— IV –
When Detective Clay Spells entered he took up the entirety of the doorframe. Emily backed up a couple of steps and then felt quite guilty for being so suspicious of the man. He was actually quite handsome with that masculine square jaw and high cheekbones. His hair was dark brown, almost black. The detective looked out of hazel eyes at her appraisingly and did a quick scan of the living room. Friskers reached a paw out, claws extended. The cat’s movement caught the detective’s attention. His face softened as a smile touched full lips and he let Friskers tag his hand and pull it close for quick sniff. When his hand was released he scratched the feline head with an expert touch. Friskers’ eyes closed and he literally smiled, pushing his head up into the detective’s hand for more.
“Hey, puss, what’s your name?” Friskers purred loudly. The authority that had been in the man’s voice earlier disappeared and his eyes softened dramatically as the smile on his face reached all the way to his eyes.
“Friskers,” Emily said, stroking Benny who was still in her arms. He wasn’t barking now, for some reason, and was just sniffing the fellow. Benny’s little black nose was moist and twitched curiously at the scents he was getting.
“No, Friskers,” Emily corrected with a smile. “A lot of people make the same mistake.” Spells was an interesting man, especially since she couldn’t pick up one emotion from him. Was it because she was so in shock at everything that was going on? Yes, that was probably it. The more she relaxed she would probably start picking something up from him.
“…As in…?” The man’s hand was now stroking down the cat’s back, which was arching and purring loudly. Friskers’ tail was again straight in the air with a slight crook at the very tip. How did cats manage to do that?
“As in being frisky: when he was a kitten he never slowed down until he was completely out of steam and then he would just topple over sound asleep. He even did it walking once,” Emily said, feeling a little more relaxed. It might have just been his attempt at setting her at ease, and if it was it definitely worked to a degree. Emily didn’t feel half as anxious as before.
“How does this guy handle this frisky feline?” The detective gave Benson the back of his free hand to sniff. Benny grumpled a little, but then began wagging his tail.
“Just fine, actually – I had to take both or neither of them at the pet store when I saw Benson. It seems they were practically litter mates and now they are best friends. They even play together.” Their games of “can’t catch me” when the two of them tore through the house never failed to make Emily stop what she was doing and watch, usually rolling with laughter and encouraging the chase. When both were done rampaging they both demand her lap. Friskers almost always claimed the left thigh, especially if Emily was sitting on the couch, and Benny claimed the right.
“Amazing,” Det. Clay Spells said, giving a good rub and scratch to both of the boys in Emily’s life. Silence crept uncomfortably near until the ticking of the clock on the mantle was quite loud. Benny sneezed suddenly and both Emily and Spells jumped and gave nervous smiles.
Emily was pretty sure Spells thought she was pretty. Emily glanced down at the floor quickly. She just needed to relax.
“Would you like to see the letter I received?”
“Yes, Why don’t you show me that first – do you know the sender?”
Emily led the way to the small dining room/kitchen area. She had collected all of the packaging she could find and each present and put them on the dining table. The line was eerie now the true meaning of why he had sent them. Since the letter was in the last present, Emily, Benny still in her arms, handed the nice policeman the horrible letter.
At first Detective Spells didn’t seem overly concerned. Emily watched as he re-read the letter again. “This came with this?” Carefully, he raised the cover of the journal with a pen he secured from his breast pocket. Emily said it was and waited. “A picture, a pen, and a diary; all shipped from Detroit; no return address…. This is obviously a death threat,” he said, almost waving the letter in his hand.
“Are you seeing anyone Ms. Post?” Those hazel eyes were hard and masked. The animal lover and the man who thought she was pretty (unless it had all been an act) were put away.
“Have you been seeing anyone?”
“How about in the last several years, have you had any romances to end unpleasantly?”
Emily answered just as seriously as the question was asked, “I haven’t dated anyone seriously since college.” Emily felt her cheeks beginning to burn. Why was she blushing? It was the truth. Raj Darji was the last man she had dated, had a relationship with, and that had been a very long time ago. It wasn’t that she hadn’t desired someone or just had physical needs, but there was more to a person than just lust and the opportunities she had had since in men had left a lot to be desired. They had been uber superficial and almost entirely concerned with sex. They hadn’t really wanted to get to know her – they just wanted to figure out how many dates it would take for her to sleep with them, as if there was a rule. Emily didn’t say all of this to the handsome detective, but she answered truthfully.
The last date she had been on was when her cousin, Thelma, had set her up with a co-worker for New Year’s Eve because Thelma didn’t want Emily alone on the holiday and because she was seeing said co-worker’s brother. The brother didn’t want his sibling to be alone on New Year’s Eve either so they had been thrown together.
Thelma worked at the local main office of Fifth Third Bank as a loan officer so the people she worked with were pretty down-to-earth.
“It was fun dressing up and going out, but there wasn’t any attraction or familiarity between me and the man I was set up with.”
“Do you remember his name?” the detective asked. He had already written several lines in a notebook.
“Felix Allender – he is gay,” she said softly.
“Did he discuss his sexual orientation with you?”
“Oh no, I could…just tell. He tried super hard to show me a good time, but there was something that was being forced the whole night. He was very nice and pure gentleman. He kept texting someone all evening.” Emily could feel just how secretive Felix was about his sexual preference and relationship the secret relationship he was having with another one of his brother’s friend
“Felix tried to show me a good time and that he was “into me” as he kept saying.” It was painful how scared Felix was of his brother finding out he was gay. Felix was sure that if, and when, his brother found out, he would be disowned…perhaps by the entire family. Emily hadn’t thought at the time any of the horrors Felix had in his head would come about, but you can’t ever tell with people sometimes. She didn’t say all of this to the detective though, other than she had a date because of her cousin, his name, and that he was gay.
“If you talk to him, please don’t ask him about his sexual preference in public. He is very shy and afraid of what will happen if his family finds out,” Emily said.
“How do you feel about your date being gay?”
“I had a good time, and he kissed me at Midnight, but there wasn’t anything to it, and he was just as relieved as I was when the night was over.”
“He told you this?”
“No, I could just tell. You know what I mean.” Benny gave a soft gruff as if reinforcing Emily’s innuendo. Spells smiled and scratched behind one of Benny’s ears, which sent one of his back legs kicking ever so slightly.
“I need a complete statement, would you mind coming downtown?” Emily agreed and deposited Benny carefully onto the floor at her feet. The detective was already collecting the items together. “We can have them dusted for finger prints at the station. I don’t believe it will hurt any evidence if I take them with us. You have been handling them already. Have you used any of the items?” Emily shook her head. “That’s good. We might actually get some good details. Don’t worry about taking your car. I’ll drive you there and back. We can talk on the way to see if you think of anything else.”
He reached out and placed a hand on Emily’s shoulder. “I know you’re scared. I would be, too; but you did the right thing. You aren’t alone in this now. I am taking this seriously – just as seriously as you are. I’m hoping, though, this is just someone trying to scare you, but it could be a stalker at the very least, and … something very bad at the worst. You aren’t alone, Emily. I promise to help.” Emily relaxed at these words. She nodded, accepting the aid Spells was giving her.
“Thank you,” she said, and she meant it from the bottom of her heart. There was no doubt this psycho had killed before. She knew he had killed before. “Death” was quite proud of his success rate, too. Emily couldn’t tell Spells any of this, though. He was a “facts’ sort of person and didn’t give too much credence to psychic mumbo-jumbo.
- A Story of Emily Post, by Henrietta Asher Handy (kmgn.me)
- A Story of Emily Post – Part II (kmgn.me)
- A Story of Emily Post, Part III (kmgn.me)
- What to Wear: Black Tie (theladiesguide.wordpress.com)