Cuffed and Collared
Do you fantasize about handcuffs? I never have, probably due to control issues, and after this experience, I definitely won’t be fantasizing about them.
I stop the car but don’t have time to open the door before Deputy Dawg Russ is flinging it open, fury written on his face.
“Out,” he says, grabbing the keys from the ignition (smart man) and then jabbing his thumb over his shoulder.
Because I’ve always pressed my luck, I wink. “You seem to have slowed down there, Deputy.”
“…of these here parts,” I say to his unamused expression.
“Put you hands on the roof of the car and spread your legs.”
“You haven’t asked me to spread them in years.”
“Miss McKay, you drove away from a traffic citation, went 35 miles over the speed limit. Do you want to add resisting arrest?”
My eyes widen. “Can’t take a joke?”
“What part of breaking the law is a joke?” he asks, his eyes steely. He jerks his head.
I turn and do the stance that I’ve seen so often on TV. And then his hands are patting me down, frisking as they like to say and let’s just say that it makes me feel frisky and purring, except there’s not an ounce of sensuality in his pats. Then I hear a jingle and feel cold metal clasping my wrists.
“Isn’t this overkill, Russ?”
“You haven’t done anything to show me it’s not warranted. I am treating you exactly how I’d treat anyone who did what you did. Actually, I’m probably being more civil.”
He sticks me in the backseat where I’m forced to stare at him through a grill. He glances back at me.
Rolling my eyes, I smirk. “Aw, look at you. Concerned about my comfort.”
“Your folks wouldn’t like me not to treat you well.”
“As if they’d care,” I say unable to keep the bitterness out of my voice.
He raises an eyebrow. After starting the engine, he waits a moment. “Lots of people cared about you, Maddie. You just ran away before anyone could tell you.”
He drives at a sedate pace. Definitely not the Russ Callum I’m used to. I stare at his profile. His unruly curly cognac hair is cut short. His face is bonier, a man’s face and not the boy’s face I’d once held between my palms. While he was always a good-looking boy, he’s become better with age, fulfilling that old cliché.
Conroy is alive as we drive along Main Street.
“What’s going on?” I ask.
“Today’s the first day of Advent. The beginning of the Christmas season. You remember what this town is like.”
I shake my head. Evidently, I’d forgotten. People are decorating and singing, dancing with wreaths in their hands like they’re happy. Happy?
“Are you sure we haven’t landed in Whoville and these are all the little Whos?”
“Madeleine McKay, I’m shocked at you,” he says, sarcastically.
And then I see the face of the woman dancing around with the wreath. My little sister, Erin. I try to slide down but not before she glances into the car, her smile brightening when she sees Russ and then a slight frown creases between her eyes as she catches a glimpse of me.
Damage done. My arrival in town will no longer be a secret.
end of Part II
All entries for Coming Home are here.