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Nine Lives
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Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

May-9-2012 18:06

The office door slammed against the wall with a bang, and papers swirled restlessly across the desks of the darkened room. He looked up from his bottle of gin, bleary eyes just registering the figure outlined in the doorway. It was tall, and from the cast of the hips and tucked in-waist silhouetted in the black trench, it was a woman. She stood on black stilettos, and a black snood concealed her hair from view as surely as the netted veil did her face.

"Who is that?" he asked nervously, squinting his eyes. There was a pause, and then the figure moved forward, legs, hips rolling smoothly in an unmistakable way. He paled; rearing back in the chair so that it almost fell. He righted it with a clatter, fingers shaking.

"A ghost?" he breathed, suddenly terrified. Was the moonshine bad? Giving him the jake- was he hallucinating? The black ensemble of the woman suddenly seemed more foreboding than chic. "You...I thought you were dead!"

She moved forward, just inches away from him in the dim lamplight. Slowly, black satin-clad hands lifted up, grasped the edge of the veil, and pulled it back. Her glossy red lips shone in a vulpine smirk in the light.

"I never die. Nine lives, you know." Molly Maltese breathed in her sotto voice. "I've been to the end of the world, my dear, and I've brought back the case to end all cases for you."



Jun-11-2012 10:05

As Vulkie was slashed across the face by the knife that Riza had in her hands, she fell down on the floor. Molly immediately tackled Riza and held her down, while Vulkie felt her face. Blood was flowing out of the wound, and she quickly stood up and went to the bathroom, to get a bandage. Marc immediately rushed after her, to assist with the bleeding. Marc was a known medic in the First World War and he knew what he had to do to stop the bleeding.

After Marc patched Vulkie up, they sat down at the sitting room and had a small drink. "I... I can't believe what Riza was about to do..." Vulkie said. Marc stared in front of him. "I have a suspicion what's wrong with Riza, but I'm not too sure" Marc said. Vulkie stared at Marc. She knew better then to put the pressure on Marc. Marc was a tough cookie when it came to handling pressure, he could take a lot. But that would be ineffective if Vulkie tried to persuade him into telling what was possibly wrong with Riza. Suddenly, Molly walked into the room, while holding Riza at her hand.

"Listen to me, guys.. We have a few problems, and frankly, I don't know what to do next. The best thing we can do is stay here. Joseph and his friends probably will think we moved on towards another safehouse, but that's where they'll be wrong. We just need to be careful about our actions. No one will leave our sight from now on without telling us where they're going. And if you don't like that, there's the door. " Molly said, pointing towards the front door. The silence followed by it verified that the detectives weren't giving up, no matter what happened. "For now, I suggest we take some sleep. The next days will be intense and there might be a chance we can't get any more sleep then now. Vulkie, can you keep watch?" Molly asked Vulkie. Vulkie simply nodded, and she stayed in her chair, while the rest went upstairs to get some sleep..


Jun-11-2012 10:06

***The next day, two days left before the meeting***

Vulkie slowly woke up by the ray of sunlight that got out of the curtains and the chirping of birds. "Damn... I fell asleep" Vulkie thought, not knowing what had happened during the night. Riza was the first to enter the room, seating herself across Vulkie, on the couch, with her face buried in her hands.

"I... I don't know where to begin.." Riza began, but Vulkie shushed her and seated next to her. "I can't know what's going on with you, that's something you yourself are responsible for. But we need to stay focused Riza.. We promised Molly that we would help her get that jewel back and take care of Jack, we can't let her down!" Vulkie said, encouraging Riza. She looked with teared eyes at Vulkie and touched the bandage that covered her wound. "I'm so sorry.."Riza said. "Don't worry" Vulkie said, "I always wanted a scar. It makes me look a bit tougher.." she added to it. "It does make you look tougher. You've been through so much, more than a normal person can handle.."Riza said. Vulkie was about to reply, but Molly entered the room and eyed towards Riza, who immediately jumped up and went to the kitchen.

"What's wrong with Riza, Molly. I know you know more. Why are you refusing to tell me?" Vulkie asked. Molly replied bluntly, by saying: "It's Riza's own problem. She took me into confidence, I'm not going to break it. But when the time comes, she'll reveal her "big secret" " Molly said, and with that, she walked into the kitchen..

M. Lacrimosa
M. Lacrimosa
Sleuth About Town

Jun-12-2012 18:39

MONDAY NIGHT: 11:00 p.m.

Marc found the building Joseph Zeo lived in. The hard part about leaving was waiting until everyone was asleep before he could leave. He had to walk at night. Taking the car would cause way too much noise and they would suspect something. But at the moment. No one knew Marc's secret.

He looked at the registry. Marc was surprised to find that Zeo registered with his real name. Room 4. His rattlesnake skin cowboy boots echoed off the floor and walls with each step that he made. Zeo's door was down the hall. About 40 feet from the stairs. He pulled his gun and walked to the door. No need to knock. If Zeo was home he was going to be woken up in the middle of the night. Marc kicked in the door.

WHAM! The door flew in and banged on the wall. The whole apartment was dark but the smell of dirty clothes filled Marc's nostrils and he winced at the smell.

"Zeo? Wake up!" Marc yelled. No answer. Marc turned on a light. The room was filthy. Dirty clothes littered the living room and hallway. The kitchen was full of dirty dishes and plates that were only half empty. A couple of particular plates still had food that had become home to a large group of maggots that would soon become flies.

Dust was caked on the counters and walls. The carpet had stains and walls seemed to have paint chipping off. Marc had never seen Zeo's living conditions go down hill like this. The hall way was dark and Marc found his bedroom. He opened the door and turned on a light. "Zeo?" Marc said aloud. The room was worse than Marc thought. A mattress was on the floor, surrounded by more clothes. The window had a blanket for a curtain and the room had a distinct smell.

It was nearly 1:00 a.m. Zeo would be home anytime. Marc shut off the lights and found a seat in the living room in a recliner. He lit his cigar and waited.

M. Lacrimosa
M. Lacrimosa
Sleuth About Town

Jun-12-2012 18:54

When Zeo walked in, he instantly turned on the light. Zeo jumped when he saw Marc. "Sit down, Zeo," Marc said flatly.

"You got a lot of nerve, showing up here, Marc."

"Shut it!" Marc yelled. He stood up. "You and I need to talk."

Marc grabbed Zeo and threw him down into a chair, then slammed the door shut. The door was broken so he grabbed a kitchen chair and wedged it in the door knob locking it.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" Marc yelled. Zeo stared back at Marc in silence. The light was on but Zeo's pupils never retracted like most other people's do. Instead his were still dilated. A sign that Zeo was high.

"Marc," Zeo slurred, "Stay out of this. You dont' need to be involved in something like this."

"Stay out? Was that what that bullet was meant for? For me to stay out of this by blowing my head off? Zeo do you even realize who you are doing business with? Jack Billings won't hesitate two seconds to blow your brains out when he's done using you!"

Zeo stared off in space, mumbling to himself. He reached into his pocket and pulled out his newest buy of drugs.

"I don't think so," Marc said. He reached for the bag but Zeo retracted his arm. "Dont' make me do this the hardway," Marc said.

Zeo hit him hard in the jaw and Marc stumbled. Recovering quickly Marc tackled him and punched him back in the face. He stood up and grabbed Zeo slamming him into a chair then tapped him with tied his hands together with nylon.

He flushed Zeo's stash down the toilet, including some more he found hidden in the dresser and cabinet.

M. Lacrimosa
M. Lacrimosa
Sleuth About Town

Jun-12-2012 19:13


Marc splashed cold water on Zeo's face waking him up. He was finally sobering up. For now. Zeo was tied to the chair.

"Marc? What are you-? Why am I tied to this chair?"

"I'm going to cut your hands free, and when I do, you will not move. We're going to have a chat, you and I."

When Zeo's hands were free, he reached into his pockets, frantically searching for something.

"It's gone." Marc said. "I flushed it all last night. You're going to get off of that stuff. Opium kills you more than bullets."

That was the worst thing you could do to someone who was addicted. Cut them off, cold turkey.

"Smoke?" Marc asked holding out a cigar. Zeo greatly accepted it and Marc lit it for him.

"I need that stuff," Zeo said.

"No you don't. You just think you do."

"Jack. He-"

"I dont' care about Jack! Marc shouted. "I just want to know why you're working with that piece of crap! What happened to you, Zeo? You used to work for the FBI! Now look at you. You're down in the dirt. Addicted to opium and other garbage! Who's side are you really on?"

"I'm on my own side," Zeo snapped.

"Oh really? So were you planning to kill me and Vulkie the other day? Then what? Kill Billings? You're so high right now you couldn't even pull the trigger!"

Zeo looked down. He knew Marc was angry with him. "What are you doing with him!? Molly and Riza were nearly killed!"

"I have a meeting with Molly tonight. You can come to."

"You're not going anywhere tonight. You're not going anywhere until you're sober. And I'm going to make sure of that."

Zeo stood up but Marc grabbed him and slammed him down again. He tied Zeo's hands behind the chair again with the nylon. He sat down and turned on the radio. Through out the day, Marc watched as Zeo's body went through the first set of withdrawals from not having drugs. Marc held the trash can under Zeo's mouth when he vomited. The day passed and soon it was dark. Then it was late. The meeting time passed by.

M. Lacrimosa
M. Lacrimosa
Sleuth About Town

Jun-12-2012 19:25


Marc cleaned himself up in Zeo's bathroom while the man was still sleeping tied to the chair. The previous night had been rough for Joseph but he pulled through. He would still go through withdrawals but not as bad.

Zeo slept soundlessly still tied to the chair. Marc walked back in, stepping over the dirty clothes.

"Wake up!" Marc yelled throwing water on Zeo's face again. "Zeo, I'm doing this for your own good." He untied Zeo's hands.

"Go clean your self up in the shower, and get dressed."

"Where are we going?"

"No where. I'm tired of that smell coming off of you."

Twenty minutes later, Zeo came out of his room. He looked a lot better than he did the last two nights. He sat back down again.

"Zeo you really got to figure something out. Riza can't handle that kind of stress from one of her friends shooting at her."

"What's wrong with Riza?"

"She's pregnant," Marc said. Zeo stared back at Marc and the two men made eye contact.

Marc walked over to the old phone and dialed a number.


"I'm fine. Listen, get Riza out of that house. Down town there is a rundown bar ran by a big loud Scottish guy. Get a room there. I'll be there later tonight. That safe house isn't safe anymore. Jack knows we're there and I got a feeling he's sending people out that way." Marc said.

Joseph was listening but couldn't here what Molly was saying.

Marc hung up. He turned to Zeo. "C'mon," Marc said, grabbing him by his collar and standing him up. "Let's go for a ride."

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Jun-12-2012 21:01

*Early Wednesday Morning*

Marc was in the bathroom when Zeo woke from his soundless sleep. He felt much better than he had for months, but his mind was still flooded with the lure of Opium and Cannibis. The previous two nights felt like an eternity, but it was also a blur. His mind was so scrambled that he couldn't explain to Marc about the deal happening this very day at 4pm. If Molly was to retrieve her jewel back, she must act quickly. Posing as the Musuem curator could be out of the question now, but he wasn't sure. Women often surprise Zeo, and Molly was cream de la cream in that area. She might still be able to pull it off.

Zeo was to meet Billings in a few hours, and at this point he was still keen on following through with the end of his deal. Cutting off for two night was nothing compared to months of addiction. When Marc returned from the bathroom, Zeo pretended to be asleep. He was 'reawaken' with cold water splashed onto his face. Marc let Zeo go to the bathroom to clean himself up. Excellent.

With the bath water running, Zeo took a small stash of Opium from behind the water closet which he had hidden beforehand. He thought about climbing out the window to escape, but knew better that Marc could chase him down easily in Zeo's present physical condition. He would have to find other ways to slip from Marc's grasp.

Sobered up, with the stash carefully hidden in his trouser pocket, Zeo returned to the living room. He then realized for the first time how dilapidated he had allowed his flat to deteriate into.

Zeo sat down again, then Marc told Zeo about Riza's pregnancy.

The two men locked eyes. Zeo could tell that from his actions and stare that Marc did not know who the father was, but Zeo knew better. The night before Zeo board the ship to London in search of Anais and Josee's whereabouts, he was depressed, as usual, and was drinking heavily at the bar. Then Riza came along...

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Jun-12-2012 21:29

It was not merely impulse or the alcohol, although both served as catalysts to make it happen. Zeo genuinely cared for Riza, just that his mind for preoccupied with others.

Zeo sat stone still, making sense of the whole new situation. Marc was on the phone with Molly but that was a mere distraction at the moment. Zeo knew he couldn't go back to his former lifestyle of the past months. While he was wasting his life away, another one was brewing in someone he did care about.

Suddenly Marc grab Zeo by the collar, held him up and told him they were going for a ride. "Just give me a second." Zeo replied. Marc gave Zeo a suspicious look. "Trust me, I'm not doing anything stupid." Marc let go of Zeo and he headed into the bathroom.

Zeo took the stash hidden in his pocket and flushed it down the toilet. He frowned, as if part of his soul was flushed away as well, but that was one connection Zeo knew he must sever now.

Marc and Zeo left the flat in his car. He had a sole new mission: to protect Riza and her unborn child. Zeo missed the opportunity to watch Josee grow up. He was not to make the same mistake again.

M. Lacrimosa
M. Lacrimosa
Sleuth About Town

Jun-13-2012 07:25

Hey guys, on my last post, where it says, "It was nearly 1:00 a.m" that should be 12:00 a.m. no 1

Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

Jun-13-2012 16:20

Molly was beside herself.

She paced the floor angrily, darting to pick up the phone when Marc called, giving her instructions to leave the safe house. Hurriedly she threw her things together and instructed Vulkie and Riza to do the same, tapping one heel impatiently on the floorboards. She was furious. Marc had somehow absconded with Zeo and she had missed her meeting. This was all well and good, but now she had no information for the artifact transfer at the museum that was supposed to happen.

When the women were ready, she piled them into the car and drove downtown to find the bar and negotiate rooms for the detectives. Waiting for the keys, she checked her watch and sighed. Marc was supposed to be bringing Zeo shortly, and hopefully he could provide as much information as possible so she could have a prayer of pulling off this transfer.

"Come on guys, where are you?" she muttered, checking her watch again.

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