CXVI:Secrets Broken(8)By: Angie Smith
She scrunched up her nose.
“If we work together we can prove your innocence.”
“I don’t need any help from you, Woods will realise his mistake. He couldn’t see exactly what happened. I shot the chair arm. The bullet that killed Guilford-Johnston must have come through the window.”
“Yes, the one that has just been replaced. They’re in there now, clearing up the mess and planting evidence to link you to the crime. The chair arm with the bullet embedded in it has been replaced and they’ll use that bullet and claim it was the one that actually killed Guilford-Johnston. Unfortunately, they have images of you pointing the gun at him.”
“The guys from the Maserati radioed in with the assumption you were heading to Bedford’s office. By the time the agents arrived you were already there and one of the marksmen setting up station in the multi-storey car park across the road had a live telescopic camera on his weapon. It filmed you. The decision was immediately made to take out Guilford-Johnston, blaming you… Now, do you want this drink or not?”
She sighed. She needed to rehydrate so she took it reluctantly. “You drink some first,” she said, offering it back.
He acquiesced. “There, it’s safe for you to drink. And by the way, it isn’t scalding hot, so forget throwing it in my face.”
She sipped some. “Thank you,” she replied.
He stepped close and placed his arms around her tiny waist. He was standing so near she could almost taste his cologne. He’d ventured into her personal space and she hated men there. “If you try anything my knee will connect so sharply with your testicles that you’ll be on the floor in seconds.”
He laughed. “I’m just checking your pockets,” he said, pulling out the scissors. “I don’t want you damaging the sofas. I’ll put them back in the first aid kit.”
“I can see I’ll have to be more inventive.”
“There’s no need, if we work together we’ll be able to prove your innocence.”
She felt uneasy about the whole situation, really uneasy. She needed proof of what he’d claimed. But where was she going to get that? She needed time to think so she decided to play along. “Is this where you live?” she asked.
He pointed across the room at one of the windows. “I live in The Mansion House over there. This is the Stable Block. There are three garages and four unused stables below us, and this is my studio where I work.”
“Planning all your murders?”
“Amongst other things,” he said smiling, and then he fell silent.
Now she wondered if she was pushing things too far. “Where are we?” she asked quickly.
“About ten minutes from where you live.”
“We’re in West Yorkshire!”
“Near Grange Moor, half a mile from Briestfield.”
She went over to the window, moved the blinds and looked across at the house. “You own that!”
He nodded. “It was a gift.”
“From whom?” She’d already guessed the answer.
“Gerrard Crean; he’d bought it for Ramírez. It’s not far from where Pauline and he used to live back in the 90s.”
“There’s no wonder she asked for £10m… This is where he committed adultery with her.”
Williams nodded knowingly.
“And you’ve been based here all the time, less than ten miles from the Police HQ.”
“Cut the small talk, Maria, I need to know where I stand… Are we going to work together or not? The choice is yours.”
She didn’t reply.
Sunday 10th June – Monday 11th June
It was just before midnight when Foster arrived at the murder scene. He’d been on the A628, where the Maserati was forced off the road, when he’d received the call from the Incident Room advising him to go straight to Albion Bedford’s offices. He parked at the end of the street, walked down to the police cordon and held up his ID. He was pointed in the direction of two suited men speaking to uniformed officers.
“Detective Chief Superintendent Foster,” he said, approaching the group.
“Rufus Granger,” one of the suited men replied, offering his right hand.