Patricia’s life had returned to its normal of writing, drinking, and avoiding her ex-boyfriend cop. As for the man stabbed in a mall toilet? Coincidental, Big guy.
Chris’s smoking and drinking had nothing to do with the damn woman borrowing guns, ignoring threatening fan mail or leaving a trail of dead men. How was he to keep her safe if they didn’t date anymore? More
After her stint as a filing clerk, Patricia moved up in a world. Now (somewhat) happily employed in a big corporation, her life could return to its normal of writing, drinking, walking, and avoiding her recently ex-boyfriend cop. Moving in together? So much for casual! Perhaps she missed the infuriating man, maybe her new boss was a jerk, but damn it, she was not giving up on her brand-new ordinary life!
Relationship hiatus aside, she didn’t have one worry whatsoever. So what if some lunatic kept sending her pen name cheesy love poems? Nobody knows my real name, Big guy. The gentleman stabbed in a mall toilet? Coincidental. The old geezer ran over on a country road? No link to her. And the dead man murdered at the rest area? Not. Tied. To. Her.
Admittedly, Chris’s plan had backfired. The damn woman thought their relationship was still casual. Worse, she acted as if they were off while he believed they needed to regroup and plan better. At least, he did. Why couldn’t she follow his lead as his detectives did? If he smoked and drank Scotch, that had nothing to do with the damn woman borrowing guns, ignoring threatening fan mail or leaving a trail of dead men as she traipsed around the countryside, right?
Play dumb. Play nice. Run. Fast. “So. What do you want to talk about?” Big smile on her face.
He kept his head where it was, kept his hands where they were, kept the vein throbbing and didn’t answer. No way he was mad about one lousy gun, was he? She leaned closer and pulled his sunglasses off. His eyes were closed. Not good. He didn’t open them. Not good at all.
“Is this because of the gun?” He didn’t answer. She thought she saw him shake his head once, barely, but couldn’t be sure. So she repeated, “Christopher, is this about the gun or not?” He finally opened his eyes to look at her. “Damn you! You shouldn’t have given it to me if it was registered!”
“It’s not about the gun, but fuck, Patricia, what did you do with it?”
“It’s not about the gun?”
“No, it’s not. But now I’m worried. What did you do with it?”
“Nothing. I didn’t do anything with it.” She wanted to be absolutely sure, though. “But it’s not registered, right?” He stared. She could have sworn his mouth twitched, the beginning of a smile. It lasted a millisecond. At the most.
“No, it’s not.”
“Good then. Because, hum, ah, I kind of lost it.”
“Lost it?” A raised eyebrow. His voice was soft. Low and soft.
“Lost it. As in, it’s gone. I’ll pay you back.” How much did a gun like that cost anyway?