Page 19 of Just Me


Cami was on the way to interview a murder suspect, someone who might actually have strangled two women. His avatar was a skull, and his in-game persona was tall, dark, and handsome. She felt as if she was on the edge of her seat as she climbed into the car with Connor, and they set off in the direction of Beacon Road to where Guy Vernon lived.

Looking at the darkening streets, she was surprised to see that it was already early evening. She still couldn’t quite take in everything that had happened since her mid-morning appointment at the studio.

She showed it to Connor as they stopped at a light.

“This is what he makes himself out to be?” Connor said, with a note of incredulity.

“That’s right.”

He shook his head.

For the first time that day, she felt that she and Connor were on slightly more of an amicable footing. As if he wasn’t actively resenting every breath she took, which was the way she’d felt on the last car ride going from the FBI headquarters to the pathologist.

He was, however, making her position very clear.

“Let me remind you. You’re not dressed for the role, and you’re not trained for the role. In this confrontation, you are to keep back and let me take the lead. Interviewing a suspect can get dangerous. You are not equipped to handle a situation that blows up on us.”

“Okay, I’ll keep back,” she said. Then, risking a question, she said, “What if I think of something to ask him? Something technical? Can I ask him that?”

Connor frowned. “If the timing is right, yes.”

“What do you mean by that?” she asked.

“I mean, there’s a time to interrupt, and a time when it’ll work against things. I don’t know if you have any instincts or feel for that kind of a situation. Probably not, because you’re more technical.”

Was he insulting her? His voice was very matter of fact, but the implication was that she had no people skills.

Cami bristled instinctively. Of course she had people skills! He was implying that all she knew how to do was IT, like she couldn’t communicate otherwise, like she didn’t have a perfectly good mouth and two ears also!

But then, she rethought. Decided to think logically about what he’d said. Maybe, this time, it wasn’t just personal criticism but simply the fact that she wasn’t experienced in this. At all.

Did she know how to question a murder suspect? She had no idea how that went down. What would happen if he turned violent? It was so far outside of her field of experience that she had no idea what would happen. She didn’t know how to shoot a gun and had never even touched one.

So, for now, she guessed, her experience would all be useless. She was going to be nothing more than a tag-along and a possible safety risk, and she needed to be humble about that and see what she could pick up from watching Connor.

She stared through the windshield of the car. This morning, she’d been thinking about class and her final IT project. Now, she was sitting in a car, on the way to interview a possible murderer.

Had she ever watched a cop show where they’d gone to the suspect’s house and interviewed them? She was sure she’d never seen that.

“Are you going to do what you usually do?” she asked. “I mean when you interview a murder suspect? How does it work?”

Connor frowned. “There’s no typical way to interview murder suspects.”

“No, I mean, are you going to try to get the guy to confess? Which way do you usually angle it?How do you know if he’s telling the truth? What if he gets upset? What if he runs?”

“We’ll deal with that when it happens,” Connor said, his voice deep and low.

He spoke as if he was used to doing this sort of thing all the time. In fact, Cami was pretty sure that he was. It was she who wasn’t.

“There’s the place,” he said with an audible edge of tension in his voice.

Beacon Road looked established and expensive, Cami thought. The homes were set back from the road and most looked to have manicured lawns all around. Lights were shining in several of the windows. Including this home, where they were now pulling up.

Was this the residence of the strangler?

As soon as she got out of the car, Cami’s analytical mind began working overtime. She’d pulled up this guy’s IP address earlier. Now, she was wondering, how smart was his home? Could she log into anything? A home like this was bound to have online features.

Tags: Blake Pierce Mystery
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