Romeo Jones Prequel: As a Deputy United States Marshal Fugitive Hunting in the Poconos

by Craig Hartranft on November 26, 2015

in Crime Fiction, Ideas, Starts, and Short Stories, Romeo Jones

“Well. No shit,” said Rome raising an eyebrow.

“Yeah. I call it the Great Junior Year Disaster,” Lois said pushing the door shut.

“Is that so? What happened?”

“Usual high school teenage girl bullshit. I was a junior, and thought the senior baseball player on the hot corner was just that. I wanted to score some hot popular guy, take him to the Prom, and impress my friends.’

“Did you?”

“They were impressed alright, everybody thought Porter was handsome, Yu know, broad shoulders, square jaw, amazing blue eyes, thick head of brown hair, and a nice tight ass. But I nearly lost my virginity to big man on campus Ray Ray Porter. Post prom was like an adventure in dueling with an octopus in the front seat of Toyota Corolla.”

“So the guy was a total sleaze.”

“I’ve got a few more words than that for him. Starting with asshole,” she said. Despite the bitterness and anger in her tone, her shoulders relaxed, her arms rested gently at her sides. She looked at Jones, and added. “But I thought you guys would have talked to his friends and relatives.”

“We did and we still are,” he answered. Gesturing forward, Jones invited her to seat at the small sofa against the wall to the left of the bedroom door. Anderson groaned and rolled to his other side in the bedroom.

“But we don’t necessarily delve into high school dating relationships. Besides how long ago would that be? Seven, eight years, and well before he became involved in criminal activity.”

Rome wandered over to the mini-fridge looking for some refreshments, hopefully some airplane bottles of liquor. He said, “You want a drink?”

“Sure. Why not. It’s only ten.”

“Your choices are generic cola and diet cola, and average quality vodka and bourbon.”

“What’s the vodka?”

“Stoli”

“Ugh. That Russian piss water gives me an instant headache.”

“Bourbon it is then,” said Rome grabbing two minis of Evan Williams “Ice?”

“What bourbon?”

“Evan Williams.”

“Most definitely.”

An ice bucket with an imitation word grain shell sat on top of the fridge. Rome pulled the trays from the freezer section, cracked them into the bucket, then dropped three cubes each into the plastic rocks glasses. He didn’t pour the whiskey, but walked over to Lois Hawkins and handed her one bottle and one glass.

“ Thanks,” she said as she poured the alcohol. Rome did the same. “Sorry for how we started. How you found me.” She sipped at her drink. Rome waited. “It probably didn’t look all that Kosher from your point of view.”

“Not entirely. But it wasn’t unusual.”

“Yeah?”

“Harry’s a good Marshal, actually a heck of nice guy,” Rome said taking a large taste, and then giving a slight grimace at the Williams hitting his throat.

Lois smiled, “It does that doesn’t it.”

“Yeah. It does. Makes me remember why I like 12 year old Scotch so much.”

“Never had the pleasure,” Lois said.

“You’d like it.”

She nodded, then glancing over her left shoulder, “You were saying about your partner.”

“Yeah.” Then another sip, smaller this time. “Good marshal. Nice guy.”

“He gets these cute dimples when he smiles. He was smiling a lot,” she said. “He seemed like a nice guy.”

“But here’s the thing with Harry Anderson.” Rome leaned into the coffee table closer to Lois. She moved closer as well as if expecting a whisper. He pointed to the bedroom with his drink. “He likes these field operations, especially ones that require several nights of overnight accommodations. I gives him more opportunities to chase tail and cheat on his wife.”

“Shit. He’s married.” Lois sat up straight. “That bastard. He didn’t have a ring on.”

“You think that’s always a clue? Because, if you are, I’d say you’re pretty damn naive,” Rome said. “You didn’t think to pry?”

“I’m usually pretty good it sorting them out with some subterfuge.”

“Good word.”

“Yeah. It is. I guess it didn’t work out.”

“Well,” said Jones leaning back. “It’s for the better.”

“Sure is.” She drank.

Rome sipped again, grimaced again. “I’m not talking about him being married.”

“What then.”

Pointing once more with his bourbon, Rome decided to tell a tale, saying. “Harry Anderson. That boy. He’s what you call a serial sex fiend.”

“No way.” Her shoulders tensed and she frowned

“Yes. He’s a regular pervert. Who knows how many woman he’s had. Or how many diseases that smile and dimples are disguising.”

“That’s disgusting,” she said, dragging at her bourbon. “I may need another one of these.”

“At the very least.”

Thinking how much fun he was going to have with Harry tomorrow, Rome ramped up the spin.

“Personally, I’ve been out on ten field operations with him in the last ten months. More than a few times I slept in the car or, if there were other Marshals along, on the floor of their room. And you know what?”

Lois shook her head.

“And the idiot never tells me. We’re at some bar, and the next thing you know he’s gone. I’m thinking, “Shit. Here we go again.” And every time I’m right.”

“I’ll take that next drink,” she said swallowing the last of the first, “and a change of subject.”

“Alright.” Rome took her cup and empty mini and tossed them both in the wicker waste basket with white trash liner. He poured her bourbon on ice, took another bottle for himself, just in case, and returned to her. “Let’s get back to Ray Ray Porter.”

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