A Bo Fexler Short Story
by Clair Dickson
"Don't I know you from some where? I said softly, forgoing my normal, careful enunciation that's the product of speech therapy.
"Excuse me?" asked the man I just sat next to at the bar, looking me over. I gripped a glass and offered a shaky smile.
"I know you from somewhere. I remember you," I pressed again. "Victor?"
"Yeah . . . I don't . . . remember you. I'd think I would." He stopped to linger on the view my deep V-neck shirt allows.
"Bonnie. You don't remember me?"
"No. I'm sorry. Maybe we can try again," he suggested. "Where do I know you from?"
"Weren't you at Jane Kelsey's wedding?"
"Yeah. My girlfriend was a friend of hers from work."
"We broke up. That's why I'm here." He put his arm around me.
I leaned in, breathing on his shoulder. "You're still hot," I told him.
"So are you."
I nodded to the bartender. "Could I get another?"
He set another glass of completely watered-down alcohol in front of me. I don't drink when I'm working. "So, Victor, what you been up to since I last saw you?"
"Working construction still. I'm a concrete worker." Our faces were less than an inch apart. For a moment, I held it there, our breath mingling before I pulled away and took another drink.
"What happened with the girlfriend? Marie, wasn't it?"
"Haven't seen much of her."
"Why'd you break up?" I asked, putting my hand on his thigh.
"Wasn't working out."
"That's too bad." I turned my face to his and he moved closer. He moved in for the kiss. We were both out of breath when I broke our lips apart.
"Wow." He wiped the back of his hand across his mouth.
I didn't give him the chance to catch his breath before I kissed him again fiercely.
"Come back to my place," he implored.
"Seems kind of fast."
He kissed my neck. "We don't have to move fast. We can take it real slow."
"All right," I breathed. "I'll follow you home." Though little lost puppy's are less dangerous.
"Are you sure you can drive?"
"I'm fine. I haven't had that much."
Victor paid our tabs. The night air had a chill to it, typical of early March. A short caravan later, Victor and I arrived at his apartment. I stopped him on the stairs for another kiss before we went inside.
Once the door was closed, I backed him up to the couch and sat him down simply by suggestion. Then, I knelt on the couch straddling him.
"Are you naughty?" I purred.
"Oh yeah," he breathed.
I touched my lips to his lower lip, but didn't kiss his mouth. "Yeah? Ever done something really bad? I mean-- like . . . real bad."
"You like that?"
I responded with another teasing kiss.
"Okay, um-- how bad?"
"You ever kicked someone's ass for your girlfriend?" I took off my shirt.
"Tell me about it." He hesitated until I placed his hands on my breasts.
"Ah-- how about this? When Marie and I were breaking up, I mean-- I knew it was coming-- I started seeing this new girl. Karen said she was afraid of her friend finding out because her friend would out her to Marie. She said she was meeting her friend for dinner that weekend. So, I waited for her friend and jumped her in the parking lot."
"When was this?"
"Huh? Oh, last month."
"Week of February sixth."
"Yeah . . . I think so. How--"
"Read it in the local paper." I took his wrists in a pincer-grip. "Tell me more. Tell me about how you jumped her," I continued in a soft, low purr.
He wet his lips. "All right-- she was leaving the restaurant. Her car was parked out back. I went between these two cars--"
"What kind of cars?"
"Uh, one was a red SUV. The other was a blue pick-up truck. When she passed the SUV, I grabbed her and pulled her behind it, so no one could see."
"Tell me what her face looked like?" I whispered into his ear.
"Couldn't really tell. She had a green and yellow striped scarf wrapped around her face. It was cold that night. Come on-- let me touch--"
"You pulled her behind the SUV, punched her in the head, threw her on the ground and kicked her in the head and chest until she blacked out-- and you never saw her face?"
The information had a sudden calming and sobering effect on him. "Yeah . . ."
"Well, here you go," I announced, taking a photo from my back pocket. "Now you can see her face."
"Marie? She said she got in a car wreck--"
"The only thing I don't get," I put in as I stood and shrugged back into my shirt, "is why she'd tell you that."
"I-- there's gotta be a mistake. I wouldn't have beaten Marie up."
"Victor. Why'd she say it was a car accident?"
His head snapped to a level position. "Because she was cheating on me. She said she was out of town visiting her sister. Maybe she lied because she was still here, just with someone else."
"You know there was someone else?"
"That's why we broke up."
"Not over your lover?"
"No. But what do you care?"
"My name is Bo Fexler. I'm a private investigator. Marie hired me to find out who beat her up that night in the parking lot," I explained simply.
"So, what made you think it was me?"
"It's always a lover-- current or former. And I already knew it wasn't her ex."
"You seduce him too?"
I gave him a flirty little smile as I let myself out of the apartment with a gust of cold air.
BIO: Clair has been delighted with her recent string of success that places her number of accepted stories at 15. She's been published in Mysterical-E, Powderburn, MuzzleFlash, Crime & Suspense, and Flashot. She writes in the free minutes she has as an alternative high school teacher.