Cops and Robbers

My brother has always been like the cases he solves, a mystery. I mean, I get that I'm only 17 and that he's 26, that's nine years apart, but it doesn't mean that he can't share things with me. The most person thing he's ever told me was his pants size. Okay maybe I'm exaggerating a bit but you get my point right?

"Hey Frankie, can I borrow your homework for tomorrow?" This kid Tom asks. He's a short little guy who doesn't say anything too interesting.

"Sorry bud, I'm not going to school tomorrow." I tap my pencil on the desk a few times and finish my drawing of a cartoon vampire biting the neck of a damsel while he's being staked by Van Helsing.

"Why not?" He asks, it doesn't seem like he really cares about why I'm not there but more about why he can't copy my homework.

"My dad died. A year ago from tomorrow and my brother thinks it's a good idea for me to skip school and go to work with him." I shrug.

"Oh…" Tom doesn't say anything else for the rest of class.

I've always been really open with things and I try to be as concise as I can be. While my brother, Thierry is so damn mysterious. I swear, I could ask him how his day was and not even know what his answer meant. He's too...demure. Sometimes I'm not even sure if he knows how to have fun.

Okay, he's not that serious. He's funny sometimes and does fun things but in all my life I've never been able to figure him out and it'd really bothering me. Especially since a little over a year ago he's been…distant. And I don't think it's because of our dad's death either.

"Hey Allie!" I greet her and her ocean blue eyes meet my hazel ones. I have a theory that she's a mermaid.

"Frankie, hey." She lightly smiles, "How are you?" She squeezes my hand with far too much brevity. So I've known her even since middle school and we've been best friends since; and of course I'm totally in love with her. What a bittersweet fine mess this is because I honestly have no idea how to approach this topic with her. I would ask my brother but as we already established he's far too mysterious. He only mentioned this girl Ava once a few years ago and that's all I've ever heard about his love life.

"I know that I know nothing at all." I smile.

"You're funny," Allie rolls her eyes, "Please do not bring up Socrates, we're in a love-hate relationship right now."

"Oh really? Do tell."

"I have to do a research paper on him and come up with a theory inspired by him- hey!"

"Hey?" I raise an eyebrow.

"You changed the subject." She pokes my chest. She's a good head shorter than me.

"I didn't mean to." I give her an innocent look.

"Yes you did. So really how are you?"

"Allie you need to stop putting so much emphasis on words, you're depreciating its effect." I note.

"Frankie."

"Sorry, well I mean, I'm a bit sad ya'know obviously, but then I'm not wallowing in self-pity you know?"

"Yeah I know, that's really great sweetie. So I have to get to work, see you later?"

"Yeah, later." I sigh.

I get into my car and contemplate driving to Perry's house but decide against it and head over to my brother's apartment. I immediately drop my backpack on the floor and slam my body into the couch.

Before I know it my dreams of me as a zombie hanging daisies to Allie the mermaid were over and I awoke to the smell of beef. Oh the food of men.

"What's cookin' bro?"

"Roast beef and potatoes."

"Ah, protein and starch."

"Well you gotta bulk up little bro." He looks at me for a moment.

It's true, I do. My brother isn't really muscular per se, he was that kind of strong but not bulky kind of thing. While I'm just a twig, actually my torso is practically the twig on a twig. I do have some pretty nice legs though from track.

"Hey, where'd you get this couch? It's comfy." Actually his whole apartment is decorated really nicely and I know he definitely doesn't moonlight as an interior decorator.

"Ikea, remember Ava? She decorated this place." Thierry shrugs, "She liked to shop."

Hmmm, I could ask him about Ava…then maybe work up to asking him about what I should do about Allie. It'd work out! I mean he brought her up, it was fate.

"How is she?"

"We broke up a little over a year ago." He says without much emotion.

"Aw that blows. How long did you two date?"

"For a while."

"…Oh…well I wish I met her."

"Mhm hmm, so what about your life? How are things?" he changes the topic. Yes! It's like he can read my mind.

"Well I like this girl…"

"Oh that's good, is it Allie?"

My jaw drops, was it that obvious? "How'd you know?"

"Well you're best friends with her so I'm not really surprised. Plus Perry always gives you guys this look that says he thinks something is up." Leave it to Detective Thierry DeMocker to observe a scenario and figure something out without saying a word.

"Wow…so what do you think I should do?"

"Just tell her."

"Really?"

"See, if you don't tell her you're just wasting your time having feelings for her."

I give Thier this weird look like he just grew another head. Maybe my brother is some sort of creature from Hell…

"Thierry when did you become so wise when it came to dating?"

"I dated a lot back in high school and college." He shrugs. Jeez, since when did my older brother date? Since when did he do things besides being a detective! And since when was he so open to giving advice!? This is madness.

"So you dated Ava after college?" I try to guess.

"Yeah, right after actually."

"So what you guys dated for…"

"About four years." I see his jaw clench so I forestall any anger. Come to think of it I've never seen Thierry angry. I guess Ava is a touchy subject.

"Wow…" I was tempted to ask why but didn't, "So what time do we have to wake up for work tomorrow?"

Yep, I'll officially be Detective DeMocker for the day. I'm actually really psyched for this. I mean my brother is no residential superhero or anything but he's on the news sometimes and damn, some of his cases are practically CSI worthy.

"Early. I'll wake you up." He shrugs, "Dinner is almost ready."

"Okay cool. I'm gonna go shower real quick first."

I actually have a really good relationship with my brother, he used to drive me places before I got a car, buy me things, and he helps me out when I need it. He takes care of me and I love him, really I do, and we talk a lot. But honestly I think him talking about Ava was the most he's ever said about his love life. Ever. I mean if he was to share anything personal I'd expect it to be about our dad, but not the girl he was dating for four years until they mysteriously broke it off. Oh snap! That's why he was acting so weird before dad died. God, this atmosphere is really helping my detective skills. The coffee machine in the corner, the phones ringing and police officers and detectives running around. Good thing I brought my Sherlock Holmes hat. I was tempted to wear the whole costume but I don't think I'd fit into it since I wore it for Halloween when I was 11.

"So…" I spin around in my chair as Thierry reads some files, "When do we speed off and solve a mystery?"

Theirry chuckles, "When there's a mystery to solve."

Damn him and his intimidating ominous ways.

"Fine then…" I pout. I may be 5"9 but Thier is six foot and we've already established that he's strong. Of course again I did say that I've never seen him mad but, I wouldn't want to be the first to piss him off.

After a very long comfortable silence I decide to break it, "So why did you and Ava break up?"

"It's complicated." He replies a little too quickly.

"Then how'd you two meet?"

"I was done with school by then; I was going to meet up with Jason and some guys later that night but decided to grab a bite to eat. I went to this diner by my old campus and I saw Ava. She was new to town and I introduced myself. We became friends and I asked her out." Through it all he doesn't show much emotion beside a shimmer of happiness and doesn't bother looking up from the file he was reading.

"Thierry that's the most you've ever told me."

"I guess." He shrugs, "I-" He stops as his phone goes off. He mutters some terse responses before hanging up.

"I guess we have a 'mystery' to solve." He uses air quotes and gets up out of his chair.

"Yes!" I jump out of my chair and follow after him.

Who knew, after driving to the outskirts of town, past a couple of rivulets, some fields and a farm we ended up at Markus Mansion, with Ava. Thee Ava, Thierry's ex-girlfriend, who should I mentioned was here with her current boyfriend. This idiotic looking guy who was in my opinion too ugly for Ava. Admittedly, my brother's ex was pretty hot. She has this really long, really dark hair and striking blue eyes. She seems to be slightly taller than Allie but probably because she was wearing high heels with her kind of short cocktail dress. Turns out that Ava, Ava's boyfriend Oliver, and Thierry were all at this party held by the Markus's. They're this super rich family that is a part of the De Beer group or something, which owns the Heart of Eternity. The Markus's girl turned 16 and was throwing this swanky party for her, which actually seemed to be more for society and showing off their wealth. Turns out the Markus's had the Heart of Eternity showcased at their house for the night and it was stolen. And guess who the prime suspect is? Ava.

"Ava," Thierry's voice is edgy and she recoilsat the sound of his voice.

"Thierry, it's not what it looks like. You know I didn't do it." She gives him this pleading look and I can see him soften at her voice. Damn! This is like some sort of romance drama. Who knew my brother's love life was like this.

"Well then please enlighten me, divulge us with your secrets." Wow, Thierry looks pissed, "And you," Ava's boy toy seems to quaver in Thierry's presence, "you're an idiot."

"Thierry bro, this whole scene reeks of sketchiness. What the hell is going on?" I ask.

Thierry rubs his face and touches his hair, "Look, there is a statuteof limitations of what I can say. But, well, me and Ava were talking last night. Her boyfriend," cripes, Thier's voice is like venom, "disappears for a while. Ava is the prime suspect since she was at the party reportedly the whole time. But I highly doubt that it's her."

"Why would they think-"

"I had a few run-ins with the law before. Hi, we never formally met." She greets me with a megawatt smile and a wave. She's really pretty and she looks really good with my brother. Aw, I bet they'd have attractive kids too.

"Hey, I'm Frankie. So what happened between you and my brother? And why don't you dump that dud and recoup with my brother?" I inquire.

"Yeah Ava, do tell." My brother glares.

"This isn't the time or place to discuss this. God Thierry you can be so relentless sometimes!" Ava runs and hand through her locks.

"Me? I'm the one who's relentless? Do you even know the meaning of the term Ava because if anything it's you who's relentless. You're just so inhuman and vindictive sometimes!" Oh snap now the two are all up in each other's face.

"Okay right like you didn't just practically growl at Oliver because I'm dating him." She rolls her eyes and moves her hands around.

Hm so that's what his name is.

"He's lucky I didn't rip him to pieces the other night! I was about read to murder him!" Thierry violently points at Oliver and now he recoils.

Ava sighs, "Look let's get back on topic here. This isn't time to be fighting about this."

"Fine." Thierry is pissed. He actually looks really cool when he's mad, I feel like he's about to go Hulk or morph into a werewolf any second now.

"So why do people think you did it Ava? Besides the fact that you were at the scene of the crime area place the whole time." I ask good naturedly.

"Because…" She looks around, "Well I was in the room that held the jewel for quite some time."

"Oh…that doesn't sound good." I say sadly.

"She couldn't have stolen it then. I was with her, we were arguing and I kissed her." Thierry admits.

Ava's jaw drops and Oliver's eye's bug out.

"What?!" Oliver shouts.

Thierry rolls his eyes, "Ava has a perfectly good alibi all because of me."

Thierry's partner, Michael, walks in with a maid who's carrying some water and glasses. Thierry's eyes study the maid.

"Mike, that maid wasn't here the other night." Thier notes.

"Yeah turns out that most of the help here was sick with food poisoning and replacements were hired for the night. Someone also testified that Mr. Oliver Weston came to the estate to visit a few days prior of the event." Michael gives Oliver the evil eye.

"Talk to the chef, search the grounds and test the crime scene for anything. Miss Morrison is innocent and her alibi checks out. Me and my brother can drive her back to town," my brother looks at Oliver with a smug smile, "Looks like you're the prime suspect now."

In the car the tension is so thick I had to roll down my window to breathe.

"What do crooks see with?" I say, "Burglarize! I guess your boyfriend needs to get some glasses."

No one laughs except I force an awkward laugh. Thierry somehow takes this as a cue to speak.

"Ava, why'd you leave?"

"Thierry…I still love you sweetie. I just…I wasn't ready to commit to you and things were complicated. I just had to leave." She admits, "I saw the ring. I sort of heard from Jason about it and I cracked the safe."

"What?" I butt in.

"Ava's a cat burglar." Thierry says as if it's the most normal thing in the world, "You could've just told me that. I would've waited until you're ready. Obviously I'm still in love with you."

"Aw, how cute. The perfect crime, Ave stole your heart and you stole hers." I gush. Okay this has become far too sentimental for me.

"Look I told you I gave up being a cat burglar." Ava retorts.

"I know, sorry. I believe you, I wasn't thinking."

"Hey Ava what do you do now?"

"I'm an interior decorator, why?"

"I was just wondering, well hoping that you were a chef. Maybe when you're my sister-in-law you could cook better beef than my brother."

Thierry takes Ava's hand and she smiles, I'm pretty sure he's smiling too but I can't see his face.

"Yeah maybe I could."

One mystery solved, now if only I could figure out things with Allie. Hm, I think I'd make a very nice detective.

A/n: Sorry for the weird formatting and stuff, this was written for a creative writing assignment and felt like updating(: