14 Chapter 14

Two weeks later

"Thank you! Thank you all for the overwhelming love. I promise you as your mayor, that I will make this heartless beast pay. I will restore order and peace in this beautiful city, and I will throw that psychopath behind bars. Justice will prevail!"

The man's voice boomed from the speakers and travelled down the streets. His words seemed to have resonated within the attentive onlookers, given from the way they immediately brought their hands together to clap and cheer for him.

An exasperated sigh left Genevieve's mouth, and she reduced the volume when the thundering applause reverberated from her phone's speaker.

"Remind me again how and why he won the municipal election?"

"Beats me." They murmured in unison.

Samuel drummed his fingers against Daron's desk out of boredom, and he looked away from the small screen in Genevieve's hand to stare at a wall.

"Apparently, he won the votes over by promising to build several more banquet halls, as well as funding the reconstruction of Blue Swan. He said that under his watch, no one can stop this city from partying." He muttered flatly, which earned him a snort from the dispatcher and a roll of the eyes from Genevieve.

"The bar keeps on getting lowered everyday. At this rate, it'll reach hell." Daron remarked, and the other two nodded in agreement.

"But there has to be something more. Surely, that can't be the only way this guy won the position? I mean even I can falsely promise to build some parties venues, what's so hard about that?"

"He wasn't joking about building more halls, Gen. Do you know who he is?"

Genevieve and Samuel leaned against the desk with their interest fully piqued, and their gazes urged Daron to continue.

"Thomas Tryker, a renowned billionaire who was rumored to be a friend of our previous mayor. He is... powerful, to say the least, and I wouldn't be surprised if he pulled strings to get where he is right now. He probably has enough money to build thousands of venues." Daron finished, before shifting his attention from the computer screen to the officers.

"Thoughts?"

"He isn't that renowned if we-" Samuel pointed towards himself and Genevieve with his thumb.

"-have never heard of him."

"Well, it's not his fault you two live under a rock."

"Not everyone sits on a chair all day and glares at a computer screen, Daron."

"Don't try to mask the fact that your internet connection is shit, Samuel."

"Weren't we talking about our mayor like three seconds ago?" Genevieve chimed in playfully, and her eyes darted between the both of them in amusement. Sometimes she felt as though they were little children arguing over a bar of chocolate.

"Besides, he should be knitting sweaters for his grandchildren, not running for mayor and talking about partying at this age." She mused.

Over the span of two weeks, Samuel had grown considerably closer to them both. He fit right in. Although he had initially suspected that he wouldn't be welcome in this station after the first encounter with Alec, that was later proved to be incorrect thanks to Genevieve and Daron.

Alec and Genevieve had grown closer too. Well, sort of. The banters never ceased, but his stoic and closed off demeanor had lowered its appearances. He had warmed up and was slightly more playful now. To Genevieve, at least.

"How's the investigation on Amber going for you?"

Genevieve felt a pang in her chest at the mention of her late colleague, and the unpleasant memories began to fill her head up. The memory of how she had to stab her, then watch her die on the hospital bed. The memory of her mother's head. It had been weeks since these took place, but to Genevieve they felt like yesterday. Sometimes, she'd lie awake in bed and stare at the ceiling, as her guilt slowly ate away at her.

She suddenly shook her head to remove the disturbing thoughts, and distracted herself by focusing on the conversation between the two men.

"Zero progress. At this point her house is flipped upside down, but we still haven't found anything useful yet." Samuel muttered.

"This Shadow guy is good, man."

"Hmm." Daron then turned his attention towards Genevieve.

"And how is your investigation going?"

"It's going-" Her words paused when she caught a glimpse of both of their faces. Daron was biting down on his bottom lip to stifle a toothy grin, whilst Samuel set an elbow on the desk and rested his cheek in that hand. Both of them watched her expectantly.

"...well. Security is very tight on all those banks and jewelers. Not even a fly can pass by without getting noticed, so Shadow would need an invisibility cloak to sneak in. The pieces of evidence from the robbed bank are in a lab right now, we just wait for the results. Besides that, me and Alec have been going around to question some people we suspected, and we have managed to rule out a decent amount of people."

It's not long before her irritation spiked at their scrutinizing gazes.

"What?" She snapped, and the dispatcher made an obnoxious sound in a poor attempt to cover up his escaped snicker. Daron looked away but Samuel didn't. A ghost of a smile played on his lips and he studied her features for a few seconds, before he too averted his gaze.

"Nothing."

"Never mind."

Genevieve knew that they so desperately wanted to tease her about Alec, a point made by their restlessness and obvious facial inclinations. But they never did. The two didn't want to get their ear chewed off by her excuses, but she simply labeled it as them being afraid of facing her wrath.

Quite frankly, nothing ever happened between Alec and her. There would be times where she'd get flustered by his occasional boldness, but other than that, things were pretty casual between them. At least, that's how she felt.

"Speak of the devil." Daron looked past her shoulder to see Alec enter the hallway, and he signaled in that direction with his chin.

"There he is."

Genevieve gave him a weird look since they talked about no such devil. She glanced behind her to see what had caught Daron's attention. Her eyes darted around until they finally landed on him, and when her gaze locked with Alec's, he jerked his head to the side to beckon her.

"Alright guys-" She redirected her line of sight back to her two friends, who were currently giving each a knowing look. Her jaw clenched but she didn't say anything, because nothing she'd say would change their mindset.

"I will be back." She said slowly through narrowed eyes. Her gaze moved back and forth between the two of them for only a split second before she walked away.

"We know you won't be." Samuel called out, only to receive a sharp punch on his arm from Daron.

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"Oh, hell no."

Eventually, Alec and Genevieve stepped out of the station and reached the parking lot. It was more for a sense of privacy, but also because Alec had something of importance to tell her. The pair was strolling around the place casually, but that came to a complete stop when Genevieve halted her steps.

"Are you serious?" She questioned incredulously, and when her eyes didn't find even an inkling of humor on Alec's face, she continued.

"So he wants to hold a formal gathering tomorrow in celebration of his win? What's he gonna do when it gets blown up as well? Oh my god." She rambled, with her hand combing through her hair out of agitation.

"Our city is screwed, Alec. Thomas is going to be our downfall, even more than Shadow."

Alec pursed his lips in thought. He too believed that it was a tactless idea to open all party venues again. On top of that, it was even more tactless to hold a soirée when one was bombed not too long ago.

"On the bright side, you'll get to see me in a tuxedo. I'm sure the thought alone makes you foam at the mouth."

For a change, Genevieve decided to act differently. Normally, it would have been an impulsive remark shot his way or just plain annoyance, but she tried something else.

"Why would you be in a tuxedo?" She rested her hands on her waist and squinted her eyes, to give the impression that she was actually pondering over the thought. The idea of him in a formal ensemble was undoubtedly drool-worthy, but Genevieve hinted nothing of the sorts.

Alec studied her with a dead look. He couldn't tell if she was messing with him, or if she really didn't understand. What happened to the diligent officer?

"What am I?"

"An asshole."

"Well yes, but what's my occupation?"

Genevieve's jaw dropped. Alec didn't even fight back. He agreed. Had it been any other day, he would have replied with something far more insulting.

'Maybe he's just self-aware', she thought to herself.

"So you do believe that you-"

"Don't change the topic. What is my occupation?" His irritation was noticeably leaking through, and a victorious smile threatened to form on Genevieve's lips.

'So I did tick him off.'

"Undercover detective." She responded dryly. Her arms dropped to her sides but her oblivious facade remained, and she could have sworn his right eye twitched.

"Say the first word again."

"Undercover."

A moment of silence followed, and it was more that Alec was giving her time to piece it together. Unbeknownst to him, Genevieve was hell bent on striking every single nerve of his.

"So?"

"Are you okay?"

A wry grin finally took over her mouth at Alec's vexed question, and she shook her head. It took him less than a millisecond to realize that she was indeed messing around.

"Okay fine, I get that you want to blend into the crowd and whatnot. But why do you want me to blend in too? The uniform's just fine, and besides, I'll be part of the security there."

Genevieve couldn't understand why he insisted on her dressing up for the occasion. It didn't matter, since she's just a constable, and there was nothing really hidden about her identity like it was with Alec. More than half the station was on first-name basis with her.

Alec didn't want to answer the question. He didn't want to tell her that he secretly wondered about what she'd look like in an elegant attire, and that he was using this opportunity to fulfill his little wish.

He had no remark or jab to reply with, either. So all he did was stare at her, as if his gaze could compel her to come up with a response to her own inquiry. Genevieve stared back with mild confusion, and she raised a brow to let him know she was waiting.

"Well?"

Still no response. Just like always, he shoved his hands into the pockets of pants and continued to watch her intently. Genevieve ultimately lost the staring contest, and a half smirk graced Alec's features at her defeat.

"Fine."

His grin widened and he shifted his weight from one leg to another, but his eyes never removed themselves from her.

"That wasn't so hard, now was it?"

Genevieve huffed a laugh, before she crossed her arms.

"I just know that it'll be you who'd be foaming at the mouth, when I walk into that soirée." She stated, and this time it was Alec's turn to scoff.

"We'll see. Genevieve."

'We'll see.'

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