Like a Gentleman Would
Disclaimer: Written for fun, not profit.
Author's Notes: For Ifreet.
Story Notes: AU set in the Leather Kisses 'verse.
Like a Gentleman Would*****
There were a handful of the club patrons still hanging around the station. Chelsea Watkins had managed to get nearly everyone, except for those who had dime bags on their persons at the time of the raid, off with only a small fine to pony up before getting released. Ms. Kowalski had a really good attorney.
Ray sat up and stretched his arms toward the ceiling. Benny, fingers flying all over the keyboard, was typing up the report. Had this been a regular night--not that he had had a regular anything ever since he started to liaise with Fraser--he would have felt lousy. Fraser was no one's secretary.
It was three in the morning, however, and the sooner he could hand over his report, the sooner he could get a chance to talk to her.
He had caught a glimpse of Stella Kowalski while escorting Ms. Watkins to Interrogation One. Huey and Gardino were the lead detectives, which meant that they got to spend some time asking Stella all kinds of questions. The lucky bastards.
In an ideal world, Ray would have been able to finagle something so that they could talk. Unfortunately, between asking Welsh to brush off Fraser's arrest and dealing with the young girl's diplomat dad, the best Ray could do was to keep glancing at the door, hoping for just five minutes with Ms. Kowalski.
A loud zip shook him out of his thoughts.
"Here you go, Ray," Fraser said while sliding some papers toward him. "I took the liberty of correcting some of your misspellings."
Ray gave Fraser a smile, scribbled his signature on every other page and turned it in. He was walking back to his desk, whistling an off-key version of Strangers in the Night, when he came face to face with Ms. Kowalski.
Now, the Vecchio men had always had the kind of easy-going charm that melted the coldest of women. Usually, Ray Vecchio would have been able to deliver a line worthy of Dino Martini himself.
Still, he was speechless as he stared into Stella's pale blue eyes.
She looked up to him. "I was just on my way to offer my thanks to your Lieutenant, Detective . . .? "She raised her eyebrows.
And just like that, Ray's charisma woke up. "I'm Detective Ray Vecchio, Ms. Kowalski." He held out a hand and did his best to ignore Fraser's puzzled look.
They shook hands.
Chelsea cut in. "Let's go, Stella. I still have to drive you back to the club so that you can pick up your car and, unlike others, I have to be at court in," she checked her watch, "six hours."
Ray wasn't completely aware of how did he do it exactly. But, as soon as he saw a flicker of disappointment in Stella's face, he asked her out for an early breakfast at the Iguana Caf on Halsted Street, slid himself into his camel coat, drove Benny home and still made it to the front door of Leather Kisses with five minutes to spare.
Twenty minutes later, they were sitting in a booth and ordering a couple of burgers.
"So," Ray said after taking a quick glance at Stella's pale lavender corset, "do you like to hang with the clientele or is it all for show?"
She gave him a quirky smile. "Are you asking me if I like to play?"
He cocked his head to the side.
"Isn't it more fun to find out?"
He grinned. "Touch."
Sipping his coffee, Ray thought back at his initial shock when Stella pulled up next to him in the diner's parking lot. For such a petite woman, Stella should have look bizarre behind the wheel of a muscle car. It was weird, all right. Weird and beautiful. The way she handled the GTO got Ray hard.
"I didn't know you had a thing for cars."
She smiled. "I'm car sitting. It's my hus--ex-husband's car."
Even though Ray tried to keep his face neutral, something must have slipped through because Stella frowned for a couple of seconds. "He's . . . off to work and doesn't really trust anyone else to look after the Goat."
A flash of spiky blond hair popped up in his mind. "Kowalski! I get it now!" He lowered his voice. Even though they were the only two customers in the entire place, you never knew who could be listening. Ray lowered his voice. "The 23rd right? I worked with him. Good cop but, uh--"
"Stubborn as hell?" Stella nodded with a strange mix of sadness and loyalty. "Yes, he is."
Ray knew Ray Kowalski. They had been part of a major bust during which Kowalski earned a citation. The fact that Stella had been a cop's wife made her ten times more attractive.
He could see the many ways this evening could go. With him talking about Angie and her about Kowalski. With them talking about the craziest moments in their lives. She would underestimate the level of cuckoo in his life him since he was only a cop and she, after all, did own the wildest bar in Chicago. But, he was partners with Fraser.
Maybe they would end up tumbling in bed; maybe they would only share a naughty good-night kiss. Either way, Ray couldn't wait what the future held for them.
End Like a Gentleman Would by Lucifuge5
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