Caliente (Dina) – 7.3: A motive and a suspect

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(Previous post: Murder in Sunset Valley)

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A dead body is found on the street in Sunset Valley and Sara and her team are called in to investigate his murder.

“I am sorry to do this to you Jerod but I just don’t think I’ll make it home in time for dinner.” It was already afternoon and Sara knew this day is going to run long so she called first her mother and now her fiancee as well. “Will you be okay with mum and Justine?”

“Well as much as I love them I think I am not ready to be there without you yet… I guess I will just hang out at the station, maybe finish a book…”

Screenshot_9.jpgSara laughed at the thought. She just couldn’t picture Jerod with a book, in all the years she knew him she couldn’t remember ever seeing him with one, even back in school he managed to somehow swing by on his overwhelming intelligence and disarming charm alone. They ended the call saying their “I love you’s” to each other and Sara went back to work. There will be no more laughs for her she thought miserably as she looked at all the open browser tabs on her computer, each one a piece of Clyde Belgen’s life.

She wished she could tell Jerod what kept her away from home but she couldn’t. Not yet. She knew he would understand, work was work… Still She longed to share this terrible burden she felt ever since this morning with someone, anyone… Yet she couldn’t, she was the boss now, she had to face the hardships alone.

She sighed turning to her screen to continue reading of the scandalous relationship of Clyde Belgen and the music talent scout Phaena Santoro that happened while she was still a baby but made all the headlines at the time.

An hour passed, maybe more and Sara found herself absently drawing a doodle on an empty sheet of paper when a sharp knock broke her away from her troubled thoughts.

“Come in.” She yelled looking at the paper in front of her. The drawing showed a dead man laying on the ground. She crumpled it up and threw it away in the bin before the door opened and Mika’il Kerry walked in.

“I’ve got nothing boss.” The young police officer said closing the doors behind him. “That part of the street is not covered by cameras and nobody saw a thing. I can’t believe it. There was a murder and we have nothing.”

“Maybe Vanessa will find something. Junior Hoves is back in the lab. If anyone can dig up something it is the old man…” The young officer didn’t seem to like the idea that he, or his findings wouldn’t solve this case or so his pained expression suggested but he kept it to himself, only nodding respectfully.

“You said to come here straight away and not to share the ID on the dead man with anyone. What’s the deal with that, you know him?” He blurted out and Sara sighed softly.

“I do. I did. His daughter went to school with me.” She thought back to the ungainly girl with unkempt bushy hair and dark beady eyes and how she used to follow them around constantly because she was in love with Rosie, Sara’s cousin and best friend. They were so mean to her back then, poor little Penelope Belgen, not as mean as Dougie Hoves perhaps, but Rosie just stringed her along all the time and Sara had not said a word…

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And then all those years later that same face looked at her again, from above her hospital bed. The same woman she tormented in high school saved her life when a bullet hit her leg and now she would have to go to her and tell her that her father is dead. Murdered.

Miha’il nodded. “We will have to notify the next of kin.” He said. “They must be worried sick by now… Was he married?”

“No.” Sara said. “He lived alone with his daughter, Dr. Penelope Belgen.”

“She was his only kid then?” Mikha’il asked.

“He had a son as well but they were estranged.” Mikha’il wrote it all down in his notebook and she saw him looking at her expectantly. “Luther Prentiss. I want to go with you when you go tell Penelope, Luther too. ” Mikha’il nodded and she knew he would be more than glad to have her with them. This wasn’t easy, for anyone. There was a slight pause and finally Sara got the courage to speak what she wanted to say.

“I will tell you all I know about Clyde Belgen and his life but there is another reason I wanted to speak with you in private.” She gave the closed door another look before starting her story.

“About a month ago Clyde Belgen came to me personally. His daughter, she saved my life when I was shot and we knew each other since we were kids so I guess he figured he could trust me…” She stopped there feeling the burden of her guilt press heavily on her but it wasn’t the time to feel sorry, she had to get it out. “He told me his daughter, Penelope had been kidnapped on her way from work one day. The assailant took her to an undisclosed location and asked her to perform surgery on him. He had a bullet lodged inside him and probably wanted to avoid questioning from the police. Penelope did as she was told and she was released, unharmed.”

“She didn’t go to the police herself?” The young officer asked.

“No. She confided in her father, he insisted she report this but she didn’t want to, she said the man had threatened her family if word ever got out.” A meaningful silence descended between them and then Mika’il broke it.

“Her father however came to you.” Sara nodded. Mika’il looked away, pensive. “That is huge. What did you do?”

“What could I do?” Sara asked. “I couldn’t do a thing without proof, and Penelope’s testimony. When I confronted her however she denied the whole story, told me her father must be going senile. She refused to come to the station and urged me to bury the whole thing.”

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“You feel guilty you listened to her?” The other man asked bluntly and Sara just gave him a stern look to let him now there were lines that shouldn’t be crossed.

“I am sorry a man is dead. But we have a possible motive and I am not going to overlook this again.” the young officer just nodded and Sara noticed an absent look in his eyes, as if the wheels behind them had already started turning.

“Is there a date for this kidnapping?” He asked all the sudden and Sara had to pull out her own notes to check. When she gave him the date she noticed him go absent again, then he opened his notebook and started going through it with furious conviction. Sara just looked at him puzzled about the whole ordeal. He checked and double checked something before lifting his head and looking at her anxiously. “You are not going to like this. You are not going to like this one bit but I think I know who the kidnapper is.” He paused and Sara’s mind was numb. There was not a single thought in her head in the space before his last word and the next one. “I think it was Bradley Frail.”

/* Some of you might remember Penelope’s kidnapping from Wounds and if you don’t it is not integral to know all the details to follow the rest of the story. I hope you liked this update! */

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