Date: April 25, 2012
Staring through the two-way mirror, detective Conner eyed her culprit. The man had been spotted inside of their crime scene hours ago. He had argued with them that he was merely observing their investigation. The man had argued about attempting to save another life. Conner felt a lump rise into her throat. The man’s eyes pierced into her, even through the glass. As soon as her officers brought her in, she immediately knew the man was in trouble. A black fedora was tilted to the side of his face to obscure the front of his forehead. Along with that, he wore a well-kept tie in the middle of his chest with a brilliant white dress shirt. If it weren’t for his black trench coat, hat, tie, and pants, he’d fit right into the interrogation. The room had recently been repainted with a luminous white coating. To add, the man’s own skin was that of the pale shirt.
She scuffed as he didn’t stir for what seemed like hours. “That’s must one helluva trance he’s in,” she remarked as the man’s eyes were the only moving part of him. “How the hell do you think he does that, for this long?”
Her partner, Donald, looked at her with an angled eyebrow. “He keeps to his story like bark. Doesn’t seem to think he’s done anything wrong.” The man gave way to a small shutter, his eyes dodging a bit downward as he leans against the glass. “But man, that guy’s voice gives me the damn creeps.”
Conner would have normally laughed at the comment. Donald got freaked out at almost everyone who walked into that room. Found almost anything wrong with them. This time, she felt it too. This one was different. He, the man, was different. Something was off about him. You could see the sharp eyes that were hidden under the man’s hat. They were painted with a vibrant emerald shade, lighter green against the edges. They were tucked well with the tips of his dark red sticking out. His bangs ran against his eyes, all of it was placed with someone with a professional mannerism.
Yet, here he was in a police station for attempting to snoop around a police crime scene. His eyes still blinked back at his side of the mirror. Observing his own reflection, she thought, thinking of what the two of them were doing back here. Donald spoke up again, “If he’s so nonchalant about this, why hasn’t he asked us any questions?” Conner looked to Donald, he was no longer leaning against the glass. With his arms folded over his chest, he drummed a hand on his forearm. “I mean, normally when the bastards get behind there, they start screaming to either see a lawyer or ask if they’re being charged with anything. This guy, he hasn’t started a single word. He just,” Donald paused, biting on the side of one of his thumbs. “He just takes it. Answering every God damn thing we ask, and doesn’t attempt to break any barriers. What is with this guy.”
Donald had strong points. Conner also appreciated her partner’s ability to read her mind, they had worked together for the past four years. She learned that Donald enjoyed speaking his mind, even if it was obvious. It let the two of them work it out in the open. Look at all the angles. Pulling away from the glass, she grabs a folder on the table behind her. “Let’s go see how much he really knows.” Opening the door, she leaves her side of the room and enters the interrogation room with their silent visitor.
She felt a sudden rush enter her body. The feeling shivered down her body, ending at the edges of her hips. As long as she had been a detective she had received these chills when something was about to get worse. With as many times as she had felt them, that had been the worst. Whoever this man was, he was all trouble.
“Feeling at home?” Propping up the chair on her side of the table, she sat down and eyed the man. He didn’t look up from where he had been staring, his hands held in his lap. Laying the folder in front of the two of them, she was about to repeat the question louder.
His voice gave the back of her neck a hair-splitting chill, “Not particularly. Do not fret, I have been around much worse. Certainly worse company.”
Conner scuffed at him, “I guess I should feel flattered.” Raising an eyebrow at him, he simply leaned his hat backwards to give her more of a facial view.
“No.” He made sure was apparent, that was for sure. “I’ve had worse. Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t prefer it given this current state of affairs.”
“So I guess I’m just like hell for you, huh?” Removing a pack of cigarettes from her jacket pocket, she flicked one out into her lips. Preparing to get her lighter from her jeans pocket, she eyed the man to see if he had any interest in her product. He was difficult to read. Must have been why he preferred not to move. She leaned forward, “Would you like one?”
“No. I’m quite well.” Turning down the smoke, she lit the tip of her cigarette and took an inhale. The man still didn’t seem very interested into what had been going on around him. His eyes cut into the wall. Answering questions. Sitting patiently.
Sticking the lighter away and propping the cigarette into the middle of her two fingers, she tapped the table. “Which would you prefer to start with? What we found on you, or the body at the crime scene.”
“Crime scene,” the man nearly jumped at the sound of that. His head turned to face her, with his facial expression not shifting. With his eyes dead on her, she nodded. Didn’t want to give away the hint of glee in the way he responded.
She grinned. “Alright then, let’s start there.” Using her free hand to flip the folder open she revealed the contents. Spacing out the objects inside, she made sure they were well within reach of both of them. The information in the folder wasn’t all of it. They weren’t about to reveal all they knew to a mystery man. He took in the pictures with his hands secured in his lap. Conner made sure he was locked in here with his handcuffs. When they had attempted to take him into questioning, he had taken down three cops in what was said to be ten seconds. The detective met that with skepticism. Something like that didn’t seem likely. Even less because she knew the three that he supposedly “took down”. They weren’t the regular donut eating stereotypes.
The man’s eyes scanned the pictures. Conner began to explain the wounds, and what he was seeing. “Here, you can see the victim’s neck was torn apart. It wasn’t clear which side of the throat was the one that killed her. With her throat completely destroyed, it was unnecessary to attack her abdomen and internal intestines.” Gesturing to two of the pictures, the images are horrific. Unlike most who would gaze upon a scene, the man doesn’t seem bothered by the display. Conner took that into account. Leaning back into her chair as she took an intake of smoke. The victim was a twenty-three year old woman, dark brown eyes, with jet-black hair. The victim’s name had been Becca Hamilton, soon to be Becca Tur. It was four days away from her wedding night.
After a few minutes, the man straightened his back from staring at the gore. Gazing at Conner, he asked, “What is it that you’d like from me?”
Conner grinned with the cigarette in the cracked edge of her lips. She blew out a ray of smoke, “Did you know the deceased? What’s your connection to her?”
“There is no connection.” The man turned his eyes back to Becca, “I had not known of her until but a week ago. She believed herself to be followed by someone.” For a moment, he paused, his eyes giving off a small twitch. “Followed by another woman, whom she once knew.” Sitting back in his chair for a moment, it was the first time Conner saw him relaxed. In the impending hours he had been here, most of the afternoon, he stood tall and proud in his chair. He never faltered at a sign of exhaustion. “If you count the connection,” he added, “that she wanted to know who it was that had been following her. Then you’ve made one. I was merely attempting to assist her. I doubt I’d try to end her life.” Before Conner could react to that, he ended with, “I believe that is what you were leading up to. I am saving you the trouble of continuing forward. We were merely quick business colleagues. I wasn’t being paid, might I add.”
Conner gave him a dodgy look. She didn’t enjoy being cut off, especially if the man had laid out so perfectly what was going to happen. She leaned forward a bit more, the ashes of the cigarette circulating near her feet. “Now, do you have an alibi for the last night? Say, between twelve and two-thirty?”
The man attempted to flip his hat higher up on his head. “I was at a local pub. Dublin’s Dream. I stayed near the bar, and then I moved towards the North-West corner of the room where I remained until the tender kicked me out. That was at three-fourteen. At which point, I went back to my motel room not too far away.”
Conner took another drag from her cigarette. She’d have Donald check that out. “Right, so you were just helping the victim with her, what, stalking problem?”
“More or less,” the man cleared his throat. Conner paid more attention to what was going to be said as she examined him. “She asked me to look into it, and I did my best.”
The detective placed out the cigarette. “Looked into it? Why the hell didn’t she go to the police if she knew she was being stalked?”
At that moment, the man’s emerald eyes went ablaze. “Because she believed to have been stalked by someone she knew was certainly dead.” Conner felt a small edge in her throat seize up, and the chills down her back began to heighten. Before she could ask another question, the man added, “I’m a traveler. I see this sort of thing from time to time. I may know a thing or two. Given if she’s dead, of course.”
Conner gave a snort. “Right, and was her stalker a dead stalker?”
The man tilted his head towards the pictures. “Clearly, that was false. And since it was, my business was done. I finished my business in town and was just about to depart today.”
“And what exactly was your business in town to begin with?” Conner wanted to pressure him as much as she could. If this was their only set of leads, then they’d do what they could.
He took a few seconds to respond, adjusting himself in the chair. “As I said, I was just passing through the town. My business was to rest and relax in this town for a few days. Once I felt it was time to go I was going to be heading West and go up towards Oregon.” The man chanted his head to the side, “Ms. Hamilton prevented me from leaving sooner.”
“But, you just said you had business in town? Your business was to rest and relax? Not use to travelling?” Conner’s pressuring was all she had on her side, currently.
“No. I travel quite a bit of the time. Very often. I wanted to take in the sights of the city, and explore it while I was here. While I had the change.” The man’s eyes met her’s, they blinked slowly and rarely. He was like a stone wall that he just gained the ability to see. Taking in everything around him and as if he was engulfed in a dreamy state. As he turned his head to the door, he asked the question she was secretly begging him to never ask. “May I leave, detective?”
Conner let out a sigh, running a hand through her short brown hair. Standing up from her side, she placed her hands on her hips and stared back into the man’s eyes. “Yes, you’re free to go. Your possessions will be returned to you accordingly. Just find them at the front desk.” As he stood up, she snapped at him quickly, “And don’t venture to any more crime scenes. I don’t care if you knew the victim, or wanted your paycheck. Do not cross, means your ass is on the line if you do,”
Nodding, he stood up and extended his arms out. Removing the key from the side of her belt she unbuckled his cuffs and placed them on the table. Tucking them into his jacket, he made his way to the door where Donald opened it up to guide him outside. Stopping at the door, he turned and paused, “Detective.” She turned and they met once more, his eyes were still as ablaze as before. With his hat over his forehead, the small strains of dark red hair stuck up, as his voice turned into a more pressuring tone. “The person you’re more than likely searching for. The way they attacked her and ended Ms. Hamilton’s life. She is very vengeful.”