four corners pd
By: Cin and Heidi
day one: Thursday (cont)
Early Friday Morning, 0300 hrs
Corporal Buck Wilmington reflected that for a first day, the rookie riding beside him enjoyed an exciting night so far. Of course, his rookie bagged a wanted felon in a foot pursuit whereas one of Nina’s former trainees – Ezra –was assaulted. His ego puffed at JD’s arrest compared to Ezra’s assault planned to tease Nina about it later, not letting her live this one down. He knew quite a few ways to do it, too.
Turning the patrol car down Fern Highway, he pointed out the sights to his rider. Fern, a divided dual lane highway, served as a rest stop, motel strip, and convenient stopping/shopping point for the truckers on the nearby Interstate along the highway. Fern sat on the northeastern edge of the five-mile boundary that comprised Four Corners just inside the town’s outskirts. Roads running off Fern led into different sections of East, Outer
East, North, and Outer North. Various businesses catered to the rig drivers, including gas stations, diners, motels, hotels, a no-tell motel, and a few adult entertainment spots across the pavement from a mass-market department store, coffee shop, postal shipping office, insurance agent, Western Union with check-cashing service, and a barbershop. Of all the areas of East, this highway brought the most calls with the continual bustle during all hours of the twenty-four hour day.
At one point Buck indicated the finer points of Fern, telling JD where to go and where not to go, not to go being where the “working girls” congregated. Not that the ladies man had anything against the “working girls” (many of them were acquaintances of his), but Chief Travis upheld strict guidelines and standards for professional behavior and conduct becoming an officer. This included who to associate with and places not allowed off duty or on duty unless handling a call. As they passed the girls, Buck tooted the horn in answer to their waves and catcalls. One of them flagged him over.
“Hey, Gangster! How are you?” The fuchsia haired maven in tight white leather leaned against the car on the driver’s side. The girls called Buck by his street name of Gangster based on the Steve Miller Band song, “The Joker”, short for ‘Gangster of Love’.
He laughed at the nickname just as he always did and was thankful she changed her own from the Peaches alias – especially considering the chorus to that particular song – ‘I really love your peaches, want to shake your tree’. Buck replied, “Just fine, Star. How are you?”
“Going for a walk.”
Both knew why she stood on the corner and both paid lip service to the reasoning she gave him. “Uh-huh.”
“Who’s the fresh meat?” She eyed JD from tip to toes, or as much as she could see in the car.
Buck concealed a laugh at the frank appraisal of his rookie. He knew the girls discussed the officers, wondering at their attributes and skills. “Well, Star, this here is Officer JD Dunne.”
“Hey! I am not fresh meat.” The young officer felt uncomfortable under such intense scrutiny for the third time in the shift. First Casey, then Helen, and now Star did it. What was it with the women here; size up a man when you first meet him?
Buck’s waving hands nearly struck the rookie in the face. “Mind your mouth, kid. You’re giving me a bad image.”
JD snorted and stared heavenward, as if looking for help from above. None seemed forthcoming from that quarter.
“He’s got spirit,” she said with a fuchsia lipped smile.
“Thank you, ma’am,” Dunne answered.
“Manners, too.” She found it amusing Buck trained a new person; usually Gangster always rode alone.
At this point Buck felt they spent enough time here and needed to move on. The Kid did not need the grief of rumors about a working girl spending so much time leaning against their car could bring from a ‘concerned’ citizen watching and complaining. “Star, we’ll see you later. Be safe.”
“I sure will, Gangster. Swing back by if you get a chance.” Star waved one last time as they pulled away and continued their tour.
The young rookie took in the sights with wide eyes. He was fascinated by the multitude of flashing lights, exit ramps, large trucks, vans, cars, and other assorted vehicles making their way up and down the highway, pulling in and out of businesses in a never-ending rush. Being from a big city himself, he knew these types of transient travel places existed but to see one up close and personal with a tour guide gave him a better perspective of the sea of humanity he now found himself responsible for keeping on the straight and narrow.
Turning off Fern onto Gully, Buck decided to take his rookie down one of the long, winding roads that lead into Outer East. Farms and ranches populated this area away from the faster pace of Four Corners. They already saw most of the East but had yet to stray outside of the five-mile town boundary into the ten-mile outskirts FCPD patrolled as well. Outside the ten miles became the joint jurisdiction of the Sheriff’s Office and State Police. Four Corners served as the center of a sea of ranches, farms, and open spaces. Outer East, the ten miles outside the town proper boundary, held the small family owned ranches and horse breeding/riding farms. The Outer North contained the more affluent residents and spreads. Gully Road wound from the busiest parts of
Fern Highway to the farms and ranches. The far end of Gully snaked into Outer North making Gully a cut through from Four Corners to Outer East and ending in Outer North.
JD watched out the window in the dark, making out the fast passing shapes of trees, deep ditches and gullies giving the road the name, bushes, and occasionally houses and barns as they wound their way from the bright lights of Fern into the true night. Briefly, something flashed in the scant moonlight and caught his attention. “Buck?”
The rookie straightened in his seat as his mind confirmed what he believed his eyes saw. “Stop the car.”
“Why? You going to be sick?” Buck tossed the question out in jest but he knew the curves and twists of Gully made some carsick and queasy. Hell, try it at eighty plus and not hurl if one was not used to it. Luckily, he'd never had a problem. Good thing since he made the roller coaster ride a time or two responding to a call but he knew how to drive fast and was careful when he did it, no matter what anyone else said about his driving.
The younger man’s face contorted with his answer. “No.” He pointed behind them. “I thought I saw a car back there.”
“All right. Let’s check it out.” Knowing people often wrecked because of the deer population crossing the road, he immediately stopped the car and whipped it around, flawlessly executing a three-point turn. As the patrol vehicle retraced its path, JD pointed off to Buck’s left. “There.”
“JD, I think you’ve got something there.” He turned to his trainee as he slowed the tons of metal with his right foot. “What do you do?”
“First, you call it out.” His hand reached to his shoulder and Buck approved of how natural that action started to look. “11-07, FC.”
“Suspicious vehicle stop.” He turned to his training officer as he realized he needed his location to give Communications. “Quick! What road are we on?”
“Your 10-20?” prompted Ladonna, requiring knowing where he was for his safety in case something happened. She grinned to herself; rookies always needed a little coaching when they first started. She’d help him like she helped all the others before him.
Buck smiled, his teeth showing in the darkness. “Gully Road about five miles off Fern.”
“Gully Road about five miles off Fern,” JD continued with a grateful look. “Dark colored passenger car, tinted windows, off into the trees. Will advise if injury accident.”
Buck thought so far, so good. Maybe the kid will make a good cop. “Next?”
“Activate your lights.” JD reached out hesitantly and received permission to activate the overhead bar. The blue and red lights bounced off the shiny black paint job of the two-door hatchback. The deep hues of the window shading prevented them from seeing into the vehicle. Nothing moved and neither noticed any obvious damage in their line of sight. The corporal turned on the left alley and a-frame spotlights, the white glow did not penetrate the tint.
“Let’s go carefully, JD. I’ll back you up on this.”
Pleased with Buck’s permissiveness, JD straightened his hat, grabbed his flashlight, and exited the patrol car. He cautiously approached the driver’s side as Buck slid to the right rear of the vehicle, checking the back and
shining his light into the hatch, finding several empty wine cooler bottles tossed haphazardly into the small, cramped quarters. At this close proximity, the powerful Kel light encountered no difficulty breaking through the tint.
JD stood a little behind the driver’s door and gathered his nerve. He hoped the flashlight would stay firm and steady in his slightly damp palms. Smartly, he rapped on the window with the base of his Kel light right where the driver’s face would be. The glass slowly slid down to reveal a female holding her hand in front of her eyes.
“Whatsss the prrobblemm, occcifer?” Her voice slurred heavily from the alcohol and the smell of fruity wine smothered him in a cloud. It soured his stomach as he barely resisted the urge to wave his hand in front of his face.
Instead he introduced himself, “Ma’am, my name is Officer Dunne of the Four Corners Police Department. Can you tell me why you’re on the side of the road?” The question left the potential answers open to whatever she chose to say without any coaching by JD on how to respond or what the officer expected.
Buck waited for the answer knowing it would be good.
She leaned forward to better examine the man outside her window and hoped he was cute. She liked what she saw. “Occcifer Doone, how are you?”
JD Dunne never thought he would see anything like this…this…this defied description. It took all of his control not to stare open mouthed at the women.
Once sure no one else occupied the vehicle, Buck came alongside, took one look at her, and stepped away. He clapped his trainee on the back saying, “All yours, pard.” His shoulders shook with silent laughter and he kept his face hidden under his hat because if he really looked, he would never, ever recover control. The rogue stayed out of his camera’s range and buried his chuckles so the microphone would not pick him up but would catch the words spoken by the other two.
The young woman wore a trendy electric blue strapless top but did not realize that the top edge slipped down from its weighty perch to rest against her stomach. The cool night air and slight breeze caressed her generous attributes and the two officers tried very hard to ignore that fact. Her teased, bleached blond hair – over bleached from the amount of breakage – stood out from her head like a white football helmet with stringy feathered plumes hanging down her back.
“You’re cute!” she advised JD, swaying in the seat, her chest jiggling right along with her.
He swallowed at the sight of the pert breasts. “Ma’am, would you mind covering up?” JD indicated her exposed flesh with a swallow while resolutely staring over her head and averting his eyes from the bountiful cleavage.
“Oh, these.” She grabbed them with both hands and held them up for inspection. “I got ‘em siiixxx munschs ago. Whatdya think? Hot, huh?”
Buck keyed up to save JD because he knew the rookie would listen to the radio and possibly regain some desperately needed control. “11-02, FC.”
“Ocean King, copy tag.”
Ladonna noted the laughter in the voice and keyed up. “Go ahead.”
“Colorado vanity BABY 1.”
In the background, the dispatcher heard the overly loud female. “Ishh my left the same schizze of my right?”
“10-4.” Ladonna squeaked. She turned to Casey. “Oh my. Did you hear that?”
“What?” Casey looked up from filing the daily activity reports, also catching Lieutenant Halter’s attention. The lieutenant preferred spending as much of his shift as possible in Communications keeping the lobby manned in case someone walked in requesting assistance. That and he did not like the girls sitting there alone even if they stayed behind locked doors and bulletproof glass. His numerous memos came back with the standard response ‘funding not available in the budget for a full time person at this time’. It frustrated him to no end so he did the best he could by spending time there himself and assigning anyone he could grab for light duty there.
“Listen.” Ladonna hit the playback button and they heard the female louder than Buck.
“Oh, this is good,” Casey brightened. “I wonder what she’s doing out there.”
“Sounds like he’ll have his first drunk.” Ladonna started gathering the required paperwork as she waited for the response from Colorado’s vehicle registration database.
“Ma’am, please cover yourself,” the younger officer’s voice was almost pleading, fueling the training officer’s continued amusement. As much as Buck hated drunks, this one was comical.
Instead, the girl turned her torso and plopped them on the ledge of the car door. “Ya think they’re perfechtly round?”
“Ma’am, please,” strangled the rookie. His face felt on fire and no help was forthcoming from his field-training officer who continued hiding his features under his hat and was probably laughing his ass off at the rookie.
Colorado finally gave Ladonna the information. She read it before keying up, “FC, 11-02.”
“Colorado BABY 1, no wants/warrants, showing on a 1991 Honda Civic hatchback registered to Angela Maria Foster of Denver, valid, no discrepancies.”
“10-4. Possible DWI.”
In the background of Buck’s transmission Angela Foster wailed, “Telll meeeeee!!!!!! Are my breaschts perfect???”
“10-4.” Somehow, Ladonna made it through the acknowledgement before cracking up, Casey joining her in the merriment.
“Who didn’t know that?” cracked Casey. What happened next sent them further into giggles.
Buck hung his head with the knowledge of what was coming. “11-02.” His voice held the sound of dread, a man knowing his fate and acknowledging it head on.
“Need another unit?” Nina’s voice radiated laughter.
He seriously considered her offer and weighed his options, choosing to bring her down here as insurance, personal consequences be damned. “Slide on up here. We just might.” He kept his contempt buried under his professional demeanor.
Buck finally took pity on the rookie. “Miss Foster?”
“Huh? Ohhhhh, you’re a tallll one. C’mere handschome.”
Burying his grin at labeled tall and handsome, he leaned forward, still hiding his face under his hat. “Miss Foster, as much as you might enjoy discussing your….attributes….we are in public, we don’t know you, so why don’t you cover up? Not to mention the indecent exposure issue.”
“Ohh….you’re schy.” She nodded her head sagely as if this answered everything.
Shy? Buck Wilmington, shy? He smothered his laughter in a cough and thanked the stars above Nina was not here yet to witness this. The hat brim tipped up and down twice in succession, apparently agreeing with the drunken woman. “Yes, ma’am.”
JD coughed and bit his lip at that comment. From what he’d seen so far of his trainer, shy definitely did not appear in the descriptors he would use for Wilmington. Buck’s answer taught him another lesson on using the person’s assumptions in achieving goals without an argument or fight. JD guessed if the person cooperated, the person believed he or she might get some consideration in assessing or not assessing the penalties for their offense. Buck told him earlier that officers retained some discretion in their jobs and unfortunately, the person’s attitude often determined the police officer’s actions. Cooperate and the officer might be able to cut a break if given the option within the bounds of the law. He watched Miss Foster to see what she would do.
“Okay.” She pulled the top up, tugging and shoving things back in place beneath the stretchy material.
“Now, turn the car off for me, okay?” Again Buck kept the conversational instead of confrontational tone.
“You’re niccce.” The young lady turned black lined eyes on Buck and smiled, her full red smeared lips baring white teeth capped with lipstick. The amount of makeup made him shudder; he guessed either a chisel or a trowel might get the gunk off. Personally, the rogue liked makeup on a woman when done right; this definitely did not qualify. Wilmington forced the next words out. “Well, thank you, ma’am. Now, would you turn off the car, please?” There was no way on this Earth that he would reach his hand into that car. At least it was in
Park with zero chance of rolling.
“Oh. It’sch running?”
How could the girl not hear the CD playing or the hum of the engine? Buck looked away for a moment at the approaching headlights and rolled his eyes for two feminine reasons: the drunken woman and the corporal pulling up. JD smartly turned and faced the other side of the road nearly chewing his lip in half in the struggle to retain his composure.
A little impatience finally showed in Wilmington’s voice. “Yes, Miss Foster, it’s running. Can you turn it off?”
“Ohhhh…scchhurrree.” She cut the engine then pulled her keychain free, holding it up for his inspection. “Schee? I’vvee got a mini-vibrator on it.”
“That’s nice, ma’am. That’s real nice. Officer Dunne here needs to talk to you.” Buck turned the stop over to his trainee temporarily before he hurt himself laughing and went to greet Nina. JD requested the young lady’s license and registration, two things he patiently explained he needed and she started searching the car for the requested items.
Nina only needed to see Buck’s body language to know how amusing this stop went so far. “11-08’s out with them.” A quick glance through the open window showed Miss Foster currently bent over double with her backside resting on the doorframe as she rooted around the passenger floorboard for her purse. By no stretch of the imagination, the view was not attractive as the skirt strained to keep everything covered and started creeping up.
“Corporal,” Buck stepped toward her and inclining his head. He knew the little black microphone attached to her uniform shirt caught every word and she parked her patrol car to maximize the angle to record everything on video. His own set worked just as well however her presence might ward against any future sexual harassment allegations.
“Corporal,” she responded, just as formal. Both knew the evidentiary value of the tape in court. She also knew how intensely Buck hated drunks. She made no mention of it but her eyes conveyed her understanding.
He nodded once acknowledging the unspoken message and went to give her a rundown. Even though he outranked her, Buck wanted a female present so no false accusations could be made. Unfortunately, he needed to give Nina more control, something he hated losing when he held it and especially handing it over to her given their years-long history. “We suspect we have an intoxicated female who was discovered with her top around her waist. The obvious odor of alcohol emanates from the vehicle and driver with numerous empty wine coolers in plain sight in the hatchback section. The vehicle was running and the operator advised she was unaware of that fact. We have convinced her to turn off the engine and cover herself and Officer Dunne is about to remove her for field sobriety tests after obtaining her license and registration.”
Nina nodded and they fell in step, walking up beside JD. “Ma’am, my name is Corporal Caswell, and I will be assisting in the administering of field sobriety tests. You are being recorded both in voice and image. Do you
“You’ll be taping me? I’ll be in the movvieesch?” The girl fluffed her hair. The top part never moved from the shellacking that she gave it earlier before she left her house. Her breasts threatened to spill out again, a visual Nina did not want to see, and her fingers stuck in the hair. When she pulled them free, several chunks stood out at ninety degree or more angles from her head.
“You will be recorded and the tape can be used in court. Do you understand?” Not counting Nina’s personal copy and the one forwarded to Training. From there, who knew? This one ranked as a good DWI stop.
“Schure. My face okay?” Miss Foster attempted looking in the rearview mirror and bumped her head against it, knocking it askew. “Ouccch.” Fumbling hands tried straightening it but only made it worse. She rubbed her face further smearing her makeup.
Nina ignored the comment and looked at JD, giving him a slight head nod. He took that as his cue. “Miss Foster, can you step out of the vehicle?”
“Schure.” She threw the door open suddenly, almost slamming it into the rookie’s groin. Buck caught it before it connected, biting the inside of his cheek to keep his composure as the Kid jumped back. The training officers knew JD would never make that mistake again. As Miss Foster exited the vehicle, she smoothed her spandex micro-mini so it covered the important parts and placed her bare feet on the pavement.
“Uh, where’s your shoes, ma’am?” JD stared at her feet. He was fascinated with the three rings that covered the digits and the electric blue painted toenails.
“Uhhmmm, don’t remember, maybe in there.” She jerked a thumb backward and nearly tipped over. Righting herself, she tugged the ill-fitting skirt down, exposing more skin around the midriff. The tight elastic waist created a roll of skin over the top of the electric blue skirt.
Nina and Buck exchanged looks, both fighting to maintain a professional demeanor. Out of the view of the camera, he held up two fingers and she nodded slowly, a silent signal regarding a guess guess of her blood-alcohol level.
“Miss Foster, have you had anything to drink tonight?” asked JD.
“Schure…can’t you schee the emptieesss?” Again, Miss Foster pointed at the back of the vehicle and overbalanced, practically falling. Nina caught her this time, waving Buck off as he moved forward to do the same.
“Yes ma’am, I did,” Buck told her. Again he hid his disgust.
“Orange you proud of me?” The drunk girl laughed hysterically at her own joke. “Get it? Orange? Heee heee heee heee heee.”
Nina made a mental note not to laugh like that ever again even in jest. She never realized how stupid it sounded until now.
The rookie asked her to bring the focus back to the topic at hand. “Ma’am, how many did you have?”
Her face screwed up as she tried answering. “Umm….I think I loscht count. I stopped drinking after I left the Denver Grille.”
The corporals exchanged significant glances thinking what she was telling them was not possible. Buck’s anger level grew at how far she drove in that condition. He shuddered to think of all the motorists she could have killed on the way along with herself.
This piece of information seriously concerned the rookie. “Do you know where you are, ma’am?” the rookie asked. Buck nodded and thought ‘good pickup’ for JD, asking for confirmation of what he suspected instead of telling the girl where she ended up. The answer only helped their case in court and showed the driver’s awareness level, or lack of it.
“Yescch…just outside Denver.” She thought that a dumb question; she knew where she was. Well, sort of. If she could find that big highway again, she’d be home in five minutes. Or maybe this road led home; it looked kinda familiar. Hopefully these nice cops would let her go soon. She only pulled over to rest for a second. They should do something about that idiot who was in her lane and scared her by blowing the horn. Miss Foster thought of something that might help them with their quotas. “Ya know, yoush people could go look for the jerks that nearly hit me.”
“Where did this happen, ma’am?” asked JD, silently praying this drunk girl did not hurt or kill anyone. If she caused an accident, they could charge her with more violations but more importantly, they would need to look for and help anyone unlucky enough to have been in her way.
“Oh, a couple milesch back at the Interschtate.”
Buck blew out the breath he never realized he was holding. They did not pass any accidents from Fern to here. He keyed up, “11-02, FC.” He nodded his approval as JD followed Nina’s example and turned down the radio.
“Check with the Highway, County, State, and other surrounding jurisdictions for any reports of this vehicle, black Honda, given as reckless/DWI lookout or involved in an accident.” The lack of damage encouraged him because it did not appear she struck anything…at least that they knew of now.
“10-4,” answered Ladonna. She did not need to turn around and ask because Casey already picked up the direct ringdown lines to the surrounding agencies.
While they waited, Miss Foster told them, “Ya know what? Those terrible cars, the ones that like schared me, okay, and I’m like, all stressched out, so I pulled over and had another drink. Or two.” She giggled. “I mean I’m only like a couple milesch from home but I couldn’t wait. So go find them and lock them up.” She waved her hands at them in a shooing motion.
JD asked, “You live down this road a couple miles?”
“Yesch, Occifer Doone. That way to my housch.” She pointed further down Gully in the opposite direction of the Interstate. At least she thought her house was that way. “Neat white housch in the ‘burbs of Denver.”
All three exchanged glances again…Four Corners was not near Denver by any stretch of the imagination unless you counted flight speed. Buck mouthed the word ‘keeper’ and Nina nodded, watching her ex’s eyes harden. It amazed her that the girl had not wrecked driving that distance and hoped Lady Luck smiled on them making sure they did not find out later she did. That they know of, at least.
Nina muttered into her mike, “11-08, FC. Units Ocean King; 11-07’s on field sobriety,”
“11-08, 10-4.” The tone of voice told Ladonna that Nina was disgusted. For as long as she’d known the corporal, Caswell never drank, not even for celebratory toasts. She never said anything about others drinking. When asked, she replied it was the right choice for her then changed the subject.
JD redirected the conversation by explaining the field sobriety tests to Miss Foster and moving her onto the straightest part of Gully Road in front of Nina’s dash-mounted camera. She failed every one miserably, falling backwards twice and sideways repeatedly. She even poked herself in the eye and forehead. When Miss Foster tried the alphabet, she sang as loud as she could to her amused and trying hard not to show it audience with the exception of one.
“FC, 11-02,” Ladonna called through the radio.
“Negative on lookouts.”
“10-4. Thanks for checking.” He knew the girls probably went the extra distance and called the major agencies between here and Denver just to make sure and expressed his appreciation for their efforts. A happy dispatcher made for an easier night and Buck appreciated his dispatchers. The rogue knew many officers did not and it hurt because these girls worked hard at keeping them safe and watching over them. Hell, he admitted silently to himself, most people could not do the job of a dispatcher and they are among the most under appreciated and unrecognized public safety workers until someone somewhere makes a mistake. Then the press vilifies them and maybe their agency supports them; if not, they become targets for everyone and it smears the hard work all
the other dispatchers around the country do day in and day out without the fanfare or notice.
Finally, Nina administered the PBT, Portable Breathalyzer Test, and it registered Miss Foster as a .21, more than twice the legal limit. Buck could have given the test because they both held certifications but telling her to
blow in one continuous motion with the girl’s current state of mind could have severe consequences once the case went to court. This handheld device gave an indication of the level of intoxication according to blood alcohol content; the formal test on the bigger machine was required in court. While Nina gave the test, Buck called for the tow truck to cut down on the wait time.
They placed her under arrest for DWI and the waterworks started. Miss Angela Foster, spoiled nineteen-year-old, found herself in custody and handcuffed in the back of Nina’s car. She did not understand because she believed she was the victim; didn’t those other cars force her off the road and make her take a drink to calm her nerves? Nina transported her to the station to avoid any future conflict. In this age of alleged sexual harassment damaging lives and careers even if they turned out to be unfounded, most police departments took as many precautions as possible.
The requested tow truck arrived in fifteen minutes and hauled the car to their lot where the owner could pick it up, providing she was sober, during normal business hours after showing proof of ownership and paying the bill. A large bill based on the time and the fact the police requested the tow, not counting the storage fees for it to be parked on their lot. Once they reached the station, a very annoyed Nina brought her patrol car around back and pointed it toward the five-stair entrance that led directly to the Breathalyzer room. Miss Foster continued her ear-splitting wailing about how unfair all this was the entire trip barely stopping to breathe. As she silently helped Miss Foster from the vehicle to the back stairs, she heard Buck pull in behind her and the two men exited their unit.
“I gotta go,” Miss Foster sullenly told her escort.
“When we get inside,” Nina told her, long since tired of the crying and caterwauling.
“Now.” Miss Foster jerked away and squatted down on the back steps, relieving herself. “Ahhh….”
JD’s chin shot forward and his eyebrows hit his hairline. Buck smothered a laugh and Nina waited with a scowl, thankful this was all on tape. No one would believe this happened until they saw it for themselves. Once Miss Foster finished, she turned to Nina. “Fixch my schkirt.”
The stretchy material slid up when the young woman squatted and exposed the fact she went commando.
“Miss Foster, where’s your underwear?”
“The guy I schrewed at the bar hasch them.”
Too much information, Nina thought to herself, I’m stopping right here. “Okay.” At least Miss Foster could not claim the police took her underwear; she just admitted someone else kept them.
“He wasch messchy and had a schmall dick. Now fixch my skirt.”
Flushing red, the rookie turned away while his training officer focused on a spot on the back door, so close and yet, at this point, so far. With a sigh of loathing and a headshake, Wilmington opened his trunk and removed orange traffic cones, placing them around the puddle as Nina navigated her prisoner away from the spot.
After hearing that, Nina wished she wore gloves. “Fix it yourself,” the exasperated corporal ordered the girl. “Use your hands and wiggle it down.”
“No, you fixch it. It is not ladylike right now.” Miss Foster sounded offended for not appearing ladylike, exactly the wrong tone to use with Corporal Caswell.
Buck started choking and JD imitated a blowfish opening and closing his mouth several times in rapid succession.
Nina’s patience snapped. “Miss Foster, going to the bathroom on the back steps of the Police Department is not ladylike.”
“You don’t like me,” the drunken woman bleated after twitching back and forth until the skirt slid and covered everything again without assistance.
“You are intoxicated, failed the field sobriety tests, failed the Portable Breathalyzer Test, and are under arrest. Whether I like you or not at this point in time is inconsequential; I am doing my job.” Nina opened the door and
led the woman inside as she started bawling all over again.
“You’re mean.” Her black makeup smeared in streaks down her face and her wails strained the patience of all three officers.
Nina let that go. Finally, she removed the handcuffs, called for Hazmat to remove the gift on the back porch, and cornered Buck outside the room as JD got her situated.
“You going to be all right? I can stick around.”
He lowered his voice as JD told their prisoner to stay in the chair and stop moving around. “I’ll be just fine, darlin’, and thanks for asking.” He winked at her.
“Miss Foster, please try not to fall over. You’re going to land in the trash can,” JD warned, watching her list to her right practically tipping over headfirst into the large refuse container lined with plastic for those who get sick.
Buck sighed and looked like he was about to reconsider.
“No, thank you for letting me out. Catch ya later!” Nina said as she happily escaped back to the road. Two Tylenol later, she found her favorite hiding hole and hoped it remained quiet as she started working on her reports.
Friday Morning, 0330 hours
The radio broke the rare and peaceful silence of the night. “FC, 11-03, 11-04, copy assist.” Ladonna’s voice sounded softer than normal; it was an unwritten rule for everyone to lower their voices after three in the morning. Loud voices usually startled people during those last four hours of the shift and no one needed or wanted the constant adrenaline spikes.
“11-04.” Nathan closed the magazine he was reading to pass the time and straightened in his seat. His pen waited on the pad beside him for the address; he hated asking dispatch to repeat because he failed to pay attention. He was sitting in the hospital parking lot hoping that Rain could come out for a moment or two but alas, not tonight. They were still treating the victims from the fight earlier and some ruckus on campus.
“11-03.” Josiah marked his place in the golf book and sighed. No pretty fairways greeted his eyes when he looked out the window; only empty fields and darkness in his rural parking spot on the access dirt track between the two. The owners let him park there to keep an eye out, especially during planting and harvesting because of vandals and thieves.
Ladonna dispatched the call, “Respond to Four Corners University and contact Campus Police. Request assist reference disorderly subjects.” Both officers and the dispatcher knew it was not good if the Campus Police requested assistance; they usually handled their own instead of adding to the workload of the FCPD. While they enjoyed a good working relationship, the Campus Police raised their staffing on the weekends for all the usual parties and in anticipation of problems. Between Monday and Wednesday while the weekend warrior officers stayed home and recuperated, FCPD frequently helped and created special manpower details on weekday game nights. Thursday through Sunday, however, requests became unusual. Unfortunately, the upcoming events
stretched manpower and the Olympics did not even start until next week.
“En route,” Josiah said.
“10-4,” answered Nathan. The pair met up at the University gates and drove directly to the Police Station a quarter mile in on the right side. As they parked and exited their vehicles, two of the campus police officers they often dealt with approached them.
“Hi, fellows!” greeted Trina Thompson, one of the senior officers for their department. Muscular and armed with a ‘take no crap’ attitude, the attractive black woman garnered respect from police and students alike. Once someone got past the attitude, they found Trina to be a sweet and wonderful person to her friends. These officers counted as friends.
“Trina,” rumbled Josiah with a small smile of greeting. “What’s the problem?”
“Got an oversized party in Worthy Hall. Tried shutting it down once but after we left it doubled in size,” explained Greg Wyatt. Not a slouch himself, his six-four frame and linebacker’s build often discouraged stupid behavior but this time the illegal alcohol controlled the actions of the students. “We’re working short tonight because Harvey’s lockup from Ezra’s scan ended up with a massive search and seizure warrant for the Narcotics Task Force. Tied up most of us; we’re what’s left.” Two officers for the entire campus did not bode
well for the rest of their shift. Whatever Harvey stepped into, it was massive and took the majority of the extra staffing.
Josiah winced in sympathy and sighed with resignation. The assignment Vin was on was supposed to be stopping this garbage from coming in but it seemed to multiply faster than dust bunnies. He hoped the information Tanner passed on earlier helped in their ongoing war.
Nathan’s distaste for controlled dangerous substances, commonly referred to in police talk as CDS, came from his experiences in treating the victims of overdoses. He did not include the ones he treated that huffed, or inhaled, paint and suffered brain damage or died because of their addictions and habits. He understood addictions but he had a hard time understanding how people could allow themselves to become dependent on a substance.
Trina asked, “So, you boys ready?” They nodded their agreement and drove their patrol cars in a line to the dorm having the problem. As they approached, they noticed the sheets flying from the open windows, the empty cups and litter scattered across the ground and the couples in various stages of undress and copulation in front. All four officers heard the commotion before they saw it.
Wyatt and Jackson rolled to the back while Sanchez and Thompson covered the front.
One of the more sober students looked out the window and yelled, “COPS!”
The effect was immediate. Those too far gone in their romantic endeavors ignored the cry while the rest of the scene took on the appearance of a Keystone comedy. Underage students ran around in circles, bumping into each other or in some cases into the waiting arms of the officers. The officers herded them back inside where the sounds of numerous doors slamming echoed through the halls.
Josiah tried interrupting a couple with a cleared throat. That failed to catch their attention so he put a hand on the boy’s bare shoulder and ordered, “Son, stop.”
“In a minute,” growled the boy while picking up the tempo.
“Now.” The barked command demanded obedience. “You’re done.”
The boy panted and fell on top of the obviously intoxicated and not embarrassed to be watched girl. “Yeah, I’m done.” She giggled at his wit.
“Both of you get dressed,” he ordered. He only hoped the others found their charges easier to deal with.
With a sigh and a feeling of ‘been there, done that before’, Nathan kept them moving, blocking the exits until the worst of the scrambling stopped. People beat on doors to be let in and found their admittance denied. Those abandoned by their friends and stuck in the hall received the personal attention of the campus officers. He hated this; time to run wants and warrants as well as let Campus Police start issuing citations.
These kids did not know how close they were to being expelled or academically suspended but would understand soon enough. Nathan hoped that the Board might be minimally harsh and just dry out the hall instead of kicking these kids out of their classes and ruining their education along with their futures.
Josiah kept the rest moving and recognized some of the kids from the earlier party off-campus. He sighed as he greeted some of them by name, sending more into a tizzy, and started giving the full names to the Campus Officers directing the show. Many would have laughed if they did not know how serious a problem underage drinking becomes to police. Most kids did not understand the effect one arrest or academic suspension could have on the rest of their lives. And that was not counting those who made the mistake of thinking they were
fine to drive, becoming a menace to everyone on the road around them.
The party broke up quickly with the alcohol confiscated. The beer bongs (all six of them) and keg taps (three of those) became the property of Campus Police and could be returned to the owners after completion of the mandatory probation period. If the owners were dumb enough to claim them; all the underage students accepted the loss mournfully but quietly as not to draw further attention to themselves.
Their job done, the Four Corners officers left the University and continued the patrols of their areas, hitting the Outer sections to insure nothing happened. Two complete tours later, they deemed it late enough to start for Haney House and the morning paperwork marathon.
Josiah arrived first, sweeping the lot with a practiced eye before parking in the rear lot and going inside. A couple of truckers waved a greeting as they continued savoring the break from the road and the good home cooking. He waved back, asking about their journeys, keeping friendly relations between the police and the drivers.
Nettie walked over with the coffeepot, filling a mug before he even got settled. “Morning, Josiah.”
He tipped his hat to her while setting down his clipboard. “Morning, Nettie. You’re in early.” Usually Miss Nettie showed up around five or five thirty in the morning and ended her shift after the lunch rush.
“One of the girls needed the time off tonight so I filled in for her.” She smiled at him. “She’s coming in tomorrow and working most of my shift so you won’t see me until late Saturday afternoon. Then I’ll take the night for myself.” Nettie looked forward to her time off, using the rare free time to catch on her reading or experiment with new recipes.
Nathan parked his patrol car beside Josiah’s again without thought. They spent so much time together they were practically partners and knew where the other would be without even thinking about it. He honestly enjoyed that sensation; it made him feel like he belonged here and that his abilities were wanted, needed, and respected.
As he straightened his hat to enter Haney House, he looked around the nearly empty parking lot and found a sense of peace in the quiet. It looked as if a couple truckers were napping or taking a break in their rigs. Nettie let them park there to rest and relax because she did not want them on the road exhausted. It usually brought her referral business and none of the drivers ever took advantage of the situation. In fact, some paid her for the time if they needed somewhere to leave their rig overnight or for a day or two. Nathan waved hello to one walking around stretching and received an answering wave. A little human kindness went a long way in soothing his general disgust. After the near-riot earlier and the disturbance calls, quiet sounded like something the doctor ordered.
Thinking of doctors, he unconsciously grinned as he thought of Rain and her smile right as they left the hospital after dinner. That smile always warmed his heart and he counted himself lucky to have found someone as special as her.
He must have been smiling too as he opened the front door; Nettie looked up at him and her eyes twinkled. “Land sakes, Nathan, you must be having a good day.”
Considering the calls he handled, he answered honestly, “I’ve had better.”
“Then I’d say you’ve been thinking about Rain.” Her grin showed her fondness for the couple.
“That I am, Miss Nettie, that I am,” he admitted as he slid into the booth beside Josiah. They exchanged nods, words not being necessary for this morning ritual. She placed a cup of tea in front of him and handed him the fresh honey she kept just for him. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome. Reports?”
“Yes, ma’am. You’re in here awful early.”
“Filling in for one of my girls.”
“That’s right nice of you, ma’am.”
Nettie replied with a smile, “Have to take care of my people, both the ones that work for me and those that work to protect me.” She winked at him then turned to return to her kitchen and finish cleaning up the odds and ends to prepare for the morning breakfast rush.
The two men settled into filling out their paperwork and just enjoying the company without having to make conversation. They passed each other forms as needed, proofread the other’s work, and waited for the rest of the squad to arrive for the ritual breakfast. Mainly they used the time to relax and distress, something necessary in their roller coaster job.