This week’s chapter comes from Val Muller, author of the Corgi Capers mystery series for young detectives and For Whom My Heart Beats Eternal, a time travel trio. Find out more at www.valmuller.com and www.corgicapers.com
Next week’s post will come from Cathy MacKenzie. Check out her two books of poetry and three books of short stories available on Smashwords.
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Remy sat in the small break room, Sam’s coat wrapped around her shoulders like a blanket. The police officer who sat across from her had convinced her to press charges, and he was jotting down the last of her statement. Remy looked around the room dizzily. The fluorescent lighting seemed to shine right into her brain. It was nauseating. And she couldn’t stop shaking, either. As she snuggled into Dr. Sam’s coat, she wasn’t sure it was just a matter of the cold, either. In a matter of moments, she had been asked to recall her whole sordid history with Jeremy. She could barely believe that the man who now sat outside in handcuffs, the man with the rapidly-swelling chin and drunken scowl, was the same man she had once dreamed of dating. She shook her head: she had always been bad with first impressions. It explained her bad luck with dating.
“Anything else?” Officer Dunlap asked.
“What else could there be?” Remy sighed. “Mistaken love at first sight, drunken jealousy, grief turned to craziness at his mother’s funeral? And a stalker, to boot. I sure hope there’s nothing else.” She longed for a normal, boring life. She’d had enough drama for a while.
“Okay,” the officer said. “If we have any follow-up questions, we’ll be in touch. We’ll look into this Barbara person, too, but if she bothers you again, you should contact us.”
Remy nodded and snuggled into the coat. Then a shadow darkened the doorway, and Remy looked up. It was Sam.
“I’ve decided to press charges, too,” he said. “The boy was trespassing on my property and endangering my clients—and my employees.” His eyes found Remy’s.
Officer Dunlap nodded. “We were just finishing up here. If you don’t have anything else to add to your statement, Ma’am, you can—”
“No, let her stay here,” Sam said. “We can talk in my office.”
The officer nodded and followed Dr. Sam out the door. A heartbeat later, Irene flew into the break room and sat down next to Remy.
“My goodness!” she squealed, grabbing Remy’s hands.
Remy raised an eyebrow. “Were you listening at the door?”
“What?” Irene asked.
“You came in here so soon after the cop left, you must have been listening at the door.”
“Not me,” Irene insisted. “Dr. Sam. He was listening in. He said even if you didn’t press charges, he was going to. He wanted to make sure you told the cops everything you knew. Said he didn’t want you to go easy on Jeremy. Said the punk doesn’t deserve it.” Irene squealed again. “Did you see him lay out that punch? I mean…”
Remy couldn’t help the smile in the corner of her mouth.
“Anyway, Dr. Sam asked me to come in and sit with you as soon as the cop left. Said he didn’t want you to be by yourself.”
“Why? I’m a big girl.”
“But look, you’re still shaking.” Irene picked up Remy’s arm and held it in front of Remy. As soon as she let go, Remy’s arm started shaking. Remy pulled it down, squeezing it into her torso to steady it.
“Probably just shock,” she said. “Jeremy scared me. I’ve never been threatened like that. The guy needs help.”
The two sat in silence for a while. Remy kept her face grim and unchanging. Though somewhere deep down was an infatuation about her new hero, she would not allow such an idea to flood her consciousness until she had recovered from the shock of the incident. But Irene was clearly replaying the heroic occurrence in her mind: every now and again, her face cracked into a smile, and the semblance of a blush even crept across her cheeks. Then her face would blanch again, and she stared out into the distance with Remy, only to smile again a few moments later.
“Do you have anyone you can spend the night with?” Irene asked finally. “Or maybe someone who can just sit with you until you go to bed tonight?”
Remy shook her head. “I’ll be fine. I’m a big girl, remember?”
“No,” Irene said. “You shouldn’t be alone tonight. I have plans, but I’m going to cancel them. I’ll come to your place and sit up with you for a while. We’ll order take-out, and…”
“I’m fine,” Remy insisted. “Don’t cancel your plans on my account. I’ll be fine alone. You go have fun.”
“Yes,” Dr. Sam said, coming into the break room. “Go fulfill your plans, Irene. I’ll take Remy home and make sure she’s okay. Irene, see if my last two appointments will be able to reschedule. I’ll stay open late on Thursday to accommodate them if they’re able.”
“I’ll pay you overtime,” Dr. Sam offered. “It’s not every day something like this happens. Closing the office is justified. Remember, overtime on Thursday.”
Irene’s scowl melted, and she left to make the appropriate phone calls.
Alone in the room with her protector, Remy couldn’t take her eyes off Dr. Sam. Suddenly, his coat was much too hot, and she felt her face flush. And adding to the growing heat in her heart was the fact that as she stared into his eyes, Dr. Sam Kendrick stared right back.
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The Spot Writers- our members:
Catherine A. MacKenzie