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Archive for December, 2017

As I had promised when I posted the first chapter below on this blog, I’m adding the next one.  I’ve had a busy time traveling down Island, watching my grandsons play hockey and trying to get all my books published on Amazon, which I hope will happen in the new year.  So I’ve had less time on the computer, but I have managed to finish several chapters of this new novels.  So please enjoy this still unedited second chapter while I keep plugging along on the next few chapters.

Chapter 2: The Siblings

Claire, Brent and Tommy had stopped for a coffee, after they had overseen the murder victim taken way.  They had also instructed the officers Vanessa had called to continue the search for clues and dust for fingerprints of the areas they had designated.  At the coffee bar Brent and Claire had flirted throughout the hour while Tommy had tried to remind Brent, his partner, that they needed to get back to headquarters.  After he had finally convinced Brent to leave and go with him to their cruiser, Claire had waited until the two officers were out of sight.  Then she took out her cell phone and quickly sent a text message.

Forty minutes later Claire knocked three times and ran her fingernails once along the side of the backdoor of the small goldsmith shop across town in a plaza of twenty-four shops.  The door opened a couple inches.  “It’s okay. It’s me,” she said, and the door opened fully.  A stunningly beautiful, young woman stood before her.  By her dress, the makeup and grooming of her black hair it was obvious this woman knew how to impress.  “Morning sis,” Claire said just loud enough for the lady to hear her.  The door closed softly behind her.  “We need to talk.”

“Claire, the store opens in twenty minutes.  It’s almost eleven, and I want to display a couple more items.  You’ll have to hurry.”  The woman flipped a strand of her black hair behind her ear in which a gold earing with a small black diamond pearl rested.

“I’ll make it quick, Sophia, but you have to hear me out.  We need to get Isabella serious help. It’s getting hard to cover up for her.  She is on our escort and drug unit’s radar now.  I hope she’s not dealing any of that illegal junk.  But how is she making her money?  How can she afford to by a Cadillac SUV and the outfits she wears when she goes out?”  She surveyed Sophia for a moment and could see the stress in her face.  She looked at her more closely and asked. “Why are you wearing all that makeup today?  Have you been crying?

Claire touched her cheek and thought she could detect a read streak under the makeup.  “It’s Isabella.  She has me worried,” Sophia said.  “I’m sure she’s not dealing, but she works as an escort two or three times a month.  It must pay well.  I always take extreme care to try to keep her out of trouble and leave nothing undone to make sure she has no access to drugs, but it’s not easy.”  She sighed and continued speaking.  “You shouldn’t have to cover up much.  I’m on her case.  Don’t worry big sis.  But how are you doing?  You haven’t been around for a month or more.  How are you?”

Claire looked at her younger sister and her heart sank.  Would she be able to get through to her this time?  “There have been changes down in my division.  I no longer lead the unit.  We have a new officer lead the homicide unit, and from what I’ve gathered nothing gets by this detective who is now in charge.  She is bright, has a degree in law and has a handsome husband.  You need to see him and tell me to keep my distance, sis.  But, as always, you’re changing the subject.  We need to sent Isabella to a topnotch treatment facility, and you need to agree not to let her quit there until she can stay clean for good.  Please sis. Do it for me.  She listens to you.”

“She listens only when she wants something.  You don’t know how terribly she is addicted.  She also always seems to attract some guy who is willing to supply her with what she wants.  You don’t know what it’s like to have an identical twin, Claire.  She hates to go to these dry-out places, and I can feel everything she feels when she goes through withdrawals.  I miss her terribly when she is not close to me and worry about her constantly.”

“So, you’re doing it to make yourself feel better, and not to help Isabella.”  She pulled a business card advertising an escort service from her pocket and handed it to her sister.  “I found this in the grass lodged between a couple small, broken off branches under a tree where I looked for clues early this morning.  No doubt the wind blew it there.  We’re investigating another murder and I’ve been trying to deny knowing how it got there.” Clair said, “but we both have a pretty good idea, don’t we?”

Sophia cast her eyes to the floor.  When she looked up again, Claire could see tears in her eyes. “I’m sorry it troubled you, sis.  I guess a customer must have dropped it or thrown it away.”  She sighed and took the wet card from her.  “Isabella overdosed on Heroin again a couple days ago.  She had gone out with this guy.  She claimed to be in love with him.  I guess she got the stuff from him.  He must be a dealer.  I’ve got her upstairs.  Why don’t you go up and see her?  She’s had a rough one, but she should be okay by now.  She’ll be happy to see you.”

“Go and get ready for your day.  I’ll go see Isabella for a few moments and stop to see you before I leave.  I’m on duty and can’t stay long.”  She left Sophia standing and climbed the two flights of stairs hurriedly.  Her heart ached before she entered the room where she knew her younger sister, Sophia’s identical twin, would be.  When she opened the door and took a step inside, she had to let her eyes grow accustomed to the near darkness.  The curtains were pulled and only a small table lamp standing on one of the small side tables lit the room.  Isabella sat in the center of the chesterfield, her knees pulled under her chin.  She appeared to be in a trance staring at the lamp.  She looked ghastly white, frail and lost.  Tears welled up in Claire’s eyes.  Siting down beside her sister she took her hand and stroked her hair.  She had sometimes wished her hair was a soft and black as the twins.  Pulling her close she said, “What have you done to yourself again?  Don’t you realize you’re killing yourself with these drugs?”

Isabella looked at her as if trying to remember who she was.  She had no words.  Only a deep sigh escaped her.  Her hands shook, as if she had recently experienced withdrawal symptoms.  Her eyes suddenly lid up with recognition.  “Claire, its good to see you,” she said, and a sad smile formed on her lips.

“Oh Isabella, I’m so sorry,” Claire whimpered.  “Here, let me hold you.”  She pulled her sister into her arms and stroked her hair again softly.  “It looks like you had a hard time again.  Do you want to talk about it?”  For a half hour she embraced her sister and tried to reassure her that they would overcome her addiction together.  Then she slowly fed her sister the breakfast she found sitting under the lamp.  Isabella had not touched it.  “You have to eat, sis.  Promise me you’ll start eating better from now on.  Look at you.  You must have lost twenty pounds since the last time I saw you.”  Isabella only nodded.  Claire sobbed silently.

The image of Isabella’ condition haunted Claire all the way back to the station.  She tried to supress her tears thinking of all that had happened to her once happy family.  Her parents had lost their lives in an automobile accident when a thirty-nine-year-old hockey player high on drugs who had been cut by his team ran head on into their car at high speed.  A year later the baby of the family, Mason, had committed suicide while he was high on cocaine.  He had not been able to deal with their parents’ death, and shortly after the accident he had begun to use all kinds of drugs, anything he could get his hands on.  Abigale, the oldest of her siblings had started to abuse alcohol after that.  Her husband had managed to get her into a treatment facility that had helped keep her sober for fourteen months, but she had recently relapsed.  Now Claire felt it was only a matter of time until Isabella would be lost to them too.

“Sophia and I will have to get her into treatment again and make sure she stays until she can deal with life without the drugs,” she whispered pulling into the station’s parking lot.  She sobbed, “When will this end?”

Her thoughts turned to Sophia for a moment.  Sophia had worked as a nurse after she had completed her coursework back in their hometown.  She and her boyfriend had planned to marry a year after their parents’ accident.  The two had been high school sweethearts.  He had enrolled in the police academy and had worked for the local police force.  Four months before their wedding he was shot in the head in a drug bust.  He had passed away in Sophia’s arms the same night in the hospital where she worked.  She had not been able to go back to work as a nurse after this.  A few weeks later she had decided to use her hobby of jewelry making as a career.  She had briefly worked for a large jewelry company before she had opened a goldsmith shop back home. After they had moved here she had opened this one.  To Claire’s delight Sophia did very well in her business venture, but she had not moved from grieving for her parents, for Mason and for her boyfriend.  Her bitterness even had increased when Isabella had become addicted and had lost her job because of it.

Claire parked and tried to pull herself together not wanting anyone to see her this way.  She dreaded having to go and meet with Vanessa.  Taking the key from the ignition she looked in the rear-view mirror of her unmarked police car, reapplied mascara and sat back for a moment to gather her thoughts.  Before they had left their hometown, she had dated a soldier who served with a unit overseas. He had stepped on a mine while he was on patrol.  Since then she had turned down a score of men wanting to date her.  While she wished she had the twin’s great looks, others saw in her a beautiful woman.  She looked at her watch and sighted.  “It’s one fifty-four.  “I’m going to have to come up with a lie why I’m so late that can’t be checked out,” she said.  Leaving the car she slowly and walked to the station.

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