“Where’s the body now?”
“In the morgue already, Detective Sergeant.”
“It’s been moved from the crime scene already? What’s the damn hurry?” he inquired from the constable in front of him. The young man just shrugged. How in the hell was he supposed to deal with a crime scene when the body was missing? How was he supposed to gather evidence in relation to the victim if that vital piece of the puzzle was missing? James threw up his hands, and left.
Detective Sergeant James Fraser was seriously considering an early retirement. The job was wearing on him. Every day the same thing. Murder. Mayhem. Liars. Drug Addicts. Runaways.
The perpetrators seemed to get younger and younger. Which was a peculiar thing for him to think since he was only in his 30s. James had joined Scotland Yard at 23. He rose quickly through the ranks with his clever mind, and a work ethic that rivaled men many years his senior. He was single, which was fine. So far the couple of girlfriends he’d had couldn’t handle his job. They hated his hours, the way he detached himself from society in order to stay sane. He took to the outdoors to clear his mind. He left London every chance he could to hike the countryside, sometimes taking nothing but his grandfather’s plaid as a blanket, a backpack of food, and a small tent.
James was a Highlander, born and bred. He was often teased about his broad Scots accent at the precinct, but he didn’t care. They could say what they wanted about his speech, they couldn’t deny his skill as an investigator.
Which was another reason why he was considering early retirement. Most days he was surrounded by incompetence.
And right now he needed to pay a visit to the new medical examiner in order to ascertain why protocol had been abandoned.
Dr. Randall was not yet satisfied with her new digs. The old Examiner kept a very shoddy house. The Morgue had been a mess. Files in disarray, and improperly managed. Some notes were illegible, and nothing in the drawers were grouped in any sort of order, that she could see. The instruments were scarce, some rusted.
She made an inventory of what she needed. She contacted the cleaning staff and had them come to the Morgue immediately to scrub it and make it worthy of the medical facility it was.
She liked being a Medical Examiner. It was a solitary profession. Quiet. Simple. No more losing patients, facing loved ones with the news. But beyond that, being an M.E. afforded her the reclusiveness she craved. No one to give her dirty or inquisitive looks. No one to gossip about her personal or professional life. Here she could hide her talents.
Talent as a doctor.
Talent as an intuitive.
She got tired of the “how did she know that?” questions that plagued her over the years when working in a hospital in Boston. She’d gotten better at holding her visions inside until she could find the medical evidence and precedent needed from other cases to support them. But as an M.E. she could be herself with no one to see her.
Now, with her husband dead, she had moved back to London to start over. A new life. A life in which she wasn’t cheated on, or made to “play nice” with boring, stuffy academics. A life where “keeping up appearances” could go straight to hell. She wasn’t the meek and obedient type, which was what Frank had wanted. She’d married far too young. Married too long to an intolerant man.
The only men she wanted to spend time with now were cold on a slab in front of her.
She walked over to the morgue’s refrigerator, and pulled open the only occupied drawer. The body needed to be examined, but she had to set up a few things first.
She closed the drawer, and turned to walk away when the double doors to the morgue were flung open. She registered five things.
Tall. Red headed. Broad shouldered. Handsome as the devil.
And decidedly pissed off.