Chapter Thirty Six



After Angie realized it was Donnie, the stench he dragged in with him disappeared. Her heart raced in her chest and she felt her hands getting moist. She stood up and looked Donnie in the eyes and wrapped her arms around his neck and shoulders and gave him a bear hug. It was love at first sight in a long time. She then kissed him first on his right cheek, leaving a puckered cherry marking there, and then she kissed him hard on the mouth.

Donnie was pleasantly surprised but was being coy. “Ummmm, Counselor, so nice to see you again.” Donnie returned the bear hug favor and he actually lifted her off the floor so her feet dangled like wind chimes in the breeze.”

“I am so happy to see you. We have a lot to talk about. Do you want a coffee?”

Donnie placed Angie gently on the tiled floor. “Yes, please. Just a black drip coffee is fine. I don’t need anything fancy.”

“Okay.” Angie  returned to the counter and ordered Donnie’s coffee.

When she returned, Donnie had removed a couple of layers of clothing and was looking intently at the top page of notes Angie had on the table. “Here you go.”

“Thanks. I got a little panicky when I read your texts. It sounds like you have some news for me. I’ll give you an update as well.”

Angie looked down at her notes. “I am pretty sure that Adam didn’t commit this murder. I have been researching the article and all of the recently related killings and while they all seem to be linked by victim archetype, they don’t really align with Adam’s daily habits or the ways he goes into work, or his personality and temperament. When I spoke with the COs last time I visited him in jail, they said Adam was a model prisoner.”

“Thanks for digging into the data. I think that lane of thinking is going to be great to help debunk any motive the prosecution might try to raise.”

Angie’s cheeks reddened and she could feel her neck getting hot too. “Thanks, Donnie. I am 1,000 percent committed to getting Adam out of there. There is one other thing I wanted you to know. When I visited Adam last, he came to the meeting room where I was with a massive bandage on his head and two giant black eyes. He looked like a zombie raccoon.”

“What? What the fuck happened?”

“Adam told me he was having breakfast with his cell mate and another inmate approached him from behind and hit him twice in rapid succession on each side of his head.”

“Geez. Did he know the guy? Did he have any reason to wonder why someone would do that to him?”

“Neither Adam or Derek Escobar, his cell mate, had seen this man before. Of all the people eating breakfast there that morning, there must have been a reason to do this. Adam had no clue.”

“Hmmm.” Donnie stroked the thick beard on his face. He did this often when he was trying to problem solve.

“This is my fear. Either Escobar or someone heard Adam talking about you working on the outside on his behalf. Someone got the news out to whoever the real murderer is and he made arrangements for this guy to try to kill your brother. Maybe he believes if Adam is dead, you’ll lay off the undercover work.”

“That motherfucker clearly doesn’t know who I am. If my brother gets killed before this trial starts, I will make it my personal life mission to hunt him down and get him thrown in jail forever.”

Angie loved the passion in his voice and his dedication. She smiled as he spoke and held his hand.

“I also wanted to tell you about something I witnessed in the park the other night too. There was a tall dark figure who was collecting gum, cigarettes, food, and other things passersby were discarding. I spoke with my Dean from UW and we both think the guy might be picking those things up as a way to contaminate the crime scenes.”

“Wow, that is crazy, and slightly genius, if he is able to pull it off.”

“I need to get back out there Angie. I want to get this figured out, or at least, be ready to help my brother at the trial.” Donnie gathered his belongings, stood up, and kissed Angie on the mouth.

“Please be safe. And know that even if the phone doesn’t ring or the text message doesn’t come through, it’s me.”

Donnie smiled and waved and headed into Nord Alley.

© 2013 – 2016, Darin Hartley

Chapter Thirty Seven


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