Hey guys:) This is my second fan fiction, which is also an adventure/Romance story. There's a conspiracy going on that you all will soon figure out. Just follow the clues, add a little smut, and we got ourselves a mystery. TRORY…enough said! REVIEW, REVIEW, REVIEW…

Rated M---just to remind all of you'll

Brittany

First scene starts out as a flashback to Rory's childhood. The little boy with blonde hair and blue eyes is Tristan, if you can't figure it out.

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My grandmother was a very strict and narrow-minded individual. When it came down to anything, her word was always above yours, regardless of whether you were right or wrong. In spite of her controlling and demanding nature, my grandmother was a sophisticated woman with a strong head on her shoulders. She was beautiful and deviously manipulative; two extraordinary combinations.

When I was seven, my grandmother and I took a bicycle ride around the neighborhood and through the adjoining streets. It was a crisp, autumn day in late October. I had only learned how to ride a couple weeks beforehand and was still a little shaky, when it came to controlling speed and direction.

"Stay to the left, Rory!" my grandmother shouted behind me. I shifted my helmet back and scrunched my forehead.

"But Grandma, bicyclers are always supposed to ride on the right-side of the road…" I protested, swerving slightly into the right lane. My grandmother let out a loud huff and sped up beside me.

"How many times do I have to tell you to stay on the left-side? It isn't for my health you know!" she injected with a superior air. I nervously nodded, peddling up the gigantic hill. My grandmother was already up and over; now, coasting downwards. Panting for air, I used my short, stubby legs to pump my way to the top. The sun which hung low in the sky blinded my eyes. For a brief second, everything glowed a faint yellowish color. I shielded my eyes with my hand, still attempting to steady myself with the other.

As I pedaled to the top of the hill, I could see two boys standing next to a red pickup truck. The taller one had light brown hair and olive colored skin. The other boy standing behind the rear of the vehicle was shorter by a couple inches and had neatly combed blonde hair. I couldn't help, but grin a little and toss my gaze off to the side. Upon doing this, I didn't notice the on-coming car moving towards me. Yells were heard as I passed the boys. In confusion, I looked up to see a large silver grill and two flashing lights only inches away. Veering to the left, my bicycle toppled over onto the curve and rolled into the mailbox. My body flung over onto the grass and lay motionless for awhile.

"Dad's going to be pissed…" I could faintly hear one boy remark. The other boy let out a small grunt and brushed the hair off of my face.

"The mailbox isn't that important Ricky…" the boy mumbled in response. I opened my eyes slightly to see the two boys hovering over me.

"Is she…dead?" the boy with light brown hair questioned.

"No, dumbo. She's just hurt." The blonde-haired boy picked me up from under the arms and propped my body up into a sitting position. I dazedly smiled at him and pulled the leaves out of my hair.

"I'm Tristan. What's your name?" I didn't have time to respond, as shrieks were heard from behind me.

"Rory! Rory, darling! Are you alright?" My grandmother frantically pulled me up to my feet and brushed the dirt off of my clothing. Then, she tightly pulled my small body into a hug. I could hear faint sobs creep into my ear. The two boys took a couple steps back, allowing my grandmother room to vent. The old woman forcefully pulled away and shook me by the shoulders.

"Don't you ever scare me like that again! I was so worried!" she yelled, tears streaming down her face. I felt kind of guilty for making her cry, but I also felt like it wasn't entirely my fault. My grandmother had this way of making you feel blameworthy without you even realizing it; that was just apart of her charm.

My grandmother quickly stood up and firmly grabbed my hand. She brushed the auburn strands of hair away from her cheeks and then, adjusted her cream-colored petticoat.

"How much do I owe you boys for the mailbox?" she commanded. Looking over at the white dented mailbox and broken wind vane, my head shook in humiliation.

"Oh, that won't be necessary. We'll just get a new one…" the taller boy stammered, taking a step back. I think he was a little intimidated by the erratic woman standing before him.

"Well, aren't you kind" she stated smoothly. Then, with one jerk of her hand, we were off down the street. I turned around to still find the two boys standing there. The shorter one with blonde hair, lifted his hand and waved a short goodbye. That was the last time I ever saw them.

I diverted my gaze back from the windowsill and blinked once or twice. The flashback to my childhood had reminded me of details and people that I had never thought about in years.

"Hey, Sweetie. You hungry for dinner?" I turned my head around to see my father's cheerful face. Nodding my head slowly, he smiled and gave me a thumbs up. Then, shutting my door, I attentively listened to his footsteps disappear.

It was summer and the eve of my nineteenth birthday. I had come to Christopher's apartment in New York City to visit with him for a few weeks. My mother thought it would be a good opportunity for the both of us to bond as father and daughter. So, I arranged for one direct airline ticket and flew all the way to New York. When I got off the plane, I was greeted by a limousine driver and a sign that read "mini-me." I knew right away that the bulky individual with a geeky black hat on his head was intended for me.

It was a little bit of a let-down that Christopher couldn't have just picked me up; but with work and a fast-growing business, I accepted the reality of it all.

Instead of calling him dad, I referred to him as Christopher because anything but his first name seemed awkward. Our relationship had died down ever since I became a teenager. My calls became less frequent and my e-mails nonexistent. Christopher became the parental-figure that missed my sweet sixteen and forgot my birthdays. After awhile, a girl can only hope for so long before the hope just dies out.

I got up off of my bed and stumbled across the room. A soft, shagged rug lay in the center of the space with a bed and a dresser positioned on both sides of it. The bedroom was small, but cozy. I already made myself feel at home by putting up posters of my favorite bands and stacking my books on the bookshelf.

The wind blew violently against the windowpane, as rain droplets seeped through the cracks.

"For all the money that he makes in a year, at least he could get a better apartment…" I grumbled to myself. Christopher was not one to spend a lot on items such as apartments or furniture. His ideal purchases were cell phones, laptops, stocks, and business attire.

"No, that can't be right! When did this happen?" Christopher's voice echoed up the staircase and through the hallway. He was talking to some business associate on the phone.

"I want you to tell them to just hold off until I get there, got that?" he roared. I shakily descended the wooden stairs and made it to the bottom. His cramped living room with black loveseats and an iron-rod table flooded into view.

"Oh, honey. I'm so sorry, but I have to go…" Christopher muttered, kissing me on the cheek. I tilted my head to the side and purposely diverted my gaze to the floor. Sensing my aggravation, he gently rubbed my arm.

"I wish we could have dinner together like I promised, but this thing at work turned up and—"

"Its okay, Christopher" I cut in flatly. Then, turning my body, I walked out of the living room and into the kitchen. There was silence for a moment before his footsteps were heard heading towards the front door. I sighed quickly, rubbing my eyes with the sleeve of my shirt.

"Do you ever think you'll start calling me dad for a change?" Christopher called from the front doorway. I didn't respond. The door shut and that was it. I slid down the wall and sat on the floor for a while. Just reflecting over stuff and remaining still was all I needed.

A few hours later, a knock was heard on the apartment door. Pulling myself from off of the couch, I staggered over to the entrance.

"Who is it?" I called, running my fingers through my hair. All I was wearing were my gray pajama pants and a pink tank-top.

"Detective Dugrey" the voice barked on the other side. Shrugging my shoulders, I flung open the door to meet a pair of handsome blue eyes. The man standing in the hallway had short, messy blonde hair and stubble that lined the sides of his face. He had broad shoulders and a sculpted chest. I tried not to become too obvious with my stares.

"Yes, how can I help you?" I asked nervously. The guy was young; no older than twenty-one perhaps. Something about his eyes and his face made me stop for a moment in meditation.

"Ah yah. Are you, I'm guessing, the daughter of Mr. Christopher Hayden?" he questioned in a brusque voice. I nodded my head and tucked a few strands of hair behind my ear.

"Maybe we should go inside for a second…" he suggested, looking down the hall quickly.

"Why?" I inquired, furrowing my brow. The detective just licked his lips uneasily and let out a sigh.

"How strong are you, Ms…"

"Gilmore"—I cut in—"but you can call me Rory" I informed in a small voice. He took a step forward and peered down into my eyes.

"Your father's been murdered. It happened a couple hours ago in the Hayden Corporation building. I'm deeply sorry…" he consoled. Something in his voice hinted that he had done this several times before. Everything in my body froze. I wasn't consumed by guilt or shock or even sadness. The information just went through one ear and out the other.

"Do you know who did this?" I injected calmly. The detective looked down at his feet and restlessly shifted his weight from one leg to the other.

"I'm afraid we have no leads as of right now." I nodded my head and crossed my arms about my chest.

"Look, um…if you have any questions or need anyone to talk to, just call this number, alright?" The detective handed me a small white rectangle and flashed a robotic smile. Taking the business card in my hands, I examined the name in stiff letters.

"You're Tristan?" I mumbled more to myself than to him. The detective stopped himself from leaving and turned around to face me.

"Yah. Have we met before or something?" He had a slight New Yorker accent that blended in with some other dialect.

"No…I don't think so" I quickly inverted. Then, peering up into his eyes, a mental image of a little boy with blonde hair popped into my mind. Titling my head to the side, I scrunched my forehead slightly.

"Have you lived in New York all your life?" I asked suddenly. The detective let out a little chuckle before taking a couple steps forward. He had definitely changed from the neatly kept little boy I met in Starshollow.

"Yah, I use to live in Connecticut for awhile before I moved to New York for college." A small smile crept onto my face, as I bowed my head.

"You know, I would expect someone like you to be bawling on the floor right now, after hearing that your dad just died" the detective remarked suspiciously. My face became expressionless again, as I closed my eyes.

"Let's just say, my dad and I were never really close." Opening my eyes once more, I found Tristan peering at me. The whole thing made my cheeks redden.

"I think we've met before"—I began—"when we were little." Tristan's eyes suddenly slanted and his hands slipped into his coat pockets.

"Oh, really…" he muttered, now holding an expression of doubt. I took a deep breath and shook my head slowly.

"I was the little girl who ran into your mailbox…I remember riding my bike and passing you and your brother. Do you remember any of that?" I queried with a hopeful smile. The detective, whose name was Tristan, shook his head and bit the inside of his cheek.

"You look familiar, but I seriously doubt…" His voice trailed off, as he shut his lips firmly together.

"Yah, you're probably right" I assured myself more than him. Tristan looked up at the ceiling and slowly moved his eyes down to my face.

"Were you the girl with the crazy old lady?" he questioned suddenly. I opened my mouth, only to press my lips together and smile. Nodding my head quickly, I watched as a smirk formed on his face.

"Yes…then, I think I remember you. You're Emily's granddaughter." With that, I peered up at him in alarm and placed my hands on my hips.

"How did you—"

"My family use to get invited to her society parties" he cut in. I immediately nodded my head.

"Yah, my grandmother loves to make a good first impression. Except, you were a different case I guess…" I declared playfully. Tristan ran his fingers through his hair and chuckled.

"Yah, I guess I was." I found myself biting my lip and staring at his body unintentionally. Something was alluring and magnetic about him.

"Well, I hate to leave you alone with a psycho killer on the loose, but I have other cases to tend to…"

"I understand" I asserted. Tristan mouthed an 'okay' and then, waved me a short goodbye before turning to leave. I watched him casually walk down the hall before shutting and bolting the front door. Everything in my mind rushed and jumbled together. My father wasn't coming home again. This idea hit me in the head and sent me whirling. What now? I thought to myself. Glancing over at the phone, I knew what I had to do.

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