Sweet Arrest

By: Jordyn Tracey

Her lips parted on a small “pah” sound. Soon she was crying again. “I'm so sorry, Ma. I've ruined your business. I don't know why you bothered to leave it to me. I can't handle anything. Everything I touch fails. Every trick I've tried just falls flat. Please, don't look down on me from heaven and see the mess I've made."

For a few minutes, she indulged herself in self-pity, until she ran out of tears and had gone through the half-empty box of tissues she kept on the top of her computer terminal. After gathering them all, she deposited them into the trashcan with a mental note to empty it. Returning to her files, she picked up the phone and dialed Cammie's home.

When no one answered after six rings, she was about to hang up. A woman with a thick voice like she had something caught in her throat or a stopped up nose answered. “Hello?"

"Um, hi, this is A'isha Greene, owner of the Purely Sweets bakery on Curzon, where Cammie worked?” She couldn't believe she had never called Cammie's home or knew whether she lived at home with her parents or on her own.

"Yes, I know who you are.” Had the woman's voice turned bitter? “This is Cammie's mother. I can't talk now. The police are here.” Her voice broke. She cried openly for a few minutes, and A'isha wondered if she should just offer her condolences and leave it at that. They knew better how to conduct an investigation around a person's emotional trauma. Then again, Detective Pierce had only been kind during the initial shock. After that he had turned cold. She was amazed he relented enough to help her when she called back. Cammie's mother continued. “I've just finished telling the detectives how Cammie hated working for you, how she couldn't wait to get out of there!"

"H-Hated?” Spots danced before A'isha's eyes. The clang of a prison door closing must be the product of her over-stimulated imagination.

Chapter Four

Connor dropped into his desk chair and ran his hands through his hair. A pulse beat a tattoo at his left temple, and he searched his drawers for something to relieve the pain. While opening the Excedrin Migraine, he considered whether he had become addicted or if it was possible. He popped them on a daily basis trying to head off headaches. Half the time it worked; half it didn't. But he downed them anyway.

Carl sat on the edge of his desk and crossed his hands in his lap. The man was young and had little experience, but Connor respected his ability, his instincts for the job. He had bucked being paired with him, but it had turned out the chief was right. They did work well together.

"So what do you think?” Carl said.

Connor grumbled, pinched his nose, and tried to banish the image of A'isha in his mind. “I think there's more to Ms. A'isha Greene than we first suspected. I'd like to get a full background check on her and the victim. Find out why Ms. Clark was so unhappy. Her mother was sketchy, and I can't be sure she wasn't just looking for someone to pin the blame on. Any prints from the weapon?"

Carl shook his head. “Not a one. Whoever did this wore gloves or wiped the knife down. Might also be worth checking into its maker. The design is unique."

That statement surprised Connor. “You don't think it was Ms. Greene?” He hated the hope that rose in him. Chanting “be objective” hadn't worked on him thus far.

His partner pulled out his notes. “Well, I like to reserve judgment, but I don't know. I get the feeling like you that there's more going on here. With her, yes, but I'm hesitant to believe she did it."

"With one look?” Connor frowned. “You saw her half a minute."

"Yeah, before you whisked her out of there. Wanna comment?"

"No.” Connor stood up to get some water from the fountain. Carl followed. “You weren't attracted to her, were you?"

Carl snorted. “Why because I'm black? No, she's not my type."

Connor bit back the retort he intended to that statement, but he was pretty sure Carl saw it in his eyes. He shrugged. If Carl couldn't see what a sexy woman A'isha was, then he was an idiot. Remembering the woman Carl had brought to the Christmas party last year made him realize the man was right. A'isha wasn't his type. That woman had been rail thin, beautiful, but too little on her bones. Not Connor's idea of perfect at all.

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