I shoved a waiter away from me and the food slid off the tray and crashed on the floor with a loud shatter. I pumped my legs as hard as I could as I burst through the double doors to the restaurant and after James Gold. I cut through a nearby alley moving as fast and beat James to wherever it was he was heading. I held out my arm and clothes lined him. He choked, gagged, and then fell to the ground with a loud thud. I smiled, proud of myself, and dropped to my knees. I rolled James onto his stomach as he gasped for air and clung to his throat.
“Gotcha, bitch!” I smiled as I slapped a pair of cuffs on his wrist and tightened them up.
An older woman screamed frantically as I surprised her and basically assaulted a young man in front of her. She reached to help him but I stopped her.
“No worries!” I flashed my badge. “Bond enforcement.”
She placed her hand over her chest and gave me a disapproving look. I immediately knew what she was thinking; bond enforcement was the last job a “lady” should be interested in. I had heard it many times before, it was a good thing I wasn’t a lady.
“You could have killed me!” James yelled through big breaths.
“Oh relax, it’s not that bad. Plus, I told you not to run.” I helped him to his feet.
He grumbled something under his breath as I helped him down the street to where my black Dodge Charger was double parked. I shoved him inside the car and took off for the police station.
“I don’t even understand why I was arrested in the first place. I didn’t do anything.” He mumbled.
“Listen, I don’t give two craps what you did, if you’re innocent or guilty, or if you’re the color yellow because that’s not my job. My job was to pick you up and take you to jail. You missed your court date.”
He rolled his eyes. “I heard that part already.”
“Then grow a pair and deal with it.”
I glanced in the rearview mirror and watched as he hung his head, whispered something to himself, and then leaned his head back against the headrest. A silent tear fell from his eye but he didn’t shed more than that one. I couldn’t say I felt bad. He made his bed and it was time to lie in it. It wasn’t my job to care what he did. He was a young, maybe 18 or 19. He was someone’s kid who made a stupid mistake but I couldn’t care. I couldn’t allow myself to care what he did. It wasn’t my job. He squirmed in the backseat to right himself and avoid the bite of the handcuffs. I also didn’t feel bad because I had to chase his dumbass. If he would have just stood there and let me take him, maybe then I would have felt something other than a sore body, bitterness, and a need for a tall glass of wine.
I phoned the station when I was close and told them to have an officer ready for a drop off. They came through when I pulled up to the curb and a uniform yanked James out of the backseat. James gave me a sad look before they hauled him off down the long hallway. I watched him go for a few moments, the officer hauling him back fighting against Gold’s stubborn heels that were trying to slow him up. I sighed and stepped up to the desk to collect my body receipt.
“How was the chase?” Earl the officer at the counter asked as he watched James disappear down the hall.
“Oh you know me, Earl. I don’t catch and tell.” I winked at the older man as he laughed.
His hair was gray now and I had forgotten when I had realized age was catching up with him. Small wrinkles at the corners of his eyes and mouth were more noticeable now than they ever were. A pair of reading glasses was left alongside a cooling cup of coffee and an old tattered paperback version of ‘Sweet Thursday’. I smiled because some things never changed but then I looked at his face again and thought, yet some things had and I hardly noticed until I really looked at him. Not that age didn’t look good on him, it did. He wasn’t an old man I would tangle with but still. It crept up on both of us before we were ready. I remembered when his hair was still dark and his face was life like. Now, you could see the lines of time crinkling his face when he smiled a perfect white straight smile.
He handed me a check. “Maybe one day I’ll be good enough for those tales.”
I smiled. “Thanks Earl.”
“Look who we have here.” I turned at the sound of a familiar male voice and caught two very familiar detectives ambling towards me.
I nodded at them and slipped my check into my back pocket. “Boys,” I said.
“Catch yourself a skip, Maggie?” Jared said as he leaned against Earl’s desk.
“Cashing in and going home. Thanks, Earl.” I pushed away from the desk and headed outside.
No surprise, they made their way outside behind me. Hanson gave me a nod and headed for their black Crown Vic.
“Slow up, Maggs.”
“I gotta go Jared. I have a hot date waiting for me.” I opened my car door and he caught it in his hand and closed it.
“That’s the great thing about Chinese food; it doesn’t stand you up if you’re running a little late.” He smiled, shit that smug smile.
“Right but it does get cold.”
“And Lee will make you a new plate. Why are you avoiding me?”
The truth or a fabricated lie? His dirty light brown hair was short and pushed off his forehead. His leafy green eyes held mine for a moment and then he rested both hands against the car pinning me in place. His gray shirt fit perfectly to his body exposing his arms and hiding his biceps under the short sleeves. His jeans hugged his hips and I know a hand gun hid at the small of his back. His badge dangled from a silver chain around his neck. Why was I avoiding him? He was magazine beautiful, like walked off the cover of GQ or something. Oh that’s right because I wasn’t interested in being tied down at the moment and if I gave him the time of day he would break my heart just like every other girl that dared a chance.
“I’m not I’ve just been busy.” I shrugged my shoulders.
“Right. Are we going to ignore what happened last week?”
Oh shit. “What happened last week?”
He gave me a-come-on-look. “Don’t play stupid.”
“Oh you mean that. The… uh… the kiss.”
It was a complete and total accident. Jared had asked me out for a couple of drinks after I had dropped off a skip one night and against my better judgment and inner Lizzie McGuire screaming against the idea, I said yes. Needless to say, I got plastered, Jared drove me home, and he’d kissed me. Then I avoided him for a week like the plague.
“I don’t really know what you want to talk about, I was drunk.”
“I know, I was there, remember?”
I frowned. “Right. Sorry.”
“Well when you decide you want to be a big girl and talk about it, you know where to find me.” He pushed away from the car and headed for the Vic.
I groaned as I got into my car. “Way to go Margot. You freaking idiot. You knew not to get involved. You knew what would happen.” I put my car in drive and sped off to The Great Wall.
I was still angry at myself when Lee greeted me at the door with a big helping of food. I gave him a tight smile and took off for my apartment that was a few doors down. I keyed myself into the apartment, tossed the food on the counter, and locked up behind me.
“Stupid Jared.” I groaned as I pulled my boots off and tossed them by the door.
I pressed play on my answering machine as I dumped some food onto a plate and pulled a beer from the fridge.
“Hey maniac,” my boss Dominic said on my machine, “good job tonight. I heard you brought in The Kid. I got a big one for you if you’re interested. Huge. Come see me in the morning. I’m talking a big money skip, Maggie. Come see me.” Click.
Pretty sad when your boss was the only person on your machine. I ate my dinner and drank my beer. I couldn’t believe I let Jared kiss me. I knew better. I promised myself I wouldn’t get sucked into his pretty boy charm. It was a good kiss though.
I put my leftovers in the fridge. “Ugh, it wasn’t that good.”
Who was I kidding?
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