Abby Ch. 28

byD.C. Roi©

Passion In James County XI: Abby

Chapter twenty-eight

"Mr. Williams, I'm giving you a defective equipment repair ticket because your right-hand taillight isn't working," Greg told the out of state motorist he'd stopped. "If you don't want to have to pay a fine, you need to have it repaired and tell the garage that does the repair to send in this slip within the next seventy-two hours."

"Thank you, officer," the portly middle-aged man driving the blue Buick said, "I'll take care of the taillight right away."

"Sir, the main reason I stopped you is you were going a little fast," Greg said. "I know the speed limit on this stretch of road seems a bit low," he continued. "The state it set low because of the deer. Believe me, you don't want to hit a deer at fifty-five. Have a good day, now, and enjoy your stay here in the mountains."

"Thank you, officer," the man said, and drove off.

Greg turned off the emergency lights, put his patrol unit in gear, and pulled out onto the highway. He picked up his radio microphone. "James County Fifteen to Operations," he said, "I'm clear of that stop and resuming patrol."

"Operations copies, James County Fifteen, you're resuming patrol," the dispatcher replied.

A mile past where he made the traffic stop, Greg pulled into the parking lot of a small country store. He made it a point to check in at the store every day, and needed something to drink.

"Hi, Greg," a feminine voice said from behind Greg as he walked toward the store.

He turned around and saw Fran Martin coming toward him. "Hi, Fran," he said. "How are you doing?"

"Actually, except for the fact that I haven't seen much of you lately, I'm doing fine," Fran said. "Wow, I still can't believe all the crazy stuff that happened at the lake this year. I mean, people getting shot and all. I sure didn't expect to encounter that kind of thing living up here. How's your neighbor doing?"

"Ah, she's doing OK," Greg said. "She got a job over the hospital in Victorville and she seems to be adjusting."

"I've seen her helping you work on your woodpile," Fran commented as they went up the steps to the store. "Is there a little romance developing?"

Greg felt his face getting warm and knew he was probably blushing. "Ah...not really," he said, "Abby and I, we...we're just, you know, friends."

"I see," Fran said, grinning. "Is that her decision or yours?"

"Is what her decision or mine?" Greg asked.

Fran gave him an exasperated look. "Greg, come on!" she said. "You really aren't that dense, are you? Are you and that attractive neighbor of yours just friends because that's all she wants to be, or is it because that's all you want?"

"I...I, ah, I never really thought about it much," Greg replied, taking a large bottle of peach-flavored diet iced tea out of the glass-doored cooler. "I mean, I'm just trying to help her get over what she's gone through, you know?"

Fran stood there, studying Greg for a few minutes, the smile on her face growing broader and broader. "I have a feeling it isn't because you just want to be friends, is it, Greg?" she said, finally. As much as she liked the young deputy, and as wild as the night they'd slept together had been, she knew there was no chance for any kind of long-term relationship between her and Greg.

"Ah...I...I don't know," Greg said. His face felt as if it was on fire.

"Greg! Look at you!" Fran giggled. "My goodness, Greg! I do believe you're acting like a moon-struck teenager! I can't believe the man standing in front of me blushing is the same man who provided me with such satisfying help when I needed it a while back."

Greg's face grew even warmer. "Ah...Fran...look, I...I really need to get back out on the road," he stammered. "I...I'll see you later." He turned to walk to the checkout counter, but Fran put her hand on his arm and stopped him.

"Greg, you really should let Abby know how you feel," she said softly. "You don't really want to be 'just friends' forever, do you?"

"Ah...I...I guess not," Greg said.

"And remember, Greg, Abby is very attractive," Fran continued. "If you don't let her know how you feel, sooner or later, somebody else will. Do you want to risk that?"

Greg shrugged and shook his head. "No," he said softly.

"Then don't be a dummy," Fran said.

Greg paid for his soda and headed back out onto the highway. In this time, between the summer and winter seasons, there were few tourists in the area. That meant the remainder of his shift dragged. Finally, he turned off the highway, onto the town road that led to the road his cabin was located on.

"Should I tell Abby how I really feel about her?" he wondered as he drove along the dirt road, toward the main lodge. "What am I going to do if she doesn't feel the same way about me?" He looked around and saw a couple of deer off in the woods. "But, I guess Fran was right, I'm probably not the only guy who thinks Abby's a knockout. If she found someone else and I never had a chance to let her know how I feel about her, I'm not sure what I'd do."

He pulled into his driveway, signed off with operations, then put his patrol vehicle in the garage and went into the house. Abby was making dinner tonight, but she wasn't due home for an hour or so.

Greg went into his house, took a shower, and changed into a pair of well-worn jeans and a sweatshirt, then he went into his office and sat down at his computer to finish the day's paperwork. Before he started working, he thought about the past nine months. He had been spending almost every free minute with Abby, and it had been the most wonderful nine months of his life, even though it was also the longest time he'd ever gone without sex since he'd become an adult. There had been offers, attractive offers, but he'd turned them down.

"What will I do if Abby starts dating someone else?" he mused. "I've been dreaming about her all this time, and now that I'm so close, what will I do if I wind up losing her?"

He forced himself to concentrate on his work and began typing. He had just finished downloading his daily reports to the computer at the sheriff's headquarters when the phone rang.

"Hi, Greg," Abby said when he answered. "Dinner's almost ready. You can come over any time you're ready."

"Your timing's great. I just finished sending my reports to the office," Greg replied. "I'll be over in a minute."

"Can I tell her how I feel?" he thought as he stood up and started for the door. "What...what if she doesn't feel the same way about me? What...what if all she wants is for us to be friends?"

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