The redhead walked into my office, all legs with a dash of torso. Heels thumped on the floor – one of those heel walkers that makes the lower apartments such hell.
His eyes were a bright green, and his hair fell in curls to his temple. He had the sides shaved like some kind of damn idiot. Even so, he was a looker, all six feet of him. His hips swayed like a runway model, belying a potential lower back problem, or possible misshapen orthotics. It’s so hard to find an orthopedist who’s not a quack these days.
He walked up to my desk, and I lifted my brown pump-adorned left ankle off the right to switch which leg held the weight on the corner of my desk. My foot had fallen asleep, and the tingle as it awoke rush up my leg, nearly making me giggle like a schoolboy.
“Whaddya want?” I asked, trying to cover the sensation in my calf.
“A tall latte, no foam, extra sugar, and a dash of vanilla please.”
What the hell? I thought. Where do you think you are, kid?
“What the hell?” I said. “Where do you think you are, kid?”
He looked down at me, his glassy-eyed stare suddenly focusing. “Oh, geez. Wrong door, sorry.”
“I’ll say. Down the hall.”
“Thanks. Say,” he stopped at the door. “You a dick?”
I considered popping him in the head, but the cops took away my revolver from the last time I tried that stunt. Restraining orders are such a pain.
“If by dick you mean private eye,” I said, “then yes, I am.”
“You look good for a private eye, gurl, you doin’ anything later?”
“Plenty, but you’re not involved.”
He straightened up, realizing his second foible. The redhead coughed and looked at me. “Sorry, bad habit.”
“Sure is. Try it again and I’ll clock you.”
“As you should. Sorry again. Um, are you taking on new clients at all?”
This was a twist. “Depends. My schedule might be free. How much you got?”
The kid patted his front pockets, then his back before pulling out a wallet. He looked down at the wad of bills sticking out. “Enough,” he said.
“Then I’m on the job.”