Divine Help

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Chapter Two

Chapter Two

It took three years of hard work, dedication and a spotless record to gain the trust of his new captain, but Jacob finally worked his way back up to a detective pay grade again. He was sitting at his new desk admiring the sheen of the polish. No amount of wax could hide the nicks and chips of hard work, but as least the desk was all his. He took the picture of his beloved Rachel out of his wallet and placed it upside down in the bottom drawer. She would always be with him.

He sat back in his chair as he reviewed the crime scene photos of the homicide he had been assigned to. When the phone on his desk rang. Jacob answered it. “Detective Alexander.”

A soft seductive voice spoke slightly above a whisper. “Hello, Detective.”

A smile slowly crept on the detective’s face as an image of his wife and step son entered his mind. “Hello babe, how are you doing?”

“Wonderful, love. I have some exciting news for you, but I want to tell you in person. When are you off?”

Jacob checked his watch. “Not until late. Sorry.”

She sighed. “All right. Wake me when you get here.”

“Of course. See you then.”

As Jacob hung up the phone. His partner, Jaxon Strong, was still on the phone. Jacob pulled out a file and pretended to study it while watching her out of the corner of his eye.

Jaxon was in her early twenties. She was a strikingly beautiful woman at five foot ten with a slender build and long blonde hair with red highlights. Just like Jake, she was a big city transplant-native New Yorker who had moved to Avalon City to get away from an estranged ex-husband. She had been on the police force for five years. She flashed the bluest eyes he’d ever seen in his direction as she hung up her phone, and said, “Jacob, we need to go. There has been a murder downtown.”

Jake grabbed his jacket and shrugged it over his shoulders. “Let’s go.”

They both immediately stood up and headed for their car. Jake and Jaxon arrived downtown to find the media already in droves. As soon as they exited their car, they were approached by every media outlet located in the city. Every reporter there were clamoring for an exclusive. They reached the yellow tape and were let under by the officer. As they approached the scene, they came upon the victim, there was a plastic sheet covering the body so the media couldn’t leak any information before they wanted. Jacob knelt down and lifted the sheet, so they could see who the victim was. They knew this one would be hard on everyone involved considering the age of the victim .

They looked off to the side where the crowd was gathering and saw most of them had tears in their eyes. Crimes against children were always the hardest.

Jax leaned over to Jake. “This doesn’t look good.” She whispered.

Jacob nodded in agreement as they walked up to the officer standing over the body.

“Homicide. Detective Alexander.” He nodded in his partner’s direction. “Detective Strong. What do we have?”

The cop cleared his throat. “Fifteen-year-old African-American female. Shot twice. Died on the scene. She lives around the corner.”

“All right.” Jake said “Have some uniformed officers start canvassing the neighborhood and surrounding area.”

“Yes, sir.” The officer closed his notebook and placed it in his pocket before heading towards one of the uniforms working crowd control.

Jacob bent down to one knee and had to look away for a moment because it all reminded him of Rachel and his son. Crimes involving children would never be easy for him. When he looked back, he studied the tiny form huddled on the ground. It took him a moment to realize he recognized the child sprawled out in such an undignified position. “This is Mayor Calloway’s adopted daughter, Melanie.”

“How do you know? We haven’t been able to identify her. The bullet did too much damage to her face.”

“I recognized the scar on her left arm.” He said. “She got it when she broke her arm falling out of the tree in my backyard. My step-son and her play together all the time.”

Jake watched the coroner place the young girl’s body in a black plastic bag and zip it closed. He didn’t know which was going to be the worst part of his day, telling the Mayor his adopted child had been killed or telling his step-son he had lost his best friend. He motioned to his partner and they climbed into their car and headed to the Mayor’s house.

As they traveled, Jacob sighed. “This is the part of the job I dislike the most.”

Jaxon nodded. “I agree with you on that one. This is the worst part of this job.”

As Jacob drove, his thoughts turned to his own family. Jake pulled into the driveway of the Mayor ’s house. The horseshoe-shaped drive led to the overreaching front porch. The house looked like one of those southern mansions, with the pillars in the front and the pull-through drive. He knew all too well what the Mayor and his wife would be going through .

Jaxon whistled. “Wow! That is exactly what I want my dream house to look like.” When Jake didn’t come back with one of his smart remarks, Jax turned to him. “Hey, you all right Jake?”

“What?” Jake focused on his partner, realizing he had been caught up in his own thoughts. “Oh, yeah, I’m all right. Just thinking too much. Let’s get this over with.”

They got out of the car, walked up to the door and knocked. The mayor’s wife, Noreen Calloway, answered the door.

“Jacob!” she said, a smile on her face. “It’s been forever, how are you doing?”

“We’re doing fine, Noreen.”

“Good to hear. I trust the family is doing fine as well?”

“Yes, ma’am, they are. This is my partner Detective Strong.”

“Please come in. Hello, Detective Strong. Jake, you need to bring the family around more. How old is Kaleb?”

“He’s eight now.”

“Wow they grow up fast. You really need to bring your family over for dinner sometime soon.”

“We’ll do that, ma’am.”

“So what brings you two here today?”

“Well, we need to speak with both you and Mayor Calloway.”

He could see the nervousness enter her eyes as she guided them to her husband’s home office. “Of course. May I ask what this has to do with?”

“Well, Noreen, we need to speak to you and your husband about your daughter.”

“What are you saying? Is Melanie all right?”

“Ma’am, we really should be talking to both you and the Mayor.”

The realization of what the two detectives just told her hit her like a ton of bricks. “Please, tell me what’s going on?” She turned toward the stairs. “HONEY, GET IN HERE NOW!” She dropped to her knees as her sobs racked her whole soul.

The Mayor started down the stairs, he saw his wife with a worried look that told him something had happened. “What is going on here , Jake?”

“Matthew, we need to talk.” Jake said.

“Please take a seat.” The Mayor said as he and his wife walked over to the couch in the great room, where Matthew sat down by her and took her hand. Jacob and Jaxon sat in the other two chairs that were in the room “Now tell me, Jake. What’s going on?”

Jake glanced out the window for a moment to gather his thoughts. It was a beautiful day. Too bad it had to be ruined by this crime. “It’s your daughter, Melanie, Sir. I’m so sorry to have to be the one to tell you this, but she’s dead. I’m so sorry.”

“No, it can’t be. You’re wrong. She will be home in a minute, you’ll see!” Mrs. Calloway screamed, and started to sob again.

The Mayor wrapped his arms around his distraught wife. His stare pierced Jake and riveted his to his seat. “You will find whoever did this, and bring them to justice.”

“Yes, sir.” Jake said, more to find a way to break the stare than to reassure his friend. “We will do everything humanly possible to find your daughter’s killer.”

Although the day had started out sunny, storm clouds had started to fill the sky. The rain only added to the despair in the hearts of the Mayor and his wife.

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