Detective Tan talks to them a little while. Sam admits he was arrested for assault. Emma explains it was because of her dad, and breaks down. Tan leaves with Raleigh, and they talk about the injured man.
"If he's an employee, his prints are on record. We do in depth background checks on all our people. They do a random sweep every six months. If any new offenses show up, the employee is canned. In fact, we just had one a week or so ago."
"Random?" Tan asked.
"It occurs sometime during a six week period. We know it's coming, but not exactly when."
Frank nodded. "Gotcha. So, did it turn up anything?"
Raleigh shrugged. "I'm lower management, Detective. They don't tell me anything. Molly and I run this side. It's completely separate from lock down. That's Dr. Spiner's bailiwick over there. Dr. Stewart is in charge over here, though she probably knows a good bit about that side, too. They are partners, after all."
"In the business?" Frank raised an eyebrow.
"Um—not just the business," Raleigh replied. "In their personal lives. I'm not sure if they're married or not. I'm a little surprised he's not here. We called them both. I left him a voicemail."
"Unless—" Frank began.
"Unless he's our victim," Raleigh concluded.
Robbie and Dr. Stewart helped Sam get Emma upstairs. Their friends waited for them in the hallway. Glenn came forward, helping Sam carry his burden into her room. They laid her on the bed and Emma curled into a ball of misery.
"I'll be right back," Dr. Stewart said, and dashed off. She was back a few minutes later with a syringe. "Emma, I'm going to give you something to help you sleep. It's non-narcotic. Just a hefty shot of Benadryl."
"Okay," Emma mumbled into her pillow.
Dr. Stewart rolled up her sleeve, swiped with alcohol and administered the shot. Sam was allowed to stay with her. He went and put on his pajama bottoms and came back to the room. He lay down behind Emma, curling up behind her.
"Call if you need me," Glenn said. "I'm right across the hall."
Sam nodded, thanking him. Dr. Stewart turned off the lights and closed the door. Sighing, Emma closed her eyes. Sam put a protective arm around her.
"It's okay," he whispered.
Robbie and Dr. Stewart headed to the stairs.
"This could set her back another six months," Dr. Stewart said softly.
"She didn't do anything wrong," Robbie replied as they walked to the stairs. "Neither did our Sam. They're good kids, who got stuck in a bad situation."
"Do you think she saw—anything?"
"No, Sam would make sure. But it's him I'm worried about. I think he saw more than he's saying. I don't mean about the killer.... I don't know, I can't explain it."
"Do they know who it was? Who was hurt?"
"I don't know. Why?"
"Where's Manny?" Dr. Stewart asked, gesturing broadly. "It's not like him not to be here."
"You don't think—? Oh, my God." Robbie put her hand over her mouth.
"They didn't find a wallet or cellphone on him. His face was bashed in."
"They'll run prints, Amanda. It's not Manny."
"Are you sure?" Amanda Stewart's voice broke. "Do you know?"
"No, honey. Just a very strong hope and a prayer."
They went back to the dining room together. Raleigh was there talking with Detective Tan. They stood when the women came in. Dr. Stewart saw the expression on Detective Tan's face.
"No," she gasped, her knees going weak.
Robbie caught her, steadying her friend until the men could reach them. Raleigh held her while Frank Tan grabbed a chair. They lowered her into it.
"Dr. Stewart, I'm sorry to inform you that we've identified the victim."
"It's Manny, isn't it? Dr. Emmanuel Spiner?"
©2020 Dellani Oakes