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The Case of the Crooked Ex: Chapter 5

Updated on June 1, 2010

Chapter 5

The cops show up faster than I would have thought, but then again this isn’t exactly a bad neighborhood and someone shooting it up is bound to get the local shop owners and good natured citizens all worked up. The pitted concrete and shattered windows give testament to just how close a call it was and how narrowly Heather had avoided a painful death. I look over at her as she details the attempt on her life to one of the trench coat wearing detectives. She seems to be composed and not showing any outward signs of shock. I know that is a ruse and in a few moments when the adrenaline wears off the shock will hit her hard. My own body is handling the excitement in method I have developed after years of practice. I stand completely still and just breathe, as deeply as I can, slowly exhaling and repeating the process. As my heartbeat returns to normal I make mental notes of every detail of my surroundings that way I force my mind to remain clear while the situation is anything but calm or clear.

“Josh, did you get a good look at the shooter?”

“No Dean, I was on the opposite side of the street and the car was moving pretty fast.”

“Anything else you want to tell me? For the report I mean, just in case this becomes an official investigation.”

“Nope, except maybe I should have listened to you and taken this a bit more seriously.”

“I did try to warn you”

I was really listening at that point I caught Heather’s eye and she had that look like everything was getting to be too much. I could tell that she was crashing and I should get her upstairs to my office as quickly as possible.

“You need anything else from us; you know where to find us, right Dean?”

“Yeah Josh, I’ll call you later if we find something.”

I had already moved to Heather’s side, she allowed me to take her by the elbow and steer her towards the lobby of my building. The detective didn’t try to stop us and I wouldn’t have cared if he did. I usually take the stairs since it is only two flights up but given how much Heather is leaning on me I figure that would be pushing it so I push the button for the elevator and wait, supporting her at the same time. I can hear her mumbling under her breath as she leans her head against my shoulder, the smell of her hair filling my senses again.

As I get her into the elevator, I feel like she is waiting for something and the second the doors close my feeling is justified as she faints right into my arms. I pick her up and hold her closely to me, her head resting on my left shoulder, her feet dangling over my right arm. The doors part again on the second floor and I hurry down to my office door. I manage to get the outer door open and get her through the doorway.

“So when did Johnny’s start serving broads on the breakfast menu?” Sarah snaps at me looking up from her typewriter.

“It’s our client Sarah and she was just shot at downstairs, she held up pretty good till the excitement wore off, and then she fainted in the elevator.”

“Well why didn’t youse say so, in the firsts place. Dat what all the sirens was about?”

“Yeah, now get the door before I lose my grip.”

She opens the door to my office and rushes in, throwing the small pile of clothes on my couch to one corner of the room.

“Here set her down I’ll get her a cold towel, you open that jacket up and let her get some air, dat thing looks like it is straggling her.”

Sarah goes bustling off to the bathroom in the outer office and I hear water running. I walk over to my filing cabinet and pull out a bottle of twenty-year old scotch and pour myself a good three fingers worth and down it in a single gulp, wiping my mouth with the back of my hand. I set the bottle and glass on my desk as I walk over and stare at my gorgeous client laying on my couch. Sarah comes back in and startling me out of my reverie.

“Here place this on her forehead. I thought I told youse to loosen dat jacket, I know you aint no stranger to taking women’s clothes off so get on it.”

“Sarah this is our client, I’m not going to start undressing her in her sleep.”

“Who said anything bout undressing her I said loosen, besides looks to me like she is doing a pretty good job nearly popping them buttons herself.”

I figure it isn’t the time to argue, so I place the cool towel across her forehead and steadied myself as I reached for the top button on her jacket. I had the first three unbuttoned and was watching her chest rise and fall in deep steady breaths before I decide to undo a fourth button.

“I’m grateful to you for saving my life Barron, but not that grateful, or is this all part of the service you are billing me for?”

That stopped me dead in my tracks and my gaze travels up those curves and locks onto Heathers dark brown eyes holding their gaze for several moments.

“I was just trying to make it easier for you to umm catch your breathe.”

“Awe, are you blushing Barron? That is sooo cute, anything else you want to get a glance at while you have me here.”

I stand up and walk to my desk, pouring myself another three fingers of scotch, drinking it slowly. Heather sits up on the couch moving her long legs around to rest on the floor, but not without some effort.

“Ouch, I think you managed to make me one big bruise with that rescue of yours. You have another glass or are you willing to share.”

I walk over to the file cabinet and pull another glass out, pouring her three fingers worth as well and handing the glass to her.

“Go slow, this is the good stuff and you are still in shock. I don’t want this knocking you for a loop.”

She looks at the amber liquid in the glass and swirls it a bit in her hand before downing it in one swift drink. Color me suitable impressed, she has one of those full body shivers and mouths the word wow without uttering a sound, before holding the glass out towards me.

“Again if you don’t mind.”

“Take it easy there dollface, this stuff ain’t cheap.”

“Just pour the scotch hotstuff and let me worry about the money. I take it you have no problem believing that my husband is trying to kill me now?”

I pour her another glass and set the bottle back on my desk before parking my backside on it.

“One thing is for sure dollface someone wants you dead, I’m not convinced it is your husband but after last night and this morning, I think there is more going on here than you are telling me so let’s take this from the top and don’t skip the details this time.”

She fixes me with those eyes again, leaning back against the back of the leather couch, crossing her legs, “What did you have in mind hotstuff?”

I return the look and just before I can say anything I hear,“HA!” come from the outer office. Dames!


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    • Mentalist acer profile image

      Mentalist acer 7 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

      No matter how experienced this detective Joshua is,for now, being taken for a sap...a lovely noir Thorn.