Thursday, July 16, 2009


The Somers’ mansion was not visible from the main road. The narrow lined street led them to the brick mansion. Chuck looked at Danica. In their line of work, the probability of ever owning a home in the general vicinity was a stretch; no matter how many hours they plugged in.
Chuck parked behind a shiny black SUV and luxury sedan in the circular driveway. “Looks like they have company.”
Both detectives walked up to the front door knowing that no matter how many times they practiced the speech, it never got easier to tell families their loved one is never coming home.
A tall thin blonde opened the door. She was beaming. “Oh…may I help you?”
“Mrs. Somers?”
“Yes. I’m Liza Somers.” Her vivid blue eyes focused on the badge clipped to Danica’s belt. The smile faded. “How may I help you?”
“I’m Detective Chuck Thomas. This is my partner Danica Cruz. May we come in please?”
“Oh, yes, sure. Where are my manners?” She stepped aside. “Um, look, we have guests right now. What is this about?”
“I’m sorry ma’am, but we really need to speak to your husband.” They stepped into the wide foyer. “Is he here?”
Danica tried to take in as much as she could, maybe get a feel of what they may get when they break the news. But it was hard not to appreciate the workmanship of the entryway. She could only imagine what the rest of the home looked like.
“What’s keeping you?” Rick Somers yelled as he came from the great room. “Oh, I thought you were my daughter. No bother. The more the merrier. Come on back.”
Liza stood quietly next to Rick.
“Please,” Rick turned to them. “Come on out to the deck with us. The governor and his family, are already out there, and we have plenty of coffee and pastries.”
“Unfortunately,” Chuck began. “We’re here on official business. Sir, when was the last time you saw your daughter?”
“What do you mean? I saw her last night. What’s this about?”
Laughter and chatter came from the back of the house.
“If you all don’t hurry back, Dorian is going to eat every croissant out there.” A petite woman with sparkling blue eyes entered the foyer. She was followed by a young couple and a man the detectives knew well.
“Good morning detectives.”
“Good morning Governor Travers.” Danica was the only one to speak. “Nice to see you again sir.”
“Daddy,” the girl whispered. “What’s going on?”
The foyer, as large as it seemed when they arrived, was getting crowded. Chuck looked at Rick Somers. He was in his sixties, but had the spirit and attitude of someone much younger. It was debatable as to how he would look in the days to come.
“Sir,” Danica cautioned. “Maybe you’d like to go somewhere a little more private.”
“Maybe we should leave.” Carrie Travers touched Liza’s arm.
“No, these are my friends…as close as family. Whatever it is, they can stay.”
Rick Somers led the detectives and his guests to the great room.
“Please,” he flashed a worried smile. “Have a seat.”
“Early this morning we received a call from Mildred Douglass." Chuck adjusted himself on the sofa. "I’m so sorry, Mr. Somers, but Tonya was murdered.”

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