The Perfect Coverup

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

A police officer, with superior deduction skills is assigned to a murder investigation. While he tries to solve the case, he also has to battle the conflicts with his past.

The Perfect Cover Up
It was the 25th of September 2004 Steve Malcolm the owner of crude pharmaceuticals, in Carstvo city, was lying on his bed early in the morning staring at his ceiling. He had just returned from France where he earned the capitalist of the year's award in the international convention of entrepreneurs and his company was the highest grossing company of the year. A sense of accomplishment in his shimmering brown eyes like the mahogany behind him. He kept lying on the bed with his hands rolling on his huge belly and with a smile on his clean sheaved round face. He was a man in his early 30's,the company was in his family for generations and it was his time to handle it. He stretched for the last time and woke up while trying to comb his long black wavy hair with his hands pushing them back in little jerks. Still smiling he picked up his cordless phone on the table besides his bed dialled for his secretary.
"Hello" said an unfamiliar on the other side of the phone."Where is Brenda?"Malcolm asked with a slight frown on his face ,"Put Brenda on," he ordered in his heavy tone voice. The slightly hesitant voice of a woman on the other side said, "Sir, my name is Jane Calward, I was appointed by MR. Ben Argento , because Brenda  quit her job,."
 "Oh yes, I remember Ben sent me an email regarding the issue. I apologise,  So Jane I wanted  to check if the arrangements for tonight's party were in order." he said, "Yes sir everything is in order and as per schedule," she said "Alright Jane." Malcolm kept the receiver down with a big smile and a gleaming face full of elation, he checked the wedding ring on the table next to the phone.
The Buano Fortuna villa was one of the most famous buildings and was considered to be a great work of architecture in the city, around 9 o'clock the guests started arriving in their luxurious cars getting down at the front stairs, and their cars driven by the valets around a fountain exactly opposite the main entrance of the villa and then to the parking lot. The guests entered the main hall of the villa which was highly decorated for this special occasion. People gathered in the main hall to greet the host. 
Standing in front of the mirror Malcolm looked at himself well dressed in his favourite black tuxedo, adjusting his long hair pushing it all backward with some hair cream."Honey, let's go  people are waiting for us, now you wouldn't want to keep them waiting do you?" a very fruity voice came from outside of the door. Malcolm as always was delighted to hear this voice, he came out to see a fair woman wearing a fitted satin black dress with ruched detailing. Her long blonde hair was styled to the right hand side of her neck in loose waves, while she added a dash of red lipstick, she was Veronica Styles.
Malcolm went close to her and place his hands on her hips "Well someone's looking beautiful, too good for a girlfriend " he said looking into her sapphire blue eyes "How about I give you a surprise?" She smiled but only with her lips, her eyes were tense, She turned around to the dressing table adjusting her ear rings. "Something wrong ronnie?, Something troubling you? " he asked. She sat there and a single drop of tear rolled down her cheek turning to him she said "I've got something to tell you."
In the party were, Ben Argento  vice president of Crude industries, Joseph Jones the owner of Zenca corp, the rival industry to Malcolm's. "Congratulations on the achievement Ben," Jones said while holding his hand out to Ben.  "Thank you Joseph, I see u guys are still the second in the market after all it may turn out that defeating Crude is impossible while Mr. Steve is here, " Ben said while shaking Jones' hand, "Yes, we might be second ,but not for long Ben, not for long!" Jones said looking at Ben with a strange sense of confidence . Joseph's cellular phone rang and he took of signalling Ben with a finger, that he'll catch up later and went out of the villa.
From the main entrance entered miss Cristina Valesco  into the hall. She wore a bold strapless red dress. Her long and straight black hair was neatly tied into a pony. She was the owner of Valesco realty and also a very close friend of Veronica. She was trying to find Veronica when she thought of going into her room. On her way to Veronica's room she passed by Steve's room where she overheard Steve yelling "How could you do this to me!!". Feeling awkward to disturb them at such a moment she was returning to main hall when she saw Veronica coming out of the room, and going towards her room. " Ronnie what's wrong what happened between you guys?" said Cristina "Crissy... I want to be left alone for sometime," she said in a very chocked voice, wiping the tears of her face.
Cristina let her go and came to Steve's room, she saw him yelling at someone on the phone "Come into my room you asshole, I came to know about everything and I am going to call the cops, but first I want to settle this personally," he said with his fists clenched and eyes full of rage and tears. Cristina came downstairs thinking it would be better to give Steve and Veronica some time. 
Half n hour past Cristina was continuously looking towards both Veronica and Steve's rooms. She saw Veronica coming out of her room and going to Steve's. As soon as she entered she saw Steve lying on the floor in a pool of blood, her knees collapsed being unable to hold her body making her kneel on the floor. "THIS CAN'T HAPPEN, THIS IS NOT TRUE. " were the only words on her mind, conflicting her widely opened unblinking eyes. Her jaw dropped to let out a scream but there was no sound just air. It was as if she was hit by a two-by-four. She somehow managed to gather some strength and let out a big scream and tears followed.
Carstov  city police were at the place cameras flashing in Steve's room, the photographer trying to take photos from different angles. Down there was lying a dead body of Steve Malcolm. Pallor mortis and rigor mortis had set into the body making it pale and stiff. The temperature in the room was pretty high than normal making the body decompose even faster. The body was lying on the bedroom rug exactly ahead of the bed. There was blood splatter on the mahogany of the bed. Body had its eyes open looking towards the ceiling which began to darken and swell. There were 3 major wounds on the body 2 of them were on each of his forearms and the biggest of all 3 was near the kidney on the left hand side and there was a bruise on the stomach as if someone applied a lot a pressure on that spot. There were signs on the neck to choke him so that he couldn't call for help, fibres of a white coloured cloth were found around the neck making the use of a glove obvious. The window doors were left open making it a possible route of an exit.
Bruce Grayson a man of tall stature, with broad shoulders and short brown hair was standing in the room leaning against the wall exactly opposite to the body, taking short puffs from his cigarette while detailing the room while his team did the initial questioning of the people related to the case, making reports which will be on his desk for studying the next day. He was carefully observing the body while the paramedics were taking the body for forensics investigation. He looked at Veronica who was answering to one of his subordinates. She was answering the questions without doing much of thinking which gave Bruce a hint that she might be answering most of the questions with the truth.
He moved his dark black eyes towards Cristina, who was explaining the guy every bit of detail, lot of talking, making hand gestures pointing to people to make her point clear, stating the fact that she had already prepared her answers. Near the door was Joseph Jones answering  with the utmost indignation, he was annoyed on being questioned. Bruce had found his prime suspect.  
Bruce got out of the villa walking towards his car thinking about the motive behind the murder. He got into his 1992 buick, thoughts bursting into his mind about the crime. He got home opened the door went inside to the armchair he had near his window with a table next to it having an ashtray on it. Sat there taking out a cigarette from the box tapping it over the table, lighting it and started smoking. Visuals of a woman passed through his mind, he saw her standing near the window holding the bars of the window facing him, her pink lips were just on the verge of breaking into a smile, she was wearing a gray tank top and a white denim short pants, the cold breeze softly running through her wavy blonde hair. She came in, while lying over him planted a kiss on his lips. She placed a hand over his cheek "What's the matter, another case bothering you?" she asked. He didn't reply he just kept staring into her hazel blue eyes."You know that I love you right?" she said, he placed a hand on the side of her neck and "yes..." was the only word that came out.
Bruce's eyes opened to the rays of sunlight piercing into them. He rubbed his face with his hands blowing out air. His cell phone rang a name of  Elena Morrison flashed on the phone. He picked it up and said "hmm," "As usual late I see, there's a pile of statements waiting on your desk, this case is a pretty important case, get your ass up here right now and start working, you lazy ass." Elena slammed the phone. He kept the phone aside got up to take a shower.
The Carstov police department headquarters situated on the 54th street in the city was a circular grey building with black windows along the circumference of the building. The office was divided into different wings for different departments. Bruce entered his wing, his office was on the 12th, floor of the wing. He got into the elevator when the closing doors of the elevator were stopped by Elena she came in looking straight at him "So, why are you late again?"she said "You know the answer to it." Bruce said "You've gotta let go of the past Grayson, stop being so clingy," she said Bruce gave her a nod and got off the elevator.
Bruce entered into his office to neatly stacked pile of files right in the middle of the table. He sat down on his table took out a cigarette, tapped it on to the table, lighting it and started smoking it. He was more interested in Joseph's statements it said he was at the party at the time of murder, But then he read Ben Argento's and it said something else. He went on to interrogate Joseph Jones, he drove to his office to meet him.  Getting there he was said to wait in a room where he was told by his secretary that Jones would be there any moment.
The room was a typical office room with white walls, a window on the wall on left hand side of the door. A grey carpet laid on the floor extending right to the corners of the room. The room was brightly lit with white lights on the ceiling. The door knob turned and then came in Mr. Joseph Jones. He wore a brown breasted suit, with a white shirt and a red tie. He walked with a straight and confident posture, "Hello detective, I wonder what brings you here?" he said while sitting on the sofa, near the window, opposite to Bruce, crossing his legs. "Mr. Jones." Bruce nodded, "You speak as if nothing happened," he said with a slight frown. Jones looked down to his shoes and again looking up, "Life is all about profit and loss to me detective, yes Steve was a great man, a leader a very few people know the fact that,  we worked in the same company I worked under him, he was truly great person, a great leader in fact, learned a lot from him, " Jones said, keeping his hand on his pant pocket and again shifting his gaze towards his shoes. "I don't think you really believe in all that you said," Bruce said, "Yes I know, I don't really look up to him, because having all the qualities I just mentioned, he was my rival at the end of the day. It made me burn that I could not be as good as him, but now as sad and bitter the circumstances be, it turned out to be beneficial for me." he said while twisting his wedding ring, in his finger. Bruce then jumped right to the point, "So, Mr. Jones, where did you go, after talking to Ben." Jones abruptly stopped the twisting, continuing to look down at his ring something crossed his mind which made his face turn to that of a man about to punch someone, but there was a knock on the door, then an employee came in and set a tray with two cups of coffee on the table between them. Jones regained his control and calmed his senses, after the employee left, "Detective as far as I remember I never mentioned that I was absent from the party for even a small period of time." he looked straight  into Bruce's eyes, while keeping his hand on his pant pocket."This is the second time your phone is ringing since I got here, I have a hunch it's the same person calling who called you on that night." said Bruce. Jones shifted uneasily on the sofa, looking down to his shoes. "The fact that u look down too much makes u nervous, which u shouldn't be, being present in the party. Fidgeting with your wedding ring involves your marriage into your guilt, I am sensing an affair, a long term one. Mr. Malcolm found out about it and you thought it would be a good thing to put him out, you seem to happy about his death not for your company but for yourself as if you got rid of something maybe he was blackmailing you to gain something from you it's obviously not money, company takeover maybe? "Bruce said, Jones' face turned red and an expression of shock on his face his jaw was about to drop, "Detective...." Jones was about say something but he cut him off, "And the person calling you is the same girl you are involved with, maybe wants to know if you got rid of me, it must be difficult for you to handle me with a buggy woman onto your back, pushing in thoughts that you might want to avoid while talking to me, that justifies the anger,  but still you managed to pull a great amount of confidence." saying this Bruce laid back."She also is not from this office but has connections here, she knows that I am here, but doesn't know if m still here or not, that's why the calls are ill timed." saying this Bruce took the cup of coffee and started sipping. There was a silence for some time now. "Well you want to say something Mr. Jones?" said Bruce, "I didn't do it," Jones said with a very straight face."Yes.... I have an affair, and yes I m being blackmailed, but it wasn't Steve, it is the girl herself. She was my secretary, and we fell in love, we made love to each other many times, she got pictures of us during our intimate moments an d now she wants money. She's calling because she doesn't want me to tell all of this to you. I didn't do it, I didn't kill him." Jones said, tears rolled down his eyes. "My life is a wreck, I am tired of giving loads of my money to her. I love my wife I don't want to loose her , we were going through a rough patch in our marriage, and I fell in love with my secretary. Please help me," Jones said. Bruce kept the coffee cup down and got up, he went to the door and looked back at Jones. He was still sitting with his head down, Bruce left.
Bruce got into his car and stated driving to his office, "He isn't lying," he thought. He reached his office he sat down when Elena came in, "Wana have lunch?" she asked. It was 1 o'clock, Bruce was hungry, he nodded and they went downstairs to a restaurant. The El Rancho restaurant was a conventional place, they sat down in a cabin on chairs facing each other with a round table between them. While waiting for their order to come, "So what's the progress on your case? " Elena asked, "Nothing much, don't have any firm leads as of now," Bruce said. "I see you still don't sleep well, if only i would have let you go..." Elena was about to say something when Bruce interrupted "Elena, we've been over this a thousand times, it wasn't your fault."He said, the lunch arrived. "Seems like it's not only me, who's having trouble digesting the past," he said while having his lunch. "What case are you working on?" Bruce asked "Its regarding a drug manufacturer, I don't have any major leads but mainly they are into the production of crystal meth. They somehow got the formula wrong and now 5 teens are dead. There is a lot of pressure on us, these people are smart you see, they have planned every step carefully, even get the raw materials from a trusted source. " Elena said, Bruce nodded still thinking of who had it been, now that the main rival was out of the question. They finished their lunch and headed back to the headquarters . Bruce sat down in his chair lit up a cigarette and opened up Cristina Valesco's file, he had been waiting to interrogate her, considering the fact that she might be hiding something.
He drove to Cristina's apartment, it was an hour and a half away from the headquarters, He rang the bell and waited for her.  Bruce could see someone looking from the peephole of the main door and could hear footsteps going back in. She opened the door, she was wearing a blue denim short pant and a pink t-shirt. As soon as he entered the room he got a smell, which he recognised promptly, She offered him a seat, they were in the living room Bruce sat adjacent to Cristina while she sat with her back to the window having a balcony, Cristina asked "I thought I was done with the interrogation once I gave a statement?" "I have a few questions left for you miss Cristina." Bruce said, while looking at the sweaty hands of Cristina. "So, could you please just verify your statement you gave me on the night of the murder?" Bruce asked "What is this some kind of a joke, I told you I was at the party I saw Cristina, from the main hall, go to her room and after a while she came back and Steve was no more. " She said leaning back on her chair. A wind blew from the window giving Bruce a glimpse of the balcony something fell from the balcony railing."That's it ?" Bruce asked, "Precisely, Yes" Cristina said rubbing her hands on her pants. Bruce looked down to his shoes and smiled. "Miss Cristina, there is an ashtray placed on the balcony railing an empty pack of cigarettes just fell off of the railing, means  you've been smoking since this morning continuously, you didn't want me to know about your smoking habbit, so you sprayed  after smoke just before I entered your apartment, your hands have started sweating after I came in, so you are hiding something from us which has been bothering you because even you can't figure a proper reason for the thing that happened.  So if you could just share some more piece of information it would be very helpful. " he said laying back in his chair placing his hand on his chin. 
Cristina was dumbfounded, she had researched on Bruce knowing that he is the investigating officer of this case, and she now knew she had overdone to hide her nervousness. Cristina smiled, "I am amazed Mr. Grayson, you are even better than what my sources told me about you. Yes, I have been hiding a fact about Ronnie, how could I just  let her secrets out, she has been my friend for a very long time now you see, I don't want to betray her trust. But now as it seems I have no option left , yes I know what happened that day . Ronnie wasn't happy with Steve. He was a nice guy but his anger was out of his control, he used to hit Ronnie, even if it wasn't her fault just so that he could feel better, she was nothing but a thing on which he could take out his anger on. Steve loved her alot but couldn't control his anger, initially he was good but as time passed things got worse but he took an initiative and things were better between them he was trying to gain control over himself. During this rough patch, Ronnie met Danny, He works in Steve's company, they met in one of Steve's parties and he became a good friend, over the time they fell in love with each other. When Steve told me that he was going to propose Ronnie, I told her about it and that she should tell Steve about Danny. I guess she did, they had a fight and she came out of his room crying and she told me to wait downstairs, I saw Steve screaming at someone and telling him to come to his room I came downstairs and we all know what happened next. " she said. Bruce quietly listened to what she was saying and paid close attention to the way she was talking. She spoke very firmly and didn't do much remembering. Bruce believed her. "I believe you, thankyou for contributing to the investigation Miss Cristina, I'll take your leave now." Bruce left her place to go back to his. He took out a cigarette and lit it and began to drive to his place. He stopped by a diner near to his apartment, while having his dinner, he thought about the motive for the murder, now that the range of suspects had shortened to only two people Danny and Veronica. He thought about Veronica being a possible suspect owing to his experience. Most often it was the murderer who discovered the body, thinking of not getting under the radar of the person investigating the case, but they are the first person about whom the investigators are suspicious about.
He returned home, he turned on the lights looked around to find a mess of his house the clothes weren't in their proper place, the house hadn't been dusted for a long time. He poured himself a drink and sat on his armchair and started smoking. He opened his eyes to see himself standing in a dark space with a table near him and a lamp hanging above him. The blue eyed woman was lying on the table. She was wearing a patient's robe. He gently caressed her face, she suddenly opened her eyes, a look of distraught on her face. She looked at him "Where were you Bruce, look what happened to me Bruce, where were you?" she said tears rolled from the corner of her eyes upto her ears. Bruce stood there, helpless "I am sorry, Lora, I really am, I miss you..." he said. Bruce's knees weakened, they couldn't take his weight, he kneeled near Lora putting one arm around her stomach and began to sob "I AM SORRY!!" he said repeatedly. Lora gently placed a hand on his forehead moving it to the back of his head. Bruce looked at her "Come with me Bruce, come with me," she whispered. Bruce abruptly woke up, it was 8 O'clock in the morning, he wiped the tears off of his face and got up to get ready for work.
Bruce reached his office, he sent his subordinate to Crude pharmaceuticals to get the details of the man they called Danny. Meanwhile, he thought of paying Veronica Styles a visit. He drove to Buano Fortuna. A servant informed Bruce that Veronica was at her apartment. He then drove to Veronica's place. He was about to knock on the door of her apartment when he found lots of scratches on the front lock of the door. He observed the lock and understood that it was picked, it appeared as if someone had tried picking a lock for the first time. He knocked on the door, but there was no answer. He looked around to find a small area with rocks for decoration near the main door. He checked the rocks for a false rock. People usually use such rocks to hide a spare key in them, he did find a false rock but it was empty. He had no option left, he went down to his buick and took out a lock picking set out of the glove compartment of the car. He got to the main door and took out a torsion wrench and a hook pick and started picking the lock. He managed to open the door in the next five minutes. He got inside to get a strange smell as if something was rotting, the living room was empty, there was a window opposite to the main door which was shut and the curtains were closed making the room a bit dark. On the right hand side wall was the entrance to the bedroom and the kitchen. He went to the bedroom, the rotten smell got stronger, he opened the bedroom door he looked at the bed with a frown and a look of disappointment. He took out his cell phone dialled a number and said "This is detective Bruce Grayson and I need a forensics team right away....Take down the address." 
The forensics department arrived on the spot in the next thirty minutes, Veronica was lying on the bed with her hands and legs spread widely, like her body was imitating five points of a star. She was wearing a white night suit, which wasn't white anymore but red. Her throat was slit open, the slit wasn't a clean one it seemed as though the murderer had moved the knife in a oscillatory track many times till she was no longer alive. It had been done with extreme strength and poor technique. Her eyes were wide open looking at the ceiling of the apartment still in terror, her jaw was dropped down maybe she tried to scream but the knife got through the vocal cords pretty soon.  "The job was done sometime between three to four O'clock this morning," said Gary from the forensics department. Bruce walked around to the left side of the bed near the table looking around for something, "It was done at 3:25 am to be precise," said Bruce. Gary looked at him with disdain, "Oh really!! How can you tell?" he asked. Bruce picked up a broken table clock and held it up "This clock here tells me there was a struggle between her and the murderer," said Bruce. Bruce still wasn't satisfied he had a strong feeling that Veronica knew the murder if that wasn't the case, her body would be in the living room itself along with the signs of struggle, but then again if Veronica knew the murderer why was there a need of picking the lock, Bruce couldn't figure out. Gary got up letting out a huge sigh "I need to use the toilet," he said. Gary took of his gloves and opened the toilet door of the bedroom and he smiled "Well!! Hello there,I am Gary Simpson, Nice to meet you"he said. Bruce was standing near the bedroom window already in his bewilderment, and he turned to Gary "What is wrong with you?"he asked with a frown. "Hey c'mon detective meet my friend here," Gary said pointing inside the toilet. Bruce went to check what was inside and he saw a man dressed in blue jeans and a black t-shirt lying just in front of the toilet seat with a bullet hole on the side of his head. He went on to look closely as to find who it was, but he did not recognise the man "Do your thing and give me a report on him too." Bruce came out of the toilet, now things had been clear there was a third person involved who had come in after this man had. He knew that this man would kill Veronica and he got in silently after Veronica was killed and killed her murderer leaving no loose ends. 
Gary found his wallet in his pocket, he opened it took out a card and said "My friend here,is named Daniel Dookard." Bruce wondered if this was Danny, about whom Cristina talked about. "Pretty strange though both of the bodies have one thing in common, both of them had this card," said Gary handing over a visiting card to Bruce. It was a doctor's visiting card named Dr.Ethan Heming working at the city hospital surprisingly the doctor was a gynaecologist. Bruce saw no option but to visit him now that according to him both his prime suspects were lying dead. "Send me the detailed reports as soon as possible Gary," he said and left the apartment. He got into his car and started to smoke a cigarette, and he thought NOW WHAT.
He reached the city hospital. It was a 3 storeyed building with 2 ambulances parked outside the main entrance of the building. Bruce entered the building through the sensor enabled glass door which opened and shut automatically. He walked up to the oval reception desk and asked if he could meet Dr.Ethan Heming regarding a police investigation. The receptionist checked for the doctor's schedule. Bruce desperately hoped the doctor to be free. He didn't want to stay in the hospital for long. "Sir Dr.Heming is carrying out a delivery at the moment and he has just started with it. Would you please wait and I'll let you know when he is free" the receptionist said. Bruce turned around and sat on the couch next to the reception desk. He began tapping his foot and started looking around as if trying to find someone. 
Wearing a white lab coat a lady with blonde hair curving at her shoulders walked in the main hallway towards the main gate of the building. When her light brown eyes fell upon a man who was on the waiting couch and trying to act asleep. She smiled and tapped his shoulder "Wake up from your sleep or should I call it a bad imitation of sleeping. You haven't attended me for a long time and now that you are finally here, we'll talk on lunch," she said. Dr.Emma Jones had recognized Bruce.
Dr.Emma Jones was a psychiatrist, Bruce initially attended her after Lora's death for help with depression, but he stopped as he thought that he would loose her, her memories were all that he had left of Lora. They sat in a restaurant, "So let me guess, she still visits you in your dreams?" She asked. Bruce noded, "She still holds you responsible?" She asked, Bruce wasn't listening anymore he was thinking about how it happened, and how it was his fault.
It was a rainy night, Lora was dressed in a black strapless dress waiting at her favourite restaurant. It was Lora and Bruce's anniversary night. Bruce was running late half n hour passed but he wasn't there. Lora was getting impatient. 
Bruce has just finished his work, he was at his desk arranging things for the next day. He had completed his work and was just about to leave for dinner when Elena came into his cabin "Hey, I need your help with this stuff I am working on, are you done here?" She asked. "I am sorry Elena, but I have to be somewhere and I am already late," he said. "C'mon Bruce please I really need to solve it as soon as possible," she pleaded. "Ok, alright I'll help you but I can only stay for thirty more minutes," Bruce said. "Done deal." Elena smiled.
An hour passed,and no signs of Bruce. Lora's temper was at its peak. She got out of the restaurant and into her car and she drove out. She was on her way back to home when she saw Bruce in a cab on the opposite side. He had his head stuck out of the window "Lora wait I am sorry, wait," he shouted. Lora just kept looking at him. Bruce kept waving at her to get her attention so that she would stop. Lora did not take her sight off of Bruce, unknowingly she didn't stop for a red light and at the intersection a truck rammed into her car. Her car flew a few meters off the ground and rolled in mid air to land upside down. Bruce couldn't believe what he saw, he thought this was just some bad dream and he would wake now. Time slowed for him he slowly saw her car fly in the air, he reached out for her hoping that he would catch her. The taxi driver pulled over immediately. Bruce got out and ran, he ran as if someone was behind him to kill him. He got near the driver's seat of the car. The left had side was completely crushed, he looked at the crushed face and shoulder of Lora, he didn't know what to do, he just kept looking at her upside down body on the seat the taxi driver called for an ambulance. They got Lora to the hospital but she was already dead on the spot. Bruce just kept sitting there in the hospital on the waiting couch. He kept looking at the floor and sat there for hours only hoping that Lora would come out of any one of the doors and scream at him for being late.
Emma shook Bruce's hand, "She still holds you responsible?"she asked again. "Yes,dammit and why won't she it was my fault. I didn't get there in time it is my fault," Bruce said with red, tearful eyes and clenched fists. "Bruce you have to understand that she holds you responsible because you hold yourself responsible. For your own sake Bruce wake up from your false dreams, you are clinging to her let her go, she's dead whether you accept it or not that is the truth and it will remain that way, the sooner you accept it the better. It wasn't your fault fine everyone is late some or the other time but you weren't driving. It was her, she didn't pay attention and she paid the price, it was the truck driver's fault to speed in the middle of a crowded road even if it was a green light that is not the speed with which you drive. Bruce you have to let her go,"she said very firmly like she was scolding a child. Bruce's head sunk, he felt everything Emma said was true, it wasn't his fault. Tears rolled down his face he couldn't hold them any longer Bruce got up,walked up to his car and drove home, ignoring Emma who was shouting for him to stop and following him to his car, he had to get home, he drove as fast as he could. He got home he took down the hanging photo of Lora from the living room wall and hugged it and started crying. He sobbed like a child till he slept there itself, he had forgiven himself by accepting the fact that it wasn't his fault. He slept like a child, the was the most peaceful sleep he had had for the past few months.
Bruce woke up with a new puissance. He took out all the intoxicants put them in a bag and threw them out forever. He liked the sound of the glass bottles in the bag, it gave him the feeling of a new beginning.
He checked his cell phone to find a number of missed calls from his subordinate he had sent to find out about Danny. Bruce called him, and his subordinate told him that a file on Danny was on his desk, his full name was Daniel Dookard. Bruce was confused, now that he had no one to think of as a prime suspect. He hoped he would find something useful after questioning the doctor.
Elena called just after Bruce hung up after talking to his colleague. "We found the place they were manufacturing the drugs Bruce, I am taking a team with me down there, I need you to come with me," she said. Bruce agreed to help Elena, not having any major leads on his case.
Bruce drove to the office and checked the Daniel Dookard file. He was the same guy found dead in Veronica's apartment. He took the file and kept in his car. A team of eighteen police officers suited up for the assault on the factory. It was a small left alone warehouse in the outskirts of the city. Bruce and Elena came up with a plan of splitting the team into half and securing the perimeter first. Bruce was to take the backside of the factory while Elena would storm in from the front. The warehouse was pretty much abandoned and Bruce's team had encountered only two people and Elena's team had encountered four of which all of them had been neutralized. Bruce and Elena both now took three men with them, leaving the rest to maintain the perimeter. Bruce went in from the front side of the warehouse and Elena took the backside. There were huge crates piled up upon one another and through those crates was a path. Bruce and his men walked in careful enough to not make any sounds to alert the men inside. The path now opened up to a large open space, only the area near the door was crowded with the crates rest whole warehouse was open with just tables aligned in three rows and seven men working with surgical masks. They stormed in first Bruce's team and within a few seconds Elena's. Of people working in the warehouse nobody had any weapons, all of them were taken in for interrogation. Bruce checked out the crates, they were full of other chemical compounds needed for the making of the drugs. On some of the crates there were half torn labels. One of them was not torn properly Bruce read the label. He went to Elena and told her that he'd have to leave.
Bruce drove to the city hospital. He asked for Dr.Hemming at the reception and Bruce was told to wait for the next thirty minutes. Bruce thought of meeting Dr.Emma. He knocked on her cabin door, "Come in," she said. Bruce went inside with a huge smile on his face. Emma had never seen Bruce smile such brightly, she was amused. She welcomed Bruce with a smile and offered him the seat in front of her desk. "How are you, Bruce?" she asked with delight. "Smiles all the way Emma, all thanks to your scolding yesterday," Bruce winked at her. "I had no option left Bruce somewhere inside me I too was frustrated with you not getting better normally, it doesn't happen but I don't know why," she said. Bruce smiled its like he understood something. "It happens Emma, and this time it happened for good, so I just wanted to thank you for helping me out," Bruce said. "Well that's what I do for a living it is my duty so don't mention it," Emma said. Bruce checked his watch "Alright Emma, I have to leave I'll catch up with you later." Bruce got up to leave. "Goodbye Bruce," she said. Bruce waved and got out of the cabin still thinking about something, he smiled. 
Bruce went to the reception desk and asked again for Dr.Hemming. The receptionist said that he was free and that he could meet him. Bruce knocked on the cabin door of Dr.Hemming. Bruce went in after the doctor let him. Bruce introduced himself and asked him if he knew Veronica Styles and Daniel Dookard. "Yes detective I did, in fact they have an appointment with me the day after tomorrow." Hemming said checking his diary on his desk. "Why did they visit you doctor, were they planning to have a child?" Bruce asked. "Oh no no detective, they actually wanted to abort one and they came to me for advice, well what happened is Miss Styles wasn't sure if she wanted the abortion but Danny surely did, since they were in doubt, I mean Miss Styles was, so I explained them the procedure and risks of doing it and gave them an appointment for a final confirmation, Miss Styles was 2 months pregnant." Hemming said. "Doctor, they won't be visiting you now, as they have been murdered," Bruce said. Hemming was taken aback, he was completely shocked to hear it. "This is very disturbing news detective, It's hard to believe this happened, I just met them last week. May god bless their souls." Hemming bowed his head down. "Doctor you refer to Miss Veronica as Mis Styles, but the same cannot be said for Mr.Dookard, did you know him?" Bruce said. "Yes.....yes I knew him, I met him during a workshop in the city, he was actually a patient of my friend, and through him we became friends. He visited my friend for his addiction problems. He was a drug addict. But he got rid of it a long time ago." Hemming said in a very low voice. He was thinking about the last time they had visited him. "Any signs of him being back on drugs doctor, I mean when you met him did you feel something like that?" Bruce asked. "No detective he was a changed man," Hemming said. "Thank you doctor for your co operation, if need be ill visit you again." Bruce left his office and got into his car, he checked his pockets for a cigarette but then he remembered throwing them out this morning. He opened the Daniel Dookard file and checked for his address, and he started his car to go to Danny's place.
He got out of his car, he took out the file and checked if he was at the right place. He tapped his pockets feeling them empty he let out a sigh. He went up to Danny's apartment. He got into the house by picking the lock. Danny's apartment was a dark place the curtains were shut, and by the looks of it they hadn't been dusted or even touched for a very long time. A small table was placed in the centre of the room and a lamp hanging above it. Bruce went close to the table, he sat down in a squat and moved two fingers across the table. He smelled his fingers "Not so much of a changed man huh doc." Bruce got up and opened a drawer of table under the television. He found 2 small pouches of the same powder as that on the table. He took them with him,he had a hunch. He called Gary "It's Detective Grayson, I'll send you some drug samples and I want you to check if it's the same thing as we busted from the warehouse," Bruce said. "Alright," Gary said. Bruce moved in to check the other rooms when he heard the door of the apartment open. He turned around to see a man dressed up in a black cargo pants with a black tshirt and a jacket. He was a little taller than Bruce. He had short hair and he wore round frame glasses. "Yes..?" Bruce asked. He man came closer "Mr.Grayson my name is Gabriel, and I am sent here to kill you." Gabriel kicked Bruce in the chest making him fall over central table and breaking it. Bruce was in a state of shock the blow was powerful and it made it even more dangerous with him not getting a chance to block it. Gabriel smiled, and walked towards Bruce, He tried to stamp on Bruce's face but, Bruce was back in control and caught Gabriel's foot and kicked the other knocking him off balance. Gabriel fell and hit his head on the ground. Bruce got up holding his hurting back , but Gabriel was quicker he got up and tried to kick Bruce in the face, Bruce leaned back, he saw an upper cut coming but it was too late to react, it hit Bruce on the chin he stumbled back. Gabriel picked up a piece of thick wood from the broken table and began hitting Bruce. Bruce covered one side of his face by folding his elbow and placing his palm on the neck. Gabriel hit Bruce hard on his shoulder. Gabriel was about to hit for the fifth time when Bruce caught his hand and kicked him in his torso. Gabriel stumbled back and crashed into the television. Pieces of glass lodged in Gabriel's back. Gabriel grunted and tried to reach for the pieces when Bruce picked up the stick that fell out of Gabriel's hand and hit him on the head. Bruce kept on hitting him untill he lost consciousness. Gabriel fell on his face he was still. Bruce sat down holding his shoulder and gasped. Gabriel's phone beeped thrice, Bruce took it out from his pant pocket and read the message it received. "Is it over? Is he out of the way?" it said. Bruce looked for the sender of the message and he smiled. "Patience is a virtue not many people have," he said. He called Elena from his phone "Hey it's me, I have something for you meet me at the address I am sending you and get me a sling," he said. Bruce disconnected the phone before Elena could say anything. He noticed a knife on the backside of Gabriel's belt. It seemed as if he had underestimated Bruce. Bruce texted the address to Elena and told her to send a team to apprehend Gabriel. He cuffed Gabriel to the main door of the house leaving him in the corridor. 
Bruce got down to his car supporting his shoulder with his other arm. He took out his gun from the glove compartment and attached his to his belt. "From now on, you stay with me," he said. He got to the address he texted Elena about, and be found her waiting there with a sling. He met her and got his hand into the sling. "Thankyou, you're a saviour," he said, "What happened to you now?"she asked. "Long story I'll tell you later, for now let me give you something, come with me upstairs, get your gun with you." Bruce went inside the building and Elena followed. They reached the 12th floor and Bruce knocked on the door. A maid opened the door,she asked about them. "Tell him that Gabriel's here," Bruce said. The maid went inside and a man shouted from inside "You idiot why are you here?"the voice said. 
Ben Argento rushed out of his bedroom to the living room. He was numb, seeing Bruce and Elena waiting for him. "Mr. Argento please co operate and spill up your plan I need to get myself to a doctor," Bruce said. "I should have never trusted that dumb piece of shit, said he could kill you," Argento said. "Well, I shoul probably thank you for your impatience and the fact that you panicked, I was actually stuck with the investigation after you had removed the loose ends. So how was it Daniel fell in love with Veronica told her about his dirty business and that you happened to be his boss, she couldn't see how much Malcolm loved her so out of guilt she spilled I out to him, He called you to settle things personally, because it's natural no one would want their chemicals secretly stolen for manufacturing of drugs, and you managed to finish him. Then it was Veronica's turn you managed to talk Daniel into doing it. Seems like you turned the fact that Veronica wanted the child against her and after it was done you killed him too. Your plan here was perfect if you would have stopped, I saw crates at the warehouse with Crude's labels, so I obviously thought it was Daniel but then you panicked didn't you and you screwed it all up." Bruce sat down on the sofa being unable to stand due to the pain in his back. "Yes it was me all the way. I got Danny high on drugs and told him to finish her, he did it as a loyal dog, but that piece of dumb shit he messed it all up," Argento said.
Elena took out her cuffs and cuffed in Argento. They took him for trails.
After a week Bruce came out of the hospital with his hand working alright. He was relieved that he had got rid of the sling. He took out his cell phone and called Emma "Hey, I am at the hospital just got my hand back in shape, so if you're free you want to go have a cup of coffee?" Bruce smiled.

Submitted: April 21, 2015

© Copyright 2021 sai pantula. All rights reserved.

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