chapter1

Sabriel Kaplan walked quietly down the over-crowded street. She hugged her coat to her to protect her body from the chilling air. She moved her briefcase from one to the other and used her now free hand to push open the door to a coffee house. A small bell above the door rang as the smell of cappuccino attacked her senses. She closed the door quickly to keep the winter air out and the inhabitants of the room warm. The man behind the counter looked up from whatever he was brewing and smiled kindly at her. She looked around the room, taking in her surroundings, especially the people in the room; Mr. Brown and his wife, the clerk, Professor Small, Detective Turner. She smiled at the police officer and he stared at her, nodding his head as a salutation.

"So, what'll it be?" Sabriel walked towards the counter and looked at the menu over the employee's shoulder.

"Umm...... Let's see," she said as she viewed the prices, knowing how much money she had to spend. "How about...... a de-caf with whipped cream.......aaaaannnd .... How 'bout a donut." Sabriel read the man's name tag as he worked the cash register. 'Matt, huh? How original,' she thought as she rolled her minds eye.

"That's $10.75." He held out his hand for her money as she dug in her briefcase for her wallet.

"Ahh! There you are," she said to it as she pulled it out. She handed him eleven dollars and her gave her her change. She took a seat in the far corner of the room. She took out a piece of paper and started writing who-knows-what. She glanced up at the detective in the corner across from her. She sighed quietly as she stared.

He had short, unruly black hair and looked about in his early twenties. His dark blue/grey/green eyes scanned the room every few seconds, he seemed uptight and on his guard. Every time the door opened his eyes sprang to scrutinize the offender of his quiet. He became the head detective of the police department about two years ago and the crime level had gone down drastically. He was brutal when it came to getting the information he wanted, so brutal the people called him 'Lord Elric', as if he were the ruler of the city. Sabriel watched as he adjusted his reading glasses to read the paper in front of him.

Seeing him look at his paper reminded her of the one in front of her and she bent her head down to look at it. It read:

5/3/05

Brown and wife-- muffin, de-caf-- muffin, hot chocolate

Dr. Small -- dark coffee, bagel

Employee -Matt-

Elric Turner-- dark coffee two sugars glazed donut

She glanced at what she had for the detective and laughed. It wasn't just in the movies, all policemen loved donuts. She received the information she needed and she was finished eating, so she stuffed the paper into her briefcase and stood, throwing her trash away as she walked out the door. She hugged herself again, the windy winter day getting to her. She walked quickly, wanting to get to class early, when someone grabbed her shoulder. She jumped a bit and turned quickly around. She stared up at her favorite sea-colored eyes. Elric looked down at her (he's about a half-foot taller than her) with an expressionless gaze. Sabriel could feel her face warm up as she stared at him.

"Y-y-yesss? C-Can I help you?" Elric held out a mechanical pencil.

"You left this at your table in the coffee shop. Did you mean to?" She gratefully took the pencil and put it in her briefcase.

"No, I didn't. Thank you very much," she said, "This is my school pencil, I don't know what I'd do without it. Thank you." He raised an eyebrow, questioning her.

"School?"

"Yeah, IUPUI. I'm studying to be a paramedic." He nodded his head in understanding.

"Are you walking there?"

"Yes, my brother is an environmentalist so he won't let me get a car."

"Campus is a quite a few blocks down, would you like a ride?" Sabriel stood dumbfounded. She slowly nodded her head and followed him to his car. He took his keys out and pushed a button on his remote/keychain thing. The lights of a black Corvette blinked, signaling that the vehicle had just been unlocked. He opened the passenger side door and waited for her to step inside. She hesitated for a moment; did he really want to give her a ride? It was almost too good to be true. She climbed in and he shut the door, walking over to the driver's side of the car. He got in as well and started the car. He sat for a second and looked suspiciously at her, but his face relaxed ever so slightly.

"I just realized that we don't know each other. I'm--"

"Detective Elric Turner. Everybody knows who you are. My name is Sabriel Kaplan. It's nice to meet you." He nodded and placed his hands back on the wheel. He drove off, staying under the speed limit. Sabriel hugged her briefcase to her chest and stared straight ahead, not trusting herself to look over at him, or speak.

(rewind a bit)

Elric sat in his usual seat in the coffee shop that he had breakfast in every morning; the owner was a friend of his. He quietly looked over his present case with interest as he slowly took a bite out of his donut. The bell above the door rang loudly and, out of habit, his eyes shot up. There she was. He didn't know her name; he didn't know anything about her, actually. All he knew was that she came in here every day, got a coffee and something to eat and sat in the same seat every time. And everyday she would get out a piece of paper and write something down, without looking at the paper. He stared at his paper, watching her out of the corner of his eye, he smiled. 'Like clock work,' he thought as she sat at the corner table. He concentrated on his file when he saw her look over at him. After a moment he side glanced to the left and saw that she was staring at the wall to his right. She was writing as she stared. He looked back down and took a sip of his steaming coffee. He heard her lightly giggling and looked over at her. She had a smile on her face as she stuffed the paper into her black briefcase. She picked that and her trash up. The trashcan was right next to the door so she threw the stuff away then spun and opened the door with her back.

Elric looked back at her deserted table. Her pencil was laying on it. He quickly gathered his things and walked across the room to inspect the writing utensil. He placed it in a pocket inside his suit jacket and walked out of the coffee shop. He stood right in front of the closed door, out in the cold October morning air. He looked left and right then saw her huddled form walking against the wind. He walked calmly up behind her. He thought for a second how she would react, most people were afraid of him. I mean, come on, news traveled unreasonably quick in this town and rumor had it, he wasn't exactly the nicest person. He placed his hand on her shoulder and she jumped, turning as she did so. She just stared at him. Though, Elric couldn't sense any fear from her, which was odd. Then, she started to blush, which confused him even more, though he didn't let it show.

"Y-y-yess? C-Can I help you?" she stuttered. 'She must be cold, that's a pretty thin jacket,' he thought as he pulled the pencil from his pocket and held it out to her.

"You left this at your table in the coffee shop. Did you mean to?" She took the pencil and put it in her briefcase. Then she explained that she needed it for school. 'School? She seems a little old,' Elric thought, though all he said was,

"School?"

"Yeah, IUPUI. I'm studying to be a paramedic." He nodded. 'Was she walking to her car? Or to the campus? That's quite a ways off.'

"Are you walking there?"

"Yes, my brother is an environmentalist so he won't let me get a car." He thought for a moment.

"Campus is quite a few blocks down, would you like a ride?" The girl just stared wide-eyed at him again, like she couldn't believe what she was hearing, in a good way. She nodded her head slowly and Elric walked away, leaving her to follow if she wished, though he hoped she did. He reached into his pants pocket and pulled out his keys. He pushed the button with the unlocked padlock and the lights to his car blinked. He opened her door and held it open as she slowly climbed in, deep in thought. He closed the door once she was all the way in and went to the other side of the car. Once he was in the driver's seat he started the car and started wondering. 'How is it that I know just about anyone in this town, especially those I see everyday, and yet know absolutely nothing about her? I'll just have to figure out her name and look up her file once I get to the office.' He dropped his hands to his lap and looked over at his infatuation.

"I just realized that we don't know each other. I'm--"

"Detective Elric Turner." 'okaaaayyy, that's a little creepy,' he thought as she spoke. "Everybody knows who you are. My name is Sabriel Kaplan. It's nice to meet you." 'That explains the knowing my name thing. Sabriel... Kaplan.... why does that not sound familiar.' He nodded his head and started driving.

Elric side glanced and saw that Sabriel was hugging her briefcase protectively. He chuckled to himself and looked back at the road. "Stop here," she demanded quietly. He jumped slightly because it'd been a few minutes since she'd talked. He pulled the black car over to the sidewalk and she got out. Before she closed the door she bent down to look at him. "Thank you very much for the ride, Detective. I was hoping to get here early, and now I am!" she said with a smile. Elric nodded at her and she closed the door, walking off. Elric drove off; turning towards the police station.

Sabriel walked up the stairs of the building that contained her first class of the day. She would've taken the elevator but it just left and it would be awhile before it came back down to the ground floor. She wanted to talk to Stephanie about this morning. She walked quickly down the large hallway and entered the room at the end. The only people in the room were a few people who were still asleep from staying up all night to study and Stephanie who sat in the far corner reading a book. Sabriel groaned at having to walk all the way up to her. Stephanie somehow heard her from across the huge room and ran down the rows of seats to her friend. Sabriel stared at her friend, jealous. The girl was a sophomore in college, Sabriel- a senior. Stephanie had soft, kinky-curly, blonde hair that swayed gently with even the slightest wind. Sabriel had needle-straight, brown hair with the most horrible split ends. Stephanie had caring, big blue eyes. Sabriel's were brown. Sabriel was just plain.... well, plain. Stephanie on the other hand was the picture of outer perfection.

"Hey there Sabe! What's up?" Sabriel smiled at her friend but groaned on the inside, 'Let's not forget that soft, beautiful voice. Jeez, you'd think she'd get a boyfriend by now. She's hasn't been on very many dates lately.'

"Not much Steph, how 'bout you?" Stephanie laughed at her friend.

"I know that look! Who caught your eye this time?" Sabriel blushed ever-so-slightly.

"Who always catches it?" Stephanie laughed and led her friend to a seat near the back.

"What happened this time? Give me all the juicy details!" Sabriel laughed.

"I saw at the coffee shop, I left my pencil at my table when I left and he retrieved it for me. Then he gave me a ride to campus," she said, summing what just happened. Stephanie stared at her.

"Okay, first off; I said ALL the details, not a summing up. Second; HE GAVE YOU A RIDE!!!!????" Sabriel chuckled at her friends' reaction and nodded.

"Professor Small will be here soon, he was almost done with his drink when I left," she said as she pulled out some paper and her pencil. She stared dreamily at it and sighed. She heard Stephanie laugh at her and glared at her defensively. "What?! It was in his jacket. Mmm, I can still smell his car," she said, she turned to her best friend with a serious face, "It was the new car smell, and it was wonderful." The two stared at each other then laughed loudly. They made a joke out of the way the prissy girls in their classes overreacted to the "cute" guys talking to them, looking at them, etc. Though, they quickly straightened up when they heard the teacher begin the lecture.