Crimes Past(3)

By: Lauren Carr

“Except you, Gannon,” Detective Derringer said.

“As a matter of fact, Faraday, didn’t you have her first? How did it feel watching a fine piece of ass like—”

Gannon was cut off by Mac’s hand wrapped around his throat. None of their colleagues stepped in when Mac pinned Detective Gannon against the wall. “Brie was a smart, talented detective—better than you ever will be. No matter what she’s done in the past, she did not deserve to be murdered, and she does not deserve to be disrespected—especially by the likes of you. Do you understand me, Gannon? Nod your head if you understand.”

His face red, Gannon nodded his head. Mac released his grip and the detective fell to the floor. Dani and Mac ducked under the crime scene tape to step into the suite.

“It’s really bad,” she warned Mac while he slipped paper booties on over his shoes to preserve any evidence on the floor.

The newlyweds were sprawled on the floor, the carpeting soaked with blood from the multiple bullet wounds in their bodies.

There was a path of blood smeared from where Brie had crawled on her stomach to grasp Trevor’s hand in hers before taking her last breath. A champagne flute was clasped in the other hand.

Detectives Brie Pratt and Trevor Polk had been one of the most attractive couples that anyone would expect to meet. He had bulging muscles on his arms and chest.

She had the figure of a swimsuit model, which she displayed in a sheer mermaid wedding gown—stained red. Even in death, she was so young, so beautiful. It was the ultimate waste of a human life.

“Mac,” Dani asked in a soft voice, “are you going to be—”

“Yes, I’m fine,” he said while smoothing the evidence gloves on his hands. “You need to wait downstairs with everyone else, Derringer. Make sure Gannon goes with you.”

“Brie was my partner.”

“And you were here in the hotel at the time of the murder,” Mac said.

“You don’t know—”

She gestured at her rosecolored gown. “You were one of her bridesmaids.”

“Yes, and I was downstairs at the reception with Harrington and—”

“You’re a suspect, Derringer. Until eliminated, everyone here tonight is.”

“I contained the scene for you.”

“Which I’m sure our killer’s defense attorney will make good use of when we find the bastard.” Mac pointed in the direction of the door. “Out.”

Dani stood her ground. “Look, Mac, this case isn’t like the big highprofile cases that you’ve been getting in major crimes. You knew Brie—”

“I trained her when she first came to homicide.”

“And I know you noticed before leaving homicide that she and I were not the closest of partners,” she said. “I’ll admit it. She wasn’t my best friend. As a matter of fact, we weren’t even friends. She was a manipulative little bitch, who stabbed me in the back. Despite that, she was my partner. No one kills my partner and gets away with it. So, you can take me on as your partner in this case, or you can ditch me and have me shadowing you everywhere you go until let me in.” She eyed him with dark unblinking eyes.

The door opened.

A forensics investigator, April Warner, stepped into the suite. Upon seeing Dani in her gown, the short, plump, middleaged woman stopped. “I know this is a formal investigation, but I didn’t know we had to dress up.”

“Detective Derringer was just leaving.” Mac pointed at the door. “Now, Derringer. That’s an order. Don’t make me arrest you for impeding an investigation.”

With a “humph” noise, Derringer stomped out. She almost knocked April over when she got too close to the door while taking her camera out of its case.

“Someone is having a rough night,” the forensics investigator said in reference to the detective’s snit.

“Not as bad as the bride and groom.”

As had become her custom, April clandestinely admired Mac’s attractive features while preparing her camera to photograph the scene. She considered the detective, who was at least twenty years younger than she, to be eye candy. Between his tall athletically slender build and wavy auburn hair, with just a touch of gray at the temples, April loved nothing better than to be called out to a dead body when Mac Faraday was leading the investigation. The only thing she considered more irresistible than his piercing blue eyes was his tight butt.