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11 minute read # Heidi Manley

Chapter One (continued)

The chapter continues with the introduction to the main characters setting the scene, before they are introduced to a case that will change everything .

‘Aw so come on you aren’t telling me you didn’t miss me at all Addie…I bet you missed me really, it’s not like we’ve got anything else to occupy ourselves with…Addie...come on play nice’’

“Addie? What is that my nickname from now on? What happened to Jones?” She slid her feet off the desk as he looked up at her grinning like a Cheshire cat, his green eyes wide and mischievous as always, softly tinted with sadness that he equally tried to never show.

“Oh you know how easily bored I can get with things” He sighed dramatically swinging round on his chair as he flapped a hand around casually. ’’Plus it was either that or AJ …’’ He grinned further knowing she hated that.

Adelaide frowned at him and rolled her eyes but otherwise ignored his comment, and continued with what they were talking about “Hmm I seem to recall something of your ability to get bored easily, usually nearly costing us our lives. What is it…8 times we've nearly died because you were bored, the Princess of Arwen really wanted our heads on spikes”

Adelaide pouted lightly, trying to pretend she wasn’t impressed as she crossed her arms over her chest, but secretly she had enjoyed it too, she just didn't want him to know that.

“Ah the Princess of Arwen, how was I to know she was in the same room I’d put the Blenrat, sure it could have gnawed her legs away to bony stumps, but she really didn't need to react the way she did. You know I think she was just that tiny bit jealous of our partnership” Jonathan had jumped off the seat and leant across the desk as he’d said it, causing Adelaide’s heart to beat erratically in her chest.

“Oh shut up’ She knew he only meant business partner, but it was the way every time he smiled it sent her body almost into meltdown, not that anything would ever happen, he’d left the past behind and she was still fighting hers, but that didn't mean it still didn't hurt him. ‘We only just managed to get out of that alive’

“And you still weren't very grateful…I did actually come up with a plan, always have a plan…Well most of the time I make them up as I go along, but who’s counting eh?” Jonathan had winked and moved to look out the window, keeping his attention away from Adelaide as he chewed on his lip.

“I’m counting…that’s who, and also jumping out of a window thousands of feet up is not a great plan…. Nor is hiding the ship a few feet below the window under the Invisibility shielding, you could have warned me. I thought that was it... Plus I ended up with so many bruises you’d have thought that was my skin colour.” She stayed at the desk watching him with a slightly annoyed look on her face, although she had to admit he had saved her life.

“Oh come off it, you weren’t as bruised as your ego though hmm” He said lightly, still not turning to look at her as his gaze lingered to the street below.

“My ego is, and has never been bruised” Adelaide gasped her voice almost hysterical as she said it, Jonathan just chuckled lightly still not bothering to look at her, that was when she knew something was on his mind.

Normally he’d have some witty comment to make back at her, like saying about that time they had been chasing a known criminal down the street and she’d been wearing a dress where the straps had snapped, and the dress had ended up round her ankles. Noting his absent comment and his somewhat half- hearted laugh, Adelaide stood up from the desk, tottering lightly in her heels towards him; she smiled lightly wrapping an arm round his shoulder and hugging herself lightly to him as he looked round to eyes shining softly into hers.

‘’Did you manage to find us a case?’’ She asked hesitantly biting her lip whilst Jonathan continued to stare out the window, a sigh escaping his own lips.

‘’A woman ….pregnant at that called me wanting us to help find her husband. I took all the details alien named Grask….said he’s been missing since yesterday or something, but the police won’t take a look at it deeming it unimportant…how can they do that…just….how?’’ Schmidt sighed shaking his head as he passed a few written notes from his jacket leaving them on the desk before returning his attention back to Jones.

“Don’t worry that’s why we’re here…to help with these things….We’ll have a look at it in a minute, and I know we’re going to find him alive and well” She sighed lightly trying her best to be comforting and sound convincing more for her sake then just Schmidt’s, but Jonathan looked down to her smiling crookedly shaking his head lightly.

“ I hope so…and…It’s not…it’s not that, I just wonder if... are we doing more harm than good in doing all of this? …Maybe it’s time I stopped.” He frowned deeply staring back out to the streets of London, its shining silvery up to date buildings towering over the smaller landscapes that had been there centuries, the sky just beginning to swirl with light grey clouds there would be a storm arriving soon, whilst Adelaide did a double take, and dropped her arm glaring at him mostly in shock and confusion etched on her face.

“What the hell….’ Hurt crossed over her face and she slammed her hands over his chest, ignoring his face as he winced lightly, slamming her hands against his chest again ‘Don’t you dare, you… you can’t leave now, not after everything we've built up. Don’t you dare” Hot tears spilled down her cheeks as he softly grabbed hold of her wrists and stared into her eyes, the soft green orbs should have calmed her down lightly as they usually did, but this time they only make it worse.

“Calm down Addie…please, let me explain” Jonathan kept his voice calm and low, but like always it held a hidden authority that made her want to do as he asked. She shook her head violently struggling against his hold.

“Get OFF ME…. GET OFF” Adelaide started to shout, frustrated and angry at Jonathan’s sudden announcement to stop, she had assumed the worst that that was it no more Schmidt and Jones, no more solving crimes or stopping weird plans from alien races, after a few more minutes struggling she finally slowed to a stop staring up at him breathing harshly, and hot and bothered in her attempt to be released. Jonathan had carried on staring down at her amused, but after she had stopped struggling against his restrain, he let his hands drop smiling lightly.

“Now will you let me explain? Look I just don’t know where this is going…I mean look at all the bills we have yet to pay’ He glanced back frowning lightly at the desk that was littered with unopened brown letters ‘Everything I’ve seen here….no matter how many times we think we win, what about everyone we couldn't help, every one of those lives lost because of me and my stupid judgements” Jonathan looked down eyes hardening and glassing over almost as the faces of those killed ran through his mind.

Adelaide felt her heart thud heavily against her chest hating the way he looked so sad, he had a point though, all those deaths and for what, just so they could get another recognition from the ‘Space Police’ or whatever they called themselves these days, when they should have been doing the job themselves. She cupped his cheek lightly blue eyes teary and staring sadly back into his own big sad eyes.

“If it wasn't for us, more people would have died, and I doubt we’d even be thinking about this right now. Ok... Please Jonathan” She whispered the words so quietly she wasn't even sure if he’d heard, until he nodded and smiled lightly. Jonathan sniffed took her hand lightly and kissed it before moving away, that usual cheeky grin on his face as if the last couple of minutes hadn’t even happened, but that was usual typical even for Jonathan, he was only alien after all, and it was rare for him to express his emotions, hiding them behind lies and false smiles to hide the damage.

Adelaide smiled lightly, though she knew that at some point they would probably have to come back to this conversation, those doubts would still run through his mind probably for several hundred if he could allow his body to age like that. Adelaide thought he probably would be easily able to manage that, especially as it was hard to tell these days what anyone’s age was, most humans lived way past the age of 150 if they chose to because of advanced medical resources, and could also keep looking around 50. Adelaide, though only 25 had no wish to live beyond her natural years that life would decide for her, but she knew Jonathan who was only in his late 20’s (though sometimes Adelaide felt he acted both a lot younger than that, and sometimes a lot older too) could live for a couple more hundred years.

Most aliens that had decided to make themselves known to Earth could easily outlive two generations of any human, that’s what had started it all off, back in the early days when life outside of Earth had caused panic and fear, and before they realised that the other life didn't want to cause any harm (Well most of them anyway) and were more interested in touring the slowly dying planet than anything else. Of course it wasn't long before human’s vanity tried to experiment on numerous different races to allow humans to live longer and look younger with it, several wars had been exchanged countless lives lost, luckily many had been diffused quickly with promises that the races would give humans a little of their knowledge with promises to stop any repeats from happening. Then of course humans had decided to fly among the stars, spread out rapidly many choosing to leave their old home behind, whilst others stayed and pretended like nothing had happened.

Adelaide had met Jonathan more than 5 years previously, unlike the others he had turned up alone, which was what had intrigued her to him; a young man lost in the streets of what had been London her home town, seemingly talking to what had looked like a rock. Of course he was nothing of the sort, not the usual blue skinned alien taking pictures of every little thing they saw, but a humanoid running away from ….well he said himself, but he’d never gone into specifics, only the fact that he had to be anywhere but back home, another fact he always turned away from. So he had come to Earth, trying to stay out of the light into the shadows, trying to be a man he was not.

He had saved her life that day when a Gerajii beetle had snuck up behind her promising to cut her throat with his blade, ruthless thieves that would kill even if their victim had no money or anything worth nicking on them. Adelaide remembered the cold blade start to cut across her neck, just before the killers grip went slack. Adelaide had turned around, not sure who to expect found Schmidt holding out a hand to her. The Gerajii beetle lay broken and surrounded by its own blood on the floor. They had run before the local authorities could get there, even though the Gerajii beetles were deadly assassins it was still illegal to kill; and so they had run back to her flat where they had gotten to know each other better. Adelaide completely in his debt, before she realised that he was also in hers for taking him in, and given him a reason to stop running.

5 years later, their friendship had blossomed into a partnership, a business. Only realising that they could do what they had become by accident. Adelaide always had a keen eye for detail and noting things that weren't always true, Jonathan on the other hand, seemed to have an eye for trouble, and that’s where it had begun. The two of them accidentally running into plots to kill a member of royalty or steal something that could ruin Earth or another planet, both their intellectual minds to solve these problems, or in Jonathan’s case come up with a dangerous and life threatening plan, had made them a perfect team. Over the years, publicity of the pairs unique style to do what was right, had caused them to be both loved and sought out by people with cases that needed solving, or indeed hated by the numerous villains they had put away in jail.

Adelaide sighed lightly lost in her daydream, she had thought Jonathan loved doing his job, and he had… He really loved to travel with her, sometimes among the stars to planets that wanted them or needed them, but that had all been before he had lost her.

“Hello…Jones….are you still in there… I said...we have a message incoming”

Jonathan’s voice taunting and childish brought her out of her daydream, to where she found him waving his hands in front of her face, blinking surprised she looked down to the hologram messenger on the desk, rushing forward to press the button. It had been a while since anyone had called, and just when she thought it was going to be over, quite coincidentally fate had pulled out another miracle. Not that she believed in fate anyway, but thankfully this would keep Jonathan satisfied for a moment or two whatever it was. Even if it was just some poor humans AI gone missing, that would still be better than nothing.

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  • Jane Morleith #

    Adelaide and Jonathan make a nice pair. You can see the blurring of the lines, regardless of how she tries to keep focused. Nice work.

    Just a few minor editing issues, otherwise nice chapter.

    Try to eliminate unnecessary words:
    <, she just didn't want him to know that> She's pretending, so that's a given.
    <her heart beat erratically in her chest> *You don't need 'in her chest'. You use the heartbeat thing again a couple of paragraphs later <Adelaide felt her heart thud heavily against her chest> * but it works there because the chest is part of the description.

    A missed word:
    <“My ego is, and has never been bruised” > * is not

    Should there be a comma here between details and alien?
    <I took all the details alien named Grask>

    Should there be an apostrophe?
    <Even if it was just some poor humans AI> *human's

    Looking forward to more.

    • Heidi Manley (Author) #

      Thank you, this is really helping me out so far. I know at the moment I need to go back all the way through and check out any small errors. I tend to rush ahead with what I am writing and forget about all the necessary punctuation etc.

      But i hope you're enjoying it so far :)

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This cohort ended on 31st October 2016

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