As Detective Inspector James Mulligan of The Scotland Yard stood staring at the murder board, he realized that this case had the potential to change his future. Ryan Fraser had never been his favourite footballer; he personally thought the guy moved on the field like a cow on ice. But if this man was going to help him get a promotion and prove to be the stepping stone for his long and illustrious career in the Department, he could begin to more than “like” the guy. And all he had to do now was solve Ryan Fraser’s murder and claim that office on the exclusive fifth floor for himself.
So he took another deep breath and shook his head to clear it of all other thoughts and concentrate solely on the case before him. He sat down on the edge of his cluttered desk and folding his arms across his chest, he began going over the case from the beginning. This case had all the elements that made for an exciting murder and one which aroused great national interest- a high profile victim, a disgruntled wife publically announcing she craved for revenge, a long list of enemies and the seedy world of parties, celebrities, drugs and alcohol. His Chief had asked him to keep the investigations tightly under wrap and away from the hungry media hounds. But Mulligan personally thought his photo in today’s paper as he came out of the victim’s apartment building was quite striking and that he could very well get used to the feeling of being someone of consequence.
So firstly, there was a rich and famous yet troubled victim-Ryan Fraser. Mulligan tapped on the photo in the centre of the board with his index finger. An ageing footballer who had been found dead in his home in the early hours of Saturday following a high-stake derby match on Friday where the victim had scored the winning goal. His body had been discovered by his housekeeper in his living-room, lying in a pool of blood, vomit and glass shards. Preliminary investigation suggested the victim died of asphyxiation although his face was heavily bruised and there were clear finger-marks around his neck. Robbery had been ruled out because even though the room was in disarray, nothing, not even the victim’s wallet and cell phone had been taken. Interestingly there was a burn mark on the chest from the nuzzle of a gun, but the victim had not been shot and forensics found no stray bullet in the room.
Then there were the whole interesting list of suspects. Mulligan was quite proud of how quickly his team had moved and within the first 24 hours of the incident being reported they had already interviewed the more important ones among them. But that didn’t mean they had gotten any closer to solving it. He scrutinised the picture of a redhead, a stunningly beautiful redhead he must admit. Cynthia Griffiths had motive. Fraser was cheating on her and based on what his team had dug up she was going to get a laughable sum as alimony if she pressed forward with the divorce. With Fraser dead though, she inherited all his wealth in the name of their two young children.
“Bradley, what do we have for Miss. Griffiths on the night of the murder?”
“Some 1000 people vouching for her presence at a high-end fashion gig on Conduit Street” supplied Bradley from his desk where he was slouched over the victim’s financial records.
“But she could have slipped in and out from there, right?”
Bradley huffed and stretched his arms above his head “Not when she was playing the host’s arm candy the entire evening” he replied with a wry smile.
“So she’s alibied out.” That gave them zilch. “What about her financials? She could have asked someone else to do her dirty work.”
“Again, there is no erratic pattern in her money spending activity.” He shrugged his shoulder. “We all love a good-ole-crime of passion, Sir, but this one ain’t it. She seemed genuinely shocked to hear about it when Sam and I questioned her.”
Mulligan grunted in response.
So they could put the wife on the backburner for now. The next person high up on the suspects list was Fraser’s team mate Christopher Walsh. Walsh had been sacrificed by the manager to afford Fraser a place on the team. And with Fraser now finally pulling his socks up and playing well, Walsh could have felt threatened enough to permanently remove the guy from the team. Mulligan understood that football was a vastly competitive sport and there was a lot of money involved. And so, even though, during interrogation, Walsh readily admitted to a scuffle with the victim at the post-match party, Mulligan wasn’t ready to let him off the hook as a murder suspect.
“This bloke, Walsh, what’s his story sounding like?” asked Mulligan, slowly stroking his chin. He usually did that when he was seriously considering a suspect.
“Watertight” replied Bradley getting up from his chair and going over to the coffee machine, for what, Mulligan knew, was his sixth coffee of the day and it was still just early afternoon. “The chap’s young and hot-blooded but doesn’t really have the balls to pull it off. We scared the pants-off him when we raided his place for questioning. West spoke to his doorman and security cams have him at his apartment at the time of the murder.”
Damn. Another suspect with a perfect alibi. Mulligan looked at the scrawny, freckled 20-something’s picture on the murder board and scowled. With Walsh’s record number of red cards for his on-filed antics, Mulligan was really expecting the chap to have committed the crime in a moment of madness. Well, it wasn’t to be so. Now he really expected West had some good news for him.
Just as that thought flitted across his mind, his cell started buzzing and he fished it out to find that his partner George West was indeed calling him. Mulligan allowed a small smile to grace his lips.
“Tell me you have good news, Georgie” he sighed.
“Well, if eliminating suspects is good news then I have some for you” replied George West in his chirpy voice. Mulligan found it really hard to believe that a 40 year old man, in his line of work with 15 years of experience, could be that chirpy at any given time of the day. But that was his partner West, the man who found even the morgue to be a sunny place.
“Hit me” Mulligan replied in a flat tone.
“Fraser’s girlfriend, or whatever you would like to call that leggy lass, happens to be legit and has absolutely no connections to the Russian mobsters. Although, interestingly, I did find her this morning with a chav at her home in Hoxton. The chav took off like a scarred bunny, and…” Mulligan heard him pause for what he guessed was West looking for her name in his notepad.
“Oksana” he supplied.
“Ah, yes Oksana. The way you say it James, you sound nothing short of her reverent lover” West chuckled on the other end.
“Continue” Mulligan said curtly.
“Yeah, so this Oksana she seemed pretty shaken up too. I take out my gun, say the standard silly things and next thing I know she’s confessing to possession of drugs. But it’s mostly what those anorexic girls take. And in return for not arresting her, she answered all my questions dutifully and with full honesty. You are gonna love it, mate. I mean this is the kind of story you watch in the movies…” Mulligan could her the smugness in West’s voice.
“West” Mulligan pressed. He was really starting to regret having sent out West that morning, he should have gone himself and gotten the real deal first hand.
“So Oksana” West almost sings her name, “corners Fraser by the parking lot when he’s leaving the party, confronts him for leaving her a little dry and she gently coaxes him, by tightly wrapping her hands around his neck, to part with his expensive watch. You remember Sam pointing out that the vic was not wearing a watch. Guess what, some chav is probably running around East End wearing the same.”
“So Fraser gets mugged by her that would make him very angry but gives her no motive to go back and kill him” Mulligan concludes.
“Well, yes, so we can safely put her out of the equation. She was using Fraser just like Fraser was using her and nothing could have induced her to give up her wonderful life for the sake of Fraser.”
“Unless” proposes Mulligan “she went up to his apartment later on to see if she could get out more from him, but a scuffle ensues and she actually strangles him this time.”
“Aaah! Now that’s a good theory James. I love how your reading all those crime fictions is really helping with your theorizing.” West says in his patronizing tone. Mulligan was younger to West in age and experience, but he hated it when West made a point to reinforce it. But before he could say anything West continued “But you see she was with another football player during the time of murder and has…” Mulligan could hear the mirth in West’s voice “ample proof” he said drawing out the vowels “with date and time stamps on them” he added a loud laugh at the end.
Mulligan rubbed his temples slowly. “So…” Aargh! He needed something solid now. “Did you collect the autopsy report yet?” he asked finally finding the one thing that could really help him right now.
“Headed over to the ME’s right now. Hopefully, he isn’t out for lunch and I’ll be back in the office soon. You know all this running…”
“Yeah ok” Mulligan cut the call and let his cell phone drop on his desk.
Mulligan was really starting to get frustrated. Yes, he knew from the start that this was not going to be a simple case but really, how could he be facing with so many dead-ends right at the beginning of his investigation.
“Someone tell me how does everyone alibi out?” Mulligan asked, loud enough for the entire floor of officers to hear, but to no one in particular, and everyone was smart enough to keep their mouths shut.
Just then he heard the tell-tale sound of high heels on polished floor and he turned around to look at the source of the noise. Samantha Carter strutted towards him, and as always, James couldn’t keep his heart from beating faster. Seriously, so many rules at the office, and none that stopped this woman from looking sexy in whatever she wore? James unconsciously straightened his tie and from the corner of his eye he noticed Bradley sitting up straighter in his chair, sucking in his breath and tucking in his tummy.
“Sir…” began Samantha sounding unsure. There were few times that he had seen this woman unsure.
“What is it Sam?” he asked gently. Or what West called his love-sick voice.
“Ummm…there is this strange man waiting in the lobby, he wants to speak to you Sir” she said pushing her raven hair back from her face.
James gave her a smile and then waved his hands towards the murder board “Would you let him know I’m in the middle of something important. I don’t believe he has anything that could help with this, now, does he?” Mulligan shared a brief look with Bradley.
“Actually Sir, he does. And I think you would definitely like to speak with him.” She continued.
Mulligan quirked his eyebrows up in question.
She drew in a deep breath and let out her words in a flurry “He says he killed Ryan Fraser.”
“Gavin Poole, 43” Bradley announced walking up to Mulligan with an open file in his hands “caught previously on multiple accounts of aggravated assaults. And they are all perfectly synchronous with dates when a derby match was held. Doesn’t have a permanent job, drifts around. Was married, but wife left with his three kids and so now he lives alone at his house on lower Camden. Or used to, more accurately.”
“Used to?” asked Sam, from beside Mulligan. “A new partner now?”
“Nah” chuckles Bradley. “Used to meaning he was kicked out by his landlord a week ago for non-payment of dues. Right now, he’s just crashing in here and there. Frustrated guy like that could have done anything, even murder. And now when he’s realized what he’s done, the bloke feels guilty and comes forward to own it.”
“Let’s not jump to conclusions.” Mulligan said gravely. “He could very well be our killer, but we do have to question him. He could be a mere pawn in the hands of someone more powerful. Maybe someone else who had a bone with Fraser sent this guy to do the job.”
As Mulligan now stood and watched the man sitting in the interrogation room through the one sided glass, he realized that this was very well possible. He sized the man up while rolling down his own sleeves and proceeded to button them up. Poole seemed…disturbed, yes that’s the word that could describe the man. His hair was dishevelled and his clothes clearly needed a wash, a week-old beard and dirty boots completed his worn-out look. A man like that, could have been desperate for a job.
“Carter, Bradley cross-check him against all our other suspects, see if he could have come into contact with any of them. His call log, his financials, anything you can get a hand on. And see if the man pops up in any of the video footages that we have of the night of the murder.” He paused for a response and the other two nodded. “And Carter, that gun you recovered from him when he came in…”
“A .32 colt” she answered promptly. Man, did he love his woman with knowledge of gunfire! He ignored the violent flips in his tummy and continued with a serious face “Send it to the lab, see if it’s a match to our crime scene.”
“On it.” She answered and was already sashaying down the corridor before Bradley turned on his heels and slowly waddled his way over to his computer.
Mulligan slipped on his coat and straightened his tie. “The look” meant everything. How Poole perceived him would directly affect the kind of answers he would receive. He allowed himself a small smile. This man could get him the promotion and with it, perhaps, a chance to ask Samantha out for celebratory dinner. Almost instantly, he schooled his features, picked up the case folder from the table beside him, checked his watch and pulled out a pen from his pocket. One final breath and he entered the interrogation room.
“Mr.Poole” he started off in a calm manner as he moved towards the table that separated him and the suspect. “I hear you wished to speak with me?” he gave a curt smile, but made no move to put his folder down or sit down himself.
Poole looked up with unfocused eyes and answered in a rough voice “Saw your photo in the paper. Knew you were working the case.”
“And?” Mulligan asked in what he knew was an infuriating manner.
It earned him a death glare from the guy. “I killed him.” He replied matter-of-factly.
Now Mulligan put down his folder “Interesting. Tell me more.” But he still did not sit down.
“Well I killed the sorry piece of ass, that’s that. What else do you want?” Poole asked raising his voice.
Mulligan shook his head slightly and slipped off his coat. Then making a show of the entire thing, he hung his coat on the chair and then slowly rolled up first his left sleeve then his right. “For starters you could tell me why you killed him?”
Poole was observing him closely. He huffed. “He scored the bloody goal that night. My team lost because of him. I had every legitimate reason to kill him”
Mulligan was actually taken aback by the sincerity in his voice as he said it. He couldn’t stop the shocked laughter from escaping him. “You killed him because a freaking football team lost. Merlin! Tell me you had a better reason.”
Poole slammed his fist against the table “He doesn’t score a goal all this time and finally scores in a match that mattered to me. Hell yeah, that’s my reason.”
That’s when Mulligan caught on. “Poole, you bet money and lost it. Is that it?” he asked, sitting down finally.
Poole immediately calmed down and a defeated look took over his features. “Lost every bit of the last dime I had on me.” He wiped his forehead with his sleeves. “I was angry, so angry.” He looked directly into Mulligan’s eyes. “I was already pretty heavily drunk watching the match in the pub. Had a small fight with a lad supporting the other team. He said a few things and I got fired up. And umm… I don’t know what made me decide but…but I stalked out in front of his building and then when he came in later that night I went up via the fire escape.” He paused to draw in a shaky breath. Mulligan said nothing.
“Then we confronted each other in his living room. Both said this and that, one thing led to another, I took out my gun…I only meant to scare him.” He lowered his head into his hands and just sat there.
“Then?” Mulligan nudged him.
“He called me names, he was very abusive. There was this guy standing in front of him, who had everything one could ask for, but he had cheated on his wife, and he was squandering away everything, I felt…I felt…He needed to be punished. He deserved an awful life, not me. The recession wasn’t my mistake. And I didn’t do anything and she still left me. You know how long since I last saw my kids?” Poole made no show of holding back his tears. Mulligan felt no sympathy for him.
“That doesn’t justify you killing any one. You can’t simply pretend to be a better human being and take away the lives of others.” Plus Mulligan had also to check the other possible angles. So he pulled out the photos of the other suspects and laid them out on the table. “Do you know any of them?”
Mulligan observed Poole’s face carefully as he finally sniffed away the last of his tears and curiously looked at the photos. “That’s the wife, that’s the new kid Walsh, don’t know the other female.” He answered gruffly. “Why?”
“Have you met them?”
“Met them? No. I’ve seen them in the papers, that’s all.”
“You sure, none of them approached you. Now is your chance Gavin. Give up the person who asked you to kill Fraser, and we can reduce your sentence. You are a good man Gavin; you don’t have to waste your life away in a prison. Just tell me who it is.” Mulligan said calmly, waiting to see Poole’s reaction.
Poole looked at him like he had grown another set of head. “I don’t know what you’re talking man. No one asked me to kill him. What do you think, I took cash to do the job? That’s rubbish” he almost exploded. “I’m a man with principles. I’m not some regular low-life goon. Look mate, I was angry, I went in and I killed the man. I’m not proud of what I did but I took no money for it.” He finished proudly.
As far as Mulligan could tell Poole wasn’t lying. To be honest he was actually a little disappointed. This was after all going to be a stupid sports fan venting out his private anger and not an elaborate murder as he had imagined. He scoffed at the idea. But something was better than nothing. “Yes, apparently you are a man with a twisted set of principles.” But things were still not adding up. “Tell me Poole, why…” he was cut short by a rap on the door and then Bradley poked his head in.
“You ought to see something, Sir” he said. “Now.”
Aah! There it was. They had found his link to someone else. Poole wasn’t a man of morals after all.
“Last chance Poole. Give up the name and we could actually get you a lesser sentence for helping us out. I’ll let you think it over.” With that Mulligan rose and went out of the room.
“So who’s it?” he asked, almost gleefully.
Bradley was standing, looking over Carter’s shoulder as she clicked away on her computer.
“Our tech just emailed a photo of Poole taken from the traffic cam across the street from near Fraser’s building.” She began.
“Yes, must be from the time he was waiting for Fraser to arrive.” Mulligan answered as he stood on her other side and leaned over. He could smell her lavender perfume.
“Yes, we have evidence of that. But there’s also this” and she clicked on a small icon and it enlarged to reveal the photo of Poole headed in the direction away from the building. Mulligan looked closely. There was only Poole that he recognized in the photo. Slightly confused, he chanced a look at Carter.
“The time says 1:37 a.m. The time window we have for Fraser’s death is between 2:15 and 3:30 a.m.” she finished gravely.
“Poole is not our killer” Bradley stated the obvious.
To say that Mulligan was confused and furious and feeling utterly lost would be an understatement. He marched into the interrogation room and stood looming over Poole, slumped in the uncomfortable chair.
“How the hell did you strangle a man that he didn’t die immediately but almost an hour later?” He bellowed. “What do you think you’re doing? Wasting my time? Or did someone else set you up to take the fall for them, huh?”
“Strangle?” Poole quivered. “I strangled no man. I shot Fraser with my gun and he died. He died cause I saw him slump down to the ground.” He said emphatically.
Mulligan took hold of Poole’s shoulder “If you did shoot someone, then, my mate, I’m afraid you killed someone else and not Fraser. Fraser suffocated to his death.”
Before either of them could say another word the door flew open for the second time and a flush-faced West stood in the doorway. “Let him go, Mulligan. He’s just disillusioned. He didn’t do it.”
“But he was there” said Mulligan flailing his hands around. Like that explained everything.
“He was drunk. He might have threatened Fraser with the gun but no shots were fired and Fraser most certainly was not shot to death.” Mulligan just stared right on with his hands on his hips.
West waved the file he was holding “I have the autopsy report and I know who the real culprit is.”
“Poole is a fool” sang West as he drew a clean whiteboard towards Mulligan’s desk “but West is the Best” he finished with a grin. Mulligan groaned inwardly. He was not in the mood for “The West-Best Show” but there was no other way West was going to give him the details. He still tried “West, just tell us already!”
Carter helped him angle it properly and smirked “What? And not get a chance to the watch “The West-Best Show”? How can you be so cruel Detective Mulligan?” She sat down on the chair and crossing her legs, she brought down her hands to rest on her knees. She had such an amused and excited look on her face that Mulligan didn’t have the heart to call off the “show”. He simply sighed, but caught West’s twinkling eyes and he clearly understood the “caught-you” look on his face. Mulligan scowled in response. Bradley finally arrived with two cups of coffee, handing one wordlessly to Carter, he pulled up a chair beside her and sat down. Mulligan leaned back onto the desk and asked “Can we begin now?”
West bowed like a showman and then began by pulling out Fraser’s photo from the file he was holding. “Victim Ryan Fraser” and he pinned it on to the board. “Old football chap, finally as he was rising like a phoenix someone shot him down. More correctly someone suffocated him to death.” Mulligan wondered if the court proceedings took this long.
“Wife Cynthia Griffiths” he put up a photo next to the previous one. “What do we have for her?”
“A motive” answered Carter. “She was being cheated on” finished Bradley. They both loved this game. Mulligan would have to play along. “Watertight alibi” he supplied grudgingly.
“So Mrs.Fraser is ruled out.” West moved her photo to one end of the board. “Her financials will rise significantly. She will cash in on the sympathy and the free publicity and we will likely watch her play ball with someone else soon.”
That earned a snort from Bradley.
“Next up we have Christopher Walsh” he announced as he placed the next photo. Before he even questioned Bradley spoke up “Professional rivalry.”
“And we have him on tape getting into a fight with Fraser. And he has subsequently admitted to it.” Carter added.
“Autopsy report confirms that the bruising on the victim’s face is pre-mortem. And the bruising is light meaning they were carried out with bare hands. Plus the victim’s knuckles were skinned too. Corroborating the fight scenario.” West explained.
Again Mulligan was the one to burst the bubble. “But Walsh has a perfect alibi.”
“A perfect alibi or three. Three young women were with Mr.Walsh at the time of the murder. We woke up the chap when we raided his house late morning. Enough evidence to rule him out too.” So saying West moved his picture next to Griffiths’.
“Are we going to get there any time soon?” asked Mulligan in a frustrated voice.
“Yes yes” chuckled West. “Next up” he pulled out the next picture “Oksana. And I’m not going to attempt to pronounce her surname.”
“Motive not quite substantial. But she was seen with the vic before his murder.” Said Carter, sitting back in her chair and taking a sip of her coffee.
“Wanted to milk her money daddy further?” supplied Bradley.
“Pay for her drugs” said Mulligan.
“But do we know what she had on him that made Fraser pay her?” quizzed West.
When he got the expected blank stares he continued. “Miss Oksana has a wonderful way of remembering the wonderful men she meets up with. She had some very damaging photos of Fraser that…”
“But it was no secret that he was sleeping with her. The divorce proceedings would not be affected in any way in the presence or absence of photographic evidence.” Carter voiced her thoughts.
West smiled as he answered “I’m glad someone’s using their head. Yes but she did have the knowledge that he was using drugs himself.” That earned him a gasp from Carter. “And that is how she initially met him and the damaging photos are of him taking drugs.” He passed around a couple of photos to the team. Mulligan looked at the photo in his hand. If these were ever made public, Fraser’s hopes of playing football at the professional level would vanish forever. But Mulligan had more pressing issues to address.
“Why didn’t you tell me about them earlier?” he tried to keep his anger in check.
West smiled cheekily. “I wanted to give them to you as a gift, a good piece of news at the end of the day. But that was before I knew the autopsy report would solve the case.” He paused fractionally only leaving Mulligan enough time to wrap his head around the thought but not enough to articulate a fitting response.
“So” he dragged it out “We know that Miss Oksana would have profited more from him being alive than dead.”
“But we do have her admitting to strangling Fraser at the parking lot” Bradley countered.
“Yes and the autopsy report have matched the marks around the neck as being finger-marks but there is no proof to show that they are definitely Oksana’s. We only have her word for it. Besides, she has proof of being somewhere else at the same time. She was with Gary Oldenfield” and West took out another grainy photo of Oksana with another teammate of Fraser’s.
“Is the entire team doing her?” asked Bradley, shaking his head. And his crassness earned him a hit on his shoulder from Carter.
“Ouch” he feigned being hurt.
“So it’s not Oksana” said Mulligan putting an end to their little sparring.
West smiled. “Nope” and he shifted her photo to the end to join the other discarded suspects.
“That leaves us with Gavin Poole” announced West. “Who as I stated earlier is simply an over-emotional fool.” Putting up the photo he turned around to his audience.
“The gun burn, do we have a calibre for it?” asked Carter.
“ A .32” answered West consulting his file.
“That’s a match to Poole’s gun” said Mulligan getting excited.
“Yes, which proves precisely that Poole threatened Fraser with a gun. But the forensics team could recover no bullets from the crime scene and Fraser was definitely not shot.”
“But Poole could have strangled him” theorized Bradley.
“Ok now here’s a piece of science for you, try to follow carefully.” Answered West, in way that seemed to Mulligan that West was teaching a class of kindergarten students.
“Now manual choking would have to cause damage to the larynx or fracture the hyoid bone or one of the other neck bones. Plus if the victim is conscious during the event, there would have to be signs of struggling, nail marks, for example, but none were found. All bones are intact. Trachea shows no signs of extended compressions.”
The other three slowly nodded their head.
“But he did die of asphyxiation, didn’t he? That is what the ME at the crime scene told us” said Carter, a little unsure of herself and looked towards Mulligan for confirmation.
“Asphyxiation is simply the case of the body not receiving the required oxygen” West said as if they didn’t already know that.
“Isn’t there any other way that Poole could have done it?” pressed Mulligan.
“None, without leaving some signs to show for it.” West shook his head for emphasis. “But there are other way that Fraser could have been asphyxiated” and a small smile played on his lips. He moved Poole’s photo out of the way.
“The culprit is” West looked up to see if he had everyone’s attention. He shouldn’t have bothered. Bradley and Carter were both leaning forward in their chairs and even Mulligan was rapt with attention. West grinned and then turned around and put up the next photo on the board. When he moved away, all three bolted up straight with attention.
“A bottle of Ballantine’s?” asked Mulligan in an incredulous manner.
“Four to be precise.” Answered West.
“Yes we found four empty bottles at his apartment” began Carter in a confused voice.
“And all four have only fingerprints from Fraser. Fraser finished off four bottles of scotch at his apartment. And we know he had been drinking from earlier than that. The ME found remnants of vomit in his trachea.”
“So you’re saying” began Mulligan, running a hand through his hair “that this is not a case of deliberate calculated murder but simply an…”
“Own-Goal” Bradley finished for him.
“The fool choked on his own vomit and died.” West closed his file and grinned. “Case solved.”
The few minutes of silence was broken by Bradley’s barking laughter and seconds later Carter and West joined him.
“Should we call it a night then?” said West beaming around. “Reports can be written up later I suppose?”
“I say celebratory drinks” winked Bradley. “What say, Sir?” and that’s one everyone turned around to look at Mulligan. Mulligan it seemed was rooted to his spot, lost to the world around him. He had not uttered a single word since the revelation. He simply waved his hand in a sort of dismissal.
Mulligan was vaguely aware of what was going on around him. He was too shocked to acknowledge anything more. He heard Carter say something as she picked up her coat and from the corner of his eye he saw Bradley help her slip into it.
“I didn’t know you drank anything but Coffee, Phil?” he heard Sam’s voice rich with amusement. He could only hear her rhythmical laughter while everything else seemed dulled. But it was not a blissful dulling; it was the numbness before the pain fully struck.
When he finally came to his senses, he picked up the closest thing within his reach (which turned out to be his cell phone) and hurled it at the photo of Ryan Fraser. It struck the photo then shattered to the floor. He had never liked the man alive; a cow on ice he thought, and the man had failed to redeem himself in his death. Mulligan swore loudly to himself “If the fool wasn’t already dead I swear I would have strangled him.” He was shook visibly with anger “Bloody Own Goal!”