Chapter 1: In the BeginningEve was just sitting down to her dinner, while Galahad sat watching balefully, his dual eyes accusing as each bite of pepperoni slipped away from him. “Uh-uh. I already fed you that orange chicken stuff. Your fat enough already.” She told him, trying to look stern, and failing. “Go run the stairs and chase the dust or something”. Eve eyed his bulging sides and round cheeks. It couldn't be all fur. Eve suddenly wondered if there was a law against obese cats. Animal cruelty by overindulgence ? She hoped not. Going to jail for overfeeding the cat would be an embarrassing way to end her career, she mused to herself, as she propped her feet on the table. Roarke would have given her a disapproving look had he been there, but he was off at some multi-national conference in god only knew where, and wouldn't be back until tomorrow night. Still, she glanced around to make sure she was truly alone, before relaxing into her seat. The cadaver called Summerset was nowhere to be seen, and her boots stayed propped.
She sighed, and finished off her pizza, intent on heading up to her office to finish the reports for Whitney. David Winters, accountant, 36, single, brown/brown, had been an unlucky soul, to get in the middle of a scuffle with a chemi-head attacking some poor LC on the street. A nice one, with good intentions, but dead all the same. What was the saying…the road to hell is paved with good karma? Intent? Something like that, Eve thought, as she began working her way through her reports.
Suddenly, her communicator flared to life. “Darling Eve.” purred Roarkes voice. The Irish lilt sang through his voice like magic.
She smiled as she turned on the video and answered her beautiful husband. “Hey, Ace. How did your forceful occupation of…..Paris...go?”
He laughed as he replied, “It was hardly forceful. They were perfectly happy to sign the rights to their airliner to me, after the appropriate…approaches, had been made. By the way, it was Madrid.”
“Right, right, Madrid. I knew that. “ Eve said, flustered. Wasn't it one of those never ending marriage rules that she was supposed to know where he was at all times?
“Well, either way, now that your occupation is over, will you be coming home sooner?” she asked, hoping. She dreaded the nights away from him. Not only because of the near inevitable nightmares, but the sheer enjoyment of having him near. I couldn't have said that about anyone 3 years ago, Eve thought.
Roarke sighed, those azure eyes clouded, and Eve knew the answer. “Ah ghra.., I will actually be gone for two more days. There is a problem in Frankfurt that I need to see to personally, a manager at one of my plants has been “cooking the books’ and I need to deal with the issue.” He stated, trying to avoid seeing the disappointment in her eyes. He hated to be away from his beautiful wife, but this problem wasn't one he could leave to a lackey.
“It’s okay." She said quickly. " I've got plenty to keep me busy. Annual performance reviews are coming up and there always a case at some point. I just miss you, like always. Hell, I may invite Mavis over, and have a girl’s night or something.” Eve stated, trying to hide the disappointment she knew he could see in her eyes.
“Oh, really now? Should I send a message to Trina? That little tattoo she did last time was…enticing.” Roarke purred the last word, to tease her.
“No! I mean, nah, um, I think…she’s busy, and…” Eve’s eyes narrowed as he saw the quirk of his lips, and glared at him. “Hey Ace, watch it, or you may never see an enticing tattoo again.” She warned him, only partially joking. The beautician was like a never ending terror she couldn't escape. She just kept showing up, and slathering face gunk and smelly stuff and messing with her hair. Eve thought her hair was just fine. A little snip with the scissors, and it was all fine. But she had to admit, the tattoo had gotten a nice reaction from Roarke. Oh, yes, it had. She squirmed at the memory.
“As much as I would like to talk all night, my darling Eve, I have a dinner to attend” Roarke said, sighing, reluctant to disconnect. He truly hated being away from his wife. “Eve, darling, if you need me, for anything, anything, please call me. Promise?"
“I promise. I really will. I’ll talk you to tomorrow. Go enjoy your dinner with the other monguls.” She knew he worried when he was gone. She hated that.
“I think you mean moguls, darling.” Roarke said, grinning.
“Yes, that. Those. Whatever. I love you.” Eve said, flustered again.
“I love you too, Ah ghra.” Roarke murmured, as she disconnected, and the screen went blank. He sat back in his chair and sighed. Sometimes he truly hated the life he had chosen.
Back in her office, Eve sat back in her chair, suddenly unmotivated to finish her reports. She could finish them later, or have Peabody polish them off, but then dismissed that thought, since Peabody wasn't her aide anymore, but her partner. Feeney hadn't done that to her, so she wouldn't do it to her own.
Eve shook her head, and stood, stretching. She could go, take a quick swim to get the blood moving again, then finish it all off, and possibly watch a vid to really relax. She had heard an interesting tidbit about something called an Abbot and Costello, and the Who’s. She was sure Roarke had it in his never ending collection of old vids. She headed down to the pool house.
Eve was climbing out of the pool when her communicator signaled.
“Dispatch, to Lieutenant Eve Dallas, Homicide reported at 58 West Baker Street, 3rd precinct. Presence is requested on scene.”
Eve sighed. So much for her vid night. The dead called.
“ Acknowledged, ETA 25 minutes, forward to Detective Peabody , Delia, order to meet on scene. ’ Eve ordered, as she began to pull on clothes over her wet body.
The night was clear, as September had heralded the change of seasons from the humid New York summer to the crisp nights marked by gold and orange foliage. Though it was only a little after eight in the evening, dusk had already fallen like a heavy blanket over the city. Cars honked as late commuters rushed above in their efforts to get to their homes.
After sliding illegally into a space, a few blocks from the scene, Dallas strode towards the crime scene lights in the distance, ignoring the parking meter that clicked at her as she passed. Peabody approached from her right, walking briskly in the cold.
“Hey, long time no see”, said Peabody in greeting, referring to the three hours since they had last seen each other.
She was dressed a little skimpily for the cold weather, in a short sleeved sort and thin but opaque jeans. Her pink airskids completed the ensemble. She rubbed her arms briskly as they walked towards the scene. Eve just nodded in reply, already in “cop mode” as Roarke called it, her eyes flat and her step brisk.
She noted that Morris, the city coroner was already on scene. His burgundy shirt and simple, well cut black pants were covered by an open but light sport coat, and burgundy cord twined its way through his long black que. He turned to them, and Eve could tell that something was different. His normally serene countenance was strained and pale.
“Hello, Lieutenant.” He spoke. His smooth voice did not betray his discomfort with this scene. “Morris.” She said, her typical greeting. “What have we got?” Her eyes betrayed that she knew something was very different with this call.
“Something, something I have never seen before.” Morris said, almost stumbling over the words. His eyes drilled into hers. “This is new, Eve, totally, entirely, new.”
Eve frowned at his intensity, and decided to go look for herself. Morris didn't typically have a flair for the dramatic.
When she got there, and viewed the body, she could say for herself, that yes, this was totally and completely new.
Her stunned eyes gazed at the scene before her in complete disbelief. Her heard Peabody’s strangled gasp as she took in the sight presented to them.
On the ground before her, lay a woman. Caucasian, with sheets of golden blonde hair that flowed at least to her waist, her pale white arms on her chest, folded as if in prayer. A circlet of what looked like hammered gold sat crookedly upon her brow, and framed her beautiful, serene features. Long white robes, draped intricately, enfolded her body, down to her feet, which were encased in corded sandals. There was no evidence of blood, no trauma that Eve could see, no reason this beautiful woman couldn't have been just sleeping on the ground…
Except for one thing.
The grey and white wings protruding from the woman's shoulders.