Evergreen Cherry 4 – 5 11/02

4

Turner was right, it was bad. They had a pair of bodies in a room, in a bed. That’d be one thing. But that wasn’t the bad part. It was how their deaths were accomplished. Each one, sitting there side by side, had a knife in their chest.

Which just didn’t fit. It’d take a good amount of force to pierce in the way those particular implements did, as well as opportunity. And yet, here were two of them, side by side, and the place looking like it was free of a struggle. It didn’t make sense. Usually if you have two people in bed, the only way you’re going to get them is with a couple quickly placed shots.

Chance looked around the hotel room while Turner looked over the stiffs. It was well furnished, no surprise considering the celebrities had picked it out. Chance figured he didn’t have enough zeros in his paycheck to stay there casually. He was burning money just looking around, so he concentrated on clues, if there were any.

The hotel staff was being interviewed by another officer, and soon after Chance asked him what they said.

“Strangest thing, Chance,” Officer Parker said. “Neither of them checked out the place. I don’t mean just under a false name, I thought of that too. Someone else entirely, claiming to be a gopher for Ivan, paid in cash and asked the staff to keep it hushed while placing the order under Ivan’s name. As for when the stars arrived, nobody knows.”

“Come on, how can no one know? Sure they are celebs, but someone had to notice the arrival. You tell them we’re just looking for facts, or did you decide to get all tough on all potentials?” Chance asked.

“No, really. I thought of it. But all I can get from everyone from the desk to the cleaning lady, so to speak, is that someone paid for the rooms, cash, at some point the celebs must have arrived, and then later on they were discovered how you saw. Nobody saw them arrive,” Parker said.

“All right, how about the gopher?” Chance asked.

“They got a tape, but they’re already telling me it’s useless, that he was wearing a hat, dark glasses, and gloves. You’d think that’d make them suspicious, right? Well of course they were, but he peddled the celebrity story and about a need for secrecy, so they bought it. Even accepted cash for it, when you know most people are going to be paying credit,” Parker said.

“So either that’s indeed a gopher, or our killer. How about suspects?” Chance asked.

“Well when he was here we got Patricia’s husband with an alibi at a recording, so if this guy was our killer, it wasn’t the husband. We’re going through both of their staff now, but we’re coming up with nothing. I almost hope that guy isn’t the killer,” Parker said.

“Whys that?”

“Cause if he is, we’re, no, you’re, going to have a ball of a time trying to find him,” Parker said. He finished his report and flashed a sly smile. Chance gave a chuckle and walked off. He had hoped to glean something definitive from the staff, but it was shaping up to be something bad.

Turner was still going over the bodies and checking out the room they were in. Pictures were being taken everywhere of everything. Chance sighed and paced around, looking for anything of note. Officer parker walked out of the room, his particular duties were over.

“Hey Turner!” Chance yelled out. Turner looked up from what he was checking and threw Chance a glance.

“What is it?” Turner asked. Chance was standing by the door, holding it open.

“Get one of the forensic boys to check this out,” Chance said.

Turner knew that call. Chance had found something new, something that might’ve been missed. Turner grabbed one of the examiners and joined Chance at the doorway.

“Right there, outside the door. In the hallway, right there, a drop of blood,” Chance said.

Turner had to squint a bit, but he did notice the smallest detail that Chance had pointed out. Outside the door, a short ways into the hallway, was a smallish drop of blood. The examiner looked up at Turner after investigating it.

“You want a sample of this? It could be anyone’s, this far out,” the examiner said.

“Yeah, get it,” Turner said. He turned to Chance and asked, “So what’s special about this one?”

“I got a hunch. The boys will test it and it’ll match one of our victims,” Chance said.

“If it does…” Turner started.

“Then we got bigger problems than imagined,” Chance finished.

“Indeed. Chance, how’d you find this, it’s pretty out there. Got any basis to believe it’d be theirs?” the examiner asked.

“Just lucky, I guess. You know if I’m right we’re looking at something bad. Let’s hope I’m wrong,” Chance said. He was pretty sure he was right, though he wasn’t keen on the troubles of being correct this time.

The men sighed at the debacle this was looking to be, and then continued their investigation of the scene to see what else could turn up.

5

Stirling wasn’t looking too happy. Truthfully, he had been hoping for a simple case of adultery and a vengeful spouse. When alibis started checking out, and then Chance came in pronouncing his theory that the bodies were dead before they ever entered the bed, Stirling started looking for a glass.

Turner gave the material facts with a straight face, but he still knew the issue was looking bad. No prints on the knife, no fibers or hairs of those other than the dead occupants. It got better, though.

They did some checks at Chance’s prodding. Checked the clothes to see if they had been worn. They hadn’t, they’d just been laid out to look like they had.

And then there were the wounds. Another quick check done at Chance’s prodding. It was discovered that, at the very least, Ivan was wearing some kind of shirt when stabbed. That kind of news was making this look like an even worse circus than the media was portraying it. They were still stuck on the idea of the spouses, and alibis just moved the hands holding the weapon from that of a spouse to that of someone that must have been hired by said spouse. The chief wasn’t going to let them hear anything about the evidence they acquired, however.

Soon enough the results were back on the spot outside the room. It was only one, but it was a match for Patricia.

That did it. A room rented by an unknown, two bodies that were killed prior to their entrance to that room, and some sicko out there who felt wise enough to frame it up as a case of adultery gone bad. When the lab also said they couldn’t find that much DNA from one person on the other, it got worse. Then there’s the whole matter of how could they possibly get to that room, especially considering their likely state of death at the time.

“Well, we’ll have to find that out,” Chance said.

“He messed up in enough places. If he hadn’t the force would still be trying to find some dirt on the spouses. He’s bound to have screwed up somewhere else,” Turner said.

“And what if the media is right, what then boys? What if it was a hired man? It was done up mostly right. I’ve had it, this better not end up a wash. We got an entire city of grieving folks over this couple, and they are out for blood. Vultures. Even the networks are getting a kick out of it. If they aren’t running the news about developments, they are playing one of their movies to drum up ratings. I can’t let this blow over and wait for it to cool a bit. We need one defendant twelve will find guilty, and it’s your jobs to find him. Or her. I want this guy. Go on, get out of here,” Chief Stirling said.

Turner and Chance took their leave while the chief buried his head in his hands.

“He’s really taking it bad,” Chance said.

“Yeah yeah. He’s had other things to deal with. Case like this isn’t as bad as he says it is, but it’ll break a man that’s already full of ills,” Turner said. He reached his desk and started looking through a file.

“Somethings up, what do you mean by all that?” Chance asked.

“Nothing I can tell you if you repeat it,” Turner said. He hadn’t looked up from his file, just told it as a matter of fact.

“Fine, so spill. Promise I’ll leave it be,” Chance said.

“His wife. She’s becoming his ex,” Turner said. Chance stood silent for a minute, then sat at his own desk across the way.

“Well, poor guy. Did he love her?” Chance asked.

“That’s not leaving it be. And yes,” Turner said.

“Sorry. Well, life has its downs. Looks like the chief is having his all at once. Must be tough on a guy, regardless,” Chance said.

“It sure is,” Turner said, and then he flipped a page. He squinted a moment and then put on some reading glasses.

“That… Turner, have you?” Chance started to ask.

“That’s not leaving it be. Leave it be, Chance,” Turner said.

Chance took his cue and didn’t inquire further. If only he had known at that time. Well, it wouldn’t have mattered, in truth, but it would’ve been one less thing Chance would have to figure out later on. Turner had his own special secrets too.

About James Ashman

I write books of the fantasy, heroic, slice-of-life, and/or adventure types. So far. By choice, I self-publish my works. I'm an author who loves fantastic stories. I have a penchant for foreign works, and don't hesitate to learn about something new. I've grown up in the technology generation, watching that world change faster each year. Author-specific email: togetherwithsilver@gmail.com
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