A Picture of Murder

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Judge Nelson lied. He told us that a house would be waiting for our arrival. Instead, the man had Danielle, and I was running around like a married couple looking for a home.

How long did he plan for us to stay in this god-forsaken place? I hated the cold, and apparently Danielle and Jaiden did too.

Each time we had to leave the hotel room, Danielle whine as if she were Jaiden’s age, and half the time, I had to drag her ass out the door.

It was a reason why I was alone, and the past two weeks reminded me why. I was good with the occasional fucks without having any attachments. Yeah, I was forty-four, but most women thought I younger.

I like it that way, and yes, I love young women but not too young. I’m originally from Italy, but my parents had that American dream that moved our family to the Big Apple.

Everyone always wondered why I ended up in Georgia. It was a good reason for that. I hated New York, I hated the fucking cold, and now I’m right back in the shit. A yay, for me really not, and this day couldn’t move any slower. We were looking at our sixth house today, and every one of them, Danielle, found something that she didn’t like about it.

“Mr. Costa, your input on this one if you may.” The beautiful Native American woman asked as she batted her long eyelashes at me, causing Danielle to sigh loudly.

“I thought you were supposed to be our realtor. Not the woman flirting with my husband.”

Danielle was really holding down the wife thing, making me wonder what was going through that mind of hers. For two weeks, she’s been moody, stomping through the hotel room, slamming doors.

Shit, what the fuck did I do? I wasn’t the one who framed her for murder, and I sure wasn’t the one who had to go into witness protection because Judge Nelson was scared she saw someone. I was pulled into this. She wasn’t, and I should be allowed to have a little fun.

“Easy Bianca, she was just asking me a question.”

She hummed, taking Jaiden from my arms, walking out the door, mumbling underneath her breath as I turned to Sheba handing her my card.

“I think we will take this house and call me when you are free,” I said, winking. I walked off to the car listening to her giggle as I left.

“So, you like this house. I mean, I don’t see why we need a six-bedroom house when it’s only the three of us.”

“I don’t want your whores in my home. I’m letting you know now.”

Damn, what crawled up her ass and died? I swear this was a whole different woman than what I met two weeks ago. She was evil, nowhere close to the sweet woman I meet at the crime scene.

“Danni, I don’t do whores. Tell me what’s wrong. What got you so upset this past week?”

She looked over to me with her eyebrow raised, then back out the window, sighing still not saying a word, so I spoke. “Are you on your period? Pregnant maybe.”

“Are you always this fucking nosey Detective?”

I chuckled, rubbing my beard glancing over at her. She was beautiful, no doubt in that, thick in all the right places, but I couldn’t let myself go there.

“Well, I am a detective. It is kind of my job to be nosey.”

I laughed as she whispered the words “jackass” without looking from the window, making me laugh louder, waking up Jaiden in the backseat. My phone ringing broke that moment as I looked down, seeing Nelson calling, so I quickly put him on Bluetooth.

"So, how did house hunting go today?”

“I think we found somewhere for some reason Danni liked a six-bedroom house. It was big but really not my style. How long do you plan on us staying up here anyhow?”

“Don’t know Ferrari, it could be six months, a year hell who knows. There still no leads on Rafael’s murder. Talk to the commissioner. He can tell you more. I’m only a judge.”

“Well, I didn’t sign up for none of this shit, so you need to find someone else to come babysit the woman with mood swings.”

"I think you two will do just fine. Don’t make me come up there, Danni. I know you are listening. I talked to your mother and grandmother. They know you and your son are safe."

Danielle nodded like the man could see her ass soon. She realizes her mistake. “Thank you so much,” she said with a smile, then rolling her eyes at me. Like I actually care this woman was going to make me do something I regret in the end.

"One more thing Danni. I don’t know if your ex did this or someone else, but your house was broken into last night. I assume if you didn’t change your security code, it was someone looking for you. For one, they tore your house apart like they were looking for something. Is it by any chance you brought something homework-related?”

“No, Mr. Taggart was strict on me not bring work home. He always talked shit about me losing my head if it wasn’t connected to my shoulders.”

He hummed through the phone, thinking about was she said. ”I don’t know what this is about, but I want to make sure you stay safe. Lorenzo, do something to hurt her. I will come to kill you.”

“Damn judge, you threatening a police officer?”

"Lorenzo, you know damn well I don’t threaten I make promises."

I wanted to ask him how long he knew Danielle, but it wasn’t like he would tell me anyhow. So, I laughed it off, agreeing with him before he ended the call.

“That man acts like your father.”

“It because the sorry bastard is my father.”

I almost hit a fucking snowbank looking over to Danielle. She was Judge Dave Nelson’s daughter, the secret child that everyone in the fucking station talked about. I was beginning to think they were making up the shit. Never once did I think Danielle was his.


“Oh wow, why so fucking surprised. What is it hard to believe a white man had a child by an Afro-Japanese woman?”

It wasn’t that she looked nothing like that man, and never once did he acted like this was his daughter. “No, it’s not that. For you to be his only child, you would think he would acknowledge you.”

She scoffed, looking back out the window without saying a word the whole way back to the hotel. I could tell there was something she wasn’t telling me about the judge, but it was none of my business.

Back in our room, Danielle grabbed Jaiden and went straight for their bedroom, slamming the door before I could utter a word. Maybe it was for the best. She was still mad at Cameron for lying to her and at Judge Nelson for sticking her thousands of miles away from her mom and grandmother.

Something I could blame her for. Sighing to myself, I dropped down on the couch, picking up the remote as I decide to search through the channels when my phone ding.

Nelson: The house is paid for in full. Have your wife pick out the furniture and send me the bill.

My wife… That was such a foreign word to me. It was hard to act like a husband when I didn’t know how, nor did I want to know. Judge Nelson made it hard because on paper, I was Alessio Costa, and she was Bianca Costa. The only thing that was missing was the rings, and I’m sure he was already a step ahead.

Me: Why couldn’t you text Bianca and tell her this? Do I have a say in any of this?

Nelson: No! And I did text her. She knows the details of what to do now I’m telling you. Oh, and before I forget, your rings are ready for pick-up. You need to go there before five your time.

This man was unbelievable. I knew I had known him for a few years now but never believe he would stick me with his daughter to play fucking house. I wanted so bad to cuss his ass out, but I knew who he was. If I did, my job could be gone in a blink of an eye.

Me: Yeah, okay

I texted, but before my hands could continue to move, Danielle walked out the room staring at me, rolling her eyes before sitting on the couch. She was telling me in her own twisted way she was ready to get this shit over with.

“I assume that you talked to your Father.”

“Don’t call that man my Father, and yes, I have. Now let get this shit done and over with. It’s not like you’re going to wear the damn thing anyway, the old man just wasting his fucking money.”

Me: Yeah, okay. We about to go now.

Nelson: Good, and I plan for you to move into your house before the weekend.

Again, I sighed. The way this man is talking, he plans to be here longer than we want to be. I know he thinks that his daughter’s life is on the line, and I keep telling myself this. Why couldn’t he pick someone else to look over her?

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