The Fan is a busy place. Residential housing bumped up against shops, restaurants and bars, but even so, our neighborhood was relatively quiet. If there ever were complaints about noise it was usually against us. There would be numerous calls tonight.

Our quaint house and its charming rooms were overrun. We’d moved dead guy to the back porch. The two live specimens were sitting in the library window seat, bound and gagged and shooting Lena dirty looks. She sat in the middle of the floor going through all the “cool shit” she had taken off them. I don’t know much about weapons but that was an awful lot of hardware for three men. Christie was working on getting the blood out of the carpet. I was busy sucking down another Cherry Jubilee while being furious at one immovable giant with a head full of rocks and a right royal pain in my ass. And ADA Jackson stumbled around holding an ice-pack to his face and freaking out about all of it.

You knew. All that with the coffee. It was a ruse.”

Ruse? Who the hell used the word ruse at 1:30 in the morning?

“But how did you…. the porch light.” The icepack came down, “The flashing.”

“Very good.”  I saluted with my Jubilee. We rarely used it, what with texting, but sometimes we couldn’t get to a phone and the flashing could be triggered from any light switch in the house. It could also be voice activated. It was one of a handful of warning systems we had set up. McGoverns are firm believers in putting eggs in numerous baskets.

“You knew there were intruders… “ Jackson whirled on me, “You shoved me right at them.”

“They weren’t after you.”

“You threw me into the line of fire.”

“They were not after you.”

“I could have been killed.”

“It was a calculated risk. I knew backup was on the way. I did not know that the back-up would kill my best source of information.” I slapped Gavin McIntyre in the middle of his chest and ow.

“Damn right, I did.” Beefy arms folded over said chest.

Jackson stumbled to a stop. “Killed? Who? There’s a body?” 

“We moved him to the back porch.” I told Jackson to shut him up, so I could yell at Gavin without interruption. It was an epic fail

Jackson jumped between us, red-faced and bug-eyed, “You can’t move a body.”

 “Mac kept tripping over him.” Lena sighted down one of the half dozen handguns surrounding her. “Grace, she ain’t.”

“I’m tired.” My defense of my lack of coordination came out a tad whiny.

Nobody heard it over all the shouting.

“You cannot toss bodies out of the way. This is a crime scene.”

Lena waved an ammo cartridge at him, “Well if you want to get a technical about it. Hell, there’s no mystery how he died. Gavin ripped his spine apart.”

“He did what?”

“He detached his head from his spine and now I can’t get answers.”  I blasted Gavin with my death-ray glare

He repelled it with his stubborn superpowers, “You have spares.”

“Oh yeah, those two will know all kinds of shit.” Lena snarked, “Dudes got taken out by Granny Rose’s hall tree and a doorknob. Couple of geniuses, they are.”

Jackson’s bug eyes shifted around the room and landed on Christy and her blotting rag.

“Is that blood?”

“Mm-hmm.” Christie was back to blotting.

Jackson’s face went from flushed to pale to flushed again, “Whose?”

“Whose what?”  Christie asked, her body bouncing.

Jackson bowed his head. I saw him take a few deep breaths, then very slowly
 couple deep breaths very slowly and carefully asked, “Whose blood is that?

Christie paused, lifting her head to study the two morons in the window seat, her nose wrinkling as she thought, ““Uh… Idiot number one, I think.”

“Nah, it’s number two.” Lena said, “The Hall tree got Mac’s guy first.”

“Are you sure?” Christy asked.

“I heard the crack when you hit him.” Lena said, “Hall-tree went down first.”

“Oh, Okay. Idiot 2, then.” Christie bobbed a nod up at Jackson and went back to blotting.

 Jackson, head swinging on his neck with every revelation, turned to me in a silent scream of helpless frustration.

 “We have a system.”  I explained, “We number them in the order we take them out, but safe to say it’s the one with the blood in his hair. Head wounds are bleeders.”

And that was poor Jackson’s one bridge too far. He degraded into sputtering a random amalgamation of “you cant’s, she cant’s, and you’re crazies.”

“Jackson you need to calm down.” I pulled out my phone and checked the incoming text. I headed out of the room and made my way to the front door. Jackson followed, still listing cant’s.

“This is your lucky night. None of this is your problem.”

 Jackson took a break from his fit, “Well, it’s somebody’s problem.”

“Yep,” I threw the front door open. “It’s his.”

Jackson blinked at Ice blue. Taking in his neatly combed hair and his wrinkle free suit. “Who the hell is this?”

Ice Blue didn’t miss a beat, “Michael Johnson, Secret Service. This is now a matter of National security. Mr. Jackson. You have a murder case to oversee. Go home. Get some rest.”

Jackson actually started to protest.

As Hermione Granger once put it, “What. An. Idiot.”