Reasonable Doubt

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Chapter 2

"Okay Sara, can you open a new file in the name of Williams..." Sara Poole lifted her foot from the pedal, stopping the dictation mid-flow with a sigh.

"Everything alright?" her colleague, Katie asked.

"Yeah," Sara said with another sigh, "just yet another new client."

"Don't knock it, it means more money," Katie said pointedly.

"Yeah, but it also means more work for us."

"For you, you mean," Katie joked. "You're Paul's secretary." Sara picked up her pen and feigned throwing it at her colleague, smiling. Shaking her head, she pulled up the template for opening files on the server and printed it off, listening to the details on the dictation and putting them where necessary.

"Holy crap," she breathed as she picked up the bundle of papers that had been given to her to go in the file. Katie looked up from her own work, eyebrows narrowed in confusion. Sara pulled her headphones out and indicated to the papers. "It's him, the serial killer. What is it they're calling him... the Crimson Strangler. Paul must have picked him up whilst he was on duty at the Police Station. This is going to be an interesting one." She grinned smugly at Katie. "Sure you don't want to deal with this one?"

"Considering he's just added a twenty minute dictation on that file to the system," Katie said, watching the smug smile vanish as Sara checked and saw that she was right, "I'm still good without it thanks." Sara groaned loudly and ran her hands through her hair.

"Seriously?! It's nearly home time. I'm finishing this one tomorrow. He hasn't marked it as urgent and besides, the client is in custody anyway. They won't release him on bail pre-trial, not for something like this." Sara marked the dictation as completed and started to shut down her machine, getting her stuff together ready to go home.

"You coming to Dance Fit tonight?" Katie asked as they made their way down the winding stairs of the listed building that housed Prince & Co. Solicitors.

"Yeah, definitely. After today I need to get my Uptown Funk on!" Sara laughed as Katie did a little dance on the landing, earning an amused head shake from Emily, the Accounts Manager. They called goodnight to her as they continued down, meeting up with Natalie, the Receptionist as she was shutting up shop for the night.

"The way you two come down those stairs sometimes, I'm actually scared you'll fall down one day," she chided as Sara held the front door open for her, locking it behind them as they left.

Halfway back to the car, Sara paused, cursing.

"Sorry guys, I've got to go back, I forgot to divert the emergency line over." Katie and Natalie offered to wait for her, but Sara waved them off. "It's okay, I'll be alright. Nat, I'll see you tomorrow. Katie, see you later." The others gave a casual wave as she turned around and set off back towards the office.

The office was situated in an old listed building and when all of the lights were off and she was alone, it gave Sara the creeps. She flicked the alarm off and walked over to the reception desk to change the phone lines over.

As she was waiting for the automated voice to read the number back to her so she could check it, her mobile phone pinged. Sighing, she pulled it out of her pocket and, tapping in the code, read the message from her house mate, Gwen.

"Dude, have you seen the news today? xxxx"

"Nope. xxxx" Sara fired back before turning away from the desk and picking up her handbag and office keys. The response came back so quickly that it made her jump.

"Please be careful, he's killed someone again. Get back home as soon as you can. xxxx" Sara read the message again, letting it sink in. He's killed someone again. But how is that possible?

Sara darted back round the desk and, picking up the office phone, dialled Paul's mobile number. Please answer, she willed as it started to ring.

"Paul O'Flynn," he answered politely.

"Oh, hey Paul, it's Sara. Listen, have you heard the news yet?"

"No, sorry. I've been in court at Peterborough all day. What's wrong?" She could tell that he was driving but he sounded genuinely concerned.

"The serial killer, Williams, they've found another body." As she was talking to him, she used her mobile to pull up the news story. "He's been in custody for four days, right?"

"Yes..." Paul said, clearly waiting for her to go somewhere with this.

"Well this body was only found this morning. It might not be him, Williams I mean."

"Or it could be a copycat," Paul reasoned. "Look, I'll give the police station a call. You should go home, I'll fill you in tomorrow."

"Oh, okay. Bye then." Paul muttered something in response as she put the phone down.

"He's probably right," Sara mused as she locked the door and turned to head back to her car but still, something niggled at the back of her mind. She mentally shook herself as she approached her car, turning her thoughts to the traffic instead, groaning as she spotted the queue leaving the car park.

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