Indisposed

Surprise Visitor

In the afternoon, Kensi was bored and called her mom. “Yeah, I have to take it easy for a couple days. No, everything’s good. Deeks is helping me.”

Julia Feldman noticed how her daughter’s voice always changed when she talked about her partner. And she talked about him a lot. It was “Deeks did this” or “Deeks said that” or “Deeks thinks I should . . .”

These statements were usually accompanied by rolling of the eyes and/or exasperated sighs. Julia felt Kensi protested too much. But since she had yet to meet the mysterious Detective Deeks, she kept her opinion to herself.

Later, Julia showed up with a home-cooked dinner: meatloaf, garlic mashed potatoes, green beans, yeast rolls, and apple pie. As she unpacked the dishes in the kitchen, she took in Kensi’s disheveled appearance.

“Sweetie, did you comb your hair today?”

Kensi fingered her messy ponytail. “Guess not. I’ve been lounging around. I haven’t even showered yet.”

“Why don’t you go freshen up? You’ll feel better. And take your time. We can eat later.”

“Okay,” said Kensi as she shuffled toward the bedroom.

Julia decided to use the time to pick up the place. As a teenager, Kensi always left clothes, books, makeup, etc. strewn everywhere. It appeared things had not improved.

In the living room, Julia started stacking up fashion magazines, CDs, and DVDs. As she picked up a romance novel, a picture fell out. She was quite surprised.

It was Kensi in an above-the-knee emerald-green cocktail dress, black heels, and long sparkly earrings. A tall blond-haired man in a tuxedo stood beside her, his arm around her waist. He was looking at her with undisguised affection. Her head was slightly turned toward him, as if she was about to say something. They must have been at a party or reception.

Was this the often spoken of, but never seen, Deeks? Was this one of their undercover operations that Kensi sometimes alluded to, or were they on an actual date? Whatever the situation, it must have been special for Kensi to keep. On the back someone, probably not Kensi, had written, Awesome couple! A red heart was drawn underneath it.

Julia puzzled over it for a moment, then stuck it back in the novel. She heard the dryer cut off and went to unload it. Mainly it was Kensi’s yoga clothes and sweats. However, Julia found some items that belonged to a man: socks, an LAPD tee shirt and another from Sea World.

Kensi was a grown woman and entitled to her privacy. Julia certainly did not want to be a meddling mother. Still, she could not help but wonder about the extent of Kensi’s relationship with the detective. Did he make her happy? Did he make her feel safe?

She folded the clothes and took the laundry basket to the bedroom. She sat it down by the box containing Kensi’s new running shoes. Beside Kensi’s shoes was another pair of running shoes – not Kensi’s. Beside that was an open duffle bag with men’s deodorant and cologne clearly visible.

Kensi was singing in the shower so Julia gathered more stray magazines and DVDs and stacked them on the end of the dresser. Kensi’s watch and earrings were in a tray on the other end along with a man’s dress watch.

This is all quite cozy, thought Julia. I wonder if I’ll ever get to meet her detective?

By now, the dishwasher had finished its cycle. Julia went to unload it.

**

“Ingredients to make dinner – Check! Exciting, but non-scary, movie for later – Check!”

Deeks still got the willies when he thought about the slasher clown from last night’s movie. The one he picked for tonight was action-adventure with romance. A little something for everyone.

“Does that sound like a plan, Monty?” Deeks looked at his canine companion in the rear view mirror.

“Woof!

“I thought that was a solid plan, too.”

**

As Julia unloaded the dishwasher, the sound of a key was heard in the front door.

“Hey Kens, it’s me. Don’t shoot.”

Julia stood motionless. Surely an intruder would not announce himself. Kensi did not own any decent knives, but she would grab the pair of scissors from the drawer if she needed to defend herself.

Deeks leaned down and rubbed Monty behind the ears. “Go find mommy. Give her kisses to make her feel better.”

Monty rushed into the kitchen and skidded to a halt. “Woof!

Julia gasped in surprise. The scruffy dog cocked his head one way and then another as he studied her. She could imagine him thinking, Where’s Kensi? You’re not Kensi.

Deeks followed and also stopped. He held a grocery bag in his arms. “Whoa!” He surveyed the attractive dark-haired woman standing there. Not as tall as Kensi, but the same excellent bone structure. Dark jeans, boots, wine-colored turtle neck sweater, small gold hoop earrings.

She seemed as surprised, or shocked, as he was. A slow grin spread across his face. “You have to be Kensi’s . . .”

“Yes, I’m Kensi’s mother. Julia Feldman.”

“I’m Marty Deeks, Kensi’s partner.” He set the grocery bag on the counter and stuck out his hand. “You guys could be sisters.”

Julia smiled and shook his hand. “Detective Deeks. Kensi talks about you all the time. It’s a pleasure to finally meet you.”

“Is that right?” He seemed pleased by the thought.

“Woof!”

Deeks laughed and looked down. “And this is Monty.”

Julia held out her hand and Monty licked it. “Woof, woof!”

“Watch this,” said Deeks.

“Monty . . . treats!”

Monty went to the cabinet behind Julia. With a paw and his nose, he nudged open the door and pulled out a bag of dog biscuits.

“Yes! Good boy!”

Julia laughed and saw Kensi shuffling up the hall. This should be interesting.

“Deeks! What are you doing here?”

His eyes slid over her. Her hair was wet and she was wrapped in a navy blue towel. It barely covered her bottom, leaving her long legs exposed. Deeks didn’t want to stare, but he couldn’t help himself. His Kensalina was beautiful.

“Where’s your boot?”

She huffed. “I couldn’t very well take a shower with it, could I?”

“Touché,” he laughed. He pointed to the bag on the counter. “I was going to surprise you and make my special chili for dinner. Some people say it’s spicy, but I like to think of it as sassy. Kinda like you, Fern.”

She narrowed her eyes at him. “I see you’ve met my mom.”

“Marty, why don’t we eat what I prepared while it’s hot? ” said Julia.

“Excellent. It smells wonderful! I’ll make the chili another night and you have to come back for it.”

“It’s a deal,” said Julia.

Deeks looked back to Kensi. “Uh Kens, did you maybe want to throw on some clothes?”

Kensi seemed to have forgotten she was standing there in only a towel. “Yeah, good idea.”

Julia regarded their interactions with amusement. She had the feeling if it were only the two of them having dinner, Kensi may well have just worn her towel.


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