The Dallas Nightclub Murders

The Dallas Nightclub Murders

Status: Finished

Genre: Mystery and Crime

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Mystery and Crime

Summary

It's the mid-1980s and a murder has occurred amid the glamour of the Dallas nightclub scene. Still new in town, bouncer Nick Saunders finds himself working amid the panic and wondering if the killer is one of the bar employees or regulars. Ten days later, another young female is murdered, followed by four more in the ensuing months. But everything becomes personal when Nick's girlfriend is kidnapped and he's forced to play a sick guessing game to find her -- if she's still alive. This book is now available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07199HG86/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1494551043&sr=1-2&refinements=p_27%3ARick+Suttle
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Summary

It's the mid-1980s and a murder has occurred amid the glamour of the Dallas nightclub scene. Still new in town, bouncer Nick Saunders finds himself working amid the panic and wondering if the killer is one of the bar employees or regulars. Ten days later, another young female is murdered, followed by four more in the ensuing months. But everything becomes personal when Nick's girlfriend is kidnapped and he's forced to play a sick guessing game to find her -- if she's still alive. This book is now available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07199HG86/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1494551043&sr=1-2&refinements=p_27%3ARick+Suttle

Chapter26 (v.1) - Erin Resigns

Author Chapter Note

A key scene in book regarding relationship between two co-workers.

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: March 29, 2017

Reads: 110

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: March 29, 2017

A A A

A A A

“My husband’s in jail for another DUI, and now they’re questioning him for the latest murder,” said Tracey.

“Are you serious?” said Nick.  He had just come home and walked in the door.  Tracey was standing near the large chair by the bedroom door with the phone in her hand. 

“Yeah.  Someone said he was talking to the woman a couple hours before she died.  Of course, he was too bombed to remember anything.” 

Nick started to say something, but Tracey put her hand up to silence him as she got some more information from the jailhouse.

“Okay, thanks,” she said.  She hung up the phone, plopped down on the chair and placed her arms on the oversized armrests.  “The bail is twenty-five hundred dollars, and I’m not paying it.”

“Let one of his little whores pay the bail,” said Nick. 

“The female cop I just spoke to said someone’s already down there.”

“Then it’s settled.  Let her worry about it.  Meanwhile, we can start our weekend.”

Traced smiled.  She then stood and hugged Nick.  He embraced and kissed her.

“Something sure smells good.”

“I’m making a roast.  It should be ready in a half hour.”

Nick reached for Tracey again and kissed her.  His hands slid from her waist to the backside of her tight jeans.  Seconds later, his member was throbbing so hard, it ached.

Tracey reached for his zipper and walked backward into the bedroom, as they continued groping and kissing.  They both removed their clothes, collapsed on the bed and spent the next ten minutes conjoined and in ecstasy.  Nick got caught in the moment as he molted away a week’s worth of frustration.  He moaned as he came, quivering over Tracey’s nude and perfect body.

“Oh, God,” she said, as she moaned and raked his back with her nails.  She probably drew blood but Nick was too relieved to care for the moment.  He rolled to his left and collapsed on his pillow.

“I sure wish you would get a divorce.”

“I know, Nick.”  She lay on her back with her blouse unbuttoned.  Her nipples were still hard from their wanton interlude.  “I’m going to file next week.  After all, what kind of marriage can I have if my husband’s screwing some new bitch every week?  I don’t know why we got married in the first place.”

“Did you two ever love each other?”

“We started dating at sixteen.  I guess neither of us really knew what we wanted because we’d been together for so long.  Marriage seemed liked the logical step for a couple nineteen year-olds.”

Tracey was now twenty-three, four years younger than Nick.

“I think it’s time for you two to end things.  It doesn’t seem like he’ll ever change.  And I’d feel much better screwing someone who’s not wearing a band.  It makes me feel like some slime ball.”

“You are a slime ball,” she said.  She simpered as she rolled over and wrapped her left arm around his neck.  “That’s what I love about you.”

“But I’m also an adulterer and a sinner.”

“I know,” she said—eyes widened.

“It’s not funny.  I love you, but I want our relationship to be legit.”

Nick sat up and put his underwear back on.  He then walked to the bedroom closet and put on some jeans and a T-shirt.

“I don’t think I’m going to work out tonight.  I’m exhausted.”

“I hadn’t planned to either,” said Tracey.  “But we could get some more exercise later— right here.”  She patted the mattress.

“I’m game for that.  But how about some dinner first?”

“I’ll have it ready in fifteen minutes, boss.”

“Hey, now.  I’m not that bad, am I?”

“No,” said Tracey.  “I enjoy doing things for you, Nicky.”

Nick had a rare night off from the bar.  He was only scheduled to work on Saturday from four to four.  Renegades had hired a couple more bouncers—something Burrows was probably doing to reduce his hours.  But Nick didn’t care.  He enjoyed his Friday night off, engorging himself with roast beef, watching some shows on television and making love with Tracey at eleven, before they turned in. 

That night he dreamt of his wedding.  And as he stood there at the end of the church aisle—with six sets of bridesmaids and groomsmen on each side, he watched the beautiful blonde Tracey waltz forward with her father escorting her.Nick’s heart hammered as Tracey approached and her father gave her to him.  Then they turned and walked toward the minister, and he started the ceremony. 

Some heavy footsteps awakened him about four a.m.  Nick raised his head up but realized it was just the neighbor upstairs.  He looked over at Tracey, but she didn’t stir.  He fell back asleep as soon as his head hit his pillow.

“They’ve got about a fifteen cops working the premises tonight,” said Trent, as he banged the counter against his hand.

“That’s about three times the usual, isn’t it?” said Nick, as he counted the money in the register.  He had exactly a hundred bucks, which is what he always started with.

“Yeah.”  Trent smacked the small metal counter against his hand again.

“What’s wrong?”

“The damn thing’s jammed.  I’m going to have to get another one.”

It was quarter after four and the bar was due to open at four-thirty—a half hour later than usual.  The cops were making some last minute plans to patrol the parking lots, which included cameras and surveillance equipment.  The club would open when they were done setting up.

A line was wrapped around the building by five p.m., as Trent started letting people in.  And Nick spent the next three hours collecting cash, making change and stamping people’s hands.  He didn’t pay much attention to the patrons entering the nightclub as he thought about his life with Tracey.  Then he started thinking about Erin.  He was really sad that she was leaving Pepper Jack’s.

On the following Friday, April 12, Erin was talking to five of the office girls when Nick walked in at eight a.m.  Her entire cubicle was bedizened with balloons, crepe paper streamers and signs that said, Good Luck and We Will Miss You.  Erin laughed as one of the girls cracked a joke that Nick couldn’t hear, as he ambled toward his desk.  The conversation broke apart several minutes later as Andrea walked over and had a few words with Erin.  She left a couple minutes later.

“Nick, are you over there?”

“Yeah.”  He was scanning some notes he’d taken the previous day from Angela about a new advertising campaign. 

“Are you busy with something?”

“No.”

Nick jumped up and walked around his desk to the front of Erin’s cubicle.  Erin held out a tray with some cupcakes and cookies.

“Brain food—if you want some.”

“Sure.”  Nick grabbed a vanilla cupcake and three chocolate chip cookies.

“I’ve got loads of food here and can’t eat it all myself.”

“I can see that.”  He chuckled.  She had four trays of various desserts, including one with a lemon meringue pie and another with a chocolate cake that said, Best of Luck to a Great Office Mate!

The department had chipped in and gotten Erin a card, which they’d all signed, and several hardback novels from her favorite writer, Stephen King.

Erin picked up the card and glanced at it.  “Are you going to lunch with all of us?” said Erin, as she closed her card and set it on the upper left part of her desk.

“Yeah, I’ll be there.”

“We’re going to pizza place called Angelo’s Oven.  It’s a couple miles from here.”

“Sounds good,” said Nick.  “I’ll try not to eat too many sweets so I leave enough room for the pie.  Erin looked at Nick and he smiled.  For the moment, he was lost for words.  He felt if he stood there much longer, he’d start balling.  He was really going to miss Erin.  “Well, I have to get the ball rolling on a new project.”

“Yeah, I need to go over some things with Angela on current projects.  She’s got a new girl coming in Monday.”

“I’ll talk to you later,” said Nick.

“Okay.”

Nick contacted one of the marketing research reps about the new advertising project, and went over some of the specs with him.  Pepper Jack’s wanted to test the content, recall and other advertising metrics for the ad.  The call lasted twenty minutes, then Nick started drafting some of the questionnaire.  In a few days, he’d run the questionnaire by Angela and the advertising department, then he’d let the agency tweak it and format it according to its needs.

The morning went by slowly.  Nick worked a little and then thought about Erin.  She was the only one in the department to whom he really connected.  She was just more polished and polite than some of the other girls, who were only interested in talking about themselves.  And Nick had nothing in common with the gay guys and older artist, though he did enjoy a couple lunches with Jack, the artist, on a few occasions.  He was kind of conservative and a bit too polite, but he did have a good sense of humor.

At noon, the entire department headed for Angelo’s Oven.  The restaurant had shoved four tables together in one of the adjoining rooms off the main floor.  Erin took a seat at the center of the table, and Nick ended up on the opposite side near the back wall.

During most of the lunch, Erin chatted with Angela and the girls around her as Nick stuffed himself with cheese and pepperoni pizza.  Four pizzas of various toppings were spread across the table for anyone’s pickings.  Nick shared a pitcher of Coke with several of the guys.

“Speech!” one of the girls said, as the women finished their meals.  Nick and the heavier gay guy were still eating.

“Oh, no,” said Erin, as she wiped pizza from her hands with a paper napkin and shook her head.

“Yes,” one woman said.  Her name was Mary and she worked as an inside sales rep.  She was the only one at the luncheon who didn’t work in marketing.  But she was a good friend of Erin’s.

“Okay,” said Erin.  “But I’ll make it short.”

Nick watched as Erin stood up and started to address her soon-to-be former coworkers.  He was chewing his last bit of the much-cooled pizza.

“I just wanted to say that I enjoyed working with all of you, and I’m really going to miss you.”  Erin lowered her head to gather her thoughts.  He saw her shudder a second as if on the brink of tears.  “I’ve never worked with such a talented and conscientious group of people.  I wish you all the best as I go to work for the competitor.”

The two gay guys booed.

“Oh, come on guys,” said Angela.  “You’ll just have to work harder to better compete with TGI Fridays, that’s all.”

The two guys frowned.  One whispered, “Yeah, that ain’t going to happen,” which actually caused Nick to chuckle.  Angela stared at Nick for several seconds, then she started talking about Erin’s arrival at the department and how much she contributed during the time she worked for Pepper Jack’s.  Lunch ended at two-ten, and Nick was as bloated as he’d ever been as he walked out to Jack’s car with the other guys.  He hopped in the back seat.

“It was a real pleasure working with Erin,” said Jack, as he exited onto to Belt Line Road.  “She was always very kind and professional when I dealt with her.  I’m really going to miss her.”  Jack looked in his rearview mirror at Nick.  “You’re going to miss her too, huh, Nick?”

“Yeah.”

Nick felt sluggish and sleepy the rest of the day.  He stopped working on one his topline reports at three-thirty and pulled out his itinerary list for next week.  The next hour crept past.  And at four-forty p.m., Mary Reynolds walked up to Erin and told her she couldn’t give her a ride home.  Some relatives were coming into town and she had to get to the airport right away.

Mary had given Erin a ride because her car was in the shop—something Nick hadn’t even known until their conversation just now.

“Do you know anyone who could give you a ride?” said Mary.

Nick wasted no time.  He hopped up from his desk and shuffled over to Erin’s cubicle.

“Does somebody need a ride home tonight?” he said, as he looked at Erin.  She smiled.

“Yes, I could use one, sir.”

“I’d be happy to.”

“Then it’s settled,” said Mary.  She glanced at Nick and said, “Thanks.”  She then walked away.

“Are you sure it’s not too much trouble?” said Erin, as Nick sat down at his desk.

“Yeah, it’s a terrible burden, McElroy, but someone’s got to do it, right?”  Erin just laughed.

Nick and Erin walked away from Pepper Jack’s office together for the last time.  It was just after five and he was carrying one of her large plants.

“I didn’t mean to put you to work.”

“It’s no trouble.”

Nick placed the plant in his trunk and tied it with a string, leaving the hood open.  The ride took twelve minutes.  The two of them chatted about Angela and her crazy quirks, the lunches they’d enjoyed together and some of the interesting projects they’d worked on the past seven months, when Nick was hired.

“I’m really going to miss you,” he said, as he walked her up to her apartment door on the third floor.  He didn’t even think about what he was doing; he just walked with her like he would a date, though he was carrying her plant.

“I’m going to miss you, too,” she said. 

She stuck her key in the door and unlocked it.  She then turned back toward Nick.  Before Nick could say anything else, she stepped forward and gave him a tight hug.  He hugged her back.  The hug lasted for a half minute, before Erin released her grip.

“I better go,” she said, as she wiped her eye.  Nick couldn’t tell if she was crying or had something in it—and she didn’t wait for him to find out.  She quickly turned, walked into her apartment and closed the door.

 

 


© Copyright 2017 Rick Suttle. All rights reserved.

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