Antique Ambiguity
A Shirley Holmes Fan Fiction

by Leigh Young
LEIGH@elyoung.freeserve.co.uk

August 24, 2000         10,600 words


Antique Ambiguity : Chapter 1

Night is foreboding and mysterious when you"re alone in the dark. When the temperature is below freezing, the darkness as thick and choking as smoke trapped in a confined room, with only a whisker of the moon outlining the clumps of thin pathetic trees " which look as though they have seen better days. A lone shadow crouches on the damp trampled path holding their breath as though they were trying to hide their existence from an unknown predator. With the quickness and agility of a hare it darts from rock to rock. Ahead looms the structure of a large Elizabethan house.

As quiet as a mouse the black shadow makes it"s way carefully to the large sinister gates. Pausing for a moment it jumped athletically on a branch and sat side straddled on the top. Very energetically they leap off, landing with a soft thud on the leaf-covered grass. As soft as a feather the figure bolted across the lawn and pressed itself against the wall. It glanced about sharply then swung itself up on the window bar and started to climb up.

With one tug the top attic window opened, the figure slipped through. As a foot landed on the wooden floorboards inside there was a creaking sound. Immediately the figure froze, a door slammed somewhere in the house then a man shouted,

"Move it! The police are on our trails. We need to leave now!"

"Calm down, Dr Gloat. Once we are aboard they will lose us completely".

A female voice, firm and powerful, broke in,

"Are you certain?"

"Yes, my darling, nobody will know about us in Redington. There we will have the protection of the "DIME Master".

A door opened,

"The truck is ready sir".

"Thank you Cling" gave the voice in a sneering fashion, "Let"s go".

The figure in the attic swore to themselves and flew out the old doorway and down the stairs.

The crowd piled into the truck as the slight silhouette raced through the house making loud thumps on the hard hollow floors.

Breathless it reached the door just as the lorry pulled out of the drive.

"S?**!" exclaimed the figure.

Deeply disappointed they ripped off their hood to reveal a girl of fourteen years of age with shoulder length reddish-brown hair and green eyes. With a profound sigh she turned and stomped back out through the back door.

Thunder rolled overhead, a little clock ticked backwards 14" 13" 12" 11. The girl jumped over the fence just as the clock ticked 1 and the whole place blew up. The impact sent the girl flying heavily into some rocks. Everything suddenly goes black"


Antique Ambiguity : Chapter 2

"Hi Gran!" Shirley piped walking through the artefact filled room.

"Hi Shirley, how was school?"

"Fine" Shirley answered opening the bookcase, which lead to the staircase to her room, "Stink pulled another prank on Alicia, she was fuming all day. A funny thing happened; Ms Stratmann was talking to this guy today and showed him around the school. He was particularly interested in the old classrooms except on his badge it said he was a professional window salesman".

"Why is that funny?" Gran asked in a slow voice as she did some moves of t"ai chi.

Shirley frowned while tying the laces of her boots, "Why would a window salesman be interested in some old classrooms that are hardly ever used?"

"Maybe they"re reinstalling them?"

"Hmm" Shirley chewed her lip, "Never-mind".

Inside she did mind, an awful lot! She wanted to get to her partner Bo as soon as possible. "Bye Gran!" she called running through the door towards the big front door, "Oh, I"m going to get Bo " but I think you gathered that already".

And she headed out the door.

****************************************

The girl moaned agonizingly, her left arm was in excruciating pain.

I should have remembered that they would blow the house up. Why, oh, why did I have to forget? She winced again. Once her arm was secure in a sling she moved over to the huge world map that covered one wall of her room. There was about fifteen pins stuck on it each on a city but Alexanna had already noted that fact. Taking a pin from a box and using her right hand she thumped it into the paper. What are they up to now? Why did they come back to Britain? They"ve been to London, Bonn, Paris, Madrid, Lisbon, Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, New York, Singapore, Sydney, Rio De Janeiro, Beijing, Stockholm and Oslo, so why were they back here? They said they"re going to Redington " why there? I think it"s time I let Shirley into this. Maybe she"ll be able to have a look and maybe dig something up till I get out there.

With that last thought Alexanna sat down at her ever on and always over loaded computer.

Dear Shirley,

This is not a social letter I"m afraid. There"s something that you need to know. For five years I have been tracing a band of criminals. Sorry I had better start at the beginning. I have mentioned Inspector Goodyear many a time to you. When I was nine, at the beginning of my life as a junior detective, I read a report of a company called "Swatch". They sell antiques; well they did until the police discovered that the goods were stolen and that they were also selling a wide variety of drugs. But unfortunately they disappeared before the police could nab them. Since then, for five years, they have been impossible to catch. I"ve done a lot of detective work and have found out where they have been but before I can pin them they"re gone. The police are hopeless, Inspector Goodyear is really good but Commissioner Larkey scorns him so the police are way behind the company. Like you I can"t keep my nose out of trouble and I"ve come so close to the actually main men that I could touch them" I still haven"t figured out how the company is actually exporting the drugs but I have a map of where they have been " here"s a diagram,



As you can see they"ve stopped at some particular cities, which makes me wonder why? I can"t think of a pattern but you may. The other night I came so close to having them, for some reason they met in an old house not far from here " why did they risk coming back to Britain? Maybe it"s just me but I do think it"s a bit of a coincidence that they should stop by me. Unfortunately I let them slip through my fingers, I also forgot about the bomb. They blow up the building that they used so that no evidence can be traced, I forgot, I now have a sling to show for one little mistake. To get to the point, I over heard them say they were heading to Redington, I immediately thought of you. Can you find out some information for me, maybe even trace them? I will be out shortly to join you and maybe we can get them behind bars. Hope you can help " I should be with you in two days

Good Luck!
Alexanna Kingsley

Click! The message was sent to Shirley. I hope she gets it soon and with that thought Alexanna stared to sort out her bag.


Antique Ambiguity : Chapter 3

"Why do you think he would be interested in an old building?" Bo asked thumbing a piece of ivory from Shirley"s collection of strange artefacts.

"I"m not sure, maybe I can get a little information from his website." Shirley scrolled down the page.

"His website? He has a website?"

"The company does anyway - wait I think I"ve got something."

Bo looked up sharply, there was a beep, and Shirley sighed,

"Drat, I've a message".

"It"s probably just Matt" Bo sighed with a hint of sarcasm.

"Hmm. Bo! Come here! It looks important!"

Bo dived down beside Shirley,

"Who"s it from?"

"Alexanna".

"Who"s Alexandra?"

"It"s AlexANNA, you know the girl from Britain?"

"Oh yeah, one of your good pen pals - what she saying?"

"Read it" Shirley muttered.

Their eyes widened with each word.

"She"s coming over here at a drop of the hat?" Bo asked finally.

"Yes, she can do that" Shirley muttered but Bo could sense that Shirley wasn"t telling him everything, though he didn"t press her.

"Why would the company be coming to Redington?" Shirley pondered.

"Maybe they wanted to get a snapshot of the Redington Monster" Bo mocked.

"Come on" Shirley called already half way out the door.

Bo hastily put the ivory back on the shelf and chased after the hurrying girl.

"Why here?" Bo asked gulping at the air trying to get his breath back.

"Well, Alexanna said that they used to export antiques. I want to check out the local antique stores and see where their merchandise came from".

"Fine - whatever" Bo replied following Shirley into an old shop.

"Well, well, if it ain"t our Little Miss Alexanna Kingsley" a guy called out with fondness in his deep bass voice.

Alex grinned joyously,

"Hi Bill!" she hugged him.

The attendants around him smiled, some of the guys looked up,

"Hey don"t I get a hug?"

Alex shook her head in wonder, who would have thought that men this big would be as soft as a kitten?

Once all the hugs had been given one man cocked his head slyly at her,

"So, where de ye want tis tae smuggle ye tae?"

"I need to get to Redington as quickly as possible".

"Where"s Redington?"

"It"s in Canada".

"Right then milady, step right this way" a man offered her his arm to her and led her off.

As he watched them go a man turned to the others. He shook his head in remorse,

"She"ll get us our jobs lost".

"Don"t forget that she"s saved our necks a few times" one shot back.

"Aye, then how would we support our families - it"s the least we can do".

The first guy-smiled sadly,

"I know and the poor wee lass has gone through a lot and coped so well. I don"t think I could cope with what she"s been through. I"m just anxious for her".

The others nodded in agreement and went back to playing cards.

"Have a good trip, Alex" the guy ruffled her hair.

"Thanks".

She knew they meant well and she did care about them a lot but sometimes she wished they wouldn"t act as though she were younger than her age.

Knowing they had to be careful, Alex tiptoed into the luggage compartment and hid behind a stack of suitcases. A door slamming shut caused a suitcase to fall. There was a muffled yelp, immediately the hairs pricked up on Alex" s neck. There was someone in here. The big doors slammed shut causing her heart to beat faster - just who was in here?


Antique Ambiguity : Chapter 4

AUTHORS NOTE: I"m introducing a crossover with the characters from Martial Law. This takes place just after Lewis leaves. I love that programme! I also note that no matter how much I wish these characters are not mine and will never be, unfortunately"

Grace sat at her desk with her head in her arms gazing hopelessly into space.

"I wonder what the DA has in store for us?" Tremaine pondered.

"Yes. We must look into Carman"s antiques otherwise she"ll be on our backs for ages" Sammo answered as they walked into the office area.

"Yeah, man, she"s cranky! I"ve got paper work up to here and she expects me to bust my butt elsewhere" Tremaine gestured at the mountain of folders piled on his desk.

Sammo checked his watch,

"Have you got the report on Jack Nichols?"

"Tremaine glanced around the room his eyes falling on Grace,

"Yeah, they"re somewhere on my desk. Man Grace really misses Lewis. She"s been moping around for the past few weeks like she has a sore head".

Sammo turned in Grace"s direction.

"I"ve noticed. She does not concentrate hard; her fighting is lacking spirit. Have you spoken to Lewis at all?"

"As a matter of fact I "ave, I phoned him the other night, by god he sure ain"t feeling right. His sureness has gone and his mood is as bad as" Lee Hay is criminal!"

Sammo looked almost sadly at the folder,

"He misses Grace a lot, I can tell. They had been partners for quite a while and been through thick and thin. Anyway let"s get back to work".

Tremaine threw one last sorrow look at Grace, who was gazing at the annual year PD photograph, then turned his attention to his work.

Taking a sharp breath, his eyebrows rose to new heights, this was going to take a long time.

Bo scraped idly at the chair, the teacher next to him glared and he reluctantly stopped.

I have never been so bored in all my life!

"At least pretend to look interested" Alicia whispered sharply.

"How can I?" Bo muttered.

Alicia gave him a cold stare; Bo decided to keep his mouth shut.

As the speech ended, twenty minutes later, everyone stood up as the people on the platform left, the room was quickly filled with chatting.

Shirley turned to her friends,

"Miss perfect strikes again!"

"What did you think to that Bo? Bo?" Stink looked at Bo and poked him. Everyone turned their attention to him; Bo was sitting there fast asleep,

"Aw " look how sweet the sleeping baby looks!"

"Bo, Bo!" Shirley called in an unusually soft voice.

Slowly Bo came back to present,

"W" where am" I?"

"Earth to Bo!" Stink waved his hand in Bo"s face, "We"re in the assembly hall".

Bo was a little vexed,

"Oh" Thank goodness none of the teachers caught me".

"Wrong Mr Sawchuk. Your little visit to dreamland has landed you with lunchtime detention. You know the time and place by now".

Bo cringed as Mrs Stratmann strode away,

"Man not again! This is the third time this week".

Shirley and Stink exchanged smirks. Lunch was only a matter of minutes away so the teachers let the pupils out early.

"See ya in twenty minutes" Shirley called over her shoulder to Bo as she lost herself in the flood of pupils leaving for lunch.

"Yeah, see ya" Bo sulked scuffing the floor with his foot. When will I ever learn?

"So are you going to tell me what you"re doing here?" Alexanna demanded, hands on hips, green eyes boring into the culprit.

The perpetrator stood his ground without blinking,

"Well young lady, I could ask you the same question! You know that it is illegal to stow away".

"I could say the same thing back to you! An officer of her majesty indeed, you"re supposed to enforce the law not break it!"

Both parties stared at each other for a few minutes, and then simultaneously broke into grins. Alexanna held out her hand to her old friend with a smile, the man shook it wholeheartedly. He was a sturdy figure, short black hair, and dark skin and made Alexanna look like a smurf.

"Well, well, well, if it ain"t little Alexanna Kingsley. How are you doing? Gosh, it"s only been two months since I"ave seen yer but you"re sure growin" up. How"s things back at the station?"

"Fine, still as hectic as ever but its usually just some teenagers who"ve let the drink talk- pretty sad".

The guy nodded knowingly. Eying Alexanna up and down he recognised the gleam in her eye and knew that she was hot on the trail of a case.

"So are you going to tell me what poor criminal you"re going to catch, hang, quarter, drag and throw into prison?"

Alex glared at him but softened knowing that he knew her too well,

"You"re not gonna like it".

"Tell me!" the guy answered in a warning voice.

Alexanna sighed,

"The Antique mob""

"Oh Alex! I"ve told you not to pry into that! Leave it alone " it"s far too dangerous! For heavens sake lassie you could be killed!" He shook her roughly.

"I know" Alex whispered, "But it"s my line of duty""

The guy shook his head,

"Listen girl" I have seen friends " colleagues get killed by these morons" for no reason at all. You"re the closest I have to family" I don"t know what I would do if I lost you" you"re like a daughter""

Alex felt tears in her eyes,

"Detective Alan Goodyear don"t you get soft with me!" Alex ordered but added in a soft voice,

"I understand""

There was a silence which neither dared to break. Alex had a thought,

"Alan, what are you doing here?"

"The same case as you are butting into to, I"m detecting and spying""

he was interrupted as a faint voice said,

"Ladies and Gentlemen we are now ready to land please ensure that you are wearing you seat belts and we shall arrive shortly".

Alex grimaced " this was the worst bit.

"Hold on!" she called over to the inspector

He just sent her a wary look.


Antique Ambiguity : Chapter 5

"Sammo!" Sammo looked up and grinned.

"Terrell, good to see you, did you have a good holiday?"

"Yeah! And man, are those Cali chicks hot. Wow!"

Sammo just shook his head in wonder.

"So what"s up in this Angelic city then?"

Terrell picked up some files.

"Guys, we have a new lead on the antique losers so get packed you"re off to Canada" the D.S stated walking up to Terrell"s desk, which was near Sammo"s.

Terrell and Sammo exchanged glances,

"Hold on mam but shouldn"t it be dealt by the Canadian police department? I mean it"s their territory".

"Terrell let me remind you of your position and about questioning your inferiors. The Canadian police need back up; they don"t have much of a profile on these guys and as yet do not have any reports of any dealing or such like. They have granted several nations to send in their detectives for 1 month. This is a very special grant and I do not want you to muck it up, understood?"

They nodded a little bit ill at ease.

"When do we leave?" Grace asked as she stood next to Sammo, arms crossed.

"You three leave tomorrow, ten O"clock sharp" with that she turned to leave.

"Aren"t you accompanying us to make sure we don"t make a complete bust of it?"

D.S. gave a small smile,

"My help is more important here. Sorry to disappoint you".

Once the stern figure had left the three of them started to cheer and dance with relief. That woman was really starting to get to them right where it hurts.

"Oh by the way" they stopped mid cheer as the D.S stuck her head around the screen, "There"s an officer from another department accompanying you so that you don"t mess up the whole operation. You"ll be issued with the data and reports tomorrow".

The happy smiles were wiped away; she smirked to herself.

"Great! Another bossy, stuck up officer to put up with, man this is going to be hell".

Sammo put a comforting arm on Terrell"s.

"Shirley? Shirley Holmes?" a girl asked as Bo and Shirley sat down in the Quazer"s Caf".

"Yes? Alexanna?"

"Hi!"

"Hi, sit down".

"Thanks!"

Bo studied the girl, she looked to be the same age as them, her hair was short and medium brown and there was something mystical about those green eyes.

"You must be Bo. I"ve heard a lot about you".

Bo grinned and shoved Shirley.

"It had better all of been good!"

They laughed, Alexanna felt herself relax; she had always been reticent with everyone her age.

"So," Shirley pressed getting straight to the point, "Tell us all you know".

Bo ordered drinks for them and Alex explained about everything. By the end they talked as though they had known each other all their lives.

"So let me guess, being the novice detective here, we need to find out who this DIME master is?" Bo raised his eyebrows at the two girls. They nodded in response with a hint of humour dancing in their eyes,

"I"m just too brainy" Bo added sarcastically.

"So any first plans on how to accomplish this?"

"Well it"s getting late, I suggest we make our plans tonight then carry them out first light".

"Why oh why did I agree to this?" Bo moaned softy as well as letting out yet another tired yawn.

It was barely past eight on a Saturday morning, a Saturday! Plus he had been at this for an hour already.

He was about to give up and give the computer a nice thump when a woman approached him,

"Bo? Can I help you?"

Bo looked up at the librarian; she was a friend of his mother,

"Oh hi, Mrs Whitecliff um I"m trying to find out about airports, stations and docks around the Redington area but I"m having no luck".

Mrs Whitecliff laughed,

"Here".

Like a missile she typed in a few words, clicked and typed in more words before Bo could even see what she was doing,

"There you go, if you need any more help I"m over at that desk over there".

Bo scanned the page,

"Oh wow, thanks Mrs W."

She smiled and went back to her work, with her experience she knew that it was useless information to ask why someone was looking up something particular.

Shirley smiled happily to herself; the last shop had definitely not got those strange ornaments from their usual supplier. Her job was to go round every antique shop again and check out anything that looked odd or different. So far three shops on the lower side of Redington had some very interesting items, which didn"t seem to belong in them. One was a gold ornament of a hawk with an elegant ring of jewels around its neck. Now that had to be worth something more than the fifty dollars, although Shirley was no expert she knew that those were real jewels around it"s neck so she was dying to get back home to her computer.

Checking the list in her pocket Shirley groaned with tedium, there were at least anther five more to check out.

Alex had been up since six, which was very unusual, in fact if it wasn"t for the fact that she were in a police station she would be sleepwalking around in only her nightgown.

Last night she had met up again with Alan again and they shared a hotel room. They had talked for ages and Alan had agreed that she could come down to the station with him that morning. The moment he relented he knew it was a mistake but he had to keep it and he respected Alex nod just because she was close to him but she was a fine detective, even better than him.

Finally that guy had moved, she"d been sitting for like twenty minutes and her feet had chronic pins and needles in them.

As the guy set of for a meeting, Alex appeared out her hiding place and sat down at the computer. Back in Scotland the local police treated her as one of the force and allowed her to use their computers so she had no problems getting into the files. Printing off three copies of the report on the mob she checked in the folder for burglaries and theft. It stored reports from all over the world. One report caught her eye it was a picture of a stolen hawk from Hong Kong, hmm"

"Hey Sammo my man, well it"s a fine mornin"

"Hi Terrell"

"Is Grace here yet?"

"Yeah, she"s gone off to check the times".

Terrell nodded,

"Maybe this trip will do her good, I mean it"s not like she and Lewis were lovers or anything""

"They were very good friends".

"I know, were good partners an all".

"Who were?"

"Oh, hi Grace, is everything on schedule?"

"Yeah, any sign of this officer yet?"

"Nup!"

"Just when you thought you"d get rid of one"" Grace hissed through her teeth, "So any ideas of who it might be?"

"I hope it won"t be that cranky guy that we had for a substitute one time".

"Maybe it might be Tremaine" Sammo put in.

"What was that guy like?"

"He was okay".

"Did"" Terrell stopped mid sentence as the doors burst open and a group of men entered in police uniform. As they stepped aside a tall and very sturdy figure stepped forward, his jaw was set tight and there was a cold glint in his eyes.

Grace and Terrell shivered, while Sammo stood up straight, the guy could curdle milk with one look.

Then he stepped aside and there stood"

"Lewis" Grace whispered, shocked beyond belief.

Almost instantly she ran to him, he met her half way and dove into a strong embrace. Sammo and Terrell were not far behind; Grace and Lewis lingered a bit longer than was necessary then let way for the other two,

"Good to see you man" Terrell stuck out his hand and shook his firmly.

"Great to see you, I"ve missed you all, you to Sammo. How"s it going?"

"Fine".

"Uh guys? Unless we want to miss the plane and feel the wrath of Miss Amy then we"d better get a move on!" Grace was already half way through the door.

The others followed her quickly.

"Link! Get me Dr Gloat, now!"

The small man cowered like a puppy then ran out the room. He returned a few minutes later with Gloat who look like the mad doctor out the horror movies.

"Ah Dr Gloat! I hope all is on schedule, perhaps you"d to show me the work your employers have been doing?"

The man half whimpered,

"Yes master, let me show you".

"We have special tools adapted to opening up old antiques " ornaments " once they are opened we can cut out the centre and compact the drugs in then rebuild them so that nobody can tell that it"s been tampered with".

"Very good" I trust that all ill be ready by tomorrow night, you know what happens tomorrow".

"Y" y" yes sir".

"It had better be ready otherwise you"ll be joining our dear guests in hell".

With that he left the room, Dr Gloat just shook his head,

"Man I should have taken up the job as a librarian".

"So what have you come up with?" Bo asked.

"Well I have a list of strange ornaments but nothing special expect item number five, that was strange".

Shirley passed the list to the Bo, Alex scraped at the chair,

"What was it?"

"It was some kind of bird " a hawk".

Alex froze instantly,

"What did you say?"

Shirley gave a confused frown, something she didn"t use often,

"It was an ornament of a hawk""

"Was it made of something like gold and did it have a ring of jewels around its neck?"

"Y-eah" Shirley said slowly.

Alex frantically dug in her back pocket,

"This it?"

Shirley grabbed the paper and nodded furiously.

"We have a lead, that ornament was stolen two months ago from Hong Kong. The thieves were described exactly as a few members of the antique guys. I thought they were into drugs?"

"I think they"re into a lot of things! I think even taking hostages" Bo put in.

"How did you get that?" Shirley asked.

"I was looking through the computer this morning and I came across a page of missing people, seems there"s been a few witnesses seeing people you described to us nabbing others".

"Hold on a sec, let"s get this all down otherwise we"ll get lost" Shirley suggested.


Antique Ambiguity : Chapter 6

"Link! Is everything in order?"

"Yes sir" came the squeaky voice.

"And so it should be!"

"These people are serious buyers and I don"t want anything mucked up especially by any police men " understood".

"Yes sir".

"Get your men ready and armed, I"m not taking any chances".

"Yes sir, right away sir" the little figure scuttled away through the shadows".

"My question is how are they transporting stolen antiques and drugs at the same time without anyone noticing?" Bo sighed to the girls.

"True Bo," Shirley agreed, "It would be simpler if they took on one crime but" that"s it! They are" well in a way".

"What do you mean?"

"Look if you wanted to transport two things or more without arousing too much suspicion to your selves on working on two jobs, then what would you do?"

"Make it look like one job " of course!" Bo exclaimed.

"I think we had better take a trip to that antique shop to have a look at that ornament, we"ll stop by my house".

Standing up Shirley took off, Alex and Bo shrugged at each other and followed her retreating form.

"Well I must say it ain"t as cold as I expected" Terrell remarked.

"Okay, here"s what we do: we"ll split up into pairs and go and ask the antique sellers some questions. Sammo, you and Terrell go east and Grace and me will take the West. Here"s a list of the shops. Let"s go and Sammo?"

"Hmm?"

"Try not to get into a fight. Amy, or whatever her name is, has been going down my throat about our manners in this country. I don"t want to lose my job, okay?"

Sammo grinned, "Understood".

The door tinged as they entered the shop, the shopkeeper eyed them suspiciously over her thin-rimmed spectacles,

"Can I help you?"

"Uh" yes," Bo stuttered, "We"re doing a project for school about antiques, and we"re wondering if it would be okay to have a look around at some of the ornaments".

"Why of course you can, if it"s for school. It"s great to see kids doing work these days and taking an interest in their history and culture".

Alexanna smiled sweetly to hide the giggles that were threatening to engulf her.

Shirley looked around until her eyes rested on the little hawk; Bo and Alex joined her while she ran her fingers lightly on the detailed surface. Turning it upside down, the seal caught her eye, carefully she looked closer, her eyes were as round as saucers as she looked at the other two.

Just then the door opened making them all jump, a young Chinese looking woman and a man walked in, they walked up to the counter and engaged in conversation with the old woman.

Shirley motioned the other two to come closer but found that the Chinese woman was looking at her suspiciously,

"Let"s go"

Shirley placed the hawk back quickly and they ran out the shop. Grace stared at what the girl had put back, recognising it from somewhere.

"Wha" wha" what was that all" about?" Bo asked catching his breath.

"That woman was acting strange".

"Was that all?!" Bo asked, "You know you act strange all the time but you don"t see me running away from you".

"Yeah but I don"t think you might be a member of these thieves".

Bo just stared at her; Shirley caught her breath then explained,

"That woman had a plane ticket sticking out of her pocket, she had arrived three hours ago from LA".

"So, she could be anyone!"

"Oh, yeah, well if you were a holiday maker wouldn"t you want to unpack first?"

"How about a business person?" Bo replied defiantly

"Well why aren"t they in a meeting or something. Wouldn"t they be carrying a briefcase or something?

Bo was stumped,

"Aren"t we missing the point a wee bit," Alex interrupted, "They were both carrying a gun".

* * *

"Are you saying that those three kids are in the gang?"

"No, that"s ridiculous but what were they up to?"

"I don"t know?"

"Guy"s," Lewis broke in putting away his phone, "We"re wanted down at the station. There"s a major lead".

"Where would they store these antiques?" Alex asked.

"Why?"

"Well, Bo, they"ll need somewhere to store the stuff before they can sell it Plus they need somewhere where they will be able to cut these ornaments open, that is if you"re right Shirley".

"I definitely saw the crack where it had been cut".

"The Industrial Estate" Bo stated.

"What?" Shirley and Alex asked simultaneously.

"Look there"s plenty of disused warehouses down there. It"s right next to the river and there is plenty of equipment that they"ll need there".

Shirley and Alex just gave him lopsided grins,

"What?" Bo asked defensively.

"This is too easy" Grace whispered to Lewis as they drove in their provided car.

"I know" Lewis whispered back.

Terrell leaned forward whispering,

"I"ve got a bad feeling about this, it feels like a trap".

"Why are we whispering?" Sammo asked sticking his head forward to.

The other three pointed silently to the radio,

"Oh!"

"That guy DI Miggan Eastern sure gave me the creeps, there was something about that guy that told me he was more than what he seemed""

"I wouldn"t worry, if this guys right, we"ll have them arrested, in jail and be home before we can blink".

"I wouldn"t be so sure" Terrell said quietly.

"That has to be the place and look; there"s a boat. Those men are loading something on and off".

Shirley took her camera out her rucksack and snapped some pictures from where they hid in a clump of bushes.

"I wish Bo would hurry up," Shirley whispered to Alex with a tinge of anxiety in her voice.

"He will once he finds nothing""

"Or someone finds him" Shirley finished for her.

"You really care about Bo" Alex stated.

"He"s my best friend " of course I care for him!" Alex just nodded watching as a blush crept up Shirley"s cheeks.

"Hey!"

"Hey!" Bo gave Shirley a funny look as he noted her face was unusually red.

"Look I think I"ve found something"" Bo started.

"They"re there" Alex stated.

"Uh?"

"Look" Bo looked to where Alex was pointing, "Come on let"s go and snoop around".

She sped off so fast that Shirley and Bo didn"t get a word in before having to follow her.

Shirley gave Bo an inquisitive look but Bo just shrugged his shoulders, it probably wasn"t anything anyway, he thought to himself.

Lewis stopped the car just around the corner to where the warehouse stood. Terrell could just make out the suspicious loading and unloading, other cars were pulling into their places.

"Tango Oscar 7 to Romeo Alpha 10, are you ready?"

"Yes we"re ready" Sammo replied in a stony voice to the radio.

"Let"s go!"

There were slamming of door, running of feet as twenty officers including Sammo and his friends raced towards the warehouse,

"Shirley, someone"s coming" Bo hissed hearing the rabble outside.

Shirley and Alex froze but the doors were flung open. Through the house all the men stopped as twenty police officers charged in, "Freeze!" shouted Sammo.

"Of course" came a flirty voice from the far end.

A tall woman with sleek, jet black hair emerged from behind a pile of crates. Her walk was proud and seductive, swinging her hips, flirtatiously in an attempt to entrance the officers.

Bo noticed that all the men carried strange boxes around their neck, where had he seen them before?

Meanwhile the woman had walked around the officers spreading her charm like a scent. Obviously she had watched to many movies!

Grace growled quietly,

"Unfortunately your seductive ways don"t work on me so go sit on you butt on that chair and start talking".

The woman snarled at the flaw but sat down when Grace produced a gun.

"So you don"t know everything, what a pity" she sneered at Graces sickened face.

"Shirley!" Bo hissed urgently as she stood up and jumped off the stairs that they had hid themselves on.

Everyone watched in surprise as a girl landed in front of Grace.

"Correction, we know a lot, so I would co-operate if I was you".

"Get a life little girl. Go home to mommy before you get killed" the woman brandished a gun as well.

Shirley ignored her last statement,

"I know how you transport the drugs and stolen antiques. You cut the ornaments in half, pack the drugs inside, then seal it up. Nobody takes much notice as they are looking for the drugs, it"s right in front of them but they can"t see it. Then you transport them abroad, re-open them, sell the drugs to the highest bidder then fix the ornaments so that nobody will know that they"ve been tampered with. All the time you"re making huge sums of money, quite ingenious".

Bo noticed a man move towards a tap fixed to a strange cylinder.

"Clever girl but your efforts won"t get you far""

Shirley puzzled over the woman"s words, Bo was frantically piecing a jigsaw together. It hit him square in the face,

"STOP, it"s a trap!"

"So long suckers, Barkley NOW!"

The man by the cylinder turned the tap as the woman and the other crooks pulled gas masks out. The woman waved a mocking hand of farewell, Bo lunged at her, so did Sammo and the others but the woman broke free in time. Knowing that if they shut the doors all of them would be in trouble Sammo dived at the door but he was a second to late as the door bolted shut. Grace, Lewis, Shirley and Terrell were frantically shaking the big metal doors in which they arrived through but they wouldn"t budge. One by one they fell unconscious. Shirley couldn"t see Alex but tripped over the unconscious Bo, in horror she pulled him back towards the metal gates, the world started to go hazy; then spin around her, her head pounded, "I must get us out" seeing a trap door, Shirley dragged Bo with her over to it but passed out after two steps.

Slowly Shirley came round, her head pounded, light blinded her vision for a few seconds.

"Shirley?" came a horse whisper.

Looking about, Bo came into focus beside her.

"What"s happening?" she asked, her throat screaming in agony at her.

"Not so loudly!" Bo groaned, holding his head, "Man I feel like an elephant danced the conga on my head".

Shirley smiled, slowly sitting up, the world spun, feeling sick to the stomach she stopped,

"Bo, I really don"t feel well".

"Neither do the others".

"Others?"

"Yeah, some are awake, they"re talking to that police guy over there. I think he found us since I never saw him before".

"Let"s go and eavesdrop".

Standing up slowly, Shirley felt her legs wobble; the world spun furiously, the next thing she knew was she was heaving up the little that was in her stomach.

Bo turned away feeling queasy and waited until she had finished,

"Feel better?" he asked genuinely worried

Shirley nodded; she did feel better now.

Alex joined them, still looking very pale but curiosity burned in her eyes.

"That must be the new chief inspector, he"s standing in for Markie".

Alex was taken a back at the looks on Shirley and Bo"s faces,

"Markie has been granted two months break, but I don"t know his name is. Alan was saying what a pain in the "you know what" he is".

Bo and Shirley shared precarious glances.

"Come on let"s get out of here while they"re preoccupied" Shirley whispered, jaded.

"Shirley Holmes, is that all, sir?"

"Yes, thank you Proctor".

"Shall, we pay this little madam a visit?"

"Yeah, Grace. Terrell, could you and Grace go and dig up as much info as you can about these people. Also," he lowered his voice, "Do a little research on this new DI, there"s just something about him that I don"t like".

"On the job, sir"

"Sammo, you and I are going to give this Miss Holmes a little visit".

"Right, you don"t have any aspirin?"

It feels a little strange, sitting here with Bo. It"s like there is this big dare enclosing on me but what and why?

Shirley and Bo had collapsed on Shirley"s bed; Alex had gone to pay Alan a visit to dig up some info or something. Both were still feeling the effects but Shirley refused to rest. Bo was sitting there dosing. The atmosphere was comfortable and neither wanted to break the peace. But something was nagging at Bo"s subconscious mind. Things were pretty vague just before the gas incident, "Frell, what is it?"

"Bo," Shirley"s voice was wearily, "There"s so much missing!"

Bo"s head snapped up in surprise, the discourage in Shirley"s voice was heartbreaking.

"There are so many gaps".

Am I hearing this right, is she, Shirley Holmes, giving up so easily? There"s something seriously wrong here.

"Shirley are you alright?" he asked turning around and holding her wrists in concern.

Shirley knew why she felt this bad, the woman had mentioned her mother. The search for Joanna Holmes was now becoming hopeless. Everyday the news of no news about her mothers" whereabouts flooded in. She didn"t know whether she was alive or dead, it had been what three years, or was it more? All that time she had been optimistic about finding her mother but the constant negative reports were wearing her thin.

Bo followed her gaze to the picture of her mother, finally he understood, the sorrow in Shirley"s gaze was demoralizing to him. Sub-consciously he put his arms around her in comfort.

The feeling of warmth enlightened her mood slightly. He wanted to tell her it was okay but how?

"Shirley" your mum"s okay. I know she is" Shirley turned to him in surprise, he smiled and continued, "She is your mother Shirley, like you I know she is brave and smart. There"s no way anyone could fool her. I know she wouldn"t want you to give up, keep hope!" He felt her lean into his arms.

"Let"s give her something to learn about when she comes back, I know you"d never give up so snap out of it. Your mum will be proud of you as I am. Come on let"s go through this case again from the beginning".

Bo"s right! I shouldn"t give up; I never give up. I"m a Holmes.

This seemed to wake her up,

"Come on let"s get started""

The door banged open,

"Nice to see you again, can we have a word?"

Shirley and Bo peered up at two of the men who had been with the police officers earlier"

* * * "Then you lot came bursting in" Bo finished.

"Clever, very clever, well done. I"m probably supposed to tell you off for interfering but you"ve been very helpful" Lewis smiled.

"We"re sorry"" Shirley began.

"No you"re not, you wanted to interfere" Lewis interrupted with another smile.

Sammo looked at the two teenagers in front of him,

"Maybe you could help us?"

"Uh" Sammo?" Lewis started.

"You"ve been a big help, we could do with some decent brains".

He gave Lewis a look; Lewis didn"t bother to argue.

"So what would you do next?" Sammo asked Shirley.

"Well we need to find out that woman"s name and this new Inspectors name""

"You mean DI Miggan Eastern?" Sammo asked.

"Is that him? Anyway, the gang must have had pre-warning of your advance, there"s a leak somewhere in the chain. How did you know that they would be there?"

"Miggan did, he got a call from an anonymous person".

"He could have faked it" Bo replied.

"No, there were people there. It was a young female".

Lewis looked at Sammo,

"Why don"t I arrange Grace and Terrell to come pick us up?"

"Sure".

"Uh" Sammo? Why wasn"t DI Miggan Eastern there when you came?" Shirley asked while writing everything down in a notebook.

"He said his duty was to stay back at the station, though that could be a ploy".

Shirley nodded,

"That guy did look a little fishy, but appearances can be deceiving. We still have to work out who this DIME Master is".

"Who?"

"DIME Master" Bo repeated.

"By the way where is your little friend?"

"Who? Alex? She"s with Inspector Alan Goodyear. They"re good friends".

"Yeah, Alan said she"d probably want to stick her nose in a lot!"

Lewis pulled out his mobile and dialled a number,

"Hi, Grace? Yeah, it"s Lewis, could you and Terrell pick us up now. Thanks".

"They"ll be here soon".

Shirley"s phone rang, she picked it up curiously,

"Hello? Alan? No she"s not. What? Really, but where would she go? Okay I will. Thanks and don"t worry she"ll be fine".

Meanwhile Alexanna walked through the streets of Redington towards Shirley"s House. Deep in thought she jumped when there was a click behind her and something cold touched the back of her head.

"Don"t move".

Alex stopped, her heart racing, fear prickled her skin, turning around she looked up,

"Oh it"s you""

Then something heavy hit her skull and the world went black.

"What"s wrong Shirl?" Bo asked, fear creeping up on him by her look.

"Alex is gone!"

All three faces looked her,

"What?"


Antique Ambiguity : Chapter 7

"What do you mean she"s gone?" Bo demanded, "Shirley this ain"t funny".

"It"s not meant to be!" Shirley snapped.

"Shirley what happened?" Lewis asked gently.

Shirley searched Bo eyes for a moment, trying to find rational thought for a moment. Missing people always brought that little element of apprehension now a days. Bo was a little surprised but gave her an encouraging smile that brought her back to Earth.

"Alex went to see Alan two hours ago at least," Sammo nodded, "She only stayed half an hour, then decided to come back here. It only takes twenty minutes at the most to walk from here to the Police Station. It"s been an hour and a half!"

"She could have just stopped somewhere," Bo offered reassuringly.

Shirley shook her,

"She told Alan that she wanted to get over here pronto, she had something to tell us urgently".

"One question," Bo said, "how did Alan get your number?"

"The database" Lewis and Sammo said at the same time.

"Or," Shirley put in; "Alex gave it to him, that"s not important just now. I"ve got a bad feeling that the gang"s taken her hostage".

"Why her?"

"She knew too much, probably. Don"t forget Alex has been on this case for what? Five years? She"s been all around the world trying to nail them. Someone must have realised who she was and what she were up to".

"The leak in the chain" Sammo finished for her.

Shirley nodded,

"I just hope Alex is alright".

Alex woke up; her head ached from where she had been hit. Her hands and feet were tied to a chair in such a good knot that escape was virtually zero.

"Ah you"ve decided to join us" came a familiar voice.

Alex looked up, her face contorted with rage,

"Let me go you prehistoric""

"My, my, such language from such a small girl".

Alex growled,

"So what is you name?"

"Don"t think I"ll tell you that!"

"Melanie, I see she is awake, well what have you got to say for yourself brat?"

Alex smiled smugly when the man gave away her name, the woman snarled and slapped Alex round the face. The world was hazy for a few seconds, the man carried on when Alex didn"t speak,

"My name is Sirinus".

"Pleasure to meet you" Alex drawled sarcastically.

Her head snapped to the right after another slap from Melanie. Boy she sure knows how hard to hit!

"What do you want from me?"

"Information" the insane glare in his eyes made her heart sink to the floor with a thud.

Shirley sat in the car lost in thought, writing down suspects and doodling. Sammo and Lewis were informing Grace and Terrell on the updates, Bo sat there watching the houses go by.

Lewis stopped the car in the large police carpark, gazing out across the lot Bo noticed something. Out the corner of her eye Shirley noticed Bo"s brow crease,

"What is it Bo?"

"See that Jag over there, I recognise it from somewhere".

Sammo, Terrell, Grace and Lewis all looked around and stared at him,

"Where did you see it, Bo?"

"Uh""

Shirley scrawled DI Miggan Eastern"s name several times in her notebook, DI Miggan Eastern.

DI M. Eastern.

DI M. E.

"DIME!" Shirley exclaimed.

Everyone looked at her,

"Bo? Where did you see that car? Think hard!"

Bo gave her a questioning look,

"I" it was this morning um" oh I remember! You know this morning when you packed me off to search the other side of the Industrial estate I saw something odd. Several men were loading crates off a boat, there was a strange smell in the air, I don"t know what it was, but that car was parked outside the building".

The four adults stared at each other, not sure whether to believe or not, Lewis studied Bo carefully,

"Uh, Bo are you certain?"

Bo answered with a vigorous nod; Shirley smiled eloquently,

"Am I correct in saying that that car belongs to DI Miggan Eastern?"

"Yeah, um how do you know?"

"Because I know who the DIME Master is".

Five sets of eyes glared with bated breath,

"Who?"

"Never!" Alex jumped up out her seat in a rage. The bonds snapped from her strength even though her body was no more than a twig.

"Restrain her please," Melanie grabbed Alex from behind, "I"m a patient man, as you will find out, I will leave you for an hour so that you can have a good think about your position. When I arrive back I expect you to talk".

Alex spat at him as the foreboding body marched importantly away.

"This is to help your thinking" Melanie slapped Alex again, really hard and left, leaving Alexanna weak in her new bonds.

"But why? Why risk damaging his reputation and position?"

"It"s a perfect ploy, who would suspect a DI officer?" Shirley offered.

Bo cracked a wicked smile at her,

"You!" Shirley just gave him a withering look.

There was a tap on the glass, everyone jumped, Terrell rolled the window down,

"hey, jump in, there"s a lot you need to know".

Bo and Shirley squeezed closer to allow Alan to fit in the car.

* * *

"But the question is where is Alex?" Shirley saw the fight between utter panic and composure in the mans eyes. It broke her heart, Shirley knew Alex"s story, it made her lost mum seem like a minor problem.

"I"ve got a good feeling I know where the gang is and where Alex is" Bo replied readily.

Sammo and Terrell looked at each other and nodded,

"That other warehouse!"

Lewis picked up the radio,

"Romeo Alpha 10 to base we require back up. The industrial estate " opposite side from last. We"ll occupy them until you arrive".

"Let"s go" Grace called.

Alex felt herself being jerked up, he had returned, several very familiar men stood beside him. Link, Dr Gloat, Cling, Barkley, Zot, Cage and Ryan they are all there.

The bonds were loosened around her, Melanie's nails dug deep into her wrists. Sirinus brandished a knife,

"Now my dear since you have had time to think it over would you like to give us the information we desire?"

"Never!" Alex screamed trying to get away from Melanie.

"Maybe you'd like to meet someone special, the head man in this game? Hmm. Let me introduce to you the DIME Master".

"The DIME Master"" Alex whispered in dread.

The doors opened and in walked several men in pressed suits, they guarded quite a large and dominating man who disguised his identity with a mask. His swaggering and proud walk reminded her of someone"

"I"ll give you one more chance to co-operate Miss Kingsley" Sirinus boomed interrupting her thoughts, he handed the knife to Melanie.

"I won't tell you anything" Alex replied calmly but the hint of complacency in her voice was obvious.

The knife started to come closer and closer, it was half a centimetre to her cheek " getting closer and closer, Alex shut her eyes tightly awaiting the pain to follow. There was tingling on her cheek the, CRASH,

"STOP! LAPD!" Alex opened her eyes to find her friends and fellow detectives aiming guns at the gang.

The next second was a blur, the gang attacked, everyone started fighting, Sammo flung two men at the wall with one kick, more men on the wrong side of the law appeared from Sirinus"s call.

Shirley watched in awe as Sammo kicked a man sending him flying into a post- ouch! Lewis and Grace caught her attention, men surrounded them at least five to one, and in sync they smiled and faced back to back. Grace let fly with a sidekick, sending one crashing backward into another. Lewis punched the lights out of one then using the weapon he had gained knocked another two out with one swipe. Terrell was devilishly using the old blanket trick where you pulled it out from under them. Alan was doing his best but clearly this wasn"t his greatest skill, Bo grabbed her,

"He's getting away!" He pointed to where Sirinus, Melanie and the (she assumed) the DIME Master were making a bolt for it, Melanie had Alex in tow. In unison Shirley and Bo looked at each other with childish delight, nodded and took after them. In a matter of seconds, Bo was having a good old fight till the death with Sirinus and Shirley was combating with the DIME Master. Alex took advantage of Melanie"s surprise; with one nice sharp kick backwards at Melanie"s stomach, Alex was free. Turning around she aimed another one and it rang true,

"That was for hurting my arm back in Scotland!" A punch to the face,

"That was for kidnapping me" Melanie doubled over,

"And this" Alex continued, sweeping Melanie's feet from under her and finishing off with a nice slap to the cheek, "Is for slapping me!"

Alex stood up and noticed Bo standing looking at her in, what she thought, was shock.

"Those Karate lessons were worth it after all" Alex miffed.

"Duck!" Bo yelled at her as Sammo flew a guy over her head.

There was a noise from the doors, back up had arrived, it was a matter of minutes when the men were arrested and held firmly but Shirley was still battling it out with the DIME Master. Finally she rolled away, the whole hall gradually became quieter, grace gave her a hand up, Lewis joined them, so did Sammo and Terrell.

"The game"s up" Shirley told the man in front of her,

"You won"t get anything from me, I've got men coming anytime now and you don"t even know who I am".

"Correction, I know who you are DI Miggan Eastern" there was a gasp around the warehouse.

"You've always been in this business" Shirley continued, "All those years in the force, you could cover up well, and it was easy to put the police off the scent. Nobody would have suspected you. I mean the earlier trap, you took us to the wrong warehouse, you knew what would happen, nobody telephoned you, and it was all your doing. It was to put us off your scent while on the opposite site of the estate your business was booming. Quite clever, really, always one-step ahead of the force. If it weren"t for Bo, I don't think we would know at all. Your name was a give away as well, it was sheer luck that I found that out DIME Master? Clever, take your rank, DI, that"s the first part, then your initials and it spells DIME".

"Clever girl, but you"re gonna wish you hadn't stuck your nose in where it doesn't belong. He turned and ran through a hidden door on the wall, Sammo immediately sprung after him, a copter was hovering outside, Sammo managed to catch him just as he reached the rope, the helicopter started to pull away, Sammo pulled hard and both fell to the ground. Once on the ground Sammo had him secure, Lewis was behind Sammo,

"Well done, Sammo!" He turned to Miggan, "I have to caution you, you have the right to remain silent but anything you do say will be taken down as evidence and used against you in court".

Goodbyes are always hard, Shirley noted, Alex was going back to Scotland with Alan, and the plane was due to leave soon.

Shirley turned to Alan and smiled holding out her hand,

"It was a pleasure working with you".

"Likewise". He turned and shook Bo"s hand as well.

"You take this very well" Bo replied, Alan knew what he was talking about,

"Bo, I"ve worked with Alex, she is as stubborn and persistent as you can get, I"m used to it now".

Bo smiled knowingly.

Shirley turned to Alex and they hugged,

"Thank you, have a good flight and don't forget to keep me posted about what's going on over there," Alex nodded, "Take care and if you ever need someone to talk to you know my E-mail address".

"Thank you Shirley, for everything" I"ve never really had friend s of my own age, all to in horror of my work. I guess I don't get to mix a lot since of my predicament. Shirley saw that sadness flicker through Alex"s eyes and it hurt her heart immensely,

"Take care Shirley " okay?"

Sighing Alex turned to Bo,

"Well done Bo, you are coming on nicely," Bo gave her a funny look, "I mean it, if it wasn't for you realisation, hard work and the extra surprise of you actually taking photographs of his car and the warehouse that day" Thank you! Take care"" she leaned closer, and whispered, "And take care of Shirley as well". Bo nodded.

Alex picked up her bag and turned away,

"Oh Bo," Alex dug in her pocket, "Here," she handed him a letter, "This will explain a few things about me. Shirley already knows but I think you ought to too".

Alex gave Shirley another hug " Bo was surprised to see Shirley struggling to keep from crying. Then Inspector Alan Goodyear and Alexanna Kingsley were gone. Shirley and Bo stood and watched the plane go, sneaking a look at Shirley he noticed in real revelation that tears masked her face,

"Hey" he whispered and pulled her close in a tight hug, Shirley sobbed but was grateful.

"Got everything?" Lewis asked,

"Yeah" Terrell sighed.

"It was good to see you again, we must keep in touch" Sammo put in.

"Yeah, I'll pop by when I get back but I"ve got to sort this out properly and stay for the trial. Anyway I shouldn"t keep you away from Amy, hmm?"

Everyone smiled, an announcement sounded over the speakers for their flight,

"Hey you"re not leaving without saying goodbye?" Called a voice.

Everyone turned; Bo and Shirley smiled at them.

Once all they had shaken hands, hugged and promised to keep in touch and stay out of trouble Shirley and Bo stepped back.

Lewis turned to Terrell,

"Great to see you again man".

"Likewise. Now hurry up and get back and see us again".

Lewis nodded consciously then turned to Sammo,

"Look after yourself okay?"

"You too, drop in anytime for a session".

"By the way, if you ever need a hand remember to call me" Lewis"s gaze turned on everyone then fell on Grace.

In one movement they were in each other"s arms, Grace choked back tears,

"I'm going to miss you".

"I'll miss you too".

"Call- okay?"

"Sure babe!"

Both were reluctant to let go, Terrell coughed politely and murmured,

"It"s time to go".

Lewis pulled back slightly and kissed Grace"s forehead, Grace let out a shuddering sigh, pulling away she picked up her suitcase.

The three called goodbye to Shirley and Bo again and to Lewis then turned and walked away. Lewis refused to look up but then smiled,

"Hey Grace whatcha doin' in two weeks time?"

Grace could hardly contain her grin,

"Nothing, probably""

"Good! See you then" He turned and walked away slightly.

Bo and Shirley just mimicked throwing up.


Antique Ambiguity : Chapter 8

"so after many years the mob was finally caught and are now serving the sentences they deserve. It's always a surprise to meet so many different people. Bo still continues to surprise me, I mean that in a nice way" without him I don"t think that mystery would have been solved, plus those photos he took are the perfect evidence. Once again good triumphs over evil, but like Sherlock Holmes there"s always that back person grinding into you trying to flaw every possible way into your undoing. But like Sherlock I"ve got my own Watson, Bo, Alex surprised me by telling me how much I care for Bo. In theory I suppose she meant that my feelings went deep for him but he is my best friend and I will not lose him over anything petty.

At the moment Bo is reading the letter Alex gave him today at the airport, I don"t need to see it for I know what is contained in there; her life. Alex told me of her past before I even knew about the case, it makes me wonder how someone who has lost both her parents by murder, is minded by a pair of drunks who beat her senseless, tries to live alone in that empty house by herself and manages keep a straight head in this world. The fact that everyone she loves has died, her brother and sister in a car crash but then again she has a second father " Alan but there is a great emptiness in her life.

Her life makes me not want to give up and I will find my mother... someday"

Alex turned in her seat to share a grin with Alan,

"Shirley's got it bad!"

Alan chuckled,

"Yeah, real bad and she doesn't even realise that Bo is the same".

"Yeah, trust my best friends to fall in love!"

"Hey I thought I was your best friend!"

"No" you"re even more to me than that" that reminds me"" Alexanna slithered, welding a face of guilt,

"I know about the leaks and everything in your house, so I was thinking" Alan arched his eyebrows,

"Hmm?"

"Why don't you come and live at my house, you know the one my parents left me? Be a family? That way I can keep an eye on you".

"An eye on me!" Alan spluttered, but relaxed into a soft smile, "Of course, I would like that very much. It will stop the beatings....... won't it?".

Alex was horrified,

"You know about""

"Honey, you can"t hide anything from me".

Alex smiled sadly,

"Family and friends, something you can't live without".

THE END