This is fiction, please do not steal it
The two women went back and forth, each asserting they were right, finally Gerri collapsed on the couch in tears. Elsbeth looked at her and held her breath to keep from crying herself. She picked up her phone to make a phone call, a phone call she had hoped to never have to make. Then she woke Gerri up.
Gerri sniffed, “I have to leave don’t I? It was the agreement we made. I’ll go pack.”
“I want to ask you a question, how do you know it was Laci?”
“I was there the day he was killed.”
“The day who was killed?”
“Lee! I went over to make him pay for what he did.”
“What did he do?”
“He broke my heart!” By this time Gerri was crying so hard she could hardly speak, Elsbeth wrapped her arms around her and held tight. “I loved him and he cheated on me. So I went over, I dressed all in black and I was going to break in and scare him. Tell him I had found out, but when I got there he was dead, she had killed him. I found paint balls, yellow paint balls.”
“What about Bob?”
“He was investigating, he probably found out Lee and I were involved and so Laci killed him too.” Elsbeth had stood up and was pacing the floor. Gerri watched her, Lavender followed her around sensing something was wrong. “Elsbeth, did you call ….”
Elsbeth stopped and turned to Gerri, “Yes, I called Mom, she’s expecting us. Go pack.” Elsbeth picked up Lavender and stroked her smooth coat. She looked out her front window and surveyed the street. The black clad figure that had been watching the apartment from a doorway across the street was gone, she looked down the block until she saw a familiar car. “Hello Damon, keeping watch are you?” She kissed the top of Lavender’s head and went to pack her own suitcase.
While Damon watched Elsbeth’s apartment, across town someone was waiting in his apartment. Someone who wanted to make Damon the serial killer’s third victim, as the night sky lightened, the black clad figure left frustrated and angry, carefully laid plans gone to waste. When Damon got home in the morning, he noticed things out of place and the hair on the back of his neck prickled. A quick check revealed nothing missing, so what did the intruder want? Someone broke in here to kill me, the thought popped into Damon’s head. I need to get a dog, was his next thought.
Damon got in to the station early, his first act was to call a friend who had a couple of Rottweilers and ask if he could borrow one for a few days. As the day wore on he kept looking over at Gerri’s desk, when he asked the Lieutenant if had heard from her, “Family emergency” was the terse reply. At lunch time he wandered over to see if Elsbeth wanted to join him.
“She not in, family emergency.” he was told.
“Huh, Detective Essex had a family emergency too.” he mused aloud, Elsbeth’s partner looked at him in surprise, “Didn’t you use to be her partner?” Damon nodded. “You don’t know Elsbeth and Gerri are sisters?” Gregg laughed. “That girl can keep a secret.”
The ringing of his cell phone pulled Damon away, after he got off duty he swung by Elsbeth’s apartment. He had a key and let himself in, his cover story was he was making sure the place was secure while she was gone. He had with him Bruce, a sturdy Rottie with mahogany markings. Damon knew there was a keepsake box in Elsbeth’s bedroom, while Bruce thoroughly inspected the living room with his nose, Damon rifled through the box. He calmed his conscience by saying it was part of a homicide investigation. It was filled with Yankee ticket stubs, a ring, and old pictures of a pre-teenage Elsbeth and other people he didn’t recognize; it was these pictures that Damon took out and examined closely. He slid one of the pictures in his pocket and left with Bruce. As he left the apartment he noticed a person ducking out of site across the street. He made a mental note to ask Elsbeth about it when she got back, from wherever she had gone.
Elsbeth was back a few days later, Gerri had requested an indefinite leave of absence. Damon knocked on the door determined to get answers. He briefly considered bringing Bruce, but wasn’t sure how Lavender would react. He knocked on the door and kept knocking until Elsbeth opened the door.
“Damon I’m tired.”
“I need to talk to you, it can’t wait.” Elsbeth let him in.
Damon immediately noticed something different. “Where’s Lavender?”
“I left her with Gerri, so she wouldn’t be all alone.”
“Speaking of Gerri, why did you never tell me she is your sister? And while we’re on the subject, who’s Laci?” The look on Elsbeth’s face reminded Damon of that day in the alley, his blood seemed to chill but he plowed on, he held out one of the pictures, it was Elsbeth, Gerri and a third girl who looked almost identical to Gerri. On the back someone had scrawled, “Elli ~ Gerri ~ Laci”. Elsbeth took the picture, a tear slid down her check. In all the years he had known her, he had never seen her cry, the tears shocked him and made him more than a little uncomfortable. Any other woman he would have sat down and put his arm around her shoulders. But Elsbeth was different, Elsbeth never cried.
“You shouldn’t have gone through my stuff Damon.” Elsbeth wiped the tears away.
“I had to find out the truth, those are paint ball guns, paint balls were found at the scene of both murders, yellow paint balls. You and Gerri have yellow paint on you, that makes me think Laci used yellow, I need to know where Laci is.”
“Why do you even think she’s involved?”
“Gerri and Lee Wheel were engaged to be married. I found this clipping in the file. I also found evidence that Lee was involved with another woman, so I thought, maybe Laci went after him. If the two girls were close. We know a woman was in the house the day he died.”
“OK, Laci always used yellow, but she’s dead, she couldn’t be the killer.”
“What about Gerri? Could she have done it?”
“NO! But, Gerri says Laci did it. That’s why I took her away, left her someplace safe. I have to protect her.”
“Are you sure Laci’s dead?”
“Yes, Gerri and I were both there, we both saw her die. Gerri blames herself and so she insists it never happened.”
“Was it Gerri’s fault?”
“It was an accident. An accident that was Gerri’s fault. And I let it happen.”