Antonio walked inside the gym to meet Michael. It had been so long since they really sat down and talked since Michael was still suspended from his misconduct. They clasped hands together. “Antonio man looking...” Michael paused. “Stressed man. What’s been up?” Antonio sat on the weight bench ready to lift as he shook his head.
“Shit has been crazy man. This case Fairchild has me working is throwing me for a loop every time I get close to solving it.” He replied, grabbing the two hundred pounds weight.
“The strangler?” Michael asked, grabbing the same size weight. Antonio nodded.
“You never let a case get you down before. What else is going on?” Michael paused, lifting the bar while turning to his friend. “Is it that girlfriend of yours?” Antonio rolled his eyes, annoyed at even the thought of her. He knew Michael didn’t like her because of his sister’s condition. He warned Antonio many times to not mess with those Saulsberry sisters.
“We aren’t on that level yet.”
Antonio tried to keep his answer simple and sweet without giving away the truth. “It’s been a year since ya’ll started talking. How come it isn’t on that level?”
Antonio placed the weight in his other hand to continue lifting. “It just isn’t. We have fun together that’s all. I don’t think we are serious.” Michael scoffed then. “Does she know that?”
Antonio really didn’t care what she did or didn’t know. He made it plain to her for a while. They couldn’t be more than whatever they were. “We are fine.” He assured his friend. Michael scoffed as he stood.
“You know everyone knows right?”
Antonio looked up. “Knows what?”
Michael crossed his arms. “About your love for Janet Sanders. You haven’t been the same since that year you protected her. I know you and I’m pretty sure I know what happened.”
Antonio stood then placing the weight back on the bench. “I don’t know what you are talking about.” He lied, as he walked towards the weight bench, lying down.
“Oh really? Then you won’t be phased seeing her again?”
“Her full lips and bright caramel eyes wearing a long dress right now?”
Antonio looked up sitting up from the bench. “What?” Michael jerked his head over to the tv. Antonio looked over to the tv’s to see Janet, as beautiful as ever as she accepted the humanitarian award. Her hair was highlighted with blonde as it was cut beautifully in a bob. Her hair hung tight around her small waist and puffed at the bottom.
Her make up made her look even more radiant causing Antonio to pause and stare at the tv with his mouth slightly opened.
“Not in love? You sure?”
Michael’s voice just brought him back from his heart break he experienced. Every time he saw Janet his heart skipped a beat and something inside him wanted her more than anyone else. Julissa, his girlfriend could never make him feel the way she did and Janet didn’t even try, but she was also the cause of his stress and heartbreak. Her rejection constantly hurt more than he showed, but he had to move on. He couldn’t wait on her forever.
Plus she was the new sex doctor in town. Men drooled over her like; he was, as if under some kind spell. He couldn’t have her. She would never love him. Antonio turned with acceptance already.
“She is nice.” He replied, wiping his face with his towel. Michael laughed.
“You are super sprung. Just face it.”
Antonio wanted to change the subject, but Michael continued. “You know Julissa sees how you react to her. She has to know you will never look at her that way you look at Janet. It’s sad how you both are just using each other.”
Antonio laid back on the weight bench lifting the bar hard with fierce lifts. “Let it go Michael.” Michael threw his hands up letting the conversation drop. “You should come back on the force.” Antonio continued.
Michael sat down on the next weight bench. “Nah. I don’t think Fairchild would let me back, but with all things considered. I enjoy taking care of my sister. She is working through therapy and working her way up to possibly walking again.”
“Wow that’s great news. I hope she makes full recovery.” Michael paused, but said what he had to.
“You know Janet is taking over the payments Jason started for her recovery. She has the highest doctor I ever seen, but they take care of her. Unlike Melissa and her sister…” Antonio sighed as he continued the weight lifting ignoring his comment.
“Anyways I hope one day you will find happiness you are looking for. I would love to come back and help you through this, but…”
“She doesn’t want me Michael.” Antonio blurted, placing the weight down. Michael’s face didn’t seem like he believed him with his mouth pouted to the side. “I’m serious.” Antonio said, almost angry.
“Don’t you know when a woman is playing hard to get?” Antonio shrugged. “Either way I’m not for the games. I don’t have time or the energy to chase her.” Michael nodded understanding that much.
“If you really want something. You don’t give up on it.” Antonio sighed. “I never said I gave up. Just giving her space. I’m sure I’ll paths will cross again.” Then on que his phone rang. “Shit. It’s Fairchild.” Michael nodded, telling him to go. They said their goodbyes and Antonio walked off to the police station.
He walked into the police station after a quick shower and a thirty minute drive. “This better be some good news. I’ve needed something good all week.” He said as he fixed his collar, walking into her office. He paused as he saw Dan and Fairchild together.
“What is this about?” Fairchild stood as she explained. “You know Dan Sanders right?” Dan reached to shake Antonio’s hand.
“Yes sir. Nice to see you again.”
Dan nodded. “Likewise. I heard you were working on The strangler case.”
Antonio nodded then. “That’s correct. No offense, but why is he here?” He looked at Fairchild for the answers.
“He is allowing you to go undercover to find the killer. We have traced his funds back to the Sanders building. Unfortunately his alias doesn’t give anything away yet. We need you to go in and check Janet’s clients.” Antonio cursed in his mind as his head turned low.
“I know you saved my daughter once before and will take a bullet for her correct?” Dan asked, seeing the look on his face, as he waited for the truth.
Antonio only nodded unable to speak. He wasn’t enthused to know he would have to be working with Janet after he just had a conversation with Michael.
“Can you work as her body guard and find the Strangler?” Antonio was quiet at Fairchild’s question. “Officer Williamson?”
His eyes shot up at her as his mind had to gather his emotions in check. “Yes ma’am. I will get it done.” Fairchild smiled.
“Great. You can start today, but no later than tomorrow. We need to catch this guy as soon as possible understand?”
Antonio nodded again as he opened the door to walk out. Dan grabbed the door first and opened it as he exited.
He turned to Fairchild then, closing the door. “Will there be any issues…” She placed emphasis on issues. “with you and Janet working together because if you will be distracted I can ask another officer to take the case.”
Antonio heard some teasing in her tone. Did the whole office know he felt some type of way about Janet?
“There will be no issues.” He replied with the same emphasis on the word. “I will handle my job as professionally as possible. Just like you with Dan. I never had seen such a professional group of people.” He replied sarcastically, walking out leaving an angry look on Fairchild’s face.