Closing Time – Episode 6


“John, can you finish up here? I have to go.”

“Is everything okay?”

“Gina.” That’s all I have to say. My sister has attracted drama our whole adult lives. In fact, I am surprised I never got a call like this before.

He nods and I grab my purse and keys from the back office. Reaching my car in the parking garage, I start it up and immediately have to turn the radio down. Why is it that music seems so much louder at night?

I switch the channel until actual music plays. Trouble, by Pink. That’s Gina without a doubt. The song fits her, for the most part, but her theme song is Breathe. She keeps getting into messes, and I’m usually the one cleaning up.

It’ll take me at least twenty minutes to get from Midtown to Sandy Springs, a suburb on the north side of the city. Sandy Springs straddles the top of The Perimeter, the interstate road that circles Metro Atlanta. The drive is uneventful, which leaves me lots of time to think.

My sister is in her late twenties. She should have a job, and should not be calling me at two in the morning from a police department. The thought that she was there on a social visit never crosses my mind. In fact, I’m pretty sure she’s been arrested. I just hope I can cover bail, if I need to.

Halfway to The Perimeter, I realize I’m not sure where the police department is located. I glance at my GPS, debating whether I’m coordinated enough to type the destination while I drive. At almost three-fifteen in the morning, it’s probably a bad idea. Shit.

I’m on the interstate, so I can’t just pull over. I know the area well enough, so it can wait until I’m nearer and get off on one of those exits. Sandy Springs isn’t that large, so I shouldn’t need to get on the highway again.

I reach the exit for GA-400 and follow it for about a mile until I see the exit for Abernathy Road, one of the larger roads in the suburb. Memories of when I lived in this area flit through my mind. It’s like a ghost town at this hour, which is nice for me. At rush hour, this place can get like a parking lot.

There is a business complex with open parking just off the exit, so I pull in and type the police department into the “Points of Interest” feature of my pocket GPS. Good. It’s not far from where I am—only about a mile. I turn the car in the direction given and reach the building in no time.

Before I get out of the car, I take a deep breath. I try to tell myself I could be mistaken and Gina hasn’t been arrested. But there’s only one way to find out.

A female officer at the front desk looks up as I open the door.

“Luce!” My sister jumps up and runs to me, hugging me. “I’m so sorry.” Her eyes are focused, but bloodshot. She looks like she hasn’t slept in days and her long, dark hair is stringy.

Another officer emerges from a doorway and looks at Gina with an odd expression. It takes me a moment, but I realize he’s watching her movements, not in a suspicious way, but in a carnal way. Huh. A cop. I can’t see myself giving her crap about that. Better a cop than the string of previous and current boyfriends who are nothing but leeches. And the cop’s better looking than most of the guys Gina usually dates. He’s got wavy blond hair, and who can resist a man in uniform? Smiling at the possibility, I give her another head-to-toe sweep.


“You look like shit.” And she does. Her normally lustrous brown eyes seem lifeless. Her smile is gone. Her olive skin is tinged with grime. We’re several years apart in age, but people often mistake us for twins. The way she looks now, I hope that error would be impossible to make.

“Gee, thanks.” She finally glances over at the officer standing discreetly away. “Oh, Luce, this is Sergeant Mitchell.”

He nods. “Nice to meet you.” Curt, but polite.

“Likewise.” I giggle as I think of Bad Boys. Yeah, it’s cliché for a cop, but there’s a reason clichés exist.

Gina grabs my arm and pulls me to the door, tossing her goodbye over her shoulder. Rude. I pull back, but she tightens her grip.

“Any reason you’re dragging me out of here?” I ask.

“Do I need a reason to want to get out of a police station?”

“Fair enough.” Unlocking my car, I glance back. Sergeant Mitchell is talking with the front-desk officer, but his gaze keeps shifting to the parking lot.

“He’s hot.”

She looks at me in surprise, over the top of my car. “Who?”

“Who do you think? The cop that couldn’t keep his eyes off you.”

“Oh. Yeah. Well, he’s probably trying to make sure I don’t hotwire a car out here.”

My eyebrows rise. That’s an interesting reaction to male attention. Maybe I’m not the only one with hot-guy trouble tonight.

Once we’re in the car and I start driving, I decide it’s unlikely she’ll jump from a car doing sixty on the highway.

“So.” I check her profile before concentrating on the road again. “Are you gonna tell me why I’m picking you up at a police station at three in the morning?”


8 responses to “Closing Time – Episode 6

  1. Love it. Love the way you took out out of the bar quickly, without dwelling on anything, which would be easy to do, since we’ve been there all along. You had me totally psyched about the GPS thing. I was sure she was going to either crash trying to set it or get attacked if she pulled over to set it. Great job on the description of her sister. I can see her well.

  2. Great writing as always!

  3. Fun! It just keeps getting better and more intriguing!

    Julie Johnson

  4. Nice job. Each installment is more intriguing then the last. I can’t wait to read next weeks installment.

  5. Noelle Pierce

    Thanks, guys! I love writing this story because I have less to look up in terms of word choice, setting…such a far cry from my historical romance novels. 😀

    I’m glad you’re all enjoying it!

  6. Madison Woods

    Well, darn. I was having fun at the bar with you, but I guess we have to get out of there sooner or later.

    First person present is a tough POV for me to read, but I found yours easier than others I’ve tried. Has it been this all along and I’m just now noticing? That must be a good thing, if so.

    The last sentence gives me a little problem because ‘audience’ makes me think your MC’s going to make Gina listen to her talk instead of giving Gina the chance to do the talking.

    I thought she was either going to go into a lecture about her sister’s behavior or since she had a captive audience, make her listen to her own hot-guy woes.

    But since this is the last sentence, I guess it could go either way 😉

    Overall, I easily get a sense of place and of the anxiety she felt.

    • Noelle Pierce

      Hehe…we’ll get back to the bar soon. We’ve got a new girl to train on Monday. ;o)

      Good point about the captive audience line. I may have to change it with the context that follows.

  7. Pingback: #TuesdaySerial Report – Week 10 – July 6, 2010 | Inspired by Real Life

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