Summer Kids

When Lucas Tweedle, leader of Left Hand Private Investigators, receives a box containing a film he hasn't seen in years, he is prompted on a road trip across miles and years. He has to save Eva Grey, the only girl that ever loved his teenage self.
She may be in the clutches of the Nemesis Crime Ring but the memories of the summer after college graduation haunt the both of them.

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24. HELP

 

CHAPTER TWENTY THREE - HELP

FARREN

He must admit that he didn’t expect the call from Lucas. He thought that once the team were in Edinburgh they would only contact Kayleigh if they needed it. He was the most sceptical about the whole ideal so why would they ask him for help?

He had been occupied with cheaters and runaways, those people who took fate into their own hands and ran away with it. Mrs. Myster was a woman who believed that her husband was cheating with her niece, and she had lots of evidence why she thought that, lots of evidence that didn’t correlate. Farren had tried to tell her that said niece hadn’t been anywhere near her husband but the woman kept giving out more evidence for him to look over and disprove. 

So when he came back into the office after a long day of debunking Mrs. Myster’s latest claims, he had almost groaned when he had heard Kayleigh chatting to the woman, tittering with reassurances because the woman was as paranoid as they could come. But then Lucas had said those words, he needed Farren’s help and the older man was willing to put his differences aside because the other man sounded tired and frustrated over the phone.

“What do you need my help for?” Farren asked, sitting down heavily in his chair as he prepared himself for the spiel that the other man would give him.

“I’ve bitten off more than I can chew Farren,” the younger man sighed from the other end of the line and Farren could hear him move to sit down. “There’s a ransom drop off this week and failing to do so, which is a definite possibility, may result in her death Farren, I can’t do that to her or her parents.”

Farren knew who the ‘her’ was, he also knew that Lucas was distancing himself from Eva to make his feelings easier to bear.

“You’re the one that is the expert with hostage and ransom conditions, you can read people more than I can.”

There was a silent, unsaid thought of; more than I ever could or ever will.

“I’m pretty busy here…” Farren stalled because everyone knew his feelings on it. Mr. McClellan had chosen the wrong person to take over the business, someone too invested and too emotional and too headstrong. Lucas dived into everything head first and forgot to come up for air, it meant that the team had to fend for themselves sometimes, relying solely on their own judgement.

Farren knew that he should have had the business but he didn’t and he was living with it resentfully.

But he was curious, he wouldn’t be human if he wasn’t, and the urge to know more was overwhelming. “Explain the case to me,” he muttered and he could imagine the grin that would have broken onto Lucas’s face.

Lucas explained the NCR, how it was the first ransom note, and the death of Amy Charlton. There were a lot of things that they didn’t know, things that would rely on first-hand experience. Until someone looked the NCR in the eyes they wouldn’t know what was planned. That was how the Crime Ring worked.

He didn’t want to go up to Scotland, especially after he had rebuked the case to hell and back. He didn’t want to endorse Lucas’s games. But there were lives at stake, more lives than what he was helping here down in Newcastle. He had joined the private investigators for wanting to help and save lives and he wasn’t doing that by trying to drill into a woman’s head that her husband was not sleeping with her niece.

If he didn’t go up there then people could die, his own team could die. He didn’t trust the NCR to be cautious if a shootout or random stabbing pact happened then and there. He trust his team to handle their own but he didn’t trust the variables that he didn’t know.

Silence ran down the line as he thought.

“Farren…?” Lucas said hesitantly, dragging out the other man’s name.

That was something that Lucas always did, he wasn’t always the most patient man.

“I’m thinking.”

Farren had come to the private investigators with a limp, he had been a part of a forensic team, getting his degree in forensic psychology, but a prisoner with a grudge shot him in the leg and that was game over for Farren. It was unsafe in his job, and he was no longer the best of the best despite the years of experience he had.

He found Purple Eyes Private Investigators, the name it had had before Lucas’s implementation as the boss, one day and was lucky enough to get a job. Maybe it was because Mr. McClellan had just had the devastation of all his friends leaving him, or maybe it was because of his skills, but he and the other man were a pair, along with the young teenager that assisted them with the finances. The thirty eight year old and the nearly eighty year old working like they were family instead of business partners.

They were a small team but they did a lot of good, saving kidnapping victims and cheating husbands. Then Lucas had come in, a bright eyed man a year out of university and wandering about on where he would go next. Mr. McClellan had been bought on the enthusiasm and passion, and the young fawn came to work for Purple Eyes. Mr. McClellan took the word of the younger man on the basis of making Lucas learn for himself what the business truly meant.

Farren could see now that Mr. McClellan saw Lucas Tweedle as the son he had never had, the son that would carry on the business and Farren was just a business partner. His original thought had been revoked and he was a good nephew at best in their little family.

When Freddy McClellan announced his retirement well into his eighties Farren had saw his chance. This was his chance to redeem himself from when that prisoner shot him, but no the mantle was given to Lucas instead, and Farren was in his forties and feeling worthless all over again.

“Why?” Farren had asked the man he saw like his own father, referring to his choice of choosing Lucas.

The older man had just smiled. “Because you may have been born to be great but you weren’t born to lead. You may have been born to contribute, to assist and to give advice but you were not born a leader.”

Freddy had just smiled even wider at Farren’s puzzled expression, “What do you even mean by that?”

“Ever since you came to me I saw a man that did not want to be the sole attention, the man who was great but didn’t truly know it, the man who was happier to be himself then to change to accommodate three other people alongside him. Being a leader is like having multiple personalities, you have to be four people at once instead of one, knowing every aspect of each person before focussing on yourself. You are the other way round, you want to self-love instead of loving four people at once. That isn’t a bad thing Farren, it makes you who you are son.”

The other man sighed and Freddy had put a hand on Farren’s shoulder, comforting him in the way he always had.

Freddy had given Lucas the job of a leader because Lucas had always tried to be other people rather than himself. Farren knew now that the break up with Eva Grey had made him that way but perhaps that wasn’t always a bad thing.

Minutes had passed while Farren had thought. Freddy McClellan would not have wanted him to bask in hatred and resentment for the rest of his life, he would want the opposite in reality.

“I suppose Left Hand would shut down for the time we were all in Scotland?” he hesitantly put forward and tried not to think of the ‘I told you so’ that would be on Lucas’s lips if he didn’t know any better.  

But those fated words didn’t escape Lucas’s lips, in fact an eruption of silence did before Lucas replied. “Yes, Kayleigh would accompany you up to Edinburgh, I’m looking at a train journey from Central Station at noon tomorrow, is that alright?”

Farren replied and tried not to look at the smirking Kayleigh that was leaned against the desk. She hadn’t been there long, only for the last beats of the conversation, but she had heard enough.

“Great, why don’t you try and finish off the thing with Mrs. Myster and then pack?” Lucas advised, trying to fulfil the role that Mr. McClellan had given him years before.

“Yeah I will,” Farren said twirling one hand over the beard he had on his chin. The blond strands were light enough that it made him look like he had less of a beard then he did. But then the curly hair he had on his head said the opposite since he was one of the lucky ones who didn’t start to bald early. 

Lucas hung up.

“We going to Scotland then?” Kayleigh asked even though she knew the answer to her own question.

“Unfortunately,” Farren answered putting the phone down back onto the receiver. Kayleigh squealed and Farren cringed.

He guessed he had a case to wrap up and he wasn’t going to like the way Mrs. Myster yelled at him when he finally gave her the truth behind her paranoia.

The elder woman was rich, owning her own house near a park. Her husband was a doctor and spent most of his time away from his wife. That gave birth to paranoia. The niece was still in college, just out of being a minor and was more occupied with both her boyfriend and her studies to have a sordid affair with a doctor twice her age.

“Mrs. Myster, it’s great to see you again,” Farren greeted as he went to her door, “I’ve finally cracked the case.”

“That’s brilliant. Harold has been out more than usual,” the woman replied moving one of her three cats away from Farren, for they would crawl up to his legs and claw at his chest if she didn’t.

The absence of her husband would be down to a very hefty workload, including a five car pile-up that required a lot of time in surgery and then ferrying off the questions of their families.

“I regret to inform you that your husband is not having an affair with Sarah Lankford,” he said for maybe the third time.

She still didn’t believe him, “I may be old but I’m sane of mind and I know what I’ve seen…”

Farren didn’t often interrupt clients but he felt like he had to just to get this over with. “He’s having an affair with a nurse instead.”

He took a file out of his shoulder bag and plopped the contents down onto the glass table in front of him. Photos of Harold Myster getting coffee with a younger blonde nurse, grainy footage from a security camera of them in a storage cupboard kissing, Harold shirtless with only his scrubs covering his bottom half.

This evidence was damning and Mrs. Myster was speechless.

“I’m sorry to inform you of this,” Farren said in one breath watching as the woman picked up the photographs and ran her fingers over them.

In the next breath he asked for final payment.

This is what he liked and hated, the feeling of a job well done but then asking for money off of them. It was how it worked in this day and age.

When people cheated they did it because they had fell out of love and into love with the wrong people, they maybe did it to make themselves feel better or to distract themselves but they did it for no one but themselves.

Farren didn’t feel strongly towards these people but he could empathise with them, he could be a human if he had to.

Either way he walked out of the house with a smile on his face and a cheque written out in a shaky hand. Now all he had to do was pack and throw himself to the fiery pits of hungry wolves.

 

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