When I went on vacation to "get away from it all," I didn't.
" Mr. Bathrobe gestured him to follow. Keeping his hand on the grip of his baton, Jose followed warily—it was never good to lie to the police, no matter how discreet things needed to be kept.
Mr. Bathrobe turned into a bedroom. It was softly lit within; obviously there had been some romancing going on. There were burning candles all over the place, and an open and empty Barry White CD jewelcase stood next to the portable boom box atop the dresser. Jose watched the homeowner gesture at the queen-size bed and saw the romancing had led to some good time full-on sex—a pretty woman, obviously nude under the top sheet covering her, was held in a half-spread eagle position by two pairs of handcuffs.
"We can't get the handcuffs unlocked," said Mr. Bathrobe, his voice a nervous squeak.
Jose tried really hard not to laugh. "I see."
"We figured the police handle handcuffs everyday and would know how to handle something like this," the woman added. Her voice turned sarcastic. "That's because Mister Cheapskate here wouldn't cut them off like I told him to!"
Officer Ocala felt laughter try to surge over him, but he engaged all his training to keep it in check. "Ma'am, I have to ask—"
"He's my husband and today is our three-year anniversary," she interrupted. "My identification is in my purse in the living room if you need to look."
"I'll look after we get you out of there." Jose held his hand out to Mr. Bathrobe and he produced a set of handcuff keys. He got to work, trying his professional best to ignore the woman's mouthwatering good looks.
Jose fiddled with the handcuffs, wiggling the key in the lock. The problem was obvious to him within a moment—the handcuffs were cheaply made, with no or little thought to precision of assembly. Even though she had allowed her husband to captivate her with handcuffs to the bed's headboard posts, she had struggled hard enough to distort the ratchet mechanism inside. "How much did these cost?"
"They'll end up costing him two months of no sex and sleeping on the couch," the woman grumbled, highly annoyed.
"Honey, please—" Mr. Bathrobe started to protest.
"Don't you `honey, please' me, you cheap-ass dipshit!" she snarled. "I told you those things looked too cheap when we were looking on the Internet!"
"So you ordered them from a website?" Jose asked, his tone professional.
"Yes, sir. It was a website that specializes in gear for the Hell's Angles type of biker," she said. "I thought they looked cheap and poorly made, but my dear-sweet husband Mister Thrifty here said they looked just fine to him." She looked at her guilty-looking husband, mightily peeved. "They looked fine to him because of the nine dollar price tag!"
Officer Jose worked even harder to suppress a broad smile as he continued his work. "Professional quality handcuffs cost the department thirty-eight dollars a set. The cheap kind like these are easily jammed and are mostly for looking the part."
"`For amusement only'?" she asked, her tone ringing with challenge.
"That's what it said on the website!" she snarled, trying not to complicate Jose's job by struggling her way to freedom for the purpose of kicking her husband's ass. "But no! My know-it-all husband said, `that's merely a disclaimer to keep them from getting sued!'"
Jose knew Mr. Bathrobe would soon find lodging at Camp Lack-of-Nookie and likely be there for the foreseeable future.
Work continued on the handcuffs as the restrained woman watched and waited. Meanwhile, Mr. Bathrobe stewed. After a few minutes, Jose said, "I need a long, thin screwdriver."
"Straight of Phillips?" asked Mr. Bathrobe.
The woman and Jose exchanged glances.