page 5, chapter 5
I stood in my kitchen just after 11:30pm, a half eaten cupcake in one hand, a fistful of thumbtacks in the other. The events of the last few days were wedged into my brain with little room for anything else. So much in fact, I had decided to piece together as much of the puzzle as I could. Hence the thumbtacks. I had laid out on the kitchen table, a bunch of recipe cards, and before I could even consider putting ink to them, there was a knock at my door. I found Rudolph standing there dressed in dark jeans, cowboy boots, a black dress shirt and leather jacket. I felt more than sheepish in my own sweatpants and t-shirt that were in fact my pajamas.
"You look comfy." he smiled at me, raising his eyebrows in unison causing his grey eyes to sparkle. He hovered in the doorway both hands over his head, all his weight it seemed in his wrists as he leaned in just an inch.
"You going out?" I realized I was still holding both the cupcake and the thumbtacks. Sidestepping, I dropped them all down on the cutting board in the kitchen as he shook his head still smirking.
"I mean, I was thinking about it. Then I realized, I haven't got a single clue as to where one might go in this city to go out." he shrugged too innocently to actually be taken innocently.
"So you decided to knock on my door instead?" my eyes shifted first to my sad looking half eaten cupcake with the shinny stack of thumbtacks beside it, then to the kitchen table a few feet away where my empty recipe cards were waiting; before being drawn back towards Rudolph. He followed my gaze.
"What you doing with that?" he gestured towards the thumbtacks. "Midnight snack?" he gave another smirk. I stammered as a slight tint hit my cheeks, unable to come up with a good lie.
"The investigation, which by the way, we're not suppose to talk about. Got me thinking." I moved then towards the kitchen table distracted, failing to notice Rudolph pick up my half eaten treat until he was holding it near my mouth. Taking it from him, I watched him proceed to lick the icing off his thumb. I felt my stomach flip as he did, and another wave of a blush heat my face. Turning from him, I grabbed the pen and a few of the naked recipe cards, jotting down what we knew so far. Taking a half step back on my heel, I debated if I should let him know about my aunt's storage unit? I ended up telling him but left out the part about the scandalous dvd.
"Is that what was in the container you were carrying last night when we met?" Nodding, I pointed to the large bin of files. "Is it okay?" the dark haired male asked as he halfway leaned towards it eager to get his hands on the pages."I've seen this before." he ran his finger then across the top of some of my aunt's files, referring to the little red stars she had added. "One of the assignments they want me to do, is connected to an old police investigation being reopened. The reporter who had been interviewing the suspect in the case, had added these markings to some notes."
"Which case?" I asked tacking up the recipe cards to a framed corkboard in the corner of my kitchen. His grey eyes were cast downward not looking at the page in his hands anymore, as he licked his lips, his mind elsewhere for the briefest second.
"The tomato factory." he quickly replied. I caught the faintest hint of embarrassment in Rudolph's posture as he pulled back a few centimeters to lean back at the waist, his arms now crossed.
"I saw something about that..." digging through a small stack of newspaper clippings, I found the photos of the crime scene. "Two dead in an accident." It did have some of my aunt's red stars near the date. "Five years ago." I said mindlessly as I tacked it to the corkboard. "I heard some of the regulars at the coffee shop talking about that last week. Something about rezoning it or something?"
"Hmm." Rudolph grunted more to himself than in reply to me. He still stood there as if on guard like my kitchen was a threat to him. It took me a moment to realize he was deep in thought over the sudden evidence board we were creating haphazardly. "Tomato sauce sounds good right about now actually." the sentence was nearly a whisper as I watched him; his grey eyes shifting back and forth in sweeping gestures over the corkboard, a sudden squint wrinkling his eyebrows.
"You still interested in going out?" I found myself changing the subject without putting much thought to the weight of my question. He nodded his attention on me again. "Give me a few minutes to change and we'll go to Bacchus's Vineyard." I hurried, grabbing the first pair of clean jeans I could find, cursed myself for not having done laundry all week, and proceeded to find a reasonably clean shirt. I subconsciously wanted to match Rudolph's outfit, without matching his outfit. I ended up in a pair of dark flared jeans, a black bell-sleeved silk shirt and my black clutch purse. Walking out of my bedroom, I saw Rudolph tuck his cell phone into his pocket quickly.
We walked into the Vineyard less than fifteen minutes later as Rudolph assessed the situation trying not to slam into any of the drunk university students that were everywhere. I watched as he closed his eyes for a brief half second, breathing deeply the scent of fresh pasta, garlic bread and briny olives. He had been playing with the zipper on his leather jacket the last few minutes of the walk over, clearly focused on something else he wasn't willing to share. But the second we stepped foot in the place, he dropped his hands letting his shoulders relax. The building was broken into two sections, the left of it a sports bar, the right a family style restaurant. We stood at the threshold of each waiting to be seated. The hostess was a short blonde who's uniform was too tight for her to breathe, in heels that were too dangerous to be wearing in the dimly lit building. She licked her lips when she spotted Rudolph, flicking her hair before asking which side of the building we wanted to be on, her hand hovered over the menus. Her fingers seemed to twitch out of instinct over the bar side's menu as if expecting no other option.
"This side is fine." he pointed to the restaurant. "I want to be able to talk." It ironically, ended up not being any quieter than the bar side. The hostess returned to our table three times before our server ever showed, to see if Rudolph had changed his mind. I was of course invisible.
Tune in again for another installment of Cinema Files starring your heroine...me(straight up story. Just an innocent midnight snack?)