The next ~600 words of my crime story!
Genre Writing – Week Three
Adeline stalked to her black sedan, climbed in, and sped off toward the highway. It was only 4:15 but she was still hitting traffic and had to slow down. Reaching to turn down the music, she noticed the red car behind her was the same vehicle that had been parked near her office. Instead of adjusting the sound, Adeline fiddled with her mirror to try and get a look at the drivers face through the tinted windows. She cursed eloquently when she couldn’t get a good look at the driver and let muscle memory take over, while her mind raced, trying to think of a way to lose the person following her. Coming to a decision, she jerked the steering wheel to the left, cutting off another driver, and veered onto a less used road. She heard horns screaming and glanced in the mirror to see the red car trying to follow her. Instead of getting on the highway, Adeline sped off toward the back roads, where she could speed without worrying about getting caught. She raced away before the red car had a chance to catch up to her. Just to make sure, she drove around for a while before heading to her suburban home.
When she finally got home she retreated into her living room, with a glass of red wine and the files she collected from her office in hand, to do curl up on the couch and do some heavy thinking. Something was wrong. Robert Grainley had been too perfect of a client to pass up on, which bothered her in and of itself, but that combined with the fact that someone tried to follow her today? She didn’t know what it meant, but it made her extremely uneasy. As she poured herself another glass of wine, she wondered what she should do about her situation. Ever since she had been put on trial for blackmail and extortion she had distanced herself from all aspects of her business. But what if that wasn’t enough? Don’t be so damn melodramatic Adeline she thought to herself. She flipped open the file from her office and stared at the front page. James Dunham, undercover agent. But what good is an agent if I know who he is? she wondered for again. She had the file memorized, but it comforted her to have it. James was an employee, someone she hired to get close to people and find out their secrets. She knew from the second she hired him that he was reporting to the cops. She constantly had to fight the urge to make him disappear – it would be so easy – but, better to keep your enemies close.
She downed the rest of her glass of wine as she stood from the couch, tossing the file onto the coffee table, and started pacing around the room. She could only give Dunham above-board jobs, nothing illegal, because he was a police informant. But, since her whole business was built on less than legal actions, it was hard to find tasks for James Dunham. She didn’t want to fire him; the cops would just try to get someone else into her organization. What if they did better the second time, and she didn’t find out who it was? They would be able to prosecute her again, and she would end up in jail this time. No, she decided, I can’t do anything to Dunham. She sighed heavily, leaning against the wall to stare out the window.
Her neighbours had been quiet lately, which usually preceded them setting her up on a blind date. They all thought she was a widow instead of a divorcee. It was what she told everyone – people asked fewer questions of a widow – and it explained why she still wore her wedding ring. She twisted the gold band on her left ring finger, lost in memories from before the divorce, before Jason found out what she really did for a living.
She jerked herself out of her reverie, focus Adeline! She started pacing again, turning her thoughts to Robert Grainley. I don’t need any more clients, she thought suddenly. She went and got her work phone to call Grainley when she made a connection. She sat back on the couch and poured herself a third glass of wine while she dialled Grainley’s phone. It rang five times and went straight to voicemail; no greeting, just a beep.
“Mr. Grainley, hello! This is Josie Branch from Weston Detecting. I spoke to Mr. Weston today, after you left, and he agrees that your situation needs looking in to. It’s a good thing you came to us! Unfortunately, Mr. Weston’s docket is full for the foreseeable future, but one of our employees, James Dunham, would be happy to help you. He is an excellent private detective. I’ll call you again tomorrow with all the details. Have a great evening!”