2010-05-24: Cheating ... On Death



Guest Starring:

Ellen Voorhees, John Voorhees and Sara

Date: May 24th, 2010


Private Investigator Tatiana "Cole" Anthony takes the case of a woman who thinks her husband is cheating on her, but finds out there might be something more serious going on with "the other woman" than it first appears.

"Cheating … On Death"

Coli's Office

New York City

It's been a slow day but Coli has a client coming in soon. Very soon. The fan is on in the small office, she gets hot very easy. Dressed in a pair of black shorts and a dark blue top. Her booted feet are crossed and placed on the top of her desk.

A gust of hair from the fan blows her hair out of her face. Light brown eyes twinkle in the light flowing in from the open windows. "Mrs. Harkins," she starts as she speaks into the phone to a client. A bored expression on her face. "I've said it three times. Your son has taken your mother's old ring and is currently going to be getting married at the Loveshack Chapel in Vegas at about.." she looks down at her watch and then at the calendar across the room.

"In 24 hours, I suggest you hurry up and get over there." Coli says before she hangs the phone up and then she's sighing. Another silent moment, until the knock on the door. "Come on in!" she says loudly enough to be heard over the fan.

The door inches open cautiously to reveal a thirty-something woman. "H-hi… are you… I'm looking for the private— investigator…"

There are two immediately obvious things about Mrs. Voorhees. One, she's very prim and proper: blue cardigan, white summer dress, gold necklace, tennis bracelet, dark hair carefully coiffed into ringlets; it fits that her address pegs her as being from the Upper East Side. Two, she's in a constant state of stress. She wrings her hands even as she stands in the doorway looking at Coli unsurely.

"That's me. You can call me Coli." The young woman says as she stands and comes around the desk. Turning the fan down as she puts her hand out for the older woman to shake. "What can I help you with?" Cheating husband? Runaway spoiled brat?

Coli has done every case imaginable. Some of them very embarrassing.

"Um. I was expec— ting— " Trying very hard to remember her manners, and not judge a book by its very casual cover because she's desperate, here, Mrs. Voorhees steps in, carefully shuts the door and approaches Coli with her hand extended. She shakes the PI's. Her own grip is tremulous. "Sorry— sorry, I've just never done this before. Ellen," she introduces. "I uh— " she looks behind her and eases herself unsurely into a seat. "It's my husband. Like I told you on the phone, I think he's— I think he's seeing someone else, he's been acting very strangely these last few weeks. Few months, really, but especially since a few weeks ago."

"Expecting? A thirty year old man? Don't worry, I get that a lot." Coli says with a brief smile as she nods her head at Ellen and takes her seat. Drawing out a notepad she begins to take down some notes. "So, describe his behaviors lately. And the places that he goes regularly. At least where he tells you, he's going." She says softly.

"And don't worry," she gives the woman a sympathetic smile. "We'll get to the bottom of this." She has to reassure the woman, she looks like a wreck.

"U-um, well, a couple months ago — I guess it was March — he started acting… evasive — he'd say he was staying late at the office but I'd call his secretary to check when he'd be home and she'd say he left hours ago," Ellen explains, looking down more than she looks at Coli. "He works at an ad agency downtown," she adds. "He's an executive. The thing is I don't know where he goes. He doesn't really go anywhere except the office… or… he didn't. He didn't have time, you know. I mean, we go places together. But other than that…"

Mrs. Voorhees shakes her head, getting back on track. "A few weeks ago I started noticing things missing. Jewelry," she unknowingly toys with her bracelet. "He said he didn't take it but no one broke in. And I could smell her perfume, you know. I just knew."

Jotting all of this down, the P.I. nods her head and looks up towards the woman. "Okay, well the way this will work. We'll be in contact weekly. I'll update you on what I find and you tell me of any changes in behavior. I'll be keeping watch at his office and we'll go from there."

Coli looks at the window, listening to the sounds of the city briefly before she returns her attention to Ellen. "Are there children involved as well?"

"No, no kids. Yet," answers Ellen, with a smile that quickly vanishes as she studies her hands, rolling a thumb over her glittering rock of a wedding ring. "I should mention— I think I— I saw her. The other woman." Mrs. Voorhees flushes pink under her porcelain skin, embarrassed. "I went to his office last week. To meet him, we were going to dinner, after he cancelled three times due to— working late." 'Working late'. "She came out of his office, she was at least ten years younger, pretty, sort of darker skin… he said she was a client but I know she wasn't. Everyone in that office, they dress for success, and she was in jeans." Ellen has been trying to be a P.I. by herself, it seems. "John's just been crazy ever since. He denies everything. Says it's none of my business. He never talks like that. I just want proof, you know, so he'll actually tell me the truth."

"Hm, well he's wrong. It is your business. Let's find this little tart shall we?" Coli says with a narrowed eyed gaze at the wife. "And you didn't get a name?" Coli could play cop and ask to see the video footage so that she can see what the woman looks like as well.

"I'll get started on the case as soon as you leave." She assures the older woman.

The P.I.'s enthusiasm bolsters the woman's confidence a little and she smiles. "Thank you. No name, unfortunately, I wish. Um…" Ellen dips a hand into the small purse she brought with her and finds a business card which she hands to Coli. "My husband's office. If there's anything else you need … you're more than welcome to it. Just let me know. Anything. Please."

The private investigator smiles and nods as she stands to her feet and she looks over to Ellen. "Don't you worry hun, we'll catch this woman, harlot. Whichever we want to call her. And if I do it in two weeks time, the price is only half." She says and winks at the woman and then she's going to open the door to the office. Time to grab lunch and get started.

* * *

Adgency Advertising happens to be several floors of a skyscraper downtown: floors 22 through 29. The sunlight glints near-blindingly off of its silvery windows.

The people coming and going from the building are many and varied. All have one thing in common: business attire and a sense of purpose, often briskly disappearing into the bustling afternoon crowd as soon as they step out of the front door.

12:54 pm.

A man in a rumpled grey suit steps out of the massive building. He'd easily blend into the crowd, one fish among many, but he stands out because he's less well put-together. John Voorhees is a bit older than his wife and faintly balding, in his prime about ten years ago, but retains some of his handsomeness. He brushes down his suit with the hand not carrying a suitcase and starts to hurry down the street.

"Hellloooo sexy.. not." Coli says to herself as she scrambles to throw her half eaten take out into a bag and then she's rolling the windows up and closing the door to the black muscle car she drives. A yellow BMW would be a little too loud and bright.

A pair of Ray Bans cover her eyes as she crosses the street and walks behind the man. Dressed in a pair of short black shorts and a deep red tank top. Her combat boots clunk on the pavement as she follows the man. Her dark brown messenger bag across her torso as she makes her way down the street after the man.

Lips lift in a small smile as she looks at the man's butt. She can see why the ladies would love him. Okay.. not really she has this thing about men's butts.. it all started with this male stripper in Brazil, wait. Back to the scene.

Mr. Voorhees doesn't go far, as it turns out. Glancing with transparent paranoia this way and that as he comes up to a street corner, he turns to the left and hurries toward a small, hole-in-the-wall cafe. There's only one car parked out front by the meter, a red 1998 Camaro with Missouri plates — Show Me State! — that has seen better days.

Raising an eyebrow, Coli walks in and stands in line. Grabbing a magazine from the table and flips through it idly. She's going to order, act like any other customer. Nothing too out there right? She taps her foot as she waits in line until she's called and she orders a drink before moving to a little corner of the place. All the better to watch you with my precious. Hehehe.

Coli looks at the man through her sunglasses, but if he were to look over at here, it would look like she's just reading her magazine. It's a magazine on.. farming? Hmm.. okay not really her thing but.. ooh! Is that a pony on sell??! Coli looks very excited momentarily before she's remembering, oh right. Stalking- er staking out the suspect.

The man doesn't order— he hovers around a table in the back right corner of the place, smoothing down his suit jacket five more times and pacing. He's sweating. He gives several anxious, suspicious glances around the caf, but every one of them bypasses the person who is actually following him. Whoever he fears might be lurking, it's not Coli.

Voorhees hasn't been in the cafe two minutes before a young woman walks through the door. Long black hair, cocoa skin; she's pretty, and can't be over twenty-two. She too looks around circumspectly before rushing to John's side and throwing her arms around him.

Taking out her handy hi-tech smart phone with Awesome Camera Of The Most Awesome. Coli puts the magazine down and makes it look like she's just looking at her phone. Though he's taking tons of pictures. "Oh baby, I love it when you throw your arms and hair like that. Okay, no growl like a tiger." She says softly to herself, or she thinks to herself. She notices a man in the corner of her eye, watching her with wide eyes. "Heh, yeah I love models?" she says sheepishly and then she's back to her photoshoot. Growl power honey!

She props one foot up against the wall and she's watching intently. So this is the harlot, whore, slut, ya know ya know?

The two are close, they hold each other's arms and look into each other's eyes with affection even after the embrace — but there's more going on than some kind of rendezvous. Both John and the young woman are clearly agitated about something.

"Do you have it?" the woman whispers; there's something distinctly desperate in her voice.

"No, not here," the man answers and sinks into a chair. "Tomorrow night. My office. I'll tell Ellen I have to stay late again, you— you can come by. Eight o'clock? I'll have it then."

She takes the chair across from John and starts to smile like her world depends on him, nodding shakily. "Thank you so much. So much. If it weren't for you … I would be dead."

Quickly grabbing her drink and going to sit at a table in front of them. Coli takes a sip as she listens and continues to take pictures of the two while they talk. It would look like she's just looking at the back of her phone. The woman's eyes widen at the talk of death. Uhh wait.. what?

Maybe she should call some of her buddies down at Homicide. Well, let's not jump ahead of ourselves shall we?? Let's hear what the tramp has to say!

Taking another sip, Coli looks around the place. Some people inside but not that many. The perfect number for her to really go unnoticed.

John reaches across the table and clamp over the young woman's. He leans in. "Do you still have the— that thing? Whatever it's called. That card. The ticket."

"I— I was going to throw it out, I swear— " She's almost frantic.


"I swear. I don't need it anymore. Here— " The woman, Sara, pulls one hand away from his and rummages hurriedly through her purse and hands something to John. It's only visible for a flash as it's exchanged from her to John. It looks like an average playing card. 4 of Diamonds?

Now this.. is getting just a little to sketchy for Coli. This isn't just some random affair going on..

The P.I. tilts her head and takes another sip of her coffee. She looks over and out the window but doesn't say anything more. Still clicking pictures away on her phone. She has to have some evidence to show Ellen.. but.. she doesn't think this is a affair anymore, which means she needs an excuse to tell Ellen. Maybe that she didn't see him today at all?

The man takes the card, frowning at it. It looks so simple, 4 of Diamonds, a colorful, Chinese rooster emblazoned on the back. He palms it under the table, into his pocket. "I want to trust you… I'm just… I'm worried about you— " John reaches out, takes Sara's hand again, concerned, affectionate.

The girl looks down, shamefaced. And anxious. "I sh— should go, I'll see you tomorrow. Eight o'clock. Are you sure your office— ?"

"No one saw us."

"Okay." Sara gets to her feet and the man follows suit. They hug, John kissing her — on the cheek. She walks out, trying to keep her pace relaxed, but she doesn't succeed and scurries all the way to her car. It's the one parked outside with the non-NYC plates. John sits back down and waits a few moments before taking his leave also; he makes a quick stop at the waste bin by the exit, where he drops the 4 of Diamonds before departing.

Further investigation will be had but Coli is convinced this isn't an affair. Not anymore. With a sigh, she leaves her coffee on the table and makes her way to the exit. Waiting for the man and young woman to go their separate ways and then she can leave. She bends over and picks the card up from the trash.

"Now.. what the hell are you?" she says as she turns the card over and studies it.


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