“I don’t want to do this to you Mr. Evans, but I need to drop some of my hours.” Maggie looked pensively in the mirror before heading off to work. She was both nervous and excited about going back to school after such a long break.
“What?’ a voice called down the hallway
“Are you talking to yourself again?”
Maggie Ryan looked up to see her younger sister towel drying her hair while standing in her doorway and suppressed a grin. “It’s only dangerous if you start answering yourself." She explained.
“Heck enroll me in a psyche hospital then, I do that all the time” laughed her sister walking back down the hallway.
“Oh, man, would you look at the time? I gotta go sis!” Exclaimed Maggie as she bolted out the door.
“C-ya for dinner?” Called her sister
“Yep, thank God I’m only working a half day today. C-ya later.” She said grabbing an apple and heading out the door.
Oh, boy. Maggie thought to herself, I am glad that’s over with. I really hated to do that to Mr. Evans, he’s such a sweet guy. I gave him my tentative schedule; I hope that all my classes work out like I have them planned. She fumbled around in her bag for her keys. Finding them, she stepped out of the door to ComputerCity and back into the life of a college student.
The young man sat on one of the side benches, pretending to read a magazine in the dim old-fashioned street lamps, scoping out the “fresh meat”, as he liked to call them. Oh, there is one, Just begging for some attention. This will be better than last time. It looks like this girl has some spunk. I love freshman week. He enthusiastically thought to himself. He casually glanced at his watch, folded the magazine and shoved it in his back pocket as he began to walk toward the hapless young girl.----too intinse
The dark headed woman ran her hand through her hair and looked up from her desk from the latest rape case as she heard her name being called. Her blue eyes scanned the squad room until she found the body that the voice belonged to, Captain White, the division commander.
“My office.” He said as he left the squad room and headed to his office.
“Yes, sir” grumbled Vic, sadly glancing at the Starbucks coffee and bagel she had yet to eat. Well, at least it’s not eggs this time, she thought to herself as she rolled her chair back . Victoria Clarke, “Vic” as the guys in the squad room called her, got to her feet, grabbed her coffee and began to follow Capt. White to his office, when she was stopped by Bob Write.
“Whadda want Wrong way?” she snarled. Bob Write got his nick name over 15 years ago, his first day on the job, by driving the wrong way down a one way street. He was quite upset when he was passed over for promotion and Vic got the job instead of him. Wrongway described his career though. He had just been busted back down to patrolman as a dispensary action. But he still hung out in the squad room, trying to kiss ass.
“Kissing up to the old man are we? Or are you just fucking him?’
Anger welled up inside her, turning her eyes gray, “Wrong way, I suggest you move, before I make you move.” Vic growled.
“Man I suggest you get outta her way before she flattens you.” A voice called from the back of the room.
Bob poked his finger into her chest and began to say, “ I ain’t afr…” THUD!!!!
“Bob,” Vic growled, now looking down at him on the floor with her foot at his chest and arm in a control hold. “You better be glad I didn’t spill my coffee you scumbag.” She stated rather coolly, taking a sip of her coffee with her free hand.
Told ya so’s could be heard through out the squad room as her continued to speak, ignoring the comments made by her co-workers. “If I was fucking him, I’d be having a better time in there, “she said motioning with her coffee towards the office, “than standing here, pummeling you. Now if you excuse me…” she lifted her foot off his chest and turned to the Captains office, leaving him coughing and gasping for air.
“What can I do you for Captain?” asked Vic as she entered the doorway.
“You remember those series of attacks we had down at UM last year?” He said motioning her to sit down.
“Yeah, I wish we had caught that guy. The last girl was pretty shaken up.” Vic said as she reached behind her to pull the door shut.
Vic held up her cup, grinning.
“Yeah, right ahh..”
“So, let me guess, we finally figured out that it was the same guy.” She said exasperatedly flopping down in the chair that her captain proffered her. I thought it was the same one all along…. But do these guys listen..?
“If it is, he’s starting early.” He sighed.
“What?” Vic asked almost spilling her coffee.
“Yep, school hasn’t even begun officially yet and we got one already. Happened last night. Looks like the same MO. Same type..short, blond “ He said sliding the file over to her. Vic picked up the file and began to leaf through it. “This time we got a very sketchy description on the guy: medium height, medium build, brown eyes, wearing a baseball cap.” Capt. White said with a sad inflection in his voice.
“Sounds like most of the guys I remember from college.” Said Vic flipping the papers in the slim folder, taking special note of newest facts.
“Well, it is better than what we had before.. Which was nothing. I just wish he would slip up once and leave us some kind of evidence”
“Some semen or saliva would be great.” Vic said closing the file, and tossing it on the captains’ desk. “It is like he has gotten his routine down pat. But this time he used duct tape and bleach? Cap’n. He is no beginner. My guess is that he carries his rape kit with him, like in a backpack. He would fit right in on a college campus…” she stated pausing, “Anyway, what else have we gotten from the vic?”
“She won’t talk to us. What we got was through the counselor at the school. She had to tell somebody something. She’s just too scared to give us the details. He told her that if she told the cops he was going to kill her. The only thing is…” his voice trailed off as he stood up and began to pace.
“Typical.” Said Vic cynically. “But why would the councilor break their confidentiality? “ Her brows knit in thought staring at the file on the desk. She broke off her train of thought to look at her boss. The look the Captain had on his face was near scary. “What is it Captain?”
“Except this time, he didn’t do his homework.”
“What do you me..?” She suddenly put two and two together. She glanced at the one personal effect the captain had in is office, a picture of his short blond daughter. “Cap’n, don’t you have a daughter that is starting UM this year?” He didn’t have to answer; she knew by the look on his face what his answer was.
“ Cap’n I am so sorry.” She said genuinely expressing heartfelt emotion. She really liked the captain. He helped her get her foot in the door and made the transition from patrolman to detective much easier. He even knew that she was gay, which if the rest of her squad knew… there would be hell to pay.
“She won’t even talk to me, her own father.” He stated angrily sitting down on the desk in front of her.
“Captain, Don.” She said placing a comforting hand on his. “You have to think about what she has gone through. She has already given us more than we got outta the other victims. Think about what she said about going to the cops. If he even sees her near you with your badge on… or god forbid find out that she is the daughter of a police captain.. she is staying strong for her sake and possibly even yours.” She said softly.
“Yeah. Anyway me and the boys” he said clearing his throat and steeling himself “ put together this plan. You’re going undercover.”
“Really?” Vic asked, trying to keep the enthusiasm out of her voice.
“Yeah, got you a teaching position at the college. You get overtime pay and the college is going to pay you too, so you will be raking in the dough.”
“See, I knew you were a good detective” he said half smiling. “Turns out that the college actually needed a self defense teacher. Sarah came home the other day all disappointed that her class was being cancelled. So I thought who better to put there than you. I had a feeling that these attacks were going to start up again. So I submitted your resume for the position. Then when the attack happened, I talked to the dean, explained who I was and he said that they were just getting ready to call you. So, you get to teach, and rack up overtime pay from us. Hell, you don’t even have to come in. Just let us know what’s going on once a week. I’ll send John in as your fiancé” Don stopped speaking at the look in her eyes. “Okay, sparring partner.”
“Cap’n," said grinning and picking up the folder again and leafing through it, “I am not exactly his type”
“I know, but you will be on campus and free during some of his roaming hours.” He picked up another file and handed it to her. “Here’s all the info that you will need. You teach Monday through Friday. Monday Wednesday and Friday your first class begins at 5:00 and ends at 5:45. Your second set begins at 6:45 and ends at 7:30 and on Tuesday and Thursday your class begins at 6:45 and runs until 8:30. Then if you’re not too tired, you can jog around the campus for about an hour or so. That seems to be his striking hour. You do still jog don’t you?”
“Good. During the day, I want you to kinda hang out there a bit. Hell, enroll in a few classes if you want. I checked with the dean on this too. It seems that a few of their professors take classes during their off hours there, so it won’t be odd. The dept. will pick up the tab. Now get out there.”
“Yes sir” she nodded enthusiastically, grabbed the files and began to head out the door.
“Yes?” Vic paused and partially turned to face her boss, her hand on the doorknob.
“My lips are sealed.”
“Vic?” She stopped turning the door knob.
“Welcome.” Vic answered softly.
“Now, you aren’t going to school dressed like that are you?” He appraised her looks. She always dressed so well. Suits with slacks, always dark, stylish yet comfortable shoes just in case she had to run after a perp.
“What’s wrong with it?” she began to say then laughed. “Yeah, I guess my only casual “college” type clothes will be out too.”
“Police sweats.” She heard the captain laugh as she exited his office. Nice to hear him laugh.. Gotta solve this one soon, for the captains’ sake at least.
“I’m home,” yelled Maggie as she came through the door, putting her keys and her heavy backpack full of books on the credenza in the hallway. Smelling food cooking, she instinctively headed for the kitchen, but sidetracked to the room her and her sister shared.
“I’m in here!” yelled Michelle from the kitchen.
“OK, be out in a minute. Gotta get out of this monkey suit.” Maggie said trading her ComputerCity polo and khaki slacks for a tank top and a pair cargo shorts.
“So, you get all your classes all set up?” Asked Michelle as she heard her sister step into the kitchen.
“Yep. Remember that self-defense class that I said I wanted to take, but then they took it of the schedule?” She asked sitting down at the kitchen table slipping her feet into a pair of Teva sandals.
“Well, it opened back up today, so I got in. I hope they have that cute soccer coach doing it.”
“Maggie” her sister said with mock shock dropping the spoon and turning around to face her sister. “What about Lee?”
“Oh, you know how things are, I love him but… it’s more like kissing my brother.”
Michelle grimaced at the thought. “Well sis… to each their own.”
“Anyway, “ Maggie said exasperatedly throwing a wadded up napkin at her sister. “I got that, AI, Calc II, Women Authors, Physics, Clinical Counseling in psychology, Crime Scene Investigation and Criminal Psychology. What do you have?”
“God sis, are you trying to kill yourself? That’s 24 hours! How did you ever get the dean to let you take all those courses? Never mind. I don’t even wanna know. How many hours did you tell Mr. Evans you’d work?”
“25-35” she answered sheepishly.
“Are you ever going to sleep?”
“You know school has always come easy for me…I never cracked a book until my second semester of my junior year. Come on now… what did you sign up for?
“Oh yeah, I forgot, Miss Brains. Ok, Let’s see, I have Freshman English, Freshman Seminar, Choir, Biology, Biology lab, Intro to Computer Science and College Algebra and Trig. And before you say it I know its 19hrs, but freshman seminar is a pass/fail and choir is only one hour. I have you to help me for math, English and computers. So, biology will be the only one I am gonna have to worry about.” She said turning around to stir the sauce. “Stir-Fry ok?”
“Sure sounds great. I’m just glad you’re here to cook, otherwise I’d be gaining the senior 25.”
“Senior 25?” Michelle said laughing, “I thought it was the freshman fifteen.”
“It was that too.” Maggie said joining her sister in laughing.
“Um..You hear about the attack last night?” Michelle broached the subject carefully to obtain her sister’s perspective.
“What attack?” asked Maggie getting up and filling their glasses with iced tea.
“The one at school.”
“No, is it happening again already? Is the girl ok?” Maggie asked sitting the tea pitcher down suddenly causing the tea to splash out.
“Well, she’s alive. From what I have heard, she was raped and beaten. But the skinny is that this attack was worse than the others I’m worried that Mom and Dad will want to pull me out and make me transfer. I’ve already made some new friends.” She said filling the plates with steaming vegetables, rice and ladling the rich peanut butter sauce over it. She carried the pates over to the table and sat down.
“Nah, remember, they were worried about that last year, but when you said that you were going to live with me and things calmed down?” asked Maggie wiping up her spill.
“Look you have any classes at night?”
“No. Do you?”
“Yeah, “ Said Maggie sitting down. “I have one. The self-defense class, but I can park close to the gym. And remember, I have Herbie.”
“I always thought you watched that movie WAYYYYYYY tooo much as a kid.” Michelle mumbled around her food.
“Didn’t mom ever tell you not to talk with food in your mouth? Anyway, if I recall correctly, I should be the one to worry. You’re a lot taller than me kiddo.” She reached over and ruffled her sisters pixie cut brown hair.
Michelle swallowed and exclaimed “I can’t help it that I drank my milk!!!!!”