On Monday, I was sitting at my desk when Sanchez came in. As usual, she was dressed in lace and frills and looked liked a grandmother from a Mexican soap opera. I don’t know why she dresses that way. Sanchez isn’t in the least bit grandmotherly. She swears like a sailor and is the very definition of a no nonsense cop. Best I can figure, she must wear those clothes to confuse supernaturals and get them to underestimate her. It might even work with the ones from out of town, but everyone in Lexington knows better. The Captain makes bureaucratic decisions and shuffles paperwork. Sanchez goes out on the street and hammers on supernatural problems until they are fixed. Everyone in the city knows this. And yet, today I was here to ask her about a mundane.
“Sanchez, why did a big mook out of Clark County attack me at the football game and then drive away in a truck registered to your friend Beatrice on Friday?”
She grinned. “Well, at a guess, you were either rooting against the Cardinals or he thinks you insulted one of the family.”
“Ducky, Bea's a fate. That means she can't have a man or bear children. Don't know why; she just keeps telling me 'them's the rules.' Anyway, she compensates by taking in foster children. Never seems to have fewer than four of the monsters. And I do mean monsters. She takes the worst kids the foster service has and a lot of those are abandoned supernatural kids. They become her family. She looks after them and puts them on the straight and narrow. Always suspected she was cheating, but hadn't caught her at it until the thing at Wheelers. Didn't really try all that hard, 'cuz I figured she was doing good.”
“You’re probably talking about Charley. He’s the only one of them I know of living in Clark County and he fits your description. He’s also extremely loyal to his 'sister', Maggie, and just ornery enough to take a poke at you because he thinks you snubbed her.”
“Wait, are you telling me that he jumped me at the football game because I didn’t ask the ogre out? Is he an ogre too?”
“Nope, he’s mundane. He’s just really attached to Maggie. Loyal to the entire family as a matter of fact, but Maggie’s his favorite little sister. He was taken in by Bea when he was thirteen and Maggie was about nine when she arrived a year later. He protected her from that point on and he keeps right on doing it.”
“But, she’s an ogre.”
“Charley doesn’t care. All he sees is his little sister who needs his protection.”
“I've seen ogres in their full form, Sanchez. There's no way this guy can think that he's protecting her better than she can herself.”
“Well, you got three things going against you there, Ducky. First, Charley ain't all that bright. Second, he knows that Maggie doesn't like to transform into her ogre form. Third, you are on the wrong end of Bea's prediction. If making a stupid decision will push you in the direction of the prediction people will make stupid decisions.”
“So, what do I do about this guy?”
“Don’t know Ducky. Not here to be your relationship counselor. I’m here to keep the law. Although,” a grin crossed Sanchez’s face, “You could always give in and go hook up with Maggie.”
I gave her an even look. “You didn’t give in to your prediction, why should I give into mine?”
She laughed at me. “I avoided committing murder. You’re avoiding . . . I think the words were something like ‘love, mutual support, and marriage.’ Not exactly the same thing.”
Suddenly Sanchez’s eyes widened and then her mouth curved down into a frown. “Shit. She’s got me acting as her bitch. Ducky, you’re on your own with all this. Looks like anything I say is going to be affected by Bea’s prediction. Still, you could do far worse than . . .”
Sanchez closed her mouth suddenly and pursed her lips. Then she stood and walked away. As she did I could hear her mumbling something angry under her breath in . . . Latin? Strange.
And I still didn’t have a solution for the problems in my life. Maybe if I just stayed out of Clark County everything would be all right. Maybe.