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Truth Lies Milady Truth Lies Milady original

Truth Lies Milady


© WebNovel

Chapter 1: Prologue

There were newspapers piled neatly by date of publishing on top of my desk.

It was summer vacation and I was totally bored, so I read the recent news on investigation cases in hopes of finding a challenging case to solve. I just couldn't stand lethargy; I like keeping myself busy.

I came across one particular case which intrigued me.

"A female, at age 26, named Samantha Roberts had suddenly disappeared four days ago," it said. "On the eve of October 3, 2020, the Sylvan police force declared her missing after the 24-hour period. She was last seen wearing a yellow shirt, a pair of blue jeans and a white jacket on October the 2nd on her way to work. However, she never arrived to her destination. Samantha's vehicle had been found near Victoria's Bar but without any trace to her whereabouts..."

I kept reading all the facts of the case, pursing my lips as I ruminated on the whole shebang.

There were no substantial leads. No clues. No recent bank account activities. No creepy phone calls from weirdos demanding for a ransom. No nothing. It was perfect!

I immediately dialed the newspaper editor to ask for the head of the investigation and after being passed through different phone lines, I finally got the right man.

To my pleasant surprise, I found out that the officer handling the case was Detective Michael O'Neil; a veteran in criminal investigation whom I've worked with hundreds of cases before.

Michael, whom I nicknamed as Mikee, was a tough man, and for some unknown reason, he was always overprotective of me; which sometimes deterred our progress.

We knew each other well enough to be called "frenemies" but we've lost contact of each other after an incident that happened two years ago— when I faced a formidable opponent that almost caused me my life. He was so angry with me back then, but for what overly dramatic reason, I dunno.

I still had the detective's number on my phone under the contact name Mikee Ole Man, so I called him.

I was swinging my body around in my swiveling chair childishly as I waited for him to answer. In three rings, he picked up.

"This is Detective Michael O—"

"Ole man, how have you been?" I cut him off, greeting him sprightly as though we were just some good ole friends catching up.

There was silence from his line and I thought for a moment that he would hang up on me. Knowing him, that was very likely to happen.

Finally, with a heavy sigh, I received the usual curt response from him, "Milady..."

"Did you miss me?" I drawled, teasing him like the bad ole days... or was it the good ole days?

Detective Michael, as always, thought my question only deserved a grunt as a response. He must really think I'm supposed to understand what every man-grunt he gives me meant.

"I'll take that as a yes!"

I heard a slight movement from him. "Tell me why you've called."

Jeez, straight down to business. I was hoping to just slowly coax him into telling me what I needed to know, but since he asked so nicely...

I bit my lower lip. "Okay. I just want to inquire on the case regarding Samantha Roberts. I want in."

"No," was his abrupt response, but I already anticipated that.

"You know..." I trailed off, " could really use my help to solve this faster. Based on what I've gathered, you're not getting anything useful for the past days."

"Ms. Sinclair, I understand your wanting to help... but I can take care of this case on my own." His masculine voice came rasping at that point, and his breathing was uneven as though he was doing some strenuous activity.

My brows slightly furrowed in thorough deliberation. "Please tell me you are not doing the deed right now," I told him bluntly.

Detective Michael spluttered a bewildered "What?" before grumbling a, "You have no filter."

There was a slight pause and a shuffling sound coming from his line before he continued, "I was on the treadmill. I was surprised you even thought of me doing that." His deep voice was laced with a hint of frustration as he said that.

"You're a hot-blooded male specie. That should be typical for you. Plus, it was the first thing that came to my mind." I shrugged even though he couldn't see me.

He mumbled something incoherent through the phone, but I couldn't catch it so I continued, "So, how about it detective? Will you let me in on the case or should I force my way in?"

The pun was intended but I didn't think he had a perceptive sense of humor.

"My answer is still a negative, Ms. Sinclair." He huffed a breath through the line. "You're young. Do what the typical population of your age like: college parties and romantic dates. Would you have better things to do than that?"

"Nope," I answered, popping the p. "I have nothing better to do. I'm bored and partying nor dating are not the water that will quench my thirst for blood."

For the second time in a row, he ignored my subtle attempts at humor. "I don't need you involved with my case Ms. Sinclair. I cannot have you here in Sylvan."

"And why not?" I grumbled in protest.

"You know why," he replied darkly. I knew he was referring to the last case I worked with him, when an anonymous entity thwarted us.

I named him Mr. X and he had made it clear I was his sole target. What his ulterior motives were, I never knew.

I had a pretty good reputation with attracting psychopaths, stalkers and any potential killers who may be out there. And so, to Detective Michael's mind, I was an investigation jinx.

I narrowed my eyes in suspicion when I suddenly heard running shower resounding from the detective's line.

"Sylvan is far from your home and you're still a kid. I can't have you coming here alone like you always do. It's not safe for you anywhere. You are aware of that."

"Excuse me detective, but I turned nineteen last month. I'm practically an adult," I clarified in indignation. How dare he call me a kid? "Besides, it's not safe for me anywhere. So why not be not safe in Sylvan? It makes no difference to me."

I was proud of my logic. I think I nailed that!

"You are the most insufferable woman I know," he growled, reminding me of a tiger nobody wants to poke.

"Oh, so I'm a woman now?" I riposted, enjoying the counterattack. I knew then that a debate was about to ensue.

Again, he responded with a deep growl before affirming, "You are. But my answer is still a negative."

Pursing my lips, I decided to shove my ace card to his stony face.

"You do know I could just ring the Chief of Police? He'll gladly give me the go sign to poke into this case. Then, he'll ring Sylvan's sheriff and the next thing you know the sheriff of the town will be telling you that I'm being sent over to handle Samantha's case. How's that for a kid?"

There was no response. He became quiet as though thinking it over carefully in his brilliant detective mind, only the shower of his bathroom reaching me.

After a few moments of waiting, he finally whispered in a quiet ominous voice, "You keep playing with fire Sinclair. One day you just might get burnt."

The seriousness of his tone bothered me, like he was trying to predict a bad omen. But I quickly played it off as nothing to avoid the awkwardness.

"For old time's sake, Mikee," I pleaded in a small squeaky voice, trying to sound all cute and adorable and whatnot. He always seemed to fall for it every single time. "Pretty please..."

There was another short pause from him before he answered, "You always get your way, one way or another."

I grew excited when he sighed. It was a sound auguring his admission of defeat. "I can almost imagine you pouting right now."

That was all it took for Detective Michael O'Neil at the age of thirty to fall into my hands. He divulge everything he knew which was not much and even got out of his way to send me his files on the victim's close family and friends to my e-mail containing all their personal information. From when or where they were born to where they work now, their family tree, educational backgrounds, their social security numbers, bank accounts, credit lines, you name it.

"Don't get me wrong, Ms. Sinclair. I have no doubts of your abilities. I'm only thinking for your safety. Even without my approval, I know you'll stubbornly fly out here in Sylvan."

"Ooh, you know me so well Mikee," I concurred instantly. "How I missed your mind-reading superpowers."

As usual, the detective didn't find me remotely funny.

"I'm letting you into the case willingly so I can keep an eye out for you." He paused, probably to pinch the bridge of his nose like he always does when he's stressed out. "You may be street-smart and a kick-ass black belter but you're still a woman. You need protecting, even if you don't want it."

I grimaced at his words, not appealing to the idea of him playing knight in shining armor again. But I thought it was nice of him to think like that—preferably not with me though.

"Okay, ole man. I'll let you protect me then."

After the call ended, I did a quick analysis on what I had. I read his emails sent to my account and try to grasp as much information as I can.

There were so many possibilities. One of Samantha's family or friends could be the cause of her disappearance. Samantha could be dead, abducted, committed suicide or got into an accident in which her body was lost.

There was so much uncertainty. But that only heightened my excitement.

In such a quiet town surrounded by woods, approximately 1500 miles away from my home, there was less chance of the residents recognizing me, which means I can maintain anonymity too while investigating. I've always preferred being clandestine when I'm trying to poke my nose into suspicious entities.

Why? You may ask?

Unlike the police who wear their groomed uniforms, flashy badges and guns always in full view, I was a more covert investigator.

I liked to blend into the crowd to infiltrate them from the inside. The police officers, detectives and other private investigators I've worked with, knew my style.

But that became harder for me as time passed, and I gradually became famous to the public eye once the Chief of Police gave me that shiny gold medal thing at a prestigious ceremony caught on TV.

And now the question that first needed answering was who else wouldn't recognize me? No, I'm not a Hollywood star, a pop artist nor a famous WWE wrestler.

However, I was Milady Sinclair. Amateur detective. Crime investigation aficionado. Police honorary investigator.

The little girl who solved the mass murder in Toronto; captured the infamous cat burglar in Louisiana; found the lost Cabochon gemstones; and blackwash a few haunted manors which were not so haunted at all.

I've received awards for my contribution to the police and crime investigation department countless times since I was fourteen. All of which had been recorded in newspapers, tabloids, and broadcast on national television. If you actively watched the news, you'd hear my name every once in a while.

I was a private entity so I worked for no one in particular. No one pays me for this hobby of mine. Although sometimes, I get offers for a position in the crime division or paid to take on a special case whatsoever, I rarely take money from anyone and just enjoy the thrill of unraveling mysteries.

With classifying crime investigation as a mere hobby, I guess I never had to work a day in my life. I had a full scholarship grant in the university and was paid to take on difficult police cases and even private ones frequently.

Plus, as my parents' only child, they send money to my bank account monthly to make sure I had enough to maintain my lifestyle. More likely, I was living the dream.

I tapped my fingers against the lacquered mahogany table, thinking about how exciting my time would be at such an unfamiliar territory. Many delicious clues to sniff around, private lives to infiltrate and maybe get some action along the way with the perpetrator.

When I finally decided to get up from the small work station of my apartment, it was to drink some water and do some yoga stretches.

I was living alone now. Ever since I turned eighteen, I left home to live on my own, and my relatives could only be glad for my willingness.

My parents, however, were another story; they were devastated but they couldn't really say anything remotely viable to dissuade me when I presented them with my logic and reasonable arguments.

I was dangerous to all of them. With the line of work... no, scratch that. With the line of hobby I'm delving myself in, I encounter dozens of enemies along the way.

These enemies were not the kind of enemies you get when experiencing the stages of puberty in high school. No, I'm talking about murderers, serial killers, rapists, kidnappers, super duper rich psychopaths and so on.

My family would be crazy to want to stay with me. I didn't blame them nor would I ever.

I still get a few threatening calls and creepy stalkers every once in a while, but I already sent to prison most of the dangerous criminals. You'd think I'd be scared shitless by now and cease my strange hobby. But it just fuels me more.

Three hours later, I had already booked myself a one-way ticket to my destination for the next day and packed all my necessities, laptop, disguises, lock picks, presents from Mr. X, a few self-defense weapons and of course, my personalized detective kit.

While drinking some milkshake and munching on some granola bars, I hatched some plans on how I should make my approach this time, and how I should introduce myself to the unsuspecting civilians of Sylvan.

If anyone asked, I was just some plain girl who was a post-graduate on business administration, looking for a part-time job on a summer vacation.

I was still working on my disguise though. This time, I wanted to dye my hair and style it into a long, wavy blonde. Maybe I could even wear some green or yellow contact lenses.

Bright colors would make me more noticeable; more approachable. Good, because I needed to be super friendly for this investigation to work.

After eating my evening snacks, I logged into my computer to stalk Samantha's social media accounts, trying to get a relatively good grip of her personality profile. What kind of close circle of friends she has; maybe discover some hints of suicidal thoughts in her posts; or find a list of her netizen enemies.

I also did some research about Sylvan: it's town history; the town officials and; the map of the town itself. There were various political scandals circulating the town, but otherwise, it had a low crime rate.

I scrolled through some of the Sylvan's commercial photographs, drowning myself at the sight of large woodlands.

Looking at them, everything appeared as normal as it should be through the screen. But soon, I would step foot in that quiet town and dig up buried secrets just waiting for me to unfold.

Ah... Sylvan. The perfect name and most suitable adjective for such a woody town.

I wonder how things would turn out.

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