Molly was just about to weigh the diseased heart of Scott Phillip Brown when she saw him watching her from the observation window above.
He was tall with dark, curly hair and a pale complexion.
Molly knew most everyone on the evening shift and especially those who visited the mortuary. There weren't that many. Nobody ever came down here unless they had to.
She gave him a look and he motioned toward the door, wanting to talk to her. Molly set the heart carefully back inside the chest and disposed of her latex gloves. She straightened out her jumper and lab coat before stepping out into the hall to meet him.
"Can I help you?" she asked, her eyes sweeping over his long coat looking for a badge of any sort. He didn't have one. She felt a wave of panic as she wondered who he was and what he wanted with her.
"You're Molly Hooper," he said, his eyes quickly scanning her badge for confirmation.
"Yes and you are?"
"No time to explain," he said, moving towards her and talking very fast. "You examined the body of Donna Stephens two days ago. There was something in your notes about a burn on her left wrist."
"How do you know that?"
"I need to see it," he said, stopping right in front of her. He stared down at Molly, taking full advantage of his height. His body sparked with an energy that she could practically feel. It made the hair on the back of her neck stand up on end.
"And I need to see some identification," she said, taking a step back. He took a step forward to close the gap between them again.
"There's no time," he said again, his eyes locking onto hers. His voice was pitched dangerously low. "He's going to kill again tonight if I don't stop him."
"It was murder then," Molly said, staring up at him. She'd suspected it was even though the police had determined the asphyxiation was self-inflicted.
"I need to see the burn," he pressed, edging closer still. "Please."
Molly knew she shouldn't but there was just something so intense and compelling about him she wanted to help. He was also quite attractive and standing extremely close to her. Surely he worked for or with the police if he had access to her report. Why else come here at this ungodly hour if it wasn't about the case?
"Okay," she said, the word barely a whisper.
Before she knew it, he clutched her arm and spun her around back into the mortuary. He paced as she snapped on another pair of gloves, then opened the cabinet containing the dead girl's body.
Molly slid the drawer out just enough to unzip the bag and lift out the left arm. He was right beside her again, peering over her anxiously as she turned over the wrist.
"I'm certain it was made after death. That's why I put it in my notes," Molly said, tracing a gloved finger over the mark. He stuck a hand in his pocket and drew something out.
"It was made with this," he said, holding a small metal block. On it was a crescent moon, raised up on one end. He set it carefully over the burn.
It matched perfectly.
His entire face lit up, then he turned to Molly.
"You're brilliant," he declared, his hands suddenly on her upper arms. Without warning, he leaned down and kissed her soundly on the cheek. Just as quickly, he let her go and darted toward the door.
"Wait, who are you?" she called after him, her face burning where his lips just were.
"Sherlock Holmes!" he called out before pushing the door open with both hands.
And just like that, he was gone.
Four days later, Sergeant Sally Donovan was looking over the body of William John Searcy. He'd been shot three times in a domestic dispute but the police wasn't sure if it was the wife or the girlfriend. Molly waited patiently until she finished her examination before asking.
"Have you worked with ... Sherlock Holmes?" she asked, raising her eyebrows expectantly. Sergeant Donovan looked up immediately, her face twisting up in what appeared to be disgust.
"That freak?" she said, scoffing loudly. "When I'm forced to, yes. Why do you ask?"
"I was reading his website," Molly said, trying to stay calm despite the fact Sergeant Donovan was now glaring suspiciously at her. "It says he's a 'consulting detective' and I wasn't sure what that means exactly ..."
"What it means is he likes to make everyone in my department look like complete idiots," she answered, her voice taking on a bitter tone. "Like with that Donna Stephens case ... oh God."
"What?" Molly asked innocently.
"He was here, wasn't he?" she said accusingly. "All makes sense now. That bastard. I supposed he told you some elaborate lie to get in to see her body after I specifically told him no."
"But the killer was caught that night," Molly pointed out. She'd seen it on the news the next day and read about it on his blog. "Isn't that what matters? Isn't that why we do what we do?"
"It's not why he does it," she warned, shaking her head. "He gets off on it ... murder. I've never seen anyone enjoy it as much as he does. Don't get involved with him. If he shows up here again, you call me."
Molly nodded just so she'd leave her alone. She busied herself with some paperwork just to avoid Sergeant Donovan's hateful looks that weren't really meant for her. They were meant for Sherlock Holmes, who Molly now found more fascinating than ever.
She couldn't stop thinking about him even if she tried.
Molly opened her locker, then removed her wet hat and scarf. It was absolutely miserable out. She sighed heavily as she unbuttoned her equally drenched coat, shrugged out of it and hung everything inside.
Another evening shift.
Another Friday night.
Almost three weeks had passed and she'd given up hope on ever seeing him again. She'd thought about emailing or posting something on his blog, but couldn't quite get up the nerve to. From what she gathered he was obviously a genius, rather arrogant and as Sergeant Donovan had pointed out, obsessed with murder. The last one she could understand. She found it rather fascinating herself sometimes.
Molly pulled out her lab coat and shut her locker. She walked over to the mirror as she slipped it on, then pulled her hair out from underneath it. It was damp and frizzy and looked horrid. She reached in her pocket for a rubber band and started gathering her hair up in her hands.
"You should leave it down," said a voice from behind her. Molly's heart all but stopped as saw him appear in the mirror, leaning casually against her locker. "Long hair suits you. Frames your face."
Molly felt her face flush as she pulled her hair back anyway. "I can't work with it in the way."
She tried not to watch him watching her through the mirror but she couldn't help it. How did he get in? Why was he here? And what did it matter? He'd come back. Molly wished she would've at least put on some lipstick earlier. She looked like a drowned cat while he looked amazing ... and dry.
"Why aren't you wet?" she asked curiously.
"I've been waiting for you," he stated, making it sound like they had an appointment she'd missed. "Unfortunately, you work the evening shift every Friday."
"So you know my schedule," Molly said, reeling from the fact he'd been researching her as well. She twisted her hair into a loose bun and turned around. "Why? Is there another body you need to see?"
"No," he said, straightening up. It was then Molly realized he'd been hiding something behind his back. Sherlock dramatically held up a small, dark bag. "I brought my own this time. Well, part of one."
Molly's eyes widened as she stared at the bag, wondering what "part" was in it. She looked up at Sherlock, who was now smiling like it was Christmas.
"Did you steal it from a crime scene?" she asked suspiciously.
"Well, borrowed," he said, rolling his eyes a bit at the semantics. "I need to use the lab and your expertise."
He wasn't even asking. He was telling her. For a moment, Molly considered saying no. It was against the rules. She could lose her job. Her license could be suspended or even revoked if this sort of unauthorized intrusion continued.
He smiled again, as if he was daring her to do it.
Molly couldn't resist.
"Okay," she said, smiling back. "Let's see what you've got."
TO BE CONTINUED