"How long have you worked at the Lava Lounge?" Kate asked.
He shrugged. "A few months."
Kate gripped her pen.
The door opened, and a disheveled Blackhawk rushed into the adjacent seat.
"This is Officer Blackhawk. He'll be joining the interrogation."
The man nodded and presented the gold implant in his teeth. "Blackhawk...dope name."
"What's your name?" he asked.
He leaned back into the cool steel. "Malcolm."
"What do you know about the women?"
"They work at a tiki bar."
Steam erupted from Blackhawk's ears as he clamped his fist on top of the table. "Tell me something I don't know!"
"They're sexy single ladies," he smirked. "Charlotte especially, that woman could ride."
Kate placed her hand on top of her head, a headache arising. She couldn't bear the sinister man and she'd feared the pedophiles Richard hired to run his bar. The man himself was a sickening bastard.
Blackhawk stepped out of his seat and walked up to Malcolm with his fist around his neck and hung his body high against the wall. His face inches from the smirking man who struggled to breathe.
The laughter evaporated from his eyes. His customary warmth went faster than summer rain on the tarmac. "I'm asking you again, if not relevant? I'm locking your ass up for another assault."
"You can't do that!"
"You bet your ass, I can." he grinned. "You've got a tight record."
"His name's Ganglion–a regular."
"What's his relationship with them?" Kate asked.
He struggled to breathe as Blackhawk tightened his grip. "He's always a flirt. One night, he'd taken Charlotte home and the next day she came with bruises."
"You didn't report it?"
"He's a good customer," he kneeled to catch his breath.
Blackhawk stepped away from the wall and moved to the door.
"Call Hobbs, he got more digging to do," he said.
Kate gathered her documents and dashed away in pursuit for the grumpy cop. "Watch him."
Mike, the guard nodded.
Just as the doors were seconds from shutting, Kate placed the tip of her midnight leather boots between the lips of the elevator and slipped inside. "That was harsh."
"You called me."
"I didn't expect a full-blown fight!"
He watched the descending floor numbers. "Be grateful, detective."
She sighed. "Thank you."
She moved her nose toward his flannel. "Is that baby powder?"
Groaning, Blackhawk slipped his hands inside his jeans. He'd see to the baby later. The man was powerful. He knew how to make a woman submit to his demands no less than a baby. Kate knew she shouldn't do it. She's been dreaming of it ever since the night, he'd collected her into his arms and embraced her whilst they stood over the bridge, watching the eruption of fireworks on New Year.
The kiss came out of nowhere. She grabbed his arm and his lips brushed hers. Not innocently, like a tease but hot and fiery. He wanted to pull away before losing himself, but he couldn't seem to. He could no longer think straight. The woman was intoxicating. A headache but an attractive little creature. She'd fire up his insides, burning him but not as hot as Clarissa.
"Clarissa," he whispered, prolonging each letter as if to savor them.
Kate pulled away, eyes wide and mouth swollen. She touched her lips as tears fell down her cheeks as hot liquid cleansing her dirty fantasy. "I'm-sor-I shouldn't have done that."
"Why did you?"
"I don't know how to explain it," she mumbled, picking at the dog ears of her folder.
The elevator chimed.
"Don't do it again."
• • •
Opening the door, she found the apartment to be quiet. She stretched her limbs from a great nap as her sleep deserted herself almost entirely. For the past year, she wasn't able to doze off for so long—usually compromising half an hour's rest, if lucky, an hour.
There was something puzzling in the way the halls echoed with silence. It was unusual. Blackhawk would create a ruckus by now, either watching TV or barking through his cell. Yet, there was no trace of him. Instead, walking in nothing but a flimsy gown, she'd spotted the glow of the television and she smiled.
Her arms reached forward to leap around his broad shoulders when she'd noticed the shade of blonde. Dirty and cropped. Blackhawk hadn't dyed his hair nor had he that kind of hairline. She suspected it to be a burglar. She's guided to knock him out with anything in hands reach—so she reaches for the vase, up and over his head.
Then, a small yawn echoed through her ears. He must've been asleep still. But his voice. It sounded closer. Almost in front of her. And that's when she'd seen the mop of soft straight black hair resting against the intruder's chest. His cheeks puffed out as he breathed. Out of pure shock, she dropped the vase onto the floor with the sound of breaking glass suddenly rented the air.
A startled Martin turned around with his grip firm on the body lying on his chest. His eyes wide and mind alerting with danger. There was a scream from deep within the forces its way from her mouth, it is as if her terrified soul unleashed a demon. In his intense silence, he somehow screamed with his whole body, not wanting to wake up the bundle.
She marched around the couch to collect her baby from the man's arm and the child's eyes kissed his sleep away. "Get out!"
Holding his hands up in defense before lowering it to his badge. "Who are you? And how did you get in?"
Her panicked eyes followed his movements. However, the sight of his badge had her clutching onto her boy protectively. Even though he's a cop, she hadn't felt safe with rocking her baby as she slept.
"I live here."
She steps away.
"My name's Officer Martin," he said. "I'm Blackhawk's partner."
"What are you doing in my house?"
"I didn't know he lived with a woman," he said. "that explains the baby."
He glanced between the woman and the droopy-eyed baby.
After a long day of playing peekaboo and firefighters, Martin had become a dad. The little boy wore him out physically and emotionally. He brought light into his eyes in hopes of a surprise of his offspring. He'd bathed him, fed him, and even read him a story of a young boy traveling through life in search of an adventurous journey. He didn't want to drop him like a sack of flour in his room. He wanted to embrace him. Wrap his warmth and longing affection around the boy.
She eyed the man from his black Oxford loafers to his knitted blue jersey. "Where is he?"
The jingle of keys cut him off when Blackhawk stuck his face into the light of the apartment with Martins's relief. Clarissa stood red in the face, the color of an over-ripe tomato, eyes squinting meanly and looked like they might pop out.