Monday, October 02, 2006

Hump Day - Ch. 6

On the second Wednesday of training, Sebastian began the day taking roll as usual. Tabitha answered to her name from the same front seat she’d sat in last week. Like the rest of the students, she looked ready to learn on that breezy day. Sebastian had a lot to teach them today. That much was obvious by all the notes on the blackboard.

“All right, detectives. Let’s begin,” Sebastian said, after everyone had been accounted for. He stood up in front of the class, went to the blackboard and pointed to the first of many notes that he’d written out before class started.

Help me, Lord, Tabitha mused as she suddenly got a good eye view of Sebastian’s tight rear end in the khaki Duck Head pants he wore. His cute tush had always been one of her favorite things about his body. That and that hairy mahogany chest of his, which just so happen to be covered up by an expensive blue and white striped, button-down dress shirt today.

“Imagine yourself walking through a crime scene. You have latex gloves on your hands and those hands are behind your back so you won’t accidentally disturb any evidence. Can you picture that?” Sebastian said, leading into his lecture. Pausing for nods and affirmations, he looked backwards at his students.

I can picture something all right. I can picture two good pulls, Tabitha mused, wanting to rip Sebastian’s shirt off right now. She was unaware that her sapphire eyes revealed her every thought as she zeroed in on his chest area.

When Tabitha’s gaze traveled upwards towards Sebastian’s face, she saw a glimpse of like passion before he quickly hooded his eyes. Then she was given a hard, stern look before he cleared his throat and promptly turned back towards the board.

“Now imagine yourself taking your initial photographs, always careful to watch where you’re stepping,” Sebastian said, returning to his lesson. “For many that’s the easy part. But now comes the part that gets a little tricky – interviewing witnesses and suspects and trying to determine if they’re lying or not.”

Then Sebastian began to give them tips about how to discern even the little white lies that people told police. Especially since it was a known fact that people lied to cops everyday. No wonder police officers had a distinct lack of trust and tended to second guess everything. If they put too much trust in people and situations, they could get hurt.

Tabitha felt a bit hurt right now. That reprimanding look Sebastian gave her for not paying attention had provoked a boatload of conviction within her.

I’m sorry, Lord, she mused, vowing to make a better effort of staying alert in Sebastian’s presence from now on. Too much was riding on her success to allow the past to cloud her mind.

Tabitha mentally tuned back into class just in time to hear Sebastian talk about how non-verbal behavior was responsible for more than half of all communication. And how cops of all ranks needed to learn how to focus on what a person did over what he/she said.

“Watch out for the shifting of the torso. It reveals internal conflict and may be accompanied by movements of the head and limbs. Also look out for any attempts of the suspect or witness to stand up or leave. Most liars will normally return to their seats, truth-tellers won’t. Also liars tend to delay answering questions. Truth-tellers usually answer questions directly and spontaneously. After all, they have nothing to hide,” Sebastian continued. He was on a roll now and seemed completely oblivious to the fact that Tabitha was even still in the room. Right now, she was just like any other student to him as his teaching gift took over.

Grateful that her moment of temptation had passed, Tabitha hastily typed onto her laptop like all the other students. The things that Sebastian had written on the board were just too valuable not to record. She felt the same way about all the additional comments he made. The more Sebastian talked, the more Tabitha saw just how knowledgeable he was. She couldn’t have been more proud of him.

* * *

At the end of class, Sebastian’s teacher persona began to fray at the ends. The everyday man in him couldn’t help but notice that Tabitha and Brennan had paired off again. In fact, they were about to go on an after-school date.

So she’s actually going to keep that date with him, huh? Sebastian mused, recalling last week’s rain-check.

Why did Tabitha have to be such a woman of her word? Although Sebastian admired that trait about her, in this case, he wished that she wasn’t so honorable. Yet as he sat at his desk, he knew that he had no right to wish that. Especially since he already had a woman in his life.

Sebastian kept reminding himself. A good woman that was walking in the door at that very moment.

“Alzora, I thought we were meeting at the restaurant,” Sebastian said, getting up to meet his girlfriend halfway. He took his black leather briefcase along since he would not be coming back into the classroom.

“I know, but my car wasn’t finished being detailed yet, so I asked the service to drop me off here. That way I could ride to dinner with you. I hope you don’t mind,” Alzora replied.

She couldn’t have been a worse liar. Her eyes were shifty and unable to look at Sebastian directly. Her cheeks were almost beet red, making the color of deceptive especially noticeable against the ivory-colored, jewel-neck jacket and skirt suit she wore.

Sebastian frowned. He couldn’t understand why Alzora was still doing all this lying. Why weren’t her insecurities alleviated by now? Especially after he’d filled her in about him and Tabitha’s personal history together and did his best to reassure her that what they had was over.

Yet instead of being eased by his open disclosure, Alzora seemed more insecure than before. Why else would she show up here unannounced, lying again and putting herself through unnecessary distress?

Escorting Alzora to a private corner in the hallway, Sebastian promptly addressed the same issue he’d talked about just last night. “You know I don’t mind you riding with me, Alzora, but I do mind you lying to me,” he said in a low tone.

“Lying? I’m not lying about anything,” Alzora protested, still unable to meet his eyes.

“Yes, you are. Now if you’re here because you’re still feeling insecure about Tabitha being in my class, just take a good look behind you.” Sebastian continued to make his point as Alzora turned to look at a departing Tabitha and her handsome gray-eyed classmate. “Right now she’d headed out to dinner with that guy. If that’s not a clear sign that she’s gone on with her life, I don’t know what is.”

Feeling guilty, Alzora turned to Sebastian with an apologetic look upon her face. “I’m sorry for not trusting you, darling. It’s just that I get the feeling that you two aren’t really finished yet and it scares me.”

Sebastian cupped her chin in his free hand and smiled tenderly down into her face. “Like I told you last night, whatever Tabitha and I had is over. As for any unfinished business between us, I’m sure it can be worked out with just a simple conversation.” He smiled wider and added, “Now can you and I please go to dinner? I’m starving.”

“Sure, darling,” Alzora replied. She seemed to feel a little bit better. Yet there was still something niggling at her. Something that suggested that Sebastian was the liar now. The unfortunate part was the fact that he was doing the most lying to himself. That unfinished business between him and Tabitha would take more than a simple conversation and that’s what Alzora was so afraid of.

© 2006 by Suprina Frazier

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