The Big Kiss Off

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
The 1940's; Rick Dickson is a Private Eye for hire and as tough as they come, but when a beautiful woman comes into his office for help, trouble follows her and he finds himself dealing with one of the toughest cases of his career...

Submitted: February 22, 2014

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Submitted: February 22, 2014

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The Big Kiss Off

 

The 1940's

I split the slats of my window blinds with two fingers, so I can get a better view of the street below; from the tenth floor of my office window the people below look like ants, scurrying about in the rain. The neon liquor sign that runs down the side of my building, flickers and droplets of rain dance across my window as ‘Oh! Look At Me Now’ is playing on the radio; Frank is in rare form I think to myself. There is a knock on my door; Anita Wells, my secretary walks in with the files I had asked for earlier. She is tall in her black heels and her blue satin dress shows off her figure in just the right way and plays nicely against her dark carmel skin.

“Here you go Boss.” She smiles. “And there’s a lady in the waiting room to see you; I think she was here a couple of days ago. She met with Will while you were out.”

“A lady huh; is she a looker?” I ask.

“Aren’t they all?” Anita grins.

“Give me a minute to freshen up, Doll and then sent her in.”

Anita gives me a nod and goes back into the other room.

“Thanks, Doll.” I call after her.

I turn down the radio on my desk, walk over to the coat stand; I take a quick peek at myself in a wall mirror. I don’t look too bad for a fellow on the other side of forty, I splash on a little ‘Bay Rum’ from a bottle on the shelf under the mirror and smooth down the gray of my temples and mustache. I put on my navy pinstriped blazer and straighten my tie before heading back to my desk. My office door opening again stops me cold, as Anita lets the lady through.

The first thing I notice are her legs, they are firm and covered in ivory silk stockings that seem to go on forever, as they disappear under a black pencil skirt, that drops just past her knees. She is wearing a silver mink waistcoat and her white silk blouse is buttoned to the top, making me wish I could see a little more; her black arm length gloves matched her bonnet and a small veil covers her eyes. Her raven hair falls in bangs around her shoulders and her skin is as white as alabaster; she is most definitely a lady of means.

“Thank you for seeing Mr. Dickson, I so desperately need your help...” She says, pausing to look up and take in my size.

A lot of people, especially women are taken aback by my six five frame so I smile to take the edge off.

“Please have a seat.” I gesture to one of the two chairs in front of my desk. I follow her and move to sit down in my own on the other side. I pick up the pack of ‘Lucky Strikes’ that are lying on my desk and tap the bottom; a single cigarette pops up and I pull it out with my teeth and then tap the pack again for a second one. “Cigarette?”

“No thank you, I don’t smoke.” She says softly.

“Neither do I.” I stuff both cigarettes back into the pack and set it down. “So how can I help you… Miss?”

“Ms. Lauren Princess, but you can just call me Lauren, Mr. Dickson.”

“And you can call me Rick; you’re related to Waldham Princess, the rich Industrialist?”

“He’s my father.”

I feel my daily work rate going up.

“You see… Rick, I was in your office a few days ago and met with your partner Mr. Owens. I hired him for a job and I haven’t heard anything from him; I’m a little worried. I thought he was a reputable man.”

I look over at Will’s desk in the other corner and then turn back to Lauren. ”I’ve known Will for over three years, he’s a standup guy. If he takes a case, he sees it through. He hasn’t been in today though, what was the job you hired him to do?”

“Nothing too serious really, I had something stolen from me and I hired him to get it back from the people who took it.”

”Stolen; why didn’t you just call the police?” That remark starts the waterworks. The tears start flowing down her cheeks, and I didn’t like it. Something about women’s tears always make me squirm like I got caught doing something wrong and ended up sitting in the principal’s office. “Beer Nuts?” I offer to break the sobbing.

She shakes her head no and pulls out a silk handkerchief from her purse and blots her eyes. “I’m sorry I must look a fright; I didn’t mean to insult your partner but this is a delicate matter that would be better handled without police involvement.”

“Don’t worry; you look swell to me.” I place the bowl of nuts back on my desk. “Okay so no cops, what was taken?”

“A small trinket, a family heirloom really but if this matter were to become public it could prove to be a major embarrassment for my family. Will was supposed to go to this address,” she pulls a piece of paper out of her purse and hands it to me. ”He was to pick up the item in exchange for a thousand dollar pay out and return it to me.”

“A Grand! This must be some family heirloom, so let me get this straight somebody robbed you and then they extorted you to buy the thing back, is that about it?”

She nods her head in agreement.

”When was the last time you talked with my partner?”

”A few hours after I hired him, he called me to let me know he was on his way to that address, that I was last I heard from him.”

I lean back in my chair and read the address; this place is the least an hour outside of the city. “Okay Lauren I’ll look into this for you and find out what happened.”

“Oh thank you Mr. Dickson, I mean Rick. This will put my mind at ease.” She gives me a cute smile.

She is looking at me deeply, so much so that I almost feel myself turning into jelly but I kept it together. “And how do I get a hold of you when I find out something?”

She takes a pen off my desk and rips a page out of my desk calendar to write down her number; when she finishes she kisses the paper, leaving an imprint of her red lipstick. I buzz for Anita to come into the room; she opens the door and stands in the doorway. ”Be a Doll and see Ms. Princess out.”

Lauren gets up and follows Anita out, while closing the door behind her. I take a moment to sort through things in my mind. First things first, where the hell is my partner; I pick up my phone and dial his apartment; I swing my feet around to the window seal to stretch out while I let the phone ring, after about ten times I give up and hang up the phone. Next I call his favorite bar but he wasn’t there either; I even call a few of his lady friends but they haven’t seen him. I lean back in my chair and close my eyes, trying to think where Will might go when there is another knock at my door. I open my eyes and look at the closed door but Anita doesn’t enter and there is another knock on the door.

”Cat got your tongue? Come in!” I shout.

Anita opens the door and stands there; the look she gives me sends a chill down my spine and I know something is wrong. Slowly she takes a few steps into the room and that’s when I see the man standing behind her, prodding her from behind.

“Take a seat over there girlie and no funny business or I’ll drill ya!” He snaps, pushing her into one of the chairs by my desk.

I start to rise out of my seat but the man turns his .38 on me, so I slowly ease myself back into my chair and raise my hands up. This guy looks to be about average height and weight in an average brown suit, he has a baby face; a pretty boy really except for a three inch scar running down the left side of his face from his temple to his cheek. He is gripping his gun tight, like it might slip out of his hand at any moment. I look over to Anita; she’s not the kind of woman that likes to be pushed around and I can see anger starting to sweep over her face.

”Alright let’s everybody relax. Who are you and what do you want?”

“My friends call me The Irishman, so you just call me Liam.”

“Alright Liam, you’ve got my attention. Now what do you want?”

“So you’re some kind of detective, a private dick right?”

I let that one slide.

”The dame that was here earlier, she tried to hire you?”

My arms are getting heavy so I lower my hands. ”Now you know if she was a client I couldn’t tell you.”

”Hey; you trying to play me for a fool? I know how you guys work. I’m here to give you a message: whatever the Dame is asking you to do, stay out of it!”

“And just why would I do that?”

“Because I’m the one holding the heater and I’ll drill the both of you full of lead!” Liam says, waving the gun between Anita and I.

“Well you got a lot of nerve coming into my office, I’ll give you that.”

“Some might say I’ve got…  moxie. So you better listen to what I’m saying if you know what’s good for you!”

Liam backs out of the room and closes the door, I don’t move until I hear the outer door close. I reach into the top drawer of my desk and pull out Stella, my .45 Automatic and a fresh clip; I look at Anita and she nods that she is okay. I rush to the door and place my ear against it, just to make sure there is no movement in the other room. I pop in the clip and chamber the first round, before opening the door; Stella enters the room first as I scan the room to make sure he is gone. I then run to the outer door and bolt into the hallway but the hallway is empty, it doesn’t look like he took the elevator so he probably took the stairs and I didn’t feel like running down ten flights after him. I walk back into the office and go to my desk to grab my shoulder holster out of the drawer.

Anita looks at me and says; “What are you going to do, Boss?”

”What I have to do.” I tell her as I take my blazer off and put on my shoulder holster.  Stella slides easily into her holster, like feet into a pair of cozy slippers. ”When something happens to your partner you have to do something about it, you can’t let it lay otherwise it just sits there looking at you saying why didn’t you do something about this when you had the chance, instead of letting it lay. It doesn’t matter if your partner is a good man or bad, you just can’t let it lay! So I’m going to do what I got a do, no more no less; because it just can’t lay there!”

Anita seems a little confused by what I tell her, as I put my blazer back on and grab my hat.

”Hold down the fort Doll until I get back.” I walk out.

 

*

 

The elevator drops me off on the lobby floor and I make my way past Bucky, the desk clerk at the information counter. He is just a pimple face kid in a doorman's uniform, working to make some extra dough to help out his family while he is in school; I try to throw him a saw buck now and again because I like him and he is a good kid.

“It’s pouring cats and dogs out there; would you like an umbrella, Mr. Dickson?” Bucky asks.

I stop and go back to his counter; I take the umbrella he is holding up and give him a slight smile. “How’s the family, Bucky?”

“They’re swell, thanks for asking Mr. Dickson. My little sister is going to be starting high school next year.” Bucky tells me, proudly.

“That’s good, Bucky. Give them my best and keep hitting those books.” I shake his hand, palming him a ten-dollar bill and then I head for the lobby doors again. I don’t wait for the response that I know is coming.

“Golly thanks, Mr. Dickson!”

 

*

 

Bucky is right; it is pouring buckets and his umbrella did come in handy. I step out on to the sidewalk and start down the street, weaving between the other saps caught out in this weather. Some jerk brushes by me, almost knocking me into an old bum sitting against the corner of the building. The bum is trying to stay dry with a thin blanket and some old newspapers. “Sorry Pops.” I mumble.

I make my way to the newsstand at the corner and the voice of Deacon Smith stops me. Deacon or ‘Deke’ to his friends his been running the newsstand for years and always looks the same in his heavy wool sweater and Birmingham Black Barons baseball cap; I think he played for them a while back. Everybody says he should retire but he just tells them that he would die of boredom if he quit, I guess growing up the son of a tenant farmer in the south instilled a strong work ethic in him along with a lean muscular build that even at 60 years of age could give me a run for the money.

“You on a case, Son?” Deke asks me.

“Yeah, say you haven’t seen my partner lately, have you?”

Deke rubs the wiskers on chin and then tilts his ballcap back, revealing his shaved head. “No, can say that I have. Not in a few days, you lost him?”

“Something like that, if you see him, tell him I’m looking for him.”

“Will do.” Deke taps his ballcap with his fore finger and nods.

I turn the corner and hop in my Buick Eight, tossing my wet umbrella in the back seat. I turn over the engine and fire up the radio; it is going to be a long drive and I need something to get me in the mood. ‘Green Eyes’ by Jimmy Dorsey fills the inside of my car. “Nice!” I think to myself, as I pull into traffic.

 

*

 

The rain lets up outside of the city and by the time I get to the address Lauren had given me, it was almost dry. I pull off the highway to get a better look at the location; the address is to a small farm. I can make out a house with a red pickup truck parked in the front, a barn and pen next to the house in the distance. There are lights on inside the house so somebody is home but they might not be expecting company so I decide drive up slow with the lights off. I stop about two hundred feet out and park; quietly I get out and pull Stella from her holster, I click the safety off. There is no movement outside so I start for the house; I get about half way across when the lights go out. Not wanting to get caught out in the open, I dash to the truck for cover. Three men step out and stand on to the porch; one lights a cigarette, while the other two stand there.

“How much longer do we have to stay out here? There’s nothing to do and we’re out of Guinness.” One of the men complains, before taking a long pull on his cigarette.

“How many times do I have to tell ya? As soon as we get the money for the dingus, we’re out of here. Unless you want to give up your cut, in which case you can make like the wind and blow.”

The Irishman! I recognize the accent immediately; at least I know I’m in the right spot. Liam takes out a stick of Beemens and un-wraps it, he shoves the gum into his mouth and starts to chew. He stops chewing and spits out the gum when he spots my car.

“Hey! Somebody’s here, I’ll check out the barn. You two spread out; plug anything that moves!”

I hold my position behind the truck, hoping these guys won’t be bright enough to check over here but I was wrong. One of them comes around the back end and spots me, so I hit him with the butt of my gun and drop him like a sack of potatoes. I hear a bullet whiz by my head, knocking my hat off and I drop to the ground and return fire. A muffled moan and a splat in the mud tells me I hit my target, time to move. I run to the side of the Barn; I see Will’s Desoto parked on the side between the house and the barn; so he did make it out here. I know The Irishman is near but I have to get in that barn, so I quietly move up to the barn door and try to force my way in. Something hits me across the back of my head and I start dreaming of dancing Hippos in tutu’s and Alligators’ in leotards, and the symphonic music in my head swells. I pass out.

 

*

 

A wave of cold water wakes me from dreamland and I find myself wet and tied to a chair; I try to loosen my bonds but the knots are tight, I have no leverage, I feel weighted down and my head feels like someone is using it for a kick drum.

“Wake up Boy-o. Did ya have a nice nap?’ Liam chuckles; the barn is dark but I can see he is holding a kerosene lamp.

“I’ve had better accommodations; what’s for breakfast?” I ask, while still trying to loosen my bonds. The smack across my jaw distracts me for a moment but it did loosen up the ropes a little bit.

“That was for Frankie. He’s dead!” The other man says angrily, leaning over me. “And this one’s for me!”

The second shot was harder but it also helped loosen the ropes; I can almost feel the blood coming back into my hands. My vision is coming back into focus, even in this low light and just in time too; I see the man is winding up for a third swing at me but my foot meets his groin first. I drop him like a bad habit; The Irishman seems to be enjoying the show, judging by his laughter.

“You alright there, Sammy boy?” Liam shouts to the man on the floor. He doesn’t answer, as he is still preoccupied with his man parts. The Irishman looks at me. “Well you do got a pair on you, don’t ya? You think you’re pretty fresh.”

“Well I do bathe regularly.” I smile; The Irishman doesn’t reciprocate.

“I should put a hole in ya, for hurting my boys but we’re going to wait. Somebody wants to see ya.”

“I’m flattered but I didn’t shave this morning, maybe tomorrow…”

“Knock it off! I was told to leave ya alive but he didn’t say anything about your friend.”

“Friend?” I feel my heart sink. “You mean Will! Where is he?” I shout at him.

“Right behind you partner. You’re not very aware of your surroundings.” Will Owens says.

I try to turn my head to get a look at him but he is tied to another chair right behind me and we are tied together; no wonder I can’t get any leverage.

“What are you doing here?” Will asks me.

”I met the Princess Dame, she hired me to find out what happened to you.”

“Oh yeah, well I don’t need your helped. I got it under control.” Will proclaims.

“I see that; and how is this working for you so far?”

Will shrugs as The Irishman walks behind me to face him. I didn’t have to see The Irishman’s face to know he is grinning from ear to ear and I so badly want to wipe that grin off his face. I hear the hammer on a .38-cock back but before the trigger is pulled, we all hear a car pull up.

”That’s him, he’s here. Get your ass up Sammy!” Liam orders, as he eases the hammer down on his 38 and slips it back into his pocket.

“That was close.” Will says, breathing a sigh of relief.

”Too close if you ask me.” I agree.

Everyone’s attention turns to the barn door, as it slowly opens. My vision has finally cleared up and I get a clear look at the puppet master of this poorly run sideshow.

The man who enters is tall and is skinny as the thin black pencil mustache that is hanging on to his upper lip. His slick backed sideburns run to his jaw line and has me worried about what I might see under his hat, if he ever takes it off. His trench coat doesn’t add any bulk to his frame but the automatic in his hand has my full attention. His gun hand moves side to side like a sprinkler head as he scans the room; this guy is a hired gun and not the Boss. Satisfied that the barn is safe; he backs up to the door and opens it again and calls out to whoever is waiting outside. “You’re good, Boss.”

 

*

 

The next man who comes into the barn is sharply dress in a dark grey business suit, with a gold chain draped across his vest for his pocket watch. A little rotund in the waist line, he has a slight limp which his silver handled walking stick is suppose to help support, but it looks more like it is for show than anything else. The Irishman walks up to the sharp dressed man, wiping his hands on his pants legs and extends his hand out to him. The sharp dressed man takes off his hat and places it in The Irishman’s hand, as he starts to remove his leather gloves.

”The Irishman.” The sharp dressed man states gruffly. ”I see the guests have arrived, let me have a look at them.”

The sharp dressed man tosses his gloves into his hat that the Irishman is still holding and starts to walk over to Will and I. He looks me over once and then smiles, as he takes out a handkerchief and blots his damp baldhead. ”So you’re the detectives, Mr. Dickson and that is your partner Mr. Owens?”

”And you would be?” I ask.

”Forgive me where are my manners, my name is Mr. Blackman, Geoffrey A. Blackman. I’m a purveyor of rare goods and services. I hope your stay with the Irishman has not been too unpleasant, but you see you’ve been pulled into the middle of the delicate transaction and I don’t like loose ends, so I had to see what type of man you are. Are you the sort of man who can go about his own business and not be concerned in the matters of others, or are you the sort of man who pulls at the loose threads and keeps pulling until everything unravels? So I wonder, which one are you?”

”Perhaps you should think of me as a cat, I do love to play with string.” I tell him.

That brings a smile to Mr. Blackman’s face, followed by a hearty laugh. He takes his handkerchief and blots his baldhead again, before tucking it away.

”Amusing, you certainly have a lot of nerve I’ll give you that, one might even say that you have-“

“Chutzpah?” I smile.

“You know Mr. Dickson I’ve met men like you before, full of bravado and sly wit. But they always end up in the same place, tied to a chair in a place not unlike this one, while I go on my way.” Mr. Blackman says plainly. He takes a few steps to my left, to get a better look at my partner Will I assume; he doesn’t seem impressed. He turns back to The Irishman. “And the other item, do you have it?”

“Right here Mr. Blackman; Sammy!” He calls out to his partner.

Sammy brings out a satchel and places it on a small table just a few feet away from Will and I. As he sits it down I can see my Stella lying on the table as well. Mr. Blackman walks over to the table; he gently caresses the satchel. He is looking at it so lovingly; I wasn’t sure if he was going to open it or buy it dinner; finally he carefully unclips the latch and opens the satchel. A golden light shines on Mr. Blackman, as his eyes widen and the biggest smile that I’ve ever seen grows on his face. “Beautiful, just beautiful!” He says.

The Irishman comes up alongside Mr. Blackman and asks; “If you don’t mind me asking Sir, just what is it?”

”The stuff of dreams, Sir. The stuff of dreams.”

I shift in my chair and I can feel enough slack in the ropes that I can probably slip one or both of my arms out, but I want to wait for the right moment to make my move. The Irishman places his lamp on the table next to the satchel and looks at Mr. Blackman.

”Now you got your dingus, where’s our payment?’ Liam demands.

Mr. Blackman gives the Irishman a sharp look and then smiles as he closes the satchel; he holds up two fingers and waves for his man to join them. ”Dean, pay the Irishman.”

Dean reaches inside his trench coat and The Irishman looks a little nervous but relaxes when he sees it is only a thick envelope that he is pulling out. He hands it to the Irishman, who looks like a kid on Christmas morning as he looks inside the envelope and whistles in satisfaction.

“Thanks, Mr. Blackman. But ya know I lost a good man on this job and took on some additional expenses; I’m not sure this is really going to be enough…”

Mr. Blackman frowns. ”You wish to change the terms of our agreement?”

“No honor amongst thieves I guess.” I suggest to Blackman.

“Indeed Mr. Dickson. Perhaps you are wondering how you and your partner ended up in this particular situation in the first place? You see I found out a while ago that this treasure was in the possession of a very rich but corrupt man, so I took it upon myself to liberate it if you will, from that man and the person I contracted for the job did so, splendidly but they became greedy and tried to change the terms of our agreement. That’s why I secured the services of the Irishman and his men to get that which is rightfully mine!” Mr. Blackman looks sharply at the Irishman again. “And you know what else I don’t like, besides loose ends? Its individuals who aren’t true to their word; if you enter into a contract for services, I expect the terms of that contract be met.”

“Who did you originally hire to do the job?” Will calls out, with the sinking feeling in his voice.

“Why you already met her, both of you.” Mr. Blackman chuckles.

I didn’t need to see Will’s face to know those words stuck him like a knife in his heart. “Lauren Princess.” I mutter.

Mr. Blackman laughs. “She’s no Princess, I’ll tell you that!”

“But I am a Princess or at least I want to live like one!” Lauren says stepping out of the shadows, with her pistol trained on him.

“You!” We all say in chorus.

“Hello sweeties, miss me?” Lauren gives us a cute smile but it wasn’t working on me, well not that much anymore.

“Why Lauren, why?” Will asks, still trying to put the puzzle pieces together.

“Sorry sweetie, I put in all that time and effort lifting that thing from Waldham Princess’ estate, I wasn’t going to just let them steal it from me! And the increase in my asking price was fair.” She tells us.

“The hell you say!” Mr. Blackman baulks.

“I didn’t like my odds against the Irishman though; I needed an in, someone to shift the odds in my favor and I thought you could thin out the herd for me, Will. I didn’t think these stooges would get the drop on you, that’s why I had to go back and get your partner, but I see now that you guys are no better than Frick and Frack. I guess I never should have sent a man to do a woman’s job.” She sighs.

Ouch! That one hurt. “Get ready Will, I have a plan.” I whisper to him.

“What? What plan?” Will whispers.

“Now if you would kindly hand over that envelope AND the satchel, I’ll be on my way.”

“You wouldn’t DARE!” Mr. Blackman protests.

“Wouldn’t I?” Lauren cocks the hammer on her pistol.

“NOW!” I shout.

Will and I rock our chairs over and I break free and I kick out the table leg. Stella slides off the tabletop and into my hands; the lamp rolls off too and hits the ground, bursting into flames. Everyone jumps back as the fire spreads across the floor and smoke starts to rise.

Now the fun begins. I help Will to his feet, as guns came out from everywhere; through the smoke I see Mr. Blackman grab the satchel yelling “My precious!” and tries to get out of the line of fire as shots ring out from every direction. I think I see little sliver of light in the distance, so Will and I head in that direction while I pop off a couple of rounds to make sure the path is clear. Luckily we find the door and make our way out; we stop a few feet away from the barn to cough our lungs clear when someone steps out of the barn. Stella whips around to see who it is; it is Sammy, he is clutching his chest as he takes a couple of wobbly steps and then hits the ground dead. Someone else steps out of the barn behind him, it is Dean with his automatic still gripped in his hand; I shout for him to drop it but he doesn’t seem to be listening to me, he takes two steps and then drops dead next to Sammy. Someone else comes out of the barn, it is the Irishman and he is firing off shots blindly. I fire one shot to knock the gun out of his hand; he drops to his knees screaming, while trying to stop the bleeding from his hand, that’s when I see Mr. Blackman limp out of the barn, clutching the satchel.

“Drop it!” I shout.

Mr. Blackman does so without resistance and falls to his knees, I think I hear him say “My precious.” but it doesn’t matter because I see Lauren stumble out of the barn, as the roof collapses in on itself. She drops her gun while moving away from the barn and then quickly runs into my arms, I can hear sirens in the distance as a fire truck and the police are coming down the road.

”What are you going to tell them Rick, you wouldn’t turn me in would you?” Lauren asks, looking deeply into my eyes. “Nobody has to know, nobody’s going to believe those two and everybody else’s dead. It will be our secret and we could be together.”

Will looks at me, a little miffed and I look at Lauren as the police cruiser pulls up. Detective Jerry Lackey gets out of the cruiser and walks up to us. Lucky for me we were friends from when I used to be on the force.

“What happened here?” Detective Lackey demands.

“A robbery gone bad Jerry, we’ll explain it to you at the station; you’re going to want to grab that satchel and those two fellas over there.” I tell him. I turn and look at Lauren. “And her too.”

Lauren is shocked, she pulls away from me and stares in disbelief at Will and I; she slaps me hard across my face as Detective Jerry steps in to grab her and then orders a couple of patrolmen to grab the Irishman and Mr. Blackman.

“So that’s it, it’s the big kiss off for me! How could you?” Lauren starts to sob.

“Sorry lady, you’re damaged goods and I won’t be the patsy for you. Somebody is going to have to take the fall for this, pay the piper, do the hard time, get called out on the carpet, and take one for the team. But it won’t be Will or I, we won’t be the fall guys for you!”

Lauren turns to Will for help.

“What he said.” Will answers without being asked.

Detective Jerry Lackey starts to take her away but Lauren breaks free and runs back into my arms.

“Oh Rick, kiss me. Just once before I go…” She begs.

I looked at her and say, “Maybe in five to ten, less with good behavior.” I nod for Jerry to take her.

The Police car pulls out as another fire truck drives up; I look at Will and say; “Let’s get out of here.”

“I’m with you, partner.” Will answers back.

 

*

 

Back in the office a few days later, Will and I are taking a break with our feet up on our desks. I have the game turned up on the radio; it is the bottom of the 6th and my team is down by two runs, which has me worried because I have twenty-dollars bet on the game. There is a knock on the door and Anita comes into the room.

“What’s cooking, good looking?” Will smiles at her.

“There’s a Lady in the waiting room; she’s looking for a detective.” Anita announces.

“Is she a looker?” I ask.

“Aren’t they all?” Anita smiles.

Will and I look at each other, grinning and then I turn back to Anita.

“Give us a minute to freshen up Doll, and then send her in.”

 

 

***

 

 

 


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