8PM FRIDAY NIGHT-
It's a busy night at The Smiling Goat, Carol and Frankie are at the bar
waiting for their drinks. Both are obviously feeling very awkward and
avoiding eye contact. Finally Carol turns, "I know you probably don't want
to hear this from me right now, but I think you made the right decision to
stay in Stuckeyville."
A vulnerable smile comes across Frankie's face as she bobs her head a
moment, then replies, "You are right I don't really want to hear that from
you right now but, heaven knows I try not to let you down. And when did you
say everyone else was getting here?"
Carol looks confused for a moment, "Well, they aren't..."
Frankie blurts out not able to contain her exasperation. "They aren't? They
aren't as in...they all had something suddenly come up or they aren't as in
you lied to get me here so we can have yet another meaningful conversation
about"...she makes the quotation symbols with her hands "recent events."
She takes a deep breath, "I don't think I can handle another meaningful
conversation with you or Ed about recent events."
Carol tries to explain, "Look, I just think you and I need to sit down,
have a drink or two...or a six pack and talk about some of the things that
have happened between us?"
"You mean like how you all but pushed Ed to get involved with me, then
changed your mind and stole him away and then basically jumped up and down
on my life in front of everyone?"
Carol slowly nods, "I wouldn't put it quite like that, but yeah, like that
kind of stuff. There has been just so many things going on and I really
want to try to clear the air between us, so maybe someday...probably not
today...but someday, we could be friends. Ed and I were totally mixed up
and confused. You just got caught in the middle...but I really do like you.
We all do."
Frankie crosses her arms in judgment, "Friends? Why do you care if I like
you or not? You won right? To the victor go the...the...festivities."
"I'm not sure I know what that means exactly," Carol says with a confused
Frankie shrugs, "It means nothing. It's not important. Fine, you want to
talk, so talk. I guess sooner or later, we are going to have to come up
with some sort of truce. It's not like I can avoid you forever, now can I?"
They get their drinks and head to the table at the front of the restaurant
they had reserved in the smiling goat tradition of placing their jackets on
the backs of their chairs. They both give each other a confused look as
they immediately notice that their jackets are gone and that now there are
two men drinking sodas at their table. Both men look like they are in their
early thirties, and the man facing away from the door looks like a serious
weightlifter. Carol approaches the two men and says, "I'm sorry, but were
there two coats draped on the backs of these chairs?"
The man facing the doorway turns to her and says, "Yeah, we moved them over
there." Carol and Frankie both turn to where he had pointed and see their
jackets thrown on to a table towards the back of the saloon.
Frankie steps forward, "and why exactly would you move our jackets to take
our table when there is a perfectly good and available table right there? I
only mention it because you obviously knew there was a table available
right there, having put our jackets on it."
Carol places a hand on Frankie's arm and in a trying to make peace tone
says, "Hey, it's ok. There's our jackets...mystery solved, right? No harm
done." Both men look from Carol to Frankie and begin to chuckle.
The weightlifter opposite the doorway says, "I'm really sorry, it's nothing
personal, we aren't usually jerks, but we really need to be sitting right
by the doorway. It's very important."
Frankie chimes in a loud voice, "Well, do you know what I think is
important? This is Carol Vessey...Last week, Carol stole my boyfriend, who
I have to work with in the same office every day. She lied to get me here
so we can sign some sort of peace accord so she can stop feeling sorry for
me. Now don't you think that sounds important too?"
Carol shakes her head a few times as if trying to decide whether to faint
or run for her life. Carol looks over and says to the two men, "I think
STOLE is a touch strong. I mean it's all very complicated, you see..." The
two men begin laughing in earnest.
The man facing the doorway cuts Carol off and says to Frankie, "You
wouldn't happen to be a lawyer would you?"
Frankie looks confused for the first time, "Yes, how did you know?"
"You can just tell...you also talk very fast." The first man says with a
smirk while leaning back in his chair.
"I DO NOT TALK FAST!" Frankie then turns to Carol and in a lower voice
asks, "I don't talk fast, do I?"
Carol shrugs and says, "As compared to-er-" Frankie gives her an evil
glare. "No, no, not at all."
Frankie turns back to the man with a triumphant look on her face. "See."
Just then squawking voices begin to come from both men's jackets. The first
man pulls a radio out of his jacket revealing a pistol in a shoulder
holster. He then replies into it, "Talk to me Jackie." Both Frankie and
Carol step back. The weightlifter says, "It's ok, we're legit." He opens
his coat to reveal a badge on his holster.
A female voice from the radio begins to talk, "Well, it looks like you are
losing your touch, Spence. Our boys and girl are holed up county at his
cousin's house. They went right past you. Better high tail it on out of
"Crap!" The second man at the table exclaims while quickly getting up. He
turns to Carol and Frankie while moving past them, he turns and says,
"Really sorry about the table, you can have it back now."
The first man facing the doorway also getting up, says without looking at
them, "Here let us buy your drinks, it's on the US Marshals today, ok?" as
he puts a twenty dollar bill on the table. And making eye contact with
Frankie, he inquires, "Now I know she's Carol, and you are?"
"I'm a fast talking lawyer, you just bought a drink," Frankie says while
scooping up the twenty and going over to the table with their coats. Both
men are laughing as they rush out the door.
8AM SATURDAY MORNING-
Ed is polishing lane six when Frankie walks into Stuckeybowl. She looks
like she is going to walk over to Ed and say something, but hesitates then
rushes into the office. Ed sighs audibly then follows her into the office.
As he approaches Frankie's desk, she appears to be unloading all of her
things from a box on the desk, "So how did it go with Carol last night?"
Frankie ignores him and continues taking her things from the box and
placing them back on the desk. "Ok, ok." He pauses for a moment, looks
around as if waiting for reinforcements then continues, "Frankie, what are
you doing here, and what's with the box?"
Without looking up she replies as she continues to put her things away,
"What do you mean, what am I doing here? I do still work here, don't I?
Unless of course, you weren't really ready to commit as an employer either.
Maybe you changed your mind...it's been known to happen." Ed frowns at the
remark. "And as for the box...Shirley was nice enough to pack up all my
belongings for me...for the third time this week."
"I'll talk to her...and I only meant, that I told you to take some time
off, AND it's a Saturday. You don't have to work today. There's nothing
pressing, everything can wait at least until Monday."
Frankie finally looks up and asks, "Ed, do you know what a stylite is?"
Ed looking confused replies, "Well...ah...I do watch "The Learning
Channel"...sometimes...if that adds any context, but I don't quite place
the term..." And then with slight grins starts, "Boy, that show where they
decorate stuff...man...they come up with some pretty wild stuff. There were
purple couches, track lighting and style lights as far as the eye could
see. Or did you say the Chi-lites...I used to like a song by them called
'Betcha By Golly Wow.'"
Frankie shakes her head, and as she walks around the desk begins, "Stylites
were monks over a thousand years ago. You see the proper way to become a
monk is to give up everything you have, and move out into the wilderness to
become closer to God. But some monks found they didn't like living in the
wilderness so they climbed on top of these huge Greek-type columns right in
the center of everything and they would vow to never come down. Many lived
on top of these columns for years and years, always close to people, but
never really living amongst them. You see, stylites wanted to feel like
they were living in isolation, but not really be alone. I'm like a stylite,
Ed looks perplexed then says, "so coming to work on your day off is getting
you closer to god?"
"No. I am like a stylite, in that, I don't really want to live a life in
exile. Don't get me wrong, I'm am still sooo ticked off, but I would rather
be an island unto myself surrounded by other islands, know what I mean? I
don't even have any girlfriends to get drunk and burn you in effigy with.
Being here in Stuckeybowl is all I really have."
Ed looks thoughtful for a moment, nods then says, "Ok, fair enough. Look
Frankie, all I can say is you will always have a place here, if you want
it. It may not be like you or I thought it would be, but there is still a
place." Ed decides to try a smile. "Besides where else am I going to find
another partner that will work for as little as I pay you."
There is a pause and Frankie actually breaks into a smile also. "Well, now
that you aren't buying me dinners anymore, we may need to talk about that."
Ed nods, "wow, I think this is the first time you and I have both smiled at
the same time in weeks. Listen Frankie, I just want you to know that I
really care about you and I'm not the only one around here who does. Things
are going to get better. Maybe someday, you'll even want to come down off
Frankie looks like she is ready to cry, "Thanks...I...uh...actually really
needed to hear that today. Can I have the office for a moment,
I...um...need to make a phone call or something."
Just then Phil bursts into the office. "Did you make her cry again? You are
unbelievable!" Phil begins shaking his finger at Ed. "Don't think I'm not
on to you, Mr. Drive in and leave em Stevens. Frankie, you just say the
word and I will knock him around like a third grade boy named Suzy."
Posturing at Ed but talking to Frankie, "I mean it, I will go totally
Matrix on his ass."
"Phil! I didn't do anything. We were just talking." Ed tries to explain.
Frankie crosses over to leave the office stopping beside Phil, and in an
almost whisper voice says, "Thanks, Phil." Then she adds with a quick
smile, "The original Matrix or the sequel?"
"Sister, one sign from you and I will unleash the entire trilogy on him, I
will do stuff they don't even have special effects for yet. You don't know
me, I don't know you, we NEVER had this conversation. I think you know what
I am saying." Phil says with a wink and a knowing nod.
Frankie looks over at Ed, "I think just the original Matrix treatment would
be sufficient, no reason to make him suffer...much." She pats Phil's arm
and then turns to leave the office. "You know, I think I will take the rest
of the day off."
As she is leaving, Ed calls out, "So how did it go with Carol last night?"
Frankie turns and gives him a melancholy look, "I am sure she already told
you. It went fine, I'm sure she is one of those that care so much about
me." And then she continues on.
"Actually, she is." Ed calls out as she reaches the double front doors.
They both watch her walk out the front doors, then Phil turns to Ed, "Man,
what a prima donna, am I right Bosco? It is just non-stop with that one.
High maintenance as an English sports car." Then elbowing Ed he continues,
"Although, I can see why you'd want to keep an extra around, just in case.
I mean the blonde has jerked you around more than a tilt-a-whirl, am I
right? Hey, did you catch the paper this morning? Looks like there was a
shooting just outside of Jaspertown last night. One more good reason not to
live in Jaspertown."
Ed starts to go back to the alley polisher, then stops and turns as if he
is going to say something to Phil, but then continues back.
10AM SATURDAY MORNING-
Frankie walks around the park like a defeated general surveying her last
battlefield, her head hung low and her steps slow and cautious. She isn't
crying, but appears able at a moments notice.
As she walks, a man leaning against the opposite side of a lamppost swings
around just a few feet in front of her path. Startled she takes a step
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to scare you. I was just hoping to get your
Frankie settles from her scare, once she recognizes the man, she whispers
to herself, "Just when I thought my day couldn't get any worse...Fonesca."
Then she says to him, "So where's the black cape and bad mustache, the
accompanying demons playing homage to your evil schemes?" A small smile
crosses her face, "or did you come here to offer me a fiddle of gold
against my soul, if I think I'm better than you."
Fonesca laughs and says, "The devil went down to Stuckeyville? Doesn't
quite ring does it? Trust me, I'm no devil. In fact, I am here with no
other reason than to help you."
Frankie looks defiant, "Help me, I don't really see how YOU could possibly
help me. If I was trying to communicate with a snake, and needed an
interpreter, maybe...but no, I don't see anything you can do for me. And
why would you think that I need or would even accept your help?"
Frankie begins walking again but, Fonesca falls into step with her,
"Stuckeyville is a small town...things get around. Like you and Ed breaking
up, I just couldn't believe it when I heard. It feels like it was just
yesterday, you were in the courtroom slugging it out against me for
him...and then wham!" He emphasizes his point by slamming one fist into his
other hand. "He up and dumps you for another girl. Doesn't sound right to
"It wasn't that simple, and I am surely not going to discuss this with you,
so good-bye." Frankie spits out as she tries to walk past him. Fonesca
continues walking beside her, but Frankie is walking fast, he is having
trouble keeping up, and he starts to lose his breath.
Finally he stammers, "Hey, will you slow down? It's really hard to do this
when I'm about to pass out."
"If only I were so lucky," Frankie replies, but she has stopped. "Look,
just leave me alone. Maybe things aren't great between Ed and I, but I
don't see how that's any of your concern."
Fonesca is out of breath but says with a slight gasp, "Come work for
me...you and I would make an unbeatable team...and we'll sue him for sexual
harassment. I hate to see an employer...a lawyer, no less, who should know
better...get away with violating the virtue of such a splendid and talented
young woman such as yourself. It makes me ashamed to be in the same
profession as him. You owe it to working women everywhere to pursue this.
We...er...you need to punish Ed Stevens and make him pay...pay big time.
Admit it, you would love to get both of them back. And I can help you do
Just then Frankie notices a man sitting on the park bench down the path.
She recognizes him from somewhere but isn't sure from where. Distracted,
she begins to walk away from Fonesca. Remembering that he is there
suddenly, she turns to him. "You obviously don't know me very well. I would
never work for you...with you...I don't even enjoy working against you, and
I certainly have no intentions of suing Ed, so do I have to spray garlic
and holy water to get rid of you or can I just say Beetlejuice three
Fonesca turns, but before leaving says, "Just think about it. No rush, no
need to decide today, but think about it."
Frankie starts walking towards the man on the park bench. As she comes
within ten feet of him, she remembers where she has seen him before. He is
one of the obnoxious US Marshals that stole her table at The Smiling Goat,
he is the one that gave her $20 for their drinks last night. She thinks to
herself that she should either turn the other way or just walk past him,
but she can't help but look at him. He is slouched with his head down as he
sits and he is holding a bottle wrapped in a paper bag. He appears to be
wearing the same clothes he had on the day before. Before she can stop
herself, she says, "Looks like you are having the same kind of day I am
having. I'm sure US Marshals are a tough bunch, but isn't it a little early
to be hitting the bottle?"
She sees that his eyes are almost completely bloodshot and it looks like he
has been crying hard and long. Without ever looking directly at her, he
struggles to smile, "Ah, the fast talking lawyer from The Smiling Goat last
night, am I right?" He sniffs as if trying to hold back emotions.
She smiles and says, "Yeah, that's me. Now what are you doing drinking away
a perfectly good day like this?"
He looks off for a moment and a thoughtful expression comes over him, "Ya
know, I am really sorry about your table last night. Really, really sorry.
I meant to get your name, but we kinda had to run, ya know?"
Frankie hesitates for a moment, but then sits down next to him. She asks,
"so where is your friend from last night? Shouldn't he be making sure you
make it home or something?"
The man let's out a small sad laugh, "Funny thing about Sam...that's his
name by the way...Sam...Well, Sam got shot last night, or he would be
here...let me assure you of that. He was always good about keeping me out
of trouble...good ole' Sam. I never really called him, good ole' Sam, but I
really shoulda. Sam's a real good guy...the absolute best." He looks like
he might sob, but then he swallows very hard and regains his self control
and Frankie notices that his hands are slightly shaking.
Frankie puts her hand on his shoulder, "My god, I am so sorry. I had no
idea. That is terrible. Is he going to be ok?"
"No, no he's not..." He is forced to swallow hard again to control himself.
"I am sorry I never did get your name."
"Frankie. Frankie Hector." He roughly shakes her hand.
"Well, it is a pleasure to finally meet you, Frankie. I'm Spencer James,
everyone calls me Spence."
Frankie looks again at the bag in his hand. Spencer sees her watching and
asks, "Oh, I'm sorry, how absolutely rude of me. Would you like some?" He
hands her the bottle in the bag.
She takes the bag, but doesn't drink. "No thanks, but I think you've had
quite enough." She looks closer at the bag and notices something odd. She
pulls the bottle out of the bag, and finds that it's a bottle of orange
Seeing the perplexed look on Frankie's face, Spencer laughs, "What did you
think it was, Jack Daniels?"
Frankie looks perplexed, "Do you like people thinking you are the park wino
or something? Or do you always drink your juice in a paper bag. I
Spencer gives a defensive look. "Oh, I know what you thought. And quite
Frankly Miss Hector, after the night I have had, I don't really care what
you or anyone else around here thinks. I came to the park because I needed
to get some fresh air. I've been up all night going over and over things I
would have every right in the world to drink to forget. Trust me, if you
had the night I have had, you wouldn't care either...Imagine the absolute
worst moment of your life, then being interviewed, poked and prodded about
that moment for hours on end. And then sitting there the next day trying to
figure it all out. Trying to figure out what you did wrong...imagine that,
and you might just begin to know how I feel right now. It's a big old train
ride to hell and...Hi I'm Spencer, I'll be your conductor today. I might as
well be drunk, I feel numb all over."
Frankie looks hurt and moves to stand up, "I am really sorry for your
friend, maybe I shouldn't have bothered you."
Spencer gently touches her forearm to stop her, "Wait, I'm sorry. I didn't
mean to snap at you. I really do appreciate your concern. I have always
been taught that it's the toughest moments of our lives that bring out the
best or the worst in us, and I am afraid I am not fairing very well."
Frankie looks him over for a moment then says, "Well, I guess you could be
doing worse. I mean, eventually you did remember to offer me...a swig...I
suppose that should count for something." She then takes a quick drink from
11:00AM SATURDAY MORNING...
Carol is sitting in the pie shop drinking a cup of coffee. Molly rushes in
looking as if she is about to burst. She quickly sits and studies Carol as
if ready to pounce on anything that comes out of her mouth. Carol remains
quiet for a moment. Molly finally says, "Sooo? Are you going to fill me in
or are you planning to keep me in suspense until I spontaneously combust?"
Carol begins, "There really isn't much to tell. We met at the Goat, we had
some awkward conversation, we drank and then we left. No real breakthrough
Molly smiles, "Well, you didn't kill each other...I'd say that's not bad,
if not a breakthrough of sorts."
Carol looks somber then asks, "What am I going to do, Molls? This is just
so weird, I feel absolutely horrible, part of me wishes that she had just
gone to Houston. I mean isn't there some sort of statute of limitations on
how long I need to feel guilty about this? Can't Ed and I just pay a fine
Molly gives her a sympathetic look, "Hey my dear, life is rarely so neat
and clean. Not every ex is going to move to Minnesota for the sake of
convenience. I think the trick might just be that we all need to start
treating her like a normal person, as if she just moved in. Just act like
she and Ed never did it."
Carol gets a look somewhere between confused and perturbed, "Oh I'm sorry,
for a moment I thought we were discussing things that could actually
Just then Nancy rushes in and comes up to the table. "So what did I miss?"
Molly says matter-of-factly, "They met, they felt awkward, they drank, they
both went home. That pretty much brings you right up to speed."
Carol says to Nancy, "Molly thinks treating her like a normal person will
Nancy replies, "I thought we were. In what way is she abnormal?"
Carol replies, "She slept with Ed."
Nancy looks at Carol, "Ohh...well, maybe we should do something for her
Carol gives Nancy a funny look, "Her birthday?"
Nancy nods, "Today is her birthday."
Molly asks, "How did you know today is her birthday?"
Nancy ponders for a moment, as if she is not sure what to say, but then
replies, "Ed asked Mike to help him plan something for it a few weeks ago."
Then with an unsure look at Carol, "I mean, it was no big deal."
Carol is looking directly at Nancy, as Molly asks, "What were they
Nancy avoids Carol's gaze as she says, "It had something to do with Ed and
Mike performing a Dirty Harry retrospective...you know, reenacting some
scenes from those Clint Eastwood movies."
Molly interjects as she pretends to balance things in each hand, "Edward J.
Stevens...Dirty Harry. I guess there are some similarities there."
Carol looks at her, "such as?"
"They both have blue eyes...they could have the same hairstylist."
Nancy turns to Carol; "Oh it was nothing, all I really remember is both of
those idiots walking around making comments about packing .44 magnums, if
you know what I mean." Then she continues, "I'm telling you, when those two
get together, I just have to stop listening at some point or my brain could
implode. It was just an excuse for Ed and Mike to act like morons. They did
order some props or something."
Molly smiles, "As if they ever need an excu..." Both Nancy and Carol look
at Molly waiting for her to finish her sentence, but realize she is looking
over at the doorway of the shop with her mouth ajar. They both turn to see
what has captured her attention.
Frankie is standing there with an unknown man. They have gone to the
counter and appear to be talking and smiling, although somewhat awkwardly,
at each other. Carol looks at them for a moment, then it hits her, "Oh my
gosh. I know that guy."
Nancy asks, "you do? I've never seen him before. What's his name?"
Carol replies, "I have no idea."
"How long has he been in town?"
"I have no idea."
Molly looks at her, "Carol, you just said you know the guy."
"Know him, may have been a bit of a stretch. He and another guy took our
table at the goat last night. They stole it...Frankie and he argued about
it...and then they had to run out for some reason. He's a US Marshal."
Nancy looks perplexed, "Let me get this straight a couple of US Marshals
commandeered your table last night and you didn't think that was worth
mentioning? How do you think they hooked up?"
Carol thinks for a moment then smiles, "I have no idea, but it looks like
he's wearing the same clothes he had on last night. I think they said his
name was Stuart or something."
Nancy replies in a hushed voice, "well, maybe she decided to go and find
her own Dirty Harry."
As she says this, they all watch Frankie and Spencer leave the pie shop
with their order, and begin to walk away down the sidewalk.
Molly gets a disgusted look on her face, "Well, isn't this a fine how do
Nancy and Carol both give Molly a confused look. Finally Nancy says, "What
do you mean? This is great. If Frankie has found a new guy, nobody has to
feel weird about Ed and Carol anymore. We can all finally openly celebrate
the most delayed love affair of our times."
"Great!? Are you kidding me? This gal has been in town for only a few
months and this is her third guy. Granted one of them was named Leon. But
in the last three years, I have only had two marginal boyfriends. Three
years...two guys...what a rip. All I'm saying is...Carol, the next time
your table is stolen by a couple of cute US Marshals...would it kill you to
give me a call. You know, I wouldn't mind getting a little .44 magnum
action myself, once in awhile."
Nancy quickly replies, "well, it is her birthday..."
Carol looks shocked, "I'm sorry Molly...Hey, what about you and Sean the
Molly begins explaining as she would to a small child, "Carol, my dear
sweet girl, I will let you in on a little something I have learned. Firemen
are great, so long as you have a fire that needs to be put out very badly.
But once the fire is out...you are pretty much left with a big guy in
Nancy laughs, "Sometimes I wish Mike had rubber pants. Hey, it's good to
have a guy around who can handle a large hose."
"Yeah, but it would be nice if he took it off the truck a little more
often. And sometimes it would be great if he...kicked the windows in...used
the ladder...you know, not just go straight for the hose...as it is, it's
usually a quick hose down, then back on the truck before you are even off
the phone with 911."
11:15AM SATURDAY MORNING...
Spencer and Frankie walk on the sidewalk down the road from the pie shop.
They are just finishing their coffee and pastries. Spencer finally breaks
the silence. "Wasn't that your friend from last night in there?"
Frankie avoids looking at him, "I don't think friend is quite the right
term to describe Carol, but yes...we were there together last night."
Spencer smiles as he remembers, "Oh that's right. I almost forgot. So can I
assume that you never got around to signing that peace accord? Is that why
you look as down in the mouth as I do today?"
"That's it, just keep making with the sweet talk, sailor. You really know
how to get a girl to lower her defenses. But no, nothing was signed. It was
what the diplomats call 'constructive talks'. Not that a treaty would
change the fact that thanks to her, I'm now in 'no man land'."
He stops and turns to her, "Is that why you are so sad? It seems to me a
bright, pretty and funny girl, such as yourself, could pick and choose any
guy she wanted."
"This isn't about any guy. And besides all the reasons mentioned
previously...today just happens to be my birthday. And I had nothing better
to do than go into work."
1PM SATURDAY AFTERNOON...
Mike, still wearing his white doctor's coat walks into Stuckeybowl and sees
Eli arguing with Phil at the shoe rental counter. He immediately begins
scanning the bowling alley in an attempt to spot Ed. If he can get to Ed
quickly enough, there is a slim chance he can avoid being sucked into the
Phil/Eli argument of the day. Too late...
Phil calls out, "Dr. Burton, as a man as familiar with the scientific
method as myself, would you please help me explain to the befuddled
unwashed masses here..."
"Phil, it's just me! I'm not masses, where are the masses? And nobody knows
hygiene like I do." Eli replies angrily.
"Excuse me, I believe I was talking to Dr. Burton. Now Dr. Burton, wouldn't
you agree that recent studies have shown that the power of faith can, in
Mike clears his throat, "Well Phil, there has been some small evidence...I
am saying some small evidence here...that people who believe strongly in
something can have slightly, and I mean slightly, better outcomes in
treatment...but there's been nothing conclusive published."
Phil raises his hands in victory, "Vindication my friend, has turned me
into a frolicking lamb in the field. Thank you Dr. Burton, you have been
most helpful" He turns to Eli, "here's the plan, tomorrow...Sunday...we are
having a little ole fashioned revival here. We wheel you out...you chat up
the crowd...we talk about how strong your faith has become thanks to
bowling regularly...then boom...a puff of smoke...you walk out of that
Eli looks at Dr. Burton, "thanks a lot man! Just keep on encouraging him."
Eli then turns on Phil, "Let's just pretend this isn't your dumbest idea
ever...how do you suppose I get up out of this chair?"
Phil puts his finger to his chin and ponders for a moment, "Strings."
"Yes, strings. We hook you up to wires ala Peter Pan and you are flying my
friend, and we just count the money coming in."
Just then Ed walks by with some bowling machine parts in his hands towards
his office. Mike turns to follow Ed, but then says to Eli with a smirk,
"maybe Phil is on to something. Phil, if I help acquire and package Eli's
blessed body fluids for the gift shop, do I get a piece of the action?" And
with that walks away with the sounds of Eli cursing him in his footsteps.
Ed looks at Mike as he enters the office, sits in his chair behind his desk
and says, "So are you so hard up you are going door to door now? Sorry
Mike, but two lawyers and a bowling alley are a lot on my plate. We just
don't have the room for a doctor's office. Besides a bowling alley
doctor...who is going to believe that?"
Mike quickly takes off his coat, "Dr. Jerome decided that to serve our
patients better, we needed to stay open on Saturday mornings. Apparently,
what he really meant was that I needed to stay open on Saturdays."
Ed smiles, "Sometimes working with a partner can be difficult."
Mike settles into a chair and decides to venture a question, "Speaking of
difficult partners...how is life with Frankie these days?"
Ed looks thoughtful for a moment, then replies "It hasn't been the easiest
week...yesterday, I would have said I was losing hope that we would ever be
on friendly terms again, but she came in this morning, and we seem to have
laid the first couple of stones, which I hope will be the foundation to a
whole new bridge."
Mike smiles, "you wouldn't happen to have any pictures of your old bridge
with her lying around? I love looking at pictures of bridges." Ed throws a
rag at him.
Mike decides to continue probing, "Sooo, do you know why she decided to
"You know, I have no idea. The first couple of days I thought it was just
to punish Carol and I, but now...I just have no idea really."
"Well, I don't know why she stayed, but I may have some good news." They
both turn to see Carol in the doorway of Ed's office. She walks over to Ed
and kisses him, then sits on the edge of his chair with her arm around him.
Ed looks up at her, "what good news?"
Carol smiles at him, "While we were at the pie shop today, she came in with
a new guy. A cute new guy. A very cute new guy. A very cute new guy that we
met last night. A very cute new guy that we met last night that was wearing
the same clothes this morning as he was last night. A very cute new guy..."
Ed gently cuts her off, "I think we get the idea. Who is it? She came in to
work this morning and didn't mention it."
Carol shrugs, "some US Marshal...his name is Stuart or Steven or something
Ed replies to Mike, "and apparently he's cute."
Mike smiles at Ed, "I believe she said very cute."
Ed looks up at Carol, "How cute did you say he was? And why didn't you
mention all this cuteness last night?"
"He was only there for a moment or two, then he and a friend rushed
off...oh, he was cute...in a rugged US Marshal...throw me on the bed and
handcuff me to the bedpost kind of way." She hesitates for a moment as they
are both staring at her. "I mean throw Frankie on the bed and handcuff
Frankie to the bedpost kind of way...that's what I meant. But rest assured,
he's not Edward J. Stevens cute."
Ed replies with sarcasm, "well that's a relief. I guess I'm just lucky he
asked out Frankie instead of you."
Carol gets a smile of mischief and in a rough voice replies, "The question
you need to ask yourself is do you feel lucky? Well, Punk! Do ya?" Mike
immediately looks away embarrassed.
Ed is deep in thought, "wait a second, didn't I read..." He stands up and
goes over to the door of his office. "Shirley! Could you bring me today's
Shirley comes into the office, hands the newspaper to Ed, then menus to Ed,
Mike and Carol, and says, "will you and your party be eating in today?"
Ed replies, "I guess so...what's with the menus? I think we pretty much
have it memorized by now."
Shirley says, "Mr. Stevens, I believe you told us to think outside of the
box." Ed nods, and she continues, "well, I am currently outside of the box
Ed gets a suspicious look on his face, "and?"
Shirley continues, "The other day, someone said they liked our food so much
that they wished they could have it anytime. So I am looking in to the
benefits of creating a Stuckeybowl food delivery service."
Mike decides to wade into the conversation, "Shirley, we are in Ed's
office. That's not exactly the same as a food delivery service."
Shirley answers, "I thought I would start small, if I didn't like
delivering food to Ed's office then I certainly wouldn't enjoy delivering
food outside of Stuckeybowl. It's a test run."
Ed walks closer to Shirley, "Fine with me, give it a shot."
Carol laughs, "Yeah, go ahead and make his day!"
Ed gives Carol a confused look and follows Shirley out of the office and
towards the snack bar. "Shirley, I need to talk to you about something."
Shirley continues to stare at Ed as they walk.
"It's about Frankie. You need to stop packing up her things...She's not
Shirley continues to stare at Ed.
"I'm not even going to mention your leaving brochures entitled,
"Congratulations! You Are Moving to Houston!" everywhere. I think I found
them all before she saw any of them."
Shirley continues to stare at Ed, then says in a deadpan voice, "I just
thought she should know that Houston is alive with energy and rich in
diversity, Houston is a dynamic mix of imagination, talent and first-class
attractions that makes it a world-class city. Home to a vibrant economy,
beautiful surroundings and a population full of optimism and spirit, it's
no wonder that Houston is a popular international destination...I thought
she might find that interesting."
Ed shakes off his perplexed look, "I think she knows all of that, so just
give her a break, ok? At least give her a break for a week or two."
Shirley replies as she turns to leave, "I will give her a break."
Ed suddenly remembers that he is holding the newspaper and begins scanning
it as he walks back into the office. Carol asks, "what are you looking
Ed keeps looking, "I know we talked about it this morning...here it
is...but there are no real details. There was a shooting outside of
Jaspertown last night. It involved US Marshals, but there's no good
information here. Looks like someone died though. There's a picture" Ed
reads the caption. "'US Marshal, Spencer James, officer in charge of the
crime scene after the shooting incident outside of Jaspertown' is all it
Mike and Carol come over to look at the picture. Mike winces, "wow, that
guy looks like he's having a bad night."
Carol points, "That's him...Spencer, that's the guy that was with Frankie
Just then Shirley returns to the office with a large flower arrangement.
She walks over to Frankie's desk and places them there and then walks out.
Carol and Mike both turn to look at Ed. Ed shrugs, "hey, they aren't from
Carol moves over to look at them. "There's a card, but no envelope." She
leans over to read the card. "Thanks for the chat this morning. Happy
Birthday, Frankie. From Your Friend..." The smile fades from Carol's face.
Carol steps back as if she just discovered the flowers were electrified.
Mike looks at Ed, "why would that scumbag be sending flowers to Frankie?"
Ed looks concerned, "I am completely lost...about a lot of things."
Shirley walks back into the office with another flower arrangement and a
life size cut out of Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry. There are balloons that
read 'Happy Birthday' tied to the barrel of Dirty Harry's pistol. "These
were just delivered." She places the flowers on Frankie's desk beside the
original flower delivery and stands the cut out behind Frankie's chair.
Ed looks guiltily at Carol, "those would be from me...hey, I ordered them
two and a half weeks ago."
As Shirley leaves she turns and whispers to Ed, "I didn't get a chance to
chip in on her going away flowers."
2PM SATURDAY AFTERNOON...
Frankie and Spencer are back by the park. They walk down the path by the
road. Finally, Spencer stops and says, "well, here I am."
Frankie points at him, as if she doesn't get the joke, "yes, there you
"No, I mean, this is my car."
"Oh," Frankie says with a somewhat disappointed look on her face.
Spencer pulls out his car keys. "I'm sorry, I really need to go. There are
about a million things that I should be doing today. Taking care of what
happened last night and all. But I want to thank you."
Frankie looks confused, "thank me? What did I do?"
"You gave me a break from my problems for a few hours. Hell, you even got
me to smile a few times. I never would have thought that possible...not
today. But I did...so thanks."
"Can I give you a lift to your car...or home?"
Frankie shakes her head, "no, I'm just down the row a ways. And you
probably need to get going...I had a good time too."
Spencer looks very awkward as if trying to find the right words to say
something, "hey Frankie? uhm..I have no idea when I will be able to come in
this direction again...heaven knows I am going to be tied up for awhile,
but...ah...could I call you or something, if I did? Come this way, that is.
Maybe we could be friends or something...It's ok if you think I'm too
dysfunctional. You haven't exactly seen me at my best, but I think..."
Frankie cuts him off, "Something sounds great. I would love to see you
again sometime. Here's my number." She pulls a card and pen out of her
pocket and writes her home phone on the back for him.
He takes the card and looks it over. "Do you know you have bowling pins on
your business card?"
"Yes, my partner and I work out of Stuckeybowl around the block
there...we're very upscale."
"I can see that. I love bowling. Well, thanks again Frankie for a great
day." He turns to open his car door, but Frankie hugs him and gives him a
quick kiss on the lips and then steps back. They smile at each other for a
Spencer says, "Happy birthday Frankie." Then he gets in his car and drives
7:45PM SATURDAY EVENING-
Frankie is nursing her second rum and coke at The Smiling Goat Saloon. She
seems to be deep in thought and doesn't see the person take the bar stool
next to her.
"What's a nice girl like you sitting all alone at the bar on her birthday?"
Frankie turns with a slight smile, "hi Molly. How did you know it's my
"I'm a school principal, it kind of gives me a knack for picking up on
things other people don't want me to know."
Molly pauses for a moment, and then continues, "so where's that good
looking guy I saw you with at the pie shop this morning?"
Frankie blushes, "oh, I just met him. He was just passing through town and
had to leave." Then looking around says, "So where's the rest of the gang?"
"They are all back at Stuckeybowl waiting for you."
"Waiting for me? Why would they be waiting for me?"
"Because I'm taking you there for a surprise birthday party."
"I guess it's a birthday party now, I think you let the surprise factor
just slip by."
"Yeah, I know, I'm supposed to tell you this story about how Ed needs your
help with something and would like you to come by. But to tell you the
truth I forgot the story details on the way over. Besides I thought maybe
you might need a heads up. You know, give you a chance to put on your game
Frankie smiles, "my game face?"
"I know it's not easy facing everyone. Feeling awkward...wondering what
they think...feeling like a fifth wheel. Heaven knows sometimes I do."
"Why would you feel like a fifth wheel? They all love you."
"Well, of course they love me, and really who could blame them. But when it
comes to the musical chairs of relationships around here...I've gotten used
to being the only one standing when the music stops. Mike has Nancy...and
let's face it, Ed and Carol were really Ed and Carol long before they WERE,
in fact Ed and Carol. But you know that now...and then there's me. So I
think if there is anyone that can relate to the awkwardness you are feeling
now, I'm about as close as it gets."
"Molly, you've been friends with him for a long time...did you ever...you
know, have feelings for Ed?"
"Ed isn't really my type...he's cute, funny, kind, and all sorts of other
good stuff. Nothing I would ever go for..." Molly pauses for a moment,
"yes, there's been a few feelings here and there. And there have been
times, when I thought if 'Carol doesn't pull her head out, I'm going to go
jump him myself.' Ed's a great guy. But deep down, I have always known that
Ed has one fatal flaw at the very center of his being that I could never
Frankie is listening intently, "what's that?"
"His heart is totally consumed by Carol." They both sit in silence for a
moment, until Molly asks, "Frankie, why are you still in Stuckeyville? Why
aren't you in Houston with Leon?"
"I guess, when the music stops...I have always found myself in a chair.
Leon and I have been on and off for a long time, and then when Leon left
for Houston, Ed and I got together. When Ed and I broke up, I just thought
maybe I needed to learn to stand. Maybe I shouldn't always need a chair."
"So what about the new guy?"
"Yes, what about Spencer?"
"I don't know. I doubt I will ever even see him again."
"Of course you will."
"How can you be sure?"
"I saw how he looked at you."
"Well, I just don't know."
"If you and he don't get together, I only have one thing to say."
Molly raises her hand, "I call dibbs."
Frankie laughs and pays for her drinks, "I'll remember that...and thanks
Molly smiles back at her, "hey, what are friends for. Besides I feel just
as guilty as they do." Molly checks her watch, "we had better get over
there. The last I saw, Phil was replacing the candles on your cake with
left over fireworks. And remember to act surprised."
As they are leaving the goat, Frankie turns to Molly and says, "Molly, you
don't need to feel guilty. It's not like you sabotaged Ed and I or
Molly says as they walk out the door, "Funny thing about that...and trust
me, you are going to think this is hilarious..."
1:30PM THURSDAY AFTERNOON-
Frankie is returning to work after running errands during her lunch hour.
She walks through the doors of Stuckeybowl with several dry cleaning bags
swung over her shoulder and a bag in her other hand. She enters the office,
goes to hang the dry cleaning bags on the coat rack, but instead decides to
hang them on top of Clint Eastwood's head on the life size cut out Ed gave
her for her birthday. The cut out still has the sagging balloons from her
birthday party attached to the end of his pistol. Ed, who is seated at his
desk, has been watching her slightly amused as she settles, sits and begins
to remove her lunch from the bag.
She looks up to see Ed smiling at her, she levels a glare at him, "what?"
He shakes his head, "oh nothing." After continuing to stare for a moment,
"Frankie, I told you that you could eat lunch from the snack bar for free,
so why do you keep buying lunch? And why do you keep covering up poor ole
Clint like that?"
Frankie continues to look at him without humor. "If you were me, and
Shirley was cooking at the snack bar, would you eat here?"
"Ok, good point. But that doesn't explain pulling the wool over Dirty
"I don't like him looking over my shoulder. I mean, that steely gaze is
great in the movies, but when you know it's always right over your
shoulder. Well, it gets a little creepy."
Ed is still smiling, "we can always move him somewhere else."
"No, he seems to be lucky. Shirley hasn't tried to pack me up once since he
got here. Maybe he stares her down."
As she says this Shirley comes in right up to Ed's desk, with a note in her
hand. She holds the note out to Ed, "Mr. Stevens, while Frankie was out,
she got another message from a Mr. Fonesca."
Frankie rolls her eyes and says in a firm voice, "Shirley, I'm right here."
Ed's smile fades away, "Shirley give her the message."
Shirley walks over and hands the message to Frankie. Going back to Ed, she
says in a hushed voice, "has it been a week yet?"
Ed matches her tone, "no."
"Then I will give her a break." Shirley walks over to Frankie and without
bending her arm gives her a stiff pat on the shoulder, and then walks out
of the office.
Ed comes around his desk and sits on the edge. "Frankie? Just once more,
tell me again there is nothing going on between you and Fonesca."
"Nothing is going on between me and Fonesca!"
"It just seems like he is calling an awful lot for someone that was
completely rebuffed. He has called or sent something everyday this week. To
the casual observer it looks like he could use some more rebuffing. If you
are talking to him, you could tell me."
"Did it ever occur to you that maybe...just maybe; he is deliberately
leaving me messages when you will find out about them. I told you, he
approached me that day in the park, and I turned him down flat. I haven't
returned any of his messages." Frankie stands up while staring directly
into Ed's eyes, "you know Ed it's a testament to what a great guy you are
ninety-nine percent of the time, that the one percent of the time you are a
jerk, seems so much worse."
"Look Frankie, I'm just saying..."
Just then there is a knock on the doorframe. "I'm sorry, I don't mean to
interrupt, but I was hoping to steal this young lady away for awhile."
Ed and Frankie look over to see a tall man in a 3/4 length black leather
coat standing in the doorway with an amused look on his face. Frankie's
scowl almost immediately becomes a smile and with a quick look over at Ed,
as if for approval, she then turns and says, "Hi Spence!"
Ed walks over to shake his hand. "So you are officer...agent...I'm not sure
what your title is...Do people just call you, Marshal?"
"Most people call me, Spence."
"Well Spence, it's a pleasure to meet you." They shake hands. "Ed Stevens."
"Same here...it's a pleasure to meet you, I mean, not that I'm Ed Stevens
because that would be an amazing coincidence. Now about borrowing Frankie?
Do you think you could live without her services for one afternoon?" Then
looking at Frankie, "that is if you would like to go do something?"
Frankie looks over at Ed, as if she is unsure, for a moment, and then says
to Spencer, "can we drive with the sirens going and go right through red
Spencer looks cautious, "Sirens, yes. Traffic lights, I don't think so."
Frankie looks as if she is thinking it over, "well, ok. Sounds great."
Ed replies, "live with out her for an afternoon? Take as much time..." Ed
notices that Frankie is giving him an evil look. "I mean...we might get by
for one afternoon, but certainly no longer than that. She is indispensable
to this operation."
2:15PM THURSDAY AFTERNOON-
Frankie and Spencer come out of the ice cream shop. Frankie is eating mint
chocolate chip ice cream from a cone, while Spencer chose pralines and
cream in a cup.
They sit down at a patio table outside of the store. Frankie looks over at
Spencer, "can I ask you a question without offending you?"
Spencer looks at her curiously and replies, "of course, but I may choose
not to answer."
"How can you eat your ice cream from a cup? Not only is it a waste, because
they throw the cone in for free, but...how can I say this?" She pauses
looking for the right words. "It's not doing wonders for the manly look you
seem to go for."
Spencer laughs, "what are you talking about? I always thought of ice cream
as kind of gender neutral."
"Well, look at you. You're tall...the black leather coat...the faded
jeans...you have that whole rough and tumble tough US Marshal on-the-go
thing, and then you sit there eating ice cream with a spoon and cup. Gotta
tell ya, sends the testosterone meter into the basement. It's like drinking
through a straw; it is simply impossible for a guy to look tough while
drinking through a straw. Think about it."
"Well, maybe I'm a guy that is just comfortable with his feminine side.
Besides, if you spent as much time driving around the country and living
out of your car as I do, you would appreciate the small advantages of cups
and other things that can be put down at a moments notice. Want to see
something funny, watch a cop try and draw his gun with an ice cream cone in
his hand. And just for the record, I happen to be a big fan of straws, lids
and any other drinking or eating aides people may dream up...I care for
children's sippy cups a great deal."
"Well, I don't think you are going to be drawing your gun today," and she
reaches over and trades ice cream with him.
"This is all just an elaborate ploy to switch because you really wanted the
pralines and cream isn't it?"
"Well then I agree to switch, if it is ok for me to ask you a serious
Frankie looks at him, "sure, but I may choose the fifth. That's the
constitutional amendment you referred to earlier."
"Yes, I think I heard about it somewhere. I went to law school too, but
don't try to avoid a tough question, by distracting me." Spencer pauses for
a moment as if preparing himself, "Is Ed THE ex?"
"The one and only. That's the only Ed, not the only ex. I have a few of
"He seems like a pretty nice guy."
"Oh, Ed is a nice guy. Even when he dumped me, he was always a nice guy."
"So he's nice, but dumb?"
Frankie gives him a melancholy smile, "not according to everyone."
"According to me. Do you still care for him?"
Frankie looks like she was just hit in the stomach, "wow, you don't waste
anytime working up to the big ticket items do you? I guess we do need to
have this talk. I am so sorry if I led you on the other day...Spence, you
are a great guy, but I am really going in about a million directions right
now, and I don't think I'm ready for..."
Spencer puts up his hands, "Whoa their little filly! You are running in the
wrong pasture...this is really embarrassing...Frankie, I'm not interested
in a romantic relationship with you."
"You're not interested?" She pauses for a moment considering what he just
said, "why the hell not! Am I not cute enough? Funny enough? Am I too
"Frankie, I'm gay."
"I'm sorry, I saw your lips move and sound definitely came out, but it made
no sense to me whatsoever." Frankie asks in a tone as if waiting for the
Frankie says completely perplexed, "I don't get it. If you are gay, why are
you out with me? And why did you kiss me?"
"Well technically, you kissed me and I didn't see any point in making an
issue of it at the time because I didn't know if I would ever see you
again. And the reason, I came and got you today...is because I was in the
area to tie up some loose ends from Saturday and I wanted to see you. I
think you are very sweet and it seems like we could both use a good friend
Frankie looks stunned, she doesn't seem to know what to say or do, so she
concentrates on eating ice cream for a few moments. Then asks, "So were you
"Oh no, Sam was married. His funeral was Monday, by the way."
Frankie puts her hand on his forearm, "Spence, I am soo sorry. I feel
horrible that I didn't ask...I must seem very self-absorbed. You must be
going through a really rough time right now."
Spencer stiffens and looks a little choked up, "yeah...well...look, I
didn't come here so we could sob together. I thought maybe we could go out
and just have a little fun, maybe forget our troubles."
Frankie sizes him up for a moment, and smiles, "ok, I'm up for whatever you
want to do. And please don't hate me for the cracks about testosterone and
eating out of a cup."
Spencer breaks out into laughter, "if those were the biggest things I had
to be upset about today, I'd be a truly happy man."
Frankie turns and says, "but we are agreed on one thing right? I am kind of
cute. If you weren't flamingly gay, you would want to date me, right?"
"There is no kind of about it. You are cute. And yes, if I
wasn't...flamingly gay, I would be all over you."
8:15PM THURSDAY EVENING-
Frankie and Spencer are seated at their table in the nightclub. The place
is crowded and noisy. Spencer turns to her, "So you have never been to this
kind of club before."
Frankie leans in to him, "I didn't really believe these places existed. I
thought they were a myth. You know something people make up to talk about
like snipe hunting, jackalopes or North Dakota. How often do you get to
these parts? You seem to know your way around pretty well."
Spencer leans to cover the distance between them until their shoulders are
touching, "I've never been to one of these places myself, but I figured if
we couldn't find something here to laugh about, then we are way too far-
gone for redemption."
He continues, "my grandparents used to live in Stuckeyville. I would come
and stay with them for a few weeks each summer. In fact, he was the town
sheriff for awhile, back in the days when they had a sheriff."
"Is he the reason you became a Marshal?"
"Probably a big part of it. Look, I've been meaning to tell you
He is cut off as the lights in the club dim, the lights on the stage go on
and an MC comes out. He resigns himself to talk about it later. The MC is a
large round man with a full blonde beard wearing a Hawaiian shirt and
shorts. "Welcome to Sven's Karaoke Cabaret!" The crowd applauds him
enthusiastically. "I'm Sven. And Oh how Swede it is!" He waits a moment for
the laughter that never came to settle down. "Ok...two men walk into a bar,
which is kind of funny, because you would have thought at least one of them
would have seen it coming." Sven stops as if to let the laughter roll, but
there is only a mix of mild polite laughter and clapping coming from the
crowd. He continues inflicting jokes on the crowd.
Frankie says to Spencer in an almost whisper voice, "I am not singing in
front of a crowd, you know that right?"
Spencer smiles at her, "Just remember none of these people know you or will
remember this. You will probably never see any of them ever again. Don't
think of Karaoke as singing, think of it as a martial art..." Spencer
pauses for a moment then turns his head dramatically at Frankie with a
raised eyebrow, "a martial art of love."
"Hey Frankie!" A voice yells from the back of the crowd. Frankie squints to
see who is calling her name, but the club is too dark. As the figure comes
closer, she is finally able to make out who it is.
"Phil! What are you doing here?"
Phil looks Spencer over; "This is a great place to pick up on the honneys,
if you are into the pipes. Know what I mean?" Nodding at Spencer, "you know
what I'm talking about big dog, am I right? If anyone asks, you know me
from my record production company." Then reaching into his pocket, he pulls
out a tape recorder. "Never fear, because I always keep this handy, you
know if I need to ratchet up the credibility factor. So your moment in the
sun will be preserved forever, I'll make sure everyone gets a copy." And
then he rushes back to the back of the club.
Frankie looks like she is getting nervous, so Spencer says, "just act like
this is American Idol."
Frankie is actually distracted by the remark; "you don't really watch that
"Well, not regularly...but you know they suck you in. You start caring
about wanting your people to win-Those brainwashing sons of bitches."
Sven finally ends his comedy routine, "alright, alright, I know you didn't
come here tonight to hear me prattle on. Let's start tonight's festivities,
as we always do...with the sacrifice of a virgin!" Now the crowd really
begins to applaud and cheer.
Sven looks around the crowd, "I see many new faces out there tonight. Which
one do we bring to the alter first?"
He continues to scan the audience, pointing his finger around at certain
people as if considering them for the sacrifice. He scans until he comes to
Frankie. "You there! The pretty girl trying to crawl under the table! You
shall be first tonight!" The crowd applauds, cheers and yells their
encouragement trying to convince Frankie to get up on stage. Frankie
appears to be either looking for a quick exit or for someone to rescue her.
She mutters to Spencer, "I'm not a virgin! What kind of place have you
brought be to."
Spencer laughs, "I don't think they mean literally, or they would probably
never get any takers. I'm pretty sure he means those that have never been
The MC is gesturing for her to come up to the stage while others in the
crowd begin pushing to get her out of her chair. She turns on Spencer,
"well, you've never been here before either!" She points to the stage, "You
get up there!"
Spencer continues to laugh, but then takes her hand and half leads half
pulls her up to the stage. The MC shouts as they arrive on the stage,
"alright, we are starting off with a duet tonight! You two are a cute
couple. What are your names?"
Frankie is holding Spencer's hand and hiding behind him like a small child
might do. Spencer talks into the microphone that Sven is holding, "I'm
Spencer and this is Frankie." As he says this he tries to gently pull her
out from behind him, but Frankie won't budge.
Sven says into the microphone, "let's have a hand for these brave kids."
Spencer leans over to the MC and says, "maybe we should sing..."
Sven cuts him off by exclaiming into the microphone, "isn't that adorable?
He thinks they get to pick what they sing. But here at Sven's..." at this
point Sven leans out the microphone into the crowd for them to shout, "THE
AUDIENCE ALWAYS GETS THE LAST WORD!"
Sven pulls the mike back and says, "that's right! So what should we have
these two cuties sing?"
People in the crowd immediately begin to shout out the names of famous
duets, "Almost Paradise," "Muskrat Love," "Summer Nights," "I Got You
Babe," etc. Sven takes each into consideration. "I don't think YMCA is
actually a duet...George, what is it with you and Muskrat Love anyway?"
Finally someone yells out, "Islands in the Stream!"
Sven yells out, "Yes! Yes! That's the ticket, and a perfect song for
rookies because everybody knows the melody." The crowd applauds the choice.
Spencer notices that Frankie is slightly shaking, as she seems to be trying
to bury herself in his back.
The lights on the stage dim momentarily while Sven and his assistant go to
find the CD and get the sound system working. As soon as they walk out of
earshot, Frankie turns on Spencer, "I told you I wasn't going to sing. I
can't sing. I thought the point of coming here was to laugh at other
Spencer smiles at her, "well, think of it this way. It's better to give
than to receive. You and I are going to give these people the gift of
She turns to leave, "I'm out of here. You just became a soloist,
Pavarotti." But Spencer keeps hold of her hand.
Sven comes back just then, "ok, how are you kids doing? Just remember these
are mostly very nice people, who just appreciate your giving it a try.
Nothing to be nervous about...unless you really stink, in which case they
could lose control very quickly." He then places two microphones in front
of them. "But hey, just have fun with it. Just watch the screen and sing
the words as they come up, it even tells you which is the boy's part and
which is the girl's." Sven walks off the stage.
They both stand there waiting for the music to start.
The intro music begins, they both tense, they continue to hold each other
by the hand. Spencer takes the first verse smiling nervously and looking at
Frankie, and she looks up at him admiringly. "Baby when I met you there was
peace unknown..." He continues singing the verse, and then her turn to join
11:30PM THURSDAY NIGHT-
Frankie and Spencer leave Sven's arm in arm and laughing. They arrive at
his car and pause at the door. Frankie turns to him and says, "I really
don't believe we did that. Spence, I really want to thank you."
"For what? Embarrassing us both?"
Frankie looks up into his face with a serious expression, "I really would
have walked out of there tonight. I would have hit that exit so fast...It
seems when the pressure turns up, a lot of the time, I run...or at least
walk away with some amount of urgency. But tonight, you stood up there and
helped me through it. I really appreciate that."
"It was just a karaoke bar..." as Spencer is reaching down to open her car
door, Frankie places her hand on his. She comes between him and the car,
looks into his eyes. After a moment with a cunning smile she says, "but
there's something I need." And then Frankie places both her hands gently on
his face and pulls it towards her own. As their lips touch, her hands slide
around to the back of his head and run through his hair. Spencer's lips
automatically open to receive her embrace and his hands move to her hips
and then envelope her. They kiss for a very long moment, when they do part;
they slowly pull their lips away to gain air.
Spencer smiles and they look deep into each other's eyes for a moment.
Finally Frankie breaks the silence, and shoves him. "I KNEW IT! YOU
BASTARD!" And she pushes so hard, and he is so unprepared that he falls
He asks while getting up, "what the hell?!"
"Yeah, what the hell?! You aren't gay at all. You are as straight as a...as
He finishes for her as he dusts himself off, "a razor."
"No! Something even straighter than that. A ruler, a T-square...the edge of
a protractor. Why would you lie to me? Why would you lie about that?"
"Ok, look Frankie, you are right...I'm not really gay."
"No kidding, Tommy Tongue Lock."
"Just listen to me for a minute. When I asked you about Ed, and you started
in with the 'hey, you are a great guy, but...' story, I wasn't ready to
close the door on the possibility of us just yet. So I panicked and
thought, if I could be your gay buddy...you know, no pressure, no
threat...then maybe we could spend some time together. Maybe keep a window
open if not a door, I wasn't ready for the inevitable to happen."
Frankie crosses her arms in judgment then asks, "what inevitable?"
"Do you know what Marshals do? We figure out what people are going to do
and then we head them off at the pass. So here's what is going to happen to
Frankie Hector. You are going to blow me off because you don't think you
are ready to get involved with someone else yet, but you'll console me
with, 'hey, maybe someday. You never know.' But we are both going through a
rough patch, so because we both need a friend, we'll become friends."
Spencer takes a deep breath and pauses for effect.
"So I will wait for someday, and I'll sit around pretending I'm not really
all mopey and sad. And then someday, you will meet another guy, and for the
first time you'll think, 'wow, he's kind of cute.'" He points a finger at
her. "And you'll deny you are attracted to him, but you'll find reasons to
be around him...Then you'll come tell me about him, not even realizing that
I won't be happy about your new attraction. I'll be stuck in the 'friend'
box waiting for my chance, a chance that never came. Do you know why?"
Frankie shakes her head, so he continues, "because of bad timing, you never
gave me a chance. If I have learned anything recently, it's that today is
the only thing you can count on."
"Well, you missed the pass," Frankie stomps off towards the road keeping
her arms crossed.
Frankie pauses and turns back for a moment, "the pass...the pass you were
trying to head me off at. If you are going to use an analogy, at least try
to keep up. And I think I just heard the window shut, just in case you
missed that too." Then she turns and starts back towards the road.
"Frankie!" She keeps walking. "Frankie!" He yells a third time, "Hey
She turns around angrily, "What?! I'm not going home with you!"
"You aren't going home at all. Stuckeyville is that way." He says while
pointing in the other direction.
"Oh," and she storms off in the other direction.
"And about 20 miles away." She walks for about 50 feet and then stops, she
walks back to Spencer, "could you just take me home?"
"Sure. I suppose I've done enough damage for one night." Spencer opens
Frankie's door for her. They get into the car and begin to drive back
"So, when did you figure out I wasn't gay?"
She says without looking at him, "women have ways of knowing."
"Really, well when was the exact moment you knew you could 'in' me?"
"I don't think I was ever quite 100% sold in the first place, but the
moment I knew you were just another heterosexual was when we were up on
stage and you were singing and staring deeply into my...breasts for about
two minutes...yeah, I think that's when the mystery was solved."
"That's a stunning blouse by the way."
"Now if you had said something like that earlier...I might have believed
"You were wonderful tonight. I mean it."
"Thanks...Bastard...Did you just smell me?"
"No, must be from all the dust, when you knocked me down."
3:30 PM FRIDAY AFTERNOON-
Frankie and Ed are both in the office working on their cases, when Shirley
walks in. "Mr. Stevens, there is a Mr. Fonesc..."
Shirley is cut off as Fonesca struts into the office past her, "Eddie, my
good friend, it has been far too long."
Ed and Frankie both stand up and look at each other cautiously. Ed says to
Fonesca, "The name is Mr. Stevens and what do you want?"
Fonesca beams a smile at him, "the same thing we all want Eddie...world
peace, good will toward men," and then turning to Frankie, "and women, of
course. But today, I am here to ask for your help."
Ed moves towards him, "help you? I'll help you right out to the street. You
have a lot of nerve coming here."
Fonesca holds up a hand, "just cool down a little. I come with a business
proposition. It seems there is something very big coming down the pike.
Really big. And I don't have all of the resources and personnel I need to
complete the job. I mean, I am just soo busy with cases now. So I
figure...why not spread some of the wealth to the little guy." Pointing at
Ed, "that would be you."
Ed is positively bristling, "I think I could chase ambulances all by myself
if I wanted to."
"Actually, Ed. You won't have to do a thing." He continues with a cruel
smile. "You're good at that. I just want to buy Frankie's contract from
you. I can offer her more money and opportunity than you can, and I could
use another associate."
Ed replies, "well my slippery friend, you have totally miss called the
play. Frankie and I don't have a contract...she's free to come and go as
she wants, and I can't imagine why she would want to work with you. She's
smarter than you, wiser than you, has more dedication than you...frankly,
she's just a better person, anyway you look at it...than you."
Frankie is blushing and looking embarrassed.
Fonesca smiles, "no contract? How quaint. I just love old fashioned
values...friendship, loyalty..." he looks at Frankie, "fidelity. And I do
know how much you will miss all those long hours and late nights working
with Miss Hector." Turning to Frankie, "I wouldn't mind pulling some of
that duty myself."
Ed looks like he's ready to throw a punch. They both look over at Frankie.
She is standing by her desk blushing and speechless staring admiringly at
Ed. Finally, Ed motions with his head as an indication that she should say
something to him. Finally she says to Ed, "I'm sorry, you were doing so
well there for a moment. Thanks." Then turning to Fonesca, "I'm happy right
where I am."
Fonesca gazes at her for a moment, "you are? Are you sure? This is going to
be a case working with the Feds. Has to do with sorting out that mess the
US Marshals created over by Jaspertown last week. Lots of exposure for a
"No, I'm not interested. Stop bothering me."
"Oh well. I thought we could all come to an amiable solution, but I will
look elsewhere." And Fonesca turns and leaves.
4:30 PM FRIDAY AFTERNOON-
Business at Stuckeybowl has slowed down to practically a halt, so Ed
thought he should talk to the troops before the Friday night rush begins.
Frankie sits in the meeting. He has just started when the front doors of
Stuckeybowl fly open.
A boy of about eleven years of age comes running through them. He is out of
breath, but he continues to run flat out. He slips when he hits the slick
bowling alley lanes, but recovers and runs behind the back where the
bowling alley machines are.
Everyone in Stuckeybowl stands up, but just stares in confusion. A moment
later, Spencer runs through the front doors as well and appears to be
winded. He looks over at the group and asks, "which...way...did he go?"
Shirley points to the back of the bowling alley. Spencer nods, but says,
"crap! How many places are there for a boy his size to hide back there?"
Ed replies, "a boy about his size?" He thinks about it a second, "only
about a thousand or so."
Spencer looks the group over, then says, "Frankie, I don't suppose you'd go
in there and get him?"
Frankie looks offended, "why me?"
"You're the shortest person here. You could reach him in whatever nook or
cranny he finds."
Responding to the menacing glare from Frankie, he quickly corrects himself,
"I mean, you are petite...svelte?"
Ed says to Frankie, "well, you are quite limber."
Ed puts up his hands in a defensive motion as everyone looks at him, he
mutters, "well she is."
Not receiving any assistance, Spencer walks up to the shoe rental counter
and looks at Ed, while gesturing at the microphone, "hey Ed, do you mind if
I use this?"
Ed doesn't look sure what to do, so he agrees. "Sure, go ahead."
Spencer picks up the microphone and speaks into it, "Oh Timmy. Mr. Timmy
Gardner...shoplifting right in front of me is probably one of the three
dumbest things you can do and you are way too young to even be thinking
about the other two."
"Now, if you come out here, by the count of five, I think we will be able
to work this out, just you and me. If not...well, then I'll have to call in
re-enforcements-that means your mother, Timmy. So you can deal with me now
or you can deal with your mother and me later on...the choice is yours.
The young boy comes scrambling out from behind the lanes. He comes walking
up to Spencer and hands him a comic book. All eyes are on them. Spencer
leans down to look the boy in the eye, "now let's see what we have here. A
Punisher Comic book. Does that seem like something worth stealing?"
"Me, either. It just sickens me to see children's lives wasted on garbage
like this. Maybe if you had swiped a X-Men or Spiderman or something even
vaguely interesting, I might have let you off. But I'm afraid I can't let
this kind of thing slip by."
The boy begins to tremble, "Yes sir, are you gonna call my mom?"
"No, I'm not. But here is what I'm going to do. I'm going to give you back
this piece of crap Punisher comic book, and you are going to go back to the
store and apologize to Mrs. Redfield for taking it. And once you have
apologized to her satisfaction, I want you to do one half an hour's worth
of work for her. What ever she wants." Spencer looks him in the eye. "Do
you understand me?"
"Good boy. Because in six minutes I will be walking back by the store and I
will be inquiring as to whether you are making proper restitution. And
based upon her response, I will decide whether this matter is closed to be
forgotten forever or whether it becomes dinner table talk at the Gardner
As the boy walks out of the bowling alley, Spencer notices everyone looking
at him, so in a grandiose voice says, "now go! And always remember,
stealing is for stupid people, so don't...be stupid people."
Spencer turns towards everyone. "Sorry to disturb you. Thanks for letting
me use the place Ed."
Spencer looks directly at Frankie, and then says, "well, guess I had better
go and follow-up with my first official case."
Frankie asks, "what do you mean your first official case?"
"Oh, that's right I didn't get a chance to tell you last night. I'm the new
chief of police here in Stuckeyville. I quit the Marshals...interviewed and
hired for the chief's job yesterday...I don't officially start till Monday,
but I couldn't let a dangerous criminal like Timmy get away now could I?"
And with this he opens his leather coat to show a police badge. Then he
goes to leave. Frankie puts a hand on his arm, but can't seem to come up
with anything to say.
Spencer smiles, "you have questions, don't you?"
"About a thousand of them, and that's not including follow-up questions."
"Good. Since I'm going to be around a lot, we'll have plenty to talk
about." And then Spencer walks out the front doors of Stuckeybowl.
11:35AM MONDAY MORNING...
Principal Hudson has made the executive decision to have lunch. She was
going to eat with Carol and Nancy, but has decided to just have lunch in
her office so she can get a few things done. She has just taken a large
bite of her sandwich, when there is a knock at her door. An attractive man
in a black leather coat is leaning into her office, "excuse me, are you
Molly is taken a bit by surprise and is trying to remember where she has
seen this man before, she is distracted and forgets that she has a large
mouth full of tuna, and tries to reply, "ye...yes, I'm Molly Hudson. What
can I do for you?"
The man replies, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt your lunch. Your
receptionist is gone, and your door wasn't completely closed."
"That's ok," Molly says as she slides her lunch into the wastebasket. "I
have a 'not completely closed door' policy. And good help is so hard to
find. Come in and have a seat, Mr...er...I'm sorry, I didn't catch your
The man walks over and shakes her hand then sits across from her desk, "My
name is Spencer James. Everyone just calls me Spence. I'm the new Chief of
Police here in Stuckeyville. I'm sorry to barge in on you, but I thought I
should probably introduce myself to some of the town leaders I will be
working with. And everyone tells me I will be working with the high school
principal as much as anyone."
"Wow, me a town leader? I didn't even know I was on the tour. It's a
pleasure to meet you..." all of a sudden, Molly gets a eureka look on her
face, "would you please excuse me for one moment?" Molly walks quickly to
the front office where she picks up the microphone for the intercom. She
says into it, "would Miss Vessey and Mrs. Burton, please come to the
principal's office immediately."
Molly reenters her office with a big smile and sits on the edge of her desk
across from Spencer, "so Spence...I think you'll find that most of the kids
here are pretty good. We have minor problems once in awhile, but nothing
earth shattering. Personally, I chock it up to good solid principaling. So
what brings you to our neck of the woods?"
Spencer looks thoughtful and says, "well, I was just looking for a change
of pace and this position in Stuckeyville seemed like just that. And why am
I here at the school?" Spencer leans forward and says in a conspiratory
voice, "Can I tell you the ugly truth?"
Molly leans forward to hear, "I always want to hear the truth, particularly
when it's ugly."
"I needed a break from meetings with the mayor and the other town leaders.
I just couldn't sit there another moment. If one more person tells me how
excited they are to have me here, I'll lose it. I would have used any
excuse to get out of there, so I thought a little field trip to the high
school might be a convenient escape for awhile."
Just then both Carol and Nancy come bursting into Molly's office. They both
stop dead in their tracks when they see Spencer sitting there. He looks
curiously at them as they continue to stand and gape at him.
Finally, Molly says, "This is Spencer James, he's our new Chief of Police.
I was told to call him Spence, you should both call him Chief James."
Spencer stands up and says to Carol as he holds out his hand, "I believe
we've met before."
Carol shakes his hand and says, "yes, we have met before. I'm Carol Vessey,
an English teacher here at the school."
He then shakes Nancy's hand as she says, "hi, I'm Nancy Burton. I'm a
guidance counselor. We are really excited to have you here." Spencer gives
a pained look to Molly.
Spencer looks confused as if not sure why Molly would have called these two
to the office. He asks, "did you all need me to leave so you could discuss
some school business?"
They each take a turn saying "no," and continue to stare at him.
Molly finally speaks, "Spence, can I tell you the ugly truth?"
Spencer replies back at her, "I always want to hear the truth, particularly
when it's ugly."
"Well, Spence...we are kind of friends with Frankie, and we couldn't help
but notice the both of you together the other day..."
Nancy interrupts by turning to Carol, "we are friends with her right? I
mean we are friendLY, at the very least."
Carol replies, "of course, we are friends with her. I'm just the friend;
she doesn't like talking to and happens to be sleeping with her former
boyfriend. But I think we've both come to grips with the situation."
Spencer looks at Carol with an amused smile, "so you did steal her
Carol considers her reply, "I prefer borrowed with no intention of return.
It's all very complicated...technically I had the prior claim...you see, Ed
had been chasing me for a long time and..."
Molly cuts her off, "So anyway Spence, we are just wondering if your
intentions towards Miss Hector are honorable?"
"Could you define honorable?"
Nancy steps up to the plate, "ok, forget honorable. Nobody cares about
honorable, did you move here so you could date Frankie?"
Spencer smiles at them, "good, I actually prefer the direct approach."
Spencer thinks for a moment to carefully select his words, "I like Frankie.
I like Frankie a lot. But I'm not really sure she likes me very much. So
no, I didn't come here to chase her. I actually wanted the job. What ever
happens with Frankie, will happen. I mean you'd have to be pretty insane to
just up and move your whole life to pursue a relationship with someone that
you don't really know. Am I right?"
Nancy replies, "yeah, you are probably right."
Molly responds, "absolutely."
Carol says, "oh, I don't know. Not if it works out. Insane is really a
Nancy changes the subject by asking, "so Spencer, didn't the old chief wear
a uniform? How come you aren't in uniform?"
"I'm not really a uniform kind of guy. One of the first things that I made
them agree to was that I didn't have to wear a uniform. I don't know why I
feel so strongly about it, I just do. Probably just too many years in the
US Marshals have made me a little too casual. I used to be a Marshal by the
Molly says with a smile at Carol and Nancy, "oh really, we had no idea."
Nancy smiles at Spencer, "you know Molly loves men in uniform."
Molly goes beet red, "as a principal, I just respect other symbols of
Spencer continues, "I guess I have always just marched to a different
drummer, when it comes to how I dress and stuff. I have a pretty fierce
independent streak. "
Carol says, "well my friend, if that's true, then Frankie is the girl for
6:45 PM MONDAY EVENING-
Stuckeyville's new chief of police drives up to his newly rented house in a
squad car. He isn't sure if he is actually tired or just bored, his first
day as official Chief of Police of Stuckeyville has consisted entirely of
shaking hands and listening to the mayor and civic leaders in meeting after
meeting, with the exception of the hour he spent being grilled about
Frankie at the high school.
He isn't even sure yet what he will sleep on, having no actual furniture in
town. He had only rented the house on Saturday. But he liked the idea of
having a house, never having lived in one place long enough as an adult to
do so. It just seemed right to be in a house in a small-town like
Stuckeyville. He had signed a lease on the second place he had looked at.
Spencer carries a bag of groceries in one arm and opens the front door with
the other. As he steps into the house, he sees a woman standing in the
shadows of the front room, which makes him jump and drop the groceries.
"What the hell?" He pauses and then leans outside to check the house number
instinctively wondering if he is in the wrong house. The woman steps out of
"Frankie! You scared the crap out of me. What are you doing here? Why are
you here? And most importantly, how did you get in here?"
She folds her arms and says, "funny, those are exactly the same questions I
have for you? With the exception of how you got in here, of course because
I saw you use a key."
Spencer smiles and says, "I asked you first."
Frankie ignores his comment, "why are you in Stuckeyville, Spencer?"
He responds as he picks up his groceries and carries them to the kitchen,
"I'm the Chief of Police...remember, I told you just the other day. It's a
lot easier to enforce the laws of Stuckeyville...if I am, in fact, in
Stuckeyville. And on that note, I feel obligated to mention that breaking
into the Chief of Police's house is probably a bad idea."
Frankie follows him, "I am aware that you have taken a job here, but why?
And I didn't break in...your landlord let me in.
"And why would he let you in?"
"I told him I was your interior designer."
Spencer gets an amused look. "You? My interior designer? Do you really
think you are qualified to be my interior designer?"
"I could be a designer. Some people say I have excellent feel for putting
things together, sure it's a little eclectic at times, but always within
good taste...but that is completely off the point. You haven't answered my
Spencer looks thoughtful for a moment, "well, since you didn't care for my,
'because I work here line', I am just going to skip the because 'it's my
house' line too."
He looks at her and ponders for a moment, then decides to continue, "look,
Frankie. After the shooting incident, I needed a break. I'm on
administrative leave until the investigation is over anyway. They needed
someone...I needed a nice quiet change of pace. I've always been fond of
Stuckeyville. So if you are worried about me being a crazed stalker, come
to chase you...don't. I know I made a huge ass of myself the other night
and I'm not going to bother you if you don't want me too. Trust me I'm not
overly proud of how I have behaved."
"Well, I didn't exactly respond in the most mature manner either." Frankie
breaks a small smile and looks at him for a moment then suddenly the smile
fades, "oh no, you're not playing that kind of game with me."
"What kind of game?"
"That game where you act all...hey, I'm sincere and cute...and nice and
good looking...and seem like the perfect guy that says sweet things with
all his brain cells in just the right places...and then just when I buy it,
then comes the part where you go total whacko on me."
Spencer walks into the front room area and sits down with his back against
the wall. He gestures for Frankie to have a seat as well. She hesitates for
a moment and then sits next to him. Spencer finally answers her, "well, if
it makes you feel any better, that game is over. And not to point fingers,
but you are the one that sneaked into my house. So, I don't think either of
us is going to win a normal citizen of the year contest anytime in the near
Frankie looks at him, and then around the room, "I could really do
something in here. Are you open to losing that wall? And what do you think
about painting the walls a soothing butter cream?"
"Since I am renting...no, I am not open to losing that wall, and I really
prefer simple white walls."
Frankie looks aghast.
Spencer continues, "look Frankie, I won't lie to you..." he pauses and
looks guilty for a moment, then adds, "this time...I really like being
around you, but I'm not going to force myself on you. I would understand if
you didn't want to see me again. Do you want to pretend we never
met...fine, I won't like it, but I'll do it. Do you want to be friends?
More than friends? Tell me what you want from me and I will do everything I
can in a sincere attempt to make it happen. You just make the call, I
assume that is why you came here tonight."
Frankie studies Spencer for what seems like a very long time, and finally
says, "I'm hungry. Let's go eat. My treat."
7:15PM MONDAY EVENING-
Frankie and Spencer are looking over their menus at The Smiling Goat
Saloon. Spencer looks over, "you must really like this place. Do you come
here all the time?"
Frankie replies, "yes, it's a great place. What are you going to order?"
"Something very expensive, but other than that I'm not sure. What do you
"The meatloaf is actually quite good."
Spencer winces and kind of shakes his head, so Frankie asks, "not a big fan
"I think meatloaf is just a big hamburger, who is trying to get above his
station in life. Is it really anything more than a Big Mac putting on airs?
I mean if you want that much beef, get a steak."
"Well, you've never tried my meatloaf. I might be able to change your mind.
No one can resist my meatloaf...well, one person did, but I don't really
think it was a fair test. So I don't count those results."
"Ok, it's a deal. I will refrain from making any further negative remarks,
in regards to meatloaf or any other members of the Salisbury steak family,
until I have tasted your recipe." Spencer gets up and takes his jacket off.
Frankie watches him and asks, "hey...where's your gun, your piece, your
heat, your rod, your side arm, your pistola, your...?"
Spencer puts up his hands to stop her, "The other night, I couldn't sleep,
so I was up watching cable in the hotel room and there was an Andy Griffith
marathon on. And I thought to myself, 'Spencer...I call myself Spencer when
I'm thinking...Spencer, if Andy can keep law and order in a town like
Mayberry without carrying a gun, then why not you? So I decided that I am
going to enforce my own unique brand of justice with the most dangerous
weapon of all."
"You're going to sing?"
"No, my mind is the weapon."
"You're mind? Like in that movie, Scanners, when they could make people's
"No, I am far more dangerous than that. My mind is a library of the most
sophisticated and advanced concepts in law enforcement ever devised. I
don't think I will need to shoot anyone to keep peace in the land of
"Sounds like most of your library's books have been checked out. Spence
seriously, even in Stuckeyville...do you really think that it's smart to
not carry a weapon? You could get hurt."
"Do you know when the last shooting incident involving a Stuckeyville
officer was?" Frankie shakes her head. "It was three years ago...the
officer came out of it fine, but the 'Duck Crossing' sign that snuck up on
him didn't make it. Trust me, I'm more nervous with the police having guns
than with them not having guns. I wouldn't trust most of them with a stick
shift transmission, but they walk out the door with a semi-automatic pistol
Frankie places a hand upon his forearm, "Spence, does this have anything to
do with Sam? I mean you have suffered a great loss and might not be
acting..." Just then the waitress comes and takes their order.
Once the waitress leaves, Frankie looks like she is going to start the
conversation again, but she doesn't get the chance. "Hey Frankie, who's
your friend?" They both look over to see Mike and Nancy walking up to their
Frankie smiles at them, "hi guys, this is Spencer James." Then to Spencer,
"this is Mike and Nancy Burton."
Nancy says, "oh, we already met at the high school today."
Spencer stands and shakes their hands. Mike asks, "So Spencer, are you new
to our little community?"
"Yes, I just started a new position today."
Mike asks, "really? What do you do?"
Frankie responds for him, "he's the new Police Chief."
Mike smiles at Spencer, "well, I always say, if there's one thing you can
never have enough of its law and order."
Nancy says to Mike, "I thought you said you could never have enough pie."
"Nance, I have always considered pie to be a very complex metaphor for law
and order. Hey Spencer, I don't suppose you could help me with a couple of
Nancy elbows Mike in the ribs and asks, "what happened to the old chief?"
"He retired. Well, they kind of asked him to retire. He flipped out and
took a baseball bat to a bunch of parking meters in front of some café.
Kept muttering something about them not paying for themselves in tickets.
It's all very sad."
Nancy gets a mischievous smile, "hey, you don't happen to play tennis do
Spencer says, "yes, actually I do play a little. Why?"
Mike gives Nancy a warning look, but she shrugs it off. "Well, we are
supposed to play Ed and Carol in doubles tomorrow night, but something has
come up, so I think you two should play for us."
Frankie looks cautious, "oh, I don't know. I mean I wouldn't want to put
Spencer on the spot or anything. I bet Ed and Carol are pretty good."
Spencer gives Frankie a curious look, "I used to play for my college, so
unless they are pros, I think I can probably keep up."
Frankie smiles at him, "really? Well, in that case we should play. It'll be
Mike pushes Nancy towards their table. "We should go and let you enjoy your
meal together. Nice meeting you."
Spencer replies as they walk off, "nice meeting you all as well."
-At the Burton table-
As Mike and Nancy take their seats, he says to her, "Nance, what exactly
"What was what?"
"You do realize what you have done don't you? Setting up a tennis date
between Ed and Carol with Frankie and Spencer is like setting up a date
with Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Moriarity. I don't see how anything good can
come from this."
"What's wrong with putting them together? Carol, herself, told me today
that she considers Frankie a friend. Frankie has a new guy, maybe the
healing process can begin."
"Or maybe complete carnage and the destruction of everything we hold dear
can begin. This is going to be a disaster. You do know that a tennis
racquet can be used as a deadly weapon? I wonder which of them are going to
show up in my office. Remind me to order more bandages when we get home."
"Yeah, I'm pretty proud of myself too."
-At Frankie and Spencers' Table-
After they had finished eating, Spencer says to Frankie, "now that I think
about it, I'm not so sure playing tennis with Ed and Carol tomorrow night
is such a great idea."
"Because of the devilish grin you have had ever since they brought it up."
"I do not have a devilish grin...My grin is mischievous at best. Perhaps it
is a bit impish, but certainly not demonic in anyway. It's just a smile of
anticipation of spending some quality time with you...and seeing your
athletic prowess is just getting me all excited."
"No, I don't think it is. Could it possibly be seeing Ed and Carol lose to
us that is getting you excited?"
"Can't I be excited by both? Maybe I just want to show you off? What else
are you really good at?"
"Frankie...I'm not going to be your personal little gladiator...going
around defeating your old boyfriend at everything, just so you can feel
vindicated. I suppose you expect me to challenge him to basketball
next...No, I think you are going to have to deal with your Ed and Carol
issues all on your own."
"Are you particularly good at basketball?"
"Not particularly, no."
"Then don't challenge him. Ed's an excellent basketball player. Besides the
best part is going to be beating Ed and Carol together. "
"Frankie, remember earlier tonight when we discussed NOT going whacko on
each other. Well, the whacko meter is heading deep into the red zone at an
alarming rate right now."
Frankie smiles at him; "I remember discussing your not going whacko on me.
I don't remember any agreement in regards to my going or not going whacko
Spencer thinks for a moment, "Frankie, doesn't it seem a bit weird that
everyone, including us, is acting like we are some sort of couple. We
"Well, we aren't exactly a couple, but this is kind of like our third date.
Are you saying we've grown apart already? You told me earlier, whatever I
wanted; you would try to make happen. Are you saying that you didn't mean
"Yes, I meant it, but you never did give me an answer...I just
thought...remember that day, I saw the door being shut on any potential
relationship, so I lied to try and keep a window open...and then later that
night outside of the karaoke bar...you were yelling at me...and you made
sure I knew the window was shut too?"
"It's now open."
"Yes, has been for a while now. You just seemed to have missed it."
"Are you sure it's open and this isn't just a bad draft or something? It
seems to have snapped closed on my fingers once or twice."
"I think the window will probably stay open if you would stop playing with
"Well, how about the door? Is that open too?"
Frankie looks like she is thinking then says, "no, just the window. But I
will say the door's not locked."
Spencer looks at Frankie as if trying to decide whether it's safe to
proceed with further questions, and decides to go for the direct approach,
"Is it ok, if I am totally baffled? I still have no idea what you want from
me. Friend? Boyfriend? Weekend lover?"
"That will probably depend on how much you like my meatloaf."
They take an opportunity to smile at each other, when another voice calls,
"Marshal James, do you have any idea how many places in this ridiculous
little town I have been to trying to find you?" They both turn to see a
very attractive woman, who looks to be in her late thirties, in a
professional suit standing by their table.
Spencer looks at Frankie, "Oh crap. Just pretend like she's not there and
maybe she will go away."
"Spencer, in the past six years, has that ever worked for you? I have been
combing this whole silly town for you. Some idiot in a bowling alley, tried
to convince me that it was actually a law office. Is everyone in this town
crazy? I have come here to take you back...in chains if necessary."
Spencer leans towards Frankie and whispers, "she's bluffing."
"Oh yeah, just try me. And you of all people should know, I'll do it too."
And with that, the woman reaches into her business bag and halfway pulls
out an ominous set of chains and cuffs. Everyone in the saloon is now
looking at them. It seems to be Frankie's turn to look completely lost.
Spencer sighs heavily, "why don't you sit down for a minute, Maddie.
Frankie Hector this is Madeline Christensen. Maddie, this is Frankie
Hector, one of the lawyers that works out of the bowling alley." Frankie
and Madeline shake hands while they look each other over, and then Madeline
puts the chains back in the case and takes a seat next to Frankie.
Maddie says to Frankie, "you're kidding? A bowling alley?" Frankie nods her
head in the positive and hands her a business card. Maddie looks at the
card, smiles then turns to Spencer, "Spence, just because you resign,
doesn't give you the right to go and find another job."
Spencer replies, "actually, I think that is exactly what it does."
"Hey, I quit at least twice a month, but you don't see me moonlighting, now
do you? Look, I know this whole affair has you shaken up pretty badly,
which is exactly why you should be taking some time off and getting some
long, and I mean long, overdue therapy. Not running away to be some sort
Roscoe P. Coltrane, small town sheriff."
Frankie chimes in, "he's actually going for Andy Griffith."
"Barney Fife more likely." Maddie looks at Frankie, and then turns back,
"Spence, I recruited you...I trained you...I am not about to let you throw
away everything you have worked so hard for because of that stupid horrible
night. I don't want to lose my two best Marshals because of what happened,
you did everything you could do. Sam would have wanted you to..."
Spencer loses it and cuts her off in a stern voice Frankie wouldn't have
believed came from Spencer, "Don't tell me what Sam would want! Nobody
knows what Sam would want. And why? Because he's dead, and who was
responsible for him? I was. It was my job to insure his safety as well as
the safety of everyone involved. And I failed on all counts. Don't tell me
I did everything I could."
Maddie thinks for a moment and then decides to get up to leave, "Ok Spence,
you win. I figure it'll be about two weeks before this whole thing is
wrapped up. You have until then to get yourself figured out. I'll be over
in Jaspertown working with the clean up crew to make sure everything is
square. If you need to talk or if you need anything at all, let me know,
"Yeah, and thanks for trying Maddie." She leans down and kisses Spencer on
the forehead and leaves.
Frankie, after watching her leave, says with a somber look, "you were a
little rough on her, I think she was only trying to be supportive."
"For us, that was actually sweet talk...oh Maddie, is supportive all right.
But she needs to understand; this isn't a simple, get back on the horse
situation. I'll apologize to her later."
"Well, she doesn't seem to blame you and she really seems to care about
you...and she's very pretty."
"Yes, I suppose that's true on all counts."
"Did you and her ever?"
"Did we ever what? Put those hand cuffs and chains to use?"
Frankie looks up, "yeah."
"No. She was my boss. I could never get involved with my..." Spencer
pauses, as he realizes what he is saying, "well, I am just going to choose
not to complete that sentence, if that's alright with you."
"Probably a wise decision."
"Are you jealous?"
"No, of course not. Don't be ridiculous."
"I think you are...I think you're totally jealous. Well, you don't have any
reason to be."
Spencer looks directly at Frankie, "because she doesn't have your eyes. And
Frankie, by the way, I'm not playing tennis tomorrow."
11:00PM MONDAY EVENING-
Frankie and Spencer are sitting and talking in Spencer's squad car outside
of her apartment building. She finally says, "so where are you sleeping
tonight? I couldn't help but notice you don't have a lot in the way of
"Back at the house. I always have some thick blankets handy...just in case.
My stuff should be arriving by the end of the week. I've roughed it out in
much worse circumstances."
Frankie smiles at him, "well, I guess it's really my civic duty to offer
you a place to stay tonight. I mean, what if vicious criminals got away
tomorrow because you were too tired to stop them. It would really be my
fault, right? I always strive to be a good citizen."
"Frankie, are you offering me a place to stay tonight?"
"Depends on what?"
"Are you are going to play tennis tomorrow?"
Spencer smiles as he just gets the game, "So...if I play tennis tomorrow, I
get to share your bed?"
Frankie laughs out loud, "are you kidding? You think a few games of tennis
are worth a night with me? You have really overestimated yourself. My offer
is, you play tennis tomorrow night for the couch. Although at this point I
should probably make you play tennis and sleep on the floor, but hey...I'm
Spencer is still smiling, "Funny, I was just thinking about SLEEPING in the
same bed. You obviously have been thinking, and probably thinking a lot,
about something entirely different. And speaking of being a giver, you
can't say what it would be worth, seeing as you've never seen me play under
either condition. Ok, here's my counter offer, I'll play tennis, but I'm
not using my backhand, IF I can sleep on your couch, and you have to talk
dirty to me from the other room."
Frankie laughs, "If you play tennis tomorrow night, with your best game
both forehand and backhand, you get to sleep on my couch and you can listen
to the john. It tends to keep running all night."
"I say we compromise, I play tennis, my best game, and in return, I get to
sleep on your couch, listen to the john AND you have to talk dirty and kiss
me goodnight. And a good one too, none of this peck on the cheek crap.
Tongue, as always, will be optional and at your discretion."
"Your proposal is acceptable with a few minor edits. You agree to play the
best game of tennis of your life tomorrow night, I agree to allow you to
sleep on my couch, you can listen to the john to your hearts content, I
read you a quick bedtime story, the outcome of which will not take longer
than five minutes and I will give you a SMALL kiss on the lips goodnight,
the duration of which is to be no less than 1 second and not to exceed 3
seconds in length. I believe my terms are more than fair."
"Is it a dirty bedtime story?"
"No, but there may be up to three moments of minor innuendo."
"Sounds fair." And they shake hands on it and go up to Frankie's apartment.
7:00PM TUESDAY EVENING-
Frankie and Spencer are sitting in her car outside of the tennis club.
Spencer seems to be having second thoughts about playing.
Frankie says to him, "a deal is a deal."
"Yeah, but the story was kind of weak. I just think it might have helped me
appreciate some of the people of Stuckeyville being stomped by a giant; if
I just knew them a little better that's all. I really don't know what the
wicked step-Princess Carol did to deserve the fate she got in the story,
but it must have been pretty horrible."
"Hey, it's too late to complain now. All appeals should have been filed
last night. And I think the extra touches I threw in during the goodnight
kiss more than made up for any shortcomings in the story. And if you think
we are backing out now, after I had to listen to Ed talk on and on today,
about how he and Carol never lose, you are just kidding yourself."
Spencer smiles at her, "ok good point. Never let it be said, that I don't
keep my word." And they both exit the car and go into the tennis club.
As Spencer and Frankie walk onto the tennis court, Ed and Carol are already
there warming up. Ed and Spencer both have opted for basic t-shirts and
comfortable shorts, Carol is wearing a more traditional white tennis outfit
with mini-skirt and Frankie decided to go with a burgundy shirt with a
green paisley skirt. They all chat amiably for a few minutes about
Spencer's new position and his moving to Stuckeyville. Carol comments how
much she likes Frankie's tennis outfit, and then they decide to play.
On the very first point of the match, Ed hits the ball and Carol goes to
play up at the net. Frankie charges the shot and hits a line drive right at
Carol. Carol instinctively uses the racquet to protect herself and the ball
flies off her racquet and out of bounds. She says to Frankie, "wow, that's
quite a shot you have there. I thought you were trying to take my head off
for a moment."
Somewhere towards the end of the first set, Frankie tells Ed and Carol, she
needs a time out for a moment, then whispers to Spencer, at the baseline as
she hands him a ball, "I thought you played in college? What's happening
Spencer whispers back, "we are winning five games to one. What are you
"You totally tanked that last game. I just think you owe it to them to give
them your best effort. I know I wouldn't want pity points if I were them.
So stop taking it easy on them and play your best."
"I can't believe I am playing as well as I am...you keep distracting me."
"I distract you? How?"
"You grunt every time you hit the ball."
"I do not!"
"You do...it's not real loud, but yeah, you are a grunter."
"And this is disturbing you?"
"It's not disturbing me, it's turning me on. So don't stop. However, you
could stop trying to hit Carol with the ball, the object is to hit it away
from the person, not break their nose."
"You play your way, I'll play mine. Besides she's not even bleeding."
"Go get up into position."
"I've been waiting for you to say that all night."
"It's cruel to tease someone that's sleeping on the couch, you know." And
then Spencer asks out loud, "what's the score?"
Ed looks at Carol, but says to everyone, "you guys have thirty, while we
have nothing but love." Carol makes a dramatic motion of placing her hands
on her heart.
Ed and Carol begin to giggle while Frankie and Spencer, both groan loudly.
Spencer looks at Frankie, "ok, I'm beginning to see your point about
hitting them with the ball."
Spencer serves the ball. Ed returns it, and then Ed and Spencer both hit it
back and forth along the baseline. Finally the ball comes into line with
Frankie at the net. Frankie goes to slam it home, while Carol instinctively
puts up her racquet to protect herself. Frankie's shot comes down right by
the line and Ed calls out, "Out!"
Frankie can't believe it. "What do you mean out? That shot was right on the
Ed walks up to the net, "I'm sorry, but it was clearly just outside of the
line." Ed starts to walk back to the end of the court. But Frankie walks
around to their side of the net, where the ball hit the ground.
She says, "No, Ed. Your cheating just to get a lousy point, now that is
outside proper boundaries. My shot on the other hand was perfectly placed
on the line, within acceptable boundaries."
They both look at Carol for a ruling, but she says innocently, "I was a too
busy protecting myself to see where the ball landed."
Ed comes back to meet Frankie at the spot, "Now, I know I may have been
blinded by the pattern of your outfit, but I am quite sure that the ball
was out and my actions have always been squarely within the boundaries
"Well, I hope you get a good look at my skirt, because that's the closest
you'll ever get to my skirt again."
"Get close to your skirt? Are you kidding me? What? Did you run out of
clothes that match your tattoo? Even Fonesca wouldn't try to cheat on a
shot when he was winning by such a large margin."
"Oh! You would bring him up wouldn't you?! Are you ever going to just get
They continue to argue and Spencer and Carol find themselves watching next
to each other on each side of the net. Carol looks over at Spencer and
says, "do you ever get the feeling that a tennis game is no longer just a
"You know, that is exactly what I was thinking. Do you think we should stop
this before it gets out of hand?"
Carol looks at Spencer, "No, I think maybe we just need to shake it up a
little." With that she walks over to the still arguing Ed and Frankie.
Which has obviously taken on far deeper connotations than the original
Carol breaks into their argument, "Ok, Ok! I think we can concede this game
to Spencer and Frankie, in fact, I think we can concede the entire set."
Ed looks at Carol, "we can? I don't think so. Carol, we are poised to make
our comeback. We have them just where we want them."
Carol looks them both over as Spencer walks up, "No, I think this is a good
moment, to switch teams. Spencer and I are going to be one team, you two
will be the other." Ed and Frankie both look at each other as if they
cannot believe what they have just heard. Carol continues, "that's right.
Maybe you both can learn to play together nicely if you have to work for
the same goal. Plus, Spencer is clearly the best player, and I'd like to
win a couple of games."
Ed and Frankie both begin to protest but Carol puts up a hand to stop them
and says, "unless of course, you don't think you can beat us. I mean I
would understand if you don't think you are capable of working together as
a team anymore."
Ed and Frankie both soften their glares at each other, as if understanding
the deeper meaning of Carol's statement. Finally, Ed says, "well, I'll play
nice if you will. Sorry about the Fonesca comment...he might try to cheat
even if he was ahead."
Frankie says, "well Ed, if you can do it, I can do it. And I'm sorry about
the cracks I made about your unruly hair and bowling shirts."
"You didn't say anything about either of those."
"They were before we got here."
They split up into their new respective teams. As Carol and Spencer walk
back to their side of the court, he says to her in a lowered voice, "that
was amazing. You should have been a lion tamer. Just out of curiosity, do
you think either of us is going to survive when they get each of us alone
"Uhm...no, probably not."
10:15AM WEDNESDAY MORNING-
Frankie is just leaving the courthouse after filing several documents with
the court. She is walking down the front steps of the courthouse when she
is stopped by a familiar voice, "Miss Hector, how are you doing today?"
Frankie looks across to see Fonesca standing there as if waiting for her.
She decides to just keep walking past him. But he begins to walk next to
her towards the parking lot. He says, "so I see you have decided to get
involved with the Jaspertown shooting case after all. I really admire your
willingness to go undercover...as they say. I hear you and our newest Chief
of Police are the talk of the town."
Frankie stops and turns to him, "I have no idea what you are talking
Fonesca smiles, "Of course, discretion is always something to be admired.
But I have to admit that I am curious as to how he could take the job here
in our humble little town without giving at least a two-week notice, aren't
you? I mean, an important US Marshal, like Spencer James-seems they
wouldn't just let him slink away that easy. You'd think the Feds would be
sticklers for that sort of thing."
Frankie replies, "I don't know anything in the way of specifics of
Spencer's taking or leaving his jobs."
Fonesca looks as if he is confused, "that's very interesting, now I would
have thought you would be the expert to talk to by now. I guess he could
have taken advantage of his administrative leave. But you know what I think
"That this morning, you actually thought that tie went with that shirt?"
Frankie keeps walking but appears to be concerned, "Cute, but no...and I am
only aware of this because I have been working with them on this
case...mind you...but my understanding is that only a US Marshal that was
the actual shooter in an incident is put on administrative leave during the
investigation. Funny, that they should put him on leave, if he didn't shoot
anyone. Don't you think?"
Frankie stops and thinks about it a moment, "Maybe he had some vacation
coming? Maybe he needed a break? I don't see why you would really care to
Frankie reaches her car and opens the door. Fonesca says as she gets in,
"You're right of course. I'm sure it's something very simple. Just curious,
has he discussed that night's operation with you?"
"No. We haven't discussed any specifics of that evening."
"Well, that may be for the best. I can understand his not wanting to burden
your pretty little head with all the gory details, but you really should
ask him to tell you the full story sometime. It really is quite
interesting. In fact, you may look upon him in a whole new light."
And with that Frankie drives off with a new overwhelming sense of concern.
4:45PM THURSDAY AFTERNOON...
Dr. Michael Burton is in the process of sewing up stitches into the forearm
of his newest patient, the new Chief of Police of Stuckeyville. Who is
sitting with his right shirtsleeve ripped off at the elbow, and wincing
each time a stitch is made.
"Thanks for getting me in, Mike. I really didn't want to make a big fuss by
going to the ER."
Mike says to him, "No problem. This isn't too deep and anything other than
the usual throat cultures and sniffles is actually a welcome break. I'm
just glad I didn't give up sewing. Who cares what ninth grade boys think
anyway? So how are things going between you and Frankie? I hear you are
practically living together."
"Oh, I've just been camping out on her couch. And for the record, as I know
you will relay this back to all interested parties, our relationship is
just friendly with a dash of romance right now."
"So you haven't filed any briefs with her as of yet?"
"If that is your not so subtle way of asking if we've 'done it' yet...no, we
haven't. But I have made it to third base."
"Sorry, I just thought all law people loved legal term innuendo. Third
base, very nice."
"Well, to be honest, I got really frustrated and moved all the bases
around. So I now call a kiss on the lips third base."
"Nothing wrong with giving yourself points. Well, you now have 10 brand new
stitches to help hold everything together."
Spencer looks at Mike and asks, "I have a question for you, do you know why
Frankie would keep suggesting that I bet you and Ed ten bucks to do silly
"Oh, Ed and I have been betting each other to do stupid stunts ever since
we were kids. She probably thinks it will help assimilate you into our
Spencer asks, "does anyone else do it? Or just you and Ed?"
"Ed and I are the only ones brave enough to live the dream. But I've never
believed in closing doors on anyone...so Spencer, my new friend; I'll start
you off slow. I will bet you ten dollars, if you go and arrest my partner,
Dr. Jerome, for something totally made up...like reverberating in public
without a license. It has to be the real deal though with at least him in
"Mike that would be completely unethical. And not only could it really hurt
him, but it would ruin his reputation, not to mention mine."
"That was exactly what I was going for..."
"Well, all that sounds like it's worth at least twenty bucks. I mean, he
looks pretty grumpy, so this isn't going to be any fun."
Mike looks frustrated. "It's not supposed to be fun...ok fine, ten bucks if
you can stick 50 tongue depressors into your mouth at once."
Spencer makes a face, "they make me gag. What else have you got?"
Mike tries to explain, "no, you see, that's kind of the point. Ten dollar
bets are supposed to be something that makes you stretch and grow."
"I'm sorry, but gagging on 50 tongue depressors does sound like stretching,
but not in a good way."
"Maybe ten dollar bets are just a thing for Ed and I."
Spencer nods, "yeah, that sounds right."
At that moment, Frankie comes rushing into the office and asks, "what the
Spencer smiles at her, "hi Frankie, and how are you doing?"
"I'm doing fine, but the question is why are you bleeding all over the
Mike says, "It's just a few stitches, he'll be swinging a tennis racquet in
Frankie looks at Mike, "hi Mike. Could I borrow this room for a minute?"
Mike looks at Spencer, "sure, I'm pretty much done here. You know for
future reference, we do rent these rooms by the hour." Then whispering to
Spencer "Oh, and there's some viagra samples in that cupboard." Spencer and
Frankie both give him a dirty look, so Mike follows up with, "I'm just
saying." And he leaves the office.
Frankie closes the door, drops her bag and rushes up to Spencer and gives
him a tight embrace. After holding him for a few moments, she pulls back
and asks while surveying his arm, "are you ok? What happened? Why weren't
you more careful?"
Spencer looks like he is still recovering from the attention and after a
moment says, "it was no big deal. There was a small disagreement at a bar
just outside of town...this guy had a knife...I told him to give it to me. He
was handing it over and it just slipped."
Frankie gives him a disbelieving look, "he was handing it to you, and it
just slipped...giving you a gash requiring stitches?"
Spencer continues, "he was handing it over...just blade first. You know,
bikers don't know nearly as much about knife safety, as you would think.
I'm sure he didn't mean to cut me, but the end result is I have the knife
and he doesn't."
"I certainly hope that he doesn't have his knife AND he is in jail right
"Oh yeah, that too. Frankie, how did you know that something happened and
that I was here?"
"I...uh...heard it on my police scanner."
"You have a police scanner? I don't even have a police scanner...and I'm a
"It was a birthday gift...it just happened to be on...it relaxes me."
Frankie goes and picks up her bag, "speaking of gifts, I have one for you
that I picked up this morning, which now seems very appropriate." She
reaches into her bag and pulls out something odd shaped in gift-wrapping.
Spencer opens it, and sees that it is a gun, "wow, the gift of firepower.
Now that's the gift that keeps on giving. You do know that I have a key to
an entire room full of these things. Now I feel bad, I saw a bazooka for
sale just the other day, that I know you would have loved, but I didn't buy
it. Frankie, there are so many potential messages here that I'm not sure
which one to take."
Frankie sits next to him and puts her arm through his, "take it as
this...Spence, I don't want to go to your funeral."
"That's actually one event I've been trying to avoid myself."
"Really? Sometimes I wonder...it just seems that not carrying a gun, in a
dangerous profession could be interpreted as somewhat self-destructive."
"Frankie, if I wanted to kill myself, I would have taken a job somewhere
like New York, LA, Salt Lake City..."
"Salt Lake City?"
"A much more dangerous town than most people would initially suspect. But
the point being, if I was seriously trying to get myself whacked, there are
far more direct ways to go about it than Stuckeyville."
Frankie thinks about it for a moment, "then why won't you carry a gun? Is
there something that happened the night of the shooting that you would like
to talk about?"
"No, I'm not really comfortable talking about it yet. Why don't I want to
carry a gun? I am not totally sure...all of a sudden, I just can't stand the
idea of shooting anyone. It seems like there has to be a better way to get
Frankie looks somber and says, "Look Spence, I know we haven't know each
other all that long, but I really have come to care about you. And I don't
know if I can handle this situation. When I heard you were wounded and they
were bringing you here, I just about lost my mind. What's it going to be
like weeks from now? Months? I'm sorry, but if you want to keep seeing me,
you are going to have to start carrying a gun."
Spencer looks down at the gun for a moment, "Well, that's something you
don't hear everyday. This is a really nice pistol, you know it's funny, it
looks just like...Frankie, this is my pistol."
"Yeah, on my lunch hour, I test fired a few rounds at the station range,
cleaned and oiled it for you. It's just like new. Your secretary, Rose, let
me onto the range. She's very nice and helpful."
"Yes, she is, but what I would like to know is how did you get into my
LOCKED house and then get it out of the LOCKED box that I had hidden.
Please notice, I am placing emphasis on the word LOCKED. And I know my
landlord didn't let you in this time, because he's out of town."
"Hey, you're sleeping on my couch. I just thought we could kind of
appreciate an open communal existence."
"So I should expect this sort of thing fairly often is what you're saying."
Frankie gives him an innocent look; "I like keeping you on your toes. Let's
not get distracted, I think the thing we need to focus on here is that you
need to start carrying that with you at all times." Frankie gets a
mischievous look and smiles at him, "perhaps, you just need a little
incentive...something to look forward to..."
5:00PM THURSDAY EVENING...
Mike is at the exam room door trying to listen in without being too obvious
to passers by. He can barely make out that they are talking and having an
impossible time figuring out what they are saying.
He hears paper rustling and puts his ear up closer to the door. Suddenly a
voice booms out from behind him, "listening to coconut trees again, you
Mike jumps, "I am just waiting for my patient to be finished with the exam
"Good idea, Lassie. The patients are probably much better off treating
themselves. Wouldn't want a partially trained physician such as yourself to
do anything that might gum up the works."
"Excuse me, I am just allowing my patient a moment alone. This man has
suffered a very serious trauma and needed a moment to compose himself."
Just then Frankie comes walking out of the room, she appears flushed and
she quickly makes a smoothing motion over her blouse. As she passes the two
she says, "thanks Mike. He's all yours now. But I wouldn't take his blood
pressure for at least another ten minutes." She then turns back and says
into the room, "the next time I see you, I expect you to be packing some
They both look into the room and Spencer is smiling like the cat that just
ate the canary. He says to Mike, "first base."
Dr. Jerome appears ready to blow the vein bulging in his forehead. "You've
turned my office into a brothel...you...pelican jawed pimp!"
"Walter, I turned OUR office into a brothel. We're partners remember."
6:30PM THURSDAY NIGHT...
Ed, Carol, Mike, Nancy, Molly, Frankie and Spencer are all waiting outside
of Stuckeybowl for Spencer's new squad car to arrive. Very soon a shiny new
VW Bug drives right in front of the group. The VW is decked out in blue and
white like a Stuckeyville police cruiser and there is a large round red
siren on the top. Each door has a large police badge and written on the
front hood it reads, "Hail to the Chief of the Stuckeyville Police."
Brad Campbell leaves the car and walks up to a stunned Spencer handing him
the keys, "well, here's your new car. You're as happy with how it came out
as I am...I can tell."
Finally Spencer stammers out while walking around looking the car over,
"what the hell is this? Are a bunch of little clown cops going to come
pouring out of this thing?"
Brad says, "not now, but what you choose to do with it later is none of my
affair. It's great isn't it? I think it really makes a statement."
"And what statement would that be?"
"Well, some of us thought that since you were too good to wear the chief's
uniform, maybe you needed a car that really let's everyone get to know who
our Chief is. And voila, here it is."
Spencer shakes his head, "well, I'll just keep the car I have and we'll use
this as a back up. In case, we ever need to arrest a bunch of dwarves or
Now Brad is shaking his head, "I am so sorry, I have to take the other car,
it's needed elsewhere."
"Elsewhere...there is no elsewhere. There are only a handful of cops in this
town and they all have better cars than that one. Where else could it go?"
"Elsewhere...Oh, and before I forget. It's really important that you start
wearing the chief's uniform by Monday's assembly at the high school. You
know how impressed high school kids are by exotic foreign cars, uniforms
with your name right on the shirt and not to mention polyester slacks. The
mayor will be there."
"Not a chance, I was very clear with everyone, including yourself, that I
wasn't going to wear a uniform."
"I'm sorry, I must have misunderstood, because when I wrote your contract,
I clearly specified that you would have to wear the uniform. Will...will not,
it's a real easy mistake to make. But it's on page 12 paragraph c of your
contract, I just happen to have a copy with the appropriate sections
highlighted in the car if you care to take a look."
"I'll just do that."
Brad Campbell drives off in the other squad car as the entire group studies
Spencer's new car and looks for his reaction. Finally Nancy says, "I think
the flower in the little vase is nice."
Everyone looks at her, she defends herself, "well, it is. It's
sensitive...kind of says, yeah we're taking you to jail, but we still care
about the little things."
Ed comes over, places a hand on Spencer's shoulder and says while trying
not to laugh, "think how easy parallel parking is going to be. You can just
zip right into any parking space. You can't put a price tag on that. And
think of all the farfenugen you are going to get. I have never understood
exactly what that is...but my friend, you are going to get a lot of it."
Carol adds, "don't worry Spencer, size doesn't matter. You can't judge a
cop by the size of his squad car."
Molly comes closer, "hey guys, don't 'bug' him."
Spencer replies, "I am in hell."
Frankie comes up next to Spencer and puts an arm around him, "kind of makes
you want to punch someone in the arm. It'd be cuter in yellow."
Finally Mike says, "I'm hungry...should we all just pile into Spencer's car
and go? Nance, where's my rubber nose?"
11:00AM THURSDAY NIGHT...
Frankie and Spencer have just driven up to her apartment building in his
new VW beetle police car. She looks surprised that he hasn't parked. She
asks, "aren't you coming in?"
"I'm sorry, I totally forgot. This day has been insane, what with being
stabbed, this ridiculous car and all. There's a whole bunch of boxes just
waiting for me to be unpacked, including a bed. So you get your couch back,
you lucky girl."
"You don't have to unpack tonight. You could stay another night, I wouldn't
mind. You must be tired and you have to work tomorrow...in your brand new
car. It was fun teasing you, but I actually think it's quite cute."
"No, I'm going to have to do something about this. Not to mention Brad
Frankie takes the copy of Spencer's contract that Brad left for him. "Well,
I'll look this over for you, since you obviously didn't read it too
carefully. Maybe he left a loophole or something, although I doubt it. I
have seen some of Brad's work and yes, he's evil, but very thorough with
Spencer says sarcastically, "great, sounds promising. I think I really
better go to my place."
"Because I'm not sure I'm happy sleeping on the couch anymore, and I don't
want to pressure you."
Frankie smiles at him, "funny, I was thinking the same exact thing."
"I don't know, Frankie...I'm so messed up right now. There are just so many
question marks for both of us. I just don't want to rush in to anything and
screw this up. I think we should wait."
Frankie asks cautiously, "how long are you thinking?"
Spencer smiles at her and then leans in and kisses her. When they pull
apart he says, "tomorrow night...maybe afternoon if we can both get off
Frankie laughs, "ok, I'll cook dinner... and we'll see what happens,
depending on how much you rave about my meatloaf. And don't forget,
tomorrow, I expect to see you sporting a rod."
"Did you want me to bring my gun too?"
7:30AM FRIDAY MORNING...
Spencer has been staring at an open box on a small table by his front door
with its lid open for half an hour. And in that open lock box lays his gun.
Simply picking it up and carrying it with him seems like such a simple
task, one he's done thousands of times, but he can't summon the strength to
move his hands to grasp it. Finally, a moment of resolution strikes him and
with hands trembling, he says, "to hell with it." And he grabs the gun,
shoves it into his holster and runs out the door.
About two seconds later, Spencer dashes back into the house, quickly pulls
the pistol from his holster and places it back into the box and slams down
the lid. He shakes his head, leaves the closed box on the table and quickly
leaves the house again while slamming the door.
About four seconds later, the front door flies open once again, Spencer
enters the room exclaiming, "damn it!" And he grabs the entire closed lock
box and leaves the house. As he is swinging the door shut he mutters to
himself, "if this is hard, just wait till the damn thing is actually
11:00AM FRIDAY MORNING...
Two women sit in a coffee shop in between Stuckeyville and Jaspertown. One
woman is tall, appears to be in her mid to late thirties and is dressed as
if she just came from the boardroom of a fortune 500 company. The other
woman is a petite brunette that some might describe as a slight bit pixie-
ish, whether a cute or hot pixie seems to be a matter of personal
preference and mood.
The taller woman, Madeline Christensen, says while laughing, "now, let me
get this straight...Spencer, told you he was gay, because he thought that it
would improve his chances with you?"
Frankie replies, "yes, he did."
"As scary as this is going to be for you, that actually sounds just like
something Spencer would do."
"You're right that is a little bit scary."
Madeline says, "oh, don't get me wrong...Spencer is simply the best. But you
know how most people come to a fork in the road and have to decide whether
to turn left or right?"
Frankie nods, so Madeline continues, "while every other person on the
planet would choose left or right at that fork in the road...Spencer will
start to dig a tunnel. As frustrating as he can be, it's one of the
qualities that makes him a great US Marshal. The bad guys never know where
he is going to pop up."
"Maddie, I need to know what happened during the night of the shooting near
Jaspertown. I need to know what was Spencer's role in all of this."
Maddie looks a little concerned, "What has Spencer told you?"
Frankie looks her in the eyes, "absolutely nothing. Obviously something
very bad happened to him. Maybe it was just Sam dying...I don't know, but it
seems to be something even deeper than that. And someone recently informed
me that the Marshals only place the shooter on administrative leave, so why
was Spencer placed on leave?"
Maddie takes a sip from her coffee and says, "I appreciate your concern for
Spence. But I'm truly sorry, I can't tell you anything about that night,
its completely classified information." Maddie pauses, then asks Frankie,
"tell me, has Spence's dog shown up yet?"
Frankie looks truly puzzled, "Spence doesn't have a dog. You should know
that. He confided in me that he really prefers cats. Although he swore me
to secrecy about it, must be a guy thing. He told me you were the only
other person that knew that about him."
Maddie looks at Frankie as if seeing her for the first time, "Spence
actually told you that he liked cats?"
"Yes, the same conversation that he admitted that he cried during the movie
Titanic...maybe he is gay."
"No, Spencer isn't gay. He gave you the codes."
Frankie smiles nervously, "the codes? Morse or secret?"
"Neither exactly. You see, the US Marshals sometimes work with real
scumbags. And sometimes the least trustworthy people around are the people
supposedly working with you. So Spencer, Sam and I created a little system
to test whether someone that claims to be tight is actually tight. It works
like this...Spencer, Sam and I each came up with five things that we never
would want people to know. Each thing represents a level of trust. So if
someone comes up to me and says they have worked with Spencer previously, I
can ask a few questions and quickly find out just how much Spencer trusted
Frankie still looks a bit confused, "so how did I do?"
"Seeing that Spencer's irrational love for cats is his level one question,
I'd say you did very well. I don't know of him giving out that level of
trust to anyone ever before, with the exception of Sam and myself. He must
trust you a great deal."
Frankie blushes and asks, "does Spence even own a cat?"
"No, however he does have a subscription to Cat Fancy magazine. He used to
go out in a silly disguise to adult bookstores to buy it, so no one would
know. Finally I told him to create a fake id, rent a p.o. box and get a
subscription for crying out loud."
Frankie says, "ok, that's probably the scariest thing I have heard. Cat
"Yeah, it's a kind of sickness. By moving to Stuckeyville, Spencer isn't
running away. He's punishing himself, or at least allowing others to punish
Frankie replies, "punished for what?"
"Punished for every rotten thing that happened that night. You see, if
Spence had stayed in the Marshals, he would be protected. The moment
Spencer quit he became the person that they are going to scapegoat
everything that went wrong on. I've been slowing things down but I can't
stop them as long as he isn't a US Marshal. He is going to have to defend
himself, but I think he has given up. He thinks he deserves anything bad
that happens to him, so he isn't even going to put up a fight."
"What do they want? What can they do to him?"
"Ruin him, humiliate him, and declare his leadership of the operation
incompetent and then he can be opened up for civil and criminal suits. You
have probably figured out by now...Spencer's not exactly a diplomat. He's
great at what he does, but he doesn't have any tolerance for morons and we
are a federal agency. He has enemies that are salivating right now, just
waiting for the chance to get at him. One of them is a weasel lawyer from
the home office, and he has a friend of his from Stuckeyville to help him
"Let me guess...Fonesca is helping him."
"Yes, he is, but so far he's more of a nuisance than an actual problem. He
doesn't like your partner very much. You know he does have a first name."
"It helps me appreciate how evil he is if I only call him by one name. You
know more dramatic. I've only known him a very short time."
Maddie gives a knowing look to Frankie, "yes, I know...Frankie Hector moved
to Stuckeyville recently, shortly after graduating law school with an on
and off again boyfriend named Leon. You took a job with Ed Stevens shortly
after moving here. Leon left, you stayed. You had a brief romantic
entanglement with Ed Stevens before he took up with another woman named
Carol. That was just a few weeks ago. Ed is known as a good honest
upstanding citizen type and he wins more cases than he loses. He has a good
reputation in spite of working from an unconventional location. You have
only argued one case in a courtroom...you lost, to Fonesca. However, you are
considered a whiz at research."
"Wow, you sure do know a lot about me, but you forgot to mention makes a
great meatloaf. Do you know how my life turns out too, because that could
be useful information?"
"No, I don't know how it turns out, but I might need your services soon.
Spencer's hearing is in two weeks; he may need a couple of good lawyers to
help him out of this jam. If Spencer will let you represent him, then he
can tell you what happened that night. And if he gives you any trouble,
give him this." Maddie pulls out an envelope with the name Spencer James
written on it.
"What is it?"
"It's some words of wisdom that I know he will appreciate. Only use it when
totally desperate though. Now, if I know Spencer, he is going to start
doing some very strange things to keep himself occupied. The biggest help
you can be to Spencer is don't let him do anything outlandish or crazy.
Although there is no way to know exactly where his lunacy will strike, I
should at least take care of the usual suspects. Does Stuckeyville have a
"Uhh...no...well, a petting zoo, yes."
Maddie starts making notes, "ok, note to self, close down petting zoo."
7:05PM FRIDAY NIGHT...
Frankie answers her door, and standing there is Spencer in a suit coat
holding half a dozen roses and a book. She stands there admiring him for a
moment. Finally he asks, "uh...did you want me to go away?"
Frankie comes out of it, "no...no, please come in. I just have never seen you
dressed like this before."
"Is it ok? Too much?"
"No, I like it. You look great." She points at the flowers he is holding,
"are those for me?"
"Yes, sorry I'm a few minutes late, I had a blank moment at the flower
place. A dozen roses seemed a little overbearing like I expect something,
but one or two seemed cheap. So I finally thought six seemed like a good
middle of the road number. Oh, I almost forgot, I also got you this..."
Spencer gives her the hard bound book.
Frankie takes it and says, "thank you, you really didn't have to get me
Spencer opens the cover, "it's the true story of Frank Serpico, and it's
autographed by the real Frank Serpico. You look amazing by the way."
Frankie gives Spencer a quick kiss. "Thank you, this is the most thoughtful
gift I've ever received. And the flowers are beautiful." She takes them and
goes to find a vase. As she comes back into the room, she asks, "now do you
have something else for me to see?"
Spencer smiles, "well, I was thinking we would wait till after dinner at
least, but hey, I'm ready whenever."
Frankie stops him, "your gun, I want to see if you are carrying your gun."
"Oh yeah, here it is." He opens the suit coat to show his holster.
"Excellent, good job." She then takes the holster off of his belt and puts
the gun on a side table. "I don't think you'll be needing it tonight
though. Oh, before I forget, I got you something too. Just to set the
mood." She walks him over to the set dinner table and sitting on one of the
chairs is an open box. In the open box is a small gray kitten.
Spencer laughs, "what is this all about?"
Frankie picks the kitten up and says, "she's for you. You like cats, and I
thought it was about time you had one."
Spencer smiles, "Frankie, I don't know if I will have enough time to take
care of a kitten."
Frankie replies, "don't worry, I'll take care of her. She'll be ours. That
way, no one need know of your little secret. Do you want to know her name?"
"Her full name is "Smith N. Wesson."
Spencer laughs, kisses her and says, "that's just...perfect. Simply perfect."
They both play with the kitten for a few moments, then put it down and
begin bringing plates of food from the kitchen. "Oh, I reviewed your
contract today. You're pretty much screwed. The only thing I could find was
a line in an old manual that says that you can pick any kind of uniform you
feel appropriate. So you could choose a different color or something."
Spencer looks like he is thinking for a moment, "yeah, different color
Spencer helps Frankie finish bringing all the dishes out of the kitchen,
and they sit to eat. Frankie remembers she wanted to put on some music, so
she gets up and turns on the radio. She is going over the dial looking for
a soft music station, when she finds Spencer next to her. He places his
hand upon hers and says, "go back a station, they are playing our song."
She goes back to the previous station and finally recognizes the voices of
Kenny Rodgers and Dolly Parton, singing 'Islands in the Stream.' Frankie
and Spencer both laugh. He asks her to dance and she agrees. They slow
dance to the song, their eyes never leaving each other. Not feeling any
need to talk, but just enjoying the moment.
As the song ends they don't separate, and Spencer says, "Who would have
thought I would ever be a Kenny Rodgers or Dolly Parton fan. Look Frankie,
I'm kind of a train wreck right now. It's probably a bad idea for us to get
involved with each other to the point where we can't go back, you know what
Frankie looks up at him, "yes, I'm sure you're right. Neither of us is
really ready for a relationship right now," and with that they embrace
tenderly. After a awhile they part and Spencer whispers, "I think the
meatloaf might be getting cold."
Frankie replies, "it's even better reheated." And they begin kissing again.
After a few moments, Frankie starts backing Spencer towards the bedroom.
He falls backward onto the bed with Frankie on top of him. They continue to
embrace, and Frankie is beginning to unbutton Spencer's shirt, when a voice
suddenly comes from his belt. They both look at the source of the noise.
Spencer swears and grabs his radio from his belt. He says into it, "Sally,
this better be the crime of the century. And I mean an OJ sized crime, do
you get me." All the while Frankie is kissing his neck.
The female voice on the radio says, "it's worse chief, Gerald Stenett's
fourteen year old son, Michael, just stole his brand new BMW. Somebody
needs to go get him before the state troopers do. Cause you know they'll
throw the book at him."
Spencer tries to keep his mind on the conversation as Frankie is now
kissing his ears. "Let them throw the book at him...where's Jason? He's
should be around to do this."
Sally replies, "Jason is tied up rescuing the Hansen's dog from the duck
pond. He got loose again."
Spencer gets irritated, "well, where's Kelly? She's his back up tonight."
Sally says, "she's actually tied up rescuing Jason from the Hansen's dog
down at the duck pond. He's a foul mutt."
Spencer can't believe it. "There's nobody else? Fine, I'll go."
"Chief...one other thing."
"I think when y'all were rolling around, one of you kept hitting the talk
button on your radio. So we could hear some of it. The next time you start
fooling around, tape the talk button down, so we can hear everything. Only
hearing y'all make out and pant for a few seconds at a time is enough to
drive a person crazy. However, you have made everyone here's night a little
"Thanks Sally, I'll remember that." After putting the radio down, Spencer
yells, "crap! This sucks. I have to go."
Frankie walks him to the door and kisses him again, "maybe you could come
back over when you're finished. Midnight snack or something."
"As much as I want to...and believe me, you have no idea, how much I want to.
I have to be in Jaspertown in the wee hours of the morning. I promised
Maddie, I would come and tie up some loose ends. I don't want to feel
rushed, with the first.... well, you know. I'll be back Monday. So maybe we
could finish our evening on Monday?"
Frankie gives him a reluctant smile, "Monday it is."
They kiss for a long moment, and then he leaves. Frankie walks over to the
table, where Spencer's gun is laying, picks it up and carries it back to
the door. She waits there counting. There is a knock at the door and
Spencer quickly opens the door reaches in and grabs the gun, kisses Frankie
once more and runs off.
10:10AM MONDAY MORNING...
The entire student body of Stuckeyville High School is waiting in the
auditorium for their assembly to begin. The mayor and several town
administrators, including Brad Campbell, are sitting on the stage waiting
as well. Principal Hudson appears somewhat nervous as she stands beside
Carol and Nancy on the left side of the stage.
Molly looks at both of them and asks, "do you guys have any idea where
Spencer is? He was supposed to be here half an hour ago to go over what he
was going say. I may just take a stab at him myself."
Carol answers, "maybe he had to stop to give out a traffic ticket or
something. I'm sure there's a very good explanation. I mean Frankie likes
him, so he must be somewhat stable.... don't you think?"
They both give Carol a disbelieving look. She shrugs. Molly walks over to
the podium, "well, good morning. We are supposed to hear from
Stuckeyville's new Chief of Police this morning, but he seems to have been
delayed. I'm sure he is on his way."
Just then Warren Cheswick comes running into the auditorium from the back
entrance and runs up to the podium. He moves in front of Molly to get to
the microphone. Molly says, "Warren, just what do you think you are doing?"
"Sorry, Miss Hudson...this is official police business...so I am going to have
to ask you to step aside."
Molly hesitates as if not sure what to do, then Warren makes a dramatic
move aside gesture with his hand. Molly gives him a look to let him know
this is not over.
Warren says into the microphone, "hey, Stuckeyville High School...are y'all
ready to meet your new Chief of Police!?" A few people in the crowd laugh
and one or two clap, but he is met mostly with silence. "I can't hear
you....I said are you ready to meet you're the new Chief of Stuckeyville!?"
Darkness falls on the auditorium and a spotlight goes on towards the back.
The song, 'I fought the law, and the law won' begins to play in the
background. A tall man steps through the back entrance. He immediately
stands out because he is dressed in a blue and white spandex outfit similar
to something out of a comic book. On his chest is the letters 'SPD', he has
a blue cape trailing behind him and on his head is a blue helmet with a
siren attached. The siren is shining a circling red light around the
auditorium. The crowd all begin to laugh and applaud. Spencer moves down
the row, with each arm raised, giving out high fives to the students on
Spencer reaches the stage and walks up to the podium. The lights come up
and the music stops. He takes a breath and says to the crowd, "now, I know
you are looking at me and saying to yourself, 'how could this guy possibly
be different from the other boring speakers we've had in the past. Well,
I'm not. I'm just another boring guy in a cape. But as 'Chief of
Stuckeyville' I pledge to serve and protect you citizens of Stuckeyville,
with every ounce of strength that can be found in this very binding
outfit." Spencer gives the crowd a quick salute. "I also pledge that when
the law is broken...I will bring a swift and powerful smackdown on all those
that dare dip their toes in to the puddles of lawlessness."
As Spencer's speech continues, Molly, Carol and Nancy all grab Warren and
pull him to the side. Molly asks, "Warren, why didn't you warn me about
"Sorry, Miss Hudson...I thought you knew...he caught Mark and I outside and
said we were truants. I said, 'I don't pay rent, I'm just a student'...He
said that we needed to introduce him and do the lights and music or face
the consequences. I'm too young and innocent to go to jail and be
Finally Spencer is finishing up his speech, "and finally, let me just say.
That I would like to be a lighthouse set on a hill. Guiding all the ships
of the people of Stuckeyville towards the safety and security of
lawfulness." And he points to the red light on top of his helmet. "Thank
The high school students erupt in cheers and applause, many giving him a
standing ovation. Molly gets back on the microphone and instructs everyone
to go back to regular classes. Spencer stands to the side as Brad Campbell
comes up beside him and says, "excuse me Stuckeyboy, but Siegfried & Roy
called and they want their clothes back. So where's your real uniform? You
know the clothing you are contractually obligated to wear."
Spencer smiles at him, "funny thing about that Brad. My lawyer found a
provision in the Stuckeyville books that I can basically adopt any uniform
I want. So this is the new official Chief of Stuckeyville Police
uniform...you like how it came out as much as I do...I can tell. And think how
nice this is going to go with my new car."
11:15AM MONDAY MORNING...
Spencer sits stunned in Principal Hudson's office. Molly, Carol and Nancy
are waiting just outside for the mayor and staff to leave before going in.
Nancy says, "he looks like it didn't go to well, should we leave him alone
for a little while?"
Ignoring Nancy's question, all three enter the office once Spencer is
alone. He looks as if he got the chewing out of a lifetime. Carol puts her
hand on Spencer's shoulder and tries to sound cheery, "so Spence, how did
Spencer lifts his head up, "the mayor loved it. Can you believe it? He
loved it. He wants Chief Stuckeyville to do public appearances, public
safety commercials...he even mentioned billboards. BILLBOARDS! What's a guy
got to do to be a laughingstock in this town?"
Molly whistles, "wow, you twenty feet tall in that outfit. Everyone's going
to know just what size gun you are carrying, my friend."
Carol can't resist, "do you have trouble with your cape getting stuck in
the car door? I know when I wear a long skirt, it's a real struggle."
Nancy steps up closer, "Spencer, can I ask you a question?"
"Sure, why not?"
Nancy starts cautiously, "your speech. It didn't really sound like stuff
you would write. Where did you get your material?"
Spencer looks confused for a moment, "oh, I found a bunch of old
inspirational greeting cards and I took the messages from those and just
changed them around to talk about law enforcement. Everywhere they said
'love' I replaced it with 'incarceration'."
Nancy puts both arms in the air and says, "yeah! I knew it. Some of those
were mine. I knew they would serve a purpose someday."
12:00PM MONDAY AFTERNOON...
Chief Stuckeyville walks out to his new VW bug squad car. He finds under
the windshield wiper a note wrapped around a red rose. The note looks
printed from a computer and all it says is, 'Can't wait to see you. Come to
my place now.'
Spencer breaks all but two traffic laws on the way over to Frankie's
apartment. He stops just outside her door and wonders if he should have
changed first. He decides to make a dramatic entrance, so he places the
single rose between his teeth and checks the door. It's not locked, so he
throws it open and steps in side with great flourish, yelling, "Chief
Stuckeyville is here!"
Spencer is immediately just as shocked as the man in a bathrobe standing by
the stereo is. They both jump a little bit. Then the man looks Spencer up
and down and asks, "can I help you with something? I think you must be in
the wrong apartment."
Spencer replies cautiously, "I'm sorry, I was looking for Frankie Hector.
Does she happen to be around?"
"No, she's not. Can I help you with something? I'm her boyfriend."
Spencer freezes over for a moment, "you're her boyfriend? Uhm...I'm just here
to deliver this." And Spencer hands him the single rose.
The man takes it and says, "wow, that seems like a lot of work to get all
dressed up and everything for a single rose."
Spencer still seems somewhat dazed, "it's...uhm...from the Stuckeyville
Police...they're cheapskates...she was helping...with a...case."
"Well, I'll make sure she gets it. Hey, can I get your opinion on
Spencer seems numb to reality, "sure, why not?"
The man says while reaching into his robe pocket, "I'm probably jinxing
myself by showing you, but I need someone else's opinion and if you can't
trust the flower delivery guy...who can you trust?"
Spencer smiles slightly, "yeah, no kidding."
The man pulls out and opens a small jewelry box, which contains a large
diamond ring in it. He says, "Frankie and I have had our ups and downs, but
I really feel good that it's time for us to just go ahead and make the big
Spencer seems mesmerized by the ring, the man finally asks, "so what do you
"It's great. I mean, what girl wouldn't want that? I'm sure it's perfect."
"Well, I sure hope so. I'm popping the question tonight. My name is Leon,
by the way."
Spencer shakes his hand and then turns to leave. "Well, good luck to you
and Frankie, Leon. I'm sure everything will work out." And Spencer walks
out of the apartment.
4:15PM MONDAY AFTERNOON...
Mark Vanacore has been looking for Warren Cheswick for over an hour, they
were supposed to meet after school at the library. Finally, Mark decides to
check The Smiling Goat. He scans the place and sees Warren sitting at a
booth across the room. As he walks up, "Cheswick, where the hell have you
been? I've been look..."
Warren interrupts him screeching, "HELP ME! It's that crazy cop. Go get a
saw or something. Quick before he comes back." Warren shows Mark that he
has been hand cuffed to the brass bar circling the booth. It appears that
Warren has been trying to pick the lock with a straw.
Mark looks at him for a moment, "Warren Cheswick, this could only happen to
Just then, a tall man in a black leather coat with one of the sleeves
slashed open comes with a beer and sits down across from Warren. The man
says to Mark, "I'm sorry, but the prisoner's visiting hours don't start for
another half an hour."
Mark looks at the man and asks, "excuse me Chief James, but what exactly
did Warren do?"
Spencer looks up at Mark and says, "he tried to order a beer at the bar.
He's under age, that's a class two misdemeanor. So I am counseling him on
the dangers of alcohol to minors."
Warren pipes in a desperate voice, "It was a joke. I always try to order a
brewski from the bar. They never give it to me. This is all just a
hilarious romp of misunderstanding."
Spencer says, "so you admit to performing multiple illegal acts. Well my
friend, maybe yesterday I would have let something like that go, but
today...I am Mr. Zero Tolerance."
Warren says, "root beer-I meant to say root beer. It's an easy enough
mistake to make. I don't suppose a visit from a Mr. Lincoln, could put this
whole mess behind us."
Spencer replies, "I guess I could see how that would be an easy mistake to
make if root beer was spelled, H-E-I-N-E-Y. Now you were either asking for
a beer or a hooker. I'd go with the beer story if I were you." Then he
turns back to Mark, "Oh Mark, good job on the lights and music this
"No problem. Being friends with Cheswick here has made me an expert at
assisting people make fools of themselves. So good job."
Spencer actually gives him a small smile, "thanks...I think."
As they talk, Warren has been working the loop of the handcuff down the
brass bar until it almost reaches the end. He bolts upright, stands on the
booth seat and runs across the next booth towards the end of the brass
rail. He turns and yells to Mark, "run! I'm making my move..." As he says
this the end knob of the brass rail is too thick and the handcuff loop is
caught. Warren's feet go flying in the air and he lands on his back, still
firmly attached to the brass railing.
Without even looking over at Warren, Spencer asks Mark, "does he hurt
Mark replies, "you have no idea."
At this point, Frankie walks up to the booth. "Spence, let the boys go."
Spencer doesn't even look at her, "ah...Miss Hector, I suppose you'll be
wanting to act as their attorney. I will have you know that I read Mr.
Cheswick his rights and gave him the option of coming down to the station
and calling his folks, or be handcuffed to the bar and listen to my tales
of women, wine and woe. He chose the later."
"Look Spence, you have every right to be upset, but don't take it out on
them. I think, he's more than paid his debt to society, let him go."
"Fine." And Spencer tosses the handcuff keys to Mark.
Mark helps Warren up and gets the cuffs off of him, places the cuffs and
key on the table and they begin to leave. Warren turns and says to Spencer,
"if, you...uh...ever want to get together and rap about women or
stuff...without the cuffs, I mean, give me a call." Mark pulls Warren away
and they leave. Frankie sits across from Spencer, but he refuses to meet
She says, "Spence, I'm not exactly sure what to say."
He finally looks at her, "well, let me give you a start then...'Spence,
some lunatic escaped in a bathrobe and broke into my apartment claiming to
be my boyfriend. He's now back in the relative safety of the asylum...so
let's go back to my place and do it like rabbits.' How's that for a start?"
Frankie tries to smile, "I wish I could say that, but I can't. Listen
Spence, Leon showed up yesterday, because he was worried about me. He
decided to come to Stuckeyville and see if we couldn't patch things up.
Apparently, he still cares about me. I am really sorry that you found out
the way you did. I tried to get a hold of you every way I could think of."
Spencer studies his drink, "And what do you want? Do you want to be with
him? And for future reference, don't use a note attached to a rose to get a
guy to come over and meet your ex-boyfriend that you are considering
getting back together with. It's gauche."
"Spence, I didn't leave a note with a rose anywhere. And I don't know what
I want...Leon and I have a history, and deep down I feel like this is our
last chance. If I turn him down, he'll never be back. I'm not sure I'm
ready to let go."
Spencer looks her over with some scrutiny, "it doesn't sound like you love
Leon to me. I'm sure you really care for him, but I think he's your safety
net. You always think he's going to be there for you and you are scared to
work without a net. Personally, I think love is all about risk. It's all
about putting all of your heart and trust into someone else, and you're
afraid. Leon is just part of the baggage you can't leave behind."
Frankie says angrily, "ok Spence, expert on trust and honesty
extraordinaire, then tell me what happened that night. Tell me about Sam
and the shooting."
Spencer shakes his head and looks down, "I can't..."
"Well, then it looks like neither of us is ready to put down our baggage.
Has it occurred to you that maybe you and I are attracted to each other
because we are both hurt. Maybe we are just using each other as a crutch.
Maybe we aren't really right for each other."
Spencer nods and the replies, "yes, I accept that possibility. However, has
it occurred to you that maybe you are wrong. Maybe we are meant to be
together. You're way we won't ever know."
Frankie gets up to leave. "Spence, I came to tell you that I don't know
what I'm going to do. The only thing I can think to do is to keep both of
you at a distance, give myself a little time to figure things out."
Spence says back to her, "yeah, I kind of figured as much from the bathrobe
he was wearing."
"Spence! I wasn't there...we haven't slept together!" Frankie shakes her
head and begins walking away.
Spence calls out, "Oh Frankie, one little thing." She turns around for a
moment. "I only said I liked cats because I thought you'd like them. I'm
really a huge dog person. Just for the record."
As Frankie walks through the doors, the tears begin to fall. Spencer
mutters to himself, "thank goodness, I changed clothes. That would have
been impossible to do in a cape."
A man hidden but listening at the back end of the bar walks over to
Spencer. "Hi, you are Chief James correct?" Spencer nods, and the man
continues, "well, I would love to shake your hand, we have a lot in common
and I may be able to help you. My name is Ivan Fonesca."
5:30PM MONDAY EVENING...
Ed watches Frankie sit down and begin to work furiously for a few moments,
then get confused and get up to walk around for the fourth time in ten
minutes. He asks, "Frankie, is there something wrong or do you have that
ants in the pants syndrome I heard so much about as a child?"
Frankie picks up Ed's bat and continues pacing, "I'm actually avoiding
home. Ed, I have a problem, but I don't think it's appropriate to discuss
it with you...considering our history. But I'm really having a hard time
with it and seeing that you faced a very similar dilemma recently...you
would be the logical person to ask." She swings the bat and accidentally
knocks the coat rack over, but continues to pace. "So I figure I can a)
continue to fail at bottling it all up until I become a shivering crying
mass, b) attempt to make an authoritative decision with no outside guidance
and risk being unfulfilled and disappointed for the rest of my life, c)
call the psychic friends network and hope my answer is in the tarot cards
or d) unburden my soul to you and hope that you have some insight that will
Ed looks thoughtful as he tries to take in everything she has said,
"personally, I would go with the unburden your soul one. I think
unburdening your soul is probably always a good plan."
Frankie swings the bat again without looking, and misses Ed's head, but
hits the wall making a large dent in it. She turns, "well, yeah. I mean
I've already opened up the lines of communication so option A is definitely
past tense. We both know you are going to give me your opinion, whether I
ask or not, so option B was never really a serious contender."
Ed chimes in while taking the bat from her, "the psychic friends network?"
Frankie stops for a moment, "Dionne Warwick is their spokesperson, and she
sang that song, 'That's What Friends Are For,' so assuming we are still
friends...sounds like she has already given me their answer...that really
only leaves option D. So I guess I can skip the phone call because you
don't really pay me enough to afford the $4.99 a minute."
Ed finally is caught up with the conversation, "ok...so what's your
"Ed, you know what my dilemma is. Don't even pretend that you don't know.
Leon told me that you called him to talk about how concerned you were about
me. Which I still don't understand by the way. He told me it was your idea
for him to come here and try to clear the air between us."
"Leon? I have no idea what you are talking about. I haven't said one word
to Leon since he left Stuckeyville. In fact, I think I only said three
words to Leon when he was here in Stuckeyville." Frankie gets a confused
then furious look. She gathers her belongings to leave. Ed continues, "this
may sound funny, but there was a period, when I wasn't sure there really
was a Leon."
Frankie replies while leaving, "Ed, that's the most ridiculous thing I have
6:00PM MONDAY EVENING...
Fonesca is sitting on the edge of his desk trying to take off his boxing
gloves. He loves the impression it makes to have them on when the clients
come in, but he hates how they make his hands smell like leather and sweat.
He is just getting the first one off, when Frankie Hector comes into his
office like a charging bull. She sees him and makes a straight line for
"Miss Hector, what can I do..."
"You Son Of a Bitch!" Frankie yells and pushes him. Fonesca staggers and
rushes to get the desk in between himself and Frankie.
"What the hell? Miss Hector is there something wrong?"
"Why are you interfering in my life!? Why are you so interested in what I
do and who I see!?"
Fonesca makes a face of insincere innocence while circling to keep the desk
between him and Frankie, "I have absolutely no idea what you could be
talking about. This must be some kind of misunderstanding."
Frankie stops circling and confronts him, "I know you called Leon,
pretending to be Ed and you convinced him to come to Stuckeyville. And I am
also pretty sure that you left a rose with a note on Spencer's car telling
him to come straight to my apartment when you knew Leon would be there and
Fonesca stops as well and says, "oh, those things...yes, I am responsible
for those acts. How did you figure it out?"
"Who else has been taking so much interest in my comings and goings and has
the evil mind to do this sort of thing? It has your sweaty, greasy
fingerprints all over it, not to mention Leon's caller id."
Fonesca raises his hands, "you know what they say...all is fair in love and
war." Fonesca looks as thoughtful as he can muster, then says, "I guess
it's confession time. Spencer James is a pain in the ass. He needs to be
brought down and put out of everyone's misery. To be honest, I thought it
was going to be difficult, but he hasn't shown any sign of even trying to
put up a fight. I just thought that complicating his love life would soften
him up that much more. The fact it was you was just icing on the cake.
Plus, it would keep you from helping him at the hearing. Well, I don't
really care about you, but I knew that Eddie boy wouldn't let you go up
against me again without his help. I wanted to make sure Ed was out of the
"You are a maniacal bastard. I'll be at that hearing and we are going to
pound you into dust. Spencer's a good man and I know neither Ed nor I would
allow scum like you to hurt someone that has only tried to do the right
Fonesca gives her a condescending look, "are you so sure? Has he even told
you what happened? I actually view all this as doing you a favor."
Fonesca walks over to Frankie's side of the desk, "But if you are so
concerned about our dear sweet Spencer. Maybe we can work something out.
What if I told you there was a way that I could make poor little Spencer's
troubles just go away? What would that be worth to you?"
"What do you want?"
Fonesca smiles, "the question is what are you willing to give?"
10:30AM TUESDAY MORNING...
Stuckeyville's Chief of Police stops by his secretary's desk on the way to
his office. He says to her, "I can't believe how late I am running. I
thought my meeting with the DA would only last a couple of minutes, but all
anybody in the courthouse wants to talk about is Chief Stuckeyville."
Rose, Spencer's secretary, is a salt and pepper haired woman in her late
fifties. She's worked for the different police chiefs for twenty years, but
can't seem to figure out her newest boss. She replies, "are you surprised
by that? Did you see the news? They had film footage from the school
assembly all over it." She holds up a stack of 'while you were out'
messages about an inch thick. "I have over thirty messages all from people
looking for Chief Stuckeyville."
Spencer asks, "what do they want?"
"Everything...about fifteen ask if Chief Stuckeyville does children's
parties, seven want to know if he performs wedding ceremonies, five from
theatrical agents wanting to know who represents him, three want to know
about his promoting masculine sexual aides and the dairy council would like
to do a 'got milk' mustache billboard...and those are the sane ones." She
asks him in an exasperated voice, "does it ever occur to you to run your
ideas past someone else before you go and do something this dumb?"
Spencer asks, "were there any actual messages for me?"
"Yes, there have been five messages from that cute girl, the one you
specifically instructed me not to mention by name."
"You see, Rose...that's the beauty of avoiding someone. It doesn't matter
if she's called once or a thousand times. I'm not calling her back."
"Doesn't matter to you, you aren't the one that has to answer the phone."
Spencer walks into his office and sits down at his desk, "hello Frankie,
why am I not at all surprised to see you here?" He yells out, "Rose, you're
fired for letting her in here."
Rose replies without looking up from her work, "sure thing, I'll pack right
Frankie puts her hand on his desk, "Spence, I'm here to discuss your case."
Spencer immediately looks for a ring on her finger, which isn't there,
"which case would that be?"
"YOUR case. You know, the hearing that will be coming up in a couple of
weeks in regards to the shooting incident. We need to start preparing."
"Preparing for what? The hearing's only purpose is to gather information
and assign blame, why should I worry about that? There's nothing to prepare
for. I just have to show up and tell the truth and the pieces will fall
where they will. Besides, you are not my lawyer."
"Yes, I am."
"No, you're not. I'm not paying you."
"I'm working probono. Ed and I are both working for you."
"Great! While you are at it, why don't you have Leon build me a waterslide
out back, so I can be indebted to every guy you like more than me."
Frankie gets defensive, "I never said I liked any guy more than you. This
isn't about you and me...it's just about you. And trying to help you, in
spite of yourself."
"Ok Frankie, you are my lawyer. The first act I would like you to perform
as my lawyer is to fire my lawyer. You are fired. And how did you even know
about the hearing? I bet Maddie has something to do with this."
"Spence, we are both worried about you. We both care about you and want to
"I should have known Maddie put you up to this...and the petting zoo
shutting down suddenly? Don't think I don't know who's behind that too. You
can tell her to stop interfering with my life." He yells out, "Rose, sorry
about the firing thing. You can keep your job."
Without looking up from her work and in a dead pan voice, she says,
"whoopee, what a relief. I'll unpack my stuff."
Frankie and Spencer look at each other for a moment. She notices that he
looks less casual than usual. He's wearing a sports coat, instead of his
usual leather jacket; in fact he's only a tie away from looking formal.
"What is the deal with you and zoos anyway? Is there something very sick
and wrong with you that I should know about?"
"No, of course not. It's nothing."
Frankie doesn't look convinced, "So where's Chief Stuckeyville? The news
last night said that was your new uniform."
"Funny thing. I was driving around last night...just thinking and I made an
"What was that?"
"Apparently, all of the city leaders and administrators have traditionally
been permitted to park wherever they wanted. Well, that tradition ended
last night. It's amazing how nice Brad Campbell can be when his car is
impounded. Of course, I'm still stuck with the mayor wanting the costume
around, but I'll find ways to keep it to a minimum. After yesterday, I
decided I needed to make myself look a little more respectable."
"Well, you look great." Frankie looks at the pictures on Spencer's desk,
she picks one up of Spencer and a very pretty woman. She asks in a trying
to be subtle voice, "who's this with you in the picture?"
Spencer replies, "that's my sister, Jessica."
Frankie can't contain a laugh, "you're parents named a daughter Jessica?"
"Well, what do you call her...Jesse? Jesse James?"
Spencer smiles in a 'heard it a million times' manner and says, "we just
call her Jess. And don't laugh too hard. If you and I got married, you and
her would be Frankie and Jess James."
"Well, I don't think I have to worry about that any time in the near
"Thanks for letting me know. I'll take the ring back this afternoon."
"Spence, I didn't mean it like that. Being married to you is certainly not
the worst thing I can think of. In fact, it's a pleasant thought."
Spencer finally braves the question, "so have you made any major life
decisions? How are things with you and Senor Slip and Slide?"
She hesitates, and then says, "Leon proposed last night, but I told him I
needed to think about it."
"Well, I can't blame you for considering it, I mean your kids will be able
to get into any waterpark in the country for free. What could I ever offer
to compete with that?"
"Don't sell yourself short, someday some lucky kid is going to brag to his
friends...see that guy in spandex on that billboard...that's my dad! How
many kids will be able to say, 'my dad is Chief Stuckeyville!'"
"Look Frankie, maybe I have the key to your problem."
"Well that would be nice. What is it?"
"You've never slept with me."
"So you think everything would be clearer, if we slept together? You think
you're that good?"
"I just think that you are trying to make a verdict without all of the
evidence. You've slept with both Leon and Ed, but never with me. Kind of
puts me at a disadvantage. I'm just asking for a level playing field. So I
say we go away for a few days...do it like we just came off a ten to twenty
prison sentence, and then see how you feel about things."
Frankie faces lightens for the first time and she laughs, "'do it like we
just came off a ten to twenty prison sentence?' You really know how to woo
a girl. But I don't think so, and Ed isn't an option for me."
"I know, that's what makes him the harder one to compete against. But don't
underestimate me, I can woo with the best of them. Hey, I just got this
delivery menu from Stuckeybowl, is the food there any good?"
12:00PM TUESDAY AFTERNOON...
Ed and Frankie are both working at their desks. Ed looks up and asks,
"Frankie are you humming?"
"Oh." Ed goes back to work. After a few moments, he raises his head again.
"I think I know humming when I hear it, and I'm pretty sure that's you
"Well, I wasn't aware of it. I'll try to stop."
"No, it's ok. I was just trying to place the tune."
Shirley walks in with a tray of food. She says, "she's been humming
'Islands in the Stream' since she got back."
Ed looks confused, "Islands in the Stream? Are you sure?"
Shirley replies while placing the tray on Frankie's desk, "yes, the ballad
from country music stars, Kenny Rodgers and Dolly Parton. I like it because
it reminds me of Kenny...Kenny, my kitty...not Kenny that used to work
here. Although now I'm thinking of Kenny, that used to work here." Ed and
Frankie watch Shirley, as she pauses for a moment, and then says, "and now,
I'm thinking about my kitty again."
Frankie looks at the tray of food Shirley left at her desk, she asks,
"Shirley, what's this?"
Shirley replies, "it's a food delivery order. They asked me to deliver my
best lunch to you with a note."
Frankie looks over the tray, "where's the note?"
Shirley looks at her, "Phil has it at the counter." And walks out.
Ed looks the tray over, "This is strange. Who do you think sent you the
Frankie gets up and walks to the office door, "I'm sure it's a delivery
from Spencer, he had one of Shirley's menus when I left him."
At the office door, Frankie and Ed see Phil is having trouble holding on to
a rope attached to the head of what appears to be a very large milking cow.
The cow is white with 'Frankie, Not Being Together Would Be UDERRLY
Ridiculous!' painted on each side.
Ed yells, "Phil get that thing out of here! And don't let it's hooves touch
the alleys!" Ed turns to Frankie, "I think we should let Phil handle this
one don't you?"
Frankie nods with a perplexed look on her face, and says in a quiet voice,
"should have remembered to tell Maddie about the dairy." And they both go
back into the office. Phil looks abandoned as the cow licks his face.
"Speaking of the caped crusader...have you had any revelations in regards
to your current surplus of boyfriends?"
"No, I only seem to sink deeper into a tar pit of doubt and depression.
Leon asked me to marry him...I told him I needed some time to think things
through. So have you got any insight for me?"
"Well, I guess the question I would start out with is...are you in love
with either of them?"
"I don't know...I mean with Leon, there's just so much comfort. I know what
he likes, he knows what I like...it's just...comfortable. But then with
Spencer, there's this connection...even when we are fighting...there's an
energy between us. But I have no idea what Spencer is going to do next. I
think the last few minutes have reinforced that nicely. He has more issues
than National Geographic. Ed, I just don't trust myself."
Ed looks at her, "you do know that you didn't really answer my question. Do
you love either of them?" Frankie never does answer the question.
5:30PM TUESDAY NIGHT...
Spencer is sitting on the park bench drinking coffee and thinking, beside
him are two photographs. He doesn't notice Ed walking up to him. Ed says,
"you know, I have always liked this park bench. It's one of my favorite
places in town."
Spencer grabs the two pictures quickly and puts them in his coat pocket. He
then surveys the bench. "Yeah, it's as nice as any bench I've ever seen.
Recently painted, no splinters as of yet, so yes, it's a great bench."
Ed smiles and says, "it is an exceptional bench, but it's what's happened
by this bench that makes it special. Can I talk to you?"
Spencer says, "Sounds like you already are. So, have a seat on this world
Ed sits and asks, "so who's in the pictures you were looking at?"
"Oh, nobody. Just some people I knew once upon a time."
Ed nods, "I know we don't know each other very well, but Frankie is really
concerned about you. I just wondered if you knew how much."
"So much so that she is considering marrying another guy."
Ed shakes his head, "no, so much that even though she was heart broken just
a few weeks ago and you tend to act like you haven't had all of your
marbles in quite awhile, she still can't stand the idea of not trying to
save you. You have no idea how far she is willing to go to help you. The
question is...why don't you want to help yourself?"
Spencer looks Ed in the eye and says, "Ed, I graduated from law school and
realized I could never be a lawyer. Because lawyers spend their whole lives
making deals. They don't care what happened, they only care about the best
version of what happened for their side to win. And that's the good ones. I
became a US Marshal because I wanted to do something I believed in. A very
bad thing happened and if I let a bunch of lawyers make a deal to protect
me, then how am I any better than them. I refuse to be part of the thing
that I have always worked against. If it goes against me, so be it. I stuck
to what I believed. In the end, I don't think I could live with myself any
Ed thinks about what has been said for a minute, then replies, "Spencer, do
you know why I decided to become a lawyer?"
Spencer smiles, "the promise of hot lawyer groupies?"
"No, because you are right, sometimes what should happen doesn't happen.
And I always saw myself as someone that wanted to help make the system work
the best it can for everyone, especially those that don't have a voice.
Life happens...a good lawyer helps you sort it out. If you want to
sacrifice yourself on some alter, neither Frankie or I can really stop
you." Ed gets up and looks ready to walk away, "but maybe for Frankie's
sake you could at least let her see what you're going through. Let her
decide if you are beyond forgiveness. And just in case, I have made any
sense to you...I happen to know from experience that this bench is a great
place to start things over."
As Ed begins to walk away, Spencer asks, "Ed? Do you believe in
Ed turns, "yes, I do. Spencer, I'm the biggest fan of second chances that
has ever existed."
6:45PM TUESDAY NIGHT...
Frankie is sitting at the bar at the Smiling Goat, trying to make sense of
her current situation. She has been nursing the same drink for almost half
an hour as she sits and contemplates. She barely notices Carol taking a
seat beside her.
Carol orders a beer and then says to Frankie, "are you aware that there are
cows addressed to you on almost every corner of town?"
"So I've been told."
Carol smiles, "most people usually take the easy way out with just a
greeting card, flowers or candy. My personal favorite was 'Frankie, How CUD
we not be together?' So is this the work of bachelor number one or number
"I believe this has Spencer written all over it."
Carol nods and then laughs, "Maybe this is Spencer's way of saying that you
make him horny?"
Frankie rolls her eyes, "technically, I don't think dairy cows have horns."
Carol continues, "I remember when Ed first started doing wacky stunts for
me...I was never sure if I was touched in my heart or if he was touched in
"Did Ed's stunts ever involve livestock?"
"No, just a stuffed toy duck once...although that wasn't technically a
Frankie looks Carol in the eye and asks, "why did you wait until Ed and I
were together to decide you were in love with him?"
Carol takes a deep breath and replies, "I didn't...I was always in love
with him. I just didn't have the guts to risk it. I thought if it didn't
work out, I would never forgive myself."
"So what changed your mind?"
"Seeing him with you...I knew that we couldn't keep dancing around it
anymore. If I didn't do something, I would never have him and I would have
screwed everything up anyway."
Frankie smiles in a melancholy way, "you know, I never would have believed
it was possible to be in love with two men at once...let alone three. They
are each great in their own way."
"Well, I can't really help you with Ed. He and I have renewed our leases on
each other with an option to buy. And as for the other two...I guess the
only advice I can offer is...which one can't you live without? Maybe you just
need to take the bull by the horns."
8:30PM TUESDAY NIGHT...
Mike and Nancy are enjoying a leisurely evening walk with their daughter,
Sarah in a stroller. They haven't been walking long when they see a man
down the path struggling with what looks to be a milking cow. As they come
closer they recognize the man pulling on the cow's rope as Spencer. Mike
says, "howdy Tex! Having some problems with your doggie?"
Spencer replies while continuing to pull on the rope, however the cow does
not seem to even notice Spencer. "This one seems to be a born suburbanite.
As soon as five o'clock hit, she headed straight out of town."
Nancy reads out loud the writing painted on the side of the cow in blue
paint, "Frankie, No One Can Love You Butter Than Me!" She looks at Mike
then turns to Spencer, "Spence, just how many cows did you have in town
"I believe the correct term is a herd. Yes, I'm pretty sure I had a whole
Mike decides to venture a question, "why cows?"
"You ever try to write on the side of a sheep? It's impossible."
Mike laughs, "maybe you should try paper."
Spencer stops pulling to say, "finding nice stationary that I like is such
a hassle. Is this your way of saying you don't like the cows?"
Nancy looks like she is trying to find the right words, "who doesn't like
cows? They seem like very nice cows, it just seems a little over the top.
Did you ever think that maybe you might just be chasing her away?"
Spencer says as if it has just occurred to him, "really? Too much, huh? You
really think this might scare her away?"
Nancy continues, "like a stampede."
Mike interjects, "Spencer, it's not that doing things to show your
intentions is a bad idea, but maybe you should start a little slower and
work your way up to something like this. Work...a long, long time up to
something like this. Even Ed never did anything this extreme."
Spencer asks, "everything always seems to come back to Ed. So did he do a
lot of romantic things to capture Frankie's heart?"
Mike replies, "no...only one stunt that I know of. He set up a drive in movie
of Serpico for her after Leon left. Most of Ed's embarrassments were in
front of Carol."
Spencer says pretty much to himself, "drive in! I should have thought of
that! It's sweet, simple and touching, and all I gave her was a stupid
book. Ok, I know some people...I can make some calls...how much security could
Al Pacino have around him anyway? How hard..."
Mike puts his arm around him, "Spence, I can see you're heading down the
wrong road again. And last I took count, you weren't competing against Ed
for Frankie's affections. You have to beat out Leon."
"Don't you see, of course I have to beat Ed. He's the one that got away. I
was a US Marshal and believe me I can't remember a tenth of the people that
I busted, but I can tell you every single detail of every case that got
away like it was yesterday. For Frankie, Ed's the one that got away..."
Spencer pauses and shakes his head, "yeah, you're right. I guess I have
been letting everything drive me crazy."
Mike replies, "well, it seems to be a short drive there Spence."
Nancy comes up and says, "listen Spencer, take it from a couple that has
actually been together for awhile. Being goofier than Ed isn't going to win
you Frankie's heart...the only way to do that is by giving her your own
heart. Without that, I don't think it matters how many barnyard animals you
Mike smiles and says, "Nancy's right. Open up and tell her how you feel...and
wear your Chief Stuckeyville costume. You gotta wear the costume. By the
way, we are thinking of having a little party for our daughter coming up,
do you think Chief Stuckeyville could make an appearance?"
11:00PM TUESDAY NIGHT...
For Spencer, patrolling the streets and rounding up cows was just the
excuse he needed to be alone and think. Finally he makes it home. He opens
his door, takes his gun and radio off and puts them on the table. He
believes that he is alone, until he turns around and sees Frankie sitting
on his couch.
He jumps, "damn it, Frankie. You really need to stop breaking into my
house. If it gets out, that the chief of police can't keep people from
breaking into his own house...well, it wouldn't exactly instill
"Spencer, we need to talk. And not about cows."
"You didn't like them? I guess I did try to milk it for all it was worth."
"Ugh...Spence, that was just horrible."
"Yeah, sorry. I can't seem to stop. I was hoping they would 'mooove' you.
See? By the way, where's Leon? Doesn't he want to talk too? Leon...I can't
believe I'm losing a girl to a guy named Leon."
"Are you through?"
Spencer thinks for a moment, "yeah, I'm through...until I think of
something amusing to say about Leon's name or profession...then I'm not
through again. So you didn't like the cows?"
Frankie smiles and then hugs and kisses him on the cheek, "what's not to
like about a bunch of cows with love messages painted on them, left on
every corner in town. I think one cow would have been plenty of cows, but I
do appreciate the gesture."
"You appreciate the gesture? That doesn't sound good at all. I was hoping
for a little more excitement than that. I was trying to show that even
though Leon is here, I haven't given up on us...even if it's not a likely
possibility. This was my first shot at wooing you. Looks like it's back to
the drawing board." He pauses for a moment, "so you weren't even a little
"There may have been a little woo...ok, there definitely was some woo. I
think it was the one that said, 'Frankie, Your Love Has Driven A STEAK Thru
My Heart' that made me go a little weak in the knees."
Spencer puts his arms around her and Frankie's arms instinctively wrap
around his neck. He says, "I'll take a little woo here, maybe a little woo
there." He leans in and kisses her. They embrace for a moment, then Frankie
pulls out of his arms.
"Spence, I'm not ready to deal with this. I'm not engaged to Leon, but that
doesn't mean I'm ready to deal with us either. If you had seen what one of
the cows did on lane three of Stuckeybowl...well, don't be surprised if
Phil isn't your biggest fan for a while. He for one wasn't wooed in the
least. But that's not why I am here." Frankie gives him a determined look,
"Spencer, I have decided to help you one way or another."
Spencer looks very confused, "what does that mean exactly?"
"It means you can either let me and Ed help you at your hearing, or I am
going to make a deal with the devil to get you off the hook. And when I say
devil, I mean a scumbag lawyer named Fonesca?"
"Fonesca? I just met him yesterday, just after you left the goat. He
claimed he wanted to help me. He was even stupid enough to mention that he
was working with Maddie. Three questions later, I knew he was full of crap.
What does he think he can do for me and what does he want from you?"
"Well, he seems to think he can get you off the hook and he wants me to
sign a contract saying I will work exclusively for him for a whole year.
He's only doing it to hurt Ed. So you would think it would be Ed that would
have Fonesca's hand on his butt, but nope. It's going to be me."
Spencer thinks about it for a moment, "You would do that? I'm shocked and
flattered...I don't know if that's romantic or idiotic...probably both. So
are you are going to tell him to go to hell? Or am I going to have to send
him there myself?"
"I'm serious Spence. If this is what it takes for you to start taking this
seriously...then so be it."
"Frankie, I don't even know this guy, but I can tell you that he can't
fulfill anything he's promising. But I do appreciate your caring about me
enough to...it means a lot."
Frankie takes his hands, "then talk to me. Tell me what is going on. I
can't believe you would do anything so horrible that you deserve such bad
things happening to you."
Spencer looks choked up, "Frankie, I really want to, but..."
Frankie reaches into her pocket and pulls out an envelope. "Maddie gave
this to me. She said it was some words of wisdom and if I was desperate to
get through to you, maybe this would help."
Spencer sits on the sofa next to her and takes the envelope with his name
printed on it. He unfolds the page and laughs as he reads what's written.
Frankie asks, "what does it say?"
Spencer turns the letter around and in large block letters is written,
'SPENCER, PULL YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR ASS! LOVE MADDIE.'
They both actually smile a moment. Spencer takes a deep breath and pulls
two photographs from his coat jacket and places them on the coffee table.
Frankie immediately recognizes one of them, as Spencer and his friend Sam
that was killed in the shoot out. The other one is of a girl, she looks to
be about seven or eight years of age and is grinning broadly for the
camera. He says, "you met Sam, the other one is of a girl named Angela
He pauses, then after a moment, he begins, "that night we met in the
Smiling Goat for the first time, we were waiting for three fugitives. Two
men and a woman. An informer told us that they were coming there to meet
an accomplice to pick up some money. The informer wasn't mine, he belonged
to someone from the home office, but I was assured that they were on their
way to the goat. So Sam and I waited inside and I had seven Marshals
waiting on the outside. We would hit them right before they entered the
place. That's why we stole your table that night. But the informer was
wrong, way wrong. One of the fugitives had a cousin with a house just
outside of Jaspertown. It's where I thought they were going originally."
"Those three are some very bad people, each one has a laundry list of
felonies...let's just say none of them have been on Santa's good list for a
very long time. We hightailed it over and watched the house. It was late
and the place looked quiet, so I decided to take them down. We knew their
cousin wasn't there. He's in the county lock up serving five years. It was
my decision, and it was a bad one."
"The informer also told us, that it was just the three of them...but there
was a young girl with them. The woman's daughter, they had taken her from a
foster home earlier in the day. Somehow the word didn't get passed on. We
"So we hit the house, by the book. A Marshal on our team shot out the
hinges on the door with a shotgun, and then Sam hit it with a sledgehammer.
I charged in first, yelling at them to "freeze and drop to the floor."
"The first suspect was caught off guard in the front room and gave up
immediately, as the rest of our team rushed into the house. We began
rushing into each room looking for the other suspects. Sam and I found the
female suspect in the kitchen with her daughter. She had a gun and grabbed
her daughter as a shield. I had a clear shot, but decided if her daughter
was there, she could probably be talked into giving up without a fight.
Once again, I was wrong."
"I approached her slowly with one hand raised and my gun pointed away. Her
daughter was crying and sobbing. The daughter was wearing this dress with
big pockets. I remember that. I walked slowly trying to convince the woman
to lower her weapon and let the child go. She fired, the bullet hit my vest
and knocked me backwards into the door and stunned me. Sam could have shot
her but didn't want to risk hitting the girl so he rushed her and grabbed
the gun. She fired at him and the bullet hit his vest as well. But Sam was
so damned big that he was able to keep himself up and he wrestled the gun
away from her and it fell to the floor. He got between the woman and her
daughter and was trying to get the woman under control, when I was just
getting my senses back. The little girl had picked up the gun. She raised
it at Sam behind his back. She could barely lift it, but I could actually
see her finger tense on the trigger. I shouted a warning but it was too
late. Sam was struggling with the mother, the gun fired and the bullet went
into his armpit, where his vest wouldn't protect him. The bullet went
through and ricocheted off the inside of his vest and hit him in the heart.
A millisecond later, a bullet from my gun hit the little girl. Then the
other Marshals made it into the room and got the woman under control, but
Sam and the girl were dead before I could even reach them."
When he finishes his story, Frankie is in tears and touches his face with
her hand. Spencer places his own hand over hers and says in a choked voice,
"so now you know. If I had shot sooner, I could have saved Sam. If I had
waited, maybe I could have saved the girl. But now their both gone, and
it's my fault. Uh...Frankie, I think I really need to be alone right now. Do
you mind if we finish up talking later."
"No, I'm not leaving you."
"Please Frankie, I can't do this...I have to go..." and Spencer starts to
get up from the couch, but Frankie holds on to his hands and then places
them on his face. As the first tear rolls down Spencer's cheek, Frankie
gently moves in and caresses it. She begins kissing each tear as it falls
from his eyes. Then in surrender, Spencer collapses into Frankie's arms and
begins to sob in earnest. Frankie rocks him back and forth allowing him to
cry for the first time since that night just outside of Jaspertown.
8:30AM WEDNESDAY MORNING...
Spencer James, Stuckeyville's Chief of Police makes it to the office in the
best mood he's been in for weeks, in spite of being tired from staying up
almost the entire night talking to Frankie. It feels as if a huge weight
has been lifted from his shoulders. As he makes his way past his
secretary's desk he smiles warmly and says, "Good Morning Rose. You are
looking lovely today. Any messages?" He pauses for a moment, "Do you smell
Rose says without looking up, "no, I don't smell anything. The only
important message is in on your desk. Glad to see you looking so happy this
Spencer opens his office door and sees there is a large pile of what
appears to be cow manure covering his desk. On top of the pile, there is a
large sign that reads, 'It beHOOVES us to make you MOOOve this crap
Spencer comes out to Rose's desk, "what the hell is that? I don't mean to
criticize the custodial staff, but I think they may be getting a little lax
in their duties or did you hire a new decorator without consulting me?"
She replies without looking up, "Brad Campbell and some of the guys that
clean up the sidewalks brought that by for you earlier this morning. I
guess they just aren't cow people...or maybe it's just the stuff coming out
of the back end they don't like."
"And you just stood by and let them do that?"
Rose looks up at him, "of course, I didn't just stand by and let them do
that...I unlocked your office door for them and loaned them the snow shovel I
keep in the trunk of my car. They were going to just dump the wheelbarrow
of stuff on the floor. I suggested that your desk would make a better
Spencer is flabbergasted, "Rose, why would you do such a thing? Where's the
Rose pretends to search for something on her desk as she replies, "loyalty?
Let me see...nope, can't find any here. All I have are a bunch of messages
for a crazy person and extra work because he can't just buy flowers like
any other person on the planet. You know you could at least wait until
people have stopped calling about your last stupid stunt before you run off
and do another one. Do you know how much of my time has been spent trying
to explain your little moments of brilliance?"
Spencer thinks for a moment, "You're right. I'm sorry, Rose. I'll try to
run everything stupid I do by you, before I do it from now on. I promise."
"I'm not going to work that kind of overtime. Let's just stick to talking
about the big...affects the entire town...kinds of stupid things. Maybe then
I'll find some loyalty."
"So can I borrow your snow shovel to clean off my desk?"
"No, I don't want it to get all nasty."
"But you let them use it to put the crap on my desk?"
"That was for a good cause." She hands him a memo, "but here's some
information about an important meeting the mayor wants you to attend
Spencer makes a pained face, "what meeting?"
"Well, it seems that our honorable mayor is concerned about you and Brad
Campbell not getting along. So he scheduled some time for the both of you
with a..." she points to the note, "workplace conflict mediator."
"Workplace conflict mediator? What would ever give anyone the idea that we
needed a workplace conflict mediator?" They both simultaneously turn and
look at the pile of manure on Spencer's desk. He shrugs and continues,
"sounds pretty lame."
Rose actually laughs for only the first or second time since Spencer has
known her, "oh, it is. Wait till you meet Toby. You and Brad are supposed
to meet him at the pool tomorrow afternoon at two. I tried to talk about it
with Brad, but all he would say was 'clams casino' for some odd reason."
"The pool? Why the pool?"
"I'm not spoiling the surprise. But if you own a pair of water wings, I'd
bring them...Captain Ahab." She hands him a very large stack of papers.
"These need to be signed. I haven't decided if you'll be around long enough
that it's worth my learning to forge your signature yet."
Spencer smiles looking at his desk, then closes his office door, "ok, will
you ask Jeff if he still wants to trade offices? Do me a favor and don't
mention the crap on the desk. If he wants the office, we trade straight
across the board...as is."
10:00AM WEDNESDAY MORNING...
Frankie comes back to her desk with her fourth cup of coffee in an hour. Ed
looks up and says, "Do we need to get you a new chair?"
Frankie looks up, "no, why?"
"Well, in the last week or so, it seems you don't like sitting in it for
more than a few moments at a time. I thought maybe it was uncomfortable or
Frankie looks ticked; "you didn't seem too concerned when I used to leave
my chair so we could run back to my place."
Ed puts up his hands in a surrender gesture, "I was just kidding...I just
thought maybe you wanted to talk, that's all."
"No, not really."
Ed says, "ok," and starts working again.
After a few moments, Frankie asks without looking up, "do you think I
should call him?"
Ed replies, "which him?"
Frankie gets up, walks over to Ed's desk and says, "Spencer...we had this
amazing...incredible experience last night where he finally opened up to me.
But I'm worried about him. Maybe by opening up his emotions, he's dealing
with all sorts of things all by himself. What if he needs me...but now that
you mention it...I have pretty much blown off Leon since he got here...what
does that say, when you ask someone to marry you and she blows you off?"
Ed quips, "well, how you celebrate your love is your business, but
personally I would settle for a yes or no."
"Ed, that's gross, but what do you think? Should I call him?"
Ed looks confused, "which him?"
"Either...or. Do you think I should call Spencer...Leon or both?"
Ed starts laughing, so Frankie says, "well, I'm glad my torment is bringing
Ed replies, "I'm sorry, it's just nice to see you go through some of the
exact feelings I went through. It's not easy, is it?"
Frankie thinks for a moment, "no, it isn't...but this is a totally different
"Really, seems pretty close to me...you are in a budding new relationship,
then someone you once loved comes back and wants another shot...semantics are
different, but the emotions seem very similar."
Frankie looks at Ed, "so you think I should call Leon?"
"I didn't say that."
"So you think I should call Spence?"
"I didn't say that either."
"So Ed, what are you saying?"
"I actually forgot...but I think there is one thing you should think about."
Ed pauses for a moment, "have you realized that Spencer being the Chief of
Police and our being lawyers might place us on opposite sides of the fence?
There may be times when we aren't exactly on the same team."
Frankie looks serious, "yeah, I've thinking about that a lot. It's just one
item on a laundry list of concerns I have. But right now, we are his team.
So you should probably know that I..."
Ed and Frankie both look up as there is a man standing at their office
door. The man is tall with glasses and wearing a dark suit. He asks,
"excuse me, is there a Miss Frankie Hector working here?"
Frankie says, "I'm Frankie Hector. What can I do for you?"
The man smiles, walks over and shakes her hand, "well, it's a pleasure to
finally meet you. I have heard so much."
Frankie smiles but looks cautious, "unlike I, who have heard nothing."
The man shakes Ed's hand and says, "oh, I'm terribly sorry, how rude of me.
I'm Peter Rapporteur, I'm with the United States Marshal Service." He pulls
out a badge from his coat pocket and flashes it to both Ed and Frankie.
Frankie smiles, "well Mr. Rapporteur, please have a seat. What can we do
The man sits and says, "please call me Pete. I'm here on an errand of
friendship really." He pauses looking Ed and Frankie over, then continues,
"I've been told that you might be working with Spencer to help prepare for
his hearing coming up. Is that true?"
Ed begins, "we're not real...."
Frankie interrupts looking at Ed as if letting him know for the first time,
"yes, we are working with Spence."
Ed finishes, "we're not really doing anything but working for Spencer right
now. All of our resources seem committed to Spencer."
The man says, "Good, we can use all the help we can get. We thought that it
might be a good idea to coordinate our efforts to make the best case for
Spencer that we can. Maddie couldn't be here, so I came."
Ed says looking at Frankie, "of course we want to do everything we can for
Spencer. What exactly needs to be coordinated?"
Pete looks them over again, "well, as you have probably discovered by now.
Spencer isn't always the most forthcoming with his assistance...even when it
comes to assisting himself. We want to make sure that when you and I
present our respective versions of events that we are in complete
agreement. So it would be useful if you informed me of everything Spencer
has told you about what happened. All of Spencer's friends are very
concerned over this entire matter."
Frankie looks at him, "so you and Spencer are good friends?"
The man smiles, "very good friends...we go back to law school. Spencer
couldn't wait to get out into the field and run around chasing the bad guys
and I went to work in the home office, coordinating field operations."
Frankie asks, "did you say you work from the home office?"
"Yes, I normally don't come out into the field, except when something like
this occurs that needs my direct attention."
Frankie smiles as Ed looks on confused, "so...Pete, what do you think of
Spencer's dog? I've heard so much about it."
Pete hesitates for a moment, "oh, I just love his dog. Sometimes I would
look after Spencer's dog when he's away."
Ed chimes in smiling, "dogs are great, what kind of dog does Spencer have?"
Frankie gives Ed a quick, 'knock it off look' while she nods and never
stops smiling. She decides to switch the topic of conversation. "It's funny
we were watching the movie, Titanic the other night, and he told me that
his friends in the Marshals are always trying to make him cry while
watching that movie."
Ed still looks confused, "Titanic? I thought since Leon is..." Frankie steps
on Ed's foot behind his desk so Peter is not able to see. Ed says while
glaring at Frankie, "that's right, you did say you watched that movie."
Pete says, "oh yes, we have seen it many times. He always laughs through
the whole thing. Hard to imagine Spencer being emotional over a movie."
Frankie then says, "well, maybe we should set up a meeting with all of us
to go over our notes."
Pete's smile fades, "all of us? I'm only passing through Stuckeyville. I
was hoping we could just go over everything now."
Ed looks over and sees that Frankie is going somewhere with this and says,
"Frankie, why don't you call Spencer. Let's get him over here so we can
discuss this. We certainly want to help out in everyway we can."
Pete moves in his seat, "actually, I stopped in to see Spencer first...he was
unavailable...that's why I came here."
Frankie says, "well, we really need to have Spencer's permission to discuss
his case with you. Certainly you understand."
"Yes, of course. Well, I really have let the time slip, I need to get back.
Maybe we can talk later."
Frankie and Ed both smile at him, "sure, anytime. Call us." And then Peter
Rapporteur leaves the Stuckeybowl law office.
After he is gone, Ed turns to Frankie, "what was that all about?"
Frankie smiles, "just seeing if he was tight. He wasn't."
7:45PM WEDNESDAY NIGHT...
Ed, Mike and Spencer are playing pool. As Mike takes his shot, Spencer says
to Ed, "sorry again about the cow and lane three, Ed. I was assured that
she went before the trip over."
"That's alright, but I'd steer clear of Phil for awhile. No pun intended."
Spencer smiles, "thank goodness, I'm really all punned out."
Mike comes around the table, "so Spence, what does it actually cost to rent
a herd of dairy cows? Did they charge you by the hour or by the gallon?"
Before Spencer can respond, they all look over and notice that Frankie and
Leon have entered the room. Frankie and Spencer immediately make eye
contact, then look away from each other awkwardly. Frankie starts to move
towards the opposite side of the restaurant, but Leon takes her hand and
leads her to a table just on the other side of Ed, Mike and Spencer.
As Leon and Frankie reach the guys, Leon nods hello to Ed and Mike. Frankie
says an embarrassed hello as well. Leon looks Spencer over and then smiles,
"I'm glad they let you out of that costume?"
Spencer looks confused, "pardon?"
"That ridiculous costume, you delivered a rose in the other day. I'm glad
they don't make you wear that all the time."
Spencer nods then looks at Frankie, "yeah...well...when it's quitin' time the
Leon continues to smile, "oh...I totally forgot." Leon reaches into his
pocket and pulls out a five-dollar bill and hands it to Spencer. "Sorry, I
should have tipped you the other day...but you did kind of catch me by
surprise. I'm sure delivering a single rose can't possibly pay for many
rounds of pool."
Spencer looks incredulously at the bill in his hand. Frankie chimes in,
"Leon...this is Spencer."
Leon looks up at Spencer as if seeing him for the first time and all he can
say is, "oh." Spencer gives Leon a half smile, shrugs then puts the bill
into his pocket. Frankie tugs Leon by the arm and they go to their table.
As they sit at the table, Ed looks at Spencer, "do you want to go somewhere
"Are you kidding? It's finally my shot." Spencer takes the pool cue from
Mike and leans to take his shot. Leon leaves to find the restroom.
Mike asks, "how can you play with that sports coat on?"
Spencer stands straight and thinks about it for a moment, he then takes the
coat off and places it on a chair. As he leans and takes his shot Frankie
walks back over to them. As Spencer finishes sinking his ball into the
hole, Frankie says to him, "Spence, what is that?"
Spencer looks at her, "what is what?"
"That," and she points to the fluorescent green gun in the holster on his
"That is my new sidearm."
"Spence, I thought we resolved this issue and you agreed to wear your real
pistol all the time."
"We had resolved this issue. You said that, you couldn't keep seeing me
unless I wore my pistol...well, since you're here with another guy, I don't
really see how you could think that the contract was still enforceable." He
hands the pool cue to Ed, and then pulls the green gun out of it's holster,
"besides...this is a real gun. Frankie, let me introduce you to the 'Paint
Ninja 2000T.' The absolute latest in non-lethal projectile armaments."
Ed and Mike have come over to look at it. Frankie says in a disbelieving
voice, "the Paint Ninja? Spence, do you ever wonder why other cops make fun
"No...but the point here is that any criminal that crosses my path, now risks
being gunned down in a blaze of teal. It's actually a very good idea, if
you think about it...I'm chasing a criminal through a crowded street, I shoot
him with a couple of paintballs...then think how easy it is to pick him out
of a line up. It was the guy covered in paint. Case solved, end of story.
And I didn't have to worry about any innocent bystanders being hurt...only
painted. Plus it's nice because the paint is guaranteed to wash out of
Mike says, "that is the coolest thing I have ever seen. Ed, do you think
Nancy would let me get one of these?"
Ed shakes his head, "I don't think so, Mike. What would you do with a paint
"We have this squirrel that is always stealing all the food out of our bird
feeder. I think some teal blazing would teach him a little lesson." Then to
Spencer, "does the paint come in any...more masculine colors?"
Ed says, "Mike, you can't go around paint balling squirrels..."
Frankie interrupts, "Spence, the point is that you can't protect yourself
or anyone else with a paint ball gun. It's pretty useless."
"Useless?! Are you kidding? These things hurt...I know cause I shot myself
twice this afternoon by accident. Not enough to break the skin, but it
could give someone a serious bruise. Plus if you shoot someone in the
face...you could blind them."
"You aren't going to blind anyone with that thing."
"Oh, I could blind someone if I wanted too."
Just then Leon comes back from the restroom and Frankie starts back to the
table. Spencer holsters his paint ball gun. As she is about to sit down,
Spencer says, "so when can I get my kitten?"
Frankie turns around and Leon looks over. Spencer walks up, "you know...my
kitten? I want to pick her up."
Frankie looks at Spencer, "you said you didn't like cats, you are a dog
"Well, I like that one. So when can I get Smith?"
Leon looks at them, "Smith? Do you mean Smokey?"
Spencer asks, "Smokey? How many cats do you have? I want my kitten, Smith
Frankie looks up guiltily, "we've been calling her, Smokey."
Leon smiles, "Smith N. Wesson isn't a very good name for a female cat."
Spencer glares at him, "and you thought Smokey was a superior name? What if
there's a fire? You ask the firemen if they got Smokey out and they won't
know what the hell you are talking about. The kitten will die in a blazing
inferno, while you are trying to explain the name. It's a damn
irresponsible name if you ask me. I want my kitten...Smith..."
At this point, Ed and Mike are pulling Spencer away. Ed says to everybody,
"maybe we should work this out later. Come on Spence, I think we're late."
"Late for what?"
"Shock treatments. Let's go." And Ed and Mike pick Spencer up under his
arms and drag him away literally. Spencer's heels drag on the floor as they
pull him. They are about to leave, when Spencer says, "hey, I need my
coat." Mike and Ed make a large U turn still dragging Spencer under his
arms and as they drag him past his coat, he grabs it and they leave out the
Leon looks over at Frankie, "that's my competition? Everyone knows that the
Paint Ninja 2000P can't hold a candle to the Splatomatic J gun. What was he
thinking? Dumb ass."
"I believe he said that it's actually a Paint Ninja 2000T."
"Really? Well that's different. That's a really nice paint ball gun." And
they both look at their menus.
8:45PM WEDNESDAY NIGHT...
Carol, Molly and Nancy are all sitting around Carol's living room
surrounded by snacks and drinks with the television on. Nancy asks Carol
while grabbing a handful of popcorn, "why do we HAVE TO watch the American
Carol replies with a timid look, "I told Ed that I was hooked on the show
when I took the video I made back. So now, every Wednesday night I have to
watch it to keep up the story."
Molly gives her an 'I can't believe you' look, "Carol, why don't you just
tell Ed about the tape? I think the coast is clear."
Carol shrugs, "I'm not ready for him to see exactly how crazy I was
Molly interrupts her, "you really are hooked on the show aren't you? And
this is all an elaborate excuse because you are hooked on this show like a
Carol looks caught, "ok, ok...yes, I'm stuck on this stupid show. I'm not
addicted like a crack addict...but I like American Idol. There I said it."
Molly smiles, "that's ok, it's not like you've been voting constantly or
Carol nods, "yeah..."
Molly is still staring at her, "Carol, where's your cell phone?"
Carol looks suspicious as to Molly's motives, "why do you want my cell
"I want to see how many times you've been voting and who you've been voting
Carol smiles and says, "I haven't been voting..." All three of them lock eyes
on Carol's purse sitting on the floor by the couch and they all dive for it
at the exact same moment. As Nancy pulls the phone away from Molly and
Carol there is a knock at the door.
Carol and Molly go to answer the door while Nancy begins looking through
the sent items on the phone. "How could you actually vote for the cowboy?"
Carol opens the door and they see Spencer standing there. Carol smiles and
says, "Hi Spence, what can we do for you? Is something wrong?"
Spencer looks confused as he replies, "Hi. Ed, Mike and I were out and they
asked me to run up and drop this note off to Nancy." He shows them a folded
piece of paper in his hand. He looks back at the street and adds
reluctantly, "as soon as I knocked on the door, they drove off."
Nancy walks over and takes the note. She unfolds it and reads out loud,
"Nance, Spencer needs some serious chick advice. You guys take care of him.
Carol and Molly give Spencer a sympathetic smile as they each grab an arm.
Molly says, "come on Spence. Welcome to the ya ya sisterhood."
As they walk into the living room, Spencer sees the TV and says, "is that
American Idol? Great."
10:00AM THURSDAY MORNING...
Frankie is pacing just outside the entrance of Stuckeybowl. Her heart skips
a beat when a VW Beetle police car arrives and parks. Spencer steps out of
the car and walks towards her. She tries to gauge his mood by his face, but
finds that he isn't showing any emotion.
She rushes out to meet him, but then catches herself and forces herself to
walk more slowly. As she meets him in the parking lot, she says, "listen
Spence, I wanted to talk about last night. I'm really sorry."
Spencer tries to smile, "why? You don't have to be sorry for going out to
eat with your finance. I'm sorry I made a scene about the cat. Although I
do want Smith...Frankie, I can't believe you let him rename OUR cat. Have you
made any other major concessions that I should know about?"
"No...of course not. And he's not my finance." She pauses for a moment,
"what do you mean by other major concessions?"
"Well...let's see...'why yes Leon, I do want to spend the rest of my life with
you.' That would be a major concession." He gives her a suspicious look,
"Frankie, have you taken any trips on his flume ride?"
"No! No to both questions, and that's disgusting, Spence."
"You're telling me." Spencer throws his hands in the air, "this is
ridiculous! I can't believe I'm losing the girl I love to a guy who designs
water slides...that's got to be the lowest form of design possible. I mean if
he designed roller coasters or something...that might be kind of cool. But
how hard could designing a water slide be...pick an angle, add water and then
gravity pretty much does everything! How many days of class would it really
take to learn that?"
"It's actually pretty complicated...you really aren't helping me here.
Attacking Leon doesn't exactly help your case..." She stops as she makes a
realization, "did you just say 'the girl you love?'"
Spencer looks caught then tries to recover, "oh, don't get all excited. I
say I LOVE a lot of things...children, old people, animals...also pina coladas
and getting caught in the rain. Maybe I was talking about another girl that
I'm about to lose to another guy that happens to design water slides...did
you think of that?"
Frankie can't help but smile at him, but before she can respond, Ed sticks
his head out the door, "uhm...did you want to have this meeting in the
parking lot or are Maddie and I no longer invited?"
Spence and Frankie lock eyes for a moment, and then she puts her arm
through his and says, "let's go take care of business. We can discuss how
I'm the girl, 'you love' at length later."
"Fine. Let's go talk shop."
As Ed, Frankie and Spencer walk into the office, Madeline Christensen, who
is already seated says, "Spence, guess who tried a dead run on your legal
Spencer sits next to her across from Ed's desk. He says looking at Ed and
Frankie as they both take seats behind Ed's desk, "well, by your tone...let
me see...was he about as tall as I am with glasses and a somewhat boring
Frankie nods, "that sounds like him."
Spencer looks at Maddie, "why would Pete put his neck out like that?
Usually he would send a minion to do a dead run that obvious. Why not have
that guy, Formosa, do it?"
Frankie responds to Spencer, "His name's Fonesca, and they would know that
we would never give him information."
Ed asks, "what's a dead run?"
Maddie replies, "a dead run is an intelligence gathering operation that you
don't bother doing any undercover work to prepare for, because you know
it's a one time shot. Peter was hoping to catch you before you really
understood what was going on. He was hoping you'd slip up and give him some
information." She looks at Frankie, "you handled it very well."
Frankie blushes and looks at Spencer, he tries to hide a smile as he looks
back at her. Maddie looks at Spencer and continues, "hopefully, this should
be a very short meeting." She reaches into her soft leather briefcase and
pulls out a large bound proposal. "This agreement will solve all this
nonsense. And Spencer, you are going to sign it."
Spencer looks at the proposal and with a suspicious glare asks Maddie,
"what exactly am I agreeing to that this all goes away so easily?"
Maddie clears her throat, looks nervously at Spencer and says, "the first
item of this proposal is that you are to be reinstated as a US Marshal.
Effective immediately. Once that's done, you will be entitled to the full
protection of the service."
Spencer continues to glare at her, "and? I know there's a big AND coming."
Maddie continues, "the suspects arrested that night will be given a very
generous deal for their silence and cooperation in this matter."
"What kind of deal?"
Maddie breaks the staring competition and looks down saying, "they walk
Spencer. They get a one time 'get out of jail free' card. All existing
charges will be dropped."
Spencer bounds out of his chair, "well, isn't that just the most heart
warming thing, you've ever heard?"
Ed ventures a question, "how exactly has this been kept out of the media
Maddie responds, "the suspects don't care about the girl. They know the
minute the media finds out about this mess, their deal will shrink to
almost nothing. The less they talk, the more they will get. Silence is
their only real bargaining chip. Peter's been having Fonesca coach them. So
they haven't talked to anyone. And some of us have been working very hard
to keep things as quiet as possible from our end."
Frankie asks, "so what if they walk, but Spencer won't agree to go back to
"Without Spencer's approval, there's no deal. He was in charge of the
operation, everything depends on his cooperation." She turns to Spencer,
who is looking through the glass of Ed's office with his arms folded,
"Spence, if you don't come back...there's blood in the water and Peter can
smell it. They'll crucify you. If this deal falls apart, then Fonesca will
tell the suspects that their only hope at a new deal will be to drag you
through the media. They'll call you a child killer. Are you prepared to
have that kind of label hanging over your head?"
Spencer continues to look out the glass. Frankie says in an angry voice,
"but that's ridiculous. They put the girl in danger. No one is going to
believe this was Spencer's fault."
Maddie looks at Frankie, "look at what the media will have to go on. A
grieving mother crying in front of the cameras. US Marshals blasting their
way in to the house. The Marshal that shot the girl quits and refuses to
cooperate. Then leaks credited to unnamed sources in the home office will
begin to appear, suggesting that Spencer was incompetent in the operation
leadership. The media will make Spencer the poster child for bad cops. And
now, we are up to our necks in it because they will say we tried to cover
the whole thing up. So Spencer...sign the damn thing so we can go home."
Without turning around, Spencer says in a sad voice, "well, they are right
about one thing. We are trying to cover it up. And Sam...what about Sam?"
Maddie turns to Spencer, "what about Sam? Spence, I miss him as much as you
do, but I don't see how we honor his memory by sacrificing you to
stupidity. You know damn well, this isn't what Sam would want."
Spencer turns around, "I just don't know Maddie. It just seems wrong to
have two people die and the whole thing just disappears. I mean, who can
say what Sam would want?"
A woman's voice comes through the doorway of the office, "well, I think I
am probably the best person to answer that question."
Spencer appears stunned by the woman's entrance into the office. Maddie
stands up from her chair. The woman looks to be in her late twenties and
she is wearing a black business suit. Even through the suit, it is obvious
that she is someone seriously into working out, probably weight training.
Maddie hugs her and says, "Lisa, I am so glad you could come." Then to Ed
and Frankie, "this is Lisa Mendes, Sam's wife."
Spencer watches the two women and looks unsure of what to do. Lisa walks
over to Spencer. "So Spence...do you have a hug for an old friend?"
Spencer hugs her, while whispering "for you, always."
They both have tears coming from their eyes. The two hold each other for a
long moment, and then they pull apart and Lisa says, "Spence, I think even
you would agree that if anyone can speak for Sam it would be me."
Spencer half smiles, "yes, that's true enough."
"So I think if Sam were here, he'd just say..." and then she punches Spencer
directly in the solar plexus.
Spencer doubles over in pain and begins coughing and gagging. He leans on
the desk to compose himself. Frankie turns to Ed and whispers, "oh, I like
Lisa says to Spencer while putting an arm around him, "isn't that what you
want? Someone to make your outside feel as bad as your inside? Well, stop
using Sam as an excuse. Sam knew what the job was and what he was doing. He
made his own choices. When Maddie informed me of how stupid you were being,
I knew I had to come and set the record straight."
Spencer looks up at her with tears still in his eyes, "so what would Sam
"Sam would say, 'it's simple, don't take any crap and keep fighting. That's
what you helped teach him...what you used to believe in. I don't think Sam
would ever have approved of just rolling over and taking it. So sign the
deal and get back into the game."
2PM THURSDAY AFTERNOON...
Spencer and Brad Campbell, both leave the locker room at the same time.
They glare at each other and walk towards the pool. Brad says to him, "I
hope our little joke this morning didn't make you too mad...I mean nothing to
have a cow over. Right?"
Spencer looks over at him, "nice speedo. Why leave anything to the
imagination? And I mean VERY LITTLE imagination. Where is everybody?" They
both notice that the pool area appears to be deserted.
A voice comes from behind them, "ahoy, mates! Welcome to my crew!"
They both turn to see a tall goofy looking guy in glasses walk over to
them, dressed in what appears to be some sort of old style naval uniform,
including a powdered wig and a toy sword at his side.
Brad looks the man over and says to Spencer, "If only you had brought your
dumb costume, you two could have created a Village People for the twenty-
first century." He looks around, "Hey, is this the YMCA?"
Spencer replies, "excuse me Brad, could you turn the other way. It looks
like your speedo is hoisting it's sail, if you know what I mean."
The man in uniform says, "silence naves! Just like in the days of yore,
when men couldn't function in their responsibilities, they were shipped out
into the navy to learn discipline and camaraderie. Since you both can't
seem to get along, the mayor has signed you both on as the newest swabbies
of the SS Miss Carol. I am Captain Toby and you will follow my orders to
the letter or face walking the plank."
Brad says, "I'm sorry your captain-ness, but I don't see a boat, let alone
a plank. Hard to be part of a crew, when there's no boat."
Toby points over to the corner and they both see what looks to be a large
blow up raft with Miss Carol written on the back. "And as for the plank...he
points to the tallest of the diving boards. I believe that will suffice in
a pinch." Under Toby's direction they place the raft into the pool. The
boat looks very unstable and as if it could capsize easily.
After the raft is in the water, Brad and Spencer are sitting next to each
other on the middle seat facing the back of the raft each having an oar in
their hands, while Captain Toby is seated facing them on the back of the
raft. Brad exclaims, "this is the dumbest thing I have ever been involved
with and I was in a fraternity." He looks at Spencer; "this must actually
be the most normal thing you've done since coming to town." He then says to
Toby, "Excuse me...SpongeBob, I expect to make my four o'clock tee time. Just
so you know."
Toby looks both of them over then from his belt pulls out a dowel rod
handle with what appears to be several long pieces of string attached. He
says, "first of all, Mr. Campbell..." and Toby pulls back and then strikes
the strings against his chest. "A lash for speaking out of turn. This is my
ship and each time you speak out of turn or do anything that displeases the
captain, you will receive a lash. This ain't your momma's boat gentlemen.
Like the sea, I am harsh and unforgiving."
Brad actually smiles, "sorry to be the one that breaks the news to you, but
that doesn't really hurt."
Toby smiles, "maybe not on the outside Mr. Campbell, but on the inside, we
both know how it stings. Oh, how it stings." Toby looks them both over and
says, "Oh sure, I could have locked you both in a room and forced you to
talk out the pain inside that makes you strike out at each other. Heaven
knows, I am familiar with the world of pain...but instead I thought you would
both be better served by what we in the motivation biz call an object
lesson. You see a ship needs a hard working and steady crew, and that means
that everyone on board must know their job and be confident in their
shipmates. You will learn to respect each other through achieving a common
goal." And with a motion, he brings the whip down on his hand. While
shaking his stinging hand, he continues "This is no love boat ladies! I
expect each of you to perform like thorough bred horses upon my every
Spencer tentatively raises his hand. Toby points to him with his whip
indicating that it's ok to speak. So Spencer asks, "exactly what common
goal are we to achieve...uh...captain?"
"Mr. James asks an excellent question, but for now I want you and your
shipmates..." Brad and Spencer, both look around for other people, "to
concentrate on learning your ship and the ways of the sea." He pauses for a
moment, then continues, "the sea...oh what a cruel and unforgiving mistress
the sea is. Much like most women I know." Toby looks away for a moment, and
then regains his composure. "Now I want to see some rowing." As they begin
to row, Captain Toby pulls out a small plastic cone and yells at them
through it, "put your back into it! Come on! Stroke! Stroke! Stroke!"
After a few moments of them rowing, "Now men, I want to hear some singing.
Let's sing a few sea shanties to keep our spirits above the waterline."
Spencer asks, "uh...captain? Sea shanties...like yo ho ho and a bottle of rum?
You do realize we are in a swimming pool? Is there such a thing as a pool
Brad says, "I think the both of you should sing a round of 'In the Navy'."
Toby looks off into the distance and says, "I have actually always been
partial to the song 'Come Sail Away,' when I'm staring straight into the
eyes of King Neptune. There's nothing like it when you're out on the open
Spencer replies, "The open sea? We haven't even gotten out of the kiddie
Then Brad pipes in, "I don't sing, it's from a childhood condition. I
nominate Gilligan here as our official chorus boy."
Captain Toby quickly uses his whip against Brad and Spencer, "I'll start
and you can both join in when we get to the chorus." He sits back then
begins to sing as Spencer and Brad continue to row. Toby appears a little
too moved by the lyrics for their taste.
"I'm sailing away, set an open course for the virgin sea...
I've got to be free, free to face the life that's ahead of me
On board, I'm the captain, so climb aboard
We'll search for tomorrow on every shore
And I'll try, oh Lord, I'll try to carry on..."
As he sings the chorus, Toby motions with his hands for Spencer and Brad to
join in with him. They both hold their silence until Toby starts in with
his whip. Brad finally has enough and grabs the whip out of Captain Toby's
hand and throws it out into the pool. Spencer says to Brad, "now that
wasn't necessary. It doesn't hurt."
"I'm sorry Stuckeyboy, but I have had enough of this cruise. You two can
stay here and stroke yourselves all you want, but I am done."
Toby looks confused as Brad begins to row strongly towards the side of the
pool. Spencer begins deliberately rowing in the same direction, so that the
raft begins to spin in circles. He says, "you aren't going anywhere
Bradley, not until the captain says so."
As the raft spins, Toby is forced to sit back to keep from falling
overboard. Spencer and Brad continue struggling against each other.
Finally, Toby shouts into his plastic cone, "enough! I will not have mutiny
aboard my craft!" And with that he draws the plastic sword from his side
and stands up. He almost immediately loses his balance and when he goes to
catch himself, his sword pokes a hole into the side of the raft. The raft
immediately begins deflating. Toby continues to shout into the cone,
"abandon ship! Make your way to the nearest exit! Women and children
Spencer and Brad jump over the sides of the raft. Coming up from the water,
Spencer motions to Toby to jump from the raft, but Toby stands up and
salutes him as the raft folds in on itself and disappears into the water.
The only thing left on the surface is Toby's powdered wig, which continues
Later after Brad and Spencer have gotten the deflated raft and all it's
gear from the bottom of the pool and Toby is at the side of the pool trying
to pull off his wet boots, Brad walks over to Spencer, "so you want to go
get a beer sometime?"
Spencer thinks about it, "yeah, what the hell? Why not? And I'm sorry about
Spencer pats him on the back, "oh...and the geese." He shrugs, "package deal.
You'll find out, back at your office."
They turn to go into the locker room and they both stop in their tracks as
they see Frankie standing there. Brad continues to walk past her while
trying to stick his chest out. He pauses and says, "I still have that five
hundred dollars from our arbitration. You want to see how much of it we can
blow in one afternoon?" Frankie raises an eyebrow, but Brad continues,
"hey, I'm a classy date. I'll carry the tray to the table and everything."
Frankie says shaking her head, "I think I'll pass." Then looking down at
his bathing suit as he walks past, "at ease, sailor." Brad goes into the
Spencer asks, "so how much of that did you see?"
Frankie smiles, "enough to know that I'm buying you a life preserver for
your birthday and we're never going sailing."
Spencer gives her a serious look, "first of all, that was a raft and the
captain was nuts. And second, the way things are going, it doesn't look
like we are going to be doing anything together."
Toby passes them as he heads into the locker room carrying his deflated
raft, "looks like another evening of me, the Miss Carol and a tire repair
After he has left, Frankie's smile fades, "after you had to leave this
morning, I had a nice talk with Maddie."
"Oh great. This is not going to be good. Why does nice always mean
something bad for me."
"She seems worried that maybe I was the reason you were being so obstinate
about signing the agreement and going back to the Marshals. She somehow
knew about our predicament and is concerned that you might be throwing away
everything for a relationship that may never happen. Are you?"
Spencer looks Frankie in the eyes, "no. I'm doing this because I think it's
the right thing to do. Frankie, there's more here than what's on the table,
I can just feel it. Remember, that morning we met in the park after the
night of the shooting. You said that guy, Fresca, had stopped you in the
park and offered you a job for the first time."
"His name's actually, Fonesca."
"Whatever. Don't you think it's a little strange that he happened to be at
the park down the row from me, when you just happened to be walking by? I
think he was spying on me for Peter Rapporteur. I also think they are
agreeing to deals far too quickly. I need to do some spying of my own
before I sign anything. I need you to trust me."
Frankie puts a hand on his bare chest; "just promise me, that you aren't
going to mess up your whole life for me. Ok?"
Spencer places his hand over hers, "I'm not, but I would. That's the best I
can do right now."
"Well, I guess that will have to be enough." Frankie gets a mischievous
smile and grabs each end of the towel hanging around Spencer's neck. She
pulls his face down to hers and embraces him. She throws the towel to the
side and wraps her arms around his neck. They kiss deeply and passionately
for several moments pressing against each other. When their lips separate,
Spencer says, "wait...I'm sorry. I'm totally getting you wet."
Frankie smiles and says, "yeah, we had better do something about that! So
sailor, are you ready to drop anchor? So how does it go...we do it once on
land and two by sea or was it two on land and one by sea?" And Frankie
slides out of her shoes and begins kissing Spencer again as she begins to
Spencer gasps in between kisses; he looks around, "Frankie! What if someone
In between, undoing her belt and caressing Spencer's chest, Frankie
replies, "Rose told me, this place is reserved until four. It's only two
thirty. And I made sure all the doors will lock on their way out. I figure
that gives us just enough time."
Spencer stops momentarily, "Rose? When did you talk to Rose?"
"How did you think I knew you were here? She told me that I might enjoy
seeing you get your sea legs. Now do you want that level playing field or
"Well, she's getting a raise." Spencer yells up to the rafters, "Rose is
the best secretary I have ever had!"
8:45AM FRIDAY MORNING...
Ed is straightening up the shoe rental counter as he watches Frankie come
through the front doors of Stuckeybowl and then saunter towards the office.
As she reaches the office door, she looks over and smiles at him, "good
He is so startled by her good mood that all he can do is give a small wave
in return. She flashes him another smile and walks into the office. It
appears that she gives a little kick as she walks through the door. Ed is
intrigued, never having seen Frankie in this emotional state before, and
decides to follow her into the office. He asks, "so what's with you this
morning, Smiley McHappy Feet?"
Frankie hangs her purse on the outstretched gun arm of a life-sized Dirty
Harry cut out that Ed gave to her for her birthday and then begins going
through some folders on her desk as she sits down. "Smiley McHappy Feet?
Why would you call me that?"
Ed replies, "well, the big old ear to ear grin, you can't seem to remove
from your face would be a start. The little soft shoe number you did on the
way in would be another very good reason. Did I see a little Swan Lake
thrown in there?"
"That was actually my tribute to The Nutcracker. Swan Lake was part of the
intermediate classes, I didn't take lessons long enough to even break in my
shoes." She shrugs, "I had artistic differences with the instructor."
Ed smiles, "are those the same clothes you wore yesterday?"
Frankie tries not to smile but only breaks in to a larger smile, "Yes, I
spent the night with Spence, and it was...was..." she can tell by the look on
Ed's face that he's not completely comfortable with the conversation,
"well, it was very good, let's just say that. So this morning, I told Leon
that I couldn't marry him. I was running late, so I didn't have time to
Frankie pauses for a moment and her smile completely fades as the color
leaves her face, she looks up at Ed as if her resolve has completely left
her, "and that's it...it's over...he's catching the first flight back to
Houston. He was so mad, I don't think I'll ever see him again." Frankie
places her head in her hands, "Oh crap! What have I done?"
Ed gives her a sympathetic look, "Frankie, for what it's worth, I think you
did the right thing. I don't think anyone really believed you were in love
with Leon...well, except for maybe Leon of course. But better for him to find
out now than for him to realize it at the alter...trust me on this one. I
think it's the right decision."
"Who cares what you think? You were dumb enough to dump me for Carol, so
your judgment is suspect at best." Frankie grabs the phone and dials a
number. She waits and waits then slams the receiver down. "Damn! He's
either already left or isn't answering."
Frankie rushes out of her chair and appears unsure whether to simply begin
pacing or bolt out of the office. Ed says, "Frankie, this is crazy. Two
seconds ago, you looked happier than I have ever seen you. As happy as a
clam, some people would say...I have never really understood how happy that
is...but people seem to think it's pretty darn happy, and now you're ready to
go chasing after Leon. Second thoughts are natural, but this is absolutely
Frankie begins pacing and then looks up and says, "actually it's happy as a
clam at high tide."
Ed pauses, "excuse me?"
"Happy as a clam at high tide. That's the full saying...because that's the
only time clams are safe from fishermen...that's why they're supposed to be
happy, but only during high tides...and my tide is feeling pretty low right
now." She turns towards the doorway.
Ed places his hand on her arm, "Frankie, you can't go after him."
Phil and Eli are sitting eating breakfast by the snack area. They both look
over at the office doorway and see Ed stretched out in the doorframe trying
to make an impassable barrier for Frankie, who is struggling to get past
him. They can only see an extended arm or leg of Frankie's as she tries to
wrestle him out of the way.
Phil takes a bite of scrambled eggs and says to Eli, "I'll bet a five spot
that she makes it out. What do you think it's about this time?"
Eli replies, "not sure, but I bet it has nothing to do with the law or
Phil nods, "I hear you, brother."
Eli looks up, "I hear you, brother!? You aren't my brother...more like some
nasty step uncle that doesn't get invited to the reunions." In the
background, Frankie has managed to get her head through the door underneath
Phil says to Eli, "now, you're just being mean...my nephew."
They both look over again and it appears Frankie is using her life sized
Clint Eastwood cut out as a battering ram against Ed, who is holding his
ground in the doorway. Eli says, "ok, I'll take five that the boss can keep
her bottled up."
Ed is now laughing at the site of Frankie rushing him, using Dirty Harry as
a shield and trying to knock him aside. After a few attempts, she drops
Clint and falls back on to the couch in exhaustion. She actually starts
laughing. "Well, I must look like a complete idiot. If I wasn't so tired, I
could have taken you."
Ed slowly walks over, always making sure he can cut her off from the
doorway. He sits next to her and says, "you don't look like an idiot...just
like someone that has a lot to think about. Maybe the problem is that you
need to learn to say goodbye. Besides I think Harry got the worst of it."
They both laugh looking at the bent up cardboard cut out lying on the
floor. They smile at each other for a moment and then Frankie reaches over
and kisses Ed firmly on the lips. Ed is so shocked that for a moment he
doesn't react, but then wraps his arms around her and returns her embrace.
They kiss passionately for a very long moment.
Once they separate, Ed says, "maybe you don't want to chase after Leon.
Maybe you just want someone to stop you from chasing Leon." At that moment
they both look up at the doorway and see Spencer standing there holding a
small bag. The expression on his face is a mixture of anger, confusion and
a little more anger.
He places the bag on Frankie's desk and says in a detached voice, "I
thought you might like some breakfast. It's just a pastry...cherry...you
ordered cherry the first day we spent together and I...uh...know you don't
really like eating Shirley's food." And he turns around and walks quickly
Frankie dashes after him calling out, "Spence, wait! Please don't go!
Please..." He walks without looking back, as Frankie collapses on the bench
outside the office bursting into tears. Spencer's only reply is the doors
of Stuckeybowl closing behind him.
6:20AM FRIDAY MORNING...
Frankie wakes with a start. She looks around the room and realizes she is
still at Spencer's house lying in his bed. There are boxes waiting to be
unpacked stacked along the wall. She looks down to see that she's wearing
some of his old sweats that say, 'US Marshals.' She mutters to herself,
"damn Ed and his dream analysis crap."
Spencer enters the bedroom wearing a robe. He lays next to her and cradles
Frankie in his arms, "what was that?"
"Nothing. "She smiles, "Good morning. Have you been up long?"
"I don't sleep as well as I used to, but it's not a good morning, it's a
great morning" and kisses her. Frankie tightens her hold around his chest.
They lay together for a few moments, finally Spencer says, "oh, Frankie.
This is bad."
Frankie replies without looking up, "I know. It's like we've hit the launch
button on a rocket and there's no way to stop it. There's no reverse, no
steering...just a one-way ticket over the edge of the world. Things are going
to be very confusing."
"No, I was talking about breakfast. This is bad means I have absolutely
nothing to offer you for breakfast, not even coffee...but your rocket analogy
is getting me a little excited."
Frankie smiles, "from the evidence I've seen, it doesn't take much to get
"Hey, I'm not the one that insisted on seeing how big the back seat of the
Bug actually is. I think even the folks over at the Kama Sutra would have
been impressed. I doubt Mr. Sutra, himself, ever tried that one. I think we
should try it again, but this time take pictures. You know to send to
Ripley's Believe It or Not."
"Kama Sutra might be a bit of a stretch...maybe Karma Chameleon."
Spencer gets serious, "sure, like Boy George wouldn't have gotten his hair
Frankie places a finger on his mouth, "sorry, I take it back. I forgot how
fragile a man's sex ego is."
Spencer smiles down at her, "just for the record, the human male's sex ego
is the only thing separating us from the animals. You think a male lion
fusses about his performance? I don't think so."
Frankie runs her finger gently along the stitches in Spencer's forearm.
"Does it still hurt?"
"Not really. Honestly, so much has been going on, I forget about it. It's
just one more little scar to prove I'm still learning."
"And what did you learn from this?"
Spencer smiles, "when a suspect has a knife, stay away from the pointy
end." He pauses for a moment, "Mike's supposed to take the stitches out
today. I'm actually more upset about my jacket. I loved that jacket,
although it's not very chiefly, or so I've been told." Why don't we take
the day off and make it a twenty-four hour straight kind of date."
"I have way too much work to do on your case, the hearing is next week. But
maybe we can continue tonight over...say, dinner and a movie. We could act
like normal people."
Spencer replies, "Normal? I don't think a simple dinner and movie date will
establish a case for sanity for either of us, but why not? I'll have to
cancel my plans, but no problem."
Frankie stops like someone pulling the needle across a record player, "What
"Oh, nothing. I told Carol that I'd go out with them tonight. No big deal,
just hanging out and stuff."
"Ed, Mike and the girls asked you to hang out with them and no one
mentioned it to me?"
"Oh no. Ed and Mike are watching a basketball game together, so it's just
the girls..." Spencer hesitates as he can tell by Frankie's expression that
things have taken a sudden turn for the worse, he finishes very unsure of
himself, "...an...and me."
Frankie leans back from him. "you are going out with Carol Vessey and crew
on girl's night? I've never gone out with them on girl's night. Are you
really sure you're not gay?"
"If you have to ask, I must have done something very wrong."
"I just didn't know you had gotten to know them so well, that's all."
"I haven't...Ed and Mike got sick of me whining about you and Leon the other
night, so they dumped me off at Carol's. I got to gabbing with the ladies
and they asked if I wanted to hang out with them tonight. Nothing specific,
maybe some shopping."
"Gabbing with the ladies? You gab?"
"Oh, I can gab with the best of them. It's just like going undercover. You
immerse yourself in their environment, build credibility by imitating what
they do and then observe. Apparently women will tell you almost anything
you want to know if you notice they got their hair cut."
"Who got their haircut?"
"Molly. She went with a shoulder length bob cut again, but had them add a
little highlight to take the edge off the red. It came out really nice."
Frankie looks at him as if unsure what to say, "So Spence Undercover...what
exactly were you trying to find out from the ladies?"
Spencer looks embarrassed, "they've known you longer than I have, and I
wanted to know if they had any insight or tips that would help me win your
heart. What can I say? I was desperate."
Frankie smiles and leans into him, "and did they give you any hints?"
"No, but Nancy did show me how to get juice stains out of carpet, even kool
aid...that's been bugging me for years."
Frankie gets a serious expression on her face, "so how long do you think
you are going to be the chief of police here in Stuckeyville?"
Spencer places his free hand on her cheek and says as she turns her head
and kisses his palm, "Indefinitely, I have no plans on leaving. I have some
very compelling reasons to stick around."
Frankie looks up at him, "Spence, no one wants you here more than I do, but
I'm really scared for you. What if things go badly at the hearing? I don't
picture the mayor of Stuckeyville being too loyal if a scandal hits. What
will you do if you lose both jobs?"
Spencer thinks for a moment then laughs, "I don't know, I hear Frontega is
"You know his name is Fonesca, and that's not even slightly amusing.
Besides you don't like lawyers, and he's one of the worst."
"I like you."
Frankie smiles at him, "really? I was kind of hoping." Frankie pauses a
moment, then locks eyes with him taking a business like demeanor, "Spence,
Ed and I have been looking over your situation and we think you should sign
Spencer replies, "Ed and you think that I should sign the deal or Ed thinks
I should sign the deal?"
"Ed suggested it and I agree. If things go badly at the hearing, you could
be in some serious trouble. If things go public, you are at least
guaranteed to lose your job as Chief of Police. And that's the best case
"I'm not worried about losing my job."
"You're not. Well you should be. What are you going to do if they fire
"I guess this is as good a time as any to tell you."
"Tell me what?"
"Frankie, I'm Rich."
"You're name is Rich?"
"No, I don't like talking about it, but let's just say, I have enough money
in the bank that I don't have to worry about maintaining a steady income."
Frankie looks at him as if she doesn't understand what he just said, so he
continues, "How did you think I rented all those cows? I was on the college
tennis team, that didn't give you a hint?"
Frankie finally catches up, "so let me get this straight, you have a
substantial amount of money, and you haven't paid me anything for all the
legal work I've done?"
Spencer laughs, "well if you remember, I never really hired you. You
basically insisted on working on the case probono, plus I've never gotten a
"Well, you're going to get one...a big one." She pauses for a moment, "I
thought your grandfather was the sheriff of Stuckeyville. And how come I
"I never thought it was worth bringing up. You don't seem to be the type
that is impressed by money, that's one of the things I adore about you. And
yes, my grandfather was sheriff, but my father was a very successful
corporate lawyer with a talent for investment, until he retired a couple of
years back. My sister is currently a successful corporate lawyer with a
talent for investment. In law school I realized I wanted to be the kind of
man my grandfather was. So I became a cop. I'm generally considered the
black sheep of the family."
Frankie kisses him, "well, I think you're wonderful. Wonderful...and rich.
Just how rich are we talking here? Like if you were going to buy...let's say
a new car, what kind of car would you buy?"
Spencer smiles, "a VW beetle."
Frankie laughs, "you hate that car."
"It's grown on me."
8:45AM FRIDAY MORNING...
Frankie walks quickly into the office where Ed is already working behind
his desk. He smiles and opens his mouth to say good morning, but she cuts
him off. "Yes, I'm wearing the same clothes I had on yesterday, so don't
even start with me, you jerk."
Ed slowly closes his mouth. Frankie hangs her purse on the arm of the Dirty
Harry cut out, then pauses, thinks better of it and places it beside her
desk. Ed watches all of this and asks tentatively, "and what did I do to
deserve that most discourteous salutation?"
"I'll tell you what you did...that whole stupid dream lucidity crap, that's
what you did. I had the most wonderful afternoon and evening with
Spencer...then the most horrible dream ever. All thanks to your little 'hey,
figure things out in your dreams!' idea. Great advice, Freddy Kruger."
Ed looks confused, "you had a bad dream and that's my fault? What could
have possibly happened in a dream that was so bad?"
Frankie gives him a nasty look, "first of all, I kissed you. Second, I
kissed you in front of Spencer. I'd say that's pretty bad, wouldn't you?"
Ed has a far away reminiscing look in his eye, "yeah, I had something like
that happen too. Seems to be a major glitch in the system, that and flying.
Never have been able to fly."
"Nothing...uhm...you kissed me? Why didn't you just make Spencer come in later
"What do you mean make Spencer come in later or something?"
"Well, it was your lucid dream. You could have done anything you wanted,
that's kind of the point of having a lucid dream."
"I couldn't control anything in my dream, not even myself...especially
myself, then I woke up."
Ed looks at her, "did you eat the contrasting foods before you went to bed
like I suggested?"
Frankie gives him a sarcastic smile; "I have a policy of not asking men for
a pickle right after intimacy. Seems to make them feel a little insecure."
"Well, if you didn't eat the contrasting foods and you couldn't control
anything...sounds like you didn't really have a lucid dream." Ed continues
with a smile, "you just had yourself a good old fashioned nightmare...and the
most horrifying thing in your subconscious seems to be kissing me. I
wouldn't worry too much about it." He pauses, and then asks reluctantly,
"why was kissing me such a horrible thing? I mean, you mentioned it
twice...once in front of Spencer and once all by itself, as if it were some
sort of subdivision of hell."
Frankie throws her arms up in frustration, "it wasn't kissing you that was
so horrible. It was that I wanted to kiss you...I just spent the night with
Spencer, run home to dump Leon, freak out about dumping Leon, try to knock
you down so I can chase after Leon, then I jump you on the couch and break
Spencer's heart...all before breakfast. It's like I went to sleep and woke up
"Now which of those things really happened and which were the dream? I'm
confused? Except for the part where you jumped me...I'm pretty sure that was
just in the dream."
Frankie begins to talk in a slower voice, "the only thing that really
happened was the sleeping with Spencer part. I haven't told Leon yet. I'm
not sure I'm going to tell him."
"Frankie, that's crazy. You have to tell him."
"Actually, I don't...not if I stage my own death...but I may need your help
pulling that off. Then he can go back to Houston remembering me as the
decent human being, I once was. It has to be something where there could
reasonably be no body. So what do you think...a fiery car crash or lost at
"Well, since we're in Stuckeyville Ohio, I'm not sure he'd buy the lost at
sea story. I think I'd go car crash. Always better to burn out than fade
"Yeah, but with the lost at sea I didn't have to lose my car." She pauses
and sighs, "you're right, I'm going to have to tell him. Things seemed so
much simpler when I was just the jilted bitter ex-girlfriend."
Now it's Ed's turn to be sarcastic, "yeah, those were good times...good
As Frankie is ready to rebuff Ed's remark, Phil comes into the office.
"Hate to break up your little chat room, but I have found something that is
going to change all of our lives forever." Phil comes around Ed's desk and
then he nods to Frankie, "what's up, J Lo?"
Ed seems actually grateful for the intrusion and says to Phil, "what have
Phil hands Ed a small dark rock, "an Indian arrowhead. I found it just
outside of the parking lot."
Frankie decides to let Ed field this one solo, and begins working as Ed
looks at the arrowhead, "Phil, I admit it's been awhile since Miss Jacobs
history class, but I don't think the Indians used green glass for
arrowheads. I think this is just an old piece of broken glass that happens
to be in a triangle shape similar to an arrowhead."
Phil grabs the piece away from Ed, "maybe it just looks like glass to the
untrained eye, but to those of us in the know, it's a tremendous
"Phil, has your trained eye noticed that it has numbers molded into it? Do
you think the Native Americans molded English numbers into their
"If they were organized Indians...yes. Historical records from that era are
shoddy at best. I'm not saying they did and I'm not saying they didn't.
Some of history's mysteries were never meant to be solved. Like big foot."
"And what era would that be exactly?"
Phil thinks for a moment looking at the arrowhead with squinted eyes, "I'd
say somewhere squarely in the third Indian...Transmigrationary...Pleuthral Era.
Yep, definitely in the third Indian Transmigrationary Pleuthral Era, no
doubt about it. In fact, I'd stake my reputation on it."
"Phil, you have a reputation, but I hardly think it involves archeology."
"Then I'll find someone who does have a reputation in archeology and stake
"Ok Phil, let's say for a moment that this is in fact an actual arrowhead.
How exactly is that going to change our lives forever?"
"Bosco, arrowheads are like those little hairs on your ear, when you see
one, that means there's gotta be a ton that you don't see." He looks around
and then whispers with his hand up, so no one else can hear, "I think it's
highly probable that Stuckeybowl is standing on the site of an ancient
Indian burial ground. Do you know how much people will pay to get into an
ancient Indian burial ground?"
Frankie gasps and they both jump, and turn to see her staring horrified at
Spencer standing in the doorway of the office with a small paper bag in his
hand. Spencer looks as scared as Frankie, "what the hell, Frankie? You
scared the crap out of me."
Frankie puts her hand over her mouth, "I'm sorry. You just startled
me...that's all." Still looking scared at the bag in his hand, "what's in the
Spencer puts his hands up in a defensive motion, "I felt bad about not
having any food at my place, so I stopped by the pie shop and got you a
pastry. That's all. Don't worry from now on breakfast is your call." He
slowly reaches over and places the bag on her desk.
Frankie opens the bag as if diffusing a bomb. She sighs in relief, "it's
apple. Oh, thank God!"
Spencer seems as relieved as Frankie is; although it's obvious he has no
idea why. "I remembered that you had cherry, on that first day we spent
together, but all they had was apple."
Frankie smiles, "I'm sorry. That was very thoughtful." She stands up and
closes the distance to him; both look unsure of how to greet each other.
Each takes a turn leaning in for a kiss, and then pulling back. Ed can't
help but think it looks like two birds in a mating ritual. Finally in
desperation Frankie sticks out her hand. Spencer looks at her in a 'you
can't be serious way' but then tentatively shakes it. Then Frankie looks
from Spencer to Ed quickly, "we were just talking...about arrowheads. Phil
found one. Isn't that fascinating?"
"Yeah, sure. Frankie, are you alright?"
"Of course, I'm alright. Why wouldn't I be alright? We're just here working
and talking about arrowheads...and that's it."
Spencer asks, "so how did it go with Leon this morning? I'm assuming that's
why you seem a bit jumpy. How'd he take the news?"
Phil decides to leave the office, "this is getting far too Melrose Place
for my tastes."
As Frankie appears to be trying to grasp for something to say, Phil leans
in and says to Spencer, "she's thinking about having Ed help fake her
death...to avoid telling him." And with that he walks through the office door
giving Frankie a big smile and a thumbs up.
As he sees that Frankie has murder in her eyes, he shrugs and says, "hey! I
didn't tell him about you jumping Bosco on the couch, did I?" As Phil walks
away from the office, he says to Eli and Shirley, who are talking by the
shoe rental counter, "and vengeance is served up cold as a salad plate at
the Sizzler. Let's see our little cow pimping chief shovel that."
Back in the office, Frankie is stammering out words to try and explain. Ed
sees she's not faring well, so he starts trying to explain that she didn't
really jump him, it was only in a dream. This obviously frustrates Frankie,
so Ed and Frankie begin to talk over each other.
Finally in frustration, Spencer draws his green paintball pistol and shoots
it straight up into the air, "QUIET!" Ed and Frankie both stop and look at
Spencer in disbelief. A second later, a glob of teal paint falls down from
the ceiling on to the top of Spencer's head, but he has their attention.
"Ok, here's what's going to happen. I have some things that really need to
be taken care of...like washing paint out of my hair...but then I have actual
work to do, so I'm going to go and concentrate every ounce of strength I
have on not thinking about a single thing that has been said in this room
this morning." He turns to leave but then turns back to Frankie, and says
with a half smile and a small amount of sadness, "hey, Frankie. It's
ok...I...uh...know you've had a lot on your plate. We'll talk later...once you've
had a chance to think about things." Frankie only seems able to give him a
small nod, and he leaves the office.
9:45AM FRIDAY MORNING...
Fonesca is running late for his first meeting with his latest client. As he
rushes past his receptionist's desk, he wonders briefly why she's not
there. As he enters his office, he immediately takes a step back. Sitting
in his chair with his feet up on his desk is Stuckeyville's Chief of
Police, Spencer James. Fonesca says, "I don't know what you are doing here,
but you need to leave. I have a client coming, so I don't have time to play
games with you today."
Spencer breaks into a smile, "and a good morning to you to Francesca! You
actually just missed him."
Fonesca looks unsure of himself for just a moment, "that's Fonesca. Why did
he leave and where's my receptionist?"
Spencer's smile fades; "you and I need to have a little chat, so I asked
them to give us a little privacy. They'll be back."
Fonesca looks around nervously for witnesses, but seeing none, he turns and
replies nervously, "I don't really see anything for us to talk about. But
you can buy my time just like everyone else. See my receptionist when she
Spencer's eyes narrow at him, "funny, how money always seems to creep into
everything. Which brings up a question I have....how did you creep into all
"I have no idea what you are talking about. I'm temporarily acting as a
legal consultant to the US Marshals service. Helping smooth over the local
legalities and working with the defendants' legal staff. I heard you were
unbalanced...but I'm beginning to think you may need to be put away for
awhile...for the safety of the public."
"Oh, I'm no danger to the public...the only people that need to fear me are
criminals. Are you a criminal?" Spencer pauses a moment, then continues,
"but I'll make a long story short. I was going to spy on you...do some cloak
and dagger type stuff, but it's not really my style. So instead, I decided
to deliver my message for Peter to you and use the opportunity to pick your
brain. I prefer the direct approach."
Fonesca shrugs, "so what's your message? And what information do you think
I could possibly provide to you?"
"My message for Pete is simple. I'll use small words, you'll understand.
Tell him, I'm back in the game. And I'm going to find out what he's up to."
Spencer stands up from the chair and says, "now close the door and have a
seat, so we can talk."
Fonesca sneers at him, "get out of here..."
Spencer smiles finishing his statement, "before you call the cops? You
don't seem to get it. I'm not leaving until you tell me everything I want
"You are insane. I knew you were delusional when you actually believed Ms.
Hector really cared about you. But this is off the charts." Fonesca smiles
for the first time, "how is Leon, by the way? Just curious, has she ever
called you Ed by mistake? I figure at the rate she's getting around town,
my turn must be just around the corner."
Spencer quickly closes the distance between them and appears ready to throw
a punch. Fonesca runs to get the desk in between himself and Spencer. He
says, "you and Ms. Hector really do have a lot in common. Your bad temper
will get you into trouble. Oh, that's right, it already has...is that what
happened to little Angela? Your temper get the best of you?"
Spencer stops and asks, "do you know what US Marshals do? We track, hound
and torment people trying to hide until they can't wait to give themselves
up." He begins walking over to Fonesca, "you are going to tell me
everything I want to know, and you're going to do it right now. OR I will
insure that every moment of every day of the rest of your life is a living
hell. Look into my eyes and decide if I'm bluffing."
Fonesca is slightly shaking as he turns and walks towards the door. As he
reaches the doorframe Spencer says, "funny...I never did get the name of the
home office's informer here in Stuckeyville. You know, the dumb ass that
screwed us so badly on the location of the fugitives." Fonesca pauses
without turning around, his hand clutches the door handle. Spencer
continues, "Peter has been protecting them like a mother bear, since before
this whole crapfest started, but I figure if I rattle enough bars, I'll
find out who it is. And once that name is out... the suspects are going to
know as well. And since they may just get to walk away free as birds...well
let's just say, I wouldn't want to be in the informer's shoes. Unless of
course, they deliberately led me astray, in which case I would want even
less to be in their shoes. Poor bastard."
Fonesca turns around and closes the door as he walks back into the office.
12:45PM FRIDAY AFTERNOON...
Carol walks into Stuckeybowl to see Ed and Phil having a heated discussion
in front of a small group of about six men in the snack area. This wouldn't
strike her as odd in the least, if Phil weren't wearing a headband, clip on
earring with a huge feather hanging from it and a leather vest with no
As she walks up, Ed has turned to the men, "I'm really sorry, you've been
mislead, but I'm really not interested in donating Stuckeybowl so you can
build a casino. I'm quite happy with this just being a bowling alley...and
The men look at each other and shake their heads as they begin to file out.
Ed says to the lead man, "you don't really think that Phil found an ancient
arrowhead or that this is actually the site of an Native American burial
ground do you?"
The man shrugs, "I have no idea, but could you tell him, once we're gone
that we are representatives from the Cleveland Indians. As in the baseball
team, not an actual tribe."
Ed turns on Phil, "You know I would never agree to converting Stuckeybowl
into a casino..."
Phil cuts him off, "listen Kemosabe. My people have been denied their
birthrights for too long. You owe us this casino."
"I owe you this casino? Phil, are you even partially of Native American
Phil thinks for a moment then says, "I have a great affection for curry."
They both turn to Carol, she just smiles, lifts up one hand and says to
Ed looks at her, "you're not really helping me."
She kisses him and says, "I'm your girlfriend. It's not my job to help you.
It's your job to help me. You have my cell phone?"
"Yeah, you left it in my car last night." Ed pulls out a small phone from
his pocket. "By the way, I couldn't help but notice that all of your recent
calls were to an 800 number. It's not some sort of freebie sex line is it?"
Carol looks guilty, "n...yes...a sex line. I've been calling a freebie sex
Ed smiles and grabs the phone away from her, "it's American Idol isn't it?
You've been voting again." He starts pushing numbers on the phone as Carol
tries to take it back from him, and they begin wrestling over the phone.
They are laughing, but very serious about the struggle over the phone.
Carol yells; "I told you it's a sex line! Now give it here, Andre and
Raquel are waiting for my call."
Ed stops for a moment, "when you picture freebie sex line workers, you
think of people named Andre and Raquel?"
"Why? Andre and Raquel don't do it for you?"
Ed thinks a moment, "definitely no on the Andre. Raquel? I guess I could
work with a Raquel."
"Oh, you could work with Raquel? Bad answer. Maybe you will need to find a
freebie sex line tonight. I'm sure you and Raquel will be very happy
They both look up as they realize someone is standing there. Leon says,
"I'm sorry, is Frankie around?"
Ed replies, "hi. No, Frankie went to file some paperwork over at the
courthouse. I'm not really sure when she'll be back."
Leon nods without smiling, "ok, well thanks." He turns to leave but then
turns back. "if you see her, could you just tell her, I really need to talk
to her. I just want to make her happy." And he leaves Stuckeybowl.
4:45PM FRIDAY AFTERNOON...
Carol enters The Smiling Goat Saloon, and sees Frankie sitting at a booth
in the very back with her head down on her arms like a small child taking a
nap at her school desk. Carol walks over and sits across from her. Frankie
says without lifting her head, "go away."
"You know, you look like most of my students when we go over 'Ethan Frome.'
I had to learn the hard way not to let kids sleep in class."
Frankie says still not lifting her head, "Something happened to make you
realize how important a teacher is in the life of a student?"
"I got tired of cleaning up drool."
Frankie lifts her head, "and I'm up."
"Frankie, what are you doing here?"
Frankie rests her head on her hands, "hiding...hiding from everyone; Spence,
Carol looks around quickly, "funny place to hide. Why would you pick the
most popular place in town to hide from everyone?"
"Because only a real nut job would come looking for me at the most popular
place in town."
Carol smiles, "Maybe you don't want to hide so much as you want someone to
come find you. Maybe you are here because you want someone to look for you
and you know that this is where they will eventually come."
Carol pauses for a response but then the bartender walks a drink over and
places it by Frankie. He asks if Carol would like to order and she
declines. As he leaves, Frankie replies to Carol, "OR maybe this is a place
that I can get happy hour deals on alcohol after four thirty."
Carol smiles at her, "I didn't say it wasn't a win/win scenario." Carol
pauses for a moment then asks, "the question is who do you want to come
through that door?"
Spencer is in the snack area talking to Ed, Eli, Phil and Shirley. Spencer
nods looking somewhat down, "I was hoping to see Frankie earlier, but I was
at Mike's office having stitches removed, and it took longer than I had
Ed looks at him curiously, "hey, I just want to make sure we're clear about
this morning. Nothing happened between Frankie and me."
Phil interjects, "nothing happened? You used to sneak over to her place
like everyday. I think something happened more than a few times, if you
know what I mean."
Ed looks angrily at Phil, as Eli snaps at him, "stick a peace pipe in it
Sitting Bull, we all know what you mean."
Ed says to Spencer, "I mean, right now. Nothing is going on between Frankie
and I now."
"Ed, I know that. I've seen you and Carol together. Frankie just seems to
change her mind about what she wants from moment to moment. She's confused
and I'm not totally sure how to play it."
Ed smiles, "well my friend, if she's confused then it's your job to clear
things up for her."
Eli, Shirley and Phil, all groan at the same time. Ed looks at them,
Eli says, "he doesn't need the Edward Stevens wear a girl down in three
years playbook. What he needs is someone that knows how to make the big
Ed gets defensive, "who better than me? He scans the room, "everyone here
that is in a happy committed relationship raise their hand." Ed and Shirley
are the only ones to raise their hands. Ed looks at Shirley, "in a happy
committed relationship with a member of the opposite sex." Shirley keeps
her hand up. Ed continues, "in a happy committed relationship with a member
of the opposite sex that isn't a cat." She slowly lowers her hand.
Eli turns to Spencer, "here's what you gotta do man. You just gotta lay
your rap down on her. Lay your rap down on her and she will melt...that's
Spencer thinks, "lay my rap down on her? I'm more of a classic rock kind of
guy. Can I just lay some Eagles or Fleetwood Mac down on her?"
Eli looks offended, "I can't help you."
THE SMILING GOAT
"So Frankie, who are you waiting for? Is it the handsome and unpredictable
peace officer or the dependable but transient aquatic geometric engineer?"
Frankie says without looking up, "how long have you been waiting to say
aquatic geometric engineer?"
Carol admits with a guilty smile, "I thought of it like a day before he
left and never had a chance to use it."
Frankie nods, "Carol, it's complicated, you wouldn't understand."
"I wouldn't understand? I just spent the last three years enduring every
possible emotion a person can have in relation to the opposite sex, trust
me I understand."
Frankie thinks a moment, "maybe Ed was right."
"That would be a first. What was he right about? I'd like to know so I can
record it and show it to our kids someday."
"Well, it was Ed in my dream...so actually I was right."
"Ah, the dream that caused so much trouble this morning."
"Yes, In my dream, Ed tells me that my problem is that I need to learn to
say good bye. Maybe he's was right. He also said that maybe I didn't want
to chase after Leon, maybe I just wanted someone to stop me from chasing
Leon. I know that when I do talk to Leon, it's over and I'm just too scared
to let go."
"Been there. You know Frankie, maybe you and Spencer just need to slow
things down a little. You know sometimes I am so glad that things between
Ed and I went so slowly. If we had gotten together too soon, maybe it
wouldn't have worked out so well." Carol winces, "I mean well for us, not
necessarily for you, of course."
Frankie smiles for the first time, "of course...but it's a little late for
slowing down. It's like Spencer and I are the bandit and time and the real
world are the sheriff, you know the one played by Jackie Gleason, and he's
hot on our heels."
"Frankie, it's never too late to put on the breaks."
"I think if I tried to hit the brakes now, Spencer and I would go right
through the windshield."
"Not if you have your safety belt on."
"What's my safety belt? Leon?"
Carol looks confused, "ok, I got a little mixed up on the metaphor, but you
need some room to think about what you want, just like I did. All I can
tell you is that it's a good thing Ed never tried to corner me, he always
new when to back off when the pressure was just too much. If he hadn't, it
would have been a disaster, I would have bolted, and then we would never
have gotten together."
Ed is pacing and says to Spencer, "you know Spencer, my one real regret is
that I didn't just corner Carol and make her realize how she felt sooner.
You need to make sure that she doesn't have wiggle room to escape from her
true feelings. It's time for a full court press and don't stop till the
Spencer looks confused, "are you sure? Seems like she's under enough
pressure as it is. Can you imagine how fast she would talk under even more
stress? Only dogs will be able to hear her. I really don't want to scare
Ed smiles, "if it's meant to be, you won't scare her off. You'll keep
coming back together like some sort act of gravity and she'll appreciate
that you cared enough to go to all the effort." Spencer looks at everyone
for some feeling of validation, and they are all nodding.
Shirley says, "it's like my father used to always say." Then she takes a
sip of her drink and just sits motionless.
They all sit in silence waiting for her to finish the thought, finally Ed
asks, "what did your father used to say?"
Shirley looks at him, "oh, he didn't talk much."
Ed turns back to Spencer, "you need to crank up the magnitude of your
actions. Show her how much you really care. If she doesn't respond to cows,
then you get some camels. If she doesn't like those...you get...elephants or
something. What ever you do, do not let her back off. Every time she tries
to take a step back, you take two steps forward. I can't believe how much
time Carol and I wasted."
Spencer nods thinking, "maybe you're right."
THE SMILING GOAT
"Frankie, it's time to back off. Every time he tries to take a step
forward, you take two steps back. You can't give in to anything he does. No
matter how cute or sweet he is or how much you want to break down and open
up to him, you need some distance."
"I'm not sure that's a good idea. The moments Spencer and I actually open
up are when I'm happiest. Not too mention, Spencer can be pretty
persistent, imagine Ed at his craziest with no monetary constraints."
Carol smiles, "I figured Spencer must have some money somewhere."
"I don't know if he's really wealthy, probably just comfortable. Whether
he's 'hey, don't feel like you have to order from the value menu'
comfortable or 'let's go to Italy for pizza' comfortable, I'm not really
sure. How did you know?"
"He acts with that carefree, do what ever attitude that only people with
money in the bank can pull off. He's pretty out there for a guy that has to
worry about keeping a job. Now remember, keep some distance and don't give
in. Remember, time to find yourself and what you want is never time
Frankie nods thinking, "maybe you're right."
6:45PM FRIDAY NIGHT...
Spencer enters the Stuckeybowl office to find Frankie working at her desk.
She looks up briefly as he enters and says, "hey," then goes back to work.
Spencer looks completely unsure of himself as he tries to gauge her mood.
He replies, "hey."
Frankie looks up again without emotion, "look Spence, I know we talked
about going out tonight, but I just have too much to get done around here.
I've kind of slacked off and it's time to get down to work. So is it ok if
we do it some other time?"
"Sure...did I do something wrong?"
"No, of course not. I just have a lot to do. Not the least of which is your
"Are you sure I didn't do anything wrong? Feels like I've done something
Frankie jots down some notes as she says, "you haven't done anything
"Did I not do something right?" There is no response, so Spencer nods to
himself looking around the office, "just curious. Did you get a chance to
talk to Leon today?"
"Yes, I did. Just about an hour ago."
"How did it go?"
"Fine? Do you mind clarifying just a bit?"
Frankie sighs putting her pen down, "I told him that I had some feelings
for you and that I couldn't in good conscience agree to marry him at this
Spencer begins to get irritated, "some feelings for me? Frankie please
hold back, you know how embarrassed I get by such outward displays of
affection. And I'm not even going to get started on the 'at this time'
part. So is he leaving?"
Frankie looks at him, "actually no. A couple of days ago, he agreed to do
some contract work in the area. At the same place that brought us here
originally. He thought it would give him something to do until we worked
things out. He's staying at a hotel until the work is done."
Spencer places his hand to his ear, "Frankie wait, did you hear that?"
"The sound of me hitting rock bottom."
"Spencer, you are being awfully dramatic, what do you mean?"
"What do I mean? This morning when we were together, I was happy. Happier
than I can ever remember being. Then I find out, through Phil, that you
couldn't bring yourself to be honest with Leon AND that you had a fantasy
of jumping Ed on the couch..."
Frankie interrupts, "actually, it was a dream. A fantasy would be a
conscious decision, but I couldn't control the dream, I tried to have a
lucid dream, but..."
"Frankie, I don't really care at this point. And now I get this luke warm
reception and find out Leon is still in town."
Frankie looks down, "I...I'm sorry, Spence. Everything you said is true and
all of those reasons are probably just proof that maybe we need to slow
Spencer nods and says, "fine! Forget slowing things down, maybe we should
just stop now before one of us gets really hurt!" And before Frankie can
answer, he spins around and marches out of the office.
Frankie sits there a moment, suddenly she hurries out of the office to
chase after Spencer. Outside the office door she stops in her tracks as she
sees Spencer leaning against the wall smiling with his arms folded watching
her. She opens her mouth to say something, but he cuts her off, "I was just
bluffing...I'll see ya around Frankie." And he turns and walks out of
7:15AM SATURDAY MORNING...
Frankie opens her eyes to feel something soft, furry and purring rubbing
against her face. She slowly wakes up, smiles and starts petting the small
gray kitten and says, "good morning, Smith." Frankie notices something odd
and asks, "what's that?" as she sees that the kitten has a large red bow
attached to it's collar. The red bow has a card hanging from it with the
message 'Follow Me!' printed on it.
Almost immediately the sound of a can opener is made in the kitchen and the
kitten jumps from her hands and quickly walks from the room. Frankie
follows the kitten cautiously from her bedroom through her apartment's main
area, where she stops. Her dining table has the largest most beautiful
flower center piece that she has ever seen sitting on it and the table has
been set elegantly for one with breakfast foods served on expensive looking
china, silverware and glasses. She leans to look into the kitchen and sees
Spencer dishing a can of tuna into a bowl. He leans over and places the
bowl down so the eager kitten can eat. The strangest part of this entire
picture to her is that Spencer is wearing a police uniform. When he stands
up, he turns to Frankie and nonchalantly says, "good morning. Have a seat."
Frankie stands in complete shock. Spencer watches her then says, "you're
right of course. How rude of me." And he walks quickly over and pulls out
her chair. Frankie seems unable to find words, so she sits. Finally, she
says, "Spence, what are you doing? How did you get in here?"
Spencer gives her an innocent look, "what? You think you are the only one
that knows how to break in to someone's home? At least, I cater when I
break in. Nice PJs by the way." He says pointing at the US Marshals sweats
she is wearing. He goes back into the kitchen and comes back out with a
steaming cup of coffee.
Frankie embarrassed, wraps her arms around herself, "they are just...so
comfy. I couldn't resist borrowing them."
"I'm glad you like them. Now I know this isn't nearly as cool as having
cows with messages left for you on every corner, but it was all I could
come up with on short notice." He places the coffee next to her and sits in
a chair beside her, "I think this is how you like it."
Frankie looks over the table and can't believe all of the food available,
"everything looks wonderful. How did you cook all this without my hearing
you? Aren't you going to join me?"
Spencer smiles, "I cooked at home and rushed it over. And I can't stay, I
have some work of my own to do today, but I just...I just wanted to see you.
I hope you don't mind."
Frankie looks sad for a moment, "of course, I don't mind. I am sorry about
last night. I just..."
Spencer cuts her off, "don't worry about it. I had better get going."
Frankie places a hand on his forearm, "I'd really like you to stay. And
what's with the uniform?"
Spencer smiles and says, "well, I couldn't sleep last night, so I did some
thinking and came to some horrifying realizations. The first one was that
between being depressed and pining for you, I've become a little obsessive.
The second was...and trust me; this is the scary one...that maybe Brad Campbell
was at least partially right. I did think I was too good for this town. The
new chief of police moves in and basically says he's too good to wear the
same uniform everyone else has to wear? No wonder, I haven't exactly warmed
my way into the hearts of anyone down at the station. Well, I plan on
making amends. "
"I think you're being a little hard on yourself."
"Maybe, but I don't think so. You spurning me last night was the best thing
that could have happened."
"I wouldn't say I spurned you. Spurned seems a bit strong. Maybe rebuffed,
ignored...perhaps a little slighted. I certainly never meant for you to feel
"Well, whatever. I have decided to revitalize my life. I'm calling it
Project Sanity. The first thing, I am going to do is get my work life in
order. I want to be a good Chief of Police here in Stuckeyville, the kind
of guy my grandfather was."
Spencer gets up to leave and goes in and pets the kitten, and then walks
towards the door. Frankie stands up and walks over, as he goes through the
door she asks, "what's the second thing?"
He turns around and says, "don't clean up the mess. I'll come and get
everything later," and he leaves never answering the question.
4:05PM MONDAY AFTERNOON...
Frankie and Ed are discussing Spencer's case, when Shirley walks into the
office. "Mr. Stevens, there is another message for Miss Hector out in the
Frankie puts her hand up in protest. "NO! Absolutely not! Tell them to go
Before she can continue to protest, four men in the red and white costumes
of a barbershop quartet come into the office and begin to sing.
"Oh Frankie, Oh Frankie,
Don't you know Spencer's heart is true?
Oh Frankie, Oh Frankie,
Don't you go making him feel so blue.
Frankie, you are a thief,
You broke in and stole his heart.
Every time he sees your brown eyes,
His pulse goes straight off the chaaaaart.
Oh Frankie..." They are cut off as Frankie pushes them out of the office
using the end of Ed's baseball bat. As the last one leaves the office he
shakes his hat at her and sings, "Frankie, oh gee oww! Aren't you glad we
weren't a bunch of cows..."
Frankie turns to Ed, "I can't take it anymore...a soloist, at one. The
Davidson Duo at two. The Thompkins Trio at three, and now..."
Shirley finishes for her, "that was The Quaint Quartet. My two best friends
and I were a quartet once."
Ed says, "that would be a trio, Shirley."
Shirley replies, "Linda was pregnant." And Shirley leaves the office.
Frankie sighs, "Project Sanity, my ass. What am I going to do?"
He smiles, "well, I wouldn't work past six, the office isn't that big."
"Very funny, but seriously. While I give Spence credit for his ideas
needing far less post shoveling, they are becoming more frequent. How much
more can I take?"
Ed says in an appreciative voice, "he's not doing too bad."
"What was that?"
"I said that it's getting really bad. I mean, how can we get any work done
around here with all these interruptions?"
Frankie continues in exasperation, "it's not just work. Yesterday morning,
there were rose petals sprinkled on the ground all the way from my door to
my car. And that's just the beginning of what he's done."
There is a knock on the office door, they both look up to see a tall
attractive woman in a business suit observing them. She asks, "do you know
that there is a very miffed looking barbershop quartet smoking outside?"
Frankie replies, "just the latest installment of Project Sanity."
Maddie smiles, "this is a Spence thing isn't it?" Frankie just nods.
Ed says, "Hi Maddie. Glad you could come by."
Frankie looks confused and says to both of them, "so what's going on?"
Maddie explains, "I thought we should have a meeting to go over how the
hearing is going to go. Just to get our strategy straight."
Frankie looks a bit put out, looking at Ed she asks, "and why is this the
first I've heard of it? And did you bother to invite Spencer?"
Ed replies, "well, with the stress you and Spencer have been under...Maddie
and I have been talking and thought that since you and he have had your ups
and downs that maybe we should take care of most of the details. Spencer is
coming later, after we've had a chance to talk."
Frankie looks ticked, "so the grown-ups are taking over? Is that it?"
Maddie elaborates, "Frankie, it's just that this situation is very serious
and we need to make sure that nothing is influenced by the emotions of a
romantic entanglement. Ed has far more experience than you do. And
Spencer's not exactly lawyerly. Surely, you want the best for Spencer?"
Frankie nods, but looks like she's been hit in the stomach. "Of course, I
want what's best for Spencer, but he has to make his own decisions." She
looks at Ed, "So you're just going to take my beat away from me?"
Ed shakes his head, "Frankie, it's in Spencer's best interests to sign the
deal on the table. And we think he may be refusing because he wants to be
here with you. I think you two are great together, but you could still be
involved if he went back to the Marshals."
"Did it ever occur to you that maybe he likes being the Chief of Police
here in Stuckeyville?"
Maddie chuckles, "no offense to this charming little...village, but I don't
think Spence is really thinking clearly. And now he's wearing a uniform? I
know all about the misadventures of Spencer James since he set up his tent
in Stuckeyville and I think very soon our only option is going to be some
sort of insanity defense." She looks at Frankie, "you probably don't care,
I'm sure, but did you know that Spence used to be very well off financially
Frankie sniffs, "he mentioned that he had some money. I'm not interested in
Spence because of money."
"Well, at least, now you're admitting you are interested in him. And 'had'
is right. He just gave almost every penny he has to Lisa, Sam's wife. Turns
out she's pregnant, so Spencer gave her just about everything."
Frankie snaps back, "Do you think I'm some sort of gold digger? And Spence
is not insane...he's just hurt and a...romantic. The fact he gave his money to
Lisa only shows how wonderful he is."
"Thanks." They all look over to see Spencer walk into the office. "Just
warms my heart to see everyone working so hard for my benefit...with my best
interests at heart."
Frankie starts to say, "Spence, we were just..."
Maddie cuts her off, as she smiles seeing his uniform, "discussing the
hearing coming up. They have assigned Larson as the presiding judge."
Spencer winces, "oh crap!"
Ed asks, "is Larson bad?"
Maddie answers, "Spence, once called her a lunatic on the stand."
Frankie looks at Spencer, "why would you call a judge that?"
Spencer says matter-of-factly, "because she's a lunatic."
They discuss the format and procedures of the hearing coming up and what
part each will play. Each time they come to a participation area for the
lawyers, Maddie assigns the responsibility to Ed. Frankie looks down for
most of the meeting taking frantic notes, says little and never makes eye
contact with Spencer. Finally Spencer stops them, "excuse me. No offense
Ed, but Frankie's my attorney. I'd like her to do most of the
representation during the hearing."
Maddie replies to him, "Spence, don't you think it would be better to have
the more experienced lawyer handle the talking? Someone that knows how to
handle the tough moments? And we wouldn't need to worry about it, if you
just signed the damn deal."
"First of all, we need to talk about the deal. Second, I am convinced that
Frankie can do this." He looks at Frankie forcing eye contact. "What do you
Frankie looks over at Ed for some sort of confirmation or approval. Ed
smiles sympathetically but shakes his head, so she reluctantly matches
Spencer's stare and replies, "Spence, I've only tried one case and I
lost...to Fonesca. I think you are better off with Ed doing the talking. And
I think you should sign the deal."
He is about to reply as the five-piece string orchestra, that no one
noticed setting up outside the office starts to play. Maddie throws her
arms in the air in disgust. Spencer swings around, "not now!" They stop
with offended looks on their faces.
7:30PM MONDAY EVENING...
Frankie is alone working late to avoid dealing with things. As long as
she's at work, she doesn't have to deal with Spencer, Ed or anyone. That is
until Molly walks into the office.
Frankie lifts her head and says, "hi Molly. Ed's out with Caro..."
"What do you think you are doing?"
"What do you mean? I'm working."
"Frankie, what are you doing working, when there is a perfectly good guy,
who is nuts about you by the way, hovering around just waiting for you to
throw him a crumb of your time?"
Frankie looks around anxiously, "Is Spencer still here?"
Molly grins, "Spencer is proving, even as we speak, how little a man can
know about the sport of bowling. As implausible as it sounds, I think Carol
may actually be a better bowler than Spencer. But how did you know I meant
Spencer? Could have been Leon, right?"
Frankie looks out and sees Spencer out on the lanes with Mike and Nancy.
She shrugs, "with the luck I've had lately, it could have been Phil...but I
just had a feeling it was Spencer."
Molly looks out as well, she says admiringly "he does look cute in that
uniform. Kind of makes you want to just grab that stick on his belt and..."
Molly stops herself, "so do you want to tell your good friend Molls, just
why you are giving our police chief the cold shoulder?"
Frankie shrugs, "I'm really confused and messed up. We both have some very
good reasons not to rush into a relationship, and if I don't force myself
to step back every time I'm with Spencer I tend to open up too much. Plus
there is the whole Leon thing."
Molly sits down, "ok Frankie, why would you think that NOT opening up to a
guy who is crazy about you is a good thing?"
"Well, I was talking to Carol and..."
Molly cuts her off, "excuse me, you were talking to Carol? Carol told you
to give him the cold shoulder?"
Frankie gets a little defensive, "she never said cold shoulder. She used
words like retreat and create distance."
Molly stands up and says, "I see..." She leans out the office door and
whistles at Spencer and waves him into the office. As Spencer walks up to
the door, Molly asks him, "Spence, why have you decided to turn up the
pressure with our Miss Hector here? Where could that kind of idea possibly
have come from?"
Spencer looks confused, but finally replies, "well, I was talking to Ed,
and he told me that I needed to put a full court press on. That I shouldn't
allow Frankie to retreat or create distance..."
Molly waves her hand up to stop him from talking, "that's enough Spence.
You can go." Spencer still looking confused walks back over to Mike and
Frankie looks confused now as well. Molly says, "never ever take
relationship advice from Carol or Ed. Have you learned nothing? I mean, Ed
and Carol wouldn't be Ed and Carol if I hadn't showed them how they are in
fact...Ed and Carol." She pauses for a moment, "you've forgiven me for that
right?" Frankie shrugs. Molly continues, "now I'm going to throw out your
Leon excuse right away. I mean how long have you been on and off with him?"
Frankie replies reluctantly, "several years."
"So can we establish that if he were really the issue, you would be Mrs.
Waterslide Guy by now?" Frankie nods and Molly looks across the office,
"perhaps, it's something a little closer. Is it Ed?"
Frankie smiles, "you know Molly, you would have made a great lawyer."
"School principal...lawyer...it's all about beating the facts out of people."
Molly takes a deep breath, "so it looks like you have two problems to
contend with. Getting over Ed, once and for all and second deciding on
what, if anything, you feel for Spencer. But can I just say one last
Frankie nods, so Molly continues, "I've seen not only the way Spencer looks
at you, but the way you look and act around him. There is something going
on there. But hey, that's just me, I'm a hopeless romantic. Now Mike, Nancy
and I will go take Spencer somewhere else so you can think." Molly starts
to leave but turns, "not that I am agreeing with Carol mind you."
8:30AM THURSDAY MORNING...
In a conference room at the Federal courthouse in Cleveland Ohio, Frankie
has been waiting as Spencer enters. He asks, "why did you want to see me
before Ed and Maddie get here?"
Frankie quickly rushes and kisses him passionately, almost desperately.
Frankie holds him as if afraid to let go, they embrace for a long while.
Once their lips part, Spencer smiles and says, "I really missed that. If
you don't mind my asking...why now?"
Frankie takes a step back and says, "well, I wanted to thank you."
"For sticking up for me the other day with Ed and Maddie. It really means
allot that you have such faith in me." She adds reluctantly, "also thank
you for all the meals you've made and left for me, the meals you've had
delivered, the flowers around every corner, the sweet notes and poetry, the
candy and the very nice watch."
Spencer smiles, "you forgot the hourly serenades."
Frankie momentarily returns his smile, "no, I didn't. No matter how much
therapy I invest in, I don't think I'll ever be able to forget them. But
the most important reason, I wanted to kiss you is that after our
conversation, I don't think you'll want to kiss me again."
Spencer's smile fades and he takes a deep breath, "you know, we would have
a great relationship, if we just didn't talk to each other. The minute we
have a little heart to heart, everything just comes crashing down. How are
you at miming?"
"Spence, I'm leaving town."
"You're going back to Stuckeyville? Now? The hearing starts in two hours."
"No Spence. Once the hearing is over, I'm moving from Stuckeyville. I'm
leaving as soon as I get back."
Spencer looks winded and takes a moment for the information to sink in,
"you're moving to Houston? You're going to marry Leon?"
Frankie shakes her head, "no, I'm moving back home for awhile. I have some
friends that might know of a position for me, and I think I need to get
"Get away from me, you mean?"
"No, get away from everything...I'm totally screwing up your life, and I just
don't think I can handle that anymore. Here we are, right before a hearing
that will determine the rest of your life and instead of preparing for it,
you have spent all of your time trying to prove something to me...something I
should be smart enough to know."
Spencer looks defiant, "well, for your information...Project Sanity had
several components that had nothing at all to do with you. In fact, the
first component was to endear myself to my coworkers at the police station
by becoming the best chief of police ever! And I think it's working too.
The other day, Rose smiled at me...well, I think it was a smile. It's kind of
hard to tell when she's using a toothpick, but there is the definite
possibility she was smiling."
There is a pause as Frankie and Spencer both look at each other, unable to
find words to say as Ed and Maddie come into the conference room. Maddie
looks them both over and says, "you both look terrible. Cheer up, this
isn't over yet."
Without his eyes ever leaving Frankie's, Spencer replies, "yes, it is." He
says to Frankie, "you know it would be nice if you had a little faith in
me...I know you believe in Ed, but it'd be nice if you believed in me a
little too." Frankie turns away and goes to walk out of the room. Spencer
says to her at the door, "you don't leave your problems behind, just
because you run away from them." Frankie turns and glares at him, but comes
back into the room.
Ed tries to lighten the mood, "after the hearing, who's up for the Rock and
Roll Hall of Fame, huh? I hear they actually let you try on Buddy Holly's
glasses...we could get our faces painted like KISS..." he gives up as no one
has smiled or moved.
They all look over as the door to the room opens and Peter Rapporteur and
Ivan Fonesca enter. Maddie bristles, "what the hell are you doing here?! Do
you know how big a sling I can put your ass in for just poking your head
into our prep room?"
Fonesca appears nervous, but Peter smiles smugly, "Maddie, don't get into a
twist. We were invited."
"By me." And they all turn to look at Spencer. He says, "wow, this is the
first time I've actually had everyone's attention during this whole
process. Yes, I invited them here to discuss our options."
Peter replies, "we all know the options..." He taps his briefcase, "you sign
the deal or we go see how your name looks in print, on the news, on the
radio. Don't worry, I'll make sure they spell it correctly."
Spencer gives him a humorless smile, "you know, I keep thinking about the
deal and how eager you seem to let me off the hook. I think if I hold out
long enough, you may just offer me a medal. So I thought to myself,
Spence...I call myself Spence, when I'm thinking...Spence, why would two dirty
rotten low down snake in the boot double dealing cold blooded rat bastards
like you two offer me such a deal."
Peter has lost his smile, but he replies, "because it's my job. It's my
duty to keep the US Marshals Service out of trouble."
Spencer is still smiling, but he looks over at Fonesca, "nope, I don't buy
it. I think the only way you would let me off the hook is if there was
someone else on the hook with me. Someone you do want off."
As he talks Fonesca's hands start to shake. Spencer continues as he starts
to pace, "so I started to think about some of the black holes of that
night. I went over and over all the details. We were at The Smiling Goat
Saloon waiting for the fugitives to meet an accomplice that would be giving
them some money. This was based upon information provided by a snitch." He
points at Peter, "your snitch."
Peter corrects him, "information provided by a valuable informer to the
"Oh, I'll get to just how valuable I think the informer was. Now, the
informer gave us crap information so I started wondering who this informer
might be. Why the bad info?"
Peter smiles, "sometimes wires get crossed. You can't expect hardened
dangerous fugitives to keep to a schedule."
"Yeah, but you can expect hardened dangerous fugitives to come looking for
their money. And we know they were tipped off that we were coming. We also
know they needed money badly. So I started wondering who the accomplice
was, I mean how many people in Stuckeyville would be associated with this
type of thing. Oh sure, there's Toby the school comptroller slash workplace
conflict mediator and I'm not entirely sure my own secretary, Rose isn't
capable of such a thing, but the list is rather small. But then it hit me
talking to your little buddy over there." He pauses to let the terror set
in on Fonesca's face, "maybe the informer and accomplice are one and the
same person? And what if someone high up in the Marshals new that?"
Peter sneers at him, "that's ridiculous! So what if your little theory were
true. That doesn't change anything. Informers are often from the bad side
of the tracks. If the scenario, you presented were true then we would hold
that informer responsible for setting up your team and they would be dealt
Spencer lifts both his hands in a surrender gesture, "well, it's up to you,
but in about an hour, we'll go before the judge and the informer's name is
going to be thrown out there for everyone."
Frankie chimes in, "I'd hate to be them when the fugitives, who are about
to get away, find out that their accomplice was also an informer."
Spencer continues, "or will it come out that the snitch deliberately set up
a US Marshals Special Ops team to be shot at and one of them killed? Or
perhaps both. I guess we'll find out everything on the stand."
Fonesca comes unraveled, grabs Peter's arm and hisses at him, "get him to
sign the deal! Are you crazy! This was your deal from the start."
Peter pulls his arm away and hisses back, "SHUT UP! Get a grip on
yourself." Peter turns to Spencer, "I think we may have misrepresented
ourselves here. Did you think that we were going to insinuate that it was
your fault that the op went bad? Nothing can be farther from the truth. We
have looked at all the evidence and have nothing but good things to say
about your leadership and actions on the night in question."
Spencer looks confused now, "pardon?"
Peter gets an oily tone to his voice, "Spence, I know you did everything
you could and there's no reason for you to sign this deal if you don't want
to. I promise you that nothing negative about you will be released in any
form and no further actions will be taken against you."
Spencer seems cautiously relieved, but then Peter continues, "however, we
are very concerned about the actions of Sam Mendes that evening. I mean he
really proved to be the weak link in the operation didn't he? The big dumb
brute fighting with the mother, shoving a little girl down. It's really his
fault if you think about it. So I think if the media needs a bad guy, I
think Sam will do nicely. "He pauses for effect, "I just feel sorry for
his widow and expectant child. What a terrible stigma is going to be placed
on them. Not to mention the news media hounding them. It will be very sad.
A true tragedy."
1:00PM THURSDAY AFTERNOON...
Spencer sits on a bench in the hallway of the Federal courthouse. Maddie
finds him there and takes a seat next to him. He says without looking at
her, "well, I called the mayor and told him I had to come back to the
Marshals. "He chuckles, "He didn't seem too upset, once I told him he
could have all legal rights to Chief Stuckeyville and all variations of his
costume. So I'm yours again as soon as I can get my boxes back on the
Maddie nods, "You did a good thing today, Spence. I know how hard it was
for you to sign the deal, but it was the right thing to do."
Spencer shrugs, "I've pretty much given up on the concept of right and
wrong. Now I'm just looking for a little gray in clouds of black."
Maddie asks, "where's Ed and Frankie?"
"Frankie's leaving Stuckeyville. They are both are on their way back. So
much for how much she cared for me." For the first time he looks Maddie in
the eyes, "I really loved her Maddie...hell, I still do love her. I don't
know how I misread things so poorly. I honestly thought she felt something
Maddie smiles, "Spence, you're an idiot and you have never been able to
read women. If I wanted to gauge whether a snitch is telling me a tale or
not...well, you'd be the first person I'd trust, but with women...you've always
Spencer looks confused, "what are you talking about?"
Maddie places her hand on his, "well, I have to admit that my reasoning to
get you back wasn't always based solely upon concern for your career. I've
really missed you."
Spencer looks as if struck by lightning, "oh Maddie...I never realized. I am
"Yes, you are. It's too bad, we'll never know how good it could have been."
"Well, yeah. You and I working together and being involved? That would
never work out."
Maddie smiles, "Spencer, we aren't going to be working together. You don't
really belong in the Marshals anymore. Not much use for paintball guns in
"Don't be ridiculous, Maddie. I just signed the deal, I can't quit...even if
I wanted too."
Maddie shrugs, "you can't quit, but I can fire you anytime I want." She
pauses a moment, "Spence, you're fired." Spencer looks speechless and she
continues as she stands up, "looks like I need to go recruit some fresh
meat. You just don't have the stuff anymore."
Spencer stands up and they hug. She kisses him tenderly on the lips and
smiles, "could've been good. I knew I wouldn't like Miss Hector from the
Spencer finally smiles back, "I'm going to miss you, Maddie. Please make
sure that Lisa spends the money, ok?"
"I'll miss you too. Now go find what you want. And don't worry about Peter.
I plan on keeping tabs on him personally." She starts to leave, but pauses
and turns to him, "as someone that isn't clueless, I don't think you
misread Frankie." And Madeline Christensen goes back to work.
6:20AM FRIDAY MORNING...
Ed comes into Stuckeybowl to begin polishing the lanes, as he passes the
office he sees Frankie picking up a box containing all of her things. Ed
goes into the office. "You were just going to sneak away without even
Frankie puts the box down, "I didn't want anyone to feel uncomfortable.
Seems I've threatened to leave so many times that maybe everyone thinks
'the boy who cried wolf' whenever I say I'm leaving. Better to just go."
Ed replies, "you don't have to go. Spencer's leaving town..."
"Ed, I think it's time I moved on. I can look around and see that I've done
enough damage. Godzilla leaves less of a mess than I do."
Ed smiles for a few moments, so Frankie asks, "you're thinking of me, the
size of Godzilla creating a path of destruction down the streets of
Stuckeyville aren't you?"
"Definitely, that would be cool...Frankie, what damage have you done? If
damage has been done, then I'm Godzilla not you."
Frankie smiles for a few moments, so Ed asks, "now you're imagining me
"Actually, I see your head on Godzilla's body rampaging Stuckeyville. There
goes the pie shop."
"Well, it's your choice, if we find anything that belongs to you, we'll
forward it to wherever you end up."
Frankie smiles, "I called Shirley last night and told her I was leaving.
She packed my stuff up...I doubt she missed anything."
Ed smiles, "yeah, she's very thorough...when it comes to packing your stuff
"Yes, she is."
"Why don't you wait. We're having a little going away thing for Spencer
tonight. Stay and give everyone a chance to say good-bye to both of you."
Frankie shakes her head, "that's ok. I don't really think I could face
Spence right now."
"Because he believed in me, and I totally failed him. And now he has to go
back to the Marshals and I need some time to think how I screwed it all
"Frankie, Spencer isn't a US Marshal. Maddie fired him, after we left, but
he had already quit as chief and has decided not to try and get the job
back. I don't know where he's going."
Frankie is genuinely surprised, "really?"
"Yeah. Look Frankie, It might not be my place to say this, but I really
think he loves you and I also think there is a definite possibility that
you are in love with him."
"Well, you are correct and incorrect." Ed looks puzzled, so she continues,
"you are correct, it's not your place to say that, but you are incorrect,
that there is a possibility that I'm in love with him...I am in love with
"Then you should tell him that. I think he has a right to know."
"Ed, I can't. If I try, something else horrible will happen. Every time
Spence and I get close, something gets in the way. If I say I love him
there could be a catastrophe of biblical proportions."
"So I guess you're off to find a new column to sit on."
"Remember that day, that you met Spencer, you said you were like a
"That's a stylite."
"Yeah, and you compared yourself to them sitting on a column amongst the
people, but not really being a part of them."
"Yeah, I remember."
"I just thought maybe you were ready to come down, but it looks like you're
just going to find a new column."
"Maybe." Frankie hugs him and kisses him on the cheek. "Thanks Ed."
"Good-bye Frankie." And Frankie carries her box and cardboard cut out of
Dirty Harry out of Stuckeybowl.
7:30PM FRIDAY EVENING...
The small get together at Stuckeybowl to say good-bye to Spencer has so far
proven to be a fairly somber event. Everyone is hanging around the snack
area. Spencer doesn't appear capable of smiling no matter how many attempts
are made. Molly asks, "so you have no idea where you are going?"
Spencer replies, "I thought I'd go stay with my sister for awhile and then
decide what to do next."
Nancy smiles, "well, I know I'm going to think of you every time I see a
cow outside of a farm setting."
Spencer nods, "thanks, Nancy."
Shirley walks up to Spencer, "I'm sorry Frankie left, I hope it was nothing
I said. She was like a sister."
Eli says to Shirley, "you don't have a sister."
Everyone at the gathering turns to look at Ed's office and Frankie's empty
desk. Ed says to Spencer, "ever thought about taking the bar exam? I seem
to have an opening."
"Yes, but no thanks. I don't think I could work at that desk."
Carol chimes in, "so Spence, what's with the car? How come you are still
driving the bug?"
Spencer smiles, "well, apparently Brad Campbell feels that the car isn't
going to help recruit my replacement, so they sold it to me for a very
Eli asks, "where's Phil? I get nervous if I go fifteen minutes without
having to tell Phil to get off his butt."
That's the moment that the lights of Stuckeybowl dim and the lights used
during special events come on. Phil pops up at the shoe rental counter and
his voice booms from the intercom system, "and now ladies and gentlemen,
Phil Stubbs events extrordinairre presents the magical soothing song
stylings of Miss Frankie Hector!"
Music starts to fill the bowling alley and they all look around for
Frankie. Mike asks, "isn't that 'Islands in the Stream' playing? But that's
definitely not Kenny or Dolly."
Carol replies, "yes, that's definitely Islands in the Stream, but whoever
is singing could use a few lessons."
Spencer says, "that would be me. This is a tape of the night Frankie and I
went to the karaoke bar. Phil must have been saving it."
Ed shouts, "Phil, Frankie's gone. Shut it off!"
The singing stops, but the music continues and everyone waits to see what
is going to happen. Phil is looking at the space behind the lanes, so they
all concentrate on looking in that direction.
All of a sudden, a woman's voice begins cursing through the speakers, then
it is quickly cut off. Spencer recognizes Frankie's voice, so he quickly
walks past the lanes towards the area. He finds her there fidgeting
nervously with a microphone. She sees him and says, "I'm sorry. I totally
screwed it up."
"Screwed what up?"
She appears frantic and nervous, "I was going to come out and finish
singing the song to you. You know as a kind of romantic stunt that you
might appreciate. Everyone around here seems to be able to pull this kind
of crap off but me. The microphone wouldn't work and then I forgot the
Spencer smiles, takes her hand and pulls her out onto the lanes and then
takes her in his arms. Frankie drops the microphone, and Spencer says,
"actually, I think it's perfect. Simply perfect. In fact, I wouldn't mind
just dancing this one." And they hold each other tight and dance as the
music continues. Everyone watches them for a few moments then melt away
finding other things to do.
After a few moments, Spencer smiles and asks "so does this mean I get my
Frankie smiles, "no." She pauses a moment, then says forcing herself not to
look up at him, "Spence, I want you to know that I believe in you. I just
didn't have the heart to take a chance, but I really don't want to run
anymore. If I come down off the column will you be there for me?"
Spencer lifts her chin to have her look at him, "I have no idea what you
are talking about, but if you want, I will always be there for you."
Frankie tries to explain, "I've been using my feelings for Ed as a barrier
to save myself from potentially getting hurt again. And that approach was
working fine until I realized I was in love...with you."
"I love you too." And they kiss deeply. After a moment Spencer asks, "what
"I learned to say good-bye. I told him it was over for good this
They hold each other as the music stops, then Frankie asks, "so what do we
Spencer smiles, "well, I was hoping you'd let me kiss you again."
"No, I mean where do we go? What do we do?"
"I was thinking we spin a bottle on the ground and just head off in
whatever direction it points."
10:00AM SATURDAY MORNING...
A young couple stand in a little cemetery just outside of Jaspertown. They
place flowers on the grave of Angela Shelton and hold each other. The man
is tall wearing a ¾ length leather coat with one sleeve roughly sewn
together, the woman is a short brunette some might even describe as a
little pixie, whether a hot or cute little pixie seems to be a matter of
mood and personal preference.
The couple hold each other for a while, then climb into a VW Beetle with
the paint job of a police car. Each of them reaches into the back seat to
check on a small gray kitten secured in a portable cat carrier. They drive
down the road until they come to the turn labeled 'To Stuckeyville.' They
both laugh as they slowly drive past and continue on their course.
After a few moments Frankie says, "you know that someday when we decide to
stop and settle down, I'm doing all of the decorating right?"
Spencer replies, "sure, as long as nothing blocks the TV, you can do
anything you like?"
Frankie groans, "ugh, you're not one of those obsessed with TV guys are
Spencer says reluctantly, "no, I only watch one show religiously. It's on
Wednesday nights. I never miss it."
"It had better not be American Idol."
"The West Wing? There is one guy on that show who is kind of cute."
"Law and Order? I've always thought I would be a good character on that
"Not Race to the Alter?"
"Well, I can't think of anything else on TV Wednesday nights."
And they continue driving. So where did Frankie and Spencer end up?
Eli looks up, "Three words. Bonnie and Clyde. Serious, man. You keep an eye
on the news."
Molly says, "I'm pretty sure somewhere romantic. They travel and live a
life of leisure, with lots of beach, sun and drinks with those little
umbrellas in them...either that or they run a bodyguard training school
Phil looks serious, "well, I'm not sure, but I'm positive there's a
waterpark nearby...what? She didn't go with the water park guy? Why give up a
chance at all the funnel cake you can eat?"
Nancy smiles, "I bet they have a nice law office and petting zoo
Mike replies, "I think they get married and create a detective agency. They
solve crimes together, kind of like Hart to Hart."
Carol shrugs, "I bet they settle down and open a law practice together
somewhere far away. Not out of the country or something, but far enough
that they don't just pop in."
Ed nods, "I'm not sure, but I hope Frankie's happy. She deserves it."