Reformed burglars never rest
Sleuth About Town
"Brr... I'm cold."
Those were the first words that came out of Elizabeth March's mouth as she entered the hall of the well located house in London. Luckily, the place was warm and cozy.
Empty, too. She wondered were all the servants were.
Well, they'd show up, eventually. She could bet they were in the kitchen, talking and playing cards. She didn't mind. They deserved their rest and some fun.
With that in mind, she moved to the living room, dragged a chair near the fireplace and sat there, just staring at the roaring fire.
Much was in her mind. Her past life as a burglar still haunted her. All the wrong things she had done still lived in her nightmares. The woman let out a tired sigh. All that was in the past now.
She had a new life. An agency. Friends. A new name.
Yes. A new life.
It could be a better one, if she didn't have to carefully hide her past from everyone. She had to mind every word that came out of her mind. Every letter she received. Every phone call...
She sighed and got up, reluctantly.
"Miss Elizabeth March?"
"Yes. Who's there?"
"Just a friend who wants you to know that dreams may shatter like glass..."
"What, what do you..."
He had hung up, and so did she.
She was still standing by the phone, trembling, when she heard the footsteps. She didn't turn around. It was probably just one of the servants. Yes, it was Gerald, her butler.
He had asked something whose meaning she couldn't reach. Maybe how she was.
"Sorry, Gerald. I'm fine. I was talking on the phone, and felt slightly light-headed."
She forced a smile to the man. He smiled back.
"Maybe you should take a bath and rest, ma'am.", the man suggested, carefully.
"Not now. I've got a phone call to make. After that, I'll do what you say."
She watched as the man left the room and picked the phone back up. She dialed a number, hoping the person on the other side was home. (...)
"She recieved a phone call last night with a threatening message. Your name happend to be one that would want to do harm. So I'm going to ask you for an alibi." Marc said.
"You want an alibi? Why? Do YOU think I called her?" Mike said laughing.
Pierce stepped up and finally spoke, "I'd advise you to answer that question. Otherwise, not only will you not like him, but you wont' like me either."
"Fine," Mike said, "I was at the podiatrist. I sprained my ankle last week," He said lifting his pant leg to show us the splint on his foot."
It wasn't much to vouch for a valid alibi. Anyone can put a splint on their foot. Marc thanked him and they left. At a the nearest gas station, Marc used the pay phone. He had the phone operator connect him to the podiatrist's office who then verified Mike McDaniel's alibi. There it was. Marc had nothing.
Without a word, Marc drove back to the hotel. He asked what room number Elizabeth was in and he was given the number. Marc, Molly, andPierce walked up the stairs to Elizabeth's room. Marc knocked on the door.
The door slowly opend only revealing an eye. It was Charlie who let us in and quickly shut the door, locking it.
"Elizabeth, both of the names you have given me have valid alibis at the time you recieved that phone call. I need you to think of some more names. You have too. I can't do this without any names." Marc said.
Elizabeth looked up from the novel she was reading and opened her mouth to speak.
While everyone crowded into the room, including Pierce, Molly hung back. After a moment of brief deliberation, she silently slid out the door and hurried down the hallway, praying no one noticed her absence before she could get away.
Her plan worked, and she hailed a cab out front, to take her to a rather odd place. She bid it to stop in front of a tall, stone building and got out, pulling her coat close around her as it pulled away. She was quite familiar with this place; she visited it every time she was in the city which was as often as possible.
Humming a little lullaby, she passed the front of the building, which read ORPHANAGE OF ST. IGNATIUS, and moved to where a a fence surrounded a small but well-kept playground where several children played with a ball. She rested on the fence and sought out one girl in the group, one with a green silk bow in her fire-colored red hair. She laughed freely and led the boys in chasing the ball, a petite blur as she shouted joyfully. A nun looked on, smiling in amusement at the children's play.
Molly rested an elbow on the fence and smiled at the antics of the fireheaded girl. She knew her quite well, although the child didn't know her. She was Annabelle Christie Billings, Molly's best kept secret.
The nun had seen her looking on, and gave a small nod of recognition before training her eyes impassively on the children again. The nuns of the orphanage were well apprised of the situation with Jack Billings, and they guaranteed Annabelle's safety where Molly could not.
"Eight years now..." Molly marveled, and then reluctantly turned away. She wouldn't dare reclaim her daughter until Billings was dead or in jail. She didn't breathe a word of her existence to anyone, and even used a fake name with the nuns.
"One day, I will kill you, Jack." she breathed, and then humming a jaunty little tune, sauntered down the sidewalk.
Sleuth About Town
Elizabeth smiled at Molly, though she was still worried. Molly seemed like a really nice girl, someone she would have loved to know in a better moment. Well, c'est la vie, she thought to herself.
As Charlie invited her to go upstairs, she nodded and excused herself, leading the man up to her room. She hated the idea of needing protection, but she'd have to trust Marc on this one. After all, he was the one taking care of her business, and very likely risking his life in the process.
It was a nearly silent wait as she tried to read a novel, looking at Charlie at the end of each page, as if she wanted to make sure he wasn't going anywhere. She had to recognize she was scared.
Dealing with an upfront threat is easy. You can scream, run, shoot, kick, scratch, whatever. But this hidden enemy was getting on her nerve. The problem wasn't knowing who could be her enemy. The problem was to figure out which one.
The young woman jumped on her feet as she heard knocks on the door. Her eyes looked wider as she stared at Marc.
Relaxing a little, she heard what he had to say, then pressed the sides of her head with the tips of her fingers, letting out a moan. She could easily predict a violent migraine.
"More names, more names... All right."
She let out a sigh.
"I tried to keep my personal life away from this mess, but I don't think that's possible. Look for Matteo Orsini. We were... romantically involved, not too long ago."
She sat back on the bed.
"I'll try and think of other names, as you talk to Signor Orsini. Okay?"
As she saw the man prepare to leave, she showed a faint smile.
"You know, whatever price you ask me for this, I'll be happy to pay."
"Elizabeth..." Marc replied, "I've already told you, I'm not worried about a price. We'll negotiate it when I'm finished." He didn't snap at her when he said that. Or atleast he wasn't trying to sound hateful. He wanted to ensure this woman got the protection she needed. Even if it was only black mail, who's to say that someone didn't want to physically do her harm?
Marc didn't want Elizabeth to give out her personal life information. Atleast not all of it. Of course something happened in the past and that was for her only to know. Marc knew however, that he would find out whether he liked it or not. He only knew that he'd find out because of the interrogation that he would have to do to get people to talk as to why they were doing something like this. But everything he would come to find out would be kept confidential.
"Charlie?" Marc said after a slight pause after getting lost in his thoughts, "I can't tell you how much I appreciate you helping like this. I assure you all, when this case is finished, drinks are on me."
"No problem, Marc. I'll do anything I can to help." Charlie replied.
"I don't know you, but I'll help with what I can too." Pierce said after a moment.
But something wasn't right with the room. Someone was missing. But who? Marc looked around the room, and did a double take before he realized that Molly was gone. Just as it hit Marc that Molly was gone, Pierce spoke up and said, "Where is Molly?"
"I dont' know, Pierce," Marc said, "But let's go find her. Charlie, stay here and watch over Elizabeth. Three knocks will tell you it's us. Let no one in if they do not knock three times."
"Will do." Charlie replied.
And with that, Marc and Pierce left go find Molly. Then to go visit Matteo Orsini.
Waggling down the street,Vulkie was leaving for about 10 metres from the Owl and Walnut when she fell down.
"Why.. Why is the world so cruel against me.." Vulkie shouted and people looked around. Nobody helped her. Until that one lady walked across. "Vulkie,what are you doing here?" Violet Parr asked.
"Hiya Vi. Well,drinking away my sorrows. And nobody is helping me..." Vulkie said and tears began to well up in her eyes.
"Let me help you and take care of you.." Violet said and she guided Vulkie to her apartment. To Violet's astonishment,Leopold was sleeping on the couch.
"That's my brother Leopold. Don't mind him" Violet said and she guided Vulkie to a bed. "I'll make sure you get some "proper" food and drinks when you're awake." Violet said and closed the door,while Vulkie slept.
****6 hours later****
Vulkie slowly waked up with a terrible headache. "Gah,where am I?" Vulkie said,while she looked around. "Am I at Violet's place?" Vulkie wondered and went out of the room. Leopold was sleeping on the couch.
"Hiya Leopold" Vulkie said with a yawn after that,but Leopold "ignored" Vulkie. Vulkie went to the kitchen and saw a note from Violet. "Enjoy your food!" the note said and a platter with some food was next to the note.
Vulkie "quietly" ate her food,left some money and went back on the streets again,searching for Marc,Charlie and Molly...
Pierce Evans Malone
Pierce's heart raced as he threw open the door and galloped down the hall.
"That woman!" he cursed angrily as he took the stairs two at a time, the others in close pursuit. "She hires me to protect her and then sneaks away at every opportunity!"
Marc was right behind him. "Perhaps she had a good reason."
Pierce shot an evil eye over his shoulder. "Do I suddenly seem like an unreasonable man?"
He was spared any further words at the sight of Molly climbing out of a cab, a tiny photograph held loosely in her fingers. Abruptly enraged, he marched over to her, and as she saw him she moved to put it in her pocket. he was quicker, and grabbed it out of her fingertips.
"Go off to see some sweetheart then, Molly?" he barked, and then his expression changed to one of utter shock as he looked down at the picture. He opened his mouth to ask a question, but Molly, in a very unfeminine manner, drew back her fist and punched him square in the face. She caught the picture neatly as it fluttered into the air and shoved it into her pocket.
"Is your impression of Napoleon quite over, Pierce?" she demanded as he blinked and rubbed his jaw. "Now do we have a suspect to interrogate or not?"
"We do have someone to interrogate. His name is Matteo Orsini. He lives on this side of town out about six blocks from the hotel. As far as I know, no one knows that Elizabeth is staying at this hotel under protective custody," Marc replied to Molly's question.
They made their way to the small appartment in the city and Marc knocked on the door.
No one answered and Marc knocked again two more times. Nothing. This time he beat on the door even harder.
Finally, the door opened revealing a heavily built, muscular male with a clean cut hair style that he slicked back.
"Mr. Orsini?" Marc asked.
"That's me," he said slowly.
"I'm detective Lacrimosa, this here is detective Malone, and detective Maltese. We would like to ask you a few questions about someone named Elizabeth March." Marc said.
He invited them in, and the interrogation began.
At a silent cue from Marc, Molly smoothed her red hair back into her tasteful hairstyle and purposefully sauntered forward as everyone took a seat. She sat directly across from Orsini, crossing her ankles slowly and lighting her cigarette with a wink. She was practically laying on the charm with a butter knife.
"Now, Signor Orsini," Molly began, easily pushing her voice into a husky alto. "As much as I simply HATE to talk about other women with such attractive men,, I'm afraid in this case its rather necessary."
She gave another sigh and inhaled from her cigarette.
"You...know...Miss Elizabeth March, don't you?" Molly asked pertly. "You couldn't possibly tell us about your relationship with her, could you?"
Signor Orsini smiled easily at Molly, but he still said, "As charming as you are, my lovely, I'm afraid such delicate details aren't appropriate in your company."
The steely tone behind his words told her he saw through her charm and refused to give her the details. Still smiling, she reached over as if to caress his face, and then grabbed his ear and twisted. Simultaneously she retrieved her pistol and sliding into his lap, she held it to the other side of his head and cooed,"I suggest you don't play coy with me, darling."
Orsini looked over at Marc and Pierce to see if they would possibly control this hellion...
Marc and Pierce let Molly do her interrogation technique. They knew that she wouldn't kill him. She couldn't. This man was too important to kill.
"I suggest you don't play coy with me, darling." Molly said holding her gun to his head. Yes it was a risky move but it had to be done. We could not afford to not get any leads in this case.
Cold sweat poured down his face and he looked around at Marc and Pierce who stood there watching with no expressions on their faces.
"We....we...were involved with each other.....romantically.." he said with a stutter.
Marc stepped forward. "What happend?"
"That's a little personal don't you think?" He spat at Marc.
And with that, Marc grabbed him and threw him agains the wall pinning him against the surface and yelled in his face, "SOMEONE IS BLACK MAILING HER! I however, think it is you. You see, she called me the other day asking for help because someone called her house and said, and I quote 'I'm just a friend who wants you to know that dreams shatter like glass.' What do you say about that?" Marc spat in his face.
Orsini laughed. "I think you're crazy."
"Orsini," Pierce spoke up. "I think it's best you have a valid alibi. Otherwise we're pinning this whole thing on you."
"Oh yeah, that's real smart Tiny, pin the whole thing on an innocent man. It shows what kind of detective you are!" Orsini snapped.
"SHUT UP!" Marc said and threw Orsini accross the room. He stepped over him and punched him in the face.
"You had better start talking!" Marc screamed in his face
"Fine, I'll talk." Orsinis said wiping blood from his lip.
"Elizabeth and I were romantically involved with each other. We met when we were thugs of the streets." Orsini said.
"What happened between you two?" Marc asked.
"Elizabeth..she..broke my heart-"
"That's a little personal don' t you think?"
"Orsini" Molly said, "Do you want off the list of possible suspects?"
Orsini rolled his eyes. "Anway, she broke my heart. She had been working with some mafia group and used me to get some information. I myself, was in love with her and couldn't believe it."
"Elizabeth is a reformed burgalur and a new person. She's been that way for quite some time," Marc said, "lately she's been recieving phone calls about dreams shattering like glass. Do you know what that means?"
"No but I do know a name of interest that would have motive to kill her if he saw her."
"Who is it?"
"His name is Tim O'Leary. A former Green Hand Mafia Boss. I know that he and Elizabeth had some kind of connection." Orsini said.
"Where can we find O'Leary?" Pierce asked.
"He lives out by the library on the north west side of town."
Marc turned around and made for the door with Molly and Pierce right behind him. They left Orsini on the floor to pick himself up and they made for O'Leary's place.
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