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LA Is (Not) For Lovers



 
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Erica Stone

It’s been a few days since Rickie’s curbside engagement with Zara the Barista. And she’s still very much... aggravated.

“Needy cappuccino,” the redhead grumbles as she pushes away from her precinct desk. It’s piled high with case files and criminal dockets; she’s neck deep in a double homicide, and the last thing she needs is bullsh*t regarding a hippie-dippie, coffee brewing brat. But, it’s the end of the day, and all she wants is Barney, a cold beer, and mindless television.

Stone! Before you leave, see me.” 

The sergeant is so red in the face that Rickie’s convinced he’s just about hot enough to cook an egg on that bald dome of his. She pretends to tidy her desk some, haphazardly shuffling papers and rearranging files, if only to delay this one-on-one interaction with an equally aggravated boss.

“What’s throwing you off?” he barks as she steps into the room. Rickie doesn’t have an answer. At least, not one she can get away with. She’s close with the sergeant - Bruce Barrington has always been good to her, has looked out for her for as long as she's been with the LAPD. 

“You had a mental lapse in the interrogation room this yesterday.”

Rickie nods. 

“You’re distracted. Where’s your head?”

“I don’t know, sir.” It’s the first lie she’s ever told her boss. And she hopes her poker face is good enough to fool him. There’s one thing on her mind, and it has brown hair and eyes the color of dark chocolate. 

Zara.

That stupid b*tch of a barista has the detective thrown completely off her normal, regimented work ethic. 

“We need you for this case, Rickie. You’re my best detective.”

“Yes, sir. I’ll be back on game tomorrow.”

Rickie Stone has half a mind to march straight to Reed's Roastery after work, just to tell Zara to f*ck right off. The chance of that becoming reality is slim, but at this point, she’s tired, irritated with her own level of distraction, and absolutely horrified with her lack of social skills. Instead, she drags her feet on the way home, half hoping to bump into the woman who’s caused such an abrupt disturbance in her daily life.

October 12, 2017 11:15 pm

Zara Peer

The last thought on Zara's mind is Erica. That's the absolute truth. She is too busy sleeping while the sun is up, stealing her roommate's leftover Chinese food and watching reruns of Sex and the City. She's unsure if she's a Samantha or a Miranda, or if she's caught somewhere in-between. It's the difficult questions like this that keep her up at night.

Before she knows it, it’s 4am. Time to get kick her ass into high gear and get ready for work. The work day is long and tedious, and of course, Zara Peer is the problematic coworker. Always losing track of tasks, not cleaning up after her messes, and far too often shirking responsibility. It’s amazing she’s lasted seven whole months at Reed’s Roastery, and she’s well aware that her days are limited.

It helps, considering the explosive interaction with a regular. She’s surprised the self-entitled red-head hadn’t complained to management yet. Brett, the 22 year old tool who gives Zara the sh*ttiest possible shifts prefers to ‘talk out the rough patch’ than take actual action.

As long as he stays spineless and constantly high, she’ll have a job.

Before she knows it, she’s off, apron tosses haphazardly on the counter as she collects her bag and scurries out onto the street. She smells of freshly brewed coffee and roasting beans. And, just as she’s popping in her earbuds to call her mother on her walk home…

For the second time in a week, an ignoramus knocks into her. This time, it’s different. Her purse goes flying, contents littering the sidewalk. Muttering under her breath, Zara’s hands fly around picking up the discarded belongings. She hasn’t even bothered to see who it was. She’s mainly concerned over one possession.

The same possession that both of their hands settle over. A small vial filled with white powder.

Oh, that’s just…” She starts to plan an excuse, until her dark eyes find the other woman’s. Erica’s. Detective Erica.

F*ck.”
October 13, 2017 12:08 am

Erica Stone

Of. F*cking. Course.

It’s just Rickie’s luck that some d*ckhead would crash into her once she’s almost home. “You’ve got to be joking,” she hisses, realizing that she knows this particular d*ckhead.

The hope of encountering Zara had been half-hearted; she didn’t really have any desire to see the woman, let alone talk to her. She’d grown sour to the thought of getting to know the barista because well, first impressions do, in fact, count for a lot.  Regardless, she drops to her knees, collecting objects strewn across the pavement. Her fingers curl around a small glass vial just as Zara reaches in the same direction.

“What’s…”

Cocaine.

She’d know the drug blindfolded – as a rookie cop, she was often sent to break up house parties, and of course, blow was the popular choice for young LA socialites.

“You’re under arrest.”

Rickie’s instincts kick in, and she has Zara cuffed before the young woman can move from her current position. Of course, the detective has no intention of convicting the barista of possessing a Class B controlled substance. The amount is insignificant enough to where she can conveniently forget about it. But, with the sh*t day she’s having – the sh*t week, rather – putting Zara in a holding cell would certainly do wonders for her mood.

October 13, 2017 12:36 am

Zara Peer

"Come on, you don't have too.." She begins earnestly until her arms are yanked behind her back and cuffed.

"This is police brutality!" When all else fails, she enters her activist mode. "I know my rights, okay? I get.." She blinks, unsure what it is exactly that she's entitled too. Sure, she's still a little high.

Rickie pulls her, kicking and squirming to her feet, making the job as difficult as possible. "You're a real tool, you know that? I didn't want to f-ck you, so you're arresting me? Grow up." Yes, she's full of piss and vinegar. She's well aware that she's the least likable person she knows. She’s a hypocrite, through and through.

Made evident by the ‘Meat is Murder’ tank-top she’s sporting, even though more often than not, she’s out trolling the night in another form. She’s the first, clearly, to accuse a police officer of misconduct while carrying a Class B drug so carelessly.

She’s aware just how problematic she is. And she loves every second of it. “How desperate are you, that’d you’d come all the way back to Reed’s? Can’t handle rejection? Or do you always have to pay people to be nice to you?” Zara is digging in, letting the jabs sink.

At the same juncture, she feels herself bristling with hostility. If she doesn’t calm down, the residents of LA are going to have quite the scene on their hands..
October 14, 2017 10:23 pm

Erica Stone

The detective can’t help but laugh. She’s dealt with stupidity before, but this woman… oh, she’s something else altogether. Zara is stronger than she looks, but her small, wiry frame isn’t nearly enough to disrupt Rickie from dragging her toward the precinct.

Zara’s last remark stings a little, and Rickie grits her teeth to stop a snarky comment of her own from slipping off her tongue. At this juncture, Zara isn’t ‘kind of a b*tch.’ Rather, she’s a self-righteous, self-serving, loud-mouthed son of a b*tch, who needs a serious attitude adjustment.

The booking officer looks amused when Rickie strolls into the precinct with Zara in tow. The younger woman hasn’t quieted down much, but Rickie has managed to tune out her incessant rambling. Even after she’s nudged her into the holding cell and locked the door, Zara continues to spew profanities, and bark about her rights.

“Caught yourself something, eh Stone? I thought you were off the clock.”

“I was on my way home, and this… moron practically throws cocaine at me. Pretty, but stupid.

She pauses to glance over her shoulder at the barista, an undeniable smirk of satisfaction tugging at her lips. If this is how Zara wanted to play it, Rickie Stone is total game. “Hold her for possession of a Class B substance, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest. No release on personal recognizance. I’ll be back in the morning.”

She begins to make her way out. But, she just has to take one more dig at the woman behind bars. She backpedals to the officer’s desk. “Want anything from Starbucks? I was going to stop by Reed’s, but I hear they have sh*tty service.”

The officer shakes his head, and Rickie gives him a small wave in response. “Take care of yourself, Frankie. Put a muzzle on that one, if necessary.”

“You got it, detective.”

She throws casual finger guns at Zara before making a swift b-line to the door.

October 14, 2017 10:55 pm
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