Reading Between the Lines

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Chapter 8

Buddy slept with me that night in my bed. As much as I was originally opposed to the idea, I ended up changing that within a few hours. I’ve always been neutral when it came to dogs. Buddy was starting to change that for me.

Normally on a muddy day where the fog hung low in the air, I would drive to work but with Buddy and a new scarf to break in, I decided it was a good day to walk to work.

It was quite nice just leisurely walking down the street, the wind whipping through my hair. The walk to work seemed to pass by quicker than it usually does. Part of me was upset about that because it truly helped me clear my head.

When I opened the door to the store, Buddy immediately charged into the building, his tongue hanging out of the side of his mouth as he laid by the front counter.

Hazel walked in from the back, a smile growing on her face once she saw Buddy. “Aw, look at this guy! Where did you come from?” She asked, her voice taking on a high-pitched quality.

“That’s actually Samuel’s dog. He uh- asked me to look after him.” Hazel briefly looked up from Buddy to raise her eyebrows.

“And you say you’re not interested.” Hazel sat up, a smile back on her face as she made her way towards me. “I figured the next step to get us one step closer to finding Crenshaw’s killer.”

“And that would be?”

“Call all the cable companies in the area. Sam said that people reported that their cable had gone out. If someone from their company was on their street, then we found a possible witness. If not- “

“Then we may have found the prime suspect.” Both Hazel and I had wide grins on our faces as I grabbed my cellphone.

“Shall we start making some calls?”

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After several hours, we had called three of the four companies that work in Penbrook Falls. All of them had said that they didn’t have a representative out in that area. Anxiety grew in my stomach as I sat in the back of the shop, hunkered over my desk as I waited for the last cable company to answer. What if they said they didn’t have anyone in the area? It’s not like I can keep that information to myself forever. I live next door to the lead detective on the case!

I’ve been on hold for 15 minutes and just as I considered hanging up the phone, the company finally answered. “Thank you for calling Allied Cable Services, this Cheryl speaking how may I help you?”

“Hi, I was wondering if you had any representatives dealing with the outage by Maple street that happened awhile ago?” I asked, making sure my voice sounded extra sweet and polite.

“I’m sorry Maim but we can’t give out that sort of information to the general public.” Shit. This didn’t happen with the other three companies! Why do they have to be so on top of their game?!

“Oh, I’m not with the general public. My name is- “I paused, struggling to come up with a name. “Sara Wilde, I’m a detective with the Penbrook Falls Police Department.” I resisted the urge to groan when the sentence came out. Add on Impersonating a Police Officer to your charges while you’re at its Cassandra! As if interfering with an investigation isn’t enough.

“My apologies Detective. Let me look that information up really quick- “Cheryl clicked away at the keyboard, the sound of her acrylics echoing through the other end. “Here we go. It looks like we did have someone working that street, a technician by the name of Michael Abernathy. Would you like me to get his contact information for you?”

“No, it’s ok thank you. We just want to ask him a few questions about something that he might have seen.”

The silence on the other end made the nerves rise even higher. Did she suspect that I wasn’t her? Oh god, she’s going to find out and then, in turn, tell the police who would then tell Sara and she would most DEFINITELY tell Samuel considering they’re partners! Just when things were getting to an- interesting place with us too.

“Wilde, the name doesn’t sound familiar. Are you from around here Detective?”

“No actually I just moved from the Phoenix area. Need to get away from the heat. You know how it is.” I chuckled, hoping to lead Cheryl into a false sense of security.

“Trust me, as a Native of Florida I know. Glad I could help detective.” After she hung up the phone, my head hit the desk with a thud.

“I’m in so much fucking trouble now,” I mumbled with my face pressed into the hardwood.

“Why are you in trouble?” I could hear Hazel ask as she walked into the backroom.

“Because I just impersonated a police officer to get the information. Not just any police officer, Samuel’s new fucking partner Sara! I’m screwed, Hazel!” I raised my voice to an angry whisper. “I couldn’t have chosen any other person?!”

“Cass, I’m sure it’ll be fine. I highly doubt they’re going to call and double-check. Even if they do, Penbrook Falls will probably just pass it off as a prank call.” Hazel tried dismissing my qualms as he ran her hand through the air.

“I live next to her partner Hazel! He’ll find out and tell me about it. You know terrible of a liar I am!” The bell over the door interrupted my rant.

“Cassie, are you here?” Samuel’s quizzical voice called out. My eyes widened in panic at the sound of his voice. Before I could get any more worried, Hazel gestured towards me to relax, turning her back to walk to the front of the store.

“Sorry, she’s out dealing with a distributor problem the next town over.” The sound of clicking nails getting further away indicated that Buddy was walking towards Samuel.

“I mainly came to get Buddy here but if you could tell her I’ll be stopping by her house later to talk to her, that would be great.” A few seconds later, the bell over the door rang once again as both Samuel and Buddy exited the store.

Hazel may have been able to cover me this time, but I know I won’t be able to hide for long. I just hope that we solve this before someone finds out, or worse, Samuel finds out.

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This chapter was supposed to be longer but I've been having trouble with Word all day. I got it to open so I could write the chapter but anytime I would write over half a page in one sitting, it would glitch out on me. SO what was suppose to be the other half of this chapter will instead be its own chapter. Don't you just love technology :D

~Miranda~

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