Wake Up Maggie(2)

By: Beth Yarnall

There was a knock on the door. Detective Barry opened it. “We’re releasing her. For now.” He threw that last part in to scare me. It worked.

“I’m free to go?” I asked.

Regis was already stuffing his notebook in his briefcase like he had better places to be. I could hardly blame him. “Looks that way.”

“And you were so pessimistic.” I popped out of my seat. “Where are my things?”

Detective Barry tossed me a large manila envelope. I tore it open and peered inside. All it contained was the contents of my purse minus the gun. The purse itself was missing. It was my favorite one too. Chuck Puckett had given it to me for my birthday, not that I was sentimental or anything. But it was Prada, for jeepers’ sake.

“Where’s my purse? And jewelry?”

“The handbag is evidence. The jewelry is in a baggy at the bottom. Have a nice day.” With that, the detective left like he’d done me some kind of favor. The bastard.

“I have an appointment across town,” Regis said. “I’ll call you.” He dropped his business card on the table, making a quick exit as though he was the one who’d spent the night with Big Bertha and her prison pals and couldn’t wait to get the jail stench off him.

I pulled out my cell phone and tried to turn it on. Dead. Great. How was I supposed to get home?

“Need a ride?”

I looked up into the dark eyes of a very large man in an ill-fitting suit who seemed to know not only who I was but the predicament I was in. Too bad I could smell the cop on him. I was already mentally undressing him and redressing him in something that would be worth stripping back off him.

“Yeah, no. That’s okay. Is there a pay phone around here?”

“Down the hall, but you wouldn’t want to use it without a hazmat suit.” His voice rumbled through me like a commuter train making all the stops—Hot Guy City, Interested Town and Turned-Onville. “Here.” He held out a spiffy-looking phone that looked like it could control the space station. “Use mine.”

“Would you mind switching it on? And setting it to ‘phone’…you know, with the number-pad thingy?”

His lips kicked up at the corner, revealing a rather charming dimple. Damn it! I loved dimples on a guy.

“Sure. Here you go.”

The tips of my fingers slid across his palm. There was a snap and I got a little jolt. Yeah, not sparks. Just plain old static electricity.

“It’s…ah, dry in here I guess.” I laughed, but it wasn’t an aren’t-I-witty chuckle, it was a crazy-psycho-bitch kind of cackle. My flirting skills had been seriously ground to nubs by Chuck Puckett. I’d better shut up before someone decided I should be put on a psych hold.

He watched me with his dark eyes, assessing. Probably thought I’d pocket his phone. Who was this LL Cool J lookalike? And why was he being so generous with his cell phone minutes?

I kept my eye on him—like that was a hardship—and dialed my friend Tabitha, thinking she might be home, but then I remembered it was Tuesday and she had rhombus…no zima…no, that wasn’t right…she had some kind of dance-fitness thing so that was a no-go.

I handed tall, dark and disturbing his phone back. “How do I go back to the number part?”

“How about you tell me the number and I’ll dial it for you?”

“Yeah, sure.” I rattled off Xavier’s number. Hot Cop punched it in and then handed me back his phone.

Hot Cop and I eyeballed each other while I waited for Xav to pick up. I got the feeling I’d seen him before, but couldn’t place him. Maybe I’d seen him at the department store where I worked. He didn’t look like someone who’d step foot in the cosmetics department unless he’d been dragged there by a girlfriend. And why I found the thought of him with a girlfriend so depressing was beyond me. I really needed to get out of this room before Hot Cop’s pheromones caused my ovaries to explode like confetti cannons.

“Finally,” I said when Xav answered.

“Maggs?” He squealed like he was the one who’d been given a cavity search. “I’ve always wanted to be someone’s one phone call. Holy shit, Chiquita, you’re famous. It’s all over the Internet and TV. You’re YourVid famous. A hundred and fourteen…no, a hundred and twenty-one thousand hits on your Walk of Shame. Great mug shot, by the way.” That Xavier. He was nothing if not a big fat boost to my insecurities.