Ella pushed the door open and dropped her bag in the entryway of her two-story home. Finally home at 9 am. Ted would probably be at work by now, so she had some time to decompress on her own. The sounds of paws clattering across the wood floors grew louder as their golden Labrador barrelled towards her.
She smiled and reached out her arms for the welcome unconditional love.
“Hey Samson,” she cooed as the dog nuzzled into her, then ran towards the kitchen. Samson was still a puppy at one year old, and his spatial awareness was non-existent; something they were often reminded of as he knocked down tables, chairs, and anything else that wasn’t nailed to the floor.
Ella closed the front door and shuffled towards the kitchen. She hadn’t slept since yesterday, so her boss had insisted she ‘grab a few winks’ then report back later this afternoon. She wasn’t sure if sleep was going to come; not with another Murder App victim currently in the morgue. When she’d heard about Lucy, Ella had been in danger of spiraling. After 10 years on the job, her heart broke a little more with each devastating case that came her way.
Lucy had been her roommate and best friend, and the guilt about not seeing her before it was too late, was starting to eat her up inside. It was only when her boss agreed to waive the conflict and let her be involved in the investigation when the flutter of anxiety settled. She could focus on making it right, instead of only blaming herself for doing nothing to stop it.
Ella opened the fridge and the aroma of spaghetti, which ordinarily made her salivate, made her stomach flop over. She closed the door and shook her head at Samson, standing over his food bowl. “No buddy. I’m sure Daddy’s fed you already.” The dog whined in protest, then stuck out his tongue in that way that made it look like he was smiling. She smiled in return and rubbed behind his ear as she moved into her bedroom.
The bed was made, and a pair of her pajamas were set out on her side of the bed with a handwritten note. She chuckled and shook her head as she picked up the note and read her husband’s neat scrawl.
‘Thought you may need to crash, so I fed the dog and laid out some comfy PJ’s. Get some rest, I’ll see you later.”
Her husband’s thoughtfulness was overwhelming. Combined with the emotion of the Murder App case, it was too much and she allowed tears to silently trickle down her face as she collapsed onto the bed. Samson trotted into the room and licked her arm in support. She smiled down at him and wiped her nose on her sleeve before standing and changing for the fitful sleep she was sure would come.
She hid under the covers and let Samson snuggle up at the end of the bed.
They had to find the man who was killing these women. Lisa Renner made three, and he was killing one every two weeks. His cyber skills gave her boss cause to bring in the cyber division, and she had a meeting with them at 4 pm. Hopefully, she’d get enough rest to not look like a drunken raccoon by then.