The Thousand Words

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Chapter 17

Jane and I worked the rest of Saturday cleaning up the office. It was simple but tedious work. By the end of the day, all of the desks were put back together and the papers which had been thrown on the floor were in a few dozen stacks, ready to be reviewed and filed. The organization was going to take a lot longer to complete compared to the cleaning.

Jane had agreed to put in some extra hours over the next few weeks getting the paperwork filed and back in order. She was the best one to determine what might be missing as she was the one who made sure everything was completed and correctly filed in the first place.

We also spent some time looking for anything else that was stolen during the break-in. Once the desks were back together, it was pretty easy to determine nothing else we could think of was gone. A quick check of the upstairs equipment didn’t identify anything up there was stolen. All of the expensive equipment was present and accounted for.

I basically had to kick Jane out and send her home at seven PM. She wanted to stay and continue to work. More so, she just didn’t want to leave. Her place of employment was burglarized and the violation made her angry. Even though she wasn’t the owner, it was personal. Her attitude actually made me feel proud in a bad situation. She was invested in the business and its success. Right then, she was acting more like a partner than an employee.

Kelsey and I were supposed to meet up that night at her condo but I just couldn’t leave. I needed to be close to the office in case anyone was to come back to try and finish the job. New motion lights had been installed over both doors to the office and a few internal lights were added to random timers. The plan was to check every couple of hours after dark to make sure everything was secure.

Kelsey showed up a little after eight PM. “How are you doing, Alex? It’s been one heck of a crazy week.”

“To be honest, right now I am just mad. This neighborhood has always been safe. Nothing like this has happened to me or the neighbors, including all the way back to when my parents first bought the house. Jane and I got the office pretty much back in order today with the exception of all the paperwork. The organization and refiling may take weeks. Nothing seems to be missing other than some petty cash, which is great but still bothers me for some reason. By the way, thanks for coming over. I need to be here tonight.”

“I understand. You sealed the deal when you said you would make me one of your cheeseburgers.” She raised her eyebrows along with an exaggerated smile. There is nothing worth loving more than a woman who gets excited about a cheeseburger.

Burgers were one of the few things I was very good at cooking and I owe it all to my dad. Grilling a perfect patty was his specialty and he showed me at an early age how to make and season the patties, as well as how to cook them perfectly on a searing hot grill. I made them once a week year round regardless of the weather. The rain, snow, or cold didn’t matter.

We ate and then moved our way to our prerequisite spots on the couch. The dishes and pans could wait until tomorrow morning. We were both drinking water as any sort of alcohol would put us directly to sleep, even though it wasn’t yet ten PM on a Saturday night.

We chatted for a bit on various topics, both trying to stay away from the break-in or the murder. Kelsey talked about her day and how one of her patients is now cancer free and heading home on Monday. The girl is most excited about being able to get back to school in the coming weeks. I talked about my ideas for future columns and some interesting facts I uncovered as a part of my research into the Roebling Suspension Bridge that connects downtown Cincinnati to northern Kentucky across the Ohio River.

A little while later Kelsey got that look in her eye. She reached behind her and turned off the only light in the living room. The room receded into darkness but there was enough illumination to see from the light filtering in from other rooms. She tied her long hair in a haphazard bun, scooted towards me on the couch and then turned around with her back facing me. She then slowly, very slowly, removed her shirt revealing her silky-toned back. Her bra had come off minutes after walking through the door when she first arrived.

“I need a back rub,” she said coyly. It was a command and I was more than pleased to oblige. I reached up and started to massage her shoulders. Her skin was warm to the touch. Kelsey let out a cross between a groan and a growl as I worked the tension out of her shoulders and upper back. She leaned back into me, reaching up and playing with my hair. My hands started to caress her flat, toned stomach slowly inching my way up.

Just then my phone rang. The lateness of the call made me concerned after the past few days. I became motionless, frozen with indecision.

Kelsey could sense my apprehension. She leaned forward and covered herself with her arms and hands. “Do you want to answer?” she asked.

“Not only no, but hell no.” I reached up, pulling her body back towards me. My phone had stopped ringing. A few seconds later, it beeped indicating a voicemail had been left. I started kissing her neck very lightly and extremely slowly. She responded by leaning her head to the side and pushing her body into mine.

My phone started ringing again. Kelsey jumped up from the couch. I was hoping she was going to grab the phone and throw it against the wall, rendering it useless. Instead, she grabbed her shirt and put it on with a sigh of resignation, indicating our intimate time tonight had come and gone. Kelsey wasn’t mad, but rather disappointed. She grabbed the ringing phone and tossed it to me.

“It’s Bruno,” she said. “You know he is going to just keep calling until you answer it. Even if you didn’t, he might actually show up and we sure don’t want him here now.”

I answered the phone and said as a greeting, “Thanks, Bruno. Your timing is impeccable. What could possibly be urgent enough for you to call multiple times?”

“I need you at a crime scene right away. Drop whatever you are doing and come down to Ault Park. Park near the police cars. They won’t be hard to find. Let me know when you get here.”

Bruno seemed very tense, even more so than normal. There must be another murder. I understood but I wanted to try and salvage this night if possible.

“Can’t someone else take the crime scene pictures?” I asked. “Kelsey and I are right in the middle of something important if you catch my not so subtle meaning.”

“I don’t need you to take any pictures, Alex. I need you, and just you, here. Right away. As in now. Don’t bother bringing any of your gear.”

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