After talking a few minutes everyone shook hands. Jason and Paulo returned to the small group watching.
“What did they say?” asked Sean.
“That was strange,” answered Jason. “They asked how Paulo was doing. Officer Marini reminded him that there’s an ordinance on noise. Then Officer Boyd said not to let anyone drink too much and drive. Then we all shook hands. Strange.”
“Well, I need to circulate,” said Paulo. “If you’d make that deposit for me Mr. Tyler... Sean, I’d appreciate it. Thanks.” Paulo went over to another small gathering with the jar and began collecting money.
“What a nice kid,” said Sean. “After all this you’d think he’d be mad at the police.”
“And why is that, Mr. Tyler?” asked Benedict. “What aren’t you tell me about those two police officers? Why should Paulo be mad? He’s not mad, so I guess you know something that he doesn’t. What are you hiding?”
“Whoa. Slow down…” Sean took a deep breath. “It’s just that we don’t know who the murderer is. It could be anyone. It might be a police officer. That’s all I can say at this point.”
Benedict shook his head. “Okay. Is there anything that might influence this case against Paulo? If there is, you need to tell me now.”
“No. No. You’re good. It has nothing to do with Paulo.”
“Good. I want to get to know Paulo better, so if you’ll excuse me.” Benedict rushed after Paulo.
“Don’t you trust him?” asked Tina.
“He’s a lawyer. Right now the less he knows about what we’re doing the better. He might not agree with it.” Sean laughed and turned to Tina. “I’m surprised to see you here.”
Tina smiled. “Yeah. I shouldn’t be here. I could get into trouble. If anyone asks, you never saw me.”
Sean shook his head. “We appreciate everything you’ve done.”
Suddenly, Tina yelled, “Look out!”
A hover craft was flying directly for them. Everyone ducked as the drone buzzed a couple of feet above their heads. It was a square shaped craft with four motors.
“What the…?” yelled Sean. “Zac!”
Zac came running over. “Sorry, sorry. I’m still learning how to fly this thing.”
Jason laughed. “Is that a new toy?”
“Yeah,” answered Zac. He used the remote controls in his hands to land the drone a few feet away. Then he ran over and picked it up and carried back to show the others. “It’s a drone helicopter. Neat, huh?”
Sean took the drone and started to examine it. “Did you build this?”
“No, it comes complete with all types of accessories including the camera.”
“Clever,” said Jason. “What are you going to do with it?”
“I’m not sure yet. It might come in handy. I borrowed it from a friend.”
Sean looked up to see Mary approaching. “Brace yourselves. Here comes the fashion police.”
Mary was out of breath when she arrived. “Zac, quit playing with that thing. People are freaking out.” She looked Zac over. “And pull up your pants. No one wants to see your underwear. Put your hat on right.”
Mary stopped talking to look at her father. “Dad, you’re wearing socks with your sandals. Couldn’t you make up your mind about sandals or shoes? And black socks at that.” She stopped to take a breath. “Is that the same shirt you wore yesterday?”
Sean smiled. “No. I’ve two of these shirts.”
Mary laughed. “Do both of them have a mustard stain in the same spot?” She looked at Jason and Tina. “At least some people in this group have good taste.” Without another word, Mary marched off toward another group.
Sean laughed. “You’d think she would appreciate that I’m reducing the load of dirty laundry. You boys take my advice and never have children. They always disappoint.”
Zac grinned. “What about grandchildren?”
“No, no,” answered Sean. “Grand kids are God's reward for not killing your children. You should try to have as many grandkids as possible. I'm thinking of having more.”
Everyone laughed. Zac pulled his shorts down so that half of his underwear was showing. He turned his cap backwards.
Tina smiled. “I have to agree with your mother on this, Zac. Most girls don't want to see your underwear.”
Zac laughed. “I'm not after most girls. I'm just after one.”
Everyone laughed. In a gesture of solidarity, Sean pulled his shorts down too. Jason smiled and did the same.
“Why did you do that?” asked Tina.
Sean smiled. “It's the bro code.”
“I'll squeal,” threaten Tina.
When the men didn't pull up their shorts, Tina called out, “Mary!”
Zip – the men pulled up the shorts before Mary turned around. “Never mind,” said Tina.
“Why'd you squeal on us?” asked Jason.
It was Tina's turn to smile. “Sister code. We have to stick together.”
Jason thought for a moment. “The police have a code too, don't they?”
“Yeah,” answered Sean. “The blue code. Why?”
It reminded me of my interview with Javier. He may have been covering for Boyd, even though he said they aren't friends any more. He said Boyd had unresolved issues from his childhood, but he didn't know what they were. I think he does.”
“He'll never tell you,” said Sean. It’s the Blue Code.
“Hey,” said Dyanna as she joined the group. “Sup?” She was dress like Tina but without the cowgirl hat and bra.
Tina smiled. “How'd your coffee date with Sy go?”
“Great. We're going out again tonight. He want to show me the Torrington night life.”
Tina and Jason laughed. “That won't take long,” said Jason.
“And he gave me a twenty percent discount.”
Tina looked at Jason and raised an eye brow. The men started chuckling.
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