Town of Chance: Fight for Freedom(7)

By: Dixie Lynn Dwyer

Tazer bit the inside of his cheek. “Are you serious?”

The judge nodded. “I think that man has some serious connections, whoever he is.”

“Or he had ways of getting that poor young woman to change her mind,” the other agent there added.

“I remember the lawyer from a few years back, when he represented a case where a retired soldier was stealing military surplus and reselling them on the streets. People were getting away with posing as soldiers and getting free donations and things. It was screwed up.”

“I remember that. There were a lot of angry people, including me. I believe it was a real soldier who was at an airport and saw another group of soldiers who were wearing the uniform incorrectly. I think medals were in the wrong place or their stripes, something, and he started questioning them,” Judge Howard said.

“Yes, that’s what got the investigation started and then a local news station began to report on it and all hell broke loose. That investigation led to the arrest of the soldier and then Hayworth represented him. Got the guy off on lesser charges. He should have gone to jail for a long time,” Tazer added.

“Well, he’s in courtroom four,” the judge said and looked at his watch. “Should be wrapping things up right now.”

“Wonderful. Well, I’m glad we’ve accomplished what needed to be done. I’ll be in touch in regards to the other case and feel free to call my brothers or I if further information is needed,” Tazer said and shook the men’s hands good-bye before he left the office.

His curiosity was getting the better of him as he headed toward courtroom four but saw that people were already dispersing. He caught sight of Hayworth first, the guy he was with who was obviously the one he got off for rape and abduction, and then he saw Shelby Ann. Hayworth immediately stopped talking and said her name. When Tazer saw her expression go from shock to fear and then panic as she looked around them, something told him he should go over and see if he could help. But how the hell did Shelby Ann know a guy like Mickie Hayworth? His gut clenched. Something wasn’t right, and that bad feeling got worse as he watched Hayworth pull her in closer for a hug and she pressed against his chest and stiffened.

* * * *

Shelby Ann was heading out of the main offices and past the courtrooms when she heard someone call out her name. She was shocked, and as she turned to see who it was, she froze in place. Oh my God, no.

What in God’s name was Mickie Hayworth doing in South Carolina? She tried to pretend like she wasn’t who he thought she was but as she headed toward the other direction he stopped her.

“Shelby? Holy shit. My God, woman, look at you. You look incredible.” He pulled her into a hug and she stiffened and pressed her hands against his chest. He was one of Skip’s friends. A man who stood by and let Skip and Blade assault her. He even saw her naked—tied to the bed and cut from Blade’s knife—and did nothing. He simply explained to her the power he had and his influence over people she could never fight. When he threatened killing her sister if she tried to press charges, Shelby knew she had no chance.

“You look damn good,” he said, eyeing her over like some piece of meat or a worthless whore. But she hadn’t been a whore. She was Skip’s girlfriend and he used her, abused her, and that night tried to share her with his buddy Blade. She shivered. They stared at one another and she didn’t know what to say.

“This is my lucky day. I was looking for you. Got some insight from a friend that they caught a glimpse of you on some local abduction case. Your sister right?” he asked and reached over and caressed her arm. She pulled back.

“Don’t touch me,” she squeaked out.

He looked around them. “We should go somewhere and talk. Catch up and make plans. Goddamn you’re fucking gorgeous.” As he went to say something else, she felt an arm go around her waist. She gasped and looked up, way up to see Tazer. She couldn’t believe the relief she felt but then the concern. Would Hayworth question who Tazer was and what she was doing here? Would Tazer give information away?

“There you are. I was looking all over for you. Are you all set so we can do dinner?” Tazer asked, pulling her into his other side and clearly out of reach of Hayworth.

“Yes, definitely. We can go now,” she said and began to move but no such luck. Tazer wanted answers, too.

“Who are you?” he asked Hayworth. Hayworth looked the guy over and then he looked at Shelby.

“I’m an old friend of Shelby’s. We were making plans to meet, isn’t that right?” he said toward her.

“No, we weren’t. I’m very busy. I’m only in town for tonight and then I’m heading back to Oreg… Back home to work. Take care of yourself.”

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