It’s common to see a satyr frolicking in a field in Blueville in June. In January? It’s a little strange, even for this town.
I was sitting at the stoplight at Gold and Rose with the boys, we were on our way back to the house from lunch. I had to get out of the house. I really did. Anyway, we were sitting at the light when the boys start giggling in the back seat. Normally, I don’t mind. This time though, they were trying to hide it from me. That spells trouble.
I looked out the side window and saw a satyr wiggling his bottom at traffic. My jaw dropped and I stared for a minute before diving for my phone to call Ben. The guy behind me honked his horn while I was digging in my purse for the phone. As soon as I fumbled it out of my bag, I started driving down the street as I hit number one on my speed dial for Ben.
“If you’re calling about a satyr, I don’t want to know about it.”
“There’s one on Gold and Rose shaking his ass at traffic.”
There was a huge sigh on the phone, then silence.
“I’ll make a note of it, but as long as he isn’t causing any accidents or looking up skirts there’s nothing that I can do.”
“Huh. I would have figured that by now the Sheriff would have like a team for that sort of thing.”
“They do as they please, Habibi. It’s complicated.”
I could hear his frustration over the phone.
“What about if I came in a couple of times a week to help?”
The words were out of my mouth before I could stop them. Silence greeted me and I winced.
“Tuesday and Wednesday. Sherrie has class and Miles has those days off.”
“Deal as long as you don’t hover.”
“I will not make any promises.”
“Well, that’s better than nothing and it gets me out of the house.”
“Going stir crazy already?”
“And how. I’m on my way home. Do I need to pick anything up for you?”
“Dinner. Don’t cook tonight and damn it, take a nap when Miles gets home for lunch.”
“Aye, aye Captain.” I answered and hung up the phone before tossing it back into my bag.
There was a tapping on my shoulder as I pulled up to another stoplight. I looked back and it was Logan.
“Yes, Baby? What is it?”
“Again? But you just ate!”
“Carrots?” He asked.
I dug into my purse for the bag of carrots I always kept in there now. I passed both them and the Cheerios into the backseat and was pretty pleased when I heard silent munching from both kids in the back. I sighed. I figured one, if not both, were due for a growth spurt with the way they ate these days. I can only be grateful that they’ll eat anything that they see me and Ben eat first. Even if they don’t like it, they’ll still try it.
We learned that the hard way with wasabi. Never. Again.
I was nearing home when I saw the FBI car parked out front. It was kind of hard to miss, considering no one in town drove a sedan like that one. Another thing I couldn’t miss? The two FBI agents chasing down a satyr wearing a lampshade on its head. I heard the giggling coming from the backseat as the boys watched the agents try to wrangle the half-man, half-goat. I might have snickered myself when one of them lost his footing and ended up in a snow bank. That one might have caused the boys to laugh uncontrollably. I couldn’t scold them, I thought it was funny too.
I pulled around to the back and in to the garage. After helping the kids inside, the doorbell rang. I settled the kids down in the Great Hall before going to answer.
“Hello, Officers. Come on in, I just made hot cocoa.” I said as I opened the door.
Both Agents stood there, soaking wet and looking quite miserable. I pitied them at that point. They had no idea how to handle Blueville. They entered and I quickly went and dug up clothing for the both of them while they got warm in the kitchen. They tried to protest, but I insisted they at least get warm. They accepted eventually. I can be pretty persuasive.
They came back in to the kitchen after changing. I looked up from the pot of soup I decided to throw together instead of ordering take away.
“So the two of you must be here to tell me news or to get my statement,” I said as they sat down.
“You’ve got the right of it, Ma’am,” Tucker Groue said.
“We’ll need your statements for the files, but from what evidence says, your attacker won’t be getting off the hook,” Vaughn Beazley said.
I couldn’t help it. I laughed.
“Oh boys. Of course he will. He’s going to get off with less than anyone else would get because of who his papa is. You don’t have to sugar coat it or lie to me.”
The two men looked at each other and then back at me.
“You don’t know, do you?” Tucker asked.
“Know what?” I said as I pulled down some spices for the soup.
“His relatives have withdrawn all support from him and his father. No one is even going anywhere near him because of who you are,” Tucker said. Vaughn nodded his assent.
“Who I am? I’m just a nobody who stood up to a bully.”
“Who just happened to be heir to the Oberly fortune that was made by selling paper.”
I waved my hand at that statement. “Old news. My family’s not that influential. Hasn’t been since the sixties.”
“You’re a multi-millionaire that’s living in a small town in the mountains. The Press is going to love you,” Vaughn said.
I looked up at him. “I got enough of the press when my parents died. I’m not doing this for that. I’m doing it because I hate bullies. I don’t care who they are.”
“That’s why they’re going to love you,” Tucker said quietly. “and why you’re going to win. You did nearly everything right and it’s going to pay off. I know we’re not supposed to be partial to cases, but I’m starting to enjoy the way you’ve handed that spoiled brat his comeuppance.”
“Careful. Had my parents not died I could have ended up like him. I was lucky that I ended up the way I did.”
“What’s this word that we keep hearing that you’re special?” Vaughn asked, changing the subject.
I pointed at his keys, which were sitting on the table, and made them hover in front of his face. His jaw dropped open.
“That’s fucking amazing.”
I started laughing and Vaughn snatched his keys out of the air.
“It is, until I get pissed off and make an entire parking lot full of cars vibrate. You should have seen the Mayor panic when that happened.”
It was Tucker’s turn to stare. “An entire parking lot?”
“I think Ben said that even some of the light poles started to bend towards me. I was that angry.”
“I would think you’d have a perfectly good reason to be angry,” said Vaughn.
“Yes, but I shouldn’t have lost that much control. There were too many bystanders. What would have happened if my anger had tossed a car? That would have been very bad.”
The two men thought about what I said as I got out bowls and dished up soup for them and my two little ones. I went and took a tray out to the two boys who were playing some word game Ben had gotten for them so they could catch up with their vocabulary. I smiled down at the both of them before leaving. As I walked back in to the kitchen, I heard them talking about me.
“Well, she has a point. She could have hurt someone.”
“The agency would still want to have her on the force.”
“That would be a giant ‘No fucking thank you, Vaughn’,” I said. “I’m perfectly happy here.”
Vaughn had the good sense to duck his head and blush. I smiled over at him as I went and dished up some soup for myself. I made a not of the time and winced when I figured that Miles would be home soon and there wouldn’t be enough time for a nap today. Ben was going to be upset.
“So take us through the events of what happened,” Tucker asked as he put his recorder on the table.
I walked them through all of it, from the car accident to the attempted-murder and fire. When I finished I could hear Miles’s car going in to the garage. I pointed my spoon at Vaughn.
“Not a word out of you. I know the two of you have history, but refrain from saying anything. Not even a hello.”
Vaughn held up his hands and Tucker snickered. I pointed the spoon at him and he swallowed the laughter. Miles came in to the kitchen a minute later. He stopped dead when he saw Vaughn at the table, eating.
“Don’t. Just grab some food and join the boys in the Great Hall, okay? They’re here to talk about what happened.”
Miles nodded and went to stow his gear while I made up another tray. I took it out in to the hall when he didn’t come back in.
“He’ll leave soon,” I said.
“Seeing him here makes everything hurt,” Miles said.
I kissed his forehead. “I know. You can handle it, though. You’re tough.”
Miles smiled at me and took his tray into the room with the boys. I went back to the kitchen and sat down. Vaughn looked like he was going to talk again, so I held up a hand.
“Whatever you have to say about Miles can wait. I don’t need to know yet. Just know that every time he sees you, he hurts. Whatever happened? Hurt him badly.”
Vaughn stared down at his bowl and Tucker went back to asking more questions after starting the tape again. Vaughn didn’t say much until it was time to go. I waved off the offers of changing back into their other clothes, just told them to get the clothes back when they could.
“Miles spoke of you often when we were dating. Now that I’ve met you, I can see why he said you were his hero.”
I teared up and hugged Vaughn. “You’ve got that wrong. He was mine.”
“Some how, I don’t think so,” He said as he followed his partner out of the house.
I checked on the boys in the Great Hall after closing the door and locking it for the night. Ben would come in through the back like always.
“I took the rest of the day off. Go take a nap. We’ll talk later,” Miles said before I could say anything. “Ben’s already called about your nap.”
I stuck my tongue out at him and told him to watch the soup and do the dishes before going upstairs. As I changed clothes and pulled the covers down on the bed, I thought about how Miles and I were inseparable when we were kids.
I guess things haven’t changed much, since we’re living together. I guess they don’t really have to change to be different or stay the same.