A/N: Hey, hey, hey! It's a new story! I know it's been a while since the last one, but this one is already completed and just has to go through my beta every week, so I can fix all those wonderful errors that she finds (thanks, Heather)!
I'm sure by now you know the drill. I love some angst and drama in my stories as well as romance, and that hasn't changed.
The story will update every Sunday, but I'll let you know that this isn't a super long story. About sixteen chapters, so it's shorter than most of my others.
Well, on you go.
"Swan! In my office now!" Captain Banner hollered, and I muttered a quiet oath under my breath as I shoved my chair away from the desk and slowly walked to the Captain's office.
Banner had been an ass to everyone in the precinct for the past week, and the rumor floating around was that his wife of twenty-eight years was fed up with him and had filed for divorce. If that was the case, then I was sorry to hear it, but he shouldn't be taking it out on his employees. I certainly didn't deserve the attitude that he'd been giving me, and it was getting increasingly difficult for me to keep my mouth shut.
"Stay calm, Swan," one of my co-workers advised, and I nodded my head before taking a deep breath. The last thing I wanted, or needed, was to get written up for insubordination and end up with a mark on my pristine record.
Pausing for a moment outside the door, I took another deep breath before knocking. Banner's deep voice told me to come in, so I opened the door and walked into his office and found a giant bear of a guy with dark hair, standing near the windows.
I knew, without a doubt, the guy was going to be my partner. I'd been through four of them in the eight months since I'd made detective. My last partner had moved to Florida to be with some girl he'd met on the Internet, two of them had refused to work with a female partner, and the other one had just been an asshole.
Banner motioned for me to take a seat, so I did, watching as the giant man turned around and flashed me a grin.
"Swan, this is Emmett McCarty. He's your new partner. Try not to drive this one away," Captain Banner said in a tired voice, and my fists clenched as I bit back the comments that wanted to leave my mouth.
"Yes, sir," I replied in a curt tone as I made my way toward his office door. I just barely refrained from slamming it shut.
"Charming guy," McCarty said dryly once the door was closed, and we walked toward the bullpen that housed all of our desks.
"Yeah, he's a fucking peach," I replied as I led McCarty over to our two desks that were in the corner. One was covered in post-it notes, packs of gum, random pieces of paper, and more pens than necessary while the other was clean and empty.
Pointing toward it, I told McCarty that was his desk as I took a seat back at my messy desk and began to sort through the files sitting on it.
"Thanks," he said with a slight Southern accent, and I nodded my head.
Twenty minutes of silence went by before we got a call out to a robbery in progress. I grabbed my coat, my phone, and the car keys, barely making sure to see if McCarty was following me. I was used to being on my own and doing things my own way, so it was up to him to catch up with me.
"We've got a 211 on Cherry Street," I told him as we got into the black 2007 Dodge Charger that had been issued to me.
"Is the suspect armed?" he asked, and I nodded my head as I pulled the car out of the lot and onto the road.
I always hated the awkwardness that came with getting a new partner, and I really hated going into a potentially dangerous situation with someone I didn't know. I'd have his back no matter what, and I could only hope he'd have mine if things went badly.
Less than ten minutes later, we were pulling up in front of a small new age bookstore with lots of dreamcatchers and crystals adorning the display window.
"Ready?" I asked McCarty who nodded yes.
With weapons at the ready, we slowly and carefully approached the building, announcing ourselves as we went in.
The place had been ransacked, and there were books and what looked like rocks tossed all over the floor.
We both stopped when we heard a noise from behind the counter. I looked over at McCarty who nodded, and we both moved quietly toward the noise.
"Ma'am?" McCarty asked as he knelt down next to a woman who was huddled under the counter. "Are you okay?"
The woman nodded before telling us that the man who had robbed her had run out the back, but he was long gone by the time I checked it out.
"It was James Tracker," I heard the woman tell McCarty, and I heaved a sigh. That kid was always in trouble with the law for some reason or another.
"You know him?" he asked, and I nodded.
"Yep, and you're about to," I told him.
We finished up with the woman, called it in, and I had a police officer take her down to the station to file a formal complaint. The crime scene unit came in, and that's when we left to go take a ride to Tracker's house.
"Tell me about this guy."
"He's an idiot kid who has a history of burglary, but this is the first time I've heard of him committing a robbery or having a weapon. Usually, he just steals stuff to pawn so that he can pay for his weed."
I told McCarty a bit more about James as we drove across town, and I muttered fuck when I noticed the beat up truck in the drive. It meant that James' dad, Gerald, was home, and he was a nasty son of a bitch who hated women as well as cops. Needless to say, I wasn't his favorite person.
"Get ready for some nastiness," I warned McCarty as we got out of the car and made our way up to the front door.
McCarty knocked hard on the door, and a few minutes later, an extremely drunk Gerald opened the door, swearing up a storm when he noticed me.
"What the fuck do you want?" he snarled.
"We need to talk to James," I told him, my hand on the butt of my gun that was residing in my holster. I didn't trust Gerald, and I'd been on the receiving end of his attitude and his fist more than once.
"He didn't fucking do nothing! You just have it out for my boy!" he shouted, stumbling a bit as he made his way out onto the porch.
"Where is he?" I asked again, secretly glad that McCarty was between Gerald and me.
"I don't fucking know, you stupid bitch," he slurred, slumping a bit against the railing.
I looked at the man with disgust. He was a pathetic drunk, and he probably didn't know where James was. Hell, the man probably didn't know where he himself was.
"Let's go," I told McCarty, watching as Gerald attempted to make his way back inside, mumbling about fucking cop bitches.
"Is he always like that?" McCarty asked me, and I nodded my head.
We spent the next two hours driving around town, hitting up all of James' usual haunts, but he was in the wind for the moment. An All-Points Bulletin had been put out on his car, and now it was a waiting game.
As we were leaving the IGA where James tended to hang out on the corner, McCarty's stomach let out a large rumble, and I snorted out a laugh.
"How about some lunch, yeah?" I asked him, and he nodded, a sheepish grin on his face.
Minutes later, I parked the car in a spot in front of Lucy's Diner. The place had been around since the fifties, and they had the best pie in the state of Washington.
As we ate lunch, I learned a lot about McCarty, who told me to call him Emmett. He was thirty-four, married, had two kids, and had moved out here from Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
"So, what brought you to Washington?" I asked between bites of my BLT.
"My wife, Rose, is from the area, "he told me. "Her father is sick, so she wanted to come home to be close to him."
I asked him where in the area she was from, and he told me she was from a small town called Forks.
I set down my sandwich as I looked at him. Forks wasn't that big of a town, and I'd gone to high school with a girl named Rosalie who had been a couple of years ahead of me. She'd been one of the popular girls, but she'd been nice to me, unlike some of the others.
"Is your wife's maiden name, Hale?"
He nodded before asking me how I knew that. I explained that I'd grown up in Forks and had gone to high school with Rosalie.
Over our lunch, we talked about why we became cops, and I mentioned that my dad was the Chief of Police in Forks.
"After I graduated from college and the academy, I decided I wanted to work in a town that was a little bit bigger than Forks but not as large as Seattle. Besides, I wouldn't want to work for my dad. Not that he's a bad guy, but it would be so weird," I told him, and he nodded in understanding.
And speaking of the devil, my phone rang with my dad's number showing up.
"Hey, Dad," I answered.
"Hey, Bells. So, I think I have someone that you're looking for," he told me, and I grinned as he told me that he'd busted James speeding through Forks.
"Awesome! We'll be down to get him."
"Finish eating," I told Emmett. "My dad's got James in custody."
"Nice," he mumbled through a mouthful of food.
By the end of the day, I was more than ready to just go home, curl up on my couch with my cat, Gallifrey, and watch some Netflix.
We'd taken James into custody which had led to Emmett being bitten by the asshole, and after dropping off James at booking, I'd had to take Emmett to the hospital for a tetanus shot and then back to the station to file assault charges against James. Needless to say, it had been one hell of a day for both of us.
"See ya tomorrow, McCarty," I hollered out my rolled down window as I backed my car out of the parking lot of the precinct. He gave me a wave as he climbed into his car, and I decided that I quite liked the guy. He wasn't nearly as douchey as my last partner had been nor was he as condescending.
As I drove through downtown toward the small house that I rented, I noticed that one of the empty storefronts had a new sign, Cullen Antiques, and there was stuff in the display window. Probably some old guy who'd decided to retire here and sell old stuff to old people. I didn't get the appeal of antiques, but my stepmother, Sue, loved to collect them, or whatever it was she did with them. It drove my dad nuts, especially when she forced him to go on antique hunting trips with her across the country.
A few minutes later, I was pulling into the small, slightly rundown house that was mine. Well, sort of mine. I was saving up money to buy a really nice house, so until then, the rented small blue house would have to do.
I'd just hung up my coat and put my gun in the lockbox in the closet when a small furry body rubbed itself against my leg.
Leaning down, I picked up the tabby cat that I'd rescued three years earlier and carried him into the kitchen to fill up his food bowl.
"Well, Gallifrey, what should I have for dinner?" I asked him as I opened up both the fridge and freezer doors.
I groaned when I realized that my fridge was pretty much empty, and my freezer wasn't much better. Closing the doors, I grabbed a handful of takeout menus from one of the kitchen drawers and tossed them on the counter.
Sighing at how pathetic it was that I owned more takeout menus than actual food, I grabbed the menu for Chinese and made my way toward the living room.
Plopping down on the couch, I pulled out my phone, placed my order, and then gave Sue a call.
We chatted for a few minutes before I told her that I'd seen a new antique store here in Port Angeles, and she let out a delighted gasp.
"Really? Oh, that's fantastic news! Mrs. Johnson is retiring and moving to Florida next month, and she had the only halfway decent antique store nearby. I really hope the new place is better than Shelley's Attic. That place is a disaster, and everything is so overpriced."
"Well, I don't know if it's open yet, but it's called Cullen Antiques, and it's on the corner of Main and Burberry."
I let out a small laugh when Sue held the phone away and yelled to Dad that they needed to make a trip to Port Angeles to check out the new antique store. Seconds later, Dad was on the phone.
"Really, Bells? Really? You just had to let her know there was a new antique place in town?"
I let out a snicker at his affronted tone of voice.
"Sorry, Dad. I'm sure she would have found out eventually."
"Uh huh. I'm sure you are. Well, I have an idea. Why don't we go see it one of these mornings? All of us," he said, and I barely held back a groan. The man knew how much I hated shopping, and this was his way of getting revenge.
"Well played, old man," I muttered over the phone. "Well played."
Reluctantly, I agreed, and we decided that we'd meet up for breakfast at Lucy's on Saturday morning.
"Good morning, Bella," Lucy said as she poured some coffee into the mug that was in front of me.
I grunted a reply back to her, scowling across the table at my dad. This was entirely his fault, but he just shot me a smirk as he took a sip from his cup.
"So, I called Cullen Antiques to make sure they were open for business, and they are," Sue told us after we'd placed our orders. "I just hope it's not filled to the brim with crap like Shelly's place."
As I ate my blueberry waffles, I vaguely listened to Sue as she told me all about some snuff boxes that she was looking for as well as rare books and some vases. I just nodded my head and grinned when I saw Dad doing the same. I'd already endured a short lecture on what snuff boxes were just the previous week, and I knew better than to ask any questions.
"You're not fooling anyone, you two," Sue said, and we both mumbled apologies. She waved us off and then kept talking about all the stuff she was looking for.
"Shall we go?" she asked a half hour later, and Dad and I reluctantly nodded.
It didn't take long before I was pulling into a parking space beside Sue's car in front of the antique store.
Taking a deep breath and mentally preparing myself for the hell that I was pretty sure I was about to endure, I got out of my car and followed Sue and Dad into the store.
"God, I hope to hell she doesn't find anything she wants," Dad muttered to me, but I knew he was kidding. He loved Sue to death and couldn't care less if she spent a small fortune on her antiques. Plus, I knew for a fact that he'd taken a liking to old guns. Sue had busted him looking up Civil War guns on eBay, and he'd even checked out a book on old guns from the library.
Dad's birthday was coming up, and I figured that I'd help him get his collection started by finding him either an old gun case or an old gun. I had no idea how hard or expensive it would be, but Sue had promised to help me out.
I walked through the door, pleasantly surprised that the place didn't smell old and musty like the last place to which Sue had dragged me.
"Hi! Welcome to Cullen Antiques!" a cheerful voice said, and I looked across the room to see a tiny woman with spiky black hair.
"Is there anything you're looking for?" she asked, and immediately, Sue began asking her about snuff boxes and vases.
While Sue was being helped, Dad told me he was going to wander around, and I nodded, figuring I'd do the same.
I took off in the opposite direction that Dad had gone and found myself in a small enclave that held four floor-to-ceiling bookshelves full of books. Some of them looked pretty old, and I found myself looking through them.
"Do you need any help?" a warm, masculine voice asked, and I turned around to tell the person that I was fine, but my voice faltered when I saw the person who had asked.
He looked to be about my age, around thirty, and he was gorgeous. Bronze colored hair that was messy, and bright green eyes that peered out at me from behind a pair of black rimmed glasses.
"Oh … um … I was just looking," I managed to blurt out, wincing at how inept I sounded.
"Okay, well just let me know if there's anything you need," he said, and as he walked away, my mind went into perverted overdrive and I thought about all the things he could help me with. Like getting over the dry spell I was in. God, had it really been ten months since I'd had sex?
Shaking my head, I put back the book that I'd pulled off the shelf and went in search of my dad, trying my best to clear my head.
I didn't see Dad anywhere, but I did see Sue in a deep discussion with the woman who'd greeted us, so I decided to go find the hot guy and ask about guns.
"Excuse me," I said as I walked up to the counter the man was standing behind, and he jumped a tiny bit.
He pushed his glasses up before answering me, and I asked if he had any antique guns.
"I don't at the moment, but I'd be glad to search around for you," he said with a smile, and I quickly agreed.
"If you'll just fill this out, I'll contact you when I have something of interest," he told me, and I took the form from his hand and began filling out the information.
"Edward!" the woman with Sue called out. "Do you have any early nineteenth century snuff boxes in the back?"
Edward shook his head. "Sorry, Alice. Maybe I'll find some next week at the auction."
I finished filling out the form and handed it back to him, and I felt a tingle as our fingers brushed. I really needed to get laid if I was getting all tingly over a simple brushing of skin with a stranger.
"Okay, Bella," he said, and I loved the way my name sounded coming from his lips. "I'll give you a call when I have something."
"Thanks, Edward," I said, figuring that was his name since he had responded to it.
I watched as a blush crept up his cheeks.
"You bet," he told me, holding out a hand for me to shake as he thanked me for my business.
The tingly feeling was back, and I was reluctant to let go of his hand as my dad walked up to us.
"I hope Sue's ready soon. I'm starving," he grumbled, and I let out a snicker.
"We just ate. How can you be hungry again? You're as bad as Emmett."
"How is the new partner?" Dad asked as we leaned against the counter, waiting for Sue.
"I like him. He's much better than Marcus. That guy just bitched about everything."
Twenty minutes later, Sue was finally ready, and she walked out of Cullen Antiques with two bags and a box full of … well, stuff. I wasn't sure what all she bought or where she was going to put it. Their house wasn't that big.
As if reading my mind, Dad quietly told me that he was converting his old office into a display room for Sue which I found to be incredibly sweet.
"Yeah, well I don't want snuff boxes all over the place," he muttered, and I just rolled my eyes at him. He tried to play the tough guy, but my dad was a teddy bear at heart.
a/n: Man, the start of a new story always leaves me a bit nervous, so do a girl a favor and leave me a review! Good or bad, either way I want to hear from you!