# 95 - Poster


By Sarah


These characters don’t belong to me - I’m just having a little fun with them.


It was an unusually slow day at the Yard.   I was finally caught up on reports and thankfully, no new crimes had been committed.  It was August Bank Holiday and we were on a skeleton crew.   Normally, I would be heading to Wick for a week of vacation, but I owed Chief Inspector MacKenzie since he had covered for me when I had taken extra time in San Francisco.  I had gone to San Francisco to attend a law enforcement conference and as luck would have it, my beloved Jessica was there.  She had finished a book tour and was staying over for a bit of a holiday.  I couldn’t resist the opportunity to spend it with her.   Anyway, MacKenzie covered for me so now it was time for payback.


Looking for something to help the afternoon hours go by quicker, I logged on to my AIM account in hopes of finding Jessica online as well.  However, it was the wrong time of day in New York.  I sighed out loud.   I would jump at any chance to spend time with her, even if it was via world wide web.   Oh, well.  I resolved to phone her later.  Although I longed to see her face, her voice would do.   I instinctively went to my online photo account and perused the albums until I found the San Francisco album.  My God, she is beautiful.  She has short, wavy blonde hair, fair skin and blue eyes.  Big, bright, blue eyes that I could spend an eternity looking in to.  I clicked on each photo - one of the two of us in the park below the Golden Gate Bridge and then another on the bridge with the city in the background.   There was one she didn’t know I had.  While I was waiting for Jessica to meet some young witnesses at Ghirardelli Square, I had snapped her photo.   She wasn’t smiling but she looked like an angel as she patiently awaited her meeting.    I scrolled through some others of her by herself and some that she had taken of me.   The last one was at a sushi restaurant.  She was laughing while I had more or less disagreeable look on my face.  Remembering our time there made me laugh out loud.


That trip was the first time we rendezvoused in the States.  We had met about a year earlier in London when I was called to work on yet another murder case.   I had fallen in love with her instantly.   She walked into Brown’s Hotel and directly into my heart.   I couldn’t help myself.  Unfortunately, she didn’t reciprocate my feelings.  At least she wasn’t willing to admit it, although I was certain that she had felt a spark as well.  Of course, I had not admitted it yet either, at least not to her.    I believed the opportunity to spend time with her in one of the most romantic cities in the world must have been fate.  Alas, Jessica managed to get involved in a murder mystery.  The least I could do was stay and help her.  Say what you will about my ulterior motives, I’m glad I was there despite the reasons.


I closed the online photo album and surfed the net for a few minutes.  I found myself drawn to Ebay.   I impulsively typed in J.B. Fletcher in the search bar.  Voila!   111 items found!   I chuckled at the various items - magazines, autographs, clippings, photos, a dvd that contained a talk show interview, audio books, and of course lots of copies of her books.   I perused the books but there weren’t any that I didn’t already have.  Even though I wasn’t typically a fan of mystery novels - a bit of a busman’s holiday for me, I’m afraid - I started purchasing all of her books after meeting her.  How could I not?  I had to read to work of the beautiful woman who had captured my heart.  Anyway, I digress.  I clicked on “poster.”  It was a huge 25" x 38" color poster of her posing with her book “The Corpse Danced at Midnight.”  I simply had to have it.    She was obviously younger in the picture according to the date, but you would have had to convince me otherwise.  She didn’t look like she had aged at all.  She was so beautiful, wearing a pretty blue suit and a big smile.  Her name and the word “Read” was printed in bold letter at the bottom of the poster.   I pictured the poster, framed and hanging in my bedroom or perhaps my den.   I read the rules of the auction. Ye gads, the auction time was about to expire.   Ye gads! $100 U.S.  Well, that’s not too bad, I thought to myself.  I quickly registered, typed in an opposing bid and waited.  I soon had an email that I had been outbid.  I repeated the process.  Again, I was outbid.  Bloody hell.  I repeated the process.  I waited while the minutes ticked by.   Nothing.   I wondered if there was a malfunction.


Feeling defeated, I strolled to the break room and refreshed my cup of Earl Grey.   When I returned to my desk, I was rewarded with a message in my inbox.  I won!  I quickly logged onto Paypal and completed the online form.   £100.  Oh well, it’s a small price to pay for such a lovely, large photo of my beloved.   It was being sent from the seller in California via Federal Express so I would get it within the week.   I was feeling rather triumphant until the phone rang.  Bloody hell, I grumbled under my breath. 


“Sutherland here,” I barked.

“George, did I catch you at a bad time?”

“Jessica!  Not at all, I was just catching up on some work,” I fibbed, my mood instantly returning to triumphant.  “To what do I owe the pleasure of hearing your lovely voice?”

“Do you have dinner plans?” she asked coyly.

I gulped.  “Uh, well even if I did, I suppose I could be persuaded to drop them.”

She laughed.  “I thought so.  Pick me up at the Savoy at 6:30?”

“You’re on.  And Jessie, will you be here for a few days?”

“Yes, for the next week.  Half business, half pleasure.  Why?”

“Oh, I was just hoping that you might be in a signing mood in a couple of days.”

“A signing mood?”

“You’ll see.  Pick you up in an hour.  Cheerio, love,” I said and rang off.