He drove out of the traffic jam and DI Peraide followed. The police were onto him. He realised that. His plan to drive to a remote location before stepping out of the car and setting fire to it was now hopeless. He couldn't go to a crowded location either because people would see him carrying a drugged woman out of the car. At first he tried driving round in circles, not heading anywhere definite, hoping this would put the police off. Unfortunately it didn't.
Melanie roused a little, but feeling a chocolate truffle in her mouth, started munching it on impulse. He increased his speed and then turned a corner, parking behind a group of trees. Stepping out, he left the car door wide open. Then he struck match after match and threw it into the car on the driver's side. Quickly slamming shut the door, he locked it and pocketed the keys before stepping back. He stood for a few minutes, watching the fire spread inside the car. He was just turning round when a hand caught hold of his. It was DI Peraide.
"Eadric Stevens, I am arresting you for the murders of Mary Evron and Judith Talbot and the attempted murder of Melanie Fakhar. You do not have to say anything but it may harm your defence if you refuse to answer questions for evidence you may rely on in court".
Helen was staring at the burning car. She looked at James. He shook his head. "Wait for the fire service" he said as he handcuffed Eadric.
Eadric made eye contact with Helen, his eyes lingering on her beautiful ponytail. Suddenly his eyes misted over. Even as Inspector Peraide led him forcefully towards a police car that had pulled up, he burst out "I love you".
Helen looked stunned but said nothing as she watched a constable put Eadric in the car and drive off. James walked over to her.
"Are you all right Helen?" he asked.
"Yes, I'm fine". She blinked. "Did Eadric just say what I thought he did?"
James nodded. Neither of them spoke. The silence was broken by the sirens of the fire service.
"This way". James gestured towards the burning car.
The fire service were forced to smash the windows before putting out the fire with hosepipes. James and Helen held their breath but the head fireman came up to them, shaking his head sadly.
"I'm afraid we were too late to save the woman."