Chapter 3 of the Pink Stiletto

I stood frozen in place.  Dark red lines streaked the pristine white wall.  But I couldn’t see much more.  A large bulky linebacker blocked my view.  “Is… is that blood?”  I asked, pointing into the living room.

“And you would be?”  His voice boomed.

“With me.” Cedric said, “First day on the job.”

The linebacker raised his eyebrows, but said nothing.

“Her first day.  Not me.  Cedric Scott, consulting detective.  Where might Lieutenant Anderson be?”

Silence stretched between the three of us.  The linebacker folded his arms never taking his eyes off Cedric.  I wasn’t sure what to do or say, so I stood there like a cement pole.  Bet I was impressing the boss.

“Yes, your stare.  Very intimidating.”  Cedric rubbed his eyes as he clenched his jaw.  “When your block of a brain begins to work please alert him to my presence.  Now I’ll just get started.”  Cedric turned to me, “Wilson follow me and watch your step.  I assume you know proper protocol at crime scenes.”  I nodded even though I wasn’t one hundred percent sure.  I knew to watch my step and not touch anything without gloves.  Figured I would watch and wing the rest.

“Good.  When you become more comfortable you’ll be handling communications,” Cedric waved at the linebacker, “Like this instance.  Such frivolous fluff muddies up my synapses.”  Cedric turned his attention back to the linebacker, “Step aside we have work to do.”

The linebacker straightened his back further blocking our path.  And still not taking his eyes off Cedric.  Then again if I was his size and was just insulted by Cedric the shrimp, I probably wouldn’t either.

“Again with the stare.  Does this work for you?  Move.  I need to take in the whole scene.”  Cedric waved his hand, but the linebacker stood his ground.

This was getting ridiculous, so I figured I would step in, “I believe my partner,” Cedric raised his eyebrows, but I pushed on, “was wondering if you would be so kind and show me to Lieutenant Anderson, while he waits here,” I placed my hand on the linebacker’s well-muscled arm, “You know, so we can straighten this whole thing out.  No big deal”

He eyed me for a minute then grunted as he pointed to a tall thin guy at the end of the hallway to our left.

“Thank you.”  I said, turning to Cedric, “Wait here.”

Cedric held up his hands and shrugged, but I could see a slight smile tugging at the corners of his lips.  At least I could amuse him.

I walked to the end of the hall where a tall lean man who I presumed to be Lieutenant Anderson stood.  He had blond balding hair and wore a cheap department store suit.  A bit strange, but maybe that was the norm.  I haven’t spent a lot of time in police departments.  After I introduced myself and explained the situation we headed back to Cedric.  I hoped these confrontations wouldn’t be happening at every crime scene.  Then again, it wouldn’t surprise me if they did.

Lieutenant Anderson stuck out his hand, “Pleasure to meet the famous Cedric Scott.  Thank you for coming on short notice.  Time is of the essence—”

“Yes.  Yes.  May I?”  Cedric ignored his handshake, instead gesturing towards the crime scene and linebacker.

Lieutenant Anderson pulled his hand back clenching it into a fist.  Great.  I was beginning to see why he hired me.

“Thank you for bringing us in,” I said, plastering on a big smile, “And I apologize if we seem pushy, but Cedric likes to get started right away.”

“Right away was hours ago,” Cedric mumbled, “Now call off this… this… see what’s happening?  Do you see?  Blast.  My brain is already losing precious space.”

Lieutenant Anderson raised his eyebrows at me, but I just shrugged.  Sometimes there was no explaining Cedric.  Or that’s what I’d heard.

“Mr. Lascomb, Chantel’s body guard.”  Lieutenant Anderson said, “Mr. Lasomb, please come with me.  You have free rein Mr. Scott.”

Cedric nodded to Lieutenant Anderson.  “Thank you.”  But as the body-guard walked by he whispered, “Next time try doing your job when it counts.”

The bodyguard grunted as he turned toward Cedric, but I stepped between them.  I’m not sure why.  The guy could squash me like a bug.

“Don’t worry Wilson.  I’ve been trained in a few sparring styles and can hold my own.”

Cedric smirked as he turned towards the scene.  I took a deep breath fighting the urge to test out those skills.  Not that I had any myself.  Mental note, next time let the big dude kick the crap out of him.  Check.

I swallowed hard and turned toward the scene.  It was a large open space with dark wood floors and windows lining the entire right side of the room.  A modern couch with a few matching chairs and a large round glass table sat in the middle of the room.  Oh, and everything was white.  I mean everything.  Kind of like an insane asylum.  Opposite from us  on the large white wall was the dark red that I saw earlier.  But it was in the shape of an “A” with a red circle around it.  Strange.

“Anarchy.  Interesting,” Cedric muttered.

Okay, maybe it was interesting.

“What are you talking about?”  I asked.

“That symbol on the wall stands for anarchy.  But it’s telling us much more than that.”

“How so?”

Cedric held up his hand silencing me.  Great.  Getting silenced already.

“That.”  He pointed to the bottom of the anarchy symbol.

But the edge of the couch was blocking my view.  “That what?”

“That pink stiletto.  Now that holds the answer to everything.”

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