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Holmes | Castelluccio
An Interlude
Fri Feb 17, 2006 18:41

Devon felt like a complete ass.

It was… way too close to Christmas for comfort, and here he was without a gift for her! Calling himself all sorts of colorful and interesting phrases, he had been forced to realize that he didn’t know what to get Sonnet. At all. A CD was too impersonal, and a ring hinted at all the wrong sorts of things. What the hell was he supposed to do?!

One ringy-dingy… Two ringy-dingy…

County morgue, you stab ‘em we slab ‘em! Today’s special, copper whopper, only two ninety-five a pound! What can I getcha?

“… Very funny, jackass. You saw my name on the caller I.D.” Strains of music filtered in from the background, along with voices, and the occasional laugh. “You busy?”

Nah, bored since Lucy is shopping with Sonnet, so I’m at the theater. What’s up? Those two were together?! Shit.

“Uhm, well…” Taking a deep breath, Devon shoved himself off the edge of the cliff. “I’m a clueless male that has no idea what to get Sonnet for Christmas!” It all came out in a rush, and he huffed and puffed afterward from giving the admission alone.

Oh my God, you slept with her, didn’t you?! The music ended in an abrupt screech in the background, several voices shouting their encouragement at the notice of someone getting laid. Jesus, they’re a bunch of loons. Hold on. It was surprising that Caleb was being courteous to him, even over the phone. Do you have any idea what she likes? Now it was much quieter.

“Sort of,” Devon muttered, turning down a side street. He wasn’t on duty, nor was he in a police cruiser, so it made life a little more hectic in the long run. “I only spent three weeks living with the woman after she was injured. I can tell you how she likes her eggs in the morning, even how she’ll take her coffee when she drinks it, and what sort of firearm she prefers…” That shouldn’t have sounded so hopeless. Tossing the car in park, the officer wandered into the building through a side entrance.

Firearms? Caleb seemed to perk up at that. That’s doable. But Ben would likely smack you for giving it. Uhm… Devon heard the sound of shuffling, through the phone, and just up the hall. “Well, what does she usually like?” Smirking, the cop flipped shut his cell phone, creeping forward. “Devon? Devon? That little shit, he hung up on me!” Jab!

“Hands up!”

“You little bastard!” Caleb shouted, spinning around to smack Devon upside the head. “Nearly gave me a fukkin’ heart attack!”

“S’not my fault you’re old!” Devon dodged another blow, and skirted further down the hall. Much to his surprise, he ended up falling right through a pair of curtains and onto the stage. No music, no singing at the moment either, but a few people snickering at the byplay. “Oh God, just kill me now.”

“You deserved that,” Caleb was muttering at him. “So, no ideas?” No, none. Devon said as much, shaking his head. “Excellent!” When the older man rubbed his hands together, he began to wonder if this was such a good idea. “What? There are a few decent places around the corner. C’mon, we’ll take the Jeep.”

Half hour later, Devon found himself stuffed into a shop with narrow, winding aisles holding stock in stacks that were taller than he was! But Caleb had insisted, and eventually led him toward the front, where a glass case stood. The cop blinked, surprised at the items hidden within. It wasn’t your typical jeweler’s, the pieces were obviously handmade, but they were excellently wrought regardless. Feeling a little bit better about the whole ordeal, especially since Caleb kept grinning at him, Devon went about studying the jewelry.

“Well?” Huh? “When did you two get together?!” Jesus Christ! Caleb was practically vibrating his enthusiasm, which was wholly disconcerting. Not even a year ago the man had tried to kill him with his bare hands. Now this?

“I’m not telling you that!”

“It had to have been in the last two weeks. You would’ve started looking for a present before that.” Caleb grinned in triumph when Devon’s made a face and refused to answer. That bastard! How the hell could he know that? “Don’t worry, we’ll find something.” Then Caleb’s phone went ringing in his coat pocket, and he began meandering toward the front of the store for better reception.

Now that he was blissfully alone, Devon studied the jewelry with a critical eye. Well, as critical as it could be when he was absolutely clueless about these things. As he had decided before, rings were out, for the obvious reason. Earrings just seemed so… impersonal, and bracelets were impractical in their line of work. A necklace, maybe? Thinking that a better possibility than anything he had come up with yet, his attention turned towards jewelry of that nature, before he was interrupted again.

Devon!” What the fukk?! Startled out of his revelry, and wondering what would make Caleb shout his name in a shop full of customers, he did the only thing natural and rushed up toward the exit. “C’mon, we gotta go. Now.” Ack! Dragged out of the store, and practically shoved at the Jeep, he barely had time to get inside before Caleb was peeling off.

“Jesus! What the hell’s wrong?” Devon muttered, fumbling with his belt as Caleb began to speed at… Gulp. He didn’t even like going that fast in his cruiser!

“Lucy just called. Some men…” The cop frowned, peering closer. Some men what? “They, uhm… Sonnet’s in trouble, Devon. Lucy’s calling the police.”

What?!” No, wait. This was silly. Sonnet could take care of herself without a problem. Forcing his breathing to even out, Devon spoke again. “What happened?” Eyes on the road, just on the road…

“Lucy said that she and Sonnet were attacked by some men. Sonnet made her run. They’re down in the wharf district.” The last sentence seemed to be tacked on with a great deal of reluctance, and Devon could see why.

“What the fukk were they thinking?!” He was supposed to be calm, wasn’t he? “Can’t this piece of shit go any faster?” Glowering at the dash, Devon clenched his hands into fists, wishing that they weren’t so far away…

Caleb managed to catch a lucky break, tailing a cruiser obviously on its way to the scene. Hell, every cop he had seen rushing past was heading in the same direction, and there had been a good deal of them. But if Sonnet could get shot, she could survive a few hopped up guys, right? Oh God! Trying desperately not to hyperventilate, no matter what his features read, Devon practically jumped out of the Jeep while it was still rolling when they made it to the scene.

It was a fukking madhouse!

Sprinting through the bevy of police cruisers, all with their lights flashing, Devon rushed towards where a group of them had assembled. Someone tried to hold him back at first, but then saw his face, and then they were all trying to hold him back. What the hell!

“Let me see her, damn it! Sonnet!

“Devon! Calm down!” It was the shift officer Tony, shouting in his face. “Just calm down!”

“I gotta see her, Tony… Jesus Christ!” The last should have been a curse, but Devon was too shocked for anything but a prayer, once the EMTs started barreling toward them with Sonnet on the stretcher. Just to see her like that again…

Instead of sticking around the scene, or even saying goodbye to anyone, Devon had hopped into the back of the ambulance for the ride to the hospital.

Vittorio groaned, still bowed over the trunk of the police cruiser, a hand on his back forcing him to remain in that position. Turning his head so at least he wasn’t resting on the cheek that burned like Hell’s fury, he could only wonder what was taking so long.

No one had come to read him his rights, as they were so fond of doing. Instead, he had heard shouting. A man, screaming the injured woman’s name. Shortly after, the sound of wheels over uneven pavement met his ears, and several cars driving off after retreating sirens. Now that the noise wasn’t so terrible, his head felt just a bit better. Not much, but anything would help at this point. Weren’t they supposed to ask questions first?

Next Vittorio knew, he was bodily hauled to his feet and turned about face, staring at several very angry police officers. Well, he had dealt with worse than a few boys playing with guns, and met them stare for stare.

“What’s your name?” Why did they all talk so oddly? This one sounded like he was talking around a mouthful of food.

“Vittorio Castelluccio. Is Sonnet well?” God, he was freezing! It had been foolish to leave the hotel without a coat, but now without a warm shirt, it felt like his chest was turning to ice.

“Don’t worry about her. Tell me what happened.” Some of the men were exchanging dubious glances when they thought he wasn’t paying attention. He knew the woman’s name, but was obviously foreign. Someone rifled around in his pocket, coming away with his identification.

“Forgive me, my English is… rusty.” If they were civil, regardless of whether he was in handcuffs or not, he could be as well. “My business partner and I were walking after visiting some of the shops. A girl cried for help, running to us.” He even gave her physical description, but no name. That wouldn’t help him any. Vittorio went on to recount the crime exactly as it happened, though he had been the one running when it came to the last thug. It turned into self-defense at that point, which was not far from the truth.

Finally, though, the man that had been questioning him looked at the identification. That was all Vittorio had been waiting for, honestly. And since he had cooperated thus far, it only made his story even more believable.

“Jesus Christ. A fukkin’ diplomat.”

Vittorio only smiled.

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