“What do you mean there ain’t no turkey? How the hell do you lose a turkey?” Bruno demanded angrily as he stared at the spot on the counter where the turkey should have been.
“I don’t know,” Wally replied with a slight panic in his voice. “It was there on the counter when I went to take a shower, and when I got back, it was gone.”
Bruno raised an eyebrow like this was the most ridiculous thing he’d ever heard.
“And you checked the whole apartment?”
“Of course,” Wally answered. “The turkey isn’t here.”
“I could see if this was a corpse cuz I get that you lose them all the time, but this is a damn turkey. The thing ain’t got no head, it can’t fly, and its insides have been scooped out,” Bruno admonished his hopeless host. “I ain’t gonna take the heat for this. You gotta explain this one on your own!”
Wally, who had been keeping a straight face during the Detective’s tirade, finally broke down into hysterical laughter.
“I’m just messing with you,” he admitted. “The turkey is in the fridge.”
“Don’t mess with me like that, kid,” Bruno warned. “I ain’t gonna kill you this time, but the next time you gimme heart palpitations like that, there will be blood. And it ain’t gonna be mine.”
Wally chuckled and placed the turkey on the counter.
“Technically speaking, this is a corpse,” Wally felt the strong urge to correct his mentor, and then immediately regretted his words.
Bruno gave the rookie a very stern look. “I get that ADA Ambrose has the hots for you, and you somehow managed to get Maggie thinking you’re the cat’s pajamas, but I still ain’t sold on you, and I’m the only one in that holy trinity whose vote really matters cuz I got a gun.”
Wally laughed. While he still found Bruno to be extremely intimidating, he was now ninety-nine percent certain that the grumpy Detective wasn’t going to shoot him simply for pissing him off.
The young officer glanced over at Bruno, saw the disapproving look on the man’s face, and decided to readjust that calculation to ninety-five percent certainty.
“Michelle and I are very excited about Thanksgiving dinner at Maggie’s,” Wally decided to butter up the man he hoped would someday take him on as a full time partner. “Thanks again for the invite.”
Bruno shrugged. “You ain’t gonna hug me now are ya? This was all Maggie’s idea. If it was up to me, I’d just stay home, watch football all day, and not have to play nice with others.”
“Well, let me apologize in advance for your having to put on pants, leave your dimly lit house, and spend a few hours socializing,” Wally teased. “I’m not sure what Maggie sees in an old fart like you, but she is amazing, and you should count your blessings that she wants to be seen in public with you.”
“Trust me, kid, every night before bed when I say my prayers, I wrap it up with a major thank you to the Big Guy for giving Maggie the temporary insanity that makes her think I’m some kinda catch.”
They both laughed at that one.
“And what did ya mean ‘put on pants’?” Bruno demanded. “How do you know I like to watch TV in my boxers when I’m home alone?”
Wally made a face like that was an image so disturbing that he’d be having nightmares about it long after the Thanksgiving leftovers were gone.
“I set up cameras in your place so I could get to know you better,” Wally replied without missing a beat. “Captain Hamel thought it would be a great idea since you’re so closed off, and he even signed off on my request to use the equipment.”
Bruno growled and then drummed his fingers on the counter in frustration.
“You’re lucky Maggie and ADA Ambrose know I’m here, kid,” Bruno threatened. “Cuz I could make you vanish so good that they’d be making podcasts decades from now trying to figure out what the hell ever happened to that pain in the ass rookie beat cop who had his fifteen minutes of fame when he tagged along with that famous Detective who solved the Vanishing Corpse case.”
“You know you love me, you big softy,” Wally poked the bear with a big smile. “Besides, our lady friends are best buds now, so even if you don’t want to team up with me at work, we will be spending plenty of time together in our off hours.”
Bruno rolled his eyes. “Now you understand why I work so much overtime.”
“You know, when we go around the table on Thursday saying what we’re thankful for, I’m going to do a solid five minutes on how grateful I am for having met you,” Wally informed him. “The speech is about ten minutes long now, but I’ve still got a couple of days to whittle it down to a tight five.”
“Jeez, kid, I ain’t never gonna get used to your horrible sense of humor, but let me give ya a little tip,” Bruno advised. “Maggie loves turkey, and if delay her enjoying this majestic bird on Turkey Day with some rambling, wise ass speech, you’re gonna see her Irish come out. You’d better hope ADA Ambrose is strong enough to tear Maggie’s hands away from your throat because I ain’t gonna lift a finger to save ya when she leaps across the table to strangle ya.”
Bruno flashed a very menacing smile, and Wally found himself involuntarily reaching for his throat to make sure no one was trying to strangle him.
“Thanks again for stopping by the store to get the bird,” Bruno said with a wink as he lifted the turkey off the counter. “Remember, it’s one o’clock sharp. Don’t be late cuz I’ve already warned ya about how pissed off Maggie gets if anything comes between her and her turkey.”
Wally just nodded, and made a mental note to pick up Michelle early so that they arrived at Maggie’s no later than 12:45.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM DETECTIVE BRUNO AND THE GANG!