Malachi Gregory – Case Number Sixteen: Rhinestone Surveillance

“Yeah,” Bailey teases after Teams Muscle, Meds, Management, and Makeshift Mal have left. “There’s nothing between you and Xane at all.”

I scoff. “What are you talking about?”

“You were totally jealous about Courtney and Xane flirting together.”

“No, I wasn’t,” I deny vehemently. “I couldn’t care less about who does or doesn’t flirt with.”

“Yes, you were,” Leila chimes in.

“Whatever,” I disregard.

###

As we drive to the location Mal gave us, I ask. “How are we going to do this?”

“We’re hoping that LAPD will have a warrant for us when they get here,” Victor answers. “While we wait, Courtney is going to act as bait. K.J. turned the rhinestones on her dress into sound and video surveillance pieces.”

“Is that safe,” I worry.

“Don’t worry, Xane,” Courtney assures me with a gentle hand on my knee. “I can take care of myself, remember?”

In a joking gesture, I rub my jaw, “How could I forget?”

She smirks at me and I grin back.

###

“Okay,” I say. “But, I do have to ask; what is the story with Courtney and Xane?”

Bailey laughs. “No, you don’t care at all.” I roll my eyes.

“That’s a story he should tell you himself,” Leila answer seriously.

“When he does though, I want to know!”

Suddenly serious, Bailey asks, “Do you think they’re okay?” Bailey is not a worrier; she is a warrior, so when she does worry, you know things are serious.

“I’m sure they are,” I try to assure her. “I’ve seen for myself that Xane can hold his own against abusive assholes and Jason is an Irish Doctor, so he’s pretty much a guaranteed natural bad ass. Besides, Andrea and Andrew are there too and you know Courtney can take care of herself.”

“That’s true,” Bailey agrees. “I’d love to see his smug, sexist face fall when she kicks his ass.”

“That would be priceless!”

###

We wait and listen as Courtney acts as a distraction for G.Q. She knocks on the door to his house, “Well, hello,” he greets opening the door. “What’s your name, beautiful?”

She plays up her beauty and uses her natural ability for flirting to her advantage. “Hi, handsome.” She points to one of the run down vehicles from the garage that we brought with us. “I’m so glad a strong man like you opened the door. I could really use your help with my car. It kind of broke down and I don’t know what to do.” While she speaks, she lets the southern accent she was born with come out. “I’d be real grateful if you’d help me.”

“Of course, I’ll help,” G.Q. answers. “Why don’t you come in while I change into something more suitable for dirty work?”

A wicked gleam shoots through his eyes as he grins. Good, he accept the bait. Now, we just have to wait and listen.

###

“I wish we could see what’s going on,” Bailey states.

“Or at least hear what’s going on,” I add.

“Actually,” Leila says. “We can.”

K.J. informs us, “Veronica was concerned about triggering negative memories or reactions from you, so she asked us to save it for if you asked.”

While KJ sets up a screen for us, Leila explains, “I attached sound and video surveillance to Courtney’s dress as rhinestones.”

“I love Mal Wear,” Bailey and I praise at the same time.”

K.J. sets up his equipment just in time for us to see and hear Courtney struggling to stand her ground against G.Q.

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