As is customary, here is another chapter of Cold Scent. Also, if I have been less than active in commenting and liking the posts of my lovely fellow WordPress bloggers, I’m sorry and I promise that my regular visitations will resume. If you’ve missed out on the previous chapters, head to the Fictional Fridays tab in the main menu and you can read them all. Happy weekend, readers!
As Reyna stood in the shadows of a back alley, holding up her phone for better reception, the back door opened with a deafening creek. Veronica flew out, looking back as if to see her pursuer’s progress.
Reyna sprung into action immediately. Shoving her phone into the pocket and getting behind Veronica, she performed a simple take-down manoeuvre and cuffed her hands in a flash.
“Hey, there! A small tip,” she whispered into Veronica’s ear as she helped the breathless, but unhurt woman up. “The innocent don’t run.”
“It was just a misunderstanding,” Veronica wailed.
Greg joined Reyna within moments.
“Cameron?” she asked, looking back to scan the crowd which had spilled out to enjoy the action. She failed to locate him.
“He’ll join us soon,” Greg said in a muted voice. “First, let us get her out of here.”
Veronica screamed and struggled all the way to Greg’s car, which had been parked out on the main street.
The blinding glare of the white light on white tiles and white walls had the desired effect on their suspect. She looked dazed and she had finally quieted down, probably owing to the strain on her vocal cords. Reyna stood at the door of the interrogation room and took a deep breath before she entered. Greg was already in and had sat down, with legs crossed under the desk that separated the suspect from the investigator. She sat down in the one next to his, the chair scraping against the floor, making a screeching noise which unsettled even Reyna. But she did not show it.
“You know your rights, I take it?” Greg began.
“Of course,” Veronica replied, staring at the desk as if she hoped it would open up and swallow her whole.
“Would you mind telling us why you ran?” he probed.
“I didn’t do anything wrong. It was just a misunderstanding!” she repeated forcefully.
“What are you talking about?” Reyna interjected, puzzled.
Greg shot her a warning look and mouthed, ‘Observation only.’ She immediately pursed her lips.
“Wait! What are you talking about?” Veronica fired back.
“We are homicide detectives currently investigating the murder of Jason Stone. We just wanted to ask you a few questions. Now, why did you run?” Greg reiterated.
“Oh!” Veronica exclaimed and was silent for a long time.
Reyna heaved an audible sigh.
Veronica pushed out her hands and placed them on the table, supporting the weight of her upper torso on it.
“Well, in that case, you have my full cooperation.”
Outside, Tracy watched but heard nothing. Her sense of urgency mounted till she could hold it in no more. She pushed open the door and leaned in.
“Greg, a word, please?”
“Sure.” The chair grated with an even louder noise this time. Veronica tried to cover her ears, but the handcuffs prevented her from doing so.
Tracy closed the door softly behind her.
“There is a complaint of shoplifting against her,” she relayed.
“So that’s why she ran!” Greg concluded. Tracy nodded in agreement.
“Thanks, Tracy. Although the information could have come sooner.” He scowled as he departed.
Tracy sighed. Nothing was ever fast enough for old-fashioned Greg. What irony!
“So, you’re wanted for shoplifting it seems,” Greg announced as he entered once again. He did not sit down. Instead, he reclined himself against the reflective glass wall.
“Like I’ve been saying, it’s just a misunderstanding!” Veronica shouted, exasperated.
“Maybe,” he replied slowly. “Or maybe not. That is none of my concern. But harming a police officer and obstruction of justice are pretty serious crimes.”
Veronica’s hands trembled.
“I can make one charge go away, if you tell us what you know,” Greg offered.
Veronica sat up. “Like I said before, I’m willing to cooperate.”
The interrogation began in earnest.
“How long have you known Jason?” Greg fired.
“We met around three months back.” Veronica answered honestly and willingly.
“How long were you two together?”
“A month, I guess, maybe less, but definitely not more!”
“How and why did your relationship end?”
“He was such a creep! No wonder he hadn’t dated anyone before. ‘Waiting for the perfect girl to come along.’” She snorted in derision and went on, “I left him for good after a month of playing around like this. He tried reaching out to me a few times after that, but I did not respond, and so he gave up.”
“What do you mean, he was such a creep?”
“He was a mechanic, right? So, once I spotted him in Beacon Hill, when I’d gone to visit my father. Well – oh wait! What was I doing there, you might ask. I’m sure you know about the famous scandalous divorce of Regina Bloomenthal and Richard Bloomenthal, eh? I’m the unfortunate daughter, who hasn’t received her inheritance since three years because of the countless legal battles.” She sighed heavily. “Reduced to living in Roxbury and spending and saving up the little money I do have like a miser! And here I am, being accused of shoplifting now!” She sobbed theatrically.
“Madam, please, if you’d like to get back to the issue at hand,” Greg hinted with his gentlest tone.
“Oh yes, pardon me! And there he was, getting out of a mansion of one of those glitterati. Back then, I thought he was seeing someone else, you know? I asked him about it, but he just brushed it off. But, not a week ago, I saw him once more in the same area. This time, he was arguing with some guy who looked like such a serious geek that I can’t imagine what a guy like Jason would want from him! I dared not go any closer for fear of being spotted by him,” she finished.
“When was this?”
“The previous Wednesday.”
“A sketch artist will be with you shortly, Miss Bloomenthal. Thanks for the information,” Greg said with finality as he, followed by Reyna, left the room.
What do you think Jason was doing in Beacon Hill? There will be more next Friday, I promise. How do you think the story is shaping up so far? Let me know in the comments section.