Previously on Disorderly Conduct: Widower: Captain Bridges goes into Natalia’s office regarding the injury report she’d filed the previous day. Emerson covers for her by lying that he hit her with the door accidentally. Natalia and Emerson, when finally free from the precinct, talk to Liam “Lee” Paxton, the morgue receptionist about the murder of his brother. Lee doesn’t know much, neither does his wife who Natalia finds unsettling at the fact that her name is Joan. After finishing the interview, Emerson gets a phone call.
Is it Gabriel, the medical examiner, with DNA information on the phone? Or is the call from Captain Bridges needing to speak to Emerson and Natalia immediately?Click To Reveal Results
“Damn it. Seriously, did I do something in a past life to deserve this kind of case?” Emerson complained loudly as he looked up at the sky - well, the ceiling of the precinct - for an answer from some kind of deity.
“‘Fraid so, time to pay your dues,” Gabriel answered, snickering for only a second at his own joke. “Least now you know you’re only going to have to make one arrest, most likely.”
“Yeah, but we’d be arresting a dead woman,” Emerson mentioned, not bothering to hide the fact that he didn’t believe the Jane Paxton story.
“Dude, the DNA matches almost perfectly. If she isn’t your girl, I’d be shocked,” Gabriel replied.
Emerson rolled his eyes, obviously unimpressed. He crossed his arms over his chest and leaned against an operating table he’d already checked had the brakes in place so it wouldn’t roll.
“I wouldn’t lean there if I were you, chief,” Gabriel remarked, looking at Emerson with his eyebrows raised as the corner of his mouth tugged to the side and one small vein popped from his neck.
“And why not?” Emerson questioned, quirking an eyebrow.
“Well, I may have been too lazy to clean it after I dealt with Mrs. Shapiro today, so she might still be on there… just sayin’,” Gabriel responded, shrugging as he scratched his upper lip with a single finger. “Up to you, though. Lean if you want.”
Natalia snorted softly and held her hand in front of her mouth to keep herself from laughing. Gabriel chuckled smugly as Emerson sprang from where he had been leaning and looked at Gabriel pointedly.
“Come on, man! Not cool!” he protested, making Natalia laugh out loud. Emerson wanted to shoot a glare her way, but it had been so long since she had genuinely laughed that hard so he let her have the win.
Natalia gave Gabriel a high five as he laughed. “I’m only joking, dude. I’d get fired if I hadn’t cleaned her up when I was done. Gotta keep this place up to standard, y’know.”
“Impressive distance, though, Mackabe,” Natalia teased, her laughter beginning to die down, “you should go out for long jump. You’d be Olympic worthy. No need to pay for training either cause you already seem like a natural.”
“Ha ha, very funny,” Emerson chided, narrowing his eyes in Gabriel’s direction. Gabriel simply continued laughing. “Anything else you got for us?”
“Nope,” Gabriel replied, shaking his head, “that would be it.”
Emerson nodded, “Alright, then I guess now we’ve got some work on our hands.”
“What we’ve got now is a killer to catch. Thanks, Gabe,” Natalia said as she turned around and walked out the door and gave him a small wave.
“Happy to be of service,” Gabriel responded, pressing his index and middle fingers together and tapping them on his forehead as a salute.
Emerson gave him a light slap to the bicep in response to what Gabriel had found. Gabriel got the message and nodded, in a “no problem” fashion. Emerson proceeded to follow Natalia out of the medical ward and walk in stride with her. They were almost to the car when Emerson broke their comfortable silence.
“Do you actually think she’s back?” Emerson asked, glancing at Natalia.
“I do,” Natalia replied, not needing an explanation as to who she was. He obviously meant Jane, and judging by his tone, he evidently thought she was insane for thinking so.
“Why?” Emerson pressed, obviously exasperated.
He figured he’d humour Natalia by asking, but there was no way that he would be able to buy into anything she would say. The whole thing was ridiculous, after all. Never would he believe that someone had magically come back from the dead to murder seemingly specific people. It was absurd to think so. He’d needed to ask her because he wanted to know if she truly believed the whole ghost story motif of the entire case.
“Because right now, she’s the only lead we’ve got,” Natalia answered, “You’ve been on the force long enough to know that when you’ve got something, you need to follow it. Even if it’s completely insane to do so.”
Emerson sighed, and rolled his eyes, “Natalia, come on. You can’t actually believe that we’re dealing with someone who hasn’t been alive for two years. This is just the work of a sadistic serial killer, one who won’t stop until we’ve caught them.” He pointed his finger at his mouth, “Read my lips: Jane Paxton is dead, alright? She’s gone and she’s not coming back. Not now, not ever, and certainly not just so that she can kill people and taunt us with her name when there is a real life killer here. Capiche?”
“Yeah? And what other leads are you going to follow then, Emerson? In case you haven’t noticed, there is nothing else to go on at this point, nothing. Zip. Nada. Zilch. I know that Jane was the one that did this, I don’t know how and I don’t know why, but it was her. That I truly believe,” Natalia said, using all of her willpower to keep her temper from boiling over. If she wanted Emerson to respect her opinion and help her with the case, she needed to make sure she didn’t lose it on him, otherwise he’d never listen to her the entire time they were trying to catch the killer. And for partners, that wasn’t a good thing. “So unless you’ve got some mysterious clue you’ve been hiding from me that can help us ID someone else in this case, I suggest that you step into line and think about following what we’ve got in front of us.”
“Step into line? Natalia, you can’t investigate a case if you’re not willing to face the music at the fact that maybe something else was going on! Something that we overlooked or missed or even just turned the cold shoulder to because we didn’t think it was important. Come on, you’re a cop. When have you ever given into a killer’s scare tactics and let it distract you from what was really going on?” Emerson asked, sighing loudly.
“It’s not scare tactics, can’t you see?” Natalia urged, practically pleading with herself internally to stop this before they started a production in the middle of the medical ward parking lot. “We’ve got a real killer here who’s somehow erased herself from existence, by means of her death or something else entirely. Either way, people are dying, Emerson. And unlike her, they’re not coming back. There is two people’s blood on our hands and we’ve done bugger all to stop it. We’re cops, we need to know when to believe things and when to not, and this is not a situation where we need the latter. If we’re not careful, more people are gonna die. Then where would we stand?”
Emerson moistened his bottom lip lightly, running it underneath his top set of teeth. He was debating with himself as to whether he should continue to push for investigating something else or to follow what he believed was the tall tale of Jane Paxton.
“How’s about this,” He chose his words carefully as he spoke slowly, “we can look into Greenway, and if nothing comes up, besides the lead of Jane and her DNA on his body, we can look into her for the rest of the case. Sound good?”
Natalia sighed through her nostrils, “Fine. But don’t think you can skimp out on that deal when the time comes, Mackabe.”
“Wouldn’t think of it,” Emerson replied sarcastically. “I’d probably be the murder victim if I did so.”
“Anya Greenway,” Emerson read aloud. “Appears that Mr. Greenway was married before he married the wife that we met yesterday. And, let’s see… hallelujah, she’s been arrested before.”
“What for?” Natalia asked, looking up from the eerie scribbled on medical file regarding Jane’s death.
Each time that she read it, she found more and more connections to Jane as well as the murders. The purple marker was scrawled everywhere carelessly as it destroyed what was technically the city’s property. Threats were uttered, quotes were rewritten, Natalia had to admit the entire thing creeped her out. It was a cruel, barbarous way to taunt the victim’s post-mortem as well as the police force for not being able to find her.
“Destruction of property,” Emerson answered, typing at a quick, steady pace, “Which means… bingo, mugshot. And here we… huh?”
“What’s wrong?” Natalia asked, frowning. She leaned towards Emerson’s desk as she closed the file once again.
“Well, I’ve got a mugshot, but it looks exactly like…” Emerson frowned, typing again. He sighed, “Does Greenway have one E or two?”
“Two,” Natalia replied, raising an eyebrow. “What’s going on, Mackabe?”
Emerson pointed his two index fingers and slammed them down on each key as he typed out Anya’s name into the computer for the third time. He sighed, obviously frustrated, “She looks like Jane.”
“You don’t have to make fun of me just because you don’t agree with what I think the truth is,” Natalia scolded, rolling her eyes slightly.
“No, Nat, I’m serious, look,” Emerson swiveled the monitor in the direction of Natalia, who sat back to where she had been.
Her eyes were wide as she examined the photo. They were practically identical, aside from the colour of their hair that they both knew all too well could change in a solid hour when one didn’t want to be found. Natalia looked taken aback, unable to form a coherent thought. How did Jane manage to pull a fast one like that and shield it from the eyes of all that were around her?
When Natalia finally processed what was in front of her, all she could manage was, “What the f-”
“Front page!” Captain Bridges barked, storming into Emerson’s office.
Natalia flinched, Emerson nearly leapt as high as he had when Gabriel had lied to him in the medical ward. But he managed to keep his composure. Captain Bridges flung the newspaper down on Emerson’s desk, practically shaking with anger.
“Your case is on the front page! Explain yourselves, this wasn’t supposed to be covered by the media yet!” Bridges was livid, her nostrils flared and her jaw was tight.
“Captain, someone died,” Emerson said calmly. “We can’t just expect the media or anyone else to not realize it. The people deserve to know about what happened to Hunter and Christopher. They need to stay safe themselves. Only problem here is that they didn’t interview dos Santos or I about it to get the police department’s view on it.”
“Then how did they know in the first place, Mackabe?” Bridges demanded, she slammed her hands down on the desk, “I like to sit down to have my afternoon coffee and read the paper while I drink it. Today I sat down, opened it up, and it’s a shot of Christopher Greenway, the man that you two are investigating, on the front page. Why is it whenever there is a problem here, both of you are somehow connected to it?”
“Bad timing, I guess,” Emerson mumbled.
“As to how they knew in the first place, maybe the wife squealed to the media or something,” Natalia offered, shrugging. “Doesn’t matter how many times you say not to, there’s always going to be the one that doesn’t follow the rules.”
“You two need to solve this case, and you need to solve it quickly. It’s all over every news station in town, people are talking about it and fearing for their life. Now I have to release some kind of statement to cover your asses at a press conference I was forced to call. If they’re right and you do have a serial killer on your hands, you best catch them soon before panic ensues. Is that understood?” Bridges asked, somehow managing some kind of composure. She put on an extremely well-developed facade when she felt like it.
“Understood,” Emerson answered for him and Natalia.
Natalia stared at her hands in her lap, twiddling her fingers to keep herself from saying something she would regret at a further date; meaning the maternity leave the captain would force her to be on if she started getting snippy or sarcastic at the expense of Bridges. Captain Bridges nodded towards Emerson, slamming the door behind her as she walked out. Natalia jumped slightly again and rolled her eyes as she looked back to Emerson.
“If she keeps doing that, I’m going to go into early labour,” Natalia muttered, a sigh following. She ran a hand through her hair, looking back at the mugshot. She shook her head and closed her eyes, placing her thumb and index fingers on the bridge of her nose. “Okay, so Anya Greenway-”
“Looks identical to Jane Paxton,” Emerson completed, “Yeah. I hate this case, it’s official.”
“It was official a long time ago,” Natalia quipped. “What else have you found on Anya?”
“Couple charges of destruction of property, mostly coming from environmental protests she attended that got out of hand.” Emerson’s cheeks puffed up as he blew air out of the corner of his mouth and tilted his head. “Um, a couple speeding tickets on her record, nothing all that interesting…” He continued scrolling with his mouse as his eyes flickered while they scanned the record. He hummed a short tune as he did so. “Says she and Christopher were married six years ago. They separated when… Awe, hell no. Come on!” Emerson smacked his hand against his desk in frustration.
“What? When did they separate?” Natalia pressed, intrigued by what had Emerson so annoyed.
“Anya Greenway died four years ago. Left Christopher as a widower,” Emerson replied, his voice monotone as he looked at Natalia. “We’ve got another dead ex-wife.”
Natalia groaned, “So their story is exactly the same as Hunter and Jane’s.”
“Exactly,” Emerson replied, sighing. “So either we’ve got some kind of scarily good dead ringer or…”
A knock was heard on the office door.
Emerson turned towards it before he remembered that Captain Bridges had closed it when she left. Normally people simply walked into his office, sat down where Natalia was and just started talking to him. His door being closed was a rarity, and he was not a fan of the way it felt. It made him feel condensed, boxed in. Unable to be reached by the outside world. Encapsulated by the ochre walls of his tiny office, destined to be drowned in papers and squashed by filing cabinets.
“Door’s open,” he called.
Natalia looked over as the door swung open. A woman with caramel coloured skin stepped in, looking nervous. Natalia smiled, hoping to calm her down even slightly. The woman ran a hand through her curly onyx hair, pushing it behind her ear as she looked up at the two detectives with mocha eyes.
“I’m sorry, detectives, am I interrupting something?” she asked, fidgeting with her olive coat in her arms.
“Not at all, what can we help you with?” Natalia replied, the smile never leaving her pink lips.
“Well, I was reading the papers after I got off of work and I saw that a man named Christopher Greenway had been murdered?” She said it more like a question than a statement.
“Unfortunately, he has been,” Emerson confirmed solemnly. “I’m so sorry, did you know him?”
“Well, not exactly. But a coworker of mine did, and she seemed really overwhelmed about his death,” the woman explained. “I was wondering if there was anything that you detectives needed to help with your investigation? I’ve been trying to get her to talk to you, but she won’t come forward and speak. I want to be able to assist you as well as I can.”
“Miss-?” Emerson began, before realizing he actually didn’t know the woman’s name. Regrettably, in his life, it hadn’t been the only woman whose name he’d never known.
“King,” she answered. “Larissa King.”
“Miss King, thank you very much for the offer, but if your friend doesn’t want to speak to us, then that’s her fault, not yours,” Emerson replied calmly. “And although we truly appreciate that you’ve come to us to try and help, we can’t have you talk to her and repeat it to us.”
“Of course, detective,” Larissa confirmed as she nodded her head. “I was just wondering if… oh, who am I kidding?”
She dropped her jacket onto the ground and approached Emerson, placing her hands on the oak. Her eyes went wide and her teeth clenched together. Emerson stayed where he was, though Natalia’s hand instinctively moved to her hip, unclipping her gun in case of emergency.
Truthfully, Natalia knew she’d never shoot the woman in front of her. But when push came to shove, sometimes the sight of a gun was the deciding factor when the choice was black or white. The ones who had a screw or two loose usually made the right decisions after seeing Natalia whip out her gun, she hoped it was the same with Larissa.
“Can I get immunity on a robbery?” she blurted out, looking at Emerson with her crazy eyes once again. “I have something that might be of use to you, but I did a bad thing when I stole it… She told me not to and I still did…”
“Um, sure, you’re granted immunity,” Emerson managed, keeping his eyes on her. “What did you take?”
Larissa’s bottom lip trembled as she looked down at the khaki shoulder bag that leaned up against her hip. Her nimble fingers shook as she lifted the cover off of the base of the back. She reached in and pulled out a small book, placing it on the desk. Emerson took it in his hand, which was much larger compared to hers. He flipped through it quickly, then placed it back down on his desk, adjusting it to make it straight. Natalia snatched the book from the desk, flipping to the first page, her eyes darted back and forth, and she wanted nothing more than to jump up and down to her heart’s content.
This was exactly what they needed.
“Where did you find this?” Natalia asked, looking up at Larissa from her seat.
“At my friend’s. I was in the washroom when I noticed that the medicine cabinet wasn’t sitting properly on the wall, which I thought was weird because she’s always so careful with whatever she has in her house,” Larissa rambled, obviously avoiding identifying her friend. “Well, long story short there was something wedged in behind it and so I carefully pried it open and found this book. It’s got some random things written in it and stuff so I mean, I thought that it would be able to help.”
“Thank you for your contribution to this case, Miss King,” Emerson replied, “we’ll review this new evidence and hopefully catch the killer.”
Larissa bent down to grab her coat. She turned and nodded to the two detectives before walking out the door.
“Miss King?” Natalia called, leaning slightly so she could see out the door.
“Yes, detective?” Larissa replied, poking her head back into the room.
“If you don’t mind my asking, who is your friend? Off the record,” Natalia added.
Emerson shot her a look, but she ignored it. Those three words were often a death sentence when it came to investigations. Off the record could mean that the person themselves committed the crime, but Natalia had to let them walk free should they admit to it after Natalia said the official words. The look on Natalia’s face was collected, peaceful dare he think so.
Natalia knew exactly what she was doing.
“Sabrina Paxton,” Larissa answered, walking out of the office once again.
Emerson and Natalia go to interview Sabrina at her home. Is she still at the apartment or has she fled?
If there's a book you really want to read but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.