Series: Carlisle Cops #5
Published On: Jan 16 2017
Brock Ferguson knew he might run into his ex-boyfriend, Vincent Geraldini, when he took his first job as a police officer in Carlisle. Vincent’s attitude during a routine traffic stop reminds Brock why their relationship didn’t last.
What Brock doesn’t expect is finding two scared children in the trunk of a Corvette. He’s also surprised to learn the kids’ mother is Vincent’s sister. But his immediate concern is the safety of the two children, Abey and Penny, and he offers to comfort and care for them when their mother is taken into custody.
Vincent is also shocked to learn what his sister has done. For the sake of the kids, he and Brock bury the hatchet—and soon find they have much more in common than they realized. With Abey and Penny’s help, they grow closer, until the four of them start to feel like a family. But Vincent’s sister and her boyfriend—an equal-opportunity jerk—could tear down everything they’re trying to build.
“Apparently a friend of your sister got a new car and they decided to take it out for a ride. It was a Corvette without a backseat, so your sister put the kids in the trunk.” When Vinny gasped, Brock nodded to confirm what he’d said. “Someone reported her, and I stopped the car and found the kids.”
“Where is Rhonda now?”
“She’s in jail, pending a hearing in the morning.”
“Can you get her some help?” Vinny asked as Carter joined them. “My sister has mental health problems. She sometimes hears voices and she’s supposed to be on medication, but she doesn’t always take it. But even when she does, her ability to make sound judgments is compromised.”
“I don’t know. At the moment it’s pretty much up to the courts and social workers. But what about her friend? I would hope that one of them would be able to think clearly.”
“Rhonda doesn’t pick her friends for clear thinking. She picks them based upon their ability to go along with her ideas and notions. So any of Rhonda’s friends aren’t likely to be the kind of person to act as a voice of reason. Is she being tested?”
“Yes. We’re running a number of tests to see if she was impaired in any way. She didn’t seem particularly lucid when I took her into custody.”
Vinny nodded and sat back, putting his hands over his eyes. “I was always afraid of something like this. I knew she’d had Abey, but I didn’t have a clue about Penny. I think I talked to her last about six months ago, and then maybe a year before that. She’d only call when she wanted something, and the last few times, I’ve had to tell her no. I wanted to help, I really did, but she bled my parents dry and ran them into debt. What should have been relatively comfortable retirement years turned into hard ones for them. She pestered and begged for whatever they had, and because Rhonda was their daughter, they gave her what they could.” Vinny seemed about ready to fall apart, which was eye-opening for Brock. Vinny took a deep breath and blinked. “At least the kids are safe.” He released his breath. “So what happens now?”
The trepidation in Vinny’s voice touched Brock. He really cared about these kids and that said something about him. Brock wanted to think of Vinny as being selfish and uncaring. That made the earlier rejection easier to handle. But he wasn’t, and Brock was relieved for Abey and Penny’s sake, but it left him wondering what he’d done wrong.