Graciously, both Jessica and Frank offered their services and popped in twice a day, early in the morning and then before closing, to assist with the workload. Keeping the clinic clean and feeding all the animals was no small task. Jessica was fast and efficient while Frank caught on quickly and together they worked tirelessly with a delightful sense of humour doing whatever was required. A true godsend since caring for the animals and monitoring their health took considerable time.
As she was driving home, she worried about the case. According to all the crime shows she’d watched, the first 48 hours were crucial in solving a case and they were now beyond the time allotment, nearing the end of the third day.
Slowly entering her driveway, parking and alighting from her car, she sighed. Locking the door, a car’s sudden approach caught her attention. Manor. He parked and as he sauntered toward her, with a half-serious half hopeful voice she said, “So, Detective Manor have you come to tell me you’ve solved the case?”
A heart-warming smile flashed across his face. “We’re making progress.” God he had a gorgeous smile.
“So if you’re not here with good news, I have to ask to what do I owe the pleasure of your visit?”
“I remembered how delicious your coffee was and wondered if we might share a do-over?”
Amusement lit her face, “You’re in luck. I was about to make some, and yes, it’s the same brand as at work. ” She invited him to join her. They walked side by side and Manor had to admit she was a lovely woman, both in presence, stature and intelligence. “Please, come in,” she invited.
Having noted the well-manicured yard and pretty flowers, he asked, “Gardening a passion of yours?”
“As much as time will allow. On occasion I hire a gardener to assist because of the hours I keep.”
“Your yard is beautiful. My mother was a gardening guru. Spent hours changing clearing rearranging. I never understood nor appreciated the effort she put in until I was older. More’s the pity.”
Unlocking the front door she asked, “Why’s that?”
“None of us understood her passion, but when she passed and the garden fell into disrepair, then we realized how much hard work and effort she put into keeping the garden looking so beautiful. We all decided to pitch in and hire a gardener, in memory of her and her efforts. It feels good. Feels right.”
Jenna dropped her light-weight jacket and purse on a vacant chair, walked into the kitchen and began making coffee. “Cookies left of the stove, if your interested.”
“A twofer. I like it.” He couldn’t resist and pulled the cookie jar forward to peer inside. Finding homemade cookies inside, he immediately nabbed one and with a mouth full mumbled, “Homemade – even better. When do you have time to bake?”
“I don’t but I make the time somehow.” She grinned.
He watched her plate the cookies, grab two mugs from the cupboard and cream from the fridge which she poured into a cute little silver server.
“We found Marty Harris.”
“You did? Great!”
“He was in the process of enrolling in college in Newtown and has spent the past few days choosing courses. Apparently, Dr. Greg knew of his ambition and put in a good word for him with the faculty there. Even gave him a letter of reference, outlining his capabilities and his work at the clinic.”
Jenna poured their coffee, “Awe, that’s nice to hear, and so like Dr. Greg. He had a heart of gold! Ready willing and able to help anyone in need.”
“So I guess that’s one suspect down!” Jenna remarked caustically.
“Two.” At her questioning look he continued, ” You are cleared as well.”
“I guess that’s a relief, on some level, since I know I didn’t harm Dr. Greg nor was involved in any way. It’s still a consolation you aren’t looking my way,” she admitted., “which means you can focus on who is responsible!”
“Seriously never thought you were,” he confided, “but having said that, I have to follow procedure. It’s important to eliminate in order to find the guilty culprit. “
“I have to ask, does your work taint your view of people in general and life in particular? You do deal with the nastier side of life.”
“No, gives me a healthy awareness of what people are capable of though. And often the more innocent the person appears, the guiltier they sometimes are. Some people are born liars.”
“Do you always get your man?”
“Or a woman?” He paused, “More often than not, thank god. People can get overconfident, sloppy, and are for the most part unaware of how the law works and what we look for. Sometimes, it’s not always about what’s missing. Sometimes it’s about what’s hiding in plain sight.”
“Did Marty have any positive information to add? I imagine he was devastated at the news.”
“The officer that spoke with him said he broke down in tears. He blamed himself for not being there.”
“He couldn’t have stopped what happened, and he could have become a victim as well.”
“Pretty much what the officer told him. He offered to return immediately to help but the officer suggested he call you first. Tried to encourage him in his pursuit of education, that he would be a real asset and one Dr. Greg would have been proud of. He seemed to take a great deal of solace in that.”
“I’ll give him a call later then. Thank you.”
“For doing your job, for your diligence, for the care you show.”
When Manor left, Jenna was shocked to find two hours had quickly passed. She’d found Manor genial, quick-witted and had a delightful sense of humour. She also gained a newfound appreciation for Manor and his job.
Deciding it was too late to contact Marty, deciding she’d do so first thing in the morning, she set about making a new batch of cookies with chocolate chips and peanut butter. As she stirred the batter, she smiled. Manor had mentioned these were his favourites. She grinned from ear to ear realizing that on a subconscious level she was hoping she was looking forward to another visit with Detective Manor.