April 29th, 2015
Ever since I was ten years old, I’d known I’d wanted to be a cop. Ten years ago, when I began my career in criminal justice, a young girl of mearly 23, I had been so preoccupied with making my name known and successful, that the only thing in my life I had let slip past my eye was my relationship.
He was so handsome… A gorgeous man—only seven years older than me—had just been accepted to the FBI. I was so jealous, and incredibly attracted. Not only was he about a foot taller than me, which was rare considering my abnormal height for a woman: 6 foot 1; but he was also smart, dangerous, and sexy. He was ripped, had the most amazing brown eyes, and his hands were strong and his touch made me so weak. I could’ve sworn I was in love with him. Until…that all faithful moment where I was assigned a desk, a partner, and I had my ID and my badge. That exact moment, nothing else in my life mattered.
But it wasn’t really like that at the beginning. I’d hated him when I met him. But…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 him 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.
And I always blamed him for it, even though I should’ve blamed myself. I hadn’t been there. I knew he would wander eventually…
Can you say “bullshit”? It was his fault. And we both knew it. Especially when he came down to the station to deal with us. And by “us,” I mean the Metro homicide detectives of Washington D.C. Every time, we avoided eye contact, and because of that, I’d become wonderful friends with another FBI agent:
29 years old, 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. And, being the lustful, young girl I was, I’d dated him for almost a year before he declared we were being too official. Yet, we’d stayed friends. Because I had agreed. He was nice, he just…wasn’t my type.
Five other FBI agents had made my aquaintance—and eventually my friendship—while I was a cop. Andy Lawson—blonde hair, blue eyes, average build, not particularly muscular, thin-framed glasses perched on his average-sized nose… Average. The perfect word to describe Andy Lawson. And it wasn’t like I’d seen him much after the first time. He’d joined another team. Sarah Galligher—really quite beautiful when she let her hair down and scrubbed off the makeup she insisted on wearing. She was blonde and thin, but really strong. She had survived extraordinarily well as an older, African-American, woman. Sarah was 38, which was pretty old for a female FBI agent that wasn’t a team leader. Sam Morris—another junior agent with Andy, Owen, and Sarah. Big, strong, handsome. He was the poster boy for criminal law enforcement. Kicking down doors, kicking asses—no one wanted to cross him. Everyone knew he was going on to bigger and better things than lowly FBI agent. Then there was Ray Connelly—the team leader. He was 48 at the time I’d met him. He had brown hair with specks of gray peaking through, a rough outline of a beard that he kept at a five o’clock shadow, and blue eyes that made ur knees go weak. Not only was he strong and brave, but he taught the youngsters of the team without getting sappy. Finally, the FBI’s director—the person that made it all run—Michelle Stratz, was the woman that I looked up to, but never envied. I did not, under any circumstances, want that job. She was about the same age as Connelly and still just as gorgeous as she had been when I first met her. Stratz was my mother’s best friend before she—my mother—had fallen into the booze when my dad left…
But that’s a different story.
Derek Weatherly was yet another agent, but he was my closest friend. We lived next door to each other in Bethesda, Maryland when we were kids. His father had never been in the picture, mine had disappeared when I turned 13. Wonderful birthday gift. My mom started drinking that same year, and remained that way until I left for college—a luxury that had only been possible because of Derek. But his mom had been the absolutely picture perfect mother. And I was so envious.
But after all was said and done, we were just friends. There had never been any romantic tension. He was on a team that was taught by Agent William McCann, but he comes in later.
Six years into my detective career, I’d been offered the lieutenant job which I’d taken and carried out for two years. Then, I became a P.I. Note, a very unsuccessful P.I. for the first year. After that painful experience, I’d gotten proactive. I’d searched every newspaper within a 50 mile radius every change I got; I’d called my old partners and team leaders from Metro and asked about cases they needed help with and were willing to pay for… My first job, my bank account swelled approximately $2,500 at 100 bucks an hour—the client’s suggested price, not mine. That had handled so much that was wrong in my life, it felt really, really good. Then, Metro paid me $400 an hour for a case that I consulted on that took about two weeks. I was working for myself and making a fair amount of cash.
Now, I reside in the busy city life of Washington D.C., a bar underneath my office—actually just a 20 foot by 20 foot room with a desk and a ton of old files. But it wasn’t just my office. It was also the office of two other P.I.s who hold no importance in this story. They were more successful than me, but not by much, so they didn’t exactly bother me. I made enough money to keep my ad in the local newspaper, a roof over my head, food in my stomach, and a bed for me to sleep on. That’s all that mattered.
My apartment was pretty nice. The first thing you saw when you walked in was my kitchen—a small counter right in front of a sink, a microwave, a couple storage cabinets, and a medium-sized fridge. A hallway led past the kitchen, separating the study from the kitchen, and leading to the bathroom and, across the hall, my bedroom. That was pretty much it. I didn’t have a T.V. If I wanted to watch a movie, I used my laptop.
It was in that tiny apartment, in that study, where I’d started working the strangest case in my career, and where I would receive news of the next victim.
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