Love and Propane

*A Continuation of Case Work, posted on 11/22/16…


“Right here, Barb. Pull in right here.”

“Nolan, chill. Not my first rodeo, you know?”

“See there, 1832 Writersblock Ave.”

“I know where it is, Nolan.”

“Mr. Reinbough’s lair.”

“Lair…Really Nolan?”


“Just the way you talk. It’s going to drive me to drink is all.”

“Not that again. Look, can we just sit here quietly for the next few hours?”

“Geez. Someone’s taking their demotion to heart.”

“Well, that’s the thing. It’s sort of your fault, you know? All that drinking on the job.”

“Was it my fault we cracked the moneymaker’s case, too? I think it was.”

“Okay, okay. We’ve been down this road. But we really need this one. If we can prove that Mr. Reinbough is hacking WI-FI propane grills, then—”

“It’s really come to this, hasn’t it? After all we’ve done.”

“Barb. Three houses have caught fire, and we have reason to believe it was due to Mr. Reinbough’s control tampering. We’re talking propane here. Bombs, okay? I suspect he’s in cahoots with the Catalina Utilitarian Terror Entity. Furthermore, we—”

“Bloop blah bloop blah bloopity blah.”

“Real mature, Barbara. Hey come on. You didn’t bring a flask, did you? Oh. Yes, she did.”

“It’s a drinking game. Every time you say, ‘cahoots’, I have to take a shot. Woo-ha! That’s good. Okay, let’s take the facts, Nolan. First, we have no proof that Mr. Reinbough, is in cahoots—cheers!—with C.U.T.E., as you claim. It’s far more likely he’s simply a douchebag neighbor, charring people’s steaks. Now we’re on a stakeout. Ha! Get it?”


“More like a Steak…out.”

“Barb please.”

“You’re just mad you didn’t think of it. Here, try this.”

“No thanks. And maybe I should drive.”

“Nope. You drive like a grandma. Remember when we were tailing that hearse, and you lost the procession?”

“Never going to live that down.”

“Secondly, we busted the most profitable money laundering ring in Meckelanburg County. Lastly…”

“Barb, are you delusional? The Chet Vanderbilk case? That’s what got us in this mess. When we ended up in the sack together. We would have gotten canned on the spot had it not been for my connections in the department. We’re lucky to be on Barbecue patrol.”

“Uh, huh. Damn that’s a stiff one. Ha! That’s what she said. Speaking of which, what the hell happened to you last night?”

“Let’s get back to work here.”

“You could have called.”

“Barb. I thought we said no strings?”

“And you bought that? Christ, Nolan, I am a woman, which you thoroughly noticed Wednesday night. Twice if I’m not mistaken.”

“I knew this would happen. Every time you drink.”

“Every time you talk. Poor you and your charms, Nolan. You left your wife, slept with your partner, and now she’s head over heels in love with you. Ain’t that the pits?”


“Do not shush me!”

“No. Barb, listen. Line three, I’m getting something here.”

“How convenient.”

“No really, listen.”


“Did he say propane shipment?”

“Did you say you were in love with me?”

“I think so.”

“You think so to propane or love?”

“What’s the difference?”


“Drop off at eight. Steaks on the grill. That’s our cue! Nolan, we need to get moving.”

“Do we call it in?”

“No way. This is our chance. Let’s go undercover. Let’s be in cahoots together.”

“No. Sarge said, no way. Barb, you okay?”

“Whoa. It’s the good stuff. Okay, come on. Please Nolan.”

“All right. But you have to promise to go easy on the flask.”

“I won’t go easy on you, if you’re lucky.”

“I’m not so sure about this.”

“This bust is going to make our careers. But we should probably bring something?”


“Like a housewarming gift. It’s rude to just show up empty handed.”

“Just stay close, and follow my lead, okay?”

“It’s a pretty cute lead.”







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