\ 19:24 "Waiting for the limo" | unlimitedi.net
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Pablo waited in his apartment.  He had his badge and off-duty gun sitting on the coffee table in front of him and he was considering them carefully.  This was a party, there was no reason to carry the piece.  But something told him he should.  Some instinct said that in a room full of goth crazies in a bar where there had been reports of vampire bites there would be trouble.

Alison, however, had been very specific: Be yourself, don't be a cop for one night.  You'll meet some of my friends and maybe even have some fun. Don't be a cop.  He had been thinking about this for days.  How do you not be a cop? You don't carry a gun.

He picked up the badge and slid it into his pocket. Some things were too hard to ask.  The buzzer downstairs rang and a voice came over the intercom.  "Limousine for Mr. Sandoval."

He punched the button, "Be right down"

He removed the clip and checked the chamber before placing the gun back in its drawer and locking it.  I'm going to have fun, tonight, he thought.  But that damn voice in the back of his head wouldn't let him believe it.

Downstairs the limo looked big enough for twelve.  Several of the barrio boys were admiring it.  They shouted to him, "Ese carro esta que echa caldo!*" and "En el mundo de la Farandula!**" and he laughed and waved.  They were good kids and he knew they were having some fun at his expense. The driver held the door and he slid into the leather seats.  Inside was all chrome and black Lexan with neon running lights. 

There was a bar, tv, stereo system, and bags of snacks.  He helped himself to some pretzels and poured a bourbon and sat back in the car to enjoy the ride.  He wondered if Alison spent a lot of time rising in limousines and if this was going to be a typical date night for them.

Probably not, he finally admitted to himself.  She only seemed to release one or two of these books a year and only the last few had been the huge best-sellers that had prompted launch parties like the one tonight.  Once again he found it hard to reconcile his memory of Alison the eager young reporter with the big-time author.  But that little dinner date they'd had really made it clear that "Lucinda" wasn't Alison. 

He liked Alison and for that he'd indulge Lucinda.  He hoped that he could offer as much separation between Juan Pablo and Detective Sandoval.

*  Your car gives broth - Slang for "your car is badass"

** You are in celebrity land - slang for he's in the "big time".

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