Chapter 1 : one
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My face flushed a bright pink both from embarrassment and anger. Who did he think he was, ordering me about to fetch coffee; I had just as much rights as the next person to be here. And in some cases, more so. I flashed a glance over at Jeannette, Craig’s current girlfriend, and snickered. I always wondered how she had managed to make it this far in the field, though I knew without a doubt, that it was her beau that had gotten her here. Jeanette was a rather tragic tale, both her parents had died when she was younger, she would have met the same fate, had she not been hiding in a small closet. It was too bad that the closet had been left open a crack, a crack big enough for her to witness her parents’ murder.
I sauntered over to the coffee pot and noticed that it only had enough left for one cup. Everyone in the office hated making a new pot, some would even go to drastic measures so they wouldn’t have to make it, and I sighed in relief as I reached out to grab the last bit for Craig. Of course, the last bit would have been for Craig had Trenton not snatched the pot off of the burner before I could.
“Tough luck, kid,” he said as he poured the remaining coffee into his cup, “looks like you’ll have to make more.”
I grunted in response and waited until he had his back facing me before I stuck my tongue out in a fashion that was anything but childlike. Trenton was a lifer, he had worked in this department for his whole life and had taken to calling us younger staff kids, even though we had all told him time and again that we were not children and didn’t appreciate being referred to as such. He had merely shrugged at us and had continued to use the name.
I set out to the task at hand, and began making the coffee. A thought crossed my mind to throw out half of the ground coffee before brewing it but I knew that if I did that, it would only displease Craig more, and if I wanted to get on his good side, messing with his coffee was not a way to do it. Some people were really serious about their coffee, and Craig was one of those people. We had all learned the very important lesson of not disturbing Craig right away in the morning until after he had had at least half a cup of coffee. As a matter of fact, disturbing him before he had his coffee is what had landed me with the never ending job of fetching it for him.
“Taryn,” I heard my name called out across the room and looked up from the brewing pot. It was Marcus waving me over. Excited, I quickly walked over to the small group that was forming around him and waited for him to say something more. “Well boss man said I could pick my crew, it looks like you’ll be getting in on this case after all.”
“Are you serious, Mark,” I asked, using my nickname for him. “Don’t you think he’ll be a little furious with you for defying him like this?”
“It’s his fault for saying that I can choose whomever I want. And you know I want you,” his double meaning very apparent in the way that his voice got sultry at the last part.
“I won’t let you down, I-,”
“Taryn, where’s my coffee?” Craig bellowed out from behind his desk as he peered over the file he was reading.
I sighed and shot Mark one last smile before heading back over to the now finished brewing pot of coffee and poured out a decent amount into a cup before plopping in two sugar cubes. As I placed Craig’s coffee down on the desk in front of him, he gave me a look that said he was displeased with Mark and his plan to include me on the case but he knew he couldn’t do anything about it. I could tell though that his look told me to screw up. And I knew that I would do everything I could to make sure I didn’t screw up. I wanted this case more than anything.
“Alright everyone,” Mark began, “we are going to split up into two groups. Jaz, you take Elle, Tony, and Grace with you. I want you four to find out as much information about this guy. Meet with his parents, any girlfriends, and friends, whoever you can find that would know anything about him. Find out any motives, dig deep, we are catching this bastard. As for the rest of us, we are going to his house and we are going to search it from top to bottom. Any clues that we can find, and hints about his life, who he may have pissed off, anything that can help us stop this from happening again.”
“Marcus,” Craig called out from behind his desk. Jeanette leaned up against him and trailed her fingers down his arms in what was meant to be a seductive manor, though to me was just sickening.
Mark made a gesture, to tell us to wait one moment while he talked to Craig. From where we were standing, we couldn’t hear the conversation between them though I could tell that whatever it was, Mark was not thrilled with it.
“Fine,” we heard Mark state as he turned his back on Craig and walked back over to us. “Jeanette will be joining your group Jaz.” He shot Jaz a look and mouthed “sorry.”
“Alright, let’s head out.”
My stomach churned uncontrollably. This was my first actual case since I had joined the team just over a year ago and I was afraid of messing this up. Craig seemed to want me to fail and I was determined to show him that I wouldn’t. But at the same time, I was afraid that I was going to prove him right instead.
I felt a hand rest on my shoulder and looked over to see Mark standing next to me and everyone else already gone.
“Are you alright, Taryn? Everyone left minutes ago, and you didn’t even seem to notice.”
“What if I mess up,” I whispered to him. “I mean I’ve never been on a case before, how do I know that I’ll be any good?”
“You made it this far didn’t you?”
“Yeah, I’ve made coffee for the past year.”
“Well, think of it this way, now is your chance. And I believe in you, you won’t mess up.” At that, he tapped me on my nose, a small gesture he had taken to lately, and smiled at me. “Now let’s get out there so you can prove yourself.”
“Mark,” he turned back towards me, “thanks. I needed that.”
He just smiled and walked away.
Once we got there, I left everyone else behind with the body and searched the rest of the house, after all Craig did say to leave nothing unturned. Besides, there was nothing that I needed to know about the body. He had been murdered. It wasn’t up to us to figure out how, that was down to the forensics team. I was trying to figure out who had killed him and make sure that it didn’t happen again.
I wandered upstairs to the second floor of the house and peeked into the first room I came across. It appeared to be a spare bedroom, one that wasn’t used much, as everything was in impeccable order. I was almost surprised that its owner was a male but then remembered how my father was always tidier than my mother and quickly moved on to the next room. This one was rather strange. It was small in size, almost like a closet, and held only a spare few items.
It was the items in the room that had been most peculiar. A broom of sorts was propped up against the back wall with a trunk near it, and weird flags that had names of things I had never heard of before. Hogwarts, Quidditch, and Puddlemere United were some of the more common names displayed about the room.
‘Such strange names,’ I mused as I shut left the room and continued to make my way down the hall. It was then that I heard a strange sound from the room at the end of the hallway. I slowed my steps down a margin and listened closely. There it came again.
My heart pounded in my chest, the only people that were meant to be here, were all downstairs. That meant that there was someone in this house who shouldn’t be. And of course, my first thought went to the dead man downstairs. Had I just found his killer as easy as that?
I slowly moved forward, and placed my hand on the metal that was resting at my side. Now mere inches from the doorway, I could hear talking coming from the other side. There was more than one voice, and they weren’t trying to be quiet.
For a moment I thought about going to get someone else so I could at least have back up, but when I heard a chuckle come from the other side, I realized that it was probably a group of teenagers thinking that they were being cool.
I got up right next to the door and slowly turned the knob, hoping to catch the intruders unaware. And then I smashed my foot against the door, flinging the wood into the wall, and making at least half of the rooms occupants jump.
“Everyone clear out of here,” I shouted out as I held my badge up for them to see. “You are disturbing a crime scene and for that, you could be fined. If you go now however, I will forget this ever happened.”
“We don’t have to go,” said one of the men closest to me. “You see, we are investigating this murder as well.”
“Let me see your badges then?” I demanded of them, not believing the man in the slightest.
He flashed me his badge, as had the men and women behind him, and then spoke, “is this proof enough for you?”
“Fine,” I lamented, “but then what are you all doing up here instead of with the body?”
“I suppose,” spoke the man, “doing the same thing that you are. Searching the house for any clues as to who had killed Dean Thomas.”
“Oh, well, I guess that does make sense. I’ll leave you to it.”
I turned and walked away from the group of men and women gathered in the room and made my way down to the other end of the hallway. There were only two more rooms to look through up here and one of them was just another untouched spare bedroom. Apparently this man thought that he was going to get a lot of company. I closed the door behind me and turned to face the last room.
This was it, my last chance to find some sort of clue, anything, and I feared that I knew exactly what laid beyond this door. I pushed the door open and looked in. I was right. The last room was the upstairs loo.
“Anything in there,” asked the same man from the other room.
“No, just the loo.”
“Rotten luck. That was our last hope.”
“Yeah,” I trailed off, not sure what else to say.
“Well then,” he gestured towards the staircase, which the rest of his group was already descending.
There was nothing else for me to do other than to head back downstairs and admit my defeat so I turned back to the loo and went to close the door. As I did so, something caught my eye. I pushed the door wide open and walked in. There, on the mirror, was the clue I was looking for. In bright pink lipstick was the word ‘Wanderers.’
I looked back at the man, who was now standing extremely close to me, staring at the mirror with excitement. It was in this close proximity that I finally took notice of the man. He was handsome in his own right. His hair was the color of charcoal, a shade of black that seemed never ending, and it was a complete mess, as if he had just rolled out of bed. And if his hair wasn’t a threat of its own right, his piercing green eyes made it a double threat. I was sure that a man like this had many suitors, and from the glance I got of his body, I was sure that he didn’t disappoint.
“You know,” he said, breaking the silence, “I could kiss you right now for finding this. This brings me one step closer to catching Dean’s killer.”
“You act as if you know the man.”
“I do,” he said, eliciting a small gasp from me. “He was a friend of my fathers. They were in the same year. He wasn’t terribly close to Dean, but I did see the man from time to time. He was a nice guy; he should have never ended up this way. Though few who do end up this way ever deserve it.”
“Well, I’m sorry for your loss,” I said.
He shrugged his shoulders and began to walk away. I watched him walk away for a moment before turning back to the mirror. I couldn’t help the smile that came across my face as it really sank in that I found this. Maybe I was cut out for this job after all.
AN: Hello all! Thank you so much for checking out my newest fanfiction and my first ever attempt at a murder mystery. I just want to say a huge thanks to HeyMrsPotter for all the amazing help that she has given me for this story already. Really I couldn't have even began this chapter without you! Also to kenpo and _badwolf. You guys were the ones who originally got me off the ground with this story. Also to randomhpffwriter for help with the summary and to Dracosgirl12 and Rumpelstiltskin for issuing the challenges that inspired this story. Please leave a review and let me know what you think. I hope to get a beta for this story soon!
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