Chapter 63: Battle of Wits
Sitting across from Harriet, Officer Foster eyed her nervously. His mind was going a mile a minute. He had realized, as soon as he saw her coming down the steps that he knew her from somewhere. But where did he know her from?
No matter hard he racked his brain, the answer wouldn’t come. It was important to figure it out quickly. His approach to her interview depended upon whether he previously interacted with her in an official capacity or during his sideline using his badge to do favors and pull jobs for payments under the table.
If she had witnessed him doing something illicit, then it would be risky to press her too hard for information. His shady sideline needed to remain secret. The last thing he needed was for her to go tell her brother Richard what she knew.
That bastard would run straight to precinct and file a complaint full of allegations which would cause internal affair investigators to start sniffing around. Harriet was attractive and relatively young, so he made an assumption and decided to brazen it out. Foster remained silent, until the others had left the room and then quickly leaned towards her.
“Well first things first, we need to talk about the elephant in the room. We’ve seen each other before. I’m just not sure where or when. Not to be indelicate, but have I issued you any sort of citation for a moving violation or…solicitation? “
“Wow! Really? You come in here with your insincere condolences and as soon as we’re alone you start right in with insults. You think you’ve seen me before, so you assume I’m a whore? I think that says more about you than it does about me Officer Foster.”
“I meant no disrespect. It’s just that I am conducting what could potentially become a wrongful death or murder investigation. So, I need to know who I’m dealing with.”
“Are you saying that I’m already a suspect?”
“I don’t have any suspects yet. However, in the beginning stages of any investigation, no one can be ruled out. Not without verified alibis.”
“I still feel you’re being very insensitive. My mother just died…”
“Yet I have seen no tears.”
“Unbelievable! You’re even judging the way I grieve! I am sorry if my expression of grief isn’t living up your expectations. Have you been around me, from the moment she passed away? No you have not, so you have no idea how many tears I shed for her! I’m still coming to terms with her passing and here you are already attempting to assassinate my character. That is wrong of you Officer Foster, on so many levels. However, you are right about one thing; we have seen each other before. We have a mutual acquaintance. You remember Stryker, don’t you? I’m his right hand. I happen to know you’re one of his lap dogs.”
“I find your pathetic attempt at intimidation so amusing that I’m going to let your ill-advised insult slide. But you’re on thin ice, so watch your step. I know for a fact that you’re bluffing, because I ran background checks on you and your siblings. Yours came up clean. Anyone working for Stryker would have a record as long as my arm. Surely, you’re not trying to say you’re so good that you’ve never been caught.”
“When you don’t get your hands dirty, you don’t get caught.”
“I do not believe you. You’re not a very good liar. I’ll bet you don’t even know Stryker,” Foster challenged.
“Oh, so you want receipts. Okay, I’ll give you one. Let’s talk about the shooting on Pine Street two weeks ago.”
“What about it? That gangbanger shot at me, I returned fire and end of story.”
“That’s the official version. I’m talking about what really went down. I happen to know that Stryker put a price on that kid’s head, and you got paid for taking him out.”
“That so-called kid had a gun…”
“You mean the throwdown you pulled out of your ankle holster? That’s the oldest trick in the book.”
Samentha was glad that she had retaken possession of Harriet’s body. This interrogation could have been disasterous. Harriet did not handle confrontation very well, even on a good day. Grief had made her vulnerable. Officer Foster had counted on it. She would have folded like a tent, with him throwing his weight around. Samentha that found it satisfying to cause the blood to suddenly drain from Foster’s face. Apparently, he could dish out accusations but was not accustomed to having them flung back into his smug face.
Of course, she was aware that accusing a dirty cop of murder was dangerous. She ran the risk of him deciding to silence her permanently, in order to shut her up. It couldn’t be helped. Samentha intended to enlist his assistance in digging up a little dirt on Joshua. She needed leverage, in order to put a stop to his blackmail attempt and force him to hand over the spirit whistle. Once Samentha had it, she could possess Harriet’s body forever.