I almost expected that Holly would be gone by the time I returned from this morning’s sorting of Colleen facts and fallacies. Maybe I scared her enough to convince her to stay hidden away from view, and maybe she’d decided on her own that she was through with her second life and ready to return to a normal one. Yeah, that sounded good, but the jury was still out.
I’d swung by a sub shop on the way back from the medical examiner’s office and bought four of their footlong specials and four different sodas, along with a handful of condiments. My reasoning was two-fold. First, I really had no idea what Holly might like to eat and drink, so I was covering my bases. And second, a guy buying food for four would fly a little further under the radar of someone looking for a man and a single companion.
As it turned out, Holly had reached the level of hunger in which anything sounded good to her, so the chicken club and diet Coke immediately found favor. In the meantime, no one had tried to call or text Holly (that she’d admitted to, anyway), so it appeared that we were still under everyone’s radar for the time being.
“So, did Colleen really commit suicide?” Holly asked between bites of her deli sub. I wasn’t entirely comfortable with the subject of our mealtime conversation, but I was glad she’d calmed herself enough to eat something, and she was making quick work of her sandwich.
“The lieutenant on the scene and the medical examiner are both leaning that way,” I replied, “but I don’t know if that’s the result of apathy or laziness on their part, or that they’ve seen more cases like this than I have and they’re right, while I’m just pissing into the wind.”
“But we both know this is entirely unlike Colleen to commit suicide.”
“Even for the short time I’ve known her, the chance that she’d take her own life seems pretty improbable to me. You had a much longer history with her.”
“So, for now you’re just going to…?”
“My first inclination is to just take you home to your mom and kid, but you don’t seem so sure that’s where you want to go, and I’m not sure if that’s the safest place for you just yet. At least, not until we get an idea who’s responsible for Colleen’s death.”
“That could take months.”
“No, we’re going to get an idea pretty quick when you can’t be found at your apartment.”
“True,” Holly agreed. “But Bobby said he’d be gone for a day or so, so I kind of have a vacation from him and the factory that I’ll gladly take, even if it’s only for the weekend.”
“So, you don’t normally get time to yourself? Shopping, going out to eat, sunning your little globes of heaven on a local beach?”
That got a snicker.
“I’m actually a bit reclusive by choice, Case. If I go out in public it’s usually with Bobby close by. And since I avoid my porn makeup when I’m not on camera I don’t attract autograph hounds, although my tits still get their fair share of attention.”
“Understandably so,” I replied, shifting my focus from her enormous melons. “They’re downright hypnotic.”
“I’ll forgive you your momentary lapse of professional conduct.”
“I’m only human, girl.”
My cellphone started vibrating in my pocket, halting the conversation as I fished it out.
“Mr. Case, this is M.E. Scanlon from the coroner’s office. We got a hit on the drug in Ms. Carter’s system. You’re going to like it, but I don’t.”
“Scopolamine. Often sees use as a date-rape drug.”
“I seem to recall it’s seen its fair share of use as a truth drug, which makes perfect sense in this instance.”
“I don’t know about how it might make sense in your case, but I certainly don’t appreciate it.”
“Because now we’re talking murder and not suicide, right?”
“Yes, I’m afraid.”
“So much for Occam’s Razor.”
“Even the most reliable of tests can miss the answer now and then.”
Scanlon hung up. I was about to close the phone when I caught to look of fear on Holly’s face.
“I think I’d like to call my mom now.”
I chose to remain outside watching the late afternoon turn to evening while Holly reconnected with her mom. Playing guard, as it were, surveying the area for any sign of something that appeared out of place, be they prying eyes or a small army of baddies hoping to reclaim their missing treasure. Thankfully, neither surfaced while I gave Holly her needed privacy.
But now it was getting chilly and I needed to get some needed rest. I stepped back into the room to find Holly lying in bed, her face still damp from tears. She had replaced my phone on its charging cable and was sitting up in her bed trying to focus on some generic television program.
I wasn’t about to pry, figuring Holly would tell me something if she felt it necessary, so not a word was spoken between us as I got the remaining subs and watered-down drinks from the little fridge.
With no way to safely go to Holly’s place to get her any additional clothing, her sleepwear would have to consist of whatever I could come up with from my things in my suitcase. The issue, of course, would be her enormous tits. I’m far from scrawny, but I doubt I had anything for her to wear that wouldn’t be stretched just shy of ripping.
Not that seeing Holly’s tits ripping through one of my t-shirts would be a bad thing to witness, mind you. Still, we did find one oatmeal-colored one that seemed to stretch willingly and was just long enough to hide her panties from my prying eyes. Wordlessly she crawled under the covers of the second bed. My cue for lights out.