Hell Hath No Fury Ch. 15

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Passion In James County IV: Hell Hath No Fury

Chapter 15

“Jesus, Kid,” Lex Dumont commented while he and Tim walked down the hallway of the police station, headed for the roll call room. “You look like shit. You feeling OK?”

“I’ve been busier than hell lately,” Tim replied. “Haven’t gotten much sleep.”

“Christ, you look like death warmed over,” Lex said. “Why the hell didn’t you call in sick?”

“I couldn’t,” Tim said. “Who’d do your paperwork for you and run the computer?”

“Yeah, well, if we have a quiet night, I won’t complain if you catch some Z’s when we’re on patrol,” Lex said.

They went into the roll call room and sat down. Sergeant Dawson came in. He read off the patrol assignments, then he consulted his clipboard. “Nothing’s happened up in the Heights for a couple of weeks, now, so we’re pulling off the extra unit.” He looked over at Mackey and Jones. “You guys can go back downtown, where it’s safer,” he said.

“Gee, sarge,” Mackey said, “thanks a heap.”

Sergeant Dawson turned his attention to Tim and Lex. “Dumont, you and Jackman stay sharp,” he said. “Just because the asshole who’s been terrorizing that lady hasn’t done anything in a couple of weeks doesn’t mean he’s quit. Could be he took some time off to plan something else. I don’t want you guys getting hurt out there.”

“I love you, too, sarge,” Lex said. “You’re really cute when you’re concerned. The way your eyes sparkle makes me feel all funny inside.”

“Yeah, sure,” Sergeant Dawson snorted. “I’m still going to make swings through your sector,” he said. “No long stops at Flossie’s tonight.”

“Shit,” Lex muttered.

The night was uneventful. Tim and Lex made a few traffic stops, checked on a couple of buildings, and ate lunch in the parking lot of the convenience store Tim had been at the night the shots were fired at Heidi’s house.

“What the hell is going on?” Lex asked. “This is one of the most boring sectors in town. Why the hell is this pervert operating here?”

“Who knows what makes wackos do what they do?” Tim said. He took a swallow of his bottle of peach-flavored iced tea. “All I know is that I’d like to bust the asshole who’s doing this.”

“So would I!” Lex said. “It drives me nuts having the sergeant in our sector all the time.”

“Maybe we scared the bad guy off,” Tim said. “The last two weeks have been quiet. Nothing’s happened at all. No sign of the guy. As far as I know, we haven’t gotten any complaints about phone calls, either.”

“I don’t know,” Lex said, opening a cellophane package holding a cheese Danish. “None of this makes any sense to me. If this scumbag was so hot to get this lady, why’d he stop after one try?”

“Maybe we scared him off,” Tim said. “The night he shot up her house, we got there pretty quick after she called.”

“Maybe,” Lex said. “I wouldn’t count on it, though. Sounds like the guy’s a certified wack-a-doodle. That kind usually doesn’t scare off that easy.”

“Come on, partner,” Tim said. “Don’t be such a worry-wart. We’ve gotten through half the night without anything happening. Let’s get through the rest of the shift.”

“Yeah, let’s,” Lex said. He began wolfing down his Danish.

Heidi was lying in bed, reading a woman’s magazine. Two weeks had passed with no sign of the man who had been terrorizing her. She had begun to allow herself to believe she was safe once again. She read some more, then, barely able to keep her casino siteleri eyes open, she laid the magazine on the table next to her bed, switched off the light, and snuggled under the covers. Before long, she was sound asleep.

“Let’s go, kid,” Lex said, putting the cruiser in gear. “Got to get back on patrol.”

Tim pushed the button on the computer terminal which indicated they were again in service, and began looking out the window on his side of the car, checking houses as they slowly rolled by on the dark streets. “It’s funny,” he thought, “the people who live in those houses are sound asleep. They have no idea we’re out here.” “Take another swing down Johnson, will you, Lex?” he said.

“Sure, partner,” Lex said.

When they turned onto Johnson Street, Tim saw headlights coming toward them from the opposite direction and stiffened. Then, when the approaching car rolled under a streetlight, he saw the silhouette of the light bar on the vehicle’s roof. “Sergeant Dawson wasn’t kidding,” he said. “This is, what, the fourth time we’ve met him?”

“Yeah,” Lex said. “Sure does cut down on our chances to get some nap time in, doesn’t it?”

Tim laughed. His partner never sneaked off and napped on duty the way some cops did.

The two police cars stopped, facing in opposite directions. Tim looked around. They were right in front of Heidi’s house.

“So far it’s been quiet, huh?” Sergeant Dawson said.

“Just like always,” Lex replied. “Hey, sarge, you know the bad guys know better than to come around when I’m on duty.”

“Yeah, sure, Lex,” the sergeant laughed. “I guess I’ll head back to the station. I’m getting way behind on my paperwork.”

“Come on, sarge,” Lex said. “You and I been out here too long for me to buy that bullshit. You know you’d rather be on the street than sitting behind your desk.”

Heidi wasn’t sure what it was that wakened her. Then she heard a noise of some kind, one she didn’t recognize. She sat up in bed, her heart pounding. It sounded like a scratching, squeaking sound, and it was coming from her back door! She quietly slipped out of bed, went to her window, and looked down carefully. What she saw made her feel as if someone had wrapped an ice pack around her heart. Someone was there, trying to open her back door!

Gasping for breath, she bolted back to her bed, picked up her phone, and dialed 9-1-1. “Someone’s trying to break into my house!” she whispered when the 9-1-1 operator answered. “I can see him.”

“What’s your address, ma’am?” the dispatcher asked.

Heidi told him.

When the dispatcher keyed the address into the computer, an alert tone sounded. “You’re the lady who’s been getting the harassing phone calls and whose house was shot at, aren’t you?” the dispatcher asked. At the same time, he pushed the “hot shot” button on the radio console, sending out the three alert tones that caused every police officer in the city to stiffen and turn their attention to their radios.

“Yes,” Heidi replied. “He’s here, trying to break into my house. Please, hurry.”

“Yes, ma’am,” the dispatcher said. “Please stay on the line.”

All three officers in the two police cars sitting in front of Heidi’s house stopped talking when the “hot shot” tones sounded on the radio.

“Adam twenty-five,” the dispatcher said, “see the woman, prowler, there now, attempted forcible entry, 1852 Johnson, at the rear of the house. Adam twenty-five, be aware slot oyna that this is the shots fired location, use caution. Your call is code three.”

Tim jabbed the button on the computer console which informed dispatch they were on the scene and bolted from the car, pulling his pistol from his holster as he did.

“Jackman, wait for us!” Sergeant Dawson yelled as he got out of his cruiser and started after Tim.

“I’ll go around the right,” Tim yelled over his shoulder. “You guys go around the left.” His heart thudding, he raced down the side of Heidi’s house. When he reached the corner, he stopped, took a deep breath to steady himself, then he stepped out, assuming the combat shooting stance, his flashlight and weapon pointed toward Heidi’s back door. He could see a shadowy form standing on the steps by the door.

“Police!” he yelled. “Freeze! If you move, I’ll shoot!” As he stood there confronting the prowler, things seemed to go into slow motion. The figure on the porch turned. It was a man, he was sure of that. The prowler was dressed entirely in black, even his face was covered. Then, all of a sudden, an orange flame blossomed from the figure’s middle. Tim heard the sound of the bullet hitting the house next to him and threw himself back behind the corner of the house. As he did, he felt his pistol buck against his hand.

He hit the ground, rolled over, and carefully looked around the corner of the house. The figure was running across the back yard! Steadying his weapon, he took aim and fired. Just as he pulled the trigger, the running black figure fell. Tim laid there, not sure if he’d hit the prowler or not. He peered into the darkness at the end of the yard, trying to see where the intruder was lying, but couldn’t make anything out.

“Tim, are you OK?” he heard Lex yell.

“I’m OK, be careful!” Tim yelled back. “He’s still out here. I fired at him and he went down, but I can’t see him now.”

“Sam five to dispatch,” he heard Sergeant Dawson say on the radio. “Officers need assistance, shots fired. Get us all the help you can. Now!”

“Copy that, Sam five,” dispatch replied. The three “hot shot” tones again sounded and the radio immediately became busy as dispatch ordered additional cars to assist them.

Tim heard an engine start, then squealing tires. Damn! He must have missed the prowler. The shooter had gotten to his car! He pressed the “talk” button on the portable radio microphone attached to his collar. “Adam twenty-five to Sam five, the shooter’s made his car. He’s headed down the alley!”

“Which direction is he headed, Adam twenty-five?” Sergeant Dawson replied.

“East,” Tim told him. He heard tires squealing in front of the house, then a siren began wailing. Unfortunately, the sergeant’s car had been pointed west. He’d have to go half-way around the block to get into the alley.

“Sam-five to dispatch!” the sergeant’s voice said on the radio.

“All units other than Sam-five, clear the frequency, go ahead, Sam-five,” the dispatcher replied.

“I’m in pursuit of the shooter,” Sergeant Dawson yelled, “Last seen headed eastbound in the alley behind Johnson.”

“Copy, Sam five,” the dispatcher said. “You got a description of the vehicle?”

“No, dammit!” Sergeant Dawson replied.

Fifteen minutes later, Tim was standing next to his cruiser, keeping in the background, as officers swarmed over Heidi’s lawn with flashlights, looking for anything the prowler might canlı casino siteleri have left behind, and others walked in and out of her house. This time even the Lieutenant and Captain had shown up. This was getting to be a very big deal.

Sergeant Dawson walked over to Tim. He hadn’t been able to catch sight of the shooter’s car. Neither had the other units responding as backup. “You sure you’re OK, Tim?” he asked. “That bullet came damn close.”

“As long as it didn’t hit me,” Tim said. “You think I might of hit him? I got off two rounds.”

“They haven’t found any sign of blood anywhere,” the sergeant said.

“It looks like the creep hasn’t given up,” Lex said.

“I know,” the sergeant said. “Damn! It’s like the bastard knows exactly what we’re doing.”

“Not quite,” Tim said. “I don’t think he knew we were as close as we were.”

“Yeah, maybe,” Dawson said. “A lot of good that did.”

“The lady in there didn’t get hurt,” Lex said.

“Yeah, you got a point, Lex,” the sergeant said. “The forensic guys say he almost had the door open. If we’d have been a minute or more getting here, he’d have been inside.”

“Are you sure none of the policemen were hurt?” Heidi asked the female detective sergeant sitting in her living room. “I…I heard shots.”

The detective nodded. “It was close,” she said. “The suspect shot at one of the officers and just missed. Unfortunately, the officer returned fire, but he missed, too.”

Heidi hugged herself and shuddered. She’d never imagined she’d be going through anything like this. This kind of thing happened to other people, people on TV, not to her!

“Ma’am, is there someplace you could stay for a while?” the detective asked. “Maybe it would be a good idea if you weren’t here in case that creep decides to come back.”

“You…you think he will?” Heidi asked. She tried to think. “I…I don’t have anybody I can think of. Besides, it doesn’t seem right. I mean, this is my house.”

“I know,” the detective said. “We’re going to put extra patrols back on, but we don’t have enough personnel to assign a bodyguard to you.”

“Don’t you have any evidence?” Heidi asked.

The detective shook her head. “We have nothing,” she said. “We got the guy’s crowbar, but there weren’t any prints on it. We figure he was wearing gloves.”

“What about tire tracks?” Heidi asked. “From his car?”

“The alley’s paved,” the detective replied. “And he was spinning his wheels when he left, so…” she shrugged. “Look, let me talk with the captain, maybe we can assign a car here for a day or two, to give you time to figure out some way to deal with this.” She got up and walked out of the room.

Tim, Lex, and Sergeant Dawson straightened up when the Lieutenant came out of the house and walked across the yard toward them. “Adam twenty-five, you stay here until morning shift arrives,” he said.

“How long are we going to have to babysit this lady, Loo?” Sergeant Dawson asked. “I’m short of units on this shift as it is.”

“Couple of days, max,” the Lieutenant said. “I know we’re short-handed. The detectives have advised the lady who lives here to find someplace else to stay for a while. We’ll watch her for a few days until she can find a place.”

“I guess we’ll have to manage,” the sergeant said.

“What about when she goes to work?” Tim asked, without thinking.

“That’s day shift’s problem,” the lieutenant said.

“The lieutenant said we’ll be able to assign a car to you for a couple of days,” the detective told Heidi. “But no longer. I really recommend that you find some place safe to stay.”

“All…all right,” Heidi said. “I’ll see what I can do.”

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