Meanwhile, across the city in an intimidating building that common people would normally avoid was a man who could only think that he had crossed a moral line in his life.
“Detective Lanchester, do you admit to have shot your partner and beat a passerby to death for witnessing your immoral actions?” The captain of the precinct asked slowly, his eyes begging for a negative answer.
Marvin Lanchester looked down at his hands and sighed. He could still see everything unfold before his eyes and it wasn’t even his fault.
The door to the car opened, the man at the wheel smiling happily when he saw what his partner brought him.
“I get sick only watching you devour that,” Marvin mumbled, opening his salad and taking care to place a napkin over his lap before beginning to eat.
The man from the wheel rolled his eyes. “Not everyone is posh like you Marv. We, the plebe, eat normal hamburgers from McDonald’s or Mahmud’s kebab around the block. That is how I roll,”
Marvin chuckled, “Aren’t you too old to say stuff like that, Barky? You should consider your age and status,”
The man frowned when he heard the nickname, everything else fading into the background.
“Stop calling me Barky. Do I look like a dog to you?” The man sneered but Marvin nodded.
“You sure sound like one.” Marvin added before coughing, ready to get into character, “You right there! Police! Stop! Every time you shout like that all I can hear is woof woof woof!”
Fred narrowed his eyes at his partner but Marvin blinked innocently continuing to eat his salad.
“We could have been so much more, Marv. But this judgmental personality of yours- tsk.”
Marvin couldn’t contain his laughter and pushed his partner playfully, knowing if he wanted to he could make Fred drop the hamburger on his clothes and Hell would rise for him at home.
It was funny how Fred was living with a woman but not his mother, sister or lover. He only knew that the bond between the two was created during a raid in Birmingham. The drug dealer was conducting some kind of experiments for a new drug and she was one of the few victims who became the lab rats.
Fred came back with a special companion that both intrigued and confused everyone at the office.
“We should have gone to MI6 boot camp when we had the opportunity.” Marvin heard Fred mumbled with a daydreaming look on his face.
Marvin stopped the fork just before taking a big bite and put it down. Those were memories even he doubted it ever happened.
“You are the most laid back detective in London. It wouldn’t have worked out.” The red haired man mumbled, feeling a tinge of disappointment.
Fred scoffed, “Maybe for you, ginger.”
Marvin smirked knowing how he could combat that smart ass remark but Fred caught sight of movement into the alley and the atmosphere broke into seriousness.
“Marvin, I ask you again. Did you shoot detective Fred Lowe?” The chief asked once again, slowly with the same amount of anxiety on his face.
“No. When I got there it was too late. He was already shot.” Marvin responded, not taking his eyes off the handcuffs around his wrists.
“Have you seen that?” Fred asked his figure jolting and hand automatically going for his gun. “It’s J-Drop,”
Marvin raised an eyebrow and narrowed his eyes in order to see the figure walking down the street at 1 in the morning.
“You mean the low life kid, Jamie Anderson? The one whose father-”
“-was involved with the Birmingham case. Yes, him. I should go see what’s going on. He should be-”
Fred couldn’t go out because Marvin pulled him back into the car.
“He’s just a kid, Fred. He is not his father.”
Fred’s blue eyes hardened as he shrugged his partner’s hand off him. “You weren’t there Marv. You didn’t see what I did.”
“Are you sure this isn’t because you are worried for Jenna?”
Fred scoffed, “I killed that son of a bitch before he could share his new drug with someone. She is safe.”
“If you go there, she won’t be anymore. You won’t either. We’re supposed to look after someone else.”
Fred got out of the car and squeezed his gun before winking at Marvin. “You be the good cop, Marv.”
That was everything he said before walking down the street, the same way as J-Drop.
The silence in the car was suffocating and no one was getting out of the bar they had to survey. It was such a waste of time and Fred rushed into trouble again.
Thinking that he waited enough, Marvin moved on the driver’s seat and turned on the engine, intending to go snatch his partner before he could damage his reputation.
As he took a turn at the first intersection, he only drove for a few meters before he noticed two men talking before another one ran in shooting like a maniac. Marvin’s eyes widened as he stopped the car and rushed to the scene.
The brown head of Fred ‘Barky’ Lowe was covered in blood as one of the bullets went straight through the middle of his head. The kid was still there, hurt but not severely.
Fred Lowe has been more than a partner for Marvin, no matter how much they used to tease each other and even fight verbally and physically. Fred was there at every special event in Marvin’s life and Marvin wanted to be there at Fred’s wedding, at least. It seemed he was going to be at his funeral instead.
The redhead fell on his knees in front of his partner, Fred’s blue eyes still wide open.
“He must have got surprised by the attack. He didn’t have time to fully comprehend what was going on and when he did, it was too late.” Marvin concluded, mumbling to himself as he scanned Fred’s body.
He got shot two more times in the chest and right knee but the fatal blown was done to his forehead. Marvin’s head turned slowly to the whimpering kid standing across Fred. He was shot in the side but with medical attention he could recuperate.
But Fred was dead.
That was all Marvin could think about and he couldn’t help but feel angry. Everything before his eyes darkened as the ginger detective grabbed his partner’s gun and got on his feet. With every step towards Jamie, Marvin could feel pieces of his walls breaking, uncovering the deepest and most horrible memories he had. The blood on the carpet, his mother lying there with her blue eyes widely open as little Marvin was hiding under the bed. He could still see them, haunting him. And then the moment his father came in and grabbed Marvin out of his hiding spot, hitting him repeatedly before Marvin had the chance to squirm out and run downstairs.
“Hey-Hey dude. Why are you- why don’t you help me instead! It wasn’t my fault that he got shot!” Jamie shouted at the dark figure towering over him. “That guy just came out of nowhere! I swear-” The kid winced and pointed at his side, “I got shot too, see?”
But Marvin couldn’t hear or see him. The past was coming back and all those years he spent in a rehabilitation center were crumbling at his feet.
“It wasn’t my fault!” Marvin could hear himself shout to his father but the older man was furious.
Mr. Lanchester was a big man with broad shoulders and steel eyes. He could kill Marvin and that was a terrible thought for a 15 years old teenager. With blood on his face and scratches on his body, Marvin knew he had only one chance to escape but he had to do something very bad.
“Dude?” Jamie Anderson ended up cowering in fear as Marvin started to hit him again and again. At some point, the detective hovered over the boy and hit him repeatedly in the head with his gun, squishing him underneath and eventually squishing his head with the blows.
Everything Marvin could see and hear was stabbing his father with a pair of scissors, tears dripping down his cheeks.
In the interrogation room, Chief Inspector Leyland was intrigued what Marvin was thinking at the moment. His eyes were staring at the table as if he was in a trance and his appearance was disheveled.
“Did you kill Jamie Anderson?” The prosecutor asked.
The Chief Inspector knew that Marvin could have done it if it was to avenge his partner’s death. However, the clues at the crime scene were too messy and Marvin’s prints weren’t found anywhere on the victims.
Lanchester was safe and he probably knew it.
“I didn’t kill anyone. I was too late.” Marvin responded after a few more minutes.
Marvin Lanchester was a good detective but for some reason, his image just darkened considerably.
After a long day of work, Ava was ready to go home, take her pills and watch a movie, preferably a comedy. She closed everything she found precious in the office and turned off the lights but once she finished locking the door, Charlie Bloom appeared behind her.
“Ready for the party?” She asked, those happy sparkling green eyes of hers making Ava sick.
“I’m going home,” Ava started, ignoring her secretary and passing her swiftly on the way to the elevator.
“But Big Boss wants everyone there.” She whined like a child, not letting the psychologist wait for the elevator in silence. “Johnson wants you to come too. He has something he wants to tell you,” She changed the method of persuasion, thinking that Ava would give in to curiosity.
But Ava was not a curious person.
“He can send me an e-mail later.”
Charlie sighed and gave up.
Ava was not exactly the woman Charlie imagined when she first heard about her. She was very professional and knew how to divide personal opinions from work and she was very good at what she was doing; Charlie had only praises for Ava’s incredible work ethic but Ava as a person was so secretive and strange. Taking a glance at the brown haired psychologist, Charlie was curious what was beyond that polite smile and wise words.
As if the universe was conspiracy against her, the elevator arrived on their floor but not empty; the general director –or Big Boss as Charlie would call him- was inside, waiting patiently in his black pants and blue shirt, his sleeves pulled up enough to show his Rolex watch.
Ava’s eyebrow twitched sensing Charlie’s amusement from her spot.
“Going to the party?” Henry Acker asked the two ladies, moving aside so they could also enter.
Charlie was chuckling under her hand while glancing at Ava with what she wanted to be subtlety but she was actually drawing attention to Ava.
“How is work, Ava? It has been a while since you joined the firm.” He started, using a very polite yet friendly tone.
Ava felt like scoffing but under the curious gaze of her secretary it was impossible to act impolite. Therefore, she decided to respond in the same manner that made her famous in the firm.
One word sentences were Ava’s signature when speaking to higher ups in the firm or investors. The only people Ava was genuinely warm and natural with were patients.
“You’re coming to the party, right?” Henry continued, glancing at her over his shoulder.
There was a moment of silence, Charlie feeling really small standing between her boss and her other boss. Henry smiled to himself, seeing her tense at the question and having an inner battle in order to decide what to say.
It was obvious for anyone that she forced that answer out just to please her boss.
The farewell party wasn’t as glamorous as Ava originally expected; if anything, it looked like workers having a drink in a pub. Nicholas Johnson was standing by the bar when Ava arrived and he quickly invited her to sit next to him.
“What would you like to drink?” He asked enthusiastically turning towards the bartender and getting his attention.
“Water. I don’t drink alcohol.” She mumbled, her eyes still taking in every detail surrounding her.
The party itself wasn’t anything spectacular and it was easily observable where friendships have already been made and where was animosity. Henry was drinking uncontrollably yet he seemed fine unlike two or three other colleagues. The women were drinking cocktails and talking to each other about children and their families, all of them out of reach for Ava. She couldn’t even remember the last time she spoke to her parents.
“You don’t look like you’re having fun.” Johnson stumbled her way and sat next to her. “Are you uncomfortable?”
“I’m having fun in my own way.” She tried to sound like she was having fun but it was obvious she was tired and bored.
“You can leave if you want. I’m content that you came in the first place so I won’t get mad. We haven’t been friends before and won’t suddenly be comfortable around each other.”
Nicholas didn’t have to be a genius to see just how relieved she was that she could leave. She grabbed her purse and hugged him awkwardly before walking out.
On the way home, Ava felt paranoid for some reason and she couldn’t point out who in the crowd was making her feel like a prey. Maybe it was her car that was drawing attention –being a black Jeep- yet at the same time, she couldn’t help but be scared of were that paranoia was actually coming from.
A sudden flash of memory forced her to abruptly stop the car and grab her purse hastily. Her hands were shaking and she was going to have a panic attack if she couldn’t find those pills. Everything was there except the bottle of antidepressants and the pain in her chest was growing stronger by the minute. Suddenly she remembered she might have put some in the compartment in the car and hurried to open it. The first thing that fell was a gun of a Mini Revolver chambered in .22 short but that wasn’t important. She found a small bottle of benzodiazepines and gulped down two without water.
Being like that used to be a bad memory but it seemed like not even a psychologist could tame his inner demons.