No Explanation

Published September 19, 2011 by Christa Maurice

Want to start at the beginning?

 

Oh.” Dan sounded a little more lucid as he stood up. “Sorry, I –“ He pulled her skirt down over her knees. He turned to the sink and rinsed out the towel. “So do you think your guy at the register will be able to identify the credit card and the guy?”

Sure. He can rattle off strings of numbers like nobody’s business. Are you going to want him to come to the station?”

Dan turned back. He still looked flushed. “No, Scott will get a statement from him. You’ll have to come down to file the report.”

That’s fine.”

Dan doused the towel with more alcohol. “You’re sure you didn’t hit your head?”

I’m sure. I just scraped my cheek a little.”

I see that.” Dan put his hand on the back of her head to steady her while he wiped off her cheek. He studied her eyes clinically. “Are you feeling warmer?”

Yeah finally. What did you mean when you said I was getting shocky outside?”

When something terrible happens to a person –“

Like almost getting run over by a car?”

Yes, like almost getting run over by a car. The body sometimes goes into shock. The body temperature drops and the victim becomes confused and disoriented.”

Why?”

Dan raised one eyebrow. “I don’t know. Ask your paramedic.”

Are you jealous?” Colleen started to smile, but lost the ability when Dan’s expression softened. He looked all too serious for the joking around. Maybe he’d decided he was mad about Mike. Or maybe he was getting madder about the credit card guy.

Not right now,” Dan said softly. He leaned down and kissed her. His lips were soft and warm against hers. His fingers tangled in her hair. Her skin tightened expectantly. She relaxed against him, letting him pull her tight against his hard body. Colleen moaned against his mouth. His hand slid into the small of her back. The feel of it there, strong and sure, made her shudder. She wanted to lean back on the table and draw him down on top of her. To know what it would feel like to support the weight of him. She parted her lips to him.

Dan groaned, pulling her so tightly against him that she couldn’t breathe. His tongue dipped into her mouth, teasing her tongue to his. Colleen clung to his broad shoulders for support, too dizzy to stand on her own. She didn’t want to stand on her own. She wanted to cling to Dan and let him do whatever he wanted to her. What was she doing wasting time with Mike when she could be spending this kind of quality time with Dan?

Colleen, are you back here?”

Dan lurched backward. Colleen started to fall against the table, but felt herself tugged against Dan.

I’m- oh, shit.”

You’re caught on my belt,” Dan muttered.

Just a minute.” Colleen called out. “I’m just – I’ll be there in a minute.”

Dan picked at her belt loop, caught in his buckle. “You’re tangled.”

Grace said somebody threw you in front of a car.” Dennis’ voice got closer to the door.

Colleen tried to pull backward, but couldn’t get away from Dan. “Yeah, there was some trouble, but the police are here.”

Dan grabbed the belt loop and ripped it free just as Dennis walked into the room. Colleen wobbled a step away.

Wow, look at your face,” Dennis said. “How did you get so scratched up?”

Colleen touched her cheek. “On the street.”

That must have really freaked you out. You’re all red.” Dennis turned to Dan. “I’m glad you got here so fast. They could have really hurt someone.”

Yes, he could have.” Dan coughed. “We’re going to need Colleen to come to the station and file a report.”

Definitely. Look, you even tore your dress.” Dennis reached for the flapping belt loop.

Yeah, I know. I’m probably not going to be back before close.”

I don’t expect you back tonight. In fact, take tomorrow.” Dennis patted her shoulder. “Just take the day off. After this you deserve a rest.”

Thanks, Dennis. I’ll see you Tuesday.” She resisted the impulse to take Dan’s hand as she walked out of the break room. At her desk, she stopped long enough to get her purse and lead Dan out of the office. Grace met her at the door.

Oh, you’re leaving. Good. The ebar sent a care package.” Grace handed Colleen a bag and a cup carrier with three cups in it. “We didn’t have any of the apple danish you like, but they had a cheese one. And we fixed your coffee like you like it. We didn’t know what the officers preferred, so we included some cream and sugars for them and a couple of sweets. Okay?”

Thanks Grace.” Colleen took the bag and carrier. “And tell ebar thanks too.” She walked outside trying to balance everything and feeling none too steady.

Dan took the cup carrier from her. “Well, you have the day off tomorrow.”

I always have Sunday off. Dennis forgot.”

Oh. Listen, I need to talk to you.”

Colleen paused between the foyer doors. Dan didn’t seem to be lost in a pleasant haze with her. He looked worried. “Not now, okay. Later. Scott’s waiting.”

Dan glanced over her head out the window and then back into her eyes. “I just wanted to apologize.”

Why? It’s the only thing that’s gone well all night.” Colleen pushed open the door.

Scott stood up from where he’d been leaning against the car waiting for them. He glanced up at her, but never met her eyes. “So, your relief is here?” he asked.

Yeah, and I have treats. Did Gary give you what you needed?”

Sure, he remembered the numbers on the card without having to see it and he described the guy before he saw him.”

Great. Where am I sitting?”

Front passenger. Jackson will ride in the back with the perp.” Dan opened the door for her, but he wouldn’t meet her eyes either.

A cold fist clutched her gut. Scott not looking at her, Dan apologizing, so far the perp was the friendliest one in the car. Dan handed the cup carrier through the door. She settled it on her lap and tried to take a deep breath, but her chest had tightened to match her stomach. Everything had been turned upside down. She looked down at the cup carrier in her lap. Someone, the handwriting looked like Suzi, had written her name on top of one of the cups. She opened the lid and sniffed. Just the way she liked it. At least something was working out the way she expected.

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