Walking towards her car, Grace had a hundred different thoughts running through her head; what if the interview did not go the way she thought it would, what if there was a reason that the police had not interviewed his parents. There were all kinds of unanswered questions. It was going to be up to her and Veronica to find out what those questions were and to seek out the answers. It was not always easy for her to come up with questions before an interview. She always liked to have a conversation with another person rather than having a bunch of questions that needed to be answered. That always felt so cold and clinical and she did not want to have that type of an interview with a victim’s family.
On the drive back to her place, Grace had AC/DC blaring on the radio. She always thought more clearly when she could not hear herself talk. For some reason the heavy metal music was soothing to her. It helped to block out the sounds of other things and allowed her to focus on whatever she needed to think about. Today she needed to focus on what was going on in Vincent Ramos’s life when he was killed. What made him a target for “El Diablo?” Was there a clear cut reason or was it just a random act of violence. If it had been the one and only murder by this monster it could have been seen as a random act, but there were now two other victims and there had to be some sort of pattern to their murders.
The hard part of all of this was coming into the investigation while it was on going instead of at the beginning. Grace could not understand what had caused Jason to feel as if this task force was necessary. Yes he had said that he wanted to catch the murderer, but isn’t that what the police are there for. There had to be another reason behind him wanting to gather everyone. She realized that she did not need to focus on the reason why but rather the focus needed to be on finding out as much about each victim as she possibly could.
When she arrived home, Big Ben was waiting at the front door for her. “You want to go outside, big boy? Have you been a good boy for me while I was gone today?” She was greeted by a wagging tail and a gentle bark. “Why is it that I truly believe that one of these days you are going to look up to me and just start talking to me?” She chuckled to herself to think that the only one that she had for company was her dog and she was fine with that. Of course, she would have loved to have someone to come home to but she had settled into her routine and it was fine with her.
After letting Big Ben outside, she looked into her refrigerator and found that she had nothing to make for dinner. She decided to call the local Thai restaurant and have them deliver some Pad Thai to her house. She was told that it would be about thirty minutes before her food would arrive so she decided to jump into the shower. She figured that the sooner she got all of the stuff done that she needed to do before leaving in the morning, the more time she would have to think about the interview and how she wanted to conduct it.
As she got out of the shower, she heard Big Ben barking at the front door. She thought that the food had arrived earlier than expected, so she threw on a pair of sweats, got her checkbook, and ran to the front door. She was surprised when she opened the door and did not see the delivery man but instead Jason Roberts. She was taken back.
“Hello, Chief Roberts, I was not expecting to see you here.”
“Grace, call me Jason, you know that. I know that this is unexpected, but I was wondering if I could speak to you about what you found out today.”
“Of course, come right on in.” Grace stepped aside and then realized that the sweats that she had put on had a huge coffee stain on the front. She could not believe that she had so hastily put on her clothes. She wasn’t expecting any visitors and now she had the handsome Chief of Police in her living room.
“Can I get you something to drink? I have water, orange juice, and milk. Sorry I have not made it to the store lately; I was going to go when I got back from New York.”
“That is fine Grace. I will take a glass of water, if it isn’t too much trouble.”
She went into the kitchen and got a glass and filled it with ice and water. She hoped that Big Ben would behave himself. He did not always do too well with visitors, as she didn’t have that many. When she went back out into the living room she realized that she had nothing to worry about. Jason was sitting very comfortably on the couch and Big Ben was laying next to him with his head on Jason’s lap.
“Here is your water, Jason. You know I have never seen Big Ben like that before. He is usually quite hyper.”
“I have my way with dogs. For some odd reason, they all seem to like me. I am not sure why, but it does help out in the field at times.” He smiled at her and seemed quite relaxed.
“I would offer you something to eat, but I had to order take out myself. When it gets here I would be more than willing to split it with you.”
“Oh, I don’t think that I will be here that long. I just want to know what your thought process is with the case files that you looked through today.”
“When I started looking through the files,” Grace started, taking a seat across from Jason, “I noticed that there were no interviews with any of the victim’s family members. I found this to be quite unusually since I generally want to get to know my victim’s family before I start an investigation. Maybe the police do things differently that I would do in my private practice but it seemed odd.”
Jason looked as if she had just hit him over the head with a frying pan. She wondered if this was news to him. Had he not looked through the files himself to see what had been done so far? It was pretty obvious to Grace that there had been some lack of communication somewhere and she did not know where to begin.
“I know that the lead investigator on this case has been a bit overworked. I don’t think that he thought that it was all that important as all of the victims were not originally from the Grangeville area. He had told me that their lives outside of our town would not be something of great importance. He did tell me that he would try to find time to go and interview them, if he ever had a spare moment.”
“You see,” Grace interrupted, “I think that it is very important for the family to be interviewed. I do that on any case, but I would think that in a murder investigation that it would take a top priority.”
“I understand where you are coming from, Grace, however it is not always possible for everything to be done the way that you would in a small, private practice.” Jason looked up at her and hoped that he realized where she was coming from. She was a very intellectual woman and he hoped that she would be bringing her intelligence to the task force. That was something that he was wanting when he sought her out.
“I would think that that would be something that you would want to see happen as the Chief of Police; that you would want to make everyone feel at ease with the police department. It is not always a public office that is viewed in a great light. In fact, I know many people that would come and seek me out before they came to you for that one reason. They know that I care about them and their family and not just about the case.”
Jason smiled; he could tell that she was doing exactly what he had wanted her to do. She was thinking about how to improve the police department. He had heard that she would like to work hand in hand with the police department at some point and time and it would appear that now as the best time that he could have brought her into the fold. She was a real spitfire and he was looking forward to seeing what she could do.
“You are complete right, Grace, and that is why I have put you on this case. I feel that the police department has lost its human touch and I am hoping that you will be able to bring it back. I am not talking just on this case, but on future cases as well. You have a very successful practice and I have noticed that people go to you before they will come to the station. That is why I have brought you on to this case.”
Grace was shocked. She knew that there was a reason why she had been asked to work on this case but she had not expected this. She knew that she had a successful practice but she did not realize that she had been looked at by the Chief of Police. She was both happy and a little scared that she had been looked at without her knowing. She thought that there was some other reason that she had been asked onto the task force, but she was ecstatic to know that he knew about her work and had taken that into consideration when he asked her to work on this case. This was going to work out better than she had ever expected.
“I am quite flattered and I hope that I don’t let you down. I am working very hard on this case and I am taking it upon myself to find out who and why “El Diablo” has been terrorizing our town. I think that this best starts with me interview each victim’s family. I know that it is going to be a lengthy process, but I hope to have it completed, with the held of Veronica, in three days.”
“I can respect that Grace and I will do whatever you need me to do to help make the process go quickly,” Jason smiled. He was glad he had come over to visit her tonight and he was not disappointed at all but the fire that he saw in her eyes. She wanted to find this guy as bad as he did.
“Well I would like to thank you for inviting me into your home, but it is time for me to get back to my own home,” he sighed.
“Well the food should be here in a few minutes, if you would like to wait I can share.”
“Maybe some other time, I really need to be heading home. I have a busy day ahead of me and I know you do as well. Thank you for all that you are doing on this case and remember that you can call me whenever you need anything.” He handed her his business card. When she turned it over in her hand, she realized that he had written his personal number on the back.
“Thank you for stopping by Jason,” she smiles as she walked him to the front door, “I will let you know if I need anything.”
“No thank you for everything that you are doing on this case. It means more to me than you will ever know.” He leaned down and gave her a quick peck on the cheek; she blushed.
With that he walked out of the door and passed the delivery man. Grace paid for her food, but she found that she was not even hungry. When she had seen the intensity in Jason’s eyes she had realized that there was more to this case than she had been told. She was going to do whatever it took to help him, and the rest of the task force, solve this case. She just hoped that they were able to receive a break before “El Diablo” struck again.