Security 26

Chapter 12

Chapter Twelve

We started out by spending a half hour in the range. My aim was slowly getting better and I was not minding the body targets as much as I had been even just a few days before. It helped that Ranger did not make me aim for the head today.

Following shooting several clips into the chest, Ranger and I headed up to the gym. Once again, Ranger shut the gym down and scrambled the feed. I glared at him. "Definitely not, Babe. I am definitely not treating you as one of the guys. Besides, tell me honestly, does it make you more comfortable training with just me here, or would you prefer to have all the guys looking at you?"

"Truthfully? I would prefer not to have the guys here, but that is irrelevant. I have chosen to work in a company in which I am the only female. It is my problem if I am uncomfortable, not theirs. I am the interloper, not them. They should not be penalized."

"Out of everything you just said, the only part that was important was that you would prefer to train without all the men looking at you. We will continue to keep the gym closed while you are working out."

I took off my gun belt and top and placed them on a bench to the side of the mats. Ranger led me through the series of stretches as he loosened up my whole body. Then, we once again ran through the movements in slow motion for several self-defence holds. Finally, we finished the workout with the same series of stretches.

I went to Ranger's place for dinner. Ella had made beef stroganoff for dinner, and served it with a crusty loaf that was perfect for soaking up the gravy. Dinner was excellent. I did a lot of mopping to try to get every last bit that was on my plate. After dinner, I went down to my office to try to work through some of Sales' requests that had been generated while I was out of the office earlier that day. I was just finishing my third file when Ranger came to my door. "It's time for bed, Babe. The rest can wait until tomorrow."

"I can do it now. I'm not sleepy", I said as I yawned widely.

"I can tell that by your yawning", Ranger smiled. "Babe, you are so tired I am worried about you making it home tonight. It is not good to drive when you are so fatigued. Come up to bed."

I didn't argue. I was really tired. I shut down my computer, tidied my desk, turned off the lights, and locked the door for the night.

The next morning I slept through Ranger getting up for his workout. I slept through him returning to the apartment, making the coffee, and having his shower. It was only when he kissed me, coffee in hand, did I wake up. "Rise and shine, Babe. A new day has started."

"Morning", I mumbled as I sat up and reached for the coffee.

Ranger wrapped my hands around the mug. I gratefully took my first sip. It started the synapses firing. "Better?" asked Ranger, amused.

"Oh, yeah."

"What do you have planned for today?"

"After I have breakfast, shower and put on a clean uniform here, I will go to my apartment to look after Rex and change into non-uniform clothes. Then Lula and I are going to try to chase down Aphrodite Akuna. We are also taking another run at the Averys. I hope to be able to find them today to capture them. Lula said that there are a couple of new files at the office right now. She did the legwork on them for me and said that they were pretty straightforward. I hope to try to pick up those files as well. What about you?"

"I am offsite at a meeting this morning, then will be back in the office for the afternoon and will be available for training at four o'clock. Tank knows what is going on with the Avery files. If you need Rangeman before lunch, call Tank. After lunch, call me."

I beat Lula to the office and had time to check out the two new files. The first was for Vanessa Kelvin, a woman pulled over on a DUI charge. She said she was being responsible as she kept one eye closed when driving and she said that stopped her vision from going double.

The second file was for Oliver "Blaster" Owens. Using a scene that he saw on an action flick on TV, he tried to break through the security grating in a jewellery store using explosives. Unfortunately for him, the only explosives he could find were firecrackers. Also unfortunately for him, after he lit the firecracker, it fell over and shot the explosive at Blaster's legs. When the police arrested him shortly afterwards, they had to take him to the hospital for severe burns.

I don't know why, but sometimes when I read the files of some of our skips the theme song for the movie "Dumb and Dumber" runs through my mind.

I pulled out the other files from the other day to add to the line-up. There were four files and five skips to work on. It was going to be a busy day.

Lula came into the office. "Who do you want to go after first?" I asked.

"I'm tired. I had a late night with a honey last night and everything was great. Then he 'borrowed' my last fifty bucks from my wallet this morning while I was in the shower and left a note saying he would pay me back. So I called him to give him a piece of my mind, and I found out that the number he gave me was for a Chinese food restaurant. Can you believe it? It is amazing the kind of trash you can pick up these days. I don't want to turn into one of those suspicious types of people. I like to take people at face value. It is hard, however, when there are so many people out there who lie and cheat and steal. It is not right."

Lula paused, and I suspected I was supposed to say something. So I said "I agree."

"So let's go after the two dumb ones. I feel like whamming someone's butt, and the other three skips are too hard to find."

"Okay. Works for me."

We decided to go to see Blaster first. It was our experience those with a DUI charge were better captured after their hangover from the night before had worn off, and before they had started down the road of doing everything within their power to ensure they would have another hangover the following morning.

Blaster lived in an apartment building in North Trenton. It was a nice building. I was surprised. I didn't normally think of dumb thieves living in apartment buildings that had more amenities than mine.

We took the elevator to the sixth floor and walked down the hall to knock on Blaster's door. There was no answer. We knocked on Blaster's door again, louder this time. We finally heard a faint "come in".

We opened up the door. A galley kitchen was opposite the front entry way from the door, and to the right was a living room/dining room combination. A hall branched off from the living room and a bathroom and two bedrooms could be seen.

Blaster was sitting on the couch, one of his legs propped up on pillows, with bottles of pain relievers on the table beside him.

I went through my spiel. "Hi, I'm Stephanie Plum and this is Lula. We are here representing your bail bonds agent. You missed your court date and we are taking you into the precinct so you can reschedule."

"I don't understand why I need to go. Can't they just assign another court date to me and let me know?"

"I am sorry, but it doesn't work that way. You have to go back into the courts to reschedule."

"What happens if I give you a note, a proxy, which asks them to give me a new date and to send the answer back?"

"Absolutely nothing would happen. A proxy would not do as you personally need to get rescheduled again."

"I didn't forget, you know. I just wanted to stay home and rest my leg. It hurts a lot."

"I imagine it does. Do you have any sweatpants or anything you can put on?"

"Sure I do."

"Then get dressed so that we can go. The sooner we push you through the process, the sooner you can come back home to rest your leg."

"I need help getting dressed."

"What are you? Five? You can dress yourself."

"I need help getting up."

"You can get up yourself.

"Won't you do anything to help me get ready to go to the precinct?"

"Sure. I will drive you there."

With a lot of grimacing and loud complaints, Blaster got to his feet and limped off to the bedroom. He grabbed some clothes and limped to the bathroom. Then, with a lot of cussing and grumbling, he emerged from the bathroom twenty minutes later.

I didn't bother cuffing him. Not only did I think he needed his arms for balance, I knew he did not have enough run in his legs to try to get away. We left the apartment soon after that.

On the way down to the car, I asked Blaster about the apartment. "How does a thief earn enough money to pay for an upscale apartment? When I think about where I live and look at where you live, there is no comparison. Your building has amenities I can only dream of. How do you do it?"

"My parents bought this apartment for me."

"That was nice of them. But if they bought you the apartment, why did you feel you had to steal jewellery?"

"I wasn't doing it for the money. I don't need money. My parents provide me with money. I was doing it to prove to my friends that it could be done. We had seen it in the movies and I thought it was possible but my friends thought it wasn't. So I was out to prove them wrong. I wasn't really going to steal anything."

"So you broke into a jewellery store not to steal anything but on a dare to prove some friends wrong? That's your defense?"


"Good luck with that one."

Yup, that theme song for "Dumb and Dumber" was just getting louder.

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