The pick up

Sinbad woke up with a terrible, splitting headache and a hazy memory. He had no idea what day it was, what he did last night or how he even ended up in his own bed.

All that he knew was that his throat was parched and he needed water ASAP. He slowly got out of bed and somehow managed to drag himself to the kitchen where he gulped water right from the tap, loudly and greedily, like a man lost in the desert.

Sinbad was no stranger to hangovers, they were practically a morning routine but this one was particularly bad. He had to sit down to prevent himself from throwing up all the water he just drank. He was still dizzy and his head felt as it might explode any minute but at least some memories were emerging from the haze. He was at the Red, the local hangout last night, he went there on a job, not for pleasure, but somehow those two would often get mixed up in his line of work and most of his clients.

This particular batch of clients was terrible in every way, out-of-towners, business folk, young, snobby and exceptionally loud. They bought some powder from him, payed him well and kept calling shots and telling stories, the boring ones that gave flavour to their dull nine-to-five lives, they told him of some guy from Sunset Valley who fell asleep at that seminar they were all in town for and they laughed and Sinbad was drunk so he laughed with them and the night passed and they drank more and slowly all his memories dissappeared in a haze…

It was Sunday he suddenly realised which was good because he didn’t have to work today and bad because it meant that his roommate would be home.

And right he was. When he looked outside he could clearly see his roommate Goodwin pacing the front lawn. There was something anxious about this whole ordeal that piqued Sinbad’s interest even through the trobbing of his head. Something was clearly troubling the other man and for Sinbad that meant a greater potential for torture. He got up ignoring his aching body and went straight outside.

“Morning Goodwin.” He called from the porch. He saw his roommate’s shoulders tense and he turned around with a loud sigh.

“Good morning Sinbad. Still wearing yesterday’s clothes I see. In no shape to change again?” He called back in a uninterested sort of way. And in just a few short skips Sinbad was there next to him pushing his face to Goodwin’s.

“What the heck do you care what I am wearing Goode?” This other man took a step backwards obviously surprised by the outburst. These jabs were not unusual between the two of them but today Sinbad was in an exceptionally foul mood and he just wished to take it out on someone. Goodwin was always a perfect target with that annoying baby face and condescending words.

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“You are still drunk Sinbad, your breath smells a mile.” He replied narrowing his light blue eyes. They seeped arrogance. Sinbad had seen his share of spoiled rich brats but something about Goodwin could make him snap just like that. He just hated that guy, he hated how he felt so morally superior to everyone, how he judged his every word, his every move, as if Sinbad had a fucking choice, as if anything he did wasn’t just to survive this shitty life he had been shoved into.

The two of them was as different as two people could possibly be. While Sinbad knew no father and lost his junkie mother before he had hair on his face and had to hustle and claw his own way on the streets ever since Goodwin orphaned as a baby was adopted by a nice elderly couple who gave him all he could possibly want. He had a nice, comfortable life right until the moment he ended up living with Sinbad annoying the hell out of him with every breath he took. He was even attending the police academy, probably hoping to rid the world of the scum he assumed Sinbad was. He just couldn’t bare to look at him so without a second thought he punched him right in the smug pale face.

The punch was another surprise. Goodwin didn’t fall back but for a moment he looked as he might loose his balance and he staggered back like a drunk. Sinbad expected him to strike back. A part of him wished he would. He didn’t think Goodwin a weakling, he was a policeman in training, he worked out at home nearly every day but Sinbad also knew he could hold his ground in a fight. Growing up on the street thought you tricks no old fat cop reduce to training rookies could. And besides Sinbad was taking boxing classes at the stadium for a while now. It never hurt to learn a new trick, he had a hard job too. He braced for impact but it didn’t come.

Goodwin lifted his head, one side of it was already changing color where a bruise would inevitably appear. “I really hope somebody helps you Sinbad.” He said in a pained voice and walked to the house leaving Sinbad to fume alone. He really hated that man.

As he stood outside all alone without a way to clear his throbbing head he realized Goodwin was right in one thing, he reeked.

Sinbad took a shower and changed his clothes. Goodwin had shut himself in his room or maybe he had gone out. Sinbad had no idea and didn’t really want to know. Tormenting the man didn’t help and Sinbad knew not to beat that dead horse any more. He decided he would go outside, run a while. Maybe that would clear his head. Their house was on a small island in the middle of the Twinbrook bay. On one side of the island was the city of Twinbrook with its pretty little houses, parks and offices and on the other side was was the swamp and the wilder part of the town. Sinbad preferred this later part when he planned the routes for his jogs.

There was something peaceful out there in the swamp, with it’s eerie sounds, the ruffle of the leaves the buzzing of the insects, the chirping of the birds, the burble of the river and the absence of all human noise. He would often stop on the bridge and look upon the town spilled lazily on the other side. One might hate the stinky backward hellhole Twinbrook was but still the view from here would inspire a sense of awe in even the blackest soul like Sinbad’s was.

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He stopped in the same spot this morning. He was a bit tired, covered in at least a dozen mosquito bites all over his naked upper body but his headache was gone. Goodwin and their fight were gone. There was a sense of peace Sinbad only had in these rare moments away from the world and society’s poisonous grip.

He took the same route home and didn’t see a soul, well unless he counted that old survivalist Bayless who lived out there in the swamp somewhere. He sped along the bumpy road on his rusty bike and he and Sinbad waved to each other as they often did when they ran into one another in those empty roads.

Goodwin was gone when he came home. This rare occurrence meant Sinbad had the bathroom all for himself and he took use of the fact by making himself a hot, relaxing bath. He just lay there listening to music on his phone as the day slowly faded away. And then his phone chimed with a sound of a text message. Unknown number. No surprise there.

Pick up a the park by the chess tables. 9pm.

Sinbad groaned loudly as he got up from the bath spilling water everywhere. He threw one of Goodwin’s towels to the floor to suck it up and dressed hurriedly. He wasn’t supposed to have a pick up tonight. He was supposed to be off. But then again his employers weren’t the kind of people to whom one could say sorry guys I don’t do overtime. He didn’t even know the guys he worked for. That is how those things went. This way if he were to get caught he couldn’t snitch on anyone. Not that he would but it was a good model. It meant someone smart was running things. The Rackets probably, every one with a half a brain knew they ran this stinky town.

Sinbad knew more of it than most though, his mum, in the days she still walked this earth entertained all kinds of shady characters, some of them really dangerous people and most of them big talkers who spoke of things that even as a boy Sinbad realized they shouldn’t really be speaking of. And he listened and he learned and when his time came he used bits and pieces of all that knowledge to get where he was which still wasn’t really far but he meant to go further and he had the means too.

He went outside without a shirt. The night was chilly but he guessed he could just run to keep warm, better than doing laundry, that was something Goodwin should take care of.

He arrived at the park exactly three minutes before the scheduled time. There was no one in sight which was good and expected. The nights were already getting chilly this time of the year and it was a Sunday after all. His employers did know to pick these times and places well. The chess tables were on the further side of the park so Sinbad made his way there and then he noticed a girl standing close looking round through pink sunglasses.

His other dealings were usually not this pretty he thought looking the girl over. She had blond, disheveled hair with very bright pink streaks running through it. Her mini skirt was pink as well and the short black top she had revealed her belly button and pink tattoos over her flat stomach. 

“Evening beautiful.” Sinbad said as he came closer, he threw her one of his mischievous smiles that was known to melt the hearts of girls. It didn’t seem to work on this one though.

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“Are you here for the pick up?” She said facing him seemingly untouched by his appearance. She must have been new to this Sinbad guessed. It was the nerves, that is why his smile and shirtless sight had not worked for her. 

“Yes my lovely, I am Sinbad.”  He kept the smile hoping it might ease her up a bit.

“I was told no names.” She replied harshly crossing her arms over her chest.

“Sometimes we give them, sometimes we don’t.” Sinbad replied with a shrug. “When the other person looks like you I make sure I do.” He hoped this would finally do the trick. It didn’t.

“Look lowlife, understand this, I am not here to make friends or fool around. I am here to do a job. That is it. Try to push me into something and I’ll push back. That is no threat, that is a promise.” Sinbad took a step back, not because he was afraid of this clearly unstable girl but because he didn’t want to give her a wrong idea, he might do a lot of socially unacceptable things for money, he might sell stuff that cannot be sold under Sim laws, he might occasionally steal, from his stupid roommate or his employers, sometimes he even dumpster dived, it was a way to survive but he never, NEVER touched girls without their permission.

“Hey listen lady, this is clearly one big misunderstanding, I am not here to hurt you or nothing, I just wanted us to meet because I guess we would be working together and seeing each other more but whatever. I will just take the stuff and leave.

“You better.” She said rummaging through her small handbag and producing a small plastic wrapped package which she placed in Sinbad’s outstretched hand. Sinbad sighed watching her cross her arms again. He put the bag in his short’s pocket. The girl still stood there not taking her eyes, still hidden by her big sunglasses, of him. He turned around.

“Later.” He threw at her from behind not bothering to look at her again. A total psycho. Too bad. He thought to himself as he walked away. And pills. Where the hell am I going to sell pills in this hole?


The Gift

Lisa Bunch stood on the lawn intensely focused on her nails. Her long blond hair was tied in two long braids and she had a long sleeved pink shirt on and lovely white shorts that perfectly showed off her long legs. “Later.” VJ threw back at his father and brother who were eating breakfast in the kitchen and turned to the door heading to meet her.

“Where are you going Vahid?” His father asked. The very sound of his deep yet whiny voice made VJ’s skin crawl.

“Out.” He replied without looking back.

“I thought you would help me and Miraj around the house a bit today .”

“Well I thought you wouldn’t be a total loser. I guess we were both wrong.” VJ replied opening the door. For a moment he thought his father would respond, lose control. He held his hand on the door handle and then a heartbeat passed and nothing happened. He pressed the handle, opened the door and he was outside. Away. “Hey Lisa.” He called from the porch once the door was closed behind him.

“Oh hi VJ.” She responded looking up from her nails. “You are late, and need I remind you that you called me.”

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“Yeah, yeah, let’s just go.” He stomped away wishing to be as far as possible from that house and the man inside. Lisa followed as he knew she would.

“I think I should go and get my nails done, professionally.” She said stepping next to him as if that was something he wanted to hear. VJ sighed. Lisa was his best friend, he knew her since they were kids and they had been friends since. She was a really strong-willed girl who could always stand up for herself. The only girl in class he could never bully. She had also grown up to be quite hot. Yet still sometimes she would act like the dumbest airhead there is. He stopped to light a cigarette and she narrowed her eyebrows at him. “You really have to light that thing now? We are walking!” He smiled.

“Oh don’t be like that, I will give you a drag.” She pretended to pout but he could see a trace of a smile in those wicked eyes of hers. “Come here.” She came closer and he wrapped his arm around her shoulders and she wrapped hers around his waist and they walked like that for a while just enjoying the sunny Saturday.

There was a reason VJ had invited Lisa over today and it wasn’t just so he could see those legs. There was something big he wanted to tell her but he wasn’t quite sure how. It all started with his job, it was a part time gig,  and it didn’t pay as much as he would want but it wasn’t as if he could count on his old man for support here, even before this recent fiasco, him not being able to pay up for his trip to France and the end of the school year, he was just unable to provide and VJ had to fend for himself. The job was at the local bookstore, a small brick structure near the park VJ pretty much avoided up until the day he started working there. It was close to the school, he could walk there and he was barely ever late and the job wasn’t hard, people mostly just came in found what they wanted and he would charge them. Sometimes they would have questions but the computer at the register could provide most of the answers. At least for the adults that came in. Kids were a different question, they could be annoying but VJ would shoo them off and they would rarely bother him again.

It was a good job but sometimes it got a bit boring, there would be afternoons when no one came in and he was not allowed to install anything on the computer and playing games on his phone and messaging Lisa could get tiresome day after day so one of those afternoons VJ did something totally out of character. He picked up a book, he chose carefully, it was one of the pricier ones, it had a nice cover, purple with silver writing. He loved the combination even thought the title was stupid. “Solving the friend problem” the letters read. VJ had no problem making friends, Lisa was an example of that, he couldn’t help it if all around him people were idiots. But the book promised to teach you tricks to be able to impress even idiots and VJ decided to give it a try.

He ate it up. He read it faster than any other book, ever. He read it at the store, he read it at home.

With school books he always struggled finishing them at he would give up or simply not bother to start at all but this book spoke to him, of course one could always say that it was a pack of bull, all those micro expressions and shit so what VJ did was he conducted a little experiments so to speak. 

Usually the customers who came to the store would always bit put off by VJ, his black and blue mohawk, the spiked collar and bracelets he wore, and if that wasn’t enough he knew he had what people could call “bitch face” and he used it freely to prevent people with getting too comfortable around him. It worked pretty well, for all it’s intended purposes yet that day VJ decided to try something different.

The first person to walk in was a decent looking middle-aged woman with brownish-red shorter hair that barely covered her ears. She walked straight to the register and VJ used his loveliest, most charming smile to say “Good day Mrs. How can I help you today?”

“I am looking for a book.” She said as if that wasn’t pretty darn obvious, her being in a bookstore and all. She gave him the name of the book, a string of barely incomprehensible words, some of them in Simatin of all languages. Usually VJ would not hide his annoyance with this but today he chose the other route asking her politely to repeat what she said. She did and it didn’t help. He couldn’t spell it if he tried. She sighed a bit with frustration when she saw his troubles. “Maybe I can help you run that search?” She asked. Now if it were any other day VJ would just tell her to bugger off, there was no book, get lost. Instead he smiled.

“Terribly sorry to bother you like this Mrs. but I just can’t get the spelling of those words right it seems.” She smiled back, her annoyance melted away.

“It is alright. Half of it is Simatin and technical words, it is normal you would struggle with it.” He moved away letting her step behind the counter to the computer. “Oh my, this interface is terrible!” She complained. “No wonder you struggle.” VJ threw a pained expression on his face although what he really thought is that the reason he struggled was because stupid women come inside asking for stupid books in dead languages no one speaks in the world but he held his tongue as the woman typed away. “There it is! Ordered but not yet came in!” She pronounced.

“I am sorry Mrs.” VJ said not feeling sorry as well, inside he gleamed with satisfaction that the wretched woman head not found what she wanted.

“It is okay young man, it is not your fault.” She said rising up from the bookstore’s computer. “I will just come in some other time.”

“Or maybe you could give me your number and I can call you when the book comes in.” He said in his most I-want-to-be-of-use voice. The woman turned around her face alight in surprise and joy.

“You would do that? That would be splendid! I wouldn’t have to come in again in vain again!”

“Sure thing Mrs. And maybe in turn you don’t say to my boss I let you touch that thing.” VJ added gesturing to the computer. In reality nobody would give a shit.

“Oh, of course”. She fished a pencil and a piece of paper out of her bag and hastily wrote it down handing it to him. It was the book title, correctly spelled, a phone number and a name.

“Susan.” VJ repeated looking her straight in to her green eyes. “Nice to meet you, I am VJ.” She smiled back and VJ knew he head her hooked.

She came to the store many times after that one and she and VJ would often talk. She was a scientist, worked down in the lab in town, she was married, her daughter, a bit older than VJ had just moved out and she was still dealing with that, she loved chess and computers, had a passion for virtual reality. All this she told VJ, all this and more. One evening when she came as he was ending his shift she even bought him hamburgers and they went across the street to the park and ate them on the bench while she talked and promised to teach him chess the next time she came.

It was a wonder. The book didn’t lie. It was possible to fake your way into befriending anyone. Now Susan was a pretentious, boring woman but she was not stupid, even VJ could see that. And she totally bought his act. This was big. VJ could do great things with it, he could climb his way to the top, he would be better than his pathetic father, one day he VJ Alvi could be the leader of the free world even!

He interrupted Lisa’s silly story about her nails or whatever to spill all this to her, all about that magic book. By the time he finished the story they had walked all the way to the town. He lead her behind the bookstore where he moved and old brick reveling his hidden stash. The book was there, along with his spare lighter and a nearly empty pack of cigarettes he forgot he had there. He pulled out the book and handed it to her.

“I want you to read it. It is so good Lisa, trust me, it would change your life.” He felt a little bad about parting with it but he had already gone over it so many times, there were no mysteries it could reveal to him anymore. Lisa took it from his hands and threw it inside her handbag which she the, dropped to the floor and stepped closer to VJ wrapping both of her skinny, pale arms around his face and before he could fully comprehend what had begun happening she to kiss him, full on the lips

It was not a soft innocent kiss like those they sometimes shared as children fooling around. There was passion in this kiss, passion and tongue. VJ’s first instinct was surprise but soon he let himself be taken away by it all. Before he knew it his arms were wrapped all around Lisa as well and they were full on making out on the bookstore’s parking lot. Not a bad way to start the day.


/* And so the new story begins 😀 thank you all for reading and please let me know what you think of the new start. */

Changes

Ok first of all I would like to thank everyone who read my stories, liked and commented. I really appreciate all of you so much <3. It pains me to say that I will be ending my New Sunset Valley stories.

I have really invested a lot of time into building that town, it’s sims and their stories and also this blog but the story had gotten too big for me to find the time to regularly update and the save file in the game had gotten really lagy and almost impossible to load which makes playing time impossible.

I will try to keep this blog alive though with a new project. I debated starting a new town from scratch but I fear the same or a similar situation again so what I decided is to start a series of short sim stories all set in the same universe, they will be standalone and loosely connected. I hope you will enjoy those even more. 😀

Initially I wanted to promise I will try and post in a more regular pace but then life interfered again, company I worked for closed last month so there was that stress, finding a new job and all that. Luckily it all went well but next Monday I am starting in a new company and I have no idea what to expect but I will do my best to invest as much time as I could in this new project.

So thank you all again and I hope I will be back soon!

Caliente (Dina) – 7.4: Next of kin

They found Penelope Belgen in the hospital, she was in the middle of her shift. Sara and officer Kerry came alone, she had left officer Mayor to go through the notes she had compiled about the murder victim, Mr Belgen. She didn’t think it would be good if they all came here, she didn’t want to corner the young woman. The news they had were bad enough, yet she wanted to be here, she thought a familiar face might provide some comfort to her in a time like this.

She wanted Mikha’il to do the talking, he needed to do this one time or another, sadly notifying the next of kin would be common procedure during his work in the SVPD yet when they came here, and Penelope lead them to the empty staff room where they could talk in private she couldn’t stand by and watch the young officer do this himself. There would be another time for a lesson, this was personal, she knew Penelope, she saved her life, she needed to hear this from her.

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There was a moment of long pause and Penelope staring into space. Sara noticed Mikha’il squirm uncomfortably in the corner and she just gave him a stern look. It was hard, all this, for all of them, but mostly for Penelope, she was the one who just heard her father had been murdered.

“I assume you will catch the person who did this?” She said finally turning to Sara her dark eyes shining with anger.

“We will do our best. The whole force…”

“That is not enough for me Sara.” She interrupted her. “I need to know you will get them, this people killed my father.” Their eyes locked again and in that moment Sara knew it was all true. The whole kidnapping story was true. Penelope tried to hide it, she tried to protect him but now her father was dead and she felt responsible. And now Sara felt responsible too. Stay impersonal. Do not let guilt take you over. But she couldn’t listen to the voice inside her head.

“I will. I will catch them.” Penelope nodded looking away but a pact was made between them and more than ever Sara just wanted to catch this person who ever it was. Even if it was Bradley. She tried not to dwell on that. It was just so improbable, unfathomable that her sister’s husband, father of her only nephew was a kidnapper and possibly a killer. Yet the case Mikha’il Kerry present to her seemed so realistic… There will be time to deal with this. She told herself and went back to Penelope.

“Officer Kerry will come back tomorrow, he would need to take an official statement, talk to you about your father’s life but if you need anything, anything at all Penelope, I am here for you…” She tried to extend a hand, give the woman a hug even but she pulled away and there was that anger still in her eyes.

“Do not pretend we are friends Sara. You were my patient, we went to school together. That is all. I have people in my life that I can count for support, even in times like this… And if you have no questions for me now I will go and call them.” Sara backed away after this sudden outburst, she didn’t want to offend Penelope but yet somehow she managed to, again. She just gave her a silent nod and signaled to Mikha’il it was time to leave.

 

They had the same talk with Luther Prentiss next. Jerod’s brother was much less cold with them. “Thanks for coming down to tell me in person Sara. I appreciate it. What can I say, I am sorry the man is dead but he abandoned us when I was three… We had no relationship since… I guess I am an orphan now… What a strange thought…”

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He got up and turned around to flip a pancake left on the stove. “I make pancakes all the time now. Earl loves them.” He smiled but his smile was absent, detached.

“We will leave you to it.” Sara said getting up from the table. “If you need anything call us.” She added softly touching his arm. “We will keep you posted if anything comes up.” Luther nodded and they left his house.

“A strange man this Clyde Belgen.” Mikha’il told her in the car. “A good dad to his daughter and a deadbeat to his son.”

“People change. They get second chances and sometimes they take them to make things better.” Sara said turning on the engine. She was tired and hungry. It was a long day. Too long. “I will drive you home.” She told the young man, when she saw he was about to protest she cut him off. “You need to rest and so do I. We will speak again in the morning once we are fresh and rested.”

“We didn’t talk about Bradley Frail at all.” He said and she sighed. It was hard to turn around and look at him but yet she needed to face it, this growing suspicion that was gnawing at her mind.

“That is one of the things I need to process… That is just… He is family.” She finished clumsily thinking of Brad standing over her hospital bed, thinking of Bradley holding her nephew in his big strong arms, the first time she saw the little boy, thinking of him kissing her sister at their wedding…

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“Maybe you should give this case up.” Mikha’il said suddenly as if he could read her mind. “You are too involved.”

Sara looked away at the empty road, wondering if he was right. In a way, maybe he was but it was just something she couldn’t do. Something she could never do, not after what happened just hours ago with Penelope. She would bring her father’s killer to justice. Who ever it was, even if it was Bradley. She repeated to herself the words. Every time they sounded less ludicrous. She turned back to the man sitting in the car with her.

“You are threading dangerous ground Mikha’il, you are not even one bit aware how dangerous… You are talking about accusing Dina Caliente’s son in law for kidnapping, for murder, who knows what else we might drag up… My mother may not be the Leader of the Free World anymore but she is a dangerous foe, especially when it comes to her family, and her name. You would need an ally in this and it can only be me, it has to be me…”

“Officer Hoves is on my side, he lead the investigation…” The young man started before Sara cut him off again.

“The old man? Seriously? He is retired. His time is done. Everyone in town knows he has been drinking. His involvement will not help you. Not against the Caliente’s.” He didn’t say a word and for the first time she saw something akin to fear in those dark eyes of his. Good. She thought. He was beginning to grasp the seriousness of the situation. He ought to be scared, they both ought to: “Welcome to the family.” She added with a smile but her cousin’s fiancee just stared ahead unable to return the gesture.

 

Everyone was a sleep when she came home. Her whole body ached and she wanted nothing more than to climb up and curl next to Jerod, touch his warm skin and just hold him close until morning came and in the morning she would get up and just pain like she did when she was young, just paint and be free and not have a murder to solve…

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It was this thought that brought her back from her fantasy. A man was dead. A father, an ex firefighter, somebody who lived, and laughed and loved and had hobbies of his own. And all that was taken from him, and he was taken from the world and Sara had to find out how and by whom. She sighed as she got up to the kitchen, she found the leftovers in the fridge, she made herself a cup of coffee, turned on the fire in the fireplace and went through the notes Mikha’il and Junior Hoves had been compiling about her brother-in-law.

It was the younger officer who approached him advertising a fitness device that was to improve Bradley’s running experience. Beforehand they set up fake web pages and materials that were supposed to convince anyone who didn’t look deep enough and it seemed her brother-in-law didn’t look deep enough. The device was actually a tracking device they used to get his location at all moments, both through the actual device and through an app they installed on her phone.

The reason they selected Bradley in the first place was because although the official family story Sara herself had heard was that he was employed by a private security company out of Bridgeport the truth was that worked directly for Susannah Ramsay who was according to Junior Hoves’ investigation up to no good, she had ties to the criminal world all over. Their initial plan was to try and use Bradley, as a potential witness or an informant, to turn him against his boss but with Clyde Belgen’s story Mikha’il connected some dots and according to Bradley’s app activity the night Penelope Belgen was allegedly kidnapped in front of the hospital he had driven out from the outskirts of Bridgeport right to the hospital, than to an abandoned warehouse and then hours later back home. To her sister and nephew. It made Sara sick, especially the thought that Junior Hoves had that it was Susannah Ramsay and her gang who had been behind the shooting in the warehouse and the death of officer Jesse Hoves…

Sara sighed. She would go trough it all again, their notes, the whole case, all of it. She would make up her own mind given the evidence and if Bradley is the killer she would bring him down, whatever it took…

 

/* This is been sitting as a draft since September… Why it was unpublished I am not sure, I probably wanted to change or add something… Well unfortunately I don’t remember 😦 I am sorry to say it but I don’t think I will be continuing with this story so I’ll just go a head and publish this as it is… In a few days I will go into more details and future plans… Once again I am sorry and thank you all for reading this 😀 */

Caliente (Dina) – 7.3: A motive and a suspect

Table of contents

(Previous post: Murder in Sunset Valley)

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A dead body is found on the street in Sunset Valley and Sara and her team are called in to investigate his murder.

“I am sorry to do this to you Jerod but I just don’t think I’ll make it home in time for dinner.” It was already afternoon and Sara knew this day is going to run long so she called first her mother and now her fiancee as well. “Will you be okay with mum and Justine?”

“Well as much as I love them I think I am not ready to be there without you yet… I guess I will just hang out at the station, maybe finish a book…”

Screenshot_9.jpgSara laughed at the thought. She just couldn’t picture Jerod with a book, in all the years she knew him she couldn’t remember ever seeing him with one, even back in school he managed to somehow swing by on his overwhelming intelligence and disarming charm alone. They ended the call saying their “I love you’s” to each other and Sara went back to work. There will be no more laughs for her she thought miserably as she looked at all the open browser tabs on her computer, each one a piece of Clyde Belgen’s life.

She wished she could tell Jerod what kept her away from home but she couldn’t. Not yet. She knew he would understand, work was work… Still She longed to share this terrible burden she felt ever since this morning with someone, anyone… Yet she couldn’t, she was the boss now, she had to face the hardships alone.

She sighed turning to her screen to continue reading of the scandalous relationship of Clyde Belgen and the music talent scout Phaena Santoro that happened while she was still a baby but made all the headlines at the time.

An hour passed, maybe more and Sara found herself absently drawing a doodle on an empty sheet of paper when a sharp knock broke her away from her troubled thoughts.

“Come in.” She yelled looking at the paper in front of her. The drawing showed a dead man laying on the ground. She crumpled it up and threw it away in the bin before the door opened and Mika’il Kerry walked in.

“I’ve got nothing boss.” The young police officer said closing the doors behind him. “That part of the street is not covered by cameras and nobody saw a thing. I can’t believe it. There was a murder and we have nothing.”

“Maybe Vanessa will find something. Junior Hoves is back in the lab. If anyone can dig up something it is the old man…” The young officer didn’t seem to like the idea that he, or his findings wouldn’t solve this case or so his pained expression suggested but he kept it to himself, only nodding respectfully.

“You said to come here straight away and not to share the ID on the dead man with anyone. What’s the deal with that, you know him?” He blurted out and Sara sighed softly.

“I do. I did. His daughter went to school with me.” She thought back to the ungainly girl with unkempt bushy hair and dark beady eyes and how she used to follow them around constantly because she was in love with Rosie, Sara’s cousin and best friend. They were so mean to her back then, poor little Penelope Belgen, not as mean as Dougie Hoves perhaps, but Rosie just stringed her along all the time and Sara had not said a word…

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And then all those years later that same face looked at her again, from above her hospital bed. The same woman she tormented in high school saved her life when a bullet hit her leg and now she would have to go to her and tell her that her father is dead. Murdered.

Miha’il nodded. “We will have to notify the next of kin.” He said. “They must be worried sick by now… Was he married?”

“No.” Sara said. “He lived alone with his daughter, Dr. Penelope Belgen.”

“She was his only kid then?” Mikha’il asked.

“He had a son as well but they were estranged.” Mikha’il wrote it all down in his notebook and she saw him looking at her expectantly. “Luther Prentiss. I want to go with you when you go tell Penelope, Luther too. ” Mikha’il nodded and she knew he would be more than glad to have her with them. This wasn’t easy, for anyone. There was a slight pause and finally Sara got the courage to speak what she wanted to say.

“I will tell you all I know about Clyde Belgen and his life but there is another reason I wanted to speak with you in private.” She gave the closed door another look before starting her story.

“About a month ago Clyde Belgen came to me personally. His daughter, she saved my life when I was shot and we knew each other since we were kids so I guess he figured he could trust me…” She stopped there feeling the burden of her guilt press heavily on her but it wasn’t the time to feel sorry, she had to get it out. “He told me his daughter, Penelope had been kidnapped on her way from work one day. The assailant took her to an undisclosed location and asked her to perform surgery on him. He had a bullet lodged inside him and probably wanted to avoid questioning from the police. Penelope did as she was told and she was released, unharmed.”

“She didn’t go to the police herself?” The young officer asked.

“No. She confided in her father, he insisted she report this but she didn’t want to, she said the man had threatened her family if word ever got out.” A meaningful silence descended between them and then Mika’il broke it.

“Her father however came to you.” Sara nodded. Mika’il looked away, pensive. “That is huge. What did you do?”

“What could I do?” Sara asked. “I couldn’t do a thing without proof, and Penelope’s testimony. When I confronted her however she denied the whole story, told me her father must be going senile. She refused to come to the station and urged me to bury the whole thing.”

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“You feel guilty you listened to her?” The other man asked bluntly and Sara just gave him a stern look to let him now there were lines that shouldn’t be crossed.

“I am sorry a man is dead. But we have a possible motive and I am not going to overlook this again.” the young officer just nodded and Sara noticed an absent look in his eyes, as if the wheels behind them had already started turning.

“Is there a date for this kidnapping?” He asked all the sudden and Sara had to pull out her own notes to check. When she gave him the date she noticed him go absent again, then he opened his notebook and started going through it with furious conviction. Sara just looked at him puzzled about the whole ordeal. He checked and double checked something before lifting his head and looking at her anxiously. “You are not going to like this. You are not going to like this one bit but I think I know who the kidnapper is.” He paused and Sara’s mind was numb. There was not a single thought in her head in the space before his last word and the next one. “I think it was Bradley Frail.”

/* Some of you might remember Penelope’s kidnapping from Wounds and if you don’t it is not integral to know all the details to follow the rest of the story. I hope you liked this update! */

Caliente(Dina) – 7.2: Murder in Sunset Valley

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(Previous post: Scars)

Sara remembers the tragedy that recently hit their town and the impact it had on her fiancee.

Sara’s morning started in the best possible way, the four of them sitting in the kitchen, she and her mother had coffee while Justine and Jerod ate some leftover spaghetti from last night. Jerod was making all of them laugh, even her mother, who was notoriously hard to please. But that credit might not have been all Jerod’s but her new wife’s. Justine had one of those infectious laughs one just cannot resist joining in and Dina Caliente certainly didn’t seem to be immune to the charms of the younger woman.

They seemed so in love, Sara’s mother and her second wife, even after the charming fairy-tale wedding right here in the garden, and the romantic honeymoon in Champs Les Sims, just the other night Sara could see them in the garden, picking flowers for each other.

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She hoped that one day she could be like that, just give in and be happy but she doubted it could ever really happen, both she and Jerod had been through so much, happiness seemed like just a very distant dream, forever out of reach. But it was fine Sara guessed, life was more than just being happy and in love all the time, for now seeing the smiles of her loved ones would do.

All in all Sara came to work happy that day, she hummed a tune under her breath as she pushed her way to her office, not even stopping for coffee, she figured her mother’s brew was strong enough to hold her until lunch.

It was supposed to be a regular morning, police work in Sunset Valley was rarely more than ordinary and dull. But before Sara was halfway through her morning routine of reading and sending out long and tedious reports there was a very loud knock on her office door followed by an emergence of a tall, gray haired and bespectacled man.

“Mr. Hoves!” She exclaimed in surprise as she watched him enter her office.

“Good morning lieutenant.” He replied with a grave note in his voice closing the door behind him. It wasn’t the first time Sara had the older man in her office, he was the head of the forensics department and had worked for the SVPD his whole life, it was however the first time he was here since his recent retirement.

Sunset Valley was a small town and like everyone else Sara heard how he had developed a drinking problem once he was out of the force but today his look was not one of a drunk. His eyes were sharp and determined and if Sara was to be honest it scared her a little.

“There had been a murder.” He said as he took a seat opposite Sara.

“Murder sir?” She asked feeling her heart start to race. He nodded but she still couldn’t believe it. “Here in Sunset Valley?” He nodded again, even more impatiently. “And excuse me sir but how do you know about it?”

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“There was a distress call, a body was found in the dumpster behind the theater. I was fixing some stuff at home when I heard it on the police radio…” He said dismissively.

“How come I didn’t hear about it yet?” Sara asked.

“I caught the officer that was on his way to tell you on the stairs, I said I will do it.” He spoke with the efficiency of a man that used to be in charge and Sara couldn’t be the one to tell him he no longer was. It was an uncomfortable situation, she knew the man ever since she was nothing more than the receptionist down in the basement even though she now technically outranked him. And besides it seemed that someone was dead, murdered no less, she couldn’t waste any time.

“Tell me what happened.” She said putting everything aside. She was lieutenant Sara Caliente and this was her job.

“A patrol is on site now and they have confirmed that a dead body was found and foul play is suspected. You will have to go next, asses the situation, give orders. It were the new kids that were first on the scene, young Kerry and Vanessa Mayor. Kerry can take statements and Vanessa can do the forensics, I like how she treats evidence. And I will be downstairs in the lab.”

He rose from the chair leaving Sara to feel like a little child in her own office.

“But sir… You are retired…” She finally managed to mutter. He looked at her with a frown.

“There was a murder lieutenant. There hadn’t been a murder in this town since my uncle had been gunned down in that warehouse. We didn’t solve that one and I will be damned if I let that happen again.” With those words he left Sara’s office leaving her to quickly collect her bearings and go back to work. Her beautiful morning already seemed a lifetime away.


She was last to arrive on the already cramped parking lot behind the grocery store. A mass of people had already gathered around the adjoining building but Sara noticed with a little bit of pride her officers had done a good job keeping the noisy citizens outside the yellow tape that marked the crime scene. She walked over making her way through the bystanders. The dumpster was moved and by happy circumstance shielded the body of the poor man from the invading looks. She didn’t go there immediately but to her officers Kerry and Mayor who were waiting for her to submit their initial report.

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“Morning lieutenant.” Mika’il spoke first. He was a thin young man with dark hair, dark eyes and a small goatee Sara didn’t like one bit. He was also engaged to her cousin, or so her mother had told her the other day.

“Morning.” Vanessa muttered after him. She seemed more visibly shaken by the scene in front of them than her partner. She was the same age as he was, also dark-haired, with softer brown eyes and a complexion that usually wasn’t as pale as it was now.

“Morning.” Sara said not feeling well herself, but doing her best to not let it show in front of the younger officers. “What do we have here?” She asked turning to the dead body on the street.

“Elderly male, dead from what appears to be a stab wound, or multiple stab wounds… I didn’t really want to touch the body before the M.E. comes….” Mika’il started.

“Good call.” Sara replied still looking at the man dead at the street. A terrible thing she thought. And definitely a murder. Her stomach clenched at the thought and she forced herself too look away from the body. “Any ID?”

“Well we didn’t really check… I mean, I assumed it was a robbery, why else would someone stab an old man?” Mikha’il answered.

“You mustn’t make assumptions.” Sara echoed the words of her old mentor. “Check his wallet.” She felt her phone vibrate and pulled it out of her pocket. Frédéric Jr. Hoves the caller ID read. She sighed loudly. The old man just wouldn’t let her run this case alone. She turned back to her officers. “Wait for the M.E here. Once he is done you run the scene Vanessa, collect all you find, take pictures and take it all to the lab. Mika’il, check the ID and come to me.” They both nodded and she left them to their job moving away to take the call.

The old man had nothing new to say. He gave instructions on things she already knew and ended the call saying he would call Vanessa next, just to be sure she does her job just right. In a way Sara was glad he was back, he was the top forensics specialist in the country and yet it was her case, she wanted to be left alone to run it. She sighed again planning to go back to the scene when she saw Mika’il standing close by with a satisfied smile on his face.

“I have the ID boss, you were right, it wasn’t a robbery after all! He had his wallet and I know his name. It is Clyde Belgen.” Sara’s head suddenly started to spin and she felt like she could throw up.

“Don’t share this information with anyone, and I mean it. Talk to the people from the theater, check if there are any cameras around, see if there are any eyewitness… Once you are done come straight to my office.”

Clyde Belgen. She couldn’t believe it. She turned around to where the body was still lying and with a strong feeling of guilt she couldn’t shake she turned around back to her patrol car and drove straight to the station.

/* Finally a start of an actual story 😀 I have all of Sara’s chapter’s written down so I hope all of it will be published without a large delay. I like the story, it kind of touches a lot of stories I set up earlier, I hope it won’t be hard to follow and that it will be interesting. Thank you all for reading!!! */

Caliente(Dina) – 7.1: Scars

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Sara Caliente was recently promoted to lieutenant of the SVPD. She had just come in to work after months of extensive physical therapy after suffering a near fatal leg wound. Her mentor and partner officer Jesse Hoves was shot dead the same day. The perpetrator’s were never caught. Sara lives with her mother and her mother’s second wife. Recently her own fiancee moved in with them.

Sara loved watching Jerod sleep. There was something so peaceful in his face, the way his hair fell over it and the way the weak morning light made it shine. She still hand’t quite gotten used to sharing the big bed in her mother’s attic with her fiancee and waking up to him each morning so whenever she got the chance she marveled at the little things that made up her day.

It didn’t take long for the spell to break. The alarm rang and Jerod stirred before opening his eyes.

“Morning beautiful.” He murmured in his sleepy voice. Sara smiled.

“Morning to you too handsome.” She replied playfully. “A grand day for staying in bed.” Jerod smiled, his eyes still half closed.

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“I wish.” He replied sadly. “Work awaits, saving lives and all that… One of my guys left and now we all have to share the load…” He sighed. “I hope your mother made something nice for breakfast, and coffee… I really hope for coffee…” He added stretching before getting out of bed.

He always slept without a shirt on, even now, so when he pulled back the covers Sara got a full view of his bare back and all the scars stretched over it. They were mostly healed by now but still it wasn’t easy to look at that constant reminder of what the man she loved went trough. She ached to touch him, to caress the wounded tissue, to make it heal, to make him heal but it didn’t work like that. Sara knew it all to well.

After all she had her own scars too, the one in her leg where she got shot being the most recent one, but she knew it often weren’t the visible scars that cause the biggest pain, but the ones hidden beneath. For her it hurt more to remember how her partner and mentor had been killed, the memory of the slow pool of blood spreading from his body as her own leg burned from the pain she could not recall anymore.

She knew it was the same for Jerod. It surely hurt more that he didn’t get to his mother in time than the memory of that flaming beam hitting his back. She tried to get him to talk about it, she knew he had mandatory counselling back when he he had just gotten back to work, when he lived at the fire station, but around most people he pretended as if he hadn’t lost his mother, an aunt and a cousin, and even his mother’s little dog that day. Not to mention landing himself in a hospital for months running into the flaming house the meteor had struck.

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It worked one night, right after he had moved in. They were lying here, in this very bed the lights were off and they talked in whispers.

He told her then, in a thin and soft voice of that day, the day that would probably hunt him until the end of his life.

“When I think of it I don’t think about mum, I guess because I never got to her then… What haunts me the most is what I saw when I first got there… The house was on fire, the home I grew up in… There was a huge rock, a monstrous meteor, the scariest damn thing one could ever see, I swear it Sara, right next to it and smaller pieces all around and I was lost, completely lost you know… I never saw anything like that and as I tried to compose myself, get into full firefighter mode I saw her and it didn’t break me then but it breaks a piece of me every time I think of it now…”

He took a deep painful breath and even though she couldn’t see him in the dark Sara knew he was crying, and in all their years together she had never seen him cry, it hurt to hear it but she knew she had to let him be. “She must have fallen out of the window on impact because she was just lying there on the street all covered in cuts and shards of broken glass. She was dead or close to it I could see it from where I was standing and there was nothing I could do anyway… The paramedics were behind me and that was their job and I still had mine… But I can’t get her out of my head… She had been so young the sweet girl. She used to come to the station often, to watch me work and just talk silly things. I knew her and her friends found me attractive, they were teenage girls after all but I didn’t mind it, they were so young and silly, so full of life… And now that life is over and I can’t… I can’t get it out of my head…”

The sobs took him over and Sara didn’t know what to do, she was crying herself. She took one of his hands in hers and kissed it softly as she listened to him weep.

He never spoke of it again although sometimes she tried to ask. But it haunted her now as well. The face of the young girl that had lost her life that day and the painful scar it left on her boyfriend’s heart. She wished she could just take it all back, move time backwards to when their biggest problem was planning their wedding, when none of them had really been hurt by life. A simple time.

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If only they could just go back….

/* Yet another post featuring the meteor tragedy, hope it doesn’t bore you guys too much, I thought it was necessary to touch on what happened to Jerod and how he and Sara ended up living together. The girl who died, mentioned here, is Lena Prentiss. In the very next post we dive into the actual story! */