Trusting the Law Excerpt

Reads: 108  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic


This is an excerpt from my recently released 1920s novella which is now available on Amazon. Hope you enjoy!

Chapter 1 (v.1) - Excerpt from Chapter One

Submitted: May 30, 2018

Reads: 120

A A A | A A A

Submitted: May 30, 2018

A A A

A A A

Chicago

November 1922

 

Grace heard footsteps behind her.  Slow.  Methodical.  Following her as they had been for the past block and a half, the steps echoing on the icy concrete.  She clung to the knowledge that home was just around the corner. She’d find safety within its walls as she had many nights before.

A brisk wind kicked up the edge of her dress, and with one hand holding her cloche hat, she quickened her pace toward Halsted Street.  Night had fallen, and while Grace didn’t ordinarily worry about being outside at dark, there was an undercurrent of tension in the air which unnerved her.  That combined with the steady sound of the steps stretched her nerves to the limit.

Shadows fell across her path, and she swallowed hard.  Her fingers iced like the sidewalk stretched in front of her. In this part of town, trouble was around every corner, but hiding inside her house wasn’t an option.

Straightening her shoulders, she called upon every ounce of courage she possessed and lengthened her stride.  A long stream of light illuminated her path, and Grace brought herself to a sudden stop.  She didn’t dare turn around for fear of what she might find behind her. One hand dipped inside her purse in a desperate search for a weapon.

“Ma’am.”  Material rustled behind her, and she lowered her hand to her side and waited for the man who’d called to her to continue speaking.

“You shouldn’t be out after dark in this neighborhood.”  Though the voice was friendly enough, there was an undercurrent of reproof which she didn’t take too kindly.

She spun around and prepared to deliver a biting retort to the man who would dare question her decisions, but the words died in her throat when the man’s uniform came into view.  Of all the people to run into this time of night, she had to find a police officer.  She quickly changed her tactic.

“I know, Officer, but I had to pick up my uncle’s medicine, and time just got away from me.  I appreciate your concern, and I’ll hurry on home now.” At least it had only been half a lie.

The officer gave her a smile that did something to her insides and tipped his hat.  “Would you like me to see you home?”

And risk Bennett seeing the officer coming up the walk beside her?  Grace almost laughed aloud at the thought.  Poor old Bennett’s heart was weak enough without taking that big of a risk.

She widened her eyes and gave the man her most dazzling smile.  “I appreciate it so very much, but I’ve walked this road many times. There’s no cause for alarm.”

“The Angelinos don’t sleep so there’s always cause for alarm.” He switched his gaze toward the path ahead of her. “How far away did you say your house was?”

“I didn’t.” She poured honey into her voice. “But it’s only a few more houses up. Thank you for your concern. Have a good night.”  She couldn’t continue talking to him, not without raising more suspicion. It wasn’t good to be out this late at night, but she didn’t have much choice, and as long as money was as tight as a cleric’s collar, she’d be walking this route in the early morning hours.

“Well, then.  Good-night,” the officer called after her in a perplexed tone of voice.

One hand clutching the edges of her cloak, Grace picked up the pace toward home, her heart beating so rapidly in her chest, she was sure her uncle would be able to hear it before she reached the front door.

 

 

He stared after her, wondering why he hadn’t insisted on walking her home. As a Chicago police officer, Paul Gordon walked the streets at night, patrolling his beat, making sure the city was as safe as he could make it. Usually, the nights were quiet except for an occasional brawl between dewdroppers with nothing better to do.

Then he’d seen the innocent looking Sheba with the blonde curls peeking out from beneath her hat and stunning face, and he’d been flummoxed.  Seeing a woman walking out at night by herself wasn’t exactly an everyday occurrence, especially not a choice bit of calico like she was. Yet, she seemed to have no fear.

Only two kinds of people weren’t afraid to chase the shadows at night—criminals and cops. She definitely wasn’t a cop, and the idea of the first left a bad taste in his mouth.

Paul tapped his baton against his leg and stared down the long stretch of street where the woman had disappeared.  She hadn’t been carrying a bag, and yet, she’d gone to get her uncle’s medicine. And he didn’t know of one drugstore open this late at night.

It was a simple matter to check on her story, though, and he’d do that the second he returned to the station on Maxwell Street. Of course, it would have helped if he’d gotten her name. Ordinarily, he would have done just that, but there was something about those eyes that had almost made him forget his own name. 

He turned up the collar of his coat, gave the street one last lingering glance then turned away.  Maybe it shouldn’t matter to him that an innocent-looking doll was out by herself, but something didn’t feel right in his gut, and he always listened to what it was telling him.


© Copyright 2019 RachelCarrington. All rights reserved.

Chapters

Add Your Comments: