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Veritas (NEW: Chapter Eight)

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Veritas (NEW: Chapter Eight)

Post by The Newms on 6/6/2010, 5:20 pm

Okay, well this is my first story on TWIG. Also my first TwigWriSum. Lots of firsts. Yay firsts!

Maturity: Talking about killing people, the (very limited) use of knives and guns, a little romance maybe (;
Fantasy: Alex tends to fantasize a lot xD But no unicorns or magic spells or anything


Anyhoozle, I'm kinda making this up as I go along, although I do have a basic plot idea. It more or less started out when I saw someone on facebook posted that there are two killers running around our town. Instead of panicking, I decided to write a story xD
(Oh, by the way, if you were actually worried about me and/or my town, I'm sure it was a joke...)


--CHAPTER ONE--

"Ouch!"
Alex Montgoumery quickly flicked on the faucet, and ran her hand under ice-cold water. She'd never been good at cooking, and this burn was one of many to prove it. Even something as simple as a cheap package of Ramen was far beyond her capabilites. She stared at the pot of boiling water in disdain. Ordinarily, she'd have Lucia make her something; her sister was far better in the kitchen than Alex could ever hope to be. But Lucia was out right now, probably with her boyfriend. Even Alex's parents were out, but she wasn't mad at them. Their old business partner had been found murdered the other day, and they were at his funeral.

She shut off the sink. It'd been a wierd case. As far as the investigation revealed, the murder had been premeditared; but he had no enemies who bore a grudge. However, he'd been found dead in field, wearing his business clothes. The police were baffled. Why would a man wearing a suit and tie be in an abandoned field? But as far as Mr. and Mrs. Montgoumery were concerned, their friend was dead, and that's all there was too it.

Picking up the handle of the pot, Alex poured the ramen into a small bowl. She hadn't known their friend very well, so she didn't want to go to the funeral. They said that'd be fine, and off they went. Lucia, being younger than Alex, didn't know him either. Not that she'd really known what was going on, anyway. Lucia was hardly ever home. She had a lot of friends, and they were always doing something. Alex went out a lot, too, but she at least knew what was going on.

She absentmindedly twirled the noodles on a fork, and put them in her mouth; they seared her tongue. She almost dropped the bowl in suprise, but caught it before it hit the ground. Some of the broth sploshed over, leaving a still-boiling puddle on the ground. Sighing, Alex put the bowl down on a table, and retrieved a roll of paper towels. She bent down to wipe up, the mess, but something underneath the cabinet caught her attention. She layed down on her stomach, so she could reach it better. Pulling it out, Alex saw it was a photograph. She blew the dust off, and almost gasped.

It was taken six years ago, when Alex was eleven. She looked different then; those were the days when her hair was blonde, before it had faded into the light brown colour it was now. She was standing up on a swing, holding the two ropes so she wouldn't fall off. But that wasn't what had suprised Alex. What she was smiling at in the picture was the boy next to her on the swing, trying to push her off. He had messy jet-black hair, and a backwards baseball cap. But no matter how little he was then, Alex knew she was looking at a picture of her, and her best friend, Hunter.

She hadn't seen Hunter in five years. He'd moved to a different town, so Alex no longer went to school with him. They'd kept in touch for the next year via e-mail, but then....he'd stopped writing. Hunter'd stopped calling, too. And then one day, Hunter's mother, who was very close with Alex's own, called them to tell the fateful news. Hunter had disappeared. The selfish part of Alex was glad that the reason Hunter stopped writing wasn't because he found a new best friend, but the thought didn't stay long. It was immediately replaced by an emptier feeling; that her best friend of thirteen years was gone.

"I'd almost forgotten about you," said Alex to the photograph. It wasn't like he could hear her, but Alex didn't stop herself. She brushed some more dust off the photo. Alex remembered when this was taken. They were at Thompson park, for Lucia's ninth birthday. All of Lucia's friends were there, so Mrs. Montgoumery had let Alex bring Hunter so she wouldn't be bored. She ate the ramen, wistfully recalling her days with Hunter.

Putting the bowl in the sink, Alex remembered she had a bunch of picture frames in her room she never used.
"I should put this in one of them," she thought aloud. She cleaned up the kitchen, making sure to leave it as spotless as it was fifteen minutes ago. Picture still in hand, she ascended the stairs and went into her room. The empty picture frames all lay unorganized on the bottom shelf of her bookcase. She pulled one out, a plain, black wooden one, and fit the picture in it, behind the glass. Alex placed it on her dresser, and stepped back to admire it.

Her moment of peace was interrupted by a thunderclap, and then a loud bark. Oh, no, I forgot to take Prince in! she thought, rushing out of her room, and practically flying down the stairs. She opened the back door, looking for her probably frightened German Shepard. Alex's eyes widened. She saw Prince, but she saw someone else with him. Although the dog was relentless with barking and snapping his jaws when it came to strangers, he hadn't even nipped at this fellow's sleeve. He reached his hand out, and scratched Prince's ear.

"Who are you?" screamed Alex, ready to tell Prince to attack. He would listen if Alex told him.

The stranger looked up.

"Just the voice I wanted to hear," said Hunter, with a wink, "It's been too long, Alex."



Grrr, terrible ending....but comments are appreciated, and the story WILL get better as time goes on, I promise you!

--CHAPTER TWO--

Have you ever had that awkward experience where you're talking about someone, and then all of a sudden they're standing right behind you?

Alex was feeling that now, only slightly different. She was, first of all, repeatedly biting her own lip just to make sure she wasn't dreaming. Second off, she was incredulous. But thirdly, she was embarassed.She and Hunter had never had a gushy moment, even when he was moving away. But, just a moment ago, she'd been fondly staring at the picture, remembering the good old days. She was sure Hunter hadn't seen her looking at it, but just the fact that he was standing here just proved she wasn't sure about anything anymore.

Hunter seemed to find the whole situation very amusing. Alex could tell he was thoroughly enjoying her astonished face, and while she was having trouble even making one sound, he seemd to have no trouble laughing at all. Prince wagged his tail, completely oblivious to Alex's bewilderment. He probably hadn't realized how long it'd been since he'd seen Hunter. It'd been awhile since Alex had seen Hunter. He looked....different. Well, obviously he looks different, it's been six years since you last saw him! Alex scolded herself. His face had lost all the baby fat that had still lingered during his preteen years. His skin was tanned, as if he'd spent a significant portion of time in the sun, and the muscles in his arms and legs were well-defined, even if they were cloaked by ripped up blue jeans. But his friendly blue eyes had stayed the same, as well as the messy mop of jet black hair.

It was awhile before Alex managed to speak. She only managed something ridiiculous at first, which sounded something like a mix between a gasp and a scream. She seemed to regain some of her composure after that, and was able to form whole words.
"Hunter," she said aloud. The name didn't feel real. Like it was a dream, almost. "How-?"

Her sentence was cut short, because at the moment, Hunter had run up and hugged her.
"Alex, I've missed you so much you have no idea!!!"

The way he was babbling and hugging her, Alex thought the situation had been reversed; that she'd been the one to wander into his backyard after magically disappearing. His fan-girl attitude seemed to have dragged Alex back to Earth.
"I've....missed you, too," she said, uncertainly. Not the she hadn't missed him- she had- but he usually wasn't the....sentimental type. Nor was she.
"Um, would you like to come inside?" Alex asked, as a raindrop landed on her nose.

Hunter relased her, looking somewhat nervous now.
"Uh...won't your, um, family....."

Alex shook her head, "They're all out of the house now. You should rest, and have something to eat," she urged him. Hunter obliged, and followed Alex inside as she grabbed Prince's collar. They'd gotten inside just in time, as it'd started to pour. Alex was still brain-dead from the shock of seeing her missing friend in her backyard. She didn't realize how much had changed in six years. She recalled the picture again. He was so little then. They both were. Alex had blonde hair in that picture, but for some reason, as she got older, it had faded to a golden-brown colour. It fell a little past her shoulder, and each hair curled slightly at the edges. She couldn't see how else she'd changed from that time; was Hunter just as suprised as she was about him?

She was concerned when he still looked worried. A moment ago, Hunter had seemed carefree, but now, shadows danced in the corners of his eyes; as if there were something he'd been hiding from.
"Say, where is everyone?" he asked. He at least sounded unconcerned. Maybe Alex had imagined the look of fear and dismay.

"Lucia is out with her boyfriend," Alex told him, rummaging in her closet for some tea, "And my parents are at Mr. Bocci's funeral. You remember him, don't you? He was found dead the other day."

Hunter nodded, "I heard about that case...You know who their number one suspect is?"

She shook her head, waiting for Hunter's response. Like she could have a bigger shock today, anyway.

He casually drummed his fingers on the table, then added, "You're looking at him."

Yup, well I'm just typing as I go along, wish I would've typed this last bit better..hsjhdkjashfkjahskjdh oh well. Enjoy.

--CHAPTER THREE--

By this point Alex was wondering how old that ramen she ate must've been. It'd probably been buried in the back of her pantry for a few years at least....And the chemicals used to preserve it had intensified over the years. And then she ate it, and they were messing with her brain. Yes, that sounded like a good solution.

But it wasn't the right solution. No, even in her state of shock and terror, the logical part of her mind told her that wasn't true. This was true. Hunter had disappeared, then reappeared as a suspected killer. And now he was standing in her kitchen. Should she be worried? Would her old friend spare her life? Should she call the police? Alex didn't know what to say. Her brain couldn't process all of this at once. She was spared the trouble of coming up with some response; she'd just realized how hot the teapot she'd been holding was. It fell to the floor with a clatter, spilling hot water everywhere. Alex didn't rush to the sink to wash her burn like she normally did. She just fell to her knees, not caring if she was sitting in a puddle of boiling water.

"Alex!"

She heard Hunter's voice, and in a moment, he was at her side. Hunter gripped her arm, and gently began to pull her up, but something inside Alex responded unusually. Her instinct took over. She swatted him away, and stood up on shaky legs. Some of her hair fell in her face, but the intensity in her eyes couldn't be blocked.

"You....you....," she tried to say, but she stopped. Alex didn't know what to think now. Here was Hunter; her best friend since she could remember, but also a killer. She staggered over to a kitchen chair, and slumped down miserably. Hunter sat down in the chair beside her.

"Alex?" he asked. He didn't sound like a killer. He sounded compassionate. She looked up at him desperately, wishing there was another answer....wishing he would tell her it was a lie. That it wasn't true.

When she didn't respond verbally, he continued.
"I didn't kill him."

Well, wishes do come true. Alex imagined the relief must've shown in her face, so she buried it in her arms. She didn't want Hunter to see how happy she was. There was no question; she believed him. If he said it, it was good enough for her. After all, Hunter would never lie to her about something like that anyway. She lifted her head up, and tried to say something, but no words came out. Not like words would do anything right now. What would she say? That she was glad he was only a fugitive, not a convict? It's times like these, reader, when it's best not to say anything at all.

Hunter understood that too. It was awhile before the two of them said anything. Then, Alex understood.

"I'll help you."

Hunter looked over at her. His face revealed nothing. Uncertainly, she continued.

"I'll help you prove your innocence. I'll help you find the real murderer, and we can solve this mystery."

His face broke into the first smile she'd seen in awhile. Not a true smile; just a small one. A small, sad smile. She knew, though, that he'd smile again. Both of them would. Real smiles. Sincere.
"I always knew I could count on you."

I feel like this chapter was shorter than the others.....Anyway, sorry if the dialogue got confusing at the end....but I think you can tell who said what. I'll be adding the next chapter real soon, 'cuz I want them to get the ^*&%^&%$^&^& out of Alex's kitchen already.

--CHAPTER FOUR--

There's an expression and it goes "Think before you speak." The phrase actually has several implications; it could be used to warn against saying something stupid, saying something offensive, or letting a secret slip. In fact, the old adage is probably one of the only useful ones around today. However, as many of us have learned, "useful" doesn't always mean "used."

Now, the point in bringing up this saying is so we can apply it to Alex's situation. At that moment, she too, probably realized how much sense that saying was begining to make. It was one of those sayings one's mother might use often; meaning that it filtered right through a child's ear and out the other, not leaving so much as a scratch upon the brain. Now, Alex wished she'd listened to her mother, or her teacher or whoever had told her that. Not that she didn't want to help Hunter - because she did- but taking a rash step such as that...how would they start?

Reader, allow me to use another analogy. The situation was like a jigsaw puzzle. One can see the finished product depicted on the box, and one knows what steps to execute to reach said product- but where does one begin? What single piece does one start with?

"Well, OK, then," said Hunter, standing up. "Let's go."

Alex was getting more frustrated by the second. Couldn't one thing happen today that she could comprehend. "Go where?"

He blinked. "What you just said. We're going to go prove I'm not a killer...?"

"Just like that?" she asked, scathingly. "We're just gonna get up, and trek across the county or state or whatever until we find something? We can't just leave and hope for the best."

Hunter looked somewhat miffed, but to Alex's suprise, not that anything was really suprising her anymore, he was able to answer the question. "I have a plan in mind! Well, kinda. I know who the real murderer is."

Completely baffled now, Alex walked over to the kitchen draw, and pulled it open. Silverware lay cluttered and piled together. Alex remembered it had been Lucia's turn to empty the dishwasher last, so of course she just threw everything hap-hazardly in the draw. Alex closed it. Not what she was looking for. She opened the next one. Ah, there it was. She reached in, and gingerly grasped the smooth, wooden handle. The kitchen light danced off the silver blade as Alex pulled the knife out of the draw.

"WHAT IN GOD'S NAME ARE YOU DOING?!" bellowed Hunter, stepping towards her. Alex didn't hold the knife at him; she just held it above her palm.

"I have to make sure I'm not dreaming," she mumbled, shrugging. Then she pressed the blade down, and drew it quickly towards her. The cutting didn't hurt half as much as she'd expected, but after a few seconds, her palm began to sting like crazy. She dropped the knife to the floor, and grabbed her hand, wincing in pain.

"That was the stupidest thing I've ever done," she squeaked, running her hand under the sink to wash of the blood. Luckily, she kept a package of band-aids and gauze wrap under the cabinet; she was always getting hurt in the kitchen. She opened the door with her foot, and kicked out a roll of bandages. Biting her lip, she bandaged the cut. It'd stopped hurting by now; and she was thouroughly convinced it wasn't a dream anymore.

"I take it you're satisfied," Hunter said coolly. Alex glanced over, confused. Was he really that opposed to self-inflicted pain? She looked down at her wrists. Thank goodness she didn't cut those on a regular basis, like some kids did. Hunter would never forgive her.
"Just pack whatever you think you'll need into a small bag," he advised her. "And let's head off before anyone gets home. Our suspect won't wait forever."


Okay, so we didn't get them out of the kitchen, but next Chapter they can leave. Yay. Um, sorry Alex is crazy, but I think you would be too if this happened to you. xD She'll loosen up, I swear.

--CHAPTER FIVE--

Unlike most girls- Lucia, for instance- Alex was one of those rare under-packers. She was able to fit everything she'd need for a life on the road in a gym bag, and still have extra space. She'd turned off her cellphone, because she didn't want to waste the battery while on her journey. She'd just use it for something important.

When she came down in the kitchen, Hunter was holding something soaking wet. It was unrecognizable at first, but upon further inspection, Alex realized it was his own traveling bag.
"Left it out in the rain," he explained when she pointed a finger at it.
"Oh. Anything salvageable?" she asked. It would be a shame if anything in his bag got damaged.

He took out a wallet and a pocketknife. "These are really the only valuable things in here...Still dry." Standing up, he added. "Well....you ready?"

Alex smiled half-heartedly. "Ready as I'll ever be."

*******

The first thing that crossed Alex's mind was that she didn't leave a note for her parents. That might cause them trouble later; if her parents though she'd gone missing, they might send the police out after her, and if they found her with Hunter...well....he'd be facing a couple years in jail, seeing as they hadn't gathered proof for his innocence.

Luckily, they hadn't released public photos of Hunter as the suspect, so no awkward glances came their was as they boarded the local Greyhound Bus. Alex, like most people, had never been on a perilous journey, so she'd assumed they'd be walking the whole time and fighting off dragons and magical creatures she never thought existed. Hunter calmly corrected her, and said they could take the bus for two hours until they arrived at the town the murderer worked in. Somehow, this seemed anticlimactic to Alex, but she shrugged and just went along with it.

Her hand was still hurting. She'd packed extra bandages in her bag, in case it started bleeding again. The cut on her palm still stung, and she bit her lip and looked out the window so Hunter couldn't see her grimace. Imagine what he'd say...He'd probably just get really mad again. Mad that she didn't believe him. Or mad that she'd hurt herself stupidly.

It was raining outside. That was nice, Alex reflected. She liked the sound of the rain. It was pretty, in her world. And as a kid, she'd liked to play in it. She didn't mind getting muddy; unfortunatley, Lucia had. Lucia used to pout and whine when it was raining, but Alex always went outside to look for the worms that had come up from the ground or to play in puddles...Now that she thought about it, Hunter liked to play in the rain too. She yawned. It was so much less complicated when they were kids.....

"Hey, Alex, wake up," said a voice, gently shaking her shoulders. Alex's eyes popped open, and Hunter was looking at her curiously.

"Wha-?" she asked groggily.

"This is our stop," he told her. "Grab your stuff."

She followed him out of the bus. It was still raining when they got off the bus, but Alex didn't mind. She actually wanted to go jump in a few puddles, but that would probably have to wait. Looking around, she noticed she'd never been to this city before. It was huge. The road next to them was practically a highway, and huge corporate buildings lined the streets, with some shops inbetween. Hunter beckoned her under the roof near the bus stop where he was holding a map.
"Ok, see, right now, we're in Havenfield," he said to her, pointing at the map.

"I don't see much of a field," she commented darkly.

Ignoring Alex, Hunter continued, "The real murderer, Karl Takanori, is the vice president of the Bocci Handbag Company. That's obviously where the victim, Micheal Bocci, worked. The handbags are extrmemely popular among women and teenage girls these days, and are made from a resilient material. The Company also manufactures other clothing and accessories, but the majority of its money comes from the bags. Just some background information, y'know?"

Alex only paid attention to the murderer's name. "Hee hee, he's asian!" she giggled.

Hunter sighed. "No, he does not have a Pikachu, please don't ask. We're dealing with a serious matter, here."

Alex stuck her tongue out at him, but regained a serious composure. "Ok, how do we know he's the killer?"

"Isn't that what we're here to find out?" he asked. Alex was about to say something, but Hunter cut her off.
"Hold it, I know what you're gonna say. Yes, I have a lead. But maybe we should find some place dry to sit down, before I tell you the whole story..."

NO OFFENSE TO ANYONE WHO'S ASIAN. I don't think you're all obsessed with anime or whatever! But Alex does because she's sheltered. xD So, sorry.

Um, Yeah. This will get better in the next few chapters, don't worry! But my other story, Inner Demons is better. READ THAT ONE.


--CHAPTER SIX--

The rain was pouring down even harder now. Alex and Hunter put the their hands over their headds as they made a dash for the nearest coffee shop, but it didn't prove them much cover. Barely three steps into the open, and they were nearly soaked to the bone. They didn't bother to talk, either. The ony noise was the sloshing of water as their feet slammed down on the sidewalk. Few people were out on the street now. Those that were either had umbrellas, or were sprinting just as Alex and Hunter were. The rain didn't stop the cars, though. Buses, taxis and other vehicles continued to zip on by, occasionally splashing water onto the sidewalk when they cut through a particuarly large pothole.

Much to Alex and Hunter's frustration, not a single building they passed by proved to be a cafe, or any building they could really sit down and talk in. Most of them were office buildings, but eventually when the reached downtown Havenfield pet shops, botiques and general stores began to pop up, but not a single coffe shop or restaurant.

"[Dang] it, where the [heck] is a cafe when you need one?" cursed Hunter as they raced through the rain. Beside him, Alex was feeling miserable, too. Rain clung to her curly eyelashes, sometimes impairing her vision, but she wiped them away and just kept on running. Suddenly, she slipped on the wet sidewalk. She skipped at least three feet, and landed on her side; unfortunatley, her bag landed in the road.

"Hey, Alex, you okay?" asked Hunter, running foward to help her up. She gratefully accepted his outstretched hand, and pulled herself up.

"Yeah, I'm alright," she told him. "But I have to get my bag, its in the-"

Before Alex could finish her sentence, a car raced by, knocking the bag a good distance away from them.

"Oh no!" screeched Alex. "All my stuff is in there!"

Without waiting for a response or warning from Hunter, she sprinted foward. Once she'd reached her bag, she hopped into the road to retrieve it. The moment her hand met the bag's strap, she reflected how stupid that move probably was. The moment she looked up, and saw the headlights of the oncoming car, she knew how stupid that was.

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

"She'll be alright, won't she?"

Alex heard an unfamiliar voice. That was pretty disconcerting for her. Since she didn't know exactly where she was, she'd hoped to hear Hunter's voice. Or maybe her mom's. Or her best friend, Cassandra. Or even that annoying kid who sat next to her in Geometry. But she didn't expect to hear a stranger's voice, and now she was afraid.

She was also in pain. Alex put her hand to her shoulder. It was hurting like crazy, as if a Chevrolet had just rammed into it. Then, she remembered.

Alex's eyes popped open. She was lying on a bed in an unfamiliar room. Although she'd never been here before, she knew she must be in a hospital. The bed was uncomfortable, she was wearing some sort of cheap, plastic gown and there was a currently unused stand to hold blood in next to her. A thin, plastic divider had been strung up between her and the bed next to her's although she could tell from the silence that it was empty anyway. Across from her, a small flatscreen TV had been mounted on the wall, and Alex noticed the remote was next to her. However, TV wasn't really what she wanted right now.

What she wanted was to get out of here, find Hunter, and apologize for being such an idiot. She was probably delaying his search. Alex suddenly felt terrible. This wasn't a little quest Hunter wanted to go on because he was bored; this was a search that would decide whether or not he went to jail. Alex bit her lip, and felt a tear roll down her face. He was alone now. What if some cops had found him? She hadn't seen him when she got hit by the car.

She looked down. Her left arm was in a sling, and there was a thick bandage wrapped around her shoulder. She reached up, but didn't feel one on her head, and there weren't any on her legs, either. Shrugging, Alex felt a little consoled that she wasn't gravely injured. She was about to slide out of her bed, when she realized there were two other people in the room. One was obviously a doctor, but the other was an unfamiliar man in a suit and tie. He had neat black hair that had probably been combed earlier that morning, but was now disfigured by the rain. Dark stains on his suit suggested he'd been outside recently, and his polished black shoes had traces of mud on them. He was tall and lanky, but looked even taller next to the short, squat doctor beside him. Before the doctor could say anything, the man rushed foward to Alex.

"Oh, I am so sorry, miss! It was raining, and I didn't notice you crouched in the road," he gushed out, but Alex just waved her hand at him.

"Really, it's not problem. Walking out in the road while it's raining is a dumb idea anyway," she told him cheerfully. "Plus, I didn't get hurt so much. Just a...fracture or something...."

"Actually, you badly damaged your Humerus," corrected the docor. Seeing Alex's confused look, he added, "It means you broke your arm. Keep the cast on for the next six weeks."

"Okay..thanks. Anyway, where is my friend?" she asked, hoping they'd seen Hunter at the scene. Maybe he'd even come with them!

"Friend?" asked the man.

"Yes, a boy wearing ripped jeans and a green t-shirt!" she said. "He was with me."

The man raised an eyebrow. "I saw nobody like that at the scene. If you'd like, I could drive you back in town to look for him."

Alex's mother, like most other people's, had always warned her daughter against going into cars with stranger. Not even if they told you there was a puppy in their van. However, Alex figured that any guy with the decency to bring a girl he hit with a car to a Hospital must be alright. Plus, she did have her bag with her, and she'd packed her own pocketknife as well; just in case she might need it. Luckily, the bag was lying at the foot of her bed.
"Sure. We were looking for a coffee shop to sit down in," she told him.

"Oh! We'll go to Cup O Joe's then. It's pretty much the only cafe in town, I'm sure he's there," the man said.

"Thank you very much," she said. "By the way, my name is Alex."

The man reached out to shake her hand. "It's very nice meeting you, Alex. My name is Karl Takanori."

Karl Takanori, for those of you with terrible memory, was the name of the murderer.
Yep.
I am that mean to Alex.


--CHAPTER SEVEN--

Why am I here?
Alex kept repeating that over and over in her head as she stared out the window of the sleek, black Lexus that sliced effortlessly through the pounding rain. She tried her best to keep her fingernails from digging into the lush, leather seat as she nervously sat, waiting for the driver to stop the car, and take a knife to her throat.

He was a murderer, after all.

Looking back up at him, Alex bit her lip. Was he? Hunter seemed so confident when he told Alex the name. But he'd taken Alex to the hospital, and shown such care when she was unconcious. And then he was able to get Alex dismissed from the hospital with a couple quick lies when she'd begged him not to call her parents. And now he was driving around in the rain for her, so she could look for Hunter. Alex knew she couldn't lead him to Hunter, though. Would he recognize Hunter? Did they knew each other at all? She'd never gotten the story from him, sicne they'd been separated before he'd gotten the chance to say much. She didn't know how close the murderer and scapegoat were.

"I know we're lookiong for your friend," said Takanori, interrupting Alex's troubled thoughts. "But would you mind if we stopped at my business' main office? I have to meet with one of my executives. It's only a few minutes away.'

Of course Alex already knew this. Hunter had given her the low-down on Takanori's business; the Bocci Handbag Company. She actually owned a Bocci bag herself; Alex had recieved it as a gift from Mr. Bocci himself a few years ago. It was a really cute and durable bag, so Alex could understand why the corporation had made so much money. But she wasn't planning on buying a new bag while she was here.
"Oh, sure, I don't mind. My friend is pretty patient anyway," she assured him.


"Great," responded Takanori, taking a sharp left turn. The stores suddenly changed into cold, corporate buildings, and the umbrella-clad shoppers became dark-suited buisnessmen. Alex looked up, and saw the building they were headed for. It was taller than it was wide; probably about twelve floors. The bright blue letters on the roof blazoned the company name. It was a rather depressing looking building compared to the cute, happy purses and bags they sold. It might've just been the rain, though, Alex reflected.

He pulled up into the VIP parking spot closest to the door. The sidewalk was right next to Alex when she opened the door, and the cement path twisted around two flowers gardens as it led up to the door. The purple and blue flowers looked healthy, but their petals and leaves drooped under the weight of the water. Alex thought it just gave the building a more ominous appearance. Before she'd even stepped outside the car, Takanori was already there, holding an umbrella out for her.

"Thanks," she said, taking the handle from him. What a nice guy....was he really a killer?

She decided she'd have to find out for herself. As much as she trusted Hunter, this was a mystery she wanted to solve on her own. Alex followed Takanori into the building. She closed the umbrella before stepping into the glass revolving door. She joined Takanori on the other side, and gaped at the room she was in.

Two off-white marble columns stoom next to the revolving door. They were as thick as the oldest oak trees in Alex's backyard and the platforms the columns were on were ornately carved. Marble waves licked up the sides of the platforms as if they were flames, while twisting, gnarled vines encircled the bottom. Across from the revolving door was the Reception Desk. It was made out of a shiny, Mahognay wood with the same off-white marble top. Gold letters on the wall behind the desk read: BOCCI HANDBAG COMPANY, EST. 1978. Two lush palm trees were on either side of the desk, and the young woman sitting behind the desk was typing on what appeared to be the newest Mac laptop.
"Stella, buzz Cannata. Tell him I'll be up there in about fifteen minutes," Takanori told the secretary. She nodded, but didn't look up.

Takanori led Alex down the hall, to where the glass-door elevator was. He pressed the up arrow, and whistled nonchalantly while he waited for the door to open.
"Alex, you can hang out on the top floor. That's where the newest products are being developed, the ones that are about to be released. You're obviously welcome to have a sneak peak at them! I'll be busy for about ten minutes, and then we can leave."

********

Oh, the lobby was nothing compared to what Alex was greeted with on the the twelfth floor. All the employees treated her like a princess when Takanori introduced her. Alex was treated to the most extensive three-minute tour of her life, and even offered gifts from various employees; all of them products that hadn't been released to the public yet, of course. Alex resisted temptation for the most part, but couldn't help admiring her new watch as she made her escape from the over-fond employees. It had a sky-blue leather band and the face switched from analog to digital with the push of a button. Alex deemed it totally worth it, even if it was manufactured by a murderer.

She turned to the right as she walked down the hallway. Alex left the room, hoping to the go to the restroom, but she seemed to be lost now. Sighing, she looked at the new watch. It'd been fifteen minutes, already. Takanori was probably busy somewhere...Oh well. She'd find the restroom and be back before he knew it. Maybe it was down the next hallway. She strode foward, and turned left. What she saw was not the bathroom, but something else.

Mr. Bocci's old office.

Well, it couldn't hurt to check, would it? Maybe the former president had some dirt on his VP hidden somewhere in the desk. A hint of some scandal, perhaps a suggestion towards a motive? Without thinking twice, she turned the golden handle.

The inside of the office was dusty, even though he'd only been dead for two weeks. A polished cherrywood desk was the main attraction in the room, as well as two large matching cherry bookshelves on the left wall. Most of the books had been emptied out, but a couple remained, lying haphazardly in piles. Upon further examination, they proved to be fiction books; purely for the President's entertainment, she guessed. She sat down on the black leather couch, thinking about what to do next. Suddenly, something caught her eye. It was on the back of the desk chair. Shrugging, Alex decided she may as well check it out.

Blowing off some of the dust, Alex was able to look at the spot better. It was brown in colour. Wait, no, it was dark red.

Dark red?

She looked at it closer, then Alex's heart skipped a beat. Dark Red. It was blood.

Yeah, I know someone can't notice a tiny bloodstain on a chair if they were sitting a few feet away. Bear with me, folks.

--CHAPTER EIGHT--

Alex was never quite sure how she was able to tear her eyes away from the scene, exit the room, and walk down the hall was if nothing happened. Her stomach was doing somersaults, as she tried to process what had happened.

There was a small speck of blood on the former president's chair.

Well, that could mean a number of things, right? Maybe he got a paper cut, and accidentally got it on his chair while he was working one day. The he forgot to clean it up. Yes, that made sense, Alex decided. It seemed like something that could happen in an office.

Or maybe he was sitting in the chair when he died, the darker part of Alex's mind surmised. He was sitting there when he was shot, or stabbed or...Alex shook her head, frustrated. What had the police report even said? She was so worked up right now, she couldn't even remember. She barely remembered what she was doing in this building, so far from her home. Why couldn't she still be in her kitchen, eating ramen and watching the rain fall? Shaking and confused, she slumped against the wall, hugging her knees.

The hall was silent for awhile, then Alex pushed herself back up on two legs. This wasn't her quest, this was Hunter's. And she couldn't just give up whenever she felt like. She promised him that they would find the real murderer and prove his innoncence; and now, they had one shred of evidence to build on. Clenching her fists, Alex walked on with more determination. She was getting out of here, and finding Hunter; but not without finidng more proof, first.

"Alex! There you are," said Takanori, who'd just turned the corner into her hallway.

"Oh, I'm so sorry Mr. Takanori," Alex responded, doing her best to sound sincere. "I got lost coming back from the bathroom."

He raised an eyebrow, since the bathroom was nowhere near where they were. Shrugging, he added, "Well, alright then. Let's go look for your friend."

Alex smiled. Perfect.

-----------------------------

Once again, Alex found herself in the cushy interior of Takanori's sleek, black Lexus. And once again, she was filled with fear and anxiety. But this time, the fear wasn't that he would kill her because he was a murderer, and that's what he liked to do.

No, this time, she feared he would kill her because she might ask one wrong question, and he would find her out.

Alex gulped quietly, and cleared her mind of all worry. She needed to do this, so she could help Hunter, since she'd already caused him so much trouble.

"Didn't the President, Mr. Bocci, die quite recently?" she asked Takanori nonchalantly.

He didn't take his eyes off the road when he answered her, nor did he show any signs of stress. He just answered the question calmly, as if she'd asked him what the weather was like, or what time it is.
"Unfortunatley, yes. Murdered, in fact. It's quite a pity, he was a great President," responded Takanori, not too callous, but not too sympathetic either.

Alex bit her lip. She needed to find out more....but what could she say that was an innocent question from a teenage girl?
"That sounds gruesome," Alex commented. Shrugging, she added, "I wonder why he would be killed....he wasn't a bad person, was he?"

"Of course not!" Takanori told her, his voice tinged with indignance. "He was the best President any company could ask for. He was always coming up with ways to improve our business, and he never mistreated any of his underlings. And outside of work, he was always such a kind person. I'm sure nobody held a grudge against him."

The answer was at first suprising to Alex. His response sounded so sincere, she wondered how this man could've possibly murdered his superior. He couldn't've....could he?
"I'm sorry that your company has lost him, then," she said, hoping she sounded like she meant it. Alex was about to conclude that perhaps Takanori wasn't involved in the murder, when a second thought slid into her mind.

"This is a realy nice car," Alex remarked, patting the leather seat. "Do all the important people at your company get ones like these?"

Takanori nodded a little, then added, "All the high-ranking people, and even some of our sales reps, get company cars. I used to have something less luxurious, but when I was promoted to Vice President, Mr. Bocci gave me this Lexus."

She let his words soak in for a little bit. Something less luxurious.
"Did you have to pay for your old car?"

She saw him bite his lip, as if the question was hard for him to answer.
"Yeah, everyone at the bottom of the corporate food chain has to pay for their own gas and car. So I obviously didn't have something as nice as this one."

"Well, at least you have this cool, new one now," she pointed out, hoping to end the conversation a nicer note. He nodded in agreement, and the rest of the car ride was silent, while Alex sorted through the information she'd gathered. She was having trouble fitting all the pieces together, but she knew Hunter could make something of it...sighing, Alex rested her head against the window.

Suddenly, the car pulled into a parking lot, then stopped. Alex was confused, since she didn't know where they were. She sat upright, looking around. The surrounding area wasn't very visible in the still-thick rain, but she could make out the blurred outlines of buildings and cars.
"Well, we're here!" said Takanori. Seeing Alex's still confused expression, he added, "At Cup O Joe's...? You said you were going to meet a friend."

Alex blinked, then nearly smacked herself in the head.
"Oh, of course! I completely forgot," she told him. Getting out of the car, she waved cheerfully with her non-broken arm, "Thank you so much for driving me, and letting me see your company!"

Takanori handed her a small black umbrella with the Bocci Co. logo on it, and smiled.
"Don't even mention it. I hope your arm feels better, and that you find your friend!"

He slammed the door shut, and drove away. A few papers and a small card flew out of the door with his quick, powerful slam, but by the time Alex had gathered them, he'd already driven away.
"Mr. Taka-!" Alex began to call, but by now, the black Lexus was only a small spec in the distance. Sighing, she folded the papers, and stuck them and the card in her pocket.

Now all that was left was to find Hunter.

I know a lot of the stuff in this Chapter seems stupid and/or confusing, but I promise it will all make sense in just a few Chapters. Also, Hunter's coming back in the next Chapter, so it becomes interesting again after that x3 YAYYYYYY.


Last edited by The Newms on 7/26/2010, 1:42 pm; edited 9 times in total
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Re: Veritas (NEW: Chapter Eight)

Post by The Newms on 6/10/2010, 5:56 pm

Time for me to be annoying, and ask if anyone's interested in reading this...!
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Re: Veritas (NEW: Chapter Eight)

Post by LuckyPenny666 on 6/10/2010, 8:42 pm

Oooh, awesome! Smile I can't wait to read more!
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Re: Veritas (NEW: Chapter Eight)

Post by The Newms on 6/10/2010, 10:11 pm

Thanks, Lucky. = D
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Re: Veritas (NEW: Chapter Eight)

Post by shadowsowner888 on 6/10/2010, 11:01 pm

Veritas . . . hmm, I just learned that word . . . that was truth, right? XD Or is my memory failing again?

Man, though, oh my gosh. XDD I love how Hunter turns up so suddenly like that; most stories would go on for a while before bringing him in. I definitely think I'm going to be enjoying this one, especially considering there's ramen in there, too. cheesy

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Re: Veritas (NEW: Chapter Eight)

Post by The Newms on 6/11/2010, 4:11 pm

Yep, Veritas means truth!

Oh, really, you liked that part? = D I felt like it was a little too obvious, since she was talking about him anf then...he just shows up. But if you like it, then that's sweet!
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Re: Veritas (NEW: Chapter Eight)

Post by Akeria on 6/12/2010, 8:32 am

Irony ftw. *nod*
Erm, anyway. I like this story. Very much. Keep writing it. Very Happy

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Re: Veritas (NEW: Chapter Eight)

Post by The Newms on 6/16/2010, 7:05 pm

Updatesupdatesupdates.
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Re: Veritas (NEW: Chapter Eight)

Post by shadowsowner888 on 6/16/2010, 8:49 pm

Haha, oh my gosh. :3 Every single time you post more, there's some big surprise waiting for us between the words. Good job with chapter two! ^^

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Re: Veritas (NEW: Chapter Eight)

Post by The Newms on 6/16/2010, 8:57 pm

Heh, well the suprises kinda end there. The big ones, anyway. Thought I'd throw 'em all in your face in the very begining, then let your soul wither and die throughout the rest of the story..
I'M JUST KIDDING, I have some good stuff planned. My only problem, is I forgot the solution to my murder xP
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Re: Veritas (NEW: Chapter Eight)

Post by shadowsowner888 on 6/16/2010, 9:27 pm

Haha, I'm very glad there's more good stuff to come. XDD Better remember that solution, though, or things could be . . . painful.

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Re: Veritas (NEW: Chapter Eight)

Post by The Newms on 6/16/2010, 9:31 pm

Oh jeez....-frantically tries to come up with something clever-
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Re: Veritas (NEW: Chapter Eight)

Post by shadowsowner888 on 6/16/2010, 9:39 pm

Time is ticking, Newmsie!

*tick*

*tock*

*tick*

*tock*

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Re: Veritas (NEW: Chapter Eight)

Post by The Newms on 6/16/2010, 9:39 pm

Woah, woah, hey, I'm not saying the solution now! You gotta read, missy. xP
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Re: Veritas (NEW: Chapter Eight)

Post by shadowsowner888 on 6/16/2010, 9:52 pm

Oh, I know. :3

*tick*

*tock*

*tick*

*tock*

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Re: Veritas (NEW: Chapter Eight)

Post by The Newms on 6/23/2010, 11:19 pm

Well, the clock can stop now, there's a new bit to keep y'all occupied!
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Re: Veritas (NEW: Chapter Eight)

Post by Spring_Blossom on 6/23/2010, 11:41 pm

It's really good so far, fantastic job! :]
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Re: Veritas (NEW: Chapter Eight)

Post by The Newms on 6/24/2010, 12:00 am

Thanks, Spring = D
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Re: Veritas (NEW: Chapter Eight)

Post by shadowsowner888 on 6/25/2010, 5:46 pm

Yay! :3 What a wonderful chapter! And I really liked the part where you said, "Some of her hair fell in her face, but the intensity in her eyes couldn't be blocked." I dunno why, my mind isn't working right now. XD I just really really like it.

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Re: Veritas (NEW: Chapter Eight)

Post by The Newms on 6/25/2010, 5:56 pm

GEE, THANKS, YOUR MIND ISN'T WORKING RIGHT AND THATS WHY YOU LIKE MY STORY Dx

Haha, just kidding. I appreciate the input = D
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Re: Veritas (NEW: Chapter Eight)

Post by The Newms on 6/28/2010, 7:48 pm

Aaaaaaand another chapter. I kidna creeped myself out in this one. )=
Alex is going crazy....I'm going to need to add Chapter five soon so I can get Alex back to being a normal person....xP
So people, please read! Yay.
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Re: Veritas (NEW: Chapter Eight)

Post by shadowsowner888 on 6/29/2010, 8:56 am

*reads chapter*

Oh, hmm. *stares at wrist* Alex was rather . . . insane, or brave, or whatever. *-* Because one time I brought a knife near my wrist. But then I instantly freaked out and got away from it. Even if it was a dream, I wouldn't have been able to do something like that. XD That chapter was delightful!

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Re: Veritas (NEW: Chapter Eight)

Post by The Newms on 6/29/2010, 10:09 am

It was actually her palm xP But I think I may've typed wrist at one point...heh. She was having one of those 'pinch me I'm dreaming' moments, but she decided to take matters into her own hands. xD
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Re: Veritas (NEW: Chapter Eight)

Post by shadowsowner888 on 6/29/2010, 10:12 am

Right, right. XD Haha, you said wrist when she was looking at it and being glad she didn't cut herself like that. So my mind was being selective. It's the same concept, though, at least. XD

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Re: Veritas (NEW: Chapter Eight)

Post by The Newms on 6/30/2010, 11:20 pm

Aiight, so I updated it, although its not too exciting.
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