“Just allow your body to relax. Breathe in for four…. breathe out for four. Allow yourself to become completely relaxed. Nothing can disturb you now.”
“Ignore all of your surroundings and just focus on your breath.”
Knock, knock, knock.
“That’s fucking hard to do in this damn place,” Detective Ruben Lancaster mumbled angrily to himself, as he practically threw himself off the couch, approaching the front door. He was less than thrilled to be disturbed during his daily meditation session – as per his therapist’s request.
He twisted the key in the door, opening it wide, only to be greeted by the face of the very man who instructed him to do those damn meditations, Dr. Oliver Jacobs. His sour face twisted into a confused stare. What on earth was he doing at his flat?
“Ah, good morning, Doctor. How may I assist you today?” he asked after blinking at him for a moment. The doctor gave him a friendly smile.
“I’m here for your session, of course.”
“I thought that wasn’t until tomorrow afternoon,” Ruben said, before shrugging his shoulders and walking away from the door, “come in, then.”
“Alright,” the therapist nodded, stepping into the apartment and closing the door behind him.
Ruben approached his laptop, which was perched atop the coffee table and went to switch off the meditation.
“Oh? You were actually listening to the meditation I advised?” the doctor chuckled, instantly recognising the voice and music.
“Indeed,” Ruben said, giving him a short nod, “I find it quite intriguing.”
“What about it is intriguing to you?” he asked, taking a seat on the armchair beside the couch where Ruben had been laying.
“The dialogue, the music. The way it really does manage to relax me. It’s an odd sensation,” Ruben replied, finally switching off the laptop and then taking a seat on the couch once more.
“Wonderful. I am delighted to hear that” Dr. Jacobs said, whipping his notebook (with Ruben’s name on it) out of his backpack, which he then placed on the floor by his feet.
“So How have you been feeling, Mr. Lancaster?”
“Really?” he asked, tilting his head as he wrote something down.
“You just wrote denial, right?” Ruben questioned. The doctor froze.
“It’s alright to admit that you are suffering” he assured Ruben, “I’m here to help you.”
“No one helps others without reason or profit,” Ruben said, crossing his legs a little.
Dr. Jacobs scribbled something down again.
“Is still paranoid. Severe trust issues.”
Dr. Jacobs sighed, fixing his black-frame glasses that were sliding down his nose.
“Listen, Mr. Lancaster. I am just doing what I can to help you, which involves taking note of your distinctive personality traits and behaviours.”
“Why do you help people who you don’t know?”
Dr. Jacobs started to play with his pen nervously.
“I guess – it’s nice to have somebody to talk to about your problems. Not many people have that option. I didn’t have anyone growing up, either. It’s a suitable profession for me, I believe.”
“Interesting. The victim becomes the master.”
“The master? I wouldn’t exactly say that much,” Dr. Jacobs laughed.
“Well, that’s interesting, nonetheless. So, what do you wish to speak with me about?”
“Your mother has some genuine concerns. She was the one who asked me to contact you, as you know.”
“Yes, I’m aware.”
“She claims that all you care about is your work. You barely spend any time with your family, and you do not have any friends.”
“Friends are for boring people who rely on others to validate their existence.”
“Is that how you really feel, or how you make yourself feel?” Dr. Jacobs asked, writing that down.
“Mhm. I see,” the doctor said, pursing his lips, “you’re not sure.”
Ruben wasn’t sure why he couldn’t respond.
“Are you seeing anyone romantically, Mr. Lancaster?” he asked him.
“No. I fail to see what that has to do with this session.”
“No worries, I’m just trying to get to know you is all. It’s ideal for me if I know my clients very well.”
“Ah. The response is still no. I don’t have time for romantic attachments.”
“I see. Very well. Do you often get sexually frustrated, Mr. Lancaster?” he then questioned.
“Again, I fail to see what that has to do with this session.”
“Your mother said you tend to lash out.”
“No. I don’t have intercourse.”
“So how do you allow yourself sexual release?”
“Doctor, I’d rather not speak about…” Ruben started, shaking his head, “the sexual stuff.”
The doctor nodded, “I understand. What would you like to speak about then? Is there anything in particular that is on your mind today?”
“Not really,” Ruben said.
“Okay well let me ask you this. Would you like to have friends?”
A small silence filled the air.
“I suppose it would be beneficial to me in some ways, yes. Though there are negatives that come with having platonic and romantic relationships.”
Ruben stood, approaching his desk by the window and pulling open the drawer. He pulled out a small, folded piece of paper and opened it. He stood by the window as he read it aloud.
“Pros of Friendship.
1.You don’t have to eat alone.
2.Sometimes, they buy your food for you.
3.Gifts at Christmas and on your birthday. Maybe even some Easter chocolate.
4.Sleepovers sound kind of fun.
5.I’ve never had a real friend, so the experience would be interesting.
6.If you share mutual interests with your friend(s), you may listen to music or watch movies together.
7.You always have someone to talk to.
8.I could finally fill up my mobile’s phone book.
9.I could finally figure out how to block my mother’s phone number, since I am too stubborn to use the internet for anything except research purposes for my work. Even still, I have my library where I keep all the information that I may need for a case.
10.The secret pro that shall not be spoken.
Con’s of friendship:
1.The chance of being lied to and backstabbed
2.Betrayal is the worst form of pain
3.You may NOT have anything in common, and may end up resenting each other
4.I hate letting go
5.Friends can up and leave at any moment in time.
6.If my mother can treat me like I am nothing, imagine what a non-relative could do.
7.I’m sensitive and people may take advantage of this.
8.My career is so time consuming, they may become bored of me and make new friends.
9.I have serious issues that need instant addressing, and people may not be able to handle it very well.
10.I am too quiet to keep coming up with conversation topics.
11.I don’t know how friendship works, or the boundaries of such a relationship, so they may be taking the piss out of me and I would not know.
12.In movies, the best friend sometimes tries to take the main characters lover.
13.Which leads to my final point, which is I hate the idea of fighting over love. If my friend and I like the same person, it would lead to an argument and someone would end up hurt – or maybe both of us.”
He pursed his lips once he finished reading, flickering his gaze from the sheet of paper to his doctor, who stared at him, astounded.
“Well, what an interesting list” he smiled.
“You really have thought about this in depth haven’t you, Mr. Lancaster?”
“My job is to think. Thinking exercises the brain. Therefore, if my mind is exercised, it is stimulated, and I can solve cases quicker.”
“Interesting. Well, something that I like to do is give my clients some homework assignments. My homework for you to have completed within the next week is to try to make a friend. Even an acquaintance, something that could end up blossoming into a friendship.”
Ruben was unsure of this ‘homework assignment.’
“Well, since my cons outweigh my pro’s, I don’t think a friendship is necessary in my life.”
“You had ten pro’s, and thirteen cons. There’s not that much of a difference.”
“Ah, but there is a numerical difference.”
Ruben could tell that the therapist was getting frustrated by his behaviour, so he sighed.
“Alright. I’ll attempt it.”
“Good! Just find somebody that you feel has things in common with you. Someone you connect with and build on it slowly. I guarantee you you won’t be alone anymore.”
“I wouldn’t need friends if my family would act properly.”
The doctor was taken aback by that comment.
“What do you mean by that, Mr. Lancaster?”
Ruben closed his eyes as he gazed out the window, shaking his head.
“We’ll get to that eventually. Right now, we need to focus on you and why you are this way.”
Dr. Jacobs was certain that it would be difficult to get Ruben to open up. He had a lot of investigating to do about this man, if he wanted to treat him properly.
“Well, I think we shall conclude our session for today” he said, standing up and clapping his hands together. Ruben stared at him with disbelief.
“That’s all?” he questioned. The doctor nodded, packing his writing pad back into his backpack.
“I will see you in a week, and hopefully you will have some good news for me in regard to your homework assignment.”
“I’ll try my best.”
“Good. I will see you later, Mr. Lancaster.”
“See you, Dr. Jacobs.”
The doctor approached the front door, opening it only to be greeted by the face of a policeman.
“Oh!” he exclaimed with fright. He hadn’t been expecting someone to be there.
“Oh, constable Norrington,” Ruben said, approaching the door as well, “how may I help you today?”
“Inspector Wiggins asked me to come get you. We need your help down at the station, detective.”
“What is it this time?” he asked, leaning against the door frame. He noticed Dr. Jacobs had passed the constable and was now trotting down the steps of his apartment block. His eyes flickered back to the constable.
“I will explain it to you on the way to the station, Detective. Please, come with me. It’s urgent.”
The detective grabbed his duffle coat, which was hung on a coat hook by his front door. He grabbed the key out of the door and locked it on the way out. Another case, how exciting. Though, of course, he hated seeing people die, it put food on his table. It was his career. As they hopped into the police car outside, with Ruben in the back and Constable Norrington in the driver’s seat, Ruben buckled his seatbelt and then leaned forward as far as he could.
“So, what happened?”
“A girl came in this morning. Covered in blood and muck. She was hyperventilating and couldn’t speak for hours. She passed out three times as Inspector Wiggins tried to interrogate her. Then, she finally requested you personally. The inspector is going out of his mind trying to get her to talk.”
“Did she do something wrong?” he asked.
“That we are not sure of. The blood samples taken from her appear to be a mixture of her own, and someone else’s. That is all we know so far.”
“Interesting. I shall do my best to get some information out of this lady.”
“We knew we could count on you,” Norrington smiled, as he indicated the police car left as he drove.
A while later, they parked up inside the Scotland Yard carpark. Ruben hopped out of the car, rubbing his hands together with anticipation. He was excited to see how this case would turn out – little did he know; just how big it was.
“Good afternoon, Mr. Lancaster,” Inspector Wiggins said happily as he spotted him enter the station.
“Good afternoon, Inspector. Where is she?”
“Interrogation room five. Please go easy on her, not that you don’t usually, but this is a hard un.”
“Thanks a million for coming down here on your day off. Best of luck in there.”
“Thank you very much, inspector.”
Ruben made his way down the hallway, pausing outside interrogation room five. He could hear whimpering from inside. It made his heart feel heavy, but he pushed through it and stepped inside. Her mascara and blood-stained face lit up at the sight of him, three whimpers escaping her throat.
“Oh, detective! Thank goodness!”
“Good evening, miss. I am Detective Ruben Lancaster.”
“Oh, I know who you are!” she whimpered, “I requested you personally.”
“I heard” he nodded, sitting down opposite her, “may I ask why?”
“Everyone has heard of you at least once, detective. You are very talented. You find all the bad guys.”
An amused chuckle emitted his lips.
“Thank you for the compliment. If you don’t mind, we need to get down to business.”
“Yes, Y-yes of course.”
“You said I catch all of the bad guys. Are you a bad guy?” he asked her. She shook her head rapidly.
“Detective, that is one thing I want to make clear. I am not a bad person. I am a victim of a very heinous crime. There are others, too.”
“Others?” Ruben blinked, leaning forward in his seat and readying the tape, “do tell.”
“W-well, I went missing outside a Waterloo nightclub twelve years ago. Ever since, I have been kept captive in a secret dungeon.”
“That’s right. You’re Mindy James. I remember that.”
“Yeah..that’s me!” she exclaimed, happy that he seemed to remember her and her case.
“Your parents plastered missing person poster all across England. I remember feeling very sorry for them.”
“Is there any way you can contact my parents?”
“Yeah, we will contact them and ask them to confirm your identity.”
“Why is that necessary?” she questioend.
“A part of the process, Ma’am. Nothing to worry about.”
“What can you tell me about your captor?”
The woman sitting before him shuddered, like the very thought of that man made her feel feverish.
“He-he was the devil.”
“The devil? Can you expand on that?”
She took a few seconds to respond, but when she did, she was crying.
“He hurt me. He raped me. He cut me, and...he killed my baby.”
Ruben felt an ache in his chest, like he could feel her pain. Just by her words alone, he knew this woman had endured a lot. Just like him. The word rape made him recoil, but he fought through it. He wanted to help her.
“I am sorry to hear than, Ms. James. You said there were others What do you mean by that? Other victims? Other men?”
“Other victims” she told him, “twin sisters, Ariella and Blythe.”
Ruben scribbled their names down on a sheet of paper.
“If we were to be there with you, Ms. James, would you be able to guide us to your captor and the other victims as well?”
“Yes. Absolutely, yes.”
“He will be expecting us, I’m sure. I would warn you not to hope for the best for the other girls.”
Mindy looked down sadly, “that-that has been going through my mind, yes.”
“Is there anything else, Ms. James?” he further questioned. She shook her head. Clearly, she wasn’t ready to talk about any of it, and my God he understood that feeling too well.
“Very well. I’m going to turn off the recorder now.”
He turned it off when he got no response from Mindy, and then leant back in his chair.
“Thank you for being so helpful, detective. I do hope the other victims are safe…but I am doubtful.”
Ruben gave her a weak smile, “we will do everything in our power to bring the other victims home to their families, just like you.”
She perked up with that, maybe feeling a little more hopeful that her ‘friends’ would be returned home safely.
Ruben stood up, leaving the room, but not before telling her that Wiggins would take care of her. It was supposed to be his day off, as a matter of fact, but crime has no time.
As he exited the interrogation room, he placed both hands in his jeans pockets and slowly walked down the hallway towards the exit. Wiggins spotted him from behind the front desk.
“Hey, Lancaster. You leavin’ already?” he questioned.
“Yep. I have something to do” Ruben told him, walking backwards out the door.
“And what might that be?” Wiggins chuckled.
With that, the detective disappeared, leaving Wiggins tutting to another police officer.
“Very strange man, him, but very smart.”
||Hey, everyone. If you read this, let me know what you think so far. I would really appreciate some feedback. This is my first romance novel that is crime themed. Thank you
Are you enjoying my ongoing story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Kelsey HigginsWrite a Review