Monday, October 23, 1989
The elevator doors swung open on the twentieth floor, revealing a less-than-normal Monday-morning version of David Addison. Freshly shaved and dressed to impress, he strode briskly down the hall, every so often releasing a few lyrics from Roy Orbison’s “Oh, Pretty Woman”
“Oh...Oh... Pretty woman!” The door to Blue Moon flew open with a thud, jarring Miss DiPesto from her morning funk.
“Morning, Mr. Addison.”
“I know. That’s why I’m here.” With a smile, he took his L.A. Tribune from the counter. “Have a good weekend?”
“Yeah.” Agnes replied, “Bert and I went to beach.”
“Really.” David glanced toward Bert’s empty desk. “What did you do? Wear him out?”
“No. He is home in bed. We went for a beach stroll, and he stepped on a jellyfish. The doctor gave him some pain killers, but they made him sleepy. So, by mistake he fell asleep in the sun, and now he has sunstroke. He is home now in bed covered in blisters and a fever.”
“That’s too bad. I hope he’s okay.” David shrugged and nodded toward Maddie’s office.
“How about Miss Hayes?”
“No, she wears sunscreen, and she didn’t go with us, anyway.”
“No, I mean, is she here?”
“Yeah, she came in early. You have a client in a few minutes. She wanted to prepare.”
“Thanks, Agnes.” Resting his paper and briefcase on Agnes’s desk, he went to Maddie's door. Playfully, he knocked, throwing open the door without a response. “Morning, Sunshine! How’s the beautiful boss lady this Monday morn?”
“Hi, David.” Maddie barely noticed him, too engrossed in a catalog of some sort as she reclined on the couch.
“That’s it? I come in here, spring in my step, bathed and shaved on a Monday morning, and all I get is a “Hi, David? No pat on the head? No doggie treat?”
“I’m sorry. Good morning, David. How was your weekend?” She didn’t look up, still preoccupied by the book in her hand. Curious, David came up behind her and rested his head on the arm of the couch.
“Maddie Hayes, what are you looking at?” Incredulous, he snatched the magazine away from her before she could close it.
“David! Give that back!” Her face heated to a blush.
David held it over his head then perched himself on the side of Maddie’s desk. “Oh, relax. I’m just playing with you.” He stopped short when he saw the cover, his face brightening with a smirk. “Well, well, well. If it isn’t the winter catalog of Rebecca’s Fantasies. I have a copy myself at home.”
Maddie rolled her eyes as she watched him flip through the pages.
“I have to say, this has got to be my favorite. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy Victoria’s Secret and I love Fredrick’s of Hollywood, but they don’t have the selection Rebecca’s Fantasies has. I mean in the toy and “other accessories” department.”
“You’re disgusting!” She spat, spinning around back to the couch.
“But you got to hand it to Rebecca. She knows what men like. Like this.” With an appreciative smile he waved the picture in her direction. “This here is a very hot item this season. Very sexy. The leopard print ensemble. Looks good, made well. I can definitely attest for the workmanship. Rebecca’s fantasies apparel always hold up well in the field.”
“Are you finished?”
“But I have to say black lace on blondes has got to be my favorite.” He thumbed through the pages. “Like here, look at this. This is a very sexy outfit. This would be wonderful on you.” He waved the image in her face. She rolled her eyes unamused. “What? I know the price is a little steep, but look… it comes with the matching dog collar.”
Maddie jerked the chair out from behind her desk and sat down with an angry thud.
She didn’t answer, her eyes narrowing in anger.
David shook his head, offering the catalog back to her. “Okay, here. I’m sorry.”
“Thank you.” She snatched it away from him, throwing it into her top desk drawer.
“What are you so embarrassed about, anyway? It’s just me.”
“I am NOT embarrassed. It’s just… not what I feel comfortable discussing with you.”
“David, before this turns into a stupid argument about how well you know me… or knew me, as the case may be, let me tell you this. Some things about me you may know, but they are no longer your business.”
“What is that supposed to mean?”
“It means that our relationship as it stands now does not allow for the kind of conversation we are having. About… intimate things. And by the way, you of all people should know that nothing in that magazine is remotely close to my taste. It’s smut and trash.”
David smiled. “Oh, I get it… now we get the Miss. Prude routine.”
“I’m not a prude!”
“I know that. And that is exactly your problem. It kills you to admit this, but I am more in tune to Maddie Hayes’ fantasies than Rebecca is.”
“David, I don’t want to talk about this. We have a client coming in a few minutes.”
“No, wait a second. I find it interesting that you, Miss self-important Madolyn Hayes, cares what David Addison thinks about her.”
“Oh, please. You are so wrong. I am not embarrassed about anything. I will have you know that I am a normal American woman with needs and desires and curiosities.”
“You are preaching to the converted.”
“You and I both know that the things in that catalog are for oversexed woman whose idea of romance is a heart-shaped mirror over the bed.”
“Not anymore. Those sold out.”
“But I have to say, David, that kind of woman is right up your alley.”
“Present company excluded, of course.”
“Well listen, before this turns into another round of “Name That Tune”, as far as how well we know each other, let me tell you this, Maddie Hayes. You forget that that I have been a co-star in some of your private plays. I know for a fact that you aren’t the frigid ice princess you appear to be.”
“Oh, so now you think that, just because I don’t run around in a G-string, tassels on my bras, and otherwise have respect for myself as a woman, I appear frigid?”
“No, that’s not what I mean. All I am saying is… men like women who are a little more open with their sexuality.”
“You know, David, attracting men has never had been a problem for me.”
“I’m sure it hasn’t. We all know that you are a very sexy woman.”
“But take it from me, Degenerate Dave, most men enjoy a little raunchyness in their woman. They like to look at garters and fishnets. They want a little dirty talk, roll play, sex games...”
“Whatever you say, David.”
“Miss Hayes? Mr. Addison? Didn’t you hear me knock?”
David and Maddie jumped at Agnes’ voice. “Agnes!” Maddie managed a smile. “What is it?”
Agnes looked at the door curiously. “Well, you kind of make a fist with your hand, and you hit the door with your knuckles...”
“No, I mean… what did you knock on the door about?”
“Oh! That client is here to see you.”
“Wonderful, send him in.”
David waited for the door to shut before smiling.
Moments later, the door again opened to reveal a tall, thin man with a pale completion and thick-rimmed glasses. He looked to be about thirty-five years old, but the dark circles under his eyes made him appear older. He looked at the two detectives in front of him and smiled, nervously pushing his glasses further up the bridge of his nose.
“Won’t you have a seat? I am Madolyn Hayes, and this is David Addison.” She pointed to the chair in front of her desk. “How may we help you?”
He sat down with a nod, placing his briefcase carefully next to him on the floor. “Hello, um, my name is Timothy Simon. You can probably tell I am quite nervous. I have never hired a detective before. I have never even met a detective before. I don’t know if a detective is even the person I should be talking to about this.”
“Well, run it by us, and let’s see if we can help.” David offered
“Okay, well, I am thirty-five years old. I work as a CPA downtown at the accounting firm of Selke and Hansen. I have worked very hard and have been quite successful. I make well into six figures. I have two homes, a nice car, a respectable art collection...” His voice trailed off as his features clouded. “But I have no one to share it with. You see, I am very lonely. I am not a very outgoing person. I work too hard and late during the week to ever make it out on the weekends, much less after work. And I don’t much care for the whole Los Angeles night life.”
“Anyway, one night last week I fell asleep in front of the late news. I woke up a few hours later, and there on the screen in front of me was a phone number number and this big, beautiful redhead telling me to call her.” He looked at Maddie, apologetically. “So, I did.”
“I just want to tell you that I have never done anything like that before. But I was lonely, I guess.” He shifted in his chair, his face lightening to a smile. “But this woman changed that. It wasn’t what she said to me, but - believe me - that was really nice. What I was drawn to was her voice. It was so warm and sexy.”
“We spent three hours on the phone that night. Running up a huge bill. But I didn’t care. I called back the next night and the next. After a while, I started to talk to her about my life and she started to listen. I mean, really listen. And she seemed to understand me. And then, last night... I told her I loved her.” Slowly, he picked up his briefcase and snapped it open. From the top pocket, he pulled out a small piece of paper. “This is the name she goes by and the number I call to talk to her. Maybe this can help you.”
“So, you want us to find her?”
“I know this sounds crazy. Trust me, I know. I am definitely not the kind of guy who would fall in love with a phone sex operator. But I did.” He leaned back in his chair and wrung his hands.
“So, you want to meet her in person?” Maddie asked.
“I don’t want to just meet her. I want to marry her. I want to share my life with her. Make her happy. I know in my heart she has to be the one.”
“But Mr. Simon, you have never seen her. She is a phone sex operator.” David read the number again on the paper. “Are you really sure about this?”
“Mr. Simon. Let’s say we do find her. What do you want us to do?”
“Set up a meeting. Let her know that someone wants to meet her. Here is my card.”
David takes it and eyes it a moment. “Mr. Simon, I am really not sure about this. I mean. Why a phone sex kitten? Why not try a singles club or a dating agency? I mean, it’s her job to make men feel good. She, are you really sure about this?”
“Mr. Addison, I am sure this sounds crazy. I think it is crazy. My family and my friends would think it was crazy. But I can’t help it. I don’t suppose you know what it’s like to be so in love with a woman that you feel like your whole existence depends on her loving you back. And despite all the odds being stacked against it, you can’t stop holding out for maybe a chance you could somehow be happy together. Do you know how that feels, Mr. Addison?”
“David’s glanced dropped to the floor, suddenly keenly aware of Maddie presence. “I can appreciate your predicament, Mr. Simon.”
“Then please, help me.”
“What was the address again? I think we might have passed it.”
David blew out a breath, eyes fixed out the window. “We don’t need the address. I know where it is, and I told you we still have a few blocks.”
“You know I am really not surprised that you know where a place called “Pink Pussycats” is. I suppose you drop in often.”
“On occasion, when the drink specials are good.”
“I don’t understand why you are so upset about this case. I would think that you, of all people, would be delighted to go to a strip club. For once, you have a good reason to gawk at naked women for the sake of business.”
“Well, naked women or not, I don’t like this case.”
“Why? What’s wrong with it? It’s finding a missing person. We have done that a ton of times before. And I think it is kind of romantic.”
“I think it’s kind of ridiculous.”
“I just feel like we are helping this guy mess up his life.”
“By helping him find happiness?”
“That’s just it. This guy is a decent, hard-working, straight-and-narrow guy. Maybe he is a little lacking in personality and a life, but that’s no reason to throw everything away for some bimbo in a thong.”
“I don’t see how he is throwing his life away. If they can make each other happy, there shouldn’t be a problem.”
“There shouldn’t be, but there is. It would be one thing if he were just looking to get lucky. But this guy is talking marriage. This woman makes money in the sex industry. She is not the type of woman you want to build a life with. See her taking the kids to school in stilettos and a micro mini. Weed the garden topless. Take a shot of penicillin with her morning orange juice. You don’t marry a woman like that. Men don’t want women who have been around the block that many times.”
“But they don’t want one who is brand new to the neighborhood, either.”
“That’s right. Now you are catching on. See, when it comes to sex, it is the woman’s job to make the man feel like there has never been anyone else but him.”
“That’s just what she did for Mr. Simon!”
“I mean without getting paid to do it, and preferably in person.”
“Well, I do see your point there, but I am curious Dr. David… What is the MAN’S job?”
“What do you mean, ‘perform’?”
“You know exactly what I mean. You know. Rising to the occasion. Getting her where she wants to get got.”
“Satisfying the woman?”
Maddie stifled a giggle.
“Hey lady, don’t laugh. A man is under a lot or pressure. We are pitching the game, trying for the perfect slider, so you women can drive it home.”
“Okay, now that is disgusting.”
“So, to be skilled in the trade, we men need as much practice as we can get.”
“Practice makes perfect, huh?”
“I’ve never heard any complaints.”
Maddie rolled her eyes in frustration.
“But you see what I am saying.”
“I hate to admit it, but yes. I do see what you are saying.”
“So, you agree with me.”
“No!” Maddie stole a glance in David’s direction. “But I have to say that you, David Addison, are a hypocrite.”
He looked back at her in confusion. “What the hell are you talking about?”
“You are a big, huge hypocrite.”
“How am I a hypocrite?”
“You just told me that it is the man’s job to have as many sexual encounters as he possibly can in order to assert his masculinity...”
“I didn’t say JOB. It’s more like a ‘favorite hobby’.”
“But if a woman wants to assert her sexual freedom by diversifying partners, she is cheap.”
“Okay, before you wave your feminist flag in my face, let me set straight a few things. “First of all, it might surprise you to know that I don’t have anything against easy women.”
“And, Miss Hayes, I would like to point out that you and the rest of the female sex are just as hypocritical as you think I am.”
“Oh? I gotta hear this one.”
“Please. I have heard woman whispering to their girlfriends about which of their aqiotances are whores and sluts.”
“No, wait a minute…”
“And who was it, just this morning, who took offense for her whole gender at underwear in a catalog?”
“David, that doesn’t have anything to do with anything.”
“I think it does, Maddie. Sometimes you are so quick to judge other people.”
“You are doing the same thing! Judging this woman before we even meet her.”
“I wasn’t judging, I was just predicting.” He shook his head in frustration. “Look, I don’t care what Mr. Simon wants from this broad. As long as my bills are paid, the case is fine by me.”
“How can you be so insensitive?”
“How am I insensitive?”
“Look, my point is this whether she is a hooker, or phone sex kitten, or a librarian, we don’t know anything about what is in this woman’s soul. Maybe they will meet and fall in love. You men don’t appreciate a good love story. That’s how you are insensitive.”
“Oh, and here is part two of woman’s nonsensical hypocrisy. You women always claim you want a sensitive man. Well, I have yet to meet a woman who considers tears an aphrodisiac.”
“I have seen you cry a few times, David.”
“Yeah, exactly. And is it any coincidence that I have slept alone since?”
“Pink Pussycats” was like every other seedy strip club in Los Angeles… a broken-down warehouse with peeling paint and boarded-up windows held together by duct tape. Despite the time of day, the parking lot was half full, mostly with dilapidated cars as desperate for a paint job as the building.
“How can a place like this be so crowded at this time of day?” Maddie asked as they pulled into the parking lot. “It’s two in the afternoon on a Monday. What are people doing here?”
David shrugged. “Everyone has to have a hobby I guess.”
Maddie parked the car and killed the engine. Heaving a sigh, she released the seatbelt “So, you ready?”
“Okay, so let’s say we find this woman. What do we say to her?”
“Just what Mr. Simon said to say.”
“Yeah, but don’t you think we should interview her first? See what she is really like? Get the story on her?”
“I’m sure you would agree with me that we don’t want to Mr. Simon to get hurt. And if this woman clearly isn’t what he is looking for, then there is no reason to say we found her, right?”
“Let’s just meet the woman, David.”
David and Maddie were clearly out of place in their uptown clothes and well-kept appearances. The place was dark except for the strobe lights at the foot of the stage and the beer lights flickering an either end. Almost every table was occupied with drooling men, all at various stages of inebriation, with eyes glued to the brunette spinning on the pole in front of them. Techno music blared from the cheep speakers; every so often cutting out when the bass reached a fever pitch.
“God, this place is disgusting!” Maddie took off her sunglasses and jammed them into her purse. “Look at these men. They’re comatose.”
David nodded and guided her toward the bar. “Don’t worry. They won’t hurt ya. Hey!” He signaled to the bartender.
“What ya want?” A surly man with three teeth and a black eye greeted them.
“You missed the library by six blocks.”
David laughed. “No, I mean about a woman who we think works here. Do you know a woman named Crystal Chase?”
The man looked at David with a scowl before turning his attention to Maddie. “What do you want with her? Looks to me you already got a woman.”
David laughed, playing along. “You bet, but I am always looking to expand my collection.”
“Well…” The man rubbed his chin. “I may be able to get her. For the right price.”
David leaned over the bar and winked. “Perhaps we could arrange some sort of trade…” He nodded toward Maddie. “You know what I mean?”
The man looked at Maddie and then back to David. “Oh yeah! That would be all right.” The man started for the end of the bar. “Hey, what exactly do you need her for? I mean, you ain’t some kind of pervert, are you?”
Maddie chuckled. “Slimy, but not a bad judge of character.”
“No way, man. Just an old friend.”
“Crystal left already. Had to go home and get the kids off the bus. But here is her address.”
“This has got to the craziest version of Cinderella I have ever heard!” Crystal laughed, tossing her long, red braids over her shoulders. “This really has to be a joke.”
Maddie and David sat across from Crystal on her three-legged couch, which was littered with Matchbox cars and ratted Barbie dolls. They spoke loudly, fighting over the songs of the Smurfs that blared from the black and white television. “We know it does sound a little too good to be true, but it is. He came into our office and wanted us to find you.”
All three were startled by a loud crash in the kitchen behind them. “Boys, whatever that was… please clean it up.” Apologetically, she turned back to Maddie and David. “I’m sorry, maybe we should go outside and chat. It’s quieter on the balcony.”
“I just want you to know that this line of business was not my choice. It was more out of necessity.” She nodded toward the door. “It takes a lot of money to keep us afloat.”
David smiled. “A lot of mouths to feed for someone so young. It’s a big responsibility.”
“It is, but I make the best of it, I guess. I am 21, and these kids you see running around are not mine. They are my brothers and sisters. You see, a few months ago, my parents were killed in a car accident. They left us with nothing. No family or anything. So, it was up to me. I moved back here from San Diego, and with five brothers and sisters needing food, I needed good money… and fast. And I read about this job in the paper. I don’t actually dance. I am more or less the stage manager. I take care of the costumers, balance the books, schedule special appearances…”
“Anyway, one night, one of the girls saw me putting the uneaten peanuts and pretzels in my pockets to take home for the kids. She saw that I needed some help, so she told me a way I could make a lot of money, be home at night for the kids, and still work during the day at the club while they are at school.”
She paused for a moment, looking over her shoulder to ensure sure her voice hadn’t carried to the children beyond the sliding glass door. “This thing with the phone has really helped us out. Don’t get me wrong. I mean, I know what I do would be considered well, not really…respectable by most people. Believe me, I am really not the kind of woman who would talk dirty to men in person, and I wouldn’t even over the phone except...” Her voice trailed off as a lonely tear meandered down her face. “Look, I know what I do is disgusting, but I have to do what I have to do to keep my family together. and this way… at least the kids are warm and fed.”
David sat silently for a moment, fingering the piece of paper in his pocket. As he glanced around the room at the broken windows, dirty laundry, and scattered toys, he realized his image of the mysterious, exotic dancer had been shattered. She wasn’t cheap or shallow or oversexed. She was kind, respectable and desperate.
Slowly, he lifted the card out of his pocket and handed it to her.
Crystal thought for a moment. “His name is Tim?”
“Yes,” Maddie answered. “Timothy Simon.”
“Crystal laughed. “I can’t believe this. He really hired you to find me?”
“That’s right.” Maddie assured her, intrigued by the possibility of a happy ending. “He said he has fallen in love with you, and you are the woman for him.”
“That all sounds great, Miss. Hayes, but I don’t know. I mean, I do remember the conversation. Just because he wasn’t like the others. It wasn’t all sexual. I mean, in the beginning it was, but then it became different. Like normal conversation.” She looked at the paper in her hand. But this guy called a phone sex line. Don’t you think that is a little… strange?”
Maddie and David looked at each other. “Look, all we are saying is that you might just give it a chance. On the back of the paper is a time and place. He says he will be there waiting. Its up to you.”
It was well after eight o’clock when Maddie closed her briefcase, ready to head home after the long day. She made her way out to the Blue Moon lobby, which was still and dark except for the blue hue of moonlight and the sliver of yellow light peeking from the bottom of David’s door. With a thoughtful smile, Maddie approached his door and slowly eased it open.
David sat behind his desk with his feet propped up, maybe half asleep, maybe deep in thought. Looking out at the city, he didn’t hear her come in.
“Hey there, partner,” Maddie finally broke the silence. “I was just heading home. Why don’t you do the same?”
Startled, David spun around. “Hey… yeah… hi. I was just about to head out, actually.” He yawned and stretched his arms into the air. “Long day today.”
“Yeah, but a good one.” Maddie mused as she walked over to his desk. “I hope Crystal goes to meet him.”
David shrugged “Whatever.”
“David, I know you don’t think it is a perfect match, but can’t you at least be optimistic?” Maddie waited for him to reply, but getting nothing, she sighed. “I know you thought that because she worked in the sex industry she would be trashy or shallow. But she wasn’t, David. She was a just a woman making ends meet. Trying her best.”
“So what, Maddie?”
She sat down on the side of his desk. “David, I still don’t understand why you feel so strongly about this case.”
“What do you mean?”
Maddie considered her words for a moment before proceeding. “Well,” she began, “this morning you were telling me that sexual expression was a good thing for women, but when it came down to Crystal and Timothy, it became a bad thing. I don’t know. I guess I’m just wondering why.”
David dropped his feet from the desk and met Maddie’s gaze. “I don’t know.” He took a deep breath. “I was just thinking about that. I guess I am a little bit of a hypocrite.” He leaned back in his chair and spun back around toward the window. “I guess I’m not as insensitive and chauvinistic as I want to be.”
“I could have told you that.”
“And I guess I am not that comfortable with that side of myself.
Maddie shrugged. “Just like I am not as comfortable with the sexually aggressive and carefree side of myself. “I guess I am a hypocrite, too.”
Slowly, David turned around and looked her in the eye. “Maddie, this morning, with the whole Rebecca’s Fantasies thing... You know that I don’t mean to offend you. “
“You didn’t really. It’s okay,” she replied as she brushed her hand against his. “David, listen. I feel like we should be able to say pretty much anything to each other at this point, so I am just going to say it.”
“We both know each other better than anyone else in the world. Our personalities, what makes the other happy, and what turns the other on sexually.” She trailed off, struggling to find the right words. “What I mean is that… I have been to bed with the oversexed, animalistic David Addison, who breaks the furniture and wakes the neighbors. But I have also been to bed with the gentle, sweet David Addison, who would hold me all night long.”
David looked away, shaking his head.
“You see, you are embarrassed that I said that. Just like I was embarrassed this morning about that stupid catalog. There are things about each of us, David, that ONLY we know. The world knows the carefree David Addison because that is the image you choose to convey. It’s the mask you wear for everyone else. And you have a mask just for me.” She stopped suddenly and caught herself, “Or anyone else with whom you may have that kind of relationship.”
David chuckled. “Speaking of masks. You just threw on your favorite one.”
She folded her arms. “Oh, yeah? What one is that?”
“The one where you act cold, aloof, indifferent. Maybe it’s more like a coat of armor than a mask.” He leaned toward her and looked deeply into her eyes. “I know you try so hard to come off as this over-confident, pristine, ice queen. But remember… I have dried your tears when you have cried yourself to sleep, and I also know you enjoyed waking up the neighbors as much as I did.”
“That’s true, David. I am not denying that.” She admitted. “But what does that have to do with this case?”
David got up and walked toward the window. “I don’t know, Maddie. I think it is just like you said. People who get married should have an intimate, private relationship. How intimate and private can a relationship be if this woman has already revealed all of her masks to every other guy she has talked to?”
“You could say the same thing about me, David. I was a model.”
“That’s not the same thing.”
“Its not the same thing because you know me as a person. You know ME, David. Not just my picture. It is the same thing for Timothy and Crystal. They just did things in a different order then we did.”
David turned back from the window. “You’re pretty smart for a blonde.”
She smiled. “Yeah, I guess so.”
“Me too.” They looked at each other for a moment, the silence growing between them. “Well, it is getting late. Maybe we should go…” she stopped, interrupted by the buzz of the phone.
“Maddie Hayes.” David watched as her face brightened into a smile. “Oh my! Well, I am so happy to hear that! That’s wonderful!... Yes… Thank you for letting us know.” Incredulous, she placed the phone back into its cradle.
“Who was that?” David asked.
“That was Crystal and Timothy. It seems they couldn’t wait until tomorrow to meet face-to-face. They got together this afternoon and have just now become husband and wife.”
“Well, under any other circumstances, I would be skeptical, but in this case… I think it is kind of nice.”
“You do, huh? Who would of thunk it? Maddie Hayes, the matchmaker. David reached over and took her hand, a smirk weaving across his face. “Doctor, heal thyself.”
Maddie placed her other hand over his. “It almost eight o’clock. How about some dinner?”
Tuesday, October 24
It was well after midnight when they got back to Maddie’s house, and both were spent from a late dinner and a few trips around the dance floor. Maddie unlocked the door, removing her shoes as she walked inside. “My feet are killing me.” She declared as she chucked them behind the banister. “I wish I had known we would end up dancing. I would have never worn these shoes.”
David chuckled. “Well now that you have them off, problem solved.” He grabbed her from behind and playfully spun her towards him.
“David, please!” She playfully protested. “I can barely stand I am so tired.”
“Well, I can solve that problem too!” He scooped her up into his arms and carried her into the living room.”
“David, put me down!”
“Sure thing!” With Maddie in his arms, he collapsed onto the couch.
They both laughed. “You’re certainly in a good mood.”
David smirked, his blue eyes twinkling. “Must be the wine with dinner.”
“You had beer.”
“Must be the company then.”
“Thanks.” Maddie smiled, running her hand through his tussled hair. “I had a great time tonight, David.”
“I could tell. You wore me out!”
“I’m sorry. I was in a dancing mood.”
“Don’t apologize,” he answered, his tired voice growing husky. “I love to see you let your hair down and enjoy yourself.”
“Well, it’s easy to do when you are such a gentleman, David.”
“Oh yeah?” Slowly they moved closer together. Their lips were just inches from touching when the phone rang.
David rolled his eyes. “You’re gonna get that, aren’t you?”
Maddie leapt off the couch and grabbed the phone. “Hello?”
His face clouded over as she slowly sat the phone back down. “David, that was the police. There was a car accident a few hours ago. Timothy Simon was killed. Crystal wants us to come down to the police station and get her.”
Maddie and David found Crystal seated on a wooden bench outside the interrogation room. She didn’t look like the small, timid girl they had met hours earlier. Instead of long, red braids down her back, her hair was teased, sprayed, and hanging seductively over her left eye. Her face was caked with makeup, and despite the accident that had just taken her husband, it was miraculously all still in place. There wasn’t even a single tear in her black lace tank dress.
“Crystal?” Maddie called to her, unsure it was really her. “Are you okay?”
She accepted Maddie’s hug. “Yeah, I’m fine. Sorry to call you, but I needed a ride to work, and you are the only people I know in town with a car who aren’t at work right now. “If we leave now, I can quick stop by the club and then get home for the hotline.”
The car ride was quiet except for Crystal’s staccato chomping on her juicy fruit gum. Maddie and David sat rigidly in the front seats, too astounded by the situation to comment.
“Well, it’s been one hell of a day,” Crystal announced. “I can’t believe I was married and widowed, all in twenty-four hours. Oh, well. C’est la vie. At least now I am rich.”
Maddie and David looked at each other and then back out through the windshield. It was hard to believe that such cold words were flying so thoughtlessly from this girl’s mouth.
“Hey, listen. What can I say?” Crystal explained. “The guy had a screw loose, anyway. Who would want to propose marriage to a phone sex operator? He had to have been a pervert.” She opened her leopard print purse and pulled out a baggy. With indifference, she stared at its contents: a Rolex watch, diamond studded cufflinks, and a leather wallet. “These here are all the things the cops gave me that belonged to him. Pretty nice.” She slid the watch onto her wrist and looked at it admiringly.” These little babies will sure as hell buy more than mac and cheese for the kids.”
They pulled up to the same dilapidated apartment building they had visited earlier, though this time it was quiet. The kids had long since had gone to sleep. “Here’s your stop,” David mumbled, throwing the car into park.
“Great! Thanks! I’m not even late for work.” She threw the purse strap over her shoulder and opened the door. On second thought, she shut it again, looking at David and Maddie in the rearview mirror. “Hey, listen. I really didn’t mean all I said.” Her voice cracked as a tear rolled down her cheek.
“I guess you can tell that I am not very good at playing the cold, sex-for-sale vixen. I really feel awful about this.” She swallowed hard and caught her breath. “I didn’t know Timothy, but he seemed like a nice man. I would have liked to have made a life with him.” She reached into her bra and pulled out a Kleenex. “He was different that most guys I’ve met. He respected me, ya know? He wasn’t interested in my body. He was just interested in me. Over the phone, I could just be myself and reveal anything. You know, there is something really sexy about a person knowing things about you that no one else in the world does. You know how rare it is to find that?” She stopped and wiped a tear away, careful not to run her mascara. “Well, it was a nice fairytale… the few hours it lasted. Thanks.” She slammed the door and up the porch steps went.
“What do you think about that?” Maddie asked as they made their way back to her house. “Bittersweet ending, but at least Crystal and her family will have an easier life. Some good did come out of it.”
“Sure, they go from the poor house to the penthouse. Not bad for a few hours’ work. What was Crystal again? A stripper or prostitute?”
Maddie rolled her eyes.
“Sorry, not a time to joke. Time to go home and sleep.” He yawned and stole a glance at Maddie. “You wanna crash at my house? I got a sleeping bag and some popcorn. Maybe play some spin the bottle?”
Maddie laughed. “No sleepovers on a school night.”
“I’ll right you a note if you want to sleep in?”
“Hey, it was just a suggestion. “David smiled, enjoying the comfortable banter as he pulled into her driveway. “Well, see you in homeroom in the morning.”
He leaned over and gave her a kiss on the cheek. “Nightie night, partner…”
Exhausted, Maddie snapped off the light and climbed into her bed. She leaned over to set the alarm, first for seven thirty and then, thinking better of it, eight o’clock. She pulled the sheets over herself and let her head fall softly back onto her pillow. She lay there for five, ten, twenty minutes, but sleep wouldn’t come.
With a bolt, she sat up and turned the light back on. She picked up the phone and placed it on her lap. For a few moments, she just stared at it, trying to muster the courage to pick it up from its cradle. Finally, she snatched it up and furiously punched the numbers on the dial pad.
It was ringing. Once, twice. She took a deep breath then swallowed hard when the other end picked up.
“Speak!” Came the groggy voice.
“Hi.” Maddie replied, almost in a whisper.
“Maddie?” Suddenly, he was wide awake. “What’s wrong? Are you okay?”
“I’m fine. I’m fine. I just wanted… to talk to you.”
“You did, huh?” David smiled as he leaned back against his headboard. “What about?”
Maddie was silent for a moment. Decidedly, she reached over and turned out the light. “Maybe I just wanted to hear your voice. And maybe I just wanted to tell you… that… I thought you were pretty sexy tonight on the dance floor.”
“You weren’t that bad yourself. I love it when you dress up for me.” He reached over and turned out his light. “So, what are you wearing right now?”
“Well, I know you love me in black lace, so I thought I would throw that on. What about you? What are you wearing?” She looked down at her pink, long-sleeved, high-neck nightgown and smiled.
“Just a smile.” He tried to stifle his laughter. “I love it when you talk dirty to me.”
“What else can I say? You turn me on.” She purred. “I don’t know what gets into me sometimes.”
“I wish it was me.”
The neon sign outside David’s window hummed loudly, stopping every so often when a few of the dark letters blinked and then fizzled out to black again. From his perspective, it was the perfect backdrop for a little lighthearted (and wholehearted) flirtation with Maddie, which continued on into the night...
Wednesday, October 25
At the end of the following workday, sometime after the wobblies had cleared out for the night, David found his way across the main Blue Moon office area and into Maddie’s open doorway. She paused from her paperwork, looked up at him, and smiled, “Hey.”
“Maddie, listen,” he wasted no time, wanting to speak before losing his nerve. “I’m sorry about these past few days. I guess I may have said a few things I shouldn’t have.”
“You don’t have to apologize, David.”
“Well, I don’t want you think I’m insensitive.”
“I don’t. I didn’t. I wouldn’t.”
They shared the silence for a moment.
“David, is there something bothering you?”
He lingered in the doorway, measuring his words as he glanced around her office and then back in her direction. “Well, actually…” taking a breath, he stepped forward and made a seat for himself, as he so often did, on the edge of Maddie’s desk, “there is something that has been sort of bugging me for a while.”
Maddie leaned back in her chair and stared up at him with sudden concern. “What is it, David?”
“Maddie, I really couldn’t have cared less about what happened with the Simon case. But it did make me realize something.”
“I think you see me as this jerk who is only interested in one thing with women. And, don’t get me wrong, I normally don’t care what people think about me, but…” He paused and looked her in the eyes. “With you... it was never just all about sex for me.”
“I know, David.” She smiled as she turned away, slightly embarrassed. “You forget that I know you. I know your emotions and your ways, just like you know mine. Even as I am perfectly aware of your insatiable, raunchy, animal side, I also know your sensitive side, and I don’t take that for granted.”
“Okay,” was all he could say, though his voice conveyed a tone of relief.
Maddie rose from her chair, picked up her jacket and hanging purse from the nearby coatrack, and made her way around her desk to meet David on the other side. “In fact, you, David Addison, are probably the most sensitive man I have ever known.”
He immediately stood up from the edge of her desk, at once both visibly taken aback and yet comforted by her words.
“Does it bother you that I said that?” She asked.
He shook his head and smiled. “No.”
“Well, then…” Maddie took the arm David eagerly offered and led him out through her office doorway. “Since it doesn’t bother me that you know both of my sides, too…” They walked around the still, silent lobby on their way to the company exit. “Why don’t we have dinner again tonight, and spend an evening together that’s not just all about sex for me, either?”
And with their simultaneous smiles, the Blue Moon office around them, already awash in the glowing warmth of sunset, seemed to grow even brighter.
"Oh, Pretty Woman" by Roy Orbison