Big Brother

His phone rang. Spike looked at the caller I.D. and knew it's time to gear up for war. Leslie McCoy was calling no doubt to complain that he had ruined her love life AGAIN! He answered after the fourth ring, "Good morning," he tried to sound cheerful as he said the greeting.

"There's nothing good this morning, thanks to you," by the sound of it, the young woman was extremely annoyed with him. Spike tried his best to placate Leslie by feigning ignorance, "What did I do?"

"Don't act dumb with me!" He heard banging, she's thrashing her place. His surrogate sister was tossing things around to release some pent up frustration. "You scared him off. I really like him, Spike. I really, really liked him. YOU… YOU… scared him off!" She said accusingly.

He gave out a soft laugh, not that he tried to conceal his delight, "What made you think I did anything?"

"Because I know how you operate, ok!" Leslie was not backing down; the outburst coming thick and fast. "You were the last person he talked to at the party last night. After talking to you, he left in a hurry, and now he won't return any of my calls."

"I understand you're upset with me, but later you'll thank me." He pressed a button on the espresso machine; it went to work to make him a cappuchino, the delicate coffee aroma making his stomach growl. "Les, please believe me, I didn't do anything to frighten him off. All I did was asked him five questions, that's all. Five questions."

Leslie was making her own cup of coffee, the instant variety, "What may I ask did you ask him?" She played with the bottle of instant coffee, at least it's Moccana. She inwardly laughed at her futile attempt to make herself feel better about the coffee she drank at home. At work, she was a coffee snub.

Spike smiled to himself as he inhaled the coffee before sipping it, "I asked him if he knew anyone called Andrew Wilkins. And, I asked him if he was a known associate of a certain John Cavanaugh."

"So, what did he say?"

"Well, he denied it."

"I'm still not getting it. He denied knowing those people, what's wrong with that?"

"I asked him if he was aware that it's an offence to lie to a Police Officer." Leslie groaned and stomped her foot, "Spike! Grrrr! Ok, what else? You said five questions."

"I asked him if he knew what's on the corner of Gerard St East and Broadview Ave?"

Leslie plonked herself down on a stool in her kitchen; exhausted from pulling in two straight days of overtime, "What did he say?" she asked as she waited for her black instant coffee to cool down a little.

"Well, he said, he didn't know what's on Gerard St East and Broadview Ave."

"Is that the wrong answer? I mean would it be wrong for him not to know what's there?"

Spike sensed Leslie has calmed down a bit, not as angry with him, "No, it's not wrong not to know, but he lied because he was an inmate there for eight months."

"An inmate?" Leslie asked confused.

"He was an inmate. Ok, Les… on the corner of Gerard St and Broadview Ave is what's popularly known as the Don Jail. He was a jailbird, sentenced for the attempted rape of a young woman. Andrew Wilkins and John Cavanaugh were his cellmates."

Leslie couldn't believe her ears. She sat in silence as she tried to absorb the severity of the news. It dawned on her that she really wasn't a good judge of character. Victor Carabella swept her off her feet. Two months ago, he came into the bistro where she has worked for three years as a Manager. He was well dressed, always acted in a gentlemanly way towards her and the other staff and paid her a LOT of attention. Truthfully, she met him online first, and then they met in person when he "came in for coffee" at her bistro.

She knew Spike's information would be accurate but she wanted to know more, "How do you know this?" Her self-appointed big brother tried to lighten her sombre mood, and failed miserably when he said, "A fortune-teller told me."

Leslie has had enough, "That's it! I'm really angry with you now. I hate you. I really, really hate you. I'll never find a boyfriend! I'll never, ever be able to find a husband. And it's all because of you, Mr Meddling self-appointed big brother!" She abruptly ended the call.

Spike was still looking at his phone when Win stepped out of the shower, "Who was that?"

"Who?" he looked at his girlfriend rather vaguely, in answer she playfully tugged a few strands of his hair, "Who was that on the phone?"

"was Leslie," he related the conversation, Win listened while she prepared her breakfast, she was on first shift and had to be out of the house in 15 minutes IF she wanted to make it to work on time. "I'm sorry she's upset with you. But that's not the first time and it won't be the last," she said sympathetically.

"I know you're only trying to protect her but you won't be there all the time. You need to trust her to make her own value judgment." She looked at the time and decided to eat on the run. She grabbed her toast, leaned to give her boyfriend a kiss, "Don't worry, she'll come around. She never hates you for more than 10 minutes." As soon as she finished the sentence, Spike's phone rang, caller I.D. said, "L McCoy." Win winked, "What did I tell you? Bye now. See you soon."

Leslie still sounded upset but was conciliatory, "Sorry, I didn't mean what I said. I still hate you. But I don't really, really hate you." Spike laughed. She did, too, but her laughter sounded forced. She's upset. Hurt. They made an arrangement to meet at the bistro just before the start of his shift.

When Michaelangelo Scarlatti promised her Dad, Sgt McCoy, that he would looked after "his little girl" he meant it. The young woman now in his charge lost both her mother and her father within a year of each other. Still only in her early 20's, she had an overwhelming need for her parents. I'm all she's got now. Indeed, Miss McCoy's one significant person in her life was Spike. But in him, she's got a mother, a father, a big brother, a friend and a protector. If anyone wanted to hurt her, they would have to get pass him first.

They ended the call and he looked forward to having lunch at the bistro. But someone wasn't keen on having him there.