Chapter 3- Manners
I woke up the next morning still feeling flustered about the night before. I can’t believe I did that! Gran would be rolling in her grave if she saw how I acted. I don’t know what came over me, but there was no use getting upset about it. I never saw “Adonis” before and I would probably never see him again. I’ll just chalk it up to “one of those things” or “lessons learned” or whatever it is people tell themselves to feel better about their wrong doings.
I arrived at the office early the next morning and found Bill of all people at my desk.
“What are you doing Bill?”
“There were some system upgrades done and I was just making sure your computer had the new downloads.”
Seeing him still made my heart ache a little bit. I was more on the angry side of the post-break up spectrum than the hurt side, but he had been my first.
“Fine. Are you done?” I snapped. Yep, definitely still angry.
“Sookie, I know you still want me. I’m sorry about the whole Lorena thing, but she meant nothing to me. Let me take you out to dinner tonight.”
Was he serious? I SO did not still want him. Being with “Adonis” last night was starting to look like a better idea than I had previously thought.
“Let me make myself perfectly clear. I. DO. NOT. WANT. YOU. I’ve already moved on to something BIGGER and BETTER. LITERALLY. Now get out of my office.” Childish, I know, but what can I say? Seeing him brings out the bitch in me.
Amelia picked that moment to poke her head in the doorway. When she saw Bill she made an audible gagging noise with the matching facial expression.
I couldn’t help myself and giggled. Then she opened her mouth.
“Hey Sook! What happened to you yesterday? You disappeared with that blonde God of a man you were dancing with and I couldn’t find you. One minute you’re stuck to him like white on rice and the next minute you’re both gone like the wind,” she finished turning towards Bill with a huge grin on her face.
I can’t lie, I did enjoy the look of murderous jealousy on Bill’s face, but I could feel the heat rising in my cheeks as I blushed thinking about what DID happen.
They were both standing there looking at me waiting for a response.
“Goodbye Bill. Amelia, could you please bring me the case file for my 9 o’clock meeting?”
Call me a coward, but I was SO not discussing that with Bill there. I wasn’t even sure I could tell Amelia all of the details. I usually told her everything, but this was so out of character for me I didn’t know if I could speak the words out loud to anyone.
Bill stomped out of my office and Amelia gave me one last look that said I had a reprieve for now but she would be getting the details out of me sooner or later.
She brought me the DeCastro file and thankfully left without another word. Opening the thick file I started going over everything to see if something was missed.
I must have lost track of the time because the next thing I know there was a knock on my door and a tall dark haired linebacker of a man was walking in.
Stopping in front of my desk with his hand held out he said, “Ms. Stackhouse, I’m Detective Alcide Herveaux. I believe we have a 9 o’clock meeting to go over the DeCastro case.”
His hand swallowed mine as we shook and I noticed he was paying more attention to my breasts than anything else. It figures, most of the cops I’ve come across think they’re God’s gift to women. Not that I have anything against a man in uniform, what red blooded American girl does? It’s the cocky bastards I can’t stand.
Having had enough of the ogling I snatched my hand back and said, “Yes, we do. Where’s Detective”, I had to look back at the file to find his name, “Northman? He was supposed to attend this meeting as well so we can try to find a way around this mess you two have gotten us in.”
Apparently I was still in full bitch mode. This morning was turning to shit quick. First Bill, and now getting eye fucked by some cretin detective while his sorry ass partner couldn’t even grace us with his presence, all to fix a problem they should have caught to begin with. I was channeling my inner Pam.
I had just finished spitting out the words when he appeared in my doorway. Adonis.
This can’t be happening. Maybe I’m hallucinating? Maybe I’m still asleep and this is some weird ass dream? I pinched myself hard. Nope, not dreaming.
“Uh…” I tried to get my brain to make my mouth work, but it just wasn’t happening. Amelia appeared off to the side and behind him mouthing what appeared to be “No fucking way.” I tried again.
“Uh…can I help you?”
I watched the emotions play across his face. Surprise, followed by…I wasn’t sure. Whatever it was it quickly turned to darkening anger.
“I’m Detective Northman. Apparently I’m here to listen how my partner and I are such fuck-ups and wait for you to work your magic and save the day” he barked at me.
That’s all it took to get my mouth working again. How DARE he bark at me over something I had NOTHING to do with. HE should have checked the warrant. If he’d left that job to his partner, he more than likely was distracted by a pair of nearby breasts because his eyes had yet to leave mine!
“That’s right. You two fucked up. Now if you don’t mind,” I looked at Detective Herveaux, “YOU stop looking at my breasts,” then looking back to Adonis, I mean Detective Northman, “and YOU have a seat.”
Detective Northman’s head whipped around to look at Detective Herveaux and I could swear he growled. Huh.
This was so unfair. Detective Northman was my Adonis. Ugh…how could I feel so angry at him and yet so turned on by him at the same time? My memory didn’t do him justice. He was even better looking than I remembered, and it was just last night. His hair was pulled back at the nape of his neck with a leather tie and he hadn’t shaved this morning. He was wearing fitted black slacks and a royal blue button-down shirt having left the top two buttons undone. I had to consciously keep my hands at my sides lest they reach out to caress his spectacular ass on their own. This was my first view of what my hands had been gripping last night. Jesus Christ Sheppard of Judea, what’s wrong with me?
Looking back to me he said, “Please.”
“You didn’t say please. You said ‘have a seat.’ Do you not have any manners? You know, ‘please’ and ‘thank you’,” he seethed.
Oh. No. He. Didn’t.
Being a lawyer, I have a natural inclination to become argumentative. While I’m naturally introverted and shy, I tend to wear my big girl panties, so to speak, when I’m working. I contemplated a few snarky, bitchy replies that would no doubt prolong this particular conversation until one of us resorted to using “nanny nanny boo boo” and sticking out our tongue. I would be the bigger ‘man’ and let it go.
“Please, Detective Northman, have a seat.” I couldn’t stop glaring at him. Those eyes, they were so blue. I forced myself to look at his partner, who unfortunately had moved his eyes from my breasts to my ass. Ugh. I sat down.
“I was going over the DeCastro case file this morning trying to find a way to get the evidence back in,” I started. “The judge dismissed the charges against DeCastro without prejudice, so we can re-file them if we come up with a way to lead us back to those computer records. Our probable cause had been the telephone call to DeCastro’s private line, right?”
He was still glaring. “Yes.”
Great, one word answers. This is going to take all day if he doesn’t grow up already.
Using a tone better suited to explaining to a 3 year old why we must not flush hot wheels down the toilet to wash them, I asked “Well, do you have your notes? Maybe there’s some other way we can get the evidence in.”
Northman’s brow wasn’t quite as furrowed then. “How?”
Really? Still with the one word answers?
“Those records and emails originated from somewhere. I know our tech people weren’t able to hack into all of the encrypted ones prior to the dismissal, but the warrants for his phone taps were valid so we can poor over those conversations and see if there are any clues we might have missed the first time. We’ll look for another way in.”
I kept saying ‘we’ so they would know I wanted us to work as a team.
His face softened even more as he sat there in thought.
After contemplating for a few moments he said, “I don’t have the notes with me. I was only here for the ass chewing. And quite frankly, I still don’t see how WE,” he motioned between him and Detective Herveaux, “were the fuck ups. WE called YOUR office for the warrant. YOUR office is the one that wrote it up for the judge’s signature. YOUR office, not OURS.”
I guess he wasn’t feeling my ‘team’ spirit yet. His tone was somewhat softer than earlier, but he still managed to raise my hackles. I wanted to either slap him or kiss him, maybe both.
Taking a slow, deep breath, I dug through our file. All warrants are submitted electronically where the court clerks print them off for the judge’s review/signature. The electronic submission automatically kicks back a carbon copy to our office. Pulling it out I looked down and saw that the correct house number had been submitted for the warrant. The clerk can make changes to the warrant if a judge chooses to approve some portions of the requested warrant and not allow others. It must have been an error on their end which is why the police officers executing the warrant should double check the information prior to executing said warrant.
I put on my best smug look and handed it to him, resisting the urge to stick out my tongue with an added, “So there!”.
As he read it over his forehead smoothed out, the lines of anger disappearing all together. “I’m sorry. We put in a lot of man hours on this case. DeCastro has been the most sought after collar of our department for the last twenty years. We have guys that retired years ago that still call up occasionally asking if we’re any closer to getting him yet. He’s become the ‘Moby Dick’ of the Shreveport PD.”
His face took on the look of a remorseful boy with his lower lip pouting out just a hair and all thoughts went to wondering if he still tasted as good as I remembered. I could feel the drool pooling in my mouth. Focus Stackhouse!
Swallowing, I replied,” Thank you Detective Northman. Let’s just move on and find a way to make this work.” Pulling up my calendar I asked, “When would be a good time to meet up to go through your notes?”
Looking back to him I noticed him turning back from Detective Herveaux and he said, “It’s Eric.”
His expression went from remorseful to sultry. Oh my.
He continued, “Are you free this afternoon? I have some other appointments and meetings today, but I could meet you for lunch somewhere. It’ll be my treat to make up for being an ass.”
A lopsided grin appeared on his face and I swear my heart stopped.
“Please.” I couldn’t help myself.
“Please. You know, manners?” I felt the corners of my mouth twitch up.
His grin was still there. “Please? How about I meet you at Lafayette’s Diner at noon? The house burger is to die for. It’s two blocks north of the station.” The grin turned into a sexy as hell smirk.
“Uh…okay.” Eloquent. Maybe I needed to get a word-a-day calendar to beef up my vocabulary.
They both stood and held out their hands in turn for me to shake them. I noticed Detective Herveaux had looked at everything but me, which was fine by me. When I shook Detective Northman’s hand, Eric’s hand, I felt an electrical charge as soon as his skin made contact with mine. I looked up into his eyes and watched them darken the slightest bit. Not in an angry way, but in my hopeful mind, a lustful way.
His voice dropped an octave and my panties dampened when he said, “Until then,” and out the door they went.