tagLoving WivesThe Admonition

The Admonition

byWritewinger©

The Warning. Not listening to reason can cause an explosive situation

This is a work of fiction any names or places that resemble actual persons or places is purely coincidental.

There is very little sex in this story and I was in a quandary as to what category to submit it under but since it does encompass some marital infidelity, I placed it here.

Wednesday, Jan 8, 1991 12:04 PM

The blast that occurred at 3473 Pentalia Road at the above date and time blew out all of the windows on the front of the house and two side windows of the adjacent home. Safety glass was imbedded in the old oak tree that, at the time, had been quietly shedding the last of its leaves in preparation for the remaining winter.

The driver's side door was catapulted a hundred feet onto the neighbor's lawn, the passenger side door was hideously twisted and was precariously hanging on by one scorched hinge. The ensuing heat from the ignited fuel melted the macadam driveway beneath the vehicle.

All of the property damage would eventually be repaired, the wreckage of the of the car would remain in police custody until every square inch had been thoroughly examined by a variety of state, local and federal authorities.

What remained of Nick Wellaton would be cremated and his ashes spread to the wind.

That evening on both local and national news a somber uniformed police captain would announce that a member of the department's organized crime task force, specifically, Detective Nicholas Wellaton was killed when his unmarked police vehicle exploded as he entered the vehicle to start his 1:00PM to 9:00PM shift. The captain would go on to say that the preliminary investigation indicated that an explosive device had been used but that since the investigation had just begun they had no immediate suspect. He continued adding the usual platitudes: "every effort will be made - - - -, no stone left unturned, - - - - all of the resources of the department, etc. etc."

The morning paper would portray a heroic, dedicated police officer having served twelve years with the Fullerton Police Department and describe the dedicated husband and father of three children, ages: six, nine and eleven. Along with repeating much of what his commanding officer, Captain Nathan Hartwig, had regurgitated on the evening news. The reporter also mentioned that Detective Wellaton was the nephew of the state's Lieutenant Governor, Wilford Breaux.

Wednesday, January 8, 1991, 5:45 PM

My wife, Arlene, was usually home around five o'clock but under the circumstances I wasn't surprised that she would have been detained so I started dinner while our two sons, Kevin, 13 and Danny, 9 were, presumably, doing their homework upstairs in their rooms. For the past three years my wife, Arlene, has been a civilian employee of the Fullerton P.D. assigned to the Organized Crime Task Force. She was one of the units' secretaries and had taken the position after Danny started pre-school.

My name is Mike Foley and am a Sheriff's Deputy with the Fullerton County Sheriff's Office, assigned to the Emergency Service Division. I had just finished a 7AM to 3PM shift and had, of course, heard the various transmissions regarding the bombing. Therefore, I was not surprised to see a very emotionally distressed wife who had just walked through the door.

I had just finished checking the roasting chicken when Arlene sat down heavily on a kitchen chair and with a shaky voice, on the verge of tears, said;

'I guess you've heard the news by now, she asked suspiciously.

"Of course, I replied, news like that travels pretty fast".

"I feel sorry for his wife and children, it's going to be hard, especially on the kids

" The whole unit has been put on over-time and some detectives from other units have been temporarily assigned to help with the investigation", she said without looking at me.

I poured her a Jack Daniels and coke and soothingly, said:

"Drink this, it will help calm you down."

She sipped it absent-mindedly, staring into space.

Arlene and I have been married for just over fifteen years. We met at community college while I was going there on the G.I. Bill after having served two tours in the Mid-East with the U.S. Army. On an average day, Arlene, is a very attractive woman, your average soccer mom. On special occasions when we're going out for an evening she's a head turner.

At 5'8' with sandy colored hair with blonde high lights, she weighs one thirty-five and although I never did learn how to estimate a bra size, she wore a size ten dress and although she didn't have huge breasts they were ample enough to nicely fill out her clothes and show a little cleavage when she chose to. She was only about five pounds heavier than when I met her and although she was always looking over her shoulder, in the mirror, at her "fat ass", I thought it was perfect and often told her so.

I'm 6'3", 245 pounds, average looking I guess. I have blue eyes, brown hair and normal features except for the souvenir I brought home from Iraq, a thin scar running from mid left ear to my jaw line. It was pretty scary looking when I first got it but over time it has faded. Unfortunately, my department doesn't allow facial hair on uniformed officers, other than a mustache, so it's still visible. Arlene says it gives me an air of mystery and adds to my "tough guy" persona.

Fullerton is a lot like Los Angeles, smaller, but not in area, just in population. Just as in Los Angeles where the LAPD polices the city and the sheriff's department patrols most of the rest of Los Angeles County, Fullerton has a similar arrangement. Although each department is autonomous, there is a symbiotic relationship between the two. Actually, there is some duplication of effort in some areas but I guess that there is some political expedience that is served.

************************

For a few days after the bombing Arlene seemed- - - - - - - - not distant, but fragile. We have always had a pretty good sex life, a little slower as the years progressed but at three, sometimes four times a week, it was fulfilling. Those first few nights I gave her some space and even though I didn't peruse sexual intimacy she kept her arms wrapped around me as we slept like I was a life preserver in a stormy sea.

After about a week of avoiding the subject she seemed to have returned to normal so one night, after dinner, when the boys had gone to their rooms I asked her if there had been and headway on the Wellaton investigation. She shook her head, and said:

No, at least not that I'm aware of. I'm just a secretary so they don't discuss things with me but there have been a lot of closed door meetings with agents from other agencies. I know people from the state police and ATF have set up offices in the building, but that's about all I know.

She seemed to grow a little melancholy and as we sat there she put her arm around my neck and pulling me close kissed me softly. Then putting her head on my chest, whispered:

"I love you Mike"

"I know, I replied, I love you to, baby."

*****************************

July 4th, 1990, Afternoon

The Fullerton Police Department was having its annual picnic and all employees were invited to attend. I had only been able to attend one previous event due to scheduling conflicts and Arlene was delighted at the time that she'd be able to show me off but this year it happened to fall on my day off. So, when I informed her that I would be available to go with her, she seemed less than enthusiastic, even saying:

"Are you sure you want to go Honey." I remember how uncomfortable you were the last time."

"Absolutely, I replied with a conviction I didn't actually feel. Besides, what would I do here all by myself. The boys will be spending the day at Seth's house playing in the Weng's pool. She gave me what seemed to be a halfhearted smile and touched my arm in acknowledgment.

As I said, there is a professional relationship between the two departments but also an unspoken rivalry. I only knew a few people on that force and since Arlene would, no doubt, be fraternizing with the people she worked with, it would, most likely, add to my discomfort.

As with most police departments or sheriff's offices, a lot of the detectives are political hacks, having achieved their position due to political influence rather than solid police work. My personal experience over eighteen years of service was that many of them were egotistical, incompetents.

The PBA was supplying the food, hot dogs, burgers, salads, corn and soft drinks but it was a BYOB event if you wanted, beer, wine or something stronger. I had packed a cooler with a few beers and a bottle of white wine for Arlene. For her part, all she brought was toilet paper since the county park where the picnic was being held was pretty rustic and noted for running out of that necessary commodity.

After I parked and was opening the trunk to grab the cooler Arlene said that she would run ahead to get us a table. Fortunately, the cooler had wheels because there was a fairly long path through the woods that led into an open barbecue and table area. As I emerged from the woods there were about a hundred people already there and since it was a family event there were some wives and kids, all sitting or milling around chatting and keeping their eyes on the younger children. The tables closest to the path had already been claimed and as I scanned the area looking for my wife I saw her talking to a guy on the far side of the picnic area near a table occupied by some other couples.

Arlene was angled so she was facing my way and when she saw me approaching she signaled to me with a smile and a wave and the guy she had been talking to stared at me for a moment before walking off. While he wasn't tall, maybe 5'8" or 5'9', I noticed that he was a good-looking guy with wavy black hair. What struck me as odd was that everyone was dressed in either shorts or jeans and tee shirts or flowery print shirts, he was wearing a black silk shirt, white slacks and dress shoes. He looked out of place but I didn't think much of it at the time.

As I placed the cooler next to the others, I said hello to Arlene's workmate Shelly and her husband John and was introduced to Nancy, another secretary from a different division and her boyfriend Hank. I had met Shelly and John on several occasions and knew that he was an electrician. And, during the course of conversation I discovered that Hank was a high school math teacher.

During the next hour or so we made small talk, ate some of the burgers and dogs being cooked by a few volunteers and had a few beers. John and I got along well since I worked with electronics while in the military and he, while being an electrician was expanding his business to include the installation of home entertainment systems and both residential and commercial security systems. Although, Hank seemed like a genuinely nice guy, as a teacher, he didn't have much to add to the conversation but listened attentively while adding to the conversation here and there.

After about another half hour I felt the need to use the bathroom and not wanting to walk across the field only to find the dispenser empty, I grabbed a roll of toilet paper from Arlene's bag and began my journey as inconspicuously as possible.

The men's room was empty when I entered so I had my choice of the three commodes and chose the one farthest from the door. I had just situated myself when I heard two guys enter, talking and moving toward the urinals.

"Typical Nick," I heard one say.

"Yeah, comes to a picnic like he's dressed for a yacht club", a deeper voice then said. Nice to have money. I saw his new red Jaguar in the parking lot."

The first guy added, with a little sarcasm:

"Yeah, and having a hook in the governor's office certainly hasn't hurt him. Did you ever work with him?"

"Back when we were in uniform, the deeper voice replied. Nick the Prick was his nickname. He could talk a nun out of her habit. Chased anything in a skirt back then."

I heard the water running in the sink as the first guy, said:

"I don't think much has changed, I heard he's banging one of the secretaries, a married broad, no less."

"Which one? The other asked.

"Not sure, but there's only four girls in the building and there all nice looking and all but one is married. Someday he's going to get jammed up. Either his old lady's going to catch him or some husband is going to put his lights out."

The voices trailed off as the door closed behind them and I was left with an anxious feeling in my gut. It was obvious that the guy they had described was the slick looking dude that Arlene had been talking to when I arrived.

When I got back to the table only Nancy, Hank and Arlene were at the table, so I asked:

"What happened to John and Shelly, did they split already?

"No, Nancy answered, with a wry smile. They've only been married for less than a year and they just found out that Shelly's pregnant. They just took a little romantic stroll down to the lake."

"Well, they had better enjoy it while they can, Hank said chuckling, because when the kids come along there ain't much room for romance."

Nancy playfully threw a rolled-up napkin at his head and whispered: "asshole." We all laughed but mine was more of an obligatory response since a little seed of suspicion had been planted in my mind.

Arlene had never given me any reason to question her fidelity, it was something that had never even entered my mind - until today. The guy I had seen my wife talking to was, in all probability, "Nick the Prick" as described by the two cops I had overheard in the restroom. Knowing his type there was a better than even chance that his bragging was all bullshit, designed to enhance his reputation as a local Lothario. However, if it were true there were two undeniable facts that I had to consider. One was the fact that there were only four secretaries that worked in that building, one was single, three were married and one of those was my wife. As far as I could recall our sex life hadn't declined but I had noticed that Arlene had been acting - - - - -, I don't know- - - - -, just differently, jittery, maybe distracted, lately.

Another fact to consider was that Arlene never worked over-time, never "went out with the girls", didn't bowl or wasn't involved with any activities outside of the house unless it involved me or the kids. There were two or three times a year when she would attend a retirement or promotion party but I couldn't even remember the last time that had happened. Of course, there were the times, every other week, when I worked evenings but with a thirteen and a nine-year-old at home it wouldn't be long before any unusual absences would be brought to light. Therefore, the only time she could be involved in any lustful assignations would be during her lunch hour. "Highly unlikely", I thought.

After leaving the picnic we picked up the boys at the Weng's house but politely declined staying for burgers and beer since we were still full from the picnic. The boys were upstairs changing out of their swim suits so I did eventually accept a beer as Arlene and Laura Weng chatted in the kitchen over a glass of wine. Phil Weng was a veterinarian and a bit of a cop buff, he usually queried me about anything exciting that I may have been involved in lately. He never talked about his profession but I guess there isn't much drama in sticking a gloved finger up a dog's ass or trying to avoid a cat scratching your eyes out.

The rest of the weekend was spent doing the usual family things. I was scheduled for a 3PM to 11PM shift on Monday but, as usual, I was up early and as Arlene got ready for work I got the boys up and moving as I put the coffee on. The boys had to be at school by eight fifteen and I had already walked them to the bus stop when my wife came downstairs to have a quick cup of coffee and a bite to eat.

The first thing I noticed was that although she usually wears slacks, a conservative blouse and comfortable shoes, today she was wearing a black skirt, white silk blouse and modest high heels. Her outfit certainly wasn't provocative, just - out of the ordinary. She always wore a little makeup so that didn't set off any alarms. What did catch my attention was the faint fragrance of perfume as she walked by me to pour her coffee. I didn't ever remember her wearing perfume unless we were going out for the evening or she was feeling a little frisky when going to bed.

All of this was probably due to my paranoia, aroused by those two cops in the bathroom. However, I was determined to put these foolish suspicions to bed, once and for all. The problem was, how?

Police officers don't have the access to stealth that many other occupations afford. I wear a uniform, drive a marked police vehicle and have a GPS in the vehicle that indicates my exact position at any given time on a large monitor at headquarters. Also, the fact that I have two kids, a mortgage and two car payments, I have absolutely no discretionary funds to pay a private investigator. What, or rather, who I had was Joe Sheridan.

Joe was a newly appointed Fullerton County Deputy Sheriff when he was assigned to me as his training officer after he graduated the academy. Like me he was an Army vet who had served time in Iraq. Joe had taken advantage of the GI Bill also and was going to school, part time, for computer science. After receiving his degree, he unsuccessfully tried to lobby the sheriff's office to establish a computer crimes division, which was on their drawing board but nowhere near fruition. Once the county trimmed the submitted budget there were several 'pie in the sky' plans that had to be postponed and one of them was the computer crimes division.

The Fullerton City PD did have a computer crimes division consisting of three civilian employees. The problem, for them, was that they needed a sworn officer to oversee the operation and none of their officers were qualified. Once Joe got wind of the vacancy he applied and since he was already a sworn officer in the state the city PD waived all of the usual recruit requirements and hired him to run the division.

Joe was a little younger than me but because of our shared combat experience we had hit it off right away. Eventually, when he and his wife, Rosalee were looking to buy a house he thought that he would remain a sheriff, so they purchased a house in a community not far from mine and since it was an easy commute into the city had decided to remain there. We ran into one another from time to time and he and his wife had even been to our house, and we to his, on several occasions. Not only was I about to ask him to quietly investigate a fellow officer, which would no doubt violate department policy but I was going to have to tell him why.

I reached him on his department phone and after a few pleasantries asked him if he could do me a favor and call me back on his cell phone. Joe is a savvy guy and realized right away that whatever I had to say was something I didn't want on department records, so he agreed, without hesitation.

Fifteen minutes later he returned my call and not wanting to insult him by pussy footing around I told him my concerns and asked if he could do some digging for me. Without hesitation he replied:

"I can tap some personnel info right from my desk and I also have some guys in the field that owe me some favors and I can discretely reach out to them." After a moment's hesitation, he added: "I hope you're wrong Mike but I certainly understand your need to know and your name will never be mentioned."

Five days later I got a call on my cell from Joe and without preamble he asked:

"Do you have a few minutes? Are you free to talk?"

When I answered yes to both questions he began:

"First of all, what I have learned is no way conclusive as to completely satisfying your inquiry but let me say that some of the info is from confidential personnel files that I was able to access without any risk of discovery. Other info was from what will remain, unnamed, but as reliable, sources with little or no chance of repercussions."

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byWritewinger© 60 comments/ 16273 views/ 16 favorites

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