Catherine thought that her fiance Dominic was gone from her life after he was retuned to his native US after a posting in Italy. Little did she know what life had in store for her when a heartbreaking event bought them back together.
Catherine Quinn slept peacefully in her bed. It was a Saturday, the one day she could have a lie in and not worry about being late for anything. Her two young daughters, Theresa and Dominique were asleep in their bedroom of the two-bed apartment, the family pets asleep at the foot of the children’s beds.
Shortly before three that morning the phone rang. A loud, irritating and insistent ringing. Sleepily Catherine reached over and answered it. “Hello. Quinn residence.” She said softly brushing her long dark hair out of her face. Looking at her alarm clock she pulled a face. She thought for a moment it was her older sister calling, drunk or upset to talk.
“Miss Quinn this is Detective Hill. Do you have someone with you I have some bad news.” The man’s voice said. Catherine was wide-awake now. She had not expected to hear a man’s voice and most certainly not a voice she knew well. Detective Benjamin Hill. She knew Detective Hill quite well, due to her volunteer work with victim support the two nights of the week that her children were at fireflies. Detective Hill’s wife Miranda, known to all and sundry as Mirry ran the fireflies group.
“No Detective only my children.” She said. There was silence at the other end of the phone then he spoke again. “Ma’am would you mind if I came over to your address?” he asked. His request seemed a little strange and she found herself in a state of hyper alertness as she sat bolt upright in her bed.
“I suppose not.” She smiled as she pushed her covers back and got out of bed. “Thank you ma’am.” Hill said and terminated the call.
Catherine washed as quickly and quietly as she could then pulled on her underwear followed by jeans and a sweater. Her shoulder length hair was hastily brushed and pulled back into a ponytail. A handbag was prepared in case she had to leave suddenly and go anywhere. While she waited she prepared a pot of coffee and drank a cup sweetened with Cinnamon coffee syrup to calm her nerves. She could not help but feel that no good would come of what she was about to hear.
About thirty minutes later the detective was at the door. Catherine opened the door and beckoned him inside. Officer Ben Hill was a little over five feet ten inches tall and was African American by birth, slim built with close cropped black hair he was always a friendly face at the Victim Support Center and one she was glad to see when things got hard. “Hey Cat. I didn’t realise it was you till I looked at the address again.” He said in his usual easy-going manner. “I have some bad news.” He stated as neutrally as he could. “Okay Ben just say it.” She said as she sat in the seat that he offered her. “We got a call about an hour ago that your sister’s been killed. From what we are able to ascertain your brother in law killed her and then himself in their hotel room. He was on leave from the Army.” Hill fell silent for a moment. “I asked Miranda to come and sit with the children. We have to go identify your sister at the hospital in New York City and they are asking you for permission for an operation on the officer that was injured. An officer um…” Ben checked his notebook. “Dominic Barelli.” Benjamin knew that she would not be overjoyed to travel to New York which at this time of day would only take 30 minutes from their sleepy little town of Fishers Bay.
Fisher Bay was a small fishing community on the New York Coastline. Many of its inhabitants lived in the town and commuted into the city for work. Catherine herself had been fortunate enough to find work as a Legal Administrative assistant in the small town.
What little colour Catherine had left in her face vanished completely at the mention of the Detective’s name. “What happened?” She asked as she stood up quickly. “Will Mirry be long?” She asked. Catherine and Ben’s wife Miranda had become firm friends since they had met at a police function the previous Easter. “Not long Cat. What’s wrong?” Benjamin asked standing and looking concerned. Catherine had picked up her handbag and was now checking it for her identification. Finding her passport, she slipped it into her jeans pocket.
“Dominic Barelli? Six foot tall? Built like a brick outhouse? Used to be in the military?” She asked. Hill thought for a moment and nodded. “That’s Detective Barelli. Not sure about the military part though.” Hill admitted. Suddenly it fell into place. “Your Dominic?” He asked as she nodded. Thankfully she was spared from giving any further explanation as Miranda chose that moment to walk in. Catherine grabbed her coat . Miranda smiled at her. “Just go. I’ll see to the children. Don’t worry.” Miranda smiled as she virtually pushed them out of the door.
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