Chapter Two

Three Days Earlier

The sun rose slowly over the desert hills. The rays of light shot out like spears over the dark, flat landscape. The cacti and bushes glanced upward to greet their friend. The entire desert seemed to yawn as it awoke. The sand blew westward towards the towns which were about forty-five minutes away. Light continued to flow out through the land, and finally fell on a two-story, pleasant home. The home belonged to David Mendrick.

David Mendrick was a CBI agent. He was tall, brave, and married. On that day, he was sleeping on the couch. Every once and a while he and his wife would take a break from their bed and sleep on the couch together. There was no particular reason they did this, though to them it seemed like a change of pace and comfort. David liked variety. On this particular morning, his wife had gotten up early, as she usually did, and began to prepare breakfast.

David slept soundly for another fifteen minutes, before his eyes finally fluttered open. Once they did, he pushed himself onto his side and glanced over into the kitchen which was located only a few feet away. He saw his wife bending over the oven, cooking what smelled like eggs and potatoes. Though, David's nose usually only smelled what it wanted to smell. 

David smiled. He pushed himself into a sitting position. Still staring at his wife, he stood and walked into the kitchen. He wrapped his arms around her waist and pushed his face into her hair. Gently, he kissed her on her neck.

"Who is this?" she asked in a slightly sarcastic tone.

David rested his chin on her shoulder. "What are you making?"

She turned and covered his eyes with her hand. "Guess," she said in a slightly higher than normal voice, which made it sound like she was smiling. 

David breathed in through his nostrils. There were thousands of smells that floated aimlessly in the air, but only one was distinct enough for David to single out. "Eggs," he said in a whisper.

"Incorrect," she said, removing her hands.

Blackness suddenly morphed into visibility, and David blinked repeatedly before glancing down at the pan. "Burritos?" David said incredulously. "For breakfast?"

She laughed. "These aren't for you," she said with a wink. "I have hot lunch duty."

David sighed. Charlotte was his wife, and he loved her with all his heart, but he had difficulty loving her job. She was a teacher at the local middle school, and that would be fine, but it was a private school. There were two things about that that drove David nuts. One of them being, the pay. Sure, David brought in a lot of cash from his job down at CBI anyway, but the fact that Charlotte worked so hard for so little ticked him off in a way that he couldn't explain. The other one being, it was a Christian school. David was technically a Christian, even if he hardly went to church, but the thing about Christian schools: They're always trying to give what they don't have. Meaning, they have fundraisers for charities of all sorts when they hardly have any money themselves.

"Would this 'hot lunch duty' have anything to do with giving out bags of food to homeless people?" David asked, refraining from rolling his eyes.

She gave him a glare. Charlotte knew David didn't like her job, but regardless, she did. She loved charities, and she loved to give food to the homeless. "As a matter of fact, it does."

"Figures," David said with a sigh. "What am I going to eat?"

Charlotte frowned. "Probably nothing."

David blinked. "I---well, I don't---I have work---why not?"

"I'm busy," she said subtly.

David sighed. "I'll get cereal."

"We're out," Charlotte barked.

David clenched his fist. "Okay, I'll go out for coffee. You want anything?"

"Nope," she said, anger biting her tongue.

David stood still for a second. He always seemed to find a way to ruin the most perfect mornings. He turned and walked towards the stairs to get ready. On his way he called John King, head of the LAPD, and told him to meet him at Starbucks. He had some business to discuss over breakfast.

The End

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