Killer Chameleon

Killer Chameleon by Chassie West

Book: Killer Chameleon by Chassie West Read Free Book Online
Authors: Chassie West
certain how it would be received, so I chickened out and kept my mouth shut.
    â€œAs for siccing the cops on you, that’s the one that worries me. It could have backfired. Unless, again, she figured that since you’d been a cop, you’d know how to react so you wouldn’t get yourself shot—assuming she knows you were in uniform for eight years. You say the senior man’s name was Willard? I’ll give him a call, see what he’s found out.”
    â€œIf anything,” I said, momentarily distracted. I’m a leg woman. Wearing only a pair of briefs and T-shirt, Duck stood barefoot, ankles crossed, presenting one long line of smooth, yummy, brown, well-muscled thighs and calves. He’d make a great model for Jockeys or BVDs, especially with that nice round butt and . . .
    I yanked myself back to the subject at hand. “He left to question some of the people decorating the tree, but face it, what with heightened security and all these days, the department doesn’t have the time or manpower to waste on a prank caller.”
    â€œOh, they’ll take it seriously, all right. Think of the number of cops they sent.”
    â€œI’d just as soon not,” I said, with a shudder. All those uniforms, their weapons aimed at me. I’d be dreaming about that for a while.
    â€œCan you think of anyone who’d go to such lengths to shake you up? Someone at one of the districts you were assigned to maybe? Think male and female. She might be some joker’s girlfriend he’s asked to help. Because we’ve both worked with a lot of practical jokers, but the women in the department don’t tend to go in for the kind of juvenile behavior the guys enjoy. Smelly cheese in the bottom of a locker, swiping a dude’s lunch while his back is turned, that’s the kind of stupid stunt we pull on each other. But this has a really nasty feel to it. You sure you haven’t crossed someone here recently? You may not have meant to, but—”
    â€œNo, I haven’t. Honestly.” I pulled up short, something he’d said opening up possibilities that hadn’t occurred to me. They rapidly escalated to probabilities. “Oh, my God.”
    â€œWhat?” Duck glanced at his watch, then sat down, straddling a chair backward. “You remember something?”
    â€œRealized something. The dog and cat turds.”
    â€œSay what?” He lowered his head, gazing up at me, as if over his reading glasses.
    â€œSomeone left a pile of dog poop in front of Cholly and Neva’s a while back and some cat poop yesterday. It wasn’t for them, it was meant for me! Whoever did it didn’t know I’d moved out.”
    â€œUntil sometime yesterday,” Duck amended, “or they wouldn’t have known to call Janeece’s.”
    â€œRight. That rules out the residents; they can probably give you the precise date I carried my clothes across the hall. Which means it has to be an outsider, perhaps someone in Gracie Poole’s group. They’re members of her arts and crafts classes at the Seniors’ Center and were in and out of the lobby all day, plus hitting all the floors to collect ornaments from people—”
    â€œA perfect opportunity to leave the cat crap.”
    â€œPoor Neva and Cholly. I don’t know if I have the guts to tell them. I guess it’s just as well I’m moving out so they don’t ask me to.”
    â€œHey, none of this is your fault, at least as far as you know.”
    I waved that away as irrelevant, still trying to work out a plausible scenario. “If this woman helping with the tree just happened, intentionally, of course, to mention my name, sooner or later someone was bound to tell her I’ve been bunking with Janeece.”
    Duck smiled, got up, and planted a kiss on the top of my head. “Smart girl. That’s it, then. So we find out who was in the Poole woman’s group

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