Trey lifts his flashlight and shines it inside the car, running it over the backseat and then landing it on my father. My father shields his eyes with his elbow.
“That you, Callahan?”
My father nods but doesn’t respond.
Trey laughs again. “Well this is just a real treat.”
I assume Trey knows my father because he’s a defense attorney, and I’m not so sure that’s a good thing for us right now. It’s not uncommon for the lawyers who defend criminals to be loathed by the officers who arrest those criminals.
Trey lowers the flashlight and takes a step back. “Step out of the car, sir.” His words are directed at me, so I do what he says. I open the door and step out. Almost immediately, he grabs me by the arm and pulls until I willingly turn and lay my arms on the hood. He begins frisking me. “You got anything in your possession I should be aware of?”
What the hell? I shake my head. “No. I’m just driving my father home.”
“Have you had anything to drink tonight?”
I think back on the drinks I had at the bar earlier, but that was a couple of hours ago. I’m not even sure if I should bring that up. The hesitation in my answer doesn’t please him. He turns me around and shines the light directly into my eyes. “How much have you had to drink?”
I shake my head and try to look away from the blinding light. “Just a couple. It was earlier.”
He steps back and tells my father to get out of the car. Luckily, my father gets the door open. At least he’s sober enough to do that.
“Come around the car,” Trey says to my father. He watches as my father stumbles from the passenger side, all the way to where I’m standing, holding the edge of the car for support during his journey. He’s obviously drunk and I’m honestly not sure if it’s illegal for a passenger to be intoxicated. As far as Trey knows, my father wasn’t driving.
“Do I have permission to search the vehicle?”
I look at my father for guidance, but he’s leaning against the car with his eyes closed. He looks ready to fall asleep. I debate whether or not to refuse the search, but figure that would just give Trey more reason to become suspicious. Besides, my father knows the repercussions of traveling with anything that could get him into trouble, so even though he was dumb enough to drive after drinking tonight, I seriously doubt he would actually have anything in his possession that could jeopardize his career. I casually shrug and then say, “Go ahead.” I just want Trey to get revenge out of his system so he can be done with it and leave.
Trey orders us to stand near the rear of the vehicle while he leans across the front seat. My father is alert now, watching him closely. He’s wringing his hands together and his eyes are wide with fear. The look on his face is enough for me to know that Trey is more than likely going to find something inside this car.
“Dad,” I whisper, disappointed. His eyes meet mine and they’re full of apologies.
I can’t count the number of times my father has promised me he was going to get help. I think he waited a little too long.
My father closes his eyes when Trey begins making his way to the rear of the vehicle. He sets one, two, three bottles of pills on the car. He proceeds to open each one to inspect the contents.
“Looks like Oxy,” Trey says, rolling a pill between his thumb and forefinger. He looks at me and then at my father. “Either of you have a prescription for these?”
I look at my father, hoping beyond all hope that he does, in fact, have a prescription. I know it’s wishful thinking, though.
Trey smiles. The bastard smiles like he just hit gold. He leans his elbows on the car and begins putting the pills back into their bottles, one by one. “You know,” he says, looking at neither of us, but speaking to us both, “Oxy is considered a penalty group one drug when obtained illegally.” He looks up at me. “Now, I know you aren’t a lawyer like your father here, so let me explain it to you in laymen’s terms.” He stands up straight and puts the caps back on the bottles. “In the state of Texas, being arrested for a penalty group one is an automatic state-jail felony.”
I close my eyes and exhale. This is the last thing my father needs. If he loses his career on top of everything else he’s lost, there’s no way he would survive.
“I suggest, before either of you speak again, that you take into consideration what would happen if a defense attorney were to be charged with a felony. I’m almost certain that would result in the loss of his license to practice law.”
Trey walks around the vehicle and steps between my father and me. He eyes my father up and down. “Think about that for a second. A lawyer, whose entire career consists of defending criminals, loses his career and becomes the criminal. Irony at its best.” Trey then turns and faces me full on. “Did you work tonight, Gentry?”
I tilt my head, confused by his line of questioning.
“You own that studio, right? Wasn’t tonight one of the nights you were open?”
I hate that he knows about my studio. I hate it even more that he’s asking about it.
I nod. “Yeah. First Thursday of every month.”
He takes a step closer. “I thought so,” he says. He rolls the three bottles of pills between his hands. “I saw you leaving the studio with someone earlier tonight. A girl?”
Was he following me? Why would he be following me? And why would he be asking about Auburn?
My throat runs dry.
I can’t believe I haven’t put two and two together until this moment. Of course Auburn would have a connection to Trey. His family is probably the reason she’s back in Texas.
“Yeah,” I say, finding a way to downplay it. “She worked for me tonight, so I walked her home.”
His eyes narrow at my response and he nods. “Yeah,” he says dryly. “I don’t particularly like her working for someone like you.”
I know he’s a cop, but right now all I see is an asshole. The muscles in my arms clench and his eyes immediately fall to the fists at my sides. “What do you mean someone like me?”
His eyes meet mine again with a laugh. “Well, you and I don’t really have the best history, do we? You attacked me the first time we met. As soon as I pulled you over tonight, you admitted to driving under the influence. And now . . .” He looks down at the pills in his hands. “Now I find these in the vehicle you’re driving.”