My first month on the job turns out to be surprisingly eventful and even more successful.
CAHILL—Part 3 by Senorongo
Daryl and I went out to dinner Friday night and we agreed that we would leave the following night at midnight. Driving together we could go through the night just as we had many times in pursuit of criminals. Even if we averaged only fifty miles per hour we should arrive at Lucy’s home in Bascomb’s Landing by 3:00 on Sunday afternoon. All of Daryl’s belongings had been packed and picked up Friday afternoon and I had rented and loaded my trailer at the same time. The Salvation Army had come by for all of my furniture. The only pieces I wanted were a fairly new and comfortable recliner and my sixty-inch Samsung flat screen TV. The rest of the trailer was filled with boxes of clothes, dishes, and dry food. Anything perishable had been given to neighbors when I had driven to the Midwest weeks ago in pursuit of Michael Clifford and his accomplice.
I drove first for more than four hours before we stopped for an early breakfast and to walk Max. Then Daryl drove while I slept. We switched again around 10:30 and I drove toward Memphis, stopping only for lunch at a Hardee’s just off the interstate. Refreshed by the break I drove the all the way to Bascomb’s Landing and into Lucy’s driveway. We got out to stretch our legs then we walked to the door where I was asked why I had used the bell and not just walked in. Lucy, we were told, was at her parents’ weekly party. After removing the trailer we returned to the SUV for the short drive down the road.
We were still in uniform when I rang the bell at the Bascombs’ residence. Samuel greeted us at the door and directed us to the rear of the house where Jonathan was the first to see us. He shook my hand and hugged me before I was able to introduce him to Daryl.
“I can’t tell you how happy I am to see you, Matt. Lucille has done nothing but talk about you the entire time you’ve been gone. I hope you slept on the way because I doubt you’ll get much tonight.” He laughed and I joined him even as I introduced Daryl. He shook Daryl’s hand, welcoming him to his home and telling him to relax and enjoy the party. Then he turned to find Lucy, calling her a few seconds later. “Lucille! Lucille!”
She turned and hesitated for a second until she realized why her father was calling. Then she sprinted through the narrow spaces between guests until she was about three feet away before jumping into my arms for a long-awaited kiss. It was embarrassingly long and was broken only so she could breathe before kissing me again. Everyone was laughing, but I didn’t care—not even a little. I whispered, “I will never be able to tell you how much I love you.” I gave her a little peck then lowered her to the ground. I wiped her face first then mine as Jonathan and all of the nearby guests laughed again then I introduced Lucy to Daryl.
“I feel that I already know you, Lucy,” he said just before Lucy hugged him.
“You’re exactly how Matt described you, Daryl. I hope you don’t mind, but I have a friend I’d like you to meet. She’s a librarian here in the city and she’s really nice.” Then, lowering her voice, she continued, “Plus, she’s really hot.” Daryl looked at me in shock as I was wiping my face to hide my laughter at his reaction. Lucy took both of our hands and led us through the crowd with Max following closely behind.
Lucy stopped when she reached the bench we had occupied just two weeks ago as a young black woman stood to be introduced. I say black, but her skin was more the color of café-au-lait. Her hair was straight black to her shoulders and she had the brightest brown eyes I’d ever seen. Her name was Jasmine and she was an incredibly beautiful woman with a tall slender body and good-sized breasts. She told us she was from Haiti and that her mother was black, but her father had been French.
“Unfortunately, he was killed during Hurricane Ike. He was a national policeman, much like you, and he was trying to rescue a woman and her children from an old building when it collapsed from the high winds and flooding. They were all killed in that hurricane; it was the fourth storm to strike the island in 2008. I was fourteen at the time then I was able to come with my mother and brother to the United States. I did well in school and was able to attend the University of Tennessee thanks to Lucille’s parents. They sponsor several scholarships every year. But, enough about me; tell me about you, Daryl. I’m sure your job is very interesting.” She took his arm and led him away to the bar.
Lucy took me by the hand and sat me down on the bench. “I can’t begin to tell you, Matt, how much I missed you.” Then she giggled and whispered, “You’ll find out once this stupid party ends. I put Daryl in one of the bedrooms in the other wing so we won’t be heard. I’m looking forward to our shower, too. Oh, Matt!”
“So, tell me what you’ve done about the wedding.”
“Well…I picked out a dress and we have the church for eleven weeks from yesterday. We’re having the reception at Desmond’s--that place we went to. Remember? It’s the best catering hall in the county. I know it’s fast, but not fast enough to suit me.”
I pulled her close and peered into her ice-blue eyes. “Not soon enough for me, either. Where will my family stay?”
“Mother and Daddy have said they can stay here with them. Daryl will move into the city’s house tomorrow so he’s all set. There are three other bedrooms and a sleep sofa in the family room so some of your marshal friends can stay there, too. Anyone else, we’ll find places with our friends or they can stay in one of the motels now that the bridge is open again. They’re less than half an hour away.
“I really enjoyed talking with your cousin and aunt…your uncle, too. They seem to be excellent people.”
“They are; they’re really great. They never once made me feel unwelcome after they took me in. Aunt Nell might as well have been my real mother. Actually, that’s exactly what she is. I have no memories of my birth mother—only a few photos. Uncle Chuck is an extremely successful attorney, but he always found the time to attend my football games and track meets. As we got older I often wondered if Constance would get jealous, but she’s more a sister than a cousin. In some respects you could say that I was unlucky when I lost my parents, but in others I was really fortunate. I’ve always tried to make them proud of me.”
“I’m sure you succeeded. I’m proud of you, too.” Then she leaned forward to kiss me and, for the first time today she leaned down to hug and pet Max. “I didn’t forget you, Max. It’s just that I’m so happy to see Matt. What happened with Max when you resigned?” I explained about Bob and his comments about Max, especially when I was ready to leave.
“So, Max just laid there on the floor? He refused to follow your commander’s instructions?”
“Yeah, that’s basically it. I think he would obey you on most things, but not on attack commands. I do know that he would protect you.”
“He already did that at the diner. Oh, I have to tell you—Daddy tried to transfer Craig, but he disappeared and nobody has seen him in the past week. I know that Daddy asked the police to keep an eye out for him, but no luck so far.” I had a serious look on my face then. I had hoped that Craig would come to his senses and leave while he could. Having him around could be a problem. I hoped not. I had run out of polite responses for him and his obsession for Lucy.
Daryl seemed to enjoy Jasmine’s company throughout the entire party. We sat together for a dinner that lived up to my expectations and my bragging. Tonight we had beef brisket and ribs and both were delicious. I knew that Daryl was an ear of corn man, but he surprised me by taking two helpings of barbequed beans in addition. I had the corn, but passed on the beans although I did have a lot of the grilled onions. The four of us left at eight with sincerest thanks to our hosts. Daryl rode with Jasmine and Lucy with me back to her house. Max spent the entire ride nuzzling Lucy’s neck while we laughed like crazy about the ferocious police dog.
Lucy and Jasmine helped to carry in our clothes while Max played at nipping Lucy’s toes. Of course, he wasn’t actually biting her. This was his idea of a game that I’d seen him play with Constance and her girls many times. Constance usually just laughed, but her daughters shrieked at the top of their lungs and the louder they were the more Max loved it.
Lucy and I carried my clothes to our bedroom while Jasmine showed Daryl where he was going to sleep. After unpacking about half of my clothes we went down to the family room where we joined Daryl and Jasmine. She only stayed a short while before telling us that she had to get up early for work. I was sitting in a large recliner with Lucy in my lap hugging and kissing her while my hand ran through her silken hair and up and down her cheek. I marveled at the softness of her skin and the allure of her lips. Best of all, this marvelous creature was all mine.
Daryl returned a few minutes later to tell us that he was turning in. That sounded like a good idea to me so I put Max out, waiting with Lucy for his return. Then we walked arm in arm up to shower and bed, but I doubted we’d get much sleep—not for a while, anyway.
Lucy locked the bedroom door while Max made himself comfortable at the foot of the bed. She was in my arms, her body molded into mine just seconds later. Our lips met and our tongues dueled back and forth as our passion for each other soared to its zenith in mere seconds. Lucy’s hands on my head and mine wrapped around her body held us as close as humanly possible. Had we been able to violate the laws of physics our two bodies would have eagerly merged into one.
Rabidly, we pulled the clothes from our bodies as I shuffled us into the bathroom. Suddenly, Lucy began to giggle. “I can hardly believe that you’re really here with me. I feel like pinching myself to make sure it’s really true.”
“I won’t pinch you, but will another kiss do?”
“It will until the water gets hot then I’m going to want a whole lot more.” I pulled her up for another sweet wet kiss then lifted her bodily as the water cascaded over our bodies. Her legs went immediately up to my shoulders as her cunt opened itself to my assault. Lucy gripped me tightly as she led me to her inner sanctum—to our mutual nirvana.
Joining with Lucy was even better than I had remembered—even better than I could ever imagine. It was literally our heaven on earth as I drove into her forcefully. She was shaking wildly as her first orgasm hit only seconds after I had penetrated her and her scream was enough to wake the dead, but it was hardly the end of our love-making. All told I pounded her sweet pussy for almost twenty minutes-- getting her off four times before I drowned her in my crème. How could I sustain such an effort? Easy—I had jerked my cock several times every day dreaming about Lucy and I was tired from our long drive. By the time she had reached her fourth orgasm her scream was reduced to a squeal. I carried her inert body out of the shower, dried her and placed her in the bed, pulling her onto my body once I had joined her. She molded her flesh to mine as we found sleep immediately.
I spent most of the following morning unloading my trailer and putting everything away. Lucy showed Daryl around the city and pointed out the library and a storage facility that was owned by her parents. He rented an area large enough to hold his belongings at less than fifty percent of the going rate. He and Lucy were done well before 11:00 and Lucy rushed upstairs to help me with my clothes. She took one look at some of my wrinkled shirts and slacks and shook her head. “This will never do, Matt,” she said as she scooped the clothes off the hangers. “I’ll pass these to Ingrid. You won’t recognize them when she’s washed and ironed them.” Then she kissed me again and I hoped she’d repeat that every day of our lives.
We met with Daryl in the dining room for lunch and Lucy asked what he wanted to eat. “What do you have,” he asked.
Lucy and I laughed. “Just tell me what you’d like.”
“Um…how about grilled ham and cheese, maybe with some chips?”
“What would you like, Matt?”
“That will work for me, too. Two sandwiches for me, please.” Lucy just shook her head and gave me an expression that said, “DUH!” She disappeared into the kitchen for a minute and was back, sitting in my lap and hugging me. I enjoyed the softness of her cheek against mine until the cook served our first sandwiches and Cokes on ice. We talked and joked while we ate then we spent the afternoon at the pool. Unfortunately, Daryl’s presence meant no sex and bathing suits the entire time. We went out to dinner at Carter’s. I wasn’t at all surprised when Jasmine joined us, lightly kissing Daryl’s cheek before taking her seat. For some reason we didn’t have to wait at all even though the restaurant was crowded. I guessed that was an advantage of owning the business.
We spent the next morning really showing the city to Daryl. This was more than a sightseeing trip. As a police officer knowledge of the city, its neighborhoods, and streets was essential, although with GPS it wasn’t as critical as it was twenty years ago. Lucy and I had driven Daryl and Max for almost three hours when Daryl commented, “I can see why you like it here, Matt. It’s a beautiful small city and all the people I’ve met so far seem to be friendly. Lucy, what do we do about uniforms?”
I interrupted because I’d had a few ideas that I had researched at home and with Chief Paul McCormick by phone. “Lucy, unless I’m mistaken the police force currently buys uniforms for the men and they are responsible for their care. Is that right?”
“Yes, that’s the way it’s always been, why?”
“I did a little research at home and also with my friend Paul McCormick, the chief of police in Memphis. I think we could do better with a uniform rental company. Each man would get a week’s supply and the uniforms would be washed and pressed and the process repeated every week. They would be responsible for any repairs and replacements. Paul has told me that they save more than $17,000 a year by leasing. We wouldn’t save as much, but there would be some and there’s also the benefit of having the police look more professional. I’d also like to make some uniform changes.
“I don’t like brown for police. It reminds people of Hitler’s storm troopers and many black people find it offensive.”
“Is that true, Daryl?”
“It is, Lucy. Brown uniforms are usually worn by white supremacists like the Neo-Nazis.”
“I prefer blue for police with white shirts for the officers and station personnel and I’d like to introduce tee shirts in hot weather and do away with the ties.”
“Police should always use clip-on ties because they can be seriously injured or even killed if a perpetrator pulls on it. Want to bet that some of ours use a regular tie? I know from the arrest of the two in the diner that some of their procedures are weak. Catch this, Daryl; one of the city cops was going to remove my handcuffs and then replace them with his.”
I could see the disbelieving expression on his face in the rearview mirror before he even spoke. “You have got to be kidding! Where the hell did he get his training?”
“You’re assuming that he even had training. Things have been so lax here and so political that I’ll bet at least half a dozen have no training because they’re connected.”
“I’d never take that bet, Matt because I know too well that you’re right,” Lucy replied. “Haynes’ son is one example and he has a buddy who’s in the same boat.” I could see her agitation so I reached across the console to hold her hand.
“I think I’ll stop at George’s for a little chat. You’ll find this interesting, Daryl.” I made the turn at the corner and found a parking spot almost immediately. George welcomed us at the door, even Max. I introduced Daryl as a new lieutenant and George smiled. He clearly knew the score.
“I think the police should have been integrated decades ago and most of the community agrees.” He made one phone call and a few minutes later we had nine of his friends in to speak with us. I knew that Daryl would listen carefully. He’d had the same training in the Navy and Marshals Service that I’d had. I was also pleased that Lucy paid very close attention. We stayed for almost an hour before taking leave for lunch. Daryl assured George that he’d be back to do some shopping when he had time. Of course, we went to the diner. Lucy and I sat together and Max climbed up onto the other bench after Daryl was seated. That proved to be a problem because he was hit repeatedly by Max’s tail when two young friends came over to pet him. I moved him to the floor, telling him to sit.
After we had ordered I asked Lucy, “How did Carl Haynes become chairman of the council when it appears that most of the others disagree with his views?”
“He was the only one who wanted the job. In retrospect, I think I should have taken it, but we’ll have another election in November. He and two others are up for reelection then we’ll select a chairperson in January at our organizational meeting.” Mentioning Haynes reminded me that I wanted to phone Julia Adams, the State Attorney, for an update. After lunch we drove to the house that Daryl would be using. It was empty so he would need his furniture and that was due to be delivered tomorrow morning.
The next week was routine. Well, it was probably routine for Daryl and me, but it was a totally new experience for Lucy. The city’s house where Daryl was living was in sound condition but was in desperate need of sprucing up. So Lucy joined us for what we learned was her first visit to Home Depot for paint, brushes, and some accessories. It took us six days, but we were able to paint the entire living and dining rooms, as well as the kitchen and Daryl’s bedroom. I was surprised to learn that Lucy actually had clothes suitable for painting—tee shirts with holes in the seams and jeans that had seen better days. Later I learned that she had bought them from one of the maids. I laughed at her embarrassment, but then I kissed her and all was well between us.
Lucy turned out to be a great worker, concentrating on the trim while Daryl and I tackled the large areas of the walls and ceilings with rollers. I also learned how cute she looked with a dab of paint on the tip of her delicate nose. As hard as we worked during the day that was just how hard we played in the shower and after dinner in bed.
The week was broken up briefly by a phone call from Julia Adams. She asked if I wanted to be a part of the surveillance team at the drug buy between Parker’s roommate and Jeremy Haynes. It sounded like a good idea, but I turned her down almost immediately. “We had a bit of a run-in at a coffee shop here a few weeks ago. I’m afraid that if he saw me your entire sting would be compromised.” She did agree and told me that she would keep me up to speed on the investigation.
I thought everything was going well several weeks later—roughly a week before I would take over as Chief—so I used a morning when Lucy had an appointment at the beauty salon to drive to the county seat to transfer my license and registration from North Carolina to Tennessee. I had all of the identification required by the state and I had studied the DMV manual online, even taking several of the practice exams.
I was in my Marshal uniform as Max and I entered the building. An official called out from behind me that I couldn’t carry a gun into a state government building, nor could I take my dog. His arguments died in his throat when I turned around and he had the chance to read the front of my shirt. I had worn my uniform at Jonathan Bascomb’s suggestion. “You’ll get much faster service in uniform than in regular clothes, that’s for sure.” He was right; no sooner had I approached the information desk than one of the managers asked how he could help me. Five minutes later I had my new license plate and another five after that I was taking the exam. All in all, driving to and back had taken much more time than the actual work in the DMV.
I was driving along Main Street in Bascomb’s Landing and looking for a parking space when I saw something that made my blood run cold. On the sidewalk about fifty feet in front of me, Donald Craig had a pistol in his right hand and Lucy’s arm in his left. He was pulling her out the salon door and she was fighting all the way. I stopped suddenly right in the lane causing the man behind me to sound his horn. I always used my personal SUV for work so I put the flashers on and climbed out in a rush to the tailgate. I grabbed my vest and had it velcroed onto my body in seconds. I’d practiced this probably hundreds if not thousands of times.
I was yelling for everyone to get off the sidewalk as I walked quickly toward Craig. “Don’t come any closer,” he screamed. “I’ll shoot her. I swear I will and keep your damn dog back. I swear…I’ll kill both of them!”
I approached slowly with Max at heel, knowing that he’d likely attack Craig and get himself shot in the process. I stamped my right foot as I stepped forward, then again as I stepped sideways. I gave Lucy a look that said “DUH” and a few seconds later she showed recognition as she stomped down hard on Craig’s foot. By then I was in position, my pistol held up with two hands in firing position. Lucy was wearing shoes with three-inch heels. They weren’t stilettos, but they did taper to about a half-inch diameter. They would create a force of more than 300 pounds per square inch which was sure to get his attention.
He screamed in pain and his grip on Lucy relaxed enough for her to break away. Thinking quickly, she moved down and to her left away from Craig and out of my line of fire. The loud report of my .44 Magnum broke the silence of the calm morning as soon as I had seen Donald Craig raise his weapon and point it toward Lucy. I had aimed for his shoulder and at this distance—less than twenty feet—I didn’t miss. The bullet tore through his muscle and bone and embedded itself into the nearby wooden light pole, exactly as I had hoped and planned. Craig’s pistol fell harmlessly to the concrete, landing just an instant before he did.
“Max, gun,” I commanded. He ran to stand over the weapon and I knew it would still be there when I returned for it. Next I tore the vest and my tee shirt from my body, dropping the vest, but folding the shirt into a long thin bandage. I wrapped it tightly around Craig’s shoulder and applied pressure to staunch the bleeding. Then my attention went to Lucy. “Lucy—darling--are you okay?”
“I’m still shaking a bit, but otherwise I’m fine.”
“Good; go back into the salon and ask them to phone the police and tell them that we need EMT’s, too.” She disappeared a second later and that was when I first noticed the City Police car parked less than seventy feet down the street. I was sure that my astonishment showed on my face. The two officers in the car had done nothing during the entire confrontation but sit and watch in the car’s mirrors. Even from this distance I thought I could recognize one of them as Jeremy Haynes. I made a note of the car’s number for future use.
People began to congregate around Craig and me despite my requests that they stand back. I was glad that Max had taken control of the gun. On my command Max brought it to me and then I had him turn and growl at the crowd. As quickly as they had swarmed around us, that’s how quickly they backed up. Minutes later the first police arrived. I recognized two of the officers from the incident at the diner and they recognized me, as well. I described what I had seen and done and Lucy gave a statement, as did eight people who had been passing by. The EMT’s took over, bandaging Craig’s wound and taking him off to the hospital. I passed his revolver to one of the officers and surrendered my weapon—a routine part of any investigation. The last thing I did was to show them where my bullet had struck the light pole.
“Pretty lucky to hit this pole, Cahill.”
“I’m glad you think so,” I replied with a chuckle. That was when I felt Lucy behind me. Turning, I took her into my arms. “Thank God you’re okay. I shudder to think what might have happened if I hadn’t been here.”
“If I’d had my purse I could have used my pepper spray, but it was on the counter. I was just about to get out of the chair when he ran in and grabbed me. How’d you think of stomping on his foot?”
“That’s standard procedure. I’m just glad you caught on.” Lucy kissed me right there on the sidewalk and, not surprisingly, there was plenty of cheering and polite applause. Then she returned to the salon and Max and I moved the SUV out of the road, parking in the spot that had been vacated by Haynes and his partner and donning an old shirt that I always kept in the SUV’s rear.
Max and I walked into the salon to wait for Lucy, but that only lasted for a minute or so before the odor of acetone began giving me a headache. Lucy told me about a sandwich shop down the street and around the corner. “The owner won’t mind you sitting there until I join you for lunch. Just tell her who you are.” She turned to kiss me quickly and I walked out, glad to be in the warm clear air. Max and I strolled down the street, saying hello to shoppers and their young children, many of whom had heard about Max from friends. They petted and hugged him while I talked quietly to their parents. Most were pleased that I’d be taking over for the retiring chief of police. Their comments about him mirrored those I’d heard about the force, except that they were much worse.
Lucy walked into the shop almost an hour later and was greeted immediately by the owner, a woman I had recognized from one of her parents’ Sunday parties. She brought menus to our table and we ordered subs and Cokes. While we were waiting I told Lucy that I had seen two police officers in a car do nothing during her emergency. Their intervention might have saved Craig’s shoulder—something he was unlikely to use again no matter how long he lived unless he had replacement surgery. A bullet like a .44 Magnum hits its target with an incredible amount of kinetic energy—so much that it will literally pulverize any bones it strikes.
Lucy was justifiably pissed off when she learned that the police had not acted to aid her so she took her phone out of her purse and called the main police station. “Ed, it’s Lucille Bascomb; can you tell me who is in car eleven today. Okay, I see. Thanks. Say hi to Adele for me, will you?
“You were right. It was Haynes and his partner—Gil Parsons. They’re bad news. I think I have to make a few more calls. She did, and when she was done I had been approved to start work tomorrow—Daryl, too. I phoned him on the way home, telling him I’d meet him at Lucy’s in an hour. We had a lot to do this afternoon.
I placed phone calls to Paul McCormick in the hopes of borrowing one of his 150-pound dummies. He agreed immediately. I could pick it up at any time. My next call was to the superintendent of schools to inquire about the procedure needed to use the high school track. That was easier than I thought. All I would need was a letter on Police Department letterhead requesting the dates. My final call was to the Sheriff’s Office to ask about using their firing range. Once again, all I had to do was plan about two weeks in advance and as many as five slots would be set aside for us. I also made arrangements for the city to reimburse the Sheriff for any ammunition we used there.
I pieced together a memo to all police officers—even station house personnel—regarding the new performance standards and scheduling them. I added a final paragraph informing all personnel that failure to appear for testing would be viewed as insubordination that would result in unpaid suspension from the force for a period to be determined or outright dismissal.
“Kind of strong, isn’t it, Matt?”
“Yeah, it is, Daryl, but we’ve been hired to clean up a mess that’s been in existence for years. I’m not going to pussyfoot around. I already have a plan to hire a bunch of minorities and you’re going to be a big part of it.”
I’m a decent typist, but Daryl is a pro. He had it done in only a couple of minutes then we made 150 copies on Lucy’s printer. Once that was done I drove us to City Hall to make an official appearance at police headquarters which was located at the rear of the building. We walked in together—Lucy, Daryl, Max, and me. We stepped up to the desk and I told the Sergeant, “I’m Matt Cahill, the new Chief of Police, and this is Daryl Evans who is a new lieutenant. I believe you already know Ms. Bascomb. I want you to know that I will be starting officially tomorrow morning. When do officers report for duty?”
“Our shift runs from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Most of us show up between 7:15 and 7:30 to dress and be briefed after roll call.”
“Post a bulletin where everyone can and will see it that there will be inspection immediately following the roll call for all on shift. That includes uniformed station personnel.”
“You heard me correctly. A record will be kept of infractions and I will distribute information regarding the new performance standards. Thank you for your cooperation, Sergeant. We’ll see you in the morning.” We turned away and walked toward the door, but all of us could clearly hear the sergeant when he said, “Holy Shit!”
Our next stop was the shop that provided the uniforms. After explaining who we were the owner tried to show us the same brown uniforms that the police had worn for years. I asked if he had any white shirts and navy pants. He did and told us he could sew on the required American Flag and name and rank by close of business. We signed the voucher for the city and left, returning two hours later.
We ate at home that night with Daryl and Jasmine joining us. They appeared to be getting along quite well. I reminded myself to talk about them with Lucy later when we were in bed. It wasn’t first on my agenda, but I knew we’d talk before we slept.
Dinner was great, as usual. Lucy’s cook had grilled a big slab of sirloin just the way I liked it—medium rare—with baked potatoes and fresh string beans from one of the local farms. Lucy and Jasmine drank wine—a Merlot Lucy told me was from the Napa Valley in northern California. Daryl and I drank ginger ale. Tomorrow was too big a day to risk messing up by drinking too much. We all turned in early in anticipation of a big day.
Lucy and I had our arms around each other as we ascended the stairs, but she stopped halfway to turn and kiss me. Rather than break it I lifted her easily and carried her all the way to our bedroom. We stripped each other with well practiced efficiency and stepped together into the shower. We washed quickly in our urgency to couple—to become one. I was still a bit damp when we jumped into bed together. Then Lucy once again showed her immense love for me by going down on my already fully erect cock.
Kneeling between my legs, Lucy kept her eyes on mine as her tongue actively laved the sensitive underside of my organ. I was delirious in my lust for her, so much so that I leaned forward, took her hips in my hands and lay back with Lucy lying atop me. We kissed again, the taste of my own cock on her tongue dissuading me not at all. My hands clutched Lucy’s body while hers sought out my cock, moving it into perfect position to penetrate her hot tight tunnel. She was wet—actively oozing—as I stretched her seemingly to the breaking point. I knew that this was her favorite part of making love so I moved very, very slowly as I pressed up and into her.
We moved together, tentatively at first, but building speed and intensity as our passion grew. Before long we were chugging like a team of locomotives, Lucy’s clit digging a deep furrow into my abdominals as she twisted my organ through her rapid movements. We made the most heated and sweaty love every day—sometimes more than once. Okay…usually more than once, so great was our need for each other. Yet, despite our frequency, we always came explosively and tonight’s experience was no different. I knew that some couples never experienced simultaneous orgasms, but for Lucy and me it was the norm. Tonight I beat her to the mark, but she was only seconds behind me.
We lay exhausted in post-coital bliss as our breathing slowly returned to normal. Lucy’s head was on my shoulder and I knew she was ready for sleep when I spoke. “Lucy, honey—I noticed that Jasmine and Daryl seem to be getting along really well.”
She laughed and after a few seconds moved up to kiss me. “For a smart observant man you sure can be oblivious. They are so into each other it’s scary…almost as scary as you and me. They’re not living together yet, but ‘YET’ is the operative word. Jasmine spent the entire weekend at Daryl’s house so I’m sure they’ll be together pretty soon.”
“That’s great; they’re wonderful people and they deserve the best. Okay, thanks for the update. Let’s get to sleep. I have to get up early.”
“We’re both getting up early. For one thing—you’re going to need a decent breakfast. And, I have a surprise for you. You’ll know what it is when you see it.” I tried to wheedle it out of her, but Lucy just kissed me then snuggled really close and pulled the blanket over us. The next thing I knew the alarm was ringing.
True to her word, Lucy was up and in the shower with me then she dressed while I shaved. I stepped into my uniform pants, noticing immediately the razor-sharp crease in the front and back. My shirt had also been pressed between the time we had come home and whenever Ingrid left for the day. I had to use a different pistol belt—one with a holster for my CZ 9mm. It was much narrower than my Python so it flopped around from side to side and that could be a problem if I needed it quickly. I checked that it was loaded and that the spare magazines on the belt were full. I transferred my handcuffs and baton then walked down to the kitchen with Max in tow.
Lucy had made me a breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausage patties, orange juice and black coffee. She joined me at the table and we ate quickly. I phoned Daryl and he told me that he was already on the way. I told him to wait for me at the gateway to the restricted parking lot.
After a long passionate kiss good-bye, I left Lucy with a wave and drove the short distance to City Hall, driving straight to the parking lot restricted for police, magistrates, and the city government’s officials and employees, stopping at the gatehouse. “Sorry, sir, but this lot is reserved for employees. There’s a public lot on Fifth Street just around the corner.”
“I am an employee. I’m Matt Cahill, the new Chief of Police and the car behind me holds the new Lieutenant.”
“I don’t know. Nobody told me nothing.”
Suddenly, there was a shadow from behind the SUV and I turned to see my future father-in-law. “Let them in, Nick. They’re both starting today. You’ll get official notice a bit later on from the mayor.”
“Okay, Mr. Bascomb…if you say so.” The bar was raised and we drove through, Jonathan joining us once we had parked in spots reserved for the chief and a lieutenant. He even reached down to pet Max who was obviously excited to start a new adventure.
“Hi, Jonathan, Lucy promised me a surprise, but I never guessed it would be you. Surely you have better things to do than be here at this hour.”
He laughed and I joined him a second later. “Nonsense, Matt—I can hardly wait to introduce you and turn Joe Wilson out to pasture. It’s only about four years too late.” We walked together into the building where we were stopped by building security until Jonathan assured them that we would have official ID later in the day. Once again we walked into police headquarters, stopping at the sergeant’s desk en route to the briefing room. He took one look at Max and moved back, away from Max’s huge jaws.
“Hi, Ed, we’re going in to the room for the introductions now. Anyone missing?”
“No, Sir…Mr. Bascomb. They’re all here, but they’re not too happy about inspection.” Then pointing at Max, “What the hell is that thing…a wolf?” I just nodded and smiled, and we strode through the door. Inside were another sergeant and the sixty officers who would be on patrol for this shift.
“Gentlemen, I’d like to introduce the new Chief of Police, Matt Cahill, former U.S. Marshal and former Chief Petty Officer with the Navy’s military police. With him is Lieutenant Daryl Evans who has the same background as Chief Cahill. You’ll also get to know Chief Cahill’s police dog, Max.” He stepped aside so I could speak.
“Unfortunately, many of the citizens of this beautiful city refer to their police force as ‘the Keystone Kops.’ That perception ends today. Lieutenant Evans will distribute my first memo to all of you regarding performance standards that have been adopted by many of the nation’s police forces as well as the U.S. Marshals Service. Please read them carefully and note the dates for your testing. You will be paid overtime for your time on those days. Note that I have scheduled the mile run for a month from today so you will have time to practice. Everyone will run that day, including Lt. Evans and me, and those who fail to make it in six minutes or less will be on probation a minimum of sixty days or until you meet the standard. After running each of us will pick up a 150-pound dummy and carry it at a run for fifty yards. That will be done in thirty seconds or less. All of this is in the memo.
“I’d like to know how many of you have been to the Sheriff’s Firing Range within the last six months.” I wasn’t surprised to see that less than one third had raised their hands. “How many of you have never fired your weapon?” Again, I wasn’t surprised that almost half raised their hands. “That is going to change. There was a time in this country when a police officer could expect to go through his or her entire career without ever needing his service weapon. Unfortunately, those days are well in the past. You need to have confidence in your ability to use your handgun if needed, plus you need to know that you’ll hit your target and not somebody out walking the dog.”
I paused then because I had seen Haynes crumple his memo and toss it onto the floor. “Is there a problem, Officer Haynes?”
“I ain’t doing no running and I ain’t never going to take orders from no fucking nigger. I should be lieutenant. I been here longest.”
“I don’t know of any police department that promotes officers based on longevity and this one is not going to be the first. What training do you have?”
“The best kind—on the job training. Plus, I’m a native here. I’ve lived here all my life.”
“That and five dollars will get you into a matinee at the movies. Lt. Evans has extensive formal training from the Navy. I know about that because I had the same training. He, like me, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology from the University of North Carolina and we’re both almost finished with Master’s Degrees from the same university. I’ll finish mine within the next three months and Lt. Evans within the next year. We also have completed the training provided to all U.S. Marshals.”
“Yeah, well…when my father finds out about this you’ll be toast and so will your spade.”
“I understand that you live with your parents so I’m a bit surprised you don’t know that he opposed my appointment, the adoption of these standards, and Lt. Evans’ appointment. Yet, here we are because his was the only dissenting vote. If I understand you correctly, you are refusing to follow orders given to you by Lt. Evans. Is that correct?”
“You bet your ass. All I got to do is hang out and kick this nigger’s ass and he’ll be gone, but I’m never going to follow his orders and I ain’t following yours either.”
“Okay, you’ve made your position abundantly clear. How about you, Parsons? I just want to know whether to add insubordination to the charges of dereliction of duty already hanging over your heads. Not only did I see you while Ms. Bascomb was being kidnapped yesterday, but you were also seen by more than a dozen citizens. You sat in your patrol car and did nothing while she was being kidnapped by an armed assailant. Your intervention might well have convinced Craig to give up. Instead, I had to shoot him in the shoulder to disarm him. Well, how about it, Parsons?”
He glanced quickly at Haynes standing just off to his left before replying, “Um…I guess so; I mean I’ll follow.” Max had been sitting to my left side until the exchange with Haynes. Then he jumped up ready to act in response to the changes in the tone of my voice. Once my voice showed that I was calm again, he returned to sitting, but had his eyes squarely on Haynes in anticipation of some foolhardy act.
“Very well, let’s stand for inspection then we’ll have briefing. There will be a note taken of any problems, but there will be no penalties for problems this morning as this is new to you.” They formed what amounted to two lines and I started at the left end and moved toward the right, noting deficiencies as we walked before turning around for the back row. Mostly, there were problems associated with dirty shoes and unkempt uniforms although two officers had omitted their vests, a potentially life threatening omission.
I listened to the briefing then told Haynes and Parsons to meet with me in the Chief’s office. There I laid out the charges against them and advised them of their rights to a hearing. “Who’s going to conduct the hearing,” Haynes asked.
“I plan to ask three of the City Council, but not your father and not Ms. Bascomb.”
“What about the suspension?”
“Thirty days without pay.”
“Fuck that! I don’t give that much of a shit about this stupid fucking job. I fucking quit.”
Max was up again in a flash, ready for action if needed and Haynes took a step back in response. “Duly noted and accepted, Officer Haynes. I’ll have your service weapon and your ID now and I’ll give you seventy-two hours to return your uniforms. If you don’t I’ll have the cost deducted from your final paycheck.” His face was red with anger as he stepped forward and slammed the pistol and belt on the desk, followed seconds later by his leather-clad ID. I held Max back with a hand on his collar as he growled loudly enough for all in the room to hear.
“C’mon, Gil—let’s get the fuck out of this shithole.”
Parsons just stood still with his head down. “I can’t Jeremy. I don’t live with my folks. I got a wife and two kids. I need this job.” Haynes stormed out, slamming the door as he left. Parsons surrendered his belt and pistol as well as his ID, accepting the suspension before he walked away.
“Daryl, please notify payroll that we’re on the job effective today. That will have to be in writing. Also, take care of the Haynes and Parsons matters. I’ll have to deal with the former Chief. In fact, I think I see him now.” Daryl left to find what would be his office as Joe Wilson stormed in. I was sure he would have yelled had he not seen Max at the ready.
Instead, he was subdued as he asked, “Who the hell are you and what the hell are you doing in my office?”
“I’m your replacement, Matt Cahill, and you’re officially relieved of duty effective right now. I’ll accept your service weapon unless it’s your personal property and your police department ID. Please return your uniforms within the next week.”
“The fuck I will. I have half a mind to….”
“Just do as you’re told, Joe,” my future father-in-law said, stepping into the office from the hallway. “Joe, you should have retired years ago. You’ve allowed things to slip and now the police force is a joke. Be glad you’re retiring and not being fired.”
“No buts, Joe; you’ll be paid for the next ten days just as the City Council agreed, but you’re done working. Stop whining and maintain a little dignity.”
“This isn’t right. I got friends on the Council, you know?”
“I do, but you should know that an informal vote was held yesterday after two of your officers failed to take any action when my daughter…MY DAUGHTER…was being kidnapped. If not for intervention by Chief Cahill she would have been.”
“I didn’t hear anything about that.”
“All the more reason why you should step down, Joe.” Jonathan walked over and placed his hand on Wilson’s shoulder. The now ex-chief saw that he had lost and added his belt to those already on the desk then he added his ID and his keys to the office, files, and his personal vehicle.
“There’s nothing in the desk I want, but I’m going to need a ride home.”
“I’ll take you, Joe. Enjoy your retirement. C’mon.” Jonathan led the defeated man out and down the stairs to the parking lot. On the way he passed a forty-something brunette who took a seat at the desk outside my office. After a minute or so she walked in to introduce herself.
“I’m Sandra Milner, your secretary, Chief Cahill. I wasn’t expecting you until week after next. Do you want coffee?”
“Yeah, well apparently the City Council thought I was needed now and I don’t expect you to bring me coffee. Feel free to call me Matt unless we’re in some kind of formal situation.”
“Sure, thanks; you can call me Sandra. The first thing I did for Chief Wilson was to bring him the activity logs from the previous day. Do you want that, also?” I nodded my agreement and she left. I unloaded the three pistols on my desk and cleared the chambers then I walked to the door and asked Sandra if we had an armory.
“We have an officer who has combined duties between the evidence room and the guns and ammunition. His office is down in the basement. Turn left at the bottom of the stairs.” I thanked her, grabbed the three pistols in my right hand and the belts in my left with the magazines in my pockets. Down the stairs I went to meet Officer Mulvaney. His operation was the most organized thing I’d yet encountered in the department. He took the weapons from me, checked their serial numbers against those on file in his computer and secured them in locked cabinets. I asked him about the armaments the department owned and he showed me the complete inventory first, then the actual arms—less those in the hands of the officers or in the patrol cars—typically shotguns. He described his skills in making and repairing guns. He also did ballistics comparisons in the rare crime scene or arrest that involved a shooting. I asked for a copy of the complete weapons inventory by close of shift and he told me I could have it in an hour.
Then we discussed the evidence room and he showed me the system the department used. It was pretty much standard with others I’d seen so I was satisfied. After shaking hands with Mulvaney I returned to the office where Sandra informed me that I was needed in Human Resources for my ID photo and to complete the required forms for payroll and insurance. She gave me directions and I was there about ten minutes later, having gotten lost when I took a wrong turn.
The clerk had all of the forms ready for my signature and was able to answer the few questions I had while I answered hers about Max. All told I spent about twenty minutes there, returning to my office with several booklets describing the insurance and pension programs as well as my formal ID. I used the rest of the morning to review personnel files with Daryl. He had several insights I found valuable about the ages of several officers and whether or not they would be able to meet the new standards. I’d have to make some critical decisions about them. How many station personnel could we use? Might we need some neighborhood substations? Maybe Lucy would know. I could make a few exceptions, but they would still have to qualify on the range. There’s no use for a police officer who can’t be counted on in an emergency.
Just before lunch break Daryl, Max and I walked down to my SUV for Max’s bowl and what I usually called my gym bag and then across the lot to the City’s motor pool. Well, that’s what I called it after a career in the federal government even though the sign said “City of Bascomb’s Landing Municipal Garage.” I spoke to the supervisor and asked for an inventory of the police department vehicles, commenting that I would not be using Chief Wilson’s vehicle. “Too bad,” he told me with a grin. “It’s a Lincoln.” I told him to make it available to the detectives for surveillance or whatever other need they might have.
We were on our way back to the office when I had yet another surprise in the form of my fiancée who was bringing Daryl and me a lunch. Max ran to her for a good petting and then she reached up to give me a brief kiss. We walked together up to the office where Lucy greeted Sandra warmly—a greeting that was eagerly returned as we stepped through the doorway. “Is there anyone here you don’t know,” I asked as I laughed.
“There are a few, but Sandra was one of my babysitters when I was a kid. She goes to our church, too.”
“Thanks for reminding me. I need to call Pastor Michaels to make sure I’m still on for Sunday.” Lucy spread the lunch onto the table as I stepped into the lavatory to fill Max’s bowl with water. He attacked it, making a mess on the carpet. I knew then that I’d need to get a rubber mat for his bowl. We enjoyed the sandwiches Lucy had brought, but I reminded her that I’d have to bring from home in the future. She gave me that look that she knew I couldn’t resist and I weakened immediately. “Well, okay, but some days I’ll have to have a working lunch so give me a call, okay?” She smiled as we finished eating and she left, but not before another quick kiss.
After lunch Daryl and I walked into the detectives’ area where we met with most of the officers there and their sergeant. There were only twelve detectives on the day shift, ten on second shift, and six on third shift. “Is that enough,” I asked.
“Most of the time it is, Chief. This is a pretty quiet town, but we’ve been getting some drug activity recently and we haven’t been able to get to the source of it yet.” We spoke about the growing problem, but I didn’t mention my involvement with the State Police. I was hoping for a call soon, especially now that I was officially on the job. All things considered I thought that I’d had a productive first day.
Max and I returned to Lucy around 5:45 after spending close to an hour at the high school track. I was pleased to see seven of the patrolmen there running, as well. I’m a good runner, but I’ll never be in Daryl’s class. In addition to the GI Bill, he had paid his way through UNC with a partial track scholarship, running the 800 meters, the 1500 meters, and several long distance relays. We timed ourselves and even though we were taking it easy I still ran in 6:21 and Daryl in 6:07.
The call I was waiting for came on the following Monday morning.
“Matt, we got everything on the drug buy—audio and video from several angles and there’s no question of being able to identify Haynes in court, but we picked up something totally unexpected during their conversation. Haynes told the kid that he should get a lot of money together because they were making a huge score and there would be hundreds of thousands to be made by everyone involved. Our kid had the good sense to ask when he could expect it and he was told within the next couple of weeks.
“We took the tapes and audio to one of the judges in the State Supreme Court and he was willing to give us a warrant to tap his family’s phones and to plant bugs in the house.”
I had an idea, but I wanted to know how she thought they could do it. “The Haynes residence has a satellite TV service. We can disrupt it with a device that jams the audio and video portions of the transmission and causes nothing but static. We’ll intercept their call for service and send two of our detectives in for the repairs. While one of them fiddles around with the TV sets in the house the other will plant the bugs. They’re really small so they’ll be almost impossible to find. We should be able to get audio in almost the entire house for about ten days and we’ll set up a service van on the street that we’ll use to get photos of everyone who enters and leaves…maybe even a few photos of activity in the house.”
“Yes, I’m very familiar with this type of equipment—the jammers as well as the bugs.” Julia told me she would call when she had more information. That happened only eight days later—three days after Lucy and I were officially married.
Just last Sunday Jonathan had pulled me aside at the weekly party. Once in his study I commented, “I guess this is the time we discuss the pre-nup. Just give it to me. I have no problem with whatever you want.”
Jonathan laughed. “I did mention the idea to Lucille—several times--but she turned me down flat. She told me that you had the most integrity of anyone she had ever met and she also told me that you weren’t at all interested in her money.”
“Well, she’s right on the last part. Money has never been a big issue for me. If I had a lot I’d probably give most of it away to those who really need it.”
Jonathan laughed again. “That’s exactly what Lucille told me. You know, Matt…when you first asked me for Lucille’s hand I was concerned about how quickly everything had occurred, but then as I got to know you and I could see how you and Lucille interact all those concerns evaporated. I think you two are very well matched. No, what I wanted to talk with you about is the growing drug problem. I know the superintendent of schools and the high school principal very well from Rotary and they tell me that they’ve had more problems in the past month than in all our previous years combined. Can you do anything about it?”
“All I say at this point is ‘no comment.’ I doubt that there is an investigation underway by the city police at this time, but I’m making it a priority as soon as I can meet with the detectives.” Apparently, that satisfied him because a minute later we were back talking and mingling. Lucy greeted me with a questioning look that disappeared when I took her into my arms for a long lingering kiss. She whispered, “I love you,” when she finally broke it.
Daryl and I felt that we were much more at home by the end of the following week and I had promoted one of the patrolmen to lieutenant. He had stopped in just before end of shift that first day, knocking on the doorframe. “Chief, may I have a word?”
“Of course, Officer—I had to pause to read his name on the shirt—Officer Powell. What can I do for you?”
“It’s more of what you’ve already done. From where I stand you’ve taken two major steps in the right direction already by getting rid of Haynes and easing Chief Wilson out. Wilson should have retired years ago. The force has been a joke thanks to him and Haynes represented the very worst I’ve ever seen in a police officer. He’s lazy and I’m pretty sure I’ve seen him sleeping on duty a couple of times plus he brags all the time about all the free meals he takes from our restaurants.”
“Thanks for the compliments. I agree completely. Haynes is a good example of addition through subtraction. What do the men think about the new standards?”
“Those of us who are serious think they’re long overdue. Those who think that being a police officer just means riding aimlessly in an air conditioned car all day are concerned about their gravy train ending, but they’ll be no loss. They’re not as bad as Haynes or Parsons, but they’re far from ideal.” We shook hands and he left.
I spoke to the sergeant on the way out. “Tell me, Ed—is there anyone here worthy of promotion to lieutenant or should I just advertise outside?”
“I’d say the best just left your office. Dan Powell was an MP in the Army and he’s going to the university down in Memphis, studying criminology like you. He’s also as straight as an arrow and a real team player.” I thanked him and left for the track. Powell was there when Max and I arrived. He had obviously been working out regularly. He beat me by four seconds.
Daryl and I left early on Friday afternoon after I’d taken a lot of joshing about my last day as a free man from both shifts. We drove to our house where we changed clothes into civvies then Lucy joined Max, Daryl and me for the short ride to the Methodist church for the rehearsal. We were joined by Jasmine who would stand with Lucy as maid of honor. The wedding party would be small, but there would be more than three hundred at the ceremony and reception.
My family had come in on Wednesday afternoon and they took to Lucy like ducks to water. Uncle Chuck took us out to dinner that evening and he had pulled me aside to tell me that he thought Lucy was a fantastic woman. Aunt Nell told me the same when she hugged me before turning in that evening. Constance and her family must have agreed because they were all smiles through their entire visit. The walk-through in the church was brief then we went to Carter’s for dinner—my treat. The only downside was that Lucy left me that evening, staying overnight with her parents. Max must have looked for Lucy for fifteen minutes before settling down to sleep.
The next day was a dream come true. The weather was perfect—sunny, temperature in the high seventies and low humidity. All of us were up early for breakfast cooked by Ingrid. After eating I brushed the coat of our ring bearer, ably assisted by my nieces who loved Max even more than they loved me. I showered, shaved, and dressed in my tux then we drove to the church. I left Max at the entrance with a small Easter basket that held our two rings. I knew I could trust Max to walk down the aisle to Daryl and me just behind Jasmine and ahead of Lucy and Jonathan.
The ceremony began at 11:00 on the dot when the organist played The Wedding March. Jasmine looked fantastic in a sleeveless dusky blue dress that blended beautifully with her light brown skin and black hair. I elbowed Daryl, whispering, “Watch out, buddy. You’re next.” We chuckled quietly then turned to watch Max walk up the aisle behind Jasmine. He stopped in front of me and Daryl took the rings from the white satin pillow inside the basket. Daryl placed the basket on the floor out of the way of the ceremony. I pointed Max to a spot next to Daryl and he sat there immediately as Daryl leaned down to pet him.
Now all of my attention was on my bride as she and her father walked slowly up the aisle toward us. I gasped as I saw Lucy in a strapless full gown with a long train. Her hair was pulled back into a short French braid that fell to her bare shoulders. As beautiful as she looked, there was nothing to compare with her beaming smile. Her eyes were focused on mine all the way, even when Jonathan removed her veil and gently kissed her cheek before passing her hand to mine. We turned together to face the minister, Reverend Walker.
The ceremony was thankfully short and sweet. There were a few readings from the bible and I noticed Lucy squeeze my hand when Rev. Walker said that “wives shall be submissive to their husbands.” I agreed so I squeezed her hand back and almost laughed when I looked down to see Max sitting squarely between us. Lucy also looked as did Rev. Walker and then we did laugh as Lucy reached down to scratch Max’s ears.
Her hand was back in mine just a second later. Daryl produced the rings and we said our vows. I kissed my bride and we walked together to the rear of the church with Max at Lucy’s side and followed by Daryl and Jasmine, Jonathan and Marylou, my aunt and uncle, and Constance and her family. Together we formed a receiving line to greet our guests and receive their congratulations. It was more than twenty minutes before we scrambled into the limo with Jasmine and Daryl en route to the reception at Desmond’s—the city’s finest and largest catering hall.
The cocktail hour and ensuing reception were exactly what I would have expected from my in-laws for their only daughter. Absolutely no expense was spared—from Lucy’s dress, which I later learned had cost more than $25,000, to the top shelf liquors and the thick prime rib dinners. Unfortunately, my new job meant that we’d have to postpone our honeymoon. I wasn’t at all surprised when Lucy told me she didn’t care even a little. “I have you. That’s all I care about.” Then she sealed it with a kiss. We went home, spending all evening and all of the following day in bed. My family had transferred to Jonathan and Marylou’s home just a half mile away.
The next week was quiet at work until late Friday afternoon when I received a critical phone call from Julia Adams. “We got a lot from our bugs last night, but we can’t identify the people in the discussion. Do you know anyone who might be able to help us?” I did, but I was reluctant to get my wife involved. We were at the pool Saturday morning with Daryl when I told them that I needed to talk in the strictest confidence. “Lucy, do you remember when I wouldn’t tell you about an investigation I was getting involved in?”
“Yes, you told me that I had to trust you.”
I put my arms around her and held her for a few precious moments. “I did that because I was afraid you might say something accidentally to the wrong person and put yourself in danger. I can tell you now that Jeremy Haynes is involved in selling drugs. The state police have him on audio and video making a big sale about two week ago. The guy he sold to is an informant for the State Police. They used the information from that sale to tap his phones and bug his house. Last night there was a big discussion about a major buy, but they don’t know the players. It was a moonless night and there were no lights on around the house.
‘I really don’t want you involved in this mess, but you’re the only person I know who might be able to identify their voices. You’re also the only person I know other than Daryl who I can trust with this information.”
Lucy was pensive for a few minutes before replying. “I hate drugs, Matt. They’ve been making inroads into our community for a while, but the last year has been by far the worst. We actually had two kids in our high school overdose and die. I knew both of them and their families. What do I have to do?” I called Julia and made an appointment for Sunday morning thinking that I’d take Lucy to lunch with Paul McCormick. I also had to change another appointment. Rather than cancel my talk at the Bascomb’s Landing AME Church, Pastor Michaels suggested I go before services then leave in time to make my 11:00 appointment.
We left our house at 9:10 with Max in the rear seat and drove across town to the church, arriving ten minutes early for the 9:30 services. Pastor Anthony Michaels was at the entrance to greet us with a handshake for me and a hug and kiss for Lucy as he congratulated us on our marriage. He accompanied us up the aisle and seated us in the front pew before taking position at the pulpit where he introduced me. “We have a bit of non-church business I’d like to conduct before our service begins today. I want to introduce our new Chief of Police…Matt Cahill.”
I stepped forward to shake the Pastor’s hand once again then I stood behind the microphone. “I originally planned with Pastor Michaels to speak in the middle of your service today, but I have to be in Memphis by 11:00 this morning to meet with the State Police and a State Attorney. That this meeting is taking place on a Sunday should tell you that it is critically important. I want to tell you that major changes are occurring at your police force. I could not believe that in a city where roughly forty percent of the citizens are African-American there was not even a single black officer, nor was there a single female uniformed officer.
“I’m here to tell you that I intend to recruit minority officers starting right now. I see that my lieutenant, Daryl Evans has just arrived so Daryl please come up and join me. Jasmine sat next to Lucy and Daryl took the few steps to my side. “In the past, who you knew was more important than what you knew when it came to getting a job as a police officer in this city. No more! In most cities and counties candidates must pass a competitive exam with only the highest scores being selected for training. That’s what we are going to do here. Those selected will participate in the police academy in Memphis before taking their places in our police force here.
“Now…I must tell you that being a minority won’t get you any breaks on the exam, but Daryl and I will teach test prep classes right here in your church hall three nights a week for several months prior to the exams. I have a feeling that I know what you are thinking—I got my job because I married Lucille Bascomb and you’d be partly right. Lucy did ask me if I would be interested, but I think you’ll agree that I’m qualified. After high school I spent four years in the military police for the Navy. Then I spent three years at the University of North Carolina getting a Bachelors Degree in Criminology. That was followed by ten years as a U. S. Marshal, taking on some of the most difficult cases and earning an arrest rate of more than seventy-five percent. I met Daryl Evans at UNC when we were taking some of the same courses. He was an MP in the Navy for three and a half years and he also has his Bachelors in Criminology. He then spent more than eight years as a Marshal. We’ve worked any number of cases together and I know how intelligent and perceptive he is. He’s also the finest man I’ve ever met. That’s why he was selected as my second-in-command. It’s also why he was my best man yesterday morning. I’ll give Pastor Michaels a schedule as soon as I have one. I have time for a few questions before we have to leave.”
There are always a few questions. Today they were on target. One gentleman asked why there were never any police in their neighborhood. “I have permission from the City Council to set up two substations—one in the east end and another in the west end near this church. We want to have a police presence throughout the city. One of the things we plan to work on is setting up community watch programs and providing vehicles for citizens to use when on patrol. We don’t want you to try to apprehend criminals because that can be dangerous, but we do want your eyes and ears. All of us know that black on black crime is a major problem in our country. We want that to stop. We’ve had too many black victims.”
The next one I let Daryl answer. “The basic qualifications are simple—a candidate must have a high school diploma and must speak English. A second language like Spanish would be a big plus. He or she—and we are hoping to get some female candidates—cannot have any serious psychological problems. We obviously do not want to give someone who is unstable or who is biased against any race or religion a gun, nor do we want someone to think that he/she has a license to kill. It goes without saying that a record of criminal convictions would disqualify a candidate. That’s about it.”
Questions went on for more than fifteen minutes until Pastor Michaels called an end. I thanked him and the congregation for giving us the opportunity to meet with them. I was pleased when we left to enthusiastic applause.
I drove down to Memphis in near record time for our 11:00 appointment. One of Julia’s aides showed us to a conference room, asking if we wanted coffee. There was a pitcher of ice water on a nearby table so we opted for that. Julia entered a few minutes later with a young man she introduced as an audio technician. He wheeled in a large cart with a digital recorder/player.
The recordings were extremely clear and we could hear their plans easily. Lucy had no trouble identifying the voices. The first one was none other than Carl Haynes. “I don’t know why you had to pick now of all times to fucking retire, Joe. Now we have these two ex-marshals hanging around and he’s thrown Jeremy off the force. And there will be more with these stupid performance standards.”
“I had to quit. You know that. My wife is sick and we need to move to a hot dry climate. I should stay here to help you and kill my wife? I’m only in this for the stake I need to relocate.”
“Don’t worry about that asshole Cahill. I’ll take care of him at the right time and that Bascomb bitch, too. Have any of you seen that spade he convinced the council to hire?”
There were no affirmatives so the first voice continued. “We have to get this big shipment in before Cahill really takes over then we can bide our time until we can handle him.” Lucy asked to have the tape stopped then.
“The first voice belongs to Carl Haynes, Jeremy’s father. God knows I’ve heard it often enough at Council meetings. The third, I’m sure you realize is Jeremy Haynes, his son and formerly one of Bascomb’s Landing’s finest. That’s no surprise, but the second one is. That’s Joe Wilson who used to be the chief of police.” That’s what I was thinking, but it was good to get confirmation.
A minute later the tape was restarted and we heard a fourth voice. “When is it coming in? I think that I can dress in my uniform that afternoon so I can screen off the entire area and keep the rest of the cops away. Too bad I can’t get one of the patrol cars. Maybe we can come up with a diversion like an accident or a report of shots fired. We’ll come up with something.”
“You can use my car. I’ll phone in sick that afternoon. Just drive to my house and pick it up. I’ll give you my pistol and belt, too so you’ll really look official.”
“That’s good thinking, Stan,” Carl said. “Junior, how’d your sale down in Memphis go last week?”
“Smooth as silk. He had the bread just the way we wanted it—small used bills…ten thousand bucks, and he said he’d need a lot more in another month. Good thing about selling there is that nobody knows any of us. That university is going to be a goldmine for us.”
“Okay,” it was Carl again. “The truck is scheduled to reach us from Mexico on Thursday the eighth, sometime in the afternoon. I’ll get a call on my cell about two hours before they arrive so we’ll have plenty of time to get ready. It will probably take us a couple of hours to get everything out of the truck and into the warehouse. Once we lock up the gate we’ll be home free.”
“Yeah, using that old abandoned quarry is genius. Best part is that it’s on old man Bascomb’s property. Nobody ever goes out there.” There was some idle chatter and the clinking of glasses before the meeting broke up. We all turned to Lucy who was clearly livid.
“The fourth voice is that of Gil Parsons…Jeremy’s partner in crime and on the force. I know exactly where the quarry they referred to is and they’re right—nobody ever goes there. It’s fenced with barbed wire on top and the gates are always locked. I don’t know how Carl Haynes got a key, but I’ll venture that he stole it from my father at one of his parties. The other voice is that of Stan Irwin. He’s a lieutenant on the force. Geez, the whole force is corrupt.”
“Not the whole force, fortunately, but enough to make sure they were never caught. I’d like to know how long this has been going on. Daryl and I will have a plan to deal with them long before Thursday.”
Julia took over the meeting then. “Thank you for your assistance, Lucy. It was extremely valuable. Do you think we can get a key for the gate?” Lucy laughed and pulled her key ring from her purse. A minute later she handed a big key to Julia. “This one should do it, but I think we might want to try it first in case the lock has been changed.” We spent the rest of the day laying plans for an ambush. We’d have more than thirty state police and DEA agents and Lucy promised a couple of big ore carrying trucks to block the entrance once they were inside the quarry’s perimeter. Daryl and I would participate as representatives of the local police, but I insisted that Lucy stay home. In fact, I made a point of speaking with her father about her staying with them for safety. He assured me that he’d have two of the huge trucks in the area long before the Thursday deadline.
Through the bugs and phone taps we knew more than a day in advance approximately when the big drug truck would arrive in Bascomb’s Landing. There are times when interagency operations have failed because of petty jealousies or ineffective communications, but not this time. We were in place before the cell phone call to Carl Haynes took place. The two ultra heavy duty ore trucks that were “borrowed” from a Bascomb pit mine about four hundred miles away arrived on Wednesday afternoon. The drivers stayed with Jonathan and Marylou overnight. Lucy told me that these trucks got less than a mile a gallon of diesel fuel. Fortunately, they have two two-hundred and fifty gallon tanks. They were hidden about five miles away on a friend’s farm until called to the scene. The drivers were ready by noon on Thursday.
Our first step was to arrest Stan Irwin at his home once Parsons had taken his squad car. Daryl, Max, and I knocked on his front door while Dan Powell covered the back. Stan appeared confused when he saw us, but he opened the door to talk. “You need to come with us, Stan. I have a warrant for your arrest on conspiracy to sell and distribute illegal drugs. Where’s your squad car?”
“You’re wrong, Chief. I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“All the same, you’re coming with us. Let’s go.”
“Just let me get my jacket.” He started to turn away, but I stopped him by drawing my revolver and telling him to stay where he was.
“There’s no place to run, Stan. The back is covered and you’re not making any phone calls. We have you jammed. Turn around and place your hands behind your back.” Once he was under control Daryl walked inside to check for any weapons. I read his Miranda rights as we walked him to the car. We dropped him off at the staging point behind an old and unused strip mall less than a mile from the quarry under the custody of the state police. Our next stop was just outside the quarry.
I parked my SUV about a quarter mile behind Parsons who was stationed just outside the open gates to the quarry. There was a lot of brush on the shoulder to cover our approach if we stayed low. I told Dan to stay back in case Parsons was able to escape. “If necessary, fire at his tires. You’ll give us away, but that can’t be helped.” Dan nodded his agreement as we stole away until we were almost up to the squad car. Daryl noticed that Parsons had the windows open and was smoking—a definite no-no in police vehicles. That would help us if we could get close enough.
We stayed on the edge of the old dirt road knowing that it would be harder to see us there than on the driver’s side of the car. I signaled Daryl to take the passenger side of the car while I tiptoed around the rear of the car, drawing my Python once I was there with Max at my side. From there it was only two quick steps before I surprised Parsons by pushing my pistol into the side of his head. “Keep your hands where I can see them and off the horn. I won’t have any problem shooting your head off, scumbag!” He placed his hands behind his head and slid out under Max’s keen eye. I bent him over the trunk and handcuffed him, turning him over to Dan Powell who drove the squad car back to the staging area with Parsons confined in the back.
Carl Haynes and his wife had been the first to arrive. We watched from the top of a big hill opposite the gate as they drove their car inside and then closed the gate, replacing the padlock on the chain, but not locking it. Fifteen minutes later we heard a radio call reporting shots fired and officer needs assistance on the other side of the city. We weren’t at all surprised to see Jeremy Haynes and Parsons drive up in Irwin’s patrol car a few minutes later. They stayed outside the fence “directing traffic” until the Chief arrived and drove into the quarry where he met with Carl Haynes outside one of the large warehouses on the site. Jeremy Haynes waited until he saw the big tractor trailer slowly wend its way up the road. He had the gate open by the time it finally arrived and walked through the gate, closing it. We took out Parsons once he was well inside.
Once Dan had taken Parsons to the staging area the road was sealed off by state police who permitted only the two huge ore haulers and official vehicles through. I had given instructions for the ore haulers to be backed up to the gate and their beds lowered as far as possible. They more than filled the broad entryway to the quarry. Daryl and I slipped into the quarry grounds along with twenty men and two women from the state police. The remaining officers stayed at the entrance to seal off any escape attempts.
We knew that we had to deal with Carl and Jeremy Haynes, Joe Wilson, Mrs. Haynes, and the three we had seen in the truck. We were heavily armed, not knowing what kind of weapons they had with them. I thought it might help if we could disable the big semi they had driven so I had hurried to my SUV and retrieved my Benelli M4 semi-automatic shotgun. Quickly, I ejected the six buckshot shells in favor of six magnums with steel slugs—guaranteed to crack virtually any engine block or penetrate any bulletproof vest.
Slipping under the huge trucks that blocked their escape, twenty of us spread out around the quarry buildings. Max followed my cues, maintaining silence as Daryl, Dan, and I hid behind one of the rusted out sheds. Just ahead of us we could see the four locals joined with three from the truck’s cab counting through the money—more than one million dollars fresh from the First National Bank of Memphis. They talked and joked as the suitcase of money was stowed in the rear of the cab. After this formality was completed the seven worked together to unload the truck and place the illicit goods onto pallets which would keep them off any wet floors. We moved into position where we could observe and move forward with the arrests.
Using my radio I determined that all of us were in place so I called out, “STAY WHERE YOU ARE! THIS IS THE POLICE. WE HAVE YOU OUTNUMBERED AND SURROUNDED. MOVE TO THE OPEN AREA IN FRONT OF THE TRUCK WITH YOUR HANDS ON TOP OF YOUR HEADS. YOU HAVE TEN SECONDS TO COMPLY.”
Of course, I never expected that they would. Instead, the three outsiders who turned out to be members of an infamous Mexican drug cartel, ran to get their AK-47’s, shooting wildly in all directions. They were wearing vests, but that didn’t bother me. I raised the Benelli, took aim and fired. A 12 gauge magnum shell has extra gunpowder that propels the heavy steel projectile at extremely high speed. Even if it failed to penetrate the vest it would surely break several ribs, rendering the perpetrator useless in any kind of a skirmish. I watched as the slug struck, blood gushing out of the man’s back as he fell to the ground.
One of his partners climbed into the truck’s cab and tried to start the engine. My next two shots were through the radiator and into the block. Steam poured through the holes as the slugs ripped through the copper tubing. I doubted that the truck would go far even if the exit wasn’t blocked. As I watched, the state police fired perhaps a hundred shots into the cab and eliminating the driver from the battle. Max and I crawled off to the left as Daryl and Dan headed right around the truck in an effort to get better firing angles on the erstwhile drug dealers.
I couldn’t believe my luck when Carl Haynes and his wife backed up to almost where Max and I stood. When I spoke it was barely a whisper. “Raise ‘em, Haynes and don’t try anything stupid. My dog will take you apart if I don’t shoot you first.” He dropped his weapon and raised his hands. I pulled him and Mrs. Haynes around the truck’s trailer, securing their hands with vinyl wrist cuffs. After a quick pat down I passed them off to the state policewomen to be held away from the action. I learned later that a careful search of Mrs. Haynes turned up a detailed ledger showing the group’s sales, profits, and offshore accounts of more than ten million dollars.
Now there were only three fugitives—Jeremy Haynes, Joe Wilson, and one of the truck drivers. There was sporadic firing, but mostly it was intended to locate targets. Max and I crept forward again, keeping low. We turned left once we had reached a group of drug-laden pallets. About twenty feet away, facing to our right were Joe Wilson and the remaining Mexican taking shelter behind some steel gears for a tall conveyor belt. I signaled Max to follow as I scooted further to my left in order to get behind them.
I was able to whisper their location into my radio once I had crawled behind a rusty steel cart. Once again I yelled, “IT’S OVER HAYNES. I’M BEHIND YOU AND THERE’S NO PLACE FOR YOU TO GO. GIVE IT UP WHILE YOU STILL CAN.” Wilson and the Mexican looked quickly behind them while I fired my Colt Python over their heads. Wilson threw his weapon down, but the Mexican ran. I called into the radio not to shoot as Max instinctively took off after him. Haynes, seeing no alternative, ducked into the warehouse where they had planned to store the drugs. The Mexican had run all of thirty feet when 130 pounds of dog took him down. He lay on his stomach with Max’s jaws around his neck when I walked up to him. Once I had him secured I stood him up and the state officers approached with Wilson also handcuffed. We retreated when Haynes fired two shots that flew barely over our heads.
I called out to him, telling him there was no place to go, but his response was less than encouraging. “FUCK YOU, CAHILL AND FUCK THAT NIGGER YOU HAVE WITH YOU.” I was prepared for a long siege when Daryl told me he had an idea. After listening for a minute I told him to go ahead and try.
He called out to Haynes. “Okay, Haynes—we both know you gots nowhere to go. But here’s a thought for you to think about. You ain’t goin’ nowhere unless you want to take your chances with the canyon or you want your shot at me. I’ll meet you mano a mano right out here in the yard. Just throw your gun out and you can have your chance.”
“Yeah…sure; right after you shoot me. No thanks,” Haynes called out from the dark interior of the big building.
“Let’s face it,” Daryl continued, “We have water and can get all the food we need to starve you out or we can just shoot some tear gas into the building, but then I’m gonna miss out on whuppin’ your fat white ass for you. I knew you were a racist, but I never figured you for a coward, too. You’re going to prison either way, so why not go as a man and not some pussy white chicken shit?”
It was all I could do to keep a straight face as I whispered, “I never knew you were a racist, Daryl.”
“Shut up, Matt. I’m getting to him. He really thinks he can whip me so I just need to bait him a little more. You’ll see.” Then, raising his voice again, “I can’t believe you’re such a pussy…afraid to go one on one against this worthless nigger.”
That apparently got Haynes worked up because he responded almost immediately. “I’ll show you who’s a pussy. Just don’t shoot me and Cahill, you keep that fucking dog away from me.”
“No problem, Haynes; just throw your guns out the door.” I held Max as he stepped toward the doorway to throw his AK toward the state police. A few seconds later he stepped out into the clearing.
“Don’t forget your pistol, Haynes,” I reminded him. He reached behind his belt and, smirking, tossed it away. Daryl stepped from behind the cart and handed me his shotgun and pistol before removing his vest.
“What do you think, Matt? Fast and painful or slow and agonizing?”
“In this case I think that slow and agonizing is more appropriate, don’t you?”
“I do.” Then he turned and walked to the center of the clearing summoning Haynes to him with a casual wave of his hand.
Haynes approached menacingly—slowly, shifting his weight ponderously from side to side, as he stepped closer and closer. He clasped his hands together and cracked his knuckles as if that would intimidate someone like Daryl Evans. If there was one thing a former military policeman was sure to remember for the rest of his/her life it was the lessons in hand-to-hand combat—lessons drilled in through hours and hours of repetition.
Perhaps Haynes thought that he would catch Daryl by surprise with a roundhouse right. I relived my own training when I saw Daryl step inside the punch with his forearm angled up and away from his body. Haynes haymaker flew harmlessly over Daryl’s head while he ducked under and behind his lumbering opponent. Darryl took a quick step away and halfway there he paused to deliver a hard elbow to Haynes’ right kidney. Any more of those and Haynes would piss blood for a week.
Basically, Daryl’s strategy was to bob and weave and strike when the opportunity was present. In and out he moved, slapping and punching the bigger man’s face and body, but receiving nothing back but lumbering blows that fell harmlessly short or long of Daryl’s body. I appreciated Daryl’s strategy because before ten minutes had passed Haynes could barely move due to his exhaustion. Now Daryl gave him the coup de grace—rapidly punching his face and, when he had raised his hands, going for the big man’s body.
After less than five minutes of that Haynes stumbled to his knees and he couldn’t get up again. Two state troopers stepped forward to handcuff the gasping, struggling man who was beyond resistance. They led him out past Daryl and me and he just couldn’t resist a jibe. “I would’ve gotten you in a fair fight.” I would have laughed had the situation not been so pathetic. This man couldn’t beat Daryl if he’d had a club. Daryl and I had sparred many times and I’d beaten him fewer than a dozen, but then, I had him by fifty pounds, just like Jeremy Haynes. The difference was—my weight was muscle and his was flabby fat.
We used the same forklift they had used to return the pallets of drugs to the trailer, but were clueless about the state of the huge diesel engine until the two drivers from the Bascomb mine came forward to check it. Once they had the massive hood up they leaned in to check the block. One of them pointed to an ooze of vibrant yellow that they identified as antifreeze. “Crack in the block,” the taller one said. “Mr. Bascomb told us to phone a number if we needed a tractor or a tow truck. If I call them now they should be able to get here in an hour or so.” I gave him the okay and after the calls he and the other driver removed their ore carriers en route back to the mine. These trucks were so big that they needed a special “WIDE LOAD” permit and smaller vehicles ahead and behind in order to travel on the highways.
We had timed our raid almost perfectly because only three of what looked to be thirty palettes had been unloaded. Since the quarry was in the City of Bascomb’s Landing this was technically my investigation, however I was more than happy to turn all of the drugs over to the DEA and State Police. I had limited lab facilities to examine and verify the types of drugs confiscated although from preliminary examination there appeared to be mostly pills—oxycontin and other opioids—and cocaine with about a ton of baled marijuana added in. I knew that the payment had been more than a million dollars so I anticipated that the street value would be four or five times that amount, at least. From what I was told everything would be tested, identified, and assigned a street value. I was glad to see the trailer pulled away, attached to a new tractor with DEA vehicles ahead and behind, their blue and red lights flashing.
I closed and locked the quarry, understanding that the state would send crime scene investigators as soon as possible. I handed the key to my counterpart from the state police who congratulated me on a successful operation. “Yeah--successful in that we arrested one former chief, one lieutenant, and two patrolmen. That’s just great, isn’t it?” I shook my head and he joined me. No police officer enjoys seeing officers arrested for corruption. That just undermines all of our authority and community confidence.