Log:Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing
"God DAMN it, Fran!"
She'd seen Robert pissed off on many occasions, but never this pissed off. Fran knew she'd be pushing things too far, that he'd get angry, and was prepared to weather the storm.
Bubba paced around the motel room, hands tugging at his long, scraggly hair. "I fucking told you there are reasons we don't go into town without cause, and I certainly fucking told you why we don't fuck with those five families! Do you have any fucking clue how bad this is?! If Swindon finds out---"
"Oh fuck Swindon," Fran spat. "Swindon, Swindon, Swindon! All you ever do is fret about fucking Swindon! Does Swindon have your dick and balls in a mason jar, Robert?"
Bubba wheeled on her, face twisted in anger and a hint of fear. He pointed, stabbed an accusing finger at her, but his words took a moment to form. When they came, they were hissed and shaky. "Swindon made me, goddamnit!"
"Yeah," said Fran, stepping right up to that finger. "Made me, too. Over a century before you, Robert, need I remind you. I know Swindon much better than you do."
Bubba laughed. It was a cracked, nervous laugh. A gallows laugh. He rubbed his face and turned away from her. "You're gonna get us all killed," he muttered. "You really are, and you don't even care."
A knock at the door. In the daytime. The staff of the shitty motel were all familiars with explicit orders to not let anyone disturb them during daylight hours, so that meant only one thing. "Cops," Bubba hissed. "This gets better and better. Do nothing. Say nothing. I'll handle it."
He composed himself and moved to the door, bracing for the sunlight he was about to be exposed to. He was strong enough to handle daylight. Fran, too. But the kids? He had to make sure they weren't disturbed. He opened the door with a squint and offered his best sleazy smile. "Afternoon, Chief. What brings you all the way out to our little shithole?"
Chief Nancy Thistle smirked back at him. "Bubba," she greeted. "Hope this is a bad time. I could use a pick-me-up, and ruining your day definitely counts as that. Alas, I'm not here for you. I need to talk to Francine. Is 'The Queen' around, by chance?"
Bubba glanced over to where Fran stood behind the door, then back. He made direct eye contact with the Chief, reaching into her mind through the door contained in the eye. Her mind was strong, but Bubba was a master locksmith. It just took a little patience to get inside.
"Not right now, but you're welcome to come in, have a look around. Can I ask what she did this time?" Bubba stepped back and let her in.
Nancy Thistle stepped in and looked around, looking right past Francine standing only a few feet away. And past the guns, the drugs, and everything else. She saw what Bubba wanted her to see. "We've had several complaints that she's been getting kids - underage kids - drunk, or high, or... Who knows? You tell me, Robert."
Robert. Only Fran, Nancy and Swindon called him that. He gritted his teeth, grinding them slightly. "Yeah, she may have shared a little with some town kids. I've already talked to her about that, Chief. She understands the rules and it won't happen again."
Nancy turned and arched a 'brow at him. "It happened again last night."
"Yeah, I know. Out here, but still. She knows not to do it again."
Nancy nodded thoughtfully. "She better. The Marchants in particular will skin her alive if she hurts one of theirs. I know I have no jurisdiction out here, and you know not to bring your crap into my town. We've had an arrangement, Robert, that's worked well enough over the years. But Francine has made that difficult. I'd hate to get the Sheriff out here. Or god forbid the Feds. You want the Feds out here, Robert?"
"No ma'am, I do not."
"Didn't think so," said Nancy. Again she looked around, again right through Fran, who didn't move or say a word. "If she gives our kids another round of whatever biker shit you're peddling, you'll have Feds so far up your ass they can check your prostate. You must be getting close to the age where you could use one, though you seem to age better than most. But that's not my only problem, Robert. We have a missing woman and several kids have called in 'anonymously' - we can tell they're kids - to say they watched Fran pull this missing woman out of a steamer trunk and tear her to pieces, eating her."
Bubba glared at Fran, balling up fists and making a 'wring your neck' gesture at her that quickly dropped when Nancy turned around again. "That's just crazy," he said.
"Right? If I brought in a forensics team, I wouldn't find anything from Ms. Lang around here, would I?" Nancy asked, turning back to face him.
"Of course not," said Bubba. He smiled and stepped closer, holding eye contact. "In fact, you've thoroughly searched this room, and all the others, and haven't found a single thing of interest. No sign of Ms. - Lang, was it? - Ms. Lang, or any contraband, and the kids all seem happy and healthy. You're terribly disappointed, I know, but clearly whatever Fran gave those kids sent them on a bad trip last night and their imaginations got the best of them. Kids, right?"
Nancy smiled faintly, in a daze. "Yeah. Kids."
"Sorry I couldn't be of more help, Chief," said Bubba, leading her back out of the room. "But you have my word that Fran's done playing with townies. Scout's honor. And with nothing to tie Ms. Lang to any of this, what you're left with is the overactive imagination of some teenagers that got way too high. Please let me know if there's anything else I can help you with."
Nancy stepped out, nodding. "Oh I will, Robert. This whole mess is neither forgotten nor forgiven. Fran pulls one more stunt and it's out of my hands." She opened the door to her department SUV, giving one last look back. "Count on it."
"Oh I do, Chief. Drive safe."
Nancy Thistle got in the vehicle and drove away.