In this scene of Barkley Sound Secrets, the detectives have just concluded a girls' night out and are waiting for the valeted vehicles.
The women and their unexpected guests finished the bottle of Ramazzotti and spent a little time chatting, the women getting the accountants to reveal that their boss had become unexpectedly disposed, leaving the firm somewhat rudderless.
Not wanting to appear too inquisitive, the investigators brought the evening to a close with Julian presenting each with their check. The women each placed one, one hundred-dollar bill and two twenty-dollar bills on the table while Jerome paid with his debit card, glancing down at the seven-hundred dollars and quickly calculating what an astronomical tip they just left and that he had to at least match it.
He couldn’t figure it out in time as the women rose to leave.
He entered thirty percent and his passcode and returned the data machine to Julian.
All five thanked Julian again and left the restaurant to be met by the valets. Giving their tickets, they stood back from the street to wait for their vehicles, making small talk to fill the awkward silence.
The men stood with their backs to the street, while the women faced it. The officers immediately noticed three men approaching from the beach side of the Blue Whale. Their instincts kicked in and they were immediately in Level Orange, ready for whatever might occur.
As the three got within a few meters, they began shouting homophobic slurs, “Hey faggots, what are you doing hangin’ with women, aren’t there any boys around for you?” followed by laughter generated by intoxication.
They stopped immediately in front of Jacques and Jerome who had now turned to face the street. Taunting them, “So, faggots, what are you doing out so late? Aren’t you supposed to have a curfew to keep you away from decent people?”
Elisabeth didn’t move, but said, “Enough guys. How about you move on and let us enjoy our evening?”
“What? Are you some kind of a lesbo? You queer?”
That was all that Rebecca could handle. She had listened to men intimidate for decades and was not going to allow this to continue. She stepped forward and replied, “Yeah. I am a lesbian. What the fuck are you going to do about it, you ugly piece of shit?”
One of the intimidators sneered in her face. She didn’t flinch in the nano second it took to head-butt him, her forehead breaking his nose, knee him in the groin and as his body dropped, she grabbed his head, held it steady and kneed his face, breaking his jaw and nose…again, spewing blood across the pavement.
As she dropped her intimidator, the other two prepared to move against Rebecca when Penelope said, “My turn, fuckers.”
Elise touched her arm and said, “Let me.” Kicking off her pumps she advanced quickly as the other two surrounded Rebecca who was taunting with, “What, you two assholes want to fight a lesbian?”
As one guy reached for Rebecca, Elise stepped around her, grabbed the guy’s extended right hand as he attempted to punch Rebecca. Elise held his wrist with her right hand, then wrapped her left around and under his upper arm, grabbing onto her own arm, then spun on her right foot and twisted, pulling the captured arm to her midsection, dropping the attacker to the ground. Not satisfied she had him under control, she used the heel of her right bare foot to stomp his head, knocking him out. As a coup de grace, she bent the arm a little more and heard the elbow snap.
The third guy was not deterred by his fellow bigots laying on the ground and danced around Rebecca, exhibiting his mixed martial arts skills, a contender for the next Southern California fight in Los Angeles. Rebecca stood calm, motionless…waiting.
Jessica had been waiting for her opportunity to join in the fray and as the guy danced to Rebecca’s right, Jessica flew out of the shadows and delivered a powerful jab to his face, using the heal of her closed fist.
The MMA contender wiped his nose with his right hand, looked at the blood and said, “Now you have had it, bitch. I am going to kick your queer ass all the way to Malibu,” as he yelled, as he leaned back and spun on his right foot, bringing the other leg around preparing for a round-house kick to Jessica’s head.
He wasn’t prepared for her sliding forward on her left foot, crowding him. As the MMA contender’s leg spun around, Jessica wrapped both arms around the extended leg locking it in the straight position, stepped forward with her left foot and dropped to the ground on one knee bringing her attacker down with her.
Once he was down, she stood and delivered a powerful heel smash to his groin, so viciously her colleagues could hear the sound of crushed flesh.
Jessica had been in dozens of fights and take-downs and had never done so in anger. Tonight was different. She too was tired of men being absolved from responsibility for their actions, so she stepped over the collapsed, barely conscious body with her left foot and delivered a heel stomp, cracking his sternum.
She didn’t hit his head, but he was clearly out.
For the first time in her career, her heart rate hit 120.
Smiling broadly, she turned to see the other two were still unconscious, glanced across to her friends and said, “That was a wonderful conclusion to a great evening, wouldn’t you say so boys?”
Jacques and Jerome stood speechless with Penelope and Elisabeth appearing somewhat rejected for not being able to participate.
Dr. Penelope Barker
Elise removed her phone from her pantsuit pocket, punch in the numbers for her office, spoke to the night dispatcher and hung up.
In less than a minute two patrol cars came screeching to a stop in front of the Albatross, just as the valets approached with their guests’ vehicles.
An officer moved quickly out of each vehicle and approached the expanded crowd. One of the officers, Sgt. Alfonso, zeroed in on Rebecca and Penelope immediately and aggressively.
“What the hell is it with you two broads? Are you begging to be locked up for assault?”
He was so locked into the two investigators that he hadn’t observed who else was present, figuring his partner would deal with whomever…until Detective Pelfini approached and offered, “I’d watch the language Sergeant, with so many phones videotaping your every word, the chief will not be happy to hear one of his senior officers using that language on the morning news.”
“Awe fuck. What are you doing here Pelfini?”
“That’s Detective Pelfini, Sergeant Alfonso and these women are my friends who were attacked by the men on the ground. I will attest to their need for self-defense. Now if you will excuse us, we wish to conclude our evening. We will be in the office tomorrow with our statements. Call an ambulance and video record the suspects in their present state. I will use that video and those of several bystanders to charge each with assault and a hate crime. You understand that morphing bigotry into violence is a crime, Sergeant?”
Alfonso didn’t reply, his sneer and disdain for Pelfini palpable…all caught by numerous bystanders’ phone.
Pelfini took several minutes to provide her business card and email address to several observant women to get access to their video of the incident.
She turned with a stern facial expression and nodded to her friends and the accountants to follow her up the street where the valets had their vehicles.