Elsa Holland

Historical Romance Writer: LUSH SENSUAL READS

Snippet: from the thriller plot in Painted Trust

Great Britain 1898

 Inspector Morrison and Master Brody return to London with the body of the first crime scene in Manchester. They are still feeling each other out.

The pup was intense and quiet as he sat opposite Morrison on a crate, alternating between scribbling and drawing in his notebook. There were no notable facts punctuating the train trip back to London, that jubilant boy was gone.

It had been impossible to get the kid into the passenger carriage, so here they were, sitting in the baggage carriage like a couple of stowaways, with the box that contained the girl’s body. The pup next to it like a guard dog.

The train lurched to a stop, steel screeching on steel as the driver engaged the brakes.

“Kid . . .”

The pup nodded and closed his book, slipping it into the leather satchel slung over his shoulder, then stood. He placed his hand on the box containing the girl’s remains, almost as a communication, a reassurance.

Steam puffed out onto the platform, covering the first alighting passengers in fog. The bobbies were waiting, and they jumped into the baggage carriage and unloaded the box with well-practiced efficiency headed, the kid following closely behind.

Morrison grabbed the kid’s arm and turned him around. “Listen kid, I get this might be your first big show, but you can’t take it personally. Whoever she is, God rest her soul, her body is crime scene evidence now. It’s going to be prodded, poked, exposed and sliced as the quacks try and find more answers for us.”

The pup tugged out of his grip.

“I want to be there!”

Hell, the pup was hit hard. The first horrendous injustice either riled you up or took the wind out of your sails. He should be thankful it was the former.

“You don’t have to be there, we’ll get a report.”

The pup’s face screwed up as if Morrison were mad. “A report where they pick and choose what to write down; only we can discern the facts we need for the investigation.”

Morrison stilled. He regularly went in while the coroner worked, listened as they talked. On more than one occasion, the facts he needed weren’t in the report but in the discussion during the examination.

Morrison poked the kid in the chest. “Who the fuck are you, kid?”

The kid recoiled at his touch and his face shuttered.

It could be a lucky guess the kid was already showing he had more than the average level of smarts and he was a fast learner, but Morrison’s gut said something more was going on. That was the second time the kid had closed down when asked about his background.

Morrison leaned down so close that they were almost nose to nose. “I will find out your secrets, boy, and I will expose them.”

The pup’s eyes flared wide before that innate internal barrier slammed down again. At least the pup knew where they stood.

Morrison stepped back. The kid straightened his shoulders and turned to follow the box, his usually lily-white cheeks pink and blotchy.

“We’ll attend the sessions with the coroner,” Morrison said as he laid his palm on the kid’s back and propelled him after the bobbies and the corpse filled box.

The kid flashed him a look of surprise. Surprise and caution.

 

 

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