The Queen and the SoldierbyEvil Alpaca©
Shannon's visage could best be described as animalistic. Detective Jones moved forward and put a hand on her shoulder. Suddenly, Inspector Reynolds went very pale and her countenance reverted to the shy woman that Sandra had been speaking to earlier.
"Listen, I think Dr. Griego might still be here. Did you want to go ahead and talk to him now?"
Shannon nodded her head, looking very pale. She glanced at Sandra, again looking as if she wanted to say something. But she closed her mouth and vanished down another corridor. Sandra could do nothing but stare after her as she retreated. Then she looked back to the unconscious man on the ground. Sandra found herself . . . aroused. 'That woman kicks ass!' she thought. Then she blushed a bit. 'What am I, some addle-brained high school girl that gets turned on by displays of random aggression?' She looked down at the man again, then down the corridor where Shannon had disappeared. 'Maybe I am.'
"Where did she go?" she asked Bobby.
"She had to go talk to one of our on-staff psychiatrists. Shannon has . . . well, anger-management issues."
"But she was completely justified . . ."
"I know that. You know that. But it takes someone with a Ph.D. to convince HER of that. Here, let me walk you to your car. We can work out the rest of the paperwork another time."
The next morning . . .
It was nine o'clock in the morning when Shannon finally drug her weary carcass into her one-bedroom apartment just a few blocks from the police station. She placed the large pile of files she had to look over neatly on one corner of the card table that also served as her study area and dining area. There was a single folding chair next to the table. She never had company, so there was no need for two chairs. She went and grabbed a low-fat yogurt cup out of her refrigerator and sat down on the carpet in front of her sensible, seventeen inch television sat down to watch the morning news. She had a crush on Sharon Tey, one of the anchors for KTLA's morning show.
'One of these days,' Shannon thought, 'I'm going to have to get off the graveyard shift.' She groaned inwardly. She thought that she might have sprained something when she kicked that guy in the head the second time. She just hoped she wasn't going to be charged with anything, and she was glad she hadn't actually killed the guy.
The news went on about soaring gas prices, fluctuations in the President's popularity level and the ongoing transit strike going on in several California cities. There was brief blurb about the arrest that had been made in the murder investigation that Shannon was working on. It had been a relatively simple situation in Shannon's eyes. The security guard had been inside the house when he was shot, but he had never radioed in to his headquarters that he was investigating something, which was standard procedure for the company for when their guards left their vehicles to do anything but use the bathroom. If he had been investigating a possible intruder, why didn't he call it in, and why had he never drawn his weapon? He had been shot at close range in a place where it would have been difficult for someone to "pop out of nowhere," so why hadn't he been alarmed. The reason was that the security guard knew the perpetrator. Shannon had hypothesized that he had actually been working with the thief. It would explain why the guard had apparently been in the backyard; he had been carrying stolen goods to the back wall, tossing them over next to the other perpetrator's vehicle. She had checked the guy's work file, and he apparently had reported "scaring people off" of other clients' property a large number of times. If they were working in tandem, he would have had to call in the disturbance. If he didn't, then the security company would look incompetent. But by calling it in after a "minimal" amount of theft, he looked like a hero. And since the amount stolen had never been excessive, this particular cat burglar had never shown up as a priority on police radar. Then the two probably split the money.
'Did his partner just get greedy?' she asked herself. 'Or stupid? For an extra couple thousand dollars, he's now facing the gas chamber.' Once she had deduced the scheme, she figured out the "how" of the matter. She had already realized that the primary intruder had parked on a small access road around the back of the house. She had fingerprinted a large section of wrought iron fence-work and had lifted several usable prints. These had matched up in the database with a man who had done time many years earlier for armed robbery. The detectives and beat-cops had taken over from there.
That left her thinking about Ms. Sandra Lopez. She sighed gently. 'That is one beautiful woman,' she thought to herself. 'She even asked if I wanted a drink, and all I could do was babble.' She finished off her yogurt and placed the plastic cup in the appropriate recycle bin. She got up and went to take a shower. She undressed in the dark like she always did. Before climbing into the small shower stall, she did turn on a nightlight that provided just enough illumination for her to find things like her Pert-Plus shampoo & conditioner bottle, but that was it. Shannon hated her body. She didn't like looking at it at all.
As her hair began absorbing the water, her thoughts went back to Sandra. She had often felt that a Hispanic woman who kept her figure was one of the most beautiful creatures alive, and Sandra had DEFINITELY kept her figure. Shannon's hand found their way to her neatly trimmed nether region. She slipped one finger inside and diddled herself while the water poured over her face. 'Why do I do this to myself?' she wondered, but that didn't stop her. She stopped fingering long enough to rub her mound with her three longest fingers, rubbing in quick, short circles. Her fleshy mound and swollen lips were already warm to the touch and aching for a bit of the bad touch. She brought her free hand up to cup one of her breasts. They weren't particularly large, though they were noticeable. At least they would be if she ever wore something besides sweatshirts. But her nipples were sensitive, and she started rolling the nub between her thumb and forefinger.
Shannon thought about Sandra's hourglass shape, about her generous cleavage and wonderful hips. Shannon stuck a couple of fingers back into her box and curved the tips upward. She let her palm come to rest lightly on her clitoral hood, massaging it as her fingers probed her own body. She also kept pulling on and tweaking her own nipples, one after the other. She would pull one out until she couldn't stand it anymore, then release it and move back to the other breast. She was humping her own hand, wishing that she had a little more space in the shower to maneuver. She pressed her palm a little harder against the clit, giving her a burst of pleasure. She withdrew her fingers again and started rubbing up and down the slit with her fingertips, then sunk them back into her pussy. She wondered how it would feel to do this to Sandra. She found herself blushing. 'Why do I even bother thinking about . . .'
Her self-depreciating streak ended when she felt her orgasm building. She gripped one of her nipples hard and she drove her fingers deep into her box while her thumb stimulated the clit. She felt her abdominal muscles clench, setting of chain-reactions in other muscle groups. She felt her pussy convulse and she felt some warm fluid running onto her inner thighs. She gasped, and some shower water actually got into her mouth, and she promptly spit it out. Her body relaxed and she withdrew her fingers from their nest.
She finally got around to actually cleaning off. She toweled off and threw her comfortable, sensible flannel pajamas on and crawled into bed. Before going to sleep, she opened up the drawer in her nightstand and pulled out a business card that was inside. It was the number for an escort service she had used. She was so tempted to dial that number, even though she knew how much trouble she would get into. She had discovered the place investigating an assault charge. She had no real desire to investigate the service itself. She thought the idea of regulating sexual activity was a huge waste of taxpayer money and police resources. But there had been a few times in the last couple of years where the loneliness had become almost overwhelming.
Shannon sighed and put the card back in the nightstand before turning off the light. 'No,' she thought. 'I can't keep pretending. Every time I call that number, I just pretend that it's a real relationship. I can't do that anymore. Because in the morning, whoever she is always leaves. I don't need to go paying someone to leave me.'
It was on that sour note that Shannon was finally overcome by sleep.
A few days later . . .
Sandra was sitting around a trendy downtown café having a pleasant lunch with Jasmine. It turned out that having that woman as a friend had been a wonderful turn of events. Sandra bore no delusions that this was a precursor to a more romantic affair; she understood the rules that Jasmine had laid down. But having an actual friend, rather than a butt-kissing lackey or potential client, had its advantages.
"So, your trip to the police station was eventful then?" Jasmine inquired.
"Yep. I looked over some recovered items, tried apologizing to Inspector Reynolds, managed to offend her somehow . . . at least I think that's what happened. And then I witnessed a woman who is only about five and a half feet tall kick the living hell out of a man almost three times her body mass, then run off to talk to a psychiatrist." Sandra narrowed her eyes. "But you probably knew that she was all . . . well, kung-fu. Didn't you?"
"You just keep digging, don't you?" Jasmine said with a wry smile. Sandra had been trying to pry information from about Investigator Reynolds for a couple of days, but to no avail. Even if Jasmine had been willing to talk, she didn't know much more than Sandra did. She had only serviced Ms. Reynolds a couple of times, and the woman had been very introverted.
"Yes, and you keep dodging. I guess that's the game we're destined to play," said Sandra grumpily. She sucked sexily on her straw, causing a skateboarder to lose track of where he was going and crash into a fire hydrant. "Score one more for me," she said.
Jasmine made another mark on her napkin. They were neck in neck in the contest to see who could distract more passersby until they crashed into something. "Are you sure she was offended? It sounds like she may have just been put on her guard." Jasmine traced her long, beautiful neck with a bit of ice before sucking the cube between her perfect lips, and a jogger ran into an open taxi door. Jasmine quickly marked her score down.
"I don't know. Bobby . . . I mean Detective Jones . . . talked to me yesterday. Apparently they've already wrapped this case up to the point that the public defender is looking to make some sort of deal. So I don't think she refused for business reasons."
"But it doesn't sound like she actually refused the offer of drinks. She just . . . panicked. Maybe if you let her know specifically that you want to go on a date . . ."
"Who said anything about a date? I just wanted to apologize to her!" Sandra unbuttoned the top few buttons of her blouse, exposing a generous amount of cleavage. She took another napkin and fanned the generous expanse of dark cleavage that was suddenly available for viewing, and two businessmen walked straight into the hotdog vendor on the corner.
Jasmine scowled and put two tics down in Sandra's column. "You apologized! If that was all you cared about, you wouldn't be worrying about it still. Okay, now you might want to thank her for saving your cute butt from that man at the police station, but don't try and tell me that you're not interested. Crap!" she muttered. "It seems that we have a lull in our pedestrian flow. I guess that means you win, and I have to pick up the tab." She looked across the table at Sandra, staring directly into her eyes. "I know you think she's pretty and you now have some respect for her . . ."
"Especially after reading that article," Sandra said softly. "I can't imagine putting yourself in the line of fire like that."
"And I know that you consider her a mystery," Jasmine said a little smugly. "You're captivated by her. So why not find out if there's something more there? What could it hurt?"
Sandra grinned. Jasmine was still very good at what she did. "So what do you think I should do?"
That evening . . .
Shannon arrived for work right on time, just like she did every day. She had gotten up several hours earlier, eaten, read the paper, fed her pet turtle (whose name was Mr. Ages), worked out, jogged a couple of miles, showered and dressed. Just like she did every day. But that night was going to be a bit different.
When she checked in at the front desk, the secretary said that something had been delivered for her. It was a bouquet of flowers. Shannon had no idea what they were for. Things like birthdays and random presents from family members didn't apply to her. She really didn't have friends, so . . .
"Maybe you should read the card?" the secretary suggested with a smile.
"Cuh-... card?" Sure enough, there was a card stuck in the middle of the whole thing. It read, "Thanks for your hard work on my case and for saving my tush the other day. That offer of drinks still stands. Call me at (555) 555-5309. Sincerely, Sandra Lopez."
Shannon was so swept up in reading the card that she almost walked headlong into two detectives, a street cop, a sergeant and a K9 unit. She took the flowers and put them on the desk in her office and just stared at them for a moment. Other CSI personnel would wander by and see her in her office, just staring at some very pretty flowers. They kept walking. They all actually liked her quite a bit, but she was rather peculiar. 'What does this mean?' she thought to herself. 'Is this just a continuation of the apology? I told her I was fine. Is this about what happened in the lobby the other day? I don't get it.'
Bobby wandered in. "Hey, we've got a smash-and-grab job over at Victoria's Mall. All the day shift is out on stuff and, as usual, you're the only one of the night crew who showed up right on time. The Big Guy wants you to take lead CSI on this one. Shannon?" He waved his hand in front of her face. "Anyone home?"
Shannon shook her head, freeing herself from her flower-induced stupor. "Yeah . . . smash-and-grab . . . mall . . . CSI. Cuh-... cuh-... can you guh-... give me a lift?" she asked.
"You really need to get a car. No one walks around as much as you do. Not in California. So, who are the flowers from?"
"Ms. Lopez, it woo-... would seem," Shannon said, putting the card back on the desk, then staring at the arrangement a moment longer. On the way out to the car, she told him about what the card had said. It still felt a little strange, telling Bobby about that sort of thing. He had become a friend over the last several years, but there had been a time when things had been very tense between them, mostly due to Shannon's sexual orientation. But they had gotten over that, and he had proven to be a true comrade when she badly needed one.
"Sounds like she's asking you out, though I am a little bit out of the dating scene," he added.
"Or at luh-... least thuh-... that's what you teh-... tell your wife."
He grinned at her. She didn't make jokes often. "I mean, if she just wanted to thank you, she didn't need to leave her number. She wants you to call her. So . . . why not? You've been moping around the office for years now," he said, but wished he hadn't. Shannon glanced down at her hands. The girl was shy, but for what reason he still wasn't clear. She was smart, nice and had a smile that could really light up the room when she let it creep out. And whether you approved of her sexual orientation or not, everyone had to acknowledge that at least her face was very pleasing to look at. No one knew what the rest of her looked like except the department physician, and he wasn't saying anything.
"Buh-... but what would I say?"
'Good,' Bobby thought. 'The stutter's getting better. Means she's calming down.' "Say anything! Don't be so self-conscious. I mean, you DO want to date don't you? You didn't secretly trade your badge for a nun's habit, did you?"
She stuck her tongue out at him. "Nuh-... not that I'm aware of."
"So call her. If things don't work out, I'll let you mope all you want," he said with a grin.
She tried to fight it, but she smiled back. It didn't stop her from slapping her friend in the arm, but she did smile.
The next evening . . .
Sandra pulled up to the address she had gotten. There were a series of unimpressive apartment complexes in front of her, filled with unimpressive apartments. She had been surprised that she had actually received a phone call from the young woman after one try. The girl had sounded confused as to why Sandra had left her number. Was the concept of getting hit on such a foreign one to the redheaded police officer? Sandra walked up to the apartment and rang the doorbell. She wondered if she might have overdressed. She was wearing a stunning, low-cut white blouse and a black, knee-length skirt. She had put on some of her nicer earrings, a pair of stiletto heels and a spritz of her favorite perfume. She heard someone fumbling with the bolt-lock. Then a door-chain. Then another door chain. Then there was the door-lock itself. Finally the door opened and Shannon was standing there . . . wearing black sweatpants, a black sweatshirt, white tennis shoes and a CSI baseball cap. And she had a completely baffled look on her face.
"I'm suh-... suh-... sorry. I thuh-... thought thah-... that things wuh-... would buh-... be more cuh-... casual."
"That's okay. I hadn't even thought of where we might go yet. Did you want to change or . . .?" Shannon appeared to be staring at her feet and blushing.
"Thuh-... this is all I've guh-... got to wear."
"You only have one pair of clothes?"
Shannon shook her head. She explained that she actually had nine identical outfits: one for each day of the week, and two extras. One of the extra pairs was worn on Sunday, which was laundry day. Besides that, all she had was her police dress uniform, which was reserved for special occasions, court appearances and funerals. "I'm suh-. . . sorry," she whispered. "If you'd rather cuh-. . . cancel and . . ."
"Oh nonsense!" Sandra said. This girl was becoming increasingly interesting. And her apartment was so . . . bare. A card table, a single chair, a small television, a weight set, a self-standing punching dummy . . . surely this woman earned enough money to buy nicer things. She didn't even own a car! "Are you hungry, just thirsty, or . . ."
"Thuh-... thirsty," Shannon replied. "I juh-... just ate." Sandra saw her take an empty yogurt container and put it in one of three, nicely ordered and labeled recycling boxes.
Sandra wanted to make a comment about Shannon's idea of food, but held her tongue. She didn't want the woman to bolt again. Besides, she could bring it up later. "I've got a place we can go!" Sandra indeed had thought of a place. People could dress however they wanted, the lights were always low and the music was always good. She hadn't been there in a while.
A little while later . . .