I am such a lying hoebag. I told myself "Oh, I'm going to update my other stories before I put up the sequel" but I couldn't resist. Oh, well. Us lying hoebags can get away with that sort of thing. :P
Anyways, yay! Sequel time! Alright, so for those of you who are coming in late as hell, you can probably read this and not be confused...at least in the beginning. But when you ass start getting all confused in the middle cause you don't know what's going on then I recommend you refer to this story's predecessor. Ain't nobody tell you to try an be smart and skip the first story. lol.. Joking.
Now, this story's going to be different in the sense that it doesn't focus on Jazmine; It's central character is Huey. Whoa. Yeah, I usually do it mostly around Jazmine just because it's easier to get her feelings/emotions/character down, but I was like "Nah...I'm going to try getting this confusing mofo!" So if at any point you're all "Huey wouldn't do/say/act like that...Kelsey, wtf is wrong with you?" Then feel free to tell me. I won't get offended. I'm too lazy to get offended.
Um, so yeah, I hope ya'll enjoy it? Hopefully?
Disclaimer: The Boondocks still isn't mine. Nah.
April 24, 2016
Silver Spring, Maryland
"You's a bitch nigga, forreal."
"Wow. Aren't you such a comfort to have around."
"Ya'll niggas hush! Shoot." Robert Freeman rolled his eyes from his spot in the chair, craning his neck to stare up at the TV. "Always arguing and givin me a headache and ya'll don't even see each other half the time! Bad enough I gotta migraine from how high they got this got damn TV! Who the hell is supposed to sit here and break their neck just to watch a TV?"
"The only crap that's on right now is an unconstructive use of air time anyways," Twenty-two year old Huey Freeman mumbled, glaring at twenty year old Riley Freeman, who was still cackling from the other chair beside his bed. "And what could possibly be funny about this situation?"
"Oh! My b." Riley covered his mouth with his hand. "Just laughin' at how some six foot three motha fucka wit an eighth degree black belt can faint in a Kroger's-"
"I did not faint," He snapped, sitting up and quickly whipping his hand out to smack his brother across the side of his head. He nearly fell out his chair, gripping the side of his face and shooting Huey a dirty look. "It was hot. I got overheated."
"Nigga, we was in the freezer aisle!"
"Both ya'll need to be shuttin the hell up so I can hear Katie Couric!" Grandad yelled, causing both the Freeman boys to quiet immediately. He folded his arms over his chest. "Know goodness well my old ears are all I got this day an time…can't see no shit. And shoot, Riley's right, boy." He shook his head. "Passing out in the freezer aisle, knockin over hot pocket shelves…can't even expect my eldest grandson to take me grocery shopping without dealing with a bunch of bullshit. Shame on you, Huey!"
"Oh! I'm sorry!" Huey started to throw up his hands before realizing that he had a needle sticking out of one arm and it probably wouldn't be the best idea. He stared at his grandfather in disbelief. Was he really getting blamed for randomly losing consciousness?! "How dare I involuntarily pass out into a freezer? What the hell was I thinking?"
Geez. He didn't even know why he tried being nice sometimes. It had been a Sunday afternoon, the weather was nice, he knew Grandad would probably need to do some errands and offered to take him. Of course, he'd forgotten that Riley was home before he'd be deployed to Afghanistan in two weeks, which meant he had to deal with him trying to prove how strong he now was after training camp at every opportunity.
At least he'd stopped after the third attempt, when Huey had knocked him down the stairs.
So, by the time he'd gotten to the grocery store with his grandfather and younger brother in tow, he already hadn't been feeling too hot. Especially since his sleeping hadn't been too great for the past few weeks, he'd kept having this weird head and chest pain, and for the first time in his life he was practically living off aspirin to keep recurring fevers down. Grandad and Riley had been arguing over some typical nonsense, he'd gone to get a box of those stupid pepperoni pizza hot pockets that Grandad loved so much out the freezer, and…well, everything had just started spinning.
Before he knew it, he was waking up in a damn hospital bed being greeted with a still bickering family, a pounding headache, and an IV poking out of his arm that only served to make him feel worse. Not that he'd ever admit it but he hated needles with a passion. The entire time he'd been awake now the only thing he'd thought of (other than the embarrassment of passing out in a grocery store and the increasing urge to put Riley in a hospital bed as well) was the damn thing, just sticking in his vein…
"Knock knock!" A cheerful voice came from the hallway, causing all three of their heads to whip towards the open door where a nurse stood, smiling. Her smile only made him scowl. "And how are you doing, Mr. Freeman?" She winked. "Some fall, huh?"
Great. Now the nurse wanted to act cute. Whatever. He rolled his eyes, sitting up.
"Yeah-" He started before being cut off by Riley's low whistle.
"Damn! You's a fine ass-" Riley started before being abruptly cut off by Robert's scowl.
Huey ignored them both, glancing back to the nurse. "So, I appreciate the…assistance and all." He held up his IV possessing arm, trying not to think about how the simple needle made his stomach lurch. Pathetic. "I think I'm good to go now. So, if I could just get my discharge papers-"
'And if you could get this thing out of me now…'
"Well…about that." The nurse frowned, stepping forward and flipping through a chart. Her brow was knotted. "I'm going to need to take your blood pressure again."
He sighed. "Well, can you at least take this thing out of my arm?"
"Stop whinin!" Grandad shook his head as the nurse walked over, setting down the clipboard to retrieve a blood pressure cuff, which she wrapped around his arm underneath the sleeve of his hospital gown and ignoring his protests against the IV. Figured. Behind her, Riley was staring at her butt, his hazel eyes wide and his mouth spread into a huge grin. Huey shook his head, closing his eyes. "Shoot. When I was ya'll age they ain't even want to keep any black folk around! Nope!" Huey shook his head. The nurse removed the cuff, dropping her fingers to his wrist to check his pulse, her eyes falling on the clock on the wall above Grandad's head. "They got you in, you could be bleeding out or vomiting or have pencils stickin out yo eye sockets and they'd go "Next!" Woo-wee, you'd better have had a damn bullet wound or a white person held hostage if you wanted some medical care-"
"Then dial some of them up and give them my bed." Huey impatiently snatched his arm away as soon as the nurse released it, scowling. "Because I don't need to be here-"
"Actually," the nurse interrupted, causing them all to glance towards her. "Your blood pressure is abnormally low." He blinked. "That's most likely why you passed out in the first place." She glanced at another page. "We took it when you got here and it was ninety over fifty four. Normal blood pressure for someone your age would be one twenty over sixty."
"Okay." He shrugged. "It got low. Fine."
"Well…that's the thing." She tapped her chart. "It's staying low. I just took it again to re-evaluate and it's at ninety three over fifty five."
"NO!" Everyone's heads whipped towards Grandad, who had his fists clenched and his eyes closed, his head lifted to the ceiling. Their eyes widened in surprise. "Why god, why? Not my grandson! Not my eldest! At least take Riley's bad ass out first-"
"Aye! Dat ain't even right, Grandad!" Riley shouted.
"Grandad. Riley. Shut up." Huey shook his head, glancing towards the nurse again. She gave them all a look as if making sure she wouldn't be interrupted again before going on.
"The thing that really had us worried," She continued, staring at the chart. "Was your pulse rate. Excuse me, is your pulse rate." Huey's eyebrows rose. "When you got here it was at forty one. It's at fifty three now, but that's still too low." She paused, as if letting her words sink in, before going on. "The doctor, he called your PCP in DC for your medical records, and apparently your blood pressure's been this low for some months now. He scheduled you an appointment to get blood work done back in January and you didn't show up…?"
Grandad shot Huey a dirty look. He glared back, sighing.
"I had to cancel. It conflicted with…other prescheduled activities-"
"Such as being a gay nigga who scurred of a needle?" Riley supplied, snickering. Huey picked up the TV remote, throwing it at his head. "Ow!"
"Well, if you've had prolonged hypotension, which it's obvious here that you have, it's something you should really consider looking into," The nurse said, giving him a concerned look. "Especially with your pulse rate. It could be an electrolyte imbalance, the beginning stages of Brachycardia, a symptom for some underlying-"
"I appreciate the concern, but what I really need to do," Huey cut in abruptly. "Is get the hell out of here." She closed her mouth. "So, whatever you could do to make that happen in say, at least an hour? That would be appreciated more than anything."
She nodded, backing away from the bed and grabbing her chart. "I'll see what I can do." She walked for the hallway, pausing at the doorway and giving him a look. "Just consider getting yourself checked out."
He nodded. She closed the door behind her. As Huey flopped back against the pillows he noticed Robert glaring at him. "Yes, Grandad?"
"Boy, what the hell is wrong with you?" He snapped. Even Riley didn't have anything smart to say. "That cutie pie nurse is sitting up there telling you there's something wrong with yo black ass and you just gonna ignore it?"
"Grandad, it's nothing." Huey rolled his eyes. "Do you know how many people have low blood pressure? It's as common in some cases as high blood pressure. Most athletes even have lower pulse rates-"
"Nigga, is you sum athlete or is you just a punk bitch too lazy ta look into da shit?" Riley cut in, surprising both Huey and Grandad. He flopped against the back of his chair, folding his arms over his chest. "You sound like dis nigga Jerome who was in mah group back in trainin'. Dis fool was coughin up blood and had chest pains an sum crazy shit, so den he pass out on day on tha course an we like, "Nigga! Get yo ass sum help!" His ass lookin a hot mess, sounded a hot mess, actin like a lil' bitch…you know, kinda like you always do-"
"-but nah, he all "Naw, nigga! I'm good, son!" Pssh. Yeah, aiight nigga." Riley leaned back, shaking his head. Huey raised an eyebrow.
"Do you know how many times you just used the word nigga?"
"Nigga, did I ask fo a word count?"
"So, what happened to your little comrade?" Grandad asked. Riley threw up his hands.
"Nigga died!" He nodded earnestly as Huey and Grandad both stared at him. "Uh huh. Had one of dem aneurysms in his heart…uh…arooda-"
"Uh huh, okay, whatever. That thing. Point is, da nigga dead." Riley gestured to him. "But hey. If you wanna be a dumbass an ignore it and hope dat jank go away on its own, dat's fine. Dat's good. It's what's really hood." Riley nodded, sucking his teeth. "But when yo ass realize that if you ain't never been sick no day in yo life before and now you up lyin in tha hospital that something wrong, maybe they'll be able ta save yo gay self!"
Huey tilted his head to the side, examining his brother with an unreadable expression. Even Grandad looked impressed.
"When Riley starts making sense, then you know it's serious," Grandad pointed out, shaking his head and glancing back at the TV. "Boy, do what you want. Cause if you do die then your life insurance will kick in, and that's a pretty penny for me, so-"
"Nuh uh! I want in!" Riley yelled, bolting up and pointing at his granddad. "You betta share wit you only remaining grandson!"
"Hell. No." Grandad shook his head. "Mmm mmm. It'll be like getting my money back all those years for buying all ya'll asses a whole bunch of bullshit! Betta get yo hand out my pocket…did you pay for the policy? Ain't think so."
"Dat ain't fair!"
"I'm not even dead yet!" Huey yelled over the both of them. He groaned, rolling his eyes and lifting his head to the ceiling. "Someone get me out of here. Please."
"Don't worry." Another medical personnel entered the room, an older man with a white coat on and a frown etched into his face. He was flipping through his own chart before withdrawing a couple of pages, handing them all to Huey along with a pen. "Make sure all the information's right and sign at the bottom."
Riley poked his head over Huey's shoulder as he scanned the page, his own eyebrows lifted. "Nigga, yo birthday ain't no February seventh!"
Huey blinked at him, nodding slowly. "Um…yeah. It is."
Riley scratched his head. "Oh." Huey shook his head and went back to reading. "Well…so? It ain't like you remember mah birthday-"
"March twenty-third," He replied nonchalantly, still reading. Riley pouted. After a few moments he started to sign the bottom of the page before frowning and pushing himself up straighter.
"Wait…this says I have to come back?"
The doctor nodded, straightening his glasses. "Since you're so bent on leaving as soon as possible, we can't do the tests we'd wanted to perform while you were here. We want you to make an appointment to see your PCP so we can try to figure out what's wrong. Until then-" He pointed to the page. "Get that filled. It's to add more electrolytes to your system, which may up your blood pressure to where it needs to be."
"A prescription fo dat shit?" Riley snorted. "Nigga betta drink sum Gatorade-"
"Fine." Huey signed the page, thrusting it towards the doctor. "Now can someone get this thing out my arm so I can leave?"
The doctor nodded, shaking his head and turning on his heel. "The nurse will be back in a few moments," He said, strutting out the door. Huey made a face.
"Right." His voice was weighed down with sarcasm. "Because to do it yourself would have been impossible."
"Alright, boy. You heard him." Grandad pointed at him, his face stern. "You get that stubborn ass into a doctor's office before I break my foot off in your ass."
He sighed. "Okay. Fine."
"I mean it!" He instructed, shaking his finger. "You don't have no health insurance just to let it sit around and go to waste. Shoot, betta use that shit!"
"You betta heed what I say, boy!"
"I am! Damn." Huey leaned back, closing his eyes. "Anything to get you to shut up."
Great. He had that feeling he often got before things were going to get worse.
He made a face, scrunching his eyes shut even tighter and pulling the pillow over his head.
"Huey. Wake up."
What the hell? He peeked out from under the pillows to see 11:47 pm glowing at him from the clock on his nightstand. He'd gotten home from the hospital around eight thirty and was so tired he'd promptly fallen asleep. He'd meant to wake back up and go get some damn Gatorade like Riley had suggested, but apparently the alarm on his phone hadn't went off. He went rummaging around under the covers, feeling for his phone. When he felt the cool surface of his blackberry under his fingertips he grabbed it, holding it up to his face.
Whoops. It had went off after all. He yawned, exiting out the clock and then blinking.
He had a missed call. Two of them, actually. One was from Johansen, Maya (a call he was glad he'd missed), the other being from…Dubois, Jazmine. His eyebrows shot up at that one. He checked the time. 11:46 pm.
Wow, he'd just missed her. He shook his head, pressing the talk button and holding up the phone to his ear. That was weird. While it wasn't out of the ordinary for them to talk on occasion it still wasn't something that was expected. Usually he called her to ask her some school related question or he emailed her. It wasn't common for them to just call each other for aimless chatter. It was even less common for either of them to call each other after nine pm.
The phone rang five times. On the sixth one, it picked up. He sat up, holding back a yawn.
"Hello?" He asked after a few moments when no one said anything. He blinked when there was an abrupt click from the other end, his screen flashing and showing that the call had been ended. He glared at it.
Whoa. Did she hang up on him?
Nah. She was in Miami, so the possibility of the call being dropped was far from impossible. He dialed it again, pressing it up to his ear.
This time, it went straight to voicemail.
"Hey, it's Jazmine!" Her voice chirped brightly through the phone. "I'm not here to answer your call, but if you leave a message-"
Nope. He ended the call, tossing the phone aside and burying his head back under the pillow. As he shut his eyes again, they suddenly popped open.
Wait. He sat up, glancing around. The only reason he'd even awakened was because he heard someone calling him.
That was impossible. He must have imagined it, because last time he checked, he lived alone. And while he did have noisy neighbors on his left who always argued and threw things at each other that smacked the wall, it wasn't as if any of them came into his place. And the only other person who had lived with him was now in Japan, and she'd left her key the day she left.
For all he cared, she could have kept it. He'd went out and bought a new lock an hour after her departure, so it wasn't as if it would've been skin off his back.
Seriously though, had he been dreaming when he heard it? He flopped back down, shaking his head and closing his eyes again. He had to have been. There was no other explanation.
He rolled over, almost falling asleep again instantly. It was right as he was beginning to drift off when he heard two more words.
Mondays were probably the worst thing invented. Especially this Monday.
"Here." Huey looked up from his report and his coffee as a thick manila folder crashed down on his desk, making a heavy thump. He gave his secretary, Denise, a bored look.
"Hello to you, too," He muttered sarcastically, taking a long gulp of coffee and sighing, trying to wake up. He was usually a morning person but he hadn't gone to bed until practically an hour before he had to wake up again, a completely fun experience.
Denise rolled her eyes. She was a twenty-six year old black girl with a short, choppy layered hair cut and hazel eyes he liked to refer to as the color of mold whenever he was arguing with her to stop screening his calls from his ex-wife, not to put so much damn milk in his coffee since it was bad enough he was drinking it in the first place, and getting defensive over his decision not to dress like a complete tool and instead wear normal clothes unlike everyone else in the FBI building did.
"What's so good about it?" She leaned over his desk, taking it upon herself to pour a cup of coffee for herself. She was lucky he was too tired to yell at her, which was how the other mornings always went. Instead he nodded, holding up his cup.
"Huh. Good point."
"Yeah. Thought so." Smartass. She reached behind her to grab another manila folder off of her chair, tapping it with a perfectly sculpted fingernail before handing it to him. "Congratulations. Your first kidnapping case."
He rolled his eyes, sitting forward and setting down his coffee. "Excellent." He took it from her, dropping it on his desk and leaning back in his chair, resting his socked feet on the edge of his desk. "Thanks." He took another long sip of coffee and, realizing that she wasn't making any effort to bust a move, gave her a look. "You can leave now.
She sat in the chair in front of him, the exact opposite of leaving, folding her hands neatly in her lap and smirking. "My ass. That case?" She pointed to it, smirking and running her hands over her pencil skirt. "It's bad. Bad bad. You're going to wish you'd picked another department, or just gotten a part-time job working at the burger shack down the street instead of here." She leaned forward. "That's the case Shelley was on. He broke down. Couldn't do it."
His eyebrows lifted. "Broke down?" He shook his head. "He's a thirty-two year old man who's almost seven feet tall and could probably bench press this building!" He looked back down to the folder. "So, this is the big one that everyone's been talking-"
"So why the hell are they giving it to me?" He snorted.
"I don't know." She shrugged lightly. "I guess Mr. Boss Man thinks you can handle it."
He wasn't so sure about that one. Of all his co-workers he was probably the youngest one to be hired with the least experience. Call him ambitious or crazy, but somehow the higher ups had decided that he'd be the perfect candidate for the FBI. He'd only applied for a part time position in linguistics to help get him through grad school after completing his undergrad a year early and wound up becoming an agent after walking in on a meeting looking for the bathroom and being able to tell the panel of fifty people who their killer was after hearing a fraction of the conversation in three seconds. While it was a good thing for him, there were a lot of people pissed about it being that he didn't have the required three years' work experience, he was possibly the only part-time agent they had (along with some Swedish girl no one liked, coincidentally named Denise), and his boss, Skyler Thompson, seemed to particularly liked him.
Then again, it may have had something to do with the fact that he was fluent in Chinese, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, and Kiswahili.
Oh, and had two degrees in Physics and African American studies as well as a concentration in Sociology.
Not to mention his physical had been off the charts…
Whatever. Regardless, a kidnapping case? He hadn't even been there a year! Damn…
"Well…" He eyed the folder suspiciously, as if it were a time bomb. "At least there's a lot of evidence."
"Um, no." Denise made a face. "That's photos of the victims so far. The ones that were found, anyways." She took a deep breath as he drank some more coffee. "So far there's been six victims, each of them being taken and found dead a month exactly from their day of disappearance. I'd recommend you look at those on an empty stomach," She added, the corners of her mouth turning upwards.
He snorted, opening the folder and glancing at the first folder. "I think I'll be…holy shit!"
"Told you." She shrugged as he flipped through each photo, his disgusted face getting worse and worse. "Should I get you a bucket?"
"No…but goddamn! What's this person's problem?"
"I don't know." Denise was doing her best not to look at the pictures, pointedly staring out the window behind him. "But they're pretty sure whoever this person is has some serious obsession with the occult. Anyways, whoever is responsible for the deaths of these women kidnapped another one last night. Her information's at the bottom of the pile along with the others…are you sure you don't want a trashcan? You're looking kind of green."
"No, Denise." His voice was filled with sarcasm. "Thanks." He sighed, taking a deep breath and skipping the photos altogether, jumping to the back. "Alright. So, the first girl was Katie Saunders, 28. Disappeared October 24, 2015, found November 24, 2015."
Denise nodded, reaching into her purse and pulling out a nail file.
"Then Angela Ragland, 34, disappeared on November 24, 2015 and was found December 24, 2015, Christmas Eve. That has to have sucked for her family."
"Mmhmm." Denise began filing her nails, her gaze flickering towards a photo on the corner of his desk. "So, when exactly do you plan on taking that old ass picture of you and your ex-wife out that frame?"
"When I feel like it," He muttered, only half listening as he read through the paperwork. "You know, the same answer I give you when you ask me every other day of the week."
"All I'm saying," Denise said with a shrug, examining a hangnail. "Is that when my first husband and I got a divorce I had gotten rid of his shit in a second. I mean, didn't this girl move to Tokyo over a year ago?"
"Did your mother, or father, or the monkeys who raised you tell you it's impolite to stick your nose into other people's business?" He asked snidely. She rolled her eyes.
"So, you're mad."
"Denise, get out." As usual she completely ignored his request, giving the photo a look of disdain. "Robyn Murphy, 23. Disappeared on December 24, 2015, found January 24, 2016. Micah Bruschelli, 40. Disappeared January 24, found February 24."
"Seeing a pattern?"
"What, the fact that he has an obsession with the number twenty-four? Sure." He breezed through the other names. "Alicia True, 29, found March 24, Raven Waters, 31, April 24-" He stopped, his eyes narrowing. Denise looked up.
"She's the one that just disappeared last night," She supplied, as if he didn't already know that. He shook his head, giving the page a look of disbelief. He looked up at Denise, then back down, as if convinced he may be reading it wrong. She sat up, her eyebrow arching.
"Jazmine Dubois. 21." He looked back up. "I know her."
Denise's jaw dropped. "Nuh uh." She smirked. "Another ex-wife?"
He rolled his eyes. "Not everyone has four ex-husbands like you do who are coincidentally found dead every year, you goddamn psycho." He sucked his teeth. Denise, as usual, didn't look the slightest bit offended. "We grew up together. She goes to school in Miami. We talk sometimes." He closed the file, pushing it away. "Well, we did." He shook his head. "Wow."
Denise gave him a rare, sympathetic look and reached across his desk, grabbing the phone. "I can get you taken off," She said, pressing a few numbers on the phone and holding it up to her ear. "Knowing one of the victims is enough to get you removed and boss likes you. Just let me call-"
"No." Huey shook his head. "I want to stay on it. It's fine."
Denise gave him a look. "Are you sure?" She held the phone away from her ear. "I mean, this is a big case. One of the biggest ones we have right now. And you're only a part-timer with not even a year experience on him. This is a full-time job. Screw that, an over-time job."
"Then I guess I'll have to put in some overtime. So, you can put down the damn phone now. Thanks."
She slowly put the phone back down on the hook, narrowing her eyes towards him.
"You're not going to be impartial with this, you know." She shook her head, crossing her hands over her chest. "You may be good at impersonating a robot, but I've seen cases like this. They always bring out emotion. Always."
"Thanks for the warning."
"I'm serious, Freeman." She snorted, pointing towards the photo. "You might think being that you didn't even bat an eyelash when she asked you for a divorce makes you strong, but in reality you'll probably be the first one to crack. This stuff is heavy."
"Okay, then." Huey leaned forward, giving her a sarcastic look. "Thank you so much for the upmost confidence you are showing in me. You are the best. Secretary. Ever." He waved his hand towards her, picking up the file and his coffee again. "You can show yourself out now."
Denise shot him a dirty look, pushing herself out of her chair and slowly walking towards the door, her heels muffled on the carpet. She shot him a look over her shoulder, a playful look in her eyes.
"Get a new damn photo."
He didn't even look up; this was so routine to him. "Get a goddamn life."
She shook her head, smirking as she closed the door behind him. He glanced up, sighing and shaking his head as he took another sip of coffee. This killer, this…sadist, had some serious issues. What she had said about him being into occult shit was no lie either; not only had he carved unrecognizable symbols into these women's chest (their very naked chests), but they were always found with a pagan rosary. Maybe their connections were that all the victims were pagan?
No. Jazmine was a catholic. In his eyes one was as bad as the other, but whatever.
The ironic part about this was that he'd always warned her when they were younger, probably over ten years ago, that she was too naïve and trusting with other people. That if she didn't watch her back or learn how to question the motives of others that this sort of thing could happen. After all, she'd walk up to strangers she'd never even met before and strike up a conversation. She'd let said strangers cry on her shoulder over someone's death or go with them to drink hot tea and talk about their past. They'd become good enough friends his senior year of high school that he could call her in Florida to ask her a question about calculus and she'd be genuinely happy to help.
She was a sweet person, sure, but this was what happened when you were too sweet.
There was a sudden beeping on the phone and he pressed the intercom button, rolling his eyes. "What, Denise?"
"Don't "what, Denise" me," Her loud, irritated voice argued. "You're the one who didn't want me to screen your ex-wife's calls. She's on line two."
Great. This Monday just couldn't get any better.
To tell the truth, Huey had never wanted to get married. Ever. However, after one too many bottles of Hennessey on both of their parts and a night in Vegas courtesy of his best friend, Michael Caesar, he and his girlfriend, Maya Johansen, had awakened on the floor in one of those wedding chapels with Caesar passed out not too far away, the "priest" smoking weed in the corner, and Riley laughing his ass off and taking pictures on his iPhone. It hadn't been too bad of an experience. Ha. Instead of filing for divorce as soon as the ninety required days were up they'd simply decided to stick with it and make it work.
The only problem was that where he was too ambitious, too cold, and too disconnected, she was even more ambitious, cold, and disconnected. When she'd gotten a job in Tokyo, Japan, he'd refused to move just to appease her. And when she accused him of wanting to hold her back he told her that if she felt that way she could pack her bags and carry her ass. Which, being the woman she was, promptly did…
..After punching him in the face.
She had come really close to making him break his no-hitting-women policy; otherwise the only place she would have been moving to would have been a cemetery.
Denise, the women who got married every other year and divorced the year in between had taken an interest to his divorce, which had been much less painful than the black eye Maya had given him as a parting gift. While she had been interested before and he'd explained on many occasions that she wasn't interested, she just didn't seem to understand that he didn't want to be her next husband who would be found dead in a year's time. Not only was she an expert on narcotics, but she was way too sneaky for his liking. He enjoyed breathing, thank-you-very-much.
"Freeman!" She screeched, breaking his thoughts. "Do you want me to transfer it or what?"
Huey rolled his eyes. "Tell her I'm not here this time," He said, drumming his fingers on the tabletop. "Tell her I'm having a wild escapade in France with my latest mistress."
He heard a snort. "Fine by me." The intercom died again and he sat back, resting his hands behind his head and closing his eyes.
Denise didn't know him well enough to know that he was always impassive. Always. He didn't do bias. He definitely didn't do feelings or emotions or empathy. He did logic. He did facts. And as sorry as he was for Jazmine, as sorry as he was for her family who was no doubt in full panic mode right now, he wasn't going to suddenly change his ways for her. He sighed, spinning around in his chair and staring out into the city.
April twenty-fifth. That meant that if the killer stuck to their schedule, Jazmine would be dead by May twenty-fourth. Well, unless he could stop the guy by then.
Man. What had he gotten himself into?
"It's bad," Huey's best friend, Michael Caesar, said as they sat tucked in the furthest back table in the public library, the table piled high with books. "Seriously." He saw someone shoot him a dirty look and dropped his voice even lower. "Cindy and I went over her parents' house earlier today? They're devastated, man."
Huey didn't look up from his notebook. "I can imagine. It is their only child."
"I know man, but I've never seen anything like it." Caesar shook his head, his own pen tapping against his notebook. "Cindy, she's not much better. You know even though she goes to school here and Jazmine was in Florida that they were still best friends. I swear they'd be on the phone for hours at least every other day, if not every day. And we went to Florida for Spring Break, and-"
"I know." Huey shook his head, still writing. "I can't really talk about it, man."
Caesar's brow knotted. "Whoa." He gave him a look. "You're that torn up about it, too? I knew you two were friends, but not that close of-"
"Not like that." He shook his head again, finally looking up. "I mean, as in I can't. I'm not allowed." Caesar gave him another look and he rolled his eyes. "Look, I got put on it, alright? I'm not supposed to talk about it because I'm on the case."
Caesar's eyes nearly bulged out of his head. "Oh, shit!" He sat up, knocking over a book but making no move to get it off the floor. "Forreal?"
"Ceez, yes." He looked around, making a face at his best friend. "So do me a favor and shut up about it."
Caesar sighed, going to his own paper. "Fine, man. I'll be cool."
A few seconds passed, the only sound being the scribbling of their pens against paper and the occasional person rummaging through the book shelves. After a few moments, Caesar looked up.
"So, I wonder why they took her?"
Huey blinked at him. "Yes. Because I can definitely talk about it now. What makes you think anything has changed between a few seconds ago and this moment?"
"Oh, come on, man!" Caesar threw up his hands. "We grew up with her! We were friends! How can you not want to talk about it?"
"I don't want to get kicked off of it for not being able to keep my mouth shut about it," He shot back. "I'm talking about it to everyone else at work. I'm thinking about it all the damn time since I'm the one responsible for finding the creep now. And it sucks. Some random psycho just snatching her off the street? It really does suck." He snorted. "But I can't say anything else, alright?"
Caesar shook his head at him. "You really do have the unbiased, impartial thing going on, if that's what you're going for."
He sighed. "Good."
Caesar rolled his eyes. "Well, if you ain't gonna talk about it, I will. And you can just listen." He shook his long dreads out of his face, grinning at Huey's scowl. "But yeah, Tom and Sarah's house was ambushed by cops and reporters. Sarah couldn't stop crying. Cindy and I had to practically fight a good dozen journalists to get in there. Cause you know ever since Jazmine's dad got on city council and her mom became a senator they've been in the limelight anyways-"
"Caesar." Huey rubbed his temples with his fingertips. "Just do your work."
Caesar shrugged. "Fine. Whatever."
Huey glared down at the page. It wasn't as if he didn't care. He honestly did. In fact, he was pretty angry about it. Who in their right mind would want to hurt Jazmine of all people? Doing anything to her would be like slaughtering helpless puppies. You just didn't do that sort of thing.
Not to mention, Caesar wasn't the one who saw all the pictures of those other victims. Just the thought of her becoming one of them would be enough to induce vomiting in most people.
He also felt bad for her family. Tom and Sarah, despite being the butt of his many jokes and criticisms (alright…Sarah was a pretty smart white woman, so it was mainly Tom who caught the brunt of it), were perfectly nice people, and Jazmine was their only child. They were lawyers so they'd probably looked all into the East Coast kidnappings by now, and probably felt even worse than he did imagining her ending up like the others before her. Riley…Riley had actually been pretty close to her. Huey suspected he had a crush on her at one point or another but he wasn't one to go around getting in people's business. He probably wasn't feeling much better.
He was angry about it. He was pissed about it. But even worse…he felt slightly guilty.
That was because the time of her disappearance was reported when he was at work, getting briefed about what had happened thus far. It had been eleven forty seven pm when she'd vanished, according to her co-workers. Her cell phone had been found in the place she'd been taken from, the back alleyway behind her workplace. The bright pink sidekick had been looked through, the last call she made being shown as eleven forty six pm, exactly one minute before she was kidnapped.
And that call had been to him.
Then again, what could he have done if he had answered it? He was in DC. She was in Florida. It wasn't as if it would have made a difference. Then again, if she had stayed on the phone then maybe the culprit would have been deterred and went after someone else and he wouldn't feel so pressured to solve this. After all, he was going to have to question her parents, her friends, her co-workers…a bunch of people who were close to her, who were probably complete wrecks about the entire thing. It would be so much easier if it were someone he didn't know.
Maybe Denise was right. Maybe he should give it up. After all he was a part timer. He was the youngest person there. He was also the newest.
So…that meant he shouldn't give it up. Otherwise, no one would take him seriously. But honestly, what had his boss seen in him to make him think he was capable of doing this?
"Aye!" Caesar snapped his fingers, causing Huey's eyes to fly up from his paper, interrupting his thoughts. He sighed. "Man, I can't concentrate. I'm gonna head out." He began getting his books and papers together, giving his best friend a look. "You comin? I'm gonna grab some food before I go back to Baltimore."
"Nah." Huey shook his head. "I've got three term papers to finish, two thesis', two take home exams, and two projects. I'm so glad the semester's over next week."
"No kidding." Caesar shook his head. "I don't believe you. You graduated from high school early, you finished your undergrad early, you're going to be out of grad school early, and I'm trying to just graduate before the summer's out. And you have a job?" He snorted. "You're like a damn android."
"Wow. What a beautiful compliment." Huey shook his head.
"Seriously." Caesar shrugged, hoisting his backpack over his shoulders. "If I had all that, I would die. Don't you ever feel like it's too much pressure?"
Caesar eyed him. "No insane urges to just crack?"
Huey gave him a look. "How long have we known each other?" Before Caesar could reply he shook his head. "I don't crack."
Caesar gave him a look before nodding in agreement. "I guess you don't." He turned on his heel before snapping his fingers. "Ah! Don't forget! Birthday party this weekend. And I want. A. Gift."
Huey waved his hand. "Fine."
"I mean it! And I want a good gift." Caesar smirked at him. "None of these "books" or a "free lecture on a topic of your choice" passes. I still have a good dozen of them collected."
"Fine. Real gift." He went back to his paper. "Whatever."
Caesar shook his head again, walking away. "Don't stay out too late!"
"Sure thing, mom!" Huey shot back, yawning the moment his best friend turned the corner. Damn. He checked his watch, sighing. 9:49 pm.
Schoolwork. Study for finals. Find Jazmine's potential murderer.
This was going to be a long night.
I hope that didn't put too many people to sleep. lol.
Thanks for reading! As usual, reviews would be greatly appreciated. :D