My writing partner posted her chapter. It was on the follow up to the break in, investigations on the break in and subsequent vandalism at the diner. Jake organizes a crew of firemen to help clean up. Before they leave, he puts it out there that he wants to go out with her some time, but she is preoccupied.
Jake was practically kicking himself as he walked to his car. “My timing sucks big time. Why do I do this? Either it falls flat because I seem overbearing, or it falls flat because she is preoccupied!”
Glancing back at the diner before he began driving back to the station house, he was pleased, though, that notwithstanding his bad timing, he had planted the seeds for Delia to realize that he was interested.
Arriving at the station, he saw that a few of the men who had been at the diner helping out were sitting in a conference room. Alex Donovan, the fire captain, was there too.
“Hey, Jake, come on in!”
“Hi, Alex, how is it going?”
“Doing fine, I hear there was an adventure at that diner we went to.”
“Yeah, vandals, most likely some young kids.”
Alex just shook his head. “But the good thing is that you got us some good publicity, having a number of the firefighters show up. I got a call from the local newspaper. You did good. This will definitely help in terms of the budget stuff, showing the community just how great the department is. We step in to help in times of crisis, and not just for fires.”
“It didn’t occur to me, it was just that local businesses like these need the support, they are the backbone of the community, enabling it to flourish. People come in from all over to eat there.”
Cole Bristow, one of the young firefighters spoke up. “I’m not surprised. Great food, haven’t eaten that well in a while.”
Jake laughed. “Just make sure you go there more often; tell the other guys too. With this type of loss, it is a matter of supporting them so that they can regroup.”
Going up to his office, Jake sat and began drafting his report. Glancing at his notes, he thought about all he learned. “Vandalism, no evidence of a break in, a security system that wasn’t all that secure. All sorts of people could have access. Tripping a fire alarm. Likely someone with inside knowledge.”
Suddenly, the phone rang. It was the receptionist. “Hi, Jake, I have Officer Gabe Nagin from the police department here with Ms. Delia Saunders.”
Jake thought that was curious. “Perhaps there are some new developments they wanted to share?”
Gabe walked in with Delia. “Hey, Jake, I thought you might want to hear this. Ms. Saunders just came by. Our department will continue the investigation because we have more information now. So you should just close up your report with these latest developments.”
“I didn’t think there was more to be done on our end, since there wasn’t an actual fire, and it was likely just vandalism.”
“Good, good, that is good to hear, it is important to make sure we don’t interfere with each other’s work.” He glanced at Delia. “Ms. Saunders has some incriminating information, evidence of who was involved.”
Jake glanced at Delia. “Well that is good news, helpful in going ahead.”
Delia nodded, “Yes, I found a cell phone under one of the tables. I was able to get in. Once I saw what was on it, I brought it directly to Officer Nagin.”
Jake shook her hand. “Well, I hope it all goes well.”
Looking at Officer Nagin, Jake asked, “Hey, Gabe, you will be on the Police Department team for the annual softball game against our department?”
“I won’t miss it for anything!”
“Exactly, for your latest whipping!”
The two departments had a friendly rivalry that went back for a few years, an annual softball game that brought together members of the department and their families. But this year, the Commissioner for Public Safety, who supervised both departments, suggested that it could be part of a fundraiser for the local hospital. His communications director drafted a great press release that wound up in the local newspaper. Jake thought it was a good strategy, useful once again in light of the budget cuts.
Gabe shook his head and walked out the door.
Jake turned to Delia. “If you like, I can get you a ticket.”
“Actually, I was thinking more along the lines, that if I were to attend, it would be great if I could get the catering business.”
He smiled at her. “Always the business woman, I see. I can put you in contact with the captain. He was at the diner with me. He might have some ideas.”
Jake walked Delia to the door and patted her hand. “You’re welcome, take care. This can’t be an easy time for you.”
She nodded with a bit of sadness, and he watched as she walked down the stairs.
Copyright Barbara James. All rights reserved.
authorbarbarajames at gmail.com