Jillian had been able to sneak out of her room successfully – but obtaining Tony’s car keys was an entirely different story. She tried to get into his room and get them; he started to stir and she was sure the jingle of the keys would wake him. And if they didn’t, well the opening of the garage door probably would. There was no way out. Sure, she could walk but that wasn’t practical. She could call a cab; yeah, bright idea, she didn’t have any money. Besides, her apartment was most likely under surveillance anyway.
Her mind continued to replay all of the events involve in the case. She needed a break – heck, she needed a drink! She figured the back porch of the house could be a temporary escape. She could sit outside, have some peace to herself and figure the next move. All that was in the refrigerator was a 6-pack of soda – she took one and walked toward the back door.
“I guess I need to tell Jethro everything,” Jillian spoke softly while she stared at the stars in the sky. “He isn’t going to like it.”
“You’re right about that.” Jillian jumped as she heard his voice behind her. “I think you owe me an explanation Jillian – no more secrets.” Jethro walked over and sat on the swing next to Jillian; she bowed her head and avoided making eye contact.
The two sat in silence on the swing for what seemed like hours when in fact it was a few minutes. “How long had you known he was involved Jillian?”
“I had suspicions early on. He challenged me constantly and kept telling me it was useless to keep digging. I had an unwilling witness he said – it wasn’t going to lead anywhere. I ignored him – kept digging.”
“You’re gut tell you to keep going?”
“Yeah, something like that. I began to get paranoid, Jethro. I felt like everyone was against me. I thought everyone was trying to throw me off-track.”
“So, you began investigating them?” Jethro asked; he had to admit he was intrigued.
“Yeah, sad isn’t it? I have nothing better to do than to investigate my co-workers.”
“Hey, I can’t judge – I’m building a boat in my basement.”
Jillian turned and looked into Jethro’s steel blue eyes. For the first time I a few days, she actually smiled. “A boat…in your basement…why?”
“Well, it keeps me from investigating my co-workers. Maybe you should try it.” Jethro smiled back.
Honestly, I was just trying to find out if there was a motive – a way for them to profit if I did stop investigating. They protested too much, that is what made me suspicious.”
“It wasn’t who you thought it would be?”
“No, it wasn’t. I didn’t figure out who it was though until last week – that is when everything fell into place.”
“How about the threatening letters and phone calls; did any of those offer any clues?”
“Things were odd about the calls – the first few were to my voicemail – then all of a sudden they started coming in just after I got to the office or just after I got home. That is what made me start to realize that someone from the office was involved.”
“What information was Petty Officer Hill able to provide?”
Jillian’s shoulders dropped, she took a deep breath, “He was never helpful – he denied everything, said he didn’t have any information on his supplier. I pushed him on it – tried offering a plea, nothing, he just clammed up. The only thing he would say is that he never saw his supplier in person – he only had contact via text message or phone call. The calls had a voice distortion device and the pick-up and drop-offs were in random spots each time – nothing routine.”
For a few moments Jillian and Jethro sat in silence. She was surprised he took her story so well. She had been positive he would yell; of course there was still time.
Jethro cleared his throat, “You know you almost got yourself killed – was that part of your plan?” Jillian kept her head down; she didn’t want to look at him. He was right, her pride and her desire to prove her moxie almost cost her everything.
“Jillian – look at me!” Jethro said forcefully. She slowly turned and looked at him. His face showed genuine concern, something she had not seen from Jethro in the past. “You could – no, you should have – called me. Would it have been worth it to die for this case?”
One by one the tears began to trickle down Jillian’s face. She tried to stop them but it was no use. She got up from the swing and walked back into the house. She stepped around Tony who had come from the living room to see what was going on. Jethro did not follow her – he let her go – he probably should have gone easier on her but she needed to k now she was out of her league.