Vendetta

Vendetta

Status: Finished

Genre: Mystery and Crime

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Status: Finished

Genre: Mystery and Crime

Houses:

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Summary

The team has yet another case to deal with when Kevin Gray, a broker who works for a real estate office, vanishes without a trace. They soon discover that it may not be a normal disappearance after all, and decide to keep working on the case instead of passing it up to the Missing People Department. Ashley and Max finally come out with their relationship, but what’s wrong with Christine? And who’s the mysterious caller?
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Summary

The team has yet another case to deal with when Kevin Gray, a broker who works for a real estate office, vanishes without a trace. They soon discover that it may not be a normal disappearance after all, and decide to keep working on the case instead of passing it up to the Missing People Department. Ashley and Max finally come out with their relationship, but what’s wrong with Christine? And who’s the mysterious caller?

Content

Submitted: March 14, 2017

A A A | A A A

Content

Submitted: March 14, 2017

A A A

A A A


Vendetta

 

1

 

 

Ashley and Max were walking around town, each of them eating a sandwich.

“Max, I know you love me, but you don’t have to hold me this close.”

“I’m just looking out for you.”

“Thanks, but I can look out for myself just fine. I’m smart.”

“The events from last week have made me believe otherwise.”

“I blame you for that.”

“How was that my fault?”

“You said it was good ice cream.”

“So if I say puke is good, would you order a gallon of that too?”

“No, but I just wanted to try it. Besides, you’re the one who didn’t tell me there was liquor in there.”

“I didn’t get the chance.”

“Yes, you did. You could’ve told me.”

“Even the waitress asked if you were sure.”

“I thought that was because of the amount.”

“Oh, it was because of the amount.”

“You know what I mean.”

“Of course I do. Me loves you.”

“That was not funny.”

“Yes, it was. It was hilarious.”

“The morning afterwards sure wasn’t.”

“I’m sure.”

Just as they were about to kiss, Ashley’s phone rang. She ignored it.

“Shouldn’t you answer that?”

“I don’t want to.”

“Just answer it. It might be important, and that kiss can wait.”

Ashley grabbed her phone and answered it.

“Yeah, Christine?... And do you really need me for that?... Yeah, as a matter of fact, I am kind of busy right now… That’s none of your business… Fine, I’m coming… Yeah, okay… Bye.”

“What do they need you for?”

“A disappearance.”

“Doesn’t that go to the Missing People Department?”

“Usually it does. Probably something weird going on.”

“Probably.”

“I’m really sorry.”

“Don’t worry about it. Now go fight that crime.”

Ashley gave him a quick kiss.

“I’ll see you later.”

“Yeah, bye.”

Ashley got in her car and left.

 

Ashley arrived at the station.

“Glad you could make it.” Kingsley said sarcastically.

“I’m here now, aren’t I?”

“What were you doing anyway?”

“Are you going to question me about what I was doing or are you going to tell me what’s going on?”

“Right. We’ve got a disappearance on our hands. Now personally, I don’t think it’s anything to worry about, but I don’t want to take a risk by not doing anything.”

“Sounds reasonable.”

“I’m glad you agree. The person who’s missing is a certain Kevin Gray. He’s a broker, and he was reported as missing by his best friend this morning. Apparently they were supposed to go to the game last night, except Gray didn’t show, and he didn’t answer his phone.”

“Where does he work?”

“At some real estate office, by the name of Houser. But they haven’t seen him either.”

“Do we have a point last seen?”

“Not yet. His best friend, John Daniels, says he last saw Gray about a week ago, when Gray was hosting some sort of party, and he last spoke to him two days ago, over the phone, to go the game together.”

“And they haven’t spoken since?”

“No. At least, that’s what he says. We still have to wait for the phone records to come in.”

“And why did we get this case?”

“Because they called us. And if we don’t find anything unusual in the next 24 hours, we pass it up to the MPD. But until then, we try as hard as we can to solve it. Alright?”

“Alright. So where do we start?”

“I want the two of you to put some pressure on that phone traffic. The faster we get that, the better. And we will go to the real estate office. Maybe they’ll know a bit more once we show up.”

“Okay chief.”

Kingsley and Williams grabbed their coats and left. Ashley and Christine started up their computers.

“Care to tell me what you were so busy with?” Christine asked when Williams closed the door behind them.

“It’s still none of your business.”

“So you weren’t hanging out with Warren?”

“What makes you think I was with Warren?”

“Well, it’s obvious you two are together.”

“What? How-?”

“Easy there. One question at a time.”

“Okay. How is it obvious?”

“How can it not be? Every time the chief tells us to go see what he found, you couldn’t be more excited.”

“I’m never excited.”

“Oh please, you can’t stop talking about it. And you always have something to discuss with him, so it’s pretty obvious. To me at least.”

“Okay, we’re together.”

“For how long?”

“Since Christmas.”

“Hold on. You’re telling me that you’ve been dating him for about a month, and you didn’t feel the need to tell me?”

“Pretty much, yeah. But you’re the first one to know about it.”

“And you didn’t tell the chief, because…?

“Because I want to be doing this job for longer than seven months.”

“He won’t fire you just because you’re dating Warren.”

“Do you really think so?”

“He has no reason to fire you. He may be an ass sometimes, but he’s not unreasonable. Besides, he shares a bed with the prosecutor, so why wouldn’t you be able to share one with Warren?”

“Okay, I’m going to slow you down right there, because Max and I are far from that point.”

“Let me give you one piece of advice, though. Tell him yourself, and do it soon.”

“Why?”

“Well, isn’t it a bit awkward if you have to pretend nothing is going on between the two of you when someone is near?”

“Yeah, I guess it is. But do you really think the chief doesn’t know yet?”

“I have no idea. But I think his wife knows. She may not be around here that much, but she knows everything that’s going on.”

“Do you think she told him?”

“My guess is that she’s dropped a couple of hints here and there. But whatever, let’s just leave it. Otherwise we’ll still be here tomorrow night.”

“Yeah, I’ll call the provider.”

“I’ll run him through the system.”

 

Kingsley and Williams arrived at the real estate office, Houser. They walked over to the receptionist.

“Good afternoon, gentlemen. How can I help you?”

“Chief inspector Kingsley and inspector Williams. We would like to talk to the ceo.”

“Just a moment, please.”

The receptionist started calling.

“Nick, do you feel like Summers and Warren have been acting a little… odd, lately?”

“You’re telling me.”

“Mr. Davis has a little bit of time now, but not much. His office is on the third floor.”

“Alright, thank you.”

They took the elevator to the third floor, and walked into Davis’s office. Charles Davis was a short guy, with slicked back, black hair.

“Gentlemen, welcome. Have a seat.”

They sat down.

“Would you like something to drink? Coffee? Tea? Something stronger, maybe?”

“No, thank you.”

“My apologies, gentlemen, but I don’t have a lot of time.”

“Don’t worry. We just want to ask you a couple of questions. It won’t take long.”

“Alright. Ask away.”

“When have you last seen Kevin Gray?”

“A couple of days ago.”

“Could you be a little bit more specific?”

“I think it was about three days ago.”

“Did you notice anything unusual?”
“No. He didn’t really talk to anyone, but that’s pretty normal. Kevin isn’t really a socializing type, if you know what I mean.”

“And you haven’t seen him since?”

“No. Personally, I thought he was sick or something. What happened?”

“Kevin has disappeared.”

“Oh.”

“And we’re trying to figure out what he’s been doing the past few days.”

“I’m really sorry, I don’t think I can help you.”

“Do you know what he’s been doing?”

“No. I believe he mentioned something about going to a game, but that’s all.”

“Hm. Thanks anyway.”

“No problem.”

Kingsley and Williams walked outside.

“What do you think?” Williams asked.

“I don’t know what to think, Nick. All I know is that that guy is hiding something.”

“He seemed particularly… stressed out about something.”

“And he talked pretty fast, too. Did you hear anything he said at all?”

“Okay, now you’re exaggerating.”

“I’m serious, though.”

“So what do you suggest?”

“I suggest we get a search warrant and search the place.”

“With what evidence?”

“I don’t know. But it’s worth a shot, right?”

 

“Honestly, how hard can it be to check some phone calls?... Yes, I understand that you’ve got more to do, but all I want you to do is check which calls he made in the last couple of days and then send it to me… Look, do you want to keep wasting time on this pointless discussion? Because that’s completely fine by me. I’ve got plenty of time… Alright, thank you. Bye.”

Ashley slammed the horn on the phone.

“Stupid provider.”

“It is confidential.”

“It’s annoying, that’s what it is.”

“This right here is pretty interesting.”

“What is?”

“Kevin Gray has a record.”

“A record? For what?”

“He’s been arrested a couple of times for theft, for which he’s been in prison once. He was also suspected for fraud, but there was no evidence to prove that, so he wasn’t arrested.”

“And he works at a real estate office now?”

“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”
“I’m thinking that this town is too small for that kind of coincidence.”

“Exactly. You call the chief, and I’ll call the STI.”

 

Kingsley and Williams were in Hannah’s office.

“Guys, your theory sounds lovely and all, but where’s the evidence?”

“How do you expect us to get evidence when we can’t search the place?”

Before Hannah could say anything, Kingsley’s phone rang.

“Yeah, Summers?... Really? Alright. Keep it up.”

Kingsley hung up.

“Apparently Gray has a record for theft and fraud.”

“That’s really interesting, but what are you trying to say? There are loads of people with a record for that.”

“A guy who’s been arrested for theft and who’s suspected for fraud now works at a real estate office? Hello. I told you Davis was hiding something.”

“Fine. You’ll get your warrant.”

She grabbed a piece of paper and signed it.

“But be discreet. I don’t want to hear any complaints. Understood?”

“Of course. You know me.”

“That’s exactly why I’m warning you.”

Kingsley grabbed the warrant and put it in his pocket. He and Williams left the office.

“Do you want to head there now?”
“Why not?”

“Just asking.”

“You’re a weirdo, Nick.”

“Says you.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Nothing.”

 

Kingsley and Williams arrived at Houser, along with a few other officers. They walked up to the receptionist.

“Good afternoon. We’ve got a search warrant, so if you could step back from your computer and not touch anything?”
Just then, Davis stepped out of the elevator.

“Chief inspector, what is the meaning of this?”

“Simple. We’re going to search this place.”
“And why exactly?”

“Because Kevin Gray has a criminal record. And I highly doubt you didn’t know about that.”

Davis looked shocked, but Kingsley and Williams thought it was fake.

“And what exactly are you looking for? Because if we was embezzling anything…”

“We’re not suspecting him of anything. Not yet anyway. But what I want to know is why you employed him if you knew he had a record.”

“I swear, I didn’t know.”

“And we’re supposed to believe you didn’t check before employing him? You’ll have to think of something better than that.”

“Kevin’s been working here for about six years now, back when Houser wasn’t doing so great, and more of my employees quit…”

“So you thought, I don’t care he has a record.”

“No. I didn’t have time to check. And he didn’t mention anything of the sorts.”

“So you thought he was clean?”

“Yes. Unlike you, I don’t immediately think someone is lying to me.”

“It’s our job to think that. Now, when was the real last time you saw him?”

“I told you, it was three days ago.”

“And you haven’t seen or spoken to him since?”

“That’s right.”

“Chief! We found something!”

Kingsley and Williams walked over to the room where the other officers were. One of them handed Kingsley an organizer. He put it on the table and opened it.

“Now this is interesting…”

2

 

 

Ashley and Christine were in the office.

“Finally.”

“You got the phone records?”

“Yes. Let’s see…”

Ashley opened the email.

“Now we can do some work.”

“Why don’t you send me half the list?”
“Sure.”

Then Kingsley and Williams walked in.

“Nick, I’m telling you, it can’t be a coincidence.”

“It was his own office.”

“Yeah, but I don’t believe anyone would be that stupid to keep that kind of information out in the open like that.”

“Perhaps he thought it wouldn’t be found.”

“Or… he wanted it to be found.”

“That doesn’t really make sense, does it?”

“How does it not make sense? Kevin Gray disappears. We’ll ignore the reason for a minute. He feels guilty about everything he did, so he leaves his information out in the open as some kind of confession.”

“But if he felt the need to confess, why didn’t he just turn himself in?”

“Hm, that’s a good point.”

“Chief, can I talk to you for a second?” Ashley asked.

“Do we know if Gray has a wife? Or a girlfriend/”

“According to our information, he’s not married. But a girlfriend could be possible.” Williams said.

“Summers, are those phone records in yet?”

“Yeah, they are.”

“And?”

“We’re tracing the numbers.”

“Are there any duplicate numbers in there?”

Ashley looked at her screen.

“Yeah, a couple.”

“Trace those first. We will search his house.”
“Will do. But, chief…”

Kingsley and Williams left. Christine started laughing.

“What’s so funny?”

“I knew that would happen.”

“If you knew, why didn’t you tell me?”

“I thought it would be a nice payback.”

“You’re terrible.”

“Why, thank you.”

“Wait, how did you know?”

“I know everything, hon.”

“Seriously, though.”

“If he’s talking about the case, he doesn’t hear anything irrelevant.”

“That’s something I should’ve known.”

“Yep, that’s true. Anyway, you’re actually one of the best partners I’ve ever had.”

“What makes me so special?”

“You’re the first rookie to have sassed Kingsley?”

“I am?”

“Yeah. And you’re not a suck-up.”

“Thanks?”

“Seriously. A few years ago, I had this one partner, Julia Wilson, and it seemed like she just couldn’t think for herself.”

“What do you mean?”

“There was this one case, and one of the suspects was a photographer. Johnson was convinced that he was guilty, and so was Julia. So Kingsley asked her why she thought the guy was guilty, and she said, isn’t that what the commissioner thought?”

“Oh my God.”

“I know, right? She was driving me crazy.”

“What happened?”

“She left to work at some other department. I believe somewhere up north.”

“You must’ve been happy.”

“Trust me, I was. If I had to put up with her any longer, I would’ve gone completely loco.”

“I probably would’ve gone loco already.”

They both laughed. Then Christine’s phone rang. She checked who it was, and then hit decline.

“Shouldn’t you answer that?”

“No, it’s not important.”

Christine gave a reassuring smile before continuing with her work. Ashley was a little bit worried. What could’ve been wrong? She decided to drop it for now. If it was something important, Christine would’ve told her.

“Christine…”

“Ashley, I told you, it’s no big deal.”

“That’s… not what I was going to say.”

“Oh, sorry. What were you going to say?”

“Looks like Gray has a girlfriend after all.”

Ashley grabbed her phone and called Kingsley.

 

Kingsley and Williams were searching Gray’s house. Then Kingsley’s phone rang.

“Yeah, Summers?... He does?”

Kingsley grabbed a framed picture off the table.

“I see… And does that girlfriend happen to be a certain Amelia?... I thought you knew I was psychic… And what’s her address?... Okay, we’ll head over there… Yes, thank you.”

“What did Ashley have to say?”

“Kevin Gray does have a girlfriend. Amelia Miller.”

“Do you think he might be there?”

“I doubt it, to be honest. But it’s worth a shot.”

“Do you have her address?”

“Certainly do. What do you think? Finish up here first or go there right now?”

“Honestly? I don’t think there’s much to find here.”

“I think you’re right. Let’s go.”

They left the house and got in the car. A little while later, they arrived at a quaint house. They rang the doorbell. After a minute, they rang it again. At last, the door opened.

“Hello, can I help you?”

“Good afternoon, madam. Chief inspector Kingsley and inspector Williams. Amelia Miller?”

“Have you heard anything from Kevin?”

“I’m afraid not. May we come in?”

“Yeah, sure. Come on in.”

Amelia stepped out of the way, and Kingsley and Williams walked in. They walked into a small living room.

“Would you like anything to drink?”

“I’m fine, thank you.”

“A cup of tea, please.”

“Coming up. Have a seat, I’ll be right back.”

Amelia walked into the kitchen, and Kingsley and Williams sat down.

“What exactly are we trying to find here? She clearly doesn’t know where he is.” Williams whispered.
“Perhaps she knows where he could be, or where he was before he disappeared.”

“Do you really think so?”

“The only thing I’m sure about right now is that this case is getting on my nerves.”

Then Amelia walked in, holding a tray. She put the cup of tea in front of Williams.

“Here you go, inspector. If you want sugar or anything, you can just take it.”

“It’s alright, thank you.”

“What do you want to ask me?”

“When have you last heard from Kevin?” Kingsley asked.

“Two days ago. He sent me a text to tell me he was looking forward to today and to say that he loves me.”

“Were you going to do anything special today?”

“Today’s out two year anniversary.”

“Do you know what he’s been doing in the past few days?”

“I know he and John were supposed to go the game together.”

“Forgive me for asking, but how do you know?”

“John called me to ask if Kevin was here. He thought he forgot about it.”

“And he wasn’t here?”

“No. I was actually quite surprised that he didn’t show up. He was pretty excited about the game.”

“I see. Was Kevin acting different the past few days?”

“What do you mean different?”

“Sad? Down?”

“No, not at all. Do you think he…”

“There’s nothing that points in that direction.”

Amelia let out a sigh of relief. Then Kingsley’s phone rang.

“Kingsley here.”

He got up and walked out of the room.

“Do you know if Kevin had any problems at work?” Williams asked.

“He never mentioned any.”

“Is there anyone he had a conflict with?”

“I doubt it. Kevin isn’t really the type of person you can argue with.”

“How come?”

“Kevin is… light-headed, I guess you could say. He doesn’t really think things through that much.”

“Is there someone Kevin got along with really well?”

“Aside from John? I don’t think so. Kevin is a very quiet person.”

Then Kingsley walked back into the room.

“And?”

 They found a body in the canal. A guy between 20 and 35.”

“Kevin Gray?”

“No idea. They can’t find the head anywhere.”

3

 

 

Kingsley and Williams arrived back at the station.

“Did you trace those numbers yet?”

“Yeah, we did. Nothing special, but there’s one kind of sticking out. On the day of his disappearance, he made a call with someone. According to the records, the call lasted five minutes.”

“And who does that number belong to?”
“No idea.”

“What do you mean, no idea?”

“It’s a pay-and-go, so we can’t trace it.”

“Great.”

“Did you guys find anything.”

“According to his girlfriend, he didn’t have any conflicts, and aside from Daniels, he doesn’t have any friends.”

“And the body from the canal?”

“Warren’s trying to work on it, but he didn’t seem very confident in finding something.”

“Ah, chief, that reminds me. I need to talk to you about something.”

Christine rolled her eyes, but Ashley didn’t notice, since she was facing the other way.

“We need a DNA-sample from Gray. Then Warren can compare it to the body, see if it matches.”

Ashley sat back down. She realized it was no use trying to tell him now. He wasn’t listening. Then Johnson walked in.

“A little more activity wouldn’t hurt, would it?”

“Perhaps not.”

“So why are we all just sitting here, instead of actually being productive and trying to figure out who that guy in the canal is?”

“Nobody is stopping you.”

“Very funny, Kingsley.”

‘What the chief is trying to say is that we can’t do anything right now.” Ashley said.

“What do you mean, you can’t do anything?”

“The real estate office doesn’t know anything, his girlfriend has no idea where he is and the phone records didn’t prove anything.”

“And we’re waiting for the STI to send their files over about Kevin Gray.” Christine said.

“I’ll give them a call, ask them to hurry up. Did Warren do a DNA-test yet?”

“No.” Kingsley said.

“Why not?”

“Because he doesn’t have any DNA to compare it to.”

“And you can’t get that from his girlfriend?”

Kingsley looked at Ashley and Christine.

“Us?”

Kingsley answered the question with a quick nod.

“Fine. Come on, Ash.”

“But…”

Christine gave her a kind of warning look. Ashley got up, and they both left the office.

“You’ve got a really good timing of bringing stuff up, you know.”

“Yeah, I know.”

“Don’t worry, you’ll learn the ropes someday. And don’t sweat it, I still make those mistakes too sometimes.”

“When?”

“About a year ago.”

“What happened?”

“It was a bit complicated. And I had to talk to Johnson, who didn’t listen. And then I tried to tell Kingsley, but that didn’t work either.”

“What did you need to tell him?”

Before Christine could answer, her phone rang. She checked who it was, before hitting decline.

“Who was that?”

“Doesn’t matter. Come on.”

They got in the car.

 

After picking up a comb that belonged to Kevin, Ashley and Christine were on their way to the hospital. The ride was very quiet. Ashley looked at Christine, who was holding the wheel tightly. When waiting for Amelia to return with the comb, Christine’s phone rang again, and once again, she declined it. When Ashley asked her if everything was okay, she gave her a vicious look, and they haven’t spoken a word to each other since.

“Christine…”

“Don’t you dare ask if everything’s okay, because it is.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

Christine grabbed the wheel even tighter. Ashley could feel the speed of the car increase.

“Christine, you’re going too fast.”

“Oh, sorry.”

She slowed down, and got a looser grip on the wheel.

“I’m sorry. I should’ve just stayed out of your business.”

“It’s alright. I just get nervous when people do that.”

“I totally get that. I was just worried that someone was bothering you.”

“It’s nothing I can’t handle.”

They arrived at the hospital. They got out of the car and walked into Warren’s office.

“Hello. Surprise seeing you two here.”

“We’ve brought you a gift.” Ashley said, and she threw him the plastic bag that had the comb in it.

“Let me guess, Gray’s DNA?”

“Yep.”

“I’ll send it over to the lab, and I’ll have them send the report over asap.”

“Alright, sounds good to me.”

“I doubt Johnson will be happy to hear that. Anyway, I’ll leave you two lovebirds alone for a bit.” Christine said with a smile, and then she left.”

“Did you tell her?”

“She got it out of me.”

“What about Kingsley?”

“I tried to tell him, but he kind of ignored me, so…”

“Right, with the case and all.”

“Anyway, I’m having dinner at my parents’ house tonight. Want to come along?”

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah, why not? Lisa and Lucas will be there too.”

“Sure, I’ll come along.”

“Great. My place, 5.30?”

“Sounds good. I’ll see you tonight.”

“Yeah, bye.”
Ashley gave him a quick kiss on the cheek, and then she left the office.

“Hope you didn’t go too crazy in there.”

“Shut up.”

“So what were you talking about?”

“Who’s being nosy now?”

“I’m just asking.”

“Well, if you must know, I invited him over for dinner.”

“Ohlala.”

“Christine, seriously?”
“What?”

“It’s at my parents. So no ‘ohlala’”

“That’s… not what I was referring to, but you can think whatever you want.”

“Yeah, right. Whatever.”

“You wouldn’t mind if we stop for a bear claw, would you?”

“You’re driving, so…”

“Yeah, I am.”

They got in the car and drove away.

 

Ashley and Christine arrived at the office.

“That took you long enough.” Kingsley said.

“Someone was hungry and wanted a bear claw.”

“Hey, you said you didn’t mind.”

“That’s because I don’t.”

“Oh, Christine. Someone named Alex called and asked for you.” Kingsley said.

“Oh, okay.”

Christine sat down and grabbed the newspaper.

“Aren’t you going to call him back?”

“Nope. Not right now, anyway.”

“Did I miss anything?”

“No, you didn’t.”

“Well, you know what? It’s five o’ clock and there’s nothing we can do at the moment, so I suggest we stop for the day.”

“Sounds good to me.”

Christine grabbed her coat from her chair and left.

“Summers, did anything happen?”

“Not that I know of.”
Ashley grabbed her coat.

“Wait, didn’t you say you wanted to ask me something?”

“Uhm, tell you something, actually.”

“As curious as I am to hear it, I’m going to head home as well. I’ll hear it tomorrow.”

Williams grabbed his coat and headed out.

“So, what did you want to tell me?”

“I just wanted to let you know that I’m in a relationship with Warren.”

“That’s nice and all, but why are you telling me?”

“I don’t know. I just…”

“Let me ask you something. Let’s say we’ve got a murder case, and Warren is a suspect. Would you be able to stay objective? And remember, I want an answer that 100% honest.”

“Yeah, I would just try to find the truth, like always.”

“Then there’s no problem, right?”

“Right.”

“Just out of curiosity, how long have you been together?”

“Since Christmas.”

“Hm. Have a good evening, Summers.”

“You too, chief.”

They both left.

 

Ashley’s doorbell rang.

“It’s open!”

Max walked in.
“Hey.”
“Hey sweetheart.”

“So do you think this is good enough to meet your parents?”

“Max, it’s just dinner at my parents’ house. We’re not going to some fancy ball.”

“I just want to make a good first impression.”

“Trust me, they’ll love you.”

“So what time do we have to be there?”

“Around 6 or so. Why?”

“Shouldn’t we head over there, then?”

“It’s only ten minutes away. My parents insisted that I’d stay close to home in case something would happen.”

“And you didn’t fight that decision?”

“When my mom sets her mind to something, there’s no arguing to it.”

“So that’s why you’re so stubborn, then.”

“Probably.”

“Well, since we’ve got about ten more minutes, what do you suggest we do?”

“I don’t know. You’re the guest, so you can choose.”

“You do realize that makes zero sense, right?”

“Yeah well, too bad. Life doesn’t make sense either.”

“I guess you’re right.”
“Of course I’m right.”

“Getting cocky, are we?”

“Oh please, like you’re so humble.”

“So did you tell Kingsley?”

“Don’t change the subject.”
“I would never.”

“Yes, I told him.”

“What did he say?”

“He said that it was just fine.”

“What did you expect?”

“What did you expect?”

“With a boss like Kingsley, you never know what to expect.”

“Were you afraid he was going to fire you?”

“I don’t know.”

“Just keep this in mind. As long as you do good work, and I’m sure the work you’re doing is great, he won’t fire you.”

“Thanks for the pep talk.”

“No problem.”

 

Kingsley was sitting on the couch, watching some tv, while Hannah was doing the dishes.

“Honey, you’ll never guess who our newest couple is.”

“Summers and Warren.”

“Yeah, how do you know?”

“They’ve been a couple for weeks.”

“I know, but-”

“Didn’t you see them at the Christmas party?”

“I was talking to Nick, so no.”

“And in case you didn’t notice, Summers always starts blushing every time Warren comes up.”

“I suppose I must’ve missed that.”

Hannah joined him on the couch.

“Anyway, how do you know? Since you missed all of the obvious details.”

“She told me, actually.”

“Why?”

“Don’t know. Maybe she thought she’d get fired if I found out about it myself.”

“Like you would ever find out on your own.”

“Very funny.”

“But seriously, would you have fired her?”

“Of course not. She’s doing a great job, and they seem like a good couple.”

“Oh, so you did notice that?”

“You know, you should consider being a comedian, because you’re so funny.”

“No thank you. My current job is just fine.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

 

 

Ashley and Max arrived.

“Are you sure your mom doesn’t mind?”

“She… doesn’t actually know yet.”

“Oh, but then she might not have enough.”

“Don’t worry, she always makes way too much. Seriously.”

“Alright, if you say so.”

Ashley rang the doorbell. Her mother opened the door.

“Hey sweetie. I didn’t know you’d bring a guest.”

“Surprise.”

“Mrs. Summers, I’m Max.”

“How lovely to meet you. And it’s Caroline.”

They shook hands, and they all walked inside. They walked into the dining room.

“Hey everyone.”

“Max? What are you doing here? And what’s with the fancy tux?” Lisa asked.

“Everyone, Max and I are dating, so for those of you who don’t know him, this is Max. Max, these are my parents, Lucas and of course my sister Lisa.”

“Hello.”

After Max shook hands with everyone, they sat down.

“So, Max, tell us a little bit about yourself.”

“Dad…”

“What? I’m just interested.”

“Oh, Marcus, leave the guy alone.”

Caroline put the food on the table.

“There you go. There’s plenty, so grab as much as you want.”

Ashley gave Max a little I-told-you-so-poke, but nobody else noticed.

 

After everyone had finished eating, it was very quiet. Nobody knew a reason to start a conversation.

“Max, are you sure you had enough? There’s plenty.”

“No, thank you. It was delicious though.”

“That’s good to hear. I guess I’ll get started on the dishes then.”

Caroline and Marcus went into the kitchen.

“So…”

“So Max, how do you like my mom’s infamous lasagna?” Lisa asked.

“It was really good. So how’s the marriage working out?”

“I’ve never been happier.”
“Neither have I.”

“But enough about us already. You two have been together for how long now?”

“Since Christmas, so about a month or so.”

“And why didn’t you tell us?”

“Because…”

“Because Ashley and I were still getting used to our relationship.”

“Well, I guess that makes sense.”

It went back to being quiet. After a little while, Caroline walked back in.

“You guys are being awfully quiet. Something wrong?”

“No mom, everything’s just fine.” Ashley said.

“Alright, if you say so.”

“Mom, Lucas and I are heading out. We’ve still got a couple of things to do.”

“Alright, sweetie. Bye.”

“Bye mom.”

“See ya, Caroline. And thanks for the delicious meal.”

“No problem, Lucas. Bye.”

Lisa and Lucas left. Then Max’s phone rang.

“Excuse me for a minute.”

Max hit answer.

“Yeah, Smitty?... That’s quick… Yeah, that’s fine… Just tell her I sent you, then she’ll let you in… Yeah, I’ll get it to him tomorrow… Yeah, bye.”

“What’s up?”

“The lab already has the results of the DNA-test.”

“That’s quick. So what did they find out?”

“The DNA from the hair on the comb does not match the corpse’s DNA.”

“I bet Kingsley would be very happy to hear that.” Ashley said sarcastically.

“The test was very clear.”

“I know. It’s just a little bit of a bummer.”

“You’ll have the official report tomorrow.”

“Great.”

“Sounds like you two got your work out for you.”

“Mom…”

“I’m sorry, sweetie. I’m just teasing you.”

“So, do you need help with anything.”

“Nah, I’m good. The dishes are done, so…”

“Alright. We’ll be heading out too, then.”

“Okay sweetie. Good luck with your boss tomorrow.”

“Thanks.”

“Max, it was very nice to meet you.”

“The pleasure’s all mine.”

Ashley and Max left, and they drove back to Ashley’s house.

“I had a good time tonight. Your parents are pretty cool.”

“Yeah, they are. Most of the time, anyway.”

“I think I’ll be heading on home. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Yeah, bye.”

They gave each other a kiss goodbye, and Max left.

 

The next morning, Ashley arrived at the station.

“Good morning.”

“Morning.”

“The results of the DNA-test are in.” Kingsley said while holding a piece of paper.

“The DNA doesn’t match.”

“How do you know that?”

“From Max, last night.”

“Right, I forgot about that. Did Warren find anything else?”

“No. Except for the fact that he wasn’t sure if the injuries are post mortem or not.”

“Will he be sure?”

“Probably. He still needs to run a couple of tests.”

“Alright, let’s recap. Kevin Gray disappears. His best friend, his girlfriend and his co-workers don’t know where he is. Suggestions?”

“He’s dead?” Christine suggested.

“Who killed him? And where’s the body?”

“Hm.”

“His girlfriend maybe?” Ashley said.

“Okay. Why?”

“Perhaps he cheated on her. Or she was just sick of him.”

“If she killed him, I doubt it was because she was sick of him.” Williams objected.

Then Johnson walked in, holding a big file.

“Guys, the STI has delivered their files.”

“Good, we’ll be sure to look into it.” Kingsley said.

“Kingsley, I also got a call from Walker…”

“From Walker? Couldn’t he just come downstairs? He’s only one floor higher.”

“He wants to know why you aren’t passing this case up to the MPD.”

“That’s very simple. This isn’t just a disappearance.”

“Kingsley, I’m saying this once. Your instinct and gut feeling aren’t enough to keep this case. If you haven’t found anything unusual by tonight, you’re passing it up. Is that clear?”

“As crystal.”

Johnson left.

“Alright, let’s ignore the fact that the big moose told us to find something before tonight and just carry on with our next step.”

“Me and Christine can look through the files of the STI.”

“I say we all do that, since there’s not much more for us to do.”

Kingsley grabbed the file and sorted it into four equal stacks.

“So, grab some coffee and a piece of cake, and let’s get to work.”

“Chief, home-made cake.”

“Home-made cake from our dear aunt Helen.”

Everyone grabbed a stack of paper, a cup of coffee and a piece of home-made cake, and they got to work.

 

“Guys, I think I found something. So… hm…”

“Christine, would you mind sharing it with us?”

“Kevin Gray is currently under suspicion of embezzlement at the company Houser. He’s been seen a lot recently around a certain Charles Davis. Interrogating Davis didn’t help anything. No proof of embezzlement found, other than an anonymous tip about the matter.”

“When was that report written?”

“Two weeks ago.”

“And have they questioned Gray since?”

“I don’t know.”

“No, they haven’t. They were unable to find him.” Ashley said.

“Well, that could mean two things. He’s either been laying low, and I mean really low, or he disappeared two weeks ago.”

“But that would mean his best friend, his girlfriend and his boss have been lying.”

“And if that’s the case, they all have something to do with it.”

“But if that’s not the case…”

“We’ll see what to do then. Come on, I am not going to pass this case up.”

“So what do we do?”

“You two tail Davis, see where that goes. And we’ll pick up Daniels and Miller for questioning.”

“Okay, chief.”

 

Ashley and Christine were in the car, following Davis around town. He hadn’t seen them before, so it wasn’t all that hard. Then Christine’s phone rang. Before she hit decline, Ashley saw the name on the screen.

“Christine, who’s Alex?”

“He’s nobody.”

“Come on, it’s obviously bothering you.”

“We are clearly talking about two very different things, because I’m not bothered by anything.”

“Then why not tell me?”

Christine let out a sigh.

“You’re not going to leave this alone, are you?”

“Nope, not by a longshot.”

“Alex is a closed chapter of my life.”

“That’s all you’re going to spill?”

“Yep. Sure is.”

“But then why does he keep calling you?”

“Apparently he has a different opinion about it than I do. But I don’t care.”

“Christine…”

“Look, can we just not talk about this?”

“If that’s what you want.”

“Thank you.”

The ride was quiet. A bit too quiet for comfort, Ashley thought. If neither of them would say anything to break the silence, she’d go crazy.

“So what’s your take on the case?”

“My take on it?”

“Yeah, you’re the one with all the experience.”

“You’re weird.”

“Well, the weird one asked you a question.”

“Honestly? I think one of the three killed Gray in a flash of anger, panicked and informed the other two. What about you?”

“I honestly just don’t know.”

“Come on, you must have some idea.”

“Christine…”

“What? You’re not the only one who can push, you know?”

“No, not that. Look.”

Christine looked out of the window. Davis had parked his car, and was now walking along the streets.

“Do you think he saw us?”

“I don’t know. Come on.”

Christine parked the car and they got out.

“Tailing someone on foot isn’t going to be easy, is it?”

“Nope. As you can probably guess, it’s much more obvious.”

“Do you think he’s the killer?”

“Your guess is as good as mine. Nevertheless, he’s hiding something.”

“So what do we do when he runs?”

“What do you mean, what do we do? You’re not a rookie anymore, are you?”

“So we just run after him?”

“Obviously.”

Davis looked behind him.

“Shit, he’s looking right at us.”

Davis started running like the wind. Ashley and Christine started running after him. They followed him around for a couple of blocks. Suddenly, Ashley tripped over a rock and fell. Christine ran back to help her up.

“You okay?”

“Yeah, I’m fine. Thanks though.”

“Anytime.”

They looked around, but Davis was nowhere to be seen.

“Crap, we lost him. Thanks to my antics.”

“It’s not your fault.”

“Should be head back to the station?”

“I think that’s for the best. Can you walk?”

“My leg hurts, but it’s not broken.”

“You sure?”

“Who’s being overly worried now?”

“I just want to make sure you’re alright.”

“I’m fine. I just need to walk it off.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5

 

 

A little while later, Ashley and Christine walked into the office.

“Christine, do you know what I just thought of?”

“I can’t read your mind, so no.”

“Didn’t Daniels say that Gray threw some sort of party?”

“I think he did.”

“Who were there then? Because if he’s been dead for two weeks, he’d have a hard time throwing a party a week later.”

“You’ve got a good point.”

“Hey, where’s the chief?”

Just then, Kingsley and Williams walked out of the interrogation room.

“There he is.”

“Hey, when did you two get back?”

“Just now, actually.”

“Ah. Did you find anything?”

“Nope.”

“Then why are you here and not tailing Davis, like I told you to do?”

“We lost him because of my clumsy antics.”

“Well, that’ll happen. Is it bad?”

“Meh, I’ll live.”

“Good.”

“What did Daniels have to say?”

“He denied everything, obviously. And so does Miller.”

“Well, we just thought of something. Or actually, Ashley did.”

“Well, don’t hold it in. Spill.”

“Daniels stated that Gray threw a party last week, right? But he can’t have thrown a party last week if he’s been dead for two weeks.”

“That’s a good point. Do we know who were at that party?”

“I bet Daniels would know. Since he was there.”

“Right. Come on, Nick.”

Kingsley and Williams walked back into the interrogation room, where Daniels was still in the same spot as before.

“Mr. Daniels, sorry to keep you waiting.”

“I don’t feel like that comment was very genuine.”
“You stated that Kevin threw a party last week. Can you tell us who were there?”

“Well, it wasn’t exactly a party, but more like a get-together.”

“That wasn’t the question.”

“It was me, Kevin, Amelia, Charles and that’s it.”

“Of course it is. What did you do?”

“Not much. We were just chilling.”

“Just chilling? What are you, a bunch of hippies?”

“No. We just didn’t do much.”

“But you did do something, then?”
“Yeah, we watched a movie.”

“Which one?”
“The ridiculous 6.”

“The ridiculous 6?”

“Yes.”

Kingsley took a last glance at Daniels before he and Williams left the interrogation room and walked back into the office.

“Summers, have you ever heard of a movie called The ridiculous 6?”

“Yeah, I actually watched it with some friends a few days ago. It’s with…”

“I didn’t asked for a complete summary and cast list, I just asked if you ever heard of it.”

“Yes, I have. Why?”

“Daniels claimed they watched it at the party.”

“Get-together, Pete.” Williams corrected with a smile.

“Yes, that.”

“Who were there?”

“Take a wild guess.”

“So that doesn’t help us much then?”

“I’m sure one of those three killed him. There’s only one problem.”

“We don’t have a body, so no evidence that he’s actually dead.”

Then Hannah walked into the office.

“Hello everyone. How’s the investigation going?”

“Bad.”

“How come?”

“Kevin Gray is dead, I just know it. Problem is, we can’t find his body.”

“Maybe there is no body.”

“Hm, there is. We just have to find it.”

“Pete, your gut feeling can be wrong sometimes.”

“It never led me wrong before, and it’s not leading me wrong now.”

Then Max walked in.

“Hello.”

“Hey, honey. What are you doing here?”

“Am I not allowed to visit without a reason?”

“Of course you are.”

“As glad as I am to hear that, I do actually have a reason to stop by. We’ve identified the body.”

“The one from the canal?”

“Yes. A certain Shane Miller.”

“How’d you figure that out?” Kingsley asked.

“Quite simple actually. His wife reported him missing a year ago, and she found a note two days ago. He drowned himself.”

“A year ago?”

“Yeah, I already had a feeling it wasn’t Gray. The body showed signs of…”

“Warren, we don’t have to hear the whole story.”

“Guys, do you have any evidence against John Daniels or Amelia Miller?” Hannah asked.

“No, but…”

“Then let them go.”

“But Hannah…”

“No, this is not open for discussion. You let them go right now.”

“I have 24 hours to get a confession out of them.”

“But you’re not going to. Unless, of course, you can present concrete evidence that they are involved in the disappearance of Kevin Gray.”

Everyone was quiet.

“That’s what I thought. Christine, would you mind?”

“I’ll get to it right away.”

Christine left the office.

“Hannah, they would’ve cracked if I could question them a little longer.”

“When you find concrete evidence, you can arrest them again. For now, just focus on other conclusions.”

Just after Hannah had left the office, a guy in a police uniform walked into the office. He looked angry.

“Kingsley!”

“Ah, Walker, what are you doing here?”

“You know very well why I’m here. Why haven’t you passed up that disappearance?”

“That’s very simple. This is looking more and more like a murder. And as you know, that’s for us.”

“Ah, so you have a body.”

“No, we don’t.”

“Then it’s a disappearance. You fix up your paperwork, and then you hand it over. Is that clear?”

“Take a hike, Walker.”

“Kingsley, this will not be without consequences. I’ll let your superiors know about this!”

“Go ahead and do that, kid. Go ahead.”

Walker stormed off, and Christine walked into the office.

“What’s going on? I heard him yelling like crazy.”

“He wants us to hand over the case.”

“Well, we’re not actually going to do that, are we?”

“Of course not. It’s our case, whether Walker likes it or not.”

“So what are we going to do?”

“I want you two to find out why Shane Miller committed suicide.”

“Okay chief.”

“If you don’t need me for anything, I’ll be heading out.”

“Thanks Warren. You’ve been a great help.”

“My pleasure.”

“Bye, honey.”
“See you.”

Max walked out of the office. Ashley and Christine started typing.

“What are we going to do?” Williams asked.

“We are going to continue working on those files of the STI. Perhaps there’s something we missed.”

“Alrighty.”

It got very quiet in the office. The only sounds heard were the sounds of fingers hitting the keyboard and a clicking mouse every few seconds.

“Guys, I found something.” Ashley said after a while.

“What is it?”

“An article. ‘Previous CEO mysteriously disappears.’ That’s the headline.”

“What does it say?”

“CEO of the company Estate Happiness, Shane Miller, has mysteriously vanished after his company had been taken over a week ago. The person who took over Estate Happiness remains unknown. An anonymous source told us the company Houser is involved, but as of today, this information is not confirmed.”

“Okay, we’ve got a reason.”

“Wait, that’s not all. Shane Miller’s sister, Amelia, accused Houser of embezzlement and even took the owner to court for it, but lost the case due to lack of evidence.”

“In other words, Miller has a motive.”

Then the phone rang. Christine answered it.

“Do you want us to arrest her?” Ashley asked.

“No, not yet. Just try to find Davis first. I wonder what he has to say about all this.”

Christine hung up.

“Not much, I’m afraid. They found Davis. Dead.”

“You’re joking?”

“Nope. His maid found him. Apparently it’s a real bloodbath.”

“Come on, let’s go.”

They all grabbed their coats and left.

 

Kingsley and Williams walked into the room, where the investigation was still going on.

“Well, that bloodbath certainly wasn’t an exaggeration.”

“Too much to handle, Kingsley?”

“You know I can’t stand blood, Warren.”

“In that case, you probably should’ve picked a different job.”

“Why don’t you just tell us what you’ve got instead of telling us lame jokes?”

“Three bullets in the chest, from which one straight through the heart.”

“When?”
“I think somewhere between 4 and 6 this afternoon.”

Then Ashley and Christine walked in.

“And?”

“Nothing. She just kept saying his name.”

“So we’ll just have to question her another time, then?”

“That’s what it looks like.”

Ashley walked over to Max. He whispered something in her ear.

“Yeah, why?”

“You’ll see.”

“You know I don’t like surprises.”

“You’ll like this one.”

Ashley pinched his arm, and he pinched her back. They started laughing and hitting each other.

“Warren, when you and Summers are done turning the crime scene into a playground, can you send us the results of the autopsy? Thank you.”

Kingsley and Williams walked away.

“Well, I’m heading home.” Christine said.

“Aren’t we supposed to go to the station?”

“Ashley, it’s 6.30, and tomorrow’s going to be a busy day, so I want to rest. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Bye.”

Christine left. Ashley yawned.

“You should probably head to bed early.”

“What about your surprise?”

“Tomorrow’s a new day.”

“You sure?”

“Yeah. Tell you what, I’ll be finished in a few, so I’ll drive you home.”

“That’s really sweet of you, but I can get home myself.”

“Walking from here’s a little far, isn’t it?”

“Why would I walk? I’ve got a car.”

“Do you mean the car you and Christine used to get here? Because I’m pretty sure that’s Christine’s car, and she’s driving home with it now.”

“Oh, right. I guess I’m more tired than I thought I was.”

Max laughed.

“Hey, Smitty, can you finish up here?”

“Sure thing.”

“Come on, sweetheart. Let’s go.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah, I’m sure. Let’s go.”

They both left.

“What was that all about?” One of the forensics asked.

“He’s obviously got a case of love.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6

 

 

The next morning, Christine arrived at the office.

“Good morning.”

“Hey.”

“So, what was Warren’s surprise?”

“I don’t know.”

“What do you mean?”
“I was pretty tired, so he’s going to show me tonight.”

“Sounds exciting.”

“Sure does.”

Then Kingsley walked in.

“Alright, tea time’s over. We all got a good night’s rest, so let’s get to work. What do we have?”

“Max said that the bullets come from a .9, but that’s a pretty common gun, so…”

“So we’re looking for someone who shot Davis between 4 and 6. Someone must’ve heard that, right?”

“The officers who questioning the neighborhood reported that none of the neighbors saw or heard anything.” Williams said.

Then the phone rang. Christine answered it.

“Hello?... Yeah, okay… I’ll be right there, Sammy.”

“What’s up?”

“Apparently there’s someone here to see me.”

Christine left the office. Not long after that, Ashley heard her shouting. Kingsley and Williams didn’t pay much attention to it.

“I’m going to check that out really quick.”

Ashley walked out of the office.

“Christine, I’m still willing to fight for us.”

“There’s no more us, and you know that.”

“What did I do wrong?”

“Do you even have to ask?”

“Is this still about that?”
“Yes, that’s what it’s about.”

“Oh, come on. That was fifteen years ago. I still care about you.”

“That’s not what it seemed like to me.”

“Listen, what I did was stupid, I know that. But it’s been fifteen years.”

“Yeah, and I’ll have you know that my life has been so much better without you in it.”

“Chrissy, please…”

“Don’t call me that. What, you think you can just walk in here, apologize and then I’ll take you back so we can live happily ever after, like this is some sort of fairy tale? Well guess what, life isn’t a fairy tale. And if you don’t get out of my eyes right now, I’ll have you arrested.”

“Come on, what would you even arrest me for?”
“Stalking.”

“Aren’t you overreacting just a little bit?”

Ashley thought it was enough, so she walked over to them.

“Is everything alright here?”

“Hi, my name’s Alex.”

He stuck out his hand, but Ashley kept her arms folded. Alex left.

“Christine, what’s going on?”

Christine didn’t respond.

“Alright, that’s it. I’m taking you out for coffee, and we need to talk. Seriously talk.”

“Yeah, I guess you’re right.”

Ashley and Christine got in the car. The ride was very quiet.

 

“Here you go.”

Ashley handed Christine a cup of coffee, and sat down across from her. Christine drank half the cup in one sip.

“Thanks. I really needed that.”

“Christine, what happened between you and Alex?”

“Alex and I were dating fifteen years ago.”

“I already figured something like that.”

“We were really happy together, but we didn’t see each other that much, since we both went to different schools.”

“Did he… cheat on you?”

“I guess we had a pretty standard break-up when you think about it, but…”

“How did you find out?”
“He cheated on me with my best friend, Lily. She told me a couple of days later, so I broke up with Alex.”

“And you and Lily?”

“We didn’t see each other for years. But I bumped into her a while ago, and we see each other from time to time now.”

“Did you ever forgive Alex?”

“No. When I broke up with him, he even tried to deny it.”

“Like that would work.”

“I yelled at him, and then I threw a potted plant at him.”

“Nice. But has he really been stalking you?”

“No, he’s only been calling me countless times. I just said that to scare him off.”

“I think it worked.”

“I sure hope so.”

“Do you know why he came back after all those years?”

Christine looked down.

“Christine, if it’s because he’s nuts, I can help. No problem.”

“It’s not that.”

“Then what is?”

“When I left Alex, I was five weeks pregnant.”

“Did you tell him?”
“I was about to, but then Lily told me… you know. And I was just so angry, I never ended up telling him.”

“But if you didn’t tell him, how did he find out?”

“I had a diary at the time…”

“You had a diary?”
“Don’t judge me.”

“I’m not judging you, just a little surprised. You don’t seem like a diary person to me.”

“Things were different back then.”

“Right, sorry.”

“Anyway, I’m guessing he must’ve found that.”

“But wait, you don’t have any children, do you?”

“No, I got an abortion.”

“Oh my God…”

“What? I was 22, I wasn’t ready to have a baby.”

“That sounds reasonable. Sorry.”

“It’s alright. And I think I owe you an apology as well. I know you were just looking out for me, and I haven’t exactly been nice to you for it.”

“Don’t mention it.”

Then Ashley’s phone rang.

“Yeah, chief?”

“Where the hell are you?”
“Me and Christine went out for coffee.”

“Unbelievable. We have a murder case to solve, and you two are just sipping coffee and chitchatting?!”

“We just had to discuss some problems.”

“Do you know what the problem is? The fact that we’re solving a murder, and you are having tea time.”

“Coffee time, actually.”

“You two get over here right now!”

Ashley and Christine laughed.

“We’ll be right on our way, chief.”

Ashley hung up, and both of them burst into laughter.

“Thanks again, Ash.”

“No problem. And if you ever need someone to kick his ass, don’t hesitate to give me a call.”

“I hope you mean metaphorically.”

“I can do both literally and metaphorically.”

“Well, you don’t have to, but thanks anyway.”

“No need to thank me. Come on, before the chief completely loses it.”

Ashley paid for the coffee and they left.

 

Ashley and Christine arrived back at the office.

“Finally. About time you two showed up.”

“Nice to see you too, chief.” Ashley said.

“What was that problem, anyway?”

“A very urgent matter which is now resolved.”

Then Johnson walked in.

“How are things here?”

“Pretty normal.”

Johnson turned to Christine.

“What was all that shouting about earlier?”

“Nothing special.”

“Nothing special?”

“Exactly.”

“Alright, if you say so. Kingsley, I want this case solved quickly.”

“What’s so special about it?”

“Why would there be anything special about it?”

“Because you’re asking us to rush it.”

“I’m not asking you to rush it, I’m asking you to solve it quickly. Didn’t you ever learn that the value of a company drops until they find a good CEO?”

“And, and you’ve got some shares, don’t you?”

“The last time I checked, that wasn’t a crime. Kingsley, you heard it. I want this case solved within the next couple of days.”

Johnson left the office.

“What an idiot.”

“He may not be the brightest, but he is right about one thing. We should solve this case as quick as we can.” Williams said.

“Which is what we’ll do. But Johnson probably wants us to be discreet.”

“Like we’re actually going to do that.”

“Exactly. Now, we’ve got a time of death. We know the weapon, sort of. We’ve got no witnesses. Suspects?”

“Miller.” Every said at the same time.

“If Miller killed both Gray and Davis, everything adds up nicely.” Ashley said.
“Indeed it does. Andrews and Summers, you go to her house, and we’ll pick up a search warrant. We’ll meet you there.”

“Okay, chief.”

 

Ashley and Christine were waiting outside of Amelia’s house. Then Kingsley and Williams arrived.

“Alright, let’s do this.”

Kingsley rang the doorbell. This time, the door opened almost immediately.

“Yes?”

“Amelia Miller, we’ve got a warrant to search your house.”

“Wait, what?”

Before she got an answer, Ashley and Christine walked past her on Kingsley’s signal.

“Now hold on just a minute…”

“I’m afraid we don’t have a minute. Come on, Nick.”

Kingsley and Williams walked inside. They started searching the house, completely ignoring Amelia’s objection.

“Chief inspector, what is the meaning of this?”

“We have reasons to believe that you are the murderer of Kevin Gray and Charles Davis.”

“And just why would I have killed them?”

“Let me put it this way. How is your brother doing?”

“My-my brother?”
“Yes. Shane, wasn’t it?”

“Did you find him?”

“Ms. Miller, you can stop acting. Your brother is dead, and you know that very well. What did you do with Kevin’s body? Because we know that you killed him two weeks ago, to get revenge for your brother.”

“That theory is great, but you’re missing a tiny detail. We all had a get-together last week, and Kevin was there.”

“Chief!”

Ashley walked into the room, holding a gun. Kingsley turned to Amelia.

“Is that yours?”

“Yeah. So what?”

“Summers, what does that gun tell us?”

Ashley opened the magazine.

“It’s a .9, and there’s three bullets missing.”

“Well, isn’t that convenient? That seems like a murder weapon to me. Summers, you and Andrews keep searching the place.”

“Okay, chief.”

Ashley left the room.
“Amelia Miller, you’re under arrest for murder.”

“But I’m innocent.”
“That’s what they all say. Come on.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

 

 

Amelia was in the interrogation room. Kingsley and Williams walked in.

“I didn’t kill Kevin and Charles!”

“Relax, Ms. Miller, I didn’t even ask you anything yet.”

“I know what I’m accused of, but I’m innocent. I loved Kevin.”

“Loved? So you didn’t love him anymore? Or do you say that because you know he’s dead?”

“I… You said he was dead.”

“Ah, so if we say something, it’s instantly true?”

“No, but…”

“Listen, whether you killed Gray doesn’t really matter. Not to us, at least. You’re going to jail anyway.”

“How many times do I have to tell you? I’m innocent!”

“Is that so? Because the evidence says otherwise.”

“Your evidence against me is non-existent. I didn’t shoot Charles, and I didn’t strangle Kevin.”

“Ah, so Kevin was strangled? How do you know that? And how are you so sure Kevin is dead?”

“Because… Uhm…”

“Let me tell you what we think. You found out Kevin may have had something to do with your brother’s disappearance, so you decided to meet up with him to ask him about it. And that’s where it went wrong. Kevin didn’t deny it at all, and you got blinded with rage.”

“You then found out that your brother had committed suicide. You also found out that Charles Davis was involved as well, so you decided to pay him a visit.”

“Except you didn’t really know the guy, so you weren’t planning on trying to reason with him. After all, who would want to reason with a stranger?”

“You are forgetting one thing…”

“Ah yes, the get-together. The thing is, two of the people who were there are now dead.”

“After you’ve killed Kevin, you panicked so you called John Daniels. He helped you dump the body somewhere, didn't he?"

Amelia was quiet. Then Ashley walked in, and she whispered something in Kingsley’s ear.

“Really?”

“Yeah. We’re 100% sure.”

“Hm.”

Ashley left.

“Ms. Miller, I have to apologize. Daniels didn’t help you dump the body, he did it for you. But he didn’t dump it in the woods or the canal, like you agreed on. He dumped it in your house, as an act of revenge for the murder on his best friend.”

“Daniels is an asshole. Just before you came along to search my house, I found Kevin’s body in my freezer.”

“How come you didn’t find it before?”

“Because my freezer was broken. I had a back-up freezer, so there was no reason for me to check the broken one. When I grabbed some ice cream, there was a terrible smell in the room.”

“So you decided to see what was causing it?”

“I assumed it were just some vegetables I forgot to take out. When I opened it, I saw it was obviously something else.”

“But you’re the one who killed them both?”

“Yeah. Daniels also got me the gun. He likes to go to the shooting range from time to time, so that’s how I got it.”

“I see. Do you know why he decided to help you?”

“Daniels hated Charles, so it wasn’t that hard to convince him.”

“Kingsley and Williams left the interrogation room and walked into the office.

“Did she admit to it?” Ashley asked.

“Yeah. And Daniels was her accomplice.”

“You’re kidding?”

“Nope. He dumped Gray’s body, and he gave Miller the gun.”

“Well, it’s solved now.”

“Thank God, it is.”

Kingsley and Williams left.

“So they’re not even saying bye anymore?”

“I guess not.”

Then Johnson walked in.

“Where’s Kingsley?”

“You’ve actually just missed him.”

“Ah, right. When you see him tomorrow, send him to my office, would you?”

“Sure.”

Johnson left.

“I can see why he left in such a rush.”

“Same here. You want to grab a bite together?”

Ashley checked the time.

“If we can hurry. I’m meeting Max at 8.”

“Should be able to make that. Come on.”

 

Max and Ashley arrived at the beach front. Ashley was wearing a blindfold.

“Are we there yet?”

“How many more times are you going to ask me that?”

“I can easily floor you right now, I’ll have you know.”

“Just take it off already.”

Ashley took off the blindfold.
“The beach? Really?”

“It might not be that original, but it’s a great view from here. And besides, this beach is like a second home to me.”

“You live here?”

“Nah, I wish I did though. But I came here with my parents all the time when I was a kid.”

“Aw, that’s cute.”

“It’s always been a dream for me to live here once I had enough money saved up.”

“Were you going to live here alone? Because that seems kind of lonely.”

“Haven’t you ever thought about that?”

“Thought about what?”

“Living with someone you love, near a place like this?”
“Isn’t that what everyone would want? A beautiful house near the beach?”

“Yeah, I suppose you’re right. Why don’t you take off your shoes, so we can go for a dive?”

“Are you serious?”

“Why not? There’s nobody here.”

“It’s probably really cold right now.”

“Are you scared?”

“You know what, I’ll race you there.”

“Deal.”

They both quickly took off their shoes, and started running towards the water.


© Copyright 2017 Fleur Petersen. All rights reserved.

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