Alannah: Mr WatersMature

After much arguing I won the right to drive to Mr Waters' clinic.  I have a thing about being in control when I'm in a car, I don't like other people at the steering wheel.  Randall was quieter than normal, lost in his own world, which meant he wasn't prattling on at me about something or other.  I turned the CD-player on, not wanting to sit in silence for the entire journey.

The bluesy voice of Katie Melua filled the car, Alfie's music.  I had forgotten he had been the last one of us to use the car.  I hit the off button, not wanting to hear anything that reminded me of him.  I was going to have an Alfie-free session questioning Mr Waters and report back to Mendrick with lots of helpful information.

'You're pretty quiet today,' I said, trying to be casual.  'What's up Randall?'

'Nothing,' he said, snapping back into the real world.  'Just thinking.'

'I can't have you doing that, Mendrick told me specifically not to let you think.' I was joking, but even I could hear the forced edge to the tone of my voice.  'What was it you were so deep in thought about?'

'It's the next turning on the left here,' he said, pointing to a smart looking driveway, lined with hedges, leading up to a clean, brick building.  Clearly I wasn't the only one avoiding something.  But I didn't press Randall, pulling into a parking space below one of the large windows at the front of the building, climbing out as soon as the engine was off.

The inside of the clinic was very, well, clinical.  The walls were painted white and there wasn't even the suggestion of a scratch on them.  The receptionist's desk was made of glass and there was a very pretty young girl in a skirt suit sitting behind it.

'How can I help you?'  She asked, looking up at us from behind thick layers of mascara.

'We're from the CBI unit,' I said, flashing her my badge.  'We would like to speak to Mr Waters if that's alright.'

'Please take a seat and I'll let him know you are here.'

Randall and I took a seat on a very slippery black leather sofa that stood opposite the reception desk and next to the door I assumed led into Mr Waters' office.  I leaned over to Randall.

'OK then, here's a quick test for you,' I said, trying not to make my lips move any more than was necessary.  'What do you think this guy is like based on what you've seen?'

'Detached, efficient, likes things done a certain way, can probably appear a bit cold.'  Randall listed these characteristics with only a moment to pause for thought.  Despite his inability to get on with people, I found Randall's impressions of people highly amusing, especially when Mr Waters walked through the door.

He was an ageing man, but the streaks of grey in his jet black hair, slicked back against his head, gave him a sophisticated air.  He was still a handsome man, and by the way he walked, confident and slightly cocky, I could tell he knew it.

'Mr Waters?'  I stepped forward, taking out my badge.

'Hello,' he said, his voice as smooth as silk, his eyes widening appreciatively as he took in my slightly too short skirt and inappropriate heels.  'How may I help you?'

'We're CBI,' I said, not willing to take any nonsense from him.  I knew his type.  'I'm Alannah Harrison and this is my partner Randall Hart.  We're investigating the death of your daughter.'

'Then I suppose you should come in.'  He led us into his office, which was a lot more luxurious than the waiting room.  The floor was covered in a deep, red carpet and the walls had expensive-looking paintings hanging on them.  'Take a seat,' he motioned to another leather sofa on the side of the room opposite his desk.  'Can I get you a drink?  Tea, coffee?  Something stronger?'

'We're here to discuss your daughter Mr Waters.  Could you please sit down.'

He smiled, sitting down in the armchair next to my side of the sofa.  'How may I help you Miss Harrison?  It is Miss Harrison, isn't it?'

'Your daughter was found dead in the early hours of this morning,' Randall cut in.  'Is there any reason you can think of as to why she would have been there?'  Whether he had intended to interrupt Mr Waters or not I couldn't tell, but I mentally thanked Randall for taking the attention away from me.

'I'm afraid in recent months I haven't seen much of my wife or my daughter.  That's what separation does to you.'

'So you are separated from your wife?'  I said, trying to be as professional as I could under the circumstances. 

'Unfortunately she is rather paranoid about the amount of time I spend with other women.  She thinks I'm cheating on her.'

'And are you?'  Randall asked bluntly.  'Having an affair?'

'Not in the traditional sense,' he said, his smile making my skin crawl.

'Then in what sense?'  I asked sharply.

'I have never been unfaithful to my wife.  I've not slept with any of my clients, that would be totally unprofessional and wrong.'  That surprised me, I wouldn't have thought he would have had such high morals.  'I just appreciate women.'  His eyes rested on me again, making me feel very uncomfortable.  'But she felt she had to get her own back on me and started having affairs with whoever would take her.  Desperation isn't one of the most attractive qualities in a woman.'

'So you initiated the separation?'

'I thought it was best,' he said, leaning back in his chair, completely relaxed.  'There was no point trying to fix something that was so screwed up.'

The End

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