Rating, Disclaimer and notes in first chapter
Sorry about the delay in posting this.
John opened the door to his apartment and let the woman in. Her eyes widened as she entered and saw the spacious loft where John lived.
"Wow! Does consulting for the police pay that much?"
John smiled. "The stock market."
She nodded slowly as she made her way around the loft.
"Make yourself at home. Anything you need don't be afraid to ask. Actually you don't need to ask. The kitchen, living room, bathroom." John indicated where everything was.
The woman glanced over at the door to John's private room. The room where he was searching for himself. "What's in there?"
"Em…that's my office. I work from home sometimes and some of the stuff is confidential. I would appreciate it if you…."
She nodded. "I won't go in."
John brought his hands together and rubbed them. "Well first things first let's get you set up. Do you want to take a lie down? Have a rest?"
She shook her head. "No I've spent too much time in bed. I need to do something."
"Well we can start on some hypnosis. Try and jog your memory."
A sad smile played on her lips. "Ok."
He sat her down on the couch and lit a candle on the coffee table in front of her. He sat opposite her.
"Ok. First things first. I want you to take some slow deep breaths and close your eyes."
She followed his instructions but the shrill ring of Doe's cell phone made them both jump. She opened her eyes and watched as John grabbed the phone from his jacket. He glanced at the screen ID and saw that it was Frank. He looked apologetically at the girl.
"Now's not a good time, Frank," he said into the phone.
"We were just about to start some hypnotherapy," replied John.
"We need you down at the harbour, John. We have a homicide."
John glanced over his house guest and saw that she was watching him intently. "It's not a good time."
"Homicide never is. We need your brain power down here."
John let out a big sigh. "Ok. I'm on my way over."
"I'm sorry. I gotta go. The police…. We can do this when I get back."
She nodded. "Ok."
He smiled again. "Make yourself at home. Mi casa, su casa. Did you know that saying was derived from -?"
"John just go!"
He chuckled and went out the door. She sat on the sofa for a few minutes, then got up and made her way to the kitchen.
John pulled up to the address Frank had given him. He saw that the forensics team was already there. Stu, the red headed forensics guy, was conversing with Frank and Jamie.
"Hey! What do we have here?" Doe asked making his way over to them.
Frank handed John a pair of latex gloves. "We have a male, 5'9", approximate age is 30, GSW to the head and the chest. Bound and gagged. Here a couple of days at least."
John knelt down beside the victim and examined it. Sometimes he was glad that he could only see in black and white as he was sure he would not be able to deal with the blood.
"It looks like it was at close blank range, judging by the entry wound to the head," John surmised. He lifted the victim's head and examined the exit wound and the surrounding area. "Judging by the amount of brain matter splattered."
"Gun shot wound to the head, close blank range. It sounds like…." Frank trailed off and looked at Jamie.
"You think it was gangland killing?" Jamie asked.
"Possible," replied Frank. "I've only ever seen this with the Gianfranco's."
"Gianfranco. Mafia type family here in Seattle. Involved in organized crime, bribery, planning corruption. Had a long running feud with the Caprani family up to ten years ago." John recited off all he knew about the Gianfranco family.
"Dammit. I though all that crap was finished it," Jamie said with frustration.
"Do you think the feud has started up again?" asked Frank.
"I hope not. I don't want a gangland war on my area. Get this back to Nance so that she can tissue type."
John glanced around the sealed off crime scene. He realized that they were very close to The Sea. He began walking in the direction of the bar and his loft.
"John. Where are you going?" Frank called after him.
John turned. "Water."
"What?" asked Jamie and Frank in unison.
"Grace mentioned water. That she recalled the water lapping against the pier."
"Grace. She decided she wanted to be called Grace." John smiled and raised his eyebrows.
Frank nodded in understanding and followed John. "Do you think she saw what happened? Got scared and bolted."
They walked along the pier. "It's possible. She could have been traumatized. Blocked out the memory."
"Two witnesses said they saw her fall. They thought she was a druggie. Didn't stop to help her."
They rounded a corner and saw The Sea bar in front of them. "She must have seen it," John said looking at Frank.
Grace was standing in the kitchen when John and the detective came into the apartment.
"That didn't take long," she said with a smile. Her smile faded when she saw the serious look on the faces of the two men. "What? Did you hear something? About me?"
John shook his head. "No. The report will be out on the news tonight. It's something else."
"We found a body down at the waterfront –"
Grace backed away with a look of fear on her face. "A body?"
"You think it has something to do with me?"
"We don't know. But we have two witnesses that saw you coming from that direction. Maybe you saw something," replied Frank.
She frowned and shook her head. "I don't remember anything about that night."
John saw that she was getting distressed again. "It's ok. It may not mean anything. But we would like you to take a look at the victim to see if it jogs anything."
She looked from John to Frank and then back to John again. Tears watered up in her eyes and she nodded.