Hell, I would have noticed her even if she hadn’t been pumping out enough chemical signals to attract every male within a hundred yards. She was a perfect specimen of the sub-species, with those delicate wings, tight little waist and a deadly sting on display for all to admire. Sure, she was a wasp, but who wasn’t in this part of town? And she looked like she was in trouble, vulnerable, though that was probably just the pheromones talking.
I sidled up to her and said, “Hey baby, what’s the buzz?” then immediately regretted leading off with such a lame come on line. The fact that she tittered demurely and didn’t shoot me down for fighting outside of my weight class should have been my first indication that all was not as it seemed. Too bad I wasn’t thinking clearly at the time.
“I’ve got a big problem and need somebody to help me make it go away,” she purred, turning those big non-blinking eyes my way.
“What’s in it for me?” I asked, again regretting my words, since it sounded like a deal killer when it was out there hanging in the air between us. To my amazement and, in retrospect, against my better judgment, the conversation continued.
“Does that really matter?” she cooed, subtly changing the chemical cocktail, the equivalent of slipping me a Mickey Finn. I was completely under her spell, but, as I drifted down into a haze of mental fog, I didn’t care.
When I came to, she was nowhere to be found. Hell, I didn’t even know where I was. There was pounding in my head, which I quickly realized was being matched by pounding on a door too close for comfort. The dim light in the room offered no immediate clues to my location, but that quickly changed as the door crashed inward and light from a hallway illuminated the depths of my predicament.
There I was, surrounded by cops, you know, the Yellowjacket Squad. The room looked like it had been tossed by amateurs, looking for something they never could find. And there in the center of an ornate rug that looked like it could have been called a tapestry and hung up in a museum, was the body of Tommy “The Hornet” Shay.
It’s hard to say which stunned the cops more: the sight of him dead, or the thought of me, a low-level nobody, as the apparent assailant. I started to profess my innocence and then realized that even I wasn’t sure that was the truth. Just another dope played for a patsy by a beautiful dame.