Chapter 26: Babe Hunter

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Derek whistled, and his partner came running toward him like a freight train. He held his hand up. “Stop.” The dog stopped, but didn’t sit. Derek had been partnered with his K-9 for the last year. He loved her, and like most of the officers in his department, at the end of the dog’s career, their partner got to keep the dog. Essentially, Pepper was his, and Derek loved her more than anything.

He finished his end-of-the-day training session with her and walked her over to the car. “Up.” Pepper jumped in the back, sat on the seat and waited. She was such a brilliant dog. “Good girl, Pep.”

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Chapter 25: Officer Derek Ryder

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Derek couldn’t contain his grin as Grandpa pinned the shield on his chest. Grandpa grinned back, and whispered. “Very proud of you, Ric. Very proud.”

“Thanks, Grandpa.”

With that, the ceremony was over. It had been a quick one, and one that Derek wanted to remember his entire life. It had taken him longer than he anticipated to get into the academy. Before he graduated high school, Derek figured he was a shoe-in for a spot. After his first rejection, he ran to his grandfather. He was Chief of Police after all.

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Chapter 24: Memories and the Future

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Olivia tossed in her bed again. The images were there, taunting her and coming back to her. She woke up again, sweaty and sick. Her stomach rolled and she felt like she was going to throw up.

How could she have been so stupid? She had been drunk  that night. She had never been so drunk, not even with Lucas. Derek had been super drunk, she remembered that much. He could barely speak, let alone walk. She was also really positive that there was no way he would have taken advantage of her. Derek was a lot of things; rapist wasn’t one them.

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Chapter 22: Last Party

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“Okay, rules before you three head out.” Dad said. He still had the keys. It was Derek’s jeep the three of them were sitting in, but Dad had snagged the keys before Derek grabbed them.

“Dad,” Derek groaned. “We know.”

“Just humor me. If you drink, you stay the night. If there’s drugs, you stay away, and you just tell me if there’s a chance you got a contact high. I trust you three not doing drugs.”

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