I was dreaming about living on my own private island--warm sea breezes, lying in a hammock beneath two palm trees, gorgeous half-naked waiters serving me fruity drinks--when the phone on my bedside table rang. I woke up with a start...there weren't any phones on the island! Coming to the realization that I was still stuck in New York City, where it was winter and my apartment was freezing, I picked up the phone.

"Hello?"

"Josephine? Is that you?" a familiar voice asked.

"Yeah Grandpop, it's me. What's up?" I asked, rubbing my eyes in disbelief as I looked at the clock: 3:45 AM.

"I've got a new mission for you, Josephine. It's urgent. I need you to get to my office within the next 45 minutes or so," Grandpop said.

"Is everything all right, Grandpop?" I asked. Even though it wasn't unusual for Grandpop to be awake all hours of the day and night, he sounded a little more worried than usual.

"Well, um, this new case is a little unusual. I'm just wondering whether giving it to you is a wise choice," he sighed. Just get down here as soon as you can. I'll send someone for you."

"Okay, Grandpop, I'll see you soon," I said, hanging up the phone.

My roommate, Elliott, stumbled into the room. Elliott's been my best friend ever since we met at NYU a few years ago. In our film appreciation class, Elliott and I shared the same passion for early Woody Allen movies, and the rest is history. He's fabulously gay, and I absolutely adore him and how he decorates our teeny apartment to make it look "urban chic" as he says.

"What was that all about? Do you have any idea what time it is, Jo?" Elliott grumbled, his eye mask resting on his forehead.

"Oh, sorry Elliott, that was my grandpa. He's giving me a new case," I replied, still puzzled by the phone call.

"Cripes. Does that man ever sleep?"

"Not sure. I don't think he really needs much sleep. Sorry for waking you up, Elliot. I better get moving...but I'll try to be quiet from now on," I said.

"Thanks Josie. And please be careful out there," Elliott said, closing the door and shuffling back into his room.

I washed my face and quickly dressed in a fitted t-shirt and jeans. I was looking for my shoes when I heard footsteps coming from our tiny living room/laundry room/library. I tiptoed down the hallway, discovering an attractive young guy with short blondish hair wearing a leather jacket and jeans. He was just standing there with his back to me, looking at some of the pictures on the coffee table. I was just going to sprint back down the hallway and into my room (where I would lock the door and call 911) when he turned around.

"Hey. You're Josephine, right?" he said, flashing a smile, while making his way toward me.

"Who the hell are you? ELLIOTT!!" I screamed, thinking that this guy must be some kind of serial rapist.

Elliot flung open his door and saw me and the strange guy in the living room. He screamed, then ran back into his room, re-emerging a second later with a baseball bat. Holding the bat above his head, Elliott swung his weapon at the stranger.

The guy moved slightly to his left, and Elliott fell flat on his face.

"Jeez! What the hell was that for?" the guy yelled, holding Elliott down on the floor with his foot. "Your grandpa sent me to get you! See, here's my ID!" he said, pulling out the card that my grandpa gives to all of his employees.

Relief washed over me. Oooooohhh. He wasn't a serial rapist after all.

"Oh. Sorry. So...you have a name?" I asked, trying to look innocent.

"Jason. Jason Wolfe. And I'll let your friend up if he promises not to try to murder me again," he said with a smirk.

"I promiff! Now lemme up!" Elliott yelled, his voice muffled by the kelly-green shag carpet, which he'd purchased from our favorite store, Pottery Barn.

Jason took his foot off of Elliott's back and helped him up.

"Thanks," Elliott grumbled as he stomped back into his room, clearly unhappy with both of us.

"So...are you ready to go?" Jason asked, his green eyes sparkling.

"Um, yeah. Just let me find my shoes..." I started.

"Here they are," Jason said, holding up my coveted Ugg boots.

"Thanks...um, where'd you find them?" I asked suspiciously.

"In your underwear drawer. You know, with all your lacy bras and panties," Jason said, a mischievous grin on his face.

"Very funny," I said, grabbing my boots from him and rolling my eyes.

As soon as I slid them on, I donned my coat and scarf and Jason said,

"Let's roll."

We walked outside. The night was clear and cold, and Jason and I walked a little ways up the street, stopping in front of a bright red Mustang.