A week before the wedding, Stella and Samson decided to have a farewell getaway to wrap up their affair that had been going on for years.
They both planned to cook up lies about traveling out of the country so they could be together, while they actually meant to remain in the city, at an exquisite resort that Lizzy, one of Stella’s friends had recommended.
They spent the first couple of days doing things Samson’s way. They spent most of the time in bed, which Stella had no qualms with, but lounging by the poolside or taking a stroll round the park in the evening wasn’t Stella’s style.
Being quite eccentric, Stella wanted to have some fun. She tried to talk Samson into having some wild adventures together, but Samson wouldn’t have it. He tried to play safe, given what had happened over the past days with Susan.
On the day Jannice had her shower, Stella and Samson were feeling cosy, while they trifled about unconventional places where they’d had sex in the past. They both made out individual lists, and it was with little surprise that Stella came ahead.
“An operating theatre? Really?”, Samson said in awe as he checked out Stella’s list.
“Yes! It was back in my university days when I was seeing this medical student. He didn’t want to do it there initially. He kept on whining just like you always do about playing safe, but in the end, he thanked me for talking him into it.” Stella narrated, while she gave Samson a sly wink.
“You certainly are crazy.” Samson declared lightly.
“Crazy? Not even close. What’s crazy is that we made out in the theatre while an operation was ongoing.” Stella boasted.
“Gosh!” Samson exclaimed.
“What if you’d been caught?” Samson queried.
“It wouldn’t have been the end of the world.” Stella replied with a shrug.
Samson was still checking Stella’s list when she received a text from Josephine, informing her that her husband just had a heart attack, and that they had all moved over to the hospital to be with him.
Stella paused for a while, turned towards Samson, and said: “Let’s do it in your house”
* * *
After Stella confessed of having an affair with Samson, Inspector David remembered Susan’s recorded call, and everything made more sense to him. Susan must have found out about them, and tried to blackmail Samson for it.
For a moment, David wondered whether Stella knew that Susan had found out about the affair or if Susan’s accident wasn’t an accident after all.
“Did anyone else know about your affair with Samson?” David asked what seemed a tricky question for Stella. Again, she wasn’t sure of what the inspector already knew, and didn’t want to risk playing smart with the man who had thus far outsmarted her.
“Yes.” Stella confessed.
“Names?” David asked, picking up his pen.
“Lizzy, Susan and Josephine.” Stella responded.
“Josephine, your daughter?” David queried.
“Yes.” Stella replied.
“Where is she by the way? I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting her.” David noted.
“She’s not in the country. She travelled for an urgent engagement on the eve of the wedding.” Stella explained, while David scribbled down some things on his notepad.
“The names you mentioned; how did the three of them find out?” David asked.
“Lizzy knew from the start. She’s my friend, and we share everything with each other.
Susan caught me with Samson in his apartment a couple of weeks before the wedding, and Josephine caught me kissing him after she got back from Canada last month” Stella confessed.
“Did you know of Susan’s blackmail attempt?” David inquired.
“Yes, I did. And we were going to pay what she demanded for, had she not died from that horrible accident.” Stella replied, looking forlorn.
David thought for a while; so far, he couldn’t think of a motive for Stella to kill Samson. She was his lover, and they had both tried to keep their affair from being exposed when Susan blackmailed them.
David became very curious. He was yet to find a strong lead so far in the investigation, and couldn’t help but feel like he had missed something important; perhaps a vital clue, information or an incidence.
The forensic team’s full report had been behind schedule, much to David’s frustration. He had hoped to get a strong lead from the report in helping to solve the case.
He thought about the entire case all over again, attempting to pin down those who had motives of harming Samson.
Even though James and Samson had a brief scuffle, David didn’t think James would murder his friend as a result, given the fact that they settled their differences almost immediately, as confirmed by Jannice. As for Stella, she hadn’t shown any indication of having a reason to harm him, so David was hesitant to put her in the red zone just yet. However, David had his concerns with Jannice.
David noted how she was quick to sell out both James and her mum, when she could have easily protected either of them. In the end, David came up with the theory that Jannice found out about the affair, killed Samson, and tried to peg her mum for the crime.
Just as quick as he came up with the theory, David rebuffed it. He needed facts, and dealing with theories wouldn’t do him any good.
David had a deep think again, analysing all the characters in the picture. Alas, he realized he had made a big oversight.
“Tell me, how did Josephine react when she caught you and Samson kissing?” David queried.
“She was …”, Stella paused briefly, then continued; “She was shocked”, Stella lied.
“Really?” David remarked.
“Is there a chance that she might have told your husband or her sister about what she saw?” David asked.
“No.” Stella said, rather confidently.
“You sound pretty sure that she didn’t tell on you. Why is that?” David queried.
“I didn’t. I mean, I don’t know if she told anyone.” Stella defended, but was betrayed by the fear in her voice.
“Mrs. Johnson, as a person and an officer of the law, I pride myself in two things above others. First is my ability to read situations, while the other is my ability to read people. And you? You’re making it all too easy for me to read you. So whatever it is you’re playing, please quit trying, for your sake.
“I don’t know who you’re trying to protect; yourself or your daughter. What I do know is that you’re putting yourself in a difficult situation here.
“You know what I think? I think you got worried when Susan found out about you and Samson, so you arranged her accident. I also think you and Josephine tried to kill Samson in a desperate attempt to bury your affair with him completely. Josephine sent you the text to inform you that Samson’s apartment was empty, so you could sprinkle the gift with pollen specks. And I’ve got enough evidence in your recorded confession of being in the apartment after the shower, coupled with the card you tucked into the bag, as well as the text you received from Josephine.
“Now that you know what I think, I’d suggest you dissuade me from reaching a conclusion from my deduction, and tell me what really happened.” David bluffed.
Stella felt cornered. She knew she had to give David what he wanted so he’d get off her neck, so she did.
“I knew Josephine wouldn’t say a thing because she was sleeping with Samson too.”
To be continued…
Click to read Chapter 4 http://mindomata.com/blog/2019/10/27/the-web-chapter-4/