Dripping With Suspicion 4
Part Four—This Just Got Complicated
Hamilton’s eyes widen, and his jaw drops as he replaces the receiver on the hook. “Something is wrong, let’s go to Curtis’ office, I’ll explain on the way.” He says to Lot and Keon.
Passing in front of the clerk he instructs her to reschedule all appointments on today’s calendar and hurries towards his car. Lot and Keon follow him without question. In the car Hamilton says “I believe that Steve is in deep trouble. Curtis didn’t say what it was and that is unlike him. What do you know Lot?”
“Just what I told you, she…….” The puttering sound of a low flying helicopter heading west towards Ridgemeadow Hospital drowns Lot’s last words.
“What the devil! What could be happening at Ridgemeadow?” Keon asks, straining his neck to see exactly where the copter was landing. “Another looney has gotten out or in” he mutters.
“Maybe Kip knows, I’ll get him on the phone” Lot says.
Hamilton tells Keon “Call Sabrina, maybe she knows something.”
Lot’s hands trembles as he tries to call Kip. The car comes to a screeching halt as the traffic lights turn from a quick yellow to red in time for them to see a familiar face meandering along the road. Once the man recognizes Hamilton; he gives them a quick wave and speeds off.
“We can’t run after him; we have to get to Curtis, just keep trying to get ahold of Kip, Lot.”
Meanwhile at the Hospital …
A cool gush of air seeps through the crevasses of the window and flows over Steve’s half naked body quickly followed by the sound of a helicopter. She scrambles for the spread as she feels the manacles around her ankles get colder.
“Now, what else could those two be up to? This is ridiculous!” she says.
As if on que, Steve hears keys jingling at the door. The handle turns clockwise and then counter-clockwise. She pulls the spread up to her neck and sits up on the bed. The door opens.
Leaving Drippings Health Club—Dojo’s …
"I said I didn't do anything to your car!" Chris Merewether tosses the wet towel into the hamper.
His older brother, Kip (Steven Elliot Merewether IV), stands nude in the Dojo's shower room. The brothers have just finished their workout. Now the argument continues. Both men square off as if participants in a western gun fight on a dusty street. Kip says nothing. He waits. He knows his kid brother.
Chris blinks first. "I didn't take the car, Kip," his tone contrite. "But I may have bumped it with my bike."
"Thanks, bro," says Kip. "That's all I wanted to hear."
Kip grabs a towel and dries off while Chris gets dressed. The brothers could be twins except for the color of their eyes. They both favor blue jeans, cowboy boots, and denim jackets. Their attire always draws stares from visitors, but the locals are used to the pair’s ensemble. Their beer of choice is Guinness’ Extra Stout. Sometimes when feeling sociable, they’ll have it with a few friends mixed with gin, rum, port, brandy, and whiskey.
"Come on," says Kip. "I'll treat ya to a hamburger."
Chris smiles. "Think ya can afford it?"
"I'll just take it out of the money you owe me for the dent in my car!" Kip punches Chris in the shoulder, sending him toward the exit.
Outside the Dojo, the brothers get into Kip's Jeep Wrangler. On the passenger side a dent creases the steel blue color. Chris looks at the dent then at his brother. "Lil brother," he says silently, "you're gonna owe me for this."
The Jeep's engine purrs with power. The brothers fasten their seat belts and Kip punches the gas pedal.
"Ya think Dad's gonna forgive Bobby for losing his cool?"
Kip shakes his head. "I have no idea what Dad's gonna do." The Jeep changes lanes. "If it were up to me, I'd singe Bobby's tail feathers and watch him run!"
"I think Dad should forgive Bobby. I don't think it was all Uncle Bobby's fault anyway."
"Wonder where that helicopter's going."
Chris follows his brother's line of sight. Helicopters are not a strange sight in Dripping Springs but to see one flying so low is odd.
"Who knows," shrugs Chris. "And who cares? No concern of ours."
The Jeep comes to a stop in front of Jimmy's Bar and Grill. Unlatching his seat belt, Kip gets out of the Jeep. "Okay, little brother, first beer is on you."
The latch refuses to give up the seat belt and Chris clicks impatiently.
“You’ve got to get this thing fixed, Kip. Every time I ride with you it takes me thirty minutes to get out of the damn thing,” Chris groans.
“Well that’s easy to fix,” Kip informs his little brother. “Stay out of my Jeep.”
“Go on and order us a beer, Kip. I going to call Steve and see if she wants to join us. She’s always complaining how we never spend enough time with her.”
Walking into the bar, Kip pauses just long enough to quickly scan the room. This was a habit he’d acquired from his training in Special Forces and has proven an asset in his present line of work. As usual business at the grill is quite good and the only booth available is just inside the front door. Before the waitress can make her way to them, Chris has joined his brother.
“I didn’t get Steve. Just her voice mail,” Chris says as he reaches for the menu.
“That’s unusual,” Kip replies.
“Well, maybe she and Hamilton are busy,” Chris replies smiling.
“Maybe,” Kip wonders. “But I think that cell has grown to our sister’s hand.”
To Be Continued ...
© 2018 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS