Emment sat in his car across the road from Alexander’s and Josh’s house. It was half eight in the morning. He waited, sipping a takeaway coffee. Soon Josh emerged from the house with their son. They got into one of two cars. It was clear that Josh was taking Leo to school so Emment stayed put. It was really Alexander’s movements he wished to track. Ten minutes later Alexander exited the house and got into the other car. Emment waited until he had got to the corner and then started the engine.
Emment followed for a short time when Alexander pulled over to the side of the road. He got out and gestured over to Emment to come join him in a cafe. Emment pulled over and reluctantly joined him in the cafe.
“You forget I work in law. I know a cop’s next moves.”, Alexander smiled as he ordered in a coffee.
“That would be perfect for the perfect murder.”, Emment replied, ordering his own coffee.
They sat down by the window.
“So where were you going?”
“Well let me think, 9 in the morning … work.”
“Or to sort a few things out before work …”
“Well let me think … keeping Samantha Shepherd quiet.”
“You watch too much TV. I had an affair Emment. I don’t go around with a hit list.”
“That affair could have led to a hit list.”
“It could have. But theories don’t always add up to facts. Look, I get it. You’re doing your job but I’m not going to have you harassing me or my family. Neither Josh or I are involved in Marie’s death. And while you are hovering around outside our house there’s a real killer out there getting away literally with murder.”
“Well from where I’m sitting no one else has as strong a motive.”
“You don’t think so … or you’re listening to the wrong people.”
“What’s this whole coffee thing exactly? To warn me off?”
“To tell you to stop harassing me and my family.”
“So you are warning me?”
“You aren’t even on duty yet. You are doing this off your own back.”
“And you’re been defensive about it for some reason.”
“Of course I’m been defensive. I had an affair behind my husband’s back. I don’t want him finding out.”
“This case is a bit more important than your extramarital affairs in case you hadn’t noticed.”
“But they aren’t linked Emment!”
“I’ll decide that. Not you.”, Emment replied, finishing his coffee and exiting the coffee bar.
Emment made his way back to his car and noticed Josh’s car pull up across the road from the cafe. He made his way over to him.
He looked quite startled.
“Oh hi Emment.”
He had dropped Leo off at school and had clearly went in search of Alexander. Why?, Emment wondered.
“Just doing some grocery shopping.”, Josh said, but it was clear to Emment that he was lying through his teeth.
His eyes looked like they were about to water.
“You ok mate?”
“Yeah, yeah, grand.”, he replied, trying to shake off the threatening tears.
“Come on. Let’s grab a bite to eat.”, Emment said.
Josh reluctantly agreed.
They went to a nearby sandwich bar.
“I don’t have many people I confide in. And some things feel like a betrayal to confide about …”
“Sometimes it isn’t a good thing to keep things on your head either Josh.”
“I guess … sometimes I think I’m going mad … Alex doesn’t even know. Know that I know.”
Emment gave Josh a few moments as he sipped his coffee nervously.
“He was cheating on me with … with another guy. I mean it was a once-off affair as far as I know. But once it does happen. How do you know it’s once? You know what I mean.”
It didn’t take much for Emment to realise that Josh meant with Marie but wasn’t saying.
“The trust goes.”
“Yeah … and then I end up trying to find his car to see if he’s meeting someone. You came out of that cafe where his car’s parked. Did you see him there? Was he with anyone?”
“Yes I seen him there. No Josh, he wasn’t with anyone.”
He looked relieved but then guilty.
“Of course he wasn’t. He made a mistake. It’s my fault. I can’t seem to stop punishing him for it. And I know everyone deserves a second chance. It’s just so hard.”
“You aren’t punishing him Josh. You’re punishing yourself. He was the one who cheated. You are entitled to feel how you want about that.”
“But I love him Emment. I don’t want to think the way I do about him. We have a kid together. No matter what he’s done we have to make this work.”
“How did you find out?”
“The guy he was cheating on me with died in a car crash. His brother told me. Came to see me to tell me.”
“No. The guy who Alex was having the affair with’s brother. He took glee in it to be honest. Nasty twat.”
Marie’s brother?!, thought Emment.
“His brother? Are you sure?”
“I’m thick but I’m not that thick. Yes, his brother.”
At 8 that night, Emment waited in a bar for Patrick Shepherd to arrive. When he did he arrived with his sister Samantha.
Emment wasn’t happy. He had wanted to spare Samantha this. But if this was how it had to be, then this was how it had to be.
“Patrick, you couldn’t bear that your sister had changed, could you? She became an atheist, she had sex outside marriage, she drank, smoked, partied …”
“It was the influence of that Alexander Hammond-Kelly! She was in love with him! He was destroying her purity …”
“And you wanted to be the one to do that, didn’t you Patrick?”
“How dare you?! That’s out of order! She was my sister!”, Patrick protested.
“What kind of a sick mind do you have?!”, Samantha added.
“Oh I’m not the one with the sick mind here. You’ve been in love with your sister most of your life, haven’t you Patrick? And suddenly she tainted the ‘ideal image’ you had of her. You went that night to the Hammond household to have it out with her about her recent affair with Alexander and her desertion of God. But in the process you argued, told her you loved her, tried to kiss her … but you didn’t go alone, did you?”
Emment looked to Samantha.
“You were there too, weren’t you Samantha? Both of you killed your sister? Two blows to the head.”
“And why am I supposed to have killed Marie?”
Emment’s eyes scanned over her necklace.
“She was bringing shame on the family.”
“You can’t prove any of this Emment.”
“How many times have you wanted to get out Samantha? This whole Godliness to this extent, is it really you? It must have killed you seeing your twin sister having the guts you never had …”
“She was a disgrace! Having sex with a man who had sex with men!”
“A pretty sexy man who was gay. I say that from a non-sexual perspective but for anyone into lads Alexander Hammond-Kelly keeps himself pretty well. Suave, loaded, it must have been very annoying for you actually seeing your twin sister involved with an actual physical man while you devoted your life to your invisible man in the sky.”
“Do not talk about God like that!”
“Did Marie say something along those lines before you hit her over the head?”
“She was asking for it!”
“She left the teaching our parents set out. We were doing her a favour. What kind of life would she have had without God?!”, Patrick added.
“What is your problem with religion?! You were made by God!”
“My problem isn’t with religion.”, Emment replied before gesturing to his fellow police officer Kate who was at the bar to come over.
They arrested them.
“You two can’t prove anything!”, Samantha ranted.
Emment took his mobile phone from his pocket where he had been recording their meeting.
“That’s where you’re wrong. I can.”
Emment and Janet went back for dinner and after-drinks at the Hammond mansion. During after-drinks he joined Josh on the steps for a cigarette.
“You done well with the case.”
“It’s my job … besides you kind of helped me.”
“Unwittingly.”, Josh smiled.
“Yeah.”, Emment grinned.
“How’s everything with Alexander?”
Josh smiles as he looks in at Alexander and Leo playing cards in the living-room.
“We’ve talked. We’re working on it.”
“It might take time.”
“But I think we’ll be ok. I hope so anyway.”
“Yeah, I hope so too.”