Jasmine drove back to her Parisian apartment along the edge of the River Seine down Boulevard Saint Germain located in Paris's sixth district. The apartment had been given to her by her mother.
It was a large apartment with narrow slender sash windows with small rooms accessed by a central corridor. The furniture was expensive and it was given to her by her mother and was made of expensive cream and blue fabrics.
Yet amidst this their was small personal things like her sewing machine in the dining room and a collection of Vogue magazines in the lounge. Jasmine liked the apartment and knew she was lucky to live in that part of Paris on the wage of a detective.
She got out of the car and she looked around to make sure that she hadn't been followed. It had gone one o'clock when she got back and walked to find that Paul wasn't in the apartment. Jasmine searched every room hoping nothing had happened. There was a knock on the door. Jasmine opened it and saw Paul standing in the doorway.
Jasmine was annoyed "Where have you been?"
Paul replied knowing he had been scalded "Looking around Paris. I didn't know how long you would be."
Jasmine continued to be annoyed "Paul you were supposed to stay here out of sight. You don't know who is out there."
Paul realised his mistake and he could have potentially exposed them "I am sorry. How did it go with your boss?"
Jasmine sighed as she continued to stand in the hallway "Not to well. He was reluctant perhaps even scared. Whatever this Brethren business is its got him frightened."
They both walked to the lounge area and they both sat next to each other. The looming clouds had now started to rain.
Jasmine sat and she rested her head on the back of the sofa and ran her fingers through her brown hair "It doesn't make sense. I don't know what to do."
They sat for a while and neither spoke as they looked out of the window as streaks of water ran down the windows. Both drifted off as tiredness crept over them.
It wasn't until two o'clock till they awoke when there was a knock at the door. Paul woke Jasmine up.
She got up from the sofa "What is it?"
Then she heard the door. She opened it and urged Paul to stay where he was.
It was Marcus Holgar, holding a thin red file in his left hand. Jasmine invited him in.
Marcus saw Paul in the distance. They both exchanged hellos.
Marcus recognised Paul from his name in the article that he had written and from what Jasmine had talked about earlier.
"I read your article. Very good work, I was most impressed."
Paul nodded "Thank you."
All three sat in the dining room. Marcus opened the file he was carrying.
Marcus turned to Jasmine "I went back and thought about what you said. The truth is I was scared. But on reflection I dug out what we have on the Brethren. All we know is that they are a shadowy group and its influence grows in France, the UK and in Europe."
Marcus handed Jasmine the thin red file and a piece of paper.
Jasmine studied it for a moment. There is a name of a contact in French Intelligence known as Lima 1. The paper didn't say much more about him. Only where he could be found. Their was no pictures. Jasmine handed the paper to Paul.
Jasmine looked towards Marcus's direction "Thank you."
Marcus got up slowly "This is all I have and it is the limit of what we know. Be careful. What I have given you is sensitive. If you get into trouble we cannot help you."
Jasmine nodded "I understand" and looked towards Paul's direction and saw that he agreed.
Marcus saw himself out as Jasmine and Paul waited until the front door was closed. The door closed with a gentle thud.
Paul got up and stared out of the window before turning his head back towards Jasmine "What now?"
Jasmine got up placing her hand on a nearby telephone "We get in touch with Lima 1."
Paul nodded in agreement "Lets do it."
Jasmine looked to the back of the paper and she saw a number had been provided. She rang the number and it rung four times before a gruff sounding voice answered.
"Yes. Who is this?"
Jasmine paused for a moment "I need to meet you."
The voice grew more suspicious "Who is this?"
Jasmine "Jasmine Rosinni. "
The voice interrupted her "I've been expecting your call. Meet me in an hour outside the Museum of Natural History. You know where that is?"
Jasmine confirmed "I know it."
The call ended.
Jasmine and Paul arrived at the Museum of Natural History for four o'clock. The Museum of Natural History in Paris is located on the banks of the River Seine near to Jardin des Plantes.
Jasmine looked upwards before turning back to Paul "It seems you brought the English weather with you."
The rain had eased off but grey clouds lingered menacingly over the museum.
Paul laughed "It seems so."
As they talked amongst themselves. A man five foot tall and small in appearance walked up to them. He looked at them and put out his hand. The man was dressed in jeans and a thick black jumper.
"Jasmine and Paul it is good to meet you. Please follow me."
They followed the agent to a waiting car.
Paul was wary "Where are we going?"
The agent was insistent "Please get in."
Jasmine looked to Paul and saw his apprehension "Get in its alright."
Her voice reassured him and he got into a black Renault hatchback. The agent sat in the front and they were blindfolded and were told it was to keep their operations secure. They all remained quiet until they drove out of the city to a house in the town of Creteil on the south eastern side of Paris, located close to the banks of the River Marne.
The house was located on a narrow street. The car drove down a driveway and they where escorted to a room ladened with electronics and agents. They where shown into a nearby room that overlooked the narrow street.
They sat quietly as Agent Lima came in and he took off their blindfolds. Jasmine and Paul looked at each other before returning their focus towards the agent.
"Sorry for the precautions."
Jasmine said "I would have done the same."
Agent Lima stood up "Paul Spencer, from the Southampton Tribune and has recently completed a course to become a full time journalist. You have something called Aspergers Syndrome, recently attacked in London and he has a small cottage on the south coast, near a place called Bridport, Dorset."
He turned to Jasmine "French detective, mother in the London Embassy, father died of cancer five years earlier."
Jasmine wasn't impressed, neither was Paul.
Paul cut through the false sense of politeness "What can you tell us about the Brethren?"
Agent Lima sat next to them both "The straight approach. I appreciate that. We are aware of them. Their is a lot we don't know. Their organisation is elusive. We have lost agents trying to get into their organisation. We have an insider at the moment but he has manage to gain access."
Jasmine nodded and felt like she had gotten somewhere "Could we speak to him?"
Agent Lima shook his head disapprovingly "I am sorry. I appreciate your situation and I want to help. Really I do but you would be exposing our only asset."
Jasmine was insistent "Is their nothing you can do?"
The agent could see that she was searching. "He will be at Cafe De Mars located near the Eiffel Tower."
Jasmine nodded as she looked towards the Agent "I know it."
The agent continued "It is best that you, Jasmine go alone. He will meet you at seven but don't be to long. The Brethren will have people around."
After talking for a further two hours Paul noticed on a clock on the wall in the lounge that it was coming up to six o'clock. Jasmine was deep in conversation with Agent Lima and she looked over to Paul.
Jasmine looked back to him "Time for me to go."
Agent Lima "It is. We will drop Paul off at your flat."
Jasmine nodded and she was driven back to Paris at night and the city was flooded with rows of tungsten street lights. As she got out of the car she scanned the area where she was meeting the agent to make sure that she hadn't been followed. From what she could see she hadn't been followed much to her relief. She walked the short distance to the cafe as the agent read at a table window. Jasmine walked in and she saw the contact.
She sat for a moment. The contact said nothing thinking that someone might have sat at the wrong table. The man was old and in his seventies with balding hair and looked to her with curious eyes.
The agent smiled "How can I help you?"
In the distance couples occupied all the tables of the cafe. Their was a buzz of conversation and everyone was in their own worlds unaware of anything else around them.
Jasmine walked over and sat next to him "You have access to people and acquaintances that may have known my uncle, Giovanni Rosinni."
The agent nodded "I have heard rumours of someone dangerous and important being killed."
Jasmine sat closer and she was intrigued "What rumours?"
The agent smiled "I don't know just rumours. They heard that your uncle wanted out and so they arranged it."
Jasmine pressed for more "Why did he want out?”
The agent was eager for her to leave "I don't know. Listen to friendly advice. Stay away and go out of here back to your desk and leave things alone. You know your uncle was killed and you got his killer. Most people never get that in life. Accept your lot."
Jasmine was defiant "Are you saying that you know something and you won't tell me."
The agent leaned closer and was becoming agitated "Listen Miss please go. My acquaintances are deeply suspicious of outsiders. They know who you are. You have been mentioned in conversation coming to France from England and asking questions. Best leave things be."
Jasmine left the cafe in a huff. She walked along the banks of the River Seine and a lit a cigarette overlooking the tungsten glow of the city. She felt dejected as every lead had been exhausted and she walked back to her apartment. The warning from the agent and from her boss both urged her to stay away.
She looked into the blackness of the River Seine and she said to herself "Whatever, whoever did this uncle won't get away with this."
Jasmine flicked a half lit cigarette into the river and she headed back to her apartment dejected and alone and was unsure of what to do next.
As she walked back into her apartment she saw reams of paper on the floor with lists of names and things.
"Paul what is this?" she said bemused and irritated.
Paul got up and smiled. "A little bit of work."
Jasmine started to pick through the reams of paper that Paul had been working on and she could see he was working on her uncles life. Most it was brain storming with names, dates and what Paul knew.
Jasmines irritation died down and turned to amusement "You call this work. Is this one of those Aspergic quirks you warned me about?"
Paul nodded and he smiled saying "Yes sort of. I got fed up of staring at walls and I decided to look at what we needed to do. How did it go with the agent?"
Jasmine sat on a nearby dining chair and she peered out across the dark winter sky of Paris and sighed. "Not well. He has said that I should back off and forget about things."
Paul stopped writing and sat on a nearby chair. His face looked surprised.
Jasmine flung her arms wildly "I don't get it. French intelligence, my boss in the French police. All of them have said stay away from the Brethren."
Paul sat closer to Jasmine "What do you want to do?"
Jasmine got up walking over to the green avocado tiled kitchen to pour herself a coffee "You and me need to work to our strengths."
Paul was unsure of what she meant "What do you mean, work to our strengths?"
Jasmine waved the coffee pot in her hand "Your a journalist and you have a way of looking at things by uncovering facts by research and getting to the heart of things."
Paul was flattered "Your a detective. You investigate people and you know this city and who is who."
Jasmine sipped some of her coffee before sitting on the kitchen counter top and looked to Paul "Exactly, we both use what we know."
Their was a phone call in the distance. Paul got up from his chair to answer it.
"Hello who is this?" Paul asked.
"Could I speak to Detective Rosinni please?"
Paul handed the phone to Jasmine and he lent on a nearby door frame and looked towards her. Her eyes narrowed in disbelief.
"When?" Jasmine said.
The voice spoke some more and the phone call ended. Jasmine looked to Paul, her face was reddened and in a state of shock. The phone fell out of her hand as she leaned against the wall.
They walked a hundred yards to a nearby building close to Jasmines apartment. The night was bitterly cold as blue lights flashed in the distance. Police had taped off a narrow road close to St German des Pres. Paramedics swarmed around a long black object lying on the floor.
Jasmine walked closer and she bent down looking towards the object as she tried to remain calm "Show me."
A police officer half unzipped the body bag "Are you sure?"
Jasmine was insistent "Show me."
She stared at the face. The face who had recruited her, trained her and had been a friend in her work that was at times lonely and at other times dangerous.
Paul walked closer to within a few feet of Jasmine. They both looked at each other. "Its him isn't it?"
Jasmine nodded "My boss Marcus Holgar."
Paul nodded and he saw a single gunshot wound to the front of his head. Jasmine closed her bosses eyes.
A nearby detective, Jonas Viessman, was in his late fifties with grey wispy hair walked over "I am sorry. Your boss was a good man. Do you know who might want him dead?"
Jasmine knew who did and tried to remain calm "I have an idea. Can I have a minute please?"
The detective nodded "Sure."
Jasmine got up and she looked back to the body "Sorry I got you into this. Whoever did this will pay."
Jasmine knew that the body and its location to her apartment was a message. The Brethren had shown their teeth and were warning her to back off. Jasmine was determined to show them who they were dealing with.
The detective, Jonas Viessman, came back over. Jasmine and Paul both gave their statements.
Across the road a shadow lingered menacingly in a side alley. The gunman studied Jasmine and Paul. From a distance he smiled as he lit a cigarette with a silver plated lighter that had been in his family for generations. He puffed on his cigarette and walked on. The message had been sent, the job done. The gunman walked into the chilly night whistling.
Jasmine looked around and thought she heard whistling. A chill made her shiver. She knew the killer or killers could possibly be close by.
They walked a short distance to Cafe de Flors located on Boulevard St Germains and it was a short distance from the Rue des St Peres. She linked with Paul's arms.
Paul asked "What now?"
Jasmine replied "I need to go to the office tomorrow morning?"
Paul looked to her as they walked into the cafe "It seems our adventure is over."
They both walked into the bar as locals mingled in the distance playing cards and drinking wine. Jasmine sat at a table window as people walked past them outside.
She turned to face Paul.
"What do you mean?"
Paul looked at her "I have got my story and I have been on an incredible ride with you."
Jasmine looked surprised "I still need you."
Paul smiled "No you don't. I have got my story. My editor will be wondering where I am. I have to file my story in the next twenty four hours."
Jasmine shook her head "Your wrong. This is the tip of the iceberg. I know your scared, so am I. I have just lost my boss and my Uncle is dead. The story has only just begun."
Paul leaned closer to Jasmine "Your right. I am scared. Scared for myself with were this is going and I am scared for you."
Two glasses of Chardonnay arrived at there table. Jasmine shook her head unsure of what Paul was saying.
"Scared, what do you mean?"
Paul looked to her concerned "Your desire for revenge will consume you."
Jasmine said "So what if I do. You have been threatened and your girlfriend nearly killed in London earlier this week. That's got to mean something."
Paul wriggled in his chair. He knew he was being put into a corner and understood her argument.
"If I was to help you. Their are things we need to do."
Jasmine leant forward knowing that Paul had been persuaded "What things?"
Paul looked to her thoughtfully and placed his elbows on the table "I will have to go back to London. I have made a contact in Greenwich who helped me out. You need to investigate the cities underworld. The Brethren exist in this city and it has eyes and ears everywhere. Someone must know something."
Jasmine pouted and sipped some of her Chardonnay "So your not giving up then?"
Paul responded "Lets say I have been persuaded."
Jasmine leant forward. For days she had gotten use to Paul and liked having him around. The idea that he would be gone made her uncomfortable and it was something she rarely felt.
Paul likewise had grown fond of Jasmine and the idea of them parting made him uncomfortable. They both stared at each other for a moment.
Jasmine leaned further towards him "When do you leave?"
Paul replied "I need to leave tomorrow. I need to work the next few days but I will arrange to meet my contact this weekend."
Jasmine leaned closer till they were only a few inches apart. Paul got uncomfortable and pulled back.
He put his hand on Jasmines "I can't."
Jasmine was stunned "Why. Who will know?"
Paul continued to hold her hand "I can't, sorry."
Jasmine nodded and she said nothing.
Paul got up "Listen I am going to head back to the apartment. I think its best I get a hotel room and I leave in the morning."
Jasmine got up as Paul was about to leave "So this is goodbye?"
Paul got up "For now. I will be in touch."
Jasmine got up and pecked him on the cheek "Good luck. Take my key and leave it with the concierge when you leave. I will pick it up when I get back later."
Paul smiled and said as he looked at her "Same to you."
Paul turned on his heel and he walked out of the bar and he headed back to Jasmines apartment. As soon as he left he looked back before going on.
Jasmine watched as he left and already she missed him.
She waited for an hour for Paul to get his things and she headed back to her apartment to see that Paul's things had gone as had his paperwork.
As she entered the kitchen she noticed a white note on the fridge. It read.
"From Paul. Contact you in a few days. Best of luck. Paul."
She picked up the note and she smiled.