Cat and Mouse
I never guessed that selling the farm I inherited could bring consequences that would land me in the middle of no where, trying to discover and arrest my rival's near killer. SkyexClair
Chapter 1: Pieces of the Past
"You couldn't shoot me..." His words rung truer than anything. "You won't hurt me," he knew it, it was so frustrating, he knew it so well. "You won't arrest me and you won't call someone else to do so in your place." His icy eyes were filled with a confidence that was most infuriating, yet I couldn't look away from them. "Because you love me." My heart told me he wasn't a killer, that he was falsely accused, but the proof sang a different tune and he was such a skillful liar... Yes, he was a killer, perhaps not the killer my investigation required me to find, but his eyes, his oh so attractive eyes, would be the death of me.
It had been an encounter like so many others that shouldn't have happened. Occasions like that were, not only illegal given that he was a criminal and I was an officer of the law, but they were also wrong, just plain wrong. I didn't believe him, I couldn't believe him, and yet every time his lips touched mine, I found myself doubting my logic and wondering if I could ever love a thief. This night, this quiet night that hides such forbidden intensity... It is nothing like the day when I arrived in Mineral Town, and yet I find myself remembering it...
xoxox xox xoxox
The sun is hot overhead, a soft breeze blows and it's a beautiful day, superficially at least. Yet at the heart of this little town in the middle of no where, everything is in turmoil. I should be used to turmoil by now, I'm a detective after all, but I would be lying, and badly at that, if I didn't admit I'm a rookie. A detective, a rookie, a city girl, that's another thing I am. I can't help it but to wonder if I'll be able to keep a shred of sanity in this place, in Mineral Town, the town where conflict and tragedy where unheard of until now. The town where the worse that could happen was a clumsy farmer forgetting to feed their animals, wild dogs ruining crops or preying on livestock, or petty thievery. But not murder, never murder, the word is almost alien to these people, bizarre, unfathomable.
Well, to be precise, it wasn't a murder as much as it was an attempted murder, but still, it shook the citizens of Mineral Town to their very core. I'm not a psychologist, I'm a detective. I'm not here to console them, I'm here to find answers and right now, everyone is a suspect. Albeit it is irrelevant to the case, as I stand here in front of what could have been my land, I can't help it but to think about why it's not and unwillingly remember why I detest thieves. But I don't want to think about that, so I try to think of something else. Something that will make my blood boil a little less.
Going back further still, that day a few years ago I was going about my business as usual. I was a law student then, a failing law student. As I wondered the university halls everything reminded me that I got in through a favor from my uncle, the head of the law department and what can only be described as a miracle. Though I was probably invisible to them, I felt as if they were judging me as I headed for my uncle's office. I knocked and a gruff yet friendly male voice granted me passage.
The office was simple in decor, white walls, polished wooden furniture including a large desk and abundant bookshelves, and leather chairs. Not the kind of cheap chairs that squeaked either. "Sit, miss, we have much to discuss." I could tell from his grave tone that his initial greeting was only pretence to try to cheer me up. My grades were less than stellar, I was failing law school.
"I..." The words died on my lips. What excuses could I give?
"About the curriculum," he turned all business like, his face reminding me of my father. I suppose executives and lawyers aren't all that different. "Are you sure you don't prefer business administration?"
"No," this was a topic we'd addressed before. I let my eyes roam over the many titles of the texts stored in his bookshelves. All of them were law books of course, all of them quite thick complex.
"I see," the pause stretched infinitely. Business, law, it was all Greek to me. As for my reason for choosing law rather than business? It was because I had no choice. No one pushed me into it; I ran into this curriculum head first to get away from the man I love. No, it wasn't academics, it wasn't about a career, but for a girl my age, anything hardly is was about anything other than love.
Charles, the image of perfection from his smooth red hair to his intelligent blue eyes. That was the conceited narcissist that stole my heart, and everyone else's. The students either admired him or lusted for him, or both. The professors were in awe of him. He was rather self absorbed, but he could back it.
The stupidly simple event which turned my existence upside down happened when I was studying administration. My father graduated from that department and they expected me to be a business prodigy like him. In a few words, I wasn't. Still, I managed to hold my own fairly well, musing in retrospect that business is far easier then law, or maybe I'm just better at it, though still not stellar, not note worthy, not good enough.
That time, I was paired up with Charles for a group project. He was double majoring in administration and robotics, genius that he was. It was a dream, or so I thought. He didn't acknowledge me much as I couldn't academically compete with him, but then again, no one could. With a look that told me he expected disappointment, he divided up the work, taking the most complex and extensive portions for himself and giving me the relatively simple parts of the research.
The project was centered around a situation that happened with a company. I have forgotten the details by now. The point is that it had a lot to do with the laws that governed the business world. Though I went above and beyond to do my best, it wasn't good enough for him. He wasn't rude, but I kind of wish he had been. I can handle rejection, but not a total lack of acknowledgement. He took my pages of hard work and offered to compile the project. We got an A, but only because he did the whole thing as I found out when the project was returned and I flipped through it before Charles snatched it away. "Where's my part?"
"You didn't need to bother." His eyes told me not to make a scene as he headed back to his seat, yet his voice was so professional, so impersonal. I was fuming.
I met him outside the classroom after class had ended. "Charles," a few girls gave me nasty, looks as if I shouldn't have the privilege to address him, but I ignored them. "What did you do with the pages I gave you?"
"We got an A, be thankful," he was letting me off easy, but I insisted. He looked at me in the eyes as if I couldn't help it but to be inferior to him. "Your analysis was flawed. Law is not your forte." Then he walked away. He didn't sound spiteful and his neutral politeness was infuriating.
Okay, so maybe saying that I had no choice but to change my college curriculum was going too far. It was an impulse, something crazy; I wanted to prove him wrong. I wanted to become a great lawyer and be acknowledged. Until then, I didn't want to take any classes with him, so the business and robotics departments were off limits.
My uncle's voice woke me from my thoughts. "Are you listening?" I nodded absentmindedly; it was obvious I had not been. Without scolding me, but instead letting out a weary sigh that spoke volumes, he repeated the question I had missed. "How do you feel about criminal justice?"
Was that a trick question? Was it a test to my conviction as a hopefully future lawyer? "I would like to enforce the law." I stated blankly.
"Then why don't you switch? The electives you took for the law curriculum which are also related to criminal justice will be validated of course; you did rather well on those." That's when it hit me what he was trying to do, attempted not to be to direct so as to not startle me into stubbornness. He wanted to coax me into switching to a major where I wouldn't embarrass myself too badly, because if I did, I would embarrass him too.
Criminal justice... That wasn't related to business or robotics at all. What could I prove with a degree in that? Yet if I stayed in law, I would only make myself look stupid. I'm not stupid; prosecuting just isn't my talent, but maybe legal investigations could be. I never imagined how similar they could feel when my voice later held the power to condemn a man's life, even if I was a detective rather than a prosecutor.
I shrugged; I didn't want to make a fool of myself. I needed something, anything on which I could thrive. "I think I will make the switch.
xoxox xox xoxox
Turmoil, that was what it was like. That week years ago when I joined a classroom full of wannabe detectives. It was turmoil, and yet thinking back on it, it was nothing. This is turmoil, this thing, this unknown thing that I feel when I'm with Skye. Yet the doubt is always with me, because he has every reason in the world to use me.
On that very week when I joined the criminal justice department in my student years, I received a devastating blow. Grandpa passed away. I yelled, I cried, I threw a fit and then I sold the farm he left me. He was my grandfather on my mother's side and since she passed away when I was barely fourteen, I remained as the only other direct heir. She had no siblings and neither did I. I didn't visit the farm, I didn't want to cry at the memories of playing there as a child, running around with Ann, Karen, Rick and Popuri. We would have such fun times picking on him.
I sold the farm to a company called Fun Land. I heard they were going to turn it into a sort of mini amusement park. There was a battle with the town, I found out thanks to Karen's angry letter. They didn't want a torrent of tourists ruining their quiet little paradise. Yet I, a city girl at heart no matter how much I enjoyed my childhood summer visits to Mineral Town, didn't understand. Who wouldn't want to have an amusement park in walking distance of their house?
Yet now, in the present time, years after Karen, Popuri and Rick decided they didn't want to talk to me again, as I stand here where the farm once was, the empty plot of land devoid of life seems sad. The construction was halted because the CEO was almost murdered. I finish my studies and I'm a detective now. The badge in my pocket and the gun strapped to my torso beneath my jacket are proof of that.
The door of the office next to the construction site that was once grandpa's home opens and my heart aches. Then I see him. "Charles?"
"Detective?" His face is distraught. I never thought I would see him again, let alone like this. I don't think he remembers me at all. "Please come in."
I nod and follow him inside where an older man is filing paper work while sniffling into a handkerchief. "Compose yourself Renton, the detective is here."
The older executive nodded, despite his age, I got the impression that Charles was higher ranked. "I... I..."
"You can be excused if you don't feel up to talking about the investigation." I sounded professional, but I wasn't.
Renton moved his head in slow affirmation and looked at Charles who dismissed him. "Thank you, I'm... I'm sorry..." He hurried outside sniffling.
It wasn't consideration for the poor soul that made me excuse him. It was wanting to be alone with Charles. Yet as he motioned for me to sit across from him in the small meeting room, I had never felt so out of place in my life.
To be Continued
This idea, it wouldn't leave me alone! I was going to make it Charles x Clair at first, but the plot fits Skye x Clair so much more, you'll soon see why when the drama starts to unfold.
xoxox xox xoxox
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