The car bumps over every pot hole in Los Angeles. There are more than you would think, and more than the city care to fill. The car shakes side to side, and Lucifer finally buckles in to the option of...well..buckling in. He had made the argument twenty one times that he was immortal, but that didn't mean he was thrilled by the gap between the seat and his touche every time the car bounced. Chloe was in fact doing the speed limit, even though he was encouraging her to do more.
"I'm just trying to get us where we need to go, not break the law."
Lucifer sighed. "But breaking the law is fun Detective! And you wouldn't be the only one, you should seriously talk to some of the police men. Corrupt but ever so entertaining. Those men know how to have a little fun. Not this...45 in a 50 mile per hour thing."
Chloe just rolls her eyes, not adjusting her speed. She knew very well what the police did. Driving with sirens on, but no one to catch and nowhere to go. But that wasn't her.
"What is the case anyway? And where are we going?" Lucifer ponders.
"It's another homicide. The file is in my bag if you want to dig it out. From what I understood, the victim's name was Royal Jacobs-"
"And you thought my name was a stage name," Lucifer chuckles. "Who name's their kid Royal?"
"Not important Lucifer. Royal was an upcoming lawyer just months away from finishing school. Her friends placed a missing report for her last night when she didn't come back to the apartment within forty-eight hours. She was found in an alleyway this morning between four and five, placing the murder before then. Her body was severely beaten with burns covering sixty-five percent of her body. They are sending us to the crime scene to pick up anything they might have missed, they are still processing the scene."
Lucifer was at a loss for words. He wondered what made her killer assume that his was the proper punishment. What Royal had done to deserve this? Chloe makes a sharp right turn and parks. She steals the file out of his hand and unlocks the car doors. She makes her way under the yellow tape swiftly, even in her slightly heeled boots. Her hair sways and she runs over to the coroner. "Wait!"
The old man stops wheeling the black bag away and turns. "Detective Decker. What can I do for you?"
"I need to see the body quickly. They didn't give me any pictures and I need to see it to further the investigation," she remarks.
"Be my guest, but beware, it's not something a parent ever wants to see."
Chloe's slender fingers connect with the zipper as she gently pulls down on it. The sight in front of her is revolting. Royal's face doesn't resemble what a face should. Her nose is inches away from where it should be, her eyes open and blood shot. The woman was wearing what Chloe could only guess was a dress, as the fabric is burnt and barely covering her anymore. The hands are rigid, frozen in place, the fingers unrelated and crunched in fear. Although the bag isn't unzipped all the way, the knee to the rest of her leg is bent in an chilling way. Even as Lucifer walks up to see, neither of them can decipher what is burns, and what is blood.
For once in his existence, Lucifer feels momentarily speechless. Without a comment, Chloe zips the bag shut. Her mind wandering twenty different ways. She walks away without a word. But both of them know, that sight was beyond disturbing. Chloe had been at this a while, but never before had she witness someone beaten and burned so brutally. Chloe tries to forget that image, especially after the coroners words only made her think of Trixie. She begins to look around.
"You know if the killer didn't want the body to be found," Lucifer begins, also ditching the previous subject. "Why wouldn't he have thrown it in the dumpster instead of leaving her in the middle of this ally. I mean, he put her in plain sight."
"He must have wanted her to be found, or he wasn't thinking clearly," she replies.
"He was being very careful," a crime scene investigator comments, approaching them. "And thorough. We haven't found any real evidence other than a partial footprint, and even then. We aren't going to be able to pull much off of it."
"The person who found Royal was a close friend of hers, or so he claims. His name is Thomas. He is quite shaken up, but he may be able to give you something to work with."
Thomas is skinny and very frail, even with his large height. His hands are jittery, and he is exactly how the investigator had described. Shaken, with a hint of agitation. Blond locks cut short, and facial features soft, Chloe doesn't know what to make of it. Lastly, there was a large scratch on his left hand.
"That's me," the man replies. The voice is scratchy and low.
"Thomas, would you mind answering some questions for us?" Chloe crosses her arms, already thinking what is going to be most important to ask him.
"Yes, of course. Anything that will help," he says while fixing his posture, his eyebrows furrowed together.
"What is your relation to the victim?" Chloe asks.
"I was an ex-boyfriend of hers. We dated about three months ago. The breakup wasn't even that bad I can assure you, both of us knew it just wasn't for us. She was focused with law, myself with medicine and anything medical. Both of us were busy, and we didn't click. So she ended it, and next thing I know, I'm out for my run and find her here."
"Do you always run around four in the morning?"
"Yes. I have a bit of an active mind and sleep isn't easy so I wake up and try to energize my brain so I can make it through the day."
"Where were you prior to your run?"
"I was at home sleeping, or trying to."
While that might be true, it wasn't a great alibi unless someone had been there with him. "Anyone who can verify that?"
"Not really no. Except maybe my landlord."
Lucifer butts into the conversation his eyes wide with pleasure. "Allow me Detective. Now, Thomas. What do you desire more than anything else in this life?" His powers are intensely running through his veins and emulating out of his eyes, staring deep into the man's and persuading something deep within him. The man is challenging, much like Chloe, but he knew this one would crack.
"Yes?" The "s" rolls on Lucifer's tongue as a smile crosses his features.
"I desire power. I want to become the head of neurosurgery, and I want to be at the top. I don't like having to follow others," as soon as Thomas finishes saying these words he is shocked that he just revealed that. The look on his face mirrors that of many that Lucifer has seen before him. That moment when they all question why they just said what they did.
"Perfectly normal pal. I like being at the top too, you know, behind father of course. It's nice to be in charge."
"Yeah...um," he scratches the back of his head in ponder.
"Thomas, one more question. Do you have anyone you would suspect that would want to hurt Royal?"
He sighs. "I mean, Royal is a nice enough girl, but she does...did...have a tendency to piss off certain people. If I had to pick one person, I'd bet on Brent Hare. He was her professor in her first year, and it wasn't exactly a secret that she was screwing him. When she broke it off after she was done his class, he was furious. But it wasn't like he could do much without being fired. She got what she wanted and left him behind. That would be enough to anger anyone. To this day, the guy is still a little bit edgy and like he is sitting on a stick of dynamite. Ready to explode on contact."
"Thank You Thomas. We'll be in touch."
Chloe motions for Lucifer to follow behind her. "We need to check this guy Brent out. He sounds like he could have a motive."
"It also could be fun to hear his side of the story. So filled with angst and anger, he sounds like fun to talk to."
Chloe stops right in front of Lucifer, forcing him to a halt. "I assure you that you will not be the one doing most of the talking. I'd would really like it if you would shut your mouth while I am interrogating someone. The last thing I need is you weirding them out and them refusing to talk to us any longer without the long process of getting a lawyer."
With a smirk he replies, "You realize all I got out of that was that you established that there is in fact an us in this partnership right?"
"Just get in the damn car Lucifer," Chloe whisper-shouts.