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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7. THE HEROIC DIRECTION

 

CHAPTER SIX - THE HEROIC DIRECTION

LUCAS

He pinned the orange post-it note to the clear board in the main room on the second floor. “If this isn’t reason enough to help this girl, to help me find her, then I don’t know what is.”

Even the team had to admit that the note was heart wrenching.

“She called you apple head?” James asked, eyes squinting at the note.

“In secondary school it was fun to throw apples at the budding rugby star,” Lucas deadpanned, “Edward did you get anywhere with the phone records?”

Edward rolled around from his desk and it was startling to not see him in glasses, “From about a month and a half ago the phone completely cuts off, there’s no texts or phone calls or presence whatsoever.”

“So that’s probably when she got taken, the note emphasises that she was taken from her home which is unheard of from the Nemesis. They’re getting braver.” Lucas muttered, putting a hand on his chin in frustration.

“That’s not a good thing,” Kayleigh muttered from the back of the group, a stack of files in her grip.

“The last text that she sent was to her mother, saying I love you, there was an unsent text saying I need your help, too.” Edward went on, making sure that the hacking went below the record.

“That’s even more heart wrenching,” Lucas replied looking at Farren who was busy scowling at the board like it had damned his reasoning. “Farren could I have a word?”

The other man wasn’t pleased about it, you could tell from his posture, but he made the trip up to Lucas’s office. Lucas felt like he had just spent the day traipsing back and forth from the second floor to the third floor and back again. It was exhausting but the situation was more exhausting than he could even comprehend.

The team didn’t open their mouths as the two men vacated the room. Lucas was tense, too tense to even protest against. If they said anything more against him they would get a tongue lashing and they were never good. Lucas had only done it once, and that was when everyone had first been recruited and Left Hand Private Investigators was a tangled mess of egos and ignorance. Scary Lucas was not one they wanted to encounter and encourage. 

Lucas shut the door of his office and locked it for the first time in years. He had always believed that his office should be a place that his team could go to if they required his help or advice. But he didn’t want Farren running away from this or storming out in a fit of rage, which was a trademark of the Bull’s behaviour.

“Farren what is your problem?” Lucas started with, moving the box more onto his desk so that he could lean against the dark wood, “And I mean your proper problem, not just that I’m too close or there’s too little evidence. What is your beef with this?”

Saying the word beef felt weird on his tongue but he was going for it. They were British after all. 

“I don’t like it.”

“I know that doofus,” and maybe doofus was a wrong turn of phrase but it was the term of endearment that he used when Mr. McClellan was still alive. “Why don’t you like it?”

“It hurts you,” Farren started, quietly with his head angled towards the wall behind Lucas, “60% of our missing persons cases, which have been connected to wider crime, have ended in death, 100% of the Nemesis Crime Ring kidnap victims have not been found. I don’t like those numbers. I hate those numbers.”

He stopped for a moment and took a deep breath. “If she dies you will wither away like a mushroom and not come back. You will retreat into your skin in an attempt to process the trauma and Left Hand Private Investigators will die along with Eva and along with you.”

“And you’d have the business all to yourself, just like you wanted.” Lucas scoffed turning his face away from the first man that he had connected with properly once his boss had died.

“Of course I want the business!” Farren shouted, throwing his hands up into the air from where they had previously been stuck to his side, “But I couldn’t have it even if I begged.”

Lucas’s head tilted as his eyes met that of his colleague again.

“In his will Mr. McClellan signed the business over to you and in one clause he mentioned that it would not be handed down to me unless you specifically ordered it so. You didn’t notice because you were too drunk on the feeling of being a business owner, a Private Eye, the one thing you had wanted to be since your life fell apart.” Farren’s voice was desolate as he shook his head.

“I can guess why you came to us officially homeless, kicked out from your parents and looking like a ran down puppy, Eva was at least partially the reason for it. I don’t want you falling into the trap and the business going along with it. I don’t want you failing before your own eyes as your world crumbles around you more than it has ever done before.” His reasoning was heart-warming but his forehead sweaty, he had to admit that some of his motives were altruistic but Farren wanted what was best for Lucas. “I can’t go on something which will destroy you and the business all in one like the apocalypse.”

“Don’t you realise that not taking the case, in letting her remain there where they could be doing god knows what, is hurting me more than the likelihood that I could do something?” Lucas tried to interject and Farren looked at the floor. “You don’t have to come to Edinburgh with us,” he finished, he had grabbed the casefiles from Kayleigh and gestured at them to Farren, “In our absence we got lots of cases which are probably cheating husbands or wives going on benders, or teenagers going on benders in rebellion against their parents. There’s enough here to last you for a while, pocket some money and then take as long as a break you can until we get back. You can pick anyone on the team to stay back if you like, but you don’t have to go to Edinburgh with us, or have anything to do with this case.”

“That’s very grateful of you sir.”

“You haven’t called me sir since the funeral.” Lucas replied and he knew why, because it was patronising, not annoying but endearing like boss was but Farren was older than him and he should’ve known better. He didn’t know better however.

“Stop thinking that I am taking the business out of your hands by force and I’ll let you do this and go on the case,” Farren couldn’t let anything go, he always had to get something back from failing to influence others. He was arrogant in that way at least.

“You don’t let me do anything Farren that’s why I own the business and you don’t, you do want to take the business away from me but you can’t which defeats the point.”

Farren opened his mouth and then closed it. He knew he wasn’t going to win this. If he shouted and screamed then he would look even more like a fool. He wasn’t getting his point across either, Lucas was a hard headed idiot at the best of times.

“Do you understand?” It felt humiliating that Lucas had to pull out the boss like voice for a man who was technically older and more mature than him. But he had to.

Farren hesitated before answering, “Yes.”

That was that, and Lucas was making his way down the stairs once more. “Shawna did you figure those train tickets out?” he called down, leaving Farren on the third floor, looking at his shoes with concealed frustration in his eyes.

“There’s a train to Edinburgh in two days that leaves at 9.30 in the morning to arrive at Edinburgh for about 11, there’s also a hotel booked for two weeks with room for extension if need be.” Shawna’s eyes were fixed to a screen, his team were technological freaks but in a good way.

“Excellent, how many rooms?” Lucas stalked in, going straight to the board. He seemed stuck to the board because if he stared at it long enough something would jump out and turn on a lightbulb in his head.

“Three, Kayleigh is staying here not because Farren chose her but to manage the cases too. James and Edward will share like they always do."

“You could hear us?” Lucas asked, watching out of the corner of his eye as Farren made his way back into the room, remaining perfectly postured in his chair.

“Everyone could hear you.”

Shawna said it in a deadpan, something serious yet joking at the same time.

“Great,” Lucas said staring at a particular misshapen leg of the spider drawn on the board, no one said that he could draw but even he could see his faults, “Edward, Shawna and James you better go pack.”

The day may be ending, the afternoon slipping in to early night, but his night was not over yet. While the three he had named headed out for the day to pack and to leave the cases to the other two, Lucas went upstairs, locking the door to the stairs to his apartment. But he did not go to sleep, no he was too wired to sleep, sleep was for the relaxed and he was as far from relaxed as you could get.

Instead he placed himself in front of the computer, leaving the box on the desk in his office and opening up the underground channels which the police informants gave them concerning the Nemesis Crime Ring.

It was a message board, where all information concerning them were placed eloquently for the reading pleasure of a select few.

>>Possible missing person under the name of Eva, taken nearly two months ago from her home. Any information on female matching the physical description of brunette, brown eyes, five foot three, pale and living in Scotland?

He stood there looking at a blank forum until hours later when early night transformed into later night. Still he didn’t allow himself to sleep, he had to know for sure he trusted himself but without the trust of his team, the full trust anyway, he needed to have confirmation from others.

<< Can confirm missing persons under that description. Second most recent case concerning NCR.

He breathed a sigh of relief, and this time it was like his lungs were no longer cages but stages where endless possibilities and performances could be conducted. He was the master here, the conductor performing symphonies under watchful eyes, but this time he had control.

But if Eva was the second most recent case then he was not going to Edinburgh for Eva, he was going there for this recent case, and for every other women who had been kidnapped.

One small step in the right direction could prove to make the journey in the heroic direction.

 

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