Chapter 5: Troublemaker
Marcus decided to move his search to Cat’s car. The first place he looked was the glove compartment. A lot of people tended to toss seemingly inconsequential things there, which actually shed a lot of light on their activities. Given Cat’s secretiveness, Marcus didn’t hold out much hope that he would find anything useful. He was shocked to see it stuffed full of parking tickets. On a hunch, he pulled out his cell phone and called his secretary, directing her to search for warrants. There was a bench warrant out on Cat for unpaid parking tickets.
Marcus continued his search and unearthed the registration for the car. He glanced over it and was taken aback to find that it was actually registered in her brother Chester’s name. Marcus was going through the armrest console, when police came screeching up in their cruiser and waving pistols.
“Put your hands up and step out of the vehicle!”
In short order, they pulled Marcus out and had him bent over the hood of the car, with his arms pinned behind him. As they applied handcuffs, he identified himself as a bounty hunter. Marcus had to request several times for them to check the identification in his wallet. They took their time examining his credentials.
After what felt like an hour, the officers reluctantly released their hold on him and removed the handcuffs. Marcus straightened up, massaging his wrists where the handcuffs had bitten into them. He made a conscious effort to stay calm and keep his tone polite, not wishing to escalate the situation. The officers’ attitudes remained suspicious. The short one spoke first.
“We received a call that you were breaking into this vehicle. Is this your vehicle?”
“No sir, it’s not mine.”
“Then what were you doing sitting in it?”
“As I said before, I’m a bounty hunter. There’s a bench warrant out for the driver’s arrest. Her brother informed me that she’s missing. This car is registered in his name and he gave me the keys, so that I could search it for clues to her whereabouts.”
Marcus showed them the vehicle registration and gave them Chester’s phone number. The officers placed him in the back of their patrol car, while they contacted Chester for confirmation. Marcus looked out of the window in time to see a silver convertible roll slowly past. He instantly recognized the face smirking at him. It was his attacker from the night before. In a flash, Marcus recalled walking out of Cat’s apartment building and seeing someone across the street, whom he took to be a gardener struggling with a weed wacker. He recalled his absentminded amusement over the way the man was hacking away at the hedges.
Marcus slapped himself in the forehead. It never occurred to him how out of place the man looked on a street with perfect hedges and manicured lawns. How could he have been so blind? If Marcus had been acting in the capacity of a bounty hunter, instead of Chester’s friend, then he wouldn’t have let down his guard.
The observation would have made him take a closer look. Sometimes, the only thing that kept a bounty hunter safe was his or her powers of observation and swift action on gut reactions. Marcus had no doubt that his shape-shifting assailant was the one who had called the cops. Believing that he had gotten Marcus arrested and out of the way, the troublemaker was taking off. Marcus observed made a mental note of the man’s license plate number.
“You just made a big mistake asshole. I’m coming to pay you a little visit,” he murmured.