“When was the last time you were sober, Jenna?” Paulette asked.
“What?” Jenna was more than a little shocked at the question. “You think I have a problem?”
“You were drunk enough to get a DUI on Saturday night, you polished off a bottle of wine last night after I went to bed, and you’re putting a hurting on that one.” Jenna said evenly. “I’m not saying you have a problem but drinking while the world is going to hell around you is a good way to head in that direction.”
“Well, let’s see, my boyfriend, who was just murdered, ruined my reputation at work by stealing photos off my sister’s FB, work suspended me for a week with no pay pending an investigation as to whether I represent the ‘company’s values’ and now I wait to see if after everything else, I’m charged with murder and become unemployed.” Jenna stretched her feet out and laughed. “A drinking problem is the least of my worries.”
There was a knock on the door and Jenna almost stood up but Paulette was already moving, “You sighted people are so deaf, you know” she quipped on her way past.
Paulette was speaking to someone at the door and Jenna looked at the wine in her glass. It was a good strong cabernet. She felt like easing back into the cocoon of drowsiness and wine and the more she thought about the better the idea seemed to be. Was that the beginning of a problem?
“Good evening.” A large man spoke as he entered the room. “My name is Devon.” He offered his hand and Jenna sat up and shook it.
“You might not remember Devon, Jenna, but he’s the HR rep from the office.” Jenna wasn’t sure she liked Paulette tone; it suggested she didn’t trust Devon.” Jenna noticed that Paulette didn’t offer Devon any tea, or wine, and she didn’t ask him to sit down. Devon, clearly aware of the slight, kept standing and kept smiling.
“I’m an attorney, Jenna, and many people can tell you a lot of lawyer jokes, but right now you are in no position to be humorous.” Devon paused and smiled broadly. “I have more than a few friends at the police department. I took the liberty of securing your entrance back into your home, in exchange for you taking a lie detector test for them. I had them sign a release for your car.”
“You what?” Jenna couldn’t believe what she was hearing. “Why would you do that? Is that legal?”
“They can’t use the results of a polygraph against you.” Devon said smoothly. “But they do believe in them. They would like to eliminate you as a suspect or narrow it down to you. They find it odd that you don’t have a phone or any ID but they’re willing to let you into the house in exchange for your cooperation. I told them I could have you down at the station by four-thirty and we’ll have you inside your home in an hour after the test.” Devon beamed. “Do we have a deal?”
It was odd being back in the house again. Everything was just as she had left it, mostly. Jim had been murdered in the backyard so even though the police had gone through the house thoroughly in two days, it was all the same, mostly. They had given her an hour to get a few things, and Devon waited outside in a truck. Jenna was well aware no one worked for free, and she suspected what Devon’s angle was on this, but she didn’t care. It made her skin crawl to think of sleeping with him just to keep her job, and get the DUI erased, and…her purse. There was her purse, sitting on the kitchen counter. She looked in it, found her pocketbook, and everything was in it. Had she left it here? No, she had it at the bar. Jenna began to shake with rage. Sam. Sam had stolen her purse and had given it to Jim. Jenna bagged up a few items, packed a suitcase with some clothes and left. She nearly forgot but then she smiled. She picked up Jim’s laptop on the way out as well as her own.
“Devon’s specialty is women in distress, Jenna.” Paulette said as Jenna was going through the computer.
“Yeah?” Jenna looked over the top of the computer and grinned. “I think I qualify for it. I know what you’re saying, really, but if it comes down to keeping my job, getting my car back, getting the DUI dropped, and all I have to do is Devon then that’s not a bad deal.” Jenna took a deep drink of wine. “I can get loaded and do it.” Jenna looked at the wine glass and decided a drinking problem might still be the least of her worries.
“It’s a sad day when you have to sleep with a man to get justice.” Paulette said, but she poured them both more wine. “I have an advantage; I wouldn’t have to look at him.”
“Yeah, maybe it won’t come to that, holy shit,” Jenna cursed aloud, “would you look at this email conversation.”
“I would love to, dear,” Paulette drawled.
“No, damn, okay, but one of the things that I picked up at the house was Jim’s little black book of passwords. He could never remember one to save his life. He got into all my accounts, changed the passwords, but they are all here! And he also created a new email account. Listen to this, he and Sam planned this a month ago. He paid her five hundred bucks to set me up so he could get me out of the house. But this is the thing; they’re talking dirty here. I think they were sleeping together.” Jenna say back and looked up at the ceiling. “I am so going to kill her. My own sister sleeping with my boyfriend and plotting against me.”
“Did Jim have any life insurance?” Paulette asked. “You two were together for five years.”
“Yeah, yeah he did,” Jenna replied, “so, wait, let me look it up, let’s see if he cut me out of it.” Jenna searched through the policy. “Damn, no wonder the cops think I did it. He never took me off the life insurance.”
“And yet another reason to sleep with Devon.” Paulette said dryly. “Did he know Jim?”
Jenna’s phone played the opening instrumental to the movie “The Exorcist” and she jumped. Having her phone back again was wonderful. But it scared her when it went off.
“Jenna!” it was Sam. “Oh my god, you aren’t going to believe this!” Sam was crying into the phone but Jenna wasn’t impressed at all.
“Lying and stealing little bitch,” Jenna began, “I found…”
“Listen to me, Jenna, they just found Nick’s body.” Sam was near hysteria now, “somebody killed him.”
End part two.