I do not own Naruto, if I do, then I would make Naruto and Ino an official I knew that some of you guys missed me. Well, Im back! With a pretty good story to share with you Anyway, I hope you'll enjoy this latest entry of mine. Read and review. Let me know what you think. Peace out!
PS in this story of mine, Naruto and Ino didn't know each other yet, until I've uploaded this chapter that is.
Narthex - is the entrance or lobby area, located at the end of the nave, at the far end from the church's main altar.
H.L.P.D. – Hidden Leaf Police Department.
Detective Yamanaka Ino stood in the entrance hall and studied each of the wedding guests as they trickled into Sacred Heart church.
If she got lucky, very lucky that is, maybe no one would be murdered today.
Too bad there was the little annoying buzz in the back of her head that said all hell might break loose even before the bride and the groom could manage to say their "I do's".
While she directed the guests to sign the registry – a duty she'd created for her cover – Ino continued her surveillance. She mentally dismissed two giggling teenage girls whose dresses were so skintight that they couldn't have been carrying concealed weapons, or much of anything else for that matter. Besides, if her profile of the killer was right, she wasn't looking for a female but a male in his late twenties or early thirties.
A male who'd already killed two people.
"See anything?" she heard her teammate, Akimichi Chouji, ask through her earpiece. He was posted outside the church. Watching their backs, and sides as well. It'd taken some effort, but she had managed to get photos of the thirty nine out of forty one guests, so if someone uninvited shows up, then they would be able to know.
Ino kept her voice at a whisper and spoke into the tiny communicator tucked in the neckline of her dress. "So far, so good, how about you?"
"Nothing. How I wanted this unofficial stake out of yours to end positively so that we can take part on the reception. I heard that the restaurant they picked was one of the best here in Konoha."
That wasn't anything new. Her partner was always talking about food.
"Chouji…" she sighed into her communicator.
"Right. Sorry, it's just that I cant help it Ino, but I guess this is a good time to remind you that our lieutenant will have our butts if he finds out about this little unauthorized stakeout you arranged," Chouji began.
The lieutenant in question was her former teammate Nara Shikamaru who was recently promoted as their department's lieutenant and head of Homicide. She must admit that Shikamaru's performance for the past three years was pretty impressive. No wonder he got promoted in no time.
On the other hand, Ino knew where this conversation with Chouji was leading to, and even before he could finish what he wanted to say, subliminally that is…
"Shika would never find out if you'll keep your mouth shut. A promise is a promise. I'll treat you 5 orders of your favorite barbecue if this wedding would not turn into a disaster, okay?" Ino finished for him.
"Oh yeah!" Chouji exclaimed on the other end which caused Ino to flinch.
"Fat bastard! You're on a communicator dimwit!" Ino reminded Chouji a little louder than a whisper.
"Ooops, sorry," Chouji apologetically replied.
She was lying when she told Chouji that Shikamaru would never find out. He will find out eventually, no doubt about it. The man has sources and she knows they'll be dead meat once he knew. Still, if she could stop someone from getting killed today, she'll gladly accept the flak over her yet-to-be-an-official-part of this investigation.
The platinum blonde was busy thinking of the consequences that she and Chouji might face once her superiors knew of this unofficial stakeout when an odd sound caught her attention.
A scrape of metal. Ino whipped her gaze to the other side of the narthex where a lanky, twenty-something photographer was adjusting his equipment. He was definitely on her list of people to be concerned about, and she made a mental note to get a look in his bag. Perhaps she'd try to flirt him for she was impeccably dressed for the part in the short, snug emerald silk outfit that she'd dragged from the back of her closet.
"Hold on. We might have something," Chouji informed her. "Incoming. Male. About six in height. Blonde hair. He doesn't match any of the photos. You'll have visual in a minute 'cause he's headed for the church."
"Okay, I'll handle it. Stay put in case this one's a decoy," Ino answered.
"Be careful," he warned.
Oh, she definitely would.
More guests strolled in. A pregnant woman with a toddler. A middle-aged couple holding hands. All innocent, she was sure of that.
And then she saw him.
The buzz in her head turned to a full roar.
He stepped into the entry. Well, he didn't step, exactly. He stalked in, smooth and slow, like a jungle-cat sizing up his hunting area.
Now here was the male who fit her profile to a proverbial tee. Unruly spiky blonde hair. Skin tanned to perfection. Six-one. About a hundred and seventy pounds. He wore a midnight-blue suit. Ino had been in the force for nearly six years and had learned to recognize something lethal when she saw it.
This guy was deadly.
His gaze swept around the room, and like his entrance, it was smooth. He made eye contact with her. Just a split second. Then, he looked away to continue his surveillance. And there was no doubt in her mind that this was surveillance for him. He dismissed the teenagers quickly as Ino had, but his attention lingered a bit on the photographer, before it came back to her.
Was he suspicious?
You bet he was.
His instincts weren't lacking in any area. That meant she had to strike first.
She tried to relax herself by pulling in a hard breath, then, she eased behind the narrow table when he walked closer. She wanted a better look, among other things, and she got a dose of those other things right away. She caught the scent of his aftershave. Something manly and musky. It was better suited for a long night of sex rather than a wedding.
Or maybe that was just her imagination working overtime.
An imagination with seriously bad timing.
She brushed her arm against his, purposely, a soft contact which garnered her another glance. Not a dismissive one either. There was interest in the depths in those cerulean blue eyes. Too bad she couldn't quite make out exactly what kind of interest it was, but it was obviously time for that flirting ruse if she had to reel in a killer.
Ino smiled. "Im Ino," she offered her hand in greeting, and he shook it. Eventually. "Would you like to sign the guest registry?"
"No thanks," he casually responded.
"Oh, okay," she said. A roadblock. Not too surprising. Ino tried a different angle. "It's a keepsake for the bride and groom so they'll know who attended. Maybe I could sign it for you if you'll give me your name?" she tried.
He looked at the book, then at her again. "Uzumaki."
She almost pushed in for his first name but decided it could wait. "This'll sound like a very bad line, but don't I know you from somewhere?" Ino asked, letting her voice purr. "You look familiar,"
He spared her another glance. "No. I think I'd remember you."
Ino looked around to make sure they hadn't garnered anyone's attention. When she's certain that they hadn't, she said,
"Say, I'm a little light-headed," she lied."I have this blood sugar thins. Nothing serious. Just makes me a little woozy. I wonder if, I could just catch on to your arm before I fall flat on my face?" she desperately flashed him her most sincere smile.
He studied her. A long, snail-crawling moment. And then, he offered her his arm. She took hold of it before he could even have a chance to change his mind, and she got a peek inside his jacket.
He was carrying a .357 Magnum in a shoulder holster.
Ino had anticipated a weapon, of course. However, reality caused her heart to slam against her chest. She pushed that slamming aside and got to work. It was time to move on to the next step of her plan. She needed to get him away from the guests so she could rid him of that weapon and ask a few questions.
She stumbled, just enough to make him grip her arm. That stumble was a real leap of faith on her part, since she wasn't overly confident that he would even catch her. Thankfully, there was at least one gentlemanly bone in his body, because he cooperated. After he had a good hold on her, she led him a few steps away into the narrow hallway just off the narthex.
"I cant believe this is really happening," she mumbled leaning against him so he wouldn't easily be able to reach for his gun. "Not the best time to get one of my dizzy spells. The ceremony was about to start, and I doubt you want to miss that," she said as she shoved him into a small vacant room that she'd already checked out. Ino didn't waste any time, figuring she would rather be embarrassed from a case of mistaken identity than to have a dead bride and groom.
Blocking the doorway so he couldn't leave easily, she instantly drew her weapon from her holster, hidden beneath her gown and said,
"Okay, here's how we're going to do this, keep your hands where I can see them and explain to me why you brought a .357 Magnum to a wedding?"
He lifted his shoulder in a casual shrug. "I always carry my gun everywhere. I guess you do the same?" he fired back.
If he was scared, or remotely concerned, he certainly wasn't showing it. Too bad Ino couldn't say the same. Her throat was suddenly dry as she kept a firm grip on her gun to keep her hand from shaking.
"Yes, but for me, it's part of my job. I'm Detective Yamanaka Ino, H.L.P.D., and this is what we call a stop and frisk."
He paused. Said one word of profanity under his breath. One rather crude four-letter word. He tipped his eyes to the ceiling as if seeking divine intervention.
"know what I think?" he asked.
"Not particularly. But I want you to remove your weapon slowly and carefully from its holster and place it on the floor. Notice those operative words. SLOWLY. CAREFULLY. FLOOR. Those are major conditions here, and you're going to do that while using only two fingers. Make any sudden moves, and I'll take you down the hard way," she warned him.
He looked her in the eye. "That wasn't what I was thinking." He disarmed himself, just as she'd instructed. Slowly and carefully, he placed his gun on the floor, directly between them.
"Oh yeah?" Ino caught his shoulder and turned him around. She positioned his hands, palms flat and against the wall, and kneed his legs apart. "What exactly were you thinking?" she asked, patting him down.
The man was certainly solid in built. Her fingers skimmed over lots of hard and sinewy muscles. Odd. She never noticed anything like that before when frisking a suspect. Maybe it has something to do with his memorable aftershave.
"I'm thinking you'll regret doing this," he let her know.
"I doubt it, especially since it might just save a few people from dying," she shot back at him.
She located his wallet in his jacket pocket. Except when she got a good look at it, she realized it wasn't a wallet, and caused her stomach to tighten into a hard knot. It also caused her to use a little profanity of her own. She flipped open the too-familiar leather case and read the name aloud.
"Sergeant Uzumaki Naruto," he clarified. And with that announcement, he turned back around to face her. "Homicide, H.L.P.D."
Her breath landed somewhere around that knot in her stomach.
Ino shook her head in denia. The badge had to be a fake. Except it wasn't. she scratched it with her thumbnail, or rather tried to. It was as real as the one in her purse.
"B-but that's impossible, I work Homicide, and I've never seen you before in my life!" she protested.
"Well, it's because I was just assigned there, by the chief of police,"" he enunciated each word as if she were mentally inefficient.
Fuck. That bit of information cleared the buzz in her head, but she knew for a fact that she wouldn't like its final destination.
Uzumaki Naruto calmly picked up his gun from the floor and reholstered it. Somehow, he managed to look cocky even while doing that little chore. No hurried moves. No overt display of emotion.
"Well Detective Yamanaka Ino, I'd say we have a problem. A problem with you being here because this isn't your case. And why am I so certain of that?" he aimed his thumb at his chest. "Because it's MINE."
Ino hadn't thought this moment could possibly get more frustrating – or embarrassing – but she was obviously wrong.
"Yours?" she managed to utter despite of her throat closing in.
"Mine." Sergeant Uzumaki muscled her out of the doorway and turned to leave, delivering the rest of his news from over his shoulder.
"Oh and by the way, I'm your new boss."