- Round 2.1
- Round 2.2
- Round 3.1
- Round 3.2
- Round 4
- Round 5.1 (Moving on)
- Round 5.2 (Dating)
- Round 5.3 (Redemption)
Appearing in the story:
It was Friday, it was almost a week after Jesse’s last date with Phoibe. He hadn’t called her in days, he was waiting for her to call him when she was done with the big experiment that took most of her time nowadays. He hoped she would call this weekend. He had plans to take her out, plans he hoped would lead him to the young woman’s bed.
He was home alone when the doorbell rang. He was busy reading a reply from his granddaughter Maja, he was telling her about the boy he met last night, Kain or something, saying how he mentioned to know her and her sister and she told him the boy was his youngest daughter Irene’s boyfriend. The information came to him as a real shocker so he barely registered the first ring. When who ever it was rang again he moved away from the screen and headed downstairs.
Thankfully he was still pretty mobile and didn’t require a cane like he saw most people his age do. Still he didn’t dare run down the stairs and he wondered who could it be. He hoped he would see Phoibe, it would be a pleasant surprise indeed for her to come over while his daughters were away and they had the house to themselves… A picture was already forming in his mind when he got the door and opened them to see…Lysa.
“Hey Jesseee!” “Lysa, Lysa, Lysa, look at you, radiant as ever!”Lysa was his ex girlfriends adopted daughter and while Jill lived here so did Lysa. She was very close to his daughters, especially Laquita so he figured she must have come over to see her. “Lucky isn’t here, she is at work, I’m afraid none of the girls are.” He said politely to the young woman. “I know.” She said brightly. “I came here to see you.” Jesse was a bit taken aback. He had a decent relationship with Lysa while she was a guest at his home, she was engaged to his nephew, so she was practically family but her coming to see him was odd…
“Did your mother send you?” He asked trying not to sound two inquisitive, just polite. “Jill? No I came here on my own. Why is it so odd?” “Nothing odd, just asking.” He added with a smile which made her smile again. I always did have a way with the women he thought to himself as he asked Lysa in.
There was another connection nagging him from the back of his mind, Lysa was Phoibe’s stepsister. Could it be Phoibe that sent her here to check on him? But Lysa didn’t mention Phoibe, she didn’t seem to be aware of their dates, they made simple small talk, Jesse was always good at it, and had become even more proficient in the months following his wife’s death. He knew all the questions by now, and had all the answers ready. Thankfully this didn’t last long since Lysa suggested they play chess.
Chess was always Jesse’s and Krystal’s thing but Lysa only remembered he played and he said yes. It had been awhile since he last played with Krys. He wondered if this is when she would mention Phoibe, she had said she was a chess player herself but Lysa asked something else that made him think. “When are you getting back to work?”
Most people incorrectly assumed Jesse took time off after Nadine’s death but the truth was he had already been suspended before that and the department only prolonged his suspension assuming he needed time to recover from the loss. Jesse himself would have welcomed going back to work. He assumed that the people in charge however didn’t really want him there, they hoped he would finally retire for good without all of them having to face the mess that got him suspended in the first place. And with his binge drinking and partying Jesse was inadvertently giving just what they wanted and would have proceeded to do so if it wasn’t for a simple question over a chessboard.
As soon as Lysa was out the door Jesse shut himself in the bathroom, he splashed some water over his face put his sunglasses back on and walked right to the police department.
“I want to see lieutenant Mya Gradle.” He told the young woman on the reception desk. “She is in her office.” The woman replied, she recognized him. He thanked her and walked over to Mya’s office ignoring the stares and the whispers of his former peers. He knocked sharply and then came in not bothering to wait for her to call for him. He found her doing paperwork and looking especially tired. “Long day?” He asked as he took a seat in front of her desk. “Try month.” She replied moving her eyes from the screen to meet his. “Hello uncle.” “Hi Mya.” He smiled. Whatever may be between the two of them he couldn’t help feeling proud looking at her here, she was her father’s daughter. “Freddie would be so proud if he could see you here.” “My father didn’t want me to do this.” She replied sounding tired. “He didn’t want you to get hurt.” “Same thing.” She replied and they shared a smile. “Why are you here uncle? To talk about dad?” “No lieutenant.” He said trying to sound formal. “I want you to lift my suspension.” At this her face darkened, she moved back in her chair her eyes still on him. “Your wife just died.” “It’s been months since that. I’m ready for work. You are understaffed, you said so yourself.” “You would need a psych eval.” “Do it. I can come over first thing Monday.” She frowned.
“There is still that other thing…” “Ah, so we are at getting to the heart of the problem.” He said leaning in. Mya didn’t move. “You wasted the department resources on an unauthorized investigation of a civilian..” He cut her off. “I investigated your daughter. My suspension for that had ended. Lets not make this personal.” “You are the one who’s making it personal uncle.” She said emphasizing the last word strongly. “You are the one who comes here unannounced, making small talk, mentioning my father. You wouldn’t do it if it was anyone else.” She was right of course. But how could he look into that face and see anything other then freckly little Mya?
He sighed. “Look Mya, you know me, you have known me your whole life, yes I can make it personal, I can talk about the million things we did together, I can talk about my brother, about your brother.. And you do know how much I care about you, how much I have always cared about you, and how much this job means to me.Do you think I would have risked it all for just anything? When I started that investigation I knew what was at stake, and I did it anyway. Do you think I would if I didn’t think that there is a chance I was right? Do you think I would do it just to hurt you, or your family, your reputation?” Her eyes were on hers and neither would even blink. In the end it was Mya who looked away. He had her, he could feel it. “I was wrong. And I’m glad I was wrong.” He said, although he didn’t believe it, he still didn’t believe Mya’s daughter was innocent and one day he would prove it.
Mya sighed before she looked at him. Her voice was weak and strange. “You start Monday. I am assigning you to traffic duty. You’ll get your badge at the desk first thing Monday.” He got up to leave. Her hand was on the desk and he wanted to take it but in stead he just said. “Thank you lieutenant. See you Monday.” “See you Monday officer Hoves.” She replied and turned to her computer. She didn’t even look up when he closed the door.
It was already dark when he left the station but anyone who was walking buy could see Jesse Hoves grin brightly. Afterall he was back where he belonged.