• I walked towards the next doused fire, until I noticed something strange. Luke sat in the car with a huge scowl on his face.

    "What is your problem now?" I asked. His gaze lifted from the dashboard to me.

    After a long moment of silence he spoke, "I was a real jerk to you back then... wasn't I?" The question made me pause for a second. Was that what he was thinking about the other half of the car ride?

    I answered with slight hesitation, "Well... Yeah. I mean, you hung out with your friends at the academy and I hung out with mine. You just happened to think at the time that just because I had weaker arm strength than you that I was inferior to you. Most people would take that as an insult. Then, you said it was because I was a girl." Luke simply listened and, for the first time, I didn't feel angry at him. This week was getting weirder and weirder. Maybe I was dreaming it all.

    I pinched myself in the leg to check before I continued, "I have to say, I acted a little immaturely at the time. Instead of just telling a teacher or ignoring you, I had to challenge you to a fight. And I won and it's in the past and.... Let's get the job done and discuss it later, okay?"

    "Yeah. Let's do that." My partner mumbled, more to himself than to me. Slowly, Luke nodded and got out of my car, no longer sulking. The smell of fresh ash got stronger as we approached the next crime scene. My eyes flicked to the crowd, who were all just trying to see what happened. Immediately, I spotted Adrian, my prime suspect.

    "Hello?" Luke asked, breaking my train of thought, "Don't we have to search the area?"

    I turned on my heel, "The great thing about partners is that you can split up. You search. I'll talk to the people in the area." After giving me a weird look, he walked over and began to filter through the remains of the building. Adrian grinned as I strolled up.

    "Hello, Rebel." He mumbled, not even looking in my direction. A shiver ran through my back as he said this. The fact that he knew my work-only nickname still creeped me out.

    Sounding as professional as I could, I spoke, "This is the second time that you've been to one of these fires."

    "Third." He corrected, "This is the third of the fires I've seen. We didn't meet that first time. Are you going to arrest me for that? Or for something else?"

    "How absurd." I said, trying to be convincing, "I don't even suspect you."

    Adrian's tongue clicked, "Now, now. You're a police officer. You shouldn't lie."

    "If I suspected you... Wouldn't you be in for questioning by now?" I retorted, forcing a smile. A grin that could be compared to the Cheshire Cat played on his face.

    The grin grew wider as he spoke, "If I was the person who did this, I would make sure that there was nothing to incriminate me." I bit my lower lip to resist punching his smug face. Blood started to ooze out. We both know he has something to do with this and I can't stop him. Trust me, it's the worst feeling in the world.

    "Catch you later, cop." Adrian said, walking away, "Good luck finding your man, if you haven't already." My hands shook from anger, the temptation to incapacitate him with the taser in my belt irresistable. I didn't even notice that Luke had walked up behind me.

    "What a weirdo..." He grumbled, "I can see why you suspect him. That is the guy you were talking about, right?"

    Turning around, I replied, "Yeah, that's him. I'm telling you, there's something up with this guy. But I don't have any evidence. that's the problem. Did you find anything?"

    "No," he said, shaking his head, "Well, not really anyways. Another note that's almost identical to the one you found... This guy really knows what he's doing, huh? I mean, to be able to keep us off his tail like this." I didn't know what to say. So instead I began to walk to my car.

    Driving back to the station, I noticed Luke doodling in his notebook.

    Trying not to take my eyes off the road, I asked, "What's that?"

    He muscles stiffened as he answered, "Nothing."

    "Liar. You're drawing!"


    "That isn't 'nothing' then. Show me." Before he could say anything or argue, I took the notebook to see a picture that I wasn't exactly expecting.

    The drawing was of... me.