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The chronological order of my stories is as follows:
Todd & Melina series, Interludes 1-5, Sperm Wars series, Russian Roulette series, Case of the Murdered Lovers series, Case of the Murdered Chessplayer series, The Swap series, Interludes 6-10, The Murdered Football Player Series, Case of the Black Widow series, Teresa’s Christmas Story, The Case of the Black Badge series, A Case of Revenge series, Trilogy Series.
Dark Side Of The Force, Ch 1-2.
Feedback and constructive criticism is very much appreciated, and I encourage feedback for ideas.
This story contains graphic scenes, extreme language, and actions that might be extremely offensive to some people. These scenes, words and actions are used only for the literary purposes of this story. The author does not condone murder, racial or racist language, violence, rape or violence against women, and any depictions of any of these in this story should not be construed as acceptance of the above.
Part 6 – Shot Across The Bow
August 22d. Laura and I arrived at Dr. Wellman’s home for the reception and dinner. The honored guests tonight were two of my Lieutenants, Teresa Croyle and Cindy Ross. Of course, Cindy would be getting further recognition for being awarded the Medal of Valor. I was wearing plainclothes, a dark gray suit and red tie (Go Wildcats!), and Laura looked mighty fine in an off-white sleeveless dress, blue belt and matching blue high-heel pumps. She wasn’t too enamored of the my tie, but was complimentary of the rest of me.
Tanya Perlman was there, and I noticed her and Dr. Wellman exchanging glances while Sally Wellman was busy hostessing. Dr. Wellman also showed a bit of acid wit when he told me he’d invited Senator Nathan Allen to come and celebrate the return of the County’s prodigal daughter, Teresa Croyle. I could not help having a hearty laugh at that one.
Round tables had been set up in the backyard for dinner. It was not as large an event as the last promotion party for Tanya, Britt Maxwell and myself, and in that respect it was actually a bit more relaxed, intimate, and fun. Laura and I were sitting with Chief Griswold and his wife, John “Jack” Colby and his wife, and Campus Police Commissioner Dexter Robinson and his daughter Robin Ventura, who was visiting from the City.
I noticed that Harold Malone and his wife were sitting with Congressman Gerald A. Condor and his guest (wife?), as well as a couple of professors and their spouses. Daniel and Melina Allgood were seated with Councilman and Regent J.P. Goldman and his wife, Selena Steele and her date, and Councilwoman Dagmar Schoen and her husband. Todd and Jeanine Burke were in attendance, and somehow were sitting at the University President’s table with the Wellmans. I was surprised to see Todd and Dr. Wellman talking so amiably.
Teresa was at President’s table, along with her official escort Seth Warner. Tanya Perlman was Cindy’s invited guest, and so was sitting at the University President’s table, which Sally Wellman seemed to be only tolerating. Oooh, trouble in paradise! I wickedly thought to myself. Cindy was wearing a peach-orange sleeveless dress and high heel slides, and she looked delicious. I was wondering just how long it would be before the right person swept her off her feet.
And… oh yes… Mr. Henry R. Wargrave and his wife Lilly were there. They was sitting at a table with Tom and Janet Riordan (with Janet giving me some meaningfully lusty looks when she could get away with it), University Regent Austin R. Murphy and his wife, Regent Myrtle L. James (who was fluttering like a parakeet with Mrs. Wargrave), and a very elderly man that I had never met before, who Wargrave was talking with a lot.
Other tables had some of our fellow Detectives (not all were able to attend) as well as some professors and their spouses. After a delicious dinner, Dr. Wellman got going with the ceremonials. I had told him that I did not want to be recognized this evening, as it was for Cindy and Teresa. But the good University President got around that one:
“Ladies and gentlemen, this outstanding police officer threatened me with arrest if I tried to include him for recognition tonight, and then his boss, the Police Chief, threatened me with arrest if I didn’t. So since I’m going to jail tonight, one way or the other…” there was some laughter at that… “then let it be having recognized Commander Donald Troy upon his well-earned promotion.” I acknowledged the standing ovation, with a humorously evil look Dr. Wellman’s way. He just ‘replied’ with that sinister looking grin of his.
Dr. Wellman then introduced Teresa, welcoming her back to the Town and County and its Police Force, and recognizing her promotion. There was good applause for her, but perhaps not quite as much as it should have been: some of the Democrats and the professors were choosing to remember how she beat up Dean Allen.
Then Cindy was recognized, and I am very happy to say that casino şirketleri the applause for her was loud, strong and prolonged. She blushed furiously as the applause continued in waves as the crowd would just not stop. Finally, she just sat down and the crowd got the hint. She was still not fully recovered, still tiring fairly easily.
After dinner there was still mingling and socializing. I was a bit surprised when Henry Wargrave shepherded his table’s people towards me right during the moment Laura had gone to ‘powder her nose’.
“You remember my wife Lilly?” Wargrave said, and I started my game: I took Lilly’s hand more as if to kiss it than shake it, and made a point to say “You look very lovely tonight, Mrs. Wargrave.” as I pulled her slightly towards me. She was indeed looking good in a green-blue dress and high heels that really showed off her reddish hair and her smoking-hot legs. And she definitely enjoyed my flirtation. Henry, not so much, I could tell. Good.
“And you know the Riordans?” Wargrave said. Tom Riordan shook my hand with what could only be described as ‘minimum politeness’, but Janet was enthusiastic as I said “It’s a pleasure to see you again, Mrs. Riordan.”, to which she replied “It certainly is, Commander.” Tom Riordan was nearly red faced as he watched.
“And saving the very best for last, this is Mr. Conrad King.” Wargrave said as the others receded into the background.
“Why Mr. King,” I said, shaking his hand. “I’m honored that a man of your stature would come to such a humble occasion as this one.”
“Hardly humble, and it’s my pleasure, Commander.” said King in his old but smooth voice. “I happened to be in town visiting the Wargraves, and Dr. Wellman was kind enough to invite me. You have some excellent officers on your Force, and you’re pretty good too, from what I hear.” As I thanked him, he hit me with the bombshell: “I saw that firsthand when you broke up the Black Badge gang. You are the man who arrested my son.”
“Er… uh…” I stammered. I certainly wasn’t going to apologize, but what to say? He had me off guard, for sure.
“Oh, it’s quite all right, son,” said King, “you were only doing your job, and quite well, I might add. My son did some very bad things, as your nephew did some very bad things, but you did the right thing on both occasions and did your job. Yes, it’s bad when family members go bad, Commander, and I know as you do that it hurts, but I was glad to see that baby recovered unharmed and you along with him.”
“Thank you, Mr. King.” I said, having no idea what to say next, nor how to change the subject. And Wargrave seemed to be enjoying my discomfiture. At that moment, Sally Wellman rescued me by bringing up some Regents to meet Wargrave and Mr. King. I excused myself.
Some minutes later, as darkness settled in, I told Cindy that as she was guest of honor, people were waiting for her to leave as their cue to do so, and that she needed to go home and rest, as well. So she and Tanya made their goodbyes to the Wellmans.
I was still waiting for Laura, who was talking with Sally Wellman and some other women, when Henry Wargrave appeared near me.
“Mr. King is impressed by you.” said Wargrave. “He really hit you with a shot, there, and you rolled quite well with it.”
“Yes.” I said, then took my own shot. “I was so sorry, Mr. Wargrave, to hear that Acme Media Group lost out in its bid to purchase KXTC. I know wealthy persons like yourselves are building media assets, and losing KXTC must be quite a blow.”
“Yes, that was disappointing.” said Wargrave, looking just a bit skeptical, wondering where I was going in bringing this up. “But you win some, lose some…”
“I heard that your bid was beaten, then when you upped it, it was beaten again.” I said. “Someone clipped you on that one, sir.” Wargrave looked uncomfortable, and then I turned to almost ‘front’ him and looked him dead in they eye as I said “Does that put us at seriously inconvenienced yet, Mr. Wargrave?”
Wargrave’s face went from polite social chatter to a frown. He knew what I was saying, and he knew that not only was I telling him that I had rigged the bidding against him, I was also replying to the threat in that painting and note that I was sure he was behind. His eyes tonight confirmed it for me.
“By no means, Mr. Holmes.” said Wargrave, his reply a direct confirmation and renewal of the painting’s threats. “Not even close. If you’ll excuse me…” Wargrave walked away from me without shaking hands or further conversation. I worked hard to keep a grin and chuckle off my face. I saw Laura looking over at me: it was time to go rescue her from those ladies.
“Mrs. Wellman, ladies,” I said, coming to the group, “I’m sorry, but I am going to have to take this lovely woman away from you, and we’re going to have to make our goodbyes. Thank you for a lovely evening and for the recognition for my officers, Mrs. Wellman…” casino firmaları Laura looked relieved and grateful to me for that.
“I avoided them tonight.” Laura said as we drove home to the Mountain Nest. “I thought of Dr. Heinz when I saw Henry Wargrave. I don’t know how you were able to keep calm around him.”
“Well, first I flirted with his wife right in front of him.” I said.
“Did he notice?” Laura asked, smiling.
“Oh yes.” I said. “She was loving it, and I don’t think he liked it. And you know he can’t keep her satisfied at home…”
“I can almost physically see and hear the ideas forming in your head, darling.” Laura said. “I saw you and Henry talking alone, also. What was that about?” After I informed her, she frowned. “Dear, don’t forget that Henry Wargrave is a billionaire, and he didn’t get to where he is by falling for little Jedi mind tricks like you’re playing, trying to rile him up into something rash.”
“Your only mistake is that I’m trying to play tricks.” I said. “It’s ‘game on’ now, though.”
“You do like to play it the direct and confrontational way, don’t you, darling?” Laura said. “May I suggest you worry about the November Elections instead?”
“Oh, I’ve already started working on that, too.” I said, remembering…
My little shot at Wargrave had stemmed from events the week before. Two days (on the ‘third day’) after I visited Katherine Woodburn, she was arrested by Federal Elections Commission Agent Fred Dixon (no relation to Janet Dixon Riordan, by the way), and made to take a very public and humiliating ‘perp walk’ before a gaggle of Media. They were a cannibalistic bunch: they were loving the spectacle of the fall from grace of one of their own.
For some, Justice travels at a glacial pace, but not when this kind of money and political power is involved. Faced with some serious charges, Katherine cut a very quick deal with the U.S. Attorneys: she would immediately sell Woodburn Media Group, which included KXTC and the Town & County Examiner newspaper at auction, and the Feds would drop their charges against her and the station. She would not admit guilt, but she would never be permitted to own a media company of any kind again.
The auction was interesting. Acme Media Group, which was controlled by Wargrave, put in a strong bid, but it was then matched and just beaten by a bid from BOW Communications Group, which was owned by a newly formed conglomerate named BOW Companies Group. Acme improved its bid, but was just outbid a second time, followed by a third round of the same. Acme backed off, as the price was getting a bit rich vs. the actual value of the properties.
A man in his early thirties was brought in to be publisher. He had been a media relations man at DynaCorp, the firm owned by the late Anthony Warner, and whose sale had been stayed by a judge pending a hearing on the lawsuit filed by Seth Warner against his sister Karen, and before that he’d been in the Media and Marketing Department of… Burke Enterprises, now run by my nephew Todd. It is not hard to connect the dots here, people.
Burt West was named Editor-In-Chief of the Town & County Examiner, while Bettina Wurtzburg was named Senior Managing Editor at KXTC. For the first time, KXTC viewers began seeing coverage of Sheriff candidate Daniel Allgood and his very pretty wife Melina. Polling showed her ratings to be extremely favorable. I could certainly understand why.
Diane Williams found herself being offered a job by one of the National networks, which she quickly accepted.
Part 7 – Partnerships
August 23d. Despite my promotion, there is one tradition that I had refused to give up: drinking coffee with the MCD Detectives and our 7:00am standing date with Bettina!
“This is Bettina Wurtzburg, KXTC Channel Two News!” said the visibly happier redheaded reporterette. “Channel Two News Polling has discovered that Harold Malone holds a slim 3 point lead over Daniel Allgood in the race for Sheriff, coming within the margin of error. The race is tightening as both candidates plan to make a blitz of appearances over the Labor Day weekend. And speaking of that weekend, we go to Chuck Pringle for a Sports update. Chuck!”
“Thank you Bettina!” said Pringle, this segment not live but taped, “The University’s football squad is wrapping up summer camp work as the players look forward to the upcoming first game of the season! Coach Brian Harlan’s squad is hopeful for a good year, but experts have them in the middle of the pack at best in Conference standings predictions…”
Hey, Chuck! I thought to myself humorously. Mention who’s on top of those lists: my Wildcats, Chuck! Hmmm, have I mentioned that I still have a dislike for the Press? How dare they support the local team instead of my Wildcats? Wassup wit dat, huh?
At 8:00am a tornado swept through Police Headquarters.
No, güvenilir casino not a weather event, but the new Assistant District Attorney. Her name was Jenna Stiles. She had red hair, a bit darker than mine or Bettina’s, and Jenna’s was possibly dyed a bit darker than natural. She was medium height with a fairly slender, in-shape body, decent breasts, decent ass. I couldn’t see her legs, she was wearing a brownish-gray suit pants that matched her jacket, and a true blue blouse with a big collar. She was wearing what looked like medium-heel leather boots, except they only went up to her ankles. It would be politically incorrect for me to make an observation of her sexual orientation depending solely on how she was dressed.
As she came down the hall, she was firing orders at her assistant, a youngish man with curly hair and glasses. He wasn’t quite as bad as the late Tim Dawdle, but he looked like he was mushy enough to have been squeezed out of a tube of toothpaste. She went into her office, the one on the left of two that composed the suite next to and to the right of the main conference room. Yeah, say that three times fast. 🙂
I let her sit down at her desk before I came up to the door, hearing her firing off orders, “Okay, tell Mr. Krasney that the motions have been filed on the ‘Dirty Lenny’ drug case, I’ve filed all of our motions in the Taitz appeal, and don’t you knock before coming in? Oh…. sorry Commander, I didn’t realize it was you.” I was standing at the door, my hand raised and just about to knock.
I knocked on the door with three sharp raps, anyway. “Yes I do, given a chance. You must be A.D.A. Stiles.” I said. She raised herself out of her chair to shake hands with me, then I continued “When you’re ready to take a breath and get some coffee, I’ll take you over to meet the Detectives.” I meant right now and she knew it, so she told her assistant Gordon, who insisted it be pronounced “Gor-DON” to get her legal papers unpacked, and she came with me.
I introduced her to Martin Nash, Diana Torres, and Tanya Perlman, whose eyes were twinkling as she made observations of the new ADA. Teddy Parker poured Jenna some coffee, and everyone chatted for a couple of minutes about Jenna’s assignment of working with Vice, to which I was about to take her. And then Cindy Ross walked in.
“ADA Jenna Stiles, this is Lieutenant Cindy Ross.” I said in introduction… and then observed that fireworks were happening.
Upon seeing Jenna, Cindy had openly just stared at her, speechless. I then noticed that Jenna’s reaction was the same. Finally, Cindy extended her hand and said in an almost dreamlike state, “It’s very nice to meet you.”
“Likewise.” said Jenna, shaking her hand just a bit slowly and prolonged in timing. “I’ve heard so much about you, Lieutenant Ross.”
“Please, call me Cindy,” said Ross, “and I hope you didn’t believe a word you’ve heard so far.” Jenna smiled at that.
“I was just taking ADA Stiles to meet the Vice Detectives.” I said to Cindy, cueing it up nicely for her. She took the opportunity.
“Commander, I’m sure you’re very busy.” Cindy offered, not taking her eyes off of Jenna’s. “Why don’t I take Ms. Stiles to meet the Vice Detectives, then show her around the place?”
“By all means. I’ll talk to you both later.” I said. Cindy led Jenna out the door towards Vice.
“Ooooo-WEE!” exclaimed Tanya Perlman as she did fist pumps. “Did you see that?”
“I sure did.” I said, a wry grin on my features.
“Oh, that’s so fantastic!” Tanya said, her own face beaming.
“I saw that, too, but what’s going on with it?” asked Martin Nash, showing a hint of naivety.
I replied “If any of you are ever asked if people really do fall in love at first sight… well, you can say they do because you just saw proof of it. Y’all carry on; I’ll go let the Chief know about the redheaded tornado that just blew through here and swept my Lieutenant off her feet.” Tanya giggled at that, her cheeks rosy.
It would no longer be politically incorrect to deduce Jenna Stiles’s sexual orientation, I thought to myself as I went to the Chief’s office.
“Commander, I’m surprised how well-trained they are on evidence collection.” said Jenna Stiles as she met with me, Cindy, Teresa, and Paulina Patterson in Classroom ‘E’.
“That would be Ms. Patterson’s doing.” I said. “She’s raked me over the coals on it, too.” Paulina smiled as I said that.
“I’m sure you’ll train them even more than I have.” said Paulina, with a modesty that fooled no one present. “And you’ll have to keep after them, especially when I’m not here.”
“What do you mean, ‘not here’?” queried Cindy.
Paulina looked over at me, and I nodded as if giving permission, then Paulina spoke: “DA Krasney wants me to start trying more cases in the Courts. He’s assigned me an office at the Courthouse and wants me spending more time over there.”
“That’s great!” said Cindy, then seeing the strange look on Paulina’s face, continued “That’s… what you ADAs want, right? It’s like a promotion, isn’t it?”
“Yes.” said Paulina. “But I’ve come to love it here, working with you guys.”
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