Coffee and Cream are on the Case
Coffee and Cream are on the Case
Summary: Detectives Juliet MacArthur and Henry Chandler start their first case together as partners in LVMPD Homicide. They meet a smarmy pinky-ring wearing pit boss named Sammy Nova and question him about Johnny and Lucien Pratt, dead and missing in Las Vegas, respectively. Only in Vegas.
Date: December 19, 2007
Related Logs: None

LVMPD - Bullpen

Your basic police station office area surrounds, filled the desks manned by various police officers and detectives that run the gamut of rank. Cubicle walls lend order to the area, with the desks arranged in clusters based on division; Homicide, Vice, Traffic Patrol, K-9… Separate little offices offer slightly more privacy and prestige for the higher ranking officers.
A water cooler at one side stands at the end of a table that holds a pair of industrial coffee machines. Cups and condiments are stacked on the far end of the table, with a bin of napkins. Plentiful signage reminds 'NO SMOKING'. A pair of restrooms are available on either end of the table.
There's a constant buzz of noise here, with the telephones ringing, keyboards clicking, voices speaking and other office sounds.

Well, her… or possibly -their- first real case. Miller on leave, she and Chandler have been handed the used end of this somewhat shitty situation after the boys uptop went over everything already. It means the scene was long ago cleaned up and things have been a bit chilly for a few days now. But apparently it's not important eough for the old hats, so the rookies get it. Jules is sitting at her desk, frowning at the files of the crime scene photos.

Chandler walks into the bullpen with a backpack slung over one shoulder. At seeing Juliet, Henry grabs a day old coffee from his desk and joins her at hers. "Hey partner," Henry replies, grinning. At the sight of the crime scene photos, the detective quickly tells her, "I've been talking around the Venetian, but no one knows anything." He pauses and considers his partner for the time being and asks her, "Want to know what I'm thinking?"

Jules looks up to him from the files, a smirk dancing across her lips, "Abso-fucking-lutely, Chandler, 'cause best as I can figure the big boys already walked half all over this one, decided it might either be a cold case or wasn't worth their time so they tossed it over their shoulders for us to catch. I'm not stumped, but I'm a bit frusterated in just getting it now. What are your thoughts on the matter?" She leans back, kicking her feet up on the edge of her desk and scoops up her mug of coffee.

"The Sally Ann," Chandler remarks. "Why don't we start at the very beginning instead of picking it up at the hotel or casino. Go to the very start of this mess. They were Santas. Salivation Army -must- have known about their records." The detective swears under his breath and goes on to ask, "Why is it these damned holiday crimes are worse than the regular run of the mill ones?"

Jules laughs slightly at his comment about the holidays, "They aren't worse, people just get all sniffly eyed about holiday shit and the cops who actually have families want time to spend with them, so it gets tossed in our lap." She takes another sip of her coffee, nodding in approval to the comment about the Sally Ann. "You think we can get a warrant for those records?"

Chandler gives Jules another look before nodding again, "I guess so. I was never… Christmas has always been a crap time of the year for me anyways." He trails off and admits, "But it's not my least favourite holiday in the year though." Henry shrugs once, "I was just thinking about questioning the Salvation Army people who've been handing out the Santa assignments." Henry pauses and admits to her, I'm more about the people than the paper."

Jules considers that for a moment and then she just nods. "Sure, let's do it. You ready to hit the road now? It's a starting place, at least." Jules stands up from her desk and gulps away the rest of her coffee, shutting the file folders on her desk and slipping them away into the top drawer.

And with that the detectives make their way to the Venetian Hotel & Casino in search of answers.

You step into the Piazza San Marco.
The Venetian - Piazza San Marco

The 315'-tall Campanile Bell Tower presides over a corner of Piazza San Marco, with a moving sidewalk taking visitors over replicas of the Bridge of Sighs and Rialto Bridge. In addition to giving a stunning view of the Italian landmarks featured outside the hotel, the walkway allows visitors to step off at Sephora, Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum, or the second floor entrance of the Grand Canal Shoppes. The Venetian's Grand Canal passes in front of the facade of the Doge's Palace Casino entrance, and gondolas take passengers past the breathtaking Ca D'Oro during their song-accompanied tour.

You enter the casino.
The Venetian - Casino

The 120,000 square feet that make up the Venetian's casino are done in a style typical for all of the up-scale hotels along the strip. Multi-colored marble pillars, richly colored carpeting, and gilded accents around the lavishly reproduced frescos that grace the vaulted ceiling ensure that elements of the hotel's theme are carried through even here. However, there is no denying that gambling is the function of this room.
Banks of slot machines line the walls and form avenues through the room, with tables offering Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Baccarat, Pai Gow, Pai Gow Poker, and Caribbean Stud Poker found throughout. Bells, music, lights, and noise are ever-present as the casino's operations go on 24 hours a day.

The Venetian Casino is busy all times of the day, but especially now, around the prime hour, when the party is going strong. Cocktail waitresses walk to and fro, delivering drinks, putting drink orders in, and bustling around to take care of their guests' needs. The sound of slot machines is prevalent, and coins drop only so often as to keep people interested, but never really enough for anyone to recoup much of their losses. Blackjack tables are next, and the roulette is further in. There's everything here to keep people busy, and the lights and noise make it easy to forget how much time is going by.

Chandler walks into the Venetian Casino with his current partner. The detective rubs at the bridge of his nose. "These places make me sick sometimes. I think it's all the lights and sounds. It's all a blur sometimes." Henry pauses and nods to Jules, then looks around, finding a neary cocktail waitress, "Evening miss. Can you point me in the direction of the man in charge?" He flashes her his badge before glancing to Juliet and then back to the waitress, adding, "My partner and I would like to talk to him about the death of Johnny Pratt."

Jules steps in along side of Chandler, and though she doesn't like him entirely taking charge, she does understand the old boys club that goes on sometimes, especially in places like casinos, so she lets him do the talking for now. She's still got that look on her face, though, that is all business and cold hearted bitch. It's a look she's perfected over her time at the precinct, and a sadly rather necessary one. She pulls out her badge and flashes it as well, so she is properly identified as his partner.

The pretty blonde waitress, Chelle by her name tag, smiles warmly to Chandler as he stops her. "Oh, what can I do for you—oh, Officer." She frowns slightly, and glances from Chandler to Jules. "Yes, just a moment? I'll get the pit boss…" There's a second glance given to Jules, and the woman turns on a three inch heel (that has to be uncomfortable for a full shift!) and makes her way toward the bar to drop off a tray full of empties. She leans over to say something to the bartender, and he picks up a walkie.

Chandler looks back to Jules and gives the other detective a brief grin. "It's always such a heart-warming look we get when they realize we're police," Henry tells her. His eyes narrow some as he watches the path the waitress makes to the bartender and then back to Jules. If he is at all cognizant of the fact that Jules doesn't like him taking charge, he doesn't show it. In fact, the detective clearly seems to be enjoying himself at the moment. His eyes ever observant, looking from black jack table and then back to the bartender with the walkie talkie.

Jules isn't smiling for the moment, but apparently maybe she is the bad cop in this equation. She didn't mind it. Her eyes flicker around the room, taking anything in she can possibly see as she slips her wallet back into her back pocket. "Yeah, they real die hard fans of the cops around these parts. Surprised they didn't give us a ticker tape parade." She dead pans in Henry's direction as she wathes the pit and then the bartender, though for just a moment. She seems keen on keeping an eye on the whole picture.

It's not long before a tall man in a dark suit arrives on the scene. He wears a large gold pinky ring, and has slicked back dark hair—like a younger, less chubby version of Alan Baldwin. Except smarmier. His eyes roam over the two cops, from Chandler to Jules, who gets more of his attention. He speaks, however, to Chandler. "Detectives. What can I do for you?"

Chandler's lips twitch into a grin at his partner's dead pan remark, nodding back to her before returning his attention to the casino. As the smarmy man arrives, Henry's brows arch upwards in curiousity. "Detectives Chandler and MacArthur," Henry tells him. "We're here to detect." He smirks once before going on to say, more professionally, "We're here to talk to you, assuming you are the pit boss of the Venetian, about the Pratt boys." He looks the man up and down for a brief moment before saying neutrally, "One's dead and the other's missing. The publicity of such a thing can't be good for your casino or hotel."

Jules cannot resist smirking just a bit as Chandler claims their ultimate goal of detecting aloud! Well, their sense of humor were defintiely a bit different, but then opposites sometimes work well together. She straightens up to her tallest height possible, as if her presense alone could make her as tall as the men. "Indeed, we just wanted to ask you a few questions about the disappearing Santa Claus', and the Pratt brothers' time here."

The tall, dark haired man regards the two again. "Oh, yes, yes, of course." He nods and glances over to security, who was watchfully in the wings, nodding them off to other concerns. "It's a shame. Those boys disappeared on their shift. At first we thought they'd just run off and quit together. You know how brothers are." He nods to himself, as if that explains it all. "We hired them as a favor to their mother, who is an old friend of the Casino. She worked here in her younger days, you know." He nods, blue eyes distant for a moment, "But those two were always taking longer breaks, shirking small rules, and we were actually about to fire them." He shakes his head. "We suspected them of skimming charity money." He shakes his head, and raises the walkie as it chirps, and a garbled voice comes through.

Chandler looks from Jules to the dark man again. "Sorry, what did you say your name was?" he ask the smarmy man, curious. And with that one question, a pad of paper comes out from the man's right back pocket. "You suspected them of skimming charity money? Was this before or after you gave them jobs as santas?" The detective looks back to his partner once again before returning his attention to the man. "When was the last time you talked to the mother?" he asks, studying the pit boss.

Well, Chandler had it covered. In efforts to not overwhelm the pit boss with questions, Jules remains dead quiet for now. She doesn't pull out her note pad yet, but she studies the boss with those hard green eyes, reading every bit of body language he's giving off and the expression on his face.

Mr. Tall Dark and Smarmy did not, in fact give his name, but he does now, raising the hand with the golden pinky ring. It is an initial S with a single diamond in it. "Sammy. Sammy Nova." Only in Vegas. "After, of course, Detective. We would never give that position otherwise. We were watching their positions, cameras trained, to see if they were skimming from the pot. The tapes are still being reviewed."

"Well, Mr. Nova," Henry begins to say. "Don't you think you should be handing over those tapes for -police- review?" The African-American detective gives Sammy Nova a look. "I mean, especially with, you know, a -death- and another person -missing-?" Henry asks, pointed. He takes a deep breath and goes on to shake Sammy's hand before asking, "When was the last time you talked to the twins's mother, Mr. Nova?"

Jules chimes in quietly, "And, if you could tell us any known associates of the boys, that would be most helpful? Anyone they'd grown to be friends with in the casino? Or frequent visitors?" Her voice is professional as ever, but she does also shake Sammy's hand if he offers it to her. He might just offer it to Henry. Either way, she keeps her mind on the task at hand. She nods slightly in agreement when Henry mentions the boys' mother. Apparently she saw it too.

"Well, Detective," Nova replies, "The police had not, until just now, expressed any interest in the tapes." He shakes his head slightly. "The casino would be happy to allow you to review them in house. We have a viewing booth." He tips his head a bit to listen to more seemingly unintelligible garble over the walkie. He gives a firm shake, however, to Chandler. "It's been years, Detective." He finally turns shiny blue eyes to Jules as she directs questions his way. "Visitors? No, not that I can say… they were part timers. They spoke most with the bartenders and anyone on smoke breaks." He does offer his hand to Jules though she might regret offering his. He raises her hand to his lips, and presses an overly lingering kiss to her knuckles.

"Well, consider us interested, Mr. Nova," Henry replies back. "Is there something more -pressing- you're working on, Mr. Nova?" Henry asks more pointedly, watching Nova's reaction to the grabled chatter over the walkie. "I'm sure you're a charmer, Mr, Nova, but I wouldn't touch my partner like that," Henry offers idly. "She's not the affectionate type." He blinks once and then asks Nova additionally, "If you knew her back in the day, Mr. Nova, why haven't you been in contact with her with the tragedy with regard to her boys?"
Jules allows her hand to be kissed, but her eyes are cold enough to freeze. If she could give a man blue balls by staring at him, she'd be doing it right now. She withdraws her hand as cooly as possible and just nods in agreement to Chandler's words. "Those tapes would be excellent to see. Then I'd like to talk to the bartenders and dealers with whom they usually worked."

The pit boss releases Jules' hand. "There's always something pressing, Detective. This is the best casino on the Strip. This is," Nova smiles, "Las Vegas." His smile dims a little as Chandler brings up the boys' mother. "I'm a busy man, Detective. I don't make those phone calls." He nods and notes, "If you would like to send an officer over, I can have the tapes collected and ready for you in thirty minutes." He considers for a moment, "We have dozens of dealers and bartenders on the premises. That is no small list. It may take a while to compile. I'll make an inquiry to HR." The walkie chatters again, and he frowns slightly. "If that is all you needed, Detectives? I have business to attend to."

"There anything else you think might be good for us police to know, besides the fact that you've been withholding the tapes?" Henry asks. It's not a pointed question, it's spoken neutrally by the detective this time. "Did you know of any dealers and bartenders who specifically spoke to the Pratt boys?" he asks additionally. "And, as much as I know there's always something pressing in Vegas hotels, Mr. Nova, we could always help if it's got your attention this much?" He nods in the direction of the walkie before nodding again, saying "The tapes would be very good."

Jules returns to just quietly smirking, Chandler covering all the questions she was worried about. At least they thought alike, that was a step in the right direction. She considers for a moment, "Chandler, I think I'm gonna go take a smoke break while you're waiting for those tapes. Can you point me in the direction of the staff break area, Mr. Nova?" She really was itching for a cigarette, and if they were smokers it was as good a place to start as anywhere.

"I do my best to assist the LVMPD when ever they deign to show up, Detective. I have been running a casino floor for the last 15 months. It does tend to take a bit of minding." Nova seems to have changed to a more brusque approach, as business is pressing elsewhere. "Due respect, Detectives, but you're not qualified for my position. Please have a seat at the bar. The head of security will be with you. I'm afraid you'll need security clearance to enter the staff areas, or an escort with clearance. You can smoke outside in the Piazza." With that he nods, turns, and raises the walkie to talk into it in a low, gruff voice.

Chandler looks to Jules as Sammy Nova raises the walkie to talk to whoever is on the other side of the other walkie. "Interesting establishment, don't you think Jules?" The detective rubs his scalp for a moment before flipping through his notepad, considering his notes. Finally, he nods once more to the pit boss and moves to sit down at the bar, studying Sammy Nova more closely. "There's something I'm missing here," Henry mutters.

Jules returns to just quietly smirking, Chandler covering all the questions she was worried about. At least they thought alike, that was a step in the right direction. She considers for a moment, "Chandler, I think I'm gonna go take a smoke break while you're waiting for those tapes. Can you point me in the direction of the staff break area, Mr. Nova?" She really was itching for a cigarette, and if they were smokers it was as good a place to start as anywhere.

After the detectives talk to the necessary people and Det. Chandler receives the digital footage requested, the pair head off, leaving the Venetian Casino and Hotel behind in search for more details, the start of a new partnership. With Coffee and Cream on the case, there's no denying they'll find the answers they're looking for some way, some how.

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