Disclaimer: I do not own any of the licensed characters from the Adam-12 series, however I do appreciate being able to use them in my writing endeavors. This story is connected to my series of stories in which Pete is married to Jillian. Thanks, in advance, for taking time to read this piece. I hope you enjoy it, and feel free to review if you so choose.
Dog Days of Summer
© October 2012
The day was starting out like any other ordinary mid-summer morning for Officers Pete Malloy and Jim Reed. The sun was rising brightly over Los Angeles and the city streets were alive with activity as the morning commuters hurried to and fro; it was a stark contrast to the still, quiet neighborhoods, in which the children on summer vacation had yet to break through the early morning calmness.
"Hey Pete, what d'ya say we stop over at Griffith Park and check on the kids over there playing their baseball game this morning. They'd get a kick out of it." The neighborhood children had taken to daily pickup baseball games since school had let out for the summer.
"No reason we can't swing by there in a little while. I doubt that they'll be over there much before nine o'clock though, so that gives us a little bit of time to make sure nothing's happening in our beat."
Jim checked his watch and echoed that thought, "Yeah, it's only about eight-thirty now so we have a little time."
Riding in silence, the partners each surveyed their respective surroundings as they slowly cruised along, enjoying the serenity offered by early hour of the day; both officers had been on the job long enough to know that things would pick up soon enough.
"Hey, slow down Pete; pull around the corner up there."
Pete slowed the car and turned the corner, pulling over and coming to a stop. "What is it?"
"Maybe it's nothing, but the garage door was up about a foot or so on that yellow house back there." Jim picked up the mic and called it in as Pete exited the vehicle. A moment later both officers were heading toward the house.
"You cut through the back yard of this house up here and I'll come in from the front." Pete directed to Jim, and they parted ways two houses before the yellow house.
As Pete approached the house from the west, he could see their back up coming to a stop down the street, just east of the house. Wells and Walters exited their squad car. Walters cut towards the rear of the house that they were parked in front of, and Wells approached the yellow house from the east, making eye contact with Pete as he did so.
At the rear of the residence, Jim and Walters spied each other and motioned their intentions to one another, using routine hand signals. There were two rear windows facing the back of the house and two on the west side; the east side of the house was flanked by the attached garage, which had one window located high off of the ground and towards the middle, making it impossible for the officers to look inside. The officers made quick work of peeking in through the windows that were accessible, but saw nothing out of the ordinary in the parts of the house that they could see. They crept to the front of the house where their partners were.
Pete peered in the front room window, not seeing anyone or anything to arouse suspicion. Wells crouched down at the east corner of the garage, and he heard a peculiar rustling noise inside; he motioned to Pete, indicating that it sounded as though someone was in the garage. Reed and Walters had just made it around to the front of the house and were at the garage when Pete, hearing the noise as well, quickly dropped to the ground on the west side of the garage door and slowly poked his head around the corner of the opening. He immediately received a little more than he had bargained for when a large, pink, wet tongue came out and gave him a generous lick right across the mouth. As if that wasn't enough, the front door flew open, and a little old lady marched out of the house and up to the officers. Pete quickly stood up, wiping the gooey dog slobber from his face with his handkerchief. Jim, Wells, and Walters stood close by, trying their best not to laugh as Pete made a slight retching sound when a bit of the dog spittle entered the corner of his mouth.
"Just what do you boys think you are doing snooping around my garage? I'd call the police on you, but it appears as if all of Los Angeles' finest are already here and snooping around where nothing concerns them." The angry looking little woman barely came up to the officers' shoulders yet she stood her ground, hands on hips, waiting for an answer.
"Well…I'm waiting!" She announced in a haughty voice, tapping her right foot impatiently as her eyes shifted back and forth from one officer to another.
Jim cleared his throat and quickly made their introductions. He went on to explain that they had driven by and seen the garage door open far enough that a person could have easily gained entrance. He continued to try and placate the riled little woman by turning on the thousand-watt smile as he spoke to her. It worked, and she lightened her tone and explained that she kept the garage door up so that her baby, 'Baby', could get some fresh air and stick his head out when he wanted to. 'Baby' turned out to be a six-year old St. Bernard; a very, very friendly St. Bernard, to which Pete could attest.
Wells and Walters, seeing that they were no longer needed, quickly went back in service, leaving Pete and Jim to finish up with the elderly little woman and 'Baby'.
"Well that was fun." Pete commented in a dry tone as he slid into the driver's seat. He used his thumb and forefinger to swipe at the corners of his mouth one more time, casting Jim an uneasy look when his partner chuckled at the motion.
"That was just priceless! That tongue just whipped right out there…" Jim couldn't finish his sentence as his chuckle became an outright belly laugh.
"Yeah, it was a real barrel of laughs." Pete commented as he was thinking that his partner was enjoying the mental replay just a little too much. "This had better not come back to haunt me, either!" Pete threatened, bringing on another round of laughter from his partner.
"Do you mind?" Pete was having a difficult time hiding his agitation.
"Nah," laughed Jim, "I don't mind at all! And I guarantee you that you won't hear another word about it from me; however, Wells might have other ideas!"
Pete just grumbled, "Great, just what I need."
"S'posed to be pretty warm today according to the paper; must be about ninety or so out already."
Pete, not taking his eyes off of the road, nodded and mumbled, "Must be."
Jim let out a small laugh, "You know, those kids at the park have the right idea."
"Well, you figure they get out there pretty early so they can get a pick-up game in before the afternoon heat starts beating down. After all, by the time lunch comes around, it's too hot to be runnin' around bases and chasing balls, ya know."
"Did you get into a lot of pick…." Jim's sentence was cut short by the beeping of the radio and then the announcement of a call.
One Adam-12, see the man regarding an abandoned vehicle, possibly stolen; 1642 West Liberty Lane.
Jim copied the address of the call and then reached out to grab the mic and acknowledge. "Copied that; 1642 West Liberty Lane. One Adam-12 roger."
Pete turned left at the next light and maneuvered his way through the neighborhood, coming to a stop in front of the address given. Motioning towards a late model Ford sitting up on blocks and all four wheels missing, "Looks like that might be the vehicle." Both officers exited the squad.
"Yeah, and there's the complainant, now, I'll bet." Jim was referring to a well-dressed gentleman that had just come out of house at 1642 West Liberty Lane.
The man met the officers at the vehicle on blocks, "Officers, glad you could come so quickly. I'm Benjamin Mavis. I live here."
Pete nodded, "Mr. Mavis, I'm Officer Malloy and this is my partner, Officer Reed." Pete looked towards the car in question and asked, "Is this the vehicle you called about?"
"Yes it is, Officer. You see, when I came home from work yesterday, it was sitting here, in front of my house. This morning, it was still here, only now someone's taken all the wheels off of it. I think it's stolen and somebody dumped it here."
Jim had walked around to the front of the car and then back to the rear of the car. There were no plates on the vehicle so he walked to front of the car and located the vehicle identification number from the tiny metal plate buried low in the corner of the driver's dash area. "No plates; I'll run it by the VIN."
Pete turned back to the complainant, "Mr. Mavis, you haven't seen anyone suspicious in the area, have you? Maybe anybody that doesn't seem to belong around here; someone you haven't seen before?"
"No; as a matter of fact, this is a very quiet neighborhood. Why, there are nights when we don't even bother locking the door."
The first thought that popped into Pete's mind was to tell the man that he was crazy for not locking his doors at night, but that wouldn't have been a very diplomatic move so he casually nodded and said, "Ah yes, Sir, but we don't recommend that you do that; crime can happen in any neighborhood…no matter how safe."
Jim had come back to the vehicle and tried the car doors; all were locked tight. Pete gave him an inquisitive look. "It's not a stolen; it's registered to a Chris Bryan, 1643 West Liberty Lane."
Despite his declaration of living in a safe neighborhood, a brief flash of relief crossed Mr. Mavis' face, "Oh, he's the neighbors' kid; he's in the Army."
As Pete was listening to Mr. Mavis, a young man in his early twenties came out of the house across the street. "Hey! Officer, that's my car…what's the problem?" He trotted across the street and up to the officers.
Jim spoke up, "Mr. Bryan?"
The young man nodded, "Yeah; Chris…Chris Bryan. My parents live across the street there. I'm home on leave for two weeks. This here's my car. Is there a problem with it sitting here?"
"Mr. Bryan, I'm Officer Reed, and this is Officer Malloy; we received a call regarding an abandoned vehicle, possibly stolen; we were just checking it out."
"Nah, it's not stolen, although I can see how you might think that…especially with it up on blocks and missing all four tires. I have the paperwork in the glove box; let me get it for you." He quickly dug out the car keys from his pocket and opened the passenger door, retrieving the registration from the glove box and handed it over to Jim.
"What happened to the wheels?" Pete asked.
"I came out this morning, and all four tires had been slashed, so I called down to the repair garage. They sent out a tow truck to take the wheels off and take 'em down to the garage to have new tires mounted. I should have them back sometime late this afternoon. Nice way to start out my leave, huh?"
"Sir, there's no plates on your car, either. Where are they?" Jim questioned.
"Well, I figured after I saw my tires slashed that maybe I'd better secure the vehicle best as I could, and I figured I'd take off the plates in case someone got the bright idea to steal them; you know, maybe thinking that the car has been abandoned or something; after all, what good would plates be on an abandoned vehicle. People have weird ideas, you know?"
"Well, Mr. Bryan, if the car is parked on the street, it needs to have the plates on it."
"Oh, okay, Sir; I'll go get them out of the house and get them back on right away."
Jim glanced over the paperwork, confirmed the VIN against the registration, and handed the paper back to the man. "Thank you, Mr. Bryan. We're sorry for any inconvenience. Make sure you get those plates back on there."
"Ah, it's no problem. If anything, it's good to know you guys are looking out for us. You never know what can happen, especially in this day and age; even the best of neighborhoods aren't guaranteed to be safe from crime."
Both officers nodded.
"Look, I'm sorry, Officers." Mr. Mavis said, "Now I wish I'd knocked on a few doors and asked around before you had to waste your time running out here."
"It's no problem, Mr. Mavis; you did the right thing in calling us, that's what we're here for." Pete assured the gentleman.
"Well, thanks again." Mr. Mavis shook each of the officers' hands, thanking them once again as they turned to take their leave.
"You gettin' hungry yet?" Jim asked.
"Yeah; I skipped breakfast this morning."
"Jillian let you out of the house without stuffing you full, for once? How'd that happen?"
"Uhm…let's just say she wasn't too happy with me this morning; she told me that if I wanted breakfast I could fix it myself and then serve it to myself, and that way I'd get the food and the service to my liking. Whatever that meant."
Jim let out a laugh, "Wow…what'd you do to make her mad?"
"How should I know? It really doesn't matter though. What does matter is that we had better take seven while we can. Why don't you clear us?" Pete let his mind wander back to the events of the morning, prior to his leaving the house. Thinking back on the scene, he wasn't even sure how it became a disagreement to begin with, or if the one-sided tiff could even be called a disagreement. He had casually told Jillian that she hadn't cooked his poached eggs long enough the morning before and asked that she leave them on a bit longer today; before he knew what had happened, she had thrown away the eggs that she had in the pan, threw the bread down on the counter and told him to 'fix his own damned breakfast if he didn't like how she cooked the eggs or how she looked when she served them.' Thinking back, he also thought that she mumbled something about 'boobs and being skinny', but he wasn't sure. Pete absent-mindedly shook his head, as if pondering the answer to some mind boggling dilemma.
Jim glanced over at his partner, sparing a thought, Ah yes, the honeymoon has finally worn off; it took a couple of years and two kids. Jim picked up the mic and cleared the unit for seven at Dukes; one of the cafes they frequented on a weekly basis.
Pulling up to the curb, the two partners exited and locked the squad car and proceeded in to the cafe, taking seats in a booth near the window. The pretty little waitress that Duke had hired a few weeks prior came over to take their order. As usual, she was eyeballing Pete up and down, to the point that he nearly felt violated. Jim noticed his look of discomfort and cleared his throat, getting her attention.
"Hi Meg; I'll have my usual and a cup of coffee." Jim flashed her a smile, earning a wink in return.
"Sure thing, Sugar; how about you, Hot Stuff…what can I get for you?" Meg bent down near Pete's shoulder, carefully thrusting her overly buxom chest out so that he'd have a clear and concise view of her cleavage.
Pete turned his head toward the window, pretending to look out. He knew if he turned her way, he'd have a face full of breast. "I'll have the special and a cup of coffee, please."
"You got it, Hot Stuff." She casually touched his shoulder, "Be right back with your coffee, Sweets."
Pete shuddered. "What part of my being married does she NOT understand, Jim? I just don't get it."
"Some girls just don't care; either that or she doesn't believe that you really have a wife and kids."
"She'd better believe it. Jillian and I stopped in here the other day with the kids, and she was working. I'm pretty sure she knows I'm married."
Jim's eyebrows rose up a half an inch. "Did she come on to you like she normally does?"
"Yep; it didn't seem to matter to her at all that my family was with me."
"What'd Jillian say?"
"Not much; not much at all."
"Jean would've come unglued!"
"I wish Jillian would have. I'm pretty sure she was a bit ticked off by the whole scene, and I can't say as I blame her."
"Well, it's not like you asked Meg to come on to ya, did you?"
"No! And before you ask, I have never given her any indication that I'd be interested in anything that she is offering, either."
"Hey man, I know that. Just tell her flat out that you're happily married and to lay off."
"Yeah…I should probably just pull her aside and tell her that."
Meg returned with their coffee and meals. As she bent down to set the items on the table, she glanced out through the window, at the man standing across the street, watching the café.
"Oh man! That weirdo is back again!"
Jim and Pete looked out of the window at the figure standing across the street.
"Who is he?" Jim asked.
"Just some guy that comes in here a couple of times a week and orders pie and coffee and then sits here nursing it for an hour or so while he watches me wait on customers. He looks kind of familiar, but I don't know his name; I didn't want to ask him what it is 'cause I don't want him to think I am interested, you know. It's just so, so…creepy, the way he stares at me, ya know? It makes me feel like a slab of beef in a meat processing plant, ya know?"
"Yeah, I know what you mean." Pete said as he stood and up and grabbed his hat. "We'll go talk to him."
"Keep our plates, warm, huh?" Jim said as he grabbed his hat and stood up to follow Pete.
"Sure thing, Sugar." Meg picked up both plates and both cups of coffee and placed them on the serving tray so she could take them back to the kitchen. Returning to the dining area, she watched as the officers spoke with the man across the street. She saw the man take out his wallet and hand the officers what she assumed was his identification; maybe now she'd be able to find out his name. She watched as Jim scribbled something in his notebook. The officers then sent the man on his way and came back across the street and into the café.
Meg greeted them at the door, "Well?"
"Do you know anyone by the name of Andrew King?"
"King? Hmmm…Andrew King…it rings a bell." Meg appeared to be deep in thought. Click The proverbial light bulb lit up; "Andy…Andy King…oh my gosh! Yes, I do know him! We went to junior high together; I had the biggest crush on him!"
"Well, it appears the feeling was mutual. He said he thought he recognized you as the girl he had a thing for in junior high, but he was always afraid to talk to you."
"Oh gosh, if I had known that was him… Well gee whiz, I sure do hope he comes back around; now that we are both adults, it would be nice to sit down and reminisce."
Jim reached in his pocket, "He was hoping you'd say that; he asked us to give you his phone number and you can call him if you are interested. He said he won't come around again if he doesn't hear from you and that he's sorry if he spooked you in any way." Jim tore out the page containing Andrew King's phone number and held it out to Meg. She promptly took it and shoved it down into her cleavage and then went to the kitchen to retrieve their plates of food and cups of coffee.
"Well, that was certainly an interesting lunch hour, wasn't it?" Jim commented when they had resumed patrol.
"It certainly was. And who knows, if those two get together, maybe she'll quit hittin' on me when I go in there."
"Say, Pete, this is just a thought, but uhm, you don't suppose her hitting on you is what has Jillian so riled up, do you? I mean you did say that Jillian told you that you could cook the food and serve yourself, right?"
Pete let out a sigh, clearly dumbfounded that he hadn't put two and two together. "Ya know, Jim, you might have something there. I don't know why I hadn't thought of that."
Jim laughed, "Ha! You haven't been married long enough to know how a wife thinks."
"I'll concede to that, Partner." Pete chuckled. "Now, what do you propose I do to restore peace in my household?"
"Oh, that's easy; you drop the kids off at our house tonight and take her out for an impromptu romantic dinner and night out dancing…and make sure you can't keep your hands to yourself all evening long. Heck, just leave the kids with us overnight…that way you don't have to worry about them waking up at all the wrong moments."
"Yeah, well, don't you think you should check with Jean before you go volunteering her services as a babysitter tonight? After all, she already has her hands full with your two. If you aren't careful, you'll end up in the doghouse with me!"
"I'll call her when we get to the station; set it all up."
"Okay; thanks, Jim."
"No problem, Pete."
Beep, beep, beep…
One Adam-12, possible four-five-nine in progress, 1500 block West Liberty Lane, brown house in the middle of the block on the north side of the street. No back up available at this time. One Adam-12, handle code 3.
Jim picked up the mic, "One Adam-12, roger." Jim replaced the mic, "So much for a safe neighborhood, I guess."
Pete flipped on the lights and sirens and the officers sped toward West Liberty Lane. Three blocks away, Pete killed the sirens; three houses away, Pete pulled the squad car over to the curb and the officers exited the vehicle. Jim cut through the nearest driveway to head toward the rear of the residences; Pete approached the front of the house from the east side of the house.
As Jim crept through the backyard to the east of the house, he observed a white male crawling out through the kitchen window of the one-story house.
"FREEZE, Mister!" He yelled.
The man was holding a pillow case full of stolen items. He quickly dropped it to the ground. "Don't shoot…I'm unarmed."
"Come down out of the window the rest of the way." Jim ordered and the thief complied.
"Now, slowly drop to the ground, face down, and put your hands out to your sides."
The man did as he was told, just as Pete came around the side of the house, gun drawn, after hearing his partner tell the guy to freeze.
Jim quickly holstered his weapon and placed cuffs on the burglar, reading him his rights as he helped him stand upright. Once he was loaded in the back seat of the cruiser, Jim slid in next to him. Pete had already radioed in that they had the suspect in custody and were heading to the station.
"Paperwork's all finished and turned in to Mac." Jim said as he entered the locker room to change out of his uniform and into his off-duty attire. "Oh, and I talked to Jean, and you're all set for tonight, Pete; Jean said you guys can drop the kids off anytime and pick them up tomorrow."
"And just where are you going to put two extra children for the night? You're always saying that your house seems to be getting smaller and smaller."
Jim let out a laugh, "C'mon Pete, Clara Rose can sleep in Jimmy's room and the babies can both sleep in the crib; we'll just put one at each end. It's only for one night. They'll be fine."
Pete, who had gotten to the locker room a few minutes prior to his partner and was nearly changed, pondered the suggestion for a moment before answering, "Thanks, Jim; I'll talk to Jillian when I get home. I don't know if she'll want to be away from the kids overnight, but I think I can at least convince her to go for dinner and a night out on the town."
Finishing up, the partners closed their lockers and were heading for the door when Wells and Walters walked through, "Ah, Pete, glad I could catch you before you left." He held out a plain brown paper bag towards Pete, "I stopped on my lunch hour and brought you a little something…to remember today by."
Pete half smiled, half grimaced, clearly suspicious of any gift offered up by Wells. "Uhm…thanks?"
"Well go on…open it. I know how much you like to read and all, and…well, when I saw it, I naturally thought of you." Wells was clearly anxious, barely containing his overly cheesy smile.
Shrugging his shoulders, Pete proceeded to open the bag, pulling out a book with a red fox on the front, along with a brown dog, seemingly chasing it. The book was entitled 'The Fox and the Hound' by Daniel P. Mannix. Pete slowly looked up at Wells, eyes flashing with near murderous intentions. The implication of the book was too much for Jim, who burst out laughing.
Pete slowly walked towards Wells, and Walters slinked over to stand behind Jim, who was laughing so hard that he was nearly in tears.
Wells, backing up towards door, put his hands in the air, "Now Pete, don't get mad…it's just that I thought you might like to have that book…after all, it's almost like it was written with you in mind; you know, you are the strawberry fox, and well….you did make a new friend this morning…a hound…of sorts."
Pete had managed to back Wells all the way to the locker room door. Wells had nowhere to go, except out, and he couldn't seem to make his hand reach behind him for the door knob. "Now Pete…" he began, nervously.
Pete stood towering over Wells, glaring down at him. Jim stopped laughing, as it appeared that Pete's sense of humor had taken leave. Jim was just about to step over to the door and intervene, when Pete raised the book up to Wells at face level, still glaring at him.
Wells swallowed hard; hard enough that an audible gulp could be heard. The fear and uncertainty was visible in his eyes and for the first time in a long time, he realized that he may have gone a little too far.
Pete saw the fear and uncertainty too, and knew that he had Wells just where he wanted him. Time to turn the tables, he thought. He smiled, and reaching past Wells, he turned the door handle, "Thanks, Ed; I'm sure I'll enjoy reading this." Pete walked out of the locker room, leaving a shocked Ed Wells in his wake.
Jim and Walters busted out laughing once again.
"Oh shut up you two!" Wells ordered, stomping over to his locker to change out of his uniform, ignoring the laughter of his two fellow officers.
I hope you enjoyed the story! Many thanks to Aussielover for allowing me to bounce the story off of her a few times while trying to make sure it made sense and flowed smoothly.