"Get off my desk." Alexeia Sanders shooed her associate off the corner of her desk with a file she was reviewing for a case.
"So who are we meeting again?" Franco Stevens sat on the firm couch at the other end of Alexeia's office. "Petty? Pity?" He asked jokingly.
"Everything is a joke to you, Stevens." Alexeia let out a frustrated sigh. "His name is Petey Roller." She dropped the file onto Franco's lap and he read over it briskly. "He didn't give us a lot of information over the phone. He sounded very confused."
"Who wouldn't be confused with that name." Franco stood up and slapped the file back onto the desk. He straightened his tie and smoothed his hair back. "What do you think?" He said as he turned to Alexeia with his arms spread open wide.
"You look like a goof. As always. Do you always have to have a silly grin on your face?" Alexeia sat behind her desk and started pilling papers into a neat stack.
A knock sounded on the door and two seconds later the secretary's head peaked in. " Your 4 o'clock appointment is here, Miss Sanders." She said meekly.
"Thank you, Dawn. Send him in." Alexeia stood up and glared at Franco across the room. "Be professional."
"Aren't I always?" Franco smiled and stuck his tongue out at her. The door opened and Dawn stepped in with a short, heavy set man trailing behind her. His baby blue eyes, hid behind his large glasses, darted nervously around the room. "Hi, Petey. I'm Franco but my friends call me Frankie and this is my assistant, Alexeia." He said as he shook hands with the gentleman
Alexeia stepped out from behind her desk and pushed Franco aside. "Hi, Mr. Roller. We spook on the phone? I'm Alexeia Sanders and this is my associate Franco Stevens. Please, have a seat."
"Oh! W-why tha-thank you." Petey's voice was soft and he trembled as he spoke. He sat down in front of Alexeia's desk while Franco sat along side of him and Alexeia sat in her chair behind the desk. "Thank-k you for meeting me. I-I-I know it's short no-notice."
"Well, you said it was important. So how can we help you?" Alexeia said with a smile. "I'm afraid we don't have much knowledge of the case. You were very vague on the phone."
"Well, you se-e-e. I thin- I think my wife mi-i-ight be cheating on me." As he spoke Franco sighed quietly and rolled his eyes. Alexeia ignored him and encouraged Petey to continue. "She has been acting ve-ver-r-r-very different lately."
"In what way has she been acting different?" Franco questioned. "Wearing her panties on top of her skirt or -?"
"Different how, Mr. Roller?" Alexeia interrupted .
"This is a li-little embarrassing b-bu-b-but she is different in bed, honest-honestly." Petey nervously wiped his palms on his pant legs. "Sh- she- she's doing things she never would have done be-before. She-she must be getting e-experience from someone else." Franco raised his eyebrows and smiled at Alexeia but she glared at him. "Oh and another thing is that she nev-ne-never wants to visit her sister anymore. I know this sounds ter-rri-terrible but I just want you to follow her around for-for until you confirm that she is or isn't ch-c-cheating on me."
"Okay." Alexeia stood up and said, "We'll take the case."
"You will?" Petey asked happily.
"We will?" Franco asked disgustedly.
"We will." Alexeia said boldly.
After Petey thanked Alexeia and Franco he gave them a picture of his wife and a list of places that his wife, Rachel Roller, would go to everyday. After he left Franco let out a frustrated sigh. "Why are we taking this case?"
"Because that poor man should know whether or not his wife is having an affair with someone else." Alexeia stated simply as she stuck the picture and the list in her purse.
"There is something wrong with him." Franco shouted and threw his hands in the air. "I say we leave him be and let him get use to the new exciting stuff."
"Franco, we are taking this case!" Alexeia said through gritted teeth.
"Fine, fine. Whatever you say. You're the boss." He held the door open for her and bowed slightly.
"This is insane!" Franco shouted and slammed his palm against the steering wheel of his car. "We've been stalking this woman for a week and all we've seen is her go shopping and gossip with her friends at Starbucks."
Alexeia shushed him from the passenger seat as she watched Mrs. Roller walk out of the store with two bags of groceries in her arms. Franco and Alexeia followed her home and parked down the block and waited for only a few minutes before she came back outside again. "Where is going now?" Alexeia whispered.
"Lets find out." Franco put the car in gear and slowly traveled behind the dark blue Ford Taurus . He allowed a couple cars get ahead of them so she wouldn't notice they were following her. After a long forty-five minute drive they arrived at a campground surrounded by thick woods. "I guess we're going camping." Mrs. Roller got out of her car and started walking into the woods. "Weird."
"Well, if I were a woman there is a few things I would and wouldn't do. One thing I would do is take three hour long showers. Something I wouldn't do is go hiking in the woods wearing three inch heels and a brand new evening dress." Franco pointed out in Mrs. Roller's direction.
Alexeia stared out the windshield and watched her disappear into the heavy amount of tall trees. "Come on." Alexeia got out of the car and Franco did the same. "Let's follow her and see what she's hiding."
"Wait!" Franco shouted excitedly. "Didn't you hear what I said? Do you want to ruin the shoes? And lose the suit jacket too." Alexeia sighed and threw her high heels and jacket in the back seat of the car.
The two ventured into the woods after Mrs. Roller being sure to hide behind trees if they thought they were getting too close. After nearly an hour of walking deeper and deeper into the woods they finally hid behind a large rock when Mrs. Roller came to a halt. She knelt down on the ground in front of what looked like just a tree stump.
"Well there goes $300 dollars on that dress." Franco said casually and shook his head.
"Shush!" Alexeia said in a hush tone and put her finger to her lips. "Let's try to get closer. I want to see what she's doing."
As they got closer they could hear Mrs. Roller crying as she tried to speak. "I got your favorite." She reached into a pocket on her dress and pulled out a back of cashews. "Yes, they're salted." She continued to speak to the wind as she scattered the cashews on the ground in front of her. "I really miss you, Barb." She whispered and started crying again. "I'll come again real soon." She stood up and brushed off any dirt lingering on her dress. She turned around and headed back the way she came.
Once Alexeia and Franco were sure she was out of sight they emerged from the bush they were hiding behind nearby. "Someone's a bit crazy." Franco whispered in Alexeia's ear.
Alexeia knelt down in the same spot Mrs. Roller did in front of the tree stomp. "Franco look at this!" Alexeia whispered shockingly . "'Here lies Barbara. I'm sorry.' Franco, this is a grave!" She jumped up and off to the side.
"Who's Barbara Roller and why is she buried all the way out here?" Franco questioned. "C'mon. Lets go. I left my cell in the car. We'll call Petey and find out who Barbara is." The walk back to the car was long and tiring. A few times Franco offered to give Alexeia a piggyback ride but she would decline.
When they finally got back to the car, Alexeia put her shoes back on and Franco dialed Petey's number. "Give me the phone." Alexeia grabbed the phone before Franco could protest.
"Mr. Roller! Hi this is Alexeia." She said cheerfully. "Do you know if your wife knows anyone by the name of Barbara?"
He laughed nervously. "Oh no. She-she hated being friends with someone with the same name as her."
"Wait. Her first name is Barbara?"
"Ye-yes. Is there a problem?"
"No. No. Um. You said that she has a sister. What's her name?"
Alexeia said goodbye and handed the phone back to Franco. "Are you thinking that-?" Franco started to say but Alexeia waved him off and told him to go to Mr. Roller's house so they could talk to Mrs. Roller.
When they got there Mrs. Roller was already home and inside. Franco knocked on the door and she opened it only a moment later. "Hello." She said with a smile. "Can I help you?"
"Mrs. Roller? My name is Alexeia Sanders and this is Franco Stevens. Can we come in?"
"Well, my husband will be home any minute now. I don't know how comfortable I feel with two strangers in my house without him present." She took a step back and advanced to closing the door.
Franco shoved his foot in the door way before she could close the door any further and said, "Ma'am, your husband hired us. We are private detectives."
"He hired you? What for?" She glared back and forth at Franco and Alexeia now.
"Can we please come inside?" Alexeia pleaded and so Mrs. Roller stepped back to let them through and Alexeia said, "Listen, Mrs. Roller, all we want to talk. You're husband said you have been acting differently lately and he just hired us to figure out why."
"He hired you to just follow me around?" Mrs. Rollers eyes bugged out of her head as she sat down in the recliner across from where Franco and Alexeia sat on the couch.
"How's your sister, Barbara, Mrs. Roller?" Franco spoke up and asked casually.
Mrs. Roller gulped. "Do you mean Kelly? Because my name is Barbara." She said in a defensive manner.
"Kelly, drop the act. We saw you in the woods. We saw her grave. What the hell did you do?" Franco nearly shouted the last sentence which caused Alexeia to tense up. She tried to signal him to calm down but he ignored her. He stared the woman down in front of him waiting. Mrs. Roller's eyes started to tear up and she then fell to the floor and sobbed.
Mrs. Roller later confessed that she was not Mrs. Roller at all but she was, in-fact, Kelly, Barbara's twin sister. Kelly always loved Petey and she knew that Barbara was considering getting a divorce from Petey because she was bored of their marriage. Kelly said that she knew how hurt Petey would be if the Barbara left him so she said taking her place was the only way. One night Kelly invited Barbara to go to dinner. Kelly slipped arsenic in Barbara's meal and then drove her off the woods. By the time they got there, Barbara was dead in the passenger seat and then all that was left was to bury her sister and pose as her. Simply. Easy. Expect for one thing: Love. Kelly couldn't stay away from Barbara's grave. She couldn't move on. A twin's bond is one of the strongest bonds on earth. Nothing can break it. Not even death.
Thanks everyone for reading Franco's and Alexeia's first adventure! If you want to read more of these characters, please let me know what you thought in the comments below.