I was packing up my stuff later that day, getting ready to go home, when I heard a voice come up behind me.
'Excuse me?' It said politely. 'You're the girl Henry had a go at earlier? Alannah Harrison?'
'Yeah that's me,' I replied, turning round and recognising Andrew, the guy who had tried to make Henry step down earlier. He was looking slightly intimidated. 'Was there something you wanted?'
'Um, yes,' he said, holding out a file to me. 'There's this case I'm working on at the moment, another murder I'm afraid, but I can't make head nor tail of any of it. Your ideas about that case we were discussing earlier were pretty accurate so I was wondering if you could have a look at this one for me.'
'What happened in the other case?'
'We've managed to like the victim to a cult that's obsessed with the undead, vampires, zombies, ghosts. Anything that's not living really. We're trying to work out of the victim's death was some sort of ritual gone wrong or a planned murder.'
'Interesting,' I murmured to myself. 'I hadn't expected to be right.'
'So will you have a look at the case notes for me?' Andrew asked again. 'It would really mean a lot to me if you could.'
It was at this point that I noticed the similarity between Andrew and a puppy. His big brown eyes stared up at me pleadingly and his hair was flopping around his face.
'Why would you want me to look at the case?' I said, turning away. 'I'm just the office slave, I shouldn't have an opinion on important murder cases.'
'But you're good,' Andrew insisted. 'I can see that. You managed to see something in that case this lunchtime that an entire team missed. Surely that's got to say something?'
'It was a lucky fluke.'
'Then can you at least try again to see if you still have some luck left.'
'Alright then,' I said, taking the case file from Andrew's outstretched hand and putting it with the rest of my stuff on my desk. In truth I was glad to have a distraction from the mundane tasks I was being set by Garrett. A murder sounded a lot more interesting. 'Was there anything else?'
'I was also wondering,' Andrew said, now looking extremely nervous, 'if I might be able to take you out sometime. Just for a drink or a meal if you'd like. Whatever. It can be as colleagues, friends or a date, whichever you fancy.'
Andrew looked so cute as his eyes focused on any other point in the room but my face, I just couldn't say no.
'Pick me up at about half seven then?' I said, feeling a surge of satisfaction as I saw a delighted smile spread across Andrew's face. 'Give me your number and I'll text you the address.'
Andrew gave me his number and left the office beaming like a small child. I wasn't sure if I wanted to go on a date with him, but I hadn't been out in a while and I was sick of being single. And if it was a date that would mean I could get a free meal out of it. There's always a silver lining to every cloud.
I looked down at the case I had been given. The label on the front read:
Case Number: 10457, Docherty, James
I assumed that Docherty, James was the name of the victim rather than the officer in charge of the case. The file wasn't too big. It would be a good bit of late night bedtime reading.
And a small part of me hoped it might be a way out of my boring job and into something more exciting.