Janie Temple…Rough Love…new writing, unedited…

Janie took Walter to a local convenience store and bought the largest coffee they offered. Walter sipped it and rubbed his forehead.

“Ugh.”

He looked around the parking lot. Janie waited for him to say something, but all he did was groan.

“Didn’t they have something to eat?”

“There’s a whole store filled with food right there,” Janie snapped. 

Walter grimaced and rubbed his head again. 

“Why are you mad? I’m the one with a headache.”

“How about because you didn’t even try to stick around. You handed in your badge and walked away. Then, you went and got drunk. Now, I’m stuck babysitting you until you sober up.”

“I was fired, Janie.”

“You could have fought back against the sheriff. He was wrong.”

“You don’t understand. You’re not from here.”

“Oh. I’m the clueless girl. Misogynistic much?”

“Ah, forget it.”

“Why? You’re the one that implied it.”

“I wasn’t saying you couldn’t understand what I was saying. Before you go all militant feminist, let me explain something to you.”

“Fine. Lay it on me,” Janie snapped, as she crossed her arms and looked out the driver side window.

“I grew up here. People around here are in debt to Roy Darnell Carver. He is this town, and worse of all, he knows it. For God’s sake, your own boss confessed to corruption.”

Janice sighed and shook her head. She didn’t feel like hearing this, and she didn’t appreciate Walter playing the ‘you’re not from here’ card.

“Furthermore, I’ve watched as Roy Darnell Carver has committed horrendous actions against the people who went against him. He doesn’t stop with the person who offended him, he goes after the entire family.”

“So, why investigate the crime, right?”

“If I’m not mistaken, this new temporary chief hired me. I was a little drunk at the time, but I seem to remember him saying to get me sober and that I’m a member of the Angie Police Department.”

“Are you ready to go see what we can find?”

“Sure. It’s late though. Why don’t you take me home, and we get started in the morning?”

Janie glared at Walter but started the car. He gave her directions and soon she pulled up in front of a small cabin. She stopped short of a large porch. Cedar furniture sat under a tin roof.

“This is your house?”

“It is. I’ve lived here for six years.”

“Wow. It’s nice. Do you have land as well?”

“Yeah.”

She raised her eyebrows and waited for him to quell her curiosity.

“I have twenty acres of hilly country. It’s not worth much given the roughness of the terrain.”

“Still. Twenty acres and a cabin. That’s a pretty good deal.”

“Yeah, it is. Thanks for the lift. Um…”

“What?”

“I’m sorry if I disappointed you. I don’t normally handle my problems by escaping into a bottle.”

“Yeah. I’ll pick you up in the morning. We need to get started early, so I will be here at 0730.”

“Okay. See you then.”

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