Meet Jake

“Great Gaia, Jake. Where have you been?”

Jake grabbed a stack of mail off a filing cabinet. “Working a case.”

The young elf behind the receptionist desk arched a skeptical eyebrow. With pixie-cut, stark black hair framing her defined, alabaster features, her expressions often spoke louder than words. She was on the short side for her race at just under five and a half feet, slender, dressed in a low cut blouse that fit her definition of business casual.

“What do you think I do all day when I’m not here, Kiri?” Jake gave her a level look when she started to reply. “Before you say that out loud, remember I sign your paycheck.”

She arched the other eyebrow. “You mean I get paid this week?”

He held her gaze without smiling.

Kiri finally gave up the staring contest with a thin lipped smile. “I’ve been trying to reach you all morning.”

“Phone’s dead. The assholes at lockup are supposed to turn it off. They probably let the battery drain out of spite.”

“You got arrested again? Jake, you’re gonna lose your license.”

He went back to looking through his mail. “Not unless I get convicted.”

Kiri’s expression flattened. “Why didn’t you call me? Who posted bail?”

“Didn’t want to wake you. Navarro sprung me.”

She grumbled at that. “So I’m not getting paid this week.”

“That depends on this new client you’ve been trying to call me about.”

“Huh?” Kiri confusion gave way to annoyance as realization set in. “You know how much I hate that.”

Jake sighed. “Sorry. I’m having a tough time tuning stuff out today. What’s the case?”

“Missing property,” Kiri said, eliciting a groan from Jake. “Likely expensive property by the looks of her. She wouldn’t give me her number for some reason, but she left her address. It’s in Wyndhurst.” Her eyebrows raised, implying Jake should be impressed. Seeing he wasn’t, she sifted through her cluttered desk. "Her name is..." The words hung until she found her prize and proudly read, “Jolene Welch.”

Jake’s angry glare caused Kiri to flinch. He snatched the sticky note from her hand.

“What?” Kiri asked, worried. “I tried to get her number, but she…” She timidly fell silent as Jake stared daggers at the little piece of paper.

Jake released his held breath, blinking as if waking up from a long sleep. “Thank you,” he said, and walked into his office.

Kiri looked around the empty lobby, unsure what to do with herself. No sooner had she decided, Jake walked out of his office.

“Hey, uh,” she stuttered. “I’m going to try to collect some of these bills again.”

“That can wait,” Jake said. “I need a full workup on Jolene Welch. Credit, criminal, social media, whatever pops.”

“The new client?” she asked, clearly lost.

“Yeah. I’ll have my phone charging in the car if you need me for anything else.”

“Oh. O—”

The door closed behind Jake.

“…Kay.”

Next Chapter: Meet Agent Navarro