Explanations: Chapter 8
I know I am very late with the updates. But do remember I am not paid to do anything, so I tend to take a reeeeeeeeeealy long time. Besides, I was concentrating on DeviantArt. Go check it out! (Link on my profile.) Plus the holidays were so packed, could barely do anything.
I love writing fanfiction, don't get me wrong. Writing them improve my English, actually. But I just lose the motivation to do so.
Putting all that aside, chapter 8 is back! I really want to finish this story. :)
"Okay, so Erica volunteered at the Faith Children's Shelter every weekend, and it's in the charge of an Alicia Greenwood," Sara read off a file as she and Nick exited their SUV, already reaching the children's home that Erica Clayton frequented. "Erica's been volunteering for close to two years now, and she's rather popular with the kids."
Nick nodded, shutting the door. "We'll have to check whether Erica popped by last night or not, otherwise Thomas Clayton would have some explaining to do."
"I'd hope not."
The pair walked up a small slope and approached the children's home. It looked pretty new – the fresh coats of paint were clearly visible. There was a little banner at the top of the entrance which showed the name of the shelter, as well as handprints, most presumably the kids'. Closed curtains could be seen through the windows, so it was probably nap time, Sara commented.
A woman opened the door after Nick knocked quietly on it.
"Yes, how can I help you?" the blonde woman greeted. She was clad in a blue dress, and her hair was neatly tied up in a long ponytail. A little name badge pinned on the chest of her dress said 'Alicia'. So, she was the person-in-charge.
"Are the both of you looking for a child to adopt?" she asked, smiling.
"Oh no," Sara said quickly, flushing slightly.
Nick grinned, but it faltered a little. Back to business. "We're actually from the LVPD," he continued, and they showed their badges to her. "We have some questions to ask."
"Oh, sorry," Alicia replied sheepishly. "Well, what would you like to know?"
"Is Erica Clayton a volunteer here?" Sara asked.
Alicia nodded, beaming. "Of course; she's a regular here. The kids absolutely love her. She's just a genius when handling the kids. Why would you ask about Erica? Is she alright?"
Nick hesitated slightly. "Uh, well, Alicia," he said, gesturing to her name badge, to which she nodded. "Erica was murdered last night... and we need some information from you."
"What? Erica's dead?" Alicia said, disbelief written all over her face. "Oh god… I… Is this some kind of mistake…?"
"No, ma'am," Nick replied, as Alicia clasped a hand to her mouth, shaking her head. "We're sorry for your loss, Alicia," Sara said. "Did Erica come here last night?"
"Yeah… yeah, she did," Alicia answered, still slightly taken aback. "She came... for a short while..."
"Did anything unusual happen?"
"No... but she looked a little listless, though."
Sara nodded, turning to Nick. "So, Thomas Clayton was right about Erica coming over. But that doesn't mean that his alibi checks out, though."
Nick's cellphone rang; he mouthed a 'sorry', and picked the call up. "Hey, Doc. Yeah, we're at the children's home… Okay, cool. Thanks." Hanging up, he turned back to Sara. "The autopsy's done. Doc Robbins wants us to have a look."
Sara nodded solemnly, and then addressed Alicia. "We've to ask a few more questions if you don't mind. Do you happen to know Erica's husband?"
Alicia nodded. "He pops by occasionally, but other than that, no, not really."
"Does Erica have any problems with him?"
"No… not that I know of, anyway," Alicia replied.
Sara nodded. "Alright. Thanks for your time. We'll have to come by if we have anything else."
"Sure... I'll be here."
Nick and Sara turned to leave. Halfway down the slope, Nick realized Sara wasn't beside him as he reached out to his side, and turned around. She was at the door of the children's home again.
"I'd hope you could break the news to the kids gently," she said, a hand on Alicia's shoulder. Nick could hear her from where he stood. He saw Alicia nod, then gave Sara a small smile, and mouthed a 'thank you'. Nick watched as Sara smiled as well, and then returned down the slope.
"The kids will be fine," Nick reassured Sara, as she came to him.
"I know they will," Sara said. "But it's gonna be hard. Erica was so close to them."
The pair walked back to the SUV in silence after that.
"COD was exsanguination; TOD was 2am to 3am the previous day she died; all of which was concluded when we found her," Doc Robbins said, his voice resounding through the thin air inside the morgue. Nick and Sara stood over the body on either sides of the table, listening intently.
Erica Clayton lay on the cold, hard metal table, lifeless, her empty eyes staring into nothing. The blood she was covered in was gone now, and her skin was now tinted a pale grey. It was a rather sad sight.
Well, they always were, weren't they?
Doc Robbins continued. "The bullet was fired at a close range. Went right through her. The gun which fired the bullet was a .45; hopefully that'll help. There's also multiple bruising all over your vic's body, especially the abdomen and on her arms," he said, pointing to the bruising all over the victim, his glasses hanging off his neck. "They're consistent with a beating she received. She's got quite some internal bleeding as well."
"Our murderer definitely had a vengeance," Nick stated, as Sara pursed her lips.
"Anything else unusual about the vic?" she asked.
"No, none that I've noticed."
Sara nodded. "Alright. Thanks. We'll come back if we need anything."
"You'll know where to find me," Al Robbins replied, smiling slightly.
"Right. Erica Clayton did not have a car registered under her, but there was one registered under Thomas Clayton's," Sara said, holding a sheet of paper in one hand. She and Nick were in the meeting room. Maps and papers were scattered over the table.
"And since Erica was body-dumped, while Thomas did have a record, I figure that would be worth checking out on… Maybe we could get a warrant," she continued, as Nick nodded slowly.
"But we don't have any evidence to suggest that Thomas Clayton was related in any way to Erica's death," Nick pointed out, as Sara bit her lip. "I know how you feel, Sara, but we can't get a warrant even if we want to."
It was Sara's turn to nod in agreement. "I know… If we can't get a warrant, then we really should pop by and ask him a few questions anyway," Sara answered. She set the paper on the table, and folded her arms tightly across her chest.
"I seriously do not have good vibes off of Thomas Clayton."
"Something just seems… off… about him," Sara said. "I have a bad feeling towards him."
Nick furrowed his brows. "Well, you do know that a sixth sense is not exactly the most concrete evidence if we're gonna nab this guy," he said. "And besides, he's her husband. He probably wouldn't hurt her."
"You don't know what people like him can do."
There was a moment of silence, as Nick realized he probably shouldn't have said what he did, and he mentally slapped himself for it. It was almost painful to entertain the thought that Thomas Clayton may have harmed his wife.
"Sorry," Nick said quietly. He watched Sara nod, frown slightly, and then turn around, facing the bulletin board with her back towards him, arms still folded. The bulletin board had only two suspects shown on it – Thomas Clayton and Alicia Greenwood.
"It's okay," she replied, then sighed, turning back to face Nick. "This is just an 'if'. If Thomas Clayton did harm Erica, how could it have happened?"
"He might've done the deed in the house… when the kids aren't around," Nick said, observing her reaction. She remained silent, so he continued, referring to the map on the table. "He shoots her here," he said, pointing to the Claytons' residence. "And then drives off to dump the body over here," Nick now pointed to the spot on Charleston Boulevard, where they found Erica. Sara drew a red line with a marker on the map without hesitation.
"He drove a pretty long way," she said.
"Of course he had to, it's a body."
"If he had to do it without his kids around, it should've been a weekday. He probably took a day off. We should check with the company he works at."
"What? Do we go now?"
She smiled a little. "Why not?"
This chapter is just a filler, that's why it's longer… It's gonna get better, and more humour will come in later. Leave a review! They're all very appreciated! And please, be patient… (School is SO hectic. ._.)