The annoying sound of the alarm is pushing through the fog. Pete Shaw reaches over and slaps the snooze. What in the world was I thinking? When was the last time I was up at 5:30 am?!
I shut off the alarm and roll from the bed, best to just go with it. I throw on my sweats and running shoes making my way to the front door of my east side loft. Down two flights of stairs and merciful I am out and heading down the street towards the Eastbank Esplanade. Portland early in the morning, the quiet of the still sleeping city, the beauty of the Willamette River as it flows at my side is soothing as I make my way north along the walkway. Life is good. I have a job I love in a city I am learning to love as well. Today I am helping a fellow officer, a patrol officer, Reid Davis. Normally I would go in at about 9:00am. and work on my heavy caseload of Robbery/Homicide cases. Not today, today I am just your average traffic officer. Poor Reid, his wife is battling cancer and he has ran out of leave. Many of his brothers in law enforcement have donated their time and taken his shifts so he can be at his wife’s bedside. The sad circumstances of my return to traffic sobers me, but I cannot help a slight smile at the thought of a day chasing speeders verses murderers as I arrive back at my loft.
I takes the stairs two at a time and unlock the door. Thankfully coffee is ready. I go to the kitchen pour a cup of coffee and get out my favorite breakfast, ever, Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Pop Tarts! Two into the toaster and a minute later sweet surrender. I go to my office and checks emails and play a little FarmVille while sipping coffee and munching pop tarts. Yes, no one knows my farm exists and yes I prefer to keep it that way, its stress relief and the only good use for Facebook. After planting my crops it is shower time.
Once out of the shower, towel secured at my waist I shave and brush my teeth. I cannot help how I look, sometimes it is an asset but more often then not a royal pain in the ass. I enjoy running and my gym membership is current, I just don’t use it much. But then again, I am blessed with great genes. The kind of genes that give me a six pack with no work, the ability to eat what I want when I want without any need to worry about gaining weight. Moss green eyes and blondish hair with, as the ex-girl friend said, irresistible curls, women have to run their fingers through. I understand completely the fact that women seem to like what they see. I swim around in the gutters of society most of my time. Women who live there have no problem grabbing an arresting officers package. I think it is a favorite sport.
I make my way to the bedroom and into the closet. I look at my uniform for the day and cannot help but laugh, I am going to look like a damn male stripper dressed to entice more then a serious officer, what the hell. I take out the uniform toss it on the bed and grab a pair of nice unsexy boxers and slide them over my hips. T-shirt, police issue ball cap on wet hair, and jeans complete my look, I will get dressed at the precinct. Roll call is at 7:00am, I best get moving. I grab my uniform and head down the stairs.
No garage parking available so I park curb side, I drive a Chevy Truck nothing special but gets me from point A to B. Its not far from my place to North precinct and I make good time getting there. I head to the locker room and change into my patrol uniform. T-shirt, Kevlar vest, standard issue short sleeve dress shirt and multi pocket trooper pants. Love the pants places to put everything, problem occurs when I forget where the hell I put something and in front of a perp I am digging round in my pockets, which usually leads to a chase that needs explaining to a superior officer, never fun.
“So Shaw are you Davis today?” A young patrol officer asks me. I know I should know him, maybe, but I got no clue.
“Thats my plan, any advice for the traffic cop five years out of practice?”
“Well, don’t run over anyone with the patrol car and you should be good to go.”
“Sound advice, think I will take that to heart.” I say as I close the locker my things were in and head to the roll call. The chatty young man falls in behind me. I find a seat and wait for the duty sergeant to take roll and make announcements. Forty-five minutes later we are excused to pick up our weapons and hit the streets. Takes me another twenty minutes to get my gear, remember how to wear the holster, and actually find my car. Nobody said this is easy remember I tell myself as I attempt to get comfortable in my Charger, least I am issued a really nice car. 8:30am. and I am rolling out of the precinct garage. What to do, what to do?
I spend the next hour cruising the streets, nothing happening, not even a jaywalker. I start to think about my cases, the car jackings are my biggest concern. The violence seems to be escalating, and the criminals are so brazen, no fear of getting caught. They are after high end speed cars and cars that are hard to find. My guess is they are just the minions someone, somewhere is pulling the puppet strings. I go onto the 405 and roll up under an overpass, flip on my radar, and contemplate my perps. My guess is they are younger, have to be to strong arm rob these people of their cars. People who drive cars like these, they are not normal, they are obsessed with their cars, they give them names, treat them like family.
My radar alerts clocking a very spicy mustang at 75mph. I hit the lights as I pull into traffic to chase this guy down. He is moving right along in a car that practically screams to these car jackers take me please. Lights are not cutting it, this guy is not paying attention a little noise is in order, I hit the sirens. I see the driver jump when they hear the sirens, responsibly they pull to the right. I follow, I still cannot get a look at this guy the windows are of course tinted enough to make it hard to see inside but not so much as to break the law.
The car comes to a stop on the side of the free way far enough over for me to approach the drivers window safely thank god. I always did hate this part had visions of 18 wheelers running my ass over and emergency crews picking me up with a sponge, never a good sight.
I admit. rookie error but I was not paying too close attention to the driver when I first started towards the car, I am shaking my head as I glance at the plate number Flicka 12, wow all I can say is wow. Thats when I see her. Ice blue eyes are watching me as I approach her car in her mirror, eyes set on a perfect heart shaped face with full kissable lips and ...what the hell Pete get ahold of yourself for gods sake. I put on my best stone face.
“Is there a problem sir?” The incredibly striking woman says to me. Is there a problem Pete? Hell yes there is a problem, I see beautiful women everyday of my life what is wrong with me, I feel like the nerd that just won a date with the prom queen for gods sake, breathe.
“Yes miss. My radar just clocked you at 75 mph. in a posted 60 mph zone that is a 15mph speeding infraction. License and registration please.” I manage to say without hesitation. I take off my sun glasses so I can see her better, why I don’t know I was having concentration issues with them on. Her jaw drops as she looks into my eyes, yeah they are my best feature, I say to myself as I arch a brow at her. Ha! She starts to blush from her neck to her ears, when she looks down I am lucky as I do not have to hide my smile, this is getting fun.
As she hands me her credentials I slide my glasses back on and walk back to the patrol car. Sophia Johnson, 28, no warrants, thank god, no criminal should ever look that good, I smile to myself as I finish writing up her ticket in the car. I feel bad giving her the ticket, but I have no choice she was speeding. I approach her car ticket book in hand. I see her chewing slightly on her lower lip, she has no idea what that one action is doing to my libido, kissing her just became my new goal for the day. What? No this cannot be happening I cannot be thinking about her beautiful full lips, lips made for kissing you see, and something tells me she very much needs to be kissed. As she is staring at me I notice, no ring on the ring finger, the lovely lady is single.
“I am terribly sorry Officer, what is your name? Oh yes I see Shaw, you see I am in a hurry to open my shop. I own The Hideaway, it’s in the Pearl District. Perhaps you have heard of it?”
I say nothing. What can I say? I am thinking about kissing her and she is talking about her dress shop. Dress shop? The Hideaway? HUH? She continues. “I did not even realize how fast I was going. It won’t happen again sir I promise.” I snap out of it. She owns a dress shop and I need to give her the ticket now and hopefully say something smart, or at least in english.
“ The posted speed is for the safety of all citizens, and there can be no exceptions to that rule. If you will just sign here.” I hand her the ticket. I add. “Now slow down and have a nice day.”
“Yes, you have a nice day too.” She says as I hand her back her license, her fingers brush mine, and I feel a tingling in my hand. Seriously Shaw whats going on with you. As I walk back to my car, I realize for some reason Ms. Sophie Johnson severely got under my skin just now.
I watch her as she drives off at a much more appropriate rate of speed before I pull into traffic. She was exquisite. Yup that is the word for that lady. No other fits. I go into down town cruise the streets for a while then stop for lunch. I have lunch, as I am eating I find myself wondering, what is Ms. Sophie Johnson doing right about now. I wonder if she is wondering what I am doing. Really that is juvenile and I chaises myself for that one. Finally I give up. I know its breaking a rule somewhere but I have to see her. I head to the register and pay for my lunch. As I am walking to the patrol car I see a florist. Corny Shaw seriously, flowers, you’re thinking about getting her flowers? She is going to laugh in your face dude. Who does that, ticket in the morning flowers in the afternoon? I cross the street and do it anyways, got nothing to loose but my dignity anyways.
I take my flowers and head to the Pearl District. Her shop is easy to find and I even manage to park on a nearby side street. I sit and think what to write on the card? I take out my pad and come up with a few options and pick one, after arguing with myself for ten minutes. I seal the card and stuff it into the flowers sort of deep I want her to find it after I leave so there is no weird moments when she reads it.
I get out of the car and pace the sidewalk a few times trying to figure out what I am going to say to her. I devise a plan and with confidence I head to the entrance. I am ready to take on Godzilla when I walk in that dress shop, I just did not expect Godzilla to be disguised as a black nighty. My gun is stuck in a damn sexy nighty, what the hell am I going to do now. I look up and see her, she is smiling at my pain. The most perfect smile and a melody of laughter I would be happy to listen to her laugh for hours.
“Did you want to try that one on?” She says as she draws closer. Once she is close enough for a hand off, I hand her the flowers as I say.
“Miss. Johnson I just stopped by to give you these.” She takes them and happily I am free to untangle my gun from Godzilla’s grasp!
“Well, thank you. Officer Shaw, but why?” She says. Why? Because I cannot get you out of my head. I want to kiss you so bad right now I think my breathing is going to stop if I don’t.
Instead I say. “I just wanted to see a smile on your beautiful face. Please have a great afternoon.” I smile at her. When I smile she looks at my lips for a mila second and I cannot resist her I close the distance between us and I kiss her. Most importantly she kisses me back and does not slap me senseless, which if you think about it I am at this point. But kissing her is all I have wanted to do all day, I had to do it. If she calls in a complaint about the insane officer that walked into her shop and kissed her today that kiss would be worth it.
I exit round the corner to the shop, am in the cruiser, and gone fast. Rejection sucks and I did not want to be there if she did not like my card. Now the waiting game begins. I know I have met the woman for me, I don’t know how I know this already but my instincts are screaming do not let her get away, Pete Shaw. As I drive and these thoughts race through my mind I just shake my head. I left her my number, now I have to wait for the call.
Wait for the call, damn that sounds simple. Who am I kidding? What is taking her so long? It has been, five minutes since I looked at my watch and a whole twenty since I left her shop like a scalded monkey. What an exit, first the nighty, then the kiss, then run like hell. I am acting like an idiot. I am completely distracted as I pull into the garage and nearly rear end another patrol car. At least my day of traffic duty is over and I can turn in the patrol car.. I manage to park the car without further issues and head to the locker room. I am changing when I realize I have no clue where to take her to dinner. I have not actually been out on a date since I moved here. Now what genius?
I look around the locker room as I start unbuttoning my shirt, who here would know a good place to go for dinner. There are two patrol officers, neither do I know, damn do I bug a perfect stranger? What choice do I have?
“Hey guys, I have a date tonight where is a good place to take her?” The two patrol officers look at me like I am an idiot. “I have not lived here that long guys, and my social life is not exactly overflowing with dates, give me a break.”
“Okay me I would take her to Denny’s, unless she is a classy chic then maybe someplace with candles on the table.” The short patrol officer answers me. Not much help there, the other officer agrees as he smacks the short guy in the back of the head.
“Larry, dude, that is why you eat alone so much. New guy whatever you do, don’t listen to this idiot Bush was president the last time a lady looked at him. You want to go somewhere with a view?”
“Yeah I think that would be cool. Nothing too fancy, somewhere fun, relaxing.” Pete answers.
“Me I would take her to Joe’s Crab Shack. fun place, right on the river for the touch of romance. The atmosphere is a little rowdy which will keep the high pressure romance stuff at bay, but intimate enough you can talk to her if you want to.”
“Thanks, I think I will go there. Now if she will just call me back. Oh where is this place?”
“Across the Columbia in Vancouver, right by the Interstate Bridge you can’t miss it. I am Brad Leighton by the way.”
“Thank you Brad. Pete Shaw, new guy.” Pete says as he shakes hands with Brad. Brad is a little intimidating, he must live at the gym. Dang guess I need to work out. But if I am going to take advise from someone a guy who looks like the Incrediable Hulks body double is probably going on a lot of dates. He should be a good source of information. Larry on the other hand, does kind of remind me of Al Bundy from Married with Children.
“Well Pete good luck. You are a good guy helping out Reid like this, hope you have a great date.” Brad says as he heads for the showers, naked with a towel around his neck.
I just nod and mumble. “Thanks for the help.” I really need to hit the gym.
I finish getting undressed and head for the shower. Quick shower later I am finished getting dressed and heading out to my truck when my phone rings. I do not recognize the number. I answer the phone.
“Detective Shaw” Nothing, dead air, I am about to repeat myself when.
“Ah hello, um, this is Sophie Johnson, I am trying to reach officer Pete Shaw, from this morning, he pulled me over.”
Oh my god it is her. I smile as I hear the nervousness in her voice, she is nervous. Yes! Yes! Yes!
“Sophie? This is officer Shaw, call me Pete please.” I say trying to keep my voice level. I don’t want to give away how happy I am she called. She already probably thinks I am a little crazy, lets not blow this by scaring her off with stupidity.
“You just said detective, I thought I had the wrong number.”
“I can see where you would be confused. One of the officer’s in my precinct wife has cancer, he needs extra time off to spend with her. He is out of vacation time, so we are all pitching in working a shift for him when we can. It helps to cover for him so he has an income and a job when he is able to come back to work. I am actually a robbery homicide detective.” Great now I am rambling. I could of been way cooler. Damn.
“Oh wow. A homicide detective? Is that dangerous?”
I smile, she sounds impressed with my detectiveness, good sign, or polite conversation? “No. The detectives are mostly behind the scenes lots of paperwork. The beat cops see more danger then us.” I say, then it is time to take the plunge, ask the question, and hold my breath. “So Sophie have you had dinner yet? I would love to take you somewhere we could talk, have some dinner, perhaps discuss your driving habits?” Okay its done, even included humor, lets hope she thinks I am funny!
“I am not normally a speeder. I was running late.” Sophie says and then there is silence. Oh no I pissed her off with my driving comment, I consider banging my head into the side of my truck, thankfully she answers before any damage to my forehead can be done.
“I would love to go to dinner with you. I am still at the shop let me run home and change, I can meet you somewhere if you would like? Or if you want to pick me up at my place? Whatever is easiest for you.” She says, I think she sounds excited. Thats excellent.
“Well it is 5:30pm now. I can be at your place say 8:00pm?” I say and nothing no answer just silence. I am starting to wonder if she hung up. “Sophie? Does that work for you?”
“Yes thats fine. I guess I will see you then.” And nothing. The line is dead. What the hell just happened here? She answered me so fast I could hardly understand a word she said and bam she was gone. No address, no talk to you later, nadda. I am leaning on the bed of my truck actually scratching my head in confusion when I decide the only option is a quick text to see what is going on.
Must have a bad connection got disconnected before you gave me your address. I hit send and the text is sent. The answer was nearly immediate with her address. Well thats good she is willing to go out with me just must not be good with good byes. I open my truck and climb in for the drive home. I will go home maybe work out to get some nervous energy out before dinner tonight. Sophie Johnson is a beauty, I just hope we have something to talk about.