Deke Koto stood behind the built-in bar in the rec room of the two-story house he and his wife Vivian Vu owned in the Elk Valley subdivision of the city.
“You must be trippin,’ Deke.” She stood before him, a hand on a still shapely hip, the other around a wet tumbler of scotch and ice. She put the concoction to her lips, watching her undercover cop husband over the rim of her glass.
“Check with Captain Tsong,” he said evenly. “I was on stake out.” He’d gotten in around four that morning. He did not smell of booze or another woman, as he had in the past, and this made her suspicious. “A joint this Scarpagio is supposed to have a piece of downtown.”
“Staking out some nitwit honey you mean.”
“Viv, baby,” he began.
“I got your baby.”
He chuckled. She stopped a smile creeping onto her face. “How many times have you been shot?”
“You know how many times and why are you bringing that up?”
A wary “Yeah,” escaped him.
“What’s your point?” He tasted his scotch on ice. The mother of his only son sure made him nervous sometimes.
“That truth and lies are all jumbled in your head, Deke. You’re so used to being guarded, bullshitting me about your dalliances…so used to telling some numb nuts about the big score coming down or the high tech assault rifles ripe for the taking, you can’t tell one from the other. Up is down, white is black to you, Deke.”
“It’s not like that, Viv.”
Now it was her turn to chuckle. “This new case Tsong has his boxers in a bunch for. What’s he promised you?”
“Nothing, nothing much.”
She snapped her fingers. “Chief of friggin’ Detectives.”
Damn, she knew him too well. He sighed audibly. “I didn’t want you to know ‘casue I didn’t want you to worry.”
“Sheeet. What makes you think that? Our marriage is hanging on by a thread.”
He looked at her evenly. “But what about our feelings for each other?”
Vivian Vu finished her drink and stalked out of the room.
Find out the truth when Cowboys, my crime story graphic novel drops on July 13.