Big 6 [Part 1]

Harriett could read people in a matter of seconds. And it took her less than a second to realise she wasn’t going to like the woman that stood before her. Her stance and her atmosphere-oozed with power, power she clearly didn’t have once she’d left this school building. Harriett could have mentally listed approximately seven things about the woman that stood hovering over her that she disapproved, but the one she found herself repeating the most was the way she was looking at her. Like I was nothing. The woman’s chin lifted ever so slightly. Not in a defiant way, but more so challenging Harriett. This woman wasn’t going to be easy interviewing, and staying calm was going to be even harder, Harriett thought. It didn’t help that the woman was a foot or two taller than her, so any action the woman performed, like gesturing towards a chair for her to sit in, felt like a demand that she was forced to comply with.

Harriett politely declined the offer to sit, knowing if she sat down her height would further decrease along with the power this woman seemed to try to take away from her.

“What can I do for you detective…?”

The woman said sitting behind her desk, speaking whilst rearranging the items that were already neatly organised on the table.

“Costa.”

The woman nodded and smiled, in attempt to hurry her along with the conversation.

“Yes, so what can I do for you today?”

Harriett stood behind the seat that was offered to her and brought her pad of notes out, ignoring the blatant hint the woman threw at her showing her lack of interest.

“I have a few questions for you.”

“Regarding?”

“Regarding the two missing children from your school, Annabelle Adedun and Abiola Lawal?”

Harriett watched her face attentively to see how she reacted to the news about two of her pupils being classified as missing. But only felt angered when the woman shrugged nonchalantly as though she hadn’t taught or known both girls that were students in her own school.

“Detective, I have many pupils in this school. Calling out a name or two won’t help narrow down who you’re referring to. I assume you have photo’s, information or something more specific to help me remember these girls?”

Harriett controlled her anger and plastered a smile on her lips, she’s testing me, she thought. There weren’t many reasons as to why Harriett disliked teachers, but one reason for sure was that they never seem to turn off that patronising voice they used on their students. No matter who you were, teachers were most likely going to speak to you in the same tone they spoke to every child who walked through those gates every morning and who walked out every afternoon.

“I’m surprised you, as the head mistress, is unfamiliar with the names of pupils that attended your school. When I was in school my head teacher made sure she familiarised herself with all the students.”

“Well detective, I don’t know what school you were taught at,” She paused, far longer than needed. The unspoken words added to Harriett’s anger, but she calmed the roaring seas in her mind and allowed the woman to finish. “But it’s not a priority to learn the names in this institution. What is the priority is to ensure the students are learning in a safe environment and are getting the most out of the education we provide for them.”

“How safe can this environment be if two of your pupils were reported missing a week ago, whilst on school premises?”

This had gotten her attention. Straightening her back and squinting her eyes slightly, she looked at Harriett daring her to add to her last comment. With no further addition to her question, the head teacher leaned forward on her desk, resting her chin on both her hands that were intertwined with each other.

“Are you claiming that ­I – the head mistress – played a part in the disappearance of these two pupils or are you just being disrespectful about the way I handle and run this school?”

“Neither, I just want to know a little about the students and their progression in school. Whether they were failing or not, did they have behavioural issues, was there any complications between the girls and other students?” The head mistress dropped her hand and slowly rose from her chair, not breaking eye contact with Harriett. She slowly walked around the desk, sorting a loose sheet of paper and stood head to head with Harriett.

“You’ve come to me in the middle of the school day, insulted my procedures and as I will take it, have attempted to place me under the suspicion that I may be a suspect of the disappearance of those two girls. Whatever information you are looking for would not be coming from me detective. Maybe try their parents, or close friends but for now I suggest you turn around and leave my office – because there is nothing here to help a person like you with this little case you’re trying to build.”

“A person like me? Being a detective or being black?”

The head mistress bent down just a little so that their faces were a few inches away from each other and slid on a small smile. Looking into Harriett’s eyes, holding her gaze as she spoke, “Either, take your pick.”

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Countdown [Part 2]

Last night was difficult for Anna and the cycling had only done so little to settle her nerves, which left her too restless to sleep. All night she stayed awake, remembering that night seven years ago. The memories fresh in her mind, reminding her who she used to be and who she is now after what had occurred. Her life was no longer the same. She was no longer the same. She was eroding away in front of her own eyes and there was nothing she could do to stop what seemed to be the inevitable. Dammit, she muttered to herself in her bed. One night was all it took to have her clutching onto her sheets again for dear life, when she was in no apparent harm. She thought about the letter again and the photo and shock inwardly. It was stressful enough to not know whether this was a just someone with sardonic humour, but something in the back of her mind screamed alarms.
The same voice that screamed alarms seven years ago, but she ignored. Anna had learnt her lesson and she learnt the hard way. She’d find herself rummaging through her memories to see if she knew the man in the photo, but nothing came to mind. Instead she’d try to remember the man laying dead in the picture and then remember Detective Sutherland.
There was something about Sutherland that made Anna feel protected. And that alone was what was scaring her. She barely knew the man, let alone spoke to him. But the aura that fed off him was something she treasured, a feeling she had no awareness that she desired, but had wanted so deeply. Anna wasn’t prepared to teach today, with her mind still wandering back and forth between Sutherland and the photo, she wasn’t focused enough to prepared students for upcoming exams. But she was sure as hell she wasn’t going to stay at home, where there was definitely no escape of the events of last night and Sutherland. She began to clear her mind and focus on the paperwork that was stacked on her desk as her students were reading, when the door knocked. She looked up to see Mike standing in her doorway, with that grin that made her skin want to turn inside out.

“Miss Phillips can I have a word outside please?” Anna excused herself from the class and made her way outside, hoping Mike wasn’t trying to ask her on yet another date, because she didn’t know what other excuse to give him to avoid his proposal. It was bad enough he kept asking knowing she wasn’t interested in him, but being her boss made everything more difficult. Mike didn’t know when to take the hint, especially when it came to Anna, and he didn’t seem to read expression very well too. Because if he looked closely for just a second, he would realise every time he spoke to Anna, she’d recoil within herself. Every time he stepped just a little too close to her, she made sure the gap between them was more than big enough to give her the space she needed. So whatever Mike thought he was seeing between himself and Anna was far from reality.
“What’s the issue?” Anna asked looking at Mike. He shrugged, directing her towards a figure that was behind her with his gaze. She turned around to see Detective Sutherland, standing just as large and confident as he did in her living room the night before.
“I have no idea, but I do hope you’re not starting trouble Miss Phillips – you’re too much of an asset to lose.”
She cringed at his comment, knowing what he meant and faced the detective.

 

Sutherland, who had caught every meaning to that slimy principals comment, clenched his jaw, watching Anna attentively to see if she’d received his subliminal meaning. When he saw her slightly flinch and turn away from him, he decided to react the same, there was no need to fight this woman’s battles just yet – even though he wanted to. No matter how much he tried to fight it, it was the first time in a long time he wanted to protect any woman who wasn’t family or his partner. The world was a cruel place, it gave when it wanted to give and took when it wanted to take. He thought of his life only just a few years ago and grew stiff at the sour memories. He needed to pull himself together, this was no time to reminisce on the past and the ‘what could have’s’, instead he focused on the now, and that was finding out more about Anna Phillips and who would send her a picture of a dead man.
“I have a few questions to ask you Miss Phillips, is there somewhere private we can talk?”
Kane wanted privacy, with the principal still lingering around like an unwanted smell, he didn’t want to ask anything that could possibly cause complications to the investigation. Anna looked towards the class and Kane.
“I hope you don’t mind sparing 30 minutes, I’m in the middle of teaching. But after, I’ll be free to answer any of your questions.” Kane nodded then faced the principal.

“Is there a place I can wait until Miss Phillips is finished?” He nodded and began walking down the corridor. Kane could destroy this weasel who thought he was a man in a second if he truly wanted to. Not only did Kane tower over him, but is was clear enough that physically, Kane weighed and worked out more than this principal did. As the man continued down the corridor, leading Kane further away from Anna, Kane dared to turn around to catch one more glimpse of Anna and did he catch an eyeful. Not only did her pencil skirt accentuate her curvaceous body figure, but the shirt she wore grew tighter around her breasts, almost making Kane salivate. Like a dog, because I’m behaving like one. Kane shook his head, trying to focus on the matter at hand. But when Anna hadn’t entered the classroom, he realised she too was watching him. When he caught her eyes staring at him, she disappeared in the classroom without giving him a chance to react. The principal led him to the waiting room outside of his office.

“Sorry,” Kane spoke. “Does Miss Phillips have many friends here?”
“A few,” the principal replied nonchalantly.”She does her job and leaves. I’d consider myself one of those few she classifies as a friend. I’ll always look out for Miss Phillips.”
Kane’s body tensed, this man was more than interested in Anna. It seemed he would do more that the average to get her attention, which made Kane dislike him even more.
Through gritted teeth Kane spoke, “what about teaching?”
“Oh, Anna always goes that extra mile for her students, there’s no doubt in that. She is definitely an asset to this school and losing her would be a major loss for me.”
How much more could Kane take before his primal instincts took the better of him. He took a deep breath and continued.
“So you’d say she’s a good colleague?”
“She’s amazing. Just very quiet.” A woman spoke from behind Kane. He turned around and was met by a tall, slim ebony beauty. She greeted him with a smile and stuck her hand out for a shake.
“I’m Toni, Mike you have a call on line one.”
In a flash Mike the principal disappeared into his office, leaving Kane standing alone with Toni.
“I’m –” Kane wasn’t sure what to address himself as. He didn’t want Anna’s business spreading like wildfire, and he wasn’t sure what the repercussions would be if he told Toni who he was. “I’m an old school friend.”
Toni smiled whilst looking towards Mike, who was now behind his desk, chatting away on the phone.
“Mike’s odd, don’t mind him. We’ve all guessed he has a crush on Anna, but if she’s going to ignore it, then so will we.” Kane looked at Mike then shook his head.
“A little unprofessional, don’t you think?”
“Hell, when it comes to Anna, the man acts like he’s never seen a woman before.” She huffed and continued. “Chasing like a dog without a leash, it’s embarrassing. The man just doesn’t know when to stop.” Kane made a mental note of Mike, and thought to conduct a background check on him when he got back to the office.

“Does he behave like that all the time?” Kane asked, partly to keep the conversation going, whilst wanting to know more about Anna.
“It went up a notch when Anna’s ex split with her…that was years ago now. But ever since then, Mike never stopped trying.”
There was an ex, Kane made another mental note and decided to ask Anna when he saw her. His phone vibrated in his pocket, whilst he was just about to continue his conversation with Toni. He grabbed it, seeing the caller ID and decided that the conversation could wait.
“Sorry excuse me.” He left the building, praying his partner Charlie had some good news about the case.

The Little Girl [Part 1]

Reports had stacked up far beyond what she could even recall gathering. Amongst those were email requests from clients and reporters who had been more than intrusive on Olivia’s work and private information. She wasn’t interested in responding to those emails, all they wanted was to put their noses into places where it wasn’t needed. After hours of categorising her workload she began to put pen to paper when her phone rang. Dammit. She grabbed her phone and looked at the caller ID before answering, Lieutenant Young. Her thumb lightly traced the answer button as she stared at the name. How long had it been, five months? Olivia remembered her last time she’d been with Young, all her insides tighten at the memory. There was always something about Young that had Olivia tense in a way she tried to reject far often than need be. Remembering she’d left the phone unanswered, she picked up the call.

“L-Lieutenant?”

“Olivia.”

The connection that she had questioned for months hadn’t just been an imagination. It was there and still strong as it was five months ago. With a struggle, she put on her professional voice, ignoring how her body had reacted to his voice.

“Is there something I can help you with?”

“Yes,” he spoke with a husky voice. Olivia rejected the urge to feed into her need and desire and let him continue. “I mean, I’ve got a case here and need your help.”

He wanted her and that was obvious. But he hadn’t called for that, something was wrong and he’d called for help.

“I assume you need me now?”

“Yes, if it’s possible?”

Her eyes gazed at the pile that continued to gain in height and ran a hand through her hair. Whether the workload was a mass amount or not, she knew due to the fact that Young had called her, she’d oblige to any request he made. You’re pathetic Olivia, so pathetic.

“Sure, I’ll be there shortly.”

She cut the phone and with an exasperated sigh, stood up stretching her arms and wondered what case Young was working on that would require her expertise. She recently read in the news a case Young had been working on. A child had died in the hands of his own mother, yet the mother was still able to walk the streets free no matter how much Young had tried to put her away, due to her attorney.

Grabbing her car keys, she left her office sure to return after her visit to the precinct. Weary of the poor weather the Cincinnati skies had showered upon everyone, she slowly walked towards her Ford Fiesta, making sure the snow beneath her feet were solid enough to handle the pressure she applied.

It hadn’t taken her too long to reach her destination, which is probably why they called her, she thought, hoping there was more to Young’s invitation. Stop it Olivia, just find out what he wants. She buried her hope deep within a place where she was sure she couldn’t reach and focused on the task before her. Bracing herself for the frosty weather, she got out her Ford Fiesta and walked towards the building. Shaking off the snow, she looked around noticing how busy it was and found what looked like to be the reception.

“Hello.”

“Dr Lint?”

“Yes, is Lieutenant Young around?”

“You’re here.”

A deep voice rumbled behind her, making her turn around. He hadn’t changed. Lieutenant Young amongst two officers made their way towards her, giving Olivia enough time to get a glimpse of how Young had developed over the few months they hadn’t seen each other. Young was the youngest in the force to become a Lieutenant, yet held so much confidence. Whether that was because of his huge frame or his stern face, either or, no one attempted to cross his path. He not only strived to gain the best possible outcome, but he always seemed to have that golden intuition that helped solve his cases. As far as Olivia had known, he had only failed three times to close a case in the eleven years of being a cop and last month was one of them.

“Lieutenant, how are you?”

“No need for formalities, call me Nicholas.”

Olivia only realised how great his frame was after being so close to him. She wasn’t a woman who was dependent on anyone, but being beside Young made her feel small but not in a way which she felt vulnerable. I’ve missed feeling like this. It’s been so long. She didn’t despise the feeling, in an odd sense she enjoyed it, probably far more than she should have. She shook his hand, ignoring the electrifying shock that ran through her body and focused on the matter at hand.

“So what did you need me for Lieutenant?”

He gave her a quick but brief smile, noticing her obvious remark to ignore his previous request and angled her towards the corridor.

“I thought it would be better to let you see first hand with what we’re trying to work with.”

As they walked through the corridor, with the remaining officers behind both her and Young, she tried to ignore the gut wrenching feeling that began brewing in her stomach. She knew all to well that the last time she walked this path was to help solve a child trafficking case, and Olivia tried so hard to forget those memories.

“Another child I guess?” Without looking at her he nodded.

“Just step into this room.” She opened the door and walked in, sighing as she witnessed from the one sided mirror a small fragile girl, who probably lacked nutrition in a large black jacket. The little girl had her fists tightly balled in her laps with her head down, letting stray clumpy hairs fall.

“She’s so young.” Olivia murmured to herself.

“This is both Detective Dorian Moore, the lead detective of this case and his partner Detective Andrew Williams. Both detectives came across a blood bath this evening and the only living thing left is this little girl.”

“Jesus.”

“Jesus indeed-” Detective Moore spoke reaching his hand out for a shake. She took his hand, instantly comparing it to Young’s and then disregarded the thought. “After she was recovered from the scene all she’s done is sit, with her head down.”

“We can’t even get a reaction out of her, she almost seems as though she can’t hear us.”

Detective Williams said looking at the girl through the one-way mirror. She must have been through a lot Olivia thought, definitely nothing she hadn’t come across before.

“We tried to see if she was possibly deaf, but she was still unresponsive.”

“How did you try that?” Olivia asked Moore who seemed to hold a grave look on his face.

“My brother’s deaf, so I learnt how to communicate through sign-language.” She nodded then turned to the little girl who hadn’t moved an inch during their conversation.

“And she didn’t respond to that either?”

“No.” Young had said, closer to her than she had anticipated. She steadied her heart and focused on the girl.

“We tried everything.” Williams said rustling hair that once had been carefully groomed, but now held a rough look.

“Apart from you.”

Trying to ignore the double meaning behind his comment, knowing it was her alone who had caught it, she pushed those disobeying thoughts further away in her mind, and she stared at the child who’d probably seen more than her mind could comprehend and began devising a strategy.

“Before anything I can’t promise to give you any critical information tonight. This girl has probably witnessed too much to even function anymore, my main priority is to get her functioning again, have her involved in idle conversation and then I’ll begin working on pulling out information in relation to the case.”

“Anything is better than nothing.” His voice ricocheted around the room, leaving Olivia vibrating. Waiting until she had gathered her composure, she turned to face Young, who was no more than a foot or two away from her.

“Is there any other aspects of the crime scene I should be aware of?”

Trying to gain an understanding of how she could formulate her questions without pressing any trigger buttons.

“First we need your trust. What we disclose with you cannot be recorded or broadcasted, not until things play out in our hand more favourably than now.”

Olivia gave Young a firm nod, knowing far too well the extent of those bottom-feeding journalists. Once they got an earful of any of her cases, they piled up at her office requesting for a statement, she hadn’t needed Young to go on to understand what he was saying.

“You have my trust Lieutenant.”

With a dark look in his eyes, he looked to his colleagues who shared the same look as he did and took a deep breath, his jaw working as he faced Olivia.

“Nine, nine dead mutilated bodies were found with the little girl. So Olivia tread carefully.”

 

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

Countdown

It was late, later than usual. Anna hadn’t planned leaving work so late; this was the second time this week I’ve gotten home when it’s dark. She checked her watch, 19:21. It was far too late for her to be getting home at this time, especially when it didn’t take too long for the Denver skies to get dark and cloudy with snow in the winter. She clutched her jacket tighter to herself, feeling alone and cold. There was always something about the evening that didn’t make her feel safe. Maybe the way the darkness slowly consumed any and everything in its way was why Anna shuddered. If she drove, this journey wouldn’t be as bad as it seemed, but she didn’t drive or ride her bike today either.

The streets were silent. Nothing but the wind made noise, and Anna hated that. It did nothing other than highlight the fact that she was alone, or even worse someone was quietly watching her. She balled her hands into fists, trying to ignore the faint fear that began slithering up her spine, but she couldn’t shake it off. She increased her stride, picking up the pace, fear escalating with each step. There was no real reason for Anna to be scared, but she kept thinking of the possibilities that could occur if she didn’t get home soon. Someone could jump out and rob me, or worse… Anna took a deep breath and without thinking began running home. One foot in front of the other, trying not to miscalculate her footing.

 

Finally she reached her house. She hurriedly searched for her keys in her jacket pocket, but realised they weren’t there. Oh fuck, where the hell are my keys? With panic slowly gripping her body, she threw her bag onto the ground and began rummaging through the past test papers; homework and essays then pass the laptop where she found her keys. She picked her bag up, quickly checking the street to see if anyone else was there. She was alone. Of course I’m alone she thought, nobody was ever there, it was always her mind that got the better of her. She unlocked the door then stepped inside, closing it behind her. After gathering herself, she slowly rested against the cold steel, closing her eyes and taking deep breaths wishing paranoia didn’t have such a stronghold on her like it did. Get a grip Anna; you aren’t the same woman you were seven years ago. She ran her fingers through her hair, opening her eyes, noticing the large amount of letters that lay scattered on the ground. She turned to lock the door, one bolt, then another and then the key lock. Whether her mind continuously wanted to play games on her or not, she wasn’t ready to take any chances. She dropped her bag near the umbrella stand and began gathering the letters on the ground. Sifting through the envelopes, wondering whether any of them were worth reading tonight.

 

“Work stuff, bank stuff, gym membership…what’s this?” She held a white plain letter that only had her name on it. Anna Phillips. She held the letter whilst removing her jacket. After hanging it loosely onto the coat rack, she made her way into the kitchen.

 

She considered calling Caroline, seeing as these panic attacks are getting worse. Then decided to eat first, and then figure out whether a call to Caroline was necessary. She put the letter on the table and walked to the refrigerator. Finding left over spaghetti, she grabbed the bowl and removed the foil lid. Placing the bowl in the microwave, two minutes should do it. She sat down on the dining chair and grabbed the letter, unsealing it wondering who would have gone to the trouble to hand deliver a letter to her. It wasn’t her birthday (not like anyone remembered), and she barely kept communication with her family or friends, so figuring out who would have gotten in contact with her was something she couldn’t guess. Once she’d opened the letter, she shook  the contents over the table and out came a note with a folded piece of paper. She took the note and read it,

 

‘Dear Anna Phillips,

 

I apologise for the grief and hurt I’ve laid upon you. I was foolish and unaware of what I was doing. I now know what my behaviour has caused you and I’m sorry.

Please forgive my actions.

 

                                                                                                                        10.’

 

Confused, she unravelled the other piece of paper, wondering who felt the need to apologise to her. She unfolded the paper failing to comprehend the image before her eyes. But with another moment everything clicked. A slit throat, bathed in blood, and dead eyes staring right back at her. Her hands trembled involuntarily and without thinking, she jumped out of her chair and rushed to her phone. She held her mouth trying to suppress the scream she knew would escape her lips and waited for someone to pick up. Finally, the operator came alive,

“Hello, you’ve called 911, what is your emergency?”

“Dead…someone’s dead!”

 

*******

 

It didn’t take that long for the police to show up but once they had, they secured Anna’s house within moments. People roamed the house,  whilst others were repeatedly analysing the picture. Dead eyes. Anna hadn’t moved from where the officer had questioned her earlier. He’d asked the generic questions, “So can you recall the situation to me madam?” “When was this delivered?” “Where were you before you came home?” “Do you recognise the man in the picture?” Throughout his questions she couldn’t help but tremble, remembering the picture, the man, the blood it was all too much for her. She knew something wasn’t right. First she felt like she was being watched on her way home, then that letter. She bit her lip and took a deep breath, she refused to let the police know she didn’t feel safe before she got home, because then they’d ask questions, questions she wasn’t prepared to answer, not tonight. She shut her eyes, the dead man printed on the back of her eyelids. Even though she hadn’t witnessed a real dead body, seeing one in a photo was just as bad. And maybe because she was already shaken up on her way home was what had her panicking. But something in the pit of Anna’s stomach made her know this wasn’t something to ignore. She shivered again thinking about everything; breathe Anna. She took another deep breath and gathered herself together, opening her eyes to see an officer watching her. She averted her eyes, but noticed in her peripheral vision that the officer was making her way to Anna.

 

“Would you like to take a seat madam?”

 

Anna shook her head, again refusing the offer to sit. Focusing on her breathing, she closed her eyes and tried to remember things Caroline had told her to do when she felt like a panic attack was close. Take deep breathes, forget everyone and everything around you and focus on your breathing. In through your nose and out through the mouth. Anna replicated the instructions in her head, focusing only on her breathing, shutting out the footsteps, the talking, the clicks of different equipment. Once she had control over her breathing the only thought that ran through her mind was why would anyone want to mail this to me?

 

She tried not to dwell on the question, but it was the answer to that one question that could ease her mind if she knew the answer. She held herself tighter until she could feel the air around her become smaller. She opened her eyes and her gaze was filled with a man that made Anna pause just for a second. His strong jaw structure, skin hard around the mouth, but smooth everywhere else and then his eyes stunned Anna. His glassy blue eyes held her gaze. With everything occurring, for just a moment she felt safe. For a minute this man, who she knew nothing of had made her feel safe. He stretched out his hand to shake hers and reality hit her again. The noise around the house arose again, feet continued to move, the pounding of her heart grew so loud, she grew conscious wondering whether everyone else could hear it.

 

“Anna Phillips, I’m detective Sutherland, would you like a seat, you look pale?”

She shook his hand and shook her head, looking at the ground declining the offer for the fourth time.

“Alright, could you explain what happened tonight?”

“I came home, later than usual and when I got in, I saw a pile of letters. I was going to look at them tomorrow, because I was exhausted, but one of them only had my name written on it. And I just wanted to know who would have come all the way to mail me something…”

“Then what happened afterwards?”

“I went to warm my food. Whilst it was warming, I opened the letter. There was a note and a folded piece of paper inside of the letter. I read the note, not understanding it, so I opened the paper which revealed the picture.”

“Why did you read the note first then look at the picture?”

He stood waiting, attentively listening, not forgetting any details.

“I…I don’t know. Maybe because I thought it was easier to read the note than look at the folded piece of paper first.”

“Okay, then what did you do after realising what was in the letter?”

“I rushed and called you.” He looked up, his eyes turning dark and his jaw clenching.

“I mean I called the police. I don’t know if this is a prank, but…” Anna shuddered again. Stop this Anna…at least until you’re alone. “That note and then that picture.”

 

He continued writing silently whilst she watched him. Watched him write, watched him inhale and exhale. There was something about this man that made Anna feel safe, though his build was strong, it was his aura that made Anna want to talk. Talk about everything, something she never did after the things she’s been through. She looked down, attempting to repress those memories, no matter how many times I went counselling nothing got better.

“Miss, please take a seat.”

 

She looked up, and her eyes were met with the detectives stare. He was cautious of her, this was the second time she grew pale, and why would I know that? Because I keep watching her that’s why. She slowly sat down and controlled her breathing.

“What now?” She tested her voice; glad it wasn’t replicating how she truly felt.

“Well,” He knelt in front of her and gave her a reassuring smile. “We’re going to do our best to find out who sent this to you. Then we’re going to find out whether or not this is real.”

“And if it is real?”

She looked into Kane’s eye deeply, almost pleading for him to give her an answer that would end this, but he knew if this was real, it was just the start of something dark and vile.

But he decided to smile.

“If it is real, we’ll track down the body and catch the killer.”

She nodded. He brushed a hair away from her face, gave her another smile and walked towards his team. For now he was going to ignore the foreign feeling he had towards the this woman and focus on the task at hand.

“Alright guys, what do we have?”

Sutherland asked the ME.

“Not much and I’m not surprised, I’ll take it to the lab and run it for prints. We’ve swept the house to check if the person dropped anything, but right now…nothing.” Another ME grabbed the photo from the previous one.

“Never in my 16 years have I had to analyse a body through a picture.”

Lauren, the leading medical examiner said assessing the picture.

“We’ll try to get something Kane.”

Kane nodded.

“Something is better than nothing.”

 

They nodded and shortly after, Kane’s partner walked through the door.

“What’s going on?”

As soon as Charlie spoke Kane noticed the faint smell of alcohol on his breath. Jesus, not again. Kane grabbed his partner outside.

“Are you drunk?”

Charlie smiled but shook his head, sighing.

“No, I just had a drink, maybe two.”

“We don’t have time for this Charlie, we’ve got a possible dead person lying around somewhere, a woman who is shaken to death and you’ve had a couple of drinks?” Kane lowered his voice and stood closer to Charlie, so that nobody overheard their discussion. “I need you focused Charlie, especially now.”

Charlie scratched his head then sighed, this time without a smile.

“Sorry, it’s been a rough day, I’ll sober up.” Charlie walked back inside with Kane staring at him. All he had to do was remain sober, but Charlie couldn’t do it. Charlie was a good cop. Good was even an understatement. He had talents that a lot of other cops didn’t have. Yet, he continued to drown his talents at the bottom of a bottle. Even though Kane was angry it never really lasted, Charlie had lost a lot in the past year and if drinking was the way he dealt with it, Kane wasn’t going to stop him. However, drinking during work hours wasn’t responsible and once Charlie and Kane were done here, he’d have a quick talk with him. He walked back into the house and looked at the neatly folded paper.

“Has anyone read that note yet?”

“I have,” Lauren grabbed the note and gave it to Kane. “We couldn’t make nothing out of it, seems real personal.”

Kane opened the note and read it.

 

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