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Red Ribbons in Her Hair Ch. 13-14

Chapter Thirteen

Kaylee sat across from Gabe at a table in one of the nicer restaurants in town. She couldn't help but look around her nervously, her eyes scanning the faces of the men around her, wondering if one of them could be the man who was going to try to take her.

"Stop being so nervous," Gabe laughed, reaching out and taking her hand, though he too scanned the faces around them. He picked out the plains clothes detectives though, knowing each one of them, since he hand picked them for this detail.

"I just can't believe you brought me out to dinner," she said, picking up the glass of wine he'd ordered for her and taking a sip of the bright fruity liquid. "I figured once I got off those steps I'd never see the sun again until he's behind bars."

"Well, enjoy it," Gabe grinned. "We're eating on the department tonight." The waitress stepped up as if waiting for his cue, her pad and pencil ready, a huge smile on her lips as her eyes took in Gabe. They settled on Kaylee for a moment before sliding right over her as if she were no threat, and gifting Gabe with a huge, toothy grin, pushing her shoulders back a little more to make the buttons of her white blouse gape over her breasts.

"What can I get for you?" she gushed, her voice practice sexy as if she thought every syllable out, dedicating her life to making it sound like sin on toast.

Before Gabe could answer, Kaylee spoke up, her voice full of sweetness. "Oh, my honey, is that a hair in your drink?" She reached out, acting like she was pulling something out of his glass, holding it up. "Oh, it must be yours," she said to the waitress. "It's dyed."

From the table just behind her, Kaylee heard Dean snort into his drink, choking on the alcoholic fluid. She smiled up at the waitress, batting her eyes at her while Gabe hid his own smile. "I think we could use a moment or two more," he said to the red faced girl who glared at Kaylee as she walked away.

"You may want to watch your food," Dean said from behind his napkin as he leaned back in his chair as if taking a deep breath.

"Want to switch with me?" Kaylee asked him, elbowing him lightly in the back as he crowded her some.

"I really don't think so," he snorted before moving back towards his table.

"You two have gotten close," Gabe said, trying to make it sound like idle conversation as he perused his menu.

"Well, him being the short stick and all, we've both kind of bonded." Kaylee settled her elbows on the table, settling her chin down on her hands and looking at him. "So what kind of fun thing are we going to do after this, go for a walk down a dark alley? Head out to the nearest biker bar? I know, tie me up and plop me down on the tracks to play the Pay The Rent game?"

"Kaylee," Gabe began, his voice low.

"I know, Gabe. I signed up for this, it's just a little nerve wracking knowing that he could be out there and I don't know who he is. I'll be fine." She plopped open her menu staring unseeingly at the selections.

"Have you decided?" A young man's voice came from over Kaylee's shoulder and she jerked, her arm hitting his hands and knocking his pad and pen out of them.

"Oh, God, I'm sorry," she said, hiding her face in her hands. She counted to ten and then looked up at Gabe from under the thick fan of her lashes.

She heard Dean snort from behind her and wanted to turn and glare at him, but didn't. She wasn't supposed to know him. She was supposed to be here on a romantic evening out with her boyfriend, not as the department's "sitting duck" as she liked to think of herself.

"It's okay, honey," Gabe said, reaching out and patting her hand. "She's a little nervous. I told her I have something important to talk to her about tonight and she's been a wreck since then."

Kaylee gave Gabe a stare that should have froze him to the spot, instead he grinned like an unrepentant little boy.

"It's the baby that does it," she said to the waiter after sending a sweet smile towards Gabe. "Pregnancy makes me jumpy." She heard Dean snort again and leaned closer to the waiter. "You might want to ask the gentleman behind me if he's okay, I keep hearing him choking."

"I will, thank you," the young waiter said, blushing. "Congratulations," he turned and walked away from them, stopping by Dean's table to lean down and say something to him that had Dean laughing.

"You know, baby, if you keep doing this, we'll never get our food."

"I'm not very hungry," she sighed, staring around the room once more.

"But you've got to eat, Kaylee, love. If only for the baby's sake?"

Kaylee burst out laughing. "I'm sorry, I couldn't resist."

"It's okay," Gabe said, grinning widely. "I love a woman who can think on her feet. Now how about some soup, you haven't eaten much today at all."

"Okay, mother," she sighed, rolling her eyes dramatically. "I'll eat, okay?"

The waiter came back and they gave him their orders, trying to act nonchalant, like a couple just enjoying a night out after work. They didn't discuss "the case" but it was there between them, like the pink elephant no one wants to admit to seeing.

They talked about things that people in love discuss, family, stories of growing up, anything but work. All the while, Kaylee stared around the dining room, her hands fidgeting with her napkin, pulling apart the small hem until Gabe took her hands in his. "It's okay, Kaylee. There are enough cops in here to make a donut shop happy. You're safe." He took a last sip of his coffee and glanced at his watch.

"It's time?" she asked him.

He nodded.

"I just have to make a quick trip to the ladies room," she said, dropping her napkin on the table. She picked up her purse, bending to give him a fast kiss before heading to the back of the restaurant.

Gabe paid the bill, pocketing the receipt and leaving a healthy tip. He was ready to go when she returned, picking up her jacket and holding it for her to slip her arms into the sleeves. He wrapped his arm around her shoulder and walked her to the front of the restaurant. "Wait here," he told her. "I'm going to go get the car. I'll be right back."

The cool night air felt good on her skin after the heat of the restaurant. She sighed, staring around her, ever watchful. She saw Dean come out and smiled politely at him. He walked by her and stood as if waiting for a cab to come by, though she knew he'd driven his own car to the restaurant.

Every sound seemed so loud, every person who walked by her was suspect. She jumped when a hand brushed her back, turning to see a guy, probably no older than a teenager smile and give her a wink. She frowned at him, then turned to watch for Gabe once more.

It happened suddenly, a party of twelve that had also been in the restaurant celebrating during a rehearsal dinner for a happy young couple, pushed out of the restaurant in a big crowd. They seemed to almost surround her, pushing her away from the stairs that led into the restaurant and out closer to the street.

The car came from nowhere, it pulled up next to her, the door opening and a hand reaching out, grabbing her and yanking her into the car and across the driver's lap. The door slammed shut and the driver made to gun the engine. Dean stepped out, directly in the path of the car, his badge raised, his gun drawn.

He never got off a shot. The gun was jarred from his hand by the impact of the car, landing to skitter across the pavement. His body was thrown forcibly in the air, rolling to come down hard across the hood of the car. He slammed into the windshield before being flicked off the car as the driver hit the brakes.

Dean hit the pavement hard, hearing the snap of more bones break against the concrete. He screamed as he rolled, trying to get away from the tires of the car and felt something seem to almost pop inside of him. The pain was terrible, and he fought for consciousness for one instant in time before the blackness became unstoppable. Fuck! We've lost her! was his last conscious thought.

Gabe was running before he heard the first squeal of the tires. He'd known what was going to happen as soon as the crowd of people had pushed through the door. He reached the scene just as the car was careening around the corner, hearing the screams of the witnesses with half an ear. Running over to Dean, he put his hand on the man's shoulder, bending down.

It didn't take much to determine that he was in bad shape. Gabe grabbed his cell, radioing in for back up and for an officer down call.

"Hang on, buddy," he said to Dean, squatting down next to him.

Plain clothes cops seem to come from everywhere, gathering around him and Dean. Gabe growled at them, giving them crowd duties and to take statements. He could only hope that the small tracking device that they'd put in the bottom of Kaylee's purse as a last resort was working and they had a team out right now following it. If not? He hated to think that far ahead.

Sirens came from the distance as the officer down call was relayed. He sent detectives to interview the crowd of people who'd stepped from the restaurant and anyone else seen on the streets, hoping someone caught a car description or a license plate number.

The ambulance showed and Dean was carted aboard strapped to a backboard with a thick white collar around his neck. He hadn't regained consciousness. The EMTs had put oxygen on him, starting a line of saline solution as a just incase. They'd splinted his leg to keep it stationary and had him set up to a heart monitor. Gabe watched as they left the scene, Dean's duty weapon in his hand.

How had everything gone south so fast?

* * * *

She struggled, using every tool in her arsenal of self defense to get away. But he was too strong, too determined and too in control. He hit her, bloodying her nose, blacking her eye, but still she fought. Finally, he managed, while driving with one hand, to pull out a cloth, plastering it to her face, over her nose.

Things grew foggy quick and she knew, from the strange smell coming from the cloth, that it was drugged with something. She tried to pull his hand away but couldn't budge it. Finally she could do nothing but give in to the darkness that pulled at her.

Her head slumped, her eyes rolled back into her head before closing and she relaxed completely against the seat.

He took a deep breath, dropping the cloth to her lap and ran his hand through his hair. He had to dump this car and do it quickly. It was a good thing he'd stolen it before checking out the restaurant earlier. Damage like this done to his own car would be hard to explain.

He drove to the small alley where he'd left his car, picking up Kaylee with one arm around her waist, as if she were no more than a little drunk. Scanning the area and seeing no one, he flipped the trunk release and draped her inside, her hair falling across her face and hiding it from his sight. That was okay. He had her now. They had a lot of time to get to know each other. They had the rest of their lives.

He slammed the lid closed, taking the time to wipe out the car he'd stolen, moving the seat back so it looked like a much taller man had driven it, moving the steering wheel up a ways as if his stomach needed to fit under it. He changed the setting of the mirrors, wiped off anywhere he might have touched and then brushed a lint roller over the seats to pick up any stray hairs. He even turned the stereo system all the way up and left it on the most bible thumping Christian station he could find. That should give them a thrill when they turned on the ignition, he thought with an uncharacteristic glee.

Now, he had to get home with his prize. He was glad he'd fucked Michelle earlier, it had taken the edge off so that even this thrill ride, while having his dick hard with his success, wasn't affecting his thoughts as it usually did.

Getting back in his car, he took the time to smooth down his hair, brushing a bit of dirt off of his cheek and straightening his shirt. Then he calmly started his car, making sure his seat belt was on and left the alley.

He took a long and circuitous route home, wanting to be sure that anyone following wasn't following him. Then he opened his garage door, drove the car inside and closed it behind him. Waiting until it was fully down, he opened his car door and got out, hitting the release on the trunk as he stepped up to it. He let it pop open on its own, glancing behind him to check out the windows of the garage.

"Okay, you son of a bitch. Back up and put your hands on your head!"

Chapter Fourteen

Gabe led the group of heavily armed and protected men and women as they converged upon the alley. Kaylee's tracer unit pinpointed her exact location as being here but Gabe had his doubts. Why would they be in an alley, there was no reason for it?

They swarmed all over the car, shouts of "Clear!" sounding in the late night air. Gabe kicked the tire, swearing a blue streak. It was another dead end in a long line of dead ends.

"This is the car," another detective called, pulling Kaylee's bag out of the front seat.

"Yeah, Dean's blood is on the front grill and on the windshield, but we got blood inside too."

"Get a crime scene unit down here, now! And everyone back away from the car. I don't want any evidence fouled because of one of us." He paced back and forth in the mouth of the alley. "Damn, where is she?"

* * * *

"Prick!" she said, climbing out of the trunk of the car slowly, keeping the gun trained upon the man's chest. "You broke my nose."

"Who are you?" David asked her, watching as she pulled off the long, dark wig that he'd thought was Kaylee's hair as he'd sat down the street from the restaurant. He'd taken big chances tonight, but when they'd been presented, he couldn't help but take them. It had seemed fate when Gabe had left her side, leaving her standing in the pool of light from the streetlight, almost as if waiting for him to come and grab her. Then, those people coming out of the restaurant, crowding around her, pushing her towards the street, how could he pass up such a chance when it had presented itself?

"Detective Sheri Brigman, prick, and you are under arrest. Turn around and face the garage door." Sheri waited until he did before quickly scanning the dark interior of the garage, searching for something to use to restrain him. If only she'd managed to keep hold of Kaylee's purse. Her identification and, more importantly, her handcuffs were in that bag.

A small bag of long, plastic zip ties caught her eye. They weren't as long as the ones they used on the force to subdue suspects, but they might work. She backed towards them, keeping him in the unwavering sights of the gun. She would have to drop it when she went to put him in the ties, but standing here with him loose while she waited for back up made her even more nervous. She grabbed three of the long ties, devising a system that would be far more humane than the one he used on his victims.

"What is your name?" she asked him, slowly coming closer to him.

He turned his head, squinting at her with those eerie eyes. "What color is your hair?" he asked. He couldn't tell, she had it up under a thick hairnet designed to keep it confined under the wig she'd worn.

"None of your fucking business, pervert. Now, let's try this again. What's your name?" She stood behind him, pressing the barrel of the gun against his back and urging him forward until he was pressed against the thin metal door.


"David... what?"

"What color is your hair?" he asked her again, cocking his head slowly to the side as he looked at her.

Sheri almost shivered before she stopped herself. He was creepy in the extreme. "Okay, David. If you don't want to tell me anymore, we'll get the rest out of you at the station. I can't believe someone like you won't be in the system, maybe as a juvenile offender? Now, we are going to do something here and you are going to cooperate or I'm going to put a bullet in you, got me?"

He didn't answer, just stared at her impassively.

She sighed. "I'm going to give you these zip ties and you are going to fasten one around each wrist and then put the third inside one of the other two than put your hands behind your back while I finish the job. If you try anything," she warned him, "anything at all, I will shoot you."

She waited, watching him.

He nodded, his eyes blank and staring at her.

She handed him the first zip tie, watching as he pulled it tight around his wrist. The second zip tie went on the same way. Then she handed him the third. He slipped it under one of the others before turning his back and holding his hands behind him.

Sheri tried to fasten it while holding the gun to him but he'd put the other zip tie on too tight and she couldn't get the tie under it. With a hiss of frustration, she took one look at the back of his head, shoved the gun in the front of the jeans she wore and grabbed the tie with her other hand.

It was ripped from between her fingers, his body twisting so fast she barely had time to blink before seeing the rage in his eyes. His fist smashed into her face even as she fumbled to get to her gun and she fell backwards, hitting the cold cement hard. It knocked the wind from her, sent her skidding back along the hard cement until her back hit the rear end of the car.

Then he was standing over her, his hands yanking at the hairnet she wore, pulling it free and then pulling her up, the zip tie in his hands. Before she could fight him, he had her wrists expertly tied, the plastic digging in painfully to the soft flesh. He bent, grunting as he hefted her slim body over his shoulder and headed for the house.

* * * *

Kaylee stood as if guard over the battered body of her new friend. Dean had gone down hard, breaking two ribs, his leg, and giving himself a skull fracture to boot. They'd had to reinflate his lung after it had been punctured by one of the jagged edges of rib bone. He was on a machine now to regulate his breathing, tubes feeding him medicine, wires connected to his chest and his finger and another tube coming from under the sheet that covered him and leading to a small bag at the end of his bed.

His ribs were bandaged, his head swathed like a mummy, a slight pink cast to part of the white. His face was a mass of scratches and his legs were covered in road rash.

"Buddy," she said quietly. "You look like shit. You've got to wake up; the press wants to make you a hero for getting run down by a car. You can't let all those women out there see you like this. It's bad for the image, Dean." A sob shook her shoulders and she sank down on the small chair next to the bed, her hand lying on his limp one.

It had been her idea to come to the hospital and stay with Dean while Gabe followed the tracker unit Sheri had in the purse. They'd switched places in the restaurant bathroom, their plan had been to leave Sheri alone out in front of the restaurant to see if their killer would take the bait. He had, but he wasn't supposed to have gotten Sheri in the deal.

When they'd hustled her out of the bathroom, she'd seen Gabe, his dark hair mussed from dragging his hand through it in frustration, his eyes worried. He'd walked over to her, touching her cheek for a brief instant of intimacy before telling her what had happened. Then he'd had her brought here. A guard stood outside of the room, protecting both her and Dean.

But he knew nothing of what was going on, giving her a bored look as he stood watching the nurses as they went about their duties.

She wiped the tears from her eyes, tears of exhaustion and frustrations that just seemed to keep welling. She felt one slide down her cheek, saw it drop onto Dean's hand. With a small sniff, she wiped it away, laying her head along the edge of his bed and staring up into his battered face.

"Please don't die, Dean. I don't think I could handle it if you do."
* * * *

Sheri struggled and fought, kicking her feet and bashing her head against David's back. It was as if she didn't exist, except for the hold he kept around her legs, holding her to his shoulder. He ignored her movements completely, even when she knew she must have done something to him that hurt.

She caught glimpses of the house as they moved through it, a normal, nice home with normal furnishings, a television set, a rocker/recliner set in front of it. There was even a nice, normal cat sitting upon the table, washing his paws. The cat looked at her for a moment, then went back to its bath as if its owner dragged bloody women into his house on a daily basis.

He kept walking, through a kitchen that had plain white linoleum, dull cabinets and a cookie jar of a cat on the counter. He paused an she heard the sound of a lock turn and then a light clicked on and suddenly he was going through a door and down a flight of stairs.

He dumped her unceremoniously into a hard wooden chair with a high back, pushing her easily back down when she tried to jump up. His hands went to her hair, yanking out the pins so that her long, bright red tresses shone in the bright light of the room, falling around her shoulders and into her face.

"Red," he said, disgust evident in his tone. "They couldn't even give me a decent decoy."

Sheri shook her head, trying to get the hair out of her eyes. With her hands bound behind her, it was almost an impossible task. "Sorry to disappoint you," she hissed, her voice hoarse with pain and fear, though she put up a brave front.

"Shut up," he said quietly, staring at her.

Her eyes narrowed and she wanted to scream at him but she kept quiet, squirming under the intensity of his stare.

"You're pretty I suppose. Tina might like you." He reached behind him and onto a shelf. Before she knew what he was about, he had her pinned to the chair, a pair of scissors snipping in front of her face. "Unless you want me to use these to snip you open and see what color your insides are, you might want to hold still."

The scissors were huge and silver, dressmaker shears, she thought, knowing that they could, indeed, cut her open. She nodded her head, seeing him staring at her with those odd blue eyes.

They were cold against her skin as he snipped through her clothing, starting at her pants. He used the shears to start the cuts, yanking at the fabric with his incredibly strong hands. When he was finished, she sat before him in nothing but a red silk bra and matching panties.

Sheri longed for the use of her hands, not to cover herself up but to fight this maniac. She was helpless, a feeling that never sat well with the feisty detective. "Got your thrills yet, David?" she asked him, angry.

He sighed. "I don't need another girl, especially one with red hair." He said the color as if it were the foulest thing in the world. "You were supposed to be Kaylee. She was going to be mine forever, but you took her place." He tilted his head to the side, studying her. "Why did you do that?"

"Because someone needs to take scumbags like you off the streets, and protect innocent lives like those girls you murdered. Is there any better reason? You know, David," she said, her voice growing softer, more intimate. "If you were to give yourself up to me, I'm sure we could make a deal, take the death penalty off the books and make sure you got life in some cushy institution somewhere."

"Give myself up? Darlin', there ain't nothing further from my mind," he said, the Texas accent coming out heavily. He reached out suddenly, turning the chair to where she could see Tina and Michelle, their arms wrapped around their naked bodies, watching every move David made with a look of horror upon their faces. "See, my two babies over there, they're sore. I've over used them the past couple of days and I was hoping for someone new to play with for a while."

Sheri took in the bruises and contusions, the terror in Michelle's eyes and the determination in Tina's. "And you thought I'd be willing to what, ride you like a bucking bronco?" she asked him.

He threw back his head, laughing at her use of the western vernacular. "Nice try, but the only one that will ride me will be Kaylee."

"You'll never get your hands on her, David. Gabe will see to that. He wouldn't let anything happen to her."

"Ah yes, Gabe Hampton. Isn't he the wonderful cop in charge of you tonight? Hmm, I think he might have fucked up a little bit," David said, tapping his finger against his lips. "I mean, if he hadn't fucked up, I wouldn't have YOU!" he shouted, spraying her face with spittle as he loomed over her.

Sheri cowered back in the chair, trying to keep up her mien of the tough detective, but inside she was quaking with fear. She was helpless, almost nude, and in the hands of a man who was known to have killed six women. She tried to force her numb and aching head into thinking but the only thing that came through the haze of fear was the voice of her Behavioral Psych teacher. "Don't rile the deviant." he used to always say.

"Yeah, you're right. Gabe did fuck up tonight," she said, trying to add disgust into her words.

David only nodded his head, reaching down and palming her breast in his hand.

Sheri tried to jerk away but the chair was at her back. She was trapped by his body with no where to go. "Don't," she said before she could stop herself.

David laughed, a chilling sound that sent goose flesh over her cold skin. "Ah, begging already, and I haven't even gotten started. You might be more fun than I thought, Detective." He peeled the cup down slowly, exposing the plump mound, his fingers twiddling over her nipple. "Very nice, I'd have expected you to be covered in freckles. Most redheads usually are."

"Sorry to not disappoint you," she hissed, hating the way his warm fingers felt against her skin.

"Good, I'd hate to have you give in so quickly. It's such a disappointment to me when they don't fight or squirm when I sink my cock into them." He pulled out the front of her bra, quickly sliding the shears into the gap and snipping it open. He pushed the two halves off of her breasts, exposing them to his eyes, the ruined material falling over her hands and catching on the zip tie that bound her wrists.

"What do you think, Tina? Would you do her?" He backed away from the chair, letting the girl get a good look at his latest prize. "She's got spunk like you, not like little Michelle in there." He bent over Sheri as if telling her a secret. "Tina's gay, I killed her lesbian lover when I took her from their bed. She's a good little fuck though, so maybe she's bi-sexual instead. You know, I just can't keep up with it anymore, bi-sexual, gay, hetero, it's a big mess out there."

"Yeah and you probably only like vanilla ice cream, too," Sheri said, not hiding the disgust she felt for the man from her voice.

"Ah, oh good one, nice come back, Detective. You'd better hope I like redheads or your time in this world will be ending very God damn soon." He knelt in front of her, pushing her thighs apart with his hands. His fingers went to the crotch of her panties, rubbing against them, pushing them into the slit between her thighs. His lips went to her breast, sucking in one of her full pink nipples, chewing on the soft flesh and hearing her cries of pain. "Beg me to stop," he ordered her, biting down on her nipple.

Sheri tried to stay quiet but the pain was intense, welling through her in big strong waves, too harsh to ignore. "Stop!" she screamed, "please, stop!"

* * * *

Gabe left the alley, his stride determined. Someone had to see something and he was going to knock on every door around until he found something. He grabbed a couple of uniforms that were just milling around, taking them with him into the apartment building next to the alley.

"Okay, you guys are going to take every other floor." He handed them copies of the artist's sketch. "I want you pounding on doors and taking statements. Talk to everyone in the apartments no matter how old. If they can talk, they can be a witness, understand?" He pointed towards the stairs, watching them hurry away and then went to the first floor apartment.

He pounded on the door. "Police, open up, I need to speak with you."

As soon as it was opened, he shoved his copy of the artist's rendering into the face of the older man who stood there. "Did you see this man tonight?"

He shook his head, starting to close his door but Gabe shoved his foot in. "Do you have anyone else living here with you?"

"Yeah, my wife and she ain't seen nothing either. We've been watching Jeopardy until you people showed up with your sirens and lights going, interrupting people from enjoying their evenings." He started to close the door again but Gabe reached out and hauled him up by his shirt.

"Listen, a young woman was kidnapped tonight. The car that was used is parked outside your building, almost right outside your apartment windows. Now, you're telling me you've been here all night and you haven't seen nothing?"

"He didn't, but I did."

The voice was tiny, thin, coming from behind the big man in the doorway. Gabe glanced down, seeing the owner of the voice matched its sound. A tiny bird-like woman who was at least sixty looked up at him with eyes the blue of corn flowers.

Gabe let go of her husband, seeing the man run his hand over his chest before stepping back so the woman could come forward.

"Alice, you don't have to do this," he said, holding his hand out to the fragile lady.

"Yes, I do, Harold. Now let the nice detective in so we can talk like civilized people." She led the way down a long hallway and into a nice apartment that was startling compared to the harsh exterior of the building. The room was warm, with hand crocheted doilies decorating every table top and silk flowers in wicker baskets displayed everywhere.

"Detective...?" Alice asked, holding out her hand and offering him a seat upon a comfortable looking sofa.

"Gabriel Hampton, ma'am," he said, sitting down and pulling out his notebook. "Can you tell me what you saw?"

"I was doing the dinner dishes, Harold was setting up the cards, we like to play after dinner and I heard a noise from out in the alley. Normally, we keep the blinds closed; it's not a nice neighborhood after dark anymore. But it's such a beautiful night, I opened the window a bit for some air."

Gabe nodded. His pen poised over the paper, he waited.

"I'm sorry, Detective, I'll get to it. A man, he was like the man in your picture but his hair wasn't so wild nor was he so dark skinned. He had something in his arms that he dumped into the trunk of another car. Then he got in the first one and was doing something. I think he was wiping off finger prints, like they do in those crime shows on television." She took her husband's hand into her own, twining their fingers together. It looked strange to Gabe, Harold's big sausage like fingers to the tiny little ones of his wife's.

"Did you see a make on the car?" he asked.

"No, I don't know much about cars. Harold does all the driving."

"What about a plate number? Can you remember any of it?"

"Uh, the letters, I think... A R S. I remember because I love roses and I thought, how lovely, A RoSe."

"Did you get a color of the car?" Gabe said, writing quickly. "Or maybe was it a two door or a four door?"

"Four and it was dark blue, kind of boring looking, actually."

Gabe was smiling. "Alice, I think I love you. If I send someone over here with some pictures of cars, do you think you can look through them?"

"Sure, detective," she said, smiling. "Will I get to come to court and testify too? Like they do on those crime shows?"

"Maybe. I've got to go. I'll be sending a uniformed officer with pictures of those cars." On a whim, he bent, pressing his lips to Alice's cheek. "You're my hero, lady," he whispered before hurrying from the apartment, already on his radio.

Alice blushed, a lovely shade of pink, her hand rising to her cheek. "He was a nice boy, wasn't he Harold?" she asked of her husband who just glowered and rubbed at his chest.

ribbons   13-14   red   her   hair  

Mar 20, 2018 in romance