Frisky Friday Flashy Fiction
Happy Friday! Happy June!
It’s hard to believe that six months are already in the can. Last year dragged on and on while this one has flown by.
Are you ready for the next installment of Deception?
Miss Mary Jenkins was a tough nut to crack. No matter what I asked, I couldn’t seem to stump her. Halfway through my cone of salted caramel gelato, I figured she would slip and say something she hadn’t planned to, but it never happened. Her answers, however, told me everything and nothing at all.
First, the woman had money. She attempted to look run-of-the-mill with her ripped jeans, plain shirt, and casual shoes. But I could recognize designer clothing just as well as any trust fund babe on Rodeo.
Second, she had to be hiding something. I was so certain Mary had secrets I’d stake my job on it. Despite all the opportunities I gave her, though, she never expounded on anything. Mary didn’t tell me where she was from or offered any details about her childhood. Nothing about any siblings. Not a word about her parents. Mary said nothing about her life, either. She didn’t tell me about her previous work or her former lovers. The woman didn’t even share anything about her favorite color or food, or the last movie she saw or a book she read. At the end of the night, I knew very little about her.
Some might have said Mary was just a private woman, not ready to share intimate information. I wasn’t like that. In my line of work, people readily spoke about themselves when given the chance. Hell, they made up shit just to sound important.
But not Mary Jenkins. That female evaded questions better than drivers passing a wreck on the 405.
The most intriguing fact about her? She knew I was on to her.
Not that she let on. Hell, Mary’s words didn’t give her away. It was more in what she didn’t say and her mannerisms. Mary guarded everything about herself like a suspect, trying to figure out what the cops had on them.
Of course, my curiosity piqued faster than a horny teenager. The more Mary ducked my inquiries, the more I wanted to know. I eyed her empty container and spoon with a renewed fascination. All I had to do was swipe that tiny piece of plastic and drop it off with Connie. Then I’d get my answers.
But luck wasn’t on my side that night. Mary picked up her trash like a puritan and tossed it out. She was either the perfect suspect or a conscientious patron.
As we left the gelato parlor, Mary smiled but kept her distance. “You know, Detective, if you want to date me, then treat me like a woman and not a case to crack.”
“I wasn’t aware I was doing that,” I lied. Yes, I was trying to crack Mary like a walnut.
She laughed. “It must be part of the job.”
Glancing up at the sky, I faked a laugh. I wasn’t an actor, but I could pretend. “Hey, I’ve been on the force for a long time. I guess I have a hard time leaving work at work.”
“Is that what really drove your wife away?”
Ouch! How did she know?
“Ariel was high-maintenance. To be honest, we shouldn’t have hooked up. She’s more of a champagne and caviar type, and I’m a—”
“Beer drinking brute who could be happy sitting on the couch watching the Rams play?”
Damn. She was good. I’d give her that.
“I’m not that crass. Yes, I like my brew, and I don’t mind a good football game. But I know how to bump elbows with the Beverly Hill bunch. My ex never knew how to let her hair down.”
“That’s too bad,” said Mary. “It’s important for a man to be himself with the woman he loves.”
Maybe if my bullshit meter wasn’t clanging loudly, I could see Mary Jenkins in a new light. Although she wasn’t much of a conversationalist—not like I gave her much to discuss—she was easy on the eyes.
“Care to do this again?” I asked.
Mary’s lips lifted on one side as she tilted her head. “Careful, Detective. I tend to grow on people.”
So did goddamned fungi, but I’d take my chance.
Have a great weekend!