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eternalteenager
January 5th, 2011, 10:07 PM
This place is disgusting.

I shuddered. And cold. Don't forget cold.

It's cold, disgusting, and dark. Andrew said, settling on his choice of words. As we walked side by side toward the crime scene we'd been called to, out in a cold, disgusting, and dark alleyway, Mark pushed past us.

Stop complaining and get to work. He demanded, approaching the three people who were already up ahead past the yellow tape. Zach was one of them, camera out, taking pictures of the scene around the dead body. The other two were Leah Crosby and Jennifer Golding.

Jennifer Golding is LAPD's resident forensic pathologist. She isn't the only one that works for the police department, but in my personal opinion, she is the best. At thirty seven years of age, she is plenty experienced in the field, and definitely knows what she is doing. Though I respect her and her career, we do not talk very often. Jennifer works in one part of the building, I in another. The only things I know about her are that she has two children and is married to a man who reportedly is a model. I am not surprised, considering Jennifer's appearance. The blond hair that curls down to her waist, and the blue eyes that pierce through your soul are features that on her are impossible to resist.

Leah Crosby is a twenty seven year old forensic scientist from Newark, New Jersey. She is my best friend. Though she has only been a member of the LAPD homicide team for six months now, I am closer to her than almost anyone I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. She is smart, and beautiful, with tan skin, hazel eyes, and pin straight black hair. I can't even begin to recount all of the amazing memories I've shared with her on more than one occasion. Leah is amazing at her job, and I personally could ask for a better forensic specialist to work with.

Andrew and I approached the three, still walking beside each other, and looked down at the body that awaited us. Jennifer was crouched above the pale corpse, eyes roving the once lively human. The body was fresh, the skin still glowing with the final embers of a life just lost. I'm not a coroner, but I was prepared to make an estimated time of death at about two hours before we'd arrived at the scene. I slipped under the police tape and crouched beside the person.

The body was male, there was no doubting that. He had been clothed in a pair of fairly tight black jeans, a black dress shirt with the top three buttons undone, and a pair of slip on converse running shoes. He had dark brown hair, eyes that I assumed to have once been a dark green, and pale skin.

Blood pooled underneath his head. A black hole had etched itself in the centre of his forehead.

Andrew crouched beside me. I looked over to face him. He looked back. What do we have?

I shrugged. Dead male. Recent. Looks like a gun shot. That's all I got. You'll have to get the specifics from Jen. I said, jerking over at the blond with my chin. Strands of wavy hair fell into my face and I frustratedly grabbed a ponytail from my wrist and tied my hair back with it. I stood, Andrew following my every move, and approached Grant. He looked at us.

Mercer, I want you to get photographs. Work with Todd and scour the place. Harper, I want you to look for evidence. Mercer will help you when he's done with Todd. He instructed. I nodded, as did Andrew, and the two of us went our separate ways. I decided to start my search to the right of the body, away from any one at the crime scene. Turning my back, I let my focus drift to the ground to look for the proverbial 'clue'.

It also gave me drastic amounts of time to think about things. Think about the events of the morning.

Flirting. Andrew and I had not been flirting. We'd been arguing. There wasn't even any sense in saying that the two of us had even remotely been engaging in any behaviour of the flirtatious or sexual nature. We were just having a simple argument about his need to tease one of my very good friends. No flirting. No sexuality. Anger. I was more likely to flirt with Zach, my ex, than to flirt with Andrew, the most annoying, obnoxious, and sexiest creature on the earth.

Yeah, Allison. Annoying and sexy. Aren't they all?

I brushed thoughts of men and relationships from my mind and focused on the task at hand. The gravel ground of the alley way in front of me was more or less clear, despite the occasional piece of garabage that had been left by the odd homeless person. I squinted at the gravel, the early morning daylight doing nothing to improve my view. I was staring intently at a rock that looked like a shell when I heard the voice.

Ali!

I jumped, the movement causing me to jerk back and curse. Jesus!

I looked behind me. Leah stood there, grinning away. Hi!

I looked at her without expression. She giggled. Sorry, did I scare you? She asked. I nodded.

Yeah. I said, looking into the hazel eyes. Leah smiled.

Sorry, She repeated. There was silence until she spoke again. So whatcha doing?

I didn't look up from the ground that I'd refocused my eyes upon. Searching for evidence.

Leah stood at my side as my eyes scanned the dirty gravel. So, She said, a mischievous tone entering her voice, Andrew.

Oh, for the love of God. I sighed, beginning to move again. Leah giggled behind me. I tuned the laughter out. Why was everyone concerned about Andrew and I and our non existent relationship?

What? I just want to know how things are! Zachy said you two were flirting this morning.

I rolled my eyes and scoffed. Zachy is lying to you. I was not flirting with that jackass.

Leah has a strange obsession with my relationship with Andrew. She is adamant that I'm going to end up in his bed.

Ali, he's cute! Give him a chance! He likes you, it's obvious. I hear he's great in be-

I reached around and smacked Leah's shoulder. Leah, I am not discussing Andrew's 'capabilities' in the bedroom with you. If he's so great, maybe you should sleep with him, hm?

Leah snorted. No thanks. Andrew's cute, but he's definitely not my type.

Find anything? I voice interrupted up. Male. Andrew himself. Throwing a look at Leah, I shook my head.

Not yet. You see anything over there?

Andrew shrugged. Blood. That's about it.

Jenny find a cause of death? I asked, turning my eyes back towards the ground.

Bullet hole to the forehead. He murmured. My eye caught something glinting on the gravel below. I squatted down beside the object and stared at it.

What? Andrew asked. I pointed at the metal.

Shell casing. .48 caliber. Automatic, I'd say, though it could Andrew, are you listening to me?

I glanced up at the cop irritatedly. Leah had joined him above a patch of grass the had managed to grow between the dirt and gravel.

Did you find something? I asked. Andrew nodded, dropped to the ground, and came back up holding something in a gloved hand. As he turned, I immediately knew what it was. A .48 caliber, automatic pistol.

Hm. I said in approval, Well that makes things a hell of a lot easier.
~**~
Anthony Demarkos. Twenty eight. Accountant from Hollywood.

I stood in the centre of the bullpen, arms crossed over my chest. I'd switched my crime scene wear LAPD jacket and hat, and wind pants for a pair of black jeans and a purple tee shirt. Zach stood to my left, using the remote in his hand to change the pictures on the screen in front of us. Andrew stood to my right, his own arms crossed seriously over his front. Mark stood in front of my slightly, eyes locked on the screen.

Any family? Next of kin? He asked. Zach switched to the next screen.

Wife's name is Adrienne. Works for the Department of Social Services in Hollywood.

Andrew raised his eyebrows. A social worker, huh?

Zach nodded. Mark looked around at Andrew and I. Go see Jenny. Find out what Demarkos' body has to tell us.

I nodded and and turned, followed by Andrew. We exited the bullpen and made our way down the hall and to the elevators that would take us to autopsy.

What's your problem today?

I looked over at Andrew and raised my eyebrows. What are you talking about? I asked innocently. He rolled his eyes.

Oh, I don't know, your resentment towards everything about me?

I shrugged. That's just the way I am. I'm not trying to be mean.

Andrew shook his head and sighed. Awesome. Good to know. Glad you hate me.

I don't hate you. I'm just that kind of person. I said, trying to get my point across. I was not doing too well with my objective.

That hates everyone? Andrew suggested. I shot him a look.

Shut up. I said as we exited the elevator and entered the autopsy room.

Like most commonly describe on murder shows and crime dramas, it is plain white and fairly large. Halogen lights brighten the space, allowing Jennifer to see what she is doing when conducting an autopsy. Drawers line the walls, keeping dead bodies cold so as to slow decomposition and allow time for autopsies. Two stainless steel tables that sit in the middle of the room are what these infamous autopsies are completed on. One of them was occupied today, however, by our recent victim. As Andrew and I approached the body, which Jennifer was standing over, I looked away and cringed.

I am not an autopsy type. Seeing dead bodies doesn't bother me, but looking at them after they've been cut open and their organs removed? Not my thing at all. Andrew chuckled and I elbowed him. Jennifer looked up.

Hi guys. She said, smiling softly before returning to the body. Andrew crossed his arms across his chest.

Hey Jenny. I said, smiling. Andrew scoffed.

So you're nice to her.

Drop it. I hissed. Jen chuckled. I had a faint idea of what must have been going through her mind. Something that involved the words Andrew, flirting, and sex. I narrowed my eyes.

What can I do for you two? She asked as she peeled back a flap of the Anthony Demarkos' skin. I took a deep breath. Andrew spoke for me.

Find anything new on the body? He asked. Jenny nodded.

Yeah, a lot of things. She said. I watched her point to a lung. He was a smoker. High traces of nicotine in his blood stream. Lungs are in terrible condition. I also found cannabis in his system.

Marijuana. Andrew repeated. Jennifer nodded.

Yep. She continued on. I did a toxicology report. Nothing major showed up, except for a small dose of acetaminophen. Probably just taken for a headache.

What else? I added quietly. She shrugged.

Not much. He's in relatively healthy condition for a smoker. Liver is good, heart is nice and healthy. Had our little friend not been shot, he'd have lived rather long.

Andrew shifted his weight onto a different foot. And you're sure the gun shot wound was the cause of death?

Jen nodded. She walked from the table over to a tray, where she picked up a small piece of metal in her gloved hands and showed it to us. A small, .48 caliber bullet, the same size as the gun we'd retrieved from the crime scene. Andrew nodded.

Good work, Jenny dear. He said sweetly. Jenny laughed. Anything else?

The middle aged pathologist smiled. Not that I know of. She said. I watched make in incision into the victim's stomach. My own tummy flipped. Unless you care to know his last meal. She held up a piece of partially digested leaf, Which in his case was salad.

I groaned and grabbed Andrew's arm, pulling him out of the room. He laughed and called over his shoulder.

Thanks, Jenny! Call us if you find anything new.

When we were in the hall, I let go of Andrew's arm. He turned and raised his eyebrows at me.

You have a pretty weak stomach, huh?

I scoffed. No, I just don't do stomach contents. Half digested salad is not my thing. Does it scream fun to you?

Andrew shrugged. Doesn't bother me.

We're two different people.

We're a lot alike. Andrew offered. I snorted.

Lies.

In the elevator, we did not speak. We stood beside each other, but said nothing.

Until Andrew turned to me and pushed me into the corner of the small moving box.

I like how you and Leah were talking about my skills in bed today. He said, a smirk appearing at the corners of his lips.

Dammit. I need to be a hell of a lot more careful of what Leah and I discuss. I squirmed. I am claustrophobic, and I was growing increasingly uncomfortable with being trapped between Andrew and the elevator wall.

Uh, that was Leah, not me. I said uncomfortably. Andrew pressed closer to me. He'd placed both hands of the wall on either side of my head, and his face had to have only been a couple inches away from mine. I put a hand on his chest to push him away. He grabbed my wrist.

I find that hard to believe, Allison. Are you sure that was just Leah? Not that it would matter, considering everything you said was true.

I wondered why the elevator wasn't opening.

You two did say, after all, that I'm phenomenal in the bedroom.

Andrew got closer to my face. His voice lowered into a rough whisper.

You know, we could do some very...phenomenal things in this elevator.

Andrew's chest pressed into mine. He let go of my wrist. I stared at him. The elevator dinged. The door slid open. I squirmed out of his grasp and booked it into the bullpen, where Mark stood, staring at the same screen he'd been looking at when Andrew and I'd left.

Problem? He asked.

Rape. I said, rolling my eyes as Andrew exited the elevator. He ignored me, and Mark turned to the both of us.

Find anything out? He asked. Andrew shrugged.

Nothing special. Cause of death was a gunshot wound to the forehead. He was a smoker. Tobacco and marijuana.

Mark stared at him sullenly. That's it?

Well, we found the gun at the crime scene, but we're still waiting on Leah to run ballistics and look for fingerprints. I added. Mark nodded. Andrew came to stand beside me.

Where's Zachariah?

Zachary. I hissed. Andrew smirked and rolled his eyes.

Leah's lab.

You learn anything about Demarkos? I asked. Mark nodded.

Yep. That's he's not a very interesting character. Mercer, get Adrienne Demarkos in here. We need to inform the little lady about her husbands death.

greggb
January 5th, 2011, 10:51 PM
Good dialogue, once again. As for criticism, I think you need to stop using big paragraphs to describe your characters. It really disturbs the flow of the story. The paragraph about Jennifer Golding is 129 words. To be honest, I don't care about Jennifer Golding at this point in the story. Don't give me any more info than I need about her right off the bat. Let me learn about her by the things she says and does in the story.

You know, as dialogue-intensive as this is, I have a feeling you're seeing this as a movie or television series. I could see this working well in screen format. You may consider writing this in screen format. Just a thought.

Johnathanrs
January 7th, 2011, 01:12 PM
Think your flow is good as I said for your other chapter. I can't comment on the plot without reading the prologue. As it is, nothing is standing out to me with your introduction of the story. Although, I do not personally read crime-modern based fiction so that may just be me. I do know by the first three chapters, you should have some dripping piece of drama that really captivates your reader on whatever your plot is.

Your flow wise is good, but if nothing draws me in by chapter 3, then I would say you might want to re-write these chapters.