Why?

I don’t worry much about motives. I know about em, course, but I don’t lose sleep taxing my mind with why a rich young lady would want to poison her husband when he’s not even making a peep about her indiscretions with the poolboy. I just get into things enough to know who wanted what, and leave why to the court-mandated shrink. Don’t ask me why.

But every now and then, you have to wonder.

That Whale Doesn’t Give A Tinker’s Cuss About Anything

I don’t want to go into that room. I hate it when things get complicated, and from the looks of it, Cassie’s already doing what she does best: making things complicated. She’s got the dog and the mallard trying to outdo eachother at sucking their gut, and I can’t help noticing the duck’s winning. They’ll spend the rest of the day blaming eachother for the fact that she left without saying anything except along business lines. She’s got the mutt in the cell drooling unabashedly, though knowing her she’s just setting him up for a comeback that’ll make him feel like he ought to be buried in a compost heap somewhere getting trash thrown at him. She’s even got Max keeping watch, though not the way I told him when I left.

I can keep the doorway between us, watch the whole fiasco like the submarine captain watching the fish, but I’m already involved. Cause I know stuff. Cause I went around to the alleged crime scene when they filed the first report. Cause I lied when I said I don’t want to be in there.

So here it goes, getting complicated.

So if there’s anything either of you gentlemen can do to help me out, I’d be so grateful! Cassie is purring. This is a tune I haven’t heard her sing before. Usually she does the “hard to get prim-yet-sexy and soul destoyingly-icy” aria.

Awww,no problem ma’am, chuckles the bulldog, Surely there’s somethin we can do, eh?

Don’t call me Shirley! snaps the duck.

I just don’t feel safe in my apartment all by myself anymore! She’s playing the damsel in distress card now. I wouldn’t have thought she even knew what it looked like.

Since nobody seems to be able to spit out a comeback to that one, I sidle over to Max. “She do anything suspicious?”

Yah, I tink she’s got a tattoo on ‘er back.

“What? No way, she- Nevermind.”

Slylock? Half of me expected she’d sound glad, half expected she’d sound mad, but she might as well be talking about the weather. Fancy running into you here.

“Well, it is a police station.”

Really? I hadn’t noticed. Everyone on the other side of the room is scowling at me, but by all rights I should be scowling at them, because she’s doing the tail thing behind her back. I can tell. Lucky bastards. Well, I’m sure you’re plenty busy, Foxy, so don’t let my little burglar problem keep you.

She’s trying to get rid of me. There’s something more going on here.

“Um, actually, I just wanted to see if I could have a quick word.” Ok, now she’s back to soul-destroyingly icy. “Just between old friends.” Icy. “Nothing more.” Ice, cold, frigid. “Nothing more.” Absolute zero. “It’ll only take a minute.”

Ugh. Fine! She gives this little toss of her hair and smiled over her shoulder, and I hear something half-swallowed from the cell that sounds like ‘gunh!’ Will you boys excuse me a moment? Looks like somebody doesn’t know it’s rude to interrupt.

She drops the act the second we’re out in the hall, and behind it there’s another act. What a surprise. What the heck is this about, Fox? Jealousy? We are over!

“This about you faking a burglary.”

Oohhh, faking! And you wouldn’t know anything about faking, would you?

“There was no dust. You’d never go seven months without dusting. Heck, I coulda told em that. Every time you were over at my place, you’d start tidying up.”

You went into my room?! Wha- that- how did you even get in?!

“You gave me a key.”

Aww hell. She glares at the wall like it was the wall’s fault we ever hooked up. So what now? You put the wrap on me for some put up job? Did the suspect description say ‘Blonde, good legs, hell of cook?

“Cassie, you’re a horrible cook!”

Shows what you know.

“I just want to know what’s going on. Reporting a crime wrong isn’t a felony. Faking one is.”

Like you care what happens to me.

I don’t say anything.

Not that I couldn’t if I wanted to, but silence is the only thing she couldn’t ever deal with. Don’t ask me why.

I’m not after anything here, ok? I’m just looking to see justice done.

“Justice.”

I was gonna pull this big job with the guy in the cell–don’t look like that, this was years ago–and he gave my take to this… showgirl. What’s he in for?

“Something tells me you already know.”

Well, guess it was a little too much to hope you’d believe I just came to complain that someone ran off with my spare earrings.

I find myself rubbing my forehead like I’ve got a headache, and I wonder how long I’ve been doing that. “Cassie, I don’t want to have to do this.”

Don’t you? I know you, Foxy, and I know you’ve got this justice kick. Ought to make you sympathetic, seems to me. I just wanted to make sure that the guy got what was coming to him, just wanted him to know it was me that put him there.

“Does he?”

Course not. Guy’s dumber than a bag of your sidekick. Didn’t even recognize me, stupid drooling ass… She trails off. I admit I have no idea what she’s thinking, but I think she’s slipped. She’s not acting, for just a split second she isn’t playing me. I just know. Don’t ask me why. But what can I do? “You left me with precious few choices here, Cassie.”

Then here’s one more. I got what I came for, so how about you go in there and tell those nice guys how they found my jewelry box, and how I’m so glad to have it back that I’m not pressing charge, and then come around to that little place by the wharf this evening. You remember the one. I haven’t been there since we–well, in a long time.

“How do I know you’ll be there?”

I’ll be there. Don’t ask me why, but I will.

I take a deep breath.

After the explanations, I send Max to the chief to tell him I need the evening off.

Whatta I say if he asks why?

“Just say I didn’t tell you.”

Back at my desk, there’s a note. It says ‘I already made the reservations. You can call and check if you want. See you tonight.’ So for the rest of the day, I just feel good, I guess. Maybe a little complicated, but good. Don’t ask me why.

And I hope she never finds out how much a hold she has on me those few seconds she stops acting, or there’d be no stopping her ever again.

Something tells me that won’t occur to her, though. Don’t ask me why.

The Final Word.

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