OK, so here's the next chapter – and in case you've only read the unedited version of the last chapter, the POV is now in first person, Melody's of course. Thank you for reviewing, HighOnBrokenWings, Isis 47 and PiratePrincessSarah.
Well, I proved myself wrong. I did think about Aiden that morning. But now that he wasn't here, I started to think back, and I remembered what Justin told me about him – that he was desperate to push the limits. I had once dated a guy who liked to do that, and he was the reason I had a caution on my record – because he dared me to light fireworks in a trash can, claiming he'd done it billions of times.
I pictured Aiden in my mind, replayed every memory I had – and got over it. It was all physical attraction. No big deal. I was over him before anything even started.
I was having my breakfast of Vegemite toast when I heard Michael call Kieran. "Wasn't he supposed to be at Cory's?" I wondered, and I followed Kieran to find out why he was back.
However, Kieran tried to shut the door on me. "Sorry, Mel." he said with an angelic smile. "Top secret." I didn't listen, though, and when I looked through the door, I burst out laughing at Michael's clothes.
"What is with the trench coat?" I gasped. "Sorry, but you look like a Sherlock wannabe."
Michael frowned. "Melody, this is serious. I'm not just me here, I'm Michael Pierce, Private Eye. I've been on a few cases before. Nothing serious, but just little problems. Cory's mom just called and said she wants me to find out who made the orange juice taste nutty, and who made the peanut butter taste orangey."
Now that sounded way too far-fetched to be real. But if it was, who was I to judge? I smiled and asked "Can I help?"
Michael thought it over and then addressed Kieran. "What do you think, Detective K?"
Kieran glanced at me, and I gave him a pleading look. He turned back to Michael. "Yeah, Melody can keep the detective stuff under wraps. Besides, it's one more person to help find clues, right?"
Michael nodded. "Right. So Mel, you're on the team, but listen. I'm leading, so you do as I say, right?"
I groaned, but nodded. "Fine. But don't think you can start ordering me around just because I'm a girl."
The ghost of a smile appeared on my cousin's face. "Also, you need to be totally professional. Got it?" I nodded.
"Good." Michael said. "Now we need to get the electric go-kart. It's the only legal fast means of transportation. First stop, Cory's house."
We got there in pretty quickly, and I realized just how many suspects there were. "Someone must've done something to switch the tastes last night." Michael said. "No one's broken in, so it must've been one of us at the sleepover. You five are all suspects."
The other boys looked at each other in horror.
"Hey!" Kieran called. "I've found fingerprints on the fridge!"
"We need a picture and then to send it to the lab." I said. "Anyone got a camera?"
"I always carry one." Michael assured me, taking out his camera and taking a picture.
When I had spoken, the boys had looked at me as if they were noticing I was there for the first time. Aiden had, again, sent me a flirty smile, but this time, I remembered what Justin told me. I smiled back and said "Are you about to hit on me?"
I giggled at his look of total embarrassment after my comment. "Don't look like that, I don't mind." I said truthfully. "It's kind of cute. I just wanted to make sure you weren't building up your hopes."
Justin was the first to laugh with me. "Dude, you just got owned!" he laughed. I high fived him, but threw Aiden a sympathetic smile, and he gave a nod of understanding.
Michael cleared his throat in an annoyed way to keep me on task. "OK, OK." I said. "Have you even thought of trying the articles to see if it gives any clues to how the taste was changed?"
Kieran ended up being the guinea pig with the food. "I can still taste the original flavour." he said. "But the other taste is a lot more powerful. It's like the original taste was weakened."
Michael and I nodded. "Well, we better head back to the office." Michael said. "Come on, Detective K, Mel. Let's go."
"I'll catch you up." I said quickly, and started talking to all five of the other guys, to see if they'd let something slip. I knew that Michael was the other suspect, but I let that questioning wait. However, I did get all five of the boys on their own to directly ask them if they knew who it was. Cory and Blake both said that it was probably one of Spencer's practical jokes, but Spencer insisted that he hadn't done it, and that it was probably a scientific experiment on Justin's part. Aiden admitted to being on the fence, but Justin swore that he hadn't done it, and suggested that Michael was the culprit, because he'd left the sleepover early and didn't seem like a suspect in any way. That would have given him an edge, if he didn't seem like he'd done it.
I wasn't sure which suspect was more plausible. It seemed like Spencer had the most plausible motive, yet Justin's smarts made it sound like he was the only one who could make a device to collect, absorb, and swap tastes of foods around.
I didn't know if I was going to enjoy being a detective. It was hard work, but if Michael could do it, so could I. After all, if it kept me occupied while my parents were away, how bad could it be? It wasn't like a really high-level crime investigation. Switching tastes wasn't exactly punishable by law, although it would confuse everyone's taste buds, and would need to be changed back soon. But it wasn't really harmful, so it would just be fun, in my opinion.
Would detective work be interesting enough to not make me bored out of my skull?
Another introductory paragraph, but next up is the motives, and I'll continue to keep things lively. Please, review!