We were finally safe, back at home. Woody and I went into my apartment still frazzled, but ecstatic from the adrenaline of the near death experience, the realization that we were alive and together. We sat down on the couch and he held me close. "Jordan, are you going to run?"
I looked up at him puzzled. "No, I don't plan on leaving you." As I said it the realization of what I was thinking hit me and my fight or flight suddenly kicked in.
"I can see it in your eyes, Jordan. You're freaked."
"That's doesn't make what I said a lie. I'm not going anywhere no matter how scared I get."
Something was going through his head. Before I could tell what was going down he knelt on one knee in front of me. "If you mean it, marry me." There was a pause.
I didn't know what to say. We hadn't ever really been together as a couple, not seriously anyway.
"I love you and the fact that you aren't running means you love me back. If we don't just get married, will you ever marry me?"
"I never thought about it."
"So?" He pulled out the ring I had turned down as a birthday gift before. "What do you say?"
I walked into work, just one of those days. My cell rang as I was walking in. "Hello, Jordan I need you down by the bridge." I turned tail and walked out of work. When I arrived at the scene, there were three bodies partially wrapped under some wreckage. It was a family; an older man, a young woman, and a young boy about 8 years old. I starred, Dr. Macey approached. "Jordan, snap out of it. We've all been there."
I shook it off and went to work. The father had died several hours before the mother and child, they had only died about three hours ago. I bent down and started to note the bruising, states of the body, the father had been shot, the mother and child had no visible or easily discernable injuries.
I practically jumped out of my skin when I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned; it was Woody. "So, what have we got."
I explained my findings and then went over to the road to wait for the van that would take the bodies back to the morgue. Macey came up behind me. "Jordan, you're crying?"
I wiped my eyes. "No, I'm not. You didn't see anything." I laughed it off. "Don't worry about me. I'm solid as a rock."
I drove back down to the morgue and ran for fingerprints and tried to figure out the differences in COD and TOD. After two hours I still had nothing. I called my father to come down and help me out with piecing the evidence back together.
"I'll be the father." My dad said. "I'm with my family. It's cold out, we take refuge under the bridge."
"Wait, the dad didn't die there. The mother and child did, but his lavidity doesn't match the scene. He was moved and there wasn't enough blood at the scene for a gun shot."
"Okay, my body is left here after I get shot somewhere else. My wife and kid come looking for me, find me here and…" He stops. "There's too much missing Jordan."
I sigh, "I know." It doesn't make sense. "I'll take another look."
Bug came into the room. "I got the tox screen back, they were all poisoned. If the father hadn't been shot, he would of died anyway."
Woody came in, "We dredged the gun out of the lake. We need Nigel to get the serial number and determine what he can from it."
"The thing's mangled."
Nigel managed to trace the gun back to a Vincent Marlow, married to Alice Whipman, and a son named Donald. It matched, but how did it go down.
Woody was in the room now, "Who do you want to be?"
"I'll be Alice."
"I guess that makes me Vince."
"We're sick, we don't know why. Donnie's complaining."
"Why are we under the bridge?"
I look up remembering the road above and where it came from. She didn't have a phone. "We were in the park, Donnie was playing near the edge. I dropped my cell phone. I climbed down to go get it."
Woody's eyes lit up. "I stay behind with Donnie, I don't want him to climb down."
"I go down and you get shot." I pause. "Who's there?"
Woody, "I'll send a forensics team to the top of the bridge! You're too good Jordan!"
When they return they have Alice's cell phone and blood evidence that the shooting took place at the top of the bridge.
Something didn't feel right. "Where did you find her cell phone?"
They didn't get it. "It was in the brush."
"How many feet away from the bridge?"
Something clicked in Woody's head. "The cell phone wasn't dropped. It was thrown. She was in on it. She created a reason to leave the bridge, but still why would she leave her son with his father if she was helping kill him."
"Maybe it wasn't the plan. Maybe she wasn't in on his murder, but on something else."
"On what?" Woody asked.
"How am I supposed to know? You're the detective."
Woody got a list of all the numbers she called in the last few weeks. He highlighted the most frequent number. " This is the number of an Alby Keegan, he lives on the north side of the bridge, formerly of county prison on grand theft and assault."
I corrected the way he said the name, he looked at me like it wasn't important. "He's Irish, and we have a problem." I smiled, "He's one of Hanrahan's thugs."
Woody brought him in and interviewed him while I watched behind the glass. "You have been calling Alice Marlow a lot lately. How do you know one another?"
He smiled, not knowing what this was about. "She's my girl, she hates that husband of hers. He treats her and Donnie like shit."
"Well, you better not be leaving town Alby, because that sounds like motive." Woody got up.
"Motive for what?" Alby actually looked scared.
"The three of them were murdered and it looks like you got yourself in the middle of it." Woody left.
Alby looked at the mirror he knew was a window. "Jordie, you got to help me."
I looked at Woody, he nodded and I went in.
"I need the truth Alby."
"I wouldn't kill them, if anything Marlow wanted to kill me. He found out that Donnie wasn't his and he thought that I…" He trailed off crying.
"Are you the kid's father?"
He shook his head. "I didn't know who was."
I nodded. "Thanks Alby, but still, don't leave town."
I went back into the other room. "I don't think he did it.'
"Maybe Marlow found out who the father was, maybe he did the murders himself, for revenge." Woody suggested.
"Marlow already freaked out at Alby, he was hell bent on giving the father a piece of his mind, we find Donnie's dad, and we find the killer."
Woody didn't like this theory. "A father wouldn't kill his own son."
I lowered my gaze; I had already worked on cases where it had happened.
"How are we going to find the boy's father?"
"His DNA, if he's got a record he'll be in the system."
We got a hit on codis and we got an address. Woody and I went into the apartment; the door was left open. We slowly went around the corners. He wasn't in the apartment; he came in with a bag of laundry over his shoulder. When he saw us he dropped his stuff and ran. We chased him two blocks. Woody caught him and pinned him. "I didn't do anything wrong!"
"Why'd you run James?"
"You freaks were in my house, you had guns, what would you do?"
I smiled; I pulled my gun from my belt. "Get our guns!"
Woody cracked a smile and then went very serious. "Not okay Jordan."
We questioned him this time. Woody showed him the photographs, "your girl Alice and your son Donald were killed a few days ago. Where were you?"
He looked confused. "I don't have any kids!"
I came into the room and stood in the back. "Your DNA is a 99.9% match to Donald Marlow. You are the boy's father."
"I'm not anyone's father, I needed some extra cash so I donated, you know what I mean. The boy's not really mine. I got no claim over him. Didn't even know he existed."
Woody was about to leave. "You're lying."
"Wait, Woody, you knew about him didn't you. Alice told her husband and he came looking for you and he found you. If you didn't kill them, who did James?"
"You may not have had claim over that boy, but he was your son. Now, who killed him?"
"My girlfriend found the photograph that Alice mailed me, he was eight years old. She thought I cheated on her back then, but I didn't. She came back home a few days ago and said that she'd taken care of it. I didn't know what she meant until I saw it on the news and then I thought if I came forward she'd kill me or I'd go to jail for knowing about it, that or get blamed for it."
We arrested Olivia Mather later that evening when she showed up at James' house for dinner. She confessed to poisoning him, but she said that James shot the guy. She also said that she didn't mean to kill the little boy. We found the gun so we knew that wasn't how it went down. She had bought the gun at a pawnshop, we had her on tape and her fingerprints were on the weapon.
I went back to the morgue and signed the three out to a grandparent. Lilly handled the release and I headed home. I took a long shower and slipped into my pajamas. I curled up under the covers shivering from my wet hair. Woody slipped into bed behind me and wrapped his arms around me to keep me warm. "Hello my wife."
"Goodnight Woody!" I smiled.
"I love you Jordie."
"You too Woody."