Run into Trouble

Run into Trouble by Alan Cook

Book: Run into Trouble by Alan Cook Read Free Book Online
Authors: Alan Cook
there’s one thing. Sometimes I have to get up at night to run errands for Fred. I might disturb you.”
    It was Melody’s turn to smile. “As long as the errands don’t involve him feeling you up, you won’t bother me. I sleep like a stone.”
    Grace looked from one of them to the other. “You’re such good people.”
    “Don’t let it get around,” Drake said with mock concern. “You might ruin our reputations.” He saw the waitress approaching with their plates. “Something smells delicious. Let’s eat.”
     
    CHAPTER 12
    Today’s run is being split into two parts. All of it is on hard surface. Start on 2 nd Street and head west into Long Beach. Jog left on Livingston Drive. Jog right on Ocean Boulevard. Follow Ocean west along the beach. Although you are permitted to run this section on beach paths, Ocean is more direct, and if you stay on the left or beach side of the street, you shouldn’t have a problem with cross traffic. You will be able to see the Queen Mary at her permanent dock. Continue on Ocean through downtown Long Beach and across the Gerald Desmond Bridge to Terminal Island. On Terminal Island, Ocean changes to Seaside Avenue. Stop at the entrance to the Vincent Thomas Bridge where your time will be recorded.
    The Vincent Thomas Bridge is normally not open to foot traffic, but we have received a special dispensation to have it open it for 30 minutes from 10 to 10:30 a.m. All runners must cross the bridge during this time period. Your time will start again when the bridge opens for us. After crossing the bridge, head south (left). Jog west to Pacific Avenue or Gaffey Street and continue heading south. It is also okay to run on the smaller streets until you get to 25 th Street. Turn right (west) on 25 th . You must be on 25 th Street when you cross Western Avenue. 25 th Street becomes Palos Verdes Drive South. Circumnavigate the fabulous Palos Verdes Peninsula on Palos Verdes Drive South and Palos Verdes Drive West. You will pass Marineland of the Pacific with its orcas, dolphins, and seals. Palos Verdes Drive West becomes Palos Verdes Drive North near Malaga Cove. Jog left on Palos Verdes Boulevard and follow it to Pacific Coast Highway in Redondo Beach where the run ends.
    ***
    Drake was surprised at how well he was adapting to running almost every day. He was controlling his back pain with chiropractic sessions, lots of stretching, and baths that Melody had talked him into taking when they stayed at a motel that had bathtubs in the rooms. Being English, Melody was used to taking hot baths, but she said that for running, a cool bath was better than a hot bath—in fact, the colder the better.
    It took Drake a while to become convinced of that, but he found that in fact a cold bath after running was good not only for his back, but also his legs and feet.
    When the wakeup call came at 6 a.m., he felt chipper enough to wish the caller a good morning.
    “Mr. Drake?”
    “Yes.” He was surprised that the desk clerk was still on the line.
    “I have an envelope for you at the desk.”
    Drake suddenly felt as cold as if he were taking one of those baths.
    “Don’t touch it. I’ll be right there.”
    He pulled on some clothes and raced out to the front desk, surprising the meek-looking man with glasses who, he was certain, hadn’t expected him so fast.
    “Show me where the envelope is, but don’t touch it.”
    The man looked scared. “I’ve—I’ve already touched it, I’m afraid.”
    “That’s okay. I…I think it’s a prank. I don’t want a dragon to pop out at you.”
    Slightly mollified, the clerk pointed to the envelope, which was sitting on a table on his side of the counter. He opened the door for Drake, who took a handkerchief out of his pocket, stepped behind the counter, and carefully picked up the envelope by its corner. He smiled at the clerk.
    “I have this friend who likes to play practical jokes.”
    With his free hand, Drake reached into another pocket and pulled out

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