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Revelations 21:8



 
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Carson James

Ring

Ring

Groan.

Most people slept with their phone turned off. There was a good reason for that, obviously because people needed to get some actual rest. After so many years on the force, though, Carson had broken that habit. You know, the one where you actually sleep soundly through the night.

That didn’t mean he couldn’t complain about it.

Which, of course, he was doing now as he rolled out of bed and reached for the phone that was on his night stand, his voice gravelly and hoarse as he forced himself to reach a point where he could actually hold a conversation.

“James here.”

Right to the point. Then again, he always was.

That was the last thing he said for quite a few minutes as the voice on the other end of the line (though, really, that was an antiquated term at this point. Who actually used telephones with lines anymore?) explained the situation.

The longer the one sided conversation went on, the more he wished he could roll back over into bed and go back to sleep. No. Not really. He loved his job and the oath that he took to protect and serve, and now that he was Captain of his own unit, it was all worth it. Even, of course, that did mean that he was dragged out of bed in the middle of the night.

“Alright. Text me the address. I’ll be there in twenty.”

Feet on the floor, he pushed his tall frame up out of bed, reaching over and smacking the naked backside of the woman laid out on the other side of the bed. Carla? Candy? Jennifer? He didn’t fucking remember. She was laying there, and honestly he couldn’t have picked her out of a line up. Faces...names...they weren’t his thing.

Especially when it came to moments like this.

“Hey. You gotta go.”

She stretched and rolled towards him, all lovely limbs and curves with a wide smile on her full lips. “Is it morning already?”
He was already getting dressed, pulling on a pair of black slacks and a plain white button up. “No. We’re not doing the talking thing. It’s time for you to go, doll.” It’s what he called all women, because honestly, he couldn’t remember their names. That and he didn’t get attached enough to commit it to memory.

“I thought maybe we could grab…”

Again, he cut her off, pulling on his black dress shoes. Being a Captain, he had to show up in more than jeans and a t-shirt, but he was still rather rumpled as he tucked in the wrinkled shirt into his pants. “Listen, I don’t know what you thought was happening here, but I need to go to work. You need to leave. This…” he waved his hand back and forth between the two of them “...isn’t happening. Now, like I said, get the fuck out.”

“You’re an asshole! Go...go fuck yourself.” She had already gotten out of bed and was busy trying to find the clothes that had been strewn around the massive bedroom.

“Thanks doll. You took care of that already.”

Yeah, he was an asshole, but if you asked him he’d just say he was honest to a fault.

He felt the air shift around his head as something was thrown at him. He didn’t take time to look and see what it was, but before he knew it he heard the front door slamming and stomping down the hallway leading away from his apartment.

Carson was already in work mode though, grabbing his badge, keys, and wallet off of the dresser before following in Amanda’s footsteps. Heather? Who the fuck knew. All he knew was that he was now in his dark blue Corolla, the window rolling down so the light could be stuck on top.

True to his word, he was there twenty minutes later.

The scene was already bustling, cold rain dripping down like little frozen pellets, though not quite as hard as ice. Just cold. At least they hadn’t gotten into the snow season yet, just cold and showers most nights. Tonight was no different. The yellow tape across the gate was keeping looky loos out, and his crime scene hopefully intact. Usually it was just DPI that ended up at these things, but because of where they were...well, this wasn’t just a little investigation.

St. Bartholomew's Church was an institution in New York. In the country, even.

Though as soon as the other officers saw him coming, they started to move out of the way. Maybe it was his large frame that made them scatter. Maybe it was the steeled look in those denim colored eyes.

Most likely it was his sparkling fucking personality.

But it didn’t matter. If he was an asshole, and had nothing to back it up, that would be one thing. The fact of it was that he was good at his job. No, not just good. He was amazing. It’s how he had become Captain of his own Unit before he was even 35. Carson James was a cocky prick, but he should be. At least in his eyes. It wasn’t just his blend of observation and his own personal brand of witchcraft. He was smart. At least when it came to his job. His eidetic memory helped him hold images in his head for as long as he needed them, able to comb through details even months afterwards.

It did, however, make it damned hard to ever forget anything. People? Names? Those were harder to hold on to for him, maybe because of his gifts. Because he never, ever, forgot the things he saw.

As Carson came carefully walking towards the large doors that entered into the Church, he was met by a man he knew all too well. Deputy Chief Morris. Samuel Morris was a middle aged man in his early fifties with the kind of salt and pepper hair you would imagine on a much older person. This job, though. It took its toll on a person. He was shorter than Carson by a good six inches, though they probably weighed about the same. The Deputy Chief wasn’t as fit as he once was, and Carson’s own bulk came from the musculature beneath his wrinkled clothes instead of the proverbial donuts.

Even as he stopped to talk to the older gentleman, he noticed sideways glances from his own detectives, the ones that were part of DPI (Department of Preternatural Investigations) and not the ones that had come with Chief Morris. They weren’t the normal, cold stares they gave one another when working a case. The masks that you had to put on sometimes when dealing with something like this.

No. There was almost...what? Amusement? Like there was some joke that he was left out of? Yeah, really fucking funny guys. He was guessing whatever was inside wasn’t sunshine and unicorns if they were called in.

“Captain James. Before we go in, let me give you a run down of the situation…” which, of course, he proceeded to do. Nothing, not even the preparatory words of the Chief, would prepare him for what was waiting as they walked into the Nave.

Fuck.

He was going to need coffee. And a lot of it.
January 14, 2020 04:44 pm

Juniper Meadows

JJ wasn’t happy.

It was written all over the angles of her face, in the very way that lanky frame of hers moved as she started to board her way home, the way her luggage was tossed emphatically into the overhead compartment of the small charter plane. No, her usual sunny comportment was trashed the minute she was pulled away from the seminar she was teaching and the ones that she had snuck in for herself.

One could never be too informed on matters of behavioral science.

Or new techniques in blood spatter analysis.

And let’s not forget all the advances made in her own field; the art of deception.

So, she could (and would) put on a mask of neutrality when she landed and one of New York's finest officers picked her up to escort her home, they had at least arranged that for her after calling her back to New York for reassignment.

Though, from the expression on the officer's face; it seemed that her plans would have to be changed.

“Ma’am, they’re requesting you at St. Barts. There’s a situation.”

She had only come back because it was commanded from up high; the need to be taken to the scene would come as an unwanted surprise. No, this would leave JJ with no time to deal with what she had learned, who she had been assigned to, there would be no bitch session with her peace-loving, hippie family.

No time between the knowing and the working to have a wine-drunk kind of night.

Nah, she was going to deal with this right away it seemed.

Everything was fine. Just freaking fine.

She had spent so much time learning and teaching about deception, gestural slips, micro-expressions; at least that would come in handy when he learned who was coming to work for him.

Again.

As if the first time went so splendidly; which is how Juniper knew exactly how badly this was going to go and the likelihood of him knowing beforehand was slim, considering the new deputy chief that had assigned her to him, would be the same captain from six years before that had her moved to a new department. Later, JJ would find out it was at the request of her partner, thankfully that information would come long after she had grown out of the rookie stage and toughened up.

Not really; she was still stuck on that issue but again, the art of deception. Not only could she spot the liars, she had become quite good at it herself; apparently, this would be the reason for so much training.

Him.

No manners. Misogynistic. Crass. Crude.

The biggest jackass she had ever had the displeasure to meet.

One of the best cops.

Carson James.

This was going to be awful.

Because someone (who shall remain unnamed) still carried a torch. Thankfully, she could lie about that too.

If she could force herself out of the car, she might be able to deal with it all, even put it in the past; if she could make herself just go, but no, she’d dawdle. Hard.

“Thank you for the ride, Officer Lewis.” Wait, no. That’s literally the unofficial goodbye signal when someone gives you a ride and all she really wanted to do was command him to take her home. Booted feet would swing from the opened door, the expression on her face wouldn’t match what was lurking underneath the surface; nope, not one bit. Because currently, she was still having an issue with how she was managing to do things without all of her on board for this; the woman suddenly felt like the lost girl from her rookie days and that was not going to do.

Come on, Juniper Jade, you are made of sterner stuff than this.

JJ was rumpled. Angry. Exhausted. She had plans. Poised and polished; make him regret his behavior.

Fuck it.

Dragging the small luggage, while simultaneously slipping her badge and gun onto the waistband of her jeans, that lean frame practically marched toward the boys huddled in a circle, discussing whatever she had already missed. Late. Straight from the airport. No shower or coffee.

Yeah, she was ready for war and the one person that it would wage on; didn’t even know she existed. She could hear the rest of them; the whispers of where she had been, where she came from, who she was, but once she made it under the tape, it no longer mattered.

She was all cop.

And in those cold, whiskey-colored eyes; she was ready to start work.

Passing press and cops alike, with equal looks of confusion and humor; Lieutenant J.J. Meadows would make her entrance into the Nave and her expressionless gaze would land on exactly why she was brought to the scene rather than letting her rest up before jumping feet first in with the DPI.

Vacation was definitely over.
January 14, 2020 05:20 pm

Carson James

Carson had a solid stomach. Not as in muscular, though that was a given too, but he didn’t get sick very often when he was on crime scenes. You have to have a strong stomach for the things that you see on the job, especially when you’ve done homicide for as long as he had before he’d moved up into his own special unit.

Still, despite the warning from the Chief, nothing really could have prepared him for what he’d see.

Most of the time the crime scene would be bustling with people. Forensics, officers, especially in a high profile place like Saint Bart’s. Chief Morris knew that Carson liked to go over the scene first, before anyone touched. Breathed on it even. That way he could lock it all in memory, able to go over it again and again in his head.

Sometimes even when he didn’t want to. One of the hazards of having an eidetic memory. Once seen, never gone.

Even the really fucked up stuff.

One would think that would mean not getting involved with the police, or crimes, or homicide. Just because he was an asshole didn’t mean he wasn’t going to use his god given talents to help people. And, quite honestly, it was easier to deal with the dead rather than the living.

His denim colored eyes locked on the scene in front of him. And now, despite that strong stomach, even he could feel the bile want to rise up. This would probably explain the lack of people as much as Carson himself.

It wasn’t the sight so much as the smell.

The sight didn’t help either, but the smell…

There was something about the scent of burned flesh. Human flesh. It wasn’t permeating through the entire building, but here in the Nave it was strong enough that it would reach his nose moments after entering the place.

He couldn’t help it. He put an arm up to his nose, pressing his jacket sleeves against his nostrils. Eyes watered. Carson wanted to take a deep breath to try to push that bile down back into his stomach where it belonged. He was NOT going to get sick.

Thirteen years on the force and he hadn’t lost his cookies yet. Today was not going to be the day that he started.

The scene was just as bad as the smell, though wasn’t the immediate reaction that an assault to the senses brought forth. He could deal with the scene.

The metal pole that was set up behind the altar was darkened nearly all the way to the top of it’s ten foot (give or take) height from scorch marks that would turn the steel to a smoked grey. The body was secured by something that he couldn’t quite make out yet, but it wasn’t rope. Rope wouldn’t have stood up if the corpse was any indication.

Black. Every inch of the form was black and dried, more like charcoal than a human being. But the shape made it obvious that is exactly what it was. What it had been. It was so much easier to think of it as an ‘it’ than a person. No person...nobody in this whole world, no matter how bad they were, deserved what had happened to this one. Any hair that they might have had was gone, burned and melted away. There was no flesh. Just bubbled black against scorched bones, making it tight against the skeleton that was obviously showing beneath the charcoaled skin.

Fuck. This was bad. Yeah, he’d seen bad things in his career, but this was…

The way the mouth was hanging open, jaw barely held on by sinew and muscle, it was caught in a scream that he could almost hear if he focused hard enough.

He closed his eyes. Not that it would get rid of the image that was now permanently etched in his memory, then glanced around the room, dark blue eyes landing on the brunette that had just walked through the doorway.

Carson snapped at her. Of course he did, because obviously that was the way to get someone’s information. And, considering he had no idea what her name was...or if they had even met before...how else was he supposed to get her attention. “Hey. You. I need gloves and coffee, in that order. Black.”

Then he took a few steps closer to the scene, the hints of red on the floor drawing his attention now. He would, of course, just assume that the woman he’d just barked orders at would follow them. He was used to the people in his unit, hell just the people that knew him on the job, to jump when he told them to.

From first glance he couldn’t tell if it was blood or paint, he would wait to get a closer look until he had the proper tools.

He could, however, read the words that were scrawled across the floor behind where the pole had been secured to the floor.

“Those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur.”

An excerpt, not the entire verse, from the bible. He knew it well. Not the verse itself, but the entirety of the bible. Yeah, that whole photographic memory was a boon as much as it was a curse.

Revelations 21:8. Part of it at least. The part that pertained to...well...people like him. Witches. He pulled his eyes back up to the body and stared hard at it, trying to forget the stench and the smell and even the sight of a human being burned like this. It was a thing now, to be studied. He had to turn that part of his mind off or else he would go even fucking crazier than he already was.

And that was when he saw it. Something. Around her neck, because yes the closer he looked the more he could see that she had been a woman, was something burned and buried into what was left of her skin. Something that was not part of her, or the clothing that she had been wearing but was now all but ashes.

“Where the fuck are my gloves!” He bellowed, loud enough to be heard over the entire room and all of its inhabitants. Yeah, he was just so very pleasant.
January 20, 2020 01:43 pm

Juniper Meadows

Death irritated her.

No, it was more than that. It pissed Juniper off.

Not the blissfully quiet expected deaths of the elderly or sick (though that one was in a different category all together), no, for her it was the sudden cruelty of murder that would do her head in; a millennia could pass and it would still not be enough to calculate the ways that men have taught themselves how to maim, torture and kill.

This would be the reason she’d want to go into law enforcement, more importantly, it was why JJ had wanted homicide so many years before; no, she didn’t have some terrible story or horrendous childhood that would provoke the need for justice. In fact, regardless of six brothers, she grew up happy.

Overcrowded.

But, happy nonetheless.

She had been to federal body farms; so, the scent of death filling the room wouldn’t disturb her, though, it would take a while to get the smell of burned flesh, no, the smell was more acrid than that, it was the hair, or rather the lack of that attribute that would account for the slight green tint to some of the officers she had passed.

Okay, so seeing a burned body on a stake might also have a lot to do with how the rookies were handling this case; it would also seem a little strange to the petite woman that forensic techs were milling about outside of the crime scene rather than inside doing their job.

But then she saw him.

Of all the gin joints...

It was unexpected. Her Captain, the Deputy Chief... top brass normally wasn’t at a crime scene. Sure, she could see why they would be considering this wasn’t just going to be a normal case. It was high profile. Shit. But it was her scene, sure, she was a bit whiny about that. He should be behind a desk. At home. Anywhere but here.

Fine, she could do this.

Really. She could.

Juniper paused, eyes roving over the body, she was good at crime scenes, better with people, but she was trained for this just as well; unfortunately, those roving orbs would always fall back toward the man who had made her life difficult six years before.

Actually, both men.

She was starting to think Commissioner Shea had it out for her.

But she would put that out of her mind the moment those dark blue eyes found her and started barking orders.

She was strangely worried about this, about seeing and working with him again; not because of the work they’d be doing or the rest of the team, JJ was fairly easy going and had established an amazing work ethic from the very start of her career.

That was almost ruined.

Something she was now going to have to put aside because all that mattered here, was the dead.

And the fact that he was damn near close to contaminating her scene.

“Get your own coffee and quit stomping around my scene, also, why is CSU not processing any of this right now?” Pointed stare, yeah, she was good at that. She was also good at masking nearly all emotion, she had learned the science of deception and in doing so, it taught her how to hide herself and right now, it was massively important that she do this.

If (this was a huge if) Juniper could maintain her cool when it comes to Captain Carson James; she really didn’t have time to process all of this, most of all, the brunette really was very unsure about this entire reassignment. She was sure the uneasiness about it had nothing to do with the job itself; she knew what the DPI was and that each LEO that was assigned to the unit was uniquely qualified for it.

No.

This was entirely about him.

And their past.

Thankfully, that man was shit with people; in remembering them. Names. Faces. This, of course, would mean that he’d not care about other people’s feelings. Or that there were ways in dealing with people that seemingly were not in his wheelhouse; either by choice or birth.

So, now JJ Meadows was called in to handle the outside world while the Golden Boy did his job.

But it didn’t make her any less apprehensive about being his babysitter. Anyone else, fine. Carson, nah.

Lieutenant Meadows could admit one thing about it though.

This was bullshit.

Nevertheless, she had a job to do.

Ignoring the request, in truth, she’d ignore his entire presence and turn back toward the group of techs that would wear the same expression she had seen on most of the people she had passed by on her way in, though it was now coupled with a few that were genuinely surprised that someone had dared to ignore the Captain. It was clear she had her work cut out for her and not just with him.

“Are we going to just stand around or are we going to get to work so we can release the body to the coroner’s office?” Once people started moving, Juniper’s stance would change; yes, she would turn back toward the body, but she was gearing up for a fight or at the very least, more yelling. Other than the obvious bellows from the man demanding gloves. “For goodness sakes, someone give him some gloves.”

It was said to the passing techs (and the drawn out sigh, would not be missed them) and considering the church they were in; it wasn’t a surprise if her exasperated words would echo, but she wasn’t as concerned about that as she was the words her Captain’s stare had pointed out. As if burning at the stake wasn’t a giant tell in what this was about, especially calling in this particular unit; witches, it would be ludicrous if she wasn’t born into a line of them herself.

It was then she would pull her gaze and drag herself toward Deputy Chief Morris and judging by the slight disdain that crossed his aging face, it was pretty clear that he did remember JJ and it was not a very fond memory. That was okay, she wasn’t very fond of him either. But he was technically still the boss and between the two of them (Morris and James), right now, she could handle the quiet disdain over the raging lunatic she was sure she was about to deal with.

He really didn’t like anyone telling him what to do.

He didn’t like women on his team.

It was his way or the highway.

Sucks to be him now.

“Sir.” It was curt as was the nod that would accompany it. “Is he even aware of what is going on? Or did we just not tell him.”

Oh, she was going to pay for that. Judging by the extremely red face, the near spitting and sputtering; seems JJ is off to a great start within the new unit because once he started, there was no way in hell the other one wouldn’t join in.

Lucky girl.
January 21, 2020 01:45 pm

Carson James

Lost in thought. He had a tendency to do that, to go into his head so deeply that it took a team of excavators to dig him back out again. It wasn’t just the words written down on the beautifully marbled floor that would have his attention. It was their position. The care for which they were placed. It wasn’t just graffiti, obviously, and of course the body would help to determine that.

All of it was carefully crafted, as was the body now crisp on a stake. A stake of metal, not wood like so many women had been burned at in the name of religion and hate. Good women. Witches. Human. Even someone like him that had a fairly low opinion of women in the workplace could see the tragedy that things like the inquisition and Salem witch hunts had brought to their community.

A community of magic users. Just like people, there were so many different kinds. Good, bad, those that dabbled in dark arts that stained the soul. Then, there were others like him. Those that would try to do good with the powers that they had.

Even if it was hard to tell just how much good he was doing as he was barking orders at people. He never pretended to be anything other than what he was, though.

It was those powers that would have something niggling at the back of his head. The body. The script on the floor. Obviously even the local LEO thought something was heeby jeeby about this, or they wouldn’t have called him.

So, he closed his eyes. He took in a breath. And he felt. Some witches had powers of the mind, some had command over water or air or the dead. His was more of a physical magic. Working with things that were tangible, heightened by his eidetic memory. He wasn’t sure, even to this day, if the photographic memory was part of his power, or his power was part of it.

Considering he came from a line of witches that could be traced to the dark ages, he was going to guess the former over the latter.

He let his senses take over. He felt the air, trying to sense something. Anything. There was nothing so off that it would scream ‘aha’ this is the killer!

But that didn’t mean he didn’t come up empty handed. No, that was going to be his actual hand that was still waiting for that goddamned cup of coffee that he’d asked for moments ago. His mental hand, however, could feel the shift in the molecules around the corpse. Around the painted message.

Everything, everyone, left their print on things.

This person left a trace of their energy. It wasn’t enough to be able to track them, but it was enough to tell him one thing.

At some point they had used magic.

There were lots of creatures and people that could manipulate magic and energy. It didn’t narrow the field in which to search a ridiculous amount, but it was enough to start.

Then, his attention was pretty rudely broken by someone telling him to get his own damned coffee?

His denim blue eyes popped open and he stared at the brunette with the dual colored eyes. Interesting eyes, and he was sure he’d seen eyes like that before. Maybe. It could have been an actress in a movie, though. He really was fucking horrible with faces.

“I’m sorry, but who the fuck do you think you are, telling me what to do on my scene? Doll, I’ve been doing this long enough that I know how to walk around a goddamn crime scene without contamination, or else Morris here wouldn’t let me do it. CSU will come in when I fucking tell them to come in.”

He had been woken up from a very nice sleep with a very nice blonde laying next to him to have to come into this. A murder victim and some yappy bitch trying to tell him how to do his job. He didn’t need this shit.

Carson put his fists on his hips, though he hadn’t taken even a single step since she came over and started to demand answers from him. “I don’t know if you are old enough to read yet, doll, but my badge says Captain. Other than Morris here, I’m the highest ranking officer here. So, they’re doing what I say because I’m the fucking boss. You got it? I need a goddamn moment on the scene without people moving shit before I get a chance to look at it. And you.” He took a hand off of said hip to point at her quite directly.

“You are about two fucking seconds from being kicked off my scene if you keep pulling that shit. So, now I’m going to ask again. Where are my coffee and gloves. I don’t fucking care if that’s your job or not, it is now.”

And that was that. Carson James had spoken.

Or at least, that’s what he thought before Chief Morris finally took the moment to actually pipe into the conversation. Of course he would wait for Carson to fly off the handle, but that’s what most everyone did. Let him go, then try to diffuse and explain the situation.

And why did Morris look so goddamn embarrassed. He knew what Carson was like and this little nobody wasn’t worth getting upset over. Or so he thought. But the older man was near sweating, and his face had gone beat red. Enough that even Carson would pick up on it.


“James, you remember Officer Meadows. I’m sorry, Lieutenant Meadows. She, ah, used to work with the NYPD a few years back.” Of course he wouldn’t mention how Carson might actually know her or remember her.

Morris knew Carson’s bad memory for people, and was hoping that might help him in this situation. He didn’t need the Captain blowing up any more than he already had. The people that were standing around, waiting for Captain James to finish so they could go in and do their job, had started to find really interesting cracks in the wall or gold veins in the marble floor.

Then, coming up behind Meadows was Ruiz, who would give his captain a slow grin. He knew how Carson was. He’d worked with him for years. Despite not being a magic user himself, Ruiz had seen a lot of shit when he’d been in the military. Of all the men on his team, he was also probably the one that Carson respected the most.

But when he looked like he was on the verge of laughing, that would set Carson’s jaw in a tight line as he tried not to glare daggers at his Detective. It...well, it didn’t work. Ruiz was used to it though.

“Remember, Captain? I gave you her file a few days ago. She’s the one from Quantico. I told you she was going to be in New York tonight and that you should try reaching out to her…” Except for the fact that Ruiz had left out one very big, blaring, fact.

And Carson had no problem pointing it out.

“You didn’t tell me she was a fucking woman! I would have remembered that!”

Sheepishly, Ruiz handed Carson over a pair of blue rubber gloves. There was amusement in those brown eyes, though he at least didn’t laugh outright. Only Carlos Ruiz would find this situation amusing.

“Didn’t say she was a man, either, boss.”

Smartass.

Carson wanted to angrily put on those damned gloves, but he could control himself more than that. Plus, he didn’t want to rip them as he’d done a thousand other pairs. Even the extra large were snug on his giant hands, but then again all of him was giant. Hands shouldn’t be any different.

Or the amount of asshole he was. Giant all the way around.
February 01, 2020 03:01 am

Juniper Meadows

Oh, good. He hasn’t changed at all.

She was soooo worried about that.

On a completely unrelated note, do you know how difficult it is for someone, who had spent the better part of the last five years training herself to not give off any sort of gestural slips, to physically have to make themselves not allow their eyes to roll so far backwards that they may see brain activity? Totally isn’t what was happening here, not at all, not even a little bit; nope, JJ had absolute control. Not even a struggle.

All of that, would in fact, be lies.

But she was also really good at that too, even if it was currently only to herself.

Everything in her life had been earned; she had worked her ass off to get where she was, to earn the respect of fellow officers and in turn, had learned quite a bit from the men and women she had the pleasure of working with these last few years. June had eagerly joined the force, fought for a life different than what her slightly hippy, wiccan parents had wanted, and she had loved every moment of it; even the little she had learned from her first trainer before being reassigned, the brunette cherished it.

Even if he was a giant asshole.

Even if he was currently acting like a spoiled child.

To be frank, she had learned a great deal from him; in fact, to this day he was the cause of the biggest life lesson for JJ to be educated on, which was probably why it was far easier to accept his reaction, because deep down the woman already knew how this was going to go.

She’d be back in Virginia before the end of the week.

Well, she would be if it was up to the Deputy Chief or the Captain; luckily for her, she was brought in because of someone far above their heads. Though, not exactly luck, again, she was more than qualified to be here, to assist, to run her own department; Juniper would have much preferred anything else to this, but here she was and above all else, she had a job to do and it had absolutely nothing to do with Captain Carson James.

Who the fuck was she kidding?

It all had to do with him.

If the man could learn some manners and not make other officers or reporters cry; she wouldn’t be here.

It might have been okay, she could deal with his ranting, the dressing down he would give her about it being his scene was fine; JJ would expect no less from this man. Even the demands of coffee and his gloves, it was just as it had always been; not that she had worked under him for very long all those years ago, it was just the way he was and would always be.

Some people could not change.

She was fine.

Perfectly.

Until their former captain, the illustrious Morris spoke, used to work for the NYPD, excuse the fuck outta you, me, and the looky-loos; yeah, that would set her teeth on edge. Sure, she had been loaned out to Quantico on occasion to teach, to interview suspects, and in those instances, she had also taken courses to further her education on other subjects that didn’t involve deception. But, she was never not part of the NYPD. Sure, she could harp on that small inconsequential thing, she could let it fester and grow, but the woman was far above that; most of the time, now with shit being spewed from Carson and Morris being the idiot he was, it was starting to show on JJ’s passive expression. Only slightly.

You’d have to be her, in order to read her.

But she could feel it.

The jaw tightening, teeth grinding, tension around the corners of her mouth and eyes.

Juniper Meadows rarely popped off. She never felt the need to yell or make a fuss. Far more like her demure mother at times, even with six brothers, she was always calm.

Now, she would like to shoot someone.

Until she inhaled, exhaled and those dotted orbs would shift to the detective that had joined them, one that she had passed on the way in, and at the relaxed nature, the laughter shining in his eyes and demeanor; Juniper could relax.

If someone with that kind of humor could deal with Carson James.

Then, so could she.

If, you know, she wasn’t a woman.

“Well, you have your gloves now, so how about I get the coffee for you... boss.” We all take pleasure in the simple things, for June, it was this. If he wanted coffee, by the goddess, she’d get it for him. If he hated the fact that once again (though he had no idea of their past) that he was her boss; JJ would rub it in, in the nicest of ways. Of course.

She wouldn’t bother with correcting Morris and she most certainly would not try and argue with her captain any further, no, she would just back track her way from the scene. She had other things she could be doing, like watching the officers interviewing parts of the Vestry; clergymen and women were not above the acts of men, lying was a very real possibility though June was fairly certain that despite the fact that someone went to great lengths to frame the Church for this death, it just wasn’t so.

No truly religious person would desecrate a church, no matter the controversy surrounding it.

More importantly, it would go against every tenant of religion to have a witch on hallowed ground. Dead or alive.

No, she was better off watching the people who, despite the late hour, had started to arrive. Parishioners, Clergy, and any of those watching from beyond where the officers had cordoned off the scene; that is where her talents lie.

And apparently pissing off her boss.

“By the way, the hymns have all been replaced.”

Parting was such sweet sorrow, but it certainly made it all the better to hear the Detective that had been trying hard to keep from laughing on a crime scene, start guffawing, muffled, but obvious and she clearly had no clue to either it was her blatant disregard of the ranting or if her last remark had caused the Captain to suddenly reevaluate his scene.

Either way...

Music to her ears.
February 08, 2020 01:52 pm

Carson James

He could feel the line of his jaw tense and grind under the flesh of his furred cheek. He wasn’t going to lose his temper. He wasn’t going to lose his temper.

That’s right, folks. Up until this point, he’d actually had his temper under control. This was probably why he had to take mandated anger management classes. That and the numerous people he’d made cry on the job. Men. Women. Children. His tongue was non discriminatory.

He was honest to a fault some might say.
Most people just called him a jerk.

He was an honest jerk, at least.

Carson flexed his fingers beneath the blue latex a few times.

Yes, he was the same asshole that he had been all those years ago. Not that he remembered. Not that it was even a passing thought. While she might look at him like she knew him, there was nothing when he looked at her. Not that she should take it personally.

He was really, really, bad with people. And not just in the interpersonal sense. Names, faces, times, and dates. It was all blurry until he really got to know someone. Even as the Chief and Ruiz tried to jog his memory, there was still...nothing. Until he looked at those dual colored, flecked, eyes.

It wasn’t enough to jog anything. It was just that maybe he thought he’d seen eyes like that before. Eh, obviously none of it was too important if it couldn’t at least bring back one single memory. They’d worked together before, according to the Chief. Looks like they were going to work together again.

Though, at this rate, if this is how they were going to do it, there would be another homicide site. Just...one a bit more personal.

Nope, not going to lose his temper, despite Ruiz laughing. Not just laughing, but laughing at him. Fuck.

“Kiss my ass, Ruiz.” There wasn’t nearly as much fire in that statement as there would be with other people. Ruiz and him had worked together for a long time, and he was probably the only person on Goddess’ green earth that could get away with talking to him that way.

That just made the shorter Hispanic man laugh louder and then follow JJ as she went to go get him coffee.

Good girl. Just like he’d told her to, though if she would have done it sooner he could have already downed one cup and been a bit more alert than he was now. “Remember, doll! I take it black!”

It seemed that he wasn’t going to have the last word though.

Until, of course, he yelled at her back as she was walking off. To get his coffee. Shit. Even as the words left his mouth he was going to be a little scared of drinking said coffee and not drinking some of her spit with it.

Because, fuck it. She was right. There was no way that he was going to just let that go, but he had missed the Hymnals. HE had missed the Hymnals and the fact that they had been swapped with pages from the Malleus Maleficarum. He could see it now that his attention had been brought to it. Goddamnit.

Reason number three hundred and fifty two why he didn’t like women on his team.

They were a fucking distraction.

So, of course this was the moment he was yelling at her back. “I just haven't gotten there yet! And if you had just gotten my coffee the first time, I wouldn’t have…” he couldn’t say missed it. He couldn’t admit that she was right. But on the other hand, he probably would have gotten there if he was given enough time.

It was the truth. His truth, which was enough for him.

Okay, he had to get his head in the game. He had to forget that just a few hours ago he was wrapped up between the thighs of a very leggy blonde and had been pulled from that little paradise to...this. Because it wasn’t going to do anything but make his mood even fouler than it was at the moment.

There was still a smile on Ruiz’s stupid face when he handed Captain James the pair of booties to slide over his shoes. His Detective knew him too well. It would garner a grunt of approval from his boss before he slid them over his dress shoes to get a closer look at the body.

At least his nose had gotten as used to the smell as was humanly possible.
Denim colored eyes scanned the floor. The walls. Every inch of the place that he could etch into memory. It was better than any photograph could manage, even if they called it a photographic memory. He could remember every detail. Every texture. The way the light glinted off the stained glass depending on the angle he was looking at it. Every inch of skin of the burned body, every blister that the fire had cracked and opened on the charred flesh.

All of it.

Now his eyes were drawn to the pendant that the woman wore, running his fingers over the surface of it. He would have pulled it out, taken a closer look, used his senses to feel it. But it was imbedded in burnt skin and he wasn’t about to go pulling it out of the body it was melded with.

He might cross lines, but he wasn’t going to cross a line that would potentially damage the case. Whoever this was...there had been purpose. No, no actual religious person would desecrate a church like this. And were they framing the religious institute or?

Were they trying to send a message?

What was it. That people that practiced magic should die? That was something his kind had been forced to deal with for as long as there was a church and religion. People persecuted by those of faith and killed in its name.

But this felt...different. It was that trace of magic. It was the way it all had been set up and deliberate.

Yeah, someone was trying to send a message but he was going to have to figure out what message that was.

That’s why he got paid the big bucks, right?

He turned his blue gaze toward one of the officers that were waiting not so patiently on the side lines to start gathering evidence and take pictures. “Get what you need from this necklace, then I want it on my desk first thing in the morning.”

She (yes, another fucking she) stuttered softly as she spoke up. People simply didn’t speak up against Carson James, and he had made her cry more than one time when she’d questioned his directions. But then here she was. Doing it again. “But, sir, we need to gather DNA and finger prints and…”
He cut her off. He was really good at cutting people off. Because he just didn’t fucking care what they had to say most of the time. “Then you better work fucking fast! It’s already three a.m. If it’s not on my desk by nine, you can just not bother coming in to work again. Ever. Officer...Lewis.” He took the time to at least look at her name tag. He’d probably worked with her a dozen times before, or more, but that didn’t mean he remembered anything about her. Especially her name.

Because, to him, she was inconsequential. And here was...still waiting on his goddamned coffee. This new girl was not impressing him so far, other than how much she had managed to piss him off in less than ten minutes. Jennifer? Jessica? Fuck, it could even be May for all he knew.
February 10, 2020 01:04 am

Juniper Meadows

She had almost felt bad for pointing out something he had missed.

Almost.

Until he was yelling at her retreating back about his fucking coffee.

That pretty much erased any kind of regret June had been feeling; not that she wasn’t used to that sort of thing, the immediate regret followed by some sort of justification for being a dick to someone who absolutely deserved it.

She did have brothers.

It was nearly the same.

Not wholly, of course. This was her boss, she should have been practicing a little more discretion rather than taking a dig at him, but the satisfaction JJ felt would certainly go a long way of changing her thinking in that moment. Sure, she could pay dearly for it later; bosses like Captain James didn’t take kindly to women, well, people in general pointing out things that he should know or see, but in the heat of that moment, it was well worth what he could possibly do to her later.

Not like he could fire her.

She didn’t have an ace in her pocket.

But make her life a living hell while she worked for him.

Definitely.

Now... Now, she had to cajole an officer of the law into making the trek down to Mike’s Café to get the man a coffee; she had become the grumpy ass giant’s lackey and it was embarrassing so she might as well bring a poor, unfortunate rookie into her hell with her. Luckily, for Juniper, there were some from her previous team that were more than happy to help with this little problem while she did what was actually expected of her from the higher ups that caused her reassignment to Captain James’ team.

She had known the newly appointed Commissioner before she had even graduated college and entered the academy, back when Shea was just the lowly Deputy Chief, the appointment that the illustrious Morris now held (something that would actually make the normally compliant woman’s teeth grind), so much history there, it was hard to remain unbiased but regardless of those issues, the man had been a great cop.

Much like the Commissioner.

Even (begrudgingly admitted) her new Captain.

Straying from the topic at hand.

Juniper knew when she got the call from Dermot Shea that she couldn’t argue, he was a bulldog of a man that had ran Anti-Crime Units; there was no way she was getting out of being on the first redeye out of Virginia, though, she wasn’t really expecting to stand out in front of reporters looking haggard from no sleep and rumpled from the plane ride itself.

But here she was.

And lo and behold; the reason for this would show up looking every bit of brass that he was and handling the reporters before she could even get a word in edgewise. A good thing too, because without the Commissioner giving the statement that the following week there would be a press conference at Police Plaza, June wasn’t quite sure that, despite the fact that she normally could shoo the press away, right now it would have been a bigger feat than making Captain James accept a female partner.

Lackey.

She was his lackey.

“How bad is it, Meadows?” Brusque and straight to the point; well, sort of. She was having trouble figuring out if he was speaking of the crime itself or the man in charge of the scene. “Walk with me.”

Ooooookay.

Great. No coffee in hand and she was going back into the church with the big boss and that’s not gonna cause a scene later; of course not. Why would it? Thankfully, she’d hear the rookie’s voice she sent off, just before stepping back into the Nave, and with a very grateful thank you uttered, she’d resume the quick steps to keep up with her the literal boss.

“You’re not his secretary and why do you look like shit?” Really?

“Anything to keep the peace, Commissioner. And that would be the rather awful timing of a crime and the fact that you made me get on a redeye.” Yeah, okay. She needed a nap and possibly was thinking of drinking Carson’s black (blech) coffee just for spite. Snapping at the bosses; not a stellar idea.

Especially when the elder man just kind of stared down his nose at one of his protégé's in confusion; so, she had never been spineless but she sure as shit would have never dared to speak to someone like him in such a flippant tone. But it couldn’t be taken back and now, she could watch as Morris started slinking closer to them with an expression of horror on his face.

Yeah, this was good.

“Reporter from Metro got wind of this, decided it would be good to wake me up for a soundbite. You’re not the only one put out tonight, Lieutenant.” All she could is blink and murmur a ‘yes sir’ under her breath, she had never been chastised and now, she really just wanted a few hours of personal time and actually allow her some time to collect herself. “Jesus, I’ve seen some shit but this is fucked up.”

For a man that had been on the force since the nineties; she was a little shocked to know that this was one that would take the cake as far as cases go, but in truth it was awful and she had a niggling feeling that this wasn’t even the start of it and it sure wouldn’t be the last.

And now, June could only stand there, holding a coffee that didn’t belong to her, and wait until she was dismissed.

It wouldn’t take long, thank the Goddess.

“Morris.” A nod would be given; it wasn’t clear but she was pretty good at reading people, but it seemed that Shea didn’t care too much for the Deputy Chief and the feeling was mutual. “Meadows, keep me apprised of the case as it moves forward.”

There was no room for her to say no, she couldn’t just argue with the man, he was the Commissioner and was currently walking away far faster than her voice could carry. Thanks for leaving me to clear this up. Appreciate it. This was bullshit. But Juniper would pull the same move and barely spare a glance to the irritated Morris before those strange colored eyes fell on her team. His team. Goddess.

“Here’s your coffee. I’m taking a few personal hours. I’ll be in later.” Okay, so she didn’t ask for permission and she actually didn’t hand him his coffee instead opting for Ruiz, the permission thing would be an issue but too late. The petite woman was exhausted, smelled like a plane and the scent of burned flesh in her nose was just not something she was going to get rid of any time soon, mostly, she really just wanted to get her luggage home and compose herself before starting the real work day.

Though, it would put a little more pep in her step as she reached the doorway, passing Morris as he made his way toward Carson and the Detective; the words that drifted backwards.

“James, we have a problem.”
February 11, 2020 12:36 pm

Carson James

Shea. Shea was here. That was just fucking perfect. For now, Captain James’ attention had been torn away from the scene of the crime, or at least the scene set up here, to watch the Commissioner as he apparently made chatty chat with the woman that had just showed up here not too long ago.

The woman that was supposedly supposed to be working for him.

It sure didn’t feel that way right now, though. Especially after the little chat with Morris.

He didn’t like it. He didn’t like it one goddamned bit, and he didn’t trust her as far as he could through her. To be fair, that would probably be fairly far since she wasn’t exactly big and he exactly was.

”Here’s your coffee. I’m taking a few personal hours.”

He didn’t respond. He gave her a nod, but he wasn’t really looking at her. He was staring past her at the other men talking, not even considering that she might have been saying something important. Which she wasn’t, to be fair, but he didn’t have time to spend trying to figure out what she was up to.

She just got here and she was leaving already? After some little chatty chat with the Commissioner?

Something was going on here. He just wasn’t very adept at reading people, or body language, or anything really that had to do with interpersonal relations. Still, he didn’t like it. He was so focused on the brunette and the Commissioner that he barely noticed that Ruiz was now nudging him with a hand, coffee cup being extended towards him.

And she was gone.

“Here you go boss.”

“Ruiz, what do you know about her?”

“Same as what’s in the file, Captain.”

“No, that’s not what I fucking meant and you know it.” He still took the coffee and started to drink it. At least it was right. And it wasn’t too hot so he could drink it quickly. The adrenaline rush of being called in during the middle of the night was starting to wear off, and caffeine was going to be much needed in the next few hours.

“Listen, Carson.” Oh, shit. Ruiz had called him by his first name, something the very easy going man never did. “You need to try to give her a break. She wouldn’t be here if she wasn’t needed and wasn’t good at her job. You know that. This…” the younger hispanic man motioned around the room filled with cops and reporters and the smell of death. “This isn’t for everyone, man. Most people don’t want to know what goes bump in the night, and here we are, trying to track it down. Give her a break.”

There was no way in Hell that Carson was going to give Ruiz the satisfaction of responding to any of that, not when Shea and Morris were now talking. Then...then the Commissioner was coming his way. Their way. Right, Ruiz was still there right up until Shea was next to them. Then his Detective seemed to get really busy really quickly.

”James, we have a problem…”

Nothing good ever came from those words being strung together like that. But, this was the Commissioner, so Carson had to play nice for a bit, unless he gets himself in even more trouble than he might be already.

“What kind of problem, Sir?”

He could think of at least a dozen things that could be answered, but he was going to let the other man spell it out for him so that he didn’t have to guess which one it was.

“There are reporters all over the place here, James. We now have you caught on tape yelling some rather, well, sexist things at a new member of your team. There is also the incident I just saw with my own eyes with the CSI team. I’m fairly sure there is now a picture of that young woman crying all over social media.”

A deep, long, sigh was taken in and let out from Shea as he gave a levelled look to the man standing in front of him.

“Look, Carson, you are great at what you do, but we are in a very delicate situation here. The police aren’t always looked at favorably as of late, and we are trying our best to change that perception. You can’t be out here screaming at people, and you definitely can’t be here saying things that might be considered derogatory towards women. This is a high profile setting so everything you say and do is going to be out there for the entire world to see.” Shea put his hand on Carson’s arm. He was a good six inches shorter than Carson was, but that didn’t mean he had any less presence. You didn’t get to be in the position he was in by being meek and blending in.

“Go home. Get some rest. You can start fresh in the morning. And please, please, take it easy on Meadows. She’s not going anywhere, so you have to get used to her.”

Was it just him or was there a veiled threat in there somewhere?

Maybe it was just him. He was, however, pretty sure that this was all her doing in one way or another. Sure, he could play nice with the new kid. Of course he could (hah). But there was no fucking way that she was going to come between him and the job that he had to do.

With a grunt that showed that Carson at least heard the other man, he carefully made his way through the scene and down the aisle, then out to the doors. Quietly, which was quite a damned feat for him, he went to his car. Got in. Locked the doors.

And proceeded to yell a stream of profanities that would make a sailor blush. All while hitting his hands against the steering wheel of the car, his hair coming free of it’s slicked back position and standing out from his scalp before he was able to get it under control.

His breathing was heavy, aggravated, and then he saw the person on the street.

With a camera.

Taking pictures of him.

Just fucking great. And all of it, ALL OF IT, was because of this Lieutenant Meadows. Not him. Not at all. At least that’s what he would tell himself for the next few hours.

The tires made skid marks on the pavement as he shoved it into gear and took off down the street. Now he was amped up on coffee and anger, and there was only one way to get it out of his system.

Well, two ways, but it was too late/early for him to find anyone for that right now.

Plans for the night: Work out. Drink heavily. Sleep. Then find out everything goddamn thing he could about this JJ Meadows person and how he was going to get rid of her.

Again.
February 16, 2020 01:55 pm
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