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Connie Bretes
Keymaster

Hi All! here is chapter 3. Again I apologize for having to send it this way. Thanks for your feedback! Connie

Chapter 3
Trent walked into the police station Monday morning. As he walked by his boss’s office, Corporal Abernathy hollered out. “Hey, Anderson. In my office.”
Trent turned around and walked in to Corporal Abernathy’s office. “Yes, sir.”
“How’s Kincaid doing?”
“Lot of pain, but otherwise, doing good.”
“How did the operation go?”
“As well as expected.” Trent eyed his supervisor.
“So, you’ll be partnered up with Jacobs for the time being until Kincaid comes back to work.”
“Is he the lead investigator?”
“Whatever you guys work out.”
Trent turned and rolled his eyes as he walked out of his boss’s office. Scot Jacobs was an okay detective, just not as thorough as he is. Jacobs has had a high turnover rate because his investigations were not always as thought out and verified. Trent was particular about the details.
Trent put his briefcase down on the floor next to his desk and booted up his computer.
“G morning, Anderson,” Jacobs said from the roll of desks that were behind him.
“Good morning, Jacobs, what’s happening?” Trent said.
“Well, got a case we need to work on. There’s been a series of break-ins at different stores downtown. There’s been at least one break a week for the past two months.”
“Okay, any suspects?”
“No, they seem to set off the alarms and by the time cops gets there, they disappear.”
“Okay, let’s go check it out.”
Trent got into the driver’s seat of the unmarked police car, and Jacobs got into the passenger seat.
“Where was last night’s break-in?”
“Office Connextions on Third Street.”
After talking to the owners and collecting any evidence they could find, it was lunch time.

Trent pulled into the parking space in front of the hospital and grabbed the lunch he brought for himself and Ryan. He entered the hospital and walked up to the receptionist to see what the room number was where they finally admitted Ryan to last night after the surgery.
“Hello, I’m here to see Ryan Kincaid.” He smiled at the pretty receptionist. Blonde hair, blue eyes, skin-tight dress, long fake nails, heavy make-up, wide smile. Oh, he could take her out. Mm-hmm.
“He’s in the step-down unit next to the emergency room waiting for a room.”
Hmm, hasn’t been put in a room yet. Trent rubbed his jaw. “Okay, so where have you been all my life?” Trent flashed her his wide toothy smile.
“Well I’ve been right here in Jackson all this time, where have you been?” She smiled back at him.
“Funny we haven’t run into each other. I’ve been here all my life.”
“That is odd that we’ve never met. My name is Sally, what’s yours?”
“I’m Trent. Maybe we could get together for a little while and grab a cup of coffee.”
“I’d like that.”
“Okay, I’ll catch up with you later.” Other people were standing and waiting to be assisted so Trent cut the conversation short.
“See you!”
As he walked toward the emergency room, a voice from behind him spoke. “I don’t see you for ten years, then all of a sudden I see you twice in a 24 hour period.”
Trent turned around to face Katerina and smiled. “Hello, Katerina.”
“Hi, Trent.”
They walked side by side toward the emergency room.
“Are you here to see Ryan?”
“Yes, I brought him lunch, want to join us?”
“Oh, no. Thanks. I got work to do and I don’t get a lunch for another half hour. Tell Ryan I said hey, and will try to stop by and visit him later.”
“Would you like to get together for dinner one night this week?”
“Umm, you asked that yesterday and I said no.”
“I know, but this was a new day and I thought I’d try again.”
“The answer is still the same.”
“How about I get your phone number and call you once in a while to chat?”
“I don’t think that’s a good idea either.”
“Why not?”
“You know, Trent. We didn’t exactly part on good terms. If I remember correctly, you broke up with me saying you wanted to date other women. This was after you led me to believe that we would continue to have a life together. Plus, yesterday, you came across pretty arrogant. Not the Trent that I remembered.”
“Well, okay then, let’s talk and try to rebuild our friendship.”
“Did you hear what I just said?” Katerina lifted an eyebrow.
“Yeah. We’re still old friends, aren’t we?”
“Are we? Where in all this did we agree to be friends? Why haven’t you kept in touch with me? Old friends usually communicate with one another.”
“We have things to talk about, we can talk on the phone, and discuss this as well as other philosophical things.”
“I don’t think so.” She turned and walked the other direction to the emergency room.
“Hey, Kate.”
Katerina looked off to the side and saw her best friend from high school, Lucy Feldman.
“Hey, Lucy. How you’re doing? So you made it in, I appreciate you coming in at a last minute notice.”
“Yeah, I’m always in for some overtime.”
They walked down to the nurse’s station side by side.
“Are you busy tomorrow night?” Lucy asked.
“No, I’m not.” Katerina’s lips curled up slightly.
“Let’s stop and do dinner after work.”
“Okay, that sounds great. We’ll decide where we want to go later.”
“Okay, talk later.”
Katerina turned in front of the nurse’s station and walked into her office. She sat down at her desk, and opened the drawer where she kept a few personal things. She pulled out the picture she had in a photo frame. It was the last weekend she’d spent with Trent before he broke up with her and they went their separate ways. She stared at the photograph, recalling what they were doing when someone took that picture. She never realized when it was taken, that it would be the last time she’d see him. She nursed a broken heart all that year in nursing school and contemplated dropping out of the program. She eventually moved on and threw herself into her work, but her heart still beats for the man staring back at her in the picture. Seeing Trent had reawakened the feelings she kept under lock and key. She didn’t give him her phone number because all it was going to do was reopen the wounds again. But she wanted to see him again and be with him. He says he’s happy with his life right now. Does that leave any room for her?
****
Trent had mixed feelings about Katerina as he walked a few more steps and entered the step-down unit. He wondered if seeing Katerina again would reopen old wounds.
He saw Ryan over in the corner, and he had a food tray on his table.
“Hey, you eat already?” Trent asked.
Ryan glanced up at Trent. “No, I refused to eat that crap.”
“Oh, good thing I brought you lunch, then.”
“From WallyBurgers?”
“Yep.”
“Yay, get it over here.” Ryan smirked.
Trent came over by the bed and sat down in the chair and sorted out the food.
“How are you feeling?”
“Like hell.”
“In a lot of pain?”
“Yeah. They just gave me some pain killers so I should start to feel better soon. Have you talked to Katerina yet?”
“Yeah, just talked to her. We walked down the hallway together.”
“So. Did you ask her out?”
“In so many words, I asked if she’d go out to dinner with me later this week again and she said no.”
“Wonder why she said no.”
“She says the reasons have not change from yesterday. Anyway, I asked for her phone number and she wouldn’t give me that either.
“Aw, too bad. I think you guys would have fun together.
“Yeah, I get that vibe from you.” Trent grabbed a fry and swept it through the ketchup then popped it in his mouth. “When are they moving you to a room?”
“Sometime today. Anything happening at work?”
“Yeah. I got stuck with Jacobs and we’re investigating a string of break-ins. I’m thinking it’s either kids or homeless people. They don’t seem to steal anything, just break-in and make a mess.”
“Fingerprints? Trace evidence? Witnesses?” Ryan asked.
“Yeah, we did get some fingerprints, and some left over food, but no one really seen anything.”
“You didn’t let Jacobs walk all over the crime scene, did you?”
“Uh, he did. But I reminded him he was at a crime scene and we needed the evidence.” Trent grimaced.
“Great.”
“Yeah. I did get some trace evidence, and fingerprints before he started mucking around. I can’t believe that for a senior detective like himself, he’s so sloppy when it comes to handling evidence.” Trent took a bit out of his burger.
“For as many cases that has been thrown out of the court as a result of improper handling or insufficient evidence, the boss keeps him on. Any leads on the case?”
“No, not really. In Jacob’s defense, I think he’s just biding his time until he can retire.” Trent slurped down the rest of his soft drink.
“Trent, let’s go back to the subject of Katerina again. I want to ask you something. I know that something happened back when you broke up with her. When I asked you back then, you said yeah, something happened, but you didn’t want to talk about it then, and we never did talk about it. What the heck happened? Can you talk to me about this now?”
Trent let out a sigh and perched his lips. “It was Katerina’s dad.”
“Katerina’s dad? What did he do?”
“Threatened to derail my school plans by having me arrested and put in jail on charges that would keep me from being able to study criminal justice and be a cop.”
“You’re kidding.”
“I kid you not. He gave me the weekend to end it with her. If I hadn’t done so, he would have the Sheriff knocking at my door Monday morning.”
“What was his reason?” Ryan asked.
“I wasn’t good enough. I wouldn’t make enough money as a cop to support her and she’d have to work to support me. He wanted her to marry a doctor or a lawyer.”
“Was he…Did you ever tell Katerina?” Ryan was trying to formulate his questions.
“No.”
“Why don’t you tell her now?”
“It’s all in the past, and nothing good would come of it now.” Trent rubbed his forehead with his fingers. “Besides, after rejecting her like I did, I doubt she’d ever come back to me.”
“Well, you should clear the air. At least explain what happened so she can have closure.”
“What and ruin her relationship with her father?”
“Well her father ruined her relationship with you.” Ryan arched an eyebrow.
“You need to promise me you will not say anything to her, Ryan. I mean it.”
Ryan glared at Trent for a few seconds. “Okay, okay.” He threw his hands up in defense. “I won’t say anything. I don’t get it. You wanted to get married after you graduated from college. What happened to that?”
“I’m not marriageable material. I can’t really support a wife and family.”
“Why, because he says that? Look at me. I make the same money you do, and I support a wife and a baby.”
“But you guys don’t do anything. You don’t travel, which is something you like to do, you don’t go camping, something else you like to do…”
“But I do go mountain bike riding with you. We have you over for dinner and an evening of football. We get together to play poker. Traveling and camping is something we look forward to when Rosy gets older, or we have more kids. It’s not all doom and gloom like you try to make it out to be. I think you allowed Katerina’s father to get under your skin and now you believe what he says is true.”
They sat in silence for a bit, still eating their lunches.
“Trent, how do you really feel about Katerina?”
“I don’t know. I admit when I saw her, my heart kicked up and I felt some feelings deep inside.”
“What kind of feelings?”
“How I wished we were close and complimented each other when we were together. How I wished I could share things with her that I never shared with anyone else.”
“You can have all that if you sit down with her and tell her what happened.”
“Look, her parents are elderly. They aren’t going to be around forever. This time while they are in their late years should be stress free and she doesn’t need to separate herself from them at this late stage of their lives. Besides, her mother always seemed to like me.”
“You know, we all make sacrifices for those we love. It just seem to me you are making a sacrifice that you don’t need to make. What is Morgan going to do to you now? You are already an established, first-rated detective who’s proved himself time and time again. Your reputation is established, and you have a great relationship with everyone on the force. There really isn’t anything Morgan can do to you now.”
“Yeah, maybe not. But he could have a heart attack if he knew she was with me. Anyway, I got to get back to the station. Hope they get you to a room today.”
“Yeah, thanks for lunch. Much better than that stuff they served me.” Ryan reached up his hand and they did a fist bump.
“Don’t give the nurses too much grief.”
Ryan snickered and waved Trent off.
Trent dumped the garbage in a large receptacle as he headed to the elevators. He went back down the way he came and noticed that Sally was not at the front desk.
Arriving back at the station, Jacobs hollered out to Trent. “Yo. Anderson. There was another break in on the other end of town. This time there were some witnesses. Let’s go.”
Trent turned and walked back out the door. Jacobs threw the keys over the hood of an unmarked car and Trent caught them, unlocked the door and got in.
“Where we off to?” Trent asked.
Jacobs rattled off the address.
“Why we just getting notified now?” Trent glanced over at Jacobs.
“Apparently, the owner did not know someone broke into her place. She doesn’t have an alarm.”
“What is the place?” Trent asked.
“The Attic, an old antique store.”
Two teenagers stood with a couple of patrol men.
“What do you have?” Jacobs asked the patrolman.
“These two kids say they were upstairs in that building.” He pointed out the window to the building. “This one says there was a couple of homeless people.”
“Hi, I’m Detective Anderson, this is my partner, Detective Jacobs. Can you tell me exactly what you saw?”
The bigger of the two kids started talking. “There were two people, and they were dressed in really shabby clothes. And they were laughing. One of them though, had bright orange shoes.”
“Bright orange shoes?” Trent’s forehead furrowed.
“Did you hear any of their conversation?” Jacobs asked.
“No,” Tan said.
“How do you know they were laughing?” Trent stared into Tan’s eyes.
“We heard them cackled.
“What were they doing?”
“Grabbing stuff and throwing it on the floor. Occasionally, they would stop to open something hoping to find money or whatever.”
“How do you know that?” Trent asked.
“I don’t know that, really. I assumed because they went through the cash register too.”
Trent watched the smaller kid closely. He kept looking down at the floor, or staring off somewhere. He was tapping his foot on the floor, and kept chewing on his lower lip.
“Is this what you saw?” Trent asked the younger kid.
He stood staring at the ground and Jacobs spoke. “The detective asked you a question, son.”
“What are your names and where do you live?” Trent asked.
“My name is Tan Chase, I live next door. It was from my bedroom that we saw what was going on.”
“Okay, thank you. You?” Trent pointed at the skittish young man.
“I’m Tony Abruzzo. I live down the street.”
“Okay, Tony. Tell me what you saw.”
“I saw two ki…I mean, homeless guys trashing the place and when they heard the siren, they took off.”
“We’re going to need you to come down to the station and look through the mug shot photos,” Trent said.
“Yeah, okay.” Tony tapped his feet nervously.
Trent and Jacobs walked off to one side.
“I think that kid, Abruzzo, knows more than he’s letting on.” Jacobs raised an eyebrow.
“I agree. He seems pretty nervous.” Trent kept his eye on Abruzzo. “Let’s separate them when we get back to the station. Then go after them. They may talk more freely if the other were not around.”
“Yeah, thinking the same thing.”
Trent and Jacobs brought Tony Abruzzo and Tan Chase in and put them in separate interrogation rooms.
Corporal Abernathy strolled up to Trent. “What do we have?”
“Couple of witnesses that claim they saw homeless people breaking and entering the antique shop and destroying things. Although the way the second kid acts, I think they are hiding something.”
“Okay, have at it then.” The Corporal walked back to his office.
Jacobs and Trent went in to talk to Tan Chase first.
“Are you comfortable, Tan?” Trent asked.
“Yeah, I guess so.” Tan shrugged.
“Do you need anything? Something to drink, a snack?” Jacobs asked.
“No, I’m fine.” Tan shook his head.
“Okay, so we can clear this up. You say you saw two adults in the antique store trashing the place, am I correct?”
“Yeah.” Tan’s eyes moved back and forth between Jacobs and Trent.
“Are you sure they weren’t kids, or teenagers?”
“No, I don’t think they were.” Tan ran his tongue over his lips. Trent noticed that he had a nervous tick. Constant movement of his leg, up and down.
“What was the lighting like, from your room? Were you upstairs?”
“Yeah, we live upstairs above the hardware shop by dad owns. There was a light that is outside the building that shines into the antique shop. The…guys had masks on.”
“So, you don’t really know if they were grown men, teenagers or kids.”
“No, they were definitely men. They had ragged, old clothes on and they looked dirty.”
Trent looked at Tan’s hands and noticed they were shaking uncontrollably.
“Why are you so nervous, Tan?” He asked.
“I’m not.”
“You’re shaking like a leaf.” Trent pointed at his hands.
“I..I never been in a police station before and talking to the police.”
“Well we’re just regular joes trying to do our jobs and trying to find out who’s been burglarizing the neighborhood,” Jacobs said.
There was a knock at the door.
“If you’ll excuse us for a minute. Go ahead and start looking through the mug shots.” Trent and Jacobs got up and walked out. Corporal Abernathy was outside the door. “Tan Chase’s parents are here.”
“Okay.”
While Corporal Abernathy took the parents to see Chase, Trent and Jacobs walked in to the second interrogation room to talk to Tony Abruzzo. “How are you doing? Do you need anything?”
“No. Why am I here?”
“We just wanted to ask you more questions and show you a mug book to see if you can identify the two persons of interest in breaking and entering the antique shop. When I first asked for your version of events, you almost slipped up and said the perps were kids. Are they kids?”
“N…no. They were adults.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes.”
“What makes you positive that they were adults?”
“Their size, what they had on.”
“What did they have on?”
“They had on dirty clothes, and looked like they were homeless.” Tony was tapping his fingers on the chair in front of him. His eyes were rapidly blinking back and forth between Jacobs and Trent.
“Why are you so nervous, Tony?”
“I never talked to the police before. I feel like you don’t believe me.”
“It’s not that I don’t believe you, I think there’s more to the story. We’re trying to find a correlation between this break in and all the others that’s been happening in the city.”
“I don’t know about that, all I know is about this one.”

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