The old station had burned down in an arson attack five years before. The ‘new’ station was an old modular standing in the middle of the parking lot of the old one. The Chief’s car was parked in its usual place, beneath a stand of mesquite. His secretary’s car was parked right next to it and the two squad cars were gone.
“Horny bastard.” Ellie knew exactly where to find him. She didn’t care what she interrupted when she walked into the small lobby. The warped floorboards creaked beneath the worn, water-stained carpet. She rang the bell but no one answered. The unmistakable howls of a woman in the throes of orgasm drifted along the shadowy corridor.
Ellie followed the hall to the Chief’s office. She tried the door handle and smiled to herself. “Gotcha.” As Maria’s howls of pleasure faded to whimpers, Ellie pushed the door open.
It was not a pleasant sight. Maria, the Chief’s secretary, sprawled across the conference table while her partner sprang to his feet and fumbled for the trousers that had puddled around his ankles..
“Screwing on the tax-payers’ time, very nice.” Ellie wondered how any woman could get off on the shriveled appendage that dangled between the Chief’s legs. She’d seen bigger Vienna sausages.
“You could’ve knocked.”
“You could’ve answered your damn phone.”
“Ellie, what’s the emergency? What the hell made you bust in like that? Haven’t you got any damn manners?”
“Not when I get threats, nah, I kinda forget about manners.”
“What kind of threats?” He wrestled with his belt buckle. Maria shot Ellie a venomous glance and hurried back into her clothes before scuttling away. Her angry footsteps receded down the corridor, and were cut short by a slamming door.
“Time’s up, bitch.”
“That’s all? You busted into my office, invaded my privacy and ruined a good fuck, to tell me that? It’s hardly explicit, is it?”
“Seems pretty clear-cut to me.” Ellie folded her arms across her chest to stop her hands from trembling.
The Chief sank into his chair and rubbed his hand down his face. “Ellie, honey, I’m sorry. I know you’re scared but I told you there’s nothing I can do. My guys are run ragged as it is. I can’t spare anyone.”
“I figured you’d say that.” She sighed and bit back sudden tears. “What the hell am I supposed to do, Chief?”
“Did you get a gun like I told you to?”
Ellie shook her head. “I don’t like guns.”
“Well, you’d better start liking them.” He pulled a drawer open and placed a small handgun on the table. “This belonged to Marcy. I don’t know why I still keep it. She left years ago. Take it. Get over your dislike real quick and take the damn gun.” He pushed it towards her. “Do you know how to use one?”
She opened the chamber and checked it. “Yes, Mike taught me. He had a gun in the house. When he died, I gave it away.”
“Well, that’s something.” He handed her a box of bullets. “Keep it with you all the time. Take it into the shower if you have to.” His eyes were sad. “I’m sorry, Ellie. I wish I could do more, I really could.”Ellie put the gun and bullets in her purse. “I know.” She felt like she was carrying a bomb in her handbag. He’d broken the law by giving the gun to her and that meant more than any empty promise or apology. She managed a smile. “Thanks. I promise I’ll keep it with me.”