Sunday 7 October 2012
‘Are we really sure that this is the right course of action?’ Ricketsen was having second thoughts regarding Hunt’s decision on progressing with the stalking case as the primary investigation.
‘No, Andy, I’m not sure at all. However, if we do this and nothing happens, we haven’t lost a thing. If we do it, and I’m right, then we get to close three cases with one course of action,’ Hunt replied. ‘Look, everyone in the Detective Squad was a friend of Russ Seaborn. Everyone has a Russ story about how he helped them out, and everyone is feeling the loss, not just you, Ricketsen. We’ve agreed that all three cases are linked so, if we solve the initial case, then I really think the other two will fall easily into place.’
Hunt drew his attention away from Ricketsen and on to Lennard. She had been sitting quietly at her desk since Hunt had discussed his idea.
‘Sue, why so quiet?’ he asked.
She shrugged her shoulders, and sank dejectedly down into her chair.
‘Sue?’ Hunt asked again.
She responded slowly. ‘It’s nothing, Brian. I’m just pissed because I was sure that the husband was involved. I’m feeling blindsided is all. Don’t worry.’
* * * * *
After arguing the pros and cons for an hour or so, Missy Fairmont finally conceded that being moved to a safe house until her stalker, and the murderer of her husband and Detective Seaborn, was apprehended was the best option for her safety. Hunt gave her enough time to pack a small bag of essentials, and then personally escorted her to the safe house. She wasn’t sure exactly where it was, but recognised part of the drive as being through the inner city.
The apartment complex was a non-descript grey, and it did not stand out in any way from the other buildings in the street. Other than a few children playing in the street in front of the building, there was no one in sight.
‘Kind of quiet here, isn’t it?’ Missy looked up and down the street as Hunt moved her from the car into the building.
‘Quiet is exactly how we like things when we’re utilising a safe house, Mrs. Fairmont.’ Hunt tried not to sound irritated.
‘Oh, I see. Do you think you’ll be able to the person who killed my husband?’
Hunt stopped just inside the front entrance. ‘You can count on it, Mrs. Fairmont. My team won’t rest until we have apprehended and charged your husband’s murderer.’
‘Do you think that the murderer is the same person who is stalking me?’
‘It’s certainly something that we’re seriously considering. I don’t think that it was a coincidence, Mrs. Fairmont that you’re being pursued, a detective is then murdered, and following a suspicious text message to him, your husband is also murdered. No coincidences there.’
Hunt didn’t wait for any other questions from Missy, ushering her further into the lobby and over to the elevator. Lennard, Ricketsen, and four other police followed shortly afterwards. They piled into the elevator and rode it up to the fourteenth floor. When the doors slid open, Lennard stuck her head out of the elevator and looked up and down the corridor.
‘It’s clear,’ she said as she exited and cautiously made her way down the corridor to the apartment that the police department used as one of its safe houses. Missy, flanked by Ricketsen and Hunt and followed by the other four police people, followed a few seconds behind.
Settling Missy into the apartment, Hunt informed her that the team needed to step outside for a quick briefing.
‘You make yourself at home, Mrs. Fairmont. I realise that it’s nowhere near as impressive or comfortable as your own home, but at least you’ll be safe here until we conclude our investigations.’ He smiled his best and most comforting smile at her, and then joined his team outside the door.
‘Okay, kids,’ Hunt spoke quietly, ‘here’s how it’s going to go. Ricketsen and Lennard will take the first shift. Jones, you’ll stay with them. Second shift will be Henderson, Graham, and Paterson. You’ll come on at seven thirty tonight, and you’ll stay through until seven thirty tomorrow morning. We’ll rotate through again if we need to, but I’ve got a nagging feeling that this will all end by morning. Right, let’s get back in there and explain the rules to the lady.’
As Hunt opened the door, he caught sight of Missy looking at her phone.
‘Ah, Mrs. Fairmont, you can’t use your cell phone while you’re in the safe house,’ he ordered. She turned the phone over in her hand, a forlorn expression on her face.
‘Yes, yes,’ she said, ‘I understand. I was just . . . I’ve been expecting the phone to ring all day. I keep thinking William will call, and then I remember . . . ’ A perfectly timed tear rolled down her cheek. Hunt handed her his handkerchief, she dried her eyes, and passed it back to him. He carefully placed it back in his jacket pocket.
‘Sue, Andy, and Frank will take the first shift, Mrs. Fairmont. They’ll take good care of you. Not that we’re expecting anything to happen,’ Hunt said knowing that if he was correct, events had already been set in motion.
. . . To be continued . . .