A few days later, on a cloudy day, a blimp putters once again in the sky over London, while children playing in the streets below are pointing up at it and waving, even though they knew that the driver of the blimp couldn’t see them. Simon drives past them, smiling as he watches the kids before he returns his attention to the road in front of him as he heads for the abandon warehouses close to the docks where they had been together the first time Janice had come to show them how her magic worked.
His mind wanders back to the night where he and Janice had enjoyed each other’s company so much that they had fallen asleep on the couch together. It had felt so nice and so right that he hadn’t wanted to wake her up the next morning but they had to get to work and he had to get home and change before work.
Now, he is excitedly driving to the warehouses where he will jump into the past with Janice again. He knows that it is going to be a lot of hard work but he has been practicing with Janice when they could at the office yesterday and she did really well in finding where the memories that the people had been hiding form themselves were being kept. He pulls up to the warehouse and honks, waiting for the doors to open.
They open slowly upwards, letting light from inside to rain over his car even though it was early morning when they had decided to meet up, but the lights hide the inside so he can’t tell who is there and who isn’t. He parks next to Jarred’s steam car and hops out to see that Jarred has been setting up the tables and computers with Jock’s help and Janice is already getting the files in order so that they can start at the beginning. The only one missing from the team is Elizabeth but he is sure that she will be riding up on her bicycle soon enough.
Janice looks up to see Simon smiling at her and heading her way after having closed the car door. The warehouse’s door closes completely, shutting out the loud sounds of boats blowing their horns out in the water. Janice hugs Simon and they quickly kiss, having grown close. Jarred sets the phone out on the table for Jock to use and sees the exchange, clenching his teeth. He pretends that he hadn’t seen and clears his throat, looking at his team, pausing when he sees that one is still missing.
“Has anyone talked to Elizabeth?” he inquires.
Janice looks over at him, “The only time I talked to her was when I called to remind her that we were going to get together here and get back to working on the memory thief case.”
Jarred glances at Jock, who is already calling Elizabeth on the phone that Jarred had set up for him to use to call the family and friends in a bit. Jock waits for a moment but no one answers so he hangs up and calls again.
“Elizabeth? Hey, it’s Jock. We are at the warehouse ready to go. Where are you?”
“Oh, sorry Jock, tell Jarred that I won’t be coming in today. I have taken the day off so I can do a little traveling with my new beau.”
“I won’t be back for a week I am afraid. I had a lot of time saved up for a special reason and well I have found it. So, I will see you guys when I get back in a week.”
Jock stares down at the phone shocked then looks up at Jarred, still hearing the phone dial ringing in his ears after she hung up so quickly. “Umm…I…she…uh…”
Jarred looks at him annoyed, “Well, Jock, spit it out already.”
“She is leaving for a week to travel with her new beau or so that is what she told me,” Jock finally tells them after the shock has worn off. “She hung up on me after she told me all that.”
Jarred growls under his breath and walks off to call Elizabeth himself to find out what is going on while Jock hangs the phone up. Janice and Simon join Jock behind the table as they watch Jarred talking into the phone. Janice’s wrist vibrates and she looks down to see that Mr. Stephens is calling her, sensing that it must be urgent. She glances at Simon and Jock with a worried expression on her face as she walks a bit a ways away from the two in order to answer the phone to talk to Mr. Stephens.
“Mr. Stephens? It’s Janice…is everything okay?”
“NO! Someone let it slip that you’re working on the case and it is in the papers. And whoever let it slip also told them that you have the past touch. I need to get you on a different case or back here in the office doing reports ASAP so that the memory thief knows that you are off the case.”
Janice’s face grows pale and her legs begin to give out from under her, her heart racing in her chest when she hears that someone has told the papers she is working with Jarred and the team on the Memory Thief case. She can faintly hear Jarred yelling into the phone at Elizabeth somewhere behind her while still hearing her boss cursing up a storm on the phone in her ear. She begins to sink down as her legs could not hold her weight any longer. But before she is able to sit on the cold cement ground, arms circle around her and she is being carried to the chairs.
She looks up to see Simon being the one to have snatched her up before she hit the ground and Jock shoving the chair closer so that Simon can put her down in it. Her hand is shaking so hard that she almost drops the phone but Simon takes it from her after settling her in the chair.
Jock whistles, catching Jarred’s attention who stops yelling at Elizabeth and tells her to hang on as he hurries back over to the small group. He looks down at Janice’s pale face and sees her shaking hands, telling Elizabeth what he sees. Elizabeth questions him and tells someone behind her to wait a second before she turns her attention back to Jarred, again asking what is wrong with Janice.
Simon puts the phone to his ear, hearing their boss still swearing up and down, “Mr. Stephens?” He nods his head, “Yea it’s me, Simon. Janice is sitting down, she nearly collapsed. What did you tell her?”
Mr. Stephens repeats himself to Simon, Simon’s eyes flashing dangerously as he hears that Janice could now be in danger because someone at the office told the London Times about Janice. He clenches his teeth as he watches Janice, kneeling down beside her to try and help calm her down as he still listens to Mr. Stephens. He looks at Jarred and Jock, “I will bring her back to the office and I will find out who told the newspaper. We will make them pay for what they have done.” He hangs up the phone, lifting Janice’s head gently with a finger, repeating, “We will make them pay for what they have done.”
Jarred moves his phone away so that Elizabeth will be able to hear their discussion, “What did he say?”
“Someone at the office told one of the newspapers that Janice is helping on the memory thief case and that she has magic. The told the newspaper about her touch. It is already out in the paper,” Simon growls between clenched teeth.
They can hear Elizabeth talking to someone while Jarred squeezes the phone, “Well kiddies time to pack up and get back to the office. We will have to do this on a day we have off and when we can sneak back over here. But she is not off the case. We will just have to keep it quiet.” His voice shakes in anger and lifts the phone up to his ear, “Guess you lucked out, Elizabeth. Enjoy your time off.” He hangs up without saying goodbye, pushing his phone in his pocket of his long coat before he heads back to the computers. He begins to quickly dismantle them, nearly knocking one off of the table because his rage is uncontrolled.
Jock hurries over to him and grabs his arm, gently dragging him away from the equipment before Jarred breaks something or hurts himself. Jarred shakes Jock off and walks off, his coat billowing out behind him as he walks. Janice watches everything in a cloud, not hearing them talking about what is going on, her mind racing with the words that Mr. Stephens has told her.
The thief knows about her now, he or she knows that she has the touch and is looking for them. She has to disappear back into the office now and has to be off the case. Or did Jarred say she is still on the case? She isn’t sure because she feels like she is in a tunnel or underwater or something as the voices sound muffled. She remembers hearing that Simon is going to take her back to the office and will use his magic to find the person who had blabbed. She slowly stands up on shaky legs and turns to face the guys who are bickering amongst themselves about the equipment and how it should be put back in the car.
The three men turn to face her when they hear her small voice behind them. Simon rushes forward with his arms out to help catch her if she falls because he can tell that her legs are still wobbly. Janice feels the room shift then spin before everything goes black, her world closing in on her as fear of the thief coming after she becomes real. Simon curses under his breath and catches her before she hits the ground. Jarred and Jock stride over to them and kneel down, unsure of what they can do for Janice as she lays unconscious in Simon’s arms.
“Janice? Janice?” Jock worriedly exclaims as he stares at her helplessly.
Simon adjusts Janice’s body in his arms and lifts her up, carrying her back to his car, “I am taking her back to her place and then I am going to the office and I am going to find out who did this.”
“No! Simon, take her back to her house yes but you need to stay with her,” Jock tells him. He cracks his knuckles, “We will find out who told the newspapers.”
“And we will make them pay,” Jarred hisses as he clenches his hands into tight fists.
Simon gently sets Janice inside of his car and nods, “All right, but if you need my help, I will be at the office ready to use my magic in a split second.” He looks at them before he straps her into the car and gets in behind the wheel.
Jock opens the door for him and soon Simon is on the road, heading for Janice’s house. Jock keeps the door open and returns to helping Jarred get the stuff back into the back of the car. Once the place is cleared up, they hop into the car and head out of the warehouse. Jarred stops to let Jock out so that he can close the warehouse garage door then they head back to the office, Jarred gripping the steering wheel so tight that his knuckles are turning white.
Jock doesn’t say anything, having been around long enough to know that when Jarred is angry you don’t talk to him. He stares outside, watching the steam rise up in the early morning, the sun painting the smoke in pinks and oranges. The city looked beautiful as they drive through the streets, having to go slow because of the horses and buggies. But the nice drive didn’t cool Jarred’s temper.
Jarred pulls into his spot in front of the office and turns it off, clicking his tongue against the roof of his mouth as he steps out of the car. Jock steps out and looks at him over the top of the car before he closes the door and heads around. The two-walk side by side, their eyes blocked by black sunglasses but anyone near could feel their anger. Jarred shoves the door open, the door banging against the wall and the people inside could hear the slam echoing throughout the building. Jock steps up behind him, pulling his sunglasses off and glares at the other detectives that haven’t had time to leave just yet, Mr. Stephens having told everyone to stay put for a moment.
Jarred rips off his sunglasses and if his eyes could be red, they would be a bright dangerous red as he glares at every single person, making them shrink back to their seats. Jock closes the door behind them and turns his own devil eyes towards the others he had called colleagues for so long. He shakes his head slowly as he makes eye contact with most of the people in the room.
Mr. Stephens stands in the doorway of his office, watching the two men, two of his best men, take matters into their hands-on finding out who leaked the confidential information about Janice. Mr. Stephens has a feeling he knew who it is and he tried talking to him but the man shut him out and made excuses. He crosses his arms across his chest as he catches Jock and Jarred’s attention, glancing at Todd, the man he thinks is the culprit then disappears back int his office, closing the door.
Jock makes a sucking sound with his top lip and teeth as he sees who Mr. Stephens believes is the one that ratted them out and looks at Todd who doesn’t return the look. “We have heard through the grapevine that someone told the newspaper about one of our cases and about one of our teammates. She is now on her way home with Simon, the stress and fear of being found by the memory thief having knocked her out cold.”
Jarred watches everyone until he sees Todd squirming in his chair, trying to type something up but is unable to because of Jock’s words. Jarred walks slowly across the room to where Todd is staring at the screen intently. He places a hand on Todd’s shoulder and squeezes, making Todd yelp and turn away from the screen, facing him.
“Todd? Todd, Todd, Todd, please do not tell me that you told the newspaper about our team having added Janice. Tell me that you didn’t tell them about her past touch” Jarred takes his hand off of his shoulder and glares down into two scared brown eyes. “And for the love of everything, please tell me that you didn’t take money from them to spill the beans.”
Todd chews on his lower lip, instantly staring down at his feet and not wanting to answer him, “I…I…”
“You what?” Jock growls, stepping up beside Jarred.
“I did tell them but not for money. I am dating one of the reporter’s daughters and I let it slip about Janice. She was asking about the case because she is afraid that she might be next so I wanted to let her know that we are doing everything that we can to catch the thief. And that we have a ringer that will help us catch the guy.” He runs his fingers through his thick short brown hair. “She must have told her father and he, of course, ran with the story. I told her not to tell anyone.”
“And of course, she is going to tell someone because when you tell someone not to, they will run their mouth,” Jarred hisses in his ear as he leans down next to Todd. “You screwed up big time and I hope it was worth it because you just jeopardized Janice’s life because now the thief knows about her and her gift. And our team has been broken up because of you, too.” Jarred stands up straight and he motions for Jock to follow him.
The two men walk away from Todd and heads for Mr. Stephens’s office. Not having to tell him, Todd gets out of his chair and follows them into the office, his head hanging low. Mr. Stephens sits behind his desk, elbows resting on the top, his hands clasped together, and his chin resting on his clasped hands. His face is dark and his eyes sullen when he sees Jarred and Jock enter his office followed by a depressed-looking Todd, his suspicions had been correct.
“Todd, sit down please,” Mr. Stephens says in a grave voice.
Todd does as he is told and sits down, not daring to look his boss in the eyes. He knew that what he did was stupid and now he will have to pay for it. He takes in a shaky breath and then tells Mr. Stephens exactly what he had told Jarred and Jock about the date and his girlfriend. He lifts his watery gaze to Mr. Stephens and tells him that he will clean out his desk and be gone before the day is done. He doesn’t say anything else, feeling the disappointment in Mr. Stephens’ eyes and walks out of the office, sniffling a bit but doing his best to not make a scene. Someone hands him a box to put his things in and he moves over to his desk, slowly placing his pictures and other objects inside the box. The last thing he does is log out of his computer, places his badge on the desk, and, with the box in hand, walks out of the building without looking at anyone.
Jarred pulls out his phone, having watched Todd clean out his desk and leave, quickly punching in Simon’s number in order to find out where Simon and Janice are and if Janice is all right. He listens to it ring for a moment before a voice answers on the other end, “Simon? Is Janice all right?”
“Yea she is resting in bed. I just got her here a few minutes ago but she is okay. Her cat is snuggling with her right now and I am just chilling in her living room. Did you find out who it was?”
“Yea it was Todd. He is apparently dating one of the reporter’s daughters and he told her and she in turned told her father,” Jarred tells him as he walks towards his desk to get some desk work done before the end of the day. “He has already quit and left so he is no longer with us.”
Simon curses under his breath and then sighs, “All right I will stay here a little longer to keep an eye on her and then…”
“No, Simon, you will stay there for the night until we can get something more permanent to keep her safe,” Jarred tells him as he sits down at his desk, logging into his computer. “I will discuss with Mr. Stephens what we want to do in order to keep Janice safe.”
“I hear you, Jarred, I will stay here tonight and when we come in tomorrow, I hope you all will have a plan. We can’t let the thief take our Janice,” Simon tells him before he hangs up the phone.
Jarred nods, “Indeed, we cannot let the thief take our Janice.” He hangs up his phone and looks up at Jock who raises his eyebrows.
Mr. Stephens appears at Jock’s elbow and looks concerned, “Simon?”
“Yes, and Janice is resting peacefully with her cat at home. Simon will be staying the night tonight with her but we need to come up with a plan of us rotating and staying with her so that we can protect her at night. Then during the day keep her here. Don’t send her out on any cases because we can’t keep her safe if we are all separated from her. But if she stays here, we have numbers against the thief.”
Mr. Stephens heads back inside his office for a moment then returns with a sheet of paper. On it, he has written dates and times, “Until we catch this thief, we need brave men and women staying with Janice at night. If you want to, you don’t have to of course, but if you want to help out, sign your name under the dates and times that you are willing to stay with her.” He sets the paper down on Todd’s old desk with a couple of pens.
Instantly Jarred and Jock signed their names on several dates and times, transferring the information into their digital calendars. A few others step forward and begin to put their names down so that they can help keep their fellow detective safe. Jock signs Simon up for several as well since he knew that he would want to help out. Jock also put down Elizabeth’s name on a few when she would be back so that she can help out since she ditched them that day. He sent her the information and to Simon so that they can put it in their calendar. Once done, Mr. Stephens returns to his office so that he can type it all up and make everyone hard paper copies to keep as well.
Jock perches himself on the edge of Jarred’s desk as Jarred sits back in his chair, staring at his computer even though it is off. Jarred looks up at Jock after a little while and leans in close, “We need to get Janice back to that warehouse and do the magical touch thing so that we can find this murderer and get him behind bars so Janice can live a normal life. She doesn’t need all of her colleagues to stay with her for the rest of her life. It isn’t fair on her or her cat.”
Jock nods his head in agreement, “We have a plan for now but yes we need to catch this guy or girl or whatever it is and get all of our lives back to normal. London needs to stop being in fear like this.” He pats Jarred’s shoulder before he moves back to his desk so that for the rest of the day, he can work on some paperwork that needed to be done. No one was allowed to go out in the field for the rest of the day.
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