The Woman In the Painting

By TheEternalDaylightingRanger

Mystery / Romance

Prologue

Jace Herondale threw his hat on the cushioned chair, sighing as he ran his fingers through his hair. A long day of crime-fighting and detective work really took a drain on his emotions. He had been right-of course he was, he was always right. The Butler had been the one to kidnap Mrs. Blackthorn's daughter, Dru, and held her for ransom to pay for his large debt from gambling.

It only took a week to finish the investigation, which he was grateful for. The case never really held on to his interests. But this new one…it sounded interesting. He picked up the beige folder labeled: Clarissa Fairchild. She was apparently a very top-notch artist for Ads and been murdered last night in her hotel room.

Chief Morgenstern then walked in briskly with purpose. "You've gotten your next assignment, then? Good." Jace preceded to open up the file; it was almost like a well oiled routine his chief and him had figured out; he would solve a case, Chief would say the same thing as always and they'd jump into it immediately. He figured he had always been a favorite of Morgenstern…probably because he was the best in their department.

The file was filled with all the recent doings of Clarissa- letters, Ads she had been working on and finished, and lastly, a brief description of all her most closest friends and advisers. All of them had been in some kind of contact with her in the past two days.

"I want you to check up and question everyone." he touched the paper with the picture of an older man, saying, "This Hodge Starkweather. He's the one that helped Clarissa rise up from a desk job. They've been corresponding for a while. A close friend. Not a very large suspect in the case…but it would be foolish not to try and get some more information out of him."

Jace nodded. He turned the page; this document showed a handsome young man with dark, black hair. "Clarissa's fiancé. Sebastian." he read aloud.

"Yes, and he's the one I've been suspecting more and more whenever I look at him." Chief went around the desk to lean over next to him and propped himself with his elbows, staring intently. "He's lost most of his fortune from his deceased parents by gambling all of it away. Just recently he's somehow come across a large sum money from this woman here-" he pointed to the other page and continued. "She's been depositing money into his account for about two months, and just last week he deposited this time 10,000 dollars in her account."

The woman was beautiful, with shocking big blue eyes and blonde hair. "She's one of Miss Fairchild's closest friends. Kaelie Whitewillow. But there's something odd about them…Make sure to be extra observant when the two of them are together."

"And the last one…"

Morgenstern snorted. "Don't even assume Dorothea. I talked to her earlier. She's not…well…I don't think she's completely there. She's harmless." he waved her out of the way and splayed the three sheets out on Jace's desk. "Focus on these three. We'll come up with more further on in the case."

"This will be interesting." Jace commented, leaning back in his chair with both of his hands clasped behind his neck. He stared at the picture of Clarissa Fairchild. She was gorgeous; vibrant red hair, a petite, trusting face, and the most…captivating green eyes. "Very interesting." he murmured.


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