Through the Roof

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Chapter 24: Nattie's Second Attempt

Detective Bishop Slaughter had just received his coffee at Baby Cakes when Nattie walked in. “Well, well, look who’s here. You’re not looking for me are you?”

Nattie stood across the table from him. “As a matter of fact, I just happened by and saw your car.” Pointing at the chair below her she asked, “Do you mind?”

“Help yourself.”

“Like I said, I wasn’t looking for you, but there is a favor I’d like to ask if that’s alright.”

“What can I do you for,” he grinned.

“I wondered if you had any contacts in Lexington, Kentucky.”

“A few. That’s where I went to the Academy. But that’s been a while. What do you need?”

“Actually it’s not so much what I need as it is for you,” said Nattie.

“For me?”

“Yes. My new assistant came up with some new information. We still don’t know where Reese and Bryana are, but we know where they came from…”

Not only did Nattie stop talking when Detective Slaughter slammed his hand down on the table, but the whole room went suddenly silent. The patrons and the staff alike held their breath as Slaughter leaned forward glaring at Nattie. His face had turned bright red, and his chin jutted forward as he growled, “What are you, an idiot? I told you to bury that investigation.” His eyes looked like they might pop out of their sockets.

No one noticed that the coffee cup had been launched upward with Slaughter’s violence against the tabletop until it crashed on the wooden floor. Once it broke, it drew every eye. Susan, the only waitress on duty, was the first to move.

“I’ve got it,” said Susan hustling forward. She squatted with a rag and began gathering the broken pieces.

Slaughter, whose face was still red, had lost the glaring eyes and jutting chin, said, “I’m sorry. That was uncalled for.” Then he stood up, placed a $20 bill on the table, and inhaled slowly before looking at Nattie. “I asked you to drop it. I am too near retirement for these shenanigans. Now I must insist.” With that, he turned and left without looking back.

Nattie sat speechlessly staring at the closed door until Susan finished the cleanup and stood. “Don’t worry dear, his bark’s worse than his bite.”

“You’ve seen that act before?”

“Only once,” shrugged Susan. “It only lasted a moment, and then he got embarrassed and left a nice tip,” she picked the $20, held it out in front of Nattie, and then stuffed it in her apron.

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