Kevin sat sipping his coffee and nibbling at the muffin as he watched customers come and go. Every few moments, someone would enter the shop. Some ordered a coffee, latté, espresso, or cappuccino; some ordered muffins; and some ordered both; but all left the shop and continued on their ways. Another employee hurried from the back, a stocky young man, his arms loaded with boxes full of muffins probably for delivering to local businesses. He bustled out just as another patron was entering. It was Sharptwig.
The policeman stepped inside and cautiously surveyed the room. When his eyes came to Kevin, he nodded slightly and then ordered himself a coffee. He walked over and slid into the booth, sitting sideways so that his back was to the wall and his right leg was drawn up onto the seat. Kevin noted that this allowed his companion to see around the room while they talked.
“Everybody okay?” asked Sharptwig when he had settled into the booth.
“So far so good,” Kevin replied. “Jeannie and Heather are at the hospital with Jake. He’s awake and is being moved to a regular room today.”
The policeman nodded and smiled, yet something seemed to be troubling him.
“That’s good,” he remarked. Then, after a pause, he looked hard at Kevin. He leaned forward. “There have been . . . some developments. I am trying to process them myself, so I’m not sure how to tell you.” Kevin waited expectantly for him to continue. Sharptwig nervously took a sip from his cup. “The first thing I have to tell you is that I’m being taken off the case of your sister and brother-in-law’s assault. In fact, the matter is considered closed by my commanding officer.”
Kevin was startled. “What do you mean ‘closed’? Have they caught the men who did it?”
“Well, no, they weren’t ‘caught’ exactly. Their bodies were found along a back road outside of town. Each had a fatal bullet wound. They were found up on Tatum’s Ridge Road. From what I understand, they apparently shot each other in some drug-related dispute.”
Kevin did not know what to say at first. Then, “Does that mean it’s over?”
“Officially, yes,” Sharptwig answered
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