Season of Justice
âTo everything there is a seasonâŚâ
For CJ Harper, an assistant chief of police at a Christian university, it is a season of heartache, danger and deception. For David Harper, CJâs Texas Ranger husband, itâs a season of coming clean about a secret that has kept him in bondage for years.
Things from the past have a way of turning up again. In A Season of Justice, they donât just turn up; they explode into the coupleâs lives and test their marriage to its limits. Itâs time for David to be honest with everyoneâstarting with his wife. Then David runs into Biff, his best friend from high school, who knows Davidâs secret.
You will almost smell the salt water breezes drift in from the Gulf of Mexico as the Harpers confront corrupt officials, an amorous high school sweetheart and a person from Davidâs past that refuses to stay...shall we say, buried.
âDavid, are you feeling all right today?â
âHuh, what did you say?â
âI asked if you were feeling all right.â
CJ took a long look at her husband who sat in a lawn chair like a mannequin, staring at some distant nothing.
âYou didnât come to bed until after three this morning and you got up at five. I know you donât need much sleep, but thatâs not enough even for you. Somethingâs wrong, something bad. I can feel it. What isâŚâ
âI told you last night, nothing is wrong.â He softened and escaped from the trance. âSorry, Iâve had a lot on my plate lately. I never knew how much was expected of a Texas Ranger.â
David kicked the dirt under his lawn chair and changed the subject. âDonât you have a doctorâs appointment today?â
âYes, Bea and I are going together. We have appointments at 10:00 and 10:15. I think Bea might have a sonogram today. She should find out if itâs going to be Billy Paul Jr. or Billie Mae.â
David gazed again toward the river as it meandered through their three-hundred-acre farm on its way to the adjoining thirty-seven hundred acres belonging to Bea and Billy Paul Stargate.
âYou have to work this evening, donât you? I guess youâll need to wear your uniform to the appointment.â
CJ turned and stared. âDavid, you silly goose; where is your head today? Chief Sylvester is teaching three classes now and your wifeâŚby the way, thatâs meâŚ is an assistant chief of police. I donât have to wear a uniform anymore.â
CJâs sarcasm floated over Davidâs head without registering in his mind. âHuh? Oh, yeah. By the way, Iâve been thinking. Isnât it about time you quit? I mean, with the baby on the wayâŚhow much longer are you planning on working?â
CJ bristled. âMister, I donât know where your mind is today, but you need to turn on the power. I told you I wanted to work until the end of the second trimester. Donât you remember us talking about it?â
âThatâs too long. I donât want you working that longâŚsomething might happen.â
âSomething might happen?â CJ thrust her hands on her hips. âAnd something might happen to you on a drug bust. Or something might happen to you on a stake out.â Sandy cowered away from the harsh words and left the barn. âOr something might happen to you driving to work. Or a house might fall on you. Or you might slip on a banana peel. OrâŚâ
Without speaking David lifted his six-foot-three-inch frame from his chair and walked across the spacious barn to their temporary home, a travel trailer. He closed the door, changed quickly, and returned to his sulking wife.
âIâm going to the Black Kettle and have some breakfast. Iâll see you tonight. Iâm not sure what time Iâll be home.â
âYouâre going out for breakfast? I told you I was going to cook us some French toast.â
David walked away without hearing.
âHey, mister, are you listening to me? Why donât you plan on eating out tonight, too? Find a table for one.â
The engine to his unmarked Crown Victoria came to life and she heard gravel fly as the car sped past the construction site of their new home.
Sandy returned to where her âmotherâ sat. âI donât blame you for ducking out. Whatâs with daddy? Heâs never ignored me like that.â CJ heaved a sigh. âOh, well. Iâm sure weâll find out soon enough. Letâs fill up your food bowl and get you some fresh water.â
The height of the sun told CJ the time to be around seven. She slumped in her lawn chair and folded her hands. âLord, I donât know whatâs wrong with David, but I sure made a mess of things this morning. Please forgive me, and please allow my husband to forgive me. Help him Lord; something important is on his mind. And Lord, please keep all the construction workers safe today as they work on our home. And while Iâm asking, keep me and this baby safeâŚand also Aunt Bea and her baby. Amen.â
The western omelet with extra jalapenos sat like a handful of hot rocks in Davidâs stomach. He massaged his belly as he returned to his car. A look in the rear view mirror confirmed his suspicions, âI look like I feel.â With his left hand he reached up and scratched the stubble of a day old beard. âThatâs just great. I take a shower and then forget to shave.â The reflection of a shiny wedding band caught his eye and he grimaced. âMarried four months and Iâm already hiding things from CJ. No, thatâs not true. Itâs much worse. Iâve been hiding this from her for over six years, ever since I first met her. Well, Ranger Harper, youâve made a fine mess of your life.â
With head down, a soft prayer came forth. âLord, I know youâre listening to all this. I could use some help.â David glanced through the top of the windshield and observed a cloudless morning. âAnd a little cheering up wouldnât hurt either. Thank you, Sir. Amen.â