He would eventually call her, yes, but things would be different.

Blue lights flashed in the rearview mirror. John caught the color out of the corner of his eye. He looked and saw an unmarked police car behind him. Suddenly one loud chirp of the siren blasted and he pulled to the shoulder of Mount Pleasant Road right next to a vegetable stand.

An old man tending to the stand stared at all the commotion.

John waited, watching the officer in his rearview mirror. The officer was probably running the plates and seeing them come up on his in-car computer screen as Brad Carrey of Pungo, Virginia. If the officer was someone he knew it would be a blessing.

Finally the door to the unmarked car opened and a tall man stepped out, putting his official stiff brimmed hat squarely on his head. He looked in both directions along Mount Pleasant Road and then casually walked up to John's open window. The face was not familiar but the voice was.

"You know why I stopped you?" he asked, eyes squinting and lips parted.

John smiled. "Wild guess here, but the sticker."

"You realize how old it is?"

"I could go on about the kind of week I've been having, but that might bring you to tears. To tell you the truth, this is my friend's van. I'm using it because I've been followed and shot at twice. Should I go on?"

"Nope. You look familiar. You a cop?"


John was glad he did not have to awkwardly bring it up on his own. This was going to get him out of any possible ticket that the officer was prepared to write. "No. But I used to be. Now I'm a private eye."

The officer with the name Tucker etched into a silver pin on his shirt pocket said, "Then you should know better." He tore off a yellow slip of paper from the pad he was holding and handed it to the speechless private eye.

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