We hit the Boston Freeway with the lights blaring and the sirens wailing, as they had been for the last three plus hours. The gas was floored. We were in a rush. The sound of our engines revved and tires screeched as the cruisers zoomed around the slightest corners and cars. The screeching tires almost drowned out the wail of the sirens, almost. No need to see the speedometer to know we were doing a hundred. We had kept that speed since Maine. The trail of police cars, both State and local, shredding the asphalt behind us had been too. Literally from Maine down through each locality we passed. I suspected most had ties in Boston. They’d joined the line too readily. All it took was answering curious calls about our lights, speed, and why two Boston cops were in Maine driving that hard. It didn’t take much more than three sentences. They’d called everyone they knew after that and the armada formed.
Marian, my partner drove directly behind me. Michelle, my wife sat at my side looking straight. She had been like that since Maine. Stone still. She didn’t look like she’d just been the victim of kidnapping mere hours ago. She looked like a woman focused on getting to where we needed to be. I would give a hundred dollars if anyone could prove she did not have a lot on her mind. Believe me, there was a whole lot to our story.
Cars pulled out of our way as we careened down the southbound side of Interstate Ninety Three. Drivers rubbernecked in attempts to catch a glimpse. They wanted to know what was going on. So many police cars moving so fast they’d had to ride the shoulder to get out of the way. If the king of England showed up I’m sure his motorcade wouldn’t be this long or loud. I’m sure someone was thinking it, why not me. The highway was full of red and blue lights wailing for people to move aside or else. They moved. I was thankful not to have to slow and blow the horn with everything else on my mind. God only know how I wish most of it could stay right there in my mind.
Luckily Marian was smart enough to hide some of the paperwork in places that even I wouldn’t think to look. I was tempted. But with Michelle standing right beside us the whole time, there was no way I was going to do any of the foolish things Marian and I were prone to around each other. Though innocent, one recent, not so innocent act could get us both executed by Michelle. As for the papers Marian had stuffed in… secret spots, I was a bit hesitant about hiding that at first but the closer I got to Boston, was the more thankful I was that she’d done it. Although people, who needed to know, knew all this trouble was because of my father, the experiments he was said to have carried on, and my implied, though pre-birth involvement in what was happening, among other things – I wouldn’t want anyone to get wind of it.
I’d already radioed in details of what was happening, but as we neared the exit to HQ I picked up the radio and pressed the button. Call it forcive habit but I just wanted to be sure everyone was ready. Michelle looked at me and then looked away. I could almost hear the thought, the question about my absolute silence on the long drive in. She didn’t say anything and I was ok with that. Too much to talk about at the wrong time, under present conditions. A dispatcher picked up right away. The chief. There were other people crowded in the tiny dispatch room. There were a thousand conversations in the background.
He thundered. “What’s your ETA detective?” I thought about telling him, when I got there. Knowing the situation I knew I’d do myself a favor just answering.
I looked at the green exit sign in the distance. Cambridge, Boston. At our speed and with all the traffic moving aside it wouldn’t take long to get there. “Ten minutes tops. They’re ready? It’s a whole lot of paperwork.” I barked like I hadn’t told him before. The analysts he’d asked for needed to be there and I needed to be sure. I had the authority to make a detour if I needed to. We were dealing with a very dangerous situation.
“We have our people here already, just get it here quick.” An unfamiliar voice responded. The conversations in the background were gone now.
Curiosity got the better of me. “Who am I talking to?” I asked.
There was a delay before I heard. “Take you pick, the whole alphabet is waiting on your arrival.” The man answered. “We’ve closed the exit and will reopen it when you get off. Follow the officers who drive off ahead of you. They’ll get you here by way of roads that we’ve sealed off. Just get those dam things here, now.” He roared, still gave no name. If we survived this I was going to be a database engineer.
Michelle only looked at the radio and then me. Then her head went straight again. I didn’t know how she’d done it. She hadn’t even winced with the speed we were driving. But, something had been on her mind since Maine, and the way she looked, even if we weren’t in any danger, we were going to drive like it. Whatever conversation she sat there stewing over was going to wait till we were alone.
I told him. “We have a few others following us.”
The radio jostled on the other end. “We know. We have a chopper watching you, so step on the damned gas.” The chief had retaken the radio.
The voices clamored before the radio went silent. I heard Michelle take a breath and looked away from me. I put down the handset just before the first car at the exit, with its lights twirling drove off. I followed it down the narrow passage as I’d been instructed to. As we rode through streets filled with curious onlookers I had a thought: Here were all these people seeing police cars zipping through their neighborhood and were completely unaware that beneath these very streets lie a cache of explosives probably, intended to end their lives for no apparent reason other than to end their lives. I had no intention of doubting that my father meant to detonate the bombs. I’d be making a big mistake if I did that. He had already shown that he was fully capable of killing on a whim. There were four bodies between California and Boston as proof.
Street after street people lined the sidewalks trying to get a glimpse of whoever was in the motorcade. All they saw were a blur of lights and metal tearing up the streets.
The cordoned streets each had two officers at the front of them, a few for crowd control in between, and two more at the end, whom immediately reopened the streets after we passed through them. Had I been a kid, this would have been cool.
As we neared our destination I saw something on a giant white billboard that drew my attention. The first thing I’d really paid attention to. It was about losing important people. An insurance ad perfectly placed, in bold black letters, so it was seen by drivers coming up to it, a blind man could read a mile away. What had attracted me to the ad was not the ad itself but a small signature on the bottom right side of it. Couldn’t read it but it was very neat.
The station was filled with excitement as expected. Cars lined the fenced, parking lot, spilling all the way into the streets, police officers paced the lot and on the building steps looking anxious. Reporters jostled for space behind the fences. We screeched to a halt and I jumped out and dragged the knapsack with the maps and papers I’d taken from the crypt. Michelle slinked out. Marian appeared next to her soon. A host of agents were already at the cars looking for evidence with gloved hands and prodders.
With one eye on the women and the other on the agents I was able to see the dilemma of my new life. My wife was angry at me. My father trying to blow up Boston. My best friend and I had created a situation we would be paying for. And absolutely no time to pay attention to any of it. Even the flash of cameras failed to distract my attention.
Before I could move I saw Michelle smiling at me. I couldn’t pass her. It was the most amazing smile she’d ever given me. “This too shall pass,” she quoted scripture and leaned in to kiss me. I accepted eagerly, confused, but I accepted. Then she tiptoed and whispered something in my ear that made me gulp. Her eyes were on Marian when I looked at her and I gave her an uneasy smile. It troubled me a little because this was a side to my wife I’d never thought existed. “You got work to do.” Michelle added. All I could think of was the work that needed doing at home after what she’d said. “We’ll deal with all of it later.”
I glanced at Marian behind her. Then I smiled again at Michelle. Thoughts of the two of them, of things I probably needed to know about Michelle. Of the things Marian and I needed to talk about. And probably things I definitely shouldn’t think, but knew any man alive would be proud I was thinking. Then I sighed, a confused sigh and looked into Michelle’s eyes. She was angry, she was holding back for now. That was all.
“Yeah,” I kissed her. A quick guilty look at Marian again. Then started wading into the sea of officers toward the throng of agents and high-ranking officials waiting for the information I had. I wasn’t fool enough to think I had anything to do with them being here. And you’d better believe I was nervous. I had a secret somewhere inside me. I was a freak of nature, according to the old man. Plus, I’d never seen so many law enforcement agencies in one place and a fight didn’t break out. Figuratively in most cases, literally in some.
Some of the uniforms who followed us down were already mingling, gathering as much information as they needed. Out in the real world, it’s called gossiping. I made my way through, introducing myself to the ones who tore themselves away from their gossip columnists. Others kept their distance staring blatantly. Those I ignored as I walked. It would be easy enough to get information with me standing right here.
And not too deep down, I was again thanking Marian for hiding some of the pages as I grudgingly waded through a sea of dark blue. I hoped she wouldn’t do anything to get frisked. They were down her jeans and blouse. Safely tucked away. I was already too embarrassed to be facing more from my peers. But as I waded through I noticed what had to be another blubbering heart coming at me. A pale brunette. I’d seen her head bobbing.
The brunette got right in front of me when we collided. I would be speaking to her directly. She squared and came to me, stopping me right there. A host of white lab coats gathered behind her quickly. She took one look at the bag and frowned as I stopped. Then offered a smile after frowning. Her smile held a lot of mischief.
“Special Agent Case,” she introduced herself and pointed to the men behind her. They kept a distance from her. “Those men will take what you have. They are the best Linguists and Analysts we have in the country. They’ll decipher anything, including what you have.” She boasted. “We have a high success rate, detective, so don’t worry.” She finished without giving me her official state listing. Sign number one that there was to be no good ending to this case.
I smiled at her and looked at her congregated white coats. She sneered at the bag again. “Different agencies?” I asked. I was hoping she would mention the one she was from. But before she even opened her mouth I could see that wasn’t going to happen.
She smiled. “Survival takes cooperation detective.” Agent Case said. She stepped aside and started walking and looked at me to follow. I did. Wondered about her lopsided smile and why it seemed like she blushed. I would find out about that soon. Remember, there is a lot to this story.
For some reason the yard felt bigger. Maybe it was because there were so much people in it. Could also be that they knew something and weren’t talking. Agent Case gave that impression. But it was pretty funny though; Agent Case working the case.
“Did you know anything about the case before today, Agent Case?” I asked her and watched her take a gander at me as I came up beside her. She smiled wearily.
“I was aware, yes. I’ve been assigned to him for years though.” She said and took a look at me from the side of her eyes. “Cold blooded, very.” That was obvious from the bodies he’d left and the way he had killed those women. I knew why she mentioned it. I didn’t bite. I didn’t know enough to. “Any information you provide will go a long way to helping.” She paused but I knew there was more coming. “There is also the matter of his research.” Agent Case finished after some thought.
They’d want that of course. They’d get it. I needed the information they’d glean from it and I needed to find a way to make sure they didn’t destroy or withhold any of it from me when they did. Of course, I also had to be careful not to become a lab-rat. If what Akambe, or whomever he was, included what he’d told me, I’d need to protect myself from everybody. I doubted, given the type of research my father did I would see the light of day if anyone knew everything about his research.
“I’ll leave the details when I can.” I told her as we neared the scientists. What that meant was, when I removed anything that would make me a target. I handed the bag to the analysts, who opened and dug through the contents with their cellophane hands, each coming out with pieces that would be their project. I turned to agent Case to ask a few questions I had, but found we had company. A jolly white giant and his tiny sidekick.
No introductions were given until I said. “These are?”
“Special Agent Rumford, FBI.” The giant said with an extended hand, which I shook hesitantly. It was large. His hands covered mine. Felt like he was going to crush it. At six foot-eight inches his shadow covered mine too. His square jaw line and chiseled physique made me blink and look at agent Case, then back to him. She just smiled. “Read your file, you could make it as an agent if you wanted, you know.” Rumford said and let my hand go. I nodded. Thankful I still had hands and wondering how ‘special’.
Don’t get lulled into the praises. Drop your guard for a second and you wouldn’t believe the amount of information you’d hand over.
Before I could say anything, the tiny agent, a man a shade or two lighter than I and just about a hair taller, took my hand and shook it eagerly. “Vince.” He said. I would soon learn something about this man that would make me hate him for life. He was about five foot eleven with a vice grip. The undertone of his stance was one of control. I figured that’s why he waited to introduce himself last. “Looking forward to working with you. I did some background on you to prepare for this.” He mercifully let my hands go when he finished speaking. I detected a hint of pride I couldn’t place. But his crisp Armani suit was nice. It fit him. It didn’t really fit my salary.
“You’re not special?” I asked, half joking. Vince shrugged haphazardly.
Agent Case was shaking her head and rolling her eyes though. “Vince here works for Homeland, he says.” She told me. Then she looked at the giant. “Rumford and I have been trying to figure out what he does exactly.” It was obvious they were putting him on the spot. I stayed quiet.
Vince brushed it off. “We’re going to be working together I suggest we get used to it. Besides, don’t some of you CIA people work in ways we can’t even say?” It was an obvious swipe, whatever she did that we did not, nor wanted to know. “I didn’t ask what you did, now did I?” Vince finished with a satisfied look.
All I could think was, “You’re CIA?” She nodded and gave the slightest hint of a scowl.
“I wonder why she didn’t tell you that.” Vince said. This was what I was talking about. And Vince, for the most part seemed like he wanted a confrontation.
She wasn’t going to back down. In fact, she seemed ready to get in his face. But Rumford had seen enough and got in the way. They both backed down quickly. Rumford was quick, calculating, and no-nonsense. He didn’t have to say a word. His size said it for him. The tattoo on his forearm said everything he would have.
“Seal?” I asked him. I had a thousand other questions, but that would do for now. Besides, I didn’t want them asking me anything I didn’t want to answer. Especially any questions that could make me reveal anything my … father had said to me without some practice. His words, the ones where he’d said I would “do what he intended whether I liked it or not” was a ready reminder.
His eyes opened wide his lips spread in a smile. “How did you know that?” He asked. I was not about to fall for that either.
“You’re very efficient.” I told him. I wasn’t going to show him that his tat was out peeking from under his cuffs. I saw Agent Case touching his wrist. Then I felt their eyes on me but figured it to be me being self aware.
I scanned the crowd wanting to find familiar faces. There were a few and I needed meaningless conversation. Questions were forming so conversation with these three was not going to be good, especially if they sniffed anything and started pinpointing. I had to find someone close fast. I found that at the top of the stairs in the form of a hawkeyed chief of police and a few other men. They looked like they belonged at the top of the pay scale and their eyes were following my movements. When they started talking again I looked around the yard, particularly at the News crews lining the sidewalks in hopes of catching anyone who went near the fence.
Officers signaled “no comment” and kept walking as fast as their feet would get them away from the fence. I doubted the order of silence had been lifted. I wasn’t going to test it but I used it for all it was worth. Played the distracted fool and kept playing it.
After gawking at the scene I started wandering off, after a nod. I was stopped by a powerful grip. Its name was Rumford. “That’s good observational skills.” He told me. I had a feeling that wasn’t what he really had to say. He was persistent, if anything other than huge.
Interesting as the prospect, I wouldn’t guess he was the one who made the hiring decision, so I was guessing this was a stall tactic of some kind. I could have made better guesses. Plus he was killing the nerve endings in my hand.
“He’ll have bigger things to do,” Vince said with a grin. I was tense and staring at Rumford. Vince peeled Rumford’s fingers from my arms and patted him on the wrist. “Much bigger.” Vince continued. I was having a hard time picturing anything bigger than Agent Rumford, of the FBI.
I looked at Vince but said nothing. Vince’s eyes narrowed.
Rumford snorted. “Nothing better than serving his country from inside.” His snide remark didn’t seem to put a dent in Vince.
“Except actually serving his country.” Vince said. A pointed remark at me for not enlisting, but I think it was more for not saying anything about his other comment. This would be an argument they weren’t going to goad me into.
“Can you two little bitches quit the shit, he’s got a debriefing.” Agent Case told them. I could imagine she figured she wasn’t a part of this a second ago. “Besides,” she continued. “Doesn’t he have to pass the exam, which he never took? Shows a lack of interest.” She told Rumford coldly and then shooed me. “Go on detective they won’t bother you.” Both men looked at her and laughed.
I didn’t wait to see if they’d actually listen to her. The Chief was only feet away and I wanted an update on what’s been going on since I left Boston a few hours back. To also escape being crushed by the giant or shot if they got hostile. It took a while to swim through the crowd of officers and I saw the chief shouting orders as I walked. I felt conscious as bodies parted to let me through. Eyes were on me I could feel them with their silent questions. But my chance to run was gone.
Michelle and Marian had already made their way over while I was detained. They had questions for Michelle before she was transported to the hospital, if she chose. Both of them were already speaking to people. Marian’s eyes found me and held my gaze. Her eyes trailed to the ground with a shy smile. Then she turned and walked up the stairs. Michelle on the other hand wasn’t going anywhere without me. She tangled our hands together before anyone could snag me. Looked at the Chief, who only raised a hand to point her up the stairs. I honestly wanted her safe. I didn’t want her here. Though, after the incident at the safe house I’d prefer her near me.
Still, I looked at the Chief before we Started and asked. “Do we have anywhere we can put her?”
“Put me?” Michelle asked. Her hands slipped from mine. She was staring a hole through me. I’d be on the couch for a while. Hopefully I got injured so I wouldn’t think about touching her too early into my punishment. Better yet, it would get me pity, she was a nurse.
“I need to know you’re safe.” I told her. She looked confused. No, she was pissed.
Michelle folded her arms and I braced myself. “Where am I going to be safe?” Her voice was as casual as it was skeptical. “If the bombs go off I’m dead like everybody else. I was there Mark, I can help.” There were a few grumbles wanting her to keep her voice low. We didn’t want the city in panic.
“Detective?” The chief put his hand on both of ours. “I’m sure the two of you can pick this conversation up later, right now we have a bigger problem to deal with.” He told me. “And, we need a statement from her.” We really didn’t have to get one.
Sadly, he was right. I looked at him embarrassed and then back to Michelle. “He’s right, we’ll talk after this.” I told her after some thought.
“No we won’t!” She sulked and then started walking up the stairs before I could say anything else. If I argued they would defend her because they needed anything she had to say. They’d be right, in her eyes. I wouldn’t argue because it would lessen any couch time I was going to get out of this. As you can imagine, I liked sleeping in my wife’s bed.
Two suited agents took her by the arms and helped her to the top once she got up there. “If you can come with us, Ma’am.” One of the agents said.
I started to the top immediately. “Get off her, she’s…”
The agent was already looking past me. “She’s a witness detective.” I heard the chief’s voice behind and looked at him. Then back at Michelle and the agents.
The agent smiled reassuringly. “You know this has to be done. Protocol.” The agent’s voice was calm and easy. I wanted to deck his ass.
The chief tapped me on the shoulder. “Don’t worry Mark. They’re the good guys. This is standard. She was with him. We need to know what she saw, what she knows.” He told me and nodded at the agents. They looked at me and removed their hands from Michelle. She smiled. I relaxed just a little.
“Ma’am.” The agent said, his eyes still on me. He nodded. I nodded.
“I’ll see you after.” Michelle told me through a smile and then vanished up the stairs. The chief went with them after patting my shoulder.
“Detective,” A hand touched me and caused me to turn and look. Gray hair and tall. Experienced. You could see it in his eyes. An interrogator. A professional. I could tell he knew how to get information. “We are going to need to know what you know too.” He told me.
I nodded absently and started walking up the stairs too. The least they could have done was give me someone I could haggle with. I wouldn’t know how to joke around with him. I doubt he’d like jokes about dirt since he was probably real close to being under it, natural causes and all.
It felt more like an inquisition than giving a briefing. Two hours of questions and answers. Intense wasn’t a good enough word. The feeling I got was – we didn’t do three hours because of time constraints – It was already after eleven. The deadline was tight and if anyone knew what to look for, it would be me. So I was let off my leash, sort of. I was given another partner. Marian wouldn’t do for this case, the brass decided. Somehow the natural selection ended up being Vince Nagir. When I got out of the room, Marian looked at me and smiled. Vince playfully told her I belonged to him now; she could only have me back if she paid for me. We had a good laugh at his female impersonation.
Michelle waited in a room with important people. Two uniforms were standing next to her. Hubert and Feeney. They smiled when they saw me and gave me the thumbs up. Before we could even greet each other, Feeney came bounding over.
“We’re protective custody.” He grinned. “You’re gonna owe me and Rodney a round after this.” He said. Feeney was a crazy SOB. I could tell by his grin that he just wanted the chance to fight. To avenge his fallen comrades at the first safe house she was staying at.
I smiled at Michelle who didn’t look at all pleased. “That so?”
“Wipe that smile off.” She scowled. “If I find a way out of protective custody am coming to help.” She said.
“These are two of the best.” I told her and both of them swelled in front of the crowd in the room. “I highly doubt you’ll get one over on them. She’s sneaky though.” I told them. There was snickering. This was a God-send. I could focus now, knowing she was safe. These guys would either call or destroy anything that moved, if someone were to go after her.
“I swear if I find out you had anything to do with this…”
I threw my hands up because I loved sleeping in my wife’s bed. “I had nothing to...”
“You’ll be sleeping on the couch for a month.” Michelle finished with a wicked smile and narrowed eyes. There was some whooping and hollering and jeering laughter. I had forgotten this side of Michelle. Actually, I’d stifled it with my absence.
“You know you’d miss me.” I told her.
“Not with a new room mate I won’t.” She tipped my chin with her fingers to catcalls and laughter from the office morons.
“Morrison, you got problems at home?” Someone called out and I stuck up my middle finger. “We can come help.” Someone else shouted.
“Y’all know where the house is?” Michelle asked.
“I got the address.” Marian yelled and a bevy of voices answered.
The room exploded with musings. I said. “I’ll shoot the first man I see at my door. And I’m a good shot.”
“What about the second?” Someone yelled.
I tried to look menacing. “I’ll shoot any man I see near my damned house.”
“Wait,” I heard Mary Riley say in her best Irish accent. “So, the women are safe then?” The room exploded in laughter. I couldn’t say anything because I hadn’t expected that.
“The hell’s going on in here?” The chief walked in and everyone went silent. Few of us stood around while the others went about their business. The chief was looking at everyone, flanked by two other men. Older. Looked important. They watched people dispersing. We felt like school children caught when the teacher came back in the room.
“Happens at all levels then?” One of the men asked.
“Not in my squadroom!” The chief told him. “My officers are…”
Michelle scoffed and grabbed me, ignoring him and kissed me hard. The hooting and hollering started again. This time they didn’t go quiet. The brass stood in the doorway watching and laughing. The chief got a conciliatory pat on the shoulder. When she took her lips off mine Michelle turned around and looked at him squarely.
“You’re separating me and my husband.” She told him. “I want satisfaction as of this moment. And I’d better be getting conjugal visits.” There was hollering and the chief turned beet red. Had missed this woman. She was a clown when I met her. In fact, I’d met her trying to give her a ticket, which I ended up not doing. Marian and I had pulled her over for speeding. We were uniforms back then. Michelle had seen our lights and both of us on either side of her car, sat still until we were at her window and wound them both down. It was summer. Just after five.
She looked at Marian who was bent on the passenger side, first. Said hi politely and then looked at me. Reached down slowly toward a package of bulbs sitting next to her and took it up and handed it to me.
As I stood looking at the unopened package she said. “I know, but I don’t know how.” She said impatiently and kept her eyes on me. The package at the window.
I heard snickering from Marian, who said. “Legitimate reason.”
“We don’t do that.” I’d said and looked at the package.
Michelle looked dead at me a while with narrowed eyes before she asked. “So, I have the light but you’re going to ticket me?” I didn’t really know how to answer her so I stood there, hunched and staring at the bulbs. “If you’re going to ask, I have no boyfriend and, if you’re going to ask, I’d only date you if you were very serious.” And with that I’d actually been wishing Marian would just leave us for a minute, but I had work to do first.
I had opened my mouth to speak and heard Marian giggling this time.
Michelle didn’t even look at her before adding. “I look good and I know you’re thinking it. I’m just letting you know the deal. Assuming you and her aren’t, um…”
“No,” Marian started laughing and I watched her eyes bounce. “I think I should leave the two of you alone.” Marian told us.
“Stop joking around.” I had warned her.
Marian only laughed harder when Michelle added, “I’m a helpless woman missing a tail.” Without missing a second. “Could put on a blond wig and stuff my bra if you’d like.” And Marian had lost it. She laughed and laughed while I stood there trying hard not to laugh. I stood and stiffened trying to compose myself and staring at Marian so she would behave herself. Professionalism had flown the coop that day and Michelle had her hand poked out the window. Soft, pleading eyes staring up at me.
When I leaned down impatiently, Marian leaned down as well. I said. “License and registration please.”
Michelle took my hand and shoved the package of lights in it. “Hold this!” She told me and leaned over pulling out the registration and license from a purse she had tucked into one of the small compartments in the median. “Trade you these for putting in those lights.” She said.
“There’s no barter, I’m a cop, this is my job.” I said patiently.
Michelle was shaking her head and Marian was already snickering. “This is not protecting and serving.” She sang with a raised brow that made me crack a smile though I was trying to keep a straight face. She smiled mischievously and added. “Slick way to get my address though.” Marian laughed and I scowled. It didn’t help.
“I didn’t want your address.” I said.
“Only reason a strong black man isn’t putting in lights for a helpless woman.” She pointed at the license where her information was. “Five one, hun’ed and twenty-five pounds and…”
“Stop!” I said and Marian laughed again and stood up.
“But the good stuff isn’t on there.” Said Michelle.
Marian had made a comment and Michelle answered. A set of numbers. I had never in my life thought of numbers the way I did that day. I had never heard Marian cackle until then either. I got quiet and Marian got serious after some time.
“We are going to have to run your plates.” Marian finally said. She came around the front of the car and took the license and registration from my hands. “I’ll take a look at this.” She had said and gave me a look that said, go get her.
Michelle didn’t miss the chance. “Which mean you can do that.” She batted her eyelashes and touched the bulbs, which set Marian to laughing again.
Marian walked away laughing.
“This is not standard procedure.” I’d yelled after Marian.
Marian had turned that day beaming at me. “There is nothing standard about her.” Then she made her way to the cruiser and folded in with me glaring at her.
Michelle was grinning at me when I looked down. She pointed to the lights with that same grin.