Sandy Budding’s allegiance was to the truth.

Sheryl’s Daily Prompt

Sandy Budding’s allegiance was to the truth. As a detective on Metro for eight years, she’d studied and learned to read body language, a very useful asset when dealing with the criminal element. Sandy found body language extremely useful in determining what the truth was since people had “tells” they were seldom aware of that spoke volumes. It was a universal language that gave her a starting place when none could be found.

Too often people lied in a mistaken attempt to help a loved one and that muddied the waters considerably; then there were those that lied to protect themselves. Sifting through what was and wasn’t true took time, time that better spent chasing down and finding evidence to convict the guilty party.

As she stood looking at Brandon Carmichael, she knew without the shadow of a doubt he was lying through his artificially whitened teeth and lopsided grin. She traded looks with her partner, Jason Robertson; the look in his eyes said he felt the same. Now they had to prove it.

The victim, Amanda Harris, had been seeing Brandon Carmichael for approximately eighteen months and if what he said was to be believed, they were good, and working toward a long term relationship and had recently made plans to move in together.

Sandy and her partner Jason Robertson took turns questioning the man. It was apparent he was more comfortable with her and less belligerent so she took over questioning him. Whether he felt he could pull the wool over her eyes and was an easy target for his questionable charms or he carried animosity for men, it didn’t matter. She was good at her job and he’d find that out in due course.

Gradually a different picture emerged in which he said the victim was abusive and because he was a man, he didn’t report it. He said he’d had to fend her off and accidentally knocked her backward, she’d lost her balance and struck the coffee table on the way down. It was a complete accident. Neither detective was buying his story. The scene itself told a completely different story. The evidence suggested a struggle alright, but the victim had defensive marks on her wrists and arms with several older bruises and she was laying facing the front door, not in the living room by the coffee table suggesting she was trying to get away from her assailant.

According to the neighbours, the last few times he’d shown up, they’d heard a scuffle and a woman crying. The woman, Clarisse Smithers had gone over after he’d left and found Maria Forrest crying and bruised. She said she’d told him they were through and he hadn’t taken it well. She’d immediately changed the locks on all the doors and the neighbour had stayed with her until the locksmith’s arrival and even a little longer until Maria had settled down somewhat.

Clarisse Smithers described her neighbour as well mannered, quiet, and a gentle soul, quiet, shy and somewhat reserved.

That held with what they’d found at the scene. A tragic scene in which the woman had been attempting to flee her own home to escape his abuse. The door had been nearly knocked off its hinges and the victim was laying a matter of feet away from freedom. Sandy was beyond angry, she was furious. The woman had been trying to flee from the safety of her own home to escape her attacker. Not right, not right at all.

Now it was personal for both Sandy and her partner. Sandy read it in his stance and the look in his eye. His self-restraint ws remarkable considering Sandy knew him well enough to know he’d like to punch the creep. She knew it by his stance and the look in his eye. His self-restraint was remarkable under the circumstances.

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