Double Trouble

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  No Houses
Another mystery awaits when the body of Ellen Whistler is found. Something that seems unsolvable at first slowly becomes solvable when something from the past comes to light. In the meantime, Ashley doesn’t seem to be feeling so good.

Submitted: July 13, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: July 13, 2017



Ashley arrived at the office.

“Good morning, sunshine.” Christine said.

“If that’s what you want to call it.”

“Someone’s not feeling too great.”

“Someone clearly is.”

“What’s wrong?”

“Just not feeling too great, that’s all.”

“I can tell, you’re looking pale.”

“I’ll be alright.”

“If you say so.”

Christine continued reading the newspaper, like she did every morning when there wasn’t a case to work on. Suddenly, Ashley went even paler.

“Excuse me.”

She ran out of the office. Then Kingsley walked in.

“Good morning, chief.”

“Morning. Where’s Summers.”

“My guess is the bathroom.”


Then the phone rang.

“Kingsley here.”

While Kingsley was calling, Ashley walked back into the office.

“Sorry about that.”

“Not to be rude, Ash, but you look terrible.”

Kingsley hung up.

“A body found near Fairmount Avenue. Come on.”

Kingsley and Williams walked out of the office.

“Do you want me to drop you off at your house?” Christine asked.

“No, it’s okay. I’ll be fine.”

“Alright. But don’t you dare throw up in my car.”

“I’ll try my best.”

Christine grabbed her coat and they walked out of the office.

“Don’t you need your coat? It’s only 48 degrees out.”

“It feels like 90 to me.”

“Just saying.”

They got in the car. Christine handed Ashley a bottle of orange juice.

“That should cure your little hangover.”

“I don’t have a hangover.”

“Are you sure?”

“Then did you eat anything that’s been expired for like a year?”

“Food doesn’t get the chance to expire in my fridge.”

“Do you eat that much?”
“I don’t buy that much. I’m not you, remember?”

“Very funny.”


A little while later, they all arrived at the crime scene. Kingsley and Williams walked over to Max.

“And, Warren?”

“The cause of death is quite obvious, a stab in the left midriff and then bled to death.”

“What time?”
“I’d say between 10 and 12 last night.”

“Let me guess, nobody here saw or heard anything?”

“You’ll have to question your team for that, not me. But I don’t think she’s been killed here.”

“How come?”
“There’s no blood.”

“Oh, but I see plenty of blood.”

Max chuckled.

“There’s no blood around the body, just on it.”

Then Ashley and Christine walked over to them.

“Well, we still need to go around the neighborhood, but the person who found the body didn’t see or hear anything.”

“Well, that’s no surprise. Any idea who she is?”
“She didn’t have a wallet or anything on her, so…”
“Alright. Summers and Andrews, you two play some ding dong ditch in the neighborhood here.”

“Okay, chief.”


Kingsley and Williams walked away.

“You okay, sweetie?”
“I’ll be fine. Just not feeling too great.”
“Well, I hope you’ll feel better tomorrow.”
“What’s tomorrow?”
“That’s a surprise.”
“I hate surprises, and you know that.”

“I learned from experience that you don’t hate mine.”
“Fine, you win.”

“Already giving in?”

“Don’t make me hit you.”

“How about I pick you up at 6 or so?”
“Sure, sounds good.”

“Are you done arranging your date? Because we’ve got more to do.”
“She’s all yours for now, Christine.”

“Thank you.”

Ashley and Christine walked away.


A little while later, Ashley and Christine arrived at the office.

“Chief, you won’t believe this.” Christine said.

“We’ve got a description of the culprit.”
“Yeah. It’s not very useful, but it’s something at least.”

“So around 11.50 last night, one of the neighbors saw a blonde woman move something towards the dumpsite.”

“The corpse?”
“Possibly, but apparently there’s been a power outage in that area, so it was dark.”

“How convenient.”

“Yeah, you’d say it’s a bit too convenient.”

“Andrews, check if that power outage was legit or a setup.”


“Summers, you check the database for a matchup with our victim.”

“Alright, chief.”

“And we?” Williams asked.

“We’ll take another look around the neighborhood where she was found. Perhaps we missed something.”
“I thought forensics already checked that area completely.”
Just then, Max walked in.

“Warren? You already found something?”
“No, I was just about to start examining her when Smitty brought me this.”

Max handed Kingsley a handbag.

“Does it belong to the victim?”
“Probably. The guys just dusted it for prints. They only found one set, which probably belong to the victim.”

“I see. Thanks Warren.”
“No problem. Bye.”
“See you.”

Max walked out of the office.

“Summers, I got a gift for you.”

Kingsley put the bag on her desk.

“I’ll get it done.”

“Still feeling sick?”
“It’s better now.”


Ashley put on a pair of latex gloves and started searching the bag.

“Alright, our victim’s name is Ellen Whistler, 29 years old. In relationship with this cutie right here...”
She put a picture of them on the whiteboard. She then continued searching the bag, which didn’t contain anything interesting aside from a wallet and a cellphone.

“Alright, that’s everything.”

“What does her phone tell us?”

“She has two missed calls from a certain Joe, which is probably her boyfriend, from this morning. And then last night, two missed calls around the time of death. One at 9.34 pm from a certain Sarah, and then another one at 9.51 pm from Joe.”

“Any last names?”
“Nope. But I’ll check her messages.”

“And her wallet?”
“Contained the normal things, a membership card of the fitnessclub and 72 bucks.”

“Which fitnessclub?”
“Get fit or get hit.”
“Odd name.”
“Oh, whoops. That’s the slogan, my bad. The name’s Fit Double Fit.”

“You’re kidding.”

“Something the matter?”
Kingsley started laughing.
“Come on, Nick. Let’s go pay them a visit.”

They left the office.
“Did I miss something?”
“That’s where the commissioner works out.”
“Yep. Every Tuesday and Thursday in the afternoon.”

“Am I blind or something? Because he’s still kind of… you know.”

“It’s just strength training, not cardio.”

“That explains it.”


Kingsley and Williams arrived at the fitness club, and they walked over to the girl who was doing reception.

“Good morning, gentlemen.”

“Good morning. The fitness club, is that upstairs?”
“The fitness club is only for members, just like our other facilities.”

“If you’d like, you could become a member in a matter of minutes.”

“No thank you. I’m not interested in getting my muscles hurt and having to pay for it.”
Kingsley pulled out his police card. The expression on the girl’s face went from smiling to serious.

“Is the fitness club upstairs?”
“Thank you.”

Kingsley and Williams went up the stairs. They walked over to the trainer.

“Good morning, gentlemen. New here?”
“No, I’m afraid not. Chief inspector Kingsley and inspector Williams. You’re the owner?”
“Yeah. I also enjoy helping people, so I train them myself as much as I can.”

“I see…”

“But I swear, all of my taxes are clean, I can prove it…”

“Your payments, or the lack of them, don’t interest us.”

“Oh. May I ask what you are here for then?”
“Do you know a certain Ellen Whistler?”

“Yeah, I know Ellen. She trains here every Monday and Wednesday.”
“When’s the last time you saw her?”
“Last Wednesday. She didn’t show up yesterday.”
“And you didn’t try to contact her?”
“I tried to call her, but she didn’t answer.”

“What time?”
“Around 7 or so.”

“Where were you last night between 10 and 12.”

“I was with some friends.”

“At L’estaminet.”

Kingsley tossed a notepad and a pen on the table.

“I want the names and numbers of those friends.”

The trainer started writing. Then Kingsley’s phone rang.
“Yeah, Andrews?... It is?... I see… No, it’s fine, just run some background checks, alright?... Yeah, bye.”

“The power outage was legit.”


The trainer gave the notepad to Kingsley.

“Here you go.”

“Thank you.”

“Have a nice day, gentlemen.”

Kingsley and Williams left.


Kingsley and Williams walked into the office.

“Chief, I found someone who matches the culprit description perfectly.” Ashley said.

“Really? That’s great. Who is it?”

“Sarah Hutchkins. But she can’t have done it.”
“How come?”
“She’s been in a coma for three months.”

“Hm. Yeah, then she can’t have done it. Anything else?”
“I did a background check on that trainer. No charges, empty record.”


“But I did speak to some of his trainees. Apparently he’s a real womanizer.”

“A girlfriend?”
“Not just one. So far I’ve called four women who train there.”
“All of them?”

“Yeah, and I still need to do 26 more.”
“Wait, how did you get a list of phone numbers?”

“There’s a member list on the website. And I pulled the numbers out of the system.”
“I see. You keep on doing that.”

“Summers, did that trainer call last night?”
“Yeah, at 7.08 pm.”
“And you say that now?”
“I thought you wanted the calls around the time of her death, I didn’t think a missed call from trainer James Anders really mattered that much.”

“Hm. Is that it?”
“Alright, you two go to the hospital and check in with the treating doctor of Sarah Hutchkins.”

“Alright, chief.”

Ashley and Christine left the office.


A little while later, they walked into the hospital.

“Do you want to wait here while I ask reception?” Christine asked.

“No, I’ve got a better idea.”
They walked over to Lisa, who was walking in and out of the different rooms.

“Lisa, wait up.”

“Oh, hey Ashley.”
“You remember Christine, right?”
“Of course I do. Anyway, what are you doing here?”
“Do you know who the treating doctor is of Sarah Hutchkins?”
“Yes, that would be me. Why?”

“It’s for a case. Any developments?”
“No, nothing’s changed yet.”
“But you usually don’t keep them in coma that long, do you?”
“Usually not, but the family is resisting any actions, so…”

“Understandable. Is there a lot of family?”
“Just a sister, Sophia.”
“Where’s Sarah’s room?”
“I’ll walk you there. I have to be on that floor anyway.”

They stepped into the elevator. Nobody said anything, until they reached the third floor.

“There we go. It’s the third door on the right.”
“Aren’t you coming with us?”
“I have to finish my rounds. But I have my break after that, so we could get some coffee.”

“Sure, sounds good.”

Ashley and Christine walked into the room.

“Good afternoon, miss…”
“Hutchkins. Sarah’s my sister.”

“Are you twins?”


“How did your sister get in a coma?”

“Car crash. Some dumbass ran a red light and crashed into her just like that.”

“The doctor told me that you want to keep Sarah in her coma. Is that correct?”
“If they unplug these machines, she’ll die.”
“But is it really better this way?”
“At least she has a chance of waking up now.”

“Sophia, back to the car crash for a minute. Was anyone with her?” Christine asked.

“No, she was alone.”
“Where were you when it happened?”
“I already told the police so many times.”

“Just tell us again, please?”
“I was with Ellen.”
“Ellen Whistler?”

“Yeah, we’re friends. But now that you mention it, I haven’t heard from her in two days.”

“Where were you last night between 10 and 12?”
“I was here?”
“That’s quite late. Aren’t visiting hours long over by then?”
“I kind of fell asleep and I woke up here this morning.”

“I see…”
“Why? What happened?”
“We found Ellen. Dead.”

“You can’t be serious.”
“I’m afraid I am serious.”
“We’ll… leave you to it.”
Ashley and Christine walked out of the room.

“We can check her alibi. There’s cameras here, right?”
“I’m afraid not.” Lisa said. She had just walked over to them.

“Jesus, Lisa. You scared the crap out of me.”
“Doctors have that effect on some people.”

“But what do you mean, there are no cameras?”
“We only have cameras in the corridors and outside. Not in the rooms.”
“Why not?”
“Privacy reasons. But what would you need camera footage for?”
“To check Sophia Hutchkins’s alibi.”
“Let’s get to the café first. We can discuss everything there.”


It was quite busy at L’estaminet, which was quite normal for the time of the day. It was lunch time after all.

“And you’re sure about that?”
Kingsley and Williams were sitting at a table on the terrace, close to the window. Bruno, the owner, was standing at their table.

“O’course I’m sure. I’ve been doin’ this long enough for it. That guy’s been here all night. Couldn’t even walk properly by the time he left.”

“And what time was that?”
“Well, that must’ve been ‘round 2 or so. Not long before closin’ time.”
“Any people with him?”
“A few. Kicked out two of ‘em.”

“Pair o’ troublemakers. And they’re allowed to have fun here, that’s what the place is for. But they were takin’ it too far.”
“And Anders himself?”
“He’s been here this mornin’ to apologize for their behavior.”

“Thanks, Bruno.”
“No problem, Pete. Want anythin’? It’s on the house.”

Bruno only offered free drinks to his best customers, and there wasn’t a better customer in town than Kingsley.

“Sure, why not? One won’t hurt.”
“And two won’t either.”

Williams rolled his eyes. He knew exactly what that meant. No more work for the rest of the day, and it was only 2.30. He didn’t really mind though. It was starting to get warmer, so relaxing on the terrace with an ice cold glass of water didn’t seem too bad.


Ashley, Lisa and Christine walked into café The Four Windmills. They decided to sit inside, for the simple reason that the air conditioning worked better than the wind.

“Hey Jake, what’s up?”

“Hey Lisa. Not much. Bruno’s taking all of my customers, as always.”

“You’re the one who decided on the ‘café food only’ concept.”

“It’s cheaper.”

They sat down in the corner next to a retro jukebox.
“So, what’ll it be for the ladies?”
“We’ll take three Spring Specials.”
“Got it.”

Jake got behind the bar.

“Spring Specials?” Christine asked.

“Yeah, Jake has season specials. It’s a pretty cool concept.”
“Like his café food only concept?”
“Yeah, he only does hotdogs and snacks and stuff. Bruno serves actual food.”

“So Jake’s not running that well then?”
“He’s running just fine. He’s got more customers in the late evening.”
“Anyway, Sophia’s alibi is solid.”

“How do you know?”
“She arrived at around 8.30 pm, right before my shift ended, and I heard from Grace that she’s been in there all night.”

“Why is it just her sister there?” Ashley asked.

“I believe her father had a heart attack a couple years back, and her mother died of cancer not too long ago.”
“That’s so sad.”
“Yeah, I know. Nothing to do about it, though.”
“But she can’t be our culprit. She has brown hair, not blonde.”
Jake brought their drinks over.

“Do you guys want to pay them right now or when you leave?”
“We’ll split it when we leave. That might be a little while.”


Jake walked away. Ashley took a sip of her drink.
“Hm, this is really good.”
“Told you.”
“What even is this?” Christine asked while she was looking at her glass.

“It’s a mix of apple cider and lemon juice.”
“It sounds awful, but it tastes delicious.”

“I know the feeling. Jake’s got all these weird combinations that somehow work together. That’s how he keeps his customers.”
While Lisa and Christine were talking about Jake and his café, Ashley looked outside.

“Hey Ash, what are you looking at?”

“Looks like Kingsley and Williams had the same idea we did.”
“You’re not being serious.”
“I am, look.”

They all looked outside the window.

“Guess you won’t be scolded for taking a break now.”

“That’s pretty funny, to be honest.”
“So anyway, tell me about the case you’re working on.”
Ashley and Christine explained every little detail about the case.

“I see. And you didn’t find anyone else fitting that description?”
“No, but it could be any blonde woman really. Sarah wasn’t even a solid lead.”

“And that’s all you have to go on?”
“Yeah, Max won’t have the results before tomorrow, the trainer’s got an alibi for the time of death, and we’ve got nobody else with a motive.”

“And what about her boyfriend?”
“We still need to check him. Problem is, we don’t have his last name.”

“But we have his number.” Christine said.

“Right, I forgot.”
“Wait, what were those missed calls?”
“I believe one from Joe and one from… Sarah.”
“Huh, how can Sarah have called her when she’s been in a coma for the past three months.”
“Maybe Sophia used Sarah’s phone?”

The rest of the afternoon they just talked about the case, Lisa’s work as a doctor and some other things as well. Lisa had agreed to work in the evening, so she had the afternoon off. Around 5.30 they paid for their drinks and they all went home.


The next morning, Ashley arrived at the office.


“Hey Ashley. Sick again?”
“I’ll be fine, really.”
“Look, if you’re sick, you should stay home and rest.”
“I told you, I’ll be alright.”

Ashley started opening and closing the cupboards.

“Looking for something?”
“I’m looking for something to eat.”

“Didn’t you eat breakfast?”
“I did, but I’m just hungry.”
“If you have any change, you can get something from the vending machine.”

“Right, there’s a vending machine.”

Ashley walked out of the office. Christine was worried about her. Clearly she wasn’t fine. Something was obviously wrong, but what? Could she be…

Ashley walked back into the office, holding three protein bars and two candy bars.

“You do realize that protein bars are almost just as bad as candy bars, right?”
“Doesn’t make them any less tasty.”
“Anyway, I figured out who that Joe is…”

Just then, Kingsley and Williams walked in.

“Good morning, chief.”
“Anything new here?”
“We found out who the victim’s boyfriend was. Joe Mills. Should I call him in for interrogation?”
“Yes, do that.”

“We went to the hospital yesterday, Sarah’s sister is innocent. She’s been in Sarah’s room all night.”

“And she has brown hair, not blonde.”
“Alright. You two go to Warren, see if he’s found anything.”
“Okay, chief.”

Ashley and Christine left the office.


A little while later, they walked into Max’s office.

“Hey sweetie.”
“Hey. I was just about to call you.”
“You found something then?”

“Yes. You know that I calculate the time of death by comparing the temperature of the liver to that of the surrounding environment.”


“Well, that usually works perfectly.”

“But in this case it didn’t?”

“The murderer delayed the cooldown of the body, so the liver was a higher temperature than normal.”

“There’s many ways to do that. You could turn up the heater, move the body to a hot room…”
“Warren, when did she die?”
“Between 6 and 8 last night.”
“Anything else?”
“No, I’ll send the report over later today.”

“Thanks, Warren.”

Christine left the office.

“Still feeling sick?”
“I’ll be alright. It’s just a cold.”

“Or you’re allergic to mornings.”

“You know, we can go out some other time if you’re not feeling good.”
“Tonight’s fine. At 6, right?”
“Are you going to tell me where we’re going?”
“Nope. You’ll just have to wait and see.”
“I can question you until you crack.”

“Then I hope you’ve got some time, because I won’t crack.”

Then Christine walked back in.

“Ash, are you coming or not?”
“Yeah, one second.”
Christine walked back out.

“I’ll see you tonight.”

“Yeah, bye.”

Ashley left the office.


“What’s with the impatience?”
“We’ve got a case, remember?”
“This has nothing to do with the case, does it?”

“What makes you say that?”

“Because I know you, Christine. What’s the matter?”
“Nothing, okay?”
“They got in the car. It was quiet. Very quiet.

“It’s Alex.”

“Is he bothering you again?”
“He’s been calling four times a day for the last month.”
“How did I miss that phone ringing?”
“It hasn’t been ringing. I’ve put it on don’t disturb.”

“You really have to do something about it.”
“I know, it’s just…”

“Have you seen him since your fight?”
“Maybe you should. Avoiding him won’t solve anything.”
“Since when are you a psychologist?”
“Since I am. Do you know where he lives?”
“I have no idea. I do know where his parents live, but…”
“Alright, let’s go then.”
“Wait, do you mean now?”
“Why not?”
“His parents don’t know what happened, I don’t think…”
“What’s Alex’s last name?”
“Brody, why?”
Ashley grabbed her phone.

“Hey Nick… Yeah, everything’s fine. Listen, can you look up the address of a certain Alex Brody?... No, it’s for something else… Nick, please?... Alright, thank you. Bye.”

“Really? You called Nick?”

“We know his address now.”

“Yeah, but now the whole station will know.”

“No, they won’t. There’s a reason I called Nick.”
“Alright, what’s the address?”
“Dundee Road 76.”

“Let’s go then.”


Kingsley and Williams were in the office.

“What did Summers want that address for?”

“Don’t know. All I know is that it’s not for the case.”

Then a man walked in.

“Hello. My name’s Joe Mills. You wanted me to come over for questioning?”

“Ah, yes. Follow me, please.”

They went into the interrogation room.


Christine parked the car in front of the grass field.

“Do you want me to come with you?”
“No, this is something I have to do alone.”

“You got this.”

“Here goes.”

Christine got out of the car and walked up to the door. She rang the doorbell. Not long after that, the door opened.

“Christine, I’ve been trying to reach you.”
“We need to talk.”
“Alright, what’s wrong?”
“In case it wasn’t clear after our last conversation, I want you to leave me alone.”

“And you’ve come all the way here to tell me that?”

“I’m serious.”
“You still haven’t forgiven me, have you?”
“If you would’ve been honest with me there and then, I might have.”
“Look, I’ve been an idiot. I know that. But I still feel the same way about you.”

“Alex, it’s not going to happen. So I would really appreciate it if you would just leave me alone.”

There was a short moment of silence.

“Sure, I will.”

“Thanks. I’ll… see you around.”

“Not if I see you first.”

Christine got back in the car.

“He said he would leave me alone.”

“That’s great.”

“It’s like a weight just got off my chest.”
“What I don’t understand, he’s been calling you for the past month, and you didn’t seem bothered by it at all.”

“Remember that thing you said to Warren, before we came here?”
“About him cracking?”
“Yeah. That’s a joke me and Alex used to make all the time.”

“Wait a second, you heard everything we said?”
“The door was open.”

“So you eavesdrop our conversations now.”

“Yeah, pretty much.”
“You’re terrible.”
“Why thank you.”

Christine started the engine, and they drove away.


Ashley and Christine walked into the office.

“Ah, there you are.”
“Has Mills come in yet?”
“Yeah, he has an alibi.”

“What’s his alibi?”
“Between 10 and 12, he was working.”
“He works as a security guard at the hotel on Chestnut Street. He had the night shift.”
“Well, then that alibi is worthless.”
“How come?”
“Warren concluded that Ellen Whistler died between 6 and 8.”


“Yeah, he’ll send the report later today.”
“So we should check the alibies again.”

“But I don’t feel like doing it. And you two just got here. Who’s in for something to drink?”
“I could use one.”

“Alright, let’s go then.”


The four of them walked into L’estaminet.

“Ah, Pete. Back so soon?”

“Work purposes only, Bruno.”

“Yeah, right. I’ll be right with you guys.”

They sat down at a table near the bar.

“Alright, let’s recap. Monday, April the seventh, Ellen Whistler gets killed between 6 and 8 pm.”

“The culprit gives himself, or herself, an alibi by delaying the cooldown of the body.”

“How’d that Sarah get in a coma again?”

“A car crash, I believe.”

“Look into that when we get back.”

“You think Sophia has something to do with it?”
“If Ellen Whistler was involved in that car crash, then she has a hell of a motive.”
“She can’t have done it.”

“Why? She could’ve easily worn a blonde wig.”

“That’s not the point. At around 8.30, Sophia entered Sarah’s room. According to the nurse who was working that night, she didn’t leave until the next morning.”

“Are you completely sure about that, Summers?”
“I could ask Lisa to send the camera footage to confirm it.”

“Yeah, do that.”

Then Bruno walked over to them.

“You guys ready to order?”
“I think we’ll all settle with some coffee.”
“I’ll also take a salad, Bruno.” Ashley said.
“Alright, I’ll bring it over soon.”

Bruno walked away.

“Wait, but if Sophia arrived at the hospital at 8.30, she could’ve easily killed Ellen.”
“She can’t have moved the body to Fairmount Avenue. Do we know where she was killed?”

“There was no blood and no sign of a fight in her house. But we need search warrants for our suspects.”

“All of them?”
“Yes. Do you have a better idea, Summers?”
“No, I don’t.”

Bruno put their orders on the table and disappeared into the background.

“Anyway, I want you two to check the alibies of our suspects. Perhaps there’s one with a hole in it.”

“Okay, chief.”

“And don’t forget to look into that car crash. Could be important.”
“We’ll also look into friends and acquaintances. Perhaps we can find the mystery accomplice.”

“Right, I forgot about that. Do that.”


Two hours later, Kingsley and Williams walked into Hannah’s office.

“Oh, hey guys.”

“Hey sweetheart.”

They sat down.

“Who do you need a search warrant for and what evidence do you have for me?”
“Well, we’re a bit short on the evidence, but we need search warrants for James Anders, Sophia Hutchkins and Joe Mills.”

“Hang on, you want three search warrants without any evidence?”
“I know it’s hard, but…”

“Hard? I think the work you’re looking for here is impossible.”


“Pete, I can’t let you turn three houses upside-down without any evidence. What are you even hoping to find there?”

“Traces of blood.”
“Traces of blood?”
“Ellen Whistler was dumped on Fairmount Avenue, but she was killed somewhere else.”

“Those are our three suspects.”
“And what are you going to do if you’re wrong?”
“Find something else, of course.”
It got quiet for a minute.

“Hannah, please.”

“If you’re wrong, you’re going to take responsibility in front of Hernandez, right?”
“Under that condition, and only under that condition, you’ll get your warrants.”

Hannah went through her papers. She didn’t really agree with the decision she just made, but she didn’t want to get into a fight with Kingsley either. She signed the warrants and handed them to Kingsley.

“You do realize that Hernandez will kill you if you’re wrong, don’t you?”
“Yes, I know.”

Kingsley put the warrants in his pocket.

“Yes, I know… I’ve been working here for ten years, I know the standard procedures, but it’s urgent… Three months ago… A car crash, the victim was Sarah Hutchkins… Thank you.”

Christine hung up.

“I never knew Curley could be so goddamn annoying.”

“I think he spends a little too much time in that archive.”

“He started talking about how files should be requested early through an email or a memo.”
“Yeah, but Curley is like sixty years old, single and he’s holed up in the basement all day.”

“Okay, I’ll give Mills and Anders a call. You okay with doing Hutchkins?”


Kingsley and Williams arrived at Mills’s house, along with the forensic team.

“Pete, I don’t think we’re going to find anything here.”

“If we don’t find anything here, we’re dead.”

“You can say that again.”

“Point is, even if Hernandez won’t kill us, we won’t have any leads.”

“We’ve still got hope.”

They rang the doorbell. Not long after that, the door swung open.

“Mr. Mills, we have a warrant to search your house.”

Mills grabbed the paper and quickly went over it. He then stepped aside.

“Come in.”

They walked inside.

“Alright guys, you know what to look for.

The forensics started searching the rooms one by one with a blacklight.

“Chief inspector, can I ask you something?”

“Why do you suspect me? I love Ellen. Don’t you believe that?”

“What I believe doesn’t matter, Mr. Mills. It’s what I can prove that matters. And you’ll stay a suspect until you’re proven innocent.”
“Isn’t it the other way around?”
“Not in my book, Mr. Mills. Now that I’m talking to you, are you befriended with any blonde women?”
“What kind of question is that?”
“Are you?”
“Thank you.”

A little bit later, Smitty walked up to them. No traces of blood, and all of the knives and tools are clean and complete.”

“Thank you, Smitty.”

“See? I told you I was innocent.”

Kingsley didn’t say anything.

“Sorry for disturbing, Mr. Mills.” Williams said, and they left.

“Well, let’s go face the music.”


“How could the two of you be so incredibly stupid?”

Georgina Hernandez was known as one of the most unpleasant people on earth among the people who worked for her.


“Three houses. You turned three houses upside-down! And what did you find? Nothing. Not a shred of evidence.”

“Just let me explain…”

“And to think your wife provided you with those warrants while you didn’t have any evidence.”

“Hannah didn’t want to give them, I convinced her to.”
“She gave in to it. This will have consequences for all three of you. Now get out.”


“Out of my office. Now!”


Kingsley and Williams walked into the office.

“And, chief? How did it go?” Ashley asked.

Kingsley ignored the question and say down at his desk.

“We didn’t find anything.” Williams said.

“Oh… That’s not good.”

“No, not really.”

Ashley looked at the clock. It was already 5 o’ clock.

“Chief, would you mind if I headed out now? I have somewhere I need to be.”

“Alright, see you guys tomorrow.”
“Bye, Ash.”
Ashley grabbed her jacket, hung it over her shoulder and left the office.


Ashley and Max arrived at a quaint restaurant, and they sat down.

“This place looks awesome.”

“I know. Have you ever been here before?”
“No, never.”

“I used to come here all the time with my brother.”
“Why don’t you anymore?”
“That was the time before he became a bragging jerk.”
“What does he do for a living?”
“I’m pretty sure you know him. He’s a lawyer.”
“Wait… Your brother is Miguel Warren?”

“But you look nothing alike.”
“That’s because he was adopted.”


“But enough about my brother. How are you doing?”
“I’m doing just fine.”

“You sure? You’re looking a little pale.”

“It’s no big deal. It’s been kind of a busy day.”

“Alright, if you say so.”

Then a waitress walked over to them.

“Good evening. Can I get you something to drink?”

“I’ll take the red wine, please.”

“Me too.”

“Alright, coming right up.”
The waitress walked away.

“So how’s Christine doing?”

“She’s okay. Why?”
“She seemed kind of upset this morning.”

“Oh, that. It was just something private, but it’s solved now.”

“That’s good.”
The waitress walked over to them and put their drinks on the table.

“Have you made your decision yet?”
“I’ll go with a classic T-bone.”

“And for you, madam?”
“I’ll take the spaghetti Bolognese.”

“Coming right up.”

The waitress took off.

“Sweetie, are you sure you’re alright?”
“Yeah, trust me, I’m…”

She fainted.


Ashley woke up in the hospital. Max had fallen asleep in the chair next to the bed. She groaned as she tried to sit up. Max woke up, and he sat down on her bed.

“Hey. You scared me back there.”

“What happened?”

“You took a turn for the worse and passed out.”
“That explains why my head feels like shit.”

Then a doctor walked in. She looked about as old as Ashley, and she had long black hair.

“Ah, you’re awake. Good.”
“Is everything okay with her?”
“Don’t worry, everything is perfectly fine. I told you that you were too worried.”

“Thanks again, Eliciana.”

“No problem. Ashley, was it?”
“You’re a police officer?”
“Yes, why?”
“I think it would be best to stay home and rest a little bit.”
“Oh, okay. But I can go home, right?”
“Yeah. I do want to talk to you for a minute. In private.”

“I’ll wait outside.”

Max left the room.

“I thought you said nothing’s wrong.”
“There is nothing wrong. I just thought I’d tell you in private so you can decide how you want to tell Max.”
“You’re kind of scaring me right now.”
“Well, I ran a few tests and...”
“Spit it out.”

“You’re pregnant.”
“Say what now?”
“The tests were clear.”
“Oh god…”
“That’s why I wanted to talk to you in private.”

“Yeah, I appreciate that.”

“I’ll call him back in, so he can drive you home.”

Eliciana opened the door, and Max walked back in.

“Alright, I’ll be off now. Stop by reception when you leave.”

“Okay. Thanks again, El.”

Eliciana left the room.

“What did she want to talk to you about?”
“Nothing special. Just the test results.”

“I see…”

Max didn’t believe it. Eliciana never wanted to talk to someone in private unless something was up.

“Can we go now?”

“Yeah, of course. I’ll help you up.”



Ashley and Max arrived at the apartment building.

“You going to be okay on your own?”
“I’ll be fine, don’t worry.”
“Last time you said that, you passed out on me.”
“I’m just going to rest and then I’ll feel better in the morning.”

“You sure?”
“Yeah, it’s okay. I’ll call you tomorrow.”

Max left. Ashley felt bad about keeping a secret from him, but she was too nervous to tell him.


The next morning, Kingsley walked into the office.


“Good morning, chief.” Christine said.

“Where’s Summers?”
“I don’t know. Maybe she overslept.”

“Hm… How are those alibies coming along?”
“Anders didn’t do it, he has a solid alibi. Mills and Sophia don’t have convincing alibies for time of death, but they have solid ones for the time that Ellen Whistler was dumped, so…”

“So we’re still nowhere. Andrews, go check in with Warren to see if he’s got the results of the DNA-test. And after that, take another look around the neighborhood where Ellen was found, see if they remember anything.”

“I’ll go with you.” Williams said.


Then Johnson walked in, holding a case file.

“Andrews, I heard from Curley that you wanted to look through the case file of Sarah Hutchkins’s car crash.”

“Yeah, and?”
“He told me it wasn’t the friendliest conversation.”
“Commissioner, I don’t have time to follow official procedures.”
Christine put her jacket on and walked past him. Williams quickly followed.

“What was that all about?”
“I really don’t need the commissioner on my back right now.”

“Well, I know the feeling.”

He was curious about what was bothering Christine, but he had worked with Kingsley long enough to know that he shouldn’t ask.


Christine and Williams walked into Warren’s office.

“Hey Warren.”
“Hello. What’s up?”
“Kingsley wanted us to check if you had the results of the DNA-test.”
“My assistant is actually making the report, so I’ll send it over.”
“Okay, thank you.”
“No problem.”

“Warren, can I ask you something?”

“Sure, what’s the matter?”
“Have you heard from Ashley? I tried calling her, but she won’t answer.”

“She might still be asleep.”
“It’s 10 o’clock. She’s never this late.”
“She’s staying home. Doctor’s advice.”
“You advised her to stay home?”
“I didn’t. Eliciana did.”
“Why? What happened?”
“We went out for dinner, and she passed out. So I took her to the hospital.”

“Yeah. At least she’s resting up now.”

“True that.”
“So what about that DNA-test?” Williams asked.

“I’ve found DNA from a certain Joe Mills…”

“Her boyfriend.”
“And some unknown DNA.”

“It’s not in the system.”

“Alright. Thanks Warren.”

Christine and Williams left the office.

“Fairmount Avenue?”
“That’s what the chief said.


At 10.30, Ashley woke up. She reached for her phone. Four missed calls from Christine. She decided to call her back.

“Hey Ashley, you doing okay?”
“I’m fine now. Sorry, I didn’t hear my phone ringing.”
“That just means you needed the sleep. You rest up, okay?”

“Yeah, I’ll come by the office this afternoon.”

“No, you won’t. After passing out like that, you need to rest.”

“It’s so boring, though.”
“I know. Now grab some breakfast and crawl back into your bed.”
“Fine, mom.”
“I’m not that old, Ash. Bye.”
“Talk to you later.”

She hung up.


Christine and Williams walked into the office.

“And?” Kingsley asked.
“Warren found some unknown DNA on the victim.”
“And Fairmount Avenue?”
“Nothing new.”
“Andrews, look through this file, would you?”

“Okay, chief.”

Then Ashley walked in.

“Look who we have here.” Kingsley said.

“Hello to you too, chief.”

“Come on, Nick.”
“Where are we going?”
“I’ll explain in the car. Now come on.”
Kingsley and Williams left.

“Ashley, I thought you would stay home today.”

“Relax, I’m fine. Is that everything on the car crash?”
“Ashley, I mean it.”

“So do I.”

“Fine. But if you’re not feeling good, tell me right away.”

“Will do.”


Kingsley and Williams arrived at the hospital. Lisa, who was just finished working her shift, spotted them and walked over to them.

“Chief inspector, what a pleasant surprise.”
“Have we met before?”

“I don’t believe we have. I’m Lisa Summers, Ashley’s sister.”
“Ah, of course. I knew you seemed familiar.”
“Can I help you with something?”
“Well, I think you can. Where’s the security room?”
“Follow me.”

They walked through many hallways until they reached a small office.

“Chuck, these people are from the police. Help them, would you?”

“Sure. Ask Chuck, ‘cause he ain’t got nothing better to do.”

“Thanks, Chuck.”

Lisa left.

“Chuck, was it? Do you have the footage from Monday evening?”
“Sure, hold on a sec.”

Chuck got up from his chair, walked over to a black shelf and opened it. A few DVDs fell out because it was so full. Somehow, Chuck seemed to know exactly which DVD he needed. He grabbed one from the top shelf and put it in the computer.


Ashley and Christine were looking through the file of the car crash.

“Christine, listen to this. Apparently the driver who ran a red light was Ellen Whistler.”

“That gives Sophia a huge motive. If she knew, that is.”
“Of course she knew. As family of the victim, she gets to see the file.”

“But didn’t Ellen get some sort of fine for it?”
“Sophia took her to court, Ellen lost her driver’s license for two weeks and had to pay 200 dollars fine.”

“That’s it?”
“Yeah. Sophia must’ve thought that Ellen deserved a bigger punishment.”

“I’ll call the chief.”

Christine grabbed her phone.

“Yeah, chief… Sophia Hutchkins has a motive. Ellen Whistler was responsible for the car crash… Really?... Okay, we’ll be on our way then… Okay, bye.”

“We have to pick up Sophia and bring her in.”

“Alright, let’s go then.”


Ashley and Christine arrived at Sophia’s house. They rang the doorbell. The door creaked open, but there was nobody in the doorway. They pulled out their guns and walked in. They didn’t have to search very long. There was a blonde Sophia just sitting on the couch. They put their guns away.

“Sophia Hutchkins, you’re under arrest for murder.”

Sophia got up. Before Christine had pulled out handcuffs, she pushed Ashley out of the way and ran for the door. Ashley hit the dining table and started coughing.  Christine pushed Sophia against the wall and cuffed her. Once she put Sophia in the car, she walked back inside.

“Hey, you okay? I couldn’t let her run after that.”

“I will be. I just… I didn’t see that coming.”

“Neither did I. And don’t worry, that baby should turn out just fine.”

“Excuse me?”
“You didn’t really think you could hide that from me now, did you?”
“How did you know?”
“Oh, come on. Morning sickness, food cravings and let’s face it, you’re starting to show.”

“Well, then you figured it out faster than I did. I only found out yesterday evening.”
“So how far are you?”
“Two months.”
“And what?”
“Did you tell Warren yet?”
“Well, give him a call, tell him to come to your place and tell him the good news.”
“Do you think he’ll take it well.”
“It’s Max Warren we’re talking about. He can’t be mad at you, even if you break his leg. Come on, I’ll drop you off.”


Max walked into the apartment.

“Hey, you said you needed to tell me something?”

“Yeah, sit down.”

“That’s not a good sign, is it?”
“Just sit down here already.”

Max sat down on the couch next to her.

“So, what is it you wanted to tell me?”

“I have some good news. I’m pregnant.”

“Ashley, that’s not good news…”
“It… It isn’t?”
“That’s amazing news. So that’s why Eliciana wanted to talk to you in private.”

“Well, then I think we need to discuss a few things.”
“Like what?”

“Our home situation, perhaps?”
“Right, we should probably discuss that…”

© Copyright 2018 Fleur Petersen. All rights reserved.

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