3.28 - The Pink Panther

3.28 - The Pink Panther

“Why am I doing all the work on this one,” I ask Destiny

“Because I’m trying to get you a license. You’re going to need it sooner or later.”

“For what?”

“To make money, duh,” she rolls her eyes.

“I already have a job and I do stuff on the side. I just built a website for a guy the other day.”

“You’ll get bored of it. You’ve got a taste of the life now.”

She was right, I did have a taste of the life now. I haven’t tangled with a vampire, werewolf, orc or even an elf. But I’ve seen them all, and even talked to a few of them. I’d also seen her track down criminals and apprehend them. I’ve got a nice little magic pocket, which is great. I’m never without my computer, or wallet, or anything else really. I don’t know if I’m going to jump inter her field of work. She says people specialize in different things. I haven’t asked but I figured hers would be missing people and fugitives, since that’s all I’ve seen her do. I haven’t even seen her fight since that first night I met her.

Today she’s got me doing all the work. We’re looking for a guy named Mike Stein. He’s a thief, plain and simple. He’s also just a normal human. I didn’t know she even took this kind of job. I expected some big werewolf on the run for murder, but it was an accident, and they’re trying to clear their name. I let my mind drift off to other options, like a vampire who’s looking for a cure. Would I rather be a vampire or werewolf? Focus, the task at hand.

I get lucky when looking at his record. Arrests for theft date all the way back to the time he was thirteen years old. A few resisting arrest charges with nothing attached. I can’t blame him for that. Not sure how police get away with charging people for resisting arrest while not arresting them for anything else. Either way, I manage to get an address from him from an old arrest about six months ago.

“Got an address,” I let Destiny know.

“Great,” she starts the car and hits the gas.

“You don’t even know where we’re going.”

“Then tell me,” she laughs and speeds up.

“I’m driving next time.”

After we turn around it doesn’t take is long to get to the house. I’m a little let down when I see it. I thought we would be done with this job, wrap it up quick and go get lunch somewhere. I guess that would be too easy. Nothing ever seems easy anymore. We snoop around the outside of the house, and all signs point to it really being abandoned. The boards covering the doors, and windows are pretty secure and they’ve been there for a while, much longer than when his recent arrest was. That means the police officers didn’t do their due diligence.

“So, we didn’t get him here. What else did the bio say,” Destiny senses my frustration.

I rethink the data I had read, “he likes to get lunch at the same bar every day.”

“Great so let’s go get lunch, and get fucked up,” she heads back to the car.

“You don’t even drink heavily, and drinking on the job is bad.”

“Drinking on your job is bad, drinking on my job is a plus and you don’t need to get drunk to enjoy a drink.”

“Wow, thank you for that McGruff, you’re a stellar crime dog. I’ll make sure never to drink before driving and I’ll take a bite out of crime.

The Nimble Hatchet, is the strangest bar I’ve ever heard of in my life and the actual bar might be stranger. A big neon hatchet hangs over the door, and flickers back and forth giving the illusion that it’s being swung down on the door. The outside says biker bar, but inside it looks more like a sports bar. Destiny orders some hot wings while we sit and look around, waiting for Mike to show up. I’m surprised she asked for ranch with the wings instead of blue cheese. I was pretty sure I was I was in love with her before, but now I’m sure I love her.

When Mike doesn’t show up right away we spend some time playing pool. I’m usually pretty good at pool. I didn’t expect her to be way better. Is being a vampire cheating? She’s got better vision, and speed. I’m pretty sure she can move faster than I can see if she wanted. I was cocky and didn’t mind taking a bet. By the time it was finished I owed her $112. I guess she was right, I’d need the money if I kept hanging around with her.

Mike finally makes his way in, and he might as well have been an orc. Mike has the body of someone who learned to workout in jail and never stopped. His upper body is large and muscular but his legs seem pretty similar to mine. I wait until after he’s eaten to alert Destiny but I’m sure she already knows.

“Alright, go get what we came for.”

“What did we come for,” I hadn’t bothered to ask.

“The Pink Panther keychain.”

“Wait are you serious? We could just buy one,” I’m shocked the job could be so simple.

“Yep, it’s a good luck charm.”

I make my way over to Mike and just ask “Hey, can I have that keychain?”

“Are you serious?”

“Yeah, I know someone who wants it back.”

“Fuck off weirdo,” Mike gives me an answer I probably deserve.

“I can’t leave, until I get that keychain.”

“How about I give you something else,” Mike asks in a calmer demeanor.

“Sorry, it has to be the keychain.”

“How about you take this, and reconsider?”

My eyes flash and blur as I realize Mike had just punched me in the head. Usually I would run away, avoid the fight. That’s what I had done my entire life. But I can handle this now. I’ve been training, I’ve done some pushups, and I’m ready. I thank him for the punch with one of my own. He only smiles and I know I’m in trouble. I just close my eyes and tuck my head as he tosses me across a table.

“Fuck is wrong with you,” I look up to see Destiny laying into Mike.

It doesn’t take long before the rest of the bar is involved in the brawl picking sides. I take the opportunity to track down Mike. I snatch the keychain as he’s brawling with someone trying to make his way to Destiny. She was standing on a pool table laughing and fending people off with a pool cue. I’ve never seen her this way. Not exactly blood lust, but she’s having fun with the fight. I could sneak out now, and meet her outside. But my bad side takes hold, so I ball up my fist and go back as far as I can before punching Mike right in the balls and watch him scream in pain. He’s knocked out as Destiny slams a chair over his back.

“That was crazy,” Destiny says once we’ve finally got back to the car.

“Over a keychain,” is all I can say as I twirl it in my hands.

“It’s worth three dollars to us, five hundred to someone else.”


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