Chapter Seven:A New Clue?
Anezka was feeling strange. One of the detectives actually liked her. Most of the detectives were about thirty five or so with wives, or girlfriends, so they never would have tried to proposition her. With her being a psychic profiler, the interest in her wouldn’t exist anyway. Even if there were a viable candidate for her, they would be too young.
She was washing her dishes as she listened to Sinatra sing Fly Me to the Moon on the classics station. She wondered what John was doing at that time. What did detectives do when they weren’t solving crimes? They still had to go to work, but working on several murder cases in Leavenworth wasn’t a normality. It wasn’t similar to a New York barrio. This was a suburb in the middle of the country. Actually, it was smack dab in the middle of the country. It didn’t have any coastal influence to have thugs use it for the international ports. There weren’t any crime thrillers based in Leavenworth Kansas. There might be a forensic murder show, or a domestic killing, but they weren’t frequent.
Anezka was lucky to have a lucrative inheritance because the police didn’t call on her that often. This was just something to preoccupy her so she wouldn’t be that crazy lady who never went anywhere. Her neighbors had enough to talk about.
As she finished washing her dishes, she went to the living room, and decided to call John. She had an old rotary phone relic. Those cordless phones were for busier people that walked around their houses. When she spoke, that’s exactly what she did, speak. She didn’t need any distractions when she dusted her furniture so the corded phone was adequate.
As Frank sang The Girl from Ipanema, John answered the phone.
“Detective Chandless, how may I assist you?”
“John, it is Anezka. Do you have any other leads on your case?” she asked.
John was surprised, “Uh, not yet, Anezka. I’m in homicide limbo right now. I’m organizing a meeting at this point. Is that why you called?”
“I guess I’m like you. Start with police business first so asking you to dinner won’t seem as awkward. I know if there were anything for me to do, you’d call me,” she said.
“Dinner huh?” John said. “What are you cooking tonight?”
“Nothing. That is why I’m asking you to please come to dinner with me. Having a detective by my side would be comforting.”
John was in a unique position. He hadn’t dated for years. After his divorce, he didn’t want to get back into the game again. Dating was for younger people that weren’t established yet, and wanted to have reckless fun. He was a mature man who had experienced his fun earlier. He had thought his fun was over. Anezka just injected fun once more.
“Let me get this straight. You want to go to dinner with me,” John clarified.
“Yes, Detective. I would like for you to accompany me to… what do they call it? Yes, dinner and a movie. I heard that Stellan Beauregard has a new one out,” she upped the ante by suggesting a movie.
“You do know this new movie from Stellan is a crime mystery, not his romantic comedy,” John said.
“I know, John. I thought you might like this one, but if it reminds you of work, we can see Broken Violets if you like.”
“No, no! Thick Blood Theory is fine! When should I pick you up?”
“I think you should be here by six thirty. The movie is at nine twenty, and it will give us time to talk,” she said. “When was the last time a woman asked you out?”
“That only happens when the way too young ones want a sugar daddy, but I never have any candy for them. This is the first legitimate time a woman has asked me out. Is that a European thing?” he asked.
That’s a woman who is not afraid to ask thing, John. I hate the battle of the sexes. The women always come unequipped. I like being armed.”
Anezka was very different. She likes Big Band, Classic Jazz, Show tunes, and flapper music, but she didn’t fall into that old fashioned grandma category. Women didn’t ask out men in the seventies. That was a courting violation back then. Well, it was the 21st Century so he guessed Anezka had evolved. He was just surprised at her directness.
I’ll be there when I get off, Anezka. I get off at five thirty.”
“I will be waiting, John. Now get back to your meeting planning, good bye,” Anezka said.
“Once I get dressed in something other than a work uniform, I’ll be there, Anezka, bye.”
Before John hung up the phone, Simin walked past, and overheard the end of his conversation.
“You’re not going out with Anezka are you?” she asked.
“Before you get on me, Simin, she called me to ask me out, not the other way around,” John said.
“I know she can find essences, but I didn’t know that she kept yours for a pet.” Simin grinned at him. “The Lemon Witch has really put a spell on you.”
“I can’t win this one, can I?” he asked.
“I told you, John, she’s a special lady,” Simin said. “She hasn’t been tainted with the western poisons of womanhood. She will never be normal to you.”
“She’s a woman, Simin. A widowed, lonely woman who hasn’t enjoyed her life yet. It’s time for her vacation from all of the scrutiny. Anezka’s a sweet lady, and she’s allowed to live for once,” John said.
“You realize, you, a homicide detective, is going out on a date with the psychic profiler who is helping you with your case right?” Simin asked.
“We aren’t professional partners, Simin. There won’t be any conflict of interests here. Anezka’s a pretty woman. I need to escape from work myself as well,” John said.
“So what you’re saying is she isn’t a witch?” Simin wanted to drive her point home. “Her ‘hocus pocus’ doesn’t freak you out?”
“I said that stuff when I didn’t know anything. I never had to deal with a psychic profiler before. I thought she would be toiling and troubling in her living room. Anezka’s a sweet, unique woman,” John said. “She’s paranormal, but she isn’t a witch.”
“Be careful John,” she said. “You can choke on the words you’ve said already.”
“You just don’t quit do you? I take what I said back. I didn’t have all the evidence before I spoke.” John tried to defend himself.
Simin wasn’t having it. “You’re a very good detective, John. You already know not to assume without all the evidence. It makes you look incompetent. You’re not a woman, and that’s a rookie move, seventeen year veteran.”
“What do you want me to say? I was wrong?”
“Just admit you like her. It’s not that hard. All of this covertness doesn’t become you. You arrest people like that,” she said.
“I wasn’t covert, you overheard me, and decided to pry,” John said.
“And that whole ‘police business’ thing you pulled a few days ago wasn’t covert? Your defense is weak. Just admit it, and I’ll leave you alone.”
“Your statement is just as weak. Even if I admit it, you’ll never leave me alone,” John said.
“I miss my dad, John. As long as I’m here, I can’t leave you alone.” Simin smiled as John’s phone rang.
“I can be your big brother, not your dad,” he said as he picked up the phone.
“Detective Chandless, where? That warehouse is in the industrial park, who called it in? There was a dumpster fire, and LFD called it in. So nobody but the fire department found it. Okay, I’m on it. Thanks, bye.”
“What happened?” Simin asked.
“The old Elgin warehouse had a dumpster fire, and LFD went to put it out. When they checked the building for other arson, they found another uniquely evil sculpture. I think I need to call on Anezka a bit earlier today,” he said.
“Will this kill your date?” Simin asked.
“If Anezka can peg this creep early, we won’t miss our movie,” he began, thought about what he said, and pointed at Simin. “I don’t want to hear it, Simin.”
“It’s not illegal to like lemon witches, John. You’re right, I can’t stop,” she admitted.
John gave her a snide look, and headed for his car.
As he drove to Anezka’s, he gave her a call. He had her number in his cellphone, and it wasn’t for police business, it was personal.
“Anezka, it’s John. I’m sorry to call on you so early, but LFD found another gruesome display.”
“I guess we still have to work during the day. Will this deter our night?” she asked.
“I leave my work at work, Anezka. Tonight is our time, not theirs,” he said.
“This may be a terrible display,” she warned.
“All of this sick craziness stopped getting to me years ago. Once you have seen what I’ve seen, even eating a rotten squid with mayonnaise, and washing it down with spoiled milk won’t upset you.”
“We aren’t having seafood, are we?” Anezka asked.
“This dinner will be by your leave. If you don’t want seafood, we don’t get seafood,” John said.
“I have had seafood constantly when I was young. I have had my fill. I almost grew gills when I was a child. We can go Italian, and get a deep dish pizza. It is movie night,” Anezka said.
John wanted to lighten the mood of future carnage.
“I hate pizza, Anezka. I almost grew pepperonis when I was a kid. How about moose kneecap soup?”
Anezka was thrown for a second, then John chuckled,
“I’m sorry, Anezka. I was joking. Deep dish would be great. I was just trying to get your mind off of the heinous display that I’m about to drive you to.”
“You are a different detective, John. You are concerned about my state of being. The others just use my gift. They never cared,” she said.
“I bet no other detective took you out for dinner either,” he said.
“Some of the naïve ones have tried, but they were immature children in my eyes. I will never be a cougar, and yes, I heard that term on television once. I know of current events. I just like my old fashioned shell better.”
John was different to himself. After his divorce, he never wanted to find another back stabbing hussy. He was fine with the work she said had drove her to another. Anezka changed his view on women. She wasn’t a back stabbing hussy. She was a beautifully sweet woman.
“I’ll be there in a few. I can tell you what restaurant you’d like tonight.”
They ended up at the Elgin warehouse as the fire chief was assessing the dumpster fire. John got out of the car with Anezka.
“What did you find, Brixton?” John alerted Brixton of his presence.
“This was a professional arsonist. That is if you want to call arson a profession. The arsonist used a timed accelerant for ignition,” Brixton said. “I think that was what they used on what I think are two charred bodies. They were torn apart so horribly, I couldn’t tell.”
“He burned them? That might put a damper on solving this thing,” John said.
“So you know who did this. How long has this person been at large?”
“I’ve been hunting him since last week, and this arson is new, Brixton, so you don’t have another crime scene.”
At least Brixton knew it was a man that burned the dumpster, and that it wasn’t the sickness. It was probably a call out for the real crime.
“Here, those bodies are still hot. Wear these Nomex gloves,” Brixton handed John a set of gloves.
John took them, and gave them to Anezka.
“This is Anezka Kranz. She’s a psychic profiler, and she needs to touch them so do you have another set?”
“Good day, Misses Kranz. Get another pair from Eldon, John. He’s in the warehouse,” Brixton said. “Brixton Edwin, Ma’am.”
“Nice to meet you, Mister Edwin. Are the victims completely charred entirely?” Anezka asked.
“We call them the other form of matter, Misses Kranz. There’s a liquid, a solid, and a gas. This one’s ash.”
Anezka felt apprehensive.
“I may not be able to pinpoint the essence through char, John,” she said.
“Maybe we can find a piece or a patch of skin to give you full access,” John said.
Brixton interrupted. We’re talking nth degree burns here, John. You’d be lucky to find any unburned organs in there. It looks like they were in a lava shower.”
John’s hopes were dashed. All the waiting for another victim, and Anezka still couldn’t do anything with them.
Anezka saw John’s despair, and tried to make him feel better, “We still haven’t processed the crime scene yet. Maybe there’s an old fashioned clue.”
“This guy isn’t old fashioned, Anezka. He’s a generation next kind of killer. That whole finding fingerprints, or bullet casings is out. But then again, Simin always said not to assume, so let’s process the scene.”
She knew that she could get him back on track. It might be the day experience solves the case over the paranormal.
They left Brixton, and went in the warehouse. The smell of burned remains permeated the old, rusted, and abandoned warehouse. John saw Eldon writing things down on a pad, staring at a smoldering, smoking heap of mangled body parts. They were in the middle of four pallets. The display was another evil art piece.
John walked to Eldon with Anezka, and Eldon saw him.
“I don’t think you need CSU for this one, John. Just the coroners.”
“You know we have to practice procedure, Eldon,” John said. “Eldon Wurtchel, Anezka Kranz. I’ll need some gloves.”
“Hi, Anezka. When did you get a new partner, John?” he asked, and gave him the Nomex.
“Anezka’s not my partner. She’s helping me on my case. She’s a psychic profiler,” John corrected him.
“So Simin finally got to you. You know she’s spooky right?” Eldon asked. Simin’s para-normality was famous around the district.
“Simin’s a very competent detective with a better arrest record than most, and that isn’t spooky. That’s an envious trait. You gossip like a high school girl, stop it.”
“Wow, John, you definitely root for the home team, even if they aren’t popular this season,” Eldon said.
“Hey, you talk about a detective to a detective, you’ll get an earful of retaliation. I can’t be a fair weather fan when I’m part of the team,” John said.
“Okay, I give up. Simin’s a great detective.”
“Even with her unconventional methods, I’m willing to bet she’d save our life, fellow public servant. In military terms, the fire department, and the police department are just companies in the same regiment,” John analogized. “We’ll take it from here, Eldon. Just remember, we’re all in the same gang.”
“You’ve been doing this too long, John. I bet Starsky and Hutch was on its first run when you got out of the academy,” Eldon said.
“I have another twelve years of this, Eldon, longer than you’ve been a fire investigator. Don’t worry, when you’re my age, you’ll discipline the new guys yourself.”
“Okay, John, process your crime scene,” Eldon said, and walked to the entrance.
“They look thoroughly burned John,” Anezka said.
“At this point, I don’t know what goes where. I have to inspect the bodies to find any unburned skin. CSU should be here soon. I called them before I came to get you.”
“And this disgusting display doesn’t upset you?” she asked.
John saw a ripped, charred arm, and said, “Like I told Eldon, I have twelve more years of this harshness, and since I’ve been a homicide detective for seventeen years already, nothing would upset me.”
“I have not been doing this as long as you have, so it is upsetting to me. All of this… heinous debauchery,” she said disquieted.
“Just think about it this way. At least this got you out of the house,” he said.
“I would rather watch Burl Ives instead of this barbarism,” she replied. “This is exactly why I don’t leave the house.”
“If you didn’t leave the house, we wouldn’t be having deep dish pizza tonight,” he said. “You just have to take the good with the bad. Let’s process this, and then we can get out of this creaky old warehouse.”
Anezka walked up to the pieced together figures, and smelled the whiff of burned steak left out on a sunny sidewalk. The smell got to her.
“I’m sorry, John. I cannot stand the smell.”
John knew he couldn’t force a civilian to buck up, and take the smell. She never trained for that.
Anezka walked away from the vile display, and John went closer. He saw the limbs. They looked torn from the bodies. He speculated that it happened pre-torching because even the inner muscles were burned. He sifted through the evidence, and Anezka was correct in her assumption of there being no unburned body parts.
One arm looked much smaller than another one. That was when John’s acrimony for this suspect got deeper.
This bastard went too far this time. Killing kids isn’t allowed. He is definitely warped, he thought.
He stood, and walked to Anezka.
“There was nothing. Everything’s burned, and I just found out he’s killing kids. We really have to stop this punk before this gets worse than it already has.”
Anezka didn’t want to tell John the next step because he blew up the last time she did.
“I know the drill now, Anezka. We have to wait for another victim. Like you said earlier, he won’t stop. I’m learning so you don’t have to be nervous anymore,” he said.
“So what happens now?” she asked.
Well first, you can get out of here. Your job is finished. I’m the one that has to go to work, and not getting you sick before our dinner is an important part of my job. I have to wait for CSU to report the particulars of this scene, and sign some authorizations. Police work isn’t all drama show. Go outside, I have it from here,” he told her.
Anezka was relieved she could leave that mildewed chamber of death. She was a profiler, not a hardened detective. She usually checked the evidence after it was bagged. Checking a fresh murder scene like this one made her queasy. She gave him back the Nomex gloves, and walked out to the fresher air. It still had the aroma of soot, but at least the putrid death smell was left in the warehouse.
“So detective Chandless is processing in there?” Brixton asked her, and saw the green in her face. “Detective Chandless is very experienced in these matters. You’re a civilian. You don’t need to be with him. There’s a reason they put up police tape around a murder scene.”
“To answer your question, Fire Chief Edwin, yes, Detective Chandless is processing the murder scene, and yes, I definitely did not need to be in there with him,” Anezka admitted.
John walked out of the warehouse taking off his gloves.
“Okay, CSU has to get here. I can’t really disturb them yet, but they looked like they were burned beyond recognition. CSU might find a hidden piece of unburned flesh, but as for now the perp is still at large terrorizing the town.”
“So no naked eye clues?” Brixton asked.
“Just that flambé display,” John said as CSU pulled up.
“There probably isn’t any fingerprints, and the epithelial tissue has been reduced to ash, Bellagio,” John announced.
“He cooked them? This guy is sick,” Bellagio said.
“He just knows how not to get caught. He’s probably checked out many crime scenes you’ve done in the past, and knows what you do,” John said.
“I didn’t know I was performing for a lunatic. He definitely has our number. We have to switch it to unlisted this time. I’ll bag the bodies, and find their DNA.”
“Instead of body bags, you should have brought some heavy duty garbage bags. The bodies have been torn apart,” John informed Bellagio.
“This sick bastard never makes things easy does he?” Bellagio was irritated. “I’ll just bag and tag things. We’ll find out who it is through missing persons or the DNA Darabase. I need your paperwork, and walk me through your results.”
“They’re ash, no fingerprints.”
Bellagio went into the warehouse, and John spoke to Anezka.
I’m about to tell him what to look for. I’ll be back in fifteen.”
“Take your time, John. Our diner won’t be until later,” she said.
“Can I see you over here, John? Police business,” Brixton said.
John walked away from Anezka, and spoke to Brixton out of her earshot.
“What do you need, Brixton?
“I’ll read your report. I brought you over here to confirm what I just heard. You have a dinner with your psychic profiler?” Brixton was curious.
“Yes, Brixton, we’re having deep dish pizza tonight,” John admitted, and waited for the chiding.
“Isn’t that unethical for police to go out with their assets?” Brixton asked.
“That’s officer fraternization. You can go out with a civilian. This isn’t 1940s Germany. We do have some latitude,” John said.
“Yeah, but if the perp’s lawyer find out about you two. He might be able to throw out the evidence on a conflict of interest charge.” Brixton was concerned.
“He killed a kid, Brixton. This won’t go to trial. When he’s in holding, and the other convicts find out what he did… prisoners have their own justice.”
“You’re stepping on eggshells. Trying to regain your youth by cradle robbing with a younger woman, and jeopardizing your case.”
“She’s the same age I am, Brixton. I’m not a baby thief,” John corrected him.
“No way. Does she bathe in the fountain of youth?!”
“She’s European, and moisturized well. I got lucky. She’s very intelligent, and nice. Now do you see why I’m sticking out my neck?” John asked.
“Just don’t get it chopped off. We’re dealing with an intelligent, vile individual,” Brixton warned.
“I’m dealing with Mister Insidious. You’re investigating a decoy fire. I know what’s at stake. I’ve been doing this for a while, and I started off in New York. Leavenworth doesn’t have eight million stories because it doesn’t have eight million people,” John assured Brixton. “Bellagio’s waiting, if there’s nothing else.”
“If you think you got it, then there isn’t anything else,” Brixton said.
“Then it’s back to work. I don’t want to miss my date tonight.” John confirmed his intentions, and walked to the warehouse.
Brixton walked back to Anezka.
“So tell me how does this psychic thing work?” he asked her.
“I find essences, Mister Edwin. When a victim’s skin is clean, the assailant’s essence conducts a beacon. I can find them that way,” Anezka said.
“What if the victim’s skin has been burned to a crisp?”
“Then, unfortunately, the skin is not clean, and I become ineffectual,” she said.
“So John’s going to keep you around until you get a clean victim,” Brixton assumed.
“After the assailant has been captured, he won’t need me anymore,” she agreed.
Brixton thought, I think John’s going to need you way after this case, little lady.
It took another five minutes for John to exit the warehouse. It didn’t take too long because the only other thing was the vial hidden in the charred muscles of a femur. John didn’t open it. He knew what would happen so he just had Bellagio put it in evidence to analyze it in a vacuumed chamber so oxygen wouldn’t ignite the message.
He walked to Anezka.
“Is Brixton boring you with fire classes?”
“Mister Edwin is a magnanimous person wanting to know what I did. He didn’t bore me,” she said.
“Misses Kranz doesn’t want to know about class C fires John. I’d be here all day, and I don’t want to impinge on you date with destiny.” Brixton let Anezka know that he knew.
“Our part’s over, Anezka, let’s go,” John tried to cover for Brixton.
“Yes, Detective Chandless, we should go,” Anezka said, thinking that calling him by his proper title was more appropriate.
John caught her change, and understood he shouldn’t kiss and tell, although, that kissing part was yet to come. He hoped he didn’t screw up that procedure. It wouldn’t be a date without the expected good night kiss.
They walked to the car.
“Are you alright, John?” Anezka asked.
“I just got backed into a corner by Brixton, and had to spill the beans to get out,” John admitted.
“What beans did you spill?” she asked.
“Our S.O.P. manual states you can’t date a fellow officer. It doesn’t say anything about dating civilians,” he stated.
Anezka had to think as she got in the car. “I guess dinner and a movie constitutes a date. I never really thought of it that way. It was just dinner and a movie to me. Is this a date to you?” she asked.
As he turned the key, and the dispatch calls filled the cabin, he had to answer.
“First, Anezka, a detective never assumes…”
“Yes, I know Simin said that. Did you think this was a date? I’m not angry if you did. I just want to know what grounds we are on at this point. You know of the inevitable progression.”
John was thrown. He had thought this relationship was in his mind, but Anezka brought it out in the open.
“Since you said that, Anezka, yes I thought this was a date,” he said.
“I guess we both don’t have any experience in mature dating. That practice was meant for young adults trying to get mister, or misses right, or at least mister or misses right now. I guess we are dating now.”
Who was this woman?! She was a mature woman without an image problems to cloud her mind, and make her hold back. This was new to John. Did dating change when he wasn’t looking? John decided to go with the flow.
John dropped off Anezka at her house.
“I’ll be back at six thirty. Guys don’t take forever to get dressed.”
“I’ll be waiting. Until six thirty,” she said as she opened her door.
John left for the precinct, and was smiling.
John got back at six forty five. He wanted to buy her flowers so he stopped by a florist. He walked to her door with the bouquet.
Anezka opened her door, and was greeted by lilacs.
“Uh, I didn’t know the protocol for this date, so I reverted back to my teen years,” he said.
“Oh, John, they’re beautiful!” She took them from him. “I am sorry. I did not get you anything.”
“You acknowledging this was a date was gift enough,” he said, and walked in.
Anezka put her flowers on the dining room table.
“Did they find any clues?” she asked.
“This is our time. My marriage suffered because I brought my work home with me. I don’t want to start off losing with you. I’ll tell you tomorrow.”
Anezka was surprised at him. His intentions didn’t seem like one date. It felt longer to her.
“You know they call me a witch right?” she asked.
“So what? I’ve been called a pig for years. Words have a Teflon coating on them, they don’t stick,” he said.
“I’ve been called many variations of witches for most of my life. As long as it doesn’t bother you, I am fine with it. I actually like to scare off the naïve. The neighborhood has given me powers that I wish I had.”
“Well, I’ll call you Sabrina because you’re good, and have a cute nose,” he said, and offered his arm. “Shall we?”
Anezka took his arm, and they left for the restaurant.
They sat at a table at Eduardo’s Chi-town Experience. It had a commercial name for the teens to relate to it, but the restaurant was an amazing establishment. It wasn’t too high brow so the teens could have a good time with their dates while the other patrons would be comfortable with their meal.
“This place is beautiful, John,” Anezka said.
“When you suggested deep dish, I thought we should go authentic,” he said, “This place even has a stone oven.”
“Everybody is here. Is that because of their famous deep dish pizza?” she asked.
“They’re famous for their Chicago style deep dish,” he confirmed.
Just then, their waitress brought their pizza. She presented their plates, and served them their slices. The pizza looked very authentic with its melting mozzarella cheese, and its thickly dressed, meaty pepperoni. The sausage was heavily spread over the pie with hints of oregano. The onions added to the authenticity.
“This looks incredible, John. How did you know about this place?” Anezka asked.
“I was a detective back in New York collaring made men. I had to frequent pizzerias to find my targets. Eduardo’s was the premier hot spot because of their deep dishes. That age old New York, Chicago pizza rivalry didn’t exist at Eduardo’s. Even the New York Sicilians loved their pizza,” he said. “I thought you might like this.”
Anezka tasted the pizza, and closed her eyes.
“Oh, this is amazing, John. I bet you arrested many made men at Eduardo’s.”
“This deep dish was Sicilian crack to them. They knew Eduardo’s was my hunting ground, but they came anyway,” he said, and tasted his pizza.
All of a sudden, a college jock exploded on his girlfriend.
“Shut up, bitch! You know I was with the team, and not with Raquel!”
Anezka was surprised at the boisterous college jock standing over his girlfriend pointing at her.
“I’m sorry, Brecken, but you kissed, and Raquel told!” she said.
He quickly slapped her.
“Don’t you ever defy me! I said I was with the guys! Raquel’s a slut!” Brecken yelled. “You’re out of line!”
She held her cheek as Brecken stood menacingly over her.
John was about to pull out his badge to arrest Brecken for domestic violence when Anezka grabbed his hand.
“No, a night in the county won’t deter him from striking her again. May I handle this?”
John didn’t know what Anezka was going to do, but he had told himself to never have his job intrude on his personal life anymore. He trusted Anezka, so he let her try.
“If you think you can do it, go ahead,” he said.
She turned to Brecken, and looked into his mind. As Brecken stood intimidatingly to his girlfriend, a menacing, heavy hand dropped on his shoulder.
“I have taught you better than that, Breck!”
It was his representation of his mother! In his mind, she wasn’t the sweet little lady that took care of him. She was a ferocious behemoth wearing medieval armor with a battle mace.
“W-what are you doin… I’m sorry, momma!” he yelled in surprise.
“Didn’t I tell you I would break your arm if I ever caught you hitting a lady?!” his emanation asked with a graveled, demonist voice, and grabbed his arm.
“NO MOMMMA! That’s my throwing arm, and we have a big game Saturday!”
“You should have thought of that before you struck that woman. I hope your team has a good second string quarterback, boy!” she yelled, and snapped Brecken’s arm above the elbow.
He yelped, and screamed as his bone protruded from his bicep.
“Disrespect a woman once more, and I will return. Remember, there are two hundred eight bones in the human body.” She turned, and left into thin air.
Brecken sat terrified on the floor crying. The busy restaurant became silent.
John was amazed at the event. He had seen some crazy things in his career, but nothing of that intensity.
“Well, I guess Brecken’s season is over,” John said to Anezka.
“He got his comeuppance, what he deserved,” Anezka said. “And you aren’t upset over what happened?”
“As you said, jail was a slap on the hand. Ogre Mom was justice. Are you alright with using your power on a stranger?” he asked.
“That college boy has probably had everything given to him because he could throw a football accurately, and was never opposed by anyone, so he thought he was the president. He needed an attitude adjustment. He created his worst fear, not me. I bet he won’t touch another woman in anger again,” she said.
The restaurant slowly got back to normal. They finished their deep dish, and went to the movies.
They had a fun time watching another detective movie.
“I am so glad you do not act the way Lieutenant Derricks does, he’s mean,” she whispered to him.
“He’s just strict because of his old partner. He’s softening up with Raven as his current partner,” he whispered back.
They enjoyed each other for the evening. John understood her demeanor better. She was a closet heroine. She didn’t show off, she just corrected wrongs.
Anezka saw John in a different light as well. Although he said that he left his job at work, he couldn’t stop his justifying. If there was any type of trouble, John would go in blindly, and straighten it out. Their date was productive in their working relationship.
John drove her home. It was dark, but the street lights hid from Anezka’s house because of her guardian devil. It was on watch perpetually.
“I had a great time, Anezka,” John said. “I know that you have major protection, but would it be alright to walk you to your door?”
“In the old days, there was only two reasons to walk a lady to her door,” she began. “You either did it because of duty for protection, or you would hope things went farther than the woman’s door.”
“I know that you already have protection, and I don’t want to come in. It’s our first date. I’m smarter than that. I just would like to see you to your door, no ulterior motives,” he said.
She kissed him on the cheek.
“You’re a sweet man, John. I think your dating skills are commendable. Walk me to my door.”
John got out of his car, went to the passenger side, and opened Anezka’s door.
He bowed, and swept his hand towards her door, “Mademoiselle.”
She took his hand, smiled, and said, “Thank you, kind sir.”
They walked to her door, and as the night breeze bounced off of their faces, Anezka turned to John.
“It’s chilly out here. Are you sure you don’t want any coffee for the road?”
John smiled, “I’m a detective, Anezka. I understand a double entendre, and although it may be sweet, your coffee will keep me up all night, so sadly I must decline.”
She looked into his eyes, and said, “I thought you didn’t take any sugar in your coffee.”
“I don’t think I could avoid the sweetness of your coffee. I will definitely indulge at a later date,” he said.
She smiled at him, “Your dating skills are magnanimous, John, but you have to end this correctly for a four star review. You need a least one sugar cube to top off this amazing evening.”
She stood on her toes, and kissed him. John was very surprised at her forwardness, but wasn’t upset in the least. He just closed his eyes, and enjoyed her warm lips.
She released him, and wiped off her lipstick from his mouth.
“So tomorrow then?” she asked.
“If there’s anything to investigate tomorrow, I will visit you in the daytime, but more importantly for now, what are you doing tomorrow night?”
“I’m a psychic, John, and even if I wasn’t, my prediction is spending time with you,” she inferred. “Your review is four stars so I would love to do it again.”
She was beginning to know him. She was simple, but very intuitive. She didn’t do those adolescent games, or that damsel in distress thing. He didn’t have to save her, although, he would in a heartbeat. This was getting deeper.
“I have to go, Anezka, otherwise, I’d get in trouble with your Czech coffee. Until tomorrow.”
“Dream of the night you wish you had if it weren’t for your chivalry. Good night, Knight,” she said as she opened her door, and went inside.
John watched her close her door, and to begin to mentally kick himself for resisting because of respect, but being whom he was made that decision before his lasciviousness came about. The reason he had thought better of his actions was that he really liked Anezka, and wanted their relationship to progress naturally. He was too old to jump the gun so he didn’t. If this was going to happen, it wouldn’t have the shaky foundation of a torrid night. He got into his car, and while driving home, he thought of how cute she was in that dress.