This serial story is posted one chapter per week on Fridays, in unedited (draft) form. It may contain adult situations that might not be suitable for children. Missed a few chapters? Email me to catch up. Thanks for reading, and enjoy!
No, I still haven’t decided on the title. One should come to me eventually. Just gotta keep writing….
Rattlesnake Falls Book 1
“Just come with us, Ma’am, and we’ll get this all straightened out with the police. No point in upsetting these people any further though. Let’s go.”
The man doing the talking had a tight, grip, but sympathetic eyes, and Shelley quit fighting. She had no idea what the hell was wrong with her aunt, but as soon as she had the cops pull her birth certificate, she was definitely going to get to the bottom of it.
Her guard stopped and turned to look behind them. “Excuse me, sir, but this is a private matter.”
“I’m with her. And until you hand her over to the real cops, I go where she goes.”
Dillon. Shelley wasn’t sure whether to be embarrassed or grateful, so looked over her shoulder and gave him a small smile. He winked at her, and then held up his cell phone.
“I’ve already called a lawyer — he’ll be here in fifteen minutes. Unless you’re taking her directly to the station, in which case I’ll call him back and tell him to meet us there.”
The guard didn’t look pleased. “Follow along then. We’ll wait outside for the cops to get here.”
They made their way down the hall and out the front doors, into the crisp early morning air. A thin thread of orange and pink was just starting to break behind the mountains, signaling a beautiful sunrise on the way. Shelley shivered. A long, sleepless night was no match for a mountain daybreak.
“She’s cold,” Dillon said, holding out his jacket. “I assume you have no objections to letting her stay warm while we wait?”
“As long as you don’t mind if we check it for weapons first.”
Dillon nodded and the guard took it, quickly checking the pockets. Finding nothing, he handed it to Shelley who gratefully pulled it on.
“Thank you,” she murmured, giving Dillon a wan smile. The coat smelled like him, and she pulled the collar up higher to get a better whiff.
Two police cars pulled up without fanfare, and as both officers were getting out, a dark sedan pulled in behind them. One of the officers approached the guard, looking a little annoyed.
“What’s this about, Dan? We were just sitting down for coffee.”
The guard motioned to Shelley. “Family in the critical care unit claims this woman is an impostor, and has been for years. The unit is family only for visitation, and she went against policy and bothered the patient. We had to remove her from the premises until we know for sure that she is who she says she is.”
The officer raised an eyebrow, and then looked at Shelley. “So what did you do to piss your family member off so badly?”
Shelley almost smiled. Thank God. A logical person, finally.
“You might not want to answer that, honey.” The man she’d seen getting out of the sedan strolled up looking somewhat casual in jeans, boots, a crisp white button down shirt and a bolo tie. “Thing is, these gentlemen don’t need to know whether you did anything or not, they just need to know that you are who you say you are, since you were accused of not bein’ that person. And I’ve got a copy of your birth certificate that should clear this mess up, if your driver’s license doesn’t.”
Shelley frowned. How had he gotten a copy of that so quickly? She was about to ask, but the officer laughed, and shook the man’s hand.
“Good to see you, Preston. It’s been awhile.” He turned to the guard. “What’s her license say, Dan? Think it’s a fake?”
The guard looked sheepish. “Honestly, I hadn’t gotten around to asking for it yet. We just got out here two minutes before you pulled up.”
Dillon held up a plastic card. “Here. I got it out of her purse.”
The officer took the card, looking it over closely. “And you are?”
“A friend of Shelley’s. Dillon Riley.”
“You seem pretty confident in her identity. I take it you’ll vouch for her?”
“How long have you known Ms. Franks?”
Dillon thought for a minute, “Not quite a week. Or maybe just a week. Somewhere around there. It’s been busy lately.”
The officer raised an eyebrow. “That’s barely enough time to exchange phone numbers. How do you know she’s not just pulling your leg like she’s accused of doing with everyone else?”
Shelley waited just as anxiously as everyone else for the answer — maybe moreso. When his eyes met her, they were apologetic.
“Because I had Preston here run a full background check on her the night we met.”
Thanks for reading! Check back next week for Chapter 24!
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