a/n: This is beta'ed by the saintly EverlastingMuse. I don't own Twilight, but you probably knew that, right?

Chapter 1: Femme Fatale

Even as a human I loved detective stories. As a boy I snuck the works of Edgar Allen Poe, Wilkie Collins and Arthur Conan Doyle into my room and pored over these while I was supposed to be reading the Romantic poets and the collected works of Shakespeare. Later I read the novels of Raymond Chandler, Dashell Hammett and John MacDonald, often in grubby pulp magazines I had to hide from my siblings so they wouldn't tease me. As if it was porn or something.

I loved the way that the detectives in the stories had flaws, dark pasts, made mistakes and tortured themselves for these mistakes. I loved the way they tried to do the right thing even while hovering in that grey area between the upright world and the seedy underbelly. I liked the way they were able to help innocent people by intervening in that dark world for them, so that they could stay innocent. I like the way they questioned their humanity. I can totally relate.

So when I decided that I wanted to do something to involve myself with humanity in a more interesting way than going to high school for the 20th time I chose to start a detective agency. Despite the fact that I'm a vampire, I'm kind of a natural for this sort of thing because a) I can read minds b) I have vampire skills like a heightened sense of smell, vision, etc. and c) I don't sleep. In fact, at The Red Eye Detective Agency, that's our motto; "We don't sleep". People just take it to mean that we work on their cases tirelessly. But really, it's…well, you get it.

I say "our" motto because I am joined part-time by my sister Alice. She's also a real natural for this field because she's a psychic. Not, like, Miss Cleo, psychic friends network, call her up and ask her about your love life. More like she gets visions of the future and can sometimes "look" for the future of certain people

We also occasionally utilize the skills of our siblings: her husband Jasper because he's a brilliant tactician, having fought in the Civil War, can detect and change emotions and is pretty good on the computer, our brother Emmett because he is the kind of guy that a detective should have around, big and intimidating, although really he's a big cupcake, and his wife Rosalie who's a master mechanic and really the one the bad guys should be scared of. She also makes a good distraction because most human males think she's attractive. If they knew the toxicity of her personality they might think twice, but maybe not. Human males are pretty predictable.

Speaking of predictable, we're so good at solving mysteries that sometimes we have to pretend that it takes longer to solve a case than it really does so we don't make people suspicious. It's also important for us to maintain a really low profile. We have an office in downtown Forks, Washington; population: 3,120 humans, 7 vampires. We stick to pretty small time stuff: cheating spouses, tracking down lost loves, stuff like that. We don't take any cases farther away than Port Angeles usually and if it's anything that is going to attract the attention of the press or any major law enforcement, I pass it off to the Fork's Chief of Police, the inscrutable Charlie Swan.

I am especially careful to always be polite and cooperative and to hide any trace of the supernatural from Chief Swan. It's always important for any private investigator to maintain a good relationship with the local law enforcement and it's representatives.

Also, it would be a bad idea to drink his daughter Bella's blood. Unfortunately, that's easier said than done.

Every great private detective has woman trouble. There's the classic scene where our hero wakes from an alcohol stupor in his squalid office and through the haze of his hangover sees the shapely legs of a femme fatale, a gorgeous woman who will lead him into danger with a hint of her luscious lips and the sway of her curves.

You'll remember that I don't sleep and I can't get drunk so the hangover scene is never going to happen for me. I should also explain that I'm not terribly experienced sexually. By which I mean I have no experience. Emmett accuses me of being gay all the time. The flaw in his theory is that the only thing that is less interesting to me than sex with a woman is sex with a man.

I have this theory that we vampires get stuck in our temperaments when we are changed. Esme was a young mother when she was changed and she has forever been a mother to us, despite the fact that I am, in fact, older than her. Emmett got stuck as a redneck in his early 20s, into hunting, women and raising hell.

So here's what I was fixated on when I was changed:

1) Waiting until I was 18 to join the army and fight in the Great War

2) Pretending to be 18, joining the army and fighting in the Great War

3) Joining the Navy, etc.

4) Joining the Marines, etc

5) Baseball (Go Cubs!)

6) War

7) Whether my mother was going to find the copy of "Sherlock Holmes" stories I had hidden in the back of my dresser

8) War

Which brings me to my present conundrum. I got over my fixation with war the way most kids nowadays get over their fixation with The Doors once they're out of high school. Because neither war nor Jim Morrison are really as cool as they initially seem to the immature adolescent.

I still like the Cubs, even though they haven't won the World Series since I was a human 7 year-old, which is longer than you might think, especially given my boyish good looks. No one is going to punish me for reading detective novels anymore. Especially since Emmett barely even reads. You should hear the way he bitches if we try to watch a movie with subtitles.

But I still hadn't developed the obsession with sex that everyone else in the world had. Which would have been cool if I lived with monks or with some power-hungry coven like the Volturi (more on them later). I mean, those guys are more interested in regulating on vampires and mind-fucking each other than sexual shenanigans. But while in my family Rosalie does kind of control Emmett and Alice does control our wardrobes there's no major power-tripping going on. We pretty much have lots of time to sit around pretending to be human. Which for my siblings and parents means having sex. Loudly. As if I can't hear their thoughts as well.

Which is not to say that I don't have women trouble. Just not in the shape of a curvy blonde with a cigarette dangling from her red lips but a petite, brunette high school senior who likes Jane Austen and milkshakes.

a/n: Just want to let you know, this is not a real mystery nor will there be any angst. It's just goofy. But it is halfway written so at least I will update on something like a regular basis. Which I hope will impress someone out there. Thanks for indulging me. JuJu