I thought I would give you all a little sneak peek into my work in progress. I’m currently working on Fire and Agate, the third story in the Carlisle Deputies series. The second, Fire and Granite will release in July.
This is the very opening of the book. I’d love to know what you think.
“Chris,” Briggs said as he stalked into the locker room like a man on a mission. His gaze was hard and his posture as rigid as a two by four. Anger and discontent rolled off him in waves the way they had for the month since Chris had moved from Jail duty. Two years of whining and demanding prisoners who either thought that being in jail was the worst thing to ever happen to them. Those were the ones Chris was pretty sure were never going to see the inside of a cell again if they could help it. The demanding prisoners who thought a jail cell should be a like a suite at the Hilton. And then there were the repeat offenders who thought of the jail as home and a chance at three meals a day. God, he had hated every minute of it. The constant noise of men and women, talking, fighting, yammering on about nothing just to keep talking so the reality of the shit they were in didn’t close in around them.
“What can I do for you?” He smiled as best he could. Briggs had been instrumental in getting him off jail duty and into the sheriff’s office, so he owed the guy.
“It’s not me. His majesty wants to see you.” Briggs turned, flashing a beam of damn near hatred out the door. Not that Chris blamed the guy. After Sheriff Hunter had decided to retire, Briggs had stepped in as acting Sheriff at Hunter’s request. The entire department had been pretty happy about it. Briggs was well respected and good at his job. The county board had other ideas and did some lame assed search and low and behind, they appointed their current sheriff, a political appointee, to the office. That had been a month ago and Briggs still hadn’t gotten over it.
“Thanks.” He checked that his uniform was perfect because that was what Sheriff Vitalli liked. He was all about how things looked and appeared. It didn’t seem to matter how things got done as long as he looked good. At least that was the general feeling in the locker room. “I’ll go right away.”
Briggs rolled his eyes. “He’s on a call, so give him five minutes.” Vitalli liked everyone to wait for him and he never wanted to wait for anyone or anything. Which would be fine if he were good at his job. He wasn’t particularly, at least Chris didn’t think so.
“Okay.” Chris wanted to say something to Briggs. He really thought a lot of him and he owed him one, but anything that came to mind sounded completely lame to him, so he was quiet and showed the man the respect he thought he deserved.
“Do you want something?” Briggs asked, taking a step closer.
Chris realized he’d sank into this thoughts and had been looking at nothing in particular. Briggs must have thought he was staring at him. “No.” He turned away and closed his locker. “I’ll see you around.” He left the room and headed up to there the big guy had his office.
The office door was closed and Chris sat in the chair outside to wait. Things had changed a lot in a month. Everyone was quiet around the office. The people who worked near the sheriff all speaking in whispers. Mario didn’t like noise and talking meant people weren’t working. It was ridiculous because to him, in a sheriff’s office, talking meant work was getting done and investigations were being discussed and moving forward.
The door opened and Mario, Sheriff Vitalli, tilted his head inside. Chris snapped to his feet and went in, closing the door. “Good morning.”
“Anducci,” he said taking his seat behind the desk. Chris couldn’t miss the file that sat there and wondered if he was being sent back to the jail. The thought made his stomach clench. He’d worked hard and diligently to get out of there. “I have an assignment for you.” He pushed the file off to the side as though he had made a decision of some type. Chris wondered if it was good or bad.
“Yes, sir,” he said quietly, hoping to hell that he wasn’t on his way back. His stomach did a little, awkward, acidic flip and no matter what, he was going to have to go back to his locker for an antacid.
She shook his head and scoffed. “Everyone seems to think that this office is some kind of protection service.” He sneered and Chris kept his mouth shut. It was their job to protect the public. It was why they became police officers in the first place. At least it was why he had become one. Granted most people would think him idealistic, but so the fuck what. “Are you listening?”
“Yes,” Chris answered quickly.
“I got a request form a social worker.” He yanked open a drawer and pulled out a thin file, tossing it on the desk dramatically. “The cops in Carlisle busted up a drug house and found some alien there. In their touchy feely world, they set about helping him and found out he was brought here against their will.” He rolled his eyes. “I’m not buying it, but no one asked me my opinion. It was a man…” The sheriff paused as if he were expecting some sort of agreement to his ignorance and short sightedness.
“Human trafficking takes many forms,” Chris said and cleared his throat when the sheriff frowned deeply. “What would you like me to do?”
He groaned dramatically. “The social services folks find these people safe places to live, but one of them has been found out. Apparently he’s preparing to testify against these people, and now he’s been getting threats. The Feds, DA, and Social Services are all asked for protection for this guy and it’s falling on me to provide it. So…” He picked up the file, thrusting it toward Chris. “It’s you.”
“Me?” He took the file and tucked it under his arm. He wasn’t going to read it while standing in front of the sheriff’s desk. Sheriff Vitalli turned back to his empty desk, grabbing the first piece of paper he could find. “Is there anything else?”
He didn’t think he was going to answer, but them the sheriff lifted his gaze. “Don’t screw this up. It’s an easy job, so just do it and be done.” He turned away, back to his papers and Chris took it for a dismissal and left the office, closing the door behind him. Chris sighed with relief and went to his old metal desk at the back of the station and placed the file on the empty surface. He was usually out on patrol or working with one of the other deputies, so he spent very little time here. There were no pictures or papers, just a phone and a few files hanging in one of the drawers. It would be so easy for him to pack up what little he had here and move on. Part of him, some fear deep inside, wondered how long he would stay before being sent back to jail duty.