[Product of a Primal Urge]: 826.By Any Other Name

Rating: 0.00  
2011-09-20 19:49:27
Free for reading

By Any Other Name: Introduction

    Michael D’artagnon rolled over in bed and crushed up against something warm. Slipping an arm around it, he found it wiggling and pliable. When he opened his eyes he knew immediately he was not in his own bed. He was quite certain that he, a thirty-seven year old single man, did not own pink satin sheets. Dragging his eyes to the person wrapped up in his arm, he saw the dark smooth skin of Estella Ramirez. Her long red-brown locks were tumbled over her shoulders in thick curls and her light brown eyes were barely visible beneath heavy lids slowly blinking at him.

“Mornin’ detective,” she said with a yawn.

D’artagnon smiled at her, moving his lips into the crook of her neck and giving her a kiss. “Mornin’ ‘Stella. I’ve got to get home before work.”

She wrapped an arm around his waist and wiggled her leg between his, pressing herself as close to him as she could. “No, quédate aquí.”

“I can’t stay.” Michael pushed her leg from between his and rolled over. Stepping out of the bed, he gathered yesterday’s clothes from the floor and stepped into them. “I’ll see you at work.”

He could hear her moving around, heading for the bathroom, as he left the apartment. Getting into his car he looked in the rearview mirror and cringed a little. He was nearly forty, sleeping around with people he shouldn’t be, and he’d be damned if that was gray hair at his temples. Brushing his fingers through the slightly longer pieces he hid it away and turned the car on.

D’artagnon barely had time to pull up to his house before his pager went off. That could only mean one thing- a murder. Of the five years on the force for this small city he’d only come across one murder. Accidental deaths, certainly, but this place was normally violence free. Hell, he’d only pulled his gun seven times and once was to shot a rabid dog. Knowing the importance of this pager going off, he rushed into new clothes, quickly brushed his teeth, and his possibly graying hair went forgotten.

Pulling up to the scene the sight of pulsing red and blue lights struck his eyes painfully. He stepped out of the car and stood at the yellow strand of tape meant to keep onlookers away. It was a barrier he loathed to cross over, no matter the circumstance of the crime. Taking the cold tape in his hands, D’artagnon sucked in a deep breath and let it out, trying to push prejudice aside.

Flashing his badge to the cop just beyond the tape and easing into the cracked front door of the house, Michael noticed one thing about the crime scene right away. Rose petals. They were scattered all over the room, dulling the click from his shoes and sticking to the black toes. His eyes searched the floor for an area not covered in them. His heart began hammering as his eyes slid up to the body of a young woman. He moved closer and put a hand on his partner’s shoulder, looking down on the victim. She wasn’t a young woman, he thought, she was just a girl. A baby.

“Her name is Abigail Taylor. She’s nineteen.” Detective Estella Ramirez’s voice was soft but shocked its way through her partner’s mind and thoughts.

“Mm,” Michael hummed his response. “Parents?”

Estella shook her head as Michael pulled his hand from her. “Looks like she lived on her own.” She opened her mouth to say something else but was cut off.

Michael’ head was starting to hurt him. “I’ll probably be pulled off of this case.” His statement was quick and caught his partner of one year off guard.

“What?” Estella turned towards Michael, arms coming up defensively across her chest. “What do you mean?” She was much more defensive than normal and D’artagnon could imagine exactly why. He shouldn’t have run out, and he shouldn’t do it again.

Turning his head to look at the younger detective, Michael shrugged his shoulders. “I mean, the Captain won’t want me to remain on this case considering the circumstances. My sister was murdered the same way; it’s the same killer.”

Estella stood gaping at her partner, jawing wordlessly for a moment. It gave Michael enough time to slip away, back outside and away from the scene. He’d slipped into prejudice very quickly after seeing the rose petals. He knew the crime well, knew they wouldn’t find much aside from cleaning chemicals, and he even knew where the roses would have been ordered from.

Sucking in a long drag of outside air, Michael felt the pounding in his head intensify. He was not ready to face this again. Sticking his hands in his jacket pockets he looked about at the people moving around outside of the house. An ambulance was pulled into the driveway and two EMTs were leaning against the side of it, laughing between drags of cigarettes. Two policemen were standing near the yellow tape, assuring people who came up that things were under control and they didn’t have anything to fear. A new medical examiner, trailed by the old coroner, Sander Michaels, was fighting against a gag reflex med-school hadn’t taken from him. It was usual and casual, as if the world wasn’t ripping itself in half.

That was how it felt for Michael and why he’d had to leave the room. Every memory he’d suppressed and pushed away behind the good ones were flooding back and vividly at that. He could see his older sister lying in a puddle of her own blood, deep brunette hair around her head like some wild crown, and those damned rose-petals like a throne for her body. 

2011-09-20 Product of a Primal Urge: I reworked this a few times, not sure I like the beginning yet, but this at least got me to start chapter one. I figure that's at least something.

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