A woman stumbles over a dead body, thrusting her in the middle of a murder mystery.
In The Middle of a Murder Mystery
Sarah Rainwater was a pretty twenty-seven year old woman, about five feet and five inches tall and with long light brown hair, who enjoyed curling up on her sofa, her comfy chair or in bed with a good romance or mystery suspense to read. She had enjoyed reading from a young age and that is part of what had her decide to become a librarian while she saved up money to own her own bookstore someday. She especially liked Nancy Drew or Agatha Christie novels when it came to mysteries. But she enjoyed reading about them and yes, sometimes watching them in movies and on TV, but she did not enjoy being part of a real-life murder mystery.
Sarah had decided to go return the latest book she had just finished reading to the library where she worked, even though it was her day off. It was about 6:20pm when she left her house with her earphones in, listening to her favorite band from music she had downloaded on her cellphone as she walked the mile it took to get her from her house to the library. She returned the book, looked at the list of books she still wanted to read, and then checked out the next book on the list. She didn't even bother turning off her music to check out the book since the librarian working that evening was a friend of hers, since they had both been working at that library and sometimes the same shift, for the past couple of years. Her friend simply put the stamp in the appropriate place and made sure Sarah saw when the book was due back and then Sarah was on her way again. At around 7 o'clock, Sarah was on her way back home, still listening to her music. She was just jamming along, walking in beat to the music and singing in her head when she walked by the gas station about a third of a mile from the library. It had recently closed down temporarily after a recent car accident there involving a car slamming into the gas tanks and exploding the whole lot of the gas tanks. The driver had lost control of the car and was unable to stop the tragic event that cost them their life.
Sarah tripped over something as she walked past the gas station. She turned her music off and looked down to see what she had tripped over and froze in place. It wasn't just something. Sarah had stumbled on a dead body! She scanned the area to see if she could detect any movement and when she found no one, she carefully dialed 9-1-1 on her cellphone from her pocket (leaving her phone in there) and when someone answered on the other end, she spoke as quietly as she could into the microphone connected to the earphone wire on the left side and told the police officer about the dead body and gave her location. The police officer told her to stay where she was and said help was on the way. Less than a minute later, she heard sirens and then saw two police cars and an ambulance drive up and park a few feet away from her. Two of the policemen went to examine the body and the other two approached Sarah to question her.
"Excuse me miss, are you the one who called about the dead body?" One of the police officers asked her in a kind voice.
"Y-y-yes," Sarah stammered.
"I'm Officer Blackrose and this is my partner, Detective Castleberry," the Officer who had asked if I was the one who made the call said as he draped a warm blanket around me and led me over to the ambulance to sit down. Once she was seated, Officer Blackrose asked her, "May I start off by getting your name please?"
"S-s-sarah. Sarah Rainwater," Sarah replied.
"Thank you Miss Rainwater. Now how did you happen to come across the dead body?" Officer Blackrose asked.
Sarah recounted what had happened for the police, being careful not to leave anything out, including the impression she had that the killer might still be hanging around as she made the 9-1-1 call.
"So when you looked around, you didn't see any unusual movement or shadows?" Detective Castleberry asked.
"N-n-no sir, I did-d-dn't," Sarah stammered, still in shock. This was her first real dead body and she was still scared that maybe the killer had been lurking long enough to see her approach and might come after her next. But she wasn't going to let the paranoia stop her since she didn't see anything except for the dead body.
"I spoke in a low voice on the phone because I wasn't sure if maybe the murderer was still lurking even though I didn't see anything. Sometimes in the movies and books, they are super quiet and ambush you from behind before you know what's going on and either club you hard on the head or kill you in case you saw something. I didn't want to take my chances," Sarah added.
Smiling faintly, Detective Castleberry asked, "So I take it you are a fan of mysteries."
"I like reading about them, especially Nancy Drew or Agatha Christie, and sometimes I enjoy watching a movie or TV mystery but I am not too crazy about being part of a real life murder investigation! What if the murderer was lurking and saw or heard me call 9-1-1 and the only reason I'm not dead or in hospital with a concussion is because help arrived too quickly for them to act and instead they ran off so as not to be found?" Sarah asked, her face a bit ashen.
One of the other Detectives walked over to them and hearing the tail end of what Sarah said, informed her, "I don't think that will be a problem. The young man whose dead body you stumbled on has been dead for at least half an hour. What time was it when you walked past here the first time, on the way to the library?"
"Um well Detective- " Sarah started to reply but stopped when she realized she didn't know this Detective's name.
"Detective Candlewood," she informed Sarah.
"Detective Candlewood, um well it was 6:20pm when I left my house and this gas station is about 2/3 of a mile from my house or a third of a mile from the library and it took me about twelve minutes to get to the library so I would say about 6:28pm? When I got to the library, I looked at the clock they have and saw it was 6:32 when I first walked in," Sarah replied.
"And when you walked by the gas station earlier, on your way to the library, you didn't see notice any suspicious activity or see the dead body?" Detective Candlewood asked.
"Well I wasn't paying much attention because I was listening to music, but I didn't notice the dead body on my way to the library," Sarah replied. She had barely gotten her response out when she suddenly remembered something and added, "Wait a minute! Now that you mention it, I thought I saw a light on in the convenience store attached to this gas station as I walked past and I remember thinking "How odd, I thought they were closed until the gas station was repaired," but I shrugged it off and kept walking to the library not giving it a second thought at the time."
Detective Candlewood instructed her partner and the other Detective, Castleberry, to search inside the convenience store to see if anything was amiss or if there may be traces of blood.
"Thank you Miss Rainwater. Is there anything else you can remember on your walk to the library as you walked past here?" Detective Candlewood asked.
"No. I'm sorry. I really wasn't paying attention. I think the only reason the light being on inside registered at all was because I wasn't expecting it to be but it was. The reason why I ignored it was because although it was unusual, I was too caught up in listening to my music and thinking about the next book I was going to check out to really give it a whole lot of thought," Sarah answered.
"That's okay. You've already been a big help first in reporting the dead body and then remembering about the light being on," Officer Blackrose said in a soothing tone.
Handing her a card with her name and phone number on it, Detective Candlewood said, "If you remember anything else, please give me a call. Thank you for your help."
Detective Candlewood went inside the convenience store to look around for herself. Officer Blackrose remained by Sarah's side, concerned that her face was so ashen and that she hadn't stopped trembling since he got there. One of the EMTs offered Sarah a glass of water and when she tried bringing it to her lips, her hand trembled so badly the glass shook and she almost dropped it. Officer Blackrose took hold of the glass of water and held it up to Sarah's lips to drink from and she took a couple of sips then held the glass away.
"Thank you. I-I can't seem to stop shaking," Sarah said.
"You're welcome. It's understandable considering the circumstances," Officer Blackrose replied.
"I'm afraid to go home. What if the killer is still hanging around and follows me home? Or what if they got a good look at me before leaving the crime scene and are able to find out where I live and come to either terrorize me or kill me?" Sarah asked worriedly.
"You live by yourself?" Officer Blackrose asked.
"Y-y-yes, unfortunately," Sarah replied.
"Do you have any friends or family members nearby you can stay with?" Officer Blackrose inquired.
"I don't want to endanger anyone so no," Sarah replied.
Officer Blackrose resisted the temptation to tease Sarah Rainwater about reading and watching too many murder mysteries but didn't think she would appreciate it so instead he found himself saying, "I can guard your house tonight."
"Are you allowed to do that?" Sarah asked.
"Sure. It's part of the job to protect witnesses, even if they didn't see the murder, since the murderer may not know that," Officer Blackrose replied.
"Well...I do have a comfortable couch if your car gets too cramped or you can at least come use the bathroom if you need to," Sarah offered.
"I'll be right back. Don't go anywhere," Officer Blackrose said.
He walked into the convenience store and talked to his partner, Detective Castleberry and also to Detective Candlewood about guarding Sarah Rainwater's house for the night and after a bit of discussion, they conceded and Officer Blackrose came back out of the convenience store and walked over to Sarah to tell her he would be guarding her house that night.
"I'm sorry Officer Blackrose. I must sound like a ninny or a paranoid freak who has watched too many mystery movies or read too many Agatha Christie or Nancy Drew novels. I am sure I will be fine," Sarah said to the Officer before he could say anything.
"On the contrary, it is protocol to guard witnesses when needed in cases like this. I just talked to my partner and to Detective Candlewood and they both agreed that it would be a good idea for me to guard your house. However, I will be ditching the police car and guarding your house from an unmarked car so that nobody gets suspicious. And I don't think you are a ninny or a paranoid freak either," Officer Blackrose responded.
"Oh. Well if it's protocol. But didn't you say you thought it unlikely the murderer had stuck around?" Sarah asked.
"That was Detective Candlewood who said that. And yes it is unlikely that the killer stuck around, but not impossible. We like to cover all of our bases. One of our mottos is "better safe than sorry" when it comes to protecting our citizens, especially witnesses," Officer Blackrose replied.
"Good motto to live by. "Are you driving me back or am I walking and you are meeting up with me later after you get an unmarked car?" Sarah asked and attempted to stand. Her legs were all wobbly and it took her a moment to gain balance.
Reaching out to steady her, Officer Blackrose replied, "Whoa. Steady now. It might be best if you rode with me and my partner to the station while I switch to an unmarked car."
When the Detectives were finished investigating the crime scene, they came out of the convenience store with the clues they had found and perplexed expressions on their faces.
Detective Castleberry walked over to Officer Blackrose and said, "Looks like the killer may have killed their victim with an alarm clock. Interesting choice for a weapon."
After that, they helped Sarah into their car and then Detective Castleberry got in the driver's seat and Officer Blackrose got in the front passenger seat and they drove to the station so that Officer Blackrose could switch to an unmarked car and Detective Castleberry could assist the other Detectives on the case with the evidence found at the crime scene. When they got to Sarah's house, Officer Blackrose told Sarah to stay in the car while he checked her house to make sure it was all clear. Sarah gave him her house key and a few minutes later, he came back out and gave the "all clear" and came back out to help Sarah out of the unmarked car, extending his hand to her.
"Thank you. My offer to use the bathroom or get food or water if you need it stands," Sarah said as she stepped out of the car.
"I appreciate the offer and will keep it in mind," Officer Blackrose replied.
After helping Sarah into the house, he went back outside to sit in his car so he could patrol the area and make sure that no one tried to come and pay Sarah an unfriendly visit. All was quiet for a while but then Sarah came back outside and tapped on the window of the front passenger seat. Officer Blackrose rolled down the window.
"Hey, everything okay?" Officer Blackrose asked.
"This is going to sound silly..." Sarah started to say but trailed off.
"What's up?" Officer Blackrose asked.
"Well I tried drinking hot tea with chamomile to settle my nerves but I can't get the image out of my mind. And well...I'm afraid to go to sleep," Sarah replied.
"It will be okay. I'm here to protect you," Officer Blackrose said lightly, in hopes of easing Sarah's mind.
"I know. It's just...well usually when something scares me, when I was little I talked to my mom about it and she would stay with me until I fell asleep. As an adult, I would talk to a friend about it and she would probably come over and spend the night, but I don't want to involve anyone else for their own safety so I have no one to turn to. I was hoping maybe you would come inside and we could talk," Sarah stated with a hopeful expression on her face.
Officer Blackrose didn't know what it was about Sarah, but he found himself liking her and wanting to protect her and sooth her by holding her in his arms and whispering comforting words into her ear to make her feel safe. Unable to refuse her request, he got out of the car and locked it then followed Sarah back inside her house, locking her front door securely behind him.
"What did you want to talk about Miss Rainwater?" Officer Blackrose asked.
"Please, call me Sarah. I didn't have a topic in mind. I just thought we could talk about random stuff to get my mind off the image of that poor guy's dead body. I can also make some hot cocoa if you want some," Sarah replied.
"Sure, no problem, Sarah. Hot cocoa sounds nice. Do you have any topics in mind?" he asked.
"No. Although I was kind of wondering what your first name is. I know it's not usual protocol for an officer to give their first name but curiosity sometimes gets the better of me," Sarah confessed.
"Luke," Officer Blackrose responded.
"That's a nice name. I've always liked that name," Sarah stated as she boiled the water and poured hot cocoa mix into a mug.
Officer Blackrose smiled and said, "You have a pretty name too."
"Thank you. My mom always did have good taste, including in naming me. Can I ask you another personal question?" Sarah asked.
"You can ask," Officer Blackrose stated.
"What made you want to become a police officer?" Sarah asked.
"I liked watching NYPD Blue. Also, when I was younger one of my cousins had her bike go mysteriously missing and I had a fun time playing detective until I found it and returned it to her unharmed," Officer Blackrose replied.
"It sounds like there's more to it than that. You like protecting others don't you?" Sarah guessed. The water was boiled and Sarah poured a second packet of hot cocoa into a different mug for herself and then poured the steaming water into the first mug for Officer Blackrose and stirred as she mixed. Then she did the same for her own.
"Yes, I do. You're observant. My aunt - my cousin's mother - had a rough time of it after her husband passed away under mysterious circumstances. I was twenty at the time and I decided right then and there that I wanted to be a detective. I had thought about it growing up but my uncle's death cinched the deal. I helped assist the detectives who ended up investigating my uncle's death and I was able to find an important clue that may not have otherwise been found without my help. It turned out my uncle was murdered by someone who was supposed to be his friend but let jealousy get the better of him. When the investigation was over and we had the killer behind bars, I was offered a job so I went through the police academy training and here we are, almost seven years later. After this case, I may even get promoted to Detective," Officer Blackrose responded.
"Wow. Your aunt and cousin haven't had it easy. I'm sorry about your uncle," Sarah said sympathetically as she handed Officer Blackrose a cup of hot cocoa.
"Thanks. And no, they haven't had it easy, but things have been much more peaceful for them since I became a police officer," Officer Blackrose replied.
"Except for worrying about you and whether you will continue to come home safely, Officer Blackrose," Sarah responded.
Officer Blackrose didn't know what it was about this woman. He wanted to protect her, he told her personal things that not many people knew, and before he could stop the words, he found himself saying, "You can call me Luke, if you want to."
He really didn't know what was going on with him. Miss Rainwater...Sarah... was a witness of sorts to a crime. Not a witness to the actual crime, but she found the dead body and there is no telling if the killer was hanging around and noticed her stumble on it or if the killer suspects she might know more than she does. He should be in his car protecting her house but instead he was inside her house talking about why he became a cop.
"Okay. Well, Luke, your family must worry about you. I know I would if it were me," Sarah stated.
"If it were you, what? And yes, no doubt my family does worry about me but it comes with the territory. Every day I come home safely they are relieved," Luke replied.
"I meant...if um someone I cared about was putting their life on the line daily to protect everyone else from the scumbags of the earth, I would be worried," Sarah responded.
"Oh. So I take it you wouldn't date a cop or any other man who in any way puts his life on the line to protect his city or his country?" Luke almost kicked himself for asking.
A bit startled by his question, Sarah tried to figure out how to best answer. She ended up saying, "Well I'm not sure. I can't say that I absolutely wouldn't but I would certainly hesitate. I love very deeply and the thought of someone I love risking being killed daily would probably drive me crazy. I am not sure if I'd be able to handle it. But I'm sure your girlfriend is stronger than I am and can probably handle it."
"Ex-girlfriend. Ex fianc actually. She said it wasn't because I became a cop, but I couldn't be entirely sure that it didn't have any bearing on why she broke up with me," Luke stated.
"Oh. I'm sorry Off- um Luke. I am probably stronger than I give myself credit for. Other people seem to think I am. It could partially be because I believe in God and that He's in control. Even Christians have off days though, particularly after seeing their first dead body," Sarah said.
Luke looked deeply into Sarah's beautiful hazel eyes and said, "You probably are stronger than you think. But like you said, everyone has their off days and it's not every day you stumble on a dead body. You did a courageous thing though calling it in even though you were scared that the killer might still be hanging around when you made the call."
"I was frozen in place. I'm surprised I could move at all. I must not have acted alone. I say that because I felt a presence with me. That may sound funny to you but I thought I felt the Lord's presence or maybe a Guardian Angel or something with me, helping me do the right thing," Sarah responded.
"Maybe the Lord or your Guardian Angel, or both were with you," Luke said.
"You believe too?" Sarah brightened at the prospect of a fellow believer.
"I don't know. Maybe. I've seen a lot of bad in this world. But I've also seen a lot of good. I certainly hope there is a higher power up there watching over us all," Luke replied.
"There is. Why don't you come to church with me on Sunday, if you can get the time off?" Sarah offered.
"I don't usually work Sundays. We'll see. Maybe I will come. I know I want to believe in Heaven and in someone smarter than us and more powerful creating all things and watching over us. It would be nice to know my uncle is resting peacefully," Luke replied.
"I'm sure he is. If he was anything like you or vice versa then I have no doubt he is resting peacefully in the arms of Jesus," Sarah stated.
"Anything like me?" Luke was confused.
"Yes. You are kind, caring, gentle, protective, and when you speak about your family I would venture out to say you are also loving. These are all qualities that come from God and when His children have these qualities it pleases Him. Of course, it pleases God more when you believe in Him and in His mighty power and in His goodness. But you are on the right track," Sarah responded.
"Thank you. And yes, my uncle was all of those things. He did believe in God and so did my aunt. She's been struggling with her faith since his death but I think she's gotten back on track since his murder was solved, very slowly," Luke said.
"She can come too. I mean...your aunt. Well your aunt and cousin if she wants to are both invited to come to church with me on Sunday, or with us if you decide to come," Sarah offered.
"That's very sweet of you Sarah. I will let her know about the offer and get back to you," Luke replied.
"Sure. Hopefully I live long enough to make it to church on Sunday," Sarah said, half-serious since she was still a bit scared.
"Hey, cut it out. You have me here to protect you tonight and you also have your God protecting you and His angels too," Luke reprimanded.
"Sorry. Like I said, even Christians have their off days. I'm sure you're right. I still have plenty to learn so surely God doesn't plan for me to die yet. But that doesn't mean there won't be any attempts. I hope there aren't because I have nowhere else to go if I have to leave this house," Sarah responded.
"It will be okay. I will stay here as long as I need to, and as long as I am able to. Right now, the detectives are running prints on the smashed alarm clock they found with traces of blood. We're pretty sure the blood will match our victim, but we could get lucky and find the killer's prints on it too. We also found something else that we think the killer may have dropped and are running prints on it," Luke said.
"When will you know if there are any fingerprints or who they belong to if there are any?" Sarah asked.
"It depends. If there are prints and they match any fingerprints in the system, I could know tomorrow. If not, then it could take a bit longer. We are hoping to know sometime tomorrow though," Luke replied.
Sarah closed her eyes and said a silent prayer that the murderer be caught soon and that nobody else get hurt or killed before the killer is caught and that God keep her, Officer Luke Blackrose, and the detectives on the case safe.
"What are you doing? Luke asked.
Sarah opened her eyes and replied, "I said a silent prayer that the murderer gets caught without anyone else getting hurt or killed and that God watch over all of us - you, me, and the detectives on the case."
"That's sweet to include us all in your prayers," Luke said.
"Well it wouldn't do anyone any good if you or any of the detectives were killed. And it would be terrible if someone else had to die before the murderer got caught," Sarah replied.
"True," Luke agreed.
Sarah didn't understand what was going on inside her head. On the one hand she was still a bit shaken up at the thought of someone coming for her to kill her for finding a dead body while the person responsible was still lurking. On the other hand, she had given her worries to God and she was feeling something strange inside as she talked with Officer Blackrose...err Luke. She had just told him she wasn't sure she could handle dating someone who daily chooses to put his life on the line, and yet she couldn't help wondering why he asked such a personal question. She also couldn't help thinking how handsome he was with beautiful blue eyes and short brown hair. He was also sweet and she thought how if they had met under different circumstance and either he wasn't a cop or she didn't yet know he was, that she might consider going out with someone like him. Disturbed by her thoughts, she sent up another silent prayer, this time asking God to help sort out her feelings and let her know what His plan is.
"Are you okay?" Luke asked, breaking into Sarah's thoughts.
"Uh-huh. Why?" Sarah replied.
"Your face turned an interesting shade of white and then red," Luke said.
"It did? I don't know why. Why shouldn't I be okay when I have a big strong man protecting me here, along with my guardian angel and then God protecting me from above?" Sarah responded questioningly.
"No reason why at all. So if you're okay does that mean you're good to go to bed and get some sleep?" Luke asked.
Uh... that I don't know. I suppose I could open my Bible and read verses or whole chapters until I fall asleep. I suppose you want to get back outside to the unmarked car," Sarah replied.
"Eventually I will need to," Luke stated.
"Okay. Well I am getting tired but whether I will be able to get to sleep is another story. I know that's not your problem though and it was nice of you to come inside at all," Sarah said.
"It was no trouble, really," Luke said.
"I appreciate it. The bathroom, should you need it, is down the hall to the left. Goodnight," Sarah said.
"Okay. Goodnight Sarah. Sweet Dreams," Luke responded.
Sarah put hers and Luke's mugs in the sink and then went into her bathroom to get ready for bed. A few minutes later, she was in bed with her Bible open to Isaiah 54 and a bookmark in Ephesians 6. She had barely finished reading Ephesians 6 and then Philippians 4:6-8 when she fell asleep. Shortly after falling asleep, Sarah had a terrible nightmare where the murderer found her and broke into her house to kill her. She screamed, waking herself up and an angel of the Lord appeared to her.
The angel of the Lord said, "Don't be afraid Sarah. Because you believe that God is with you and that he will intervene before more people are killed, you and everyone you prayed for, including Luke, will be safe. God has sent me to assure you that your prayers have reached his ears and that you have nothing to fear where the killer being caught is concerned or in pursuing a relationship with the officer guarding you who will be made detective soon. I have also been sent to give you a message to give to him. His uncle is indeed with the Lord and he is proud of Luke."
Stunned and not sure if she was dreaming or not, Sarah replied, "Let it be as you said. I will give Luke the message. Thank you."
"Peace be with you," The angel of the Lord said and left her after putting her back into a peaceful sleep.
Meanwhile, Luke had heard her scream from his car and he used the key Sarah had given him to let himself into her house. By the time he gently opened her bedroom door to check to see what was wrong, he found her sleeping peacefully and soundly. He closed the door and decided he would use the bathroom and then sleep on the couch in case she needed him, and he did just that. Sarah found him fast asleep on her sofa the next morning as she went into the kitchen to make breakfast after using her private bathroom and then getting dressed.
Luke woke up to the aroma of eggs and cinnamon rolls. He was momentarily disoriented about where he was then remembered he had fallen asleep on Sarah's couch the night before. He got up and walked into the kitchen.
"Good morning. I saw you fast asleep on the sofa and didn't have the heart to wake you but thought you might like some breakfast when you did wake up but I don't know what you like so I made omelets with a choice of cheese, tomatoes, spinach, and some meat or just plain and I also baked some cinnamon rolls," Sarah said.
"I thought I heard you scream last night so I came inside to investigate but you were fast asleep and looked really peaceful so I decided to guard your house from the couch and I must have fallen asleep. You didn't have to go through all of that trouble. I like meat in my omelets though with some cheese. It also happens I have a sweet tooth and like cinnamon rolls," Luke replied.
"Sorry, I had a nightmare. But then something amazing happened and I was able to get back to sleep," Sarah explained with a smile in her voice. She had already put two empty glasses on the table, so she took a carton of orange juice and a bottle of grape juice out of the fridge and set them both down since she didn't know which one Luke would prefer.
"What happened?" Luke asked as he poured himself some orange juice.
"I was visited by an angel of the Lord. He told me not to worry because my prayers have been heard and are being answered in my favor. He uh... also asked me to give you a message," Sarah replied and served him the omelet and a cinnamon roll on a plate she placed in front of him. Then she sat down with her own plate with an omelet and cinnamon roll on it and poured herself some grape juice then began to eat.
"Me? What message could an angel from Heaven have for me?" Luke asked.
"Well...you should rest assured that your uncle is in the arms of Jesus at peace. Now the second part of the message I am not fully clear on. The angel said that "he" is proud of you but I am not sure if he meant your uncle, God, or maybe both," Sarah replied.
Luke almost choked on his orange juice and carefully set the glass down so as not to break it. Sarah tapped him gently but firmly on the back.
"Are you okay Luke?" She asked.
"Yeah. The juice went down the wrong way. That couldn't have been easy for you to tell me since I told you last night that I've been struggling with my faith. Thank you," He replied.
"You're welcome. I suspect your aunt already has this information since the angel only told me to tell you," Sarah stated.
"She firmly believes it," Luke affirmed.
"Well now you can both know it. I think the message was meant to bring you comfort," Sarah said.
"You know something? It does. I've been trying for the past seven years to reconcile the fact that he is gone, but to a better place where people can't betray you, especially the way his "friend" did to him. Hearing that he is in fact at peace actually brings me comfort," Luke responded.
"I'm glad. If you're still hungry there are a couple of more cinnamon rolls still. I made five altogether," Sarah offered Luke, after seeing how quickly he finished eating after receiving the message from the angel that had appeared to her in a dream the night before.
"Thanks," Luke replied and got up to help himself to another cinnamon roll.
After debating whether or not to discuss it with Luke, and after praying to God about what to do, Sarah said, "I can't decide whether to stay home today or go to work. On the one hand, I don't want to endanger my friend Jessica, who will also be working the afternoon shift with me, or any customers who may come into the library. On the other hand, I don't want to be someone who hides at the first sign of danger, showing lack of trust in God. I prayed to God about it and I am leaning towards going in to work at least for part of, if not the whole shift."
"How long is your shift?" Luke asked.
"Eight hours. My shift starts at noon and ends at 8 o'clock," Sarah replied.
Luke was just about to give his advice on what to do when his cellphone rang. However, the battery was almost dead, so Luke asked if he could use Sarah's landline phone to call back the person he missed a call from. Sarah said "of course" and Luke quickly dialed the number and waited for his partner to pick up on the other end.
"Hello?" Detective Castleberry answered.
"Hey Castleberry, it's me. Sorry I missed your call, but I forgot to grab my cellphone charger before leaving to guard Sarah and her house and my battery died as I was answering your call. Sarah has a landline as well as a cellphone, so I asked if I could call from her landline and she agreed," Luke said.
"Oh, that was nice of her. Wait. Sarah? Are you two on a first name basis now?" Detective Castleberry asked.
"I believe you had something to tell me," Luke said impatiently.
"Yeah. We were able to lift a partial fingerprint from the alarm clock and there was enough to run it through the systems. If the killer has a record, we should have an identity soon. Otherwise, it could be end of the day today or early tomorrow before we know," Detective Castleberry answered.
"That's great. What does Candlewood want me to do? Sarah...Miss Rainwater wants to go to work but she has an eight hour shift. She wants to go but she doesn't want to put anyone in danger. I was about to suggest she go and that I would protect her and her coworker and any customers who walk in, when you called," Luke replied.
"Candlewood says to stay close to Miss Rainwater and advises she call in to get off, but if she wants to go in then you are to accompany her, but not make it obvious to anyone why you're there," Detective Castleberry answered.
"Okay. I will tell her. Thanks for the update. I'm going to try to swing by my house to charge my cellphone, take a shower and change clothes. Please call me if there are any new important updates," Luke requested.
"Will do, but what if I can't reach you on your cellphone again?" Detective Castleberry asked.
"I have enough battery now that if you call again, I can use the library's private phone or something. I will find a way to take your call or to receive the information I need from you. But like I said, I am going to charge my cellphone. I will also bring the charger with me. I've been to this library before and happen to know they have plugin outlets so I will be able to charge it there too," Luke replied.
"Okay. Talk to you later. Have fun hanging around a library all day," Detective Castleberry quipped.
"Thanks, I will," Luke responded and then hung up.
Luke turned to Sarah and said, "You have me for the day it seems, so you can go to work and it's up to you how much of your shift you want to go in for. I will make myself as scarce as possible so as not to draw attention to why I am there. If you don't mind though, I would like to stop by my place to charge my cellphone battery a bit while I shower and change clothes and then I will bring my cellphone battery charger with me and we can go."
"Sure, no problem. I'm almost ready to go, I just need to grab my purse and make sure I have all I will need before leaving," Sarah replied.
A few minutes later, they both walked out Sarah's front door and she locked up behind her. They stopped by Luke's place and about fifteen minutes later, Luke was ready to go and Sarah grabbed his cellphone charger before he could forget it again and then they drove to the library for Sarah's shift.
"You didn't have much food in the house, but I found enough scraps to put together a sandwich for you in case you get hungry and I also brought some other food for you to eat from your house should I make it through the whole eight hours without anything...eventful happening. I also grabbed a bottle of water from your fridge for you to drink. I hope you don't mind I grabbed myself a bottle of water too," Sarah said to Luke once they were on the road.
"Thanks. I appreciate it. What do you plan to do if you get hungry?" Luke asked.
"You saw me pack the leftover cinnamon roll. Plus there is a cafsandwich place nearby I thought we could stop at on the way. Oh here it is, coming up on your right," Sarah responded.
Luke saw the place she meant and pulled into the parking lot, found a space right outside the door and then turned the engine off to accompany Sarah inside. Sarah ordered her usual, and less than ten minutes later, they were back in the car. When they got to the library, Luke looked for a parking spot where he could park for several hours without anyone getting suspicious and parked his car. Sarah got out first and went inside the library with her linner to start her shift. Luke came inside a couple of minutes later and looked for a good place to charge his phone. Upon finding what he considered was the perfect location, he plugged his phone into an outlet located in a place with a good vantage point where he could see Sarah and also see the front door, but where he could also browse some books and look inconspicuous, as if he was just there to look through the books there. For the first five hours of Sarah's shift, all was quiet. Around 5 o'clock, a man came in acting suspiciously with his eyes blazed and focused on Sarah. Luke quietly inched closer to Sarah with a piece of paper in his hand containing a book title that he planned to use if he sensed danger, which he did. He planned to pretend to need help finding the book. Luke never got a chance to put this plan into action though, as the suspicious character that had just came in walked right up to where Sarah was standing, restocking returned books that she had finished processing and attempted to attack her. He produced a knife and raised the blade, preparing to fatally wound Sarah but before he could reach close enough to grab her, a heavy book Sarah had just put back in its proper place on the shelf fell off and hit him in the head, causing him to stumble backwards. He let out a yelp as he landed flat on his back. Luke took advantage of the situation and rushed to Sarah's aide and pulled out his gun and a pair of handcuffs and focused the gun on the man who had tried to attack Sarah. When Sarah turned around to pick up the fallen book, she saw Luke draw the gun on the man it had hit, realized what was going on, and moved out of the line of fire.
Luke said to Sarah in a low voice, "Grab my cellphone and call for backup. My partner is the last received call."
Sarah did as she was told and upon finding Luke's cellphone, she brought up the call list and dialed the last received call. When his partner, Detective Castleberry picked up, she told him in a low voice, "Hey, Sarah Rainwater here. Backup is needed right away at the library. A man tried to attack me while I was shelving returned books but Luke apprehended him and needs assistance."
"Thanks for calling us Miss Rainwater. Help is on the way. Hand tight and we should be there in less than ten minutes," Detective Castleberry replied and disconnected the call.
Sarah hit "end call" on Luke's phone and then gave him a shaky smile and a thumbs up to let him know that help was on the way.
While Sarah had been making the call, Luke had said to the perp, "You're under arrest for the murder of Jeff Rivers and for the attempted murder of Sarah Rainwater."
The killer tried to deny it but Luke found a knife and a gun on him so Luke bluffed a bit and told him that his fingerprints had been found on the alarm clock used to kill Jeff.
"Why did you do it?" Luke asked.
"Because my baby sister died in that explosion Jeff caused at that gas station! He didn't deserve to live," the killer answered.
"I heard that was an accident and that he swerved to avoid hitting a cat that dashed in the middle of the street and then lost control of his car. He didn't do it intentionally," Luke answered.
"Whatever. Of course the police would defend him. I was just avenging my sister's death. He was a careless man," the killer responded.
Within five minutes of Sarah hanging up from informing Luke's partner what was going on, backup arrived and the murderer was taken away. As it turned out, Luke's bluff was accurate. Detectives Castleberry and Candlewood had just found a match for the fingerprint they lifted off the alarm clock when Sarah called for backup.
Sarah asked Luke, "Did the book that fell hit him and that's how you could reach him before he could attack me?"
"Yep. Someone is most definitely looking out for you in Heaven," Luke replied.
"When I saw his knife and gun as I walked past to get your phone to call for backup, my heart almost stopped. Thank God you were there and that the book fell on him," Sarah stated.
"Yes, thank you God," Luke agreed wholeheartedly.
"You are a lucky woman Miss Rainwater. His face matches the face that popped up with a name for the partial fingerprint we found on the alarm clock that killed the dead man's body you tripped over," Detective Castleberry stated.
"Luck had nothing to do with it Detective Castleberry. I am a believer and I had faith God was protecting me, and he was. It helped that Officer Blackrose was also close enough to apprehend him before the murderer could attack me, which was also God's doing, along with the book falling on him as he lunged to attack me," Sarah responded.
"You are a blessed woman Sarah. Your God and your guardian angel both prevented you from being hurt or killed," Detective Candlewood stated. At the slightly puzzled expression on Sarah's face, Detective Candlewood added, "I believe too, and if I didn't already then what Detective Blackrose told me about how things went down, I would believe after that. It had to be divine intervention that had the book fall and hit the killer in the head and knock him down before he could attack you."
"I have never met a police officer who believed in God, how refreshing! Wait a minute, Detective Blackrose?" Sarah inquired.
"You heard me right Miss Rainwater. Blackrose has officially earned his Detective status," Detective Candlewood replied.
The lead Detective then turned to Luke and said, "Congratulations on a job well done. You have now officially earned the title of Detective Blackrose. We can bring in this scumbag ourselves. You may have the rest of the evening off. You may also have the rest of the weekend off and I will see you on Monday morning."
"Thank you Candlewood," Detective Blackrose replied.
He then put an arm around Sarah and said, "I'll take you home. You look as though you've had enough excitement for one day."
"I do believe I have. Let me just tell Jess I am leaving," Sarah replied.
As she was about to walk over to her friend, Jess came towards her and they met about halfway.
"I think you've had enough excitement for one day sweetie, why don't you go home and I will finish the shift alone." Jess offered.
"Thanks Jess. I was just about to let you know I was going to go home. This has been exciting. I love reading mysteries and sometimes watching them but these past two days I was involved in a real life one," Sarah replied.
Jess gave Sarah a tight, long hug and then released her and told her to have a good night. Sarah walked towards the door where Luke was waiting and then they walked out to Luke's car. Before they got in, Luke said softly, "Hey, listen. I know you aren't sure if you could handle being in a relationship with someone who puts their life on the line daily, but I was wondering if you would take a chance on me. I really like you Sarah."
Smiling weakly, Sarah said, "Yes, I will. But can we go out tomorrow night? I really have had enough excitement for today. I can make us both dinner."
"Sounds good to me," Luke replied.
"I really like you too, by the way. A lot...I like you a lot," Sarah admitted.
Smiling, Luke said, "That's good because I intend for us to be together for a long time. When I saw that man lunge to attack you, the only thing I could think was, 'God don't take this woman away from me.' Then I realized that I am falling in love with you. I know it sounds crazy, but there's just something about you."
"No, it doesn't sound crazy," Sarah said. Then she whispered, "I think I'm falling in love with you too."
Luke pulled Sarah close and covered her lips with his in a passionate kiss. Sarah kissed him back, matching his passion.
After the kiss ended, it took them both a moment to catch their breath. When they finally did, Luke opened the car door for Sarah on the passenger side and helped her get in, closed the door when she was securely in, then got in the driver's side and drove them back to her house.
Luke, his aunt, and his cousin and his mother all ended up joining Sarah at church for Sunday morning service and heard an amazing message from God about faith and courage and then they went to lunch afterwards so Luke's mother, aunt, and cousin could get to know Sarah and so she could get to know them too.
On their two month anniversary, Luke took Sarah to a nice Italian restaurant and then afterwards he drove her to his favorite "quiet place" with a pretty view of the mountains to watch the sunset and proposed to her. Sarah said yes wholeheartedly and shortly after that, Luke was baptized and became a child of God. Sarah and Luke talked to the Pastor after the baptism about a wedding ceremony and they discussed the wedding date. Then about three months later, in the middle of August, with friends and family on both sides gathered at her church, Sarah Rainwater became Sarah Blackrose. Sarah couldn't believe that after being thrust in the middle of a real life murder mystery that she had found her true love and Luke couldn't believe it either. As they exchanged wedding vows, Sarah couldn't help thinking how God works in mysterious ways and how thankful she was that he had brought Luke into her life, and Luke silently thanked God too for bringing Sarah into his life and restoring his faith.