Levi leaned back on his sofa, bare feet on top of the center table, laptop on his lap wearing a black nightgown over his silk pajamas. It was Sunday after all and Jackson Detectives' office was closed.
The blond psychologist is looking over a 'puzzle' on the screen. A puzzle that was simply a black image with white letters. The message read as follows:
'Hello. We are looking for highly intelligent individuals. To find them, we have devised a test.
There is a message hidden in this image.
Find it, and it will lead you on the road to us. We look forward to meeting the few that will make it all the way through.
Looking at the image Levi frowned, he couldn't see anything that stood out on the text.
Not any clue, so if it wasn't on the text where is it?
Was this just a hoax? He mentally pondered at the idea. Then his thoughts were interrupted.
Standing at his front door was Mrs. Whitehall, the flabby woman was also in her sleeping clothes, a long peach-colored nightgown. And based on the crumbs on her chest she was eating biscuits.
"Levi, D. I Davies is here," she informed, turning to get back to her husband downstairs. They were watching the Graham Norton show and she didn't want to miss more since Sir Patrick Stuart was a guest. She'd always been a fan. Levi paused to look at the familiar flabby man at his doorstep.
He took note of the Detective's pale face, and he casually brushed his freshly washed blond hair with his fingers, "Murder?" he asked.
Davies shook his head, "Yes, no. I'm not sure" he answered, uncertain. Levi groaned, rolling his eyes he silently told him to get on with it.
Davies huffed, lost on where to begin "We found a body, at the docks. The coroner says its heart attack." he started.
Levi pointed at his open door, he has better things to do like figure out what the image meant, or who 3301 is. "Please show yourself out," he instructed.
Davies took a few steps towards the psychologist not willing to back away; it was too important and started searching his pockets. "No, listen! Look at this!" he said, handing the blond a piece of paper inside a clear evidence bag.
The psychologist accepted it with a raised brow. He started inspecting the content, wondering what could be so important about it. It was nothing but an ordinary piece of paper--with a list of names. First names, he decided.
Levi turned to Davies,
"What is this supposed to be? Your friends?" he asked, rolling his eyes. Davies moved closer to the center table, as he fished his mobile from his right pant pocket. "That came to my mail eight months ago, after receiving a text from this unidentified number," Davies explained, handing his phone to Levi, so he could read.
'People on the list will die.
MURDER of the 15th'
Levi looked up at the flabby man handing back his mobile phone.
"I tried to call it, but it was out of service," Davies explained.
Levi rolled his eyes, he reckons it must be some prank. Something the grown man should have been able to figure out even without his help.
"Dull." the blond comments.
Davies clenched his jaw, the blond wasn't taking him seriously.
"No, just listen! The man we found today at the dock was Izaz Connor." Davies explained, "and two months ago, the body of Anthony Harrison was found. I checked Guy's records of mortality these past 6months, and I found a guy named James Gregory--" Levi sent him a look, saying it could be a coincidence, people die every day after all. "They all died at the same date, Murder of--" Davies explained, pausing when he saw Levi's expression.
Levi's eyes widened in realization, excitedly at the notion of a serial killer. Serial killers were the most stimulating type of case, and they happened to also be the rarest. Did the leprechaun gods finally listen to his requests?!
"Murder of the 15th." Levi finished for him, intrigued...excited, thrilled.
Levi closed his laptop, he'll deal with 3301 later. Something far more interesting has come up. He vacated his chair after leaving the laptop on the table and started pacing around his parlor. Davies saw the glint of excitement in the blond's hazel eyes, he would usually tell him to reel it in but he knew riveting cases were the blond man's greatest weakness. He lived for those.
"Oh, that is awful good!" Levi exclaimed.
A week later.
Marco stood in Levi's kitchen making tea, or what the Irishman would refer to as 'wetting the tea'. He had been summoned by the blond consultant days before to work on the case with him.
Whilst the boys downstairs in the office worked on their usual cases of routine cases. Background checks, infidelity, insurance frauds, etcetera.
Marco watched Levi on the chair opposite the sofa, examining the piece of paper while he poured them some tea. The blond had been examining it for the past hour and a half. There had been fingerprints on it, but nothing matching in New Metropolitan Police's records as Davies previously informed them.
And from what Levi determined, it was written by a woman. A woman that the blond observed had obvious signs of obsessive-compulsive disorder, all of it he concluded from how perfectly written each letter was. Perfect distance from each, all in the same size. This woman was a perfectionist, but the choice of paper said functional. It was ordinary, it was an office paper--a type more than half of London used, including Jackson Detectives and Guy's Hospital too, Levi thought.
Guy's Hospital--a word that echoed in his mind. The redhead popping in his mind all of a sudden. He hadn't seen her for the past week, since he decided to take the case. He had canceled on their Game Night because he was mentally occupied and had no need of her entertainment at the moment.
"Levi?" Marco called, trying to get his attention. He had been telling Levi that the tea would turn cold if he didn't drink it, but he had been unresponsive so far. Nothing unusual when he was on an interesting case.
Levi's eyes rested on Marco, "I need some fresh air. I'll be at Guy's Hospital." he said standing and making his way to the door in a hurry.
He grabbed his coat leaving Marco before the bearded man could utter a reply.
Mrs. Whitehall passed Levi in the hallway, noticing the coat in the blond's arm. She turned to Marco as she entered his flat, "Where is he heading?" she asked Marco, carrying some biscuits inside.
The old flabby woman placed the biscuits on the table, while Marco took Levi's untouched tea, not wanting it to go to waste. Then reaching over the biscuits, feeling peckish. "Sam," he replied coyly as he chewed.
"Oh, took him long enough. Didn't think he'll survive this long." Mrs. Whitehall commented lightheartedly, earning a curious brow from Marco. "How come?" he asked.
"Didn't you know? He hasn't seen Sam since he took the case a week ago?" the woman explained as she started tidying up the blond's flat. He is such a slob, Mrs. Whitehall thought.
"Did they fight?" Marco asked. "Oh no, from what she told me, Levi asked her to stay away. Said, he doesn't want her in the flat or the office because of a case. But assured me she'll come to visit when the case is over. That was Tuesday when she called to cancel on our Wednesday afternoon tea." Mrs. Whitehall explained, feeling bad for the redhead. Levi could be so rude at times, even to his girlfriend, or so what Mrs. Whitehall considered Sam to be.
"He told her to stay away?" Marco asked incredulously, classic Levi, and his assholery.
"You know how rude he can be at times." Mrs. Whitehall commented. "Is she alright?" Marco asked, hopeful the redhead wouldn't be offended with Levi. A difficult feat to most, Marco himself is still dealing with his sudden urges to break the psychologist's neck at times when his mouth is running his usual spiel of assholery.
The very reason why he hired thick-skinned employees; Jones who had a military background, used to Superiors barking orders and insults his way. Alex, who used to be a call center agent, dealt with customers' complaints, yelling, cussing on the phone.
Michael was a bouncer in a club, who had dealt with drunk Entitled-piece-of-Shits six nights a week before working in Jackson Detectives'.
Thick-skinned, durable, and patient were the top 3 requirements for working with them because the man who the agency was named after is a prickly mad man.
"Surprisingly yes, she assured me she was fine with it and understood he didn't want distractions. Such a nice young woman, even gave me a call asking if he's eating, which he is." Mrs. Whitehall said, earning a nod from Marco.
Thank the gods, Sam was both thick-skinned and patient, her presence and mental prowess was a constant source of challenge and entertainment to the blond man. Or else it will be back to the life he had before, the constant text messages from Levi, the rotting stench from his kitchen repelling their customers away, complaints from the neighbors.
It was like he was raising another child. Worse was this one throws knives at the wall when he's crossed.