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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/1616757
Rated: 13+ · Script/Play · Drama · #1616757
Continuation of Fire Escape Part 1
EXT. MOTEL 6-NIGHT

Professor Wheat walks stooped shouldered, his glasses on his face, staring at the ground. He approaches the entrance.

INT. MOTEL 6 LOBBY-CONTINUOUS

Professor Wheat enters the Motel 6. He joins the crowd of people from the burnt hotel. Still stooped, Professor Wheat turns his head to glance around at the crowd.

He spots Jo talking to the FRONT DESK CLERK. He sidles closer to the Front Desk, overhearing the conversation.

FRONT DESK CLERK #2
Well, Miss Peters, it seems you’re somewhat a celebrity in this town. The only person to come face to face with the arsonist.

Jo smiles politely with a tired nod of her head.

JO
                             My room key, please?

The Front Desk Clerk nods excitedly and hands her a card with a magnetic stripe on the back.

FRONT DESK CLERK #2
Best room in the hotel. Third floor.

Jo smiles and turns to walk up the stairs.

FRONT DESK CLERK #2
If you need anything, Miss Peters, just give the front desk a ring!

Jo turns her head slightly in acknowledgement and continues up the stairs.
Professor Wheat walks quickly to the elevator. He pushes the button for floor 4. The doors DING and shut.

INT. MOTEL FLOOR 4-CONTINUOUS

Professor Wheat steps out of the elevator and heads for the stairwell.

INT. MOTEL STAIRWELL-CONTINUOUS

Professor Wheat bursts through the door and runs down the stairwell quietly. He stops on the steps just above the door to Floor 3.

He sits down and takes off his glasses, putting them in his pocket.

He hears FOOTSTEPS on the stairwell. He glances over the railing and sees Jo walking up the stairs.

He waits until she reaches the door and jumps out, frightening Jo. Jo SHRIEKS.

He leans his body against the door, blocking the stairwell.

Jo looks at him in shock. Professor Wheat grins wryly.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
                             Remember me?

Jo furrows her brows, as if trying to remember. She gazes into his eyes and her eyes widen.

JO
                             You’re the arsonist!

PROFESSOR WHEAT
That’s twice now you’ve called me that.


JO
                             What do you want from me?

Professor Wheat opens the door to Floor 3 and tugs Jo behind him.

INT. HOTEL HALLWAY-CONTINUOUS

PROFESSOR WHEAT
                             Room number?

JO
Why, so you can burn that one too?

Professor Wheat tugs her into a dark doorway to a room, whispering in her ear.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
Shh. Don’t be too loud. Room number?

Jo looks at him distrustfully and hands him her room key. Professor Wheat takes it and tugs Jo along behind him.

He pauses in front of a room and swipes the card. The lights blinks green and he opens the door, pushing Jo inside first.

INT. HOTEL ROOM-CONTINUOUS

Jo spins around, anger in her eyes.

JO
Why are you here? What do you want with me?

Professor Wheat sets his duffle bag down. He gazes at her steadily.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
Why didn’t you tell the police who I was?

Jo drops her gaze defensively.

JO
It was dark. I couldn’t tell what you look like.

Professor Wheat shakes his head, pulling a book of matches out of his pocket. He tosses them to her. Jo catches them and looks at him questioningly.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
No more fires tonight. I know you saw my face. I saw yours.

Jo examines the matches in her hands and shrugs.

JO
Why do you like to burn buildings?

Professor Wheat shakes his head.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
No questions.

Jo looks at him angrily.

JO
Fine, I’ll just call the police and tell them you’re here with me.

Professor Wheat walks further into the hotel room.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
You can’t. Aiding and abetting, harboring          a criminal. Besides, you didn’t give me away earlier. Why would you now?

JO
Maybe I’ve thought it over, changed my mind.

Professor Wheat heads for the queen bed in the room. Jo watches him warily.

JO
                             Answer my question.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
                             No. I can’t risk that.

Jo looks confused. Professor Wheat kicks off his shoes and lies down on the bed.

JO
Why are you here? In my hotel room, again?

PROFESSOR WHEAT
I’m having temporary issues with my apartment.

Jo tosses the matches on the nightstand and stands by the bed.

JO
                             Temporary issues?

PROFESSOR WHEAT
It’s been raided by termites.

He turns his handsome face to look at her.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
                             Why are you in Bay City?

JO
I graduated from college a while back, heading out on my own.  This is a temporary stop.

Jo sits in an armchair near the end of the bed. Professor Wheat props himself up.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
                             What was your major?

Jo looks him in the eye.

JO
                             Criminal Justice.

Professor Wheat LAUGHS quietly.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
                             Touche.

Jo shrugs.

JO
Answer my questions, I’ll answer yours.

Professor Wheat just stares at her.

JO
                             Why do you burn buildings?

PROFESSOR WHEAT
                             I’m testing chemical compounds.

Jo looks confused. Her eyes widen.

JO
You’re one of those scientists, aren’t you?

Professor Wheat sits up warily.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
Yes, I am a scientist. What do you mean one of those scientists?

JO
The scientists that are trying to create fireproof plaster. After 9/11, when the building burned, scientists were challenged to devise a new chemical that could be mixed with plaster to completely repel fire, protecting the steel supports.

Professor Wheat stands up angrily, walking around the bed. Jo watches him as he paces.

JO
If anyone could do it, the governments of the world would pay millions.

Professor Wheat stops pacing and glares at Jo.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
It’s not about money. It’s never been about money.

Jo watches as he starts pacing again.

JO
Then what is it about? Are you a pyromaniac?

Professor Wheat LAUGHS coldly.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
You’re too young to understand.

Jo looks highly offended.

JO
Too young? I’m twenty-six years old.

Professor Wheat looks her up and down.

JO
Try me. We’re stuck here together, by your own doing, I assume you want to tell me.

Professor Wheat pauses, looking at Jo in surprise.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
                             What was your college major?

Jo shakes her head.

JO
                             Answer my question first.

Professor Wheat looks uncertain.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
I used to live in New York. Grew up there. Married there. My wife worked in the twin towers. I do this for her. It’s the only way for me move on from that tragedy.

Jo pulls her feet up onto the chair and wraps her arms around her knees.

JO
Oh, how sad. I understand, now. It’s about love.

Professor Wheat looks down at Jo. Jo gazes back at him. Professor Wheat breaks his gaze away from Jo.


PROFESSOR WHEAT
So what was your major? Psychology?

Jo shakes her head with a sheepish smile.

JO
Actually I graduated with a degree in Chemistry. How else would I know about the plaster?

Professor Wheat sits down on the edge of the bed in front of Jo. Jo catches her breath as she looks at him.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
                             Why didn’t you give me away?

JO
                             Why did you wake me up?

PROFESSOR WHEAT
                             To save your life.

Jo nods slowly. Professor Wheat leans in to Jo.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
(whispering)
                             Thank you.

His face is inches from Jo’s.

JO
(whispering)
                             You’re welcome.

Professor Wheat kisses Jo, standing and holding on to the arms of the armchair. Jo’s face is raised to his. Professor Wheat backs away a little.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
I’m sorry. I didn’t mean that to happen.

Jo doesn’t respond, but her eyes rove across his face.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
                             You need to go to sleep.

He turns away from her and waits for her to get out of the armchair.

She stands uncertainly. Professor Wheat turns and looks at her. He glances at the armchair and back at Jo.

JO
                             You…

PROFESSOR WHEAT
                             I’ll take the chair.

Professor Wheat walks over to the chair and drags it across the room, in front of the door. He plops down in it with a SIGH.

Jo sits on the bed, looking over her shoulder at Professor Wheat. She bites her lip.

JO
If you want…you can have the other
                             half of the bed.

Professor Wheat adjusts himself in the chair as Jo watches. She lies down in the bed facing him, watching.

Professor Wheat SIGHS. He stands up and goes to the bed, throwing back the covers and sliding in. He turns on his side and faces away from Jo, towards the door.

Jo grins and rolls over to turn off the light.


INT. HOTEL ROOM-MORNING

Sun pours through the window on Professor Wheat and Jo.

Professor Wheat is facing Jo’s back, and Jo is curled up against Professor Wheat’s stomach. Professor Wheat has his arm around her waist.

The sun hits Professor Wheat’s eyes. He blinks awake.

Jo stirs as he moves. She cuddles closer.

Professor Wheat rubs his eyes and looks down at Jo’s hair. He tucks a lock behind her ear and kisses her cheek. Jo rolls over and opens her eyes.

JO
Oh, good morning. I’m sorry, I move around a lot at night…

She scoots over to her side of the bed. Professor Wheat gazes at her, not smiling.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
                             I have work to do.

Jo nods at him.

JO
                             Okay. Where do you work?

PROFESSOR WHEAT
Usually in my office, but I can’t go back there. So I need to work in here. How long are you staying?

Jo shrugs and shakes her head.

JO
                             I don’t really know.

Professor Wheat frowns.

JO
                             What? What’s wrong?

Professor Wheat looks away from her.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
I need somewhere to stay for a while.

Jo sits up in bed. Professor Wheat looks back at her.

JO
                             How long is a while?

PROFESSOR WHEAT
                             Maybe a couple of weeks.

Jo picks up the phone beside the bed.

JO
They said I was a celebrity in this town. I’ll just tell them I’m staying indefinitely.

Professor Wheat gets out of bed, clothes rumpled from the night.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
                             I can get you money for it.

Jo smiles at him and shakes her head.

JO
Think of it as professional courtesy. The hotel is going to
pay for it anyway. Hello? Yes this is Jo Peters. I’d like to stay in this hotel room until further notice. Really? Great, thank you.

Jo hangs up the phone, a triumphant grin on her pretty face.

JO
                             See? Easy as pie.

Professor Wheat grabs his duffel bag and goes into the bathroom without a word. He pokes his head back out.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
                             Can I trust you?

Jo shrugs.

JO
If you don’t trust me by now…

Professor Wheat shuts the bathroom door. Jo frowns and picks up the phone.

JO
                             Hi, room service?

INT. HOTEL ROOM-LATER

Professor Wheat comes out of the bathroom, clean-shaven, hair spiked with water, and a towel around his neck, bare chested.
Jo frowns at him.

JO
                             Oh, you shaved.

Professor Wheat eyes the food in the room and glances at Jo.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
                             Is that a problem?

JO
No…it’s just that your beard made
you so rugged…now you look so… young.

Professor Wheat grins.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
                             I guess I’ll shave everyday then.

Jo wrinkles her nose.

JO
I guess I’ll have to steal your razor.

Professor Wheat shakes his head at her as he picks through the food.

JO
I called room service. I already ate. Help yourself.

Jo jumps off the bed and grabs some clothes out of her bag. She holds them up to show Professor Wheat.

JO
Courtesy of the hotel, thanks to you.

She walks into the bathroom. Professor Wheat listens to the water run then sits down to eat.

INT. HOTEL ROOM-LATER

Jo walks out of the bathroom, hair blow-dried, wearing tight jeans and a blouse.

Professor Wheat is on the telephone, his back to Jo.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
I’m sorry, Dean. I guess you’ll just have to find someone else.

Jo leans against the wall, crosses her arms and listens. Professor Wheat SIGHS.
PROFESSOR WHEAT
We both know it wasn’t working out. Yeah. Right.

Professor Wheat hangs up the phone and SIGHS.

JO
                             Who was that?

Professor Wheat stands and turns around, startled.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
Oh, uh…the Dean of the school. I had to quit.

Jo looks confused.

JO
                             You’re a teacher?

Professor Wheat looks annoyed.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
No, not exactly. I taught there, but I’m not a teacher.

Jo waits expectantly. Professor Wheat SIGHS.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
I can’t explain it to you, alright?

Jo uncrosses her arms and takes a step forward.

JO
Why not? You told me you’re one of
those scientists already. Why not tell me why you’re pretending to be a teacher?

Jo’s eyes widen and her mouth opens.

JO
                             Oh, I see. You’re hiding out.

Professor Wheat brushes past her.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
You don’t know what you are talking about.

Jo whirls around to him.

JO
Hey, I’m helping you out. I can go to jail for this. The least you could do is tell me the whole story.

Professor Wheat sits at the desk where his papers are scattered and starts to scribble equations. Jo walks over and looks over his shoulder. Professor Wheat SIGHS and turns around.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
                             What?

Jo shrugs.

JO
I’m just curious. You have some numbers wrong, it looks like.

Professor Wheat looks at her disdainfully.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
                             You don’t know that.

He glances down at his papers and back at Jo.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
                             Where?

Jo pulls up the armchair next to him.

JO
This equation makes no sense at all because you have a two here instead of a five.

Professor Wheat watches as she goes through the equations, pointing out theoretical and mathematical mistakes.

Professor Wheat stands up angrily.

Jo looks at him in surprise.

JO
                             What? You asked me.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
I’ve been working on this for almost nine years. And here’s a recent college graduate know-it-all to tell me how Chemistry works.

Jo stands up, also angry.

JO
Fine. I won’t help you. You can just continue burning buildings until you feel better about your wife’s death.

Professor Wheat’s eyes blaze.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
                             Don’t talk about my wife!

Jo wilts.

JO
                             I’m sorry. That was cruel.

Jo walks to the door.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
                             Where are you going?

JO
                             I’m going for a drive.

Professor Wheat watches her leave. Suddenly he grabs his leather coat and races after her.

EXT. HOTEL PARKING LOT-DAY

Jo is walking out of the hotel towards her car. Professor Wheat runs after her, his coat draped over his head.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
                             Wait!

Jo turns to look at Professor Wheat.

JO
                             Why? What do you want?

PROFESSOR WHEAT
                             I need your car.

Professor Wheat grabs Jo’s keys out of her hand and unlocks the door to her car. He turns to look at her.

Jo stands with her hands on her hips, watching angrily.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
                             So, are you coming?

Jo walks around the car to the passenger seat. Professor Wheat gets in the car and shuts the door.

JO
                             So, where are we going?

Professor Wheat doesn’t answer but drives quickly out of the parking lot.

INT. DEAN THOMAS’ OFFICE-DAY

The two Investigators stand in Dean Thomas’ office. Dean Thomas is seated at his desk, hands folded.

DEAN THOMAS
I’m sorry, gentlemen, but Professor Wheat called in this morning and quit.

The Investigators look at each other questioningly.

INVESTIGATOR #1
He just quit? Do professors usually call in and quit without notice?

Dean Thomas shakes his head and shrugs his shoulders.

DEAN THOMAS
He didn’t have tenure. His courses
were detrimental to the school’s
statistics. I can’t say I’m not relieved that he quit.

Investigator #2 frowns at Dean Thomas and looks over at Investigator #1.

INVESTIGATOR #2
Do you know where we can reach
him? It’s urgent. We looked through the chemicals he has in the Chemistry lab and we have
                             some questions to ask him.

Dean Thomas shrugs and turns to his computer, CLICKING a few times.

DEAN THOMAS
He lives at 2150 South Street. Other side of town.

Investigator #1 writes down the address in his notebook. Investigator #2 nods his thanks and the two walk out of Dean Thomas’ office.

INT./EXT. BOUNTY HUNTER’S CAR-DAY

The car is parked in the midst of hundreds of commuters’ cars in the college parking lot.

The three bounty hunters sit in the car, staking out the college campus.

Mick, in the driver’s seat, smokes incessantly. Luca sits in the back seat, studying the case file. Jimmy has binoculars to his eyes, scanning the campus.

INT./EXT. JO’S CAR-DAY

Jo’s car is parked a few rows behind the bounty hunters’ car.

Professor Wheat keeps his eyes trained on the bounty hunters’ car. Jo has her arms crossed over her chest.

JO
I thought we were going for a drive. This is not therapeutic.

Professor Wheat’s eyes don’t waver.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
This is more important right now.

Jo looks sullen.

JO
                             Who are you watching, anyway?

PROFESSOR WHEAT
                             The termites.

Jo looks confused.

JO
                             What?

PROFESSOR WHEAT
                             Nothing.

Jo rolls her eyes.

INT. PROFESSOR WHEAT’S APARTMENT-DAY

POUNDING on the door. The door swings open on its own, the wood shattered around the lock.

The apartment is empty, untouched by the bounty hunters.

The two CSI Investigators enter the apartment cautiously.

CSI INVESTIGATOR #1
                             Hello? Professor Wheat? CSI.

CSI Investigator #2 darts through the small apartment as CSI Investigator #1 stays in the hallway, glancing into the kitchen. CSI Investigator #2 returns, shaking his head.

CSI INVESTIGATOR #2
                             No one here.

CSI Investigator #1 turns and examines the wood around the lock of the door.

CSI INVESTIGATOR #1
Looks like someone’s already paid the Professor a professional visit.

CSI Investigator #1 stands up and walks out of the apartment.

CSI Investigator #2 takes a last look around the apartment, and follows his partner, shutting the door behind him.

INT. MAYOR’S OFFICE-DAY

The two CSI Investigators stand in the Mayor’s office. The Mayor sits at his desk, an angry look on his pudgy face.

MAYOR
What do you mean, you can’t find him? He has to be in this town somewhere!
                             
The two CSI Investigators glance at each other.

CSI INVESTIGATOR #2
Sir, we’re closer than ever to finding out who the arsonist is. We just need your help locating Professor Wheat.

CSI INVESTIGATOR #1
We believe he may have information that will lead us to the arsonist.

The Mayor glares at the CSI Investigators. He nods at them and waves them out of the office.

The two CSI Investigators leave awkwardly.

The Mayor picks up the phone.

INT. CSI SEDAN-CONTINUOUS
The CSI Investigators get into the Sedan. CSI Investigator #1 sits at the wheel. CSI Investigator #2 holds a case file in his hands and glances at CSI Investigator #1.


CSI INVESTIGATOR #2
So, what do we do now?

CSI Investigator #1 starts the car.

CSI INVESTIGATOR #1
Who was the girl from the hotel?

CSI Investigator #2 opens the case file and flips through it.

CSI INVESTIGATOR #2
Jo Peters.

CSI INVESTIGATOR #1
We question her. She’s the only link to the arsonist so far that we haven’t talked to. What’s her statement?

CSI INVESTIGATOR #2
Says she was woken up by the arsonist, a white male is her only description, and she couldn’t identify him.

CSI Investigator #2 looks up from the case file at CSI Investigator #1.

CSI INVESTIGATOR #2
What do you think?

CSI Investigator taps the steering wheel thoughtfully.

CSI INVESTIGATOR #1
Maybe if we lead her a bit, she’ll remember something she didn’t tell the police last night.

CSI Investigator #2 shrugs and shuts the case file.


CSI INVESTIGATOR #2
Let’s go.

INT. BOUNTY HUNTER’S CAR-DAY

MICK hears his cell phone RINGING. He flicks his cigarette out his window and reaches into his back pocket.

MICK
                             Yeah? Yessir.

Mick hangs up his phone and starts the car.

Jimmy lowers the binoculars and glances at Mick.

JIMMY
                             What now?

Mick looks over his shoulder as he backs out of the parking space.

MICK
                             Mayor’s losing it.

The car drives out of the parking lot.

INT. JO’S CAR-CONTINUOUS

Professor Wheat watches as the bounty hunters drive past them out of the parking lot.

Professor Wheat starts Jo’s car and pulls out behind them.

JO
Aren’t they going to recognize you?

Professor Wheat shakes his head.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
They’ve never seen me like this.

Jo raises one brow.

JO
                             Like this?

Professor Wheat glances down at his clothing.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
They only know me as a Chemistry Professor.

Jo is silent, debating as Professor Wheat drives, maintaining a bit of distance behind the bounty hunters.

JO
                             Who are you, really?

Professor Wheat breaks his gaze from the bounty hunter’s car and glances briefly at Jo.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
                             I’m just a man.

Jo studies his profile.

INT. MAYOR’S OFFICE-DAY

The three bounty hunters stand crammed in the Mayor’s office. The Mayor stands framed by the window, light pouring in around him.

MAYOR
CSI needs you to help find Professor Wheat. Apparently his apartment has been broken into and he is missing.

The Mayor glares at the bounty hunters. Luca and Jimmy grin nervously as Mick shrugs innocently.

The Mayor shakes his head in exasperation.

MAYOR
It seems both you and CSI feel Wheat is the key to these arsons.

The Mayor walks behind his desk and adjusts a frame hanging on the wall.

MAYOR
CSI says he quit his job at the school. He’s not likely to go back to his apartment. Now’s the time to do your jobs, gentlemen.

The Mayor sits down at his desk, folds his hands and looks up at the bounty hunters.

MAYOR
You better find him. If he has information about these arsons, he’s the first to go to prison.

The Mayor unfolds his hands and bangs a fist on his desk.

MAYOR
There will be justice, there will
                             be order.

Luca raises his eyebrows at Jimmy. Mick pastes a smile on his face.

MICK
                             Of course, Mayor.

MAYOR
Here, don’t forget these. Results of the investigation last night.

Luca takes the papers from the Mayor. Mick turns around, rolling his eyes as he exits the Mayor’s office.

INT. BOUNTY HUNTER’S CAR-SAME
Luca flips through the case file and new investigation results. Mick starts the car.

JIMMY
So, what do we do now?

MICK
Professor Wheat’s on sabbatical,
Sean Tristan is still lurking here somewhere, and no one knows a thing about the arsonist.

Luca leans forward and hands a sheet of paper to Mick. Mick frowns as he reads it.

MICK
Jo Peters? Saved by the arsonist? Yeah right. Let’s check her out.

Mick pulls out of the parking lot.

INT. JO’S CAR-DAY

Professor Wheat watches as the bounty hunters leave the Mayor’s office.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
                             So, the Mayor hired them.

Jo watches them curiously.

JO
Maybe you should stop burning down the city.

Professor Wheat ignores Jo.


JO
Okay, come on. This has gone far enough. I don’t know who you are, who they are, or why you have commandeered my car and insist on following around the men that are chasing you.

Professor Wheat starts the car as the bounty hunters pull out of the parking lot.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
That’s more than most people know about me.

Jo opens the door and steps out of the car. Professor Wheat looks at her incredulously.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
What are you doing? I’m going to lose them!

Jo slams the door shut and stalks off. Professor Wheat looks desperately after the bounty hunters as Jo storms off.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
                             Goddamn it!

Professor Wheat watches as the bounty hunters disappear around a corner. He sighs and unbuckles his seatbelt, climbing out of the still running car.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
                             Jo!

Jo continues walking along the sidewalk, ignoring Professor Wheat. He jogs to catch up to her. He stops in front of her, grabbing her arms angrily.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
What do you want from me? I can’t tell you everything about me! I have a job to do, and I’m trying to do it.

Jo stares at him angrily.

JO
Fine, go do it. You don’t need me. You are using me, Professor. I don’t even know your name!

PROFESSOR WHEAT
I need your help right now.
Alright? I promise, if you help me, I’ll tell you everything you want to know.

Jo looks unconvinced, but she marches back to her car, leaving Professor Wheat standing on the sidewalk rolling his eyes. 

INT. MOTEL 6 LOBBY-DAY

The two CSI Investigators approach Front Desk Clerk #2. The young man stands straighter as the Investigators flash their badges.

FRONT DESK CLERK #2
What can I do for you?

CSI INVESTIGATOR #1
We’re here to speak with Miss Jo Peters.

Front Desk Clerk #2 CLICKS rapidly on his computer. The CSI Investigators glance at each other.

FRONT DESK CLERK #2
She’s booked here indefinitely. Room 305. Third floor.

The CSI Investigators nod their thanks and head for the stairs.

INT. HOTEL ROOM-SAME

The hotel room is empty. Professor Wheat’s duffle bag sits on the floor next to the bed. Jo’s bag is next to the bathroom door. Professor Wheat’s notebook sits open on the desk.

KNOCKING on the door.

CSI INVESTIGATOR #1 (O.S.)
Miss Peters? CSI.

A pause. KNOCKING again.

CSI INVESTIGATOR #2 (O.S.)
Miss Peters we’d like to ask you a few questions.

Silence.

INT. MOTEL 6 LOBBY-SAME
The CSI Investigators trudge down the stairs. Front Desk Clerk #2 watches them curiously.

CSI INVESTIGATOR #2
Can we leave a message here for Miss Peters with you?

Front Desk Clerk #2 smiles importantly and nods, grabbing a pad of paper and pen from the desk. He looks up at the CSI Investigators expectantly.

INT. JO’S CAR-SAME
Professor Wheat is driving the car in silence back towards the hotel. Jo sits in the passenger seat studying Professor Wheat.

JO
Will you at least tell me your name?

Professor Wheat glances over, considering her. Jo’s cell phone starts RINGING.

Jo jumps and pulls the cell phone out of her pocket. Jo checks the caller ID and answers the phone.

JO
Hi, mom. I’m fine, why? Oh, you just saw the news…I didn’t want you and dad to be worried. No really, I’m okay. What? Well…

Jo glances at Professor Wheat who keeps his gaze focused on the road.

JO
I guess; if I have some time. Okay, bye mom. Love you.

Jo shuts the cell phone quickly and looks at Professor Wheat.

JO
That was my mom.

Professor Wheat doesn’t react.

JO
I have to stop by the house sometime today. I promised.

Professor Wheat’s knuckles whiten on the steering wheel.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
It has to be today?

Jo shrugs.

JO
You can stay in the hotel room and work.

Professor Wheat shakes his head.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
What if someone calls, or housekeeping comes by? No. I need you to stay at the hotel with me. I can’t be found.

Jo looks frustrated and leans towards him.

JO
Okay, listen Mr. Pyro, I am not letting you tell me what to do. I think I’ve done enough for you the least you can do is let me continue on with my life while you throw yours away.

Professor Wheat glances at Jo with a frown.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
I need to pick up some things anyway. I’ll drive you. And don’t call me that.

Jo rolls her eyes.

JO
Wow, one night and you already want to meet my parents.

Professor Wheat glances at Jo in irritation. She smirks back at him. Professor Wheat shakes his head.

JO
God, you need a sense of humor.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
You need to grow up.

Jo LAUGHS quietly. Professor Wheat let’s a small grin creep across his face.

INT. MOTEL 6 LOBBY-LATER

Front Desk Clerk #2 stands behind the desk straightening papers. The three bounty hunters walk into the lobby.

FRONT DESK CLERK #2
Can I help you gentlemen?

MICK
Yes, we’re looking for Jo Peters.

FRONT DESK CLERK #2
She’s not in right now. You’re welcome to leave a message with me for her.

Jimmy steps forward.

JIMMY
We need to have a look in her room, if you don’t mind.

Front Desk Clerk #2 looks at the three men in confusion.

FRONT DESK CLERK #2
It’s against rules to let people into occupied rooms without the knowledge of our guests.

JIMMY
The Mayor hired us to help track down the arsonist. Jo Peters met the arsonist last night and we have reason to believe she may be the arsonist’s conspirator.

Front Desk Clerk #2’s eyes widen.

FRONT DESK CLERK #2
Not Miss Peters.

Luca nods slowly.

FRONT DESK CLERK #2
Well, I guess under the circumstances…given the recent arsons…I guess the owner wouldn’t mind…

Front Desk Clerk #2 rummages on the desk and holds out a room key to Mick. Mick nods and they turn and walk to the elevator.

EXT. JO’S PARENTS’ HOME-DAY

Professor Wheat sits in the car, looking at the house. Jo sits next to him, watching him curiously.

JO
What? What’s wrong?

PROFESSOR WHEAT
You didn’t tell me you lived in the next town.

Jo looks around the neighborhood and shrugs.

JO
So what?

Professor Wheat glances at the house again. Jo unbuckles her seatbelt and opens her car door. Professor Wheat glances at her.

PROFESSOR WHEAT
I’ll just take the car and come back and pick you up later. I need to get some things from town.

Jo shakes her head.

JO
Sorry. My parents own this car. They would shoot me if I just let you drive off in it a day after I finally leave home.

Professor Wheat looks back at the house and SIGHS. He unbuckles his seatbelt, removes the keys from the ignition, and opens his door.

Jo climbs out of the car and walks around to Professor Wheat’s side. She stands by the open door and waits.

JO
Come on, stop being such a baby. You don’t have to pretend to be my boyfriend or anything. You’re just a Chemistry professor from the next town that I am shadowing. Okay?

Professor Wheat pulls his glasses out of his pocket and puts them on. He looks in the rearview mirror and smoothes his hair down to one side in a crooked part.

JO
What are you doing?

PROFESSOR WHEAT
Becoming your Chemistry Professor.

Professor Wheat climbs out of the car and slams the door shut in frustration. Jo shakes her head and walks ahead of him towards her parents’ house.

INT. HOTEL ROOM-DAY

CLICK. The door opens, Mick and Jimmy walk inside the room quickly. Luca stands outside the door, watching the hallway.

Mick sees Professor Wheat’s notebook sitting on the desk. He lets out a low WHISTLE.

MICK
Looks like our Miss Peters is a hardcore Chemist.

Jimmy walks over to Mick and looks over his shoulder at the notebook. Mick flips a few pages and sees all the Chemical equations and journal entries from Professor Wheat.

Jimmy picks up the notebook and flips through it. Mick glances up at Luca.

MICK
Bingo.

JIMMY
So it’s not Sean Tristan?

Mick shrugs.

MICK
Apparently not. Some little chick is the arsonist of Bay City.

Mick grabs the notebook from Jimmy and walks towards Luca.

MICK
Now for the second half of our job.

Luca smiles wickedly.
© Copyright 2009 Genevieve (workvitch at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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