Michael shook his head. It was his Jane Doe again. As he drove up, he saw her plain as day. Now, she was going under the name Sara. But was it her real name? He doubted it.
All he knew was that people she got close to ended up disappearing. They would resurface, or Nelson had. So he felt that Dom would resurface as well. As with Nelson, Dom’s car was conspicuously missing. This time, though, there was no freezer on the curb.
He looked over at her. And she was still alive. Very odd for a murderer, unless they were taunting or toying with their intended victim, to leave a possible witness. Something was a bit off about the whole case, but he couldn’t put his finger on it.
But, then, there was something odd about Jane Doe as well. Why had she picked the name Sara? Why, if someone was stalking her, was she never touched when they broke in and abducted her lovers? And how did she always end up on the sofa? Oh, yes, he was sure she would claim the same.
She had awakened on the sofa. She did not remember the night’s activities. She would have no recollection of anyone else being in the house other than her and Dom. She was a blank slate. These memories would be erased almost as quickly as they had been made.
She would remember her lovers, but not their names. She would insist that they had been taken from her or left. Never the obvious. He rubbed his eyes.
Getting out of his car, he waited for Reilly, Danforth and Marcel to join him before approaching her. Just because she looked broken, he reminded himself mentally, doesn’t mean she is as broken as she looks. He heard her tell the 9-1-1 operator that he had arrived, then watched as she held the phone out to him. He took it.
“Hello,” he began, “Detective Sherman, here. I am now on the scene with other officers.”
The operator thanked him for the confirmation and then hung up. He handed the handset back to the Jane Doe. She accepted it.
“What’s going on?” He asked sternly. “You know we found your last lover stuffed in a freezer at the landfill, don’t you?”
“Officer,” she began, shakily, “I-I don’t really know what is going on. I woke up on the couch this morning. When I looked around, I saw a note on the table and Dom…gone. Oh God, I hope he isn’t back!”
“He, who?” Michael inquired.
“Whoever was following me Lats year,” She replied emotionally, “I think he wants to harm me.”
“Stay out here,” he replied, motioning for Reilly and Danforth to head inside. Marcel made a motion as if asking if he should go as well. Michael nodded. All three entered the now abandoned house. “Did you have a fight with him? Anything to make him leave without waking you?”
“No,” she replied, “We went out and enjoyed the parade and then had a meal at a wonderful restaurant. Afterward, we went to the clubs and danced. Neither of us drank very much. I had one or two drinks, he didn’t have any. After dancing, we came home and went to bed.”
“Did you go to bed with him? Or did you lay down on the couch?” Michael pressed.
“I went to bed with him,” she stated, “we made love, then fell asleep.”
“So,” he breathed, confused, “you have no idea how you got to the couch.” It was more of a statement.
“No,” she averred, “nor do I know where the note came from.”
He scratched his head. Nothing about this case was making sense. Men just didn’t up and disappear. Especially not those that were so happy with the woman in their lives. It just didn’t happen.
Dominic was such a straitlaced man. Nothing in his past or on recent record that hinted at any wrongdoing. He had a job most people would kill for, owned his home, had a fancy car that was now missing, and a beautiful fiancee whom he obviously loved deeply. No one walks away from that. No one.
But now, he also knew that she was not being followed by her attacker. Someone had seen to that. Who was the mystery. But he was not her stalker.
But who was, if she did have one? They had to have been strong enough to get that old chest freezer to the curb. And she sure did not look strong enough to. But looks could be deceiving.
He shook the thought from his mind. She was genuinely scared. Almost to the point of hysterics. This was not the usual reactions of a killer. At least, none he had ever witnessed.
Marcel returned, shaking his head. He seemed mystified about something. “Dey be no clues,” he mumbled, “Jus’ as the las’ time. Nothin’ make sense no mo’.”
Michael turned to her. “We will need a sample of your handwriting,” he requested, “Just for reference.” He saw her perplexed look. “It is procedure. Especially in cases where notes have been left.”
She nodded, then took the small notebook and pen from him. He watched her meticulously and carefully crafted each letter. She did not hurry. Her letters were the most beautiful he had ever seen. And extremely feminine.
Reilly and Danforth also emerged from the house, perplexed. Danforth had bagged and tagged the note. He held it in his right hand as he emerged. he handed it to Michael as he drew near to his friend. He looked over at her with a puzzled look on his face.
“There was a definite crime here, Mike,” he began, “but as with the first, we have no body and no weapon. Nor any of the other clues.”
“I suggest we close this place off,” Reilly suggested, “and get a crew down here to see if they can’t do a more thorough search. Maybe we missed something.”
Michael nodded, then looked at her. “Sara, I would suggest that you go get what possessions you can, then find somewhere you can stay for now. When we are done with the house, we will let you know.”
She nodded, then went in. She gathered her suitcase, which still held what money she’d had from her last boyfriend, then packed the clothes she had arrived with. Perhaps she would return for the rest after the police were through with the house. But then, again, maybe not. She removed the ring, a tear running down her cheek. She doubted he was going to return. They never did.