“You were worried, weren’t you?” McCormick leaned over the half-washed truck hood and tried to get the Judge to look him in the face.
“Don’t be ridiculous, McCormick. In case you’ve forgotten, you are in my custody. I’m supposed to know where you are at all times.”
“Mark, your language,” came a warning from the pool area.
“Sorry, Sarah, but you know I’m right. He was worried about me, but he won’t admit it.” McCormick grinned, throwing a sopping wet sponge at Hardcastle.
The Judge ducked, frowning at the playful car thief. “You’re avoiding the subject. Where were you?”
“Around. Got something to eat at Burger Man, took the Coyote for a spin, checked out the latest in cars at the track. A nice day, overall.”
“Hardcastle!” McCormick mimicked. “Give me a break, Your Honor. Don’t I get time off for good behavior?”
Hardcastle heard a hard edge creeping into McCormick’s voice. The interrogation, and that was exactly what it was, was beginning to annoy him. Hardcastle didn’t want to continue, but some questions had been raised by the parole board, concerning legalities of the parole. The representative who had called last night wondered if Hardcastle was forcing McCormick to help him. Help him or go back to jail. The man didn’t understand that, for all his complaining, McCormick was just as dedicated to bringing these criminals to justice as the Judge was.
McCormick was rubbing the new truck’s body with questionable vigor.
“There’s a man from the Parole and Probation Board who wants to see you.”
McCormick looked up. “When?”
“This afternoon, at 4:00.”
McCormick checked his watch. “It’s 2:30 now. Why didn’t you tell me before? I’ve gotta go all the way downtown…”
“No, the man is coming here.” Hardcastle began to scrub the tires, peeling mud from the sides. “He wants to ask you some questions.”
“Well, I’ve got the answers for him.” McCormick brushed at his shirt and pants. He looked down at his wet clothes. “I’d better change.”