Elizabeth fell out of sync for the third class that day as she jumped up and down teaching the thirty-odd people in front of her a new routine. They didn’t notice, how could they? But she could and it frustrated her. Her mind kept wandering to the man that morning, the one that looked familiar but wasn’t familiar. Every time it wandered, she faltered.
Who in the hell was he?
Why did she recognize him?
Why couldn’t she get her mind off of it?
Distraction 101. Think about something that draws your mind away from the task at hand. It’s always a bad thing.
“Liz, is something the matter?” Amanda asked her, the genuine look of concern on her students face as she approached Elizabeth after the class. “Yes. Why? Does something look to be the matter?” Elizabeth asked incredulously.
“Oh, well you just look a little sad is all. See you next week,” Amanda said with a smile and a wave of her hand still holding her aerobics towel. That is why you do not get distracted, people notice. “Yeah, see you next week,” Elizabeth responded as she always did, a bright smile on her lips as everyone left the expansive room to her.
Once the room was empty she moved to the wall and placed her forehead against the cool surface.
“Dexter Morgan,” Elizabeth said aloud for the first time since she had seen it written on the ID badge around the man’s face. “Dexter Morgan. Morgan. Morgan. Morgan. Where have I seen you before Dexter Morgan?”
“Excuse me, Liz?”
Elizabeth spun on her heel to face the door. Naomi the desk clerk was poking her head inside. “I’m sorry to bother you. I had tried your cell a few minutes ago. There’s some officers here that say they want to see you about something,” she said indicating to over her shoulder.
“You can show them in Naomi,” Elizabeth said with a wave of her hand a smile still apparent on her face. Shortly afterward she was faced with Detective Batista and Detective Morgan again. “Hello. I wasn’t expecting to see you both again so soon,” she informed them. Their solemn looks told her that this visit was not good, her first instinct was to run but she stood her ground. While she often listened to those tiny instincts the instinct to flee was not one of them. Fleeing insinuated guilt. Elizabeth was not guilty.
“Miss Thory,” Detective Batista started.
“Liz,” Elizabeth quickly corrected.
“Liz,” he said with a nod of his head. “Miss Adams’ son was also found dead in the apartment.” Now that was something she was not expecting, her eyes opened wide with shock for a few moments before furrowing together in confusion.
“That’s terrible but what does it have to do with me?”
“Well we’d like to take you down and ask you a few more questions if that’s alright.”
Elizabeth held a face that looked sorely confused. “I don’t understand.” She was a suspect and she knew it. Talk about bringing her life under the microscope.
“We just have a few questions that we need to ask you back at the station.”
“Alright I guess. I don’t see why you couldn’t call instead of coming all the way down here,” Elizabeth said moving to grab her stuff lifting her aerobics towel off of her bag and pressing it to her sweating brow.
“Well we did call you just didn’t answer,” Detective Morgan interjected.
“I told you I might not be able to hear you over the music,” Elizabeth countered with a smile as she pulled her bag over her shoulder. “After you,” she indicated with a single hand. What a perfect opportunity to attempt to see Dexter Morgan again. If she believed in fate she’d say it was that.
The elevator dinged just before the door opened to a room that was lined with glass windows and hip high desks all in one large room. Elizabeth didn’t know if she would be able to work in such a confined space like this. It was messy. She could already feel the draw on her energy just being there. Maybe that was half of the point to being brought here. The negativity made a person self conscious.
Elizabeth hummed a soft lullaby tune as she walked with a smile on her face nodding as she passed a few people. They all looked so solemn, like the tedium of their job was too hard to bare. What happened when it did become too hard to bare? Is that when the noble police officers that “just do their job” become homicidal?
Elizabeth wondered how many of them contemplated suicide and murder. Her eyes playfully crossed each of them her mind straying to seeing them holding a weapon of choice in their hand. She could imagine Detective Batista as a man with bloody knuckles after beating someone to death. Detective Morgan seemed more of a suicide case then a murderer, passed out with blood in her bath and pills all over the floor. A double dipper as it were.
Elizabeth saw another female with blood on what she could only assume was their husband’s mistresses sex whip. Another she saw with a concealing baseball cap and bat. Another had a noose around their neck as they filed away some paperwork.
As Elizabeth daydreamed she was lead into what she could only assume was an interrogation room. She looked around calmly setting her bag onto the table and plopping herself into the chair to look up at the two detectives that had disappeared behind a closed door.
Elizabeth frowned. That was rude of them. She quickly shrugged it off and began to look around the room swinging her feet beneath her. There was no point in being nervous. They had nothing on her even if she were to be their prime suspect for a crime she didn’t commit.
Wasn’t it ironic?
Elizabeth Thory a suspect for a crime she didn’t even commit. She huffed in amusement as her eyes lingered on the camera. Was he out there? The man she knew but didn’t. Dexter Morgan.
After a few moments the door clicked and opened to let the Detectives into the small room. She smiled more broadly tilting her head cheerily like she had no idea what could have prompted them to bring her down here.
Detective Morgan placed a file in front of her and sat down. “How well did you know the Adams’ again?” she asked.
“I told you that I didn’t know them very well. We were neighbors, not friends,” Elizabeth responded with a shake of her head. What didn’t they understand about that.
“Well it appears that the boy knew you better then you thought,” Detective Morgan said as she opened the manilla folder to expose some angry looking drawings. “We found these in the boys room with your name on it,” she said flipping them around so that Elizabeth could see them.
Elizabeth tilted her head furrowing her brow as she stared at the images. They were about death and how Elizabeth was a killer and about how she planned to kill him and his mother. Instead of looking alarmed she smiled more broadly and laughed.
Elizabeth looked up at the officer’s and shook her head in amusement. They looked at each other like she was going to confess to what they were thinking she had done. “You have to be kidding me. You brought me all the way down here to explain some pictures from an eight year old?” she said trying to contain her laughter. She rubbed her eye as she shoved the images back at her. “I did a favor for Piper a few years ago and the boy never forgave me. She didn’t have the heart to take his dog to the pound so she asked me to. Unfortunately there was a miscommunication as to when I was to be over to pick him up and the boy ended up coming home when I was taking the dog out of the house.
“He never forgave me for that. Check the Greenleaf Veterinary Clinic. It’s under Piper’s name but the dogs name was Chowder,” Elizabeth looked at them with a playful smile on their face. “If you look at the pictures there is a dog in the background of them all. Piper told me about it but never showed me the pictures,” she explained waiting for one of them to leave and check the information.
“So why would he say that you were going to kill him and his mom,” Elizabeth sighed. “I don’t have any idea. I’m an aerobics instructor not a psychologist,” she said with a shrug and chuckle.
“You’re not taking this seriously. You’re neighbor is dead Miss Thory and you are our prime suspect. Where were you last night?” the scrawny brunette snapped trying to get Elizabeth to break.
“Camping,” Elizabeth said plainly.
“Do you have anyone that can collaborate that?” Detective Batista interjected.
Not a live one.
“Unfortunately not,” she answered simply.
There was a tap at the door and Detective Batista went outside to see what it was about.
“Just tell the truth. You killed Piper and her son and went home like any other day. What did she do to piss you off? You are bigger then her it probably wouldn’t have been hard to overpower her, you’re very fit,” Detective Morgan said.
“Feel free to get a warrant and check to see if you can find the blood in my home,” Elizabeth informed her. “I didn’t kill Piper or her son. I had no problem with them,” she explained as Detective Batista returned to the room.
“You’re free to leave but stay where we can contact you. No more camping,” he said with a shake of his head.
Detective Morgan got up frustrated. “She’s the one I can feel it,” she murmured to the other as Elizabeth collected her things.
“We don’t have proof Morgan,” he said gruffly back to her.
“I’m sorry I’m not a great help to you both. If there is anything I can do please don’t hesitate,” Elizabeth said clutching her bag closer to herself as she left. She was hoping it would throw a red flag to indicate there was something inside of it. Get them to take it back, give her time to find Dexter.
“Liz,” Detective Batista called after her. “Do you mind if we look in the bag?”
Elizabeth set it down on the desk she was standing next to throwing a hand out. “Not at all.” She took a few steps back, further into the open expanse of the office looking around to see if she saw him. She avoided the people that she imagined with their murder weapons or suicide of choice and looked for the familiar face amongst the crowd of unfamiliar people.
Elizabeth smiled at the Detective as he looked to her while he rummaged through her bag. “I warn you there might be icky stuff in there. You may want gloves. I sweat a lot.” That seemed to get his grubby fingers out of her stuff for a second to seek gloves. He should have had those on the entire time shouldn’t he have? It didn’t matter much to her, they wouldn’t find anything.
Elizabeth’s eyes went from the Detective back to looking for Dexter. This time it didn’t take long. He came from around a corner. Look at that stride. He looked so confident. He was a knife man, like she was. He took a personal interest in killing his victims, or he would, if he were a murderer like her. She bowed her eyes in disappointment as she was one of the few like herself.
The neat monster.
Elizabeth looked back up to see his eyes on her. “Hey… you. I saw you at the crime scene earlier. What are you doing here?” he asked, his eyes skillfully glazing over what Detective Batista was doing.
“Apparently I’m the prime suspect,” she informed him her eyes shooting to the detective which just looked up for a moment before returning to removing things from her bag.
“Oh. Well oh,” he said looking awkward.
“My name is Elizabeth by the way. Please call me Liz though. Thank you again for letting me get to work earlier,” she informed him placing her hand out for him to shake.
He took it. His grip was firm, one that would make most women woozy in the knees for him. “Dexter Morgan.”
“Lovely to meet you Dexter Morgan,” she said with a slight lift and fall to their hands. “Now I hate to repeat myself but I swear I’ve seen you somewhere before,” she informed him although their hands hadn’t separated.
“I wouldn’t know where,” he told her again.
Elizabeth’s eyes furrowed and she recoiled her hand as if he had burned her. She knew why he looked so familiar, it was like looking in a mirror. “My mistake then,” she informed him with a smile. If she knew then could he tell too?
“All done. Sorry about the inconvenience Miss, I mean Liz,” Detective Batista said bowing his head as he stripped his hands of his gloves.
“Thank you Detective. You have my cell,” she said turning back to Dexter. “Will I see you again?” she asked him.
“Well after this case maybe?” he said with a shrug. She reached into a side pocket of her bag for a pen and a piece of paper. She quickly scrawled her name and number onto the pad before handing it to him. “It was great to see you again,” she informed him with a smile before she picked up her bag. She gave him and the Detective a nod before she began toward the elevator.
She could hear the detective tease him. “Woo Dex. I think she’s hot for you,” was all she could hear before the elevator doors slammed shut in front of her.
She didn’t believe “hot” was the best term for what she felt.