Public Service…the beginning of Chapter Seven…unedited…

Cissy Robideux-Monat, former secretary to Deputy Chief Scott Walters aka ‘Big One,’ drove to the outskirts of Fredericksburg to a small pay-by-the-day motel called The Quiet Place. The paved parking lot had potholes large enough to swallow semi-trucks, and from the looks of the motel, it was all but deserted.

From the parking lot, she called her husband Richard. He didn’t answer right away, so she left a message on his voicemail. “Hi. It’s me. Something came up at work, and I’m headed out of town for the next few days. Sorry for such late notice. I’ll try to contact you when we land. Okay, bye.”

The Quiet Place sat off a once busy highway, but with the new addition of a superhighway, few people traveled this way. The motel catered to the unwanted, the drug addicts, escaped felons. If a person sought anonymity, they welcomed them at The Quiet Place.

It’s perfect, Cissy thought. I can rest here and heal up. Then, I can go home and forget this mistake in the loving arms of my husband and child.

She parked at the end of the motel. Her vehicle wasn’t visible from the highway, thus maintaining her cover while she healed up. Cissy walked to the manager’s office and walked in. The office smelled of marijuana, and a young, stringy-haired waif of a man watched a music video on a 13-inch portable television. Cissy rang the bell.

“Help you,” the lanky male said, as he put one hand over the bell. Cissy nodded and said, “I need a room. Way away from everyone else, please.”

“Lady, ain’t nobody here but me. Now, me and you. What room do you want?”

“All the way at the end, please.”

“That’s 13,” he muttered, as he tossed the key on the counter. “How long do you plan on staying?”

“A week.”

“115 dollars.”

Cissy counted out the cash and pushed six crisp twenties toward the human string bean. “Keep the change, bud.” The kid shoved the money into the register and went back to his program. Cissy walked to the end of the parking lot and walked into room 13.

Everything will turn out fine, so long as Deputy Chief Walters doesn’t release the video. If he maintains his promise to keep it to himself, there’s nothing to fear.

Who did she think she was? Who did she think she was dealing with? Deputy Chief Scott Walters sat behind his desk and considered his former secretary. She had known his penchant for roughing up his ‘girls.’ All the women knew of his nature, but they all wanted to rise above their stations, so they tolerated his abuse. He picked up his cellphone and looked at the time. 1615, Thermopolis would arrive any moment now.

I’ll crush him and then ruin Cissy. She’ll serve as an example for the rest of them. None anger me and get away with it.

Scott Walters heard the door to the lobby open, and he stood behind the desk. He knew it was Konan, and he waited until Konan stuck his head into the office before, he spoke.

“Detective Konan, please come in. Thank you for being available to stop by.”

“Thank you, Deputy Chief Walters. Um, I thought your secretary had called me.”

“She did, but she wasn’t feeling well. I gave her the day off.”

“Well, that was nice of you.”

“Ah, you do what you can for your people, you know?”

“Yes sir, I do. You needed to see me?”

Scott Walters sat behind the large hickory desk. It was expensive and elaborate, much more expensive than most of the command staff could afford to buy. However, Scott Walters spared no expense for his image. He was a powerful man, with powerful friends, and it would be unseeming for him to accept anything less than the best. Thermopolis studied the man.

The deputy chief wasn’t a tall man, 5’8, a hefty 230, most of its solid muscle. He looked as if he could sign up for any football squad and become a starter by the sheer mountain of muscle he had. God had shaped Walters like a fridge. From his head to his toes, Walters was square. Heck, even his jaws were square. For all his squareness, Walters had icy blue eyes, a neatly trimmed mustache, with an accommodating goatee. Konan noticed his hands. Short, stubby fingers, each adorned with rings, spoke of power. This was no man to tangle with, Konan realized. Walters wasn’t one to wait for someone else to do his dirty work. If Scott Walters wanted you out of the way, he’d make it happen on his own.

“Yes, I understand you’ve engaged in an inappropriate relationship with your partner. Worse yet, the media ran a story about it.”

“Yes, sir, but it’s no longer an issue.”

“Oh yeah? Why’s that?”

“I married her today, sir. My partner is now my wife.”

“Well, congratulations are in order, then. We still have a problem, detective.”

“Why’s that, sir? I thought the issue would resolve itself if the inappropriate relationship were over.”

“Oh, it did. No, the problem is that you and she can’t be partners any longer.”

“Why not?”

“Because I said so, detective. You didn’t think you’d come in here and persuade me to let Tia Mather’s arresting officers have a nice, normal life together without some sort of recompense, right?”

“Tia Mathers? What does she have to do with any of this? Besides, a jury found her guilty of murder and corruption. All I did was my job.”

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