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A Small Circle of Friends: Chapter 1 - tcreader
tcreader
A Small Circle of Friends: Chapter 1


1. Best Laid Plans

(Tuesday, November 13, 1984)

“Yer lookin about five hundred times more perky than when you left here yesterday,” Joe said in a low voice as Ellery came into the office and shed his coat.

“Uh huh.”

“You sharin or can I ply ya with lemon poppyseed muffins for a nibble a that good news?”

“I thought you didn’t want ta be saddled with two much information about the sex lives a queer men, Joe,” Ellery said, giving Sanchez a quick wink as he leaned over his desk to catch his answer. Sanchez drew back and picked up an incident report, clearing his throat.

“Oh. Well I guess that was all I needed ta know.”

“Unless ya want details,” Ellery said, smiling wickedly. “I got details. A detective has ta be observant, an it might hone yer flabby detectivin muscles.”

“I’ll stay flabby, thanks.”

“Where’s Dupree this mornin?”

“He is comin in later, he is takin some personal time.”

“Well shit, we got a preliminary on Terwilliger don’t we?”

“Bring it up with our fearless leader, Chief,” Joe said, “you weren’t here yesterday to approve it.”

Ellery took four long strides from the side of Joe’s desk to the door of Wes’s office and knocked.

“Come in Ellery, I know your knuckles anywhere.”

Ellery opened the door. “Where the hell is Dupree, we are supposed ta be ready for court tomorrow.”

“Jeremy Dupree is takin the mornin off ta help a friend move.”

“Help a friend… huh? What friend?”

“I believe the name is Sampson. One a your employees,” Wes looked up and gave Ellery a brief smile. “He offered to contact you at home but a little bird told me Colson got released from bedrest and was on his way home ta meet you and it didn’t seem like the right moment to bother you with work related business since you would be celebratin an all that. Which brings me ta my next question about when you are gonna have that long-delayed weddin reception that my wife is sneakin around plannin in the background.”

“Sampson? Whoa, hold on. Did somebody tell me about this?”

“No, cause you were out a pocket yesterday an left early, and it ain’t none a yer business. I believe Dupree considered it unrelated to the department.”

“It’s related to the bar. Nick could a said somethin about he didn’t want the apartment no more.”

“Well that would be your own unrelated business concern now wouldn’t it? Now are you gonna dodge this weddin reception thing or are we gonna throw a dart at the calendar an get the thing planned and set so I can get to bed at a decent hour instead a talkin about recipes for scallop surprise an whether we’re getting frilly placemats?”

“Jesus Wes, I didn’t tell Edna we were gonna have some big do for a reception.”

“No, no, I wouldn’t lay that at your door.”

“I said one little word to Edna about havin a little social thing afterward.”

“Well Edna heard a lot more than that, and I guess I was feelin a little dewy when your bartender called.”

“Whoa, whoa, Lauren? He called you?”

“Yeah, right before the little weddin thing ya did.”

Ellery sank down in a chair. “And…?”

“And I sort a … let it be known that Brown Horse Ranch’d be puttin somethin together for the two a you to give ya a proper reception, an he offered ta help out cookin an all that an puttin together the guest list…”

“Guest list?” Ellery’s mouth dropped open. “Jesus Christ Wes, Colson just got his legbone fixed … he is gonna have a fuckin calf hearin about this!”

“Well better a calf than a legbone.”

“I got ta think about this. Guest list? When I mentioned this idea ta Edna that day I was talkin about a few people, you know, the two a you, maybe my employees, Warren an his two boys that have done such a bang-up job an that’s it. A small circle a friends.”

“Well there’s a few more. Lauren thought… well, Lauren and Simon put together a list of the longer term customers and some of the more recent regulars, who would feel slighted if they didn’t get included.”

“Wesley…” Ellery growled.

“And then the senior officers here and the men you’ve worked with and helped along here over the years, it wouldn’t be right, them all knowin and havin no problem with your lifestyle and all that… and then a course, Esteban …”

“Whoa. His own son is –“

“Out on community service, he pled, remember?”

Ellery sighed. “Colson is gonna have a calf.”

“Well now, back to work related matters, you have the preliminary scheduled for… tomorrow…”

“Yeah and I need Dupree because I can’t for the life a me remember which witnesses we are supposed ta have ready to proceed with..”

“He said he had that all in hand,” Wes said, smiling and patting his pocket, looking for a cigar.

“Yeah well that’s his hand. I need it in my hand. Now. I ain’t gonna go in and sit with that girl in that courtroom –“

“Woman. We talked about this, Ellery. As much as their shapes an sizes do not appeal to yer lower nature, you got ta show a little more professional collegial feelin toward your professional colleagues.” Wes waved his not-yet-lighted cigar as if it were a conductor’s baton. “This is professional advice from your elected official and the man who is gonna pay for yer weddin reception.”

“I didn’t ask ya ta do that, Wesley. In fact I insist you don’t. I got more money than you do.”

“You sure about that? I am investin in breedin Paso Finos now.”

“Shit, I didn’t know that.”

“Yup.”

“Yer tryin ta distract me from this weddin reception.”

“You bet I am. Back to Paula Samuelson. She is doin a damn fine job so leave her alone and stop callin her a girl.”

“She is a girl.”

“Noooo, she’s an A.D.A. They don’t come in sexes.”

“Do too.”

“Just how much sleep did you get last night, Chief Deputy?” Wes asked, pausing briefly to puff on the cigar, then letting out a breath.

“Sleep? I knew I forgot somethin last night.”


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