Nautilus – Part 6 . . .

Friday 18 May 2018

Amy Turner slumped into what she thought was the world’s most uncomfortable chair, hidden away from the prying eyes of her colleagues in Gates’ office. Her boss sauntered in, loosened his tie, tossed the file he’d been carrying on his desk, and groaned as he sat in his chair.

‘Any luck with Benson?’

Gates shook his head. ‘Not a thing.’

‘Not even when you told him the wife changed her story?’

‘Nope. He’s still maintaining that Miller committed suicide.’

‘You think the wife’s fitted him up?’

Gates looked down at the file, tapped it with his fingers, and then slid it across the desk. Turner leaned forward and grabbed the file. She flipped it open and read Gates’ scribbled notes of the interview.

‘Where is she now?’ Turner looked up at Gates. Concern drew across his face. She’d never seen Lucas Gates anything other than confident. This new expression unnerved her.

‘Gave her temporary address as the Holiday Inn on Main Street.’

‘But?’

‘She checked out last night.’

‘Shit,’ Turner whispered. ‘Any ideas?’

‘Yep. She went straight to the marina, jumped on the boat or the yacht or whatever the hell it is, and sailed off.’

‘Coast Guard?’

‘No sightings so far.’

* * * * *

Alone in the holding cell, Steven rubbed his temples. His head was throbbing and his thoughts were jumbled after so many hours of questioning. Nausea was overwhelming. He only just made it to the atrocious excuse for a toilet before he vomited. He used his shirt to wipe his mouth and mop the sweat from his face.

‘Bitch!’ he yelled. ‘She set me up. She set me up.’ He vomited again but didn’t bother to clean his face.

* * * * *

The Lady Windermere

Another storm front was rolling in but Claire wasn’t worried. She’d seen Harry navigate the Lady Windermere through storm after storm without a hitch. If Harry could do it successfully, so could she. With everything securely tethered to the yacht on deck, and everything that could possibly move below deck locked away, she sat in the galley and finished the last of the cheese and pickle sandwich she’d made for dinner. It was an unsatisfying meal given that she was on her way to getting away with murder, but she knew she needed a decent amount of sleep before the storm hit and she had to navigate the yacht through it.

Claire momentarily gave a thought to Steven who, by this stage, was likely in jail or still being questioned by Detective Gates. She snickered. How she’d love to have seen Steven’s face when the detective arrested him for Harry’s murder. She wondered if they’d found the evidence she conveniently left in Steven’s hotel room.

It had taken a little time here and there to create letters and notes, diary entries, plans for Harry’s murder, small documents, a paper trail leading from Steven Benson to Harry Miller. Given that the men had been friends and there was some history between them, it wasn’t implausible that Steven might have had a thing for her, and that he’d felt protective of her. It certainly wasn’t implausible that he’d have stopped Harry beating her, and it wasn’t a ridiculous notion that Steven would have killed for her. She hoped the detective would believe even just the smallest part of her fabrication.

She checked the time on her wristwatch. She had four hours until the storm hit the Lady Windermere. Claire set the alarm on her watch, wandered to the sleeping quarters, and laid down for what would probably be the last bit of sleep she’d have until after the storm.

* * * * *

Lucas Gates pondered his next move. ‘You know, Turner, I could just charge him for the murder and be done with it.’ He glanced at Turner. She shrugged.

‘You could, but you know it’d play on your mind until you got to the bottom of things.’

‘True,’ he replied.

‘You could go back in and keep questioning him.’

‘I could,’ Gates mused.

‘Detective Gates! DETECTIVE GATES!’ A junior office whose name Gates could never remember ran to Gates’ office.

‘What do you want?’ Gates snapped.

‘A fishing vessel’s just radioed in. They’re on their way back to port. They’ve picked up a body. It got caught in their net. Looks like we might have Harry Miller’s body.’

. . . To be continued . . .

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About Danielle

I like to write. What more is there to know?
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