Detective Mark Symonds sat opposite Dave and me in the interview room at the Metro Police Station. On the desk in front of him was his notebook, the page filled with scribbled notes. It was nearly 8 pm; we had been there for over an hour.
“Wow,” he said as he leaned back in his chair. “That’s quite a story.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Dave snapped. “You’re welcome to check out the bullet holes in my car.” He ran his hand over his hair. “Not to mention that we’re covered in glass.”
Symonds held up his hand, a sardonic smile on his face. “Relax, Mr. Forrester. No one is denying that you were shot at. The uniforms found point-two-two caliber shell casings in the basement and bullet holes in the concrete near the stairwell.”
Dave glowered at him. “Then what ARE you saying, Detective?”
The detective held his gaze. “Oh, nothing, nothing at all. Just that you’re accusing one of the most influential folks in the city of some serious crimes here. It needs some verification.”
“That’s what we’re asking for,” I said, placing my hand on Dave’s forearm. “Look, Detective, we’ve given you everything we have. We’ve been shot at and we’re both covered in glass. If there’s nothing else, I’d really like to go home.” I shook my head.
“We aren’t leaving town or anything, I just want a shower and something to eat. You know where we are if you need to ask us any more questions.”
Symonds’ expression softened. “Of course, Ms. Shaw. I’ll get one of the uniforms to drive you home.” He turned back to Dave. “I’m afraid we’ll have to impound your car for evidence. We might get some slugs from it that will help identify the gun.”
Dave nodded. “I expected that. Although, I’m not sure how to explain this all to my insurance company.” He rolled his eyes. “I can just hear the conversation now. ‘I’m sorry sir, we don’t cover damage by madmen with guns,'” he said sarcastically.
“It’s not like we started the day with the intention of getting shot at,” I told him.
“I know,” he replied.
“Anyway,” I said. “Let’s take up Detective Symond’s offer of a ride home before he keeps us here all night.”
Symonds motioned to the door. “After you, Ms. Shaw,” he said. We walked toward the main desk, where the detective spoke to the desk sergeant.
A few minutes later, a young police officer directed us to a squad car and drove us home.
We walked through the door and ate a simple meal, then showered to wash away the glass and sweat from our ordeal. Finally clean, we sat on the couch with coffee.
Even though it was late and we were both exhausted, sleep wasn’t coming to either of us.
“I really don’t understand Symond’s attitude,” I said, sipping my coffee. “He can be quite charming, but in the next breath, he treats you like a criminal.”
Dave shook his head. “Don’t take it personally, it’s just an interviewing technique that some cops like to use. The idea is to make the person uncomfortable and even feel guilty. It might get a suspect rattled enough to let something slip.”
“He succeeded in making me feel dirty, even though I know I haven’t done anything wrong. I hate that I’m a suspect. It feels personal.”
“We’ve given the cops everything we have, it’s out of our hands. There is enough to clear your name, at least.”
I turned to face him. “Is there though? I mean, yes, it might be enough so that I’m not a suspect anymore, but is it enough to convict Olsen? Right now, someone out there who tried to kill us. If he isn’t caught, then what’s to stop him trying again?”
“They’ll catch him, Nat.” Dave held me tightly. “I won’t let anything happen to you. You’re far too important to me.”
I reached up and kissed him. “I’m lucky to have you, David Forrester.”
“I know,” he replied. I could hear the smile in his voice.
“Cheeky,” I answered, punching his arm.
“Ow,” Dave said dryly. He looked at the clock above the television. “It’s late, we both need to get some sleep.”
“Not just sleep, I hope,” I said, kissing him again.
He kissed me back. “Hmph, we’ll see.” He yawned theatrically. “I’m pretty tired, you might have to convince me.”
I stood up and started walking to the bedroom. “Well, if you don’t want to…” I said, looking over my shoulder at him.
“Now you mention it, I’m not that tired,” he laughed. He stood up and followed me into the bedroom.
I woke early the following morning. Dave was snoring lightly, his arm lying around me. I eased out of bed as to not wake him, wrapped myself in a gown and padded into the kitchen to make coffee.
I hadn’t slept very much, but I couldn’t stay in bed any longer. The events of the day before had haunted the dreams I had when I did manage to sleep. I kept seeing the glass shattering around us as we huddled in the car, hearing the sound of the gun.
Even with that situation with the map I’d found in fortune cookie some months back, my life hadn’t really been in danger. Now, someone was actively trying to kill me.
I just hoped that the information we had given the police was enough to catch Olsen.
Footsteps came from the bedroom, and Dave walked behind me and put his arms around me. “Couldn’t sleep?” he asked.
“Not without more bad dreams,” I replied. I turned in his embrace and kissed him. “Speaking of sleep, I thought you were still asleep!”
Dave returned my kiss. “I was, but I heard you out here, then I smelled the coffee.”
I turned back to the kitchen counter, took his mug out of the cupboard and poured the freshly made coffee into it. “Luckily I made enough for both of us,” I smiled.
Dave picked up his mug and took an appreciative sip from it. “Ahh, you’re a good woman, Natalie Shaw!”
“Hah. Better than you deserve,” I laughed. “You can earn this fabulous example of womanhood and make us some breakfast.”
He bowed with a flourish. “As you wish, m’lady!” he said in a mock English accent. He went to the fridge and extracted some bacon and eggs. Soon, the kitchen smelled of our cooking breakfast.
“Do you think they got Olsen?” I asked.
“They’ll be questioning him,” Dave replied. “Hopefully, there will be enough evidence to hold him until they get to the bottom of all this.”
“Me too,” I said. “I’d love to be able to sleep again one day.”
“You will,” Dave answered. “I may not be a cop anymore, but I do have faith in them.”
“I do too, but Olsen is nobody’s fool. He didn’t get rich by being stupid. I’m damned sure that he will have the best lawyer he can get, finding a way to wriggle out of this.”
“If the case is strong enough, a dozen high-priced lawyers won’t save him.”
I sighed. “That’s what worries me. What if the case isn’t strong enough? There is clear evidence of foul play, but is it enough to pin on to Samuel Olsen?”
“If it isn’t, we keep looking until we do,” Dave said. “Everyone always makes a mistake.”
“I hope you’re right.”
My phone started to ring inside my handbag. I fished it out and answered it.
“Natalie Shaw,” I said cautiously.
It was Symonds. “Ms. Shaw, I apologize for ringing so early, but I need to give you an update on the case.”
“I hope it’s good news, Detective.”
“I wouldn’t go that far,” Symonds replied. “We brought Samuel Olsen in for questioning last night. He was not pleased. At the time of the alleged attack, he was giving a speech in front of a room of investors.”
“Are you sure?”
“Quite sure, Ms. Shaw. It was a black-tie event, many of the city’s most reputable business people were present. All are willing to state categorically that he was there. There was also a video being streamed to his YouTube channel.”
My heart sank. “What if he hired someone to try to kill us?”
“We’re investigating that possibility as we speak, Ms. Shaw. But until we have some evidence of that, we have released him from custody.”
“Then what about whoever shot at us?” I asked.
“We will do everything to keep you safe,” Symonds said. “An officer will be assigned to protection detail for each of you. “There’s no doubt that someone tried to kill you, or at least tried to kill whoever they expected to be at the building site.”
Dave stared at him. “Do you actually believe that we weren’t the target?”
“I’m saying that we don’t yet have enough information to determine whether that is or isn’t the case, Mr. Forrester.” The detective held up his hands. “We just don’t know yet.”
“Well you’d bloody well better find out,” Dave growled. “I don’t plan to spend the rest of my life looking over my shoulder.”