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.







When he arrived back at the police station, on edge due to the car crash, he was ushered back out with Kayleigh who informed him that Shawna had been taken to the hospital for a knife wound. The NCR had tried to come back for Lloyd and when one of them was killed, drove off in a panic. A police officer had betrayed them and had been taken into custody for his efforts. Shawna had been caught in the cross fires and had fainted soon afterwards. 

He felt a calmness overtake him. He didn’t know why it settled there but he let Kayleigh drive him to the hospital as he told her about the car crash and the shooter, he was mostly unharmed and he had been lucky while Shawna had not. Whiplash maybe, bruises and cuts maybe but nothing compared to a goddamned knife wound to the stomach.

They stormed into the hospital to meet Edward and James in the waiting room, James had his head in his hands and Edward had his laptop perched on his knees, security footage of Lloyd playing back.

“How she doing?” Lucas asked and the men stood, the laptop being abandoned to the teal covered seats.

“Boss you look…” Edward hedged and then cleared his throat when Lucas waved a hand at him, “Right, three people from the NCR tried to infiltrate the police station, one of them tried to hack the computing system but failed.” He smirked at that, being proud at his skills.

“Shawna recognised that Lloyd kept looking at the cameras and figured someone was going to break in to save him, me and her went out to the southern entrance, I shot one man, Shawna went round the back but then the police shot at her and it allowed another person to stab her, dive into the car and drive off.” James inputted, waving a hand over his head and then scratching the back of his neck.

“We got Shawna to the hospital in time, she’s being treated for a stab wound and she’s in surgery to control the blood loss. The doctor’s don’t think major arteries or organs were hit but she’ll need to recover.” Edward was then fast to sit down and click at his laptop, “The forensics team were quick to recover the diseased NCR member, DNA was taken and he is Carson Ivory, a twenty eight year old male, son of James Ivory who worked at the I&A Chemical Plant. Carson was set to take over his father’s position but then received a better role elsewhere.” Edward’s eyebrows rose.

“That means the NCR,” Lucas sighed, “Why are these records not sealed like Lloyd’s were?”

Edward shrugged, “The I&A records are sealed, but Carson is popular on social media, he’s got photos of I&A and with a man that looks like him, presumably his father. The captions say it all. He’s been sending a steady stream of travel photos for the last two years or so, on and off, covering his tracks more like.”

“When Shawna is awake, we’ll go in and forensics will also enter, getting her statement for the police,” James murmured and sat down heavily, his hands coiled in the familiar position of holding a phantom gun. Kayleigh made her way over to him and placed her hand on his shoulder, whispering assurances in his ears.

“I was attacked, the police car was rammed by a guy and he shot at us. It was an obvious coordinated attack, a distraction so that Lloyd’s extraction could take place. I got back up, the police officer was taken to the hospital and I was took back to the police station where I met Kayleigh.” Lucas said and waved his hands at his teams worrying gaze.

“Then you also need forensics team and a look over.” James muttered and waved to a doctor even though Lucas warned against it.

They checked him for whiplash and only confirmed him for bruises. Then the police moved in, to get his statement and he described the man he had saw to a sketch artist. Dark hair, blue eyes, dark clothes, budding moustache, probably about six foot or six foot one, bags under his eyes but just slightly, skinny nose, prominent jaw line. The point of the description was not to be exact but to gain a resemblance. He was tired and all he wanted was to see Shawna.

“Shawna’s awake,” Kayleigh poked her head into his room and together they rushed to the hospital room. Shawna was decked in a hospital gown, an IV poking out of her arm, bandages made her stomach bulge around the gown and she looked tired even though she had just woken up.

“How you doing?” Lucas said, ignoring her bugged out eyes when she looked at him. Her eyes looked hazy, the drugs affecting her concentration.

“Hm, as wonderful as you could imagine,” she hummed and then steadied her eyes, “They mentioned fear a lot Luc.”

“What?” The team asked as a collective, puzzled that out of all the things she could have mentioned that was the first one.

“Lloyd kept asking me about my fears, about how we would be afraid of them, Lloyd said that women were easier to acquire and 'wind up'. What if they try to test the women for their fears?” She muttered that the NCR had inadvertently tested her as well but the words were said lowly and into her chest.

“That would give them motive?” Edward said, “We’ll have to look into what the victims feared, see if there’s any common trends, anything they noticed.”

It got Lucas thinking, rubbing his neck from where it hurt briefly, and the image of Eva with her hair wrapped in a towel came forward.

“Why do you always take such short baths, it took longer to run it than it did for you to lie in it?” Lucas asked in Eva’s bedroom. Her house only had a bathtub and sometimes she asked Lucas to run her one while she finished one last problem set for their homework task or revision bender.

She had emerged five minutes after he had finished running it, wrapped in loose track pants and t-shirt, her long, wet hair held in a towel turban, which Lucas never learnt how to do. She sat on the bed and slowly unravelled her hair, looking off in the distance and not at him when she took a hairbrush off her dresser. Eva started to comb through her hair, not registering the tangles as she answered in a faraway voice, “I hate water, I have for a long time, maybe it’s a phobia.”

“Aquaphobia?” Lucas asked, “But how can a bathtub provide any threat to you?” The towel thunked to the floor as Eva hesitated to reply.

“It’s not the bathtub, it’s the water specifically. I could drown. What if I slipped and knocked my head and went under or what if I was pushed under and I…” She couldn’t finish the sentence and finished in silence as she brushed the rest of her hair.

She looked at him, water dripping from the ends of her hair onto the Star Wars graphic t-shirt she wore, probably his in the way that the sleeves dangled off of her fingertips. “When I was six and learning to swim for the first time, my family took me to my Uncles summer house in Penrith. My mother went out to get groceries and my father coaxed me to put on my swimming costume and try swimming without my arm bands.” Her mouth twisted and she looked in the mirror, still maintaining Lucas’s gaze through the reflection. “I stupidly agreed because I was six and trusted him and instead of trying me out in the water he chucked me head first in the deep end. I struggled and sunk and tried to swim. And I just remember him standing there on the edge of the pool with his arms crossed as he waited for me to tread water. He didn’t do anything.”

She paused and looked down at her lap, not looking at him as he came closer to her so he could rest his arm around her shoulder.

“Eventually I tread water, got to the surface and he congratulated me on it. But…”

“That’s not the point.” Lucas whispered into the silence that had emerged in the room.

“And suddenly he wasn’t my favourite parent anymore, and whenever I entered water I could just remember the feeling of panic and drowning and being helpless even as my own father stood on the side-lines and watched me drown. My mother never found out and the fear of water manifested every time I went in it. Showers are fine, I can’t drown in a shower but baths are something else.”

She found comfort in being with him in his house because he had a shower and a bath, and Eva had the choice whether she wanted to test herself or not, feel comfortable or not.

He didn’t say anything and instead he hugged her close, not caring that his own t-shirt was getting wet. Eva just tucked her face into him and found her own tranquillity within him.

They felt at peace when they were together and that feeling only strengthened when they themselves went to Penrith and Eva avoided the pool with a passion that Lucas understood.

Lucas emerged back in the real world to James explaining the situation to Shawna, exclaiming with surprise, “They found some DNA under your fingernails that was probably not your own, the forensics team are going to analyse it. It could be that of your attacker.”

Shawna smiled at the implications that her stabber could be apprehended, but then she rose, “When do you think I will be able to get out of here?” her voice was small and hopeful.

“Not for a couple of days, Shawna you were stabbed,” Kayleigh patted her knee over the hospital cotton and Shawna frowned.

“But I need to see Lloyd,” she said it matter-of-factly even though her eyes weren’t focussed, “I have to tell him something.” She began to panic when the team refused her getting out of bed and she would only be abated when Edward offered to set up a video call between the two of them. The team were awfully confused and Edward was stuck on his phone to the police station trying to negotiate with the protective detail that they now had on Lloyd.

In the meantime James was trying to apologise to Shawna for not being better when she was stabbed and she punched him weakly in the arm, “Do not be stupid Jam-Jam.” She muttered and Lucas laughed, noting that the nicknames and slurred words would be used for Shawna’s birthday. Nothing ever said friendship like softly berating them for their hilarious and stupid moments.

“There, a laptop has been issued to Lloyd, give it your best shot.” Edward motioned and plucked the laptop in front of Shawna. Lloyd looked sad down the line, his eyes ringed in purple and more sunken. The cuffs were back on his wrists, and his feet jangled every time he tried to shift. The protection on him had been advanced greatly then. Several police officers surrounded him and the team surrounded Shawna so whatever had to be said would be public rather than private.

“You owe me one Lloyd Webber,” Shawna slurred and then cleared her throat halfway through.

“And why’s that honey?” Lloyd said, looking at her glazed eyes and then laughing, “You’re buzzed out of your mind aren’t you, slowly losing it. You haven’t beat me at my own game then honey?”

“Oh but I have,” Shawna whispered, “I may have lost my mind but it was only because of your buddy that I did. He stabbed me, probably tried to take me when I nearly followed him to the car. But I prevented him from getting you, I beat you at your own game.”

She paused and then laughed herself, Lloyd paling over the Skype connection, “You owe me one because I gave you the shadow of the doubt, I trusted you, I gave you luxuries when the others wouldn’t, I thought we had some sort of bond honey.” Her adoption of the criminal endearment made the team pale but Shawna kept on going, “You look down on women, you even looked down at me when I first entered and this proves that you were wrong. You owe me for that too.”

“Damn, honey you are stronger than you look,” Lloyd murmured, “You’ve grown some balls.”

“And we will bring hell down onto your goddamned heads, all of you.” Shawna ordered, “But you owe me and if you pay me in kind then you may be saved from that hell. That is the motive right? To get into Heaven?” she chuckled, “It’s your move, your decision honey.”

With that last sentence, a firm finger pressed on the button to end the connection between them and in the reflection of the black screen Shawna sighed and relaxed back into her pillow.

“I may be losing my mind but I haven’t lost it yet,” she muttered and fell asleep, leaving her team looking puzzled at what she had meant.


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