The Necklace

She had to find the necklace before it was too late. If it fell into the wrong hands then all hell would break loose. Jane returned to the King’s Arms to retrace her steps and was horrified to discover that the place was swarming with Metropolitan Police. Seeing the police cars and ambulances parked along the curb she carried on ahead, not stopping for fear of being approached by one of the young uniforms. Once she had turned off the street into one of the residential side roads she found a free parking spot and squeezed her banged up Volvo into the tight gap. Jane caught sight of herself in the rearview mirror and took a deep breath. Her bottom lip quivered ever so slightly, the rouge lipstick was smeared and her mascara had run. She quickly and efficiently removed her make up, paranoid that her disheveled appearance might attract unwanted attention.

As she climbed out of the beaten up vehicle she felt naked without her slap on. Her confidence that had already taken a beating was beginning to crumble, revealing the shy and nervous creature beneath. A chill breeze surfaced, scooping up an empty crisp packet and rolling it across the fag-encrusted pavement. Jane shivered in her thin cardigan and skinny jeans and cursed herself for choosing fashionable clothing over sensible. A piece of discarded chewing gum attached itself to the bottom of her converse, slipping in between the grooves. On any other day Jane would have been distraught as she took great pride in keeping her footwear immaculately clean but not today. Her mind was too preoccupied with her current predicament.

She reached the corner of the road and peered round the side of one of the houses. Another car had pulled up outside the pub. It wasn’t a patrol car like the others but the two men that climbed out of the vehicle had an air of self-importance about them. Must be detectives Jane thought to herself. Her dark eyes scanned the street, searching for a possible route inside the building. Barriers had been set up along the pavement to prevent nosy members of the public getting too close to the pub. Crowds huddled around these barriers, eager to see some action. Jane blew at a stray ginger curl dangling in front of her eye that was immediately replaced by another. As much as she loved her fiery frizz of hair it did get it the way. Jane didn’t complain about her hair much. It was the one part of her body that she truly felt comfortable with. It gave her confidence and she attributed much of her male attention to the fact that redheads were desperately sought after at the moment. Her eyes hovered on the group of hopeful spectators and a plan began to form in her head.

She was just about to push off from the wall when a large hairy, arm appeared around her neck and yanked her backwards. She screamed and kicked out as she was pushed roughly into the back of a dark van. A sack was shoved onto her head and something sharp pierced the flesh of her neck. Jane stopped struggling and fell limp. Slowly she drifted out of consciousness.

Detective Dylan Barnes glanced at the shattered window and then down at the broken glass scattered across the pavement and sighed. He knew it was going to be a messy one and unfortunately for Barnes the messier the case the more complicated. He overheard voices and turned his attention to his partner Sergeant Patricia Simms. She was questioning one of the uniforms posted outside the pub doors. The young uniform looked unwilling to cooperate at first but Simms aggressive almost masculine behavior quickly made him change his mind. Barnes liked Simms. She was dedicated, quick to learn and spunky. He had been dubious at first working with a female partner, his prejudices getting the better of him. But he soon learnt that Simms was a far better police offer then many of her other colleagues. Before Simms had been assigned to Barnes’s detail he had had a run of bad partners. Either too dim or too lazy to do any decent police work.

‘Uniform says that it’s a right bloodbath in there. Possibly gang related.’ Simms said appearing at Barnes’s side.

Despite Simms’ impressive abilities as a cop Barnes couldn’t stand her overtly masculine bearing and attitude. She never wore skirts. Always opting for the smart trousers and jackets instead, Her hair was short and spiky which made her look boyish and she adamantly refused to wear heels.

‘Great just what we need. Another bleeding gang war on our hands.’ Barnes groaned and dry washed his three-day-old stubble.

He was in desperate need of a good cup of tea with plenty of sugar. Shooting pains plagued his back due to another night asleep in the downstairs armchair. It could hardly even be called a night as he had only managed three hours before he was roused from his slumber by the ever demanding telephone.

‘Lead the way sergeant.’ He said, ushering Simms to the pub doors with an outstretched hand.

Simms looked slightly irritated by Barnes’s gesture but made her way inside without protest.

© [Daniel Ashby] and [Ashby Tales], [2014]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [Daniel Ashby] and [Ashby Tales] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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