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Chapter 6

The were gathering over London quickly, darkening the sky in shades of grey. It was getting colder and what might have originally seemed like a nice day became the main reason for people’s discomfort.

From the third floor of the Scotland Yard, Ava could see people running in order to take shelter before it could rain cats and dogs. She leaned her head against the window and felt a shudder when she saw the lightning strike in the distance.

The building was in a continuous state of restlessness. She could hear them speaking loudly and running around while the phones were ringing continuously. The Scotland Yard was being very active unlike what Ava originally thought but the office she was in was so silent. The only noise was coming from Marvin’s shifting through the files or the pen scribbling on a piece of wrinkled paper.

“Why is this case so special to you?”

She broke the silence but didn’t take her eyes off the darkening sky.

Marvin took one file from his left and highlighted a whole sentence before grabbing another one and doing the same.

“I’m sure you heard about the explosions happening in Europe these last few days. My help is needed.”

Her eyes enlightened when the streak appeared closer and felt a chill down her spine. The thunder followed the lightning, giving the impression that the sky was breaking in half.

“Did the Interpol ask for this help of yours?” She continued in the same controlled tone.

Marvin chuckled and shook his head, “No. This is pro bono work. I am that kind of citizen.”

Ava scoffed loudly but thankfully the thunder covered the unfeminine and unethical sound.

“No, you’re not. You brought me here, remember?”

Her statement seemed to have ticked him off lightly because he suddenly stopped shifting through files and raised his head, staring silently into her brown eyes.

“You are a smart woman, Dr. Atkins. You look like you read a lot and had quite a comfortable life. If there isn’t a guy like me then there can’t be a woman like you.”

Marvin’s explanation was actually an observation he took note of sometime during his years as a police officer. It was easy to understand but may have sounded a bit as if he was trying to say something else in between the lines.

Unfortunately it didn’t have the reaction he expected. It seemed like she wasn’t even interested enough to think twice about his answers; at least not yet.

Ava turned towards the ginger and looked at him in silence for a moment before she strolled towards his desk.

“What kind of man are you, Marvin?” She asked without sketching a single expression on her face.

Marvin looked at her with a glint of amusement. She was scanning his expression for a change or twitch but he was well composed just like her. The ginger opened his mouth, ready to give her an answer but the door slammed open and the doggy called for the older detective.

“There’s been another explosion! This time in a city in Finland!”

Marvin’s eyes widened and quickly abandoned the discussion. He ran past Eric and completely ignored the human being left in the office.

“Um-sorry about him. He can be oblivious when there’s something that interests him.” The officer excused his older friend sheepishly.

But when the detective rushed out he didn’t just abandon Ava but the files spread on the desk as well. One particular file was about the so called threat over Europe, everything important highlighted in neon pink

Ava’s eyes caught sight of it right away and tried to contain her curiosity but something was taunting her. It might have been her inner demon seducing her into satisfying her desires or it might have only been her childishness surfacing but she waited for the officer to leave and reached for the documents. With careful moves, she slowly tugged on the paper until she got it perpendicular with her standing figure.

Her eyes were moving from the left to the right quickly, registering the information even faster. With every new sentence her brown eyes were widening a bit more until she eventually finished the lecture. On the corner of what looked like the picture of a letter was highlighted a sign she was familiar with: the khrismon.

We have been informed that another explosion occurred in the city of Vantaa, Finland. The bomb was detonated in the vicinity of a coffee shop but luckily no one died. The police are searching the surroundings for a potential second threat but it seems like it has been caused by the activist group Anonymous. This is the sixth day since they threatened Europe through a message that the authorities still do not want to disclose-

The whole staff of the Scotland Yard was watching the news with wide eyes and tense shoulders.

“It may be England next. We have to alert-”

Chief Leyland turned to the officer and glowered at the skinnier man, “Don’t cause any disturbances. We do not know what country will be next.” He ordered his eyes falling over each and all of his colleagues. “Let’s not cause a stir without any proof.” Leyland finished firmly.

Everyone nodded except the detective who seemed thrilled to have found another piece to his puzzle.

“Lanchester, have you found something relevant?” Leyland asked focusing his energy on one person at time.

“Yes and no. That letter we found, is it possible he left one at every scene?” Lanchester asked intrigued by the whole issue. He had a hypothesis, that much was clear but he needed proof to sustain his theory.

“I don’t know. The Interpol is handling this case.” Leyland answered before turning towards his office.

It took the ginger only one second to come up with a way to investigate even deeper, “Hey, boss. Can you get me into the Interpol?”

Chief Leyland stopped in his tracks and rubbed his face. Marvin Lanchester was such a pest.

That day, the rain didn’t stop even when night fell over London. It actually became even worse as it started to rain with hail over the city.

“You don’t have to give me a ride home.”

When Marvin went back to his office he realized he completely forgot about Ava. He smiled sheepishly and assured her that he will get her home safe if she will wait for another hour, which she did.

“Of course I do especially since our next session will take place in the same office.” He explained as he started to search for his car keys.

“Alright,” She answered curtly.

It was silence for a minute until Marvin realized what she actually answered. He turned to her and walked towards her while playing with the keys he found rather fast in that mess on his desk.

“Alright? That’s it?” He asked, doubting her. “Alright,” He repeated since he didn’t have anything else to say.

The whole ride was taking more than both of them wanted. The traffic was horrible and her apartment was really far from both the Scotland Yard and Marvin’s house.

“It doesn’t look like it will get better anytime soon.” He muttered feeling responsible for wasting his time like that.

“Do you have a family, Detective Lanchester?”

It was the first time since that incident that someone addressed him with that appellative. It felt strange and his body reacted by its own.

Ava was a very perceptive person –since she had to in the domain she chose to work in- and immediately noted the sudden tension in his body and the fingers of his right hand twitching on the wheel.

“I do have a family; a wife and a young daughter.” He responded calmly.

“Do you tell them about your work?” She continued asking while keeping an eye on his right hand.

“Work is work and family is family. I do not like to mix the two.”

He was giving every response without taking his eyes off the road. At a closer look, Ava noticed how much confidence he had in his self control.

“Did you tell your wife about what happened?” The psychologist asked.

There was again, that twitch in his fingers.

“Does she know you have anger issues?” She incited him even more.

That last question ticked him off as he turned around and glared at her.

“Is this an interrogation?” He snapped but didn’t have time to react because the lane started to move once again.

She didn’t say anything afterwards. It was enough anyway since he actually let her into his working space and answered questions about his private life.

It was only when he dropped her off in front of her apartment building that she let the mask fall and showed her genuine interest in the pest of Scotland Yard. The brunette sighed heavily and rubbed her forehead as she turned towards the entrance. She was searching for her keys when she felt the knot in her stomach form again and the air getting stuck in her lungs. Her head jolted and she surveyed her surroundings but couldn’t see anyone. With shaky hands she managed to open the door and rushed inside, running up the stairs to her floor and down the hall to her apartment. Once inside her safety zone, she reached for her purse once again and took the pills out, gulping one without water.

“There’s no one following you. You’re being foolish, Ava.” She repeated those lines a few times before she calmed down.

But outside in the heavy rain, right across the street the shadows were watching her. They were already there and the play has already begun.

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