Miriam bent to hug the handsome veteran and said, “Good to see you, Gonzo. I just wish it wasn’t under these conditions.”
Alex shook the man’s hand. “Thanks for coming, Gonzo.”
“Of course. I’ll help in any way I can. Tommy’s a good kid. He just got mixed up with the wrong crowd,” Gonzo said and rubbed Lily’s head as the pittie excitedly jumped onto the arm of his wheelchair.
“We were waiting for you to bring him in since you’re his guardian,” Alex explained.
“I understand. My van’s outside if you want to go get him,” Gonzo said.
“We’d like that, Gonzo. Anything to make this go more smoothly,” Miriam said.
Gonzo turned his wheelchair around and they followed him out to his van where he efficiently slipped into the driver’s seat, took the wheels off the wheelchair and tucked them behind him. He gestured to the body of the chair. “It normally goes in the passenger seat. Could you stow it with the wheels?”
Once they were settled, Gonzo drove to the home of the family fostering Tommy, but he wasn’t home and worse, a quick look around his room revealed that all his clothing and items were gone.
Gonzo’s face reflected a mixture of anger and disappointment with the discovery. “I don’t want to believe Tommy ran because he was guilty.”
“Maybe he ran because he was afraid we’d think he was,” Miriam said, clearly wanting to give Gonzo hope.
“Maybe,” Gonzo said dejectedly. “What’s next?”
“We have to put out a BOLO on Tommy as a person of interest,” Alex said.
With a curt nod, Gonzo said, “I understand.”
Alex sensed Gonzo still had faith in the young man. Enough to put his reputation and that of his program on the line.
Tashya and Tommy. Two youngsters with people who believed in them.
How he wished he’d had that in his life when it had all fallen apart.
“We’ll do what we can,” he said and hoped he could keep that promise.
It was a quiet ride back to the station. When Gonzo let them out of his van, he said, “I reserved a room in town. Please call me if anything happens.”
“We will. It’s almost time for dinner. Do you have plans?” Miriam asked.
“Not really in the mood to be social. I’ll see you in the morning,” Gonzo said and drove away.
“Did you want to have dinner?” Alex said and braced himself for her rejection. Why would she want to have dinner with him after the way they’d parted nearly ten years earlier?
“You want to have dinner? You and me?” she said, gesturing back and forth between them with her index finger.
He snagged her finger playfully. “I want to have dinner with you. Will you go with me?”
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