TITLE: Redemption chap 3 2 of 4
By Randy Somers
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Three days later he received a call from the Amarillo Police Department. A Detective Chossen spoke, “You the Sheriff who wanted to know about Chad Dillion?”
“Not Sheriff. Chief of Police, Heywood. But yes.”
“Well, we’ve had some contact with that guy. Seems to attract trouble like flies to a shit house. Nothing that you can really pin on him. He always escapes getting arrested, but he has messed up quite a few people.”
“Messed up? How?”
“Fighting. He’s a loner. Other bikers either try to challenge him, kick him out a town. He doesn’t start the fights, but doesn’t back away either. Several of his victims have ended up hospitalized for a few days. Dillion has had these kinds of troubles in a dozen towns throughout Texas.
“After the second fight where we couldn’t pin anything on him, I started doing some extra ‘research.’ Every where's about the same. He’s clean. No drugs. Not a drunk. Just attracts trouble.
“What kind of trouble?” Tony interjected.
“He’s real protective of people, especially families with kids. Seems he’ll stick up for those who the bikers and other gangs bully. More than one gang banger has ended up sliced by those machetes.
“Again, it’s all self defense. Dillion leads a charmed life. The guy pulls a gun and quicker than snot, Dillion has cut him bad and then takes out two other gang members. Those he helps feel like he’s some kinda hero, a Robin Hood. I’m just glad he left town. Don’t trust him.”
“Why don’t you trust him? He’s got to have a past. Did you search any other states?”
“Nope. Wasn’t allowed to do much more investigation. The Captain said if we couldn’t find something here to let it go. The Captain figures he’ll either leave or mess up somewhere so we can arrest him.
“Did find out he did some time in the Army. Seems like he was a special forces kinda guy of some kind. But that’s just rumor.”
“Well thanks,” Tony said and hung up.
Tony swung his chair around to look out at the street. I wonder who you are, Dillion and what you’re up too?
A few days later the Police Department’s front door chimed. Chief Gonzalez had been standing near the front counter and saw Buck walk in. He walked out to the lobby to greet the mystery biker.
Shaking hands Tony said, ”You look a little more rested and clean. Settled in?”
Smiling back, Buck said, “Yeah. Sleep and a shower will do that. You interested in lunch. I’m buying.”
Tony stuck his head through the door and said, “Connie. I’m going to lunch at Diego’s and Sylvia’s.”
A faint voice was heard in answer, “Bring me back something.”
Sitting at a table, Tony drank his Coke and Buck his sweet tea. Buck was working through his second cheese burger. Both men had relaxed with their cautious, general chat.
“So, I’ve enjoyed our talking about the Astros and the weather. Was there another topic that was floating around in your brain?” Tony smiled.
“I like the Astros but weather talk bored me. No. No real agenda. Just wanted to get to know you a little better. I’m thinking of staying around. Thought you might want to understand me a little better.”
“Fair. What would you like to know?”
“Nothing specific. Just wanting to get a feel for your style of police work. Most cops I’ve met seem to act like school yard bullies who grew up to get a badge. You’re not like that. You interested me.”
“Gracias. I guess. But I don’t like bullies, no matter how their dressed. Cops have enough of an image problem without adding to it. I’ve worked hard to develop a good working relationship with the people of Heywood. We trust them and they trust us.
“Any other observations?
“You’re young to be a Chief of Police, plus you’re Mexican. Wonder how you worked your way up so fast?”
“I’m surprised myself, expect that I worked hard to be good at my job. The former Chief, a great guy, said I had a natural ability to lead others and made good, instant, instinctive decisions. Don’t look shocked, it’s in writing.”
Tony chuckled. “Harry was a good friend. He and I worked well together. He taught me a lot. When he got ready to retire, he pushed hard for me to get the job. His opinion carried a lot of weight.
“Plus at the time our Mayor felt that ‘diversity’ would be good for Heywood’s image. I knew Spanish so there’d be no need for a translator. It all added up for me.
“What about you? Where’ve you been?”
Buck shrugged his shoulders. “Few years ago found myself adrift. No family or commitments. So I’ve bummed around. Worked as a truck driver for a couple years, worked in a trailer manufacturing plant and did construction.” Lifting his eyes to look at Tony, “All legal.”
“When I’d earned enough I got bored and started traveling, looking for a project that would interest me. Wound up here.”
“Found something interesting here?”
“I’m intrigued by the junk yard outside. Lot of physical labor, a chance to make something ugly look nice. Won’t have to move around for a while. The idea’s growing on me.”
Finishing his sandwich, he said, “What’s the City like to work with?”
Tony sighed and looked up. “You don’t seem like the kind of gringo who’d be easy to lie to or cheat. Don’t think the Council would want to be on your bad side.” Looking at Buck, “They’ll be honest. But read the contract and count your fingers after you sign it.
“Don’t know what they’re asking or what conditions they’ll put on it. Just know they’re anxious to get rid of the trash dump. The city needs the money.”
“Umm,” Buck responded. The men went on to football.
Silvia was asking Tony a question and Tony forced his mind back to the present. “Sorry, was thinking about when I first met Buck.”
“I was asking if you knew who the girl was?” Silvia repeated. She had sat down at his table and was watching the couple. Diego had joined them.
“When she came in here yesterday she started askin questions about Buck. She started once to say his real name, but stopped.”
Tony commented, “No. Haven’t checked out the blond. No cause to. Can’t be prying into people’s past without an official reason.”
“How ‘bout an unofficial one then? Silvia’s about to go crazy trying to figure out what connection those two have together,” Diego chuckled.
Silvia sat quietly for few moments. “Look at him. He’s in love with her.”
“How can you tell? Looks to me like he’s scared of her,” Diego challenged. “You’re looking for something that’s not there.”
“Sure it is. See how he leans forward and then leans back. He wants to be close, but he’s afraid to. She’s all calm and cool, waiting.”
“Waiting for what?” snorted Diego.
Sitting up straight and giving Diego a little shove, “Waiting for him to figure out he’s in love with her of course. You men just don’t know how it works. We ladies know more about love than you do. We figure out your gonna propose even before you think of it. All we do is wait.”
“Wait and drag us around by our noses,” chortled Diego. Seeing the look on Silvia’s face, he quickly added, “Not that we don’t love being dragged around.”
Tony laughed and stood up. “Well there’s history there. We’ll just have to wait until their ready to tell us about it.”
In another section of town, the debate over Barbara continues.
School Superintendent Reed walked over to answer his secretary’s question. “What’s up?” He took a sip of his coffee and spun the proffered form around to glance at the name.
“Who is she?”
Celia sniffed and answered, “It’s from Buck’s new girlfriend. She just came in and gave us all the required forms to be a sub.”
“When did Buck get a girlfriend? How do you know they’re connects?”
“One of the teachers saw them at the city lot having lunch together. She heard from Silvia that this blond girl had asked about Buck, then went to have lunch with him.”
“OK. That’s a big leap in logic, but is there a problem with her application?”
“No. But don’t you wonder about her? Buck’s a nice guy, most of the time. I stay away from him if I can. Just too violent for me. Don’t trust him. If he’s that way and she’s connected to him, would you like her to sub in our schools?”
“Well, run the required background check and we’ll see if she has a record or not. We need good subs and teachers for that matter. Why? Did she give you a hint of what she’s like?
“No. Was real nice. Polite. Well spoken. But she looked old, not outside, but inside. Know what I mean?”
“No not really. How can someone be old inside?
“Like she’s seen a lot of bad in her life. Maybe did a lot of bad in her life. Maybe did a lot of bad with Buck,” Celia stressed the word ‘maybe.’ “We don’t know anything about Buck, really. Just that he’s got money. He could have made his money doing drugs and she was his mule or something.”
Reed chuckled. “You’re stretching things. Just do the background and let me see it when it comes back.” Reed refilled his coffee cup and walked back to his office.
Ceila stared at his back. Men don’t have the female sixth sense. She’s a hard lady. I’ll do the records check. It'll come back as thick as a book. Then he’ll see.
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