H Is For Homicide Page 31

’’They don't seem all that fond of you,’’ I said.

’’I mean it! I could sue. That's police brutality.’’

’’What's your problem?’’

’’Forget it. It's none of your business.’’

She peered out of the car window and I followed her gaze. Two cops were conferring, probably in preparation for removing us to the station. I wished they'd get on with it. I was cold. My tank top was soaked and my pants were soggy, clinging to my thighs like a lapful of wet sheets. I wasn't sure what had happened to my leather jacket. Somebody would steal it if I'd left it in the restaurant. Both my scruffy pumps and little white socks were mud-spattered and made squishing sounds every time I moved my feet. I could still smell the sooty cologne of secondhand cigarette smoke that permeated my hair. With my hands cuffed from behind, I had metal bracelets digging into the bruised flesh of my wrists.

Bibianna's mood underwent a shift. Her manner now seemed completely matter-of-fact, as if shoot-outs, death, and resisting arrest were an everyday occurrence. She held a foot up, inspecting her shoe. ’’F*kin'shoes are ruined,’’ she remarked. ’’That's the trouble with suede. One wet night and you're wearing slime. I wish I had a cigarette. You think they're going to bring my bag?’’

’’You better hope not. I thought you had a joint in there.’’

That warranted a half laugh. ’’Oh, yeah. I forgot. That's how my luck runs, you know? What's the point trying to straighten out your life if it's all going to turn to worms again?’’

She peered out at the various law enforcement types milling around in the rain. ’’Hey! Let's pick up the pace, frog-lips. What's the delay?’’ It was pointless yelling with the windows rolled up. One of the beat cops turned and looked at her, but I was sure he hadn't heard a word she'd said. ’’Pig,’’ she said to him pleasantly. ’’Yeah, you, kon***-head. Get an eyeful.’’ She stuck a leg up in the air. He looked away and Bibianna laughed.


EVEN WITH THE harsh lights playing on her face, that fine dusky skin looked almost luminous. Thick lashes, dark eyes, a wide mouth still lush with flame-red lipstick. How'd she keep the stuff on like that? Anytime I tried lipstick, it ended up on the rim of the first glass I drank from. Hers looked fresh and wet, lending color to her face. Despite the foul talk, her dark eyes glinted with amusement. ’’I can't believe those guys get paid to stand around like that,’’ she remarked with a glance at me. ’’How are you holding up?’’

’’I've been better. You have any idea where Dawna disappeared to?’’

’’She probably went to call Raymond. Oh, man, he's gonna have a fit when he finds out Chago's dead.’’

’’Who are they?’’

’’Don't ask.’’

’’What'd you do to piss 'em off so bad?’’

’’It's what I didn't do that counts.’’

’’You owe 'em money?’’

’’No way, baby! They owe me. What I can't figure out is how they got a line on me in the first place. What'd you say your name was?’’

For a minute, I couldn't remember which set of fake ID's I'd brought. ’’Hannah Moore.’’

There was a calculated silence. ’’What's the rest of it?’’

’’The rest?’’

’’You have a middle name?’’

’’Oh. Sure,’’ I said. ’’Uhm, Lee.’’

Her tone of voice turned flat. ’’I don't believe it.’’

I felt my heart do a quick flip, but I managed a noncommittal murmur.

’’I never met anyone with three pairs of double letters in their name. Two n's in Hannah. Two e's in Lee and the two o's in Moore. Plus, 'Hannah'is a palindrome, spelled the same way forward as it is backward. You ever had your numbers done?’’

’’Like numerology?’’

She nodded. ’’It's a hobby of mine. I can do a chart for you later... all I need is your date of birth, but I can tell you right now, your soul number's six. Like you're big in domestic harmony, right? People like you, your mission is to spread the idea of the Golden Rule.’’

I laughed in spite of myself. ’’Oh, really. How'd you guess?’’

A uniformed officer, toting Bibianna's handbag, moved over to the squad car and let himself in, locking eyes with me in the rearview mirror as he slammed the door shut. It was apparently his job to transport us out to the jail. He held the bag up. ’’This belong to one of you?’’

’’Me,’’ Bibianna said, rolling her eyes in my direction. It was anybody's guess whether the joint in her bag would come to light or not. She was in deep doo-doo if it did.

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