My life is developing a new routine. Pete and I are spending pretty much every night together since the Tuesday two months ago when he brought some things over to my condo. Linus has learned to share, which is so not in his nature, he has even learned to tolerate Pete without hissing at him, most of the time. I am learning to share as well. Closets. Not an easy thing for me to do, but I gave up the closets in the bed room so Pete could have somewhere to put his clothes. Mind you, he still has his apartment and he stays there from time to time, we are not to that stage of the relationship where the lease should be broken, yet.
Tonight we have finally accepted an invitation to go out with Lindsey and Harrison. I put it off as I have never spent much time with Harrison. At first I wondered if he would be a stuffy, stereotypical stockbroker type. Then I was like no way. I figure he must be a gem, he lives with Lindsey. Pete has not been called to investigate a homicide at their address so I say that is grounds for sainthood.
“Sophie, guess what?” Pete calls up the stairs.
“You are running late.” Pete answers. I am dashing around my closet room putting the finishing touches on my outfit. Light mint green patterned spring dress, I just got it in at the shop. I had to have one for myself. I just want to find the perfect accessories. I fasten my sea shell necklace around my neck and scurry from the room.
I am hopping to put shoes on down the stairs when I look up to Pete’s crooked smile on his breathtakingly handsome face. Dressed casually in a khaki’s and a button up shirt untucked he is a sight. Hell Pete could be in a gunny sack and be a sight. Portland City Grill look out, the best looking man in the city is heading your way.
“For someone who hates to be late. You excel at it.” He says as he hands me my bag. I take it and dash for the door. We take Pete’s truck to the restaurant. The car jackings have not slowed down, I only drive my baby when I have to. I keep her safely garaged the rest of the time.
We find Lindsey and Harrison waiting in the lobby of the US Bank building. So this is Harrison, hummm. Birkenstocks with socks, khaki’s, and a polo, not so stockbrokerish. Black hair blue eyes, and a skinny rocker build, with full on sleeve tattoos, very Lindsey like. I am smiling at Lindsey as we approach, hand and hand of course.
“Hello, you must be Harrison.” I say as I extend my hand to Harrison. So not expecting to be grabbed into a bear hug, Harrison is surprisingly strong for a skinny guy.
“I feel like you should be my sister, Lindsey talks about you so much. So glad you finally found a man.” Harrison kisses my cheeks and turns to Pete.
“Pete, dude, thank god you came along. Sophie was way too up tight before you started showing her a good time.” Harrison grabs Pete into a hug as well. Thankfully stopping short of the cheek kissing.
I look at Lindsey. “Uptight? Me?” I pin her with one of my serious looks, which I cannot hold and smile anyways. “I guess you could describe me as driven, not so much uptight or how would I ever put up with you?” I give Lindsey a pat on the shoulder.
“Sophie, now Harrison could be putting words in my mouth. I don’t recall saying you were uptight. I did say you needed to get laid, maybe that is what he is talking about.” I freeze and glance back at Lindsey. Several people in the lobby are looking our direction, Lindsey has no volume control. My cheeks flush and I wish the floor would swallow me. Pete puts his arm round me and pulls me close, kissing me on top the head.
“Lindsey I am the lucky one Sophie saved me from a life without love, or great sex now I have both in one gorgeous package.” Pete smiles down at me as we walk to the elevators, the onlookers having gone back to their conversations.
“Wow, I am starved lets get these elevators going.” I am punching the button with some gusto, I would really like out of the lobby now that everyone is discussing my bedroom activities.
“Hey Sophie, don’t be embarrassed. You got the hottest dude here next to me of course. All these other women just wish they were the one sleeping with Pete. They know they cannot have me I got Lindsey, she is crazy, the things she wants to do in the bedroom, girl I can’t even keep up with her.”
The elevator door opens and we step on board. For some reason all the other people in the lobby appear to be waiting for others or in a terribly interesting conversation, no one boards the elevator with us.
Once the doors shut, I turn to Harrison. “You know one of the questions that made my life incomplete was knowing how Lindsey was in the bedroom. Thanks Harrison for sharing.”
“So Harrison, you play music, enjoy sports, what are you into?” Pete asks attempting to change the subject to something a little more appropriate to a restaurant before the elevator doors open to the 30 floor and we are in one of the best restaurants in the city.
Harrison and Pete start talking together, safe subjects, thank god. I scoot closer to Lindsey. “I now know what you and Harrison have in common. The same off beat sense of humor.” I smile at her.
“Well you did not think I would hook up with a stuffy stockbroker. His dad insisted Harrison go into the family business, so he did. Besides, he is really good at his job, just a wee bit unconventional in his outlook on life.” Lindsey says with a glance at her husband.
“Yeah, I see that, he looks more like a rocker then a broker.”
“Oh he plays guitar in a band, the Guitar Hero’s, you know after the game. Catchy huh?”
“Yes, catchy.” I say as the elevator door opens and we see the best view of the city skyline out of every window.
We are seated near a window with a unobstructed view of Mt. Hood. You can see all of Southeast Portland from our window, the sun is going down behind the building casting pinks and purples across the sky and coloring the snow on the mountain. I just love this city.
We enjoy some of the grills famous happy hour treats before dinner. Thankfully the conversation stays safe and I find myself actually enjoying our friends company. Dinner is a success as well and I am happily smiling as we ride down in the elevator a couple hours later.
“You know this was fun, we really should get together again sometime soon.” I say as we ride down.
“Well the night does not have to end we can go to the Zeus, the Guitar Hero’s are playing tonight and you guys could hear Harrison’s band play.” Lindsey has the look of an eager puppy, as scared as I am to hear his band how could I refuse. Besides the Zeus is one of the McMenamins lounges surely they could not be that bad, right?
Caddy corner from the Crystal Ball room on Burnside we drive to the Zeus. The lounge is in the basement, known for jazz and blues music, I wondered what the Guitar Hero’s has to offer.
The place is really dark, like hard to see anything dark. Lindsey, Pete and I take a table towards the back of the lounge, not really able to make the band out across the room.
“I love this place. Harrison and I usually get a room upstairs after he plays here. We don’t have an all night sitter tonight so thats not happening.” Lindsey sighs.
“Isn’t this the location with the rock and roll rooms named for bands and such?” Pete asks.
“Yeah it is totally chill.” Lindsey says as Pete’s phone starts ringing.
Pete gets up and leaves the room to take the call. I have learned to hate the phone. When Pete’s phone sounds when he is off it is usually bad news. Someone is hurt or dead somewhere in the city and the police need him on the scene. As he returns the set of his jaw tells me something is wrong. Great.
“We have to go there has been another car jacking.” He says as he reaches for me.
“Oh Sophie stay with me it is still early. Harrison is only playing until midnight we will give you a lift home.” Lindsey says grabbing my hand.
I look at Pete. “You go on I am going to stay with Lindsey. Take care of yourself.” I hug Pete and give him a quick kiss.
“You sure about this?” He asks knowing I was worried about the performance about to start judging by the activity on the dimly lit bandstand.
“Yes. Positive. Lindsey would be disappointed if I did not stay.” Pete glances to Lindsey who is staring up at us with her puppy pleading look. “How can you say no to that?” Pete smiled.
“I will call you later.” He kisses me again and is off.
I sit back down with Lindsey and brace myself for the onslaught of “music”.
Half an hour later when the band takes a ten I am disappointed they are breaking. They are surprisingly good. The vocals are provided by a slightly balding short, roundish guy with a raspy quality to his voice. None of the Guitar Hero’s are what you would expect, except Harrison. The drummer is a woman very tall with blonde hair that you could see even in the dim light. The base player is at least 60 years old, with an amazing talent for the base. They are a rag tag group, but the music is quality. They make their way to our table.
“Everyone I want you to meet Sophie, Lindsey’s boss. Sophie this is Jillian, Scott, and Marvin.” Harrison points out the bass player, Scott, Marvin the singer and Jillian the drummer. They all pull up chairs joining Lindsey and I at our table. The server brings them all soda’s or water to drink.
“Hello very nice to meet you all. You all are very talented. I really liked your set.” I say smiling at all of them.
Jillian spoke up first. “Thanks. But really we know we are just a bunch of goof balls that happen to enjoy music.” The others nod in agreement. “Music is our passion but none of us has plans to become professional musicians.”
“Well I don’t listen to many bands but you have a very unique sound that I think is really catchy. If you have no aspirations to be professional musicians what do you all do in the daytime?”
Jillian laughs out loud. “I am a legal secretary in an office in Harrison’s building.”
“I am a custodian in the same building.” Scott says with a very surprising tone to his speaking voice. He has a squeaky voice! After listening to him sing I expected a baritone not a soprano.
“Ahh, me I enjoy the good life. I own a bar. Have a great manager in place and take life easy.” Marvin says, smiling and kicking back in his chair very satisfied with himself. “Maybe you all have no aspirations to go pro but me, I may join the Stones next week. Just waiting on a call back from Mick.” He cracks himself up with his own private joke. Everyone else at the table joins in.
“Dude if Mick called you to play you would need an ambulance. Your heart would stop from shock.” Harrison pipes in. “Hell I would need an ambulance as well.” Everyone laughs again.
“All have you know I met Mick once. You never know he might be interested. He patted my back when I told him I played and everything.”
“Where did you meet him at?” Jillian asks.
Marvin fidgets in his seat. “Madison Square Gardens during the 70’s. I was at a concert and he happened to fall off the stage by me. I helped him up and he patted my shoulder, but I told him I played as I helped him up. I am sure he heard me.”
“Question is was he even slightly sober at the time. The Stones are not known for their sobriety especially in the 70’s.” Scott says with a giggle. The man seriously talks and laughs in a ladies tone and sings like Rod Stewart.
“Regardless, Marvin right now we need to get back to playing. If Mick calls he is going to have to leave a voice mail.” Harrison says as he gets up and makes his way towards the bandstand. The rest of the group bids farewell and follows him to the instruments.
Once they are gone I turn to Lindsey.
“I know what you are going to say. I agree I think Scott was born a woman and had a sex change too. I just have not had the courage to ask him if I am right.” Lindsey says.
“Ah no that is not what I was going to say. I was going to ask you if you found Scotts talking voice to be in sharp contrast to the way he sings. But I think you might be more on track then me.” I laugh. I do agree with her crazy idea, this time. The band starts to play making any more conversation pointless as we would be shouting at each other. We just kick back and enjoy the music.
We leave the Zeus about 12:30am after saying goodbye to the other band members. Lindsey and Harrison give me a ride home. I am not going to lie I had a great evening.
“Thanks it was really fun tonight.”
“See I have been telling you to come out with us sometime. You should listen to me once in a while I have good ideas.” Lindsey says as I climb from the SUV. Soccer mom car and everything.
Harrison shakes his head at her as he says “We need to get together again soon. Maybe next time Pete will be able to actually stay for the whole evening and not get called away to a crime scene. Oh, I wonder if it is all bloody and disgusting with like body parts or something?”
“You two, you make the perfect couple. See you tomorrow Lindsey.” I say as I shake my head and walk towards my front door. They drive off into the night.
I go into my house turning on lights as I go. A Kama Kausie cat comes careening down the staircase at me as I make my way to the kitchen a loud meow escaping his lips with every step. I glance at his bowl, oh dear the level of kibble is below the acceptable imaginary line, I add to it and give Linus fresh water. I pick him up and give him snuggles as well. He squirms his displeasure at being held, hah he is going to cuddle like a nice kitty. After a couple of minutes I put the cat down, enough teasing I will let him take his customary two bites and walk away. He does not let me down, two bites, and he walks away to groom himself. I set the coffee maker for tomorrow and head up to bed. Tomorrow is Saturday usually the busiest day of the week and I am getting to bed very late.
I awake to my cell phone ringing. What the hell? I glance at the time, 2:45am? I glance at the number, I do not recognize it.
“This is Central Alarm calling we have an alarm sounding at 445 NW 18th Portland Oregon The Hideaway. Police have been dispatched to the location.”
“Oh, okay thank you for the call.”
“Can we assist any further?”
“No thank you.” The line is dead.
I get out of bed and throw on some clothes and head down the stairs and to the garage. I am going to have to take my baby, Pete is not here. I roll out of the driveway and make it to the shop by 3:05am. The alarm is going off loudly and a cruiser is parked in front of the shop when I roll up. I park across the street, I get out activate the security systems on Flicka, and cross to the cruiser.
“Good morning officer.” I say as I walk up. The officer puts down his window.
“I checked round back. You can see an attempt to force the back door, but no entry appears to have been made.”
“Would you mind going round back with me, I need to go through the back door to get to the alarm panel easiest.” I wait as the officer puts his window up, lets out a sigh, not thrilled to be going around back with the chicken lady is my guess. We walk the short walk to the back of the shop, yep it is obvious someone took a pry bar to the back door. Weird. What would be the point of that? The lock is not going to give to a pry bar the door is reenforced steel. They must have been really stupid criminals. Or really smart ones.
While the Patrol Officer and I are around back, Flicka is parked out in front of the shop alone. A old compact car approaches, the two occupants pull up next to the Mustang and flash a light into the car, see’s the GPS tracking is activated, the driver cusses under his breath as they continue past. The passenger flashes the light on the license plate “Flicka12” not hard to remember. The compact continues down the street.
“Bill, I think we need to give it up, the Stang is not worth the hassle. You got a great car tonight. We need to just move on.” The passenger says as he glances around hoping they have not been spotted.
“No. I need that car. Tonight was a great score, and a lot of fun but the boss is turing up the heat on me he has a buyer for that exact car ready. I’ll get it. If it wasn’t for the cop boyfriend we would have it already. I don’t care what I gotta do, I will have that car.” Bill Runyon scratches himself in unmentionable places with his dirty hand and spits on the floor. He is a repulsive creature, for no other reason then his choosing. Bill was raised in private schools and his family is very affluent. He makes his own decisions, for whatever reason he likes living the way he does.
The passenger is uncomfortable with this whole situation. Tonight was a terror, Bill is crazy he is starting to wonder just how far he will go to snag a car. He really messed the guy up tonight. Stalking a cop’s girlfriends car, is bad karma. The passenger had the idea of taking a pry bar to the door to get her down here. He was hoping she would not be as careful as usual and forget the GPS. He was wrong. It would of been an easy boost no one gets hurt and the buyer is happy. Bill would have been a little disappointed not to get to slap the chick around, Bill would of got over it. There is something about this chick, he cannot put his finger on it. Regardless Bill is getting out of control fast.
A few car jacking’s okay, but he is getting too much of a rise out of beating the people up. The passenger knows the time to get out of town has passed. He is in too deep to get out now if he tries to run he knows he is screwed. It is only a matter of time.
Sophie disables the alarm and all is quiet. The officer and her go through the store to the front and the register. Nothing is disturbed, the bad guys did not get into the shop. Out of the corner of her eye a compact car catches Sophie’s eye as it slowly drives by flicka. What are they doing, it appears they have a light and they are looking in her car as they drive by? No she must be imagining things.
Sophie and the officer go out the back door locking it behind them. The alarm needs repairs to the sensors so it cannot be armed, they will have to wait until Monday. Sophie thanks the officer for all his help and climbs back into her car. She is driving back to the house when her phone rings, it is Pete.
“Where are you? I just got to the condo.”
“Oh I will be there in five. Strangest thing. The alarm was triggered at the shop. Someone took a pry bar to the back door.” Sophie answered.
“What? What’s the point it is obviously reenforced steel.”
“Thats what I thought. They did not get in. They did damage the alarm system, thats about it.”
“Anyone or anything strange happen while you were down there?”
“No not really, well. Maybe. Thought I saw a car go by and flash a light on the front of my car, but I can’t be sure about it. I probably just imagined it.”
“Well hurry home sweetheart.” Pete ends the call. He highly doubts Sophie imagined anything, he is willing to bet it was an attempt to get that damn car. Pete tosses his phone on the table and goes up stairs. He has had a very long night, called away from dinner for a hell of a mess. The car jacker is just getting more and more violent. He needs an Advil and a shower. He heads to the kitchen, Linus cuts him off. Pete catches himself on the door jam to keep from face planting. Linus is hungry. Pete shakes his head as he sees more then enough food in the dish but he adds more. Linus takes two bites and struts away. Pete grabs a glass of water and rummages through a drawer for some Advil. He finds his prey takes a few and heads upstairs for a shower. He is out of the shower and drying when he hears Sophie coming through the garage door downstairs. He goes over and crawls into bed. Pretending to be asleep.
Sophie tosses her stuff on the table. She see’s Pete’s phone tossed there and plugs it into the charger for him as she heads up stairs. When she gets to the bedroom she see’s Pete already in bed, he appears to be sleeping, how did he get to sleep so fast? She gets her night shirt on and climbs into bed. Pete grabs her from behind around the middle and begins kissing her neck. She turns in his arms to find a very awake, very naked, and extremely happy to see her Pete. She kisses him as they move together, her night shirt goes airborne across the room as she climbs on top of the most well put together man she has every seen. He is like the statue David all smooth and sexy. No man has ever meant as much to her as Pete. She is certain no man ever will.