Mike is an amateur writer working on building a hopefully compelling story. He lives in The Village of Lakemore, Summit Country, Ohio.
Janice James is a Private Detective haunted by her troubled past and the death of her son and a fractured psyche, forcing her to see her son Brandon as well as others. With the help of her late son and her mentor, a former police officer named Sean, she runs her service, helping people in trouble. Three years after the death of their son, Janice and her estranged husband Bill are moving into their new home behind a wall.
After a ceremony to honor their late son, Janice and her ex-husband Bill prepare to live together again. Janice's assistant, a young woman named Jennifer Gordon, known as Jenny, while happy to see them together now must find a way to work around the new awkwardness. After a trip home to see her family, Jenny comes to terms with her new life in Ohio and a disconnect from her family.
Janice was hired to help a man named Stanley Franco find out why his wife Ava is fighting a divorce. During the investigation, she stumbled onto a unique counterfeiting scheme designed to infect scanning machines allowing the user access to a company's funds. When her client was murdered, Janice turned her case over to the local police. She contacted someone from the secret service with help from her mentor, a former police officer named Sean. In the process, she found herself being watched by the FBI and Ava, a woman that isn't who she appears to be. Ava wants Janice dead for her part in chasing her out of the States, to her Island near Cuba. Ava's assistant Yara with the help of her sister maria, plan on escaping the island and Ava's control.
Ava continues her obsession over Janice, leading to a confrontation between her surveillance team and Janice, where she shoots and kills two men. After the shooting, Janice and Bill retreat to Sean's house. A planned bed and breakfast Sean and his wife built but never opened. Ava offers a truce, and now Janice finds herself in an unknown situation afraid to go out. In her truce, Ava makes an enemy of a long-time collaborator.
- Private Voices: Part 36
Janice tells Bill a secret while Jenny questions her old choices.
At the counter, the clerk started to scan the many tests Bill was buying. The clerk was a former student of Bill's.
He asked, "Harem?"
Bill replied, "You know how us teachers like our tests."
The clerk said, "Well, I hope you get the grade you want."
Bill paid and went to his car. He got in and turned the key, but nothing happened. The car wouldn't start. He noticed his hood was popped open, and when he checked, his battery was gone. As he stood there, a car went by. The passenger yelled something Bill couldn't make out as the man flipped him off.
Bill yelled, "Stay classy jack-holes."
Right after Bill said it, he realized it made no sense and was loud and in public. After a quick debate with himself, he decided not to call the police. He would buy a new battery and let it go. After all, he left the door unlocked, giving them access to the engine. Jenny came out, and he told her what happened. She didn't hesitate to call the police.
She asked, "If they are willing to do that, then what else will they do?"
Sean looked around the beach at all the sunbathing women. He wondered why he hadn't taken a vacation to Florida before. Sean hired someone to run the day-to-day operations of the bar, so he could semi-retire. After hiring her, he realized he had no plans and was out of ideas. A friend recommended Florida for a few days, and Sean just wanted to kill him because Florida in August was a hot and sweaty mess. He did like the beaches and the beach bunnies. His original plan was to go to Fort Myers and see an old friend, but halfway there, Sean realized the old friend was boring, so instead, he went to Miami. He was in a pair of board shorts, a Hawaiian shirt, a straw Panama hat, and dark sunglasses going from an old staring pervert to a slightly disguised old pervert.
He said to himself, "I think I found my spot for the day."
Ava turned onto Highway-75, heading south, then east on her way to the other coast and Miami. She tried to keep her speed under eighty, so she wouldn't get pulled over. Her fake identification might not hold up to the police. The car was the closest thing to a race car she ever drove, with little to no comforts like a radio or the other things she was a custom to having. At seventy miles an hour, she would get there in a little over two hours. Her reservations at the Four Seasons in Miami were for the entire week, where she would enjoy what was going to be the last days of America. She would have her fun and drive back to do her job. Along the way, she saw a man hitchhiking. He had to be in his late teens to early twenties in a pair of jeans, a flannel shirt carrying a backpack. She pulled over and opened her shirt to show more than just a little cleavage.
She thought to herself, "well, just maybe I can have some real fun after all."
He opened the door and saw Ava, she asked, "so where are you heading?"
He pointed east and said, "that way."
He got in, and she pulled away. About ten miles away from where she picked him up.
He asked, "don't you want my name?"
Ava moved her hand from the gear shift to his thigh, then crotch and said, "no, not really, I don't need your name."
Ava let go of him and shifted gears as she sped up.
She said, "I do expect to get something for my time. I think I'll start with your pants. Take them off so I can see what I'm working with."
Ava opened her shirt the rest of the way showing her tan and tone breasts. Lance had never seen such a woman as Ava. He unbuckled his belt and pulled both his jeans and underwear down. She took hold of him a little harsher than he expected.
She said, "I can work with this, now all we need is a place to stop."
Ava pulled over and put the parking brake on. She quickly pulled her shorts down and slid over onto him.
Lance said, "I don't think this is going to work. This car wasn't built for sex."
Ava pointed to an alligator and said, "we could step out."
Lance staring out, replied, "no, I think we should stay off of Alligator Alley."
Ava whispered to him, "You better be good, or I'll feed you to them."
Janice sat on the toilet, wondering what kind of misogynist designed the pregnancy test. The first test didn't give a positive or negative result. A gallon of water and a quart of iced tea later Janice found herself pissing on a test again. She could remember the first test like this she ever used. She was seventeen, and he was twenty. Janice was staying away from her father and his new wife, her once best friend. Her mother was dead for about a year, and she had no one who seemed to care about her. She met Charlie at the library. She was reading on how to emancipate herself when he came up behind her and offered to help. Charlie was a college student working on his law degree. He was cute, and she was lonely. One thing led to another, and she found herself in the bathroom in the library with this older man. The sex was quick and dirty, with Charlie saying some vile things to Janice or at least what she thought of as vile. The dirty talk was foreign to her, as was a one-time hookup. Back then, the test was negative, unlike the one she just took. The test was positive, and she was pregnant. Just outside the bathroom door, Janice could hear a commotion. She opened the door and saw Brandon at several ages of his short life running around screaming.
The older Brandon said, "I'm going to be an older brother."
The Ten-year-old said, "you have to be alive for that to matter."
Janice shut the door and said to herself, "please just go away."
Jenny looked back at her apartment after spending the last two hours cleaning every inch from the ceilings to the floors. As she cleaned, she moved anything she felt was too childish for an adult to have on display as well as her sex toys and other items she would have a hard time explaining to a five-year-old. Her phone buzzed, and she answered. It was Heather wanting to know if she was alright.
She said, "you left so abruptly that we started to think you might have been mad about something."
Jenny told her how she started to feel like a third wheel or a prop.
Jenny said, "I think I want to be more than just a good time. I want more from my life."
Heather said how she was sorry they made her feel that way, and in the future, she should say if she was uncomfortable.
Heather asked, "so are you willing to come to a little party we are having on Saturday, it might be a little, well a whole lot risqué."
She called it a key party, but everyone would have a choice in going home with the person who has their key.
Jenny said, "let me think about it, but…...well…… OK, I'll be there."
Bill sat just outside the door thinking about the test, Janice, Brandon, and just how much she just drank. To take the second pregnancy test, Janice nearly downed a gallon of water in one shot then a quart of sweet tea. Janice had said something about a steak as bloody as they would or could be served. Bill had a charcoal grill and the desire to do just what she wanted, but he also remembered how she was this way with both the other pregnancies. He thought he could hear her say something on the other side of the door, but he couldn't make out what she was saying.
Janice yelled, "please just go away."
Bill got up and started to leave their bedroom when he stopped and thought about what she said, and just maybe she didn't want him to go. He went back and knocked, but she didn't answer. He knocked louder, but all Janice could hear was the sounds of the many ghosts in her head in a cacophony of noise that drowned everything else out. Bill grabbed a screwdriver and popped the lock on the door. Inside he found Janice in the bathtub with her hands over her ears. When he entered, the noise stopped. Janice saw the five-year-old Brandon at the door staring at her holding his panda.
Janice was happier to see Bill more than anyone else in her life. Seeing him was like the first time she saw Brandon when he was born or seeing him after he was buried. He picked her up from the tub and carried her to the bed.
He asked, "Are you OK?"
Janice handed him the test and asked, "You tell me, daddy?"
Bill could see the positive result, but it didn't fit with her reaction. For a moment, he wondered if she was considering terminating the pregnancy. He knew it was her choice, just like he knew it would end them. He could never look at her knowing she had ended their last chance at having children.
Janice said, "OK, I think we sat here long enough. I want that steak, and I need to make an appointment to confirm this test and start the process of having a healthy child. Oh yeah, did I mention I want that steak?'
Instead of firing up the grill, Bill called around until he found a place that would serve a rare to blue steak and would seat them as soon as they got there. Before they left, Janice called Jenny and told her the news. In her haste, she called her JG and not Jenny, but Jenny let it slide.
The Next Part
- Private Voices: Part 38
Jenny gets ready for a party while Ava plays with her stray.
© 2020 Michael Collins aka Lakemoron