Cindy slept in a grey REO Speedwagon shirt on the overstuffed couch in Wallace's office. A gauze bandage covered the hole in her arm and she crammed her bare toes into the cushion for comfort. The day had been a whole lot of trouble.
Wallace gave her the t-shirt and some jeans from a bag his daughter stashed under his desk. Laying on the couch, Wallace realized how much Cindy reminded him of his girl. She no longer seemed tough; she seemed more like a small child. He thought this over as he studied the Hacienda Horse & Rider sign on Las Vegas Boulevard. At this end of town, the sign seemed out of place far from the neon of the Strip.
He picked up the phone and waited for it to connect. He watched tourists walk past his window as he waited. The conversation went right to the point.
"The girl is here," Wallace said.
He listened to the voice in the receiver.
"We'll meet you at the boneyard at 7."
The line went dead. Wallace watched Cindy sleep. He rocked back the chair and closed his eyes.
A few hours went by and the afternoon sun lit up Wallace's face. He opened his eyes and spotted Cindy watching him. He placed a hand on his forehead and yawned. His nap failed to refresh him. Cindy tapped an impatient toe on the linoleum.
"So, now what?" Cindy asked. Wallace run his hands through his hair. He was unsure how to proceed.
"Todd will talk with you tonight. But he has his suspicions."
Wallace wondered too what Cindy planned to do when she met with Todd. Unless she planned to choke him, murder was out of the question. Earlier he placed her bloodstained dress in his trash and he had not found a gun or a knife. Whatever revenge she planned ruled out a gunfight.
"What do you plan to do?" Wallace asked.
"He murdered my daddy and I plan to make up for it." Cindy suddenly seemed aware of her lack of resources. The stub nose now seemed inadequate. She never wanted to fire it anyway. Still, shooting him was an option.
"I thought you could lend me a gun."
"Oh, hell no," Wallace said. "I am not going to help you shoot him. I will help you talk, but nothing more."
Cindy considered using some charm then dumped the idea. Wallace was now a friend and she did not want to spoil it.
"Besides, I promised no guns, no knifes, no nothing," Wallace said. "We're just going to hear his side of the story."
Cindy stamped her foot down hard and the lights on the Hacienda sign rolled around. Wallace watched the lights slowly dim and decided it was an odd coincidence. Cindy crossed her arms and stood beside his chair. She placed a hand on his shoulder.
"I made a promise to my dad," Cindy said. "I can't just let it go.
Wallace nodded in agreement. If Todd had killed her dad, she had a right to even up the score. Nevertheless, the years had taught him there are many nuances to consider. He wanted to hear Todd's story.
"Let's just go talk," Wallace said. He still checked the Beretta in his holster to be safe. One thing being a deputy had taught him; it is better to come ready for a fight then to walk into an ambush.
Cindy hugged his neck and smiled. She was going to get revenge. All they had to do was meet up with Todd Loudin.
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Copyright © 2018 Michael Shawn Sommermeyer
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