Last Chance

Last Chance

by A. W. Hopkins


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781475985641
Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
Publication date: 07/11/2013
Pages: 220
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)

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Last Chance

A "Wolf" Mystery

By A. W. Hopkins

iUniverse LLC

Copyright © 2013 A. W. Hopkins
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4759-8564-1


Steven Handler, a junior on a football scholarship at Northern University, had it all looks, physical build, and book smarts. Girls hung around him all the time, waiting for the chance to take him out.

Then things change one night at a homecoming football rally. He bumped into Becky Stiller, a freshmen.

"Excuse me," Steven said. "I didn't see you."

"That's okay."

"Are you new here at Northern University?" He asked.

"Yes, it's my first year here."

"Pardon me for my bad manners. My name is Steven Handler," he said reaching out to shake her hand.

"Becky Stiller," she reached for his hand.

They talked and both agreed to meet again. They became best friends and decided to go steady.

Steven always a gentleman around her, treated her with respect. Becky couldn't wait to have her parents meet him. Becky and Steven were so much in love with each other.

* * *

Becky's father had a very successful business in construction and always seemed to acquire several government contracts. His name came up many times, both in state and federal offices that were key positions. He always watched out for Becky, more because of his reputation than anything else. Becky's mother was always caught in the middle between the two when it came down to Becky's boy-friends.

After Becky's parents had heard so much about Steven, they agreed to have him over for dinner one night so they could meet him. Father had never approved of any of her other boyfriends, but Becky was sure he would like Steven because of his knowledge in construction from past jobs he held.

"So ..., this is the guy you've been telling us so much about?" her father said gruff.

Steven reached out to shake the elder man's hand but Becky's father didn't reciprocate the gesture.

"Father, Steven is on the NU football team, and he has a good chance of making All-American this year."

"Then what?" Her father asked.

"I hope to go into professional football after college, sir," Steven answered.

No one said much during the meal. Becky tried to keep cheerful conversation going, but her father wasn't in any mood to talk. Steven, feeling really out of place, tried to make idle conversation. Becky'd mother already knew she was to keep quiet because her husband always made the decisions and her opinions were never taken seriously. She had been embarrassed on several occasions.

* * *

After the meal, Becky's father asked Steven of his plans after football and his studies in school. Steven tried to keep upbeat in his answers, but he didn't impress Becky's father.

Steven said he had to get back to the dorm and excused himself. Becky walked him to the door and kissed him good night.

Becky went back into the living room all excited, waiting to hear good things about Steven.

"Well, Father, what do you think of Steven?"

Her father didn't look up, right away. "Becky, I don't want you seeing him again."

"What! What's wrong? Steven is nice, caring, and polite. We love each other."

"There are more important things in life than just football. What happens if he gets injured and can't play anymore? Then what? His studies are not directed at anything. They're just enough to get him through college."

"This one time, you will not run my life!"

"Becky, I forbid you to see him again."

"We'll see about that Father."


After the Blue Society case, I put in another year with the department while sitting behind a desk. I became increasingly bored with the job, so I put in for my retirement, leaving as a captain.

After going through a retirement party and others trying to change my mind about leaving, Jeri and I married and moved north to a cabin on a lake.

"You know, Jon, this life will become boring to you," Jeri said.

I knew she was right, but I wanted to enjoy as much of this life as I could right now.

Baron, our German shepherd dog, and almost 9 months old now was very protective and lay near the fire-place.

"Lets enjoy this while we can."

Later that evening, we went for a walk through the woods. Baron was running ahead, blazing a trail.

Jeri turned and looked at me. "Do you still think that the Blue Society case is really closed?"

"You know, I keep thinking about that phone call and who the person might have made it."

I picked up a stick and threw it past Baron, startling him. The hair on his back raised up as he approached the spot where the stick had landed.

"Look over there at Baron."

"Always defensive about unexplained noises, isn't he?"

We walked and held hands.

Jeri asked again. "So what do you think about the phone call?"

"Some-body had access to our number that's for sure. How? I don't know. Maybe he works or knows some-one in the telephone company."

"Now-a-days, people can get just about anything off the Internet. A good hacker can get into anything they want."

"True, and with enough money from another party it would be tempting."

"Did you try to trace the call?"

"Came from a prepaid phone, the kind you can get any where."

We walked back to the cabin. I picked up today's newspaper and scanned it over.

"Look here, a girl from Northern University is missing."

"Does this catch your eye for some reason?"

As I read more of the story, there seemed to be more to it. Becky Stiller was abducted from the campus during the day.

"Why didn't she yell or make some kind of commotion?" I said.

She was right over my shoulder reading along with me.

"Was she threatened with a weapon?" Jeri said.

As I kept reading, I came up with a thought.

"Maybe the abductor threatened some-one else's harm."

"Are you going to get involved in this case? If you are, I hope you'll need help."

"Something just doesn't wash. I'm going to contact the lead investigator and see what he has," I said.

I got on the computer and brought up the case on file from the police software I was allowed to keep. Detective Len Barker was the lead investigator.

Becky Stiller a freshman at Northern University from a very wealthy family, was five-foot-eight with short brown hair. She had brown eyes and weighed one hundred forty pounds.

"I'm gonna give Detective Barker a call and see what he has," I said

"Do you think it's a sexual abduction? From her picture on the screen, she's a very pretty young woman."

"I don't know."

Now I, the Wolf, was back and interested.

I called Detective Barker on my cell phone.

On the third ring, a male voice answered with a gruff, raspy voice from smoking too much.

"Hello, Detective Barker speaking."

As soon as I mentioned the case, Len replied he was glad to have my interest. He said he would welcome my help and bring me up to speed as soon as I could see him.


It was my first time back in the city of Chicago and the 105 precinct since the Blue Society trials and the memories that went with it.

The Blue Society, a hate group within the Chicago Police Department singling out gays officers, had brutally murdered Linda Gomez and a couple male officers. Officer Hillary Denham, a gay officer, had been scared enough for her life that she wasn't much help in solving the case, but she did come forward for the trial with valuable testimony to put away those responsible.

I met Len at an old watering hole of mine that was once called Dew Drop Inn. Now it was under new management, redecorated, and renamed Rusty's Steak House.

Everything was changed now, with no pool table or jukebox. It was strictly a steak house. A small bar room was in the back.

I drove up in my Corvette and met Len outside. We shook hands.

"It's good to see you again, Wolf."

He reached back inside his car and pulled out a manila folder with a file in it, Becky Stiller's.

Len, six foot tall and weighing at least two hundred and thirty pounds, wore a brown suit jacket, beige dress slacks, and aviator-style sunglasses. He had combed his Grey hair straight back. He looked like he hadn't shaved yet today. He'd been with the department for at least twenty years, at least what I knew of.

We walked inside and asked for a booth in the back so we could have some privacy. A pretty young waitress led us back, and he ordered coffee and a Dr. Pepper for me.

He handed the file across the table to me and let me take out the information they had.

"This is it so far," he said.

I browsed through the file.

"Do you have any witnesses who might have seen anything?" I was puzzled that no one saw anything, especially during the changing of classes.

Something was wrong already.

I asked him about a boy-friend, and he told me that she had one but her father didn't like him and wanted her to stop seeing him. She, on the other hand, said she loved him. The father had no use for him and told her he would cut off all support to her if she persisted in seeing him.

"What do you know about the boy-friend?" I asked.

"Steven Handler comes from a middle-class family from Iowa. He doesn't come from money like Becky has," said Len. "He has a dark complexion with black hair, dark eyes, and muscles. He stands six-foot-three."

"Have you talked to him?" I asked.

"Yes and it seems he doesn't know much about Becky being taken," Len said. "He has been questioned and released."

"How were the police contacted?"

"Her parents notified the police after she had been gone a day and said they had a note from her," said Len. "It said she was being held and the persons involved wanted a million dollars for her safe return. The parents,, fearing for Becky's life, didn't want any intervention. They said they would pay the money if it meant getting her back. I tried to tell them that paying the money was no guarantee on her return. I explained that the procedure was to wait forty-eight hours before we would act on the complaint. This would give Becky time to appear," Len said.

"Did Becky indicate she was having any trouble at school with any other students?" I asked. "Hmm, not too good a lead, is it?" I said.

"It looks like there is a problem within the family. I don't know how much."

I closed the folder, and the two of us talked about old times and some of the cases we worked together.


I called Jeri and told her what I felt and said that everything was okay.

"I can help if you need me."

"There's a lot going on down here in this case," I said. "I need you down here. This isn't as easy as I thought it would be. I do believe the boy-friend is not involved in this, and now I have to find out who is besides Becky."

"Was this for money?"

"Yeah ..., a million dollars," I said.

"Whoa! ..., For that much money, it could get really bad. Friends turn bad for less than that."

"Yeah, I know."

"You want me to bring Baron with me?" Jeri said.

"Sure. He could use the exercise. Who knows? Maybe he could even break the case."

"We'll be down as soon as we can. Be careful."

"See you," I said.

* * *

Jeri got everything packed and put in the car while Baron was going nuts running, jumping, and barking as she finished up. Jeri made sure her Glock 9 mm was in her purse.

"C'mon, Baron! Let's go!"

He bounded up in the back-seat and laid down, ready for the ride with her.

As she was driving south on the inter-state, she looked down at the gas gauge and noticed she was getting low. She knew she couldn't make it without stopping, so she pulled into the next gas station she came to.

She got out, and she was taking off her gas cap when she heard a loud bass sound coming in the station. She clicked on the pump and didn't pay any-more attention to the sound.

A car lowered in the back pulled into the station with two black dudes with do-rags on their heads. One got out and went inside.

Jeri noticed one of them getting out and walking towards her.

"Yo, momma, wat'cha doin'?" He got closer.

Jeri looked over and saw Baron's ears perk up. He slid out the back window that Jeri had left down for him.

"I said ..., yo momma, bitch, wat'cha doin'? Can't you hear?"

"I'm not you're momma nor your bitch."

"Oh yeah ... Well what if I decide you are ...? Then what?"

"I don't think my friend behind you would like that," Jeri looked over his shoulder.

"Yeah, like in the movies, huh?"

"No ..., just a fact. So let it go, okay, and no one will get hurt."

"Momma, the only one that gets hurt is you," He reached a-cross and grabbed Jeri's arm as she was putting the nozzle back in the pump.

"I wouldn't do that if I were you."

"Yeah, right ... Your friend might get mad," he started laughing.

Just then, Jeri heard a low growl, "See, I told you, but you wouldn't listen."

The dude looked down behind him and saw Baron standing with his lips curled up and his teeth showing. He was on the defensive for Jeri and really growling now.

"Shit!" the dude said.

"Now, dude, take your hand off me nice and slow and walk back to your car."

He did as he was told, and Baron followed him. After he got in, Baron jumped up, looked in the window, and barked. Jeri paid for her gas and started back on their trip.

The dudes and their car were long gone.

If it hadn't been for stopping and getting gas they would have made better time.

* * *

When they finally arrived at the Holiday Inn on the north side, I was there to greet them.

"Any trouble on the way down?"

"None that Baron couldn't take care of."

"Huh?" I said.

"Tell you later."


After the greetings with Jeri and, of course, Baron, I carried her suit-case up to our room.

I brought her up to date with what I knew so far.

She said she was going to take a shower and then relax from the ordeal at the gas station.

"So ... Baron slipped up behind the dude, huh?"

"Yep, and you should've seen how big his eyes were when he saw Baron," Jeri said.

I could hear the shower running and her singing. Then the shower shut off. Jeri was still humming. Then the door opened, and she shut off the light.

When she came out, I could see that she was only wearing a black T-shirt. It said "Hands Up! Police!" She came over to my side of the bed. I put my hands up in the air.

"I thought you'd like it," she flipped her head, tossing her hair in the air.

She climbed over me, straddled me, pulled her T-shirt up over her head, and threw it across the room. She leaned down and kissed me. Her hair was falling around my head.

But who the heck cared? Right? Not me for sure, I thought..

"I missed you, honey, and I was worried you'd go off and get hurt."

Making love to her was always a thrill, and we both enjoyed being together.

After a good night's rest, we both got up, and I took Baron outside to do his business. Coming back in, she was making the bed and fluffing the pillows.

"What are we going to do today?" She said.

"I'll be introduced to the squad and let them know I'm here to help them any way I can."

"I bet they'll be glad to see you back once again."

"Me, too," I said.

"Be hard to deal with everything, won't it? I mean, Captain Penny not being there any-more."

"But is the Blue Society really stopped? There is the phone call remember? Some-one out there remembers what went on."

"Let's hope it isn't anything to do with what you're going to do now," Jeri said.

"I hope so. If he knows I talked with Len about this case, it would be a real good time, knowing I was coming down here to assist on this case and start something once again."

"You want to change your mind and go back to the lake?" Jeri said.

"No ... I gave my word that I would help, and if it is to be meeting with the lone member left in the Society, then I will deal with it," I said. "The case we have here involves a young woman in love with another man and her father not approving of him."

"Why do you suppose her father doesn't approve of him?" Jeri said.

"I think her father has a control problem and worries about some-one coming in to run his business one day. Course, that's my opinion."

"Well, I can see Becky being upset. Especially if this isn't the first time it's happened to her. I'd be upset also," Jeri said.

"I think I would be to if I were Steven. Hard to come up against some-one like Becky's father with all the money he has."

"Do you think she was really abducted at the university?"

"That's the problem, I don't think she was."

"Why's that?"

"Just to much activity during the day. Some-one would have noticed something."

Excerpted from Last Chance by A. W. Hopkins. Copyright © 2013 A. W. Hopkins. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Last Chance 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book and one that held my interest through out. Couldn't put it down once I started to read it.