"Detective O'Connor! Can I talk to you in my office for a minute, please?"
Frankie looked up from her computer when she heard her name called, she nodded to him and said, "Sure. I'll be right in."
She saved the report of her last arrest, that she had been writing and stood up and went to Lieutenant Martins office, she walked in and shut the door.
"Sit down Frankie."
Frankie sat down in front of his desk, looked up at the Lieutenant and wondered what was going on. She knew that she hadn't done anything wrong, so she wasn't in any trouble. But, the reason she was in her lieutenants office was a mystery to her, she hated now knowing, so she asked.
"What's going on John?"
John smiled at the pensive look on Frankie's face, "Nothing to worry about Frankie, really. I'm just assigning you a new partner."
Frankie smiled, a little unsure of how she was supposed to take this news, she hadn't had much luck with partners in the past. So she said, "Really? Who is it?"
"Detective Cameron Taylor. She's transferring here from the NYPD. She's originally from LA, so she'll pretty much know her way around. And..." John looked at his watch... "she should be here soon."
Frankie sat thinking, she had recognised the name straight away. Cameron Taylor was well known for being a tough cookie, not one to take any crap. She smiled at the prospect, and said to John. "I've heard of her. You going to try your luck putting us together?"
John laughed, "You're incorrigible, do you know that? I'm putting the two of you together because I think you'll be a great team."
He came around the desk and sat in the chair next to Frankie, he decided to get serious.
"Frankie, listen to me carefully. I want you to really try and make this partnership work. I think Cameron will be a good influence on you and you on her. I know it's hard for you to do this, but you do really need to rely on someone other than yourself for a change. You know I think of you as my own daughter, so naturally, I worry."
Frankie was looking at the floor taking in everything John had said, she took a deep breath in and slowly exhaled. She looked up at John and said "I promise I will try. I don't mean to worry you, you know. But ever since......it's the only way I know...how to keep a handle on things, I keep to myself...But, I will try."
John nodded, glad she was receptive to the idea of having a partner. He was about to say something else when he was interrupted by a knock at his door, he turned to the door and said. "Come in."
The door opened and in walked a woman, a couple of years older than Frankie, she was about five foot ten and had long black hair, which was clipped back off her face, and it meant you could see her eyes; a beautiful blue.
"Detective Taylor?" John asked. When she nodded John held out his hand. "It's nice to meet you."
Cameron shook his offered hand. "Pleased to meet you too sir."
Cameron had noticed Frankie as soon as she'd walked through the door, and gave her the once over. A little younger, maybe shorter about five foot six and had short blonde hair, Cameron smiled at her and when Frankie looked up at her she saw she had the most clear, green eyes she'd ever seen, Frankie smiled back, a little tentatively, she stood up and John introduced them.
"Detective Cameron Taylor. I'd like you to meet Detective Francesca O'Connor. Your new partner."
Frankie held out her hand and Cameron shook it.
"It's nice to meet you."
Cameron smiled. "You too. I'm looking forward to working with you."
Frankie nodded, remembering what John had said. "Me too."
John smiled, he hoped that this was going to work out, at least they seemed to get along okay. They didn't hate each other on sight, which, he thought was always a good thing. He mentally crossed his fingers, praying that this partnership was going to work.
"Frankie? Could you give us a few minutes to some stuff out, and then you can give Cameron the ten cent tour."
Frankie nodded, "Sure." Then to Cameron she said, "When you're through here come and find me."
Cameron nodded. "Okay, I'll see you later.
She smiled and said, "Okay." She walked out and shut the door, and went back to the report she'd been writing when John called her in. She sat there thinking about what John had said and her first impressions of Cameron Taylor. 'She doesn't seem too bad' she thought and smiled 'I guess I'll have to wait and see'.
In the meantime John was telling Cameron all about the unit, "You shouldn't find it too hard to settle in. The other detectives in this unit are all men, some are set in their ways but they're all good guys. Only, they do have a habit of getting a bit vocal about some issues but Frankie manages to give as good as she gets, so now they pretty much leave her alone."
Cameron smiled, "Sounds like she can stand up for herself. Why was she without a partner for so long?"
John stood up and went to the window. "Frankie is a brilliant detective, one of the best I've ever seen, methodical and very intelligent when it comes to her cases. But, she can be arbitrary and a bit impulsive when she wants to be. People tend to give up trying to get through to her after a while. But, when I read your file, you seemed to be the yin to her yang, so to speak."
Cameron nodded and smiled at John. "I'll try my best."
John nodded his approval. "Good, right let's sort all the paperwork out while you're here and then I'll let Frankie show you around so you can get acquainted with the filing system and all of her current cases."
Cameron nodded, "Fine."
Frankie had just finished writing her report and was printing it out when the phone on her desk rang.
"This is dispatch. There's been another one."
Frankie grimaced, "Okay. Where?" she wrote down the address and thanked them.
She found the file for the case she'd been working on for the past six months, it was of a serial burglar. She went to John's office and was just about to knock on the door when it opened.
"Frankie! Were you getting impatient?"
She grinned at John. "No, I just got a call from dispatch, my burglars at it again. I was coming to ask if Cameron wanted to be thrown in at the deep end?"
John looked at Cameron and she nodded. "Okay, you go. Frankie will catch you up with the case and give you the tour later."
They walked out to Frankie's car in silence. When they got in Frankie spoke.
"Here's the file. I've been working on this case for six months, but he keeps changing his M.O. He likes to rob the expensive houses but he never leaves any evidence."
Cameron was reading while Frankie talked and drove. "How do you know it's the same guy?"
Frankie turned her head and smiled at her. "He leaves me a note."
Cameron looked at the next page and saw the five notes he had left so far.
"He always signs Robin Hood, delusions of grandeur I think. But he is clever, no finger prints or fibres of any kind left on the scene."
Cameron kept reading while Frankie drove, she knew in cases like these, that sometimes a second pair of eyes could spot something new, a fresh perspective on the crime scenes.
Five minutes later Frankie pulled up to a house, she parked behind the squad car and looked around to try and spot the officer. They got out and walked up to the house.
Frankie turned at the sound of her name and saw the officer. "Hey Andy. Andy this is my new partner Cameron Taylor. Cameron this is Andy Mason."
They shook hands and Andy said "Hello." They went in and Frankie turned to Andy and asked. "So what do we have?"
Cameron had to smile, 'straight down to business' she thought to herself.
Andy looked at his notebook, "I was called at eleven thirty a.m. No one on the scene when I got here, I looked around, and when I found the note I knew what it was, and that's when I called dispatch and told them to call you."
He handed her the note in the evidence bag so that any fingerprints were preserved.
It read 'You're getting slow sheriff. Robin Hood.'
Frankie sighed, she was getting tired of this guy. She handed the note to Cameron and said. "Here, you might be able to shed some light on this. I don't seem to be getting very far."
Cameron read the note, then she re-read the previous ones. At the same time she watched Frankie out of the corner of her eye. At first she stood in the middle of the room, just looking around, letting her eyes wonder over the furniture and bits and pieces in the room, then she walked around. 'John was right', she thought. 'She is methodical. I can almost see her brain analysing everything in sight'.
She started looking as well, although she was more into the senses, touch and sound etc. Not trying to get into the guys head like Frankie did.
Frankie could feel Cameron watching her, but she wiped all thoughts from her mind and concentrated on analysing the room. She could see where the forensics team had dusted for prints, so she looked in the places that they had overlooked. You just never knew when he was going to be careless.
"Andy? Where was the note?"
Andy pointed to the door leading to the kitchen. "It was pinned to the back of the door. Forensics took the pin with them just in case."
Frankie nodded. Her mind on the enigma surrounding this case.
Andy knew there was little point trying to talk to Frankie when she was like that, so he turned to Cameron. "Detective Taylor, I have to get back to my station. They're sending an officer to check up later. It was nice meeting you, and will you tell Frankie I said bye?"
Cameron smiled at him, "It was nice meeting you too, and I'll tell Frankie when she's back with us. Thanks for your help."
He nodded at her and left. She watched him go and turned back to Frankie, she read the letter again while Frankie was looking around. Something had been niggling at the back of her mind since she'd read the notes in the car, she was just having trouble making it a lucid thought.
Frankie turned around, despondent at not finding anything that they could use. She looked over at Cameron, 'she looks like she's on to something' she thought. She didn't speak for fear of interrupting her train of thought, she was mumbling to herself, looking from the file to the room and back again, the latest note her main focus.
Then..."That's it!" Her head shot up and she turned to where Frankie was standing looking at her. "There's a pattern."
Frankie looked at her, "Are you sure?"
Cameron nodded. "Entirely. The notes."
Frankie frowned, not knowing where this train of thought was destined, she asked. "What about them?"
Cameron smiled at the look on Frankie's face. "They don't mean anything. A red herring. He thinks that if there's a note in cases like this; then that is the thing detectives will concentrate on. Because, they think that it's important evidence. He's using it to cover his ass."
"I don't get it. Why go to all this trouble and effort?"
"Because he knows, that one of these days he'll get sloppy. Forget to wipe something, leave us some small piece of evidence, so he's been using the notes to make that our main focus. Hoping we'll neglect the crime scene. Take his latest effort, he's not saying you're slow, he's saying he's slowing you down. Kind of...um ...reverse psychology. Does that sound stupid?"
"No it doesn't sound stupid. You are right. I have been focusing on the notes, but how did you come up with a theory like that?"
Cameron shrugged, "I don't know really. I think it was just a fresh insight. Not really having a vast knowledge of this case. I just looked at it from a different angle."
Frankie laughed. "Well I'm glad you were here to figure it out. Now we can concentrate on the scene, and see if he's slipped up. Because, even though I looked earlier I have to admit that, I was more focused on the note than the room."
Cameron nodded, and they started searching in earnest.
They spent another hour searching the house for anything even remotely out of place, they returned to the station to tell John what had happened.
Cameron thought they had got on alright and decided to see if Frankie would come out for a drink to celebrate her first day.
"Frankie, do you want to get a drink when we're finished here?"
Frankie shook her head. "I'm sorry Cameron. I can't, I would like to. But, I have an appointment that I cannot miss."
"Oh, okay. Another time then?"
Cameron wasn't sure if it was brush off or not, but she realised it would take more than one day to crack the shell surrounding Frankie.
Frankie though, she kept her feelings hidden, because she knew in the long run she would get hurt, and she wasn't about to let that happen again.
When they got to the office they went their separate ways, just saying 'night' on their way out.
To be continued