Once In A WhilebyMandy57©
Yes, I probably should have known better.
I am, after all, an adult and probably half way through this wild trip more commonly known as "my life." But every once in a while....yeah, every once in a while you just have to roll the dice and play the cards you are stuck with.
This was one of those times.
It started out innocently enough, a common cliché of the tall, dark, handsome stranger that offered me his seat on the small bench by the hostess station of a nearly packed restaurant. Strangely enough, I normally wouldn't have accepted, after all, I am perfectly capable of standing upright, but two things happened that day that caused me to need that seat.
Firstly, it was a court day and standing in front of a judge and jurors meant a suit and heels. I had dressed in my favorite navy blue (blue inspires trust, or so I have been told) two piece skirt and jacket combo and when I went to slip on my comfortable "on your feet for six hours" shoes, I noticed a small slice in the dark blue leather near the sole. Now, perhaps no one else would have seen it but I knew it was there all the same and being preoccupied with my shoe and the precarious condition thereof was not a situation I could afford. I was forced into my backup shoes, you know the ones, not really practical for everyday use but you hang on to them just the same.
I found the nearly new pair of platform four inch heels which gave a nice boost to my small, 5'1" frame and slipped them over my hose. I walked around the bedroom several times to make sure there were no long forgotten pinches or jabs as a walked and after several minutes decided that they would indeed, do. And in truth, they were fine and would have worked out perfectly if not for the second thing that happened that day.
As I already said, it was a court day although I left out the particulars of the case. It just so happened that it was a criminal trial, a pretty much run of the mill Burglary case, or so I thought.
Casey Dunham was a nut job.
Okay, so maybe a shoe fetish in itself does not on its own, send him into that particular classification but the fact that he broke into a house, stole a pair of the owner's black heels and jerked off into them after stripping naked in her kitchen while watching Wheel of Fortune, does, in my book, give him a first class ticket to Crazyville.
I have to give Casey credit however. He did try to apologize to the very pale and shocked Mrs. Turner but apparently when she saw the size of his post erectile John Thomas, she fled her Better Homes and Gardens granite and ceramic tile kitchen and ran screaming to her neighbor who not only called 911 but pulled his Smith and Wesson out of his nightstand and nearly shot the now half dressed Casey as he tried to flee the scene of the crime.
The trial was proceeding through the morning hours without a glitch. The cops and detectives had testified, the crime lab geek had given sworn testimony that the DNA of the slimy fluid found inside and outside of Mrs. Turner's shoes did in fact belong to the one and only Mr. Dunham and my last witness, Mrs. Turner herself was on the stand. She recounted her day up and through her arrival home and the discovery of Casey in her kitchen, where she found him trying to get off one more good shot in her black Nine West pumps before calling it a night.
There is a saying in the legal world, "Never ask a question you don't already know the answer to," and I am pretty careful about following that little bit of wisdom but sometimes people just go off on their own and then you have it, chaos.
I didn't ask Mrs. Thomas about Casey's penis, exactly. I simply asked her to tell us what she saw when she stepped into the kitchen on that cold November evening. And before you ask, yes, we had gone over her statement and testimony beforehand but apparently seeing Mr. Dunham again and being back in the same room with him was a little too much for the woman.
Now, when this case goes to the appellate court, which I can guarantee you that it will, I will get a copy of the transcript and I will be able to read exactly what the flustered Mrs. Turner said at that particular moment but for now it is somewhat of a blur. I can tell you it was something to the effect of "you should have seen the size of that thing."
I am guessing that Casey had been squirming in this seat for some time, a little scared and a little agitated, his public defender attorney not having a whole lot to work with had remained fairly quiet all morning, and it had all come to a head for the poor man, no pun intended.
My eyes had gone instinctively from Mrs. Turner to the jurors when she gave that statement, I wanted to see their reaction and Mr. Dunham was, for the moment, out of my eyesight. I was actually looking at Ms. Harris, a twenty-something mom (and juror that morning) when I saw her eyes get quite large and heard the words, "Oh my God," come from her mouth, clear as day. There was a ruckus behind me but before I could turn around completely I was surrounded by a very large pair of arms that pulled me down and back towards the Judge's bench.
I looked up and found the deep, dark brown eyes of Detective Michael Garcia, the lead detective on my Dunham case. I hadn't met him before, as he normally worked the drug cases for the County and I stayed away from those as much as I could.
The man simply engulfed me.
At nearly a foot taller and a hundred pounds heavier, I was completely at his mercy. I couldn't speak, the wind had been knocked out of me but the sight of the black service revolver in his hand was enough to keep me quiet anyway.
He told me to stay down and I would have done so even if it was not for his full weight pressing me tightly into the cold hardwood floor of the courtroom. I could smell his cologne on his jacket, Fierce, I believed, but it was his personal scent that was intoxicating and made my head spin as adrenaline surged through his veins.
His brown eyes suddenly darkened and I followed the direction they were looking in.
At first I wasn't quite sure what I was seeing, the scene was one of panic, people were scrambling and someone was yelling for an ambulance.
There was blood, quite a bit of it from what I could tell and I followed the trail across the defense table to the source of the red stream.
Casey Dunham was nude.
Well, partially nude I should say. His white shirt, black jacket and black tie were still intact although the fabric was slowly darkening.
I should mention that Casey is a tall man, 6'5" I would say, and standing up, his hips came a good bit above the cheap wooden table. His gray pants had disappeared and if he had been wearing underwear they were long gone as well. On the table in front of him, a pen stood erect in the table and a fountain of blood flowed upwards from the ballpoint. It took me a moment to see what the cause of the fountain was and after I saw, I wished I hadn't looked.
Mr. Dunham had stabbed his, what seemed to be, very large penis with a blue Bic pen and from my view point it appeared as if he was bleeding to death.
I stared for a moment and then turned my head into the chest of the Detective and closed my eyes.
In my ten years as a prosecutor I thought I had seen it all, but even for me, this was too much. I tried to block the image out of my mind but it was simply impossible. My mind replayed the vision out in a constant rewind, over and over in my brain until I wished only for a stop button to give me a moment's peace.
In what seemed like forever, Detective Garcia finally loosened his hold on me slightly and helped me up to my feet. He didn't release his grip from my waist right away and I felt the strength in his hands and arms as he held me, incredible strength actually, and for a fleeting second I wondered how those hands would feel against my bare skin.
The hoo-rah was nearly over, at least the frantic part anyway. Casey was being loaded onto a stretcher, but the color of red was still everywhere, a large puddle on the fake wood table, a smaller puddle on the hardwood floor beneath.
I asked no one in particular if he was going to be alright and I heard someone say, "Unfortunately." I noticed the Judge was gone as he had been corralled outside immediately when all hell broke loose. The jurors were also missing from the near vacant courtroom, returned to the jury room for safe keeping until the crazy had been removed.
There was going to be a mistrial declared, I could already hear the arguments coming, but at that point, I really could have cared less. I was shaken mostly and somewhat pissed off that all my work in the last few weeks preparing for this trial had just gone down the shitter but what I really wanted, was a drink.
I watched as they wheeled the still bleeding and restrained Mr. Dunham out of the rear of the courtroom and took my first steps toward the prosecutors table. It was then I felt the first stab of pain to my right ankle.
It was sharp and I almost buckled but I was able to lean on the table for support while I caught my breath. I looked down, half expecting to see something poking through the skin but saw merely my ankle, a little swollen maybe, or it could have been my imagination but it hurt like hell just the same.
I applied a little pressure to it once again, just to see, and realized, yes, the pain was still there. Not as bad as it could have been I suppose, just a light sprain caused by a quick movement in a pair of high heels. I'd be alright but I wanted a drink and some company so after dropping my case file back at the office, I headed off to find both.
I arrived at Angelo's about 5:30 and the parking was scarce already. Now, as good as it was, this was a Tuesday night in February and I was quite surprised to find it so busy. It was a popular hang out with law enforcement, attorneys and judges most of the time but this was a little out of the ordinary.
It might be important to say I nearly left at this point, it gives me an out I guess, that things happen for a reason and staying when I probably would have normally left gives me an excuse to say I was meant to be there.
I walked in and it was pretty packed. I wasn't pleased to say the least, a line at the hostess station and no place to sit with a sore ankle to boot. Celia the regular hostess was there and she waved to let me know she had seen me.
I too, was a regular at Angelo's, the food was great, the drinks weren't watered down and I could usually find a companion for dinner. I found a place against the wall to lean a little and give my ankle a rest when I heard a deep voice behind me ask if I would like a seat.
I turned around and found myself looking at Detective Garcia once more. I had nearly forgotten about him after the scuffle in the courtroom for he had disappeared along with the defendant.
There was an empty spot on a bench that he had occupied only a moment before and when I saw a teenage boy heading for the spot, I said thank you and quickly planted myself down.
I gave the kid a grin and chuckled when I saw the sour look on his face when he saw his chance to sit down and play games on his iPhone while he waited for his dinner disappear before his eyes.
Detective Garcia noticed my snide enjoyment of robbing the little bastard of his seat and laughed out loud.
I couldn't help but laugh myself and said, "I know, comes with the job."
I grinned at him, and he grinned back and for the first time I noticed he had the most gorgeous dimples that made him look younger than I hoped he was.
We talked for a few minutes, shop talk mostly, the trial and the bizarre happenings of today being the first and foremost topic of conversation.
Apparently Mr. Dunham was going to recover but the use of his family jewels was still in question. We would probably try it again I told him, unless Casey managed to get himself declared incompetent to stand trial, which at this junction, was a distinct possibility.
The man was easy to talk to and when I heard Celia's voice call "Garcia" over the PA system, I found myself a little more than slightly disappointed. I looked up at him, told him to enjoy his dinner and leaned back into the wall for a long wait.
While we were talking three more couples had come in the front door and put their names on the rather lengthy waiting list. I heard Celia tell the last couple that there was a thirty minute wait and I groaned inwardly. I hoped to Christ I wouldn't have to wait that long.
My mind had wandered and I was startled when the Detective spoke to me again.
"I'm having dinner alone on Valentine's Day, how good can it be?"
Valentine's Day. Shit.
"Well, that explains it," I said absentmindedly.
"Oh, all the people in here on Tuesday night. I couldn't figure out why it was so busy."
"You didn't remember it was Valentine's Day?"
There was a bit of sarcasm in his voice but he was smiling all the same.
I had to laugh at him although part of me wanted to defend myself.
"I did have a little more going on you know. A little trial to get ready for?"
"Yes, I remember it well. How did that turn out for you?"
I shot him a look but the grin on his face sent me into a fit of laughter.
"Smart ass," was all I could manage to say.
"So, you're not here for a romantic dinner for two, then?"
"Nope. I had hoped for a quiet dinner of rare steak, a loaded potato, extra butter, and a couple of glasses of wine to help me forget this entire miserable day. Finding out it's Valentine's Day and I don't have a date is just an added bonus."
"Well, if you would like, you have a date now but I like my steak medium and I prefer St. Pauli's Girl to wine if you don't mind."
"Well, if you must..."
He reached out his hand to help me up and told Celia there would be two for dinner instead of one. We followed her to a table by the fireplace, me trying not to limp but trying to keep up with him at the same time.
He pulled out my chair for me, I couldn't remember the last time a man had done that for me and helped me back under the table. I was duly impressed and when he ordered his beer and a glass of Pinot Noir for me without blinking an eye, I knew I was in trouble.
Now, I am not a child, like I said, I am already over the hill in those nasty layman terms but I can still be surprised by a man who knows how to treat a woman. I was used to having doors opened for me and for men to fall over themselves to help me get paper from the highest shelf in the supply room but running into a true gentleman was something that just didn't happen all that often anymore and my heart was doing little flip flops as I watched him order both our dinners.
I couldn't tell you exactly how long we there or how busy it got that night, everyone else disappeared into the background and I saw only him. It is strange when you meet someone like this, time stands still but at the same time hours pass in what seem like moments.
My steak was perfect and two glasses of wine took the edge off of my day but it was Detective Garcia's company that made the evening unforgettable. Common interests and similar careers made conversation easy and even if he hadn't been so damn good looking, he had a wit to match my own which made him all the more interesting.
We came from similar backgrounds, both the youngest of large families, and both had marriages of twenty plus years come to a screeching halt. Our children were all grown and our jobs over time had become our entire lives. Neither one of us dated much, too busy, too scared, or too lazy, maybe a combination of all three, it didn't matter. What did matter was, we enjoyed each other immensely.
I would be lying if I said I wasn't attracted to him from the start. There is something about an intelligent, confident man that makes my heart beat a little faster. But make him tall, handsome, funny, with broad shoulders and a bit of a smart ass too and I am a goner. Michael was all of the above, and more.
We were nearly through dinner and were deciding on coffee or not, when we heard a loud gasp from the other side of dining room. We both turned to see a surprised young woman sitting in front of a young man on one knee, a small black box in one hand. I couldn't hear what they were saying but her answer must have been yes by the way she jumped into his arms, nearly knocking him over backwards. Everyone in the restaurant applauded and Angelo himself brought out a bottle of champagne for them. It nearly made me cry, and it definitely tugged at my heart.
This is not an excuse, not really. It is true, I was a little vulnerable at that moment, the rough day, the night, the wine, and the romance of lovers but still that can't be an excuse for what happened, after all, I knew better.
But there it was. I was falling and I was falling hard.
I won't say I am promiscuous, I've had less lovers than I care to admit sometimes but I am not afraid to take a chance when the timing is right and when Mike Garcia leaned across the table and kissed me... hard...the timing was definitely right.
I couldn't seem to catch my breath afterwards, my heartbeat was slamming in my ears and I wondered if he could hear it from where he sat. He didn't apologize like a lesser man may have done, he simply stared at me with a look that seemed to undress me right there in the restaurant and when he asked me if I was ready to get out of there, I was already grabbing my purse.
I wanted him, of that, there could be no doubt. My body was already in fast motion and my brain was simply just trying to keep up. He grabbed the check from the table and shot me a glance that told me not to argue with him. He held his hand out to me once again but this time he squeezed my hand as he pulled me up from the chair. His arm immediately went around my waist and suddenly I felt his fingers slip beneath the jacket of my suit just above the waistband of my skirt.
It was subtle, but I could feel the incredible strength in his hand again as he pulled me towards me and I wondered if I might bruise from his grasp. The thought of his mark on me sent chills across my skin and a delicious pain shot down my spine as if I had been suddenly filled with the jagged hot heat of electricity.
He walked me to my car, his hand still clutching my bare skin beneath my clothing and I leaned back into him as we walked together. He took my keys from my hand, unlocked the door, then pressed the keys gently back into my palm. In seconds his other hand was beneath my jacket, his warm hands against my hot skin as his hungry mouth found mind. He kissed me fully as he pressed my back against the cold steel of my car door and I found myself raising my hips into his. I lingered there only a moment, enjoying the feel of him against me before I pulled back and put some space in between us.
I heard myself say, "This is neither the time nor the place for this," but even I didn't quite believe it.
He winked and gave my behind a quick smack before opening my door for me. "Actually, I think it is the perfect time just not the perfect place. Would you mind some company tonight?"
I looked at him good and hard. This was it. Fish or cut bait as my dad would say. And it was Valentine's Day after all, I didn't want to be alone.
"I would love some company actually. Do you want to follow me home?"
He turned away from me slightly and helped me into the driver's seat. "I need to stop off at the station for just one minute if that is okay with you."
I tried to hide my disappointment as best as I could but truth was, my heart sank a little at the thought of going home alone, even for a little while. I tossed my purse on the passenger seat and pulled the seatbelt across my chest and snapped it shut.
"That's fine, Mike. Do you need my address?