Book: Bang Switch

Previous: Chapter 16
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Chapter 17

Yes ma’am is always the answer, no matter what she asks you. Do you want to go to the store with me? You answer with, yes ma’am. Do you want to cook dinner? Again, the answer is, yes ma’am. What ‘yes ma’am’ is not the answer to is ‘can I be in control?’ Because a woman doesn’t want a man that’s a little bitch. She wants a man that can show her the world. That can give her everything she needs with just one flick of his tongue, or thrust of his cock.

-Rules to live by according to Lachlan Downy

Downy

“Alright, gentlemen. This was your final hour of hostage negotiation. How does it feel to be done?” Rod Moore, the head negotiator for the Boston Police Department Hostage Negotiation Team, asked.

There were a few, “Thank God’s,” uttered throughout the room, and I couldn’t help but agree.

When I’d said that I would do hostage negotiation, I’d never intended to like it, let alone take all four levels that there was to take.

In fact, I’d had a lot of fun, and it was nice to meet more people that had the same mindset as I did.

Rod Moore was a hoot, too.

It was just a bonus that the classes were taking place in Longview, a thirty-minute drive from Kilgore.

The rest of the attendees were from all over the United States. The furthest one away being from Baltimore, Maryland.

As I powered up my phone, the first call I saw that I missed was from the chief.

Fearing another dog attack, I called him back first, even though I saw three missed calls from not just Memphis, but my mother as well.

“Rhodes,” the chief muttered darkly.

“It’s Downy. Did you need me?” I asked without preamble.

He grunted. “There’s been another dog attack. This one involving a small child.”

I closed my eyes and pinched the bridge of my nose.

“Fuck,” I growled. “I’ll be there in twenty minutes.”

Thirty-five minutes, and nearly two tickets later, I pulled into the parking lot of the police station.

I would’ve walked straight to the chief’s office, but he must’ve been waiting for me the entire time, because he walked straight up to my car before I was even able to get out.

“I need you to run a press conference,” the chief said tiredly. “They need your easy going manner, as well as your expertise on the case.”

I just stared at him blankly. “You want me to be the spokesman for the police department?”

He nodded and tossed me a list of words on a paper. “What’s this?”

“A list of approved things you can say. And a list of things you can’t say,” he explained slowly.

I just shook my head. “When do I have to do it?”

He looked at his watch and then grimaced. “Now.”

My jaw dropped. “You’ve got to be shitting me.”

He shook his head. “No. They’ve been here all day long waiting for some news on the case. I’ve delayed until the last possible moment while waiting for you.”

So that was how I ended up giving my first press conference to the Kilgore Times and three television news stations.

I looked out over the crowd in sort of a daze.

I’d never really had that kind of acknowledgement before.

The lights were extremely bright from the cameras, and the fact that I wanted to smack the closest man who kept putting his microphone practically in my mouth wasn’t helping.

“Is there anything you’d like to tell us about this case you’re working on?” Maggs Monroe, the reporter for MKKC news station, asked.

I gave the microphone she’d shoved at me an annoyed glance and shook my head. “At this time, there isn’t much we can give you. The Kilgore Police Department is currently working on two cases that may be related, but that’s all we have for now.”

“Is it true that dogs are being stolen as bait dogs?” One reporter asked from the back.

I waved my hand in the air as if to clear it. “No. Not that we’re aware of. We have had reports of missing animals, but they were mostly from the humane society in town.”

I should’ve known saying ‘mostly’ would turn heads. Fuck, but I knew better!

They latched onto the word and started hammering me, one after the other, with question after question.

I was surprisingly not overwhelmed, though.

I answered each question to the best of my ability, or what I was allowed to say since a lot of it was still under investigation, and made it through thirty long, exhausting minutes of questions before the Chief shut it down.

At no point did I feel out of control, and that was why, at the end of the conference, Chief Rhodes offered me the permanent role of ‘public spokesperson’ for the KPD.

“You’re joking,” I deadpanned.

He shook his head. “Not in the least. You answered each question they had with ease, and not once did I see you lose your temper over their stupid questions. You’re the kind of person I’ve been needing for a very long time. I just wish I’d realized it sooner.”

I just shook my head. “Well, on that note, I have a hot date with my girl.”

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