Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Copper Penny

I figured out an actual title for the Shannon Dern book. I'm calling in The Copper Penny, bcuz... well, just read the beginning and find out. I said before, the FBI Agent, Sam Morris was going to have had a previous relationship with Shannon, and this sorta explains it.
This will shed light on characters, on the crime, and the relationships. Please keep in mind that this is just a rough draft and I will be making changes.

The clock on my desk glowed in bright red numbers. It was 2:30 in the morning. I was sitting in my office, in my loft, staring at four files that the FBI had given me months ago. Four people had disappeared, one by one, each either two or three months apart. At the place where each person was suspected to be abducted, there was a penny, turned head down. Everyone who watched the news knew that the kidnapper was not a fool. But, only the FBI and I knew about the pennies. The strange thing about the pennies was that they had carvings in them. They were small, made by a micro laser, and hard to detect. In each penny was the carving, “IDB.” I couldn’t make sense of it, neither could the FBI.
None of the people had been found yet. All of them were suspected to be dead. The four people were all under the age of 35, were different races, no relation, no connection…
Jason Esposito; Hispanic; 34 years old; disappeared eight months ago from a parking lot to a local bar that I visited frequently called “O’Malley’s.” His car was found after his fiancĂ©e called Metro and told them that he was missing. She’d followed procedure. She’d waited 24 hours, called him many times, as well as his friends. All of his friends weren’t anywhere close to sober when she talked to them. The penny was found in his car, glued to his dashboard. Long story short, he didn’t show up for the wedding that was supposed to happen two weeks after he disappeared.
Dianna Eadler; African American; 25 years old; disappeared approximately six months ago from her tiny apartment. Didn’t own a car; always took the subway; both parents dead. She had one brother. He was autistic and lived with a foster family. He was 10 years younger than her, and hardly knew she existed. Just one month after she disappeared, he passed away from natural causes. Her penny was found stuck to the door of her apartment. Metro was notified by her neighbor who usually had coffee with her every morning. He seemed confused by the fact that she was gone.
Allison Taver; Caucasian; 28 years old; disappeared three months ago. The last time anybody saw her, she was playing guitar in the subway, trying to make money. She had a job at a fashion store; worked there for the past couple years. When we dug into her records we saw that she had been into drugs when she was in high school and then had gotten clean during her first year of college. She joined charities, fundraisers, and volunteered on weekends. She gave money, even if she didn’t have much to give. Her penny was wedged into a paste on her guitar case, sitting outside her apartment.
Timothy Joseph “TJ” Christian; Caucasian; 21 years old; disappeared just a little more than a month ago from the diner where he worked. His boss found the penny fixed to his locker and called the hotline I had set up. He was pushing his way through community college, had a steady girlfriend, and a family. His parents weren’t divorced—magical—and his sisters got along with him. It was a perfect family if I ever saw one. They talked on the phone every week, visited every holiday, simply just kept in touch. He had no drug problems, no record.
Metro had handled the first three disappearances they way they always did. They handed it over. Too many files on the chief’s desk led to more files for the FBI, which led to me being pulled me for help.
I used to be a Metro Homicide detective, 10 years ago. But a friend in the FBI, Derek Weatherly, got me a job with a PI firm. And then 4 years after that, I went into business for myself. Derek then introduced me Owen Cassidy, Sam Morris, Sarah Galligher, Ray Connelly, Andy Lawson, and Michelle Stratz. Owen, Sam, and Sarah were the three people under Special Agent Ray Connelly’s wonderful teaching skills. He was team leader. Andy Lawson was an agent on another team. Michelle Stratz was the FBI Director, and a very close friend.
Six years ago, when I met them and became a consultant, Owen Cassidy was a FBI bad-ass. He had blonde hair, blue eyes, tall, muscular, and looked like a model when he drew his gun. Damn. The first time I saw him, I melted. But, then, two weeks later, I met Sam Morris. Dark hair, dark eyes, perfect build… I was caught in a sea of gorgeous men.
Andy Lawson was just average. He had blue eyes and brown hair, average build, and was…well...he was sweet. Except that he hated Cassidy and Morris. It was hard to deal with. Lawson was a good agent, a good man, yet he could not stand them. I didn’t exactly blame him with the concept of Morris. I hated his guts.
It’s a long story, but six years ago, I’d hooked up with Cassidy, falling for him like a teenager. I’d thought I’d hit the jackpot with him. Unfortunately, Derek thought differently. A ten minute brawl outside the bar where he caught me with Cassidy and Cassidy was on the floor, a broken nose and a devil of a headache, I was sure.
Nobody but I, Cassidy, and Derek ever knew that we had been together. Obviously, if Morris had known, he wouldn’t have perused me so relentlessly.
Every girl, sometime in her life, dreams of having boys fight over her. I hated every second of realizing that I was falling for the friend of a man who was my ex. I hated the fact that two men cared me, and I could only have one. I hated it. But Morris and Cassidy were so incredibly different. It was wonderful. And I felt horrible.
After weeks of dinner invitations, flowers, emails and phone calls, I finally said yes. And after that, I didn’t exist anymore. He got a new girlfriend, he got obsessed with her and his work. I was invisible. It was all a game. He chased after girls he knew he couldn’t have, and after they took him—and they always did—he left them on his doorstep, half-dressed, shameful, and on the verge of tears. But with me, it took him six little dates to get that point. Drinks, dinner, dancing, and watching movies in his apartment…the platonic feeling I’d had for Morris had starting disappearing. So I fell into his arms and stumbled into his bedroom. And then I was on his doorstep, the door closed behind me, shocked.
I never spoke to him about it. I never acknowledged his presence during lunch with Cassidy and Derek, or during cases, or whenever I dropped by the headquarters. If we did speak to one another, it was to exchange rude comments and argue like children. And every single time he said my name, I wanted to slug him. Not because he said it rudely…but because of the feeling I got in my stomach when he said it in his deep voice. Sam Morris was the only man I had ever let, break my heart. And I’d be damned if I was going to let him do it again.
Six years had passed, and we hated each other. Why he didn’t like me, I didn’t really care. All I knew was that he was dead to me.
I glanced at the clock again and it glowed “3:00.” As I stood from my chair, I opened the forensics report from the scenes of abduction. Each penny was glued down using toothpaste. It should’ve picked up fingerprints, but our bad guy was smart enough to wear latex gloves.
There is no such thing as a foolproof crime. Only water-tight. But this was as close to foolproof as I’d ever seen.
Sighing, I dropped the file and ran my hand over my face. As I headed to my bedroom, my phone rang.
“Shay, were you asleep?”
“Far from it.” I continued to my room, collapsing on my bed. My legs hung off the end as I stared the ceiling. “What do you need?”
“Adrian Kapur; Northern Indian; 19 years old.”
My breath caught. I propped myself up on my elbows.
“Don’t toy with me, Cassidy. Another one?”
“And he has a family. He lives with his sister. She called the hotline twenty minutes ago. The penny was found stuck to his bedroom door.”
“With toothpaste?”
“Looks like it..."

And that's all you get to see until it's done. :-) well...the four people who read this, Simone, Kevin, Mom, and Dad. :-)

ta ta for now.

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