It was just too damn ironic. Peter Tosh’s “Wanted Dread and Alive” was blaring out of the sound system of my car when I noticed the blue and red lights behind me.

I had had a late night at the office and the warm summer night breeze felt good blowing over my face. So rather than put on the A/C, I let what we had waited all winter for, warm me up. I was also trying to put the shitty winter and the past few weeks of a shitty episode in my life behind me.

You see, summer on the coast had finally arrived and I greeted the warm weather by keeping the windows on my car down and turning up the volume of the radio. It wasn’t so loud as to offend others, just loud enough to make me happy, so I had no other idea as to why Johnny Law wanted me to pull over. I wasn’t speeding, well maybe 2mph over, but really?

Putting my turn signal on, I pulled right, headed over to the shoulder of the street and put on my four-way flashers.

My cop was certainly in no hurry to come over to my car. He remained in his patrol car and must have been running a series of checks on my tags. With nothing out of the ordinary to be found, everything should come back clean. I had owned this particular car for the last 2 years, it was insured, and I had a clean driving record, so this should be short and sweet.

It my cop got out of the patrol car, it turned out that my officer was a she, and not a him.

The female officer approached my car with lots of caution, more than necessary in my opinion, but safety is not a bad thing. The officer carried her hand at her side, not far from her firearm. When she got a little closer, I gave her the usual, “Good evening officer”.

“License and registration.”

“Can I ask what I did wrong?”

“License and registration.” My patience in any bad situation is something that I’ve always prided myself on. I have been in my fair share of sticky places over the years and have never had trouble with the law, but I do tend to push the wrong buttons on some occasions.

“Yeah, I think we’ve already established that part. My question is why? What have I done that requires you to see those items?” In this case, that was the button that pushed her over the edge.

“Hands where I can see them and step out of the vehicle.” Patrol Officer Barnes as the name plate on her uniform indicated wasn’t a happy girl. She had drawn her service revolver and pointed it at my person.

This wasn’t the first time that I have ever had a gun pointed at me, but it was the first time ever by an officer of the law, so I did as I was told and got out of my car. With my hands entwined behind my head and a P320 pointed at me, Officer Barnes grabbed my thumbs and started to pat me down.

“Aren’t you going to ask my permission first. You pulled me over for no reason, made me get out of my car at gun point and then you start to search me without cause. You didn’t ask if there was anything in my pockets. I could have a weapon or a sharp object in there that could harm you. What are you, straight out of the academy?” Apparently, this was just another button that was waiting to be pushed.

The 5’7″ officer twisted my left thumb back as is she was trying to break it and snapped the arm of her handcuffs over my wrist. I heard the ratchet teeth catching before I realized what she was doing.

“Really? Now you’re cuffing me. Can I at least ask why?” Barnes mumble something into the walkie on her shoulder that sounded like a request for back-up. The next thing I know, my chest is flat on the trunk lid of my car and she is kicking my feet apart.

Officer Barnes pat down tactics were more than a little handsy, she left no crack or crevice unsearched. If the roles were reversed, I’m sure that some sort of line or boundary would have been crossed. When she completed her task, she spun me so that I was leaning back onto the push bar on the front of her car.

It was the first time that I had gotten a good look at Patrol Officer Barnes and I would have to say that the view wasn’t that bad. The officer wore zero make-up and her long brown hair was wrapped up into a bun on the top of her head. Her upper torso was hidden by her protective vest, but no amount of protection could hide the fact that she had a fine ass under her uniform.

“So, Barnes, nothing better to do tonight? Just wandering around out here, harassing the general public? We both know that I wasn’t speeding.” When Barnes started going through my car, the fur on my neck stood up a bit. Not that I had anything to hide, it’s just that I like my privacy. “You do know that that’s an illegal search, and anything that you think that you might find, would be inadmissible in court, don’t you Barnes.”

“Officer Barnes, and I have probable cause.”

“Please enlighten me as to what you think that “probable cause” might be.”

Barnes looked at me like she had won the lottery when she put my SIG Sauer M11-A1 on the roof of my car and didn’t say another word until her back-up arrived.

The assisting officer didn’t look like he was in a very good mood either. He was a large black man and from the stripes on his uniforms, he was well decorated in the police world.


“Officer Barnes. What do we have here?”

“This gentleman turned off of Galveston onto Little Creek and didn’t stop for the red light. This same Mercedes was reported to be lurking in a reported drug area earlier in the evening and when I asked for identification, he refused and then he resisted arrest. Also, I found a gun, with two clips in his vehicle”

“Son.” Captain Jones looked even less enthused now that he heard what Barnes had to say.

“Yes sir.”

“What’s up? And try to spare me the bullshit.”

“Just left work. Exited off the Admiral so that I could pick up some food on my way home. I don’t do drugs and I don’t drive a Benz.” Barnes’ head snapped when she swung to look at my car. It is a 2019 Genesis G70. It looks like a Benz, but at a much lower price.

“Why did you refuse to be I.D.’d and why did you resist arrest?”

“I didn’t. I’m sure that the in-car camera will verify that. Also, how can someone resist arrest if they were never told that they were under arrest?”

The Captain cocked his eyebrow at Barnes and walked toward the door of her car. The sound of another vehicle pulling up caused us all to look away from our current situation.

Major Hamlet, of the U.S. Marine Corps pulled his black non-descript SUV along-side the two patrol cars and stepped out. He must have noticed me and the predicament that I was in, when he was driving by.

The major was a career Marine. He went straight from the academy, to the war, to Norfolk. He was very well respected and like the Captain, he was highly decorated, but his decorations were from all around the world and not just a small part of Virginia.

“Captain. Officer. Can I ask why you have this man detained.” The story of my so-called arrest was passed around. The fact that Barnes had found a weapon in my vehicle, etc. After the trio watched the video of my being pulled over, I heard Jones ask Hamlet why I was out of uniform and if he could vouch for my character. The Captain continued on, he explained that Barnes had just started her shift and had perhaps made an error in judgement.

“Chief Warrant Officer Mills is an up and comer in the Corps. He finished his shift hours ago but stayed behind working to keep our country safe. If Officer Barnes knew how to do her job, we wouldn’t be standing here, in what could be called a sticky predicament. She should learn to ascertain the correct details before diving head-first into a hornet’s nest. Captain Jones, it is my official recommendation that Officer Barnes be…”

“Sir. If I may.” The Major and I had worked on a number of projects together and we currently were teamed on a project that was deemed to be somewhat important to national security. I hated to interject when he was talking with the Captain, but this had gone far enough. I privately explained to the Major what my point of view on the situation was, and he reluctantly agreed to see it my way.

“Well Captain, it would appear that Mills here, just wants to let this go. He sees no harm or no foul. Captain, do you agree?”

Captain Jones gave a deep growling, “Agreed” and the two upper classmen shook hands, got into their vehicles and parted ways.

Barnes undid my cuffs and once again I was a free man. “Barnes, if you don’t mind, I’d like my weapon back.” Her demeanor had changed drastically. At this point she was almost sheepish.

“Look Barnes, I’m not being a dick. All that you have to do is follow the basic rules of law enforcement and you’ll do just fine. Facts, facts, and more facts. Don’t rush or jump to conclusions.”

When, she handed me my piece and my two spare clips, I couldn’t help but take a small shot, so I reached into my wallet and handed her my card, “Look Barnes, if you ever need automobile identification and recognition training, give me a call.” Barnes glared at me with a look of disgust.

“Officer Barnes.” Was her retort. Well at least she had spunk.

My work took me out of the country for the following three months. When I returned to the grind, it took another month of solid catch up work before I could see daylight, all of which played havoc with my social calendar.

With everything back on a somewhat normal axis, I greed to join some of my troop at a charitable gala. One of the local charities was earning money to sponsor one of the state’s Sick Children’s Hospitals.

The evening was a fun Las Vegas styled casino extravaganza. Music, low stakes gambling, silent auctions, and drinks. Everyone in attendance appeared to be having a good time and were throwing cash around to help a good cause.

Scanning the room, I did my favorite thing in the world, I people watched. The actions, habits and mannerisms of humans fully intrigue me. I could spend a week at an airport or a mall as a vacation and tonight wasn’t a letdown.

Old money mixed with new money, who mixed with no money and everyone was happy. Using and losing cash that wasn’t printed by the U.S. Mint will make that happen.

The gold sequined dress caught my attention out of the corner of my eye. The fine figure that it adorned looked out of place among the rest of us. Showcasing just enough cleavage to show some modesty and being only slightly tight so that it showed off a fine ass. Her long hair was washed to the side, so that it hung down over her shoulder and down her left breast. The delicate features of her face sparkled with only the minimal amount of make-up.

I knew that I had to talk to her, and I didn’t care about protocol or precautions.


“That’s Officer Barnes to you.” I hadn’t encountered her in a little over four mouths, but she still remembered our run in.

“You look lovely tonight, not that your uniform was any less becoming on you.” Barnes gave me the once over and appeared to be trying to come up with a shot at me.

“You’ve cleaned-up pretty good yourself Mills. Did you trade the t-shirt and jeans for your dress blues?”

“Yeah, it’s a chick magnet, can’t you tell.” I waved my arm around the room to show the numerous other older guys wearing similar costumes.

An attractive older woman appeared to my right she kissed Barnes on the cheek and gave her a hug. “Melanie, is this handsome gentleman one of the perspective dates?”

“No mom, he is not. This is an old friend. Mills this is my mother, Eleanor Barnes. Mom, Mills.”

“Well Mr. Mills, maybe you would like to sign up for next year.” I wasn’t sure what they were talking about, so I asked.

“I’m sorry, but I must have missed something.” Barnes junior enlightened me to what had gone completely over my head.

“It’s a Dinner Date Auction, Mills. You bid on men and women. The highest bidder gets to take his or her date out to a predetermined restaurant for a nice meal. All proceeds go to help the hospital.” I let a laugh escape me before I could reel it in.

“What?” Both Barnes ladies said in unison.

With my tail between my leg I was ready to run and hide but they wouldn’t hear of it. “Please Mr. Mills, enlighten us as to what you find so humorous with our little auction.

Fuck it. I didn’t know these people and the worst thing that could happen to me was to have Barnes pull me over for no reason, again. “Nothing. I’m just trying to rationalize whether this is the sexiest or the most sexist thing that I’ve ever heard of.” Senior spun on her heels and made a beeline away from me. I would have made a wager that she was offended.

“Melanie, that’s a nice name.”

“Fuck you, Mills.” And like her mother before her, she sauntered out of sight.

The night progressed as expected. I lost the appropriate amount of money to make a donation, and was ready to leave, but my ride wanted to stay for the auctions. I should have grabbed a cab, but for some reason I was compelled to stay.

The women were almost vicious with their bidding. It was like a contact sport where they were all vying to be top bidder for the beefcake up on the stage. Six guys were sold off and almost $10,000 was raised. The girls took to the stage and to my absolute surprise, Barnes was among the goods to be sold.

The men weren’t quite as crazy as the women with their bidding. Oh, they bid more, but they didn’t appear to be wildly in lust.

Barnes was the third to the podium. After a pleasant introduction and description of the local restaurant the bidding started. It seemed to stall a bit around the $1000 mark. Then it went to $1750 and once again there was a lull in the bidding. As beautiful as Barnes was, there were still 2 buxom blondes and a redhead waiting in the wings. The auctioneer picked up his gavel.

“Last and final warning. Going once. Going twice.” He raised it up and for some reason that I will never be able to explain, even to myself, I shouted out with a cackle.

“Three thousand dollars.”

Barnes looked truly shocked. Thus far this evening, that was the high bid for anyone. She was even more shocked when she saw who had bid it.

After the last three were done, we were invited back to meet our dates, pay for the privilege and pick up the restaurant certificates.

“Well Mr. Mills thank you very much for your generous donation. Please come with me and I will introduce you to your date and you two can make arrangements.”

“Melanie, dear, this young gentleman was the lucky bidder. I’m so sorry, I didn’t catch your first name sir.”

“Matt. Matt Mills. Very pleased to meet you, Ms. Barnes.”

“Melanie. Mel to my friends. You can call me Officer Barnes if you like.” Her voice dripped with sarcasm when she spoke to me. “So, Mills, why me? You a big fan of three-thousand-dollar steaks at the LongHorn?”

“Actually no. But I am a big fan of lively conversation, with a side order of harassment, so I figured bidding on you, along with the fact that the money is going to a good cause, is a win/win for everybody.”

“Everybody but me.” I’m not so sure that Barnes meant to let that part slip out.

“Look Barnes, I’m not always a dick. I promise that for our date, I’ll be on my best behavior. I’ll wear something casual. No uniform. We’ll eat. Then we part ways.”

“Saturday. 6:00pm. I’ll meet you there.”

“Sorry, but no. We’re not taking the kids out for lunch, it’s a date, and I don’t get out much, so we’re not going out at 6:00pm. I’ll pick you up around eight. We’ll go out for a drink and then for dinner.”

“Sorry to deflate your balloon there General, but it’s not a date. We both donated something to a charity, my time, your money, so it’s just dinner.”

“General? I do like the sound of that, but not yet. It’s just C.W.O. but you already knew that. In many circles, when a woman “sells” her time to a gentleman for money, a “date” is exactly what it is called, but not a sit down for a meal kind of date. But you already knew that too, didn’t you Officer Barnes? It’s okay. I give in. Call it what you will. I’ll pick you up at eight, sharp.”

The prostitution innuendo pushed another button, but I started to walk away before it sunk in too deeply. Barnes called after me.

“You don’t even know where I live.” She was correct, but I wasn’t letting her win this one.

“I’m in Intelligence Barnes. You think that I can’t find out where you live?” and I kept walking.

I gathered up my ride and headed toward the door but made one last stop.

“Excuse me Mrs. Barnes. Thank you for a wonderful evening.”

“Well thank you for attending and for your very generous donation Mr. Mills. I’m sure that you and Melanie will have lots to talk about on your night out.”

Taking a card out of my pocket, I handed it to her. “I’m sure that we will. Would you be so kind as to text me or e-mail me Melanie’s address. I forgot to ask for it when we made our arrangements for Saturday night.” Mrs. Barnes did me one better. She took a pen from her purse and wrote down the address on the reverse side of my card and gave it back to me.

The thought of my Saturday night date didn’t even enter my mind until I noticed that the donated funds had been extracted from my checking account. At that point I began to wonder what I had got myself into.

Driving to the address provided, brought me into a very nice neighborhood. All of the properties had grand houses with manicured lawns and high-end vehicles. As I was pulling up to the house, I realized that Barnes lived with her parents.

Mr. Barnes answered the door with a bourbon in his hand and The Beatle’s Abbey Road playing in the background. He seemed down to earth and offered me a drink, which I declined.

“I’d love one. But I’m taking a cop out to dinner tonight, so I can’t risk the DUI.” He got the joke and chuckled. He talked about his work and mine. Turns out that he has friends that are superior officers at the base where I work. He was an interesting guy and the truth be told, I enjoyed our conversation.

When Barnes finally made an appearance, she looked good. Her long brown hair was pulled back behind her ears to showcase her face. She was wearing a very nice floral summer dress, with light white knit half sweater, black heels and a black clutch purse.

For the second time when meeting Barnes the music in the background hit the nail on the head. This time it was the Beatles belting out, “I want you. I want you so bad, it’s driving me mad”. It wasn’t driving me mad, but Barnes looked so good that it was close enough.

Mr. Barnes walked us to the door, shook my hand and kissed his daughter on the cheek. “You kids enjoy your date.”

“It’s not that kind of date dad.” Barnes wanted her father to be clear of that, but he wasn’t having it.

Her father looked into her eyes and said, “Maybe it could be if you gave it a chance Melanie.”

Officer Barnes didn’t make much conversation during our trip to the steak house. In fact, she wouldn’t even acknowledge me when I spoke. We weren’t off to a good start, but so far, it wasn’t the worst date that I’d ever been on.

Luckily, they sat us in a booth away from the noisy birthday party in the front of the restaurant. I ordered us a bottle of red wine, while Barnes gave the menu a thorough inspection. After everything was ordered, we waited for our appetizers.

“I’m sorry.” I had to start somewhere. “I wasn’t trying to give you flack. It was a long day for me. I wanted some food and to get home. So, when I got pulled over, I wasn’t in the best of moods. More than likely, I said some things that weren’t very nice and for that I’m sorry.” Barnes head hung pretty low when I apologized. She wouldn’t make eye contact with me.

“I was having a bad day too.” Her voice was low, and it sounded like she was trying to hold back tears. But she was saved when our server brought over our wine and presented a taste for the lady. Approved, and poured, we moved forward.