Table of Contents

"Are you sure you don't know what happened that night?" Oliver asked in a stern voice as he looked directly at the lanky boy sitting on the other side of the table.

The boy shook his head.

"I-I don't know" He stammered, not meeting Oliver's gaze.

Oliver raked a hand through his brown hair as he let out a frustrated sigh. The questioning had been going on for a week and still no results. Oliver looked at the juice box on the table which had been left unopened. He wondered why the boy hadn't touched it. He shifted his gaze to him. He was quivering and beads of sweat trickled down his face. His hands were clasped tightly on his legs. Oliver's face softened. He was just a child, so the pressure of the interrogation must've been getting to him.

"Alright, I'll ask you a few more questions and we can call it a day, okay?"

the boy looked at Oliver and nodded.

Maria stared at Oliver through the glass opening as he interrogated the boy. It had been going on for hours and it didn't seem like it was going to end any time soon. She sighed and looked at the case file in her hand. The title of the case was written boldly at the top of the file. It said:THE DISAPPEARANCES AT BRIAR ORPHANAGE. According to the reports, 19 children and the director of the orphanage had gone missing without a trace. The building was investigated for two days but nothing was found. Four days prior to the incident, a boy was found in front of the orphanage. The police took him into custody for questioning. According to the information gotten from the boy, the director of the orphanage, Selena Brooklyn woke him up on the night of the incident and told him to hide in one of the vents. When he saw the terrifying look on her face, he quickly got into the vent. He stayed there for what felt like weeks. When he finally mustered up courage to come out, the orphanage was empty. He searched every room, but not a single human life was found. Too scared to stay alone in the big building, he sat on the porch in front of the orphanage, where he was found. Maria was having a hard time piecing everything together, but she knew that the boy was the key to solving this case. She closed the case file and fixed her gaze on Oliver again. She couldn't help but admire how good looking he was. They've been partners for a year now and he still looked as charming as he did the first time she saw him. She was always fascinated by his bright green eyes. His well defined biceps looked like they would rip through his cloth. She couldn't help but imagine how he would look without his clothes on.

The loud noise from the metal door jerked Maria back to reality. Oliver was out of the interrogation room and was giving her a whimsical look.

"You're done with the interrogation?" Maria asked trying to play it cool.

"Yeah, but I couldn't get any vital information from him" he replied, rubbing his temples.

"I need a smoke".

Maria chuckled. Oliver always had a smoke when he was stressed.

"We'll search the orphanage tonight. We need as much information as we get" Maria said.

Oliver nodded in agreement.

"But first, smoke break" He said, walking down the hallway.

The drive to the Briar orphanage was long and eerie. The road was surrounded with bushes and tall trees which was quite unusual for Maria. She had never been to this part of town, even though it was a small town. This part seemed separated from the rest of the town. There were no houses or gas stations nearby. Oliver glanced at Maria, who had a worried look on her face.

"Don't worry, we're not lost. I've been to this part of town before" Oliver said, trying to reassure her as much as he could.

"I just have a bad feeling about this" Maria said, clutching her sweater tightly.

Oliver couldn't find the words to say. This was one of the most sketchy cases they had handled, so he understood where she was coming from. After an hour, the orphanage came into view. Oliver parked the car and they both got down. Maria could feel the hairs at the back of her neck standing as she stared at the building.

"Come on, let's go" Oliver said, tossing her a flashlight. They got to the entrance and pushed it opened. A wave of dust filled the air which made them cough. They put on their flashlight and proceeded down the hallway.

The corridor was filled with abstract paintings and acrylic vases. The owner seemed to have an interest in art, or decoration. The first room they saw looked like the dinning room. It had a long rectangular table which had lots of chairs surrounding it. They searched around, but found nothing useful. They decided to split up to make the search faster Maria went upstairs, while Oliver remained downstairs. Oliver found a classroom. It was relatively big and had chairs and tables which were scattered around the room. He walked around the room, looking at everything carefully. A small piece of paper on one of the tables caught his attention. He picked it up and began to read it.

" Stacy, we need to leave this place. I heard her talking to a strange man outside last night. I couldn't hear what they were saying but I knew it was something bad. We're in trouble and we need to leave! Please trust me!".

Oliver stared at the paper intently. He knew that this was related to the incident, but he didn't know how it all connects. He shoved it in his pocket and kept looking around.

A loud crashing noise came from upstairs.

"Maria!" Oliver said loudly as he ran upstairs, praying that she wasn't hurt.

Immediately he got there, he saw Maria on the floor, surrounded by broken ceramics. He also noticed that her flashlight was gone.

"What happened?" he said, a worried look on his face as he helped her up.

"My flashlight died" she said, wincing in pain as she looked at her right hand.

There were a few pieces of broken ceramics, stuck in her palm.

"I was coming downstairs to meet you, when I tripped and knocked over a vase".

"Come on, let's leave and get your wounds treated" Oliver said, looking at her hand which was covered in blood.

"Before we do that let's check the director's office. I think we'll find something important in there." Maria said.

Oliver sighed

"alright, but after that, we're taking you to the hospital." Maria smiled. Her heart skipped a beat at the fact that Oliver cared a lot for her

The director's office had a small mahogany brown table and chair. There were artificial pot plants at the corners and a small bookshelf filled with books. Maria stared at the books while Oliver searched the cabinet that was right beside the bookshelf. He found a file with the documents of all the children in the orphanage and began to look through it. Each document had the picture of the child on it. He paused when he saw a familiar face. It was the boy they've been interrogating. His name was Brandon Lester. Oliver wondered why the boy hadn't told them his name before. As he turned to the next page, an envelope fell out. Maria picked it up and opened it. She pulled out a small paper.

Oliver and Maria stared at the paper, trying to make out its contents. It was a map.

"it looks like a map to a hospital" Maria said, looking at the paper intensely.

Oliver crossed his hands around his chest.

"This doesn't look like the map to Prime medical hospital" Oliver said.

There was only one hospital in the small town of Hazardville, and it was located at the center of the town. This quipped Oliver's interest more.

"We'll need this." Oliver said.

Maria nodded and handed the map over to Oliver. He continued searching the cabinet, when he saw a brown, leather journal. He was curious about the contents, but kept it aside and kept searching. After some minutes of searching and finding nothing else important, they decided to call it a night. Oliver dropped Maria off at the hospital to get her hand treated. It was bleeding a lot and he worried it might get infected.

"I'll head back to the office to take a look at what we Found" Oliver said to Maria as he gave her a light pat on the shoulder.

"I'll head over there once I'm done with the treatment". Oliver frowned and shook his head.

"You'll go home and get some rest after the treatment" He said.

Maria sighed. There was no winning against him. He was always so considerate and kind. She began to remember how they first met.

Maria Valentina had just moved to Hazardville. She got a job as a detective at the police department. "Maria Valentina, this is your new partner, Oliver Lucas" chief Bradley said.

Maria stared at Oliver, extending out her hand for a shake. They shook hands and Oliver tilted his head a bit to the right.

"is there something on my face?" Oliver asked. Maria's face turned bright red when she realized she had been staring at him. Oliver let out a small laugh which made Maria flush even more.

"No flirting in my office" Chief Bradley said, giving them a playful look.

"I expect that the both of you will cooperate" He said. They both nodded. Maria's first impression of Oliver was that, he was a playboy, because of his looks. As they kept interacting, she realized that he was way different from what she thought. That was the beginning of her one sided feelings for him.

Oliver entered the office and plopped down on the chair. The office was quiet, which gave him enough room to organize his thoughts. He brought out everything they found at the orphanage and laid them on the table. He picked up the brown leather journal and ran his hands on the surface. The journal must have belonged to the director of the orphanage. Oliver opened the journal and began to read it.


I don't know what to do. I'm running out of options. I was laid off from my current job so I have no means of getting money. My son's condition isn't getting any better. The drugs only relieve the pain. Soon it'll get worse so I have to come up with something fast.


I was appointed as the new director of briar orphanage. I felt very happy. I usually come see the children on my day off , but now I can see them all the time.


My son has been coughing up blood a lot more lately. It's getting worse. The money I've gotten so far isn't enough for his treatment, I need more.


A man approached today me saying he could help me get more money fast. I knew it was sketchy but I gave in. He said I should sell the kidneys of the children in the orphanage. He told me that he'll handle the surgery and that no harm will come to them. I told him I would think about it


I decided to go along with what the man said. He told me his name was ashbourne. He gave me a map of where the hospital was and told me to bring the children there by 9pm tomorrow night. It's 8:30pm now. I put sleeping pills in their foods, so they are all fast asleep now. I know this is bad, but I'll do anything to save my son from dying.

The other pages were blank. Oliver closed the journal and began to assimilate what he had just read. The director is responsible for the disappearance of the children, but she was missing too. And who was her son? Why did she tell Brandon to hide in the vent? Who was ashbourne and what was in that hospital? Oliver sighed and rubbed his temples. He needed to ask Brandon more questions. He needed answers.

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