A Luring Murder by Stacy Verdick Case

Posted on Friday, November 1, 2013

“What the hell is she doing here?”

Gavin put his hands on my shoulder and gave a small shove toward the passenger side.

“There’s one way to find out.” 

I knocked on the passenger window. The window slid down, and there sat my partner, Louise Montgomery.

On the other side of the bench seat, Digs pushed his thick glasses up on his nose then waved. He leaned across the passenger seat and shouted, “Hey, O’Brien,” as if I couldn’t hear him from across the great divide of the van’s cab.

Louise splayed her fingers, covered Digs’ face, and gave a light shove to push him back.

“Good morning, Catherine,” she said.

I folded my arms and leaned on the window frame. “Why aren’t you still in the hospital?”

“I was released early for good behavior.”

“I doubt that very much.”  I opened the door. “So what are you doing here?”

Louise slid down from the cab. The gunshot wound at the top of her thigh hurt more than she let on, but I could tell by the way she twisted her body toward the back of the van, and her left leg hit the ground first. Of course, the crutches were a dead giveaway that the wound still hurt.

“Well, I heard you were on vacation.” She propped the crutches under her arms and leaned heavily on them. “I didn’t believe you would ever be dragged outside of the city. I had to see for myself, and here you are.”

The old woman stoop, which accompanied most people who needed the aid of crutches, didn’t afflict Louise. Her back was pin straight. The only indication of her injury was the crutches themselves.

“I’m serious, Louise. Shouldn’t you still be in the hospital?”

“The Doctor signed my release early this morning,” she said. “The bullet didn’t hit anything vital, and the hole has been repaired, so there isn’t any reason for me to be in bed.” 

Digs marched around the front of the van and positioned himself between the two of us. It didn’t escape my notice that he stood closer to Louise than to me.

“I dropped by the office just in time to catch Digs talking to the Chief.”  She inclined her head toward Digs. “Since I’ve needed a vacation, and I can’t officially work anyway, I convinced Digs to let me hitch a ride.” Louise reached into her pocket and took out her cell phone.

“We hopped into the mobile forensic unit and here we are.”  He spread his hands then bounced up and down on the balls of his feet.

I’m sure Digs didn’t hesitate a moment at the opportunity to spend two hours alone in an enclosed space with Louise. Every time Louise entered a room Digs trailed every move she made with his eyes. Digs traded assignments with others in his department to make sure he worked our cases. I’m sure that the only reason Louise and I had such a high success rate in closing our cases was Digs’ need to please and impress Louise.

If Louise smiled and asked, he would have told her anything she wanted to know, including government secrets.

Louise held her cell phone in the air. “Digs can you get a signal? I don’t have any bars.”

Digs looked at his phone and shook his head.

“You may as well put them away for the duration,” I said. “There’s no cell phone service that I’ve been able find.”

The look of horror on Louise’s face was comical. Back home she never went more than a few minutes without twitching her fingers over her phone.

“Are you kidding?”

I shook my head. Louise gave her phone a few more slaps before resigning herself to a phoneless fate.

“I still don’t understand,” I said. “Why wasn’t the BCA sent to investigate?  No offense Digs, but you’re not exactly a field mouse.”

He bristled but recovered quickly. He made no protest. Any attempt to deny his lab rat status would have been a lie. During the winter months, Digs never saw sunlight, and in the summer, the only sun he saw was early morning pink or evening orange.

A Luring Murder

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Genre – Mystery

Rating – PG13

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Website http://sostacythought.wordpress.com/


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