Sweet Arrest

By: Jordyn Tracey

He shouldn't be, but Connor was ready to defend her against a man who thought there was nothing wrong with standing in a line to have a shot at her body, but she didn't give him the chance to say anything.

"Please, I don't want him or anyone around here to know.” Fresh tears wet her lovely cheeks. “Silly, right? Especially when in the next few minutes, you could determine to arrest me, and I come right back out of my house in handcuffs."

"Then if I do, I won't put them on you. We'll just leave together as we arrived.” Strike two, he complained silently. Not cuffing her was not following protocol. At this rate, he would be out of a job before the end of the week. Women never got to him while he worked, even the sexy ones like A'isha.

Inside her house, his trained observation skills snapped on the second he passed the threshold. While A'isha informed him she would locate another pair of shoes, he took in the dated furniture in her living room and the family photos on the walls dating back to black and whites of folks in fashions from the fifties. If he had to guess, he would say this was her family home. He wondered if her parents were still around or if she had any siblings. He himself had one sister who barely bothered to remember his number these days. An hour in A'isha's presence, and he realized just how much his life sucked.

She returned wearing jeans, a tee and sneakers. At her invite, they sat in the living room on a plastic covered couch. She blushed, wringing her hands. “Sorry, I meant to take that off, but I guess I feel a little scared to do it."

At his raised brows, she continued.

"My mother was forever fussing at me to stay off of it, because I liked to put sticks in my pockets as a child."

Disappointed and relieved at the same time, he came to the conclusion that she wasn't all there. “Sticks?"

She chuckled then banged a hand over her mouth. He thought she might have injured herself, but made no comment. “At the time, I wanted to be a gardener—to her horror—and I liked to clear away dead leaves and sticks from the yard out back. She did enjoy the weeding, but not that I would stuff the sticks in my pockets rather than toss them out. I can't figure out why I did that.” Her eyes were dazed remembering. “My brother just thought I was crazy, like you do."

Coughing noisily, he put a hand to his lips. “I don't think you're crazy."

Her grin spread wide and brightened her eyes. He lost focus. Reaching out without thinking, he took a lock of her brownish black hair between his fingers. Silky and smooth, it made him want to stroke deeper and pull her closer to—He dropped his hand. “So, you have a brother. Where is he?"

Sadness filled her eyes. “Iraq. My parents are gone, and Andre is the only close family I have left. We have cousins, aunts, and uncles, but we weren't close. My parents never went into detail about why.” She shrugged. “Andre and I developed a sort of resentment about it over the years. We haven't tried to mend the rift."

"Ms. Greene, can you tell me—"

"You called me A'isha before. You remembered me from the park.” She offered a shy smile that had him growing hard of all things. Shifting the position of the notebook was necessary to cover the tent in his pants.

"Uh, yes. I tend to remember details."

Her face fell. “Oh, I thought ... Never mind. You can call me A'isha, if you'd like."

Suspicion rose in him. Was she playing him for a fool like that previous suspect? He had to admit pouting lips and big eyes did something to him. But A'isha went beyond that. Her entire body called to him, and he had to fight not to stare at her heavy breasts, especially since her nipples were defined through the thin fabric of her blouse and bra. He imagined the kitchen in a bakery grew hot and called for minimal clothing. To add to his frustration, she had a sweet personality from what he had seen so far. The total package.

He closed his eyes, forcing himself to focus. When he opened them, he gave her a steely stare and frowned, which usually sent the message home that he was in charge and wouldn't accept any BS. “I think I will stick to Ms. Greene. This is a murder investigation, after all.” At his words, she paled again.

Her full lips trembled, and for a moment, he thought she would break down, but she stiffened her back and blinked the tears clear from her eyes. To his disgust, he admired her for that.

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