Avalon looked at the towering buildings with wide eyes as people walked around her. She snapped out of her gaze when she heard James calling her name. She glanced at James as he approached her. James smiled as he took Avalon’s hand and stated, “You really shouldn’t wander.” Avalon nodded and let James lead her. Ever since they got out, Avalon would wander away when something caught her attention like the pigeons flying overhead or the entertainers on the side of the road. James would retrieve her with a laugh making Avalon wonder if he was annoyed.
James in fact wasn’t annoyed but entertained by Avalon’s fascination with the things around her. She reminded him of a curious cat and sometimes he would imagine cat ears on her head. It made him tempted to place cat ear accessories to her head.
James led Avalon to a clear glass building that had a fake ribbon on the very top. He pointed it out and asked, “Do you want to check this store out?” Avalon nodded and followed James into the store.
The store was filled many cute accessories like cat hairclips and stuffed animals wearing dresses. Avalon’s eyes sparkled at the sight. James smiled at Avalon’s reaction and stated, “Go ahead and explore.” Avalon immediately rushed to the stuffed animals. She grabbed a panda bear dressed like a fairy and moved its arms in different directions like it was having a conversation with her. She then grabbed an orange cat dressed like a princess and made it bow to the panda.
All passing watched with amusement in their faces. A teenager playing with stuffed animals was an adorable sight for most, while others found it strange. James smiled at the sight feeling warmth in his chest. He grabbed a cat hair pin from one of the display cases and walked to Avalon. He removed the hat from Avalon’s head and placed the pin into her hair on the right. Avalon looked at James tilting her head toward the pin in her hair.
“It looks cute on you,” stated James and asked, “Do you like it?” Avalon nodded hugging the cat and panda in her arms. James could tell that Avalon liked the stuffed animals and asked for her to hand them to him. Avalon did with a questionable look. James took the stuffed animals and Avalon to the front desk, where a woman with long red hair was standing. James got her attention placing the stuffed animals on the counter and stated, “I would like to buy these.” He then pointed at the pin in Avalon’s hair and added, “I would also like this cat pin.” The woman nodded with a smile and scanned the objects on the counter.
The woman held the scanner gun in her hand and faced Avalon saying, “Can you please let me scan the pin in your hair?” Avalon nodded slowly removing the pin from her hair, but then the woman shook her head and pulled Avalon to her with a smile on her face.
“I can scan it in your hair, so stay still,” stated the woman. Avalon nodded. The woman held the pin gently between her fingers feeling Avalon’s soft hair touch her fingers and then scanned the pin. With that the pin was put for sale. The woman released Avalon’s shoulder, but Avalon had a look of confusion as she stared at the woman.
The woman winked at Avalon and then looked at James.
“That will be $55.34.”
James nodded pulling out his credit card. He handed it to the woman who immediately scanned it and then handed the card back. The money went through and the princess cat was bagged. As for the fairy panda, the woman picked it up and stated, “Can you wait, while I fix the nose of this little guy?” James nodded allowing the woman to go to the back.
James looked at Avalon with a smile and stated, “These are my gifts for you.” Avalon wrote quickly in her notebook.
“You didn’t have to, Mr. Connor.”
James smiled and patted Avalon’s head saying, “I wanted to and call me James.” Avalon nodded. The woman soon came out with the panda and placed it in the bag and wished them a good day. James and Avalon waved goodbye to her just as the woman disappeared in the backroom again and was replaced by a black haired woman.
James led Avalon down the sidewalk with a bright smile on his face, while Avalon stared at the bag of stuffed animals in James’s hold. James and Avalon noticed a crowd and peeked through only to see a man juggling bottles of fire, while supporting on a lopsided chair suspended in the air. Avalon’s eyes were sparkling in awe, while James tried to figure out how the chair flew in the air. He noticed Avalon’s look and shrugged with a smile thinking that as long as Avalon was entertained it was fine.
Afterwards, James led Avalon to a small café famous for their waffle treats. James and Avalon were led to a table. As they sat down, Avalon took notice that some women were staring at James with admiring eyes making her believe that they recognized who James really was. As if reading her mind, James whispered, “They won’t approach, so don’t worry.” Avalon nodded with a small smile.
As James began to order the special of the restaurant, unknown to him and Avalon, Christopher was peeking from the window. In truth, Christopher was on his way back to the apartment to prevent any alone time between James and Avalon, but when he caught sight of the two watching a fire juggling act, he began to tail them. He did trust Avalon, but he didn’t trust James one bit, especially since it was obvious to him that James had taken a liking to her.
Christopher snuck into the café and sat in the stall next to James and Avalon’s. Lifting his menu to his face, he listened to them hoping for some leads for the case and in hope of preventing James from romancing Avalon.
James, after ordering the special, looked at Avalon with a smile and asked, “So are you having fun?” Avalon nodded and then began to move the arms of the fairy panda with a smile on her face. James chuckled saying, “You really like that stuffed animal, huh?” Avalon nodded and wrote quickly in her notebook with the panda in her lap. She showed the writing to James.
“I always wanted to touch a panda, but a stuffed animal is close enough for me.”
James chuckled and asked, “How about we go to the zoo later on then?”
Avalon’s eyes lit up in anticipation, but then faded and wrote, “I don’t want to be gone too long. Christopher would worry.”
James frowned, while Christopher cheered from the other stall after reading her words.
“What is your relationship with that guy?” asked James. Christopher peeked over eager to hear Avalon’s answer.
“He is my savior. I really like him.”
Avalon blushed at the words she wrote. James on the other hand frowned wondering what Christopher really was to Avalon.
On the other hand, Christopher was blushing madly at her words to the point that he had to cover his face completely with the menu to prevent others from seeing his reddening face.
A woman with blonde hair wearing the café’s uniform soon approached the table of James and Avalon and placed the special order of waffles with chicken strips on the table. The woman also placed a slice of strawberry cheesecake in front of Avalon. James looked at the woman with a raised eyebrow saying, “I’m sorry we didn’t order this cake.”
The woman winked saying, “No problem. It is on the house.” James smiled thanking the woman. Avalon also nodded in thanks, but then her face was filled with confusion as she stared at the woman. Avalon was about to write something in her notebook for the woman to read, but she was soon out of sight.
“Is something wrong, Avalon?” asked James. Avalon glanced in the direction the woman went and then back at James shaking her head. Avalon reached toward her fork to have a taste of the cheesecake, but her eyes suddenly grew wide in horror. She dropped the fork covering her mouth in shock.
“What’s wrong?” asked James. James glanced at the cheesecake and grew pale. Just barely hidden from the strawberry was a bloody tooth. James glared at the kitchen screaming, “Who did this?” His loud voice was enough to catch everyone’s attention.
Christopher immediately ran to Avalon asking if she was OK, while James tried to get an employee’s attention completely ignoring Christopher. Avalon pointed at the cheesecake with her form shaking. Christopher took notice of the cheesecake and immediately ran to the kitchen of the café.
When he was in the kitchen, he approached the closest person and demanded who served the tainted cheesecake. The closest person was a male waiter with a look of confusion on his face.
“There was no cheesecake being served today sir,” stated the waiter. Christopher’s look became serious and then asked, “Then why did a blonde waitress serve cheesecake.”
“We have no blonde coworkers,” stated the waiter. Christopher cursed under his breath and then demanded where the back exit was since he believed that the “blonde” woman would not be within the building anymore.
The waiter pointed in the direction of the employee exit. Christopher took off running toward the exit and noticed that the door was left ajar. He ran out the door, but when he looked around he only saw a blonde wig discarded near the dumpster of the café. He was about to walk back in, but stopped when he noticed a puddle of blood near the dumpster. He approached the dumpster cautiously and then peeked under a pile of newspaper. Lying near the dumpster was a brown haired girl, but blood was flowing excessively from her side and her mouth was wide revealing her toothless mouth. Christopher knelt next to the woman and began to dial on his cellphone for help not noticing a dark figure walking from the scene.