Francesca frowned “what do you mean by you just saw Bruce”, with a quivering voice Crystal answered
“the guy who tricked me to his house and tried to kill me, before Easton came and rescued me”.
“What! Are you sick. Do you believe in ghosts. Come on! Crystal grow up and let’s go home”, Crystal frowned and felt disappointed in Francesca’s unbelief.
“I mean it, I am not hallucinating anything, I just saw Bruce, I swear it, believe me please, I swear I saw him”, Francesca shook her head.
“Maybe you took the wrong wine and it’s messing with your head”. Francesca pulled her along and they got to the van to see Reuben waiting,
“what the hell kept you guys long”,
“she claimed she saw Bruce”
“okay! That’s sick and way out of line, how is that even possible, she shot him in the head according to her” Reuben said.
“ I swear I saw him, believe me”. They both shook their heads simultaneously.
“you need lots of milk and sleep” Francesca said and helped her into the van.
Crystal put her head between her legs until they got back home. She laid on her bed and closed her eyes, all she could see was the face of the man she murdered. She tossed and turned but the face kept coming back. She kept telling herself “maybe he had a twin, or it was just a mere look alike”. She had nightmares that he shot her in the head just the way she shot him, she called out to Easton in each of her dreams but he stood with his arms crossed, having an evil smile on his face and not moving an inch to her rescue.
Each time she would scream and wake up sweaty and each time Easton would come to her room and check her and she would narrate the dream to him over and over again and each time he would reassure her that he got her back and would never do anything to hurt her and each time she would smile as he kissed her on her forehead. But life with the haunting face was becoming unbearable, she wanted free air she needed to be away from lonely places especially her room, she needed to take control of her life again.
She got up from her bed and walked slowly to her window and opened it. The morning breeze grazed the smoothness of her skin, she closed her eyes and inhaled the freshness of dawn. She changed into her workout clothes and got her ear piece on. She got downstairs and saw Easton with his hands shoved in his pocket standing with three people, two dressed in police uniform and a man wearing mufti.
“What’s happening here?” she asked with curiosity.
“Errrm, they are asking of you, Reuben and Francesca”
“A painting was missing at the party you attended, they found your finger prints in some parts of the house and needed an explanation on why you guys got into the party without being invited coupled with the missing painting on the wall”. Crystal simply shrugged and placed her earpiece back on,
“I simply got to the party invited by a friend, when I got to the door with my friends, we didn’t see any body at the door to boss us out so we simply got in”.
“Do you know anything about the tranquilized guards at that house” the guy on the mufti asked, she pulled out her ear piece and blinked severally and placed her hand on her chest,
“do I look like somebody that can hurt a fly. By the way, who are you?”
“I am detective Bernard”. She moved towards him until her chest grazed his, until he could smell her breathe, her lips almost touched his. His heart skipped and he lost sensible thinking for a while,
“detective Bernard, you have come to the wrong place, it’s a shame that the criminal is out there, swimming in the wealth of the painting he or she stole and you are here accusing innocent people. I think you need a direction or maybe a Gps for you to know the right route detective. I need to go out now and get the morning breeze on my skin as I jog”. She pulled away and placed back her earpiece and walked out.
An awkward silence swept through everyone as she left, the detective was flustered. Easton had a hidden smile on his face.
“you see gentlemen, I told you that this place is the wrong place to look for a thief. We don’t steal, we are very honorable people, just do all you can to catch the thief. I am sure there are other prints you found”
“sure we have other prints, but the thing here we found their prints on the fake Antique, that needs an explanation”. Easton removed his hands from his pocket
“it’s simple. The picture got their attention and they admired the work and touched it, because when they came back, they told me about the work and told me how beautiful it looked”;
“yes, that could be true, but according to some people who pointed out Reuben to be the one who caused a distraction in the middle of a party in the name of giving a toast. When I thought about it, I realized it could have been a distraction for the Antique to be exchanged with the fake one, besides the prints of Crystal and Francesca are full on both sides of the fake Antique” the detective said showing more confidence.
“I don’t know where you are taking this to, but I am telling you the truth, we have nothing to do with it. Take a good look at my home, and my cars parked outside, do we look like beggars or thieves, we work hard to earn a decent living”, this time he talked with his arms folded.
“if I may ask, what kind of job are you involved in?”
“I am a business man”,
“what kind of business?”
“none of your business, I have answered all your questions. Stop pressuring me because you won’t find anything you are looking for here. Please leave my house, take your dumb cops with you”.
“very well Mr. Easton, we will leave. Thank you for sparing your precious time with us”. With that they left his house. He went to the window and watched them hop into their car and sped off. His thoughts were already on how he would erase all evidence that would implicate him and his faithful wards. He had all the connection he needed. All he needed to do was to make a phone call and wire some amount into another account. He brought out his cell phone and dialed.
“I need you to help me clear their names and take away all evidence, make everything go away, close the case. I would pay two hundred thousand dollars”. He ended the call. He rubbed his temple and winced, he had headache. He went up to his bathroom and took aspirin. His cell phone rang.
“make it three hundred thousand” the male voice from the other end said
“two-fifty” Easton tried to negotiate
“done”. Easton ended the call. He had to protect them, protecting them means protecting himself.
Crystal jogged with ‘Bad blood by Taylor Swift’ blasting in her ears. She tried to shut his face away from her mind eyes, but it kept coming. She took the next bend. Her hair packed into a ponytail swayed left and right as she jogged. A car slowed down next to her, but she didn’t pay any attention to it, until the window was wound down, she saw an over weight man holding a donut in his right hand beaming at her.
“you’ve got a nice butt ma’am. I could take you out for a date some time”. She heard him but not clearly and stopped, he stopped moving too, she took off her ear piece
“what did you say?”
“I said you you’ve got a nice butt and I could take you out for dinner some time”. She smiled and bent down so her face could enter into the car.
“could you give me the honor of coming out of your car”, he smiled sheepishly and clumsy got out of his car and slammed the door shut. She folded her arms
“who do you think I am?”
“ a gorgeous lady with a drop dead body”. As soon as he finished his statement she punched him directly on his nose, and swiftly used her knee to hit his g—n hard. He fell to the ground writhing in pains as blood dripped from his nose.
“Next time you see a gorgeous lady on the street, mind your business pig”. She gave him one last kick on his bulging stomach.
“I thought you said you couldn’t hurt a fly, but you have beaten a man twice your size”. She turned round to see the detective.
“Detective Bernard, what are you doing here?”
“I am trying to find out the truth”.