Brody Mills came storming into The Green Door saloon, Winston’s oldest and most popular bar. Allie Newton was wiping down the backbar when walked past her.
“Brody! Where have you been? If max finds out how late you are…”
“Is Max here?” he asked.
Allie melted every time Brody looked at her with his powerful, dark eyes. She didn’t hide it very well, but she hoped that no one would ever pick up on it. “No. He’s not here,” she said, sadly.
“Then don’t worry about it. I’m here now, that’s all that matters. Sorry, that put you out at all.”
“It’s fine, you can put me out whenever you want.” Her face froze. She realized how that sounded. Luckily for her, someone ordered a drink, and she was pretty sure that Brody didn’t hear her anyway. She sighed in relief and went back to work, helping the next customer. “What can I get you?”
“I actually need to speak with Brody Mills. He works here, right?” asked an older man, brandishing a badge.
Brody saw this from down the bar and hustled over. “Chief Dean. What can I do for you?”
“I need to ask you some questions about your whereabouts last night,” Dean asked.
“Okay,” Brody said. “I was at work. Here.”
“About 2:30 am.”
“But where did you go after?” Chief Dean’s voice became stern.
“I was…” Brody looked frazzled. He was a deer in the headlights.
Suddenly, Allie put her hand on his arm. “It’s okay, baby,” she said, then looked to Chief Dean. “He was with me all night. We keep it quiet because Max would be upset if he found out.” She smiled.
Brody looked as if he had seen a ghost and Chief Dean seemed unsure about the story.
“All right. That settles that, I guess.” Dean said.
Brody lifted his hand, as if to ask a question. “Can I know what this is all about? What happened that you thought you needed to come talk to me?”
“Ciri Jackson was viciously attacked last night. Someone reported that a man matching your description was seen where her body was found.” Dean looked him up and down one last time. “If there is anything else I need, I’ll be back.”
After the Chief left, Brody pushed Allie’s hand off of him. “Why the hell did you do that?”
“Do what?” she said, terrified.
“Why did you stick your nose into this? It has nothing to do with you?” Brody shouted.
“I was just trying to help you.”
“Well, I don’t need your damn help!” He shoved past her and stormed off into the back, leaving Allie, in a full bar, in tears.
Meanwhile, outside the bar, in a dark alley, Bobby Bell, stumbled along, holding his drunken self up with the wall. When suddenly, he heard voices.
“You got our money, Bell?”
As his eyes focused on the men, he shook in fear.
“We didn’t think so.”
Bobby’s body fell on the ground and a barrage of fists and boots slammed against his body, repeatedly, with great force.