She had more curves than a backwoods dirt racetrack. A track I’d like to drive on. But not racing. Slowly. Leaning in to each turn. I think my analogy’s breaking down.
She was redhead in a tight low cut emerald green dress. Two of my weaknesses. She sauntered in like she had just bought the place and had just made a terrible investment. Her fashion choices and accoutrements said wealthy. The permanent look on her face said extremely wealthy. The face like you're constantly smelling week old fish. You know the one.
Coming alone to a neighborhood like this toting that kind of bling told me one of two things about her: she was incredibly brave or incredibly stupid. Or armed. I guess that’s three things.
“Mister Rex Jacobs?” she asked me.
“That’s what it says on the door, sweetheart.”
“No…It just says detective in marker.” She smiled condescendingly. I guess I deserved that for the ‘sweetheart’ line.
“Door guy’s comin’ tomorrow. How may I be of service?” I said, kicking my feet up on to the desk.
She sat down on one of the fraying padded chairs in front of my desk and crossed her legs slowly. I almost gave a standing ovation after that performance. If her husband didn’t worry he
was a fool.
“Do you mind if I smoke, Mr. Jacobs?” She asked, her voice oozing sex.
“Lady, it’s a quasi-free country. I don’t give two rat’s asses.” I said, trying to sound nonchalant.
Why did I say two?
She put the tip of the electronic device between her lips and sucked in slowly and blew out a bright green vapor that matched her eyes and dress. If she hadn’t looked so distracted I would’ve suspected she was trying to put on a little show for me. But her eyes were unfocused, distant. Her thoughts were a million miles away from that office.
“You customize your vape to match all your ensembles or was that especially for me?”
Tobacco had been outlawed in this country for a few decades now so if people want to smoke they have to vape. Always looked kinda dumb to me. You can still get actual tobacco from people
that grow it where they can when they can afford the water. Hell, I had a couple packs of rollies in my desk drawer. Cost me a fortune. Most cops don’t care. They just look for a pay off when they find it on you.
“Don’t flatter yourself Mr. Jacobs.” She said, ice creeping into her well-mannered voice.
“Call me Rex.” I smiled.
“I’m here because some property is missing Mr. Jacobs. I’d like you to find it for me.”
Straight to business then.
“Missing or stolen?” I asked. I leaned forward on the desk, all business.
She leveled her gaze at me with those cool green eyes.
“Stolen it is then. Why didn’t you go to the police? This seems to be their sort of thing.”
“This is a rather… er… personal situation. I’d prefer no one know of this and you are known for your discretion.”
“I must not be too discreet if you’ve heard about my discretion.” I grinned. I have a bad habit of laughing at my own jokes.
She smiled politely at my attempt at humor. Barely.
“Mrs.” She corrected “Mrs. Kensington.”
“Mrs. Ezra Alistair Beauregard Kensington the third?”
“You’ve heard of my husband then?” She feigned surprise.
I nodded. Everyone in this town knew of the Kensingtons. They were impossibly rich, Old money. Staying cloistered out in their massive compound at the lake. I tried to keep my distaste for the wealthy off my face. It rubs me the wrong way that there are those with more money than they can spend in twelve lifetimes when there’s so many people starving out in Mill Town. But a job’s a job and she sure as hell can afford me.
“Can you help me Mr. Jacobs?” she asked, batting her big doe eyes at me. She was definitely unacquainted with the word ‘no’.
“I could use a bit of information there lady. What’s missing? When did you notice it missing? A place to start.” When I’m on a case I’m all business. Except when I’m not.
“My robot. JackR model XY. I only kept him in my personal bedroom. I never let him out. I can’t think of where he could be!” she cried showing the first signs of emotion since she walked through that door.
She was desperate. Why didn’t she just buy another robot? What made this one so special? My brain started making unpleasant connections.
“This robot… uh… were you fu…”
“He’s a personal massager!” she shouted.
“Of course it is. I’ll take the case, doll, but you know I don’t come cheap right?”
She dropped a metal card on the table.
“This should more than cover it. Don’t contact me in public. Don’t let yourself be seen with me. Buzz my implant when you have my property. Take care, Mr. Jacobs.”