As if accidentally handcuffing myself to the seatbelt wasn't humiliating enough, when I finally got inside Mr Lawrence's house I tripped over the step, falling straight into Randall who was walking the other way.
'You need to stop being so clumsy,' he complained as he helped me steady myself. 'You're going to kill someone some day.'
'Sorry,' I mumbled, well and truly embarrassed now.
'This is going to be good Randall,' Charlie announced, storming into the room behind me with a face like a thundercloud, 'because if it isn't you are going to be staring down the barrel of my gun very soon. Now spill.'
'We got a call a few hours ago from an untraceable number asking for five million dollars to be wired to a remote account by the end of the week. We're working on a voice decryption but so far the techies have nothing.'
'Then why the hell have you called me in?' Charlie exploded. 'We still have no leads and nothing to even suggest who the kidnapper is, so what am I goddamn meant to be doing here?'
I could see even Randall was taken aback by Charlie's violent outburst, his eyes wide and he was standing completely still.
'I thought you might have some ideas,' he tried, unsure how Charlie was going to react. But I could see the anger inside her boiling up like lava in a volcano, about to erupt, taking down everything in its path.
Then to both Randall's relief and mine, Charlie's phone rang and she answered it, walking away from us. 'This isn't over,' she mouthed menacingly at Randall.
'What's up with her?' Randall asked me. He was turning back into his normal self, completely oblivious to other people's emotions. It was a shame, I was starting to like human Randall.
'I think she's worried about Mendrick, that's all. I mean he's nearly died twice in the last few weeks, that's not exactly normal.'
'Have you forgotten where we work?' Randall asked. 'Mendrick's seems to constantly be about to be killed, Charlie always has to save him and your long term boyfriend was a criminal who tried to blow up our unit. I think I'm the most normal person here.'
I turned away from him, pretending that his plain words about Alfie didn't hurt when really they were sticking into me like knives. I needn't have bothered hiding my hurt, Randall didn't even notice.
'Right then,' Charlie said, marching back towards us, her face still stern. 'I'm leaving you two girls to it. Alannah, I'm taking your car to get Mendrick from the hospital, and when I get back I want you to have some good news, even the tiniest of leads would be helpful.' Without another word she turned around and stalked out of the room.
'What can we do then?' Randall asked me. 'We don't have anywhere to go.'
'Maybe we could question Mr Lawrence again,' I suggested.
'I'm not sure what else he can tell us.'
'Look I need to be doing something,' I suddenly shouted, making Randall step backwards. 'I'm sick and tired of feeling this useless because everyone is treating me like some sort of child who doesn't understand, asking me if I'm alright and I'm sick and tired of it!' I had no idea where those words had come from, but I couldn't stop them. 'Please Randall,' I said, my voice quieter now, almost pathetic. 'Please give me something to do.'