To the Rescue

Posted: November 13, 2020 in Experiences, Thoughts
Tags: , ,

The other day I got a phone call from a friend of mine.

Jerry lives downtown in the condominiums above the mall plaza, and I hadn’t heard from him for a while. We’d struck up a friendship a few months ago, when he’d helped me investigate a man who lived in his building. In fact, he’d called Ramos to save me from a crazy person who wanted me dead, so I owed him.

After a few pleasantries, he got right to the point. “I have a problem, and I wondered if you could help me out?”

“Of course. What’s up?”

“Can you come to the plaza? My usual table? It would be easier to explain in person.”

“Oh… sure. I’m actually at Thrasher Development right now, so I’m not too far. I could be there in about fifteen minutes, would that work?”

“Yes. Do you think you could bring your friend, Ramos?” I hesitated, so he explained. “Not that I think it will get out of hand, but I’d feel better if he were here.”

“Uh… I’m sure he’d be happy to come if he’s not busy. Just a minute and let me ask.” I set my phone down on my desk, and found Ramos in Uncle Joey’s office.

“Sorry to interrupt, but do you remember Jerry from the mall?” They both nodded, so I continued. “He needs my help with something, and he wondered if Ramos could come with me.”

“What’s going on?” Uncle Joey asked.

“He said he’d explain when we got there, but if he needs Ramos, it must be serious.”

“We’re basically done here, so that’s fine, as long as he doesn’t make a habit of it.” He was thinking that I owed Jerry, and sending Ramos along would help keep me out of trouble, so he didn’t mind too much.

I hurried back to my office and told Jerry we’d be there soon. Ramos followed behind, and I picked up that he looked forward to this little diversion. “Want to take the bike?”

“You know it.” Luckily I’d worn my black jeans, boots, and leather jacket to work. Of course, lately, it had become my standard style of dress, and I only rotated between different shirts these days. What can I say…I like to be prepared.

The ride to Jerry’s wasn’t far, but I’d take what I could get. After parking, we took the escalator to the plaza, and found Jerry sitting at his table. He smiled and waved us over. After giving me a huge hug, he asked us to sit down while he explained what was going on.

“Thanks for coming on such short notice. I really appreciate it. Uh…the reason I called is because I have a problem with one of my neighbors.”

Jerry shook his head before continuing. “I’m usually pretty happy to live here, but my new neighbor is a college student who plays his music really loud, and he’s had some people over for parties that have lasted all night. I’ve talked to him and complained to the manager, but nothing has changed and I’m at my wits end.” He glanced at Ramos. “I was wondering if you could scare him straight?”

“Is he home?” Ramos asked.

“Yes, that’s why I wanted you to come now.”

“Sure. Let’s do it.”

Jerry let out a sigh and smiled. We followed him into the building and up the elevator to his floor. As we stepped to the neighbor’s door, Jerry stopped us. “Uh…Brayden won’t be happy to see me, so I should probably wait out here while you…uh…talk to him. Also…maybe Shelby should knock. He’s more likely to open the door for her.”

Ramos looked me over and nodded, thinking Jerry was right to think the guy would open the door for me, so it was a good call.

I rewarded Ramos with a smile and he winked. Shaking my head, I rang the doorbell. Ramos and Jerry stood out of view. A few seconds ticked by before the door swung open and I got my first look at Brayden.

He had that classic rich-boy smirk, with unkempt hair and a lazy demeanor. He leaned against the door-jam and looked me over like I was a prize. “Hello gorgeous, where have you been all my life?”

“Hi Brayden.” I patted his cheek. “We need to talk.” I stalked past him into the room. He followed behind, pushing the door shut. Before it closed all the way, Ramos stepped inside.

Brayden glanced over his shoulder and froze. “Who the hell are you?” He glanced my way. “What’s going on here?”

“Like I said, we need to talk.” The room was nicely furnished, but messy, with plastic cups and plates sitting on any available surface. “I hear you like to party.”

“Uh…yeah. So? There’s no law against that.” He wondered if his stupid neighbor had complained again. That guy just wouldn’t shut up, and it was messing with his social life.

My gaze rested on him. “No, but the way you party is a problem. Loud music, lots of people doing who-knows-what at all hours of the night. It’s a little much for your neighbors.”

“Hey…we’re just having a little fun. I can’t help it if it gets a little loud sometimes, but it’s not that bad, and mostly just on the weekends.”

I shook my head and turned to Ramos. “He doesn’t seem to get my meaning. Maybe he’ll listen to you.”

Ramos stepped toward him, and Brayden backed up until he hit the wall and couldn’t go anywhere. His face paled, and I picked up his fear at the hardness in Ramos’s eyes. Brayden had never been confronted by anyone like him. Then Ramos spoke, and Brayden nearly wet his pants.

“Brayden. Normally I wouldn’t bother with someone like you. But Jerry is my friend. He doesn’t like all the noise and loud music.” Ramos put his hand on Brayden’s shoulder and squeezed. “I don’t like it when Jerry’s unhappy. It brings out the worst in me.” He squeezed a little harder. “It makes me want to hurt something.”

“Ow… okay, okay. I get it. Let me go.”

Ramos dropped his grip and stepped away, his face still hard. With a quick glance my way, he asked, “Does he?”

I picked up that Brayden wasn’t convinced that Ramos would actually do anything to harm him. He might take a break this weekend, but after that, he wasn’t about to change anything. He’d party if he wanted to. “Maybe for a few days…then it’s back to party time.”

Brayden’s eyes widened. Before he could say a word, Ramos stepped close. This time Brayden tried to shove Ramos away. Before he knew what hit him, Ramos held his arm behind his back and had his face smashed against the wall.

“This is a warning, Brayden. One word from Jerry about your parties, or loud music, and I’ll be back. You might wake up in the middle of the night with me standing over you, and I won’t be so nice next time. Now…do you understand?”

“Yes…yes…it won’t happen again.”

Ramos stepped back, releasing his hold, and Brayden slumped against the wall. Ramos raised a brow at me, and I nodded, letting him know that Brayden was sufficiently intimidated. With a hard look at Brayden for good measure, I opened the door and walked out, Ramos following behind.

Jerry waited in the hallway, his eyes anxious. “What happened?”

“I think your problem is solved,” Ramos answered. “But if it happens again, be sure to let me know. I’d be happy to come back.”

Jerry’s shoulders relaxed. “Thanks. I really appreciate this.”

“No problem.”

“I’ll walk you out.”

We left Jerry with a promise to stay in touch, and headed to the elevator. “Wow, that was kind of fun.” Ramos’s brows rose, so I continued. “I mean…not that I’m glad you had to nearly beat the kid up, but setting him straight was rather satisfying. That doesn’t make me a bad person, does it?”

“You? No. You may have your weaknesses, but you’ll never be a bad person.” He gave me that sexy half-smile that turned my insides to mush. “Even though I might wish for it once in a while.”

“Ha-ha.”

He shrugged. “The only bad thing about doing a favor for Jerry is that you don’t owe me for it.”

“Thank goodness. I already owe you too much as it is.” As his eyes lit up, I quickly continued. “Uh…but we’re almost even.”

He shook his head. “Not even close.” He stepped closer, nearly pinning me against the side of the elevator. My breath caught and I froze, mesmerized by the desire in his dark eyes. The elevator doors opened, and I knew I should just jump right out of there, but for some reason, I couldn’t move a muscle. My breathing even got a little ragged.

Ramos stepped away and grabbed my hand to pull me out, since several people were now getting on the elevator and sending me curious glances.

Stepping to the bike, Ramos handed me my helmet, smirking at my total loss of composure. “You want to take the long way back?”

I could have smacked him and said no, but the only person I’d hurt would be me, and there was no way I was that stupid. So I just kept my mouth shut and nodded. His sexy grin accompanied by the twinkle of mischief in his eyes was totally worth it.  

After snapping my helmet on, I climbed behind Ramos and wrapped my arms around his waist, hugging him tightly. We started off, and he took a long and winding route up into the backstreets of the hills on the edges of the city. The sun hit the leaves as they fell, sending a cascade of golden light all around us, landing on the earth in fallen kisses.

The blue sky and white fluffy clouds was the perfect backdrop for this amazing autumn day, and I breathed in the fresh air that carried a chill to it. Soon, it would be too cold for a ride like this, but it didn’t bother me too much. On those cold winter days, I knew this would be one of those perfect memories that I could pull out and savor. But until then…I’d hold on tight and enjoy the ride.

Comments
  1. Molly says:

    All I can say is…..wow…how steamy!!!! Love these crumbs every now and then. Thanks Shelby.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Trisha Topham says:

    Loved “Dying Wishes.” Your plots are getting more complex and your writing is both compelling and fun. Please keep on telling tales about Shelby, Ramos, and all the gang!

    Like

  3. Lorna says:

    I’m swooning! This was a perfect little appetizer. Thanks for this. Can’t wait for the next one!

    Like

  4. Yay! Thanks Lorna!!

    Like

  5. Ruby E. Mendenhall says:

    Hubba Hubba be still my heart LOL

    Like

  6. Johan says:

    Thanks for that beautiful little interlude to the day and the “heavyness” of the times we are in!
    All of your adventures are nail-biting, funny, romantic, sexy, and I could go on and on with superlatives. Thanks for sharing all of your adventures with us. Of course, I am extremely jealous of Ramos and Chris!
    Johan

    Like

  7. Diane L. Glass says:

    Shelby, you’re a mom. It’s you’re job to set those spoiled little wayward youths on the straight and narrow. It takes a village, does it not? If it helps a friend, and gives you the little boost in self esteem knowing that Ramos is having fun while having your back…. well then… there it is. 😉

    Like

  8. Oh, my! Yes. Thank you

    Like

  9. Geoff Parker says:

    Ah, Shelby… Just another day in the life of my favorite mind-reading sleuth and her forbidden sizzling hot Harley-riding hitman. This little vignette is perfect to brighten up my day! No one got shot at! No one got hurt! Who knows, maybe this will be a defining life moment for Brayden. Who could ask for anything more on a crisp fall day!

    Like

  10. You are so right!! Thanks Geoff!

    Like

  11. Tina says:

    Oh my goodness love this love love love all the Ramos in the story’s!!! Can’t wait untill the next book love all of the mysteries Shelby gets into especially if Ramos is involved.

    Like

  12. Yes – what can I say? No wonder I messed up and called him Romeo!!

    Like

  13. Linda Douglas says:

    LOVE!!!

    Like

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