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The Crow's Nest

By Beka P All Rights Reserved ©

Drama

Chapter 1

"If you knew what I know, you'd never touch that again."

I'm snapped from my trance wherein I'm staring at my phone, swiping through endless screens of exquisitely lit photographs. I stare at a curtain of braids in front of me and the hand furiously scribbling into a notebook just behind. This is Raechelle Thompson, paranoid genius. If I were the kind of person to have a best friend, she would be mine. Unequivocally, I would not be hers. Proof: I am not hers.

Rae is some kind of InfoSec prophetess which means every morning she throws on her meticulously ironed cape and saves us all from evildoing cyber criminals. Saves the highest bidders, that is; She's amazing and bills accordingly. She is also a huge pain in my ass.

"Powerful black woman," the barista yells.

From the look on his face it doesn't seem possible, but I am somehow more embarrassed than the barista.  Everyone is staring at us. She loves messing with people, especially uppity white people, and I'm typically collateral damage. For instance, there was the time she insisted a cashier transcribe hexadecimal encoded text into the customer name field of his register and ended up crashing their entire point of sale system. During lunch. I miss eating there.

"Oh, for f-"

"I'm not giving them my name. Do I look brand new?" she shoots over her shoulder as she sashays over to pick up her breakfast. The only other black woman in the cafe and Rae have an effortless "right on, girl/thank you, sister" moment. In general, I'm complete garbage when it comes to speaking to people I'm acquainted with, let alone strangers. These types of exchanges are out of my grasp and they fill me with...everything. Hope and disappointment. Joy and fear. I have never been good enough but, my God, look at how some people glide through this life.

I'm Audra Quinn, photographer. I won't sugarcoat it: I'm unattractive, forgettable, strange, pale as a ghost, and generally unlikable. I take damn good pictures though. People pay me well to notice things about them and capture moments happening to them. I was told by a mentor that I'd never make it because I couldn't develop relationships. "No client will ever trust you," he said. I don't need them to, though. I make zero emotional demands on almost everyone and others are rarely compelled to invest any towards me. At least once a week someone breaks down looking at their proofs. They didn't know I was there. "How did you get that shot?"

"I'm blessed." But, no, a quiet telephoto lens is the bulk of it and basic psychology takes care of the rest. Most people are so self absorbed they will only notice you if you can validate them in some interactive way. Except for kids. Around the age of 5 they begin to sense the playground trauma in my past. Little vipers.

Rae is back with her blueberry muffin and cuban coffee and begins writing again. "What is that?" I ask. "A security memo explaining that the biggest threat to my client is their vapid bourgeoisie employees who couldn't generate a strong password without the assistance of a child in their lap, banging on the keyboard. Suggest deploying toddlers."

My breakfast suddenly appears on the table before me and the barista is gone before I can register and mutter thanks. Rae, however, is immediately all over it. "Why is he bringing it to you and made me walk all the way up there?" Sighing, I slowly turn the scrawl on the my cup towards her. The only part legible reads "Odd" and trails off from there. "They tried."

She gives a wry laugh. "Well, Cinderella, we know that shoe fits."
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ernbelle: When I first started this story I was a little unsettled by all of the information that appears in the prologue, and wasn't sure if I would continue. However, I am very glad I did. The plot was very well thought out and really interesting. There were not any page breaks or markers to acknowledge ...

christylynnr5: This was such an amazing story!!! It showed newly found friendship slowly developed into love. The story never got boring and always had drama happening to keep you reading. I would defiantly recommend this to anyone who loves a good love story!

jessiehs: This was absolutely amazing. I loved how it went back and forth between perspectives. I actually cried at the end I was so happy. This was amazing. I can't even think of another word to describe it. Thank you for writing his.

Alkira Joan: amazing story and plot, you just need to work on re reading and punctuation and gramma .'.........................................................................................................,.,.,..,.,.,.,.,..,.,.,..,.,.,..,.,.,..,.,.,.,..,.,..,.,.,..,.,..,.,.,.

LouiseJ2: I enjoyed the detail you went into with regards to the case. It made the UNSUB appear believable. The crisis in the middle of the story was my favorite part, very dramatic but not over the top. I feel like sometimes pairings can be overdone but I liked that some of the relationships were a little...

Alkira Joan: I'm worried and scared but absolutely love this book please write the second one please don't leave me hanging.....,.,..,.,.,..,.,.,..,.,.,..,.,.,..,.,.,.,..',', , ,', , ',',..,.,.,.,.,..,.,,bbdbx.,..,.,.,.,..':-)''.'.'.'.'...

summerlover119: please please write a second part this book put me in my feels although you had a few spelling mistakes but over all it was amazing. you have a gift. please write a second like does chloe see xavier again?, how's dan and maddison relationship doing?, and does alecs mate get taken off life support?

christylynnr5: This was a really good book. I couldn't stop reading it. I loved how the story had its ups and downs and it kept you on the edge of your seat. But the only thing I had a problem with was the grammar errors. I know everyone makes mistakes but this one had more than just a few. and in some places I...

brettylee: The narrative is slick yet punchy. Life, Family and Friends I believe is the core message so it’s easy to relate to. It’s surprisingly action packed. The author does a good job at keeping you guessing. Just when you think all is right, whack, the unexpected happens. The dialogue is energetic and ...

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