The headmaster sat still for a few minutes, holding Ashley in silence. He felt very traumatised by what had just happened and guilty that his actions had led to the murder of another woman; one of his own staff this time.
At last, he picked up his mobile from where it had fallen and dialled the emergency number.
Music was playing in the background at the Italian restaurant. The place was decked with red roses and lighted candles. Maria had on a red sleeveless dress. Peter wore a turquoise blue shirt and black trousers. Until their orders arrived, they had been drinking red wine and sharing personal stories and details. Now, they tucked into their meal as Kelly Sweet's song; We Are One rang out. Other couples who had already eaten were currently dancing.
"You're saying you know who the mystery strangler is?" Sherrif Wright leaned forwards.
"Yes. I saw him. I caught him in the act. I feel so guilty. He threatened to break Ashley's neck if I rang the police but I chanced it anyway and...."
"Don't worry. It wasn't your fault. There was nothing you could have done. Now please tell me, who it was you saw."
The headmaster took a deep breath. "Norman Wendice".
"Norman Wendice? The owner of Wendice's Wearhouse?"
"Vhew". Sherrif Wright whistled. He took out his mobile phone and dialed Peter's number.
Peter and Maria were now on the dance floor just as Sting's; Shape of my Heart rang out.
Peter hesitated as he gazed into Maria's eyes.
"Is it too soon to say I love you Maria?"
"No. No it's not Peter. I feel the same way."
Peter again hesitated. "Are you sure?"
"I know what you're thinking but I am absolutely sure. I didn't mean to do what I did to Frank. I learn from my mistakes and I swore I wouldn't do that to anyone else."
Maria came closer to Peter and leaned in. He responded.
The kiss seemed to last forever but finally both Peter and Maria felt his phone vibrating. Sighing, Peter led Maria off the dance floor and answered it.