Back at their table, the Detective commended Seth on his quick thinking.
“Not only did you help out my cousin; you’ve saved other restaurants from the same fate. I wonder how many other places he’s scammed.”
“If you had been facing this direction you would have done the same thing, Bill. It’s no big deal. I just feel like he’s getting off easy.”
“Nah, I don’t think he is. That reporter caught his name when the scumbag handed over his credit card to pay. Imagine that hitting the evening news and posted all over the internet. I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes. He won’t be able to buy a damn cup of coffee in this town.”
“Yeah, I supposed you’re right. Um, can they really pull out the dialogue from my video? We were talking about some stuff at the morgue and it could mess up your investigation.”
“Good point, Seth. Tell you what; let’s run this through at the station first just to be safe. That way we can…hang on a sec. I’ve got to take this.”
The detective’s phone had been set to silent but it bounced across the table top demanding attention. Seth noticed the caller ID read Station.
“No, you did the right thing. I’m on my way. Folks, I’m sorry to eat and run. It seems they’ve found another body.” Bill announced as he flagged the waitress. “Melanie, it was my absolute pleasure to meet you. Would you I lose your good favor if I stole your husband and brought him along? I figured I could show him the crime scene and then we can stop over and get that recording cleared.”
“I won’t mind as long as you make him promise not to give me any gory details, Bill, and if you’ll agree to drop him off at the house. I have to be at work in the morning and I don’t want to have to drive out to the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night. I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’m not so pleasant when someone wakes me from a sound sleep.”
“She’s not kidding. I have to stand at the opposite side of the room when her alarm goes off or I could lose a limb.”
Melanie scowled at her husband and waggled her finger at him. Her stern façade cracked within seconds as she burst into laughter. While Bill was gathering his things, Seth whispered in his wife’s ear, double-checking that she wouldn’t mind but Melanie’s reply had been genuine. She was relieved that her husband was gaining both knowledge and inspiration. He was always happier when he was writing. The two men escorted her to her vehicle before they set off for the crime scene.
By the time they arrived, Kim and Angela were already on the case. Seth waved to his friends as he followed Detective Crash past the police tape.
“He’s with me,” Bill called out.
The officers nodded and went back to their duties. Angela’s flash temporarily blinded Seth but he managed to stumble over to say hello.
“Look what the cat dragged in,” teased Kim. “Just when you thought you were out we sucked you back in, huh?”
“You know you missed me, Kim. Couldn’t bear to carve up another corpse without me, could you? Actually, I didn’t expect to be here. I took my wife to that restaurant and we bumped into Bill. Can you believe that same jerk showed up and tried to get another free meal? Anyway, we were just finishing up dessert when he got the call so he asked me to come along for the ride.”
“You know what’s really funny? I was going to call Angela and see if she wanted to go grab some dinner over there too. If we’d all gone at the same time that would have been hilarious.”
“Aw, I wish you had…Mel would love to meet you two. Say, do you think I’d be in the way if I got a closer look?”
Kim smiled and motioned for Seth to follow closely. They stepped in directly behind Angela as she snapped her next photo. The flash illuminated the scene and the body.“Oh my God!” Seth gasped. “I know him.”