Chapter 1: Titanium Blue – It's not easy being ... Blue?!
"3rd and 17 on the Chicago 35 yard line. That last holding penalty didn't help their cause much did it Ed.?"
The announcers voice boomed through the bars sound system.
"No Bob, looks like Chicago is in trouble again. With Williams out it's up to his back up to march the Bears down field, but the offensive holding penalties are killing 'em."
I just sat there at my table, nursing a diet coke and munching hot wings. The Bears were well on their way to tanking another game. With Williams out for the second time this season his backup, last years starter, if you can call him that, was 13 for 28 and 2 interceptions and one fumble for a whopping 107 yards passing.
Normally I'd have stayed home and watched the game there, but I had been stuck at home all week because of the weather. I really truly hate snow, Oh people bitch and moan about winter in Chicago every year, complain about lousy drivers, morons who despite living here all their lives can't seem to remember how to drive the minute 3 flakes of snow fall. I hate winter for all those same reasons, but navigating snow in an electric wheelchair is tough even when an inch or so falls, but anything more than 3 inches and forget it.
Oh yeah, I should explain. I've been in a chair most of my life. I was born with a genetic birth defect, Osteogenesis Imperfecta a.k.a. Brittle bones disease. Just like in the Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson movie. For those who aren't movie geeks out there, that was the movie back in 2000 about the guy who is in a train accident and comes out unhurt. Samuel L. Jacksons character supposedly has the same disease.
Well, chalk that one up to Hollywood movies taking license with the truth. if the character was as brittle as they said in the movie, he'd have been a dwarf and permanently in a wheelchair, not 6' 2 1/2". I saw the movie and laughed, then switched on my suspension of disbelief. I'm 3'3" a bit over weight, ok, for my height I'm more than a bit. I've been in an electric wheelchair since junior high school.
but, I do ok. I'm in I.T., do some work as a consultant for several companies and have a comfortable life. I made a bit of a killing in the stock market a few years ago and the money I made from it set me up financially. Luckily with technology the way it is today I have the ability to drive, I live in a old converted warehouse/condo on the northside of the city, do my own cooking, shopping, a little laundry sometimes. I did have someone come twice a week to take care of things. Major laundry, vacuuming, dusting the high stuff, but I let her go a few months ago.
Long story, but I really was disappointed when I found out she'd been stealing from me. You just can't find good help these days. She was cute though, 5'8" or so, long legs, auburn hair, fantastic figure, perky tits and a smile that lit up the room.
I was pulled out of my stroll down memory lane by the bar exploding in cheers. Well, not the whole bar just the 3 morons to the right of me cheering for the Packers as the Bears coughed up the ball and scored ... again. " ... and the extra point is good with 3 minutes, 17 seconds left in the 4th quarter it's Green Bay 35, Chicago 17..."
I finished my coke and grabbed my coat, I didn't wanna see the victory dance Moe, Larry and Curly were gonna do when the whistle blew.
As I put on my coat I noticed 2 women, a redhead and a blond near the 3 stooges getting up. I watched for a minute as they got up to leave, cute, slim, curvy wearing bears jerseys. They grabbed their coats and head for the door. I headed for the door to grab it for them when the one I named Larry followed them.
"Hey girls, can I give you a ride home? Help console you cause your team got smoked, again"
The redhead looked at him like he had just pissed on her shoe "No thanks, my days of baby sitting little boys are long over" and she turned to leave.
I watched as Larry's mouth fell open and he mumbled "bitch".
I had a bad feeling, about those three. They'd been loud and obnoxious all game, and worse as they got some beers in them. He could have have just bowed out gracefully, but he walked back to the other 2 morons, grabbed Moe and headed out to follow the girls, I headed for the door right behind them. They turned right toward the 2 girls heading for their car while I waited at the corner of the building on the other side. As they headed toward the 2 girls I slipped around the back.
Looking around quickly I didn't see any cameras in the side alley and no one around so I willed the change.
I mumbled "fuck ... I hate this part" as the change started. it feels almost like a million ants crawling over my skin and static electricity skipping over My skin at the same time.
My body and chair started to sort of melt and reform all at the same time, think the silver terminator. except I'm a sort of grey/blue metallic color and I'm 8'3" 2700 lbs. I ended up paying a fortune to get the floors in my place reinforced and sound proofed. Just after the accident I think my neighbors were convinced I had a hippopotamus for a pet. They ended up calling the landlord and complaining. Good thing I own the building through a management company. As the change finishes my skin takes on a metallic, almost brushed metal look. My features are angular and sort of boxy, but that's more illusion than real. it's just the way light reflects off my skin. Once it's done my body is a living metal.
I headed around the back of the bar just as I heard some loud conversation from the around the corner in the side parking lot.
"come on baby, we'll head to our place and have some fun, have a few beers."
Oh great, I thought, Moe is the ring leader.
"I wouldn't fuck you with a rented pussy ... go back to the bar and fuck off."
I'll give her this, she has spunk. Not exactly the brightest bulb in the pack, but she has spunk.
"Oh what's this, a tough bitch? I think we should teach them some manners. You know, the spoils go to the victors."
Curly nodded, Larry looked like he wanted to be anywhere else but here.
I cleared my throat from the shadows "Ladies, I think you'd best get in the car and leave. these 3 have had a few too many tonight."
Moe and Curly looked back into the shadows, but I was hard to see and sort of stooped down, I didn't want to scare the girls.
"Fuck off pal, this is none of your business. The ladies and us were just discussing their plans for the night" Moe yelled back towards Me.
The redhead stared him down and snarled "Fuck off clown, we aren't going anywhere with you losers."
Moe spun and tried to slapped her across the face. The redhead, blocked his clumsy slap and punched him in the gut. Moe staggered back a step or two, straightened up and took a step back.
"So you wanna tangle little girl, fine."
I stepped out of the shadows at a quick trot and headed for Moe. The blonde gasped as she saw me and moved back to the fence. Moe cocked his arm back to punch her ... I grabbed his wrist.
"I said that's enough Moe..."
"I said fuck off man, now you're gonna regret pissing Me off."
Larry saw Me and was trying not to piss himself, Curly ran.
"Uh John?!" was all Larry got out before Moe spun around and threw his second, and last punch of the night. He hit me square in the stomach ... and I heard the bones in his hand explode from the force. He'd of probably hurt someone else given his size. He was a bit over 6 foot and 250 or so, body builder, ex jock type. However, hauling off and punching an M1 Abrams tank is usually bad for the small bones of the hand no matter how tough you think you are.
I watched Moe's eyes fly open and the look of utter amazement and then pain. I mean holy shit that hurt kinda pain flash across his face. His knees buckled as it washed over him. I grabbed Larry by the collar and held him off the ground.
I think you're gonna behave now and apologize to the ladies, aren't you.
Larry's head started moving like a bobble doll "I ... I ... I'm sorry we just wanted to."
"Apologize Now" I growled.
"I'm sorry, really sorry. We just had a few too many ladies and I ... uh ... we didn't mean to ... I mean ... uh ... oh shit"
I looked at him, heard the groan and the girls giggling, and then felt wetness on my foot.
The problem with the change is that whatever I'm wearing before the change is absorbed into my large form and vice versa. So I was standing in the parking lot in mid winter in Bermuda shorts and a loose t-shirt. The cold doesn't effect me so I don't need much else, but I forgot shoes last time, so right now I'm barefoot and Larry just pissed on himself and my foot.
"Larry jesus man, Now I'm gonna need a tetanus shot"
The girls were laughing now holding each other up. Moe, well he got hit too, but he was more concerned with his mangled hand.
"Good thing I wasn't wearing shoes."
Larry looked over my shoulder and yelled "Jerry No!"
I heard more than felt the aluminum baseball bat hit me in the back of the head, hit something meaty and Curly crumble to the ground.
Have you ever seen someone hit a light pole in the middle of winter? Or hit a baseball when it's cold? The reverberations run up the bat and into your arms. Well Curly decided to run to their car and grab a bat and like his namesake he wasn't terribly bright either. The bat bounced and whacked him between the eyes.
"Neither of your buddies are very bright are they Larry?"
I looked at the girls "Do one of you have a cell phone? Call the cops would ya?"
Just then Chuck, the bouncer from the bar walked around the corner. "Hey TB, what ya got there?"
"Oh, just a trio of misguided romeo wannabe's trying to get dates tonight."
"Yeah" Chuck laughed "I saw these three walk out and was grabbing my coat. Mark is dialing the cops now."
The blonde grabbed her phone and started to dial.
"Uh yeah, I need the police at Charlie's Tap Room. Oh ok, Thanks" she hung up.
"They said they had 2 squads on the way"
I sat Larry on the ground. "Sit, Stay"
Larry looked like he wanted to crawl into the nearest dumpster and wait for the Thursday trash pickup. About 5 minutes later the police rolled in with sirens blaring and lights going. The cop riding shot gun jumped out and drew his weapon.
He looked about 24, shiny new badge, more attitude than brains. The older cop slid out of the squad and walked past the kid.
The older cop looked back at him. "Put it away jimmy, if shoot him you'll only make him angry."
He looked at Me. "Hey TB, out slumming tonight?"
"Oh you know Bob, I was out doing that civic duty thing and saw these two lovely ladies in distress and I just couldn't let Moe, Larry and Curly get their asses kicked by the redhead there, you know how it is."
"Yeah yeah yeah, tell me another tall tale. You just can't stay out of trouble can ya?"
"but He's" the younger cop stammered.
"yeah Jimmy, 8'3" and metallic blue. I know Jimmy, meet Titanium Blue." "TB, this is my new partner Jimmy Sanderson"
He leaned in close. "Good kid, but more balls than brains, you know how it is."
I chuckled "Yeah, like a rookie cop I knew once. I seem to remember."
"Hey now, How was I supposed to know you weren't robbing the place?"
"Well, the 5 guys in ski masks on the floor groaning in pain and the money bags strewn all over the place might have been a clue."
The girls giggled and Chuck just smirked. I've been giving Bob shit about our first meeting for years.
"Like I knew, you were brand new in town."
I looked at the girls "He yelled almost the same thing as Jimmy there and when I turned around he shot Me. Put a hole in a perfectly good signed Cubs hat that was signed by Ron Santo and everything."
Jimmy was just sort of standing there with his mouth hanging open. I tend to get that a lot, no matter how many time some folks have seen my pictures on TV the reality of 8'3" and metallic blue still shocks a few.
Bob looked down at Moe "What happened to him.?"
I chuckled, "well after trying to hit the redhead here and getting gut punched, he was about to take another swipe at her. I grabbed his wrist so he spun around and punched me in the stomach."
Bob pointed at Moe "Jimmy, get Joe Louis here in the back of a squad before he tries roughing up a parked car with his head."
Bob grabbed a note pad and started taking the girls statements. Denise, the redhead, did most of the talking with the blonde just nodding a lot and adding a few things.
About 30 minutes later Curly and Moe were hauled off in ambulances with a cop in tow and Larry was in the back of a squad.
I leaned over the open squad door "Larry?"
"Uh it's Charlie Sir" Larry was doing his best not to stammer.
"Charlie, you might wanna find some new drinking buddies"
Charlie nodded "I think I might be giving up drinking"
I chuckled "That might be another good idea"
Bob chimed in "Good plan since the one with the mashed hand has 2 outstanding warrants for domestic abuse and failure to follow a court order of protection. Seems his ex didn't like her tires slashed and her bushes ripped out."
"Charlie, time for some new friends."
Bob closed the backseat door.
"Hey Bob, ya think putting in a good word for Charlie there would help him any? He really didn't do much, besides pee on My foot and last I checked having lousy taste in friends wasn't a crime."
Bob smirked "Yeah, we can sit down and I'll take your statement at the squad room, one of the detectives will wanna talk to you."
I grinning "What can I say, Charlie reminds Me of My little brother. Not too bright and a bad judge of character."
Jimmy looked at me,"You have a brother, a little brother?"
"Yeah, he's actually taller than I am."
Jimmy was standing there and his eyes got as big as saucers.
Technically my little brother was taller than me, the 3'3" me that is, but Jimmy didn't know that. My bonehead brother is 6'1" and works for one of the suburbs as a streets and sewers man. Which means he has the fun job of clearing city sewer lines of tree roots and pouring concrete. Yeah, My little brother is Ed Norton. However, Bob did know.
Not long after I met Bob at the bank, I started hanging out at a cop bar with him and a few of his fellow officers as TB. So we kinda started a friendship, Then about 6 months after I stopped the bank robbery I was driving around the city listening to the scanner as I was running a few errands. Drop off dry cleaning, stopping at the bank, that kinda thing when I heard a call come over the scanner about a silent alarm at a jewelry store a block or two away. I pulled over and got out of the van. One of the nice things about handicapped plates is you rarely get ticketed parking on the street. Anyway, I slipped into an alley that skirted around behind the jewelry store, willed the change as I turned the corner. Just as Bob rounded the corner coming up another cross alley.
Bob looked at me and started to say something "Sir, you need to get ou..."
It was too late, once I start the change I can't stop it or reverse it until it finishes. Bob saw me go from 3'3" to 8'3" and got a classic deer caught in the headlights look that Jimmy had earlier. I shook it off and looked at him.
I looked at Bob "I think we need to talk, but after we take care of this"
Bob looked like he wasn't sure what to do "Uh sure TB. Yeah and you're buying"
"I always do"
When all the excitement was over I wrote an address in Bob's note book for him and said meet me at this address at 7:30 tonight.
"I trust you Bob and we're friends, you deserve an explanation" He just nodded. Now that the robbers were in custody he wasn't sure how to react again. I didn't blame him, it took me a while to wrap my head around how weird My life had become 8 years ago.
My buzzer for the door downstairs went off. I clicked the intercom and said come on in up and I buzzed him in. A minute or so later I hear the elevator ding and the doors opened. Bob stepped in, in civilian clothes.
"Hi Bob, I'm gonna guess you have a few million questions" I chuckled as I headed into the the kitchen.
"Yeah, like to start with, Who are you?"
"oh, I forgot, "we" haven't met" I rolled back out of the kitchen, a corona with a lime wedge for Bob and a diet coke for Me. "Mark Anderson, sorry about shocking you earlier man. I wasn't expecting someone to be back there. Usually alleys are a safe place for Me to change"
I offered My hand as I handed him the beer. Bob took my hand, but he had the deer in the headlights look again.
"I guess a dwarf in a wheelchair was the last thing you'd have guessed was TB's alter-ego" I laughed.
Bob chuckled and relaxed a little
"I know this might seem weird, but would you be more comfortable if I looked like who you know me as?"
Bob took a swing of his beer "Yeah ... No, Oh hell I don't know. Yeah I think so"
"Ok give me a sec" I rolled back a couple of feet and willed the change. No matter how often I've done it it still weirds me out and I can't see it. Bob's mouth was hanging open as I morphed into TB.
"Holy shit man, I'd never have believed it if I hadn't seen it"
"Twice" I joked
"I don't get it. How... ? Why... ?"
"Beats the snot out of me, Bob. 9 years ago I was a Senior in college in I.T. and doing up resumes for My first job search"
"ok so, How did you get here like this?" Bob, had sucked down most of his first beer already.
"You want another one?" I stood up to go to the kitchen.
"I got it, you talk. I gotta hear this" Bob passed me and headed into the kitchen.
I grabbed a stool and sat down "ok ... like I said... 9 years ago I was a senior in I.T. at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. I was in the lab late one night working on resumes to send out. It was late April, the weather was warm even for late April, but Carbondale is always like that in the spring. Once it starts to warm up down there it warms up quick and the rains start. The weathermen had predicted thunder storms and lightning for late that night, but I was almost done so I wasn't worried about walking"
"you mean rolling?" Bob joked.
"Har de har har Norton, yeah rolling back to the dorms, but I started hearing thunder as I was finishing up. I saved my work and decided I could finish tomorrow before my lab shift when the lights flickered. I heard a huge lightning strike and then the monitor I was sitting in front of blew up in My face. That's the last thing I remember before I woke up in Grant Park, it was June 15th"
"wait wait wait a damned minute, you said it was April. I'm confused"
"Not any more than I was. Last thing I remember it was April 22nd, 1999 and later I found out it was June 6th, 2000. I lost a little over a year, but that wasn't the weird part"
"Wait, you loose a little over a year and that's not the weird part?" Bob popped his next beer open.
"Nope, I woke up laying in the middle of Grant Park and I was 8'3" and blue and not a scratch on me. That was another weird thing"
"uh? You're nearly indestructible"
I explained OI and that before the accident I'd had somewhere around 100 broken bones. You name a weird way to break a bone and I'd probably done it.
"So ya see, waking up after the lightning storm and the monitor blowing up without a scratch was weird, but it gets even better" I popped a new diet coke and sat back down.
Bob cocked an eyebrow, "Ok, How could this get weirder?"
"Easily, this isn't the world I came from"
Bob looked even more confused, "Wait, are you saying you're from some other planet like in the comic books?"
I chuckled, "No I'm from Earth, just not this one. I'm from an alternate dimension where there are no super powers or Heroes or Super Villains"
"I shit you not. Oh, they are almost identical. Clinton was President, Bush was the President before him, Reagan before him, Kennedy was assassinated, but it was a lone gunman. A crazy ex marine named Lee Harvey Oswald, not the mob like here. Unlike here, Clinton was in deep shit for getting a hummer from a White House intern where I was from"
"No shit, there were always rumors that old Slick Willie was getting some on the side, but never any proof" Bob took another draw off his beer.
"Yeah well if you were married to Hillary, you'd be trying to get some strange too"
"I know what ya mean and I voted for him twice" Bob just shook his head.
"Same here, I liked the guy and I always thought it was a joke trying to impeach him for a hummer in the Oval office. Hell, he's not the first and he certainly won't be the last President to get some on the side. FDR had a mistress for a while, but where I am from FDR was in a wheelchair"
"Really?" Bob looked shocked.
"Yup, He contracted polio in his adult years and it took him several years to get back into politics, but he made a real effort to keep his disability secret and the press went along with it"
"Yup, He died in office in 1945 of an aneurysm. Just before Hiroshima and Nagasaki were nuked"
"Yeah, where I was from the U.S. had developed nuclear bombs, but there we used em, but not till after FDR died. His VP Truman authorized it"
"Wow, he served all 4 terms here and left office then died a few years later in a boating accident and Truman was elected after him"
"Yeah I know, I did some reading after I realized I wasn't in Kansas anymore. Anyway, where I was from the intern spilled the beans on Bill, to a moose faced supposed friend who squealed. Probably cause she couldn't get laid even if she'd been the last warm pussy alive"
Bob laughed. "No shit..."
"Yeah, Clinton managed to get out of it, but by that point he was pretty much done. I'm assuming his last 8 months in office were pretty bad cause by then He didn't have much left by the time it was all said and done"
Bob looked at me "So do you have any idea how you got here?"
I shrugged, "Not a clue. Like I said, the last thing I remember is sitting in the lab at school that night and the monitor blowing up in My face"
Bob sat his second beer down "So what else is different here? Do you have family here? The same friends?"
"Yeah, pretty much everything is the same on a personal level. I have a little brother and 2 younger sisters, Mom and Dad, friends from college, The only real difference is I can do this" I looked down at my hands.
"So does your family know?"
"What do you mean... ? Do they know I'm from a slightly different universe or that I can do this?"
Bob looked at Me "either, or both"
"Oh hell no, My sisters can't keep a secret to save their lives and one is a crazy bible thumper. You know the type of religious wackos that are convinced that anything invented after 1955 is causing the corruption of our youth and sending the world to hell in a hand basket"
I shook my head sadly "if she knew I was from an alternate universe she'd get her crazy ass church friends and try to banish Me as a Demon"
I held up a book and made a gesture "Begone, foul Demon spawn!"
Bob laughed, not just cause of that but cause I was holding up a Knights and Dragons Dungeon Master Manual, which is on the churches hit list of major corrupters.
I already knew Bob was ok with K&D. We've gotten into discussion on 5th Ed at the bar ... Seems there is a group of cops who play on weekends. Their wives say it keeps them from hanging out at bars ALL the time, and a couple of the ladies play as well.
Bob scratched his chin "So wait a sec, you said you ... the other you works in I.T. What do you know about home networks?"
I chuckled "What do you wanna know?"
"Do you know how to set one up? My wife works from home over our cable hook up, but when she's working she has the one line tied up all day. It's not bad during the school year, but in the summer the kids go nuts without access"
"No problem, all you need is a router and some CAT5 cable, maybe a wireless router and a couple of wireless cards for the laptops. It's easy to set up, I can write out instructions"
"uh well, last time I tried to do it I screwed it up so bad Jane had to work from the office for a week before the cable company could come out and fix it"
"Huh? How the hell. oh never mind, but let me guess, she won't let you come within 30 feet of her computer now?"
"yup, last time I tried to convince her to let me try again she grabbed a frying pan"
I laughed "Ok, I'll come out and we set things up next week, but..."
Bob looked over his glasses at Me... "but what?"
"I have a question and a request"
"ooooook, I'm afraid to ask, but shoot"
"I haven't played K&D in almost 9 years. Can I join the game and is your place accessible?"
Bob looked confused, then I saw the light bulb go on "Oh... !!! uh sure you can join and yeah, We're in a condo in Bucktown. It even has wider doors and a big bathroom, no sweat"
"Cool, I haven't played since college, I was in the gamers club down there. I've been missing it"
"Wait, you mean none of the other supers play?"
I shrugged "I tried to get some of them interested, but most of them thought it was a dumb game when real life for them is stopping bank robberies and fighting crime"
"Tell ya what" I handed him one of my civilian business cards.
"Give this to Jane and tell her we met standing in line at CompUSA. Tell her you got my card so she could call and arrange to get the network installed professionally. I'll come out and that way you have a reason to invite me to stay for the game"
Bob laughed "Who says heroes can't be sneaky"
I chuckled "it's all part of the secret identity thing. ya have to learn to be sneaky"
Bob got a serious look "Hey, this conversation is strictly between us. I'd never say a word. I can imag..."
"I know Bob, I know you well enough to know you'd keep it secret. If I didn't trust you I wouldn't have invited you here to explain things"
"We've known each other for a couple years now and I was actually going to confide in you at some point. I've been wanting a few friends that are civilians so to speak. I get tired of hanging out with the powered nuts, Some of those folks just ain't right in the head"
Bob almost snorted beer through his nose.
About a week later Jane called and I set up the appointment and a couple of weeks later I came back for the K&D game.
I got up from the chair and looked out over the squad room. I'd just finished giving the statement to the detective and was getting ready to head home. I saw Bob headed back into the squad room.
"Hey Bob, you almost done for the night?"
"Yeah, I got off about 15 minutes ago and was going back to change and grab a beer at O'Reily's"
"Sounds good, mind if I join ya?"
Bob chuckled "Like I can stop you?"
I laughed "True, I'll meet you outside"
"Ok, see you in a bit" and I headed outside
I sat down on a bench out front of the police station and reached into my hip pack, grabbed a cigar, my lighter and the cigar cutter I kept in there. I clipped the end after wetting the whole thing and flipped the zippo open and lit up.
I sat back and thought about how I got here and how my life had changed over the last 8 years. I wondered what I my life would be like had I not ended up here. Did I find someone and get married, would I have been happy there? Then my mind wandered back to the redhead from the bar, now she was my type. 5'7" or so, slim but curves in all the right places. Probably a nice D cup and firm from what I saw before she put her coat on. Hell yes I noticed, it's a hazard from being in a chair. When you go through puberty with your eyes at nipple level it's kind of impossible not to be a breast man. There there was the light sprinkling of freckles on her face and upper chest.
"You know those things will kill ya"
I looked up and there she was. Red hair blowing in the breeze, street lights shining behind her, mischievous gleam in her eyes.
"I figure if I'm bullet proof and flame proof so a cigar now and then won't hurt too much" I grinned.
"Hey I wanted to say thank you for the save there, but I had it covered. Moe just didn't know what he walked into" she smiled.
"Yeah I saw the block and punch you threw, but Moe is a big boy"
She smiled a slightly crooked smile "True, but I wasn't even trying. It was an unfair match, my sensi would have been disappointed if I had layed him out before I gave him a chance to back down. That was all the punch was"
"Yes, I've been studying martial arts since high school"
My jaw dropped and as I looked at her.
"You'll catch flies that way"
I snapped my jaw shut "What style?"
She smiled "you probably haven't heard of it, but I study Jeet Kune Do"
"Ah, a fan of Bruce Lee movies I see"
Now it was her turn to chuckle "Now why would a big strong super hero like you know about JKD?"
I smiled "I wasn't always a Super Hero and I do have down time"
She looked at me for a couple heartbeats and chewed her lip then nodded and reached into her coat pocket. She pulled out a card wrote something on the back and handed it to me.
"That's my business card and my home number on the back" she smiled
I looked at the card.
Denise McCandless – Arnson Bio-Tech
"Thanks Denise, but..."
I looked up as she was flagging down a cab "Turn it over ... and call me"
I turned the card over and read the back. Her number was on the back and a note
Thanks for the save, I owe you dinner – Denise
"I..." but just then she hopped in the cab, shut the door and was gone.
"you know, you'll catch flies that way"
I looked up and Bob was standing there. I snapped my jaw shut again "I think I just got asked out for a date"
Bob chuckled "Let me guess. Redhead, stacked, curvy and feisty"
"After the detective took her statement she stopped me in the hall and asked me about you. She wanted to know how well I knew you"
"Really? I figured she would have been intimidated by me"
"She doesn't intimidate very easily, I was listening as she gave her statement, she's a trained martial artist"
"Jeet Kune Do, she told Me" I said
"Yeah she mentioned it, I've never heard of it"
"It's the style created by Bruce Lee in the 60's in Seattle"
Bob looked down the street at the cab that was long gone "No shit ... Hey, how are you getting to O'Reily's?"
"I parked a few blocks down near the Subway ... I'll meet you at the bar"
"ok, catch you there ... I got the first round"
I raised an eyebrow "you feeling ok Bob?"
Bob laughed "Smart ass, I got some good news today and I'm feeling magnanimous"
"What was it?"
"Just wait til we get to the bar. later TB..."