Tomas Hobbes: A man's conscience and his judgment is the same thing; and as the judgment, so also the conscience, may be erroneous.
"I was waiting. I'm sorry, but I can't go to jail, I just can't." The man's voice shook along with his hands. "Walk in front of me, but don't try to do anything stupid." The young man nudged the gun, showing his hostage that he needed to start moving.
Henry took small, leisurely strides, hands placed up in the air in an act of full surrender. "Aren't you just going to kill me and get it over with? Why wait? Unless, you are more petrified than me right now even though I am not the one holding the handgun." Henry asked, trying to prolong the time he had left alive.
"Shut up! Do not talk until I say you can or a bullet will pass through your head!" The killer spat, with a certain uneasiness. Henry knew the man was an amateur in the infamous murder business.
"You really should not be taking me hostage. It is dampening your chances of receiving less time in jail. We already know you killed Allison, so there is no chance the judge and jury would come to any verdict but that of guilty." Henry continued to walk slowly until he reached a room fitted with a dining room chair especially put there for him. The barrel of the gun poked the nape of his neck, making the hairs stand up and his breath hitch slightly. He couldn't lie; he was afraid. Doctor Morgan was able to courageously or perhaps stupidly stare death in the face, but that did not mean he was not afraid of it. He remembered when the taxi, his voyeur locked him in, crashed into the Hudson River. He had clawed away at the car's left door, slashing the fabric and rubber with his bare hands and fingernails. Feeling the air dissipate from his lungs completely was undeniably scary… and irrefutably agonizing. All in all, Henry Morgan was able to tolerate death, not surpass it. It was still all too real to Henry… and painful.
"Sit!" The man ordered, placing the trigger now in front of the immortal. Backing slowly away without taking his eyes off Henry, the killer switched a lamp on. The light flickered, dimly lighting the eerie musky room. Henry inhaled the air, smelling the moldy dampness seeping out from the house's walls.
The man handcuffed Henry's hands solidly behind the chair and duct taped both feet to each front leg’s sturdy oak wood. Gun still in hands, he paced back and forth. The poor carpet was getting worn down by the soles of the panicked man's shiny black shoes. He was contemplating his next action; he was smart and he knew he could not kill his hostage…not just yet. He would not lose everything he had worked extremely hard to accomplish on his own.
"How did you know? Nothing was out of place. I had planned it perfectly." The murderer muttered eagerly, inching closer to the sitting man. "You should not have figured it out!" He kicked the chair angrily, making it fly onto the floor along with its occupant. A sharp pain flowed through Henry's head as it hit the hard floor (even with the carpet). He let out a small yet loud cry, trying to wiggle out of the restraints covertly. Before he had any inkling of a chance, the chair was returned upright steadily on its four oak legs.
"My dear killer…or may I have the pleasure of calling you by your real name…Mr. Edgar Adamms? Henry smugly asked, pain transferring from the back of the head to the frontal lobe, creating a mild migraine.
"I ask the questions..." Edgar leaned forward vehemently gritting his teeth, placing his right palm on the top rail of the seat's back, making it ease back a couple of inches. "Not you." He spat...literally as splodges of saliva splattered on Henry's scarf and cheek. "Now…HOW DID YOU FIGURE IT OUT?!"
"Apologies for raining on your parade, but the sheer act of murder disrupts the natural order of things and always leaves traces behind. Even how insignificant they might first appear to be. Science proves that the perfect murder and killer are myths. The―" He was interrupted by a frustrated yell.
"No crappy dialogues! Get to the point or this bullet will shut you up!" He lifted the barrel of the gun where it once lay parallel to his right thigh.
"A few things actually. In Allison's diary, she talked about a man she witnessed having an affair. We first thought it was the husband, but something smelled fishy so I reread the diary and one word she wrote down popped out…downtown. The victim clearly wrote that the adulterer…you Mr. Adamms…worked downtown. So how could it have been Mr. Dale when he works at a High School in the suburbs?" Henry explained, continuously trying to loosen his restraints with an acute resilience he did not possess. The Londoner was more brains than brawn. His palms and forehead were gathering up beads of perspiration; the captivity reminded him of too many awful memories. One only a few weeks back―with a certain NYPD Detective and an insane voyeur with a stolen gun. "However, there was one prominent thing that was bugging me. The blue teacup or the lack of one. Allison knew her killer and let him in. She was probably very hospitable…so why did she only make tea for herself? Unless she didn't and in the midst of fleeing the property the murderer quickly swiped the cup to prevent DNA tests."
Every time Henry said the word killer, Edgar's body tensed. Before his prisoner could continue, he laughed slyly. "There's no way you could have thought there was a blue teacup missing. I could have declined the offer and she only poured a cup for herself." He replied with a bit of restlessness. Shreds of doubt entering his system. Henry was about to prove him wrong. Albeit the M.E was the one tied to the chair, it seemed he was easily making a fool out of his abductor.
"It was quite elementary Mr. Adamms. You see―for once in my life―I used the internet," he wore a pleased smile, "and found that these specific teacups come in a twin set. Of course, if one had broken previously to you murdering her, she wouldn't have brought out a mismatched set since you were one of her upper-class customers. Why would she have wanted you to look at her poorly? Plus, the only way you would have been able to poison her drink was if you had one of your own. You asked for something to add to your tea other than cream, milk or sugar. Probably cinnamon since I had smelled a faint aroma of it close to the coffee table. When she ran back clueless to the kitchen you added cyanide to her unsuspected drink and your task was done; she was already dead in your eyes." Henry finished, the handcuffs not wanting to budge.
Edgar started applauding, gun still in hand. He snickered. "I have already disposed of the piece of China. There is nothing else linking me to this murder. And I wouldn't be surprised if no one knows the truth, but you. So it will be easy to kill you." He menaced with frantic eyes filled with a burning sense of conceit.
"Don't you want to know the other things that link you to the murder?" Henry added a little too quickly, his nervousness being uncovered. The student of death’s instincts told him to try to gain more time since he was almost positive Jo was on her way to rescue him. He knew his son had been eaves dropping from behind the door and he was assured that Abe would have phoned detective Martinez right away.
"If you are trying to lie to me…"
"I assure you. I am not." The immortal pleaded truthfully. "You have such a perfect motive for her murder. I did some research on your string of nightclubs Mr. Adamms, more specifically your new one...The Vibrant Tiger. How is the business going?" Henry asked with sarcasm, the edge of his mouth curved upwards as he succumbed to a bit of pride. The killer remained silent, a nervous bothersome twitch was poisoning his left eye. As eerie quietness overcame the place, Henry pushed forward. Revealing the murderer's motive and plan himself as usual. "How does it feel? Going bankrupt and losing everything you worked hard to accomplish? You're broke and you detest this new lifestyle deprived of exotic luxuries and a practically royal status. That's why you're marrying Miss Roswell. Not because of love, but since you cannot live without money. This gluttony is what fuels you and that is why you could not let Allison live. You could not risk her finally feeling guilty about what she saw and telling your fiancée of the affair. If that would have happened Angelica―or more specifically her father―would have disowned you and thrown you out of their lives like trash. Allison was probably coming to see you about some wedding arrangement unexpectedly, then she confronted you and a few days later you came to her house and poisoned her. Also, you still have no alibi since no one can exactly vouch for you when you work in a night club. Too many distractions, you see. That is how I figured out it was you…everything just fit perfectly with you when no other suspect did. I might have been wrong…but now I know for a fact that I am impeccably right." He ended his long speech with an approving nod.
"It's true, I killed her, but what good does it do to you anyway? You'll be dead in a few seconds, I'll see to it personally." Henry paled as he knew his rambling was not going to work anymore. He was going to die, in front of a witness. As the gun was lifted to his temple for the umpteenth time that day, he shut his eyes, praying that his luck would turn around.
Jo had effortlessly found out where Henry was headed; the killer's house. She was lucky he had told her who it was because if not she would have never known the location of her partner. The detective wouldn't even have been able to track him since he did not acknowledge the usefulness of a cellphone―even in this modern era.
Jo had called for backup, but she insisted that they stay outside, ready for action if needed. It was hard to make Hanson agree with her, but she finally had her way. Her excuse was that they were probably in the middle of a hostage situation and with one person going in, it would increase the probability of getting Henry out alive. Detective Martinez didn't add that it was more because she was trying to protect Henry's secret from coming out just in case something unfortunately did happen to him.
After quietly and easily picking the door's lock, she slowly opened the front door, touching her breast pocket to make sure she hadn't forgotten the warrants she had applied for and graciously obtained. She silently shut the door behind her, sliding her gun out of her holster as it melded perfectly into her hands. She could hear voices in the vicinity, a few steps along the hallway. At the end, she could see the shadows of two people etched across the wall in front of her as she hid behind the opposite wall right next to the doorway, ready for the strike.
"NYPD! DROP THE GUN OR I DROP YOU!" A loud commanding voice appeared from the doorway, gun held firmly in her hands. She saw the look of surprise on Edgar Adamm's face as well as Henry's relieved yet appreciative look.
The man's hand trembled ferociously―but alas for Henry―he stuck the barrel of the gun against his forehead, shaking his head furiously, not intending to listen to the detective's command. "Step away! Or…or I'll shoot!" Edgar shouted with heavy uncertainly, nudging the hand gun deeper into his victim's skin.
"Gently put the gun down Mr. Adamms, this is not helping. Nothing good will come from this if you pull that trigger. There are three police cars outside, you cannot escape. If you kill him Edgar it will only prove to us and yourself that you are certainly a cold blooded killer. You don't want that do you?" Jo firmly held her ground, keeping her stare upon her target, talking with a smooth yet faintly authoritative tone.
The assailant looked confused and shattered, his corneas bloodshot and full of regret. His eyes slowly lowered to the ground, his body following as his knees limply hit the wooden floor along with his arms trailing behind. The gun fell out of the killer's hands with a clunk, laying alone next to the whimpering man. "I didn't want to kill her…but she left me no choice. I didn't want to lose my chance of marrying Angelica. Her money would have done wonders for my business…" He cupped his face into his hands for a couple of seconds before rubbing it in frustration. "I…was so…close. Almost perfect…" His voice cracked and all the emotions he was feeling were clearly visible only by looking at his face.
Jo slowly sauntered towards the broken young man, gently using her foot to slide the hand gun further away from the culprit as possible. She then took her handcuffs and placed them on the crouching fellow. "Stand up. You're under arrest for the murder of Allison Dale and attempted murder of Henry Morgan. Come on, there's a squad car with your name on it." She regarded the malefactor with a pitiful glare for an instant, starting to lug him away from the house.
"Jo? Care to untie me?" Henry asked in a jovial manner, but halted when he observed his savior's expression; anger and sadness all wrapped up in a layer of disappointment. He zipped his mouth shut, his smile immediately erased from his face as a manifestation of guilt spread across it instead.
"Free yourself, you've lost my trust and broke our promise." Her voice was as arid as the Sahara desert. Shoving the convicted felon hard towards the exit, she turned her back at him without one last glance.