Ivy anxiously waited where Flynn had asked them to meet, hoping she didn’t look dumb for being too early. Was it bad to be early? Maybe she should be fashionably late. But then again, when had Ivy ever been fashionable? She checked her pocket watch and noted that she still had a few minutes. Walking around to calm her nerves wouldn’t hurt.

She took a deep breath as she walked, mumbling to herself about how stupid she was for being so nervous. He must have thought she was an idiot. She didn’t know what she was doing, and it showed.

As she walked, she noticed several people crowded around something at a pub nearby. Reporters shouted out questions and police attempted to push everyone away from what it was. Ivy was aware that there were only men in the crowd, but found herself drifting that way anyways. Sometimes being invisible came in handy. She was able to sneak around the side of the crowd to get a look. An officer blocked her path, holding an arm out so she couldn’t move forward.

“Pardon me, miss,” he said. “I’m going to have to ask you to back up.”

“What’s going on?” she asked.

“It’s no place for a young lady,” he said. “Run along.”

She took a few steps back, then ducked behind a reporter and moved to the other side of him, able to push forward and see the crime scene. A man had been murdered just outside the pub. He had multiple stab wounds in his chest, but the most horrific wound was that both his eyes were missing, as if they had been gouged out. All that was left were two pools of blood where his eyes should have been. The words “DON’T LOOK” were painted on the wall in his blood. Ivy was stunned, staring at the scene with wide eyes.

She was shoved back by reporters trying to get a good look and she stumbled, nearly falling back again. She felt someone catch her, half-expecting Flynn to be behind her again. Instead, she was face-to-face with one of the patrons from the pub. He was disheveled and reeked of liquor, and Ivy didn’t like the way he was still holding on to her.

“Rather messy, aint it?” he chuckled, his hands on her waist. “Come on, this is no place for a lady to be. I’ll take you somewhere nicer.”

“I have somewhere to be,” Ivy said, squirming out of his grip.

He grabbed her hand again, pulling her back to him. “I can walk you over.”

Ivy pulled her hand away and tried to walk away, but the stranger was following her. She could feel him stalking her. She quickened her pace and looked back to see that he was walking faster, too. When she looked forward she saw Flynn standing at their meeting spot, waiting for her. The man appeared next to her again and she gasped in surprise.

“I need to go,” she said firmly.


“My husband is waiting for me,” she blurted, without thinking.

She moved past him and over to Flynn. Before Flynn could say anything she took his arm, looking back at the drunk. The man’s smile fell when he saw Flynn, and Flynn seemed to understand the situation right away. He gave the drunk a look and stood a little bit in front of Ivy, which was enough to send the man off.

“Look at that,” he said. “Who says no one notices you?”

“I set my standards at sobriety,” Ivy said. “Did you see him?”

“See who, the drunk?” he chuckled.

“The body.”

Flynn’s brow furrowed and he looked to the crowd, where Ivy was pointing. Everyone was still pushing to get a look at the crime scene, but Ivy noticed a new figure standing there. Someone was lingering in the back, wearing a dark coat and a hat.

“Does that man look suspicious to you?” Ivy asked.

“The one dressed like he’s a villain?” Flynn muttered.


“I see him,” Flynn said. “Strange choice of outfit. You’d think that if you don’t want to be seen, you would just dress like everyone else. Rather than dressing like you don’t want to be seen.”

“Smart comment,” Ivy said. “But one thing I know is that super villains aren’t that smart. And that’s why they get caught.”

“Ivy, I don’t think that guy is a murderer,” Flynn said. “People die in shady pubs all the time. All it takes is a drunk brawl.”

“But this wasn’t just a drunk brawl,” she insisted. “I feel it in my bones. As J.R. Bogues would say, ‘don’t wait for something to hit you before you open your eyes’. My eyes are wide open.”

“Who’s J.R. Bogues?”

Ivy gasped, eyes widening. Flynn seemed mildly alarmed, too.

“He’s only the greatest detective in the whole east continent!” Ivy blurted. “He solved twenty-six cold cases in two weeks! He’s the man who stopped the assassination attempt on King Leonard! He’s the man who-”

“Okay, I get it,” Flynn said, holding his hands up. “If he were a god, he would be Zues. I understand.”

Ivy looked over, seeing the figure in the coat walking away down the busy street.

“We have to follow him,” she insisted.

“I was hoping we could get a bite to eat or something,” Flynn said.

Ivy wasn’t hearing it. She started blindly following the figure in the coat, and Flynn had to slightly jog to catch up to her. They weaved through the crowds, but the figure had disappeared. Ivy sighed in disappointment.

“Maybe it was just a shady guy,” Flynn suggested. “Who comes back to their own crime scene, anyways?”

“To revel in the shock they send through the masses,” Ivy said, holding up her hands. “Look at my palms! They’re itchy!”

“I can’t see if your palms are itchy.”

“It has to mean something, right?”

“Did you touch any poisonous plants?”

Ivy rolled her eyes, moving her hands down. Flynn put a hand on her shoulder, and she turned red again at his touch.

“Look, we’ll keep our eyes open,” he promised. “Just like J.J. Butters.”

“J.R. Bogues,” she corrected.

“Sure, Bogues,” he said. “Look, we can get some pastries and go sit at the park. Does that sound good?”

She nodded and managed a smile, following him to a nearby bakery. They ended up getting more than a couple of pastries. Rather, everything looked and smelled so good that they found themselves with a box of a dozen assorted desserts. The box was so big that Ivy had to carry it with both hands, and her gaze drifted out the window while Flynn paid the baker. She gasped when she caught a glimpse of something dark pass by.

“Flynn! It’s him!”

Flynn hardly had time to react before she took off, box of pastries still in hand. He quickly paid the baker and chased Ivy out, but she was still trying to catch up to her suspect.

“He’s going downtown, come on,” she said.

“Downtown is the other way.”

“We’re not going downtown.”

She led him up some steps to a bridge, but rather than crossing the bridge, she took a running leap off of the edge and landed softly on the roof of one of the homes below.

“Ivy!” Flynn said, exasperated. “Get back here! what are you doing?”

“Stakeout! To see where the guy is going!”

Flynn seemed like he didn’t know what to do. Ivy opened the box of pastries, taking out a powdered donut and holding it out to him.

“Come on, you know the good stuff is over here,” she taunted.

“I have never met anyone like you, Ivy Brownwell,” he sighed, checking to make sure they were still out of sight before he leaped onto the roof.

“Easy peasy,” she grinned.

“If I get arrested, you’re paying for my release,” he said, snatching the donut out of her hand.

“You won’t get arrested, I do this all the time,” she said. “Uh, I mean, this isn’t something I do but it looks safe for now.”

She carefully moved up the roof to a spot she knew by the chimney, where they could sit and be hidden from sight. Flynn was hesitant, but sat with her. She could appreciate that he was willing to humor her, at the least.