Chapter 12: Chapter 12

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 76

Luke took a moment before he followed Alex. As he gathered up the file and all of the papers he tried to dissect Alex’s words and actions. She was holding something important back. She was answering his questions with her defiance. He couldn’t grasp what could be so big that she couldn’t share it. He wouldn’t deny his shock to her mention of possible danger to his family, but he wasn’t convinced. The reaction felt more like transference. He was going to keep pushing. He always believed the truth was safer than lies. He just had to convince her he wasn’t the enemy.

He emerged from the break room and saw that she was waiting impatiently for him in the Captain’s doorway. With large strides, he was by her side. She moved slightly so he could enter first, but she didn’t make eye contact. The door wasn’t fully closed before Captain Peterson was questioning them. 

“How’s Katelynn?”

“Alive,” Alex answered quickly. She stood more rigid and more standoffish than she was in their earlier conversation. 

Her demeanor wasn’t lost on the Captain, but he kept talking in their direction. “We need to act quickly on this. I have a lot of heat to get this right.”

“I feel very confident in the direction we’re headed, Sir,” Luke answered moving forward. “We have security footage of a Michael O’Hara jumping Quinn’s fence and the fingerprints came back belonging to him.” He flipped to the file he had and began to read the information. “He was employed at Quest Medical as a Medical Sales Consultant up until about two months ago.”

“Do we have a motive?” The Captain asked.

“Nothing right now, Katelynn didn’t recognize him as her attacker.” He paused and looked to Alex for any additional information, or finally reveal why she and Kate had both responded with what he believed was recognition. Alex didn't respond beyond shaking her head. 

Captain gestured his hand towards Alex. “What?”

“Michael O’Hara isn’t our guy.”

“He appears to be our strongest suspect at the moment,” The Captain responded, and held the same look of confusion as Luke was feeling.

“No, Kate has a different account.” She staggered her stance and straightened in what felt like preparation for battle. “Damian Sloane attacked her with the full intention of killing her, and in the process killed Tyler.”

Luke turned in shock at the revelation. He felt the confusion turn to anger. He began to feel that he truly didn’t know who this woman was standing next to him. There had been so many opportunities to give him a heads up. Now he was unprepared and rattled.

Captain Peterson’s face dropped and repeated the information, “Damian Sloane? She’s sure?”

“There’s no doubt,” Alex answered in a matter of fact tone.

“What are we missing? What motive could he possibly have?” Peterson asked, his voice wavering slightly to her statement.

“That’s our job to find out, isn’t it?” Alex’s hands unclasped but she remained attentive.

“Respectfully,” Luke worked to keep his frustration under wraps. “Michael O’Hara should be our top priority. If Kate doesn’t know him, as she says, then we need to know why he was in her home.”

“I agree we need to find out why O’Hara was there,” Alex interjected, “But, like Detective Ryan had made clear earlier.” She finally turned and addressed Luke. “Kate was conscious and aware. She saw Damian, not Michael.” 

“We will look into both.” Peterson looked down and became even more preoccupied with his own thoughts. He pretended to care about organizing piles of papers on his desk. Suddenly he looked up and directed his words to Alex, “This does not get spoken about beyond this room and we have to navigate this carefully.” 

“How do we do that? We have to question Damian. Dr. Lee found skin under Tyler’s nails. Damian could have scratch marks, even dog bites.”

He didn’t answer and looked to Luke. “You need to focus on everything you can on O’Hara. Look at the case that Quinn had interviewed him for. Maybe there’s a connection.”

“So just dismiss what Kate says?” Alex asked her tone deepening. 

“I’m not disregarding Quinn’s identification, but-”

Alex spoke louder to interrupt and continue with her point, “Caleb Sloane’s a smart guy, especially when it comes to covering up anything negative. His nephew did this.”

“We aren’t the jury,” Luke stated calmly. He wasn’t about to ignore what Kate had said, but they had to be unbiased. 

She twisted her shoulders in his direction. Her eyes were on fire but didn’t speak to him. She turned back to face the Captain. “If she had said anyone else you wouldn’t hesitate.”

“We have to play this right. Carefully. Don’t do anything without coming to me, do you understand?”

“What about Damian?”

“I’ll personally look into his possible role.”

“Possible role? Seriously?” Her voice began to shake and rise with her growing intensity. “Are you going to get DNA, check for defensive wounds or marks indicating a fight? Or are Sloane’s exceptions?”

In response he shot out of his chair and focused his entire response to Alex. “Watch your tone, Detective.”

“I get it. It’s because he’s a Sloane.” She continued to battle and didn’t waver. “You’re afraid.” 

“Cruz, I’m warning you,” he threatened and pointed his finger towards Alex. 

“For what? Doing my job?”

“It’s not that simple. It is quite an allegation presented by Quinn.”

“Possible role and now allegation. I see exactly where this is going and it’s bullshit!”

“Could you say the man that was in the house and attacked you was Damian Sloane?” Luke countered.

She shot him a look that his question was seen as a betrayal. “No, but I didn’t stare at the man for who knows how long as he precisely stabbed me six times and was helpless to stop him from murdering my son.”

“I knew this was going to be too much for you.”

“It’s not too much, I need to make a point that Sloane is not swept to the side.”

Peterson shook his head. It was clear his decision was made before she had stepped into the office. “It’s a conflict of interest. Ryan can keep you informed and if you remember anything else, please divulge, but you can spend your time catching up on paperwork not related to this case. Got it?” Peterson ordered.

Alex’s jaw clenched and forced a nod before she stormed from the room. 

Luke didn’t move as fast. “Sir, we are going to look into Sloane aren’t we?”

“Yes, but you have to understand that when you go after anyone as high profile as Caleb Sloane it’s not so simple.”

“We aren’t looking at Caleb, this is Damian.”

“Put suspicion on any of his family and he sees it as an attack on him. If Damian did this then we need to do it by the books so he has no reason whatsoever to find a loophole or any mistake.”

Luke nodded his understanding but worried Alex wouldn’t be so quick to agree. Captain Peterson felt the same concern.

“I’m putting it on you to keep an eye on Cruz. I’m not sending her home because I worry she would go rogue. I get her urgency and passion and to be clear I'm not against her, but we can’t go in blind. We need to see all the angles.”

“Yes, Sir.”

The weight of everything had just become heavier. He saw that keeping Alex reigned in would be a task unto itself. There was nothing easy about what was set in front of them.

 

 


Submitted: September 28, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Kathrynmp. All rights reserved.

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