This scene I cut because it did nothing for the structure of the book but I still think it's cute, so I wanted to share.
It's Dakota convincing himself he needs to talk to the Chief of the Pickleville Police and what happens right before he's able to...
He sat in his truck contemplating whether or not he actually wanted to go through with this. He could just leave town when Ron caught up with him. Just do what he always did to survive. What if Andrew told everyone on the farm? Was that even ethical for him to tell, being that he’s a police officer? Dakota had no idea even how much to tell, if anything.
It wasn’t as if that guy was going to become Dakota’s therapist, although that wasn’t such a bad idea if he were staying. Maybe if he talked about some of his issues with more than just his brother, Jimmy, he’d have less issues.
He looked around the parking lot, taking in his surroundings. He noticed a lady across the street at the auto-mechanics. She was talking to a dark-haired older man that he was sure he’d met once but couldn’t remember the man’s name. The older man had his arms crossed in front of his chest and the lady seemed to be flirting, if the hand she had on the man’s bicep was any indication. The man had his body turned away and looked like he wanted to throw up all over her. Dakota really wanted to tell her that her efforts weren’t working but figured she’d learn that soon enough.
Okay, that made more sense, he thought as a man with shaggy blond hair came out and put an arm around the older man’s waist. The blonde’s name was Luis, Dakota remembered him from a cookout a few months back. That was right before Owen and Neil moved away. Dakota watched as Luis kissed the older man’s cheek. He seemed to linger, making Dakota wonder if he was whispering something in the other man’s ear.
Luis came around a lot to help with Leonard’s care before he passed on to. Dakota thought it was nice to have so many people want to take care of a person the last few moments of their life. He wondered who would care besides his family if Ron did eventually kill him like he always threatened.
Dakota shuttered and opened the glove compartment, pulling out the police reports and restraining order he always carried with him. He took a deep breath and then got out of the truck. He was glad the area was open and didn’t have any hiding places, like alleyways or even one-way streets. He could see everyone around him and that put him at ease.
He walked into the station and up to the counter. The lady behind the desk didn’t look at him for several minutes or even acknowledge his presence. Finally she said, “Can I help you?” without looking away from her computer. She sounded bored.
“I’d like to see the chief of police, please.”
“You’ll have to go to his house. He doesn’t come into the station most Saturday’s. Or wait until tomorrow.”
“No, I’d like to get this over with.”
She finally looked away from the computer screen long enough to get a paper and a pen. She wrote something down and handed it to him.
He looked down at an address and said, “Thank you.” He turned to go but then turned back, asking, “Do you always give strangers the chief’s address?”
“I know who you are. You work for Travis Heath. This is a very small town, Mr. Weaver. You’ll get used to it.” She never even looked up at him the entire time she was talking.
He shuttered, scared that she’d give just anyone his address. “Please don’t ever give out my location to anyone. It doesn’t matter what they tell you.”
“It could mean my life if you did, ma’am,” he told her, whispering it even though they were the only ones in the station at the moment.
She looked up at his face then, her eyes filled with concern for the first time since he’d been in there talking to her. “I won’t.”
He nodded and smiled. “I reckon you’ll keep that promise, ma’am.”
He turned and left the station, getting back to his truck which was parked on the curb. He opened the door and got in, immediately programming the address into the GPS on his phone. He started his truck and followed the directions his phone gave him. He probably could have walked the distance. It was only a few blocks over. He pulled into the driveway of a small blue house that was well kept on the outside.
April Kelley is an author of LGBT Romance. Her works include The Journey of Jimini Renn, which was a Rainbow Awards finalist, Whispers of Home, the Saint Lakes series, and over thirty more.