Word Count: 30,021
Summary of Events:
Traeton went to leave Tallulah, but was caught trying to get onto the train and was arrested after a lengthy chase. Levi watched Twilight run her second race to a three-way photo finish that, after review, it was determined she won. Hadia couldn't sleep, so she went downstairs where she found Jonathan looking through a photo album, which she joined him in doing until falling asleep. Traeton was brought out of his cell and taken to a room to talk with another officer . . .
Excerpt of the Day:
""When we booked you, you gave your name as Shea London," the officer said. "But upon searchin' your backpack, we found a birth certificate for a Traeton Stasiak. Considerin' that the two don't match up, you've got some explainin' to do. Are you Shea London or Traeton Stasiak? And if you ain't Stasiak, then what'd you do to him?"
He swallowed. He'd forgotten about the birth certificate.
The officer seemed to hardly blink as he stared. It was hard to sit and face that stare — especially considering the officer's eyes were such a light and almost eerie blue.
"I'm Traeton Stasiak," he said finally.
The officer nodded with satisfaction. "And my guess is, young Mr. Stasiak, that you're wanted for some other crime somewhere of you're goin' and hidin' your real name with an alias."
Traeton shook his head. He wasn't going to confess about the purse — after all, they didn't know his name either.
"Are you sure?" the officer challenged.
Setting his jaw, Traeton met the officer's gaze, doing his best to keep from cracking under the pressure to confess.
"You see," the officer said. "One of our people was piqued by your mugshot, and so compared it to a composite drawin' we got the other day from Mississippi, and you look pretty durned close to that drawin'."
Traeton held his jaw shut.
"Bein' as you were hoppin' on a train to git out of town here," the officer said. "It wouldn't be impossible for you to've done the same to git out of that town."
"But if you don't mind my sayin'," the officer who'd brought Traeton in said. "We didn't find no cash on him. And that report said that the lady'd had more'n a thousand dollars in her purse."
"That's the problem," the officer said. "We didn't find no money on you, or in your bag, so did you bury it? Or is it still hidin' on you somewhere?"
"I thought the system was innocent until proven guilty," Traeton challenged. "You're treating it as guilty until proven innocent."
The officer glared at him. "You seem to have somethin' against the law."
"Being practised wrongly, yes," Traeton replied.
"I'm the officer of the law, kid," the officer said. "And you're the punk who done went and broke it."
"When I don't have a driver's license or money what else am I supposed to do?" Traeton asked defiantly.
"Hitchhike or get yourself a job," the officer replied. "There's other ways to travel than by train."
Traeton set his jaw. "What if I like travelling by train?"
"Kid," the officer warned. "Your mouthin' off like this ain't goin' to get you out of this place any sooner."
"Well stop accusing me of crimes it's not proven I've committed," Traeton spat.
"We'll see about that kid," the officer said, taking up a little baby can of Coca Cola.
He opened it and slid it across the table to Traeton.
"Drink up," he said, in a way that was more an order than a suggestion."