Jacob Carter is a well known private investigator, but since his partner died last year, he has run into a slump. Will a young, new helper and a juicy murder case get him out of it?
"How ya doin', Mista Carter?" Bruce, the jovial and round security guard, asked as I walked passed his desk.
"Oh, pretty good," I replied with a small, crooked smile. I pointed at him with a stern finger. "You let me know if there is a murder, okay?"
"Will do Mista Carter!" Bruce exclaimed once he knew I had only been joking.
I entered my 16th floor office suite as I normally did. The day, so far, had been an ordinary day. You would think that as a private investigator, ordinary days would be far and few between. But, since my partner died last year, most of my days had been monotonous and down right boring.
I hadn't had a good case in several months, but I wasn't worried about loosing my office suite, my business. At least not yet. I had done a few background checks and one surveillance case against a cheating husband. Those were paying the bills so far, but I feared those would dry up pretty quickly.
I crossed the outer office, entering my inner office with a blank expression. I didn't think anything could get me out of that slump. I plopped down into my chair and started going through the mail that I had picked up while I chatted with Bruce in the lobby.
Most of the mail was junk as usual. I flipped through the envelopes quickly, mentally throwing them away as I did. They would find the real trash container when I had enough money to hire a cleaning crew. Until then, the pile of trash on my old partner's desk steadily grew.
I stopped at one envelope, looking at it for several seconds. It was next month's office rent bill. I sighed heavy and long, breathing out slowly, desperately wanting the carbon dioxide to destroy all evidence of the bill.
That wasn't going to happen, but the next best thing did. The phone rang. I picked it up on the second ring.
"Jacob PI," I answered in my standard fashion.
"This is your buddy."
I knew who it was, so I decided to have a little fun with him. "Sir, if you are having an emergency, please call 911." The guy on the other end of the line laughed. I continued, jokes aside. "What can I do for you, Bill?"
"No, it's not what you can do for me, Jake, but it is what I can do for you," Bill replied. I smiled, silently acknowledging his Kennedy quote. Misquote, actually.
"Are you going to pay next month's rent?"
"I would if I could." Bill lied. He wasn't very good at it, but I didn't need to remind him of that. "Do you still need a partner?"
"I've told you a hundred times," I said, shaking my head. "I don't want a new partner. I just need someone to run a few errands for me. That's all."
"Well, have I got the guy for you! His name is Archer Houston. Let me give you his number."