Author's note (Hannah and Brina): Thank you so much again to afrozenheart412 and ManhattanMadam for those lovely and very encouraging reviews! Thanks also to everyone who is reading our story and to those who added it! Here is a new chapter again, enjoy!
Chapter 3: A Day At Work
After the stressful and confusing morning, work seemed to ease during the day. Had Lindsay been unsure on what to do as she had arrived at work hours ago, now she was almost done with her column and was working on other articles she was writing for the newspaper occasionally. Anyways this didn't mean that her thoughts didn't continue what they had done all the time before ever since a certain meeting at the subway station; they drifted away, over and over again. Because still Danny was in her mind all the time. For whatever reason.
"So, coincidences, huh?"
The voice of one of her co-workers it was this time that caused Lindsay to snap out of her thoughts as once again she was remembering how she had crashed into Danny earlier. And how amazing those sparkling blue eyes had looked. Glancing up, she found one of her colleagues standing in front of her. Garret James was grinning down at her; a grin she only knew too well. Instantly she felt a slight discomfort rising inside her as she knew which kind of conversation would follow next.
"You read the raw version already?" she asked, offering him a polite smile. "I still have to have a second look at it."
"Oh, what for?" Garret replied. "It's perfect. Like always. Coincidences...such a fantastic topic. You know, I believe in coincidences."
"So do I," Lindsay answered, instinctively thinking of the morning again. "It's impressive what coincidences can do to you."
Garret's smile widened. "Oh yeah. Like...isn't it a fantastic coincidence you decided to work for the New York Voice."
"Actually it wasn't so much of a coincidence as I was looking for a job at a newspaper and the New York Voice was the one that employed me," Lindsay replied. She cursed herself for the emotionless way she was talking but talking to Garret wasn't like a normal conversation. A long time ago she had learnt to word her sentences carefully while chatting with him. If she didn't, Garret would immediately read more into her words. Many times before he had done that. It was in her personality to be friendly, but he seemed to misunderstand that. Whenever she had had a normal conversation with him, he had asked her out afterwards. For Lindsay those moments had always been awkward as she hated to reject a man. She could imagine it was hurtful, but Garret didn't even seem to mind. Something strange there was about his behaviour and so far she hadn't figured out what he really wanted. So she had decided to be careful what to say to him.
"But any other newspaper could have employed you," Garret said then. "It was meant to be that you start working here. And meet me."
Inwardly Lindsay winced at his voice. There was no way to avoid such conversations; he always found a way. "Yeah, who knows, but Garret, as much as it's nice to chat I really have some more work to do," she replied, hoping she could gently bring her point across although after all the months and years she felt the urge to be more direct to her colleague. "See, I have to do all that stuff here and then I've got to read this column again."
"Then maybe we could continue this conversation after work?" Garret suggested, not moving a single inch from where he was standing. "You know, we could celebrate this coincidence. That you started working here."
"Garret, we talked about that before," Lindsay told him, once again wincing. She hated to do this to a person and she wasn't even being rude. So much she wished he would just get the point. "I think it's really not a good idea if we meet after work."
Garret sighed. "You keep on saying that." He remained standing in front of her, staring down at her and once again she was filled with an uncomfortable feeling at the expression in his eyes which she couldn't interpret. Then he shrugged and got up all of the sudden. "Fine, one day you might change your opinion."
With that Garret turned around and left without giving her any other glance. Lindsay watched him walking across the room and out of it. Once again she shook her head. Garret didn't understand her and barely anyone had confused her as much as he did. Turning her attention back to her computer screen, she tried to focus as once again Danny came to her mind. At least he had seemed to be a normal guy. Then again she couldn't even know that either yet.
"Good afternoon, Mr Davis," Danny greeted as his client opened the front door of his apartment. An apartment Danny knew he wouldn't feel comfortable in. He didn't even dare to imagine how much it had cost his client Maxwell Davis. Of course he would lie if he said he wouldn't like to have such a giant apartment himself. But such penthouses always made him nervous; what if he ruined something? He surely wouldn't be able to pay for that.
"Mr Messer!" Davis greeted him with a bright smile. "I'm very happy you could come over already. Please come in."
Danny nodded. He stepped into the large hallway that was big like a living room itself. Grateful he realised the ground was covered with marble; at least he wouldn't have to take his shoes off or have to be scared to leave any dirt.
"If you would follow me," Davis said. Again Danny nodded and followed the older man into his living room. Like usual, he felt himself getting uncomfortable as he let his eyes travel through the room. It seemed like every single piece that was to be found there cost more than he earned in a year. He wasn't feeling any jealousy but anyways it felt strange to him.
"Have a seat," Davis said, already sitting down on one of his bright, white couches. Danny threw a short unsure glance at it, then shrugged lightly and followed the man's example.
"Alright, Mr Davis," Danny started then, hoping that the actual conversation would make him feel better. "I'm here because I would like to talk about your artwork again that was stolen. Unfortunately my friend couldn't give me much information yet that could be helpful, this way I depend on what you can tell me."
"I'll do whatever I can to solve this case," Davis replied.
Danny nodded. "Good. So...you already told me how you got this artwork in the first place. Do you think that the person who sold it to you could have anything to do with it? Did the man seem strange to you in any way?"
Davis shook his head. "Not really. I didn't bother to ask where he got the painting from which is why I'm a bit worried that the police could cause trouble if they found out. I don't believe it was stolen or anything as I heard only good things about the guy from friends, anyway you never know. But no, I paid and it was fine to the both of us."
"Did you show the artwork to family members, friends or anyone else?" Danny wanted to know.
"Of course!" Davis answered. "Friends and family mainly. I don't let strangers into my apartment."
"Was someone especially interested in it?" Danny questioned. "Did anyone give you the feeling they had more interest in it than others?"
Davis shrugged. "Not really. They all were interested in it as it's a really special and loved painting. But no, I wouldn't say there was anything strange."
"Okay." Danny nodded again. "Do you have any idea if there could be anyone else being interested in causing problems for you? Or is there a chance someone heard that you bought this painting? Anything can help us here, Mr Davis. Sometimes it's the people you don't suspect to do anything like that."
Danny watched Davis as he was quiet for a moment, thinking. So far he had barely any information he could work with. The man hadn't been able to tell him who had sold the painting to him or anything else that could be helpful. All Danny had managed to do had been investigating the room the painting had been in. And what he had found had made him realise the robbery surely hadn't been a difficult piece of work; there had been almost no security that could have protected such a precious piece of work. To Danny, this had seemed to be highly weird, but to his questions why he hadn't spent more thinking on protecting the painting, Davis only had answered he hadn't had the time for that yet.
"I really can't think of anything yet," Davis said then. "Would it still be alright if I called you if I found something out that could help you?"
"Of course, Mr Davis," Danny answered with a light sigh. "Thank you anyways for your help."
A few moments later, he had left the apartment again. Still he had no idea what to actually think of Maxwell Davis. He had worked on a couple of cases like that, but never people had been so careless with their artworks. But for now all he could do was trying to investigate into every possible direction, hoping he could find any evidence that would be helpful, no matter how small it was.
Walking along the street, Danny spotted a near subway station. Instinctively he had to smile as he remembered the events from earlier that day. Meeting Lindsay had been a nice way to start the morning. Still he was amazed by how much this woman was present in his mind after such a short moment. There had been something about the beautiful woman though and he caught himself by wondering if maybe he should try to use his skills and find out where she was working. Maybe that way he could meet her again.
Don sighed as his suspect dodged his questions one after another with what seemed like expert skills. Alex Mathews had no priors, he'd been caught on security camera hovering around the store that had been broken into which at the very least warranted some questions being asked. Despite the lack of priors and the fact that there was, at the moment, no evidence linking him to the case Don was pretty sure he'd done it. The man was too smug, looking at Don with an expression that read 'catch me if you can' and a grin that Don would happily wipe off his face if he could.
"Like I told you detective I was debating whether or not to go in and buy myself a couple of beers," Mathews told him with a shrug.
"For twenty minutes?" Don questioned incredulously.
"I just couldn't decide, took me a while but I decided to give it a miss in the end and came home," Mathews continued to lie and then turned to his girlfriend who had been sat more or less quietly at the back of the room, eyes raking over Don repeatedly. "Isn't that right babe?"
"Yeah, he got home around 9.30," she replied giving Don a smile and yet another appraisal.
"So unless you have something else to connect me to the robbery I'll be going now, I have things to do, Amy will show you out," Mathews told him and then left the room. Amy stood up and walked passed him to the door opening it and standing half in his way as he slid out. Don stopped and turned back to her staying just enough in her personal space to get her undivided attention but far enough to minimise his own discomfort.
"Was he really back for 9.30?" he questioned and she looked over him again.
"And what would that information be worth to you?" she questioned glancing back into the apartment probably worried her boyfriend would walk in and catch her. He didn't fail to notice the bruise at the back of her neck when she turned her head, the shape of fingers an obvious sign of where it came from. "Maybe I'll give you a call."
It wasn't the answer he was hoping for but he supposed it would have to do, Don left the apartment building with one last smile at her and got in his car. He spotted Mathews at the window of his apartment staring down at him with the smug smile still in place. He really hoped his transfer to homicide was approved because he hated the robbery squad, had done since about a week after he was assigned to it. It bored him, cases were always the same, nothing challenged him anymore. He got a text on his phone, the CSI's had found something at the scene and Don sincerely hoped it was Mathews finger prints all over the cash register so he could go back there and drag the guy away in cuffs. He doubted it though, the man may be a jerk but he was at the very least smart about it. He called Conner, the CSI answering the phone with his usual 'Yo, what's up?'.
"It's Flack, you got something for me?" he asked.
"Yeah, we found a hair at the crime scene, it was behind the cash register so the only people who should be behind there are the people working, the hair's red though, none of the employees have red hair," Conner told him and Don smiled.
"Mathews has red hair," Don stated.
"Well then I'd see about getting a warrant cos Joey is working the DNA on it now so if you can match it up, we've got him," Conner stated and Don nodded his head even though Conner couldn't see him.
"I'll call you back."
Jess left her car at home, the gallery was only a short distance from the apartment so she preferred to walk it knowing it would probably take just as long to get through the traffic in this busy part of the city as it would to just walk the distance using her shortcut. It was going to be a hectic day, she had some potential clients coming in to view the gallery to decide whether or not they wanted to use the place for an exhibition of their work. She also had some people coming in to view the collections she already had and then she had a meeting with one of her long term clients who had recently done several new pieces and wanted them adding to the collection already on show in her gallery. Her entire day was booked, she'd be lucky to get an hour for lunch between all that and the preparations for the upcoming exhibition.
She stopped at the news stand to by a copy of the paper Lindsay worked for, paying for it and thanking the guy who nodded and smiled to her as usual. She skipped to Lindsay's column which was really the only reason she bought the paper and read through it, smiling as she once again recognised how much of herself Lindsay put into her column, she'd know her friend's writing anywhere. There was so much of her personality in it, the little quirks that made her Lindsay, anybody that knew her could make the connection between the woman and the writing. She folded the paper and slipped it into her purse, if she somehow managed to get some free time for lunch later she could read the rest of it then but she was pretty sure it would end up unread in the trash by the time she left the gallery.
She passed all the same faces she usually would and smiled to Jacob, the homeless guy that lived in an alleyway between her apartment and the gallery. She usually dropped lunch off for him at some point during the day, she felt guilty that she might not find the time today. He was an artist, at least he wanted to be, he was constantly drawing on the pavement or walls and he had his own unique style that Jess wasn't the only to appreciate. Dropping his lunch off had become less about giving him something to eat and more an excuse to talk to him, to remind him that she would happily buy a piece of his work and show it in the gallery if he put the effort in and produced something for her. He always smiled and told her 'one day, Miss Angell, one day' but he'd been saying that for over a year now.
She arrived at the gallery and immediately knew something was wrong, the door was slightly opened and she knew nobody but her and her father had a key and her father was on vacation in Europe. She walked up to the door, pushing it open slowly and was greeted by the state of her trashed gallery, she stepped inside surveying the mess and hoping the rest of her gallery didn't look so bad. She checked one of the rooms nearby and found a couple of paintings on the floor, a statue knocked over and shattered, she was going to get her ass kicked for that, it was one of the artist's favourite pieces, he'd lectured her about taking care of it for thirty five minutes straight the day he'd agreed to show it in her gallery.
It was probably a bad idea to venture any further, she didn't even know if the people who did this were still in the building so she turned around and left, grabbing her cell phone from her pocket as she stopped outside and looked back at the building. She couldn't believe someone would break into her gallery, and why hadn't the alarm system gone off? She'd paid a lot of money for an expensive alarm system to protect all the artwork she had in there and the one time she needs it the thing proves to be useless.
"911, what's your emergency."
"There's been a break in at my gallery," Jess told the female voice on the other end of the line. She gave them the address, absently answering their questions as her gaze drifted back to the door of the gallery. She supposed she'd better start making phone calls to cancel all those meetings she had today, she needed an excuse because she couldn't exactly tell them her place had been broken into and trashed, that would be a great way to drive away clients.
A/N: Thanks for reading! Please let us know what you think. :)