A large, rounded man sighed and ran his hand over his scarred face. He had a decision to make, and either way, he would regret it. He glanced down at the file in front of him. It was just over two years old, and had been one of the cases that four of his men had been obsessing with ever since.
He was the captain of Willow Brook Police Department, and everything that happened was his business. He glanced down at the plate that held his name and sighed to himself. This case was one of the first that he dealt with when he transferred here. It wasn't a good case. It was one of those that would go down in history as one of the best bank robberies, if it was solved.
Sure, he himself had transferred from a bigger city with more opportunities to move up in the world, to a place like Willow Brook. He knew very few people understood why he had made that decision. Including his now ex wife.
He subconsciously rubbed his thumb over where his wedding ring had rested for almost a decade. His wife had been angry, and hadn't been able to understand why he would want to move from the New York City PD to a small town, especially since he had been first in line for a promotion.
He had his reasons for it, of course. He was tired of getting shot at every other week, and even more tired of never feeling like his wife was safe. He chose Willow Brook because he hoped the small town would be able to create an illusion of safety for him and his wife.
Little did he know, she was more than happy with his near death experiences, and wouldn't have minded if he had died. Then again, Stacy had always been impossible to tame. Not that he had wanted to, of course, he knew that taming a beauty like her would have ruined that flame in her eyes.
He would, however, have appreciated if she was slightly less wild.
His eyes darted to the folder again, and he sighed. Stacy would have told him to just get it over with, and not bothering with his conscious. He would be getting a monster off the streets. He could be responsible for making a threat to their society… disappear.
After two years, he had a feeling that it would never be solved. At least, it would not be if they had to stick to traditional police work. Their suspect was too good, too clever, and too cruel to be intimidated. She knew she was good. Even when their best interrogated her, she never broke.
Never would either, he knew, unless…
His hand hovered over his phone, and looked down at a piece of paper, small and torn. There was a way to get justice for those who died, even if it wouldn't be something as constitutional as locking the mastermind up behind bars. It was going to be underhanded, and legally, there would be no confession, and thus no case. But he would know that it was finally over. He would know that there was someone taking care of that woman.
He never would have even thought that he would be considering this. He shouldn't have been. If he did this, if he made this call, he would be knowingly sending a woman, most likely, to her death.
On the other hand, he remembered the cold, unfeeling look in her eyes as she looked at the two dead in the halls of the bank. She had blood splashed on her face, and didn't seem to mind. He didn't know how, or why, but none of the other hostages seemed to want to admit that she was involved in any way other than as a hostage.
He didn't know how she had managed to scare them into silence, but she had. She was a monster, if nothing else, her disappearance would mean that the families could finally start to heal.
He sighed again, his features were undecided, and yet his hand slowly lifted the phone from its cradle. He held it, and slowly dialed the number. His eyes hardened. He had to decide if her life was worth the two dead, and he knew instantly who he would have chosen if he could have.
The phone rang twice, before being answered. He knew the person on the other end wouldn't speak unless it was to accept or deny someone. "This is Captain Ryan Whitmore. If you are still up for it, I would like you to take care of the person we spoke of before. She will be heading there tomorrow. Make her disappear before she has to leave."
A woman on the other end laughed, her voice was soft, but elegant, and oh so deadly. "It will be taken care of, Captain Whitmore. Tell General Adams to send payment the usual way."
The next thing he heard was the soft click of the dial tone. He carefully lowered the phone, and placed it back on its cradle. "May god forgive me." He whispered. "But she has to pay for this. I won't let her get away."
Ryan was not the type of man to crave revenge, but this case had been rubbing him the wrong way since the beginning. He gripped his head, and leaned down to rest his forehead against the desk. He knew that to get rid of monsters like this woman, he had to fight dirty. He just hoped that the monster he just released wasn't worse than the one he was trying to get rid of.
He would never know the extent of that phone call, and how much it would destroy the life of the woman he claimed to hate. Then again, Captain Ryan Whitmore never would care to know.
A loud ringing sound next to her ear pulled her from the land of dreams. She groaned quietly, but picked up her phone from its spot next to her pillow, and swiped her finger across the screen. She knew that if someone was trying to contact her this early, there was a reason for it. No one woke her up without their being a very good reason. Or, at least, no one did so more than once.
" 'ello?" If the world wasn't ending in the next hour, she thought annoyed, she was going back to sleep.
"Mirella Eliza Gasper! You promised you would come with me!" A voice yelled from the other line. She pushed the phone away from her ear, and bit back a groan of annoyance.
Well that's one way to start a morning, she thought with a small grimace. She sat up, reached her arms over her head, and forced her feet to the floor.
"I know Phoebe." She grumbled, still half asleep. Mirella tried to shake herself into motion, but it wasn't exactly working very well. "I still have time."
As always, Phoebe was making a big deal out of nothing. It probably didn't hurt that Mirella was almost positive that Phoebe would only shut up if she was watching her. The two sisters had a very delicate relationship, which meant that their little truce would be up soon if her younger sister kept acting stupid.
"Two hours!" Her sister screeched. "The jet leaves in less than two hours, and you aren't even here! God, did you even finish packing yet?"
Mirella looked around her room, her soft brown eyes taking in the perfectly positioned luggage and her bag that that had been ready to go for almost a week. "Of course I have. Calm down Phoebe. I'll be there soon enough."
She heard her little sister groan in annoyance. "Soon enough isn't soon enough!"
"I know. It never is. I'll talk to you later." She muttered, clicking her phone off.
She ran her hands through her deep auburn hair and reached for her glasses. After resting them on her nose, she stood, and stretched. Her bedroom was rather plain, but that was how she liked it. She made up her bed, and reached for a picture next to her bed. She looked into sparking blue eyes, and pressed a kiss to her fingertips, before the frame.
"Good morning Garrett." She greeted, stroking the dark locks of the frame. "I miss you."
For a moment only, she let her mind drift to the memories of the man in the picture, and her left hand came up to the thin plain silver necklace around her neck.
Neither of them was extremely well off, and she couldn't help but roll her eyes with a smile when she remembered how nervous Garrett had been when he had given it to her years before.
She wondered if he knew that she had never taken it off since he had died. She took a deep breath, and stared into his eyes again, before shaking herself out of the sadness that threatened her.
Mirella placed it down, carefully, before moving to the bathroom. She tied back her long crimson locks in a messy ponytail, and brushed her teeth. She could easily speed through her morning rituals.
A byproduct, she assumed, from always sleeping late, even when she went to school. She shook herself again, and finished up in the bathroom, carefully balancing brushing out her straight locks and grabbing her clothes that she hung from the back of the door the night before. She slipped on her dark purple and light blue sundress, and slid on her sandals, before retackling her hair. After a few moments, it was pulled back again, but far more neatly, in a French braid. A few strands of her bangs escaped the hold and fell in her face.
She sighed. It seemed like her hair was not going to be listening to her today, so she let her hair down and slid the hair tie on her wrist.
It was easy enough to make her hair look like it was styled with little effort on her part. She ran the brush over her side swept bangs, and they suddenly had just enough volume to not look like they were sticking to her forehead. There was a few loose curls that were out of place, but she easily tamed them.
Maybe it was because she wore her hair in braids for the last few years, but her once wavy auburn locks had taken more of a curl than they once had. It was nice, and framed her delicate features, even if the layered locks seemed to have a mind of their own in the mornings.
She glanced in the mirror, and inspected herself, before she decided that she looked good enough to leave. She slipped the brush in her suitcase, and grabbed her purse, before locking the door behind her.
Taking a deep breath, she stepped into the hallway, finally ready to leave. She wrapped her headphones around her neck and grabbed her phone, from where she had tucked it away in her purse.
The cab she had called last night should be waiting outside for her, and she easily descended from her fourth floor apartment. She greeted Hugh, the man who was supposedly in charge of the security in the building. He probably had never used his gun before, let alone knew how to put it together. She didn't doubt that he was brave, but...
There was a difference between being brave and being able to stop a robbery, or any other crime. He had no idea about security, which made her cringe.
In college, she had gotten an internship at one of the better security companies, and had been offered a full time position soon after. It probably helped that the owner of the company just so happened to become her best friend after they bonded over crappy vault designs of all things.
At twenty- three, she was content with her life. She had finished school with a degree in criminal justice, and had a stable, well paying job. She had everything she needed to make life work, and easily could afford to go on trips like this one. The idea was to be gone for exactly a week at the resort. El Dorado was supposedly one of the best places to get married, with plenty of activities for the adults. It wasn't exactly kid friendly, but seeing as the bride was a 19 year old daughter of a millionaire, who just so happened to be Phoebe's best friend, that was just fine.
It was also supposed to be one of the most beautiful resorts in the Caribbean's. Which meant that she was actually going for more than just the wedding. Most of the other guests to the wedding were just staying the day, but she needed a break. Her boss had practically bought the tickets for her, and told her that she had an entire week there.
She shook her head fondly, and opened the door, seeing the yellow cab waiting for her. Her boss had somehow become one of her best friends. Jason Afters had created a security company about ten years ago, when he was only sixteen. Back then, it had only worked with cameras and the technology for that, but once they had expanded to bank vaults, they rose to the top of the security industries. It was nice, in a way, getting to do something that she loved to do, and getting paid for it. She loved working there, and adored learning as much about her trade as possible.
Of course, she didn't love everything about her job. Jason was also one of the biggest jerks she had ever met, and the people she was forced to work with were complete idiots. Sadly, though idiots were cheaper to keep around, according to Jason, and they were more easily content than those with brains.
Sad, but true.
He was someone who knew exactly what he wanted, and had absolutely no patience for anyone who didn't bother learning before they got there. He was as cunning and quick as a serpent, but he was also one of the most stable people she had ever met.
She laughed to herself as the cabbie rushed to her. He helped put all of her bags in the trunk, and opened her door. She slid inside, and sat up straight. Across the street was a black SUV, and she smiled and waved at it.
Two cops were almost always in there, usually part of a rotation of four. They hated her, harassed her, and were trying to blame her for something that she didn't do. To them, it didn't seem to matter if she was innocent. All that mattered was finding someone to blame.
Although, blaming her, and harassing her had gotten annoying after a few weeks. She didn't even know how many times they had dragged her off to be interrogated. In fact, the only reason she was sure that they hadn't locked her up already, even if they had no evidence that she did anything, was Jason.
It was convenient, if only for that reason, that her best friend just so happened to be one of the richest twenty- something's in the country.
She sighed silently as the cab started moving towards the airport. As always, she wished they wouldn't be there when she got back. She knew better though.
Her mind replayed their lack of reactions, and she lowered her head, frowning. They looked too smug, too sure of themselves. What did they know? Or, more accurately, what did they think they knew?
She huffed quietly, getting a strange look from her cabbie, but she ignored it. No one ever took her seriously, ironically, unless they were the police. Or Jason, she admitted. He always took her word for things, especially when she told him that she would handle something. He trusted her, and she had done her best to make sure that she didn't betray it.
Twenty minutes later, she was at the airport, dragging her luggage behind her, and looked around the crowds of people for her sister. After a few minutes, and a few wrong turns, she finally found Phoebe comforting a sobbing girl.
Her sister easily spotted her, and shook her head when Mirella raised an eyebrow in question. She clearly got the message. Mirella wasn't to interfere with whatever the problem was. Her sister didn't want her anywhere near her best friend. It was a bit stupid, she admitted, if only her sister trusted her even a bit, Mirella was sure that she could help with whatever the problem was.
It probably didn't help that she was more protective of the crying girl than her sister. Phoebe hated her, and Mirella wasn't stupid enough to think that she was allowed to come with them because of her sister. If anything, her sister had caved into her best friends demands.
She rolled her light brown eyes when Phoebe looked away.
Phoebe looked nothing like her. Where she was short and delicate in stature, with big light brown eyes that hid behind dark blue and green glasses, and deep auburn hair, Phoebe was tall, muscular, and had bleached blonde hair that hid her normally dirty blonde hair. Her eyes were not covered with glasses, like Mirella's were, but they were free to sparkle like the ocean.
Both sisters were considered beautiful, just in different ways. Where Mirella was elegant, Phoebe was relaxed. It fit them though. Despite their differences in coloring and size, they had the same small nose, full lips, small foreheads, and high cheek bones. There was something about her sister that was completely different.
Phoebe towered over her at 5'11, last time she asked. Mirella, on the other hand was barely 5'4. Most people assumed that Mirella was the younger of the two, but she was three years older. Phoebe just had more mature looks, while hers were more childish and innocent.
Mirella tried not to listen in on her sister's conversation, and busied herself with her mental checklist. She had to make sure that she had everything. A few moments later, they all headed towards the hangar where the jet was waiting for them.
A sniffling brunette grabbed her hand, and Phoebe's in the other.
"Thanks for coming, Mira." Lucy Jyms told her. Mirella tried not to cringe at the name. Even her family had stopped calling her that after she had grown out of the nickname. Then again, Lucy was the only person that she allowed to call her that name. She had a strange relationship with her sister's best friend. Lucy Jyms was normally an entitled rich girl, but there were times where she was fond of the younger girl as well. Mirella was extremely protective of the rich girl who lived in her mind most of the time. Phoebe wasn't very good at protecting anyone, seeing as she seemed to need more protection than anyone else. She, on the other hand, had no problems subtlety guiding the girl towards things that would keep her safe.
"My… pleasure." Mirella told her with a small smile.
Phoebe looked over the girl in the middle, and sent her a glare. It seemed her sister was getting jealous again. There really wasn't anything to be worried about
This vacation was going to take forever, she knew. Mirella did not leave very often for a reason. She was a bit of a workaholic, and Jason, her only true friend, traveled enough with his company that there was nothing special about leaving his home. Besides, she hated to leave her circle of life.
After a moment of contemplation, she was waiting in the jet, seated with seven other people, all younger than her. She simply rolled her eyes and pulled out a book.
While they were being stupid, rowdy, and loud, she was contenting herself by relaxing with a book and her headphones where she had purchased enough music to hopefully get her through this trip.
She couldn't believe that she was going to be able to leave, and that she actually semi wanted to go.
She rolled her eyes, and lost herself to her book.