Jayne’s discovering that sometimes two isn’t the magic number. For the previous instalment click here.


INT. NOTTINGHAM POLICE HQ CORRIDOR. DAY.

RATTLE OF JAYNE LOADING COINS INTO A COFFEE MACHINE. ROB IS APPROACHING UNNOTICED.

JAYNE                   Stupid bloody machine.

ROB                       Maybe if you…

JAYNE                   (INTERRUPTING) Jesus, Rob.

ROB                       …stopped feeding it pennies.

JAYNE                   (INTERIOR) For a big guy Rob could be very quiet. Maybe that was what they were teaching him on the police boxing team, or the rugby team, or… well, you get the idea.

JAYNE                   (TO ROB) Hands off my waist in the workplace, Rob. Making it a habit doesn’t make it anymore professional.

ROB                       Spoilsport. (BEAT) It’s not my case, but some stuff on your banker fell into my lap.

JAYNE                   A lot stuff seemed to ‘falls into your lap’. Where do you community coppers get this stuff from? I want to teach it to my detectives.

ROB                       Trade secret.

JAYNE                   Too many fast trackers thinking their arts degrees automatically qualify them to run a police team. (BEAT) Are you going to make me beg?

ROB                            Now there’s a thought…

JAYNE                        (INTERRUPTING) Try not to get to big for your already huge boots, Lover.

ROB CHUCKLES AND THERE’S A CLICKING AS JAYNE DEPRESSES THE COFFEE MACHINE BUTTON. A CUP DROPS WITH A CLACK AND THE MACHINE WHIRRS.

JAYNE                   Hand it over and then I’ll tally your Brownie points.

ROB                       Scout… whatsits surely?

THE MACHINE BANGS DESPAIRINGLY, JAYNE BLOWS ON HER COFFEE.

ROB                       Your lad’s bank was going to have an audit.

JAYNE                   Now why wouldn’t they mention that? Guess I’ll have to have at Irving’s boss myself.

 

INT. BANK MANAGER’S OFFICE. DAY.

A DOOR SHUTS DEADENING THE SOUNDS OF PEOPLE OUTSIDE. THERE IS A COMPUTER HARD DRIVE WHIRRING AND THE CHAIRS CREAK AS JAYNE, HALE AND THE MANAGER SIT.

JAYNE                   Now, are you going to tell me why you didn’t tell my detectives that you are planning an audit?

MANAGER             It didn’t seem relevant…

HALE                     (INTERRUPTING) One of your employees turns up dead in a ditch and it ain’t ‘relevant’.

MANAGER                Ms McAllen, are you going to allow him talk to me like that?

JAYNE                        Superintendant McAllen. The thought had crossed my mind. (BEAT) I’ll rephrase: Why are you having an audit?

MANAGER                I can’t poss…

JAYNE                        (INTERRUPTING) I understand keeping your superiors happy but what are they going to think if I get a warrant and bring in a dozen detectives and forensic accountants…

MANAGER                (INTERRUPTING) There were discrepancies in the accounts. That’s all, probably clerical errors.

JAYNE                   Clerical errors… is that so?

 

EXT. BANK CAR PARK. DAY.

TRAFFIC IS HUMMING UP AND DOWN A NEARBY ROAD AS JAYNE AND HALE’S FOOTSTEPS CROSS THE TARMAC.

HALE                     Should’ve pushed him harder.

JAYNE                   I’m not your DC now, John.

HALE                     Irving was embezzling from the bank and his boss killed him.

JAYNE                   You didn’t notice that guy had three brands of anti-bacterial hand gel on his desk and has manicured fingernails?

HALE                     Well…

JAYNE                   Obviously he’s OCD. I can’t say I can imagine him faffing with a car engine to set it alight.

HALE                     I suppose that’s a point.

A CAR BEEPS IN THE DISTANCE AND CLOSER CARS DOORS BANG OPEN AND SHUT.

JAYNE                   I think your right about the embezzling and our Mr Irving did a runner. The audit…

HALE                     (INTERRUPTING) Could be a coincidence.

JAYNE                        Coincidences happen, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t investigate them.

 

INT. JAYNE AND ROB’S KITCHEN. EVENING.

CLATTER OF POTS, SIMMERING SOUNDS AS ROB MOVES THINGS AROUND ON TOP OF THE COOKER. JAYNE CHOPS HERBS HESITANTLY ON THE COUNTERTOP.

JAYNE                   I always think I’m going to chop the tips of my fingers off.

ROB                            You’ll be lucky if you finish chopping the herbs in time. How’d the lead work out?

JAYNE                        Leading. (CHUCKLE) Well, the manager was a push over and Hale was an arse.

ROB                            John Hale’s always an arse.

JAYNE                        Urgh, and to think I used to be attracted to him. The follies of youth, eh?

JAYNE                   (INTERIOR) It had been your typical story: a green DC meets a gruff DI and mistakes his bullish exterior for something like unflappable integrity. He wasn’t exactly the long term type.

ROB                       As long as it stays in your “youth”.

JAYNE                   Don’t start…

ROB                            (INTERRUPTING)       I’m not, I trust you. You’re doing what’s best for the job, that’s on the job, not here.

JAYNE                        Oh. (BEAT) Thanks for that.

ROB                       Besides you married me. That wanker didn’t even get a look in.

 

INT. JAYNE’S OFFICE. DAY.

IN HER OFFICE, A SMALL CUBE WITH ONE GLASS WALL ON A CORRIDOR OF SIMILAR GLASS CUBES, JAYNE TAPS AWAY AT HER KEYBOARD. THERE’S A KNOCK AT THE DOOR BUT HALE DOESN’T WAIT TO BE INVITED IN.

HALE                     You’ll never guess what I’ve just been handed.

A FOLDER HITS JAYNE’S DESK WITH A SLAP AND SHE SIGHS.

JAYNE                   A missing person’s report?

HALE’S FINGER TAPS THE FOLDER.

HALE                     Look, closely.

JAYNE TURNS THE PAGES.

JAYNE                   A missing person’s report for Richard Arkwright (BEAT) What’s so important about this?

HALE                     The DNA came back from the lab it had two hits. Irving and this Arkwright guy. Both were reported missing by different women, either our Mr Irving’s got a secret twin…

JAYNE                   (INTERRUPTING) It’s the same guy. He has a secret life.

HALE                     And needs funding.

JAYNE                   If Channing has stopped throwing up suggest it might be beneficial for you to pay. (BEAT AS PAGES FLIP) Mary Turner a visit.


For more from Jayne and Hale try The Mason’s Arms. For other short fiction try my archive or the Weekly Serial page.

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