"I don't know... I'm so sure I've almost got it figured out," I said, shaking a fry in my hand as I spoke. I popped it in my mouth and took a sip of my strawberry-banana smoothie. Hodge invited me to a local cafe` for brunch. It was one of my favorite places to came and think, not to mention the food here is great.
"I suppose I have gotten pretty far in my investigation, especially when you compare it to my first couple of days. There's something about this KidWolfFang character... He definitely is a shady one..."
Hodge nodded in agreement and took a drink out of his coffee mug. He was listening, that much I could tell, but he was looking out of the large window beside us.
"I don't understand how you could still come here in confidence," he said, not taking his gaze from the window. He was looking down the sidewalk across the street, "the crime scene is just a few blocks away."
"Well, you were the one who called me here!" I reasoned. He merely shrugged.
" Only cause I knew you do your best work here..."
I smiled at him, and asked, "About KidWolfFang... did you get to look up his records like I asked?"
"Kinda," Hodge said, rolling his eyes in annoyance, "All I got was that he stole some petty things like gum, magazines, and a back scratcher... that is until the computer broke down..."
"What?" I almost stood out of my seat. "But that computer is the best one they have down at the lab! It has to be in top condition!..." I leaned in and quietly suggested, " do you think it's the work of hackers?"
"It has to be..." Hodge sighed...
We carried on eating before he spoke again.
"I can't believe you made such a big deal about a little paperclip." He chucked under his breath.
"Yeah.. I guess it WAS a bit irrational... sweatdrop " I murmured. I couldn't help but laugh, too, "But it was hard trying to find evidence in those conditions! Not to mention how late, er.. early, it was!"
"Yeah, I guess we all just wanted to go home..."
I nodded and drank more of my smoothie.
"Speaking of which, did the guys at the lab analyze the evidence?" I asked. It has been on my mind for a while, but I never had the opportunity to ask.
I was answered hesitantly at first.
"Weeell," his words were drawn out as if he didn't want to say, but he did, "they glanced at some of them... what they really took their time on were the things like the gloves... especially the gloves."
"And?" I glanced up at him with my head down in an almost demanding fashion.
"Well... we got a set of prints..."
"That's great! Who do they belong to?"
Hodge sighed, rubbing his neck like he was tense and under a lot of pressure.
"An employee at the place where the victim was found."
"That's not bad news, that great! I'll go interrogate him right now!" I gathered my belongings and began to go when Hodge stopped me in my tracks.
"Ivey, wait," he motioned. I eased back into my seat with thoughts of confusion racing through my mind. "You can't go down there to investigate..."
"What?! Why not? This person is now the prime suspect, and may even let Muphin off the hook! It's crucial we get as much information from him as possible!" I almost shouted. My voice hadn't quite raised yet, but I got the attention of the cashier.
Hodge waved at the man, who went back to working.
"Well... the people down at the police department and such don't think you are the best choice for this big of a job ever since the paper clip incident... They don't think you are as rational as the case requires, and they're making you work on the small parts while they process the major aspects..." he finally said.
I slumped back in the booth in total awe... After some time, I looked up Hodge with betrayal written all over my face. "You, too, eh?" He looked down at his thumbs with shame and shrugged, the corner of his lips pulling back in the same gesture.
"Ok, then... I'll solve this case alone... without the prime suspect... I'll find the murderer without CSI or the PD..." I took my things and hurried off out the door. Hodge hadn't even looked up, but merely basked in his shame.
So.. they didn't believe in me, eh? Well, then, I'll have to prove them wrong. I'll show them... all of them...
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