Jacqueline "Jaq" Leah ClarkAge;
28 years oldGender;
I don't think she really knows. So let's go with Hetro. Species;
HumanKnows about the Others;
Russet brown. Hair Color and Length;
A natural, ashy, black color which is cut pixie
style. Though she likes to grow it out just long enough for her ends to curl below her ears. She usually jumps out of the shower, throws some mousse through her hair, and let it air dry. Height;
For a law enforcement officer, Jacqueline has a pixie-like body frame making her looks more fragile than most. She has a less than appealing body as it seems like she is borderline anorexic. Imagine a female's body just one layer away from being a skeleton with a sun-kissed skin. The clothes she chooses to wear only emphasize her straight board figure and barely noticeable chest. From a distance, most people would mistake her for a short man. It isn't until a few feet away that people notice the light make-up and pouty lips shape. If someone is lucky enough to catch her out of her work attire, they'd see that most of that 125lbs under her belt is directed towards her thighs and calves. They are considered her best feature. She was never bigger or stronger than the rest of her peers, but she sure to hell is a lot faster (her light stature probably increased her chances; less weight to haul around). Markings;
TattoosDetailed Military Tattoo
- The first tattoo Jacqueline ever recieved was with a few of her buddies before their first tour. On her upper left arm is a large, black, eagle in flight. It's claws clutching dog tags with her info on it.
- The second, third, and fourth tattoo she got after every tour she returned from. On her right upper arm, Jaq has Celtic bands that seem to spiral down to her elbow. No other reason for the design except they looked cool.
- Final tattoo is a work-in-progress. Covering her entire back is an image of a female Reaper. The lettering in the background is the name of each person she wasn't able to save (military and as a cop). The name that stands alone is that of her partner. As a "tramp stamp", the words "SAVE THEM" is written. It serves as a reminder that she has to constantly be on her game. One wrong move could cost someone their lives. She sees her tattoo as the 'weight of the world' or her 'burden she bears'.
Clothing Style;Everyday wardrobe
- A thick scar on her right shoulder from a bullet wound she got a few years back after a stake out turned sour.
- A barely noticable scar on her forehead on the hairline from hitting the windshield in a police chase.
- A large line scar across her stomach which she got when a perp caught a handful of hair and grazed the surface of skin with a dull pocket knife. Lucky for her the idiot didn't sharpen the thing before using it.
- Another thick scar that connects with the one on her stomach and curves upwards. She got this after having a liver transplant a year ago. Only reason they approved of the surgery is if she detoxed and promised to stay sober.
- A smaller, thin, scar on her right side from a kidney transplant.
: A pair of old worn-out jeans, a tank top, a grey hoody with ARMY written across the chest, and a good pair of running shoes. On-the-job wardrobe
: Semi-formal. A buttoned top and black dress jacket with either a pair of slacks or denim jeans. If it's a slow day at work, Jaq keeps up with appearances and wears closed-toe shoes. However, she stashs some hiking boots in the backseat in the event she has to go tracking. She tends to stay with neutral to dark tones like black, white, and midnight blue. On occasion, but very rarely, she likes to spice things up with a touch of red lip stick or red heels. Jacqueline won't wear anything that shows skin in public. She feels exposed when people see her scars and tattoos. Ceremonial Police Uniform:
Navy blue slacks, dress jacket and tie. A baby blue, long-sleeve, dress shirt. A white and navy blue officer cap. Black leather dress shoes. True Form;
Jacqueline initially appears bland and cold when someone takes notice of the stone-faced pixie standing in the corner. She can usually engage in the expected social nods and smiles if needed, but will probably find a way out before getting cornered into having a conversation. The best thing about Jaq is that if she doesn't like you, you'll get the hint real quick. Jaq is an emotionally detached woman who lives most of her days inside her own mind. Jacqueline likes direct control in her life and if any one actually sticks around long enough, they'll notice she likes to control them too. It's not that she wants to use that control to manipulate (which it will look like from the outside), but purely for the sake of improving their life.
Growing up around cops and being one herself, Jacqueline is a stickler for detail. She likes to unearth as much as she can until there is nothing left to know. When on a case, Jaq solely relies on her white board with a 'think map' connecting all the possible dots with color coordinated strings depending on what link they share with the victim. Instead of using her bedroom for a place to sleep, she has set up a kind of office in there. Her white board covers 3 out of 4 of her walls and has a small computer lab set up in the corner of that fourth wall. Solving the case and figuring out what happened to that missing person is the most important thing to her.
The only thing this cop has going for her is the intuition. She doesn't have a photographic memory, see the future, or talk to ghosts...but she has one strong intuition. If Jaq can't find any logical answers, she'll trust her gut and go from there. When she is hot on a case or is put in an undesirable situation, Jaq will feel her body start to vibrate which tells her how mild or dangerous something is about to get. She doesn't literally vibrate, but it sure to hell feels like it. Her intuition is probably what has kept her from uncovering the 'Others' in our world. No matter how badly she wants to find the answers or how close she does get to figuring out the truth, her body starts shoving her the other way. With how fragile her brain is now, it wouldn't be the best thing to learn. She's unbearable to be around as is, discovering the truth would make her down right paranoid.
She's indifferent to the approval of others and sometimes considers people a source of pain unless they have the right kind of information for her. In nature, Jaq is a highly suspicious person and distrusts the motives of others. When meeting a person for the first time (and HAVING to converse with them), it is she who has to ask all the questions and they get quite personal. However, Jaq is reluctant about giving anything in return. If she can't answer in an evasive manner, she'll just plain out lie about the details in her life. She doesn't care to keep up with the lies either and probably has a different lie each time. Technically she doesn't consider herself a liar because she's truthful about everything else, just not about herself.
Her impulsive decision-making is sometimes confused with courage and makes it difficult to establish interpersonal relationships. She dwells too much on the past and it's made her critical of herself. Jaq carries around a load of guilt and it's made it hard to act like a real person sometimes. Dealing with the cases Jacqueline has been through, she now only sees the darkness people are capable of and sometimes breaks out in inappropriate anger towards others which results in physical violence.
Jacqueline has a very self-destructive point-of-view and if she isn't careful about her actions, she tends to get others hurt in the process. The human isn't allowed to have alcohol or any type of pain pill so chain smoking is about the best she can do in the heat of an anxiety attack. These attacks tend to last between one to two days. During this time she'd act restlessness, irritable, and hyper-vigilant.Fears;
- She isn't a big fan of thunder storms, because when caught off guard, the thunder sounds like gunshots. The sound sends her to the floor in defense mode.
- She won't go into a dark room where she knows there are mirrors. It just gives her the creeps.
- Snakes are a big no-no. Jaq doesn't even like seeing them on t.v. or in a picture.
- Emotionally, Jaq fears any type of personal commitment. Thought she doesn't believe in any of that hocus pocus crap, she does kind of feel cursed. Any time she gets close with anyone they end up leaving or dying. So she's made an effort to keeping people beyond arms-length.
- Jaq has to set a reminder on her phone to tell her to break away from work and eat. She gets too involved with details in a case that she forgets she has eaten or slept.
- She covers the mirrors in her apartment with a sheet or blanket and removes them in the morning.
- Her favorite place to eat and think is Waffle House.
- She finds cleaning and shooting her guns relaxing.
- An alcoholic in recovery. Doctors don't recommend her smoking either, but she's allowed to if it keeps her from drinking.
- A recovered drug users. She used to take large doses of painkillers after she left the Army. Part of her program states that she is not allowed anything except for what a doctor prescribes & it has to be for a damn good reason. Even asprin is out of the question.
- Jacqueline's a chain smoker. It's the quickest way to keep her calm throughout the day & helps her cope when she starts itching for a drink.
- She also has a habit of mixing coffee and energy drinks together. She probably should have stuck to the alcohol.
Investigative Detective (Specializes in Missing Persons cases)Pet;
- Drives an older version of a Buick Enclave; midnight blue.
- Jacqueline has no clue, but her mother is/was a Sentinel and her brother was an Exorcist.
- She has had contact with the supernatural, but her brain refuses to put two & two together.
(Father-69 yrs old) Jeremiah Clark
(Mother- 63 yrs old) Morgan ClarkSiblings;
(Brother-37 yrs old) Benjamin ClarkChildren;
Born into military families, both Jeremiah (29) and Morgan (24) felt it only right to continue the tradition by enlisting in the U.S. Army. Jeremiah had only planned on putting in his eight years to please the old man. Although he has always had great respect for the military, Jerry never liked traveling much. He preferred being able to settle down permanently. Morgan, on the other hand, was the complete opposite. She snatched up any opportunity she could for a new adventure. The thought of waking up day-to-day and seeing the same old stuff was dreadfully boring. The couple met on a double date while deployed in Panama. It wasn't exactly love at first sight seeing as the two fought constantly every time they bumped into each other within that year. They hadn't even realized they had fallen in love until a week before their time was up in the country. Jerry would be sent back home to Maine as his years of service were over with. Morgan had orders for another tour in South Korea, but the two decided they didn't want to say good-bye to each other either. So on a whim, the night before the couple went their separate ways, they eloped.
It would be two years before the married couple saw the other again.
While Morgan was off doing God knows what, Jeremiah had started rooting in Augusta by buying his first house and gotten a job at the local police department. The couple wrote back and forth, a phone call whenever it was possible, and Jerry had prepared Morgan for an attempt at a settled life. They hadn't really talked about how the living arrangements were going to work out, but he was crazy about her and she knew she couldn't be a soldier forever. After their two year wait, Morgan was able to go on leave and she was reunited with Jerry in their Augusta home.
Their marriage worked out as much as their relationship had before the nuptials. Morgan felt smothered by how lifeless the town seemed to be compared to the places she had been, Jerry resented her for not considering starting a family. It probably didn't help at how secretive Morgan had become since being back. She had claimed work had pulled her away on some nights and though Jerry never accused her, she knew he thought an affair was going on behind his back. What was she supposed to tell her husband, the Truth? The truth that Morgan Clark was a Sentinel and she didn't exactly know how to start that conversation.
After six months, Morgan told Jerry her superiors notified her that she had another tour in the near-future. However, for this specific mission, she'd have to go through more extensive training and testing to prepare her for the environment she was headed in. Only whatever training they were putting her through, her body couldn't take the heat. Fearing the worse, Jerry told his wife she needed to get tested and figure out what was wrong before it was too late to do anything. Every test they could think of, Morgan had gone through. All test came back negative on tumors, cancers, etc. However the blood test did reveal the problem. Much to her dismay, Morgan's test results came back positive: She was pregnant.
On December 5, 2013 Benjamin Clark was brought into the world. Jerry figured this was just what his wife needed in order to get her priorities straightened out. Despite his efforts, Morgan refused to leave the military or change to a less dangerous career. Jerry wanted a family, not her, and now he had a son. Let him raise the baby while she brought in the extra money.
It was seven years before an injury forced Morgan Clark to retire from the “Army” and back into her family's life. By then, her husband had grayed and their son didn't recognize her as a mother. On many occasions, Jerry even threatened his wife with a divorce seeing as she did as she pleased without even discussing it with him. In fear of being alone, Morgan told Jerry she wanted to mend things and maybe they could come to a compromise. If Morgan could somehow establish a connection with Ben, Jerry would plan some type of trip once a year for the family. That way Jerry could have his family, Morgan could have her adventure, and Benjamin could have a semi-normal life before too much damage was done.
Their son Ben had been willing to give his mom a chance and the two discovered they both liked the outdoors. On the weekends Jerry had to work overtime, Morgan took Ben out camping and showed him the basics about surviving. Benjamin loved hearing all of his mother's adventure stories and some times they'd build forts and pretend they were in the jungles of Madagascar. It was one night that Jerry had come home early to hear his wife tell the story of how they had met. Proud of how well Morgan was doing with their son, Jerry made arrangements for their family trip. They'd go the week of their wedding anniversary to Panama and bring the story to life.
On September 9, 2022 the reconciled Clark family welcomed their daughter, Jacqueline. For a while everything was right in their lives. Jerry and Morgan acted like a real couple and Benjamin had a sister he absolutely adored and vice verse. Though she loved her mother and father equally, she was a brother's girl. Jacqueline would follow her brother around and try to imitate his actions. At night if she woke up scared, it was Ben she called out for. He'd always know what to do too; Turn all the lights on, cover the mirrors, block the closet door, and shove all her stuffed animals under the bed so there was no room for the monsters. He'd sing her to sleep with a little rhyme that their mother had taught them when he'd have nightmares. Benjamin always made his sister feel safe when he was around and it almost broke her heart when he had to leave for college.
Thirteen is said to be an unlucky number, but to Jaq it is twelve, because that was how old she was when Benjamin went missing. She'd woken from a bad dream, only to hear her mother crying and voices coming from downstairs. Benjamin's car was found in a ditch on the side of the highway and his body hadn't been found yet. Jacqueline and her father were preparing for the worst, but hoping for the off chance that Ben was somewhere out there. Morgan looked on the verge of a complete breakdown, as if she had already known the fate of her son. Jaq figures it was probably that attitude that caused her parents to start fighting again. For several months, the house fell silent as they waited for any kind of news.
Until those several months turned into a few years and it really did feel as if Benjamin had died. Jacqueline's nightmares only got worse to the point where she could only fall asleep for a couple of hours during the day. One night, as she was preparing for another restless struggle in bed, Jacqueline heard her mother at the door, whispered voices, and then nothing. Curious, Jaq tip toed downstairs to see what was going on. She found her mother in the living room, by the fireplace with a piece of paper clutched in her hands. Jaq had never seen her mother look so still and serious before. It was as if a stranger had replace her with some kind of soldier on the brink of war. Jaq would never know what was on that piece of paper, but whatever it was completely changed things.
After that night, Morgan went out more frequently and would come back at all hours of the night. She would have secret phone conversations and then leave with people Jaq could never recognize. When her mom was home, her parents fought. Every night a new fight and each time they got louder. One night, Jaq watched as her mother left and that was the last time any one had heard from her.
By the age of 16, Jacqueline had gotten herself expelled from school for punching a teacher. It was a simple mistake, from Jaq's point of view, and the school was punishing her too harshly. They were going to press charges, but backed out of that threat later on. The teenager didn't care too much for that place and begged her dad to let her get G.E.D. Jerry, of course, was reluctant until Jacqueline vowed to lose her virginity to the first jock her eyes caught in the hallway, if her dad made her go back to school. She had two weeks to study for her test....
Jacqueline worked a few jobs here and there for the next two years and even took some basic courses at University of Maine-Fort Kent.
At the age of 18, she had followed in her family's footsteps and was enlisted into the military. Joining the Army had gone back a few generations and Jacqueline only thought it right to pursue the same career path. This would give her four years to figure out what she wanted to do with her life.
On a whim, she signed up to study Criminal Law in tech school and started training for the military police. It was easiest choice to make sense she had watched her dad do it most of her life. A lot of what she learned came as second nature and discovered she had a knack for detail. She'd gotten a lot of her experience abroad when stationed on bases in Germany, Japan, and Israel. In fact, she had been part of several investigations, outside of usual MP business, that involved MIA soldiers. Jacqueline rarely saw action in the field, but she made up for it by narrowing the search area for said missing soldiers. On occasion when she had to leave the safely of the base, she had made some impulsive decisions that cost her a smooth, quiet, operation and a few battle wounds. Wounds that caused her to start the habit of taking painkillers. The initial move that would lead her to the downward spiral later in life.
After her four year term had been up, Jaq returned home and immediately moved back in with her father. She followed in his footsteps by joining him at the local police department. When she graduated the academy six months later, she as assigned as a patrol officer and got her first real partner by the name of Cameron Bryce. Even till this day, she still considers him the best man on the force, second to he father.
Jaq had found a strong bond with her partner, Cameron, and in a way it felt like her brother had returned to her in a new form. They knew each other better than anyone else and at times, it sparked jealously between her and Cameron's wife. Unlike the rumors that spread during their first three years, Jacqueline never tried to push her relationship with her partner like that. To her, this was Ben-reborn and nothing was going to jeopardize that. Cameron had even encouraged her to press their superiors about specializing in missing persons. It was the only real thing she had a passion for. Finally, probably tired of her nagging, Captain Avery signed her up for the classes she'd have to pass in order to receive a license.
By the age of 26, Jacqueline had earned the title of 'Detective' and had dragged Cameron right along with her. She had insisted they started partners through the whole ordeal because their was no other person who had her back like he did. Honestly, he was the only one that could keep up with her train of thought when Jaq's ideas made no sense. He hid her secret of how addicted she'd become to the painkillers. Cameron always threaten to turn her in, but couldn't find the heart to do so...so he just turned a blind eye; a fatal decision when she started mixing rum with those pills.
On a December night, Jacqueline and Cameron had been putting the pieces together on a missing person's case when they started to see the link that connected many of their cases to one very powerful man, Anton Bogdanov. As far as anyone knew, the Russian man only smuggled drugs into the country and that was how he slowly made his way up the money chain. If the link gave them solid evidence, it would put Anton Bogdanov smack down in the center of a human trafficking ring. All they had to do was prove it. It was no secret that every time the law had a witness that could point him as the culprit , this person seemed to disappear in the middle of the night and their body washed up some weeks later. They had to find another way of catching him in the act.
In the midst of discovering one of the ports he was known to use, the pair of detectives rushed off hoping to capture him on film.
There isn't much of anything Jaq can recall today about what actually happened that night. Most of her memories have a fuzzy feel about them which can be (and was) blamed on how high she was. The memory, through her eyes, is detached and fragmented as if it were a dream.
She and Cameron had arrived at a warehouse on Bogdanov's dock. Everything had seemed quiet and low key. A group of men were loading up a boat with some large crates, but nothing that screamed they were afraid of getting caught. Had Jaq been more clear minded, she would have felt her body beginning to hum at the possible danger they were putting each other in just by being there. Despite Cameron's wishes to call for back up, Jacqueline had taken off with a camera to get a closer look at what was inside the warehouse.
As she neared the building, the female detective swore she heard crying. The scene had flashed to her being inside the warehouse with her gun pointed at the Devil, himself, Anton Bogdanov. He had laughed at her for something she doesn't remember saying or doing. She heard Cameron call out to her from behind, but before she could react, a large shadow had forced her to the ground. The force of her head hitting the floor knocked her unconscious. There are impressions of hearing Cameron screaming which had been silenced by a thick, half-gargle, sound and the feeling of being smothered by a transparent mass on top of her.
A week later, she had woken up severely sober, in more pain than she wished to ever know again, and strapped to a hospital bed. No badge, no gun, and neck-deep in the investigation of Detective Cameron Bryce's murder. Needless to say, her word was worthless due to her state-of-mind and she was being pinned for the death of her partner. The only thing saving her from jail time was the fact that they couldn't find any evidence of what really happened that night. All any one knew was that Jaq and Cameron were chasing a lead and it ended in a warehouse exploding. Anything else Jaq said sounded like the rants of a druggie. She was forced into detox-rehab center miles away from home and ordered to see a psychologist as part of her recovery. This is where our dear Jacqueline Clark has spent the last two years of her life...that is until she receives a very disturbing call about her brother Benjamin.
Present day, she has been hired as more of a consultant to the Somerset Police Department. As long as she continues to see a doctor once a week and has random drug tests, Jacqueline is allowed to live on her own. Sample Role-play;
[A YEAR AGO]
No place in the world smelled worse than the Clinic to the patient in room #403. Pungent, like a drunk's breath at the end of a whiskey binge. Like sweat. It was mid-July and the air conditioner had broken down, leaving both staff and patients in a miserable state. Imagine the smell of every thing your body had taken in in the past 24 hours. Add the heat and over a hundred bodies in a cramp space. Yeah, it smelled something like that. God, she felt like retching. The nauseating feeling ripped the woman from her sleep as she rolled off her back. Her paper thin clothes sticking to her body like a second skin. She reached out and pulled the small trash can to her side. With a free hand, she pushed back her soaked locks in hopes that the green jello from this morning didn't get stuck in her hair. After her stomach had emptied itself, the female patient looked up at the clock on the wall. Ten minutes till dinner. Damn. Apparently the nurse thought she needed to sleep through most of the day. Probably didn't want to deal with her shit. Taking another look at the trash can, the woman decided to pass on food...
Jacqueline Clark seldom slept, but when she did, she was forced to face all her sins at once. It was the perfect Hell, really. Lock a person up and rid their body of anything that helped make them forget. A groan slipped passed her lips as she rolled onto her back. What she'd give for a drink right about now. Slip back into her coma state and just let the world move forward.
Instead, she got out of bed and walked into the bathroom. Green jello was no longer allowed to be anywhere near her again. Ever. She'd start a petition if that's what it took. Sure, it was amazing going down, but mixed with eggs and stomach acid...damn. The woman squeezed her eyes shut as her stomach pinched. Jaq's hands caught the sides of the sink. A moment passed and the feeling faded. Her hands shook violently as they turned the cold water on. Normally the metallic taste of tap water disturbed her, but tonight it was like drinking from a fresh spring. She dipped her head under the faucet and stayed in that position for a long while.
Images, horrific and unwanted, flashed lightening-like through her head.
Jacqueline forced her body upright, gasping for air, and gripped the sides tighter to hold steady.
A year ago, a woman fought the orderlies as they dragged her body towards the detox tank. Both fists full of her own hair. The residents at the Clinic had stepped outside of their rooms to watch the scene unfold. They described the woman as wild, mad, possessed. She took on a sickly-yellow color and pupils so black, they swore she had no soul. They figured she'd be dead by morning. Didn't look like much. The staff must have known more than any of them, because they locked her up without a second thought and left her in the Tank to suffer. It had taken hours for her to stop screaming and beating on the door of the cell. After awhile, the wild woman had just curled up in a ball. Willing to forfeit her life just for the pain to end. Death had laid beside her, coaxing what was left from her body. Using seductive words like 'DETACHED'
...Sick bastards who worked at this joint just brought her back....
Now that possessed soul was a phantom, who absently stared at her own reflection in the bathroom mirror. Jacqueline Clark had died a long time ago. When she recklessly took the life of her partner. This was God's punishment. Allowing her to live, here, in this Hell. Her memories a constant reminder of how much she had fucked up. And no matter how hard she tried, no matter how badly she begged for it...Death would always be just out of reach. Always taking a life that wasn't her own.
“Ms. Clark? You have a phone call.”
Jacqueline spun on her heels to face the female nurse standing in the doorway. The patient took a breath and ran her hands through her long hair. Damn stuff was always hanging in her face. “No calls after five.” Jaq replied as if she needed to remind the nurse of the rules.
“That's usually the case, but he says it's important.”
Jaq pushed passed the nurse and jogged towards the public phones at the end of the hallway. The place was empty except for a few staff members. Suddenly, the patient was full of dread as she neared the phones. In the year she had been at the Clinic, no one had called or visited except for her dad. He usually never called since they got to see each other every Sunday on visitor's day. Had he decided enough was enough? Was he finally calling to cancel their visit?
“Pops?” Jacqueline's voice must have matched her shaking hands. There was a pause on the other end of the line. The last time she had been able to hear her own heart pounding was right before the explosion on the dock. The night Cameron had died.
“Jackie?” a male voice answered, but it wasn't her dad. “Jack, it's Patrick...Augusta Forensics.” From the sound of things, he didn't have much confidence that she'd remember him. She was never that
intoxicated on the job.
“Yeah, man. What's up? Never thought I'd hear from anyone in that area again.”
“We found him.” Silence.
Jacqueline switched the phone over to the other ear and allowed herself to lean against the wall. If she thought her heart was pounding before, it felt like it was going to explode now. In fact, it started moving up her throat, causing her to hold her breath.Ben. They found Ben.
After all this time, she knew he was alive somewhere. The only person in the world that could ever make her feel safe. Ben was probably on his way home now. Jaq closed her eyes and pictured their Pops opening the door to a familiar face and cry. Benjamin would come with Pops to visit on Sunday and they'd laugh and cry...and just be a family again. He'd pick her up from this depressed state and she could be a real person. Ben was coming hom-
“His body was found...” Jaq's heart suddenly dropped below her stomach. She fought back the acid rising in it's place. “... just outside the city of Somerset. Pennsylvania. Jack? You still there? Jack?”
She heard Patrick's voice start to fade and even the shouts from the nurses. Jacqueline wasn't sure how she ended up on the floor, but when her eyes opened again, she was surrounded my staff members. Shaking her head to clear it, Jaq sucked in a deep breath, and took the hand of one of the nurse's for support. Out of the corner of her eye, Jaq saw the phone hanging down. She snatched the end of it and pulled it up to her ear.
“Dude, Jack, you alright? What happened? Man, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have called. You weren't ready to hear it, man. I'm sorry.”
“Wh-whe-where was he-e found?” Jacqueline tried to clear her throat. Hated how weak she sounded.
There was another pause. The man on the other end of the line was hesitating. Probably wasn't used to giving the news to someone close to the victim. Jaq tried to clear her throat again. Make it more steady.
“I'm okay. Really. Please, Pat. I need to know.”
Another short pause and then she heard him sigh. Easily defeated.
Jacqueline burned the name into the deepest part of her brain and hung up the phone.
[TWO WEEKS AGO]
By the time Jacqueline had parked outside of Somerset's Police Department building, she had practiced an answer for every question the Captain might ask her. If this had been Augusta, familiar territory, the officer would have no problem waltzing in as if she owned the place. Who gave a damn about what people would whisper behind her back? They knew no matter what state-of-mind she was in, Jaq could get the job done. Obsession and intuition drove her further than the others and is what solved most of their missing cases. However, this was not Augusta and no one cared about what you did in the past...it is what you were able to contribute now. Oh, God, was she ready to dive back into this life again?
Hands trembling, Jaq stood at the front doors of the police station and watched the hussle and bussle. Phones were constantly ringing. Voices blended into an endless buzz. The smell of burnt coffee and icy pastries mixed with body odor and cigarettes. Her senses were in overload and she loved every moment of it. Why had she ever been afraid she wouldn't fit in? For the first time in years, Jacqueline Clark felt like she was home. Squaring her shoulders back and lifting her chin a little higher, Jaq strolled into the building until she was pointed towards the boss' office.
The petite woman knocked once. No response. She knocked once more, a little louder this time. No response. Jaq heard some movement and, she thought, a grunt. Taking that as an invitation, she gently opened the door and cleared her throat. Hopefully her voice wouldn't betray her too badly.
“Sir, Detective Jacqueline Clark reporting for duty.” She cringed at her formal military tone. That wasn't how she wanted the boss to remember her from their first meeting. Damnit.
Captain Sean McGregor had barely glanced at Jacqueline. He was in the process of examining a report or maybe he just couldn't read the writing. Whatever the reason, the old man didn't pause again until he was through. Griffin tossed his thick glasses down on the desk and motioned for her to to sit. The Captain stared straight at her, burning holes in her skull, it felt like. He took in a deep breath and slowly let it out. The hair from his mustache must have tickled his lips, because they twitched once before he spoke.
“I don't like ya.” Well, shit.
She saw his nostrils flare and wondered if he had a temper. High blood pressure, definitely. Normally, if this had been Captain Avery, Jaq would have smiled and made a smart ass remark. McGregor hadn't officially hired her yet. She'd have to bide her time with this one.
“Ya're a high risk. Trouble maker. Cop killer. I've plenty of people jumpin' at the chance to work on these cases.” He finally leaned back in his overstuffed chair and laced his fingers over that beer gut of his. She guessed he meant for her to impress him.
“Psychological profiles, CSI techs, and psychics won't be worth a damn on this. You know I'm the best.”
“Fuck up on this, Clark. I'll bury ya."