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The first time Phil sat and sized up Tess was at the Starbuck’s across the street from the station house. He found her cute, energetic and maybe a little ditzy; he wasn’t sure yet. Her strawberry blonde hair and bright green eyes sucked him in. Some guys loved women’s eyes, and Phil was no exception. You had ass men, tit men, and eyes guys – he loved eyes. His ex-girlfriend Diane had the most brilliant hazel eyes imaginable with curled, thick eyelashes. It also didn’t hurt that she had one of those amazing, hot bodies with big tits and a perfect, tight ass, but undoubtedly her eyes won. She could seduce him with one look.
“Those were the days,” he chuckled to himself as he sat and waited for Tess to bring the tea and coffee to the table.
Tess ambled over to him. She was holding each cup in her hands. She carefully placed Phil’s “Tall” tea in front of him, pulled out a chair, and sat down. She took a tense sip from her Mocha Grande and began to explain what she wanted to Paul. He sat across and listened to Tess nervously talk. She kept twisting the ends of her long hair and fidgeting with pink sugar packets.
“I saw you on that cable thingy show, you know what is it … Freedom-something-or-another?”
“Yeah, that one. Okay, so you know you were talking about a body you found in some trunk. What? A Camry, right? Conservative car.”
Phil smiled at her, reached across the table, and placed his calm hand over the top of hers. She stopped moving the sugar packet and looked up at him. Their eyes met. He removed his hand.
“Yes, what about it, what’s your name again?”
“Tess, what do you want to know? I probably can’t tell you much because it’s still under investigation.”
“I want to … um,” she pulled her hair behind her left ear and looked down. “I want to write about it. You know, true crime.”
Phil sat back, grabbed his white cup filled with hot water with a teabag string hanging off the side. “I see … you a writer?”
“Well, all right so I’m not published yet, but this will be my big break!”
“You’re not a writer then?”
“No, um, yes, yes, I’m a writer,” she asserted as she found her confidence to just to say yes. She giggled and continued, “I was an engineer first, though.”
Phil nodded and kept observing her. “How does one go from being an engineer to a writer?”
Tess waved her hand down her body as if she was showing off a showcase on the Price Is Right.
“Do I look like an engineer?”
At that Phil allowed a slight grin to form on his lips. “No, Tess you do not look like an engineer.”
“Thank you!” she smiled. “I have a brilliant math mind, though. Well, whatever … look I just want to know if you’ll let me shadow you? Learn about the investigation.”
“I’ll check in with department protocol on the media, let you know.”
“Really?” she said in the sweetest, most delighted voice.
Phil found her endearing. She looked to be in her early 30’s but she had this childish, wonderful quality about her. He liked it. So many women were jaded by bad relationships, life’s hardships, horrible treatment, but here was this impish, cute and sweet woman that he almost wanted to call a girl, but she clearly wasn’t a girl. She kept talking with a restless, uneasiness about her. He wasn’t sure why she was so nervous, and she just went right back to playing with her hair.
She explained how she wanted to travel and see the “real” world. Phil kept thinking how the real world wasn’t so pretty. He thought about last week where he had walked into a low-rent apartment in South Sacramento, and there had been so much garbage on the floor, he had to kick it away just to get in the door. And the rancid smell of decay and rot had filled his nostrils until he had grimaced. A toothless woman with acne scars and sunken eyes had been arrested for turning her kitchen into a crystal meth lab. He came to find out she was all of 25 and had looked closer to 50. Drugs did that to people – and that was the “real” world. “Not very glamorous,” he thought, but here was this naïve woman ready to take it on with rose-colored lenses and dreamy fantasies.
“I don’t know if you’ll find what you’re looking for.”
“We don’t know what I’m looking for,” she replied with a grin.
He chuckled, “Guess not.”
She tilted her head to the side, “You married?”
He raised his empty ring finger, “Do I look married?”
She glanced at the ring-less finger and smiled, “No, but some men don’t wear their rings, do they?”
“See a tan line?”
“Not a very good detective, are you?”
She laughed and shook her head.
He continued, “Not married, don’t have a girlfriend. She met some nerdy Russian with a big dick and left me.”
“Does that mean you have a little dick?” smirked Tess.
“Ah, I guess I should amend my sob story.”
Tess got up on cue, extended her hand to which he shook it, and said, “Yes, you should.” She glanced at his package.
He was impressed with her balls and laughed, “Yes, I will!” He winked at her.
“Have a great day, detective,” she sauntered off with a grin on her face.
He watched her leave. She had a great ass for sure. Then he took one last gulp of his tea and thought, “I’m going to enjoy her.”
Later on, he did go back to the community relations department to ask protocol. He got approval with restrictions, of course, but she would be allowed to do research and write her book. He had called her back a day later, and his affirmation of participation had been met with a wonderful squeal of delight. He had held the phone away from his ear as she had started rattling off questions.
“No, no slow down. Let’s meet again tomorrow evening at The Mix downtown, all right? You can ask me all you want.”
“Oh, yeah sure. Do you mind if I record it?”
“Not at all. See you at seven?”