Chapter 8


                Detective Barron narrowed icy blue eyes on the man sitting before her. He appeared relaxed and care-free, while she was the epitome of irritation.

            “So tell me again what it is you are asking for,” he drawled. The angered detective ground her teeth together roughly.

            “I came to request a new partner, Captain.” Early this morning, Barron had stormed into her captain’s office, demanding to talk to him. Now, three hours later, she felt as if nothing had been accomplished. Quincy would be in soon, and unless she wanted to deal with him as well, she would have to wrap things up. “I think he is keeping too many secrets from us, Sir.”

            “Since when did you get involved in personal lives of co-workers, Detective?”

            Rubbing her eyes, Barron responded warily, “he is keeping something dark.”

            To the detective’s surprise- and exasperation – the man laughed. “Dark secrets? Detective, I think you might be working a little too hard. Do you need a break? I am sure Quincy could-“

            “No,” Barron shouted a little too quickly. “I am fine. Maybe just a little tired.” She faked a laugh. “I guess it does sound silly if you think about it.”

            A tall figure leaned against the doorframe. “Amazing Captain, you made the woman laugh. Whatever did you do?” Detective Barron tensed ever so slightly as her partner cast his smile around the room. As Quincy and the captain talked, she noted how tired her partner was.

            “My, my Quincy. This case must be difficult. Both you and Barron look exhausted. Do you two want me to have someone else on the case?”

            Quincy cast Barron a quick look before turning to the Captain with a wide smile. “I don’t think so. After all, Barron is the best, if she can’t solve this case; no one else has a chance.” The captain gave a small nod of agreement before waving them off.

            As they walked back to Detective Barron’s office, she noted that while her partner was worse-for-wear, he showed no signs of what happened the night before. The woman sat at her desk with a heavy sigh. Unconsciously, she started to chew on the inside of her cheek.

            “Alright. What’s the matter,” Quincy asked, placing his hands together on the table. His partner blinked once in surprise before furrowing her eyebrows together.

            “I guess it is just this case,” Detective Barron responded.

            Quincy tipped his chair back slightly, nodding his head. “Understandable. This is an almost-impossible case to stay out of. A child ripped apart from her big sister, in a campground no less. I must say, however, you are doing wonderful compared to how others would handle this case.”

            Barron his behind her hands. No matter what Quincy said, this case made her feel like she was a brand-new detective all over again. She was so eager to find the answer, sure it would be easy and simple, only to find that the case was much more dark and sinister than she could ever believe. “How do you manage it,” she muttered through her hands. While some part of her believed Quincy was up to something, her mind begged to forget it and go back to the blissful ignorance.

            “A personal question,” Quincy asked, shock in his eyes. Peeking through the cracks in her hands, Detective Barron glared at the man. He laughed, throwing his hands up in surrender. “Fine. You want to know something about me? I will tell you something. Let’s see, what should I tell you?”

            Detective Barron placed her hands back on the table. This seemed normal to her, joking around with Detective Quincy when they had to get their minds off of a case, even for a few minutes. Maybe the captain was right; the case was getting to her. How could she suspect her own partner? Sure, last night was strange, but maybe he was just worried that someone was going to kidnap someone else.

            “What about your age,” she asked. Barron could not place his age. He always seemed a little on the young side for a detective, but lately it seemed as if he was almost getting younger.

            Quincy stilled, the smile slipping off of his face. He regained it quickly. “Well, I guess that is a secret. But if you really want to know…” Quincy leaned in closer to the desk. “I am eighteen,” He whispered. His smile grew wider as Barron blinked.

            “What,” she exclaimed. “Is that even possible?” Thirties were a normal age for detectives to be. Any lower and they were usually considered extremely talented.

            Quincy held a finger to his lips, “It’s a secret.”

            “Does the captain know?”

            Raising his eyebrows, Quincy responded, “That wouldn’t make it a secret, would it?” Detective Barron gaped at the man- no boy- in front of her. How could the captain not know his age? Was it not his job to investigate everything about the people working below him?

            She snapped out of her thoughts as Quincy stood up to leave. “Where are you going?”

            Calm, Quincy turned to stare at his partner. “I have a few errands to run. Why? Do you need something?”

            Barron stood up straight, eyes blazing with anger. “Yes. I am going to search the forest again. When you are done with your ‘errands’, I want you to meet me at the clearing in the forest.” Quincy’s eyes darkened. He nodded once before walking out of the door, leaving it wide open.

            Barron watched the door swing back and forth a few times before it stilled, halfway closed. She groaned and fell back into her seat. Why would Quincy lie about his age? How did he manage to get it passed the captain?

            Shaking her head, the detective stood up. He could have just been messing with her. Surely the captain knew his age. If he really was eighteen, it could explain many things. It was very rare for someone that age to be admitted into detective work. Usually they became paired with someone who did not ask a lot of questions because many had been treated poorly because of their age. Detective Barron would have been the perfect match.

            More worried about the girl than the confusion in her office, Detective Barron decided to search the forest now. She could always ask the details from her captain later. Grabbing her coat, the fired-up woman stormed out of her office and into one of the available police cars, already creating a search grid in her mind.

            Meanwhile, Quincy walked down the street, heading in the opposite direction. His mind was in turmoil as well, but for different reasons. The two detectives were playing a dangerous game, and while the blue-eyes woman understood the basics of how dangerous it was, Quincy knew the full dangers of the game. They were much darker than his firm partner could ever understand. If Detective Barron continued on her stubborn path, the little girl might not be the only one to go missing.

            Sighing, Quincy stuck his hands in his pockets and glanced around the city. “Dear, dear Rayen, don’t you understand that some things are forbidden for a reason? Some of those signs are meant for more than to just keep people away, they can be to keep people in.”

            Shaking his head, Quincy slipped into his car and drove off.





















The End

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