Chance Encounters


Rounding the corner, we saw the smoke and the furiously blazing vehicle lying on its side, which explained why we heard that explosion, so we slowed to a light jog. Across the street, pacing up and down was a woman muttering to herself, her face smudged and her hair frazzled from the blast, I presumed. Beside her on the ground sat a man, also with a smudged face but his hands were tied behind his back with cable ties. Interesting.

We walked over to her to see if she was alright, curious but also concerned.

"Stupid fucking piece of shit! I knew I shouldn't have trusted him … "You'll get some good miles from this baby" he said … so not happening anymore … it's a lemon … how am I supposed to do my job …"

"Excuse me. Can we help?"

"Are you okay?"


"We could assist, if you like?"

Each of us spoke quietly in turn but nothing got through her little haze of fury, so we waited and watched, and listened.

I thought about stepping in front of her, to stop her pacing and maybe gently put my hands on her shoulders, but that would betaking a risk here since we don't even know her or what happened. I gavemy second in command a conceding look and refrained. Lester grinned as he was thinking much the same while Bobby observed her for injuries, being the medic that he is.

So, we waited as she paced and muttered.

"What a bastard. Fancy throwing a lighted bottle under that car and then my car gets the boom-boom blasted out of it because it stalled! What did I ever do to him? Another car gone to car heaven. Damnit!"

"What the fuck?" We looked at each other stunned. Bobby mouthed, "Molotov cocktail?"

"Another car?" Mouthed Lester.

She kept chastising the second guy, cataloguing his appearance. Tank quickly wrote down the details: dreadies; red t-shirt; saggy baggy rapper jeans; red white and black Nikes, Kenny Cortez design just like Kendrick Lamar's; a red and black bandanna on his head.

What the hell? Gang attack? I looked at my men as we heard the fire brigade arrive but there was very little fire left by now, mostly charred remains, but the oil spill had to be covered before the area could be cleared. At the same time three police vehicles arrived, one an unmarked car.

She was really letting off some steam. But she was consciously calming herself down with her hand actions, talking herself down, deliberately trying to centre herself and control her breathing.

Suddenly she stopped and looked up, past me, and my men. Between the sirens, there was a lot of shouting going on with the police cordoning off the area. Before we were distracted she spoke again, Tank watching in the direction at something, or presumably someone at whom she glared.

"Oh! Hell no! Not today. I don't need his bullshit. Stupid fucker."

Lester stifled a laugh, but snorted with a disguised cough, recognising to whom she was referring. "Morelli," he muttered in the cough.

Suddenly, two stunningly blue eyes caught my attention and zeroed in on mine.

Wow! Striking, big blue eyes, stunning and something else. Lust. Whoa. She licked her lips. Quickly she stepped into my personal space and grabbed me fiercely by the shirt. I almost lost my balance by the unexpected move and she bounced off my chest into me.

"You'll do perfectly. Kiss me! Now!" she commanded. Being the good soldier that I am, I obeyed without thinking.

Her warm soft lips were on mine in a ferocious kiss and her tongue demanded entry! Madre Dios! Her arms grabbed me around the neck and she moaned. Without thinking about it my hands snaked into her wild hair and I held her in place.

"Wowsers, Batman! You sure can kiss," she grinned and she kissed me again, slowly yet passionately and my hands automatically drifted to her jeans-clad ass.

"Cupcake! What do you think …? Jesus Christ! Stephanie, do you know who he is?"

"Fuck of, Joe. Can't you see? I'm busy." And proceeded to prolong the kiss.

"So why don't you quietly piss off and harass someone else?"

He flustered angrily, muttering curses in Italian. His arms were waving in the air and we noticed a vein popping on his red-faced forehead. He was pissed off too.

"Eh! Morelli. Leave her alone. We can handle this. Not your jurisdiction. Take your POS and get your ass out of here before she has you up for another harassment charge."

One of the TPD cops came over and yanked his arm which he shrugged off angrily.

"Are you okay, Steph?" He asked, ignoring Morelli's protest, since he interrupted his rant.

Well, that was better than Morelli. He didn't even bother asking how she was and my men were bristling with the same thought.

Her eyes were dilated and I held her steady as she slowed down the sudden onslaught of my lips. I couldn't help but smile and she almost swooned. Wow! Not what I was expecting but I'm not complaining. She was still holding onto my shirt and her other hand rubbed my chest and abs appreciatively amid hums of approval.

"Go on, Joe. Go on and harass someone else. Thanks, Eddie. I'm fine. Mighty fine," but I think that last part was about my physique. I grinned and winked at her.

"Cupcake! You're useless piece of shit! You should toss the idea that you are any good at this."

She released my abs but still held my shirt firmly, pulling me with her as she got in this Joe Morelli's face. Yeah. We know him. He looked at us with intense dislike and sneered.

"So. You are whoring yourself out to these thugs, now?"

Ooh! That was a dirty, low blow and her back stiffened and stepped up to him. In the meantime, all our eyebrows hit our hairline. Whoa! That's not what you say to any woman.

"Now that's ironic for you to say that, Joe. Don't ya think? Speaking from experience there, you man-whore?"

"Get your hands off my girlfriend, thug." He was addressing me. My hands were actually free but she still held firmly onto my shirt. I didn't mind, not really.

"Earth to Jupiter, Joe. I. Am. Not. Your. Girlfriend!"

And she deftly finger flicked him on the forehead catching him unawares.

"Never have been, never will be. Not in this lifetime or any other. So be a good boy and fuck off!"

"You're mine, Cupcake! You know it. I had you first!"

Oh shit. She stopped and braced herself. Her shoulders rolled as her shoulders squared. We waited with baited breath. It was like watching a car crash and we were in the middle of it. Far be it for us to interrupt and it was blatantly obvious they had some history, so we just observed quietly.

From the corner of her eye she caught sight of the cable-tied guy. She breathed through her nostrils to compose herself for a moment.

"Hey Marty! Take yourself to Officer Gazarra there, and I'll meet you at the station. Are you alright?"

He nodded. Eddie acknowledged her request and he helped Marty up and put him in the back of his car. They both just did her bidding. This was so weird.

"Now, Joe." Her tone was dripping with sarcasm and very condescending.

"Since you are not here in the capacity as a vice detective, let me tell you something."

We watched in warped fascination.

"You had me first? Oh? Oh. Is that what you call it? I remember it quite differently. And you wrote about your conquest all over the walls at the stadium and at Pino's. Such detail, Joe. I meant to thank you. Come here." She smiled and he stepped forward with a lopsided grin as he swaggered confidently.

We, all four of us, growled at her clarification. He did not do what we thought. Uh oh.

Before we realised what happened, her knee lifted sharply and crushed him in the gonads! Yikes! Did not see that coming. Lester and Bobby winced. Tank was all out grinning. I was full of admiration for this little spitfire. Morelli hit the deck in agony, falling sideways onto his knees and hurling in front of us. But she wasn't done yet. She knelt down close to his ear, with a swift kick to his kidneys to get his attention, with her Doc Martens.

"It was rape, Joe. R. A. P. E. Rape. I was still sixteen and, thanks to you, I was grounded for the entire summer. And because of your lousy "poetic messages", I had to deal with all the sicko, slimy advances of every hornbag in the Burg who thought I was an easy lay. Yeah. Thanks a lot Joe. And you conveniently left for the navy the next day." She sneered at him nastily. No bloody wonder!

With another swift kidney kick, she straightened up and shook herself and halted. Taking another cleansing breath, she smiled at us.

"Oh well." She shrugged and brushed herself off his virtual cooties. "He's such an asshole shithead fuckwit moron."

We just grinned at her descriptively waxing lyrical.

Carl Costanza came over, looked at Joe and grinned, while shaking his head at Joe like he was a recalcitrant child.

"Good one, Steph."

"Shoulda kept your mouth shut, Morelli. Up you get. Oops!"

Lester snorted as Carl accidentally on purpose dropped Morelli. I like this guy. He winked at Steph.

"Same charge, Ms Plum?" He asked formally.

So that's her full name. Got it. Tank grinned at me, reading my thoughts.

She nodded and folded her arms. Carl took him away, limping, to the second vehicle and cuffed him before tossing him in the back seat.

She stood there, smaller than us and defiant. A force to be reckoned with for sure. Dynamite might be small but it is mighty powerful in this feisty feminine form.

"Welcome to Trenton." She waved her arms around like a show girl as if showcasing the neighbourhood for the first time.

"Thanks for your help," and she leaned forward smiling warmly and kissed me gently on the lips. "You've got great lips, Soldier Boy. Really nice. I should apologise, but I'm not sorry. No regrets?"

She held out her hand. I smiled and shook my head while shaking hands. After that kiss, it felt kind of weird to shake hands now and wrong in an out of order sort of way. But my lips were tingling with the memory.

"Stephanie Plum."

"De nada. My pleasure. Ranger. These are my colleagues, Tank, Lester and Bobby."

"Nice to meet you." She paused.

"I'll be off then. Got to meet Marty at the TPD. See you around, eh?"

Ooh yeah!

Welcome to Trenton indeed.


This just popped into my head and my Muse ran with it once she latched onto it.

JE owns the characters you know. The plot and any mistakes are mine.

So … should I continue? I was thinking of this as a fun one shot originally …