Katherine pointed a finger at me, tossed her head and snarled. The nail was cracked and chewed. She spat out the words.
‘If you divorce me, I’ll kill you. And her.’
That was weeks ago, and D I Johns stared at the mantelpiece where wedding photos of my beloved took pride of place, he sometimes glancing at me, then his notes, pen poised.
‘You reported her missing, Mr. Drake.’ He looked up. ‘Three days after a tiff…your words…about a certain…’ he studied his notes…‘Elle McBride.’ His lips formed a thin smile. ‘A friend of yours, you said.’
Outside, two plods were digging up my newly-laid flowerbed. I sighed. Ignored my protestations. All they would – could find – was her wedding ring. The one she hurled at me as she stormed out, and her one-fingered insult.
‘Fuck you, Stephen, and your friggin’ wedding ring. Stick it up your tramp’s arse.’
I was shaking my head when she slammed the door. Now it was secreted. Like her…
‘Yes’, I said. ‘It was nothing serious. I’m sure Ms. McBride can confirm that.’
D I Johns grimaced. ‘What wasn’t serious? The altercation – sorry, tiff – or your relationship with Elle McBride? Platonic, you said.’
He had me there. On both counts. And that’s why his team were desecrating my patch. Wrong place, but hey there - a little misdirection...
‘Stephen,’ Elle had said. ‘We’re in it together. Your teeny-weeny duckling. She hugged me, giggled in the moonlight, showing me her finger. ‘Until death do us part.’
Katherine, her canvas sack weighed down by a handful of bricks, embraced pond life. A fitting end, hours away.
I nodded. D I Jones looked disappointed. Maybe he expected more from me. He produced a dirtied ring. In a bag marked Exhibit A. ‘We found this earlier. Forensics tell me there’s DNA on it. Distinct samples. X and Y chromosomes. One male, two females.’
Ugh. I knew Elle shouldn’t have worn it. Show-off. That’s why I retrieved it from her, and slipped it under the bridal roses. White ones.
Too clever by half.
Fuck you, Katherine.