3

Scotch Thoughts

ACM Kid

He noticed the absence of the huge bear as soon as he re-entered his apartment. Pouring his scotch on the rocks he wondered to himself why he had even bought the bear in the first place. Flopping down onto the couch he was beginning to question why he had felt compelled to drop it off at Amanda's like he did tonight. Well, never mind that. He had never second guessed himself where gift giving had been concerned. Amanda had liked the bear so she should have it. A picture of her popped into his mind, she was hugging the bear and saying something about tough guys not being as tough as they appeared. Well, it was true, wasn't it? Hadn't he told Alexi the same thing? That he had had to pretend he was tough so that no one would know how scared he really was.

Training his thoughts to the actual events of this most recent case, he went over each part. Alexi, the Lug Wrench Bar, getting caught, being tied up in the closet, escaping… thinking of Amanda's comeback in the bar made him chuckle and her statements of confidence in him made him smile. She had been the only person he knew who was good with kids. He had just wanted to keep Alexi safe and out of the way. Amanda was the logical person to call. But that brought her here, to the apartment. He paused at that fact. He took a swallow of his scotch and felt the warm liquid go down his throat. His thoughts unwittingly went to the evening he had come home with all those gifts for Alexi.

He had wanted to get something nice for the boy. He knew how it felt to be in a strange place with no assurance about his parents. This whole case had gotten a little too close to his own life. Maybe that was why his thought process was betraying him tonight. Or maybe it was the apartment being clean? It was too much, too much of someone in his space. That was probably what had him off right now.

Lee sat on the couch looking into the tumbler at the golden liquid inside it. He turned it and watched the light of the lamp reflect off of the ice. Looking through the glass he could see the shelves next to the fireplace. He could see how neatly organized they were. Lowering the glass he glanced around him. It did look like she lived there instead of him. He sighed. How had this happened? How had Amanda King gotten into his apartment and totally rearranged everything? No woman that he had ever brought there had even stayed long enough to do anything other than dirty a wine glass or maybe a coffee cup. And Amanda wasn't even "that" kind of a woman.

Getting up he put a Rolling Stones album on and went into the kitchen to find some food. It wouldn't take him long to make this place look like his again. Fortunately the refrigerator had more in it than moldy cheese tonight.