Irritation spiked but I was careful to keep my tone pliant and my eyes downcast. I slipped a little lower in my seat. No way would I slouch. Oh no, leave that for the disgruntled teenagers. I just simply wilted, as if the exhaustion of the entire encounter was simply too much for me.
The investigator saw my posture for what it was: a sign of weakness. And he attacked me with what he was certain to think was a question from out of nowhere. One to catch me off guard. I was simply annoyed that it had taken him an hour and a half to play his card.
What a Trump.
“So then, if you’re saying you’re just innocently a bystander in all of this: is this your gun??” He tossed down my Fichetta with an arrogant flick of his hand. Nodding toward it, encouraging me to pick it up.
I gasped. After all, my role here called for it. For added panache I looked away from the pistol as if the sight of it bothered me, when in reality I was just bothered by his handling of it. Jackwagon could fuck with the slide or the hammer with such shoddy treatment.
Let that that bitch mishandle on me in a firefight and I might have to come back and power his dumbass down.
“Y-yess.” And then as if I were unsure I jerked my gaze back to the familiar metal and then up at him through the thicket of my eyelashes, “At least I think so. They all kind of look alike to me. But I do have one. A gun that is. And I was definitely wearing it. The pastor thought I should. You know, to be safe. And the gun was a gift from…from my dead husband.” I fluttered my lashes and on a breathy whisper gave him an image to hold onto, “I sleep with it….. You know. So that I’m not all alone at night.”
I almost wished we were playing Poker. I’d take him for everything. He had so many tells it was as if I were reading cue cards. Attraction. Mistrust.
From across the hall, I couldn’t help but notice as two big burly Lonestar manhandled a slender good looking man who looked even more out of my place than I did. I heard him repeat again, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I didn’t do anything!”
Yeah, I feel ya. Granted, I had done something, Plenty actually.
“Lowe.” We were interrupted by the sharp command of one of fellow Lonestar officers. I would have guessed that this one wasn’t one who outranked him by the badges but the way Lowe jumped and his mannerisms I could be wrong. “Cut her loose man, we got to get a move on these Bikers. Church girl like her ain’t gonna be much help.” The man who had given the order moved off to deliver the same message, although much more submissively to the other men. I overheard the three of them crack a joke about Lowe before they unshackled the man between them, making gruff threats and promises of punishment.
Hmm, interesting. Looked like Lowe didn’t get much respect around here.
Lowe seemed to catch that I had noticed. The suspicion was back, full force. But frustration was blooming uglier and uglier as he cracked his tablet down in front of me. Dumbass really was too hard on his equipment. I bet he went through these sensitive little computers quickly. I idly wondered if they had to pay for their replacements or if he just got them covered as hazard duty.
“Look, Ren-a-ta.” He pronounced each syllable of my name deliberately. I’d asked that he call me Mrs. Teschke. His power play only made him that much weaker. “You seem to find yourself in a lot of trouble lately. And you never seem to be alone. Your past is a bit hazy and the details of your whereabouts up until the Church digs is nearly nonexistent.”
Ugh, this again.
I let a tear spill as I leaned in close and looked up at him like a supplicant, “I know, I know. I was raised deep in the faith by a deeply spiritual family. Nearly completely off-grid. My husband, he was sent by God to take me into the folds of the church. Where I now remain. Without him. Bereft. Alone. A god-fearing wife with no husband to wife for.” I wet my lips with a sweep of my tongue.
Ahh, there it was, lust. His strings were so easy to play.
It took him a minute to regain control of the interrogation, a cough or two and he dropped his gaze away. I followed the look and found myself frowning at the screen of his tablet. “Wait. What’s that?”
My dulcet tones had altered, I didn’t notice in the moment. There before me were avatars galore associated with the Beaver gang.
“That?” His voice dropped low and he scowled at me as he swept his tablet up and dismissed the screen, “That is all the scary men who are going to now be targeting your church and you. For whatever reason, that you seem to be in the middle of, this group of go-gangers are after you and the—“
“But you have their information?” I interrupted, even as the small conductor part of my personality cautioned against such an act. Men like Lowe wanted a submissive woman, a pliant one, not one that challenged.
“Oh yes. I’ve got tons of files on the Beaver gang. Locations, personnel, crimes, known weaponry, favorite hangouts, allies and alibis. You name it. This is my beat.” He crowed a bit, proud of his work.
I frowned. I hadn’t thought of more retaliation. I kind of thought this gang was smaller and that after today’s deaths they would realize that coming after the church wasn’t worth it.
I was going to need those files.
He was uncuffing me when I stumbled dizzily, letting my body fold softly into his, my hands clenching at his shoulders. “Oh I’m so sorry.” I blushed sweetly, but held myself against him, let him feel all the feminine curves of my body for one long heated moment. I shivered and held him tighter, “I’m afraid…”
And I looked up into his eyes as I said the words I needed to say, “I don’t want to be alone tonight. I … I mean I don’t even know what these guys want or why they’re after me.” I swallowed, deliberately, letting my throat move beneath his gaze. “Maybe, you could come by and bring that file… show me who I should be afraid of, who I should be looking out for.”
I pushed away from him and then I iced the cake I was presenting to him, with all the sweet girlish charm I could muster I said, “Oh I could cook dinner for you! It’s been ever too long since I got to do anything for a real man. Won’t you consider it?”
I left the precinct and looked for a cab. I had some damn errands to run before tonight’s show and I’d need to get my apartment presentable for this charade. As I fell into the cab, I powered up my PAN and searched for nearby home-cooked eateries. Because I sure the frack didn’t know how to cook.