“Yolanda, you know who that kid is? I’ve seen him around town for a few weeks, but I’ve never heard anyone say who he is or where he came from?” Eli asked as he walked over to her desk, behind which was the coffee pot.
“What kid, Eli?” she asked as she reached over to the printer and pulled off several documents sent from the Sussex County Sheriff’s Office. She rose from her chair and went to Eli’s office, placing a copy of the papers in his inbox before she went to the bulletin board, pulling off old flyers and adding the new ones.
“The one who’s washing dishes at Lena’s. Where’d he come from, and where does he go?” Eli asked.
“You mean that skinny little white boy with the freckles and long, red hair?” Yolanda asked.
Eli laughed. “You knew exactly who I was talking about. Who is he?”
“He’s not a kid, Chief. According to Lena, he’s twenty-five, and he’s a hard worker. That’s all she cares about, and he’s pretty easy on the eyes,” Yolanda offered the latest gossip with a smirk.
“Where’s he staying?” Eli asked as he turned to look at Yolanda, who was gathering her things to head over to the school for crossing guard duty.
“Not with Will and me. Why don’t you go over to the diner and ask him? You need to meet someone, Elijah. You’re getting a little long in the tooth to be the most eligible bachelor in town. I saw Trudy Somerset checking out your backside the other day. If she starts looking good to you, we got a huge problem, Cougar Bait,” Yolanda stated before she grabbed her travel mug and nodded to him as she headed out the door.
After she left, Eli went back to his office and sat down in his chair, curiosity about the redhead filling his thoughts. He checked the contents of his inbox but saw nothing of importance, so he picked up his radio from its charging stand and called out for Lowell Bellows, another officer in Haven’s Point. “Car two hundred, where are you?” Eli asked.
“Chief, I’m on my way. Tibby’s taking his wife to the doctor in Dover, so I’ll be covering for both of us until ten,” Bellows responded.
Eli remembered Joe Tibby had mentioned he was taking his pregnant wife to the doctor that week, but he didn’t remember it was that morning. “Okay. West is at school, and I’m headed to Lena’s. I’m forwarding the phones to my cell. Let me know if you need me, Bellows, over?”
Eli grabbed the portable and put it on his belt. He walked to the coffee maker and poured the fresh pot into the carafe to keep it warm before he turned off the machine and locked the door.
When he left the building, he looked both ways before he crossed the street and walked up to Lena’s door, which was still locked.
Eli gently knocked, and when he saw the lights to the dining room turn on, he knew Lena had likely been in the kitchen starting the flat top and the ovens. Eileen Stewart, the morning waitress, wasn’t in yet, which was nothing new. The woman was always late because she had a lazy husband and two kids to get ready for school.
When Lena rushed out from the back, Eli noticed the big smile on her face. “Hi, Chief. Eileen’s late. Come on in, and will you make the coffee? I’m having trouble with the damn flat top again,” Lena complained.
“Sure. You want me to take a look at it?” Eli offered.
Lena laughed. “You know how to fix a flat top grill, Chief?”
“I got it, Ms. Becker!” they both heard from the kitchen.
Lena looked at him with a cocked eyebrow that made Eli chuckle. “Maybe I do, or maybe I don’t, but it doesn’t matter now, does it?” Eli responded as he followed her to the kitchen. It was his chance to meet the young guy he’d seen around town for the last few weeks, and he wasn’t going to miss it.
Check out the rest of the story. What would you do to protect those you love?