Flash This!

Prompt: Crayons are colorful.

Alex followed Ms. Appleby inside her apartment and frowned. On the outside, dressed in a white silk blouse that clung to her body from the rain and a pair of khaki slacks, she appeared like a woman in control and very organized. She looked downright beautiful, even soaked to the bone. He really needed her to change as much as she wanted to change. The way her clothes clung to her body was not helping to reduce the sudden attraction he felt for her. He never let his emotions control him, or found a potential suspect so enticing.

And he needed to stop that thinking in its tracks. Not only would it be bad to get involved with a woman who could be a murderer, but he could never date someone as messy as her. He liked everything in order and put away. Not like this disaster zone.

Her entire apartment looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in months. From the doorway, he could see the kitchen, living room, and dining room. One large room that was covered with crap in every spot. Her kitchen counters were lined with dishes, even a pizza box that looked like it should’ve been thrown away last week. Her dining room table held papers and what appeared to be art supplies of all varieties: paints, color pencils, crayons. You name it, she had it in stock. Her living room, besides a dingy old couch in the middle, was covered with drop cloths around the entire floor. Speckles of paint littered the cloths. Clearly, that’s where she created her works of art. At least, in her mind. In his, they were the starting point for a killer’s imagination.

“It’s that bad, uh?”

He met her gaze, probably with a look of disgust that he couldn’t hide, and shrugged. “I’d like to say I’ve seen worse.” He looked away, walking toward the dining room table. “Please, change. I’ll wait.”

Shifting a piece of paper around to look at it more clearly, he almost smiled at the beauty of it. A simple drawing of a mountain landscape with the sun setting in the background. The lines were choppy and uneven, considering it looked like it was drawn with crayons, but the colors were beautiful, especially with the way they collided together.

How could a woman paint such brutality, and then this kind of beauty? One filled with death and mayhem. The other with happiness and splendor.

“The Teton Mountains. That picture obviously doesn’t do it justice.”

Almost afraid to turn toward her, he steeled his features as he glanced to his right where she stood. She had changed into a pair of gray sweatpants and a black t-shirt. Both were rather baggy on her, but his mind could still conjure the image from before. Slender body. Delicate curves. Ample breasts. Not good. At all.

“It’s drawn with crayons.” Why the hell did he say that? Any idiot could see that.

“Crayons are colorful. They give you a different sense of a scene than acrylic paints or color pencils or even chalk can.” She fingered the edge of the drawing. “I don’t just paint.”

“Why is this beautiful?”

She pinned a hard glare at him. “Was that a mixture of an insult and a compliment?”

“You paint death, yet color beauty. Why?”

Her eyes turned down. “I’m thankful I still have beauty inside me.”

He couldn’t resist. His hand reached out and tilted her chin so he could look into her eyes. “Why would you think you have no beauty inside of you? You’re certainly beautiful on the outside.”

“I guess you didn’t find everything there is to know about me, did you, Detective?”

Well, that didn’t take a genius to figure out. The question is would she tell him what he was missing?

She jerked away from his touch and headed for the kitchen. “Would you like something to drink?”

“I’d like to know why someone would follow you. Why someone would copy your painting to the T.”

Pulling a water bottle out of the fridge, it looked like her hand shook as she twisted the cap off. “Are you sure someone was following me home?”

“Positive. I know what I’m doing, and I do a damn good job of it.”

“I don’t know. I honestly can’t tell you anything.”

He moved so quickly she almost dropped the water bottle. He grabbed it from her hand before it fell to the floor and set it on the counter behind her. His body boxed her in. “I think you do know. You know something.”

“You should leave.”

“And you should tell me what I missed when I investigated you.”

“I want you to leave.”

His breath hitched. His heart shook with an unfamiliar feeling. His senses reeled from standing so close to her. “I want to kiss you.”

Her hands slapped his chest, then pushed, making him stumble back. “I don’t know what game you’re playing, but it won’t work with me.”

Shit! What the hell just came over him? He had no idea what game he was playing either. This was new territory for him. His gut was finally telling him something.

It said she was innocent. It said he needed to protect her. It said something evil was coming and she was the center of it.

He almost crumbled over in pain from the barrage of emotions hitting his gut.

Air. Some air and some distance was needed. Now.

Pulling his wallet out, he set his business card near the sink, then headed for the front door. His hand gripped the handle hard. “Call me if you remember something I need to know.” His eyes found hers. “But I will be back regardless.”

He left without waiting for her response. Because if he stayed any longer he would give into his impulse and kiss her.

Kiss a potential suspect? He had to clear her name from the list before he did that.

♥♥♥

Eek! I hope you enjoyed this weeks flash fiction:) Oh, and if you didn’t know, One Taste of Crazy is available for pre-order for only $.99! Awesome, right?!?!

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