"Elise."

Mhmm...

"Elise!"

Muhhh...

"ELISE!"

"What? Wha..." disoriented and dazed, I gazed up into the face of my teacher. A tall, lanky, angular woman with thin rimmed glasses and a sour puss attitude.

"If my class is boring you, perhaps a tip to your AP would spark some interest for you..." it was a threat that I perceived would not be left unfulfilled if I didn't apologize, and fast.

"I'm sorry ma'am," I sputtered as bright red embarrassment crawled up to my ears. The haughty woman huffed, and retreated back to the white board at the front of the classroom, then shooting me a quick, silent reprimand that she communicated through her beady peepers. I leaned back and shrank down in my seat, blinking back the tears that were beginning to well up in my eyes. I hated being scolded. Then again, staying up at outrageous hours last night was well worth it...

Bang! The crack of a gun shot tore through the sound barrier. The feet of a desperate thief pounded on the ground, tearing at the cement, clawing to get farther away from a determined youth, fresh out of high school. This sharp, intimidating man was a top class detective, highly respectable. The pursuer tracked the flustered criminal through alleys and street corners. Little did the dim-witted bloke know. the detective was chasing him right into a trap. That's where I came in, my heart thumping as I patiently waited to unleash the detective's master plan.

The school bell rang, signaling the end of the day, but not for me. I still had work tonight, and my nut job of a boss would be in a celebratory mood after catching the criminal last night. Witch only meant he would be even stranger tonight...

I gingerly widened the crack in the door, just barely sticking my head in to survey the situation. As far as I could tell, no one was there. Sliding in,I released a pent up breath and made my way to a small kitchen to make coffee.

"Emma. I'm glad you're here." A deep, rumbling voice startled me.

"My name's not Emma!" I immediately puffed up in exasperation. "We go through this all the time! I've been working for you about a month now. Get. It. Right!" I turned around to glare into the face of the cocky detective that was so smart, yet so stupid at the same time. His name was Mike, and he had short, constantly disheveled blonde hair with visible brown roots. Sparkling green eyes lulled lazily and apathetic down at my grey ones which were blazing with annoyance. He didn't even bother replying to her outburst.

"Where's my coffee?" he yawned.

"I was just making it, be patient." I sighed, letting my temper cool.

"Make an extra cup, I have a friend here."

"You have friends?" I remarked, half sarcastically, yet half seriously, as my eyes widened and a smirked tinted my face.

"Of course I do." he replied as he returned to the main sitting area of the small, homey office. My curiosity caused my imagination to piece together what kind of person would be friends with my socially edgy boss. I filled two mugs and took them out to the inviting sitting room. Two sets of laughter rang through the room, and I was surprised at the smile on the normally cold detective's face. Another man around the same age as him was sitting on the opposite side of a coffee table that the chairs were set around.

"Wow, I never thought I'd see you be nice." I suspiciously eyed Mike.

"I'm not mean to everyone, just people that annoy me,". he smirked up at me, "like you." I smacked his mug down on the short table, causing the burning coffee to splash out onto his leg, and unfortunately, my hand. I flinched, but kept my mouth closed as to not let Mike know. "That was rude," the words calmly rolled off his tongue, he was obviously unaffected by the burn.

"So are you," I retorted through my teeth, rubbing the pain from my hand. A sudden, hearty laugh broke my focus on Mike. His friend was slightly built, more so than Mike. He had eyes like melted chocolate and a buzz cut, complemented by light stubble on his face.

"I'm pleased to see you are not letting my friend here take over the town," he chuckled, "someone needs to control him, and with school I simply can't. Hi, I'm Kent. Studying to be a forensic scientist. Unlike Mr. Smarty-Pants over here, I didn't graduate college and high school at the same time."

"I'm Elise," I giggled and nodded at him.

"Elody, go do something productive," Mike shooed me. Just because he was celebrating obviously didn't mean I could.

"Kill-joy!" I stuck my tongue out at him. "And you just heard me say my name, so get it right!" I skulked into the filing closet, and organized the papers of the previous case, mumbling about Mike's impertinence.