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Authors: Timothy Allan Pipes

Bay of Deception

BOOK: Bay of Deception
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Copyright © 2014 by Timothy A. Pipes
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof
may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever
without the express written permission of the publisher
except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.


Printed in the United States of America

First Printing, 2014








To Terri,


who taught me to try














The dried blood which covered Oliver Peidmont’s hands and forearms resisted the shower’s flow, the spray merely bouncing off his blood-caked matted hair.  Then bit by bit, the hardened residue began to melt under the water’s pressure and heat and he found himself wading in a swirling pool of red.  For awhile he stayed under the hot stream, hoping to wash away more than his wife’s blood.

Peidmont’s slightly rounded face was losing its youthful ruggedness, while his six foot frame remained muscular and trim due to his evening jogs.  In addition to the ornamental nicks and scrapes of everyday police work, his body also bore two knife scars, mementos of his past police work in L.A.  The small weapon used by the enraged skinhead had first slashed his thigh, then slipped just below his bullet proof vest to gouge at his kidneys, putting him in the hospital for several weeks. 

His hair, more sandy colored than blonde rarely held to a distinct style and was constantly subject to gravity and wind, creating a boyish appearance.

Peidmont stepped free of the shower, grabbed a nearby towel and drying off, experienced once again the evenings nightmarish events as they replayed over and over in his mind.  Now, dressed in jeans and a faded grey sweatshirt, he pulled on his old weekend loafers fighting disbelief that only hours before his wife, Linda had been rushed into emergency surgery.

He stared at himself in the large bathroom mirror and whispered the silent mantra-like thought which had kept him going.

“She’s going to be all right.”


Standing at the top of the stairs outside his bedroom, Oliver watched as Detective Vincent Donetelli on the landing below, shifted slowly from one leg to the other.  Two uniformed policemen sat on the living room couch and it was clear Donetelli, his friend wasn’t there to simply check on him.  When the older cop turned and looked up at Oliver, the craggy face showed more grimace than smile.

Of medium height with thick dark hair, Donetelli was a second generation Italian whose parents had come to work the canneries of central California in the 1930s and ‘40s.  They’d stayed, along with many other immigrants, even though the sardines had departed long before Donetelli had first shaved.  Over the years, the Donetelli name had become a pillar of influence on the Monterey Peninsula and  as chief detective for the city’s police department, Donetelli accepted such power as almost his birthright.

When Oliver descended the stairs, Donetelli gestured him toward the kitchen and he followed, leaving the two cops alone with their tired discussion of the ailing Forty-Niners.

Somewhat soft around the edges but in adequate shape, Donetelli was at least twenty years Oliver’s senior and stood a good six inches shorter.  Despite their difference in age, their friendship had grown steadily over the last three years and he was now Oliver's closest friend. 

“She’s still under anesthesia, Ollie,” Donetelli said sitting down at the kitchen table.  Sitting opposite him, Oliver made no response and Donetelli rose, stepping to the nearby cupboard. “You come home for a change of clothes?”  Oliver nodded silently as his friend pulled two mugs out and placed them on the counter.               

“God, Ollie...what the hell happened?”  Donetelli stared intently at him.  When no response came he began making a pot of coffee.  His friend knew his way around the kitchen from his many visits and as the silence continued to build, he ground the coffee, poured water, inserted the filter and coffee before turning it on.

Seated once more, Oliver could feel Donetelli's patient gaze as he sat staring blankly at the tables surface.  Finally, he leaned back tiredly.

“She fell, Vince.  Hit her head on this table leg. Went into convulsions a minute or two later.” It hurt to lie to his good friend, but he saw no other way.

Donetelli shook his head, then looked straight at him.

“Ollie, they got it all on tape, you saying you hit her.”  He reached over and gripped Oliver’s forearm.  “I know you, Ollie.  You’d
hit Linda.”  Oliver didn’t respond and the aroma of brewing coffee seemed to suddenly fill the kitchen.  After a few more seconds of silence, Donetelli released his arm.  “Talk to me, Ollie.” 

Oliver took a deep breath.  “She fell, Vince, she fell and hit her head. That’s...what happened.”

“Ollie!"  Frustration crept into Donetelli’s voice.
to me!  You know I'm not here on a personal basis, This is official.  On top of that, I just found out that somebody’s already leaked this to Sullivan.”  Disgust flared on Donetelli’s face as he spoke the name.  "And that means he'll soon know about the 911 tape as well.  You’ve got no choice but to come clean on this my friend, or he’ll hang you.”

"Vince," he said, staring hard at his friend.  "You...don’t understand.” 

As if to emphasize his words, Oliver got up and stepped to the tile counter.  He waited briefly as the pot finished brewing, then filled both mugs before turning and set them on the table.  “I know that bastard Sullivan has enough to detain me, perhaps even charge me.  But when Linda comes out of surgery and wakes up, she’ll set everything straight.”  Oliver sat down then, and they sipped coffee in silence for several minutes. 

The two uniformed cops came into the kitchen from the living room and Donetelli turned to look at the pair with a pained expression.

“Sullivan got one of his cronies to threaten your retirement if you didn't bring me in, didn’t he, Vince?” 

Donetelli lowered his head slightly, his voice little more than a whisper.

“He told Chief Dawson to send that asshole, Chriswell, who was more than eager...but then he turned sadistic as usual and decided to make my life hell one last time before I’m gone.”  

Peidmont shook his head in disbelief.

“Two weeks before your retirement and Sullivan is still pulling that kind of crap!  He’s an even bigger prick than I thought!”  A familiar anger swelled within him and he was suddenly determined to make this as easy on his friend as was possible. 

"Vince, Oliver said, standing. “You’ve been promising me a look at Monterey’s new holding cell for months.  I think your talk of having a bigger cell than ours is just your way of starting another pissing contest.” 

The two uniformed cops stared at him as if he’d lost it.

Donetelli stood slowly, his voice low.  “Ollie, if it wasn’t for Betty, I’d tell Sullivan to...”

“I know, Vince,” Oliver said quietly.  “I’d be doing the same thing if some asshole had me by my pension."  Turning toward the two cops, he held out both wrists. "So who gets the honor of cuffing me?”

Before either could respond, Donetelli stepped forward.

“There's no need for that!” The older cop spat angrily, eyeing the cop who'd reached for his cuffs.”

Keeping a respectable distance, both officers followed Oliver and Donetelli as they made their way out to the unmarked cruiser and the short drive to the Monterey Police Department.


Five months later, Oliver Piedmont sat in his unmarked police cruiser eating lunch, the Monterey Bay glistening before him in the mid-October sun.  As he took in the view, an impressively dusty Toyota Camry pulled up a few feet from the NO PARKING sign across the street. A young couple, dressed casually for vacation climbed out and walked toward the surf.  Feeling generous, Oliver decided to save what he'd guessed were newly-weds fifty dollars.

“If you park there,” he called from his open window, “you’ll have a parking ticket for a souvenir!”  Sudden recognition of his unmarked police car sent the couple back toward their own vehicle, neither of them willing to look him in the eye.   Michigan plates explained the seven or eight states worth of dust on the Camry and Oliver wondered whether they just didn’t see it anymore.  The Japanese import discreetly pulled away from the marked red curb and was soon around the corner.  

It had been a week since Oliver had returned to duty and taking a bite from his sandwich, he felt as if his life might almost get back to normal.  As normal as it would ever be, he thought, after all that had happened.  He took another bite, then turned his police radio up: a fender-bender on Lighthouse avenue near the theater, a couple of high schoolers cited for smoking pot down on the beach.  Another arrested for shoplifting on the hill.

“We’ve had worse Tuesday mornings,” he said aloud, popping the last of his sandwich into his mouth.  Gathering up the wrappings, he stuffed them into the brown paper sack and lifted the microphone free of its cradle.  He cleared his throat before speaking.

“PG Base, this is Peidmont, checking in.” Static sounded as he released the com button.

“Copy that, Ollie.” Tom Richardson’s voice came through the small speaker in the car’s dash. “Great to have you back.”  Richardson had just returned from two weeks vacation in the Catskills the day before.

“Thanks, Tom, great to be back.  How was vacation?” 

“Fantastic, Ollie!  Best fishing in the world, umm...”  Richard’s hesitated.  “Chief Williams wants you to go over to the McKenny residence.  He thinks Mrs. McKenny’s ready to file charges.”

The ham and turkey which had tasted so good a moment before suddenly turned sour on him.  The grating of static, something he hated after eight years of police work poured from the speaker and still he found himself unable to move. 

“Ollie, you copy that?”  Richardson’s voice abruptly cut off the noise.

“Yeah, Tom," Oliver said, forcing himself to reply. "I heard.” 

He thought briefly of asking Collinson to take Mrs. McKenny, but decided against it.  “I’ll check back in when I’m there, Peidmont out.”  

It was at times like this that he felt the pain of Donetelli’s absence most.  He sighed and wondered what state he and Betty were driving through at that moment.  Their new forty foot recreational vehicle had become their pride and joy and from the way Vince drove, Oliver guessed that probably a Minnesota or perhaps even a Maine sticker already dotted the back of their new roving home.  He hoped retirement was all his good friend had hoped it would be. 

Sitting in jail for ninety-one days had left him plenty of time to think about not only his friends, but his own life as well.  Jack Sullivan, the District Attorney had attempted to transfer him to the county jail while on trial, not a healthy move for a cop, but Donetelli had used his family’s considerable influence to prevent it.  So he'd spent May, June and July in the, 'Pink Hotel 'and his name for his 8x10 cell. 

The calming effect of soft colors on prisoners had not escaped modern police psychologists and his environment had been bathed in the soft colors of Easter and young girl’s hair ribbons.  Shades which now made him mildly nauseous at times.

He readjusted his mental estimate of Donetelli’s location, deciding that his mentor of the past three years must now be cruising the streets of New York or the Bronx.  Donetelli and Betty had put their trip on hold until the end of his brief trial, finally leaving just a week or two ago.  Oliver sighed and again wished he’d taken his friend’s advice to 'come clean.'  He hadn’t and all that had taken place couldn’t now be undone, especially to his marriage.

He turned the ignition key, bringing the engine to life and pulling the gear shift into drive, waited for a sporty red Scion before pulling onto Scenic Avenue and the McKenny residence.  

Eight blocks later his breathing had almost returned to normal, his whitened knuckles beginning to show signs of color as they released their death grip on the steering wheel.  He turned up Congress Avenue and thought about the police in L. A. having video cameras in every patrol car.  A feature that was coming to Pacific Grove in the next year no doubt, but looking in his rearview mirror, Oliver felt relief that nothing recorded his pale image at just that moment. 

His guilty-looking mug shot featured in the local and regional papers had permanently cured any desire for celebrity he might once have had.  Thanks to District Attorney Sullivan, his fifteen minutes of fame had become a three-month nightmare.

BOOK: Bay of Deception
11.33Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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