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The Gift

Disclaimer : I'm a huge KPop fan and you will come across names and photographs of KPop idols in most of my stories. They are my muse and inspiration in so many ways. The incidents and characters are fictional and have no resemblance to any K pop idol in any manner.

Dylan woke up at his usual time as the alarm echoed through his bare room. As a young man working in the city to earn a living and funding his college degree, he had to manage his time between classes and 2 part time jobs.

Since his early childhood days, his fitness conscious dad got him into the habit of the morning 5-10 km run which he still follows diligently. He is just as careful with his health. Even though he attends college all morning, works at a cafe post lunch and then at a Bar till midnight, he never misses his run! He enjoys the solitude, the quiet streets, just connecting to his inner self while listening to his favourite music.

Dylan neither drank nor smoked, nor was he into parties. So, his friends circle was very small but very close. He had no friends in college and hence no distractions! He had just 2 close friends- his employer Jin and Detective Jeon, who was also his role model!

Not one to spend on meaningless luxuries, Dylan worked hard and saved for his studies. He wanted to go to University after college and he wanted to teach. So far, he was doing alright!

Dylan quickly washed, changed and wore his shoes. He ran his usual circuit and with just the last 1 km left, he heard a strange ear piercing, shrill sound. He quickly took off his earplugs but the sound was still there! He closed his ears with his hands and with his fingers, but nothing happened! He somehow managed to come back to his room and passed out!

A phone call woke him up. It was his dad, who called everyday, exactly at 7.30! Today Dylan was really grateful for the call but he had a short conversation with his dad since he had to rush to college! If he hadn't called, Dylan would've missed his class for sure!! He wondered about that weird sound in the morning.

"I think I forgot my phone on the bed!"

"Why is that guy looking at me?!"

"Wow! Look at those legs!"

"Oh! I better hurry!"

"Oh my God! I love the purple hair!"

Dylan's head started spinning as he heard random things! What was he hearing? Why? What's happening??? Head pounding, as he entered the classroom, Dylan noticed he was the only one so far! He closed his eyes and thought about the things he heard. Is he reading people's thoughts? He looked at the girl on the seat in front. No, he couldn't hear her thoughts! He called her to ask a random question and there was still nothing! Then the girl shook his hand and said," I'm Mel!"

Dylan was shocked as he could hear Mel's voice in his ears,(even though she didn't open her mouth)- 'Finally, after months, you noticed me! Do you know I like you?'

"You like me?" Dylan's eyes were wide as he asked Mel and she blushed and yanked her hand away.

Dylan ran out of the class leaving an utterly confused and embarrassed Mel behind!

So, if he touched someone or if someone touched him, he could read their thoughts!!! Wow! Dylan spent the entire day testing his new 'gift'! It must be that strange sound! But where did that sound come from anyway! After lunch he went to the Cafe and read some minds. He did the same when he was at the Bar. Sometimes, the thoughts made him laugh, sometimes they made him sad or angry. He was glad he didn't come across any disturbing or violent thoughts!

"Oh! I spoke too soon!" Thought Dylan as a tall man walked straight to him and asked for his 'usual'. A well known actor, George Hall, the tall man was dressed in an expensive suit and was known to be an alcoholic! Dylan groaned inwardly as he knew he would be late tonight because this guy is like a bottomless pit! As Dylan handed his customer his drink, their hands briefly touched.

" That sly woman! She lied to me! Liars! Cheats! I will kill you both!!! "

Dylan suddenly wanted to run away but then he saw another familiar face which made him feel better instantly. Dylan's employer Jin, owner of this Bar, had just walked in with his best friend Detective Jeon. Dylan felt his prayers were answered!

He quickly went over to his Boss and came back to make their drinks.

Dylan- Mr Jeon, I need to speak to you....

Jin- You fool! He comes here to unwind and you started off again!!!

Dylan- Please Sir! Please Mr Jeon! Just hear me out once.... You can decide what to do about it.

Jeon- Is everything alright Dylan? You look .... worried...

Dylan told him everything that had happened since morning till actor's thoughts which got him worried! Jin was staring at him speechless but Jeon was already walking towards the tall man. Dylan followed Jeon to the bar counter.

Jeon sat next to the tall man and said to Dylan," Dylan, my man, give me something strong today! I want to forget all my pains! I want to forget her!"

Dylan played along and handed Jeon a glass of water with ice.

The tall man looked at Jeon and said," I will give you company, my friend! Another one for me too !"

Dylan did the needful, watching curiously, as Jeon said," Oh my God! Aren't you the famous George Hall? I'm sad and heartbroken today... Will you listen to me?"

Jeon told George some cock and bull story about how he was cheated by the girl he loved! George sympathised with Jeon and in his drunken state, told him all about his wife cheating on him with his friend Ray as well as his plans to kill his wife and Ray!

Jeon immediately looked at Dylan and nodded. George Hall's bodyguard and driver were called to take him home and Jeon quietly kept George's wallet and phone in his pocket. He noticed that the driver seemed too well dressed!

Dylan was happy to leave on time and also because Jeon dropped him home! He thanked the detective and went inside. Jeon waited in his car till Dylan switched off his lights; an old habit!

Detective Jeon was a flurry of activity the moment he reached home. He took out George's phone and checked all his messages and phone calls. He immediately called Namjoon and Dr Kim.

Namjoon took the phone and checked it, declaring there was nothing in it! He put in a tracker in it and duplicated the sim, saying "Now we can follow him and his phone conversations!"

Dr Kim had quickly taken samples of the fingerprints and returned the wallet.

Dr Kim- Jeon, why are we doing this? Has he committed a crime? Is he a criminal?

Jeon- Not yet! But he confessed to me today that he plans to kill his wife and her lover! He gave me a detailed description of how he plans to kill each one of them! I have to stop him, Dr Kim! I actually kept his wallet and phone just so that I have an excuse to meet him tomorrow. But then I thought let me see if there's anything there!

NJ- Jeon Sir, no wonder you are a genius! You think ten steps ahead of everyone!

Dr Kim and Namjoon left Jeon with his thoughts. Actually, Jeon was worried about Dylan's mysterious power! Reading minds!!!! Really? But he was right.... He had read George Hall's mind alright! It seems impossible but he saw it himself! Whether it's a gift or a curse, only time will tell! Meanwhile, Jeon decided to believe in Dylan and keep a watchful eye on him.

Detective Jeon went to the HQ and met Dr Kim. As expected, the wallet and the phone had other fingerprints besides George Hall's. With the wallet and the phone in his pocket, he drove towards Hall's mansion. As he approached the gate, two armed bodyguards asked for his ID. They let Jeon go in.

Jeon parked the car and looked around taking in the beautifully manicured lawn and the impressive colonial style mansion which possibly had all the latest gadgets! He walked in through the huge ornate door into an equally impressive room with high ceiling and expensive art pieces all over the place. It was decorated tastefully and seemed very expensive too! Jeon let out a low whistle in appreciation.

"Are you looking for George?" asked a female voice and Jeon turned around to see a very pretty and petite lady. "I'm Diane, his wife. Do have a seat," she said as she beckoned Jeon to the sofa next to her.

Jeon-Good morning Ma'am! I'm Detective Jeon. I came to....

Diane- Detective? Are you a cop? Is George alright? Why are you here???

Diane was visibly shaken as she uttered these words. Something was off about her demeanour! She seemed..... fake! She seemed like she was trying to hide something.....

Jeon- Please calm down, Ma'am! I came here to return his phone and wallet. He left them at the Bar where we had a few drinks together! He was giving me company.... I hope he reached home safely, Ma'am! Is he out already?

Diane- Oh yes! He was quite drunk but reached safely. He had a morning shoot so he left! I guess he will only come back by evening. I will let him know that you came by.

Jeon handed her the wallet and phone and asked for a glass of water. As Diane offered him some water, she asked curiously," Did George say anything about me? Since you are a detective, he must have...."

Jeon- What makes you think so, Ma'am? Is there something you wish to tell me? I am working with the police. I can help you....

Diane( crying)- I'm pregnant with his child, about 3 months now... but George believes it's not his! He suspects me of having an affair, of cheating.... He even paid people to stalk me just to prove it.

Jeon- Err... Ma'am, how exactly do you want me to help you out? I can't promise you anything though.

Diane- I recognise you from the tv reports which say you are a genius! I felt I could trust you that's why I told you all this... Last evening George came home to find his friend Ray here, exactly where you are sitting. He lost his cool the moment he saw Ray and threatened to kill him, me and the baby!! Ray tried to reason with George but he was blind with rage and kept hitting Ray.... Finally, he stormed out of the house and only came back late, dead drunk....

Jeon- So you are saying Mr Hall threatened to kill you both and the unborn baby....and he thinks you cheated him with Mr Ray and Mr Ray is the father of the child ....

Diane- Yes....I am so scared after last night! I have never seen him like this! Ray and I aren't.....

Jeon( embarrassed)- Ma'am, can I ask you something very personal? You may choose to answer it or not... How is your 'married' life? You know, like do you sleep together or separately? You know what I mean....

Diane- Well, I know I don't have to but I will answer that one! We sleep on the same bed but like two strangers..... It's been a while now!

Jeon- How long exactly? It can't be that you made the baby all alone! I'm not comfortable discussing this but it's important!

Diane- Actually, sometime after we got married, we were very keen to have a baby. George and I went to our family doctor and she suggested we wait for at least a year and spend quality time as a couple before becoming parents. We agreed. She also suggested we freeze my eggs and his sperm for later. We agreed to that too. Now, last year, George and I had a very bad fight and I almost left the house! He was cheating on me with his co-star! It was Ray who played the mediator and brought us back together. George apologised saying it was just a momentary fling and like a fool, I believed him and stayed back. Yes, I'm close to Ray because he listens, he understands me.... But George.... I loved George and I still do, but we are like 2 strangers now.... After waiting for months for George to make a move, I finally met the Doctor. She artificially inserted the embryo, our baby, into my uterus. Every passing day is crucial for the baby to survive! Ray takes me for my check ups and stays with me. George never had nor has any time for me! It is so stressful! Yesterday, I was telling Ray to look for another house. After George's threat last night, I fear for the baby.... Ray will be here shortly and I will leave right away. Oh! There he is!

Ray- Hello! I'm Ray!

Jeon- Detective Jeon. You look familiar....

Ray- Oh really! But it's my first time meeting the genius in person! You are so young! I thought the papers lied about your age! Nice to meet you! Would you care for a coffee? I definitely need one! I'm sure Mrs Hall forgot to ask! She is very stressed out!

Jeon- Yes, please! I don't mind!

Ray came back in 5 minutes with 2 cups of coffee while Diane went up to pack her things. A maid brought down two suitcases as Diane walked down the stairs and joined the men.

Jeon- So, Ma'am, please keep my card and let me know if anything comes up. I will keep an eye on Mr Hall. I'll take your leave now. Good day!

Jeon drove his car away to a well camouflaged spot waiting till he saw Mrs Hall and Ray boarding the car and driving away. Well, her story seemed too far fetched but believable enough! But Mr Ray lied to his face! Jeon was suspicious of them. He discreetly followed them till her new residence and then left for the HQ.

The Chief was waiting and Jeon went straight to him.

Chief- You heard?

Jeon- What about?

Chief- George Hall was found dead in his car about half an hour ago!

Jeon- WHAT????

Detective Jeon was shocked but he regained his composure. He immediately went to see Dr Kim to see the post mortem report of Mr Hall. The report said-

"Mr George Hall, 36 yrs old male, a famous movie star, found dead in his car this morning. He died due to drug overdose last night between 11pm- 12am."

Jeon- That's just 15 minutes after he left the Bar with his bodyguards! I was right there! We drank together!

Dr Kim- Jeon, remember the wallet and the cell phone? I had checked both for fingerprints last night and there were 2 more sets of fingerprints on both items, which weren't the victim's!

Jeon- Let's go to Hall's Mansion. We need to check the car and the house for more clues!

Dr Kim- Jeon, we found at least 3 sets of fingerprints all over the car, besides Hall's!

Jeon- Let's go! Call your team!

Detective Jeon drove to Hall's Mansion and divided Dr Kim's men into 3 groups - one checking the car, second on the ground floor and the third on the top floor of the Mansion. Jeon dropped them back at the HQ and drove towards Mrs Hall's new residence, with two armed cops, one being a woman and a warrant for arrest.

The gate was opened by two bodyguards who had picked up Mr Hall last night from the Bar. Jeon purposely dropped his ID and one of them picked it up and returned it to Jeon, who carefully pocketed it with a gloved hand. Next he requested the other guard to just check if his door on the passenger side was open. Very cleverly, Jeon managed to take fingerprints of both the men.

Jeon parked the car and rang the bell. He could hear upbeat music (which abruptly stopped) and laughter (which became sniffles!) The door was opened by a sad looking Ray( if only he could hide that sparkle of happiness!). Mrs Hall was crying daintily into her laced handkerchief (if only Jeon could ignore the blushing cheeks and lusty eyes). Jeon walked straight to Mrs Hall and said," I'm so sorry for your loss!" He gave his phone to her and asked her to fill in her phone number. Then he gave his phone to Ray and asked him to do the same. He purposely dropped his car keys when the maid came with a glass of water( same maid who was in Hall Mansion yesterday). Now he had the fingerprints of all 5 people in this house.

Jeon stayed and offered his condolences, assuring Mrs Hall of every possible assistance and was about to leave when Ray stopped him.

Ray- Detective Jeon, how did you know where we live? Did you have us followed?

Jeon( smirked)- I followed your car yesterday when you moved here. Err... What do you mean by ' where WE live' ? Are you both living here together now ?

Ray- Mind your tongue, Detective!

Jeon( called the cops waiting in his car)- Mr Ray and Mrs Hall, you both will accompany me to the police station for interrogation since you were the last people to see him alive. Please cooperate. Let's get going!

As the cops sat at the back with Mrs Hall and Ray, Jeon told the bodyguards to open the gate. He drove back to the HQ. Jeon gave Dr Kim all the samples of the fingerprints.

Jeon had sent someone to collect Diane Hall's pregnancy reports from her Doctor's clinic but his man called back saying that the Doctor had been reported missing by her family and colleagues. Jeon was worried and requested Dylan( our mind reader!) to help him out while Ray and Diane were being questioned.

Jeon's colleague Jennifer was already waiting for him at the interrogation room. Jin and Dylan were both here as witnesses. They were sitting with the Chief in the other room watching the interrogation on the huge screen.

Mrs Hall was called first to be questioned while Mr Ray was in another room with two armed cops.

Jennifer- Mrs Hall, extremely sorry for your loss.... But we have to find his killer....

Diane(with tearful eyes)- Killer? You mean someone killed my George! Who? How?

Jennifer- Relax Mrs Hall, that's what we have to find out, right....

Jeon- Mrs Hall, I know you are sad but please stop with the fake tears! We both know you don't miss him that much!

Diane- Detective! How can you be so cruel?!

Jeon signalled to Dylan to come with a glass of water. As Dylan approached Diane, he purposely knocked the glass over and all the water fell on Diane. He took out a wad of tissues and handed them to Diane, apologising profusely. In the few seconds that his hands touched Diane's, Dylan clearly heard her thoughts. He went out of the room and texted Jeon.

Dylan was asked to do the same thing with Ray while he was waiting. Ray, took the glass from Dylan and held his hand, saying," You work at that Bar! What are you doing here?"

"Which Bar, Sir? You are mistaken!" Said Dylan confidently as he was busy reading Ray's thoughts.

"The other day I was with the bodyguards when George Hall was dead drunk! Your detective was there too! You were the bartender!" Ray was insistent.

Dylan's mission was complete and he excused himself, leaving a very confused Ray behind! Dylan texted the results of his 'mind reading' to Jeon. Dylan went back to sit with his employer, Jin.

Diane finally had a glass of water and the interrogation resumed.

Jennifer- Mrs Hall, please tell us what happened that night when Mr Hall got drunk at the Bar.

Diane- I have already told the Detective.

Jennifer- I know. But you will have to share that information here right now so it can be recorded. Please start from the very beginning.

Diane recounted her story of her husband's cheating, accusing her of having Ray's baby and finally threatening to kill her alongwith Ray and her baby!

Jennifer- Jeon, is this exactly what she said to you.

Jeon- Yes. Exactly the same. Jennifer, I have the doctor's report on Mrs Hall's pregnancy here and she has also agreed to give her statement sometime today.

Detective Jeon had bluffed about the report to see Diane's reaction.

Diane looked nervous and visibly agitated- You met Doc? Is that really my report? What does it say?

Jeon- Mrs Hall, what does a pregnancy report say? It just says whether you are pregnant or not! That's all! Why are you so nervous? Paternity of the child is hardly an issue nowadays! Just one test is enough to know who the father is! Please relax.

Jeon- pretending to read the 'report')- Mrs Hall, the report says you are not pregnant any more! You aborted the child the day before. Why did you lie to us?

Jennifer- We are giving you another chance to tell us the truth. From the beginning, Mrs Hall.

Diane was quiet and looked around as if looking for an escape route but there was none! She sighed and said," OK... I will tell you everything from the very beginning. Ray and I were lovers even before we met George. In fact, George met me while flying abroad once and fell for me. He pursued me like crazy but I kept refusing him! Finally, Ray suggested that I should date him while he tried to gain George's trust! We had planned that after marriage, we will get rid of George and...."

Jeon- ...and enjoy his money! Right? I saw right through you the day I met you Mrs Hall!

Jennifer- Please continue...

Diane- George and I lived in separate rooms and I could never let him touch me... I couldn't betray Ray! Obviously, George went and had an affair! He was apologetic and wanted us to have a child. The doc's idea of frozen eggs and sperms caught his fancy and I was forced to have the embryo implanted inside me. The other day, I finally told the doc that I want to abort the baby! When George knew about it, he was livid! He threatened to kill Ray and me! He blamed us for killing his child!

Jeon- So, you and Ray killed him before he could kill you!

Diane- No, I was totally unaware of his death till Ray told me about it.

Jennifer- You are still guilty, Mrs Hall. What did Mr Ray tell you?

Diane- Only that George was dead! He didn't give me details nor did I ask for it!

Jeon- That pathetic man really loved you!

You even lied to me next morning that he left early for a shoot!!!

Diane was escorted out and Ray was brought in for interrogation. Dr Kim came in with all the fingerprint reports. As expected, Ray's fingerprints were all over the car, the kitchen and the bedroom in Hall Mansion, while the bodyguards' fingerprints were the ones found on the phone and the wallet of Mr Hall. Mr Ray was definitely the well dressed driver!

Jeon- Mr Ray, you came to fetch Mr Hall that night at the Bar. Am I right?

Ray- I didn't.

Jeon- We have witnesses. I may have been drunk but our witnesses were not! So don't lie! What happened after you left the Bar?

Ray- After we sat in the car, I was in the back with George. He takes sleeping pills every night and wanted one. I gave him the bottle of pills and he was too drunk to even realise that he emptied the entire bottle into his mouth. He died without a sound, in his sleep, before we reached home. I dropped the boys off at the house and left the car somewhere prominent so that the police found it without a problem! What I didn't know was that George had left his phone and wallet at the Bar! If it weren't for that, you'd have never come home or met Diane or seen us leaving the house.....

Jeon chuckled as he remembered how he had instinctively kept the phone and the wallet! His instincts never fail him!!

Ray- So, I didn't kill George. He died of drug overdose!

Jeon- Mr Ray, you watched him die.... You did nothing to stop him and you had planned to kill him long time back!

As Diane came to the room, she asked Jeon- How did you get my report from the doc? How did you know I am not pregnant?

Jeon- Frankly, I don't need to tell you this!

Diane( losing her cool completely!)- No, I'm curious! Because I killed her with my bare hands that day and Ray helped me dispose off the corpse! How the hell did you know?

Jeon handed her the 'report' which was an empty sheet of paper!

Diane and Ray- What's this??

Jeon- Why? You think only you people can lie? I bluffed and laid a trap, you fell right in! You both are arrested for the cold blooded murder of Doctor Mary. I already got your entire case history from her assistant the day you mentioned a baby! Of course I didn't know you had killed her!

As cops took away Ray and Diane to locate Doctor Mary's body, Jeon looked at Dylan and winked! If it wasn't for Dylan's inputs, Jeon wouldn't have closed the case so fast! The Chief, Jin, Jennifer and others came and congratulated Dylan and Jeon for a job well done!

Jeon whispered to Dylan- I might need your help from time to time! In the meantime, use your gift wisely!

Jin- Guys, this calls for celebration!!! Let's go to my place!

Chief- Today, I won't refuse! Anyone who wants to join us is most welcome!

The entire HQ was at Jin's within 15 minutes unwinding and listening to how Detective Jeon cracked a difficult case once again, this time from the Chief!!

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Nov 15, 2020

Good one..

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