Jacob entered his boss’s office to get his shield and weapon back and noticed a young woman waiting there.
The Captain looked up. “Ah, Jacob, please take a seat. This is your new partner, Detective Sophia Stuart from the downtown precinct?
Jacob glared at his captain. “Sir, with all due respect, I don’t want a new partner, nor do I need one. You know I don’t get along very well with people I don’t know.”
Detective Stuart interjected by offering Jacob her hand. “I’m sorry for your loss Detective Alexander. Losing a partner is really hard.”
Jacob raised his eyebrow in curiosity.
Jacob took her hand. “Thank you. May I speak with you…Alone sir?”
The Captain looked toward Sophia. “Gives us a few minutes. Go ahead and get set up. We will be right out.”
Sophia walked out of the office.
“Sir, I don’t need a new partner, and I don’t want one either.”
The captain took off his glasses and rubbed his head. “You are aware that everyone here has to have a partner. That’s the way we roll here. Why are you so against getting a new partner anyway, Jake? I know you miss Jax. We all do.”
“It’s not just that. Jax is still alive, sir. I know she is.”
The captain looked up in utter shock. “What are you saying? You think Jax is still alive? Do you have proof ?”
Jake looked down. “No sir. Well… none that you or anyone else would believe.”
“You saw the explosion, Jake. You know that no one could have hoped to have survived.”
“Yeah, I know, sir. You know I wouldn’t make up something like that just to get out of getting a new partner if I didn’t know she was truly alive.”
The captain nodded. “I know you wouldn’t, Jake, so if what you say is true, just work with her until we find out what happened to Jax. Oh, there is one more thing; the commissioner doesn’t want you working on Jax’s case. He says you only get one favor, and you have used it. You are too involved not to mention a conflict of interest. The best I can do is to have you kept in the loop I. I’m sorry Jake. There is nothing more I can do.”
Jacob nodded in acceptance and went out to officially meet his new partner. He sat at his desk and started working on their case load. After a few moments of awkward silence, Sophia spoke up.
“So, Jacob, tell me all about yourself. Are you married or single?”
Jacob thought a moment before responding. “You are my partner, so we have to work together, but I don’t have to get to know you on a personal level. I’m not ready for that. All we can afford to think about right now is finding out who killed Rachel and Jaxon. Those are our only cases we work.”
Jacob went back to his work. A few moments later, he heard a soft voice. You can trust her, Jake. You will need her to solve these cases. He turned back to his new partner with pleading eyes. “Can I trust you, Sophia?”
Sophia looked at Jake. “You can trust me. I’m your partner, and partners trust each other. So, what do you need me to do first?”
Jake smiled. “I need you to take a look at the crime scene photos of Jax’s case.”
“Sure, Jake, I can do that. I have a friend in the records department who owes me a favor. Anything in particular you want me to look for?”
“See if you can find anything out of place or anything that will tell us if she is dead or alive for sure. There is something that just doesn’t feel right about Jax’s death. Don’t let anyone know you are looking into this. At least not yet. I have to know who I can trust. They won’t let me near this case because I was her partner. I have to ask; how do you know the records clerk?”
“Oh, we were in SVU together until he got injured on the job, so now he is doing records.”
Jake nodded as Sophia headed to the record room.
When she arrived there, she smiled and waved at the attending officer.
“Hey Clay, how are ya today?”
Clay smiled. “Well, look what the cat drug in. Detective Stuart, what can I do for you?”
“Come on, Clay. Is that any way to greet an old friend?”
“Sure is when you want something. And I know you want something.”
Sophia scowled at him. “How do you know I want something? And besides, you owe me for covering for you. Remember?”
“Yeah, Sophi, I remember. I just have to give you a hard time because you deserve it. What do you need?”
“Since you are such a great friend, I was wondering if you could get me a copy of the Jaxon Strong case file.”
Clay looked at her warily. “Isn’t that case where the cop was caught in an explosion?”
“I really shouldn’t since your new partner was partners with the cop in this case.”
Sophia flashed a smile. “Yeah. That would be the one I need, and make sure everything is there.”
Clay sighed. “I’ll get it for you. Hold on a minute. You know I could get fired for this?”
Clay returned a few minutes later with a big box.
Sophia smiled. “Thanks, Clay. You’re a great friend, and we’re even now.”
She picked up the box and carried it out to her car. As she was about to leave for the day, her phone rang. She answered the phone and recognized Jacob’s voice on the other end.
“Did you get everything?”
“Yeah I did, Jake. Did you want to get together and go over it?”
“Yes. Let’s meet at 6pm at my place, and we can see what we have.”
“6 p.m. will work. See you then.”
As Jake hung up the phone, he glanced over at the clock and sighed. It was time for his appointment with the department’s shrink. He arrived to the shrink’s office and knocked on the door, hoping no one would open it. Much to his dismay the door opened.
Later that night, Sophia arrived at Jake’s house.
Megan opened the door and smiled. “You must be Sophia, Jake’s new partner. Jake told me you were coming. I’m Megan, Jake’s wife. Pleasure to meet you. Please come in.”
Sophia smiled as she entered the home. Megan showed Sophia into the study.
“Jake will be with you in a minute, Sophia. Would you like something to drink?”
“Sure. That would be nice. Thank you.”
Megan turned and walked into the kitchen to get drinks for everyone. A few minutes later, Jacob walked into the study.
“Hey there, Sophia. Did you bring everything?”
Sophia turned to face Jacob and nodded. “G’day Jake. Yeah, I got it all.”
“Great. Let’s get started. I hope you don’t mind, but I like to have my wife help me out with cases. She kind of has a knack for stuff like that.”
“No worries, mate. I’m just glad you trust me enough to let me help.”
They all sat down and started looking through the evidence. As they got going through all the crime scene pictures, Sophia noticed something that didn’t make sense.
“Jake? Take a look at this picture of where the explosion happened and tell me what you see.”
Jake took the photo and scanned over it, then gave Sophia a confused look.
“I don’t see anything. What am I supposed to be looking at?”
“Look at the person in the van in the background, Jake.”
Jake picked up a magnifying glass so he could take a closer look. Suddenly, he recognized the man in the driver’s seat of the van. Jake showed the picture to Megan and pointed out the man. Megan’s look turned to terror as she looked toward Kaleb’s bed room.
Sophia noticed the frightened look on Megan’s face. “You two know this person in the van?”