Gabriel Caerphilly Taken By Surprise


Gabriel Caerphilly stared through the windshield of the police cruiser, hardly able to focus. Damn that confounded woman!  She’d knocked the wind right out of him with her confession.  He needed time to concentrate.

Gabe pulled into a parking space on West Main.  Wouldn’t do to have an accident, and heading the few blocks back to the police station in his condition might end up in a fender bender. That Daisy had fouled up his ability to think straight again.

He slammed the car door shut and walked toward Merle’s.  A good, stiff drink was just the thing he needed. No, couldn’t do that and get back in his car again.  Gabe wandered down the sidewalk instead.  Antique stores, a yoga center and a small art gallery drifted by as he walked.

It had been another of her “adventures” as Daisy liked to call her missteps with the law.  She’d been caught shoplifting–shoplifting!–and had called for him to rescue her from Southwest Plaza’s mall security.  True, the offense could have been a misunderstanding, and knowing Daisy, that was just what happened. But still, Gabe had to use up some of his good-will points to get the shopkeeper from pressing charges.

He’d been furious.  Ever since this retired school teacher stumbled back into his life, she’d caused nothing but trouble.  Well,  that wasn’t entirely true, but she was more trouble than any sane police officer would want.  She was involved with those wacky romance writers, one of whom probably killed another “writer,” the Catholic priest. She was at the crime scene of a second murder–with her finger prints all over the place.  And now this.

How had the woman survived on her own without him?

Then they’d had that stupid fight when she fell and bumped her head.  He could have handled all that and walked away–right after he made sure the wound wasn’t serious. But Daisy started crying–crying!–and Gabe was caught. Couldn’t let her be upset because of him.

“And to think I was attracted to you!” she’d gurgled out from the safety of his arms as he checked her head wound. When she said that, it was as if the whole world stopped spinning.  He hadn’t felt this winded since Sam Brown knocked him on his ass playing football for the Cañon City Tigers.

At that point, all logic flew out of his head. Daisy Arthur was attracted to him?  For God’s sake he was turning fifty soon. What woman would want an old geezer like him?

Thoughts of Linda Taylor, Gabe’s partner in murder investigations, popped into his head.  She was almost twenty years his junior and show-stoppingly beautiful.  She’d said on more than one occasion that a woman would be stupid to push him out of bed.  Gabe thought she was just teasing.  And now Daisy, that comfortable companion for Gabe’s special needs daughter, was confessing to being attracted to him. Seriously.

The police lieutenant grinned and looked down at a stomach that had remained in control, thanks to an over-abundance of work-outs at the gym. Attractive, eh? He picked up the pace to his walk.  Daisy Arthur, that lovable, and come-to-think-of-it, quite cuddly, soft, sweet, and sweet smelling woman was attracted to him. Not bad. Not bad at all, old man.  He thought of Daisy’s still soft-looking mouth and breasts that made his palms tingle.  Her skirt had flown up over her bottom when she tripped and he’d taken advantage of the momentary nice view.

Sugar Rush, Littleton’s premier candy shop was just a door or two down.  Maybe he’d investigate a nice box of chocolate for the woman who found him attractive. Today was a good day after all.

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