Adam and Kyle sit at their desks, reading and re-reading the information that they have collected over the past couple of months about their case. The victims are women between the age of 20 and 40, married, no kids, stay at home, and killed on their front porch, but that is where the similarities end. They read the interviews with the husbands, but again they hit a wall.
“There has got to be something that connects these women more than just the little we have,” Adam says as he puts the file he was reading down on his desk. “They don’t live relatively close and though they know one another, they aren’t connected any other way, so what are we missing?”
Kyle sets his files down, staring up at the map they had pins to show where each home is, scratching his chin. He stands up and walks over to the map tracing lines in between the pins this way and that, but nothing he ‘draws’ makes any sense either. “Let’s get out of here and get some lunch at that one place on 5th Street.”
Adam sighs heavily and nods, standing and stretching, “Yea we need a break and food. We have been at this all morning and well past afternoon.” His stomach growls in anger for being ignored and not given food.
The two grab their coats and hats before they turn off their desk lights and head out to Kyle’s car. In no time, they are sitting at a small café and ordering sodas and sandwiches with chips.
While they wait, they quietly discuss the case, still growing frustrated that they have yet to find a link between the women and why they are being targeted. They glance up as a man in a nice blue suit walks past, taking off his hat, and sits at the bar area of the diner.
While Eric gets settled, putting his hat beside him, he cannot help but hear a little from the men sitting behind him. He glances over at them and can tell by the way they dress; they are detectives and from the sounds of it, frustrated over a case. Eric knows most of the detectives that live in their town but these two he has never met before, though he has seen them over the past two years.
Eric smiles at the waitress as she walks over to him, “Hello Suzy, how are you today?”
“Hello, Eric, coming in a bit late today, aren’t we?”
“Yes, got caught up with a client and just couldn’t get a way,” Eric chuckles, picking up the menu Suzy slipped in front of him. He taps his finger on the table as he looks over the menu then nods, “Okay, I will have the cheeseburger and fries, no mayo but if Steven can make his famous spicy mayo…” He looks at the waitress with hope in his eyes which makes the woman laugh.
“I will ask him if he has any already made or if not make some for you,” Suzy says after writing his order down. “And what do you want to drink?”
“Regular coke please,” Eric says, clasping his hands together as she takes the menu and walks away.
Eric looks around the café, tapping his fingers a bit as he nods hellos to the other patrons of the eatery. He turns completely around on the stool and faces the two detectives and nods to them before he makes his way back around to face forward again. Eric knew they had moved to the little Tennessee town to join the detective agency two years ago, but he has never interacted with them.
Adam and Kyle both nod to the man before they return to their discussion. Suzy walks over back in front of Eric, placing a glass of coke and straw down on the bar table.
“Did you hear about poor sweet Elizabeth? Roger must be going out of his mind with grief right now. She was his whole world,” Suzy says, leaning against the bar, shaking her head.
“He came into the office today and resigned immediately, just like Kevin, Tom, George, and Ian after their wives had been murdered last month. They have all put their houses up for sale and I have a feeling Roger will do the same.” Eric sighs heavily, “I don’t know why our insurance company’s employees are being targeted but I hope whoever is in charge finds out why soon and stops the madman.”
Both Adam and Kyle perk up when they hear Elizabeth and her husband’s names being mentioned and turn to look over at Suzy and Eric.
“Unfortunately, yes, we are talking about them. His wife was murdered yesterday in front of her home. Roger is a good friend and was a prominent insurance man!” Eric tells Adam, “How do you two know them?”
Kyle waves for Eric to join them, which he does, sitting beside Adam, and stares at Kyle for an answer. Suzy returns to work, wiping down where Eric had been sitting before she walks off to get more coffee for another couple.
“We are the detectives on that case, and we were there yesterday talking to Roger about his wife.” Kyle leans forward, narrowing his eyed at Eric, “Now what is this insurance company you are talking about?”
Eric dips his head a bit as Suzy brings his food, Kyle and Adam already half done with their own lunches. Eric pulls out one of his business cards and sets it down on the table. Adam picks it up while Kyle sips his soda, Adam chewing a bit after biting his sandwich.
Adam swallows and clears his throat before he reads the card, “Old Times Insurance?”
Eric nods, “I have been working there for 5 years now. The ones I have mentioned all have been working between 5 to 10 years with the company. They are all leaving now because they lost their wives.” Eric scratches his chin, “You don’t think there is a connection between their wives’ deaths and where they work is the reasoning behind the deaths?”
Kyle and Adam glance at each other before they look back at Eric. They nod in unison, making Eric swallow his food hard before he grabs his drink to wash it down.
Eric leans closer to the detectives and raises his eyebrows, “How can I help?”
“You want to help? It could get dangerous,” Adam asks, surprised.
Eric shakes his head, “I don’t care and if my wife knew about this, she would want me to help, too.”
“Well then, can you get us information about what their cases and maybe we can find a disgruntle ex-client or some sort of mafia clientele or something like that?” Kyle asks, raising an eyebrow.
“I can’t without looking suspicious, but if you can get something from the judge, then my insurance company will have to help.” Eric pulls out a pen from inside his jacket and writes a number from memory. “Judge Grayson is an old friend of mine. Tell him what you think and how we met. He will get any paperwork you need so our company will have to help.” Eric slides it over to Adam. “Mr. Hancock and Mr. Matthews aren’t the easiest to work with, but if you have the right paperwork, they are more than willing to help.”
Adam places the number in his pocket, “You may be the crack in this case we were looking for…?”
“Eric,” Eric tells them, shaking both of their hands.
“Kyle and my bearded partner here is Adam,” Kyle introduces them to their new friend.
“Nice to meet you both.” Eric nods towards Adam’s pocket. “I also added my phone number so you can call me whenever you need me. We can also work on the case after you get the paperwork, at my place. Sarah, I know would love to meet you two and cook you all dinner.”
Adam perks up at the mention of food, “Oh well, we don’t want to impose on you two.”
Eric chuckles, “You would not be imposing. Get the paperwork, come to the insurance place, and request that I help you with the case. And we will sort this out while on a full stomach of Sarah’s home cooking and maybe a glass of wine or two.”
Kyle stands and holds his hand out to Adam, “No time to wait. I better go call the judge now.”
Adam nods and hands his partner the phone numbers and Kyle hustles his way outside so that he can talk to the judge without being loud inside the place and annoy people while they eat. Adam and Eric make plans for them to come over once the judge has given them the paperwork needed. Eric tells Adam that he will tell his wife as soon as he gets home after he leaves work today so that she isn’t too surprised by their arrival in four days for dinner and to work together. Adam takes out his notebook and pen and writes Eric’s address and nods, putting it away once he makes sure he has written the address correctly.
Eric finishes his food since he needs to get back to the office, pays for his meal, and heads out, telling Adam to call him as soon as he hears what the judge has to say. He waves to Kyle as he passes him outside, still on the phone with Judge Grayson, and hurries off to his car. Eric sits in his car for a moment, his head spinning with what has just happened, not even having expected anything like this would happen to him. His quiet town is being plagued by a serial killer who is murdering his neighbors and friends, and he gets to help stop it. He nods his head then decides once he gets back to work since all he has is paperwork to work on that he will start looking at his colleague’s files to see if he can find them all before Judge Grayson gives the detectives the go ahead to get it from the Old Times Insurance Company. Eric shakes himself to get himself out of his trance and heads back to the office, energized.
Kyle walks back into the café, looking a bit defeated as he sits back down, Adam still nibbling on his food as he waits for his partner to return. Kyle spins his drink around with his straw, deep in thought.
Adam wipes off his mouth and takes a sip of his drink before he speaks, “What’s up?”
“Judge Grayson is ready to get the paperwork started, but we need to find more to link the murderer with someone who sells things door to door. And since we found nothing, we can’t do that, so he won’t sign off the papers.” Kyle sits back, frustrated.
“Let’s get back to the office and I will get my car. We will go back to each scene crime and look around to see if we can find anything we have missed.” Adam waves his hand to catch their server’s attention so that they can give him their check. “We will not give up. Eric is ready to risk his life and his wife’s life in order to stop this guy. And we will not let him down.” Adam pays for their meals and the two rush off, grabbing their trench coats from the coatrack beside the door and dash out to Kyle’s car, both more determined than ever to get the ball rolling on their new lead.