Monday, March 5, 2012

Gen. 6 Chapter 2: Juniper, Where's my Car?

Business was good. Cases kept coming, and I was now in a state that every entrepreneur dreams of; no more advertising, placing ads in the paper, chasing after business! Word of mouth was the only advertisement I needed and business was coming to me. I had just finished up a burglary case and was headed to the police station to drop off evidence when I decided it was time to drop in on the family and say Hi.

As I walked up to my old house, I couldn't help but get a little sentimental. It had been a while since I'd seen my old home! Ah the memories.

My little brothers were getting so old! I couldn't believe they were both about to graduate high school. I think I had been moved out long enough for us to be past the whole typical sibling treatment, and they were genuinely happy to see me, and I them. 
Mom was working so I didn't get to see her but I figured I'd catch up with her later.

When I got home, I checked my email, and sure enough, there was my new case for tomorrow. Apparently this one was a credit card theft. I emailed my client setting up a time to meet tomorrow, then called Jazz to make sure we were still meeting after lunch tomorrow. I had promised him I would help him house hunt and I found the perfect place for him.
"OK, so were did you last use your credit cards?"
"Um, well, I know I used them at the grocery store, the restaurant, oh, and the gym. The last time I remember seeing then was at the gym."
"Wow, quite the shopping spree, eh?"
"Well, yes, my retirement check came in so..."
"Well, don't worry, Mr. Raden, I'll do my best to return your credit cards to you."

As my client and I parted ways and I headed to the park, a particular shade of blue caught my eye. Ah, my love. Jazz.
"Hey there super sleuth."
"Hey there, officer."

"Um, I'm not quite an officer yet, technically."
"Well, you have the uniform, don't you?"
"Yes, they just gave it to me today."
"Well, OK then, you are an 'officer' to me."

"Alright, enough chit chat, where is this amazing place you found for me to live?"
"Find out for yourself, here's the key!"
"Um, how am I going to know where to go?"
"I'll drive."

When we pulled up to the house, he figured it out. The key was to my place! And he was more than accepting of my offer for him to move in. He moved in that night! Curling up next to my man that night, knowing that for many nights to come I wouldn't have to sleep alone made for the best night's sleep ever!

I wondered if there would be an adjustment phase of having Jazz here in the same house with me 24/7. Remarkably, there was very little 'adjusting' to do. His mom was a little surprised when we told her of our arrangement, but happy for us all the same. We promised to have her over just as soon as we were all settled and time allowed.  Jazz jumped right in and helped fix things around the house that I had been meaning to fix, just hadn't got around to. Best Roommate EVER!

Making breakfast for two was fun, as was having Jazz there every morning to eat it with.

 And getting the chance to see Jazz walk outside to catch the carpool in his sexy uniform, well that was just icing on the cake!

It also made me realize that I had promised myself to invest in a sharper looking uniform once my investigator business was on its feet, and hadn't done so yet, so I went out and got a brand new uniform of my own. I loved it! And I could almost guess the reaction I'd get from Jazz when he saw it. I couldn't wait!

The next morning I got an urgent phone call from Royal, Jazz's mom.
"What's wrong Royal?"
"Oh, just, I know it was here this morning. How could someone do this?!?"

She was only speaking in fragments, so I was having a hard time piecing together what was going on.
"Did someone take something of yours, Royal?"
"Yes, Juniper, yes. I just can't believe it. Someone stole my car!"
"Oh no! Stay right there, I'm on my way right now."

I hated it when things like this happened. Royal was the warmest, sweetest, kindest person I knew. When something awful like this happened to good people, well, it was the worst. Especially since it was Jazz's mom!

She did a good job of telling me exactly what she saw, heard, or didn't see and I told her I'd get some kind of answers for her ASAP. I also invited her to our house for dinner that night. I figured our promise to have her over would take her mind off of what happened. The offer wiped the worry off of her face instantly.
 "Oh that would be wonderful. Thank you, sweetheart."

As soon as I got home that evening I went to work making sure that dinner would be delicious. I figured I couldn't go wrong with spaghetti!

The doorbell rang. Jazz got it, and after showing her around the house, Royal proceeded to tell Jazz all about the car theft. Then she moved on to cheerier subjects, like his teenage sister Gypsy entering her rebellious stage and skipping school.

The meal was fantastic and we had such a great visit with Royal. I'm sure by the time she left to go home she was cheered up for sure. I also promised her I would get to work on her case 1st thing in the morning.
By morning I had received a tip from one of my friends at the police station of a few people to keep my eye on to see if any evidence of Royal's car might show up.

My 1st task: A stake-out at the spot I'm almost certain criminals go to meet up and relay information.
Sure enough, 2 girls entered the park at different times, but found each other and began whispering. It just so happened that they picked the spot that I had already tucked myself into, so I could catch pieces of their conversation.

The only thing I could pick up was "drop off" and "chop shop" and then several times they both mentioned someone named "Kid". I knew I had heard that name before, and then I remembered that I went to high school with a guy named Kidd Goldbeard! Could it be that he's in this car theft ring too? Only one way to find out.

After a quick Internet search I pulled up Kidd's info. He's still here in town, and he works at the consignment shop. What a convenient place to work if you're moving stolen merchandise. Things are not looking good for Mr. Kidd.
Strange and sad that Kidd turned out that way. He grew up rich from what I can remember. I don't know why he would want to turn to a life of crime.

As I pulled up to the consignment shop, I took a few deep breaths to calm my nerves. This was the first time confronting a potentially big-time criminal. I felt in my pocket for the crisp $100 bill I put in there before I left. I had a plan. I know if I want to continue working in this town, I can't tip off the local crime ring that I am a threat to them. So I'm going the route of just wanting the car back and nothing else. And my crisp little friend in my pocket will hopefully do most of the convincing for me.

Judging by the scowl on Kidd's face, he wasn't in this consignment career because of his stellar people skills. But I forged ahead with confidence.

With a $100 handshake of introduction Kidd was willing to tell me that his latest "merch" was dropped of at Grady's Junkshop, after hinting that I wanted to keep things under the table and out of the cops' hands.

On my way to Grady's I called Royal and told her to meet me there. Hopefully we could get there before the car was taken apart.

No such luck. The car was already in pieces and the Junkshop had sold some of the parts. Royal was disappointed, to say the least. 
"I'm so sorry. I wish I could have figured it all out sooner."
"Aw, hun, it's not your fault. And I thank you for the hard work you did. At least I know what happened to it and I can move on."

I promised her that Jazz and I would help her find a new car, and I was on my way back home. I tried my best not to be discouraged that this particular case didn't work out the way I had hoped. I guess that's the way it goes in the investigative business.

I called Jazz to tell him what had happened, and like the sunshine he is in my life, took me out to the park to cheer me up. I know it seems silly, and maybe a little childish, but playing a simple game of hopscotch with my Love did wonders for my spirits.

Jazz and I both had birthdays coming up, and I couldn't wait to have a fun day with him. We decided that we would spend the whole weekend together and hang out. I had already decided to get him something that he had been wanting for a while, and I knew there was no way his present to me would outdo mine to him!

I was right. He absolutely loved it.

When it came time for my present, he told me it would take a while to set up, and that I wasn't allowed to go outside until he told me to. Now that had me curious, what could it possibly be? We had a blast just hanging out and goofing around while we waited.

It was nearly sunset by the time my present was ready. Slowly and with my eyes closed, Jazz led me outside to the backyard. When I opened them, there was a Hot TUB! Best Present EVER! We ran back inside and changed into swimwear and spent the rest of the evening relaxing in my new present. So romantic!

After night fell it was time for the big event! Our journey into full blown adulthood! Happy Birthday to Me and Jazz!

After I had changed I caught Jazz and pulled him in for a hug.
"Thank you so much for my present. It's awesome! This has been my best birthday ever."
"Aw, you are welcome. And thank you for my new bike! I can't wait to take it to work tomorrow!"

"Now, then, since it's late and we both have work tomorrow, I believe we have a little more celebrating to do...."

Just then the most god-awful sound came from the kitchen.
NO! The stupid dishwasher had broken, again!
"I swear, I just fixed this thing. Grrrrr...."
*sigh* I guess our celebrating would have to wait. I grabbed a mop, and started dreaming of the idea of Jazz and I looking into buying a newer, nicer home...after all, we weren't getting any younger!!

*buckey's notes*- Finally! Another chapter! Woot! I suppose from now on, due to such a busy life, a chapter finished is truly going to be something to celebrate. hehe. So, I used Juniper's free day to move Jazz in. I really believed with her being a hopeless romantic, and having Jazz's wishes in the house as a back up that surely between the two of them I could get them married, or with kids, or something! Apart, they were not wishing for anything close in that department. I've played pretty far ahead (you know, gotta make sure there's a next generation and all) and my plan worked, but BOY did they wait until the last minute. Of course, in the coming chapters, you'll see how that all plays out.
I've noticed there have been some new readers stop by in the past few weeks, just wanted to say Thanks for reading, and I'm glad your here!