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My plans are to release Officer Jacobs’ Triumph and A Lakeville Christmas Tale the end of the year. (Madame Editor just passed out) After that, I’m open for suggestions on WHO you would like to read about!
SNEAK PEEK! Chapter One of A Lakeville Christmas Tale
The scanner crackled, the way it always did before Millie spoke. It caused a deep chuckle to erupt from Tom. He couldn’t help wonder who would be on the desk after the holidays; Millie was due to retire at year’s end. He couldn’t imagine another voice on the radio. Millie had been a staple of Lakeville’s police department since Stuart’s first year as mayor.
“All cars. All cars. Disturbance on Maple, 6645. Respond.”
That’s close to Wynter Delights, Tom thought as he radioed back, “This is Jacobs, Car 6, I’m just about there.”
Tom often wondered about being an officer in Philadelphia or even New York. This was a major disturbance on his leisurely, if cold, November tour. Millie didn’t say what the disturbance was.
As Tom drove the cruiser down Maple Street, he spotted several shop keepers outside surrounding what appeared to be a small girl. He pulled to the side and jumped out, looking quickly before crossing. One shop owner looked relieved and the others broke the circle. Tom wondered what sort of threat this small child could have been.
“What’s the trouble here?”
The girl winced, turning to face the store front rather than Tom. She wasn’t as small as he’d thought, yet certainly thin and waif-like. Two of the shop owners stated their complaints at the same moment until Tom held up a hand.
“One at a time. You first.” Tom pointed to the one closest. The other scowled, reminding him of Mayor MacAfee. He turned his full attention on the man as he recalled the girls’ browsing and subsequent shop lifting of several high end items. Tom glanced up at the fancy awning with the name of the shop in gilded letters across the front. Basil’s Book Nook.
“Are you Basil?” The man nodded. “Zac. Zac Basil.”
Tom turned to the other affronted shop keeper. “Which store is yours?” The man gestured two doors down.
“I will be with you when I am done here. Please, everyone go back to your shops. Zac, I will be in to see you in one moment.” With a minimum of grumbling, the other store owners left Tom to the handling of the thief. He turned his attention to her. “Name?”
An amused grin threatened to break. “Real name, please. I have to cuff you, please turn around.”
Tom took the hand cuffs from his belt, waiting for ‘Ophelia’ to comply. She stared a moment, then tried to make a mad dash around him, realizing the last second it was impossible. This was a six foot one, two hundred twelve pound barrier with red hair. He would run her down in a millisecond. Resigned to her fate, ‘Ophelia’ turned around and crossed her slim arms behind her back.
Tom clicked the bracelets on her small wrists, and started leading her to the car when a better alternative crossed his mind. She looked curiously at him as he walked her to the door of Wynter Delights. Looking in the large window in the front of the shop, he saw it was fairly empty. He opened the door and pulled ‘Ophelia’ in.
Wynter had been rearranging holiday treats in the case, and she looked up as curious as Ophelia was as Tom walked across the shop to the stools by the diner counter. Helping the young girl onto a stool, he quickly took the cuffs from her wrist and bent down, attaching her foot the stool. He looked back into her face, seeing a cross between relief and fright.
“Are you hungry?”
The eyes widened and she nodded. He turned to Wynter. “Wynn, can you please get Ophelia a cup of…” he glanced back at her. “Coffee?”
The girl scowled.
“Hot Chocolate?” She nodded. He smiled to her before turning back to Wynter.
“Hot chocolate and a muffin. I’ll be back in twenty minutes.” Tom strode back out of the door and across the street before either of the women could comment.