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(I started this as a short fill-in to several loose ends in the “Serve and Protect” and “Bridget” series by my very special friend Patricia51. It seems to have taken on a life of its own, and I wish to submit this first part and solicit comment if anyone wishes it to continue to a conclusion.
All characters originated by Patrica51 and linda_s are used with permission though I am responsible for any inconsistency or errors.)
Beth Ann reread the letter. It was from her oldest and dearest friend. In it, the Southern wife
recounted that her daughter may need to leave her profession. Sue Adams was a superb sherrif’s deputy. Fully respected, most likely beloved. But the death of her lover, Linda Shannon, had simply destroyed her belief in herself as a sworn officer.
Claire had not always been so formal, nor so Southern, but her marriage to Roger Adams had taken some of the rougher edges off her college persona. Perhaps the fact she could feel so comfortable with BethAnn, she was able easier to accept her daughter being lesbian.
Those many years ago both Claire and Beth Ann explored their individual sexuality. Beth fully accepted and embraced her feelings toward other women. Claire exactly the opposite. It is best to simply say college was a joy for both women. Many a Friday night left one or the other frustrated to find a towel over the doorknob leading to a frantic scramble for another place to take their date. Even when they moved in together to an off campus two bedroom apartment there was a level of discretion, though breakfasts could be crowded.
As Claire and Roger steadily progressed in their relationship Beth was always a friend to both, a confidante as well. Beth Ann was Maid of Honor at their wedding, and it was Roger who insisted she become godmother to Sue. Roger had made a good living in timber in what Beth Ann always insisted was a red clay and pine tree state. He had even managed to convince Claire that the unpleasantness in the 19th century was properly called “The War of Northern Aggression.” BethAnn only shook her head in dismay and corrected them that for nearly a century it was properly referred to as “The War of the Rebellion.”
How like Claire, though. She wrote a long letter to her friend instead of picking up the telephone or even thinking to E-mail. While Beth punched in the number she vaguely wondered if Claire even knew how to turn on a computer.
Sue Adams looked at herself in the full length mirror outside Chief of Patrol Cummings’ office. She adjusted her 9mm Beretta more perpendicular to her hip. Her hands smoothed the ‘military creases’ on her uniform blouse and straightened her belt. She looked to make sure her Sergeant stripes were perfectly aligned on her collar. Her hand reached for the knob just as it swung inward and the Chief’s secretary announced she should go right into the inner office.
She still knocked before going into the glass enclosed cubicle to alert the Chief of her presence. About the only level of command that had solid walls in this Department were Narcotics, Internal Affairs and the Sheriff.
Chief Cummings looked up from the pile of forms and papers in front of him and simply waved Sue in. She stood at attention centered on his desk until he put aside the papers and looked directly at her. His usually sparkling brown eyes were veiled, the smile of perfectly white teeth normally piercing his ebony face absent.
“At ease, Sergeant Adams,” were his only words for another minute.
“I am not going to ask how you are Sergeant. I have enough reports and scuttlebutt to have an impression. It is not often we get a decorated detective returning to the patrol division, naturally I have had my eye on your performance.
“Actually, you are a good cop. A good supervisor and leader.”
Sue tensed, aware that the praise would soon turn to the real reason for this unusual meeting. She was pulled off patrol and told to report directly to him, forthwith.
“The trouble is, and the Chief paused here, “at one time you were a great cop, with enormous potential. The youngest female detective ever in a ten county area. Honor cadet in your academy class, decorated for bravery on your first assignment. Numerous awards over the early portion of your career. Now you are in effect pounding a beat. Giving adequate, but hardly exemplary supervision to officers just out of their own probationary initial assignments.”
He continued, “I agreed to take you on as a sergeant simply because I was convinced by some of the finest officers and commanders in this department that you would use this time to adjust, to come to grips with the realities of police work. And to get your personal life in order.”
That last statement shot through the seasoned deputy like a knife. Her legs wobbled, and her eyes turned darker before she regained her professional poise and simply balled her hands into fists.
“May I speak, Chief?” Sue asked in a steely contralto voice.
“No, Sergeant, ataköy escort I am not finished,” replied the older commander.
“You have been with Patrol for nine months, twelve days. In that time you haven’t accomplished much more than sign in, sign out, and hand out a few ‘atta boy’ awards to your officers. You have not had any formal complaints from citizens, nor have you had any particularly glowing commendations. I have rotated you around the various shifts, and all the field commanders say the same thing: ‘Highly capable. Honest. Respected. And mechanical.”
“You always respond immediately to a call for supervisory assistance. In fact I have noted you will respond to a simple call even without particular indication there may be a need for a supervisor. That is what I expect from my senior officers.
“This report about the domestic disturbance in the trailer park at Perrys Landing. From the paperwork the first unit arrived within two minutes of the 9-1-1 call. You arrived two minutes after that and as more units were called because of a barricade situation you had broken through the door and confronted the inebriated male accused.
“On one hand it looks like just quality police work. The female assaultee and the two minors were safe, and the accused apprehended.
“Looking at this as a manager, however, I see something, a number of things, which disturb me.
“You had been at that location a number of times in the past three months. Always the same problem. Judd Toliver wailing on his ‘wife’ Laurene. Always after twenty to thirty minutes we manage the situation, bring Judd in overnight and Laurene refuses to press charges.
“On this incident something changed. Judd was booked for resisting arrest and assault on a Peace Officer. Laurene is out of the equation as I see it, and the complaining officer has sole account of the encounter. Judd has multiple injuries including a wired jaw from being broken in three places.
“Officer Carol Gibson responded to the call and was assessing the area. Something changed when you arrived, or you noticed something out of the usual. That day Laurene’s older child, Petey Lineberry had tried to intervene between Judd and Laurene and was nursing a swollen face and broken arm. Officer Gibson stated she heard the accused utter some profanity and an unintelligible statement before turning and running into a wooden storage shed on the property.
“You, Sergeant Adams, tore the door loose from its hinges and entered the shed, alone and unassisted. I have no account of the confrontation except that you say the accused had a weapon which you ripped from his hands and then ‘protected’ yourself by using your baton to subdue him.”
“Yes, Sir. That is my statement and my paperwork was filed and reviewed by Internal Affairs and the office of the Sheriff, or so I have heard, also through scuttlebutt, as you so eloquently put it. Officer Gibson was calling for backup and I assessed that Mr. Toliver was a grave danger. I did not feel, however, it was an instance where deadly force was warranted. The weapon was a long handled shovel. I was able to get it from him, but he is over 6’4″ tall and outweighs me by about 125 pounds. The baton is an effective means to take control,” finally speaking, Sue had become an icy Valkyrie .
Chief Cummings had spent two days analyzing his options. His instinct was to recommend psychiatric evaluation for his Sergeant. There was just something unstated about this particular event. He wanted to ask her if she had heard the comment Toliver had made before running for cover. He knew he would only receive a cold comment to refer to the booking report. It had to be something personal to get Sue to respond violently when she had been sleep walking the past year. Gibson had not heard it, only the general context of some mean spirited statement. Had it been directed at the officer? Or had it been toward Laurene, or even the child. What especially bothered him was if it had been something about Adams.
Never one to make waves, especially in Jackson County, Georgia. Chief Cummings was brusk, talented, and self assured. But part of his success had been understanding the driving personalities of the Sheriff’s Department. He had won a Silver Star during the first Gulf War as a Marine infantry officer. Following that war he had become a DEA agent for ten years. He always made contacts, many of whom had risen to levels equal or higher to his own in various government and non-government organizations.
Sue Adams had guardian angels, many of them, some of whom she had no idea were watching out for her.
The ones she knew about included Deputy Inspector Mike Gibson and Captain Patricia Gibson, both of whom had become more withdrawn on the job. They exhibited a more formal relationship in the “House” and chose to less and less talk about her performance and more about getting help to cope with the senseless loss of her beloved Linda. Sue was reluctant to talk to the avcılar escort Department psychiatrist as the sessions were not privileged concerning other officers or work related matters.
“Sergeant,” the word brought Sue back to the scene before her, “I have a choice to make. My options are to recommend you for psychiatric evaluation for possible disability retirement. I can also call for your dismissal on the grounds of excessive force. Something tells me Mr. Toliver will spin a fantastical tale.”
“It is not my purpose to railroad you, though. The option I have chosen is to suspend you for the time until trial. That is about two months with our crack State Attorney. In addition, I wish it to be “informal”, no loss of your badge or weapon. However, I do have a requirement that you leave the jurisdiction for the remainder of this month. Take a vacation, Sergeant. Find someone to confide in, get some semblance of a life.”
The subordinate looked at her Chief with a puzzled expression on her face. What was he really saying, or failing to say?
“Just how does that work, Chief? I walk out of your office and start a month’s vacation?”
“No, sergeant. You smile brightly when you leave my office and ask Sherlyn for the discs with the cases on her desk marked for your attention. Then you lug them with you to your home and look them over when you return from the ‘training seminar’ I scheduled you for in the state capital. You will then be on a task force for the remainder of your relief from patrol duties. You will be so incredibly busy you only manage a few calls to Inspector Hughes every Friday promptly at noon. That schedule will continue as you maintain your cases in that batch.
“They are real cases for Patrol Division. And it is something I meant to have looked into some time ago. It is not personnel involved, nor is it simple statistical numbers crunching. You’re a detective. You see things differently even than long term Patrol command level staff.”
For the first time during the interview Chief Cummings seemed to relax. He stood and came around the corner of his desk and smiled that pearly white grin which was his trademark.
“I don’t want to lose you, Adams. Actually, yes, I do want to lose you from Patrol. But the Department wants you where your natural talents, training, and skills will be better utilized. Not only that, but we want you part of our family. We all miss Inspector Shannon. And as hard bitten and gnarly we have to look to the outside world, and to ourselves at times, you know you belong in public service.
“No one has the right to tell you to stuff it up and get on with your life. However, you know you have to do just that.””
“Will that be all, Chief?” Sue showed all respect due her superior officer, but was not going to give him the satisfaction of seeing how stung she was by his words.
“Yes, Susan. Will you accept this situation, or make it more difficult?”
“Actually, Chief, I can see your position. I have not been giving all I can to my job, I am short changing you. And perhaps the Department as a whole. I just don’t know any more.”
For perhaps the first time Sue broke a little. She quickly assessed her opportunity and realized that she was being given her last chance to fit back into her previous life.
She saluted. Turned and opened the door.
She stopped at the desk and was somewhat surprised to find Sherlyn had a full CD folder she handed over with a portfolio, probably with instructions for the task.
Sue walked through the busy offices to the locker room. Deciding just to take a few things from the locker, she pulled a gym bag open and tossed the discs and portfolio at the bottom then piled clothing and sundries on top of them. The two other female officers in the room looked at her with questions in their faces, but neither said anything.
A buzz followed her out the building to her oversized F150 which she threw into gear and sped from the lot.
She collected the mail before opening the door to the only home she had known since shortly after joining the Sherrif’s Department. Her eyes always went immediately to the mantle of the fireplace to look into the deep brown eyes of her brunette Linda. Facing the picture was a smaller framed photo, a woman she had never known except that she and Becky shared the same bond with Linda.
In a way it was comforting to realize that even through the devastating hurt of a senseless death in line of duty, Linda had survived the loss of Becky. Perhaps there is that resolve inside Sue as well.
She knew getting away was the best course, but where to go?
Of course, there is only one place just now.
Sue pressed the speed dial on her phone and was surprised at how quickly her mother answered.
“Gosh, Momma, no tea parties or historical readings this afternoon?” Sue laughed into the mouthpiece.
“As a matter of fact, Darling, no, but you will never guess beylikdüzü escort who I have on the other line.”
“Not that Russian bear dancer you adopted when the Moscow Circus was in town again, I hope.”
“Don’t be so mean. No. Better!” Claire actually had an animation in her voice Sue hadn’t heard in ages. Just the sound of her mother’s excitement cut through the gloom of her spirit.
“Aunt Beth is in Atlanta and wants to get together for dinner. I was actually thinking of calling you to see if you are free.”
“What incredible timing. In fact I am calling to ask if I can come home for a few days. I will explain when I arrive. But now I won’t ask, simply tell you I will be there in about 3 hours. We can conspire then how to drag Aunt Beth home with us after we wreck Peachtree Street. Or have you already had her cancel her hotel and come home where she belongs?” Sue also had animation in her voice.
“I will tell her not to unpack and meet us at Dinwiddie’s. But knowing that coniviving barbarian she probably never had a hotel reservation. Daddy will be home tomorrow afternoon, I hope you plan to stay the weekend at least,” said her mother.
“Yes, I do. But for now, just tell Aunt Beth to meet us at 7PM. I will come home and we can agree, or not, on what to wear tonight. Bye, Momma, I love you.”
Sue was mentally transported to a safe place in her past thinking of how Beth always was more
than a friend of her parents, she made Sue feel capable and proud of herself.
She moved around her bedroom, gathering clothes swiftly and carefully packing for a short trip away, taking care to have one dress for this evening and a variety of casual wear. She shrugged as she gathered makeup and other sundries. Everything would be duplicated at her parent’s home, but she had no idea where she might land given the chief’s instructions.
Even though she would be on the road for over an hour or more, she felt the need to shower. Something about the encounter at the station had made her feel ill at ease, in fact most of the conversation had.
Sue stripped her uniform off and carefully hung it up. The leather rolled, or hung in well accustomed places. She had placed her Beretta in a metal safe at the door when she entered as was her custom for many years.
She removed her panties and then unclasped her bra. Standing before her mirror her eyes wandered over the dressing table and fell on a silver backed hair brush. What was wrong with her? Her mind drifted to the night before she lost Linda.
Linda had been peevish, her duties weighing heavily on her and Sue had chosen that night to distract her.
While Linda was in the down stairs office Sue prepared herself.
Linda looked intently at the computer screen, she sighed as she reached for her “reading glasses.” Her mind on the task at hand, she barely noticed that Sue had entered the room until her younger lover coughed quietly. Looking up she nearly laughed, then composed herself when she realized Sue was in no mood to be put off.
Standing at the doorway, Sue was dressed in a short Japanese style Hapi coat. The shiny silk molded to her backside and her athletic legs showed to advantage when she arched one foot. Black stockings covered her legs and she easily stood in heeled sandals. In her hand was the heavy silver hair brush, her face stern as she strode toward the older woman.
The blonde woman moved behind Linda and placed the brush squarely on the desktop. She leaned forward and placed her hands on the brunette’s shoulders kneading the tense muscles of her lover. She also placed her lips at the other woman’s ear and flicked quickly.
“You are mine tonight. Nothing else matters,” the blonde whispered.
At first Linda tried to protest, but the younger blonde’s persistence and the subdued scent of her perfume melted the brunette. She closed her computer and turned to offer her full lips to her lover.
Sue took Linda’s hand and lead her to a straight backed chair in the corner of the office. She sat, adjusted her robe and quietly informed the older woman to disrobe. To tantalize her she lightly tapped the heavy silver backed brush into her palm.
Linda trembled slightly as she drew the loose cotton top over her head before unsnapping her shorts and letting them fall to puddle at her bare feet. She was unabashedly small breasted and never wore a bra when not in uniform, so her dark aureole framed her quickly stiffening nipples.
Sue sat silently, but her head was, as always when apprising her lover, in a spin of desire, contemplation, and planning just how to make the older woman abandon herself totally to their shared moments.
Her eyes took in the two scars on Linda’s torso, the evidence of black talon rounds that had torn her flesh and nearly took her life before Sue fully knew how much in love she could be. She also took in her trim, nearly skinny body. Linda’s breasts still firm, her buttocks strong as a young athlete, the swell of her belly which always caused Sue to want to reach out and pat her.
The blonde felt more than heard Linda ask her to instruct her.
“Come here. Lie over my knees. It has been too long that you have neglected me. I should not have to tell you how much I need and want you.”
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