Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sample Sunday

Today's Sample Sunday is an Excerpt from Chapter 5 of TIES THAT BIND:


The call came when they got back to the car.  “So what have you got for me Knight?”
She could envision the Sergeant glancing impatiently at his watch.  Sometimes she regretted turning down promotions.  She could be a Sergeant herself had she been thinking straight.  But no, she claimed to be happy where she was positioned in life.
“We’re leaning towards Laura Saunders’ murder being an isolated incident.  We have a reason to feel the ex-boyfriend is involved.”
“So that’s your final answer to this?  In less than four hours you’re positive the rest of the city sleeps safe tonight?”
What did this man want from her - a caped crusader?  No one could guarantee that.  It was always black and white with him.  She needed to operate within the shades of grey.  “Evidence seems to be pointing us in that direction.”
“I want this wrapped up Knight, sooner than later.  Keep me informed.”
He never spoke the words but the implication was there: Don’t let this case go cold like the other one.  Didn’t he know she tortured herself enough over that possibility?
Madison tossed her cell in the air, caught it.  Terry looked over at her from the passenger seat.  She directed him, “Pull up Laura’s background, check for anything that stands out.  Any restraining orders.  I’ll get us over to Southwest Welding Products, see if they have anything to say.  Maybe we’ll get lucky and meet Jeff.”
“Sure.”  He drew out the word, kept watching her. 
“Don’t say it like that.  You’re trying to play shrink on me and I don’t like it.”
“Maybe it’s time you started talking about it–”
“Let’s just close this case.”  She held eye contact with him, and put the car into gear.  It’s not like she set out with the desire to save the world.  She just wanted to make an impact on people’s lives.  Working as a lonely hero, under the cover of the Major Crimes division, wasn’t exactly what she originally planned for her life.
She could hear Terry on the keyboard.  A few minutes later, he spoke.  “Well, nothing stands out on her record and there’s no open restraining orders.”
“Maybe she didn’t hate the attention from Jeff after all.”
 Terry didn’t respond but seemed disinterested.  His gaze was intently fixed on the road even though he wasn’t doing the driving.
“What’s wrong with you now?”
“You don’t want to talk about your problem.  I don’t want to talk about mine.”  They glanced at each other.  “Fair enough?” 
“Not really.” 
“Good.”
Was he seriously being difficult?  How could he compare his problem with hers?  Her baggage was professional and she sensed his was personal.  She turned to face him, and fulfilled her natural instinct to pry.  “Everything alright at home?” 
“Watch!”  Terry’s ass came off the seat, as he pointed frantically out the front windshield, before gripping the dash.
She turned her head around just in time. 
A street person was walking across the road pushing a shopping cart full of bottles. 
She slammed on her brakes, stopping shy of impact. 
The man stopped in the middle of the street and started yelling in another language.  One thing was certain despite the language barrier, based on facial expression alone, it contained numerous expletives.  Then any trace of doubt was obliterated when he took his hands off the cart and held up both middle fingers.
“You could have killed him.  Dang it Maddy, would you just pay attention to the road.”  Terry’s face was red, and a pulse had developed in his cheek.  
“If you’d just talk to me, we wouldn’t be in this position.”  The man walked the rest of the way but stood vigil on the sidewalk, keeping his eyes trained on Madison as she drove by.