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 Darcy & Jennabella (New Title Suggestions Would Be Appreciated)

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RebelAngel

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PostSubject: Darcy & Jennabella (New Title Suggestions Would Be Appreciated)   Sun May 11, 2014 3:12 pm

You know it is going to be one of those days when you wake up to heavy rain pounding your window; no hot water for a shower; and a frantic voicemail from your boss screaming at you to go cover some “tragedy” in one of the stuck-up neighborhoods on the opposite side of town.

I’m Jennabella MieCook and I’m a photographer-slash-intern of one of the local, small time newspapers in New Orleans, Louisiana. I live in a ramshackle little flat in the middle of the city’s more modernized neighborhoods. It’s not the best place in the world but its home.

I’m the type of girl your parents would warn you not to get too close to, by looks anyway. My hair is black, extremely long, with wisps of blue and greens. My eyes are a weird mix of blues and greens and fluctuate between the two colors with my varying moods. I am a short five-two, pale, have way too many freckles and a multitude of piercings and tattoos. Though I look like I might just sacrifice your soul to Satan if you pissed me off, I’m a big softy. I love cheesy romance movies; I think Tom Hiddleston is a babe; and I go super-geek anytime I see anything Doctor Who related. I just happen to have a darker sense of style.

I had been awoken nearly an hour early by my phone going off with the sound of demonic laughter—the ringtone for Gerard, my ass-hat of a boss and editor of the newspaper. I just ignored the five calls before deciding I might as well start my day. In the process of getting out of bed I tripped over one of my dog’s toys and fell on my face. That was just the start to my dreadful morning. My shower nearly turned me into a Popsicle; my tooth paste was pretty much nonexistent; and my boss was blowing up my phone at five in the morning. Marvelous.

I finally got around to listening to his plethora of voicemails after getting dressed and making my morning to-go cup of tea. Basically they all said to get my ass over to some posh estate on the other side of town and work my “magic” on the cops at some old broad’s house. Yay stuck up old people, terrific.

I left my flat with my umbrella and camera bag in hand. The rain assaulted my umbrella in the short distance to my little grey Honda Civic. It was a bit beat up, but it was a good car.

I pulled up at a little dinner about a block from the address to meet my partner and mentor, Mark Reclin. Mark was sitting at a booth with a cup of coffee and a small stack of pancakes. He was pretty attractive, for the most part: tall, olive toned skin, dark brown hair and matching eyes. If I didn’t know him so well, I might have swooned in his presence. He glanced up from his phone and shot me a little glare. What the hell did I do?

“You’re late, Cherie,” he scolded in his thick Cajun accent as I sat across from him.

I rolled my eyes. “It hasn’t been the best morning.” I muttered. Mark only scoffed and went back to his breakfast.

Mark was the type of guy who seemed to automatically put everyone on his bad side. When we were first paired up I did my best to make him like me, but just gave up on trying to impress him after a while.

“So what tragic thing was I dragged out of bed for this morning?” I muttered after I gave the waitress my order.

“Madam Du Fey was found dead early this morning,” Mark drawled, “bloody mess; none too pretty.”

Now that was a bit of a shocker. Ethel Du Fey was one of the riches women in New Orleans. She was nearly ninety-six, but still one of the stiffest, most stuck-up, self-entitle people in town. I had met her on several occasions for work and she never said a nice word to me. Yea she was rude and quite opinionated, but she wasn’t worth the risk of life in prison.  

“Our job is to get in and get as much information as possible before the vultures get a whiff of it.” Mark stated dully.

“Then bullshit the rest,” I muttered just before our waitress brought me a fresh cup of coffee. I did my best to offset Mark death-glaring at me with a reassuring smile to her.

“We don’t, as you so crudely put it, bullshit anything,” Mark his under his breath when she was gone. “We just stretch the truth a bit.”

I rolled my eyes with a scoff.

The rest of the meal was eaten in silence. (Thank God!) The rain had let up by the time we had finished and we walked the block to the Du Fey home. The old Victorian manor was two stories, marble white, and surrounded by police. They were everywhere; the yard, the steps, hell I think a few were even on the roof! The place was a buzzing hive of men and women in blue. There was absolutely no way in hell we would be allowed anywhere near the house.

Mark put on his “serious reporter” face and marched up to the front gate, and the cop blocking it, arrogantly. “Mark Reclin, of The Big Easy Bulletin,” he flashed a toothy grin. “My partner and I are here to get the story on Madam Du Fey’s death. If you could go get the person in charge, that’ll be—”

“The chief ain’t talking to no one ‘bout nothing,” The cop spoke, with a thicker accent than Mark’s, I might add.  He was a big black guy with muscles to spare and a harsh scowl that could peel paint.

A snicker escaped me when I saw Mark’s face. It was a mixture of shock and downright pissed, but mostly shock. “Now see here, sir, I’m one of the best reporters in this city. To deny me a story is to deny the people—”

“The chief ain’t talking to no one ‘bout nothing,” the officer repeated, cutting off Mark’s spiel.

Mark’s face began to turn bright red, from his neck to his ears. Rejection never seemed to settle well with Mark. He couldn’t handle being told “no”. His jaw tensed with the almost visible gnashing of his teeth. He looked practically cartoonish; I half expected smoke to come whistling out of his ears.

“I demand to talk to the person in charge—” Mark began again, to no avail.

“The Police have no statement at this point,” a new voice broke into the conversation. Coming up to the wrought iron fence next to the officer standing guard was none other than Chief Ramos himself.

Chief Paul Ramos was the type of guy who took his job seriously and did it very, very well. He had been New Orleans’s Chief of Police for as long as I could remember. He was also a close family friend. He kind of looked like an older version of Joe Mantegna, the guy who played David Rossi on Criminal Minds, with shorter, greyer hair.

“Please, Mr. Reclin,” Chief Ramos continued, “leave the property. You can wait and get your information at the press conference like all the other reporters.”

Mark opened his mouth to give some complaint that he had overused on Chief Ramos. A glare from the Chief instantly stopped the protest. Mark snarled and turned on his heels. I gave a short snort of laugher and turned to follow him.

“Miss MieCook,” Chief Ramos called to me from the other side of the fence.
I turned back to face him. “Yes sir?”

“You’re pretty handy with that camera of yours,” Ramos said, motioning to the bag hanging on my hip. “I’ve seen your work, in the papers and all over the University. Would you mind doing me a favor? You’ll be paid if you do.”

I raised an eyebrow at this. “What kind of favor?” I asked stepping closer to the fence.

“We need a fill-in for our photographers.” Ramos elaborated. “They all called in sick and no one here seems to be able to take a decent shot. We could use your skill. I warn you though: it’s pretty bloody in there.”

I thought for a second. “You said I’d be paid for this, right?”

“Of course.”

“Ok, I’ll help,” I said. “I could always use a little extra money.”

Ramos rolled his eyes but gave me a smile. “Thank you Miss MieCook.” He muttered as the guard stepped aside to let me by.

“It’s nothing Chief,” I replied with my own smile.

Chief Ramos placed a hand on my shoulder. “If anything about the crime scene is leaked to your boss…” he trailed off a bit.

I raised my right hand and held up three fingers in the Girl Scout’s salute. “Scouts honor, that won’t happen.”

Ramos nodded. “I’m holding you to that, Jenny-Bell.” He said as he led me up to the house. I couldn’t help a little smile at my old childhood nickname.

The mansion was quiet spectacular: practically all white, inside and out; Greek columns on the front; grand staircase just off the foyer to the upper story. Everything was clean and pristine; and then there was a gory mess in the master bedroom. Blood was everywhere: the bed, the floor— just splattered all over the place. Madam Du Fey lay in a heap in the largest puddle at the foot of the bed. According to the medical examiner guy she when down fighting. Who knew the old broad still had it in her.

My job was to take pictures, of everything. Every little drop, smudge, and speck of blood had to be somewhere on my camera’s memory card. Now I have a pretty strong stomach, but god this was just plain gross.

After a while I was left alone to just get finished. The police had been here long before me, so their job was pretty much done. All but a few got out of my way so I could get the evidence photographed. I was almost done when I caught Ramos’s voice coming back up the stairs followed by another man.

“Thank you for coming, Darcy,” Ramos’s voice carried to me from down the hall.

“It’s nothing Paul, happy to help,” a new voice, thick with some European accent, replied. I figured this was “Darcy”.

I glance up from my camera in time to see Ramos walk in followed by another guy much taller than him. I had to do a double take when I saw this “Darcy” guy. I swear he could have been a dead ringer for Tom Hiddleston when he was in The Hollow Crown, if it weren’t for his red hair. He also seemed a bit more muscular than my favorite actor—taller too, by about two inches. He wore a dark grey suit and tie, and a black dress shirt, all under a black trench coat.

“How are things coming along, Jenny-Bell?” Ramos’s asked as he and this Darcy guy walked over to me.

“Just finishing up,” I replied standing from my place crouching by the body and the foot of the bed.

“And who is this lovely Lady?” the new guy asked.

My heart nearly stopped as I looked up at him and saw his breathtaking, slightly tooth grin. He made me feel shorter than I really was as he stood over a foot taller than me. My neck stared to cramp a bit from having to lean my head back to look him in his green eyes.

“This is Jennabella MieCook,” Ramos introduced me “she is filling in for our MIA photographers. Jenny, this is Darcy Ó’Catháin,” he motioned to the man beside him. “He is a Private Investigator we like to consult on tough cases.”

I smiled politely and held out my hand. “Nice to meet you Mr. Ó’Catháin.”

Ó’Catháin took my hand and gave it a firm shake. “Please, call me Darcy.” He said. I still couldn’t quite place his accent. It seemed a mix of Irish and British.

"So what happened here, Paul?" Darcy asked turning to look at Madam Du Fey's body at the foot of a bed.

"We were thinking a break-in, but there is no sign of forced entry..." And I zoned out and went back to my job, not really wanting to hear the details. Ramos and Darcy discussed the murder at length. At some point Darcy adorned a pair of latex gloves and poked around the body a bit. I paid little to no attention until a certain topic caught my interest.

"...Sharp, clean cut; made by a straight edge. Possibly military grade blade..." Darcy muttered to himself as he inspected the gash in Du Fey's neck.

"You sure about that Darcy?" Ramos inquired

Darcy smirked. "Remember who you're talking to, Paul. Have I been wrong yet?"

"No," Ramos admitted, "but we need physical proof of what type of knife killed Miss Du Fey."

"I can let you barrow some from my collection," I interjected. "Several are military knives. You can test them or whatever."

"Why does the fact you have a knife collection not surprise me?" Ramos mumbled.

"Because you know me too well." I replied.

“When can you have the knives at the station?” Darcy interposed as he stood from examining the body.

“Later today,” I said. “I just have to drop some stuff off at my office then head home to get them.”

“Splendid!” Darcy exclaimed. With two quick strides he was standing in front of me. “In the meantime I’ll continue to study the evidence from your pictures.” With that he removed my camera from my neck and waltzed out of the room.

I was stunned for a moment. “Did he just steal my camera?” I asked Ramos as I stood there.

“Yea, sorry about that.” He muttered in reply. “He’ll give it back, eventually.”

“He better,” I mumbled as I started for the door. “That thing was pretty damn expensive.”

I left the house and walked back to the dinner to get my car. I slipped into the driver seat and checked my phone. Big mistake. I had fifteen missed call, ten voicemails and twenty text messages, all from Gerard. I ignored and deleted them all. I would deal with him all too soon.
The drive to The Big Easy Bulletin was uneventful. I walked in and went straight to the HR secretary. “I finished with the rest of that paperwork.” I said handing her a folded stack of papers from my jacket pocket.

“Thanks Jen,” she muttered absently taking them as she typed away on her computer. “I’ll mail you your last pay check by the end of the week.”

“Thanks Bonnie,” I said and walked off to my desk.

My work space was right next to Mark’s. While he kept his desk like an apocalyptic waste land of paper and fast food bags, mine was nice and neat. Granted, I’ve been cleaning it off for the past two weeks.

“Where the hell have you been?” a gruff voice screeched as I sat down to go through the drawers one last time.

I didn’t even bother looking up. “That piece of business, Jarred, is between me, myself, I, and NOPD.” I replied to my fuming boss.

“You’re on the clock,” Jarred snapped, “so your business is my business.”

“Not anymore,” I muttered pulling my head from a drawer to look him in the eye. “I quit.” I went back to rifling through the compartment.

Jarred was quiet for a moment. “You can’t quit!” he finally spoke. “You’re our best photographer! We need you here.”

“Yes you do,” I stated bluntly, “but I don’t have to put up with the bullshit you have put me through for the past year and a half, for next to nothing as pay and even less recognition. I’m done.” I reached into my pocket and pulled out my press badge. “Find someone else to bullshit your stories.” With a flick of my wrist the badge went flying into Gerard’s face.

He stood there stunned as I finished cleaning out my desk. I took the random kink-knacks, books, and other personal stuff back out to my car. Gerard followed me, begging me to reconsider quitting; he even offered me a raise. But my mind was made up. I got into my car, flipped Gerard the bird, and drove off to my apartment.

It felt good to have that mess in my past. I wish I could say my time at the Bulletin had been a great experience, but it was not in the slightest.

I parked in front of my flat about twenty minutes later. As I walked up the stairs I had to hold my breath to not smell whatever the hell it was my downstairs neighbor was lighting up now. I was greeted at my door by my Schipperke-Pomeranian mix puppy. “I missed you too Nox.” I muttered to the pooch. I fed him a little treat and went to dig through my knife collection.

I kept all the knives in a dresser I had turned into a display case in my room. I had a wide assortment: old, new, ceremonial and many, many more I had gathered over the years. I searched carefully for ones closet to Darcy’s description. When was done I had about ten or so knives packed into a carrying case. I gave Ramos a call to warn him I was coming to the station with a bag of knives, and that I really didn’t feel like getting shot today.

He told me someone would be waiting for me in the lobby.

The police station was only a few blocks away so I decided to walk. I hooked Nox up to his leash and we were off.  The building was a buzz of reporters and police running here and there. I was barely able to get through the door. I just sort of stood against the wall hoping to see someone I knew, Nox wiggling around excitedly in my arms.

“Jennabella,” Someone called over the crowd. I glanced around. Making his way across the room was none other than Darcy Ó’Catháin. He was still in his grey suit, but he had traded the trench coat for a lab coat.

“Hey Darcy,” I said when were finally face-to-face. Nox yipped and sniffed at Darcy enthusiastically.

“It’s good to see you again,” he replied. He scratched Nox behind his ears absently. “Paul said you had your knives with you?”

“Yep,” I said as I handed him the case. “Pease don’t do too much damage, and it would be nice if you could clean them when you’re done, if that’s not too much to ask.”

“Of course,” Darcy said tucking the case under his arm, “I’ll take good care of them. You have nothing to worry about.”

“Thank you,” I muttered.

“Cute dog, by the way,” Darcy said as he gave Nox a generous head rubbing.

“Thanks,” I replied as Nox squirmed and licked at Darcy’s hand. I set Nox on the ground. “I should really go and let you get back to work.”

“And I should be getting back to the lab I guess.” Darcy agreed. We were about to part ways when he grabbed my arm. “Where can I return your camera to you? I would do it now, but the computers are acting wonky and I haven’t had the chance to pull the pictures off.”

I shrugged a bit. “Just give it to Chief Ramos; he’ll get it to me.” Darcy nodded and released me.
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SithSider

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PostSubject: Re: Darcy & Jennabella (New Title Suggestions Would Be Appreciated)   Sun May 11, 2014 5:15 pm

I really like it and I can't wait for you to post more!

The only advice I would really give is pay a little more attention to your grammar and a little less to your details. I can tell you get a little ahead of yourself when you write. Just be sure to triple-check your work before you publish.

As to your details, I like them but I get a little lost in them. For instance: the part about the cell phone going off and it being demonic laughter is funny but a little distracting.

Other than that the story's great. Keep working on it!
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SodaSpartan

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PostSubject: Re: Darcy & Jennabella (New Title Suggestions Would Be Appreciated)   Mon May 12, 2014 8:54 am

Nice Smile
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RebelAngel

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PostSubject: Re: Darcy & Jennabella (New Title Suggestions Would Be Appreciated)   Mon May 12, 2014 7:17 pm

Thank you SithSider and SodaSpartan!  I love you  I love you  I love you 
I will do my best to work on this and my grammar and such and have the next part up ASAP.
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keaton snow

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PostSubject: Re: Darcy & Jennabella (New Title Suggestions Would Be Appreciated)   Tue May 13, 2014 4:15 pm

title? I would suggest something vague and mysterious like "the scene" or something similar.
you really should post more like this, it was an excellent work. But still, like sithsider mentioned earlier, try to pay less attention to detail, and more attention to grammar. X) Very Happy Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Darcy & Jennabella (New Title Suggestions Would Be Appreciated)   Sun May 25, 2014 3:22 am

The rest the day went by as any other. I spent most of it on my laptop job hunting and filling out applications. When I wasn’t doing that I was cleaning, playing with Nox, or lazing about as I caught up on some of my favorite shows.

I wasn’t the type to leave the house if I didn’t have to. It’s not that I don’t like going outside, I just don’t like dealing with most other humans.

It was about 9:30 in the evening. I was on my couch watching TV when someone knocked on my door. The pounding woke Nox from his place at my side and he yipped and barked as he made a mad dash for the door. Now who in their right mind would be in this neighborhood at this hour?

Another knock came from the door. “Just a moment!”  I shouted as I got up from the couch. As I walked to the door I grabbed the Taser I kept by the in my purse. With a nudge of my foot I pushed Nox back from the door. I grabbed the doorknob and turned it slowly.

There stood Darcy, one hand raised as if he was ready to knock again. I small sigh of relief left my chest. “What on earth are you doing here at this time of night?” I asked the investigator on my door step.

He looked down at me and held up the case I had brought him earlier. “Just returning these to you,” he muttered. “Sorry if I’m interrupting something.”

“No, no,” I quickly replied.

“Mind if I come in?”

“Please do,” I said stepping aside to let him in.

He made his way past me and  into what i called a living room. I kicked the door shut and quietly slipped the taser back into my purse before following him.

“What a quaint little home you have,” Darcy said as he looked about the room.

“Thanks,” i muttered back. “Can i get you anything? Water? Coffee?”

“I’m fine thank you,” He replied as he sat on my old couch, “but i would like to pick your brain, if you would allow me.”

I cocked an eyebrow at this. “Uh… sure. But why?” I asked as i maneuvered myself onto the coffee table in front of him.

“I need another point of view on this case,” Darcy said running a hand through his red curls, “someone who doesn't think quite like a law enforcement agent.” He gave me a little half smile. “I just thought i would ask you, since i was coming over anyways.”

“Well i’m honored,” I said, half of the sarcasm i tried to suppress slipping through.

Darcy chuckled and rolled his eyes a bit. “You should be. You were the third person i thought of. It is hard to get that high up on my list.”

I smiled at him, pleasantly surprised he was just as sarcastic as i was. “Third! Well that is a most gracious honor. Might I ask, though--Why third? Why not second or even first?”

“My first two choices are old colleagues of mine,” Darcy replied returning my smile. “Sadly They are somewhere deep in the amazon looking for some godforsaken plant and are unreachable.”

I pulled and over-exaggerated sad look.“Well that’s too bad.”

There was a beat of silence before we both just laughed at ourselves.

“So what part of the case do you need my help with?” I asked past a fit of giggles.

“Well,” Darcy breathed through his own light laughter, “some thing just are not adding up.”

“Like what exactly?”

Darcy sat back a bit. “Well for starters, there doesn’t seem to be any really motive behind the killing of Madam Du Fey. Now i understand she was not the most likeable person, but  from what i’ve gathered most people wouldn’t waste the energy on offing her. So what makes our killer different?”

“Maybe she pissed off the wrong person,” I cut into his babbling. “There are a lot of crazy people out there. Yo never know what could push someone to do something drastic.”

Darcy gave a small nod before continuing. “Secondly: nothing was taken from the house. The scene looks like someone broke in, got caught, killed Du Fey and left, but nothing seems to be out of place. If it was indeed a burglary gone wrong, why was nothing taken?”

“Maybe, if it was a burglary, the burglar didn’t find what they were looking for?” I  interjected again.

“Plausible,” Darcy muttered. “We’ve already gone over that at the station.”

I chewed my lip for a second, thinking. “Hate crime? She was extremely rich. Maybe some poverty-stricken person got fed up with her acting like a pompous bitch just because she was rich.”

“Another possibility,” Darcy muttered.

He began to run his fingers over the corner of his bottom lip. The absent action drew my attention more that it should have. His hands were pretty big, with long, slim fingers; and his lips were just so...

“Are you sure there was nothing missing from Madam Du Fey’s place?” I asked, dragging myself back from the deep, dark recesses of my mind. “Not one minute, miniscule thing?”

“Nothing, at all,” Darcy replied with an exasperated sigh.
I ran a hand through my hair. “So i guess we’re still stuck at square one, huh?”

“Regrettably, i do believe so,” Darcy mumbled.

He was now chewing on his lower lip, looking almost dejected. He seemed to be mentally beating himself up over not being able to crack this case. I tried to think of some way i could make him feel better about this.

Let’s just say my mind began to wander to... inappropriate places.

The sharp shrill of a phone ringing pulled us both back to reality. Darcy reached into the pocket of his coat and pulled out his blaring cell.

“Hello?” he spoke. There was a moment of silence as her listened to the person on the other end. “Alright, I’ll be right there,” he replied before hanging up. He stood from the couch, pulling me from the table. “Get your coat, sweetheart, we’re going out.”

“Wait... what? Why?” I stammered out as he pulled me towards the front door.

“That was Chief Ramos,” Darcy said, “we’ve got another murder.”

“Like Du Fey?”

“Exactly like Du Fey.”

I grabbed my leather jacket from the hook by the door. “And you’re dragging me along why?” I asked as i followed Darcy out the door.

The investigator just shrugged. “Why not?” With that he was off down the stairs. Was there really a point in arguing with him?

I locked my door and hurried after Darcy.
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