That Which Remains by Olivia Batker Pritzker

unnamed-7Vote on what will happen at the end of this episode!

Previously… Jasper learns about Ms. Johansson through his sessions with Juliette, and she grows suspicious of his intentions. Readers voted that Jasper locks Juliette in the shop and questions her about the jewels.

Episode 16

“What do you want from me?”

There was a pause while Juliette looked nervously at Jasper and Jasper stared back, expressionless. Then, in one swift motion, Jasper crossed the room and locked the front door of the shop with a small key, which he slipped into his pocket. He then drew the curtains closed and clicked on a small lamp in the corner, illuminating the shop in a soft, creepy light.

“What are you doing?” Juliette looked at Jasper in alarm, running toward the door and trying unsuccessfully to unlock that which he had locked moments before. “Let me out!”

“No.”

Jasper sat down on the couch and gestured for Juliette to sit across from him, his face completely calm. “You’re not leaving until I get some answers, Juliette. And it’s time you got some too, about your parents’ death.”

At this, Juliette stopped trying to open the door. Her back went rigid. She turned toward Jasper with a look of shock on her face.

“Is that what this is all about? My parents?” Juliette’s voice wavered. “Who are you?”

Jasper sighed. “I will tell you everything but please come sit down. I’ll tell you something you want to know, and then you will tell me something in return. Ok?”

Juliette didn’t move. “Why should I tell you anything?”

“I can think of several reasons,” Jasper said evenly, “the primary one being that you are locked in my shop with no means of escape. If I were you, I would cooperate.”

Juliette didn’t say anything, but slowly moved toward the couch and sat down across from Jasper.

“What do you want to know?”

“That’s better.” Jasper smiled. “Who is Ms. Johansson, and what did she do after your parents’ death? How did they know her?”

Juliette bit her lip. “She was just their lawyer. I don’t know how they met, but she handled their affairs after they died – the wills, funeral, everything. She was great.”

Jasper started to ask more, but Juliette continued in a rush – “now it’s my turn. How did you know my parents?”

“I didn’t,” Jasper said. “We were affiliated with the same organization. I was sent here to…investigate their deaths.”

“Why?” Juliette blurted out, but Jasper held up a hand. “Was there any personal property that Ms. Johansson took care of? Contents of a safe, maybe?”

Juliette shook her head, looking bewildered. “You mean their things? No, I went through all that. I mean she came over and helped me with some of it, papers mostly -”

“Jewelry?”

Juliette seemed surprised. “Jewelry? My mother didn’t have much jewelry, just a pearl necklace, a few silver earrings and her wedding ring…” She trailed off. “Why? It’s my turn. What exactly are you investigating?”

“The people in my organization believe that your parents’ death was not an accident. I was sent to find out if there’s any truth in that. They also believe your parents were in possession of certain valuable objects at the time of their death, objects which did not belong to them.” Jasper’s beetle-black eyes glittered. “Several priceless jewels, in fact.”

Juliette’s eyes widened. “What?” She gave a small, nervous laugh. “You must be mistaken.”

“Am I?” Jasper’s voice was very quiet. All of a sudden the jangling sound of Juliette’s phone filled the air. She looked at Jasper, who nodded. She pulled out the phone.

“Who is it?”

“I don’t recognize the number.” Juliette nervously tapped her fingers against the phone’s edge. “Can I answer it?”

“Sure,” Jasper said casually. “I’m sure I can trust you not to say anything about your current whereabouts.”

Juliette nodded.

“Hello?” Her eyes widened even more, as she heard a woman’s voice on the other end – “Juliette? It’s Ms. Johansson. You’re not safe. I need to see you right away.”  Vote below on what will happen next or if reading by email click view poll.


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