This is an excerpt from the current novel I’m writing.
I wish that I had a more awesome description to start this story off with. You know, “it was a dark and stormy night” or something similar. The problem is that I don’t. It doesn’t always start out strong and interesting. Sometimes, the story starts out a little plainer than what we hope for and even the most innocent and boring of things turns out to be the start of something good.
My story started nearly fifty years ago; but I’m not here to tell you about my life. All you need to know about me is what’s current. My name is Blaze Tuesday. I’m a private investigator in New York. I used to be a cop, but I gave that shit up five years ago. The corruption in the system made me wanna puke, so I quit. Now, I run a fairly successful P.I firm with my partner, Jackson Early. I’m nothin’ special; I’m about five foot ten, blue eyes, grey hair that I keep cut fairly short. I’m skinny… kind of. I try to keep myself in pretty good physical condition since chasin’ perps down dark alleys isn’t the easiest thing in the world. I like to think that I’m pretty good lookin’; I haven’t got any body mods or clockwork though, so I’m not everyone’s cup of tea, but I wouldn’t call myself rugged or nothin’. Modesty is my biggest virtue… Sarcasm is probably my biggest flaw.
Anyway, this story starts out pretty boring. I was sitting in my office, like usual. I run a pretty lax ship when it comes to the P.I firm. I own the whole building and my secretary and I live in the apartments upstairs. The building is okay; it’s an ancient thing left over from the early 1900’s back when New York was a major city. I guess New York is stilla major city, but the cost of living sure dropped off after the oil crisis of the mid-2000’s. Everything inside the building has been updated, though, and it’s pretty nice, even if I am a terrible housekeeper.
I’m not stingy with office furniture, neither. I’ve spent a good chunk of money furnishing the place. Nice desks, decent couches int he waiting room. Killer office chairs. There’s honestly nothin’ worse than sitting in a chair for eight hours and havin’ your ass fall asleep. By the time you stand up to work some feelin’ back into your posterior, it’s guaranteed that the hottest broad you’ll ever see will walk into your office. Trust me; I’ve been there.
It had been a long day already and I was reclining, feet up on my desk, debating on if the vintage, blue paisley wallpaper in the building was actually worth keeping, or if it was contributing to the pounding migraine that was settling into the back of my skull, when my secretary knocked on the door.
I groaned under my breath, but didn’t move from my spot. I was comfy and to hell with what anyone else thought.
“Yeah? Come in.” I said.
Trixie pushed open the thick wooden door and stared at me with a look of familiar contempt. She’d seen me do this a thousand times before. I flashed her my winning smile and she folded her arms over her chest in response.
Trixie Luna was pretty cute. She was in her mid-twenties, bookish, with red hair and the most intense green eyes ever. I kid you not, she could stare right into your soul with those peepers. Add the cat’s eye glasses she always wore and you had a hot secretary fantasy waiting to happen. Or something. I dunno, she wasn’t as buxom as I liked, but she was a good kid, smart and she made the best cup of joe this side of Manhattan.
We stared at each other for a long moment before a smile slowly crept across her face, and we both started to laugh. We couldn’t take this job too seriously sometimes; it wasn’t worth the trouble.
“You’re gonna fall over one day, sittin’ like that.” Trixie informed me matter of factly. “You’re gonna hit your head on the floor, crack your skull open and I ain’t callin’ you an ambulance. That’s out of my pay scale.”
She had a point. I really didn’t pay her enough to deal with avoidable accidents.
Slowly, I took my feet off my desk and sat up straight. Trixie relaxed and stepped a little further into my office so that we could talk.
“So what do you need?” I asked.
“You’ve got a client waiting for you in the lobby.” Trixie explained.
“Did you get any details about what they want?” I asked, bored already. “You know that I’m pretty busy these days.”
Trixie rolled her eyes at me, clearly not buying my excuses.
“So I’ll take that as a ‘no’ then?” I teased, grinning cheekily at her.
“It’s not in my job description to ask.” Trixie shot back.
“Well, maybe it’s time for me to change your job description?” I considered, still grinning. I sighed and waved my hand. “Let Jackson deal with it?”
Trixie’s mouth formed a thin line on her face. I knew that look all too well; I’d seen it more times than I cared to admit. She closed the almost soundproof door and wheeled on me.
“Jackson is currently working three cases, Blaze.” Trixie said, her voice low and angry. “Good cases, too. Cases that you declined for whatever arrogant reason you came up with at the time. There’s been steady work rollin’ in for the past month and you’ve turned down almost all of it!”
I shrugged. “They were boring, unimportant things.”
“They were important to the people trying to hire you.”
“Irrelevant.” I yawned. “Besides, Jackson closed all of them anyway.”
“And you’re running him ragged!”
“He doesn’t have to accept every case that walks through our front door. There are plenty of other private eyes in our fair city.”
Trixie strode across the small space between the door and my desk. She pressed her palms flat against the smooth, dark wood and leaned forward. I hadn’t noticed how low cut her blouse was until she leaned forward, and I found my eyes wandering for a moment.
“So you want me to just take this case, don’t you?”
“That would be a nice start.” Trixie agreed.
I stared up at her for a long moment. She stared back, entirely unamused and I had a sinking feeling that I wasn’t going to win this argument.
“Are you sure that Jackson can’t take this one?”
The blush crawling up Trixie’s neck and onto her cheeks told me exactly how pissed off she was. I braced myself for the verbal bitch slap I was about to get.
“Obviously I was wrong about you, Mister Tuesday. And here I thought that I was working for the most accomplished private eye in all of New York.” Trixie drawled. “What a shame it is to find out that I’m really just working for a lazy, arrogant, self-entitled dickwad who can’t be bothered to move his ass to take a job to pay his bills and, oh, I dunno, maintain his outstanding reputation.”
“Are you done slandering me?” I asked. “I might start to get offended.”
“Are you done with this false macho bravado that you seem intent on putting on to alienate your entire clientele?”
“Who said it was a false bravado?”
Trixie gave me a look that would curdle milk. Any of those hot secretary fantasies I mentioned? Instantly gone.
“Fine.” I grumbled flatly, standing up. I walked around my desk, brushed past Trixie, opened the door and walked out into the waiting room.