Her nerves were raw, she was on edge. Jenna couldn’t quite shake the idea that the culprit might return; if they believed the clinic was an easy mark, or if they hadn’t found whatever they’d come for. The place had been ransacked, needlessly if drugs were the sole purpose for the break-in. I

Jenna wasn’t sure about proper protocol but Manor had encouraged her to contact him if she thought of anything she considered pertinent. What was that old saying about erring on the side of caution? Searching her purse until she found his card, she dialled expecting her call would hit voice mail and found she was somewhat surprised when he answered on the first ring.

“Detective Manor, Jenna Montgomery. I’m not sure how helpful this information will be, but when I was cleaning the surgery yesterday, I noticed a bottle maybe two, missing from the cupboard on the far wall. It keeps teasing my brain but I can’t recall what it was. I’m sure Marty will know since he always cleaned the surgery with Dr. Greg. All I can tell you is that it was there during our last surgery, about a week ago, and whatever it was has disappeared. I just thought you should know.”

“I was going to ask about that. Certainly would expedite matters if we knew what it was. I’m not saying it’s the reason for the break-in, but drugs are certainly a distinct possibility for the crime.” He paused, “Dr. Greg must have kept a record of drugs purchased for billing purposes.”

“I should have thought of that. I’ll check first thing in the morning when I get to the clinic.”

“What time? I’ll meet you there,” he remarked immediately.

The realization he considered her a suspect was daunting. Did he seriously believe she was involved in killing Dr. Greg or that she’d destroy or falsify evidence?

Sensing ruffled feather he quickly remarked, “It’s strictly routine, Miss Montgomery. Your help is appreciated. Especially if it assists in capturing a killer.”

She relaxed a fraction and remarked, “I’ll be there at 8 am.”

“I’ll see you then.” He clicked off.

Detective Manor was a little surprised his suggestion had disturbed her. Until he could rule her out, she was as much a suspect as any of the other employees.

Her nerves were raw, she was on edge. Jenna couldn’t quite shake the idea that the culprit might return; if they believed the clinic was an easy mark, or if they hadn’t found whatever they’d come for. The place had been ransacked, needlessly if drugs were the sole purpose for the break-in. It struck her as overkill, a cover-up, a distraction. Wouldn’t they have grabbed the drugs and run? What’s more, they hadn’t balked at dispatching Dr. Greg. Then there was the fact Marty was missing and that added another layer of concern. Not only for his safety but because of what he may or may not know.

Manor arrived at the clinic before the agreed-upon time and waited patiently in his car while going over his notes on the case. According to the ME, Doctor Greg had died between midnight and one am. Blunt force trauma with no defensive wounds. He suggested a hammer of some sort, longer, narrower, but definitely effective. He hadn’t stood a chance. Manor hadn’t found any such item nor had the crime lab.

He’d sent out a state-wide B.O.L.O. on Marty Harris, but so far, he hadn’t been found. Either he’d fled in fear, or was involved or figured he’d become an immediate suspect as a result of his previous anger issues. Since working at the clinic for the past ten months, he hadn’t displayed any such characteristics. In fact, his behaviour was exemplary, not only at work but with friends and even family had noted a marked change. They all agreed that he was a new man, he had a purpose, a goal, steady work and loved it so much he was considering going back to school as soon as he could arrange it and he wasn’t concerned about how long I would take. His eyes simply lit up when he spoke about the clinic and the work they did there. and seemed unconcerned about how long it might take.

Montgomery arrived at five minutes to eight and he hopped out of his car to join her. “Good morning.”

“Good morning Detective Manor,” she responded with a cool tone.

As they entered, he noted the pristine reception area. He waited until she’d prepared a pot of coffee. Looking over at him she smirked, “First things first.”

He smiled in appreciation, “I couldn’t agree more.”

Taking a seat he asked, “How long have you known Dr. Greg?”

“Oh, a lifetime!” she assured him. “He used to allow me to come and hang out as a kid. I used to comfort the animals, help clean up and even assisted with nonsurgical procedures. He was such a giving man and he was so willing to encourage interest in veterinary work. I adored him!” Sadness cloaked her expression then. “I can’t tell you how much I miss him – just knowing he’ll never walk through the door, that I won’t be able to bounce a million questions off of him, commiserate with him. His passing has truly created a void the community will miss for a long time to come.”

“But they have you!”

“Yes, but he was the driving force. He worked tirelessly on behalf of the community and he contributed so much!”

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