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Appisode 10: 18:45 - The Dead Ringer

Previously on Disorderly Conduct: Widower: Natalia ends up telling Matthew the truth over the phone, which lands him at the O&G soon after. A fight nearly breaks out between Emerson and Matthew, who is angry that Emerson didn’t keep Natalia safe. After breaking up the fight, Natalia sits both of the men down in the waiting area. Approached by the receptionist, Natalia finds out that her doctor isn’t there and signs a form to allow another doctor to check her out. The new doctor is none other than Franklin Davis, their possible next victim in the case.

Is Doctor Davis compliant and willing to help Natalia and Emerson, or do they have to haul him into the precinct for ‘official’ questioning?

Click To Reveal Results
DIFFICULT AND REFUSING - HAUL HIM IN
73%
WILLING AND COOPERATIVE
27%

Naturally, the first instinct for someone when they’re approached by a police officer is to run, guilty or not.

Which is exactly what Franklin Davis did.

He dropped his clipboard and ran back down the hallway he’d come from, causing Emerson to roll his eyes and mutter, "Seriously?" under his breath as he sprang from his seat and bolted after Franklin. Natalia made her way past Matthew, who protested loudly.

“Nat, come on! You can’t be serious.” Matthew grabbed her wrist to keep her from going out the front door.

Natalia took in a breath as she looked at her husband, swallowing hard. “You gotta let me go,” she said, her voice barely above a whisper. Her hazel eyes pleaded with him, begging for him to listen.

“It’s dangerous,” Matthew reasoned.

“It’s my job,” Natalia countered. “Go home, we’ll talk later.”

Natalia freed her wrist from his iron grip, finding her way out the front door of the office. The bell rang above the door. Natalia knew where he’d be headed. There was an alleyway just a block away from where they were. She needed to get to the back door before Franklin did. If he made it to the alley, they weren’t going to see him again, that was almost guaranteed.

She followed the side of the building down a side street, finding her way to the back and lurching around the corner. Quickly, she drew her gun from the holster. Having found the back door, Natalia readied herself a small ways away from it. If Franklin decided to bolt in either direction, a bullet was going to find itself in his leg. Mostly for reasons being that he couldn’t run if it was there and that he would still be alive to talk to after getting shot, even if he’d be groggy with the needed medical treatment. It was almost worth the paperwork Natalia would have to do for it.

The metal door slammed open, Franklin stumbled his way out. Finger on the trigger and ready to fire, Natalia kept her eyes on the man.

Freeze!” she commanded, ready to pull the trigger at a mere seconds notice.

Before Franklin could react to Natalia’s word, he fell face first onto the ground with an ungraceful thump. Natalia frowned, raising an eyebrow. She hadn’t heard the firing of a gun, nor had she fired hers…

Emerson came out of the clinic’s open door seconds later, glancing at Franklin on the ground. His face contorted into an expression of confusion. The pumping of his chest slowed down as he regained his breath.

“Did you-?” Natalia began, putting her gun back in the holster.

Emerson shook his head, “I thought you did.”

Natalia mirrored Emerson and shook her head as well. Franklin groaned as he rose to his feet, raising his hands above his head. The side of his face was scratched and beginning to bleed, as were the palms of his hands from his fall.

Natalia walked over to the two men as she pulled her handcuffs from her belt, the silver glimmering in the sunlight. Pulling his right arm down first, Natalia put the handcuffs on Franklin’s wrists one at a time. Franklin winced slightly at the pinch he felt from the handcuffs but said nothing. Emerson crouched down like a catcher behind home plate, picking up a small pile of plastic wrapped magazines.

It was evident that the supplier had delivered the clinic’s new shipment of magazines to the back of the building. Franklin, having been focused on something a lot more pressing in that he was avoiding being caught by Emerson, hadn’t noticed that the magazines were on the ground and managed to slip on the pile and take himself out of the chase. Emerson almost voiced his thanks for ending it sooner rather than later.

Almost.

Needless to say, Emerson still wasn’t appreciative of having to chase him down in the first place.

To  break up the distance between Emerson and him, Franklin had pushed over everything in sight. Cabinets, shelves, side tables, plants - who knew a ficus could be such a massive blockage? Anything under the sun that could be named in the average clinic, was probably on the floor at Hamilton O&G at that exact moment. Emerson was forced to hurdle anything that was thrown his way.

He almost praised the fact his father had forced him into track and field as a child. Long jump and the 110-metre hurdles were the bane of his existence, that was for sure. But man was he gifted in them. He’d won many ribbons and trophies for his high school as well as himself in track meets when he competed, but after his dad was killed the will to continue succeeding in those events was lost as well. His competing was due to his father, with him gone, Emerson didn’t really see a need to continue with the events. That was also the time when he made the decision to become a police officer in his father’s memory.

“Well look at what we’ve got here,” Emerson mused, eyes scanning the bright colored cover of the tabloid magazine as he read it aloud. “Maddox Tacoma admits: ‘I need to stop running from my problems.’ Glad he’s finally come to his senses… Oh, and look at this fantastic sidebar!” Emerson shot a look at Franklin, eyebrows raised with an amused sparkle in his eyes as he did his very best not to laugh while he spoke again, “Worst celebrity slip-ups… They’re making this much too easy.”

*

“Why am I heah?” Franklin asked, his thick accent shining through. He looked at Natalia and Emerson, who sat across from him.

“Do you know anything about a woman by the name of Jane Paxton?” Natalia asked, cutting to the chase. She knit her fingers together as she placed them on top of the Paxton file she had on the table in case they needed it for some reason - she also refused to let it out of her sight for the most part. They’d spent too much time trying to get it for her to allow herself to do that.

“Last name sounds kindar familiah. But those two togethah? Nothin’s ringin’ a bell,” Franklin replied, shaking his head. “Why?”

“She’s wanted for the murder of two men. If she continued to follow the pattern she has been, you’re her next target,” Emerson admitted. He leaned his elbows on the arms of his chair, left hand holding his right. “We were hoping that you’d be able to tell us something about her that could lead us to where she’s been hiding out.”

“Huh,” Franklin mused, pouting his bottom lip slightly as he gazed at the metal table in front of him and nodded softly.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Natalia asked, her eyebrows knitting together.

“Well pahdon me, detective, but it ain’t all the time that someone finds themselves in this kindar situation,” Franklin replied, shrugging. “Can I see a pichah?”

Natalia nodded and opened up the file she’d been resting her hands on. Extracting a picture from it - one that hadn’t been graffitied - she placed it on the table and slid it forward. Franklin picked it up to look at and frowned, putting it back down on the table. He swallowed hard.

“This a wicked awful joke?”  Franklin asked, glaring at the two detectives.

“I’m sorry?” Emerson asked, frowning. All they’d done was show him a photograph. Emerson half hoped that this meant he recognized Jane and could help him and Natalia catch her.

“This is my wife, well… ex-wife. Died a coupl’a months ago. What’a you playin’ at heah, detectives? I didn’t kill nobody if that’s what ya sayin’.” Franklin threw the picture in Natalia’s direction, who quietly put it back in the file. Emerson and Natalia both knew that they had to reel him back in, he was getting angry and that was never good for interviews.

“That’s not what we’re saying at all, Mr.-” Emerson started to reason.

“Hey, cawl me Frankie o’ cawl me Dawctah Davis… o’ I s’ppose if ya that woman from the O ‘n’ G, you can cawl me Theo. Still, I didn’t study all those yeahs fo’ nothin’,” Franklin scolded.

Doctor Davis,” Emerson corrected, resisting the urge to roll his eyes. “Are you saying that you, too, were married to Jane Paxton? Or, Jane Davis if she took your last name when you two got married?”

“Look, I got no clue who this Jane lady is that you keep tawkin’ about, I told you that. That woman in the pichah was my wife, Xylar. An accidental d-death happens and you lawt keep houndin’ me about it. Can’t I live in peace knowin’ that she’s g-gawne from my life fahevah?” Franklin pleaded, looking between the two of them. He swallowed hard, dropping his head for a second to take a deep breath before he looked back up. He was slowly losing his composure.

Natalia could see the pain radiating from his ocean blue eyes - which stung with the tears they were holding back - and she wanted to stop pushing him to relive what could arguably have been his darkest hour. But they needed to know everything that they could about Jane, or Xyla as Franklin knew her, and if that meant him talking about his lost wife, then they had to keep him talking. It was imperative to their investigation.

“Frankie, I’m really sorry. I know that this is hard for you to talk about and I understand why it’s so difficult, but we’re investigating two murders here. This woman, your wife, Xyla… how did she pass on? You said it was accidental?” Natalia said softly, hoping that her calm tone would at least calm him down slightly. The angrier he got, the harder it was for them to extract information from him.

“Yeah. What, am I speakin’ Español o’ s-somethin’? It was an accident. Nobody meant fo’ anythin’ to happen, but I s’ppose sometimes these things do, ya know?” Frankie described vaguely, trying his hardest to keep his tough, masculine composure intact. “Th-they say that things happen fo’ a reason… I c-could nevah find one fo’ them takin’ my wife away from me.”

He was obviously avoiding saying anything of substance for one of two reasons. One, he had something to do with the death of his wife. Or two, it was too painful for him to talk about. Natalia was praying for the latter, and she was almost completely sure that she was right. He was too choked up about it to have had something to do with it. No one could’ve been that good of an actor.

“We’re going to need the exact details from the night of her death,” Emerson pressed. He held a pen in his right hand, ready to write anything of substance that came from Frankie’s impending story.

Frankie sighed, his forehead leaning against his open palm before he looked back up. He drew in a deep breath through his nostrils, looking between Emerson and Natalia. “Um, the details ah kindar fuzzy… I was wicked drunk that night… but so wasn’t all the otha’s too, I s’ppose. It was the night my best buddy got hitched, and I think that it went somethin’ like…”

*

Before

Frankie stumbled onto the dance floor, laughing happily with his friends. Nothing could lower his level of complete euphoria. His best friend had just got married, and Frankie knew that he’d never find another man as good as the one he had. The reception had gotten super rowdy, the amount of alcohol and liquor that had been consumed was astounding… and quite possibly illegal. There was a limit, after all. And Frankie was almost 100 percent sure of the fact that they were well over it. But, no one stopped them from continuing to drink late into the night, so that’s exactly what they did.

Not long after, when the reception was over and everyone was leaving, Frankie couldn’t find his wife, Xyla. He asked around because she was meant to be his ride home from the wedding. The other guests shook their heads, apologizing because they hadn’t seen her. Frankie’s best friend stopped one of his female guests before she left, asking if she could check in the women’s bathroom for Xyla.

Unfortunately, they’d found her in there.

Frankie wished they hadn’t.

Until that very second, Xyla had been assumed alive and just missing. Who wouldn’t make that assumption? It was a wedding, a time of bliss and glee and a celebration of everything good in the world. No one could’ve, or wanted to, think about the fact that someone might have died in the bathroom.

Frankie’s friend and his new husband hugged him tightly as he screamed in anguish, tears streaming down his face like he’d been slapped by a river. He couldn’t do anything except yell, his stomach felt like it was in his throat and he couldn’t swallow it back down.

Her body was splayed out on the floor, forehead bleeding from what the four people could guess was her hitting her head on the counter when she’d dropped. Xyla was covered in her own vomit, a bottle of only the hardest rum - an expensive and imported Río Marie, which was a highly illegal 90 percent alcohol content -  smashed on the floor beside where she laid. Multi-coloured pills were scattered around on the floor, engraved with different designs.

Frankie wanted to sob harder when he saw the happy face pill. For he was anything but, as he stared in complete shock at her lifeless body.

At the morgue, where she’d been brought that night, the doctor performed an autopsy. Fearing it was a preventable overdose, he ran specific tests on the drug that had been in her system. When it came down to it, the high alcohol content mixed with the drug - which he had revealed was ecstasy - was what killed her. One or the other, and she would have been fine. Maybe a little messed up from either one of them - the alcohol being well above what most bodies can consume and the ecstasy being, well, ecstasy - but fine all the same and alive when the night was over.

Losing her had killed Frankie inside, especially when he knew that she could’ve been saved if she had only chosen one of them.

*

Present

Natalia brought in a box of tissues into the interview room so that Frankie could blow his nose and wipe his eyes. That and a mesh wire trash can. No way was she going to be the one that cleans up used tissues. She had to do that at home when Veronica was sick, and that was enough for her.

It was evident that the story hadn’t gone ‘something like’ that. It had gone exactly as he told it. Frankie couldn’t shake that from his memory, even though he wanted to pretend he had. It was embedded in his mind for the rest of his natural life, even when he wanted it destroyed so he could stop feeling the intense amount of pain he got every time he thought about it - which was most days and the majority of their following nights.

The story had completely shattered him. And, although he’d never admit it out loud, it had broken Emerson too. Frankie showed his emotions a lot more than Emerson though. He’d just let the single tear slip and had wiped it away, thinking Natalia hadn’t seen it. But she had, not that she cared. She’d seen Emerson cry before so it wasn’t a new occurrence.

Natalia bit her lip, trying to find the right words to say when nothing seemed as if it could suffice. The problem was, she had an idea, and that meant her sentiment would be false because she wanted her answer. She ditched the sentiment all together. “Who was the morgue doctor you spoke to about Xyla’s death, Frankie? Can you recall their name?”

“Uh… Pac… Pac-somethin’?” Frankie stumbled, frowning.

“Paxton?” Emerson offered.

Frankie snapped his fingers and pointed to Emerson excitedly, “That’s the one! I ain’t so good with the names, but that’s it. Must’a been where I know that chick’s last name from. Guy’s name was Bee or somethin’ like that.”

“Lee?” Emerson answered.

As Emerson spoke, Natalia took another photo out of her file and slid it across the table, “Is this the man you’re talking about?”

Frankie looked at the photo and nodded, impressed.

“Eh, you guys ah good at this game, detective. Yeah, that’s the guy. Didn’t like him at all though, he wouldn’t even let me see Xylar fo’ one last time. I just wanted to say goodbye, and so wouldn’t he in the same position,” Frankie shook his head, but frowned slightly. “But what’s a dawctah got anythin’ to do with two mu’dehs? Ain’t that kindar the opposite of what he’s s’pposed to do?”

“Frankie, I’m afraid that the man you spoke to wasn’t an actual doctor. He’s actually connected with the two murders,” Natalia explained, folding her hands and placing them back on the table.

Frankie’s jaw tightened as he let out a stiff sigh, “So what the hell do you want me fo’? If you’ve cawght the guy-”

“That’s the thing, Doctor Davis,” Emerson replied regretfully. “He didn’t commit them. A woman did. A woman by the name of Jane Paxton, who just so happens to look like your dead wife Xyla. But you know what the kicker is?”

What?” Frankie asked, obviously getting irritated and more than upset about them bringing up his wife so haphazardly. Even in death she meant everything to him, and he didn’t appreciate her memory being treated as if it were nothing.

“Jane Paxton is supposed to be dead too,” Emerson answered, raising his eyebrows. “Kinda makes you wonder, doesn’t it? If what’s pronounced dead is actually dead, that is.”

“Look, I dunno what ya tryin’a pull heah, detective, but I don’t like it. Eitha you need me o’ you gotta let me go. But I ain’t puttin’ up with any’a this if I don’t gotta,” Frankie replied. “And don’t go bringin’ up my wife if ya gonna taint anythin’ I got left to remembah her by.”

“Listen here-” Emerson replied, pointing his finger at Frankie.

“Detectives, may I interrupt?” Captain Bridges poked her head in the door of the interview room.

“We’re kind of busy here, Sir-” Natalia began, rolling her eyes before turning to face the other woman.

“Detective, I wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t of the utmost importance,” Captain Bridges reasoned, her eyebrows raising, eyes reading urgency.

“What is it, Captain?” Emerson asked before Natalia could say something that she regretted.

“We’ve got a confirmed sighting of Jane. Detectives, we know where she is.”


Where have they found Jane, Lee’s or Frankie’s?

You Decided

Click To Reveal Results

LEE

75%

FRANKIE

25%

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~Toni Morrison

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