SYNOPSIS: Jason Franco is an aspiring novelist stuck in a dead-end job working for a newspaper in a small town where nothing exciting happens until someone rapes and murders a young woman only eighteen years old. All evidence points to the woman's boyfriend who confesses to the crime. Jason is assigned to write a follow-up story for the paper and soon suspects that the local police are covering up for one of their own. Jason enlists the help from a high school classmate who works at the state crime and the two soon fall in love. Jason and his girlfriend, Tina, follow the leads, and Jason finds himself a target for the rapist turned murderer. An attempt on Jason's life puts him in the hospital as the alleged rapist commits suicide. An unexpected turn of events put Jason back in the cross hairs of a different killer.
Recovery Unit, OrthoColorado Orthopedic Hospital
Thursday, 6, 2015
Jason opened his eyes. He couldn't see out of his left eye so he reached up to touch it. The patch was still in place. A blurry figure stood by his bed on his right side. Jason lashed out wildly trying to strike the figure.
“Easy, Tiger. It's okay. You're safe now,” said a familiar voice.
Jason recognized Sean's voice. He focused on his face.
“Hey,” said Sean. “How do you feel?”
Jason sensed a person was standing on his left – his blind side. As he turned his head too fast – pain split across his forehead. “Ow! Ow! Ow!” He grabbed his head with both hands.
“Take it slow,” said the doctor on Jason's left. “You're having a Roipnol hangover.”
“What?” asked Jason.
The doctor sat on a stool that was next to a computer. “You were drugged with Roipnol. It gives you a terrific headache. It also affects your memory. You'll be okay in about one hour. I'll check back.” The doctor made an entry on his computer and left.
Jason turned his head slowly toward Sean. “What happened?”
Sean laughed. “Wow! What's the last thing that you remember?”
Jason searched his memory for a moment. “I vaguely remember that Naomi came to visit me.” He tried to recall what happened next. “I can't remember what we talked about... just bits and pieces.”
Sean smiled. “Tina identified the DNA on those pubic hairs. They belonged to Naomi. We put out an APB to arrest her. She led the FBI on a merry chase and ended up here trying to kill you.”
At that moment FBI Agent Jane stuck her head in the door. “The doc says you're awake. Can I come in?”
“Sure,” said Jason.
“I was about to tell him what happened,” said Sean. “As expected, he doesn't remember much. Perhaps you should start and I can explain what happened in his room.”
“Sure,” said Jane. She pulled a chair next to Jason's bed and sat down. She explain everything that the FBI did up to the point where Sean and Art ran up the stairs. Sean took it from there and explain the rest.
When Jane was finished, Jason asked, “Why did she come here if she knew the FBI had an APB on her?”
“She probably didn't know,” said Jane. She didn't know that the crime lab could do the analysis on the DNA so fast. Normally, it takes days. The crime lab recently bought a RapidHIT 200. DNA machine. It produces a DNA profile in ninety minutes. As soon as we realize it was Marini, we put out the APB.
“But she gave you the slip?” asked Jason.
Yes, she was clever. At first, we thought she would head for Canada. That was the plan that she and Cruse originally made. But she headed south toward Mexico. She knew that we could track her credit card use so she used that to leave a false trail.”
“What do you mean?” asked Jason.
“She drove south on the interstate pass Denver and Colorado Springs. Then she used her credit card near the state line. We know now that she doubled back and spent the night in a hotel in Colorado Springs.”
“Why didn't you arrest her there?” Asked Sean.
“We didn't know. She paid cash. We found the receipt in her car.”
“So how did you find her?” asked Jason.
“We got a lucky break. An off duty patrolman spotted her car while he was going to work. He had the APB. He followed her as far as the interstate before he lost her. But, he said that she got onto the north bound lane. That was the first clue we got that she was coming to kill you. We got here as fast as we could. A few minutes too late, apparently.”
“Wow,” said Jason. “That twice that you saved my life, Sean. What happened to Art? Why didn't he shoot?”
“I wouldn't let him,” answered Sean. “I stopped him and took his pistol. When Naomi lit that match, I killed her.”
“You thought that Art wouldn't shoot his sister?” asked Jason.
“No. I thought that he would.”
Both Jason and Jane were stunned. They didn't know what to say. Sean saw the look on their faces.
“How can a person live with himself after killing his sister?”
“Or her mother,” added Jason.
“I didn't know until today that Officers Boyd and Marini were related,” said Jane. “What's this about killing her mother?”
“Long story. I'll explain later,” answered Sean.
“So how is Art taking it?” asked Jason.
“Not so good,” answered Jane. “He'll need therapy.”
“Oh boy,” said Jason. “That might be an understatement.”
“At any rate,” continued Jane. “I'm not going to question you until you're feeling better; maybe in an hour or two. I'll get a statement from you then. You need to rest for now.” She got up and pushed the chair back against the wall. “I've got a crime scene down the hall to tend to. I'll be back.” She nodded toward Sean and exited the room.
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