I can't really believe what I am hearing. Jeff is sat staring at the coffee mug stain on my table as I try to let his words sink in. He is my friend, I've known him for years but I can't believe what has just been said. Danny is dead. My ex fiancé, the lying cheating scumbag is dead and I am supposed to somehow catch the killer, before Detective Frosty Knickers gets her claws into me. I know the woman hates me and was convinced Danny had murdered the woman in my bedroom. I understand that she doesn't like to be proven wrong but Danny was innocent. Was. I hate thinking of him in the past tense. Until ten minutes ago I was convinced he was alive and annoying in prison the other end of the country. Now Jeff is waiting for me to say something.
"I am a nurse."
"I am not a detective. I am not a copper. And, more's to the point I am not a killer!" His eyes snap up to meet mine. "Jeff. You have to know how ridiculous you sound. Me? A suspect and you expect me to exonerate myself by tracking down the real killer. I don't even know how Danny died."
"He was found in his cell."
"OK." I hold my hands up. "And he had been to the hospital, for what?"
"That covers a multitude of sins. A fracture? A sprain, soft tissue injury, tendons? Achilles injury. Bloody Hell, Jeff!" I am on the verge of screaming. I had known Danny for years, loved him when I didn't think I would ever fall for someone. If I'm honest, he was the first proper boyfriend I had since qualifying as a nurse. He didn't mind the shifts, or the unreal hours I sometimes have to work. Now I know why. "How did he hurt his ankle?"
"Cell mate said he fell off the top bunk in the cell. He was sharing with a Jay O'Connor."
"Landed awkwardly. The black eye suggested that wasn't the whole story but neither of them wanted to tell any more. Danny insisted he had been trying to reach the bunk below while on his bunk and had fallen out." Jeff explained.
"Right." I run a hand through my dark hair, shorter than it has been for a long time. Having two broken arms made looking after long hair hard work so chopped it off. "And I am guessing you already talked to this Jay again?"
"He's not changing his story."
"So, he's pleading innocence. Danny was at the hospital where I work, when I wasn't there and now he's dead. You seem to think that Frosty the Incompetant Copper is out for my blood and now what? He could have died from a head injury, if he lied and said he didn't have one, but had a black eye, if you say he broke his ankle there could have been a fat embolism, a DVT."
"If it travels to the heart or the brain it can be fatal." I explain as Jeff runs a hand over his face. "You know they'll pick up for that on the post mortem."
"Has he had a PM yet? Its a suspicious and unexplained death." I choke the last word out. Death, in relation to Danny seems alien. I don't want to cry. I am still angry at him. I still can't believe he has done what he has done. Jeff looks up as I stare at him. In a second he is at my side, holding my hand as he waits for me to calm down.
"I'm fine." Spike has jumped on the sofa, staring at me. "I just don't understand. I really don't. How can she even think I am involved in this when I am not even in contact. I wasn't even in contact with Danny." I sniff before turning my head away, almost on the verge of tears. If there is anything you should know about me, it is that Ellen Lincoln is not a cryer. Ann, yes at the drop of a hat - especially if she thinks it will get her somewhere but not me. I don't. I just. Don't. My Dad died and I didn't cry at the funeral. I am known, wrongly for being a hard bitch. Jeff pulls me towards him, kisses my hair and hugs me the way a father would hug an upset daughter. I screw my eyes shut as he tells me that I have to find the clues, find the killer and that he has faith in me. I nod, glad that someone does. The truth is I really don't know how. Pulling away, I wipe my eyes on my sleeves.
"I need to know what she has. I need to talk to this Jay. He might tell me the truth. After all, I'm a nurse. Not a copper."
"Yeah." Jeff smiles slightly, still clearly worried. "Yeah, he might."
A/n if you are reading this, thankyou so much. A review would be lovely.