Gretchen and Daniel

It had been nearly two years since the craziness of Memphis and life had returned to something resembling normal. “Resembling” normal was about as normal as it was going to get considering that Gretchen was stalked by news crews day and night and that they had an uneasy truce with some very unsavory characters.

They’d not heard from their “friends” in Memphis which was as promised since Gretchen had stuck to her end of the deal. However, Daniel wanted children and Gretchen was reluctant as long as the threat was still out there. Being a police officer, and just recently promoted to detective, Daniel had many friends in low places, as he liked to put it. He’d found some people with grudges. Scary people.

Daniel had made the drive over to Memphis one weekend to meet with a buddy of his on the force. Gretchen thought he was in Arizona watching spring training so he bought a hat just in case. Eventually he and his buddy caught up with a former leg-breaker by the name of Leo. Leo was retired seeing as how he’d become disenchanted after someone stuck a shiv in his right eye. Leo was no snitch but he figured he had restitution coming on account of the eye. Daniel wanted to know where these guys laundered the real money…not the chump change from the front businesses.

Leo grunted, “forget the money. That’s buttoned up tight. Besides, you go snooping around that trail, there’s some Romanian guys you don’t wanna mess with. Cops or no cops…in all due respect.”

Daniel’s buddy was getting impatient, “You said you had something for us. You had better come across or I might remember some stuff I forgot.”

“The women, follow the women.”

Daniel sighed “you want us to interview his mistress?”

Yeah, grinned Leo, “He’s tight with his money, but sloppy with his girls. You ever seen a side chick go off when she finds out she’s not the only one?”

A couple hours later they were talking to a pretty twenty-something by the name of Taylor. Pretty if you set aside the fact that her nose was recently broken and there were still stitches running across her scalp at the hair line. Daniel also thought he saw cigarette burns on her forearms. Taylor was in a talkative mood. Seems her ex boyfriend had some interesting hobbies that some of his more testosterone heavy associates might not approve of. Taylor had pictures.  She stated the obvious: “if these get out.”

Daniel looked at his cop friend ” you think he’ll deal?”

His friend laughed “he’ll deal. These are not open minded people we’re dealing with. He’ll wind up under the mud in the bottom of that river.”

Six months later Gretchen called Daniel while he was on duty. “I’ve got something for you.” He was a bit distracted, he couldn’t hear, and she was toying with him.

“I’m sorry babe we got a perp here yelling at the top of his lungs.”  Daniel belted the perp upside the head. It got quiet. “What did you say I need to start?”

Gretchen laughed “A college fund.”

© Glenn R Keller 2023, All Rights Reserved

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