Chapter 5 – Miscommunication and Murder
Authors Note: Hello everyone, I'm back! My muse has come back to me and I love it very much! Also, my real life problems and school have calmed down significantly since last I wrote. So now, I can write regularly again! Woohoo! Here's a long awaited chapter!
"You killed…a cat…as a gift to me?" She was just stunned staring at the glittering tags.
"Does it please you?" He purred into her ear.
"No, it doesn't please me." Rubbing her forehead she sighed heavily. 'This was supposed to be my day off.'
"He was your enemy, does it please you?"
"So'cla. You can't just go around killing everything I don't like." She bit out trying to keep from strangling him or herself she wasn't sure at that point.
He looked upset and confused, and she just took the tags from his hand tossing them on the cats pelt unsure what else to do about that particular situation at the moment.
"Wait, why aren't you speaking like a caveman anymore?" He motioned to the area behind her ear where she'd felt the prick, feeling up she felt a small metal stud and growled.
"Okay, I'm not gonna touch the fact that you just shoved a foreign object into my body. That's playing up to the whole probing stereotype, and is so not the issue right now."
Taking a deep breathe she grabbed the pelt by the tail and shoved it towards him.
"Look, this is…oddly sweet don't get me wrong. I hated the little bastard, but you just can't go around killing people's pets."
Her rant started out angry, but towards the end just conveyed exasperation. She stood just staring at the all too proud alien incredulously than shutting her bedroom door and locking it.
'Seriously? This is how my life is now? Alien trying to court me or something by throwing cat fur my way? What's next? Fluffy bunnies?'
"Pets?" She blinked at his confusion. 'He didn't know what pets were? Well…shit.'
"Yes pets, they're like…" She bit her lip trying to figure out how to explain what a pet was.
"Companions and we use them for various things like hunting or herding, but for the most part they're like children or something given to someone else at times to keep them company or to prove you can care for a kid or something."
Trying to explain that concept of having pets was enough to siphon her negative feelings towards the cat killer in front of her and just leave her a little fatigued.
"What would impress you?"
"I don't know something that doesn't involve the wholesale slaughter of fluffy creatures?" Frustration building at his persistence, but he ignored her tone completely.
She must've said something that triggered him into action, because no sooner had she said those words he nodded standing up straighter than disappeared out her window leaving her confused although slightly grateful.
She'd had enough excitement for one day.
The next few days were quiet, except for the occasional wail from Mrs. Jenkins but that didn't last long as she ended up receiving numerous kittens from one of the cats down the street. They were little balls of grey looking an awful lot like Rico, and Leanne shook her head in disbelief when she heard that. Rico had apparently lived up to his namesake.
The old woman couldn't have been more pleased, and Leanne just hoped none of them took after their father.
"Leanne, come in." Mike's voice came over the radio as she continued patrolling around town.
"What's up, Mike?"
"We got a call from the Williams' about some strange noises in the woods by their place. Want to check it out?"
"I'll take a look; hopefully it's just some wild animal and not a potential robber. I don't feel like dealing with any of that tonight."
"I hear that, take care Lea."
The Williams' lived on the far side of town about a mile or so into the woods. They owned miles of the backwoods and primarily focused on working their modest garden and a few reindeer they let wander free. All in all, a large lovely place that was more a retirement home than anything for a living. They were lawyers who worked in town after living in California, staying in the cities like Los Angeles most of their lives they often called for small things. Bumps in the night and such; so, Leanne wasn't bothered by driving up the rather scenic ride that was the route to their house and wandering around the woods for a while to investigate.
Hopping out of the truck she greeted the genteel older couple who opened the door almost as soon as she parked.
"Evening Mr. and Mrs. Williams how ya'll doing tonight?"
Mrs. Williams looked shaken and pointed towards the woods.
"We heard someone skulking around! He was huge, like something I've never seen before!"
"Which way did you see him go?"
She pointed out the direction and headed inside, Mr. Williams paused than came forward gesturing for her to come closer.
"Yes, Mr. Williams?"
"I hate to bother you so late like this, but Charles said to call if we ever had a problem." She bit the inside of her cheek to prevent the comment she so desperately wanted to say and just smiled at the older man.
"That's what we're here for." She supplied instead making him smile widely before heading inside.
The woods were quiet, but the normal kind. In fact, if she had to take a guess at what had caused the strange noises she would bet her money on it just being a passing animal. Continuing to scan the woods in the direction indicated and a little to each side just in case, she finally gave up after several hours heading back to the house. As she exited the woods she saw another truck, much newer and more expensive than her own sitting in the drive and she sighed recognizing it immediately.
Knocking on the door she barely managed to hide her irritation as Charles answered with that smile on his face whenever he saw her. Leaning against the door he smirked at her, trying to seem sexy and endearing but only managing to irritate the hell out of her.
"Why hello there." She rolled her eyes at him.
"I didn't know you made house calls, sir." She remarked sarcastically coming out borderline as an insult, but he just brushed it off grinning at her.
"Do you want me to check in on you at night?"
Pushing past him she ignored his frustrated sigh.
"Mr. and Mrs. Williams, I didn't find anything but just in case I can have another deputy come by in the morning to have another look around."
"Oh no dear, you coming out was enough. Thank you." Mrs. Williams said sincerely smiling at her before retiring to bed.
Bidding them goodnight Leanne walked out and headed to her truck and sat in it to radio Mike.
"Hey Mike, it's Leanne. Williams' were just scared of the bumps in the night again."
"Copy that, go home Leanne your shift ended an hour ago."
Rolling her eyes she scoffed. "I still got paperwork to do; I think I've earned me some time and a half."
Mike's reply was only an agreement and laugher as she headed back to the station.
Sitting down at her desk she pointedly ignored Mike's raised brow as she was followed shortly after by Charles, who looked less than amused. Finishing up her paperwork in relative peace she managed to make it home without any further annoyances.
Another few days passed relatively quiet again. Her alarm went off without any odd occurrences, showers were alone, meals were relaxed, and as she left her house she was happy that nothing new had occurred to rattle her.
Oddly enough though, soon the silence and tranquility was bothering her more than when her new alien friend would randomly make an appearance. Especially after the last time they parted, the determined face told her he was going to do something but what that something was she didn't know.
Sighing once again she gave up on figuring it out and ignored the nagging feeling in the back of her mind that something was going to happen and it wasn't going to be good and continued about her day. Entering the station she greeted Mike and Brian with ease, than pointedly ignored Charles who was once again laying on the charm. His advances were becoming more annoying by the day.
Ever since coming back from the Williams' he'd taken to giving her more gifts than before, and today was right on track with that trend. Sighing in agitation she picked up the large bouquet of roses and set them on Mike's desk.
"Why thank you Leah, just what I always wanted!" Mike commented dryly making her roll her eyes.
"Shut up and give them to your wife." He chuckled and nodded leaving to take steps to prevent their untimely death.
That afternoon there was chocolates in place of where the roses had been and wordlessly she tossed them at Mike who barely caught them before they smashed into his head.
Arriving home an insanely large teddy bear greeted her making her sigh and grab it set it on Mrs. Jenkins doorstep.
This trend continued for a week before finally when Leanne came home she was greeted not by some ridiculously large stuffed animal but by Charles himself holding a teddy bear. Growling she marched up to his smirking face and grabbed him by the collar.
"Leave me alone." She hissed, but before she could react on her sudden urge to kill him she found herself pushed against the door knife to her stomach where the teddy bear had been.
"Now, now why can't you be a good girl and accept the pretty things I give you? I know how bitches like you are, acting all stuck-up but loving every second of attention lavished on you. I can be attentive." He tried to purr towards the end of his threats.
Growling she threw her head back missing his, but threw off his weight giving her the opening she was looking for. Grabbing his wrist she twisted it making him cry out and drop the knife, taking out one of hers she spun around and held it to his throat after making him kneel with the pressure on his wrist and throat.
"Come by my house again, give me another gift, and I'll kill you. Don't think I won't either, my father taught me a few tricks on body disposal."
He looked angry, but only a tiny bit afraid mostly looking like he was trying to call her bluff. Thinking of her father though seemed to take any plans he had for tonight out of his mind and seeing his resignation she shoved him away didn't spare him a glance before going inside and locking up the house.
Hours later, she was laying in bed staring at the ceiling wondering what to do about Charles. The man was becoming obsessed, and until recently it had just been an annoyance, but perhaps her stout refusals had pushed him to thinking he could do whatever he wanted to get her.
Willing or not.
Turning over she sighed rubbing her forehead trying to stave off thoughts so she could sleep.
The next day she thankfully had off and headed to her father's place which was partially in town like her own although far out enough for privacy. Parking outside the modest place she smiled as Rex greeted her as she opened the door.
The large German shepherd whined and yipped his pleasure at seeing her and she practically cooed at him falling into her old habit of baby talking him rubbing his sides squishing his face together. It was ridiculous to treat such a fearsome dog like that, but it just made him more excited to see her. She could only assume it's because she'd always shown her affection for him that way, anyone else he just looked at strangely.
"Who's my baby? Who's my baby?" She cooed making Rex practically whine than let out a sharp high bark in response tail wagging furiously behind him as he practically assaulted her with love.
"You know, Duchess you really shouldn't talk to him like that." The exasperated voice of her father made her laugh and give Rex one last pet before being taken up into a bear hug.
"Hello to you too, Dad." Hugging him back she smiled as he chuckled.
"To what do I owe the pleasure?"
"What? I can't decide to visit for the hell of it?"
"No, that's not your style Dutchess."
Rolling her eyes she sighed and reached into her truck taking out the bag that she'd stuffed the pelt and tags in as well as taking out the teddy bear Charles had tried to give her.
"What is that?" He gestured to the bag.
"Let's head inside dad, I have a feeling you're going to want a drink and a cigar."
Raising a brow, but not saying a word he nodded and they headed inside with an excited Rex trying to get into the bag.
Sitting down in his living room she wasn't surprised by how much was filled with photos of him in various jungles and such all over the world with long gone comrades. As far as she knew only one woman from his Guatemala mission was still alive, but they didn't talk about it. Every year they'd meet up around the time they'd met, and spend a few days remembering before they went their separate ways again. The part that really tugged at her though, were the pictures, various items like furniture in the house that were her mothers. He hadn't cleaned out her things; her chair by the fire was still there next to his. The lace doilies she was so fond of were on the tables, throw blankets she'd picked up here and there, even the various pictures and knickknacks she took or bought of them were still as she'd set them.
It was like a ghost lived there, and part of her wished that her father would just move on but even after all these years he wasn't ready. As he passed her a stiff drink she smiled at him her melancholy drifting away as he turned his chair by the fire to face towards the couch she occupied his own drink in hand. Taking a sip she nodded toasting him slightly with her glass and a nod at the strong whiskey, he just chuckled and lit his cigar.
Old habit he'd always say.
"So, tell me what's going on Dutchess."
She sighed and handed over the bag which he took wordlessly and raised a brow at the teddy bear.
'Figures that would come out first.' Leanne groused to herself.
"Okay, we'll start with that problem." She waved off his look choosing to speak instead.
"Charles has been getting rather desperate in his attempts to get with me." His dark look made her pause and quickly relay the rest of the events since he last came over. When she mentioned Charles's excuse to stay in her home, and what he did his grip tightened on his glass and he scowled darkly.
When she finished his look, if it was even possible at this point, darkened considerably more and he looked downright furious.
"What the hell were you thinking keeping this from me?" He yelled jumping up from his seat and downing his drink before refilling it almost to the brim and downing that as well.
She flushed in anger and embarrassment of her own, inheriting his temper. "I could handle it; I don't need to run to you every time I have a problem."
"No, you just need me to fix them for you." He growled and she huffed in aggravation but didn't deny it.
Things had gotten out of hand, and she did need his help in fixing it.
Sighing he sat down again shaking his head. "Go on."
Taking the bag from his hand she took out Rico's fur and tags than put them on the coffee table between them. Dutch just stared at them in confusion at first before understanding dawned his face and his expression grew stormy once again.
"I told you not to do anything stupid."
"I know…" Was all she could say in return, fight gone from her now.
He sighed heavily keeping his anger in some control. "This is getting better by the minute."
"I'm sorry, Dad. I just…I couldn't help it. I was curious…" She trailed off looking up at him for understanding, but he refused to look at her for a few minutes.
Eventually he did though, he was still angry but at the same time not. Getting up he sat down heavily next to her and drew her into another hug.
"You're too much like your mother sometimes, and others too much like your old man." She laughed as he chuckled.
"This hunter, what did you say his name was?"
"What's his interest in you?"
She flushed and he stared at her for a moment before sighing, releasing her to pour both of them another drink.
"He's um…trying to woo me."
"Woo?" He snorted handing her drink back and sitting down at his chair again. "I kill one and you attract one."
"Well, it's not like I planned on it." She retorted and he just shook his head a smirk developing on his face.
"What's so funny?"
"Only my daughter would attract a hunter." Shaking his head he chuckled at the situation making her roll her eyes.
"Come on, let's dispose of this." Gesturing to the bag they went outside and sat down enjoying the surprisingly warm day so close to winter's arrival.
Tossing the teddy bear first Leanne laughed as Rex tore it apart with a fervor that pleased her father greatly, and if she was honest herself as well. They were not Charles biggest fans at the moment.
"So, what to do about Charles?"
"Don't worry, I'll handle him."
"Dad…" She warned. "Murder is illegal, and even with your skills people will ask questions."
He grunted before tossing out the pelt than buried the tags under one of his bushes towards the back taking care to disturb the soil of all his plants around the house. Just in case, no need for questions no one wanted to have asked or to answer.
"I won't kill him." He promised reluctantly.
Hours later they'd finished dinner and headed outside to relax when something caught her eye.
"Dad, what's that?" She pointed towards a tree on the outskirts of his little yard just outside of the porch light.
"Stay here, I'll check it out." Opening the door he quickly grabbed his shotgun checking to make sure it was loaded before steadily making his way towards what looked to be something shiny.
"Dad…" She had a bad feeling, and running to her truck she threw open the door and grabbed her gun from the glove compartment than started to head out with him.
"Dutchess, I told you to stay back." He growled not taking his eyes off where they were going and scanning the area for any threats. She did so as well looking wherever he wasn't easily falling into line as if he was her commander.
"I'm not letting you go alone. It's not my style remember?" He laughed a short barking laugh before turning his full attention back onto where they were slowly creeping towards.
Muttering her affirmative she paused in her approach letting him go ahead as she took over looking around prepared to defend herself and her father if necessary. Dutch was closer now, but she couldn't tell if he could see what was hidden in the darkness just yet.
Something caught her eye, close to her father but more towards her. Shifting her attention she opened her mouth and just as she was about to call out to her father something flew towards her landing with a soft thud at her feet slowly rolling to a stop.
As it stopped rolling, two eyes and a gaping mouth stared up at her dully and the words of warning that were going to fall from her lips died replaced by something else.