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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11. BUSINESS CARDS

 

CHAPTER TEN - BUSINESS CARDS

LUCAS

The train pushed itself into Edinburgh Waverley and Lucas couldn’t wait to be off. Their train was the home to a hen-do who had drank all the way from Newcastle to Edinburgh and a family of six whose kids were too energetic for Lucas’s liking. He was sure that he was one of the first people off in their carriage because he just couldn’t wait, “Boss hold up a second!” Shawna called to him and he stopped dead.

There were grumblings from people behind him at having to navigate their way around him. The train station was bustling, a series of frantic people and the frantic wheels of suitcases.

Soon his team caught up with him and they were making their way through the train station and up to street level. From the get go you could tell that Scotland was patriotic because as soon as they emerged onto the street they could hear the sweet tunes of bagpipes. Just going to their hotel they passed market stalls selling all sorts from I love Scotland pins, to t-shirts.

“Shawna did you notify the police that we’re on our way?” he asked noticing how the box weighted down on his shoulders from where it was placed in his backpack.

“Yes, they know we’re on our way with evidence on the NCR, concerning which missing persons I didn’t tell them.” Shawna smiled from where she was rolling her own suitcase down the street.

“Excellent,” they checked in with the speed of someone with a plan, and they did have a plan.

They all have rooms on the same floor, so they could easily move in and out to communicate with one another.

While the others in the team started to unpack and get comfortable he was back on his tablet searching the undercover forums.

Nothing new had come to light and he desperately wanted it to.

He hurried the team along and soon they were at the police station being escorted by a gentlemen called Steven Laswell and being taken to a meeting room. Lucas gingerly handed over the box, pointing out the N on the CD along with the distressful post it note that Eva had left.

“Any more evidence Mr. Tweedle, perhaps a letter from the crime ring itself?” Laswell asked listening to Lucas’s rant about what the CD contained.

“No—“

“Then all you have done is provided us with evidence that Eva Grey is missing, not about her whereabouts or situation which was hinted at over the phone.” Laswell was unforgiving and Lucas could feel his heart breaking in his chest just a little.

“But I’ve provided evidence that I can at least be on Eva Grey’s case?” Lucas tried, leaning forward across the table to try and get Laswell to understand. Laswell was a balding man, just shy on maybe forty with bushy eyebrows and a matching moustache.

“Yes, but unless someone directly hires you then we can’t allow you access to the information that we have about the other victims, information that doesn’t even come across the underground channels that you do have access to.” Laswell smiled as Lucas sunk in his chair a little, “But be rest assured we will take the evidence you have provided and analyse it to the best of our forensic capabilities, if there’s any DNA or fingerprints then we will sure to let you know.”

Laswell smiled wider and left the room, the box and everything in tow. Lucas felt like his heart was being driven away which is what it felt like about his and Eva’s break up, friendship break up that is.

His team didn’t say anything as he came out of the room and rolled his neck.

“What now Boss?” James asked as Edward and Shawna looked at Lucas sympathetically. Maybe Farren had been right, they shouldn’t have made the journey for something so useless.

Lucas shrugged, overcome with thoughtlessness. Shawna shifted, pulling her phone out of her pocket as it pinged with a text. She purposely tilted it towards her chest, not wanting Edward to see it from where he stood next to her.

Lucas saw this move and confiscated the phone from her, the phone was a lit with the message screen and it was from Kayleigh.

Having any luck yet? Kayleigh had said.

Having no luck from the police they won’t give us access. Shawna had replied.

Farren looks awfully smug about that. Kayleigh had then put and in the messages bar was a message that had been typed but not sent saying, he would be.

Lucas’s eyes hardened and in a bold move he deleted the unsent text and wrote another one in its place; We’ll have some luck shortly just wait and see.

He sent it with a quick press and handed the phone back to Shawna.

“Edward you can hack into the police database can’t you?” Lucas asked as he walked through the police station.

“Keep your voice down,” Edward hissed, “We’re in a police station for god sake.”

“Can you hack into the police database or not Edward?” Lucas asked again not caring that they were in a police station that wouldn’t give them access to the files they needed anyway.

“Yes,” Edward said quietly standing close to Lucas so that his voice didn’t have to be loud to travel, “But it’s risky, they’re more than likely going to find out. It’s easier to just go around the police to get access.”

Lucas knew that Edward had hacked into the FBI before so it could have been done, but he got Edward’s point. A lightbulb flickered in his skull.

“I know what we’re going to do then,” he said shuffling out of the police station to confront Edinburgh’s streets again.

“What?” Shawna asked frowning at her phone as another text came through, this time she didn’t hide what it said from everyone’s eyes. Instead she angled it so that everyone could see, it was from Kayleigh although it was written like Farren had wrote it instead and it said, God forbid that a leprechaun gives you that much luck.

Lucas grinned and said his reply with fondness, “We’re going to be hired by someone here in Edinburgh.”

The team looked at him like he was crazy.

---

It took a simple google search to find out where the Grey family were living now. It was almost scary that it just took that to find out where they lived. Maybe that was how the crime ring did it, and if so then it was so simple to access all of the information about a person. No wonder they were powerful enough to take so many people.

They lived in a simple cottage down by the river so that they were in view of the castle from a ways off. The team stayed back, lingering as though they were looking at the river and not the cottage, while Lucas went to the door.

He was nervous. He had a right to be as well. His luck depended on the two people who probably hated him more than Eva and that was only because Eva may have told the story of their fight from her point of view, leaving out the parts of what it really was about. Mr. Grey was a man to be scared of as well, Lucas knew that much.

It took some time before the door was opened

It was Eva’s mother and she hadn’t aged a lot since the last time Lucas had seen her. At first she didn’t seem to recognise him, maybe it was because he actually styled his hair this time instead of leaving it to flop at his forehead. Maybe it was because he had aged well in the ten or eleven years that he had seen her.

But then the recognition dawned bright and early on her face and she almost shut the door on him.

“Mrs. Grey I was just wondering about how you’re dealing with Eva being missing?” he categorized the sound of his own voice; awkward and teenage like. Maybe that was just what this situation called for? Probably not.

“You haven’t cared about what I thought ever since you left for that damned road trip,” Eva’s mother replied nearly spitting out the words.

“Did your husband tell you about what was sent to me?” Lucas asked instead, hoping that he could play on emotions just a little.

“Yes, the box with the film,” she looked ready to shut the door on him. He had to step up his game.

“There was also a post it note in it written by Eva and it said to help her, to save her.” He was tugging on heart strings here, preying on their emotions to get what he wanted, technically this was an awful move but he had to take it.

“Really?”

“Yes, now would you let me in to discuss it a little more?”

He was let in and for that his breath came a bit easier, but the only problem was that he was stood awkwardly in the living room, feeling awful and desperate, along with Eva’s mother.

“The police has the box.”

“Then why are you here?” she asked huffing, and Lucas noticed that she didn’t call out for her husband meaning that he wasn’t in the house which was a brilliant thing. Mr. Grey nearly terrified the skin from his bones.

“Eva has become a name amongst a list, a list of the missing. The police will focus on this list as a whole and not on the individuals. I meanwhile would focus on the individual of your daughter. I want to not only as a Private Investigator, and every missing persons deserves to be brought back home to their loved ones, but because I am sorry for how I hurt your daughter and I want to make up for that in any way that I can.”

He made sure to put more emotion in his voice, to sound as raw and truthful as he could, to portray the feelings he had tried to push down with the force of an avalanche. He meant every word he had said but he needed to convey them to a woman who pretty much hated him.

“You trying to tell me that the police aren’t good enough to handle this?”

“No that’s not what I’m saying, I’m saying that the more people that can help the merrier and the greater the chance that Eva will be found. But the police won’t let me near the case personally, I need someone to hire me so that I can get access to information that will help me find her.”

“Then I’m sorry you’ve come all the way up here,” she said sitting down heavily, “Because I once told Eva that I’ll never let you into our family again, technically I’ve already disgraced her memory by letting you in the house.”

“What?” he was flabbergasted, there wasn’t another word for it.

“I won’t let her down even though she’s gone, not now and not ever. I won’t hire you. The police are doing a fine job”

“Then why hasn’t there been any progress?” he asked desperate for her to understand even as she rose and shooed him towards the door.

“Because the bastards that have her are smart and there are sixty other women who share her plight.”

“Then you get my theory about the list of names rather than the individuality!”

Mrs. Grey sighed and held the door open for him, Lucas could see the edges of his team from there and they were struggling to defeat the urge to turn around to see what was going on.

“Yes, I have no doubt that you are a good Private Eye, I’ve heard of you in the news before but I won’t let her down, not now that she’s gone.” Mrs. Grey looked like there was an anchor resting on her shoulders, piercing in between her shoulder blades and Lucas didn’t blame her.

“At least take my business card,” he muttered taking one out of his wallet and holding it out for her.

Mrs. Grey hadn’t always been against him. It was only during their college days, when Eva started to retreat from them even more, that Mrs. Grey started to blame him for all of her daughter’s misgivings. Eva had always just rolled her eyes and Lucas had always just laughed it off but now there was the consequence of that blame.

“Only because I can remember who you used to be.” She said and took the business card gently between fingertips.

The door was shut between him and her.

He didn’t know what to do.

---

Hopelessness. That was what he felt right now.

He sat in a graveyard surrounded by plants that looked like pumpkins. He was reminded of the time when he and Eva had come here during their road trip.

“Do you not feel bad for touching the head stones of old dead people?” Eva had asked from their position at the back of the tour group. Yes, they were in a tour group going around the Greyfriars Kirk graveyard.

“If JK Rowling did it then we can too,” he whispered back in her ear because it was true, JK Rowling had been inspired by the gravestones in Greyfriars, and he took her hand because he wasn’t afraid of her anymore.

“Let’s go find Tom Riddle then,” she whispered back and they broke away from the tour group. They spent the day searching for gravestones and pointing out the funny names. When they emerged from the graveyard they picked the flowers that looked like pumpkins, orange and all, and Eva jumped onto the kids sized playground.

“Do I suit this?” she asked perched on the rather small slide, with her arms crossed and a stern expression on her face.

Lucas had no choice but to snap a photo of just that. Eva demanded that he took video and then jumped out to take video of Lucas hunching over on the playground, trying to fit his rugby sized body onto something that was made for four year olds. 

 

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