Teresa's Christmas StorybyWifeWatchman©
This story is a vignette meant to stand on its own as a story, though based upon characters in my ongoing police drama series."
This story contains graphic scenes, language and actions that might be extremely offensive to some people. These scenes, words and actions are used only for the literary purposes of this story. The author does not condone driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, nor criminal activity, and any depictions of any of these in this story should not be construed as acceptance of the above.
Feedback and constructive criticism is very much appreciated, and I encourage feedback for ideas.
Part 1 - The Christmas Eve Party
The multicolored lights gave the room a festive glow as we gathered on the Saturday before Christmas at my mom's home, the one formerly owned by Laura and then Melina, which my mom had begun calling "the Mountain Nest." My mother was hosting, helped by her young friend and secret lover, the young stud known as The Leader. Laura and I were helping to host.
All of my detectives were here: Cindy Ross, Angela Harlan and Hugh Hewitt as a couple, Martin Nash and FBI Agent Sandra Speer as a couple, Tanya Perlman and Pete Feeley as a couple. The Chief and his wife were there as well as Captain Malone and his wife. Most of the Vice detectives were there, the only exception being Steven Ikea.
Britt Morgan, SBI Agents Ted Crenshaw and Carter Fischer with their dates, and Jack Muscone were also in attendance. Of course my mom was hosting, helped by her young friend and secret lover, the young stud known as The Leader. The new SWAT team's member also were present, many of them war buddies of Hugh Hewitt.
Most of the big news centered around the diamond ring on Tanya Perlman's finger; Pete Feeley had summoned the gumption to ask her to marry him... and to the stunned surprise of a large number of people, Tanya had accepted. I wondered how that was going to turn out. Tanya had one hell of a libido; and while Pete was a good guy and decent looking, he would not be mistaken for stud material.
However, there was a slight pall over the evening, a certain foreboding... Teresa Cunt was here, under duress and upon my and Captain Malone's direct orders to attend. She stayed apart from everyone, occasionally looking out the windows that overlooked the Town in the valley below.
The highlight of the evening was supposed to be a Secret Santa gift opening amongst the detectives. The FBI agents had also brought some gifts to each other to open at the same time. As it neared the time to start, Cindy went to get Teresa... and things got heated fast.
"I don't get it, what the hell is with you?" Cindy was asking, almost screaming. The two women often argued, but it was normally friendly, but this time Teresa was having none of it.
"None of your god-damned business!" Teresa said. "Just leave me the fuck alone!" And this was how she treated her friends.
Cindy Ross was a pretty woman in her late twenties with platinum blonde hair. She was a rugged Canadian woman with dual Canada/US citizenship. She had been a participant in those "Miss Physical America" contests, and had been built to a muscular level that many male bodybuilders would envy to be. After retiring and joining the Police Force, she had stopped the bodybuilding in favor of mixed martial arts, but still was well toned.
Teresa's face was usually scowling but she was attractive, with dark-blonde or very light brown hair that framed her face nicely. It was her body that was magnificent; nice large breasts, a lovely hourglass shape, a firm, mouthwatering, heart-shaped ass, and legs and feet that could be a magazine model's.
Despite Cindy's sheer strength and power, it was my wife Laura who more effectively moved Teresa, by using persuasion.
"Come with me, my dear." Laura said, guiding Teresa back into the main room where we all were. "It won't be too much longer for you." Teresa allowed herself to be persuaded, though her eyes were still dark and full of anger.
"I just don't get her." Cindy said, exasperated, and I could tell that she cared for Teresa far more than their arguing would suggest.
"Patience, my friend." I said, a line I'd said to Detective Ross many, many times. "The truth shall come out. Tonight." I thought back to how this all got started, nearly two weeks ago...
Part 2 - The Problem
"I just can't do anything for her anymore." Captain Malone said, his voice full of exasperation.
It was Wednesday afternoon, exactly two weeks before Christmas. I was sitting in the Chief's office with the Chief and Captain Malone. We were trying to solve a real crisis on our hands: what to do about Detective Teresa Croyle, a.k.a. "Teresa Cunt."
For reasons no one could quite understand, she responded to a car crash where the perp was well over the legal alcohol limit. With Christmas right around the corner, there were many parties going on. The Police Force set up DUI checkpoints (the only time of year we really did so), but this guy had run past our checkpoint and a few streets later plowed into a vehicle containing a family of four.
When Teresa got to the crime scene, the guy was arrogantly saying he couldn't be arrested, because he was a State Senator's son. He did not seem to care that he had just killed three people in the car crash, two of them being children, literally saying that they didn't matter because he, the perp, was a Senator's son.
Teresa had gone off on him and beaten the living shit out of the guy, sans crowbar or any other weapon, before anyone could stop her... and none of the other police officers there really wanted to stop her. But now the guy was now threatening to sue the Police Department, and his father was making waves about bringing the State in to make a criminal investigation against her.
I had nothing but empathy for Teresa Croyle, but with all of the political pressure being brought down on her, I couldn't see anything we could do for her.
"I don't care what she did to him, we are prosecuting that bastard to the fullest extent of the Law." I said.
"I'm with you on that, Don, and so is Paulina Patterson." said the Chief. "But Krasney is wavering. This loser's name is Dean Allen; his father is the State Senator, Nathan Allen."
"I hope your contacts are better than mine about wanting to oppose Allen on this. He's really pushing for his son to get off." Captain Malone said.
"What about the Press? How are they covering it?" I asked.
"Bettina Wurtzburg ran with the story, and also wouldn't shut down after the pressure came down on the TV station. They finally had to force her to go on vacation when Senator Allen contacted the FCC to begin investigating the station. The bastard is really pushing hard to save his son's neck." Chief Griswold said.
"Wow." I said, then fell into a 'brown study' as the Captain and Chief talked about Teresa.
"She's on desk duty now, pending an investigation." Malone said. "But I've already personally gotten calls from three Town & County Council members, Malinda Adams, Kelly Carnes, and J.P. Goldman. They're asking why she hasn't been suspended without pay and criminally charged yet. I don't know why Goldman called, but I can hold them off only for so long. When, not if but when they start pressing, there's not much I can do."
I have to say this much about Captain Malone, despite my dislike of him: he has done a very good job of bringing along some officers that otherwise would not have had a chance, and making something out of them. For all Ikea's faults and arrogance, he'd learned well from his Captain and made many drug busts, as well as gleaning information from suspects. And Teresa Croyle was so hated and not wanted by everyone that she'd been in danger of being fired just a few years before, but Captain Malone had taken her under his wing and made her into one of the best Detectives on the Force, her bitchiness notwithstanding.
And now Malone was struggling to save his Detective, when letting her be thrown to the wolves would've been the easy and politically expedient thing to do.
"I would imagine State Senator Allen, the DUI punk's father, has been talking to Goldman." I said.
"I'm just at the end of my rope on this." said Captain Malone, "I don't understand the 'why' of it. I've tried to leave Croyle alone about it, but then shit keeps cropping up. Croyle has undergone multiple psychological evaluations. She passes every one of them, easily. Most of the time, she's just fine, but then something sets her off and she goes off on someone, like she did with this Allen punk."
"Doesn't she volunteer for duty every Christmas?" I asked.
"Yes." said Malone, looking surprised at the question. "She's not religious, so she works so others can be off duty."
"And they are DUI perps?" I asked.
"Come to think of it, yes they are." Malone said.
"And Christmas is the only time of year that she gets this way and starts beating up perps?"
"Yeah, now that you mention it, you're right about that, too." Malone said. "Though I have to watch her in August, too, she gets moody a couple of weeks before school starts."
"Think there's something in that, Crowbar?" asked the Chief.
"Yes." I said. "And we have got to find out the reason behind her issues." It was clear to the Chief that I was trying to think of something even as I was talking to them.
"I don't know if that will save her, though." said the Chief. "We are really, really behind the eight-ball on this one. What you and Captain Malone don't know is that I not only got calls from those three Councilmen and -women, I've been contacted by the Mayor, our Internal Affairs, and the SBI. State Senator Allen has contacted all of them, and he is making as big a stink of this as he possibly can." said the Chief.
"In addition," the Chief continued, his voice grave, "the mayor informed me that the DUI suspect Dean Allen has retained the law firm of Chase, Lynch & Berry."
"Oh Jesus." said Captain Malone. I knew how he felt. The Chase, Lynch & Berry law firm's legal beagles were the worst ambulance-chasers in the State, but worse was that they loved to take cases against the Police Department, often doing them pro bono for clients that accused us of abusing them. They even offered the lawyer Sommes, who had committed treason against the United States, free legal representation if only he would sue me for using my iron crowbar on him.
Sommes instead cut a deal with the Feds to avoid the death penalty for treason; he was now in their custody and well away from the friendly confines of my County. And when when the Chief and I began publicly, meaning in the Media, discussing how Chase, Lynch & Berry wanted to help traitors, they shut up for a while. But now they would be back on this punk Dean Allen's behalf, and I'm sure they were considering it to be a very merry Christmas.
"How long do I have, Chief?" I asked.
The Chief stood up. "You have through the weekend, Crowbar. I'm going to have to suspend her Monday morning."
"Yes sir." I said, also getting up. "I better get my ass moving then."
Part 3 - The Search For The Real Teresa Croyle
"What do you mean you have nothing, Myron?" I asked.
We were sitting in my little I.T. office in the University Campus Police headquarters. I did not want Myron doing his computer researches where Internal Affairs could sneak a peak.
Myron Milton was a youngish, really nerdy-looking guy, and he was a sheer genius with computers and data acquisition. The raise and Christmas bonuses I'd gotten him, as well as his Goth girlfriend Mary, also a computer genius, were the main reasons the FBI and CIA could not persuade him to leave us and provide his considerable talents to them.
"I'm tryin' to tell ya." Myron said. "Teresa's married name is 'Croyle'. She got married a year after graduating school, divorced about three years later, came here soon after that. All of her police applications and records simply have her as 'Teresa Croyle', not even putting down a middle initial. And I don't know her maiden name, so I don't even know where to start looking for records at her school."
"That's what I have to get: her maiden name. What about her marriage license?" I said, "What about her DMV records when she changed the name after she got married?"
"I don't know where she got her marriage license; it likely was just paper and not computer-recorded, either. I tried the DMV route... either she applied for a new license without using a name change as a reason, or..."
"Or?" I said.
"Or she's using a false name." Myron said, his face a mask of worry.
"Shit, we're trying to help her and we may end up fucking her over even worse." I said. "Well, I don't know--" I stopped, having a 'reverie' moment as I went into deep thought. Myron waited patiently, having seen this look from me before.
Awaking from my thoughts, I got up."Myron, stay here until I call and release you." I said. "I'm going to go check with a confidential source in the Psychology Department on something."
"Tell your wife hello for me." Myron said, knowing who my confidential source was.
I may have been a little presumptuous in barging in on my wife in her office at the University. Fortunately, Laura was alone in the room, but she still looked at me a bit darkly.
"In a hurry?" she said acerbically.
"I'm sorry." I said, knowing I'd screwed up, but coming on inside anyway.
"Let me guess: Teresa Cunt." Laura said as she pointed at the chair in front of her desk as an invitation for me to sit down.
"I see you've added mind reading to your considerable talents." I said.
"Not really." Laura replied. "I heard about her beating up that piece of crap Dean Allen. I failed the punk out of my psychology class some years ago and his Senator daddy tried to have me fired. He got pushed back hard on that, and not just by the School, but he's not a forgiving man."
"Yeah, he's pulling every string he's got on this one... trying to distract from the fact that his son slaughtered a mother and her two children just before Christmas." I said.
"Yes. Also, your Police Chief and one Detective Goodwin of your Internal Affairs called me just a short while ago. They wanted what I had on Teresa, and also were trying to find out what her maiden name was."
"What did you tell them?"
"That all my information from my police psychological examinations of her were in the files that they should already have obtained, and that I had no clue what her maiden name was, as she never mentioned it and I never asked. I also said that any further information beyond what was in the police files was protected by psychiatrist-client privilege, though I don't think there's much there to protect." Laura replied.
"Whew, good." I said. "But there is one thing that you know, because you mentioned it to me before. So I hope you'll break confidence and share with your beloved husband the name of Teresa's husband that was on the letters he sent to you."
"Oh... yeah, that's right, I forgot about those." Laura said. "The husband wrote me after hearing about Jack Burke's murder. There was nothing in them that helped me figure out Teresa, though."
Laura got up we went downstairs into a basement filing room, which was doubly locked and had a secure alarm known only to Laura, with a sealed envelope in the Campus Police station containing the fail-safe way in should something happen to my wife.
"Ah yes, here is the letter." Laura said, handing it to me.
"Yep, you're right." Myron said to me. I was back in the Campus Police I.T. office with him.
I had told Myron to search records as if 'Croyle' were Teresa's maiden name, not married name... her husband's name had been "Easton Windham." Just as Laura had not formally changed her name after marrying me, which made sense what with her published works, research grants and general celebrity, Teresa had never taken her husband's name.
"Teresa entered college under the last name 'Croyle' and graduated under that name. Her first drivers license was obtained at age 17, also under the name 'Croyle'. But here's what's interesting: I can't find a birth record, nor any school records, nor any Lexus-Nexus records of a Teresa Croyle in the State that she got the drivers license from."
"And before you ask, I abused the privilege and snuck a peak at that State's adoption records from my 'clean' computer there. There is no adoption record that matches Teresa nor the timeframe around her age." Myron said. That computer had software that no respectable computer programmer nor police officer would every be caught with... which was the key, of course, not getting caught.
"Excellent work." I said. "Anything else on any other Croyles?"
"There was a Jonathan and Beatrice Croyle in the town where Teresa got her first drivers license. But they had no children, and their tax records show no dependent children at any time."
"What town was this?" I asked. Myron showed me the screen with the info and I wrote the town's name down. It was a long way from where we were now.
"Can I ask you a question, Lieutenant?" Myron asked. When I nodded he continued, "Why not get Cindy Ross or your nephew Todd to just ask her? Cindy's her friend and Todd has been fucking her on occasion."
"How did you know Todd has been fucking Teresa?" I asked.
"You don't want to know." Myron said. Normally that would work with me, but not this time.
"We're talking about my blood kin here, Myron. How did you find out?"
"I peeked in on Internal Affairs." Myron admitted. "I got tired of them peeking in on me, and was trying to find out why they were bothering me. That tidbit came up."
"Geez, Myron, you're going to get us both fired." I said, grinning as I got up to leave.
"I can think of worse fates to befall us." Myron replied. He was right.
"To answer your question: I'm sure Teresa would not only not talk to either of them, she'd get upset with them for daring to ask. I've noticed that she seems willing to go down for this rather than fight for herself. She's willing to give up her career to keep whatever secret she's been hiding.
"That won't last long when the Iron Crowbar is on her case." Myron said. I smiled and sent him home for the night.
The roses I brought home to my wife mollified her irritation at me. After feeding the baby and putting her down, we began making out under the mistletoe... without worrying about if a mistletoe was really there.
"I've got to leave in the morning." I said. "I'm flying to what we believe is Teresa's hometown.
"Think the secret is there?"
"Yep. Teresa took the name 'Croyle' around the age of 16 or 17, though she was not formally adopted. I still don't know her maiden name, nor what happened."
"Think you can save her if you find out?"
"No... but you can, if you know the right questions to ask."
Part 3 - Secrets of a Small Town
Teresa's hometown was small and picturesque, but beginning to fade. It was early Thursday afternoon, and I had through Sunday to get everything I needed. When I visited the school, they recognized her but did not really want to cooperate with me; I was out of even State jurisdiction.
Stymied, I was about to leave the school office, trying to figure out how to get what I needed, when Father Christmas brought me an early present: FBI Special Agent In Charge Jack Muscone entered the office.
"Hi Don." Jack said, enjoying the look of shock on my face. "Merry Christmas!"
"Jack! What are you doing here?"
"Helping you out." Jack Muscone said. He then turned to the principle and showed his badge and ID. "This man is trying to help out one of his police officers, the lady he was asking you about. I'm asking the same questions. I can get a warrant, or I can owe you a favor, which would you prefer?"