This month I’m taking part in the A-Z Challenge! Which means I’ll be writing 26 posts (on set days through the month) each one corresponding to a letter of the alphabet. Today is day 10, which means letter J.
My theme for the month is: Secret Diary Of A Serial Killer. Each post will be a new chapter in the story – I’m really excited to finally get this novel idea out of my head and into words. I hope you enjoy it! 🙂
Previous Chapter: Impatient Start from A: Anna
I left Capinski at the station to call around about Anna, telling him I had a confidential informant I wanted to check in on. In reality I wanted to meet with my tech guy, Johnny, to give him the anonymous call, and my phone to check out.
Leaving the phone in the glove box of my car – out of hearing range – I used a pay phone at the corner to call Johnny. It went straight to voice mail, he never picks up.
“Usual place. It’s urgent,” I said, then hung up.
The drive to the Sunrise Diner always frustrates me, hitting every stoplight on red with crazy long wait times. I asked Johnny once if he hacked the system to delay me arriving so he’d get there first. He said no, but I’m not sure I believed him. I have no idea where he actually lives – he could be 5 minutes away, or 45 for all I knew – and that’s how he likes it. I could look him up and ask around at the station, but I know he could also do serious digging on me, so we have a mutual understanding to leave things mysterious.
When I finally arrived at the diner I could see Johnny sitting in a corner booth and I waved through the window. He waved back, smiling.
I made my way inside and over to the table. He always looks so normal, you wouldn’t imagine he was breaking cyber laws on a daily basis, and is damn good at it. He ran a hand through his hair. His tanned skin was a few shades lighter than his hair, which was cut short but slightly scruffy like he’d just taken off a hat.
“Hey,” he said to me, then waved over a waitress.
I cringed. “You know they hate it when you do that here,” I said, smiling as I sat down across from him.
“Yes?” Said a very stern sounding waitress behind me.
“Coffee?” Johnny said to me.
“Sure,” I said, turning to face the waitress. Trying to give her my best smile. “Coffee sounds great!”
“Mmhmm,” she said and went to pour me a cup.
I shook my head at Johnny and he laughed.
“So what can I do for the enchanting Delaney Myers?” He said.
I waited while the waitress put my coffee on the table, saying a quick thanks before she walked out of hearing range.
“I need you to get the real voice from this altered voice message,” I said and pushed the thumb drive across the table to him.
He shrugged. “No problem. You said you need it urgently?”
“Yeah. It’s,” I stopped, not sure how much to tell him. “It’s an anonymous tip call, I need to know who phoned it in.”
I waited for any kind of reaction. We’d never talked about my day job and I always assumed he wouldn’t take too kindly to me being law enforcement because of what he does.
But all he said was, “Ok.”
“That’s it?” I said.
He shrugged again, the faded design on his t-shirt rippling over creases as he moved.
“Ok,” I said.
He leaned forward and put his arms on the table. I leaned forward too.
“What we do here,” he moved his fingers to point between the two of us, “Would screw both of us if anyone found out, so I know you’re not playing me.”
“How did you find out?” I said, leaning back.
“I saw you on the news!” He said, grinning. “It was weird, I felt kind of proud of you. As if my help had guided you to victory.”
I laughed. “You’re in no way a father figure.”
“Damn straight,” he said, leaning back in his chair, grinning.
“Before we get completely off business,” I said. “There’s a second part in my car.”
He raised an eyebrow.
As I explained what had happened with my phone – leaving out the part about dead bodies – his smile grew. He loves taking on an adversary, instead of grunt work like the anonymous tip clean up.
“Lead the way,” he said, motioning to the parking lot.