Malachi didn’t understand why but he knew his human was upset. Seth felt the warm, slimy tongue of his furry friend slurp at his cheek.
“Seth? Honey, are you okay?”
Melanie walked across the room and knelt down beside him. Startled, Seth looked up and Agent Dictator was standing in his kitchen next to Melanie.
“Mel, sweetheart, I’m so happy to see you. There’s some kind of serial killer on the loose so, please, don’t go anywhere with anyone alone until the culprit has been captured … not even the police or the FBI. I couldn’t bear to lose you.”
Seth kissed his wife tenderly while glaring at the agent in his house. His look said what he didn’t dare say aloud— if you even think of touching her you’re a dead man!
Seth escorted Agent Dictator outside to his car; he wanted a word in private. His inner voice of reason reminded him to keep calm. No matter how much he pisses you off, don’t make any threats. The bastard is probably wearing a wire and you’ll get hauled in for threatening an agent.
“Would you care to tell me what it is you thought you were doing with my wife? Have you moved up to thinly veiled threats? Is that your message, ‘do what you say or you’ll attack my wife?’ Fine, you win. Do what you want to me but please, I’m begging you, don’t hurt Mel.”
“What are you talking about? I was only taking you up on your offer. You said to search your house or question you and your wife so I did. Just what do you mean, veiled threats? I never threaten you and I certainly never threatened her.” Agent Dictator replied. “I’ll admit it; I suspected you at first but not anymore. It just seemed awfully coincidental that you showed up at the morgue and then people started dying in many of the same ways that they had in the Gerald Rhymes case…at least that’s what Kim said.”
“She told me you said I was a suspect.”
“Sorry, Seth, she lied to you.”
The agent stood up and walked out, leaving Seth to worry over which of the three had lied to him— or if all did. Melanie watched her husband’s shoulders slump as he turned to walk back to the house. She opened the door for him and pulled her husband into an embrace.
“Do you want to talk about it?” Mel offered.
“Well, I guess I should be happy that I’m no longer a suspect but it scared the crap out of me when you weren’t here. Angela is missing. When I showed up at the morgue, Bill said we all had to go to the latest crime scene. Later, Kim told me that one of the agents said I was a suspect. Meanwhile, Bill told me that Agent Dick said Kim was a suspect. Then Kim told me that Agent Dick told her directly that Bill is a suspect. So, bottom line…don’t trust anyone, I guess.”
“You really shouldn’t be so disrespectful to an FBI agent, honey. He was very polite and very professional. And, not to point the finger at you, but you did say he could search the house and question me. Richie is a nice man.”
“Richie? So you chat with a fed for an hour and all of the sudden he’s, ‘Richie’? What the hell? Your pal, Richie, wanted to pin the blame on me. He said he wouldn’t rest until I fried like bacon on the electric chair but I should be respectful?”
“Calm down, would you? You’re acting like a lunatic. Go sit down in your favorite chair and I’ll bring you a drink.”
Seth flopped down on the sofa instead so that Malachi could snuggle up to him. His beloved pet curled into a ball and rested that big, hairy, head on his master’s leg.
“That’s my boy. Hey, what’s that in your mouth? What are you chewing? Drop it!”
Compelled to obey, the pup opened his mouth and a slobber-coated chunk fell onto the floor. At first, Seth thought it was a piece of rawhide chew but Malachi hadn’t had one for a while. As he looked closer, the piece reminded him of the chopped up chunks of human flesh he’d seen at the police station.