Fairfax stirred his fireplace with his poker. The birch logs crackled. Sparks flew up. Glew slept on the sofa while an episode of Archer played on Netflix. Glew had insisted on watching something even though Fairfax rarely turned on his TV and had no subscription to any streaming service. So Glew started Fairfax an account and tacked it onto his monthly bill. Considering he was worth millions, he would probably be okay.
Fairfax stared out the window. The snow fell hard on his yard and on his truck and of course, on Glew’s car. Glew mentioned nothing about spending the night. He never checked the forecast either. Now he would pay for this. Fairfax smiled to himself. The city boy hated being stuck in the country. He could wake Glew up.
A pair of headlights made its slow way along the road. It couldn’t have been going more than twenty miles an hour. Good harsh conditions show people their own toughness or well, lack of toughness. He’d been stuck in the cold plenty of times. Of course, snow was not common in Tennessee- even in January. As a kid, a couple of dudes locked him out of a sleep-over one time. They giggled inside in the warm comfort of the house. Fairfax managed to build himself a small fire with a match he found on the bottom of one of his friend’s shoes. From there, he had a pretty good time for himself. Hours later, they checked on him and invited him inside. He smiled and slept like a baby while a few of them woke up with colds the next day.
From then on, Fairfax tended to spend some time out in the cold whenever the temperature dropped in a big way. Why not? He could gauge his own toughness. If nothing else, it’s so peaceful.
Glew grunted. “Oh, man. Archer’s at it again. He…hey! What’s that?”
Glew sat up and wiped his eyes. “That’s not…oh, man.”
He drew the “man” out for a few seconds.
Fairfax said, “You’re stuck with me, old buddy.”
“Aw, man. I was going to go out tonight. A client was getting out. This guy has all kinds of friends and lots of ladies hanging around. He invited me out and yet, here I sit with a blizzard on the way.”
Fairfax poked at the fire. “Sounds like a good time.”
“Yeah. Damn. Maybe I could call a wrecker. He could hook my car up and drive me to the bar. What do you think? Want to go?”
Fairfax set the poker down. “I had another idea.”
The two twin four-wheelers sat there side-by-side. A pair of cammo beasts ready to ride off into the night. Fairfax and Glew had protected a lady’s house from a couple of bums. She rewarded them with the four-wheelers she acquired in a divorce which stemmed from another bum trying to get into her house after numerous affairs. That man’s loss is their gain. One look at the machines switched Glew’s priorities like a light. Fairfax pulled his gloves on. Glew shook his head. “You wear gloves but no sleeves?”
Fairfax climbed onto his four-wheeler. “It’s called style.”
Glew slid onto the seat of his beast. “If you say so.”
He took off through the backyard.
The snow pelted Fairfax’s face. Glew wore a baseball cap but Fairfax wore nothing on his head. He’d never gotten into wearing a hat of any kind. The icy breeze covered his arms as he sped through the yard on into the woods behind them. He slowed his pace, picking his way through trees. Glew took a different route and got stuck by a frozen creek at one point. Fairfax waved to him and kept on going.
Once he got out of the woods, he crossed the snow-covered road to the other side where he passed through a field as the snowfall increased. The flakes covered his eyebrows and nose. He licked some flakes off his top lip.
He passed through another stretch of woods. Then he stopped and killed the engine.
A two-story house stood just beyond the woods. People talked and yelled and laughed. The lights blazed forth from the windows. Plumes of his breath floated up into the sky and then vanished. Glew rode up behind him. He revved the engine. “Get a move-on!”
Fairfax motioned for him to kill his engine. Glew did so and listened. “Wow. There’s a party after all! Let’s check it out.”
Micah walked upstairs to the first bedroom on the right. There were eleven folks present at this little get-together, including his friend Colton who kept watch. Micah peeked inside. The light was off. So he turned on his phone’s flashlight and kept the beam aimed at the floor. He walked through and searched until he found the goods- a Playstation 4 and an Xbox.
He detached them from the TV and slipped them into his bag. He bumped into the bed frame. He put his hand over his mouth. This would stifle any noise. Colton kept a good watch. He had these people where he wanted them. The snow provided the perfect cover. This is where his weather app paid off. He scanned the room with his light until he spotted an LG laptop.
Right on the money.
He scooped it into the bag.
Colton coughed downstairs.
Micah left the bedroom and shut the door behind him. Then he placed the bag in the hall closet. Colton kept on coughing. Someone walked around downstairs.
Micah walked down the stairs. Colton glimpsed at him and then walked into the kitchen. Micah followed him. Two of the women cracked open a bottle of wine and toasted to the two handsome men in the room. Colton grabbed his own glass and toasted to himself and Micah. They offered him a glass but Micah turned it down. He still smiled, though. It is best to keep these people at ease.
The women giggled and looked at them. The one said, “We’re not talking about you two dorks.”
Colton said, “Sure you are.”
The one said, “There’s two studs outside that pulled up on four-wheelers.”
This wasn’t part of the plan.
Micah walked to the window. Colton joined him. One lanky guy rode a four-wheeler in the yard, carving out doughnuts. Micah could kick him right off that ride.
The other guy though was stockier and wore no sleeves out in this icy rural hell. He sat on his four-wheeler watching the lanky guy but still. He watched everybody else at the same time. He would be tougher to deal with if it came down to it. He probably wasn’t a cop but he had been in combat of some kind.
Colton said, “What do you think?”
Micah watched the two women in the kitchen pause by the door. He motioned toward them. Colton said, “Y’all ain’t running back out there already.”
The one said, “Yeah we are! Dorks!”
They giggled their way outside.
Colton said, “So?”
Micah said, “I do not know. They may be up to something. I have the merchandise in the hall closet, secured safely behind coats.”
“You want to head out now?”
“No. Let’s step outside and determine the risk factor.”
“Um. Sure, dude.”
“You’ve got to loosen up out there. You’re too like, business sounding. We’re here for fun. Right?”
“Fun. Yes. Yes. You are correct. Okay. I will blow caution to the wind and have a good old time with these people. Or these, folks. That is it. Folks.”
They put their jackets and beanies on and stepped outside on the now white front lawn.
Glew spun the four-wheeler around yet again. When he stopped, he looked around. The snow had stopped. He howled into the air. The others joined him. And that brunette gave him the eye. He gave her the eye right back. He drove over to her. Then he revved the engine a few times. She laughed. “You sure know how to make that beast purr.”
Glew adjusted his cap. “Yeah. That’s what I do.”
She smiled and directed her focus up to the house. On the second floor maybe?
Fairfax rode over. The brunette looked at Fairfax and then at Glew. “So who are you guys? I’m Lori.”
Glew said, “I’m Wally. That’s Fairfax.”
Lori’s eyes bulged. “Wally. I like that. Fairtax?”
Fairfax shook his head.
Glew said, “Yeah. He catches hell over it.”
The other folks all stood around bouncing a beach ball across the yard in a circle. There were four guys and two ladies. Two other women made snow angels on the other side of the yard. Glew pointed at them. “So y’all are having a beach party in the snow?”
Lori said, “We are. Want to join in?”
Glew said, “You bet. Come on, Fairtax.”
Fairfax grunted and stepped off the four-wheeler. Lori took Glew’s hand. Glew winked at her. She led him over to the circle. He looked back. Fairfax stood over by Glew’s four-wheeler. “Fairtax! What are you doing?”
Fairfax ambled toward them.
Lori said, “Isn’t he cold with no sleeves on?”
“Nah, he’s one hell of a man.”
She said, “Kind of like you. Huh?”
Glew said, “Well, I-
The beach ball bounced off his face. A few of the guys laughed. Glew studied the group. Now there were six guys and three girls, counting Lori of course. The two guys laughing were new. Where had they come from?
Fairfax came up behind Glew and said, “Great defense, Walter.”
Lori said, “Walter?”
Glew rubbed his cheek. “It’s Wally.”
They bounced the ball around the circle. The other guys seemed younger from the way they spoke. Maybe early twenties or even late teens. The two guys over there though seemed different. They kept watching Fairfax and himself. The other guys just bounced the ball.
Fairfax jumped in and protected Glew from getting beaned again. He nudged him. “Get your head in the game, Walter.”
Lori stood close to him. She was warming up which was fine, but he needed to let Fairfax know about those guys. He always picks up on this stuff and yet here he played along with his focus on the ball.
They played the bouncing game for a while with Lori moving closer to Glew. He bumped her hip with his own. She bumped him back and smiled. Any other time, this would be great.
One of the guys spiked the ball into the center of the circle and yelled, “It’s beer-thirty! Who wants one?”
From there, the group broke into small factions. The two women who’d been making snow angels bounced the ball between them.
Lori said, “Do you two live around here?”
Fairfax said, “A few fields away.”
She looked up at the sky. “The snow may be coming back. Y’all want to go inside?”
Fairfax said, “Sure.”
Glew watched the other two guys who stood by the porch talking. He said, “Lori, you go ahead. I need to ask Fairtax here a question.”
“Secrets don’t make friends, Walter.”
Glew looked at her. “So we’re friends now?”
She said, “If you’re lucky.”
Glew said, “I’m always lucky.”
Glew draped an arm over Fairfax’s shoulders. “Walk with me for a second, pal.”
Lori said, “Well since you two boys want to be alone…”
She walked toward the door, holding her hand out for fresh snow.
Fairfax said, “What’s up?”
“Those two guys by the steps. They keep watching us.”
“No shit. Why do you think I got these?”
He held up both sets of four-wheeler keys.
Glew said, “Oh. Good work. We should keep an eye on them.”
“Will do. You go on inside with the lady.”
“I almost want to stay out here.”
“I know. Maybe the winter is messing with me. I’ll head inside but I’ll keep my eyes open.”
Thank you so much for reading. For the rest of this story and for four more Fairfax & Glew crime tales, follow the link below and check out Fairfax & Glew Volume 1. Thank you and happy reading!