If you missed the first chapter, start here!
A sunset picnic in the park with the man you loved was something to enjoy, Penelope thought, even if it did involve a ridiculously large dog and some really cold burgers and fries.
“Sorry,” Jake apologized again as he looked at the food in the bag. “I thought I was done for the day and then I got another call.”
Penelope put her feet up on the bench and leaned back against him to get a better view of the setting sun. “I knew what I was getting into when you called a timeout on our first date so you could arrest a pickpocket.” She reached in the bag for another soggy French fry.
“We’re suddenly on every law enforcement agency’s radar. It turns out that the money in the box is from a bank holdup seven years ago.” He threw the rest of his burger to Brutus who swallowed it in one gulp.
“Ugh, you’re going to teach him bad habits.”
“Do you really think there are any bad habits left to teach him?” He draped his arm around her and pulled her closer.
“Good point.” Penelope tilted her head back to look at him. “I bet you’re really hoping I didn’t skim a stack of that cash and spend it today. Imagine the scandal if you had to arrest me for possession of stolen money.”
Jake smiled. “I know you.”
“Yeah.” She thought about it. “I already have everything I need and I’m pretty content.” They watched the red sky for a minute. “Of course, if you arrested the mayor for something I’d be even more content.”
“You might be doomed to disappointment on that front. Somehow he found out about our extortion investigation and I think he might have decided to take a permanent vacation. He’s abandoned his itinerary and I got a tip that his bank accounts have been emptied. My guess is that he’s settling in somewhere on a beach in a country that doesn’t have an extradition treaty with us.”
“What?” Penelope sat up, sunset forgotten. “Can’t you go find him? He should go to prison.”
Jake tugged her back down. “I don’t think he had nearly as much money as he wanted people to believe, and now he won’t be able to come home. Maybe that’s punishment enough.”
“What kind of attitude is that for the chief of police?”
“Acting chief. And I must be mellowing in my old age.”
Penelope threaded her fingers through his. “Next thing you know you’ll have to get a light bar installed on your walker.” She looked down at Brutus who had given up on getting any more food and was sprawled on the grass. “He left his dog behind.”
“Mmm. The man is a monster.”
They watched as the last of the sun’s rays glimmered on the horizon to the soundtrack of the Mastiff’s snores.
(Comments, requests, and suggestions all welcome!)