In the lone alleyway beside the local restaurant was Catherine Santo. She looked quite nervous, even a little worried as her top teeth snagged on her bottom lip. Her hair was a tangle of knots, and her fingers were intertwined with the brunette hair, as if she was attempting to comb out the bird nest. Her dress was ruffled in all the right places to distract from the rips in the fabric. Her eyes were red-rimmed and a frightening shade of blue. They perfectly matched her lips. Her pallid skin shone in the moonlight, letting all of her injuries and wounds seem almost transparent.
Catherine Santo was dead, and this rang true as an adolescent female shrieked upon seeing the corpse.
Francis lifted his head at the sound of the door opening. He immediately smiled, seeing his friend enter. He straightened up and waved a hand. "Thomas! Over here!" At his name, Thomas turned his head and waved back, a smile cracking on his face. Francis leaned back in his seat as Thomas slid in opposite him.
The noirette let out a sigh and slipped his jacket off of his shoulders. He set it on the space beside him and rolled his shoulders. "How have you been?" he asked, the question rolling off of his tongue.
Francis gave a small smile as he lifted up the menu and studied the items. "Oh, you know. Same old, same old." He shrugged. "Nothing too out of the ordinary." He glanced at Thomas and leaned in a bit, perching on the edge of his seat. "You?"
Thomas chuckled a bit. "I've been okay. Kinda stressed." He shrugged, too. He picked up his own menu and narrowed his eyes. "How's the bank?"
The other groaned and rolled his eyes. "Don't talk to me about that place." He laughed and looked at Thomas. "A bank teller isn't a very exciting job."
"You could get taken hostage by a robber. What are you ordering?"
Their waitress appeared almost by command, and the two recited their orders. She gave them a smile as she jotted down the orders. "It'll take a while. Will that be okay?" She glanced at Thomas, raising her eyebrows.
Francis glanced between them and gave her a smile. "That's perfect. Thanks." She flashed him a look before turning and starting off. Francis watched her leave before looking at Thomas. "Totally into you."
His friend smiled, blushing a bit. "Whatever, man." He waved it off. "Catherine's great, though."
Francis leaned back and crossed his arms over his chest. "She better be great. She talks about you constantly. It gets annoying after a while."
"I'm glad I could make that much of an impact on her," he said grimly. "Well… She certainly leaves an impact, too." At Francis' confusion, Thomas leaned forward and pulled his shirt down, off his shoulder. A purple and black bruise dwelled on the skin.
Francis' eyes widened. "Shut up, Thomas." He waved a hand. "That's ridiculous." Thomas shrugged and fixed his shirt, leaning back. Francis stared at the other, scanning his face. "Dude, I grew up with her. She's my… little sister, man." He shook his head. "She wouldn't do that." Thomas shrugged again and crossed his arms over his chest. Francis watched him before leaning across the table. He narrowed his eyes. "Is that why you wanted to have dinner? So you could casually slip in the fact that my sister… that she…" He paused and looked ahead. He leaned in some more, and Thomas met him half-way. "That she hits you," he quietly muttered, pulling back afterwards.
Thomas shook his head. "That wasn't the only reason, Francis." He glared. "Don't assume that. You're my friend, too. Best friend, in fact." He tilted his head to the side. "Even though I wanted you to be aware of what was happening, that wasn't the only reason I wanted to hang out." He shook his head and lowered it. Francis bit his lip and carefully watched him as the other took out his cell phone from his pocket. He tapped the screen and paused a bit, reading a text, it seemed. Thomas glanced outside and let out a sigh. He smiled at Francis before sliding out of his spot and pocketing his phone. "I need to use the restroom." He waved a bit before departing.
Francis carefully watched him before looking down and scraping his fingers across the tabletop. He was still in disbelief. Catherine was his little sister, for God's sake. He was there ever since she was born. Surely he would have been the first person to figure out Catherine's abusive side? She was such a sweet girl, but that didn't really mean that she wasn't capable of doing something like this.
Francis let out a long and loud sigh as he leaned back in his seat, stretching out his legs underneath the table. He turned and looked out of the window, attempting to see what Thomas was looking at before, but it was getting dark now. He could hardly see a thing.
He huffed and looked ahead, seeing Thomas make his way back over. He seemed to have gained some color in his cheeks, making him seem flustered. Francis raised an eyebrow as he pulled his legs back and sat up straighter. "Ran a little before coming back here?"
Thomas threw him a glare before sliding into his seat. "It was burning up in the bathroom. I'm lucky I didn't get a third degree burn." He cleared his throat and glanced around, catching the eye of their waitress, carrying their food. "Let's just eat, yeah?"
Francis watched Thomas as he slowly nodded and tilted his head at the sound of their plates being laid before them. He looked down and picked up his silverware. "Yeah, let's eat. I heard their lasagna is excellent."
Francis pulled open the door to his apartment and made his way inside. He kicked the door closed before walking across the room and tossing the keys on the coffee table. He paused and looked around. Everything was silent. All the lights had been turned off. He furrowed his brow and looked around. That was strange. Catherine got off work at six, and that was before he even went off to dinner with Thomas. Then, he didn't think much of it—she often worked over time—but now it was approaching nine, and there was no sign of her. Francis bit is lip and took a quick sweep of the apartment, which only heightened his fears.
He went back to the living room and fell into the armchair. He pulled out his phone and quickly tapped in Catherine's number, holding the device to his ear afterwards.
It rang several times before it directed him to voicemail. Francis cursed and tossed his phone beside him. He leaned back and looked ahead, narrowing his eyes. He knew his best bet would be to wait. He just hoped Catherine wasn't too far away.
Half of an hour has passed when Francis' phone rang. He immediately sat up and reached over, grabbing his phone. He held it up to his ear and looked ahead. "Yes?"
Expecting his sister's voice, Francis was surprised to hear Thomas' voice. "Oh, my God, Francis. It's horrible," he wailed.
He furrowed his brow. "Are you crying?" he asked, leaning forward and perching on the edge of his seat.
His answer came out as another cry.
"Francis, it's horrible. Catherine… Oh, God."
Francis widened his eyes and sat up a little straighter. "Catherine? What happened to Catherine?" A knock came from his door, and he almost fell over as he quickly stood up. He made his way over to the door. "What happened, Thomas?"
"They always go to the boyfriend."
"Excuse me, Mr. Santo."
Francis slowly turned his head and saw that he had opened the door. A short police officer stood there, his brow creased with worry. He lowered his phone and stood still, speechless. He finally managed to open and close his mouth a few times. "I… what…" He shook his head. "What's happened?"
The officer looked him over and gave him an apologetic look. "We firmly believe that we found the body of your sister, Catherine Santo." He locked his jaw a bit. "We need you to come with me and identify the body."
Francis felt his eyes sting. He shut his eyes and looked down. He roughly swallowed. "Why do you need me to identify it?" he asked quietly.
The man leaned his weight on the other leg and crossed his arms over his chest. "We need confirmation, Mr. Santo." He took a step back and started down the hall. "Kindly follow me."
Francis pressed his lips into a thin line and shoved his phone into his pocket before following, his mind racing.
The first thing he saw was the yellow police tape draping across the crime scene. Francis' eyes widened as he stepped out of the police cruiser, realizing where he actually was. They were in the alleyway next to the restaurant he and Thomas had had dinner at. He immediately frowned, and his whole demeanor dropped. Catherine was found here? Here, of all places? Francis held his head in his hands and closed his eyes. He shook his head and let out a deep breath. "Oh, God."
He felt a hand on his shoulder, pulling Francis aside. He lifted up his head and looked over. The police officer from before was standing beside him. He gave Francis a sympathetic look before gesturing with a nod. "It's this way, Mr. Santo." Francis slowly straightened up and held his arms at his sides. He followed the officer, ducking under the tape when it was lifted. He looked around the area, seeing only a simple alleyway. He expected blood coating the walls. Francis furrowed his brow and dropped his gaze, and, finally, seeing his sister's lifeless body.
He reached out a hand and pointed. "Is that… Is—"
"—yes, yes. That's the body. Now, will you come over here? This goes quickly if you cooperate." A thin man slid in front of Francis, pulling a pair of latex gloves off. He stuck the gloves underneath his arm and extended a hand, holding it in front of Francis. He blinked and slowly extended his own, taking the man's and shaking it. The other smiled and turned on his heel. "My name is Mr. Harris. I'm the lead forensic specialist, and I need you to identify the body before I can go on." He led Francis over to the corpse and turned around. "I don't like to work with Jane Does." He smirked.
Francis blankly stared at the man before shaking his head. He stared at the body and bit his lip. He crouched down and studied the brunette hair, the blue eyes, the shape of her face… He shut his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose. From behind him, he heard Mr. Harris talking to the officer.
"What's taking him so long? All he had to do was look at her body and see if it was her. Say yes or no. Simple."
"Will you quit being so insensitive? This is a crime scene, you know."
"Oh, this is? I wasn't aware, Williams. Thank you for informing me. I couldn't tell because the corpse on the ground is distracting me."
Francis slowly stood up and looked over at the two bickering men. He shoved his hands into his pockets and looked down, kicking the ground. "That's Catherine Santo," he said quietly, roughly swallowing. Mr. Harris let out a pleased hum as he walked past Officer Williams, who had an annoyed expression on his face. Francis chewed on his lip and watched the taller. "Will you tell me how she died? If… she was in any pain?" He glanced at the body, seeing the bloody rips in her dress. He grimaced.
Mr. Harris slid on another pair of gloves and walked over to Catherine. "Well, of course she was in pain. She was stabbed to death." He crouched down and skimmed his fingertips along her torso. "Wounds indicate she was stabbed about five times in the abdomen. No murder weapon was found, however. She bled out, which resulted in a slow and painful death." Francis winced, turning his head away. "She was already dead when she was found. I'd say she was killed around"—he glanced at his watch—"eight thirty." Mr. Harris glanced at Francis before looking over at the body, scanning it. "She wasn't sexually assaulted, despite the ruffled dress." He reached out a hand and carefully wrapped his fingers around her wrist, lifting it. "There's skin underneath her fingernails, which indicates there was a struggle." He narrowed his eyes and tilted the fingers towards the light. He held out one of his hands. "Hand me some tweezers and an evidence bag." An occupying worker handed the requested items, letting Mr. Harris pick out the skin from underneath the nail. He dropped the flakes into the bag and sealed it carefully, setting the hand down in its original spot.
Francis watched him. "Will that help you find the person that did this?" he asked, hopeful.
Mr. Harris glanced at him and slowly stood up, nodding. "Yes," he said briefly, handing the bag and tweezers back to the worker. He looked at Francis. "We'll see if the skin cells are a match to the suspect." He paused and turned his head a bit. "You do have a suspect, don't you?" he asked, a tad bit condescending.
Officer Williams narrowed his eyes and crossed his arms over his chest. "Yes, we do. A man named Thomas Spenser." He looked over at Francis, whose eyes had widened. "Do you know who that is?"
Francis roughly swallowed and looked down. "Yeah," he said quietly. His mind went back to the last words Thomas had spoken to him. "They always go to the boyfriend." Was he about to be taken in for questioning when he had said that? A shiver ran down Francis' spine. Thomas could never do something like this. Not him. He couldn't hurt a fly.
Mr. Harris huffed and turned around, ripping off of the latex gloves. "I'd imagine Mr. Santo would know him. He was dating his sister." He walked past Officer Williams, brushing against his shoulder. The shorter shut his eyes and took a deep breath, shaking his head.
"I just thought I'd ask." He looked over his shoulder, throwing a glare.
Francis chewed on his lip and looked over. "Will you be able to find the murderer soon? I don't like this feeling." He waved his hands a bit.
Officer Williams frowned. "We're trying our hardest, Mr. Santo. Right now, Mr. Spenser is being questioned. We have strong evidence against him, so everything will be over soon. Don't worry about it." He gave Francis a reassuring smile.
"Courtship, abuse, and a few arguments! What a case!"
Francis cracked a smile and looked down, stuffing his hands back into his pockets. After a few more minutes of scolding the forensic specialist, Officer Williams led Francis to the police cruiser. He opened the door for him and patted his arm. "Don't worry about it. We'll solve this in no time."
But despite his confident response, Francis didn't feel very certain.
How could this have happened? How could he have left the restaurant just thirty minutes after his sister's death? It didn't make any sense. Didn't anybody see the altercation that had taken place? And why would the police bring Thomas in, just going by the 'boyfriend' status? He was with Francis when the crime was committed. He couldn't have been the murderer.
Francis fell back on his bed and looked up at the ceiling. Well, Thomas wasn't in front of him the entire dinner. He had to use the restroom, but… Francis shook his head. This was crazy. How could Thomas manage to slip out of the restaurant, stab Catherine to death, and get back into the place without anyone noticing? Well… he did look awfully flustered when he returned, but he blamed that on the heating… Francis turned over and buried his face in his pillow, holding it close. All of this was making his head spin. He wanted a straight answer now. Was that so hard? He snorted. Considering the NYPD, they would take as long as they need to, despite Officer William's promise of a speedy investigation.
He tried to go over all of the possible evidence against Thomas. He was the boyfriend of Catherine. He was the boyfriend of an abusive Catherine. They had arguments. Every couple had those, though. But not every couple argued so much that one ended up in bruises. Francis let out an angry sigh into his pillow as he held it closer. That wasn't that much evidence against him… It just established a motive… if Thomas was even the murderer, which he technically wasn't. Not now, at least.
No, he wouldn't be the murderer because they couldn't place him at the crime during the allotted time. Well… they technically could, since it happened right outside of the restaurant. But he was there, too! He hadn't heard anything suspicious. He hadn't seen any weird behavior out of Thomas. Everything was normal! Everything!
His phone rang.
Francis lifted up his head and looked at the bedside table, seeing an unknown number flash on the screen. He furrowed his brow and checked the time. It was three thirty a.m. Who would be calling him at this time? He hesitated a bit, but ended up reaching out a hand and taking his phone, tapping the screen and holding it up to his ear. "Hello?"
"Mr. Santo? This is the New York Police Department."
His eyes widened, and he sat up in bed, looking ahead. "Yes?"
"Thomas Spenser was released from custody around midnight tonight. He cooperated and answered all of our questions. Unfortunately for the case, the DNA results have come back negative. The DNA left behind at the crime scene did not match Mr. Spenser's."
Francis paused and looked ahead. He studied the wall and wet his lips. "What now?"
"Now… well, we have to try our hardest to find more suspects. Although that could be challenging, consider we only had one lead." A laugh came from the receiver. Francis narrowed his eyes. "Do you know anybody who held a grudge against Catherine? Anybody who would want her, er, well—"
"—dead? No, I don't. Catherine was very nice and friendly to everybody she knew. I have no idea why she was killed or targeted or whatever." Francis shut his eyes and took a deep breath. "I'm sorry I can't be of any help. I hope you'll be able to find out who done this."
"Thank you, Mr. Santo. We'll call you if we get any more leads."
Francis hung up the phone and set it beside him. He looked ahead and blinked a few times. So, Thomas wasn't the murderer after all… But if he wasn't, then who was? Catherine didn't have any enemies. Just like the police department, Francis had no leads. Nothing to go on.
He fell back on the bed with a grunt and shut his eyes. He tried to steady his breathing. He cursed before turning over in bed and holding the pillow over his head.
Francis and his mother Linda sat in the front of the small group at Catherine's funeral one week later. After gathering up any necessary DNA forensics may use, they were allowed to release the body, letting the Santo family give their youngest member a funeral. It was very bleak, the gray clouds certainly adding a certain ambiance to the whole situation. Beside Francis was Thomas, who had brought his brother Michael with him. Francis hadn't seen the younger Spenser around that often, and he seemed uncomfortable as he walked up to the casket at the visitation. When Francis had asked Thomas about that, the eldest quickly waved it off as normal behavior. Michael hadn't been close to Catherine and Francis for as long as he could remember. He did remember that during their childhood, Michael had tagged along with Thomas the majority of the time, hiding behind his brother whenever the Santo siblings would attempt to turn the attention onto him.
Francis knitted his brows together and turned his head, looking over at Michael. His head was bowed, and his eyes were shut. His fingers were clasped around one of his wrists, and, then, Francis could never have guessed that he was only twenty-five. He looked so… capable. He narrowed his eyes and looked ahead, tucking that in the back of his mind.
The funeral ended twenty minutes later. After exchanging good-byes to the Spensers, Francis drove his mother back home before heading to his apartment. He shut the door behind him as he kicked off his shoes, pushing them to the edge of the wall. He slid off his jacket and tossed it aside as he walked further into the apartment, heading in the room to the far left. The room that hadn't been touched in a week.
Francis pushed open Catherine's door carefully and looked around. He breathed in and smelled her favorite perfume. He smiled and felt a pang in his chest. He took a deep breath as he walked into the bedroom, studying the area. Now, where would all the incriminating evidence be at…?
The NYPD hadn't called Francis anymore since that late-night phone call. There was no new suspects, no new leads, nothing. Nothing at all. It seemed like they have given up hope. His mother seemed to, also, but Francis wouldn't give in. He wanted to figure out who had killed his sister. He wanted a real motive. He wanted answers.
He walked over to Catherine's bed and slowly sat down. He could see the tiny dust particles float up. Francis smiled a bit and rubbed at his nose. He looked over and reached out a hand, wrapping his fingers around the knob of the bedside table drawer. He slowly pulled, seeing a number of items: a bible, a pen, an iPod, and a small notebook. Francis raised an eyebrow and reached out a hand, gingerly taking the notebook out from the drawer. He held it in both hands as he studied it. A thin layer of dust was on the object, like it hadn't been used for a while. He blew on it and wiped off the dust before opening up the notebook.
The first entry was from a couple months ago.
1. I never realized it, but Francis' friend is really cute. No, not the dorky one (ick!) but Thomas. We hung out all the time when we were kids, but I guess since time has passed, I've really noticed how mature and charming he is. I just think it's weird if I start dating him. Would Francis mind? I hope he wouldn't. Of course he'll be protective of his little sister, but, then again, who wouldn't? Maybe that's why Michael's always with Thomas. He's protective of him, too.
Francis felt something tug at his heart. He shut his eyes and took a deep breath. Could he keep reading? He had to. Maybe this would be worthy evidence against… well, he didn't know. He sighed and shook his head. He looked back down at the page and continued to enter the life of his late twenty-three year old sister.
2. We finally had a serious conversation! It was everything that I imagined it would be. No nosy brothers involved. And he said he'd call me later! I don't want to be cheesy or anything (Francis, if you're reading this…), but I feel like I'm in high school again. It's a good feeling.
3. I'm sorry I haven't been able to write lately. So much has been going on! Thomas and I went on an actual date, and it was wonderful! Francis pestered me afterwards, but that's how older brothers are, I suppose. I can't wait until I move out, though. I'll miss Francis to death, but I need my privacy. I'm already risking everything by spilling into this thing! Thomas is really wonderful, though. I can really see myself spending my life with him. He's nice and sweet and so, so, so kind. Michael bothered us a bit, too, when I went to Thomas' house afterwards. He seemed oddly jealous. Huh, maybe I'm just thinking too far into things.
4. Fourth date was a success!
5. Thomas has been talking about finding a small apartment and moving in together. Could we do it? Are we moving too fast! Gah, I don't know anymore! I don't want to leave Francis behind, but at the same time, I want to fly away! Three weeks is too soon to start thinking about marriage plans, right?
6. Thomas invited me over to dinner at his place. I went over a little earlier than expected, so I had to wait for him to get out of the shower. I sat in the living room with his little brother. At first, he's really creepy, but once you get into a decent conversation with him, he's actually quite nice! It's easy to talk to him, and I can relax. Strange… Thomas always puts me on the edge of my seat.
7. Sorry again! Things have been adding up. Thomas is talking about apartments and marriages and children. Children! Can you believe it? I'm not even twenty-five yet! I don't even want to hear the word children until I'm at least Francis' age (fifty-two right? Haha…). I don't see him rushing to get married and have children. He has all of the time in the world, and I'm being pressured into making life-changing decisions. This isn't fair! Michael has been making things easier, though. After getting into an argument with Thomas, he calls me and we have hour long conversations. I hope Francis' hasn't been paying attention to the phone bill!
8. Oh, goodness, this is just horrible!
9. I'm so sorry I haven't been keeping this thing updated… My relationship with Thomas is slowly going downhill, and it's my entire fault! We were arguing again, and I don't know what happened… I just hit him! Right across the face! A slap! I can't do this anymore. I just can't see him being hurt. I'll end this whole mess tomorrow.
10. Things didn't go exactly as planned… I have a nifty bruise on my stomach to prove it. Don't worry. He has a matching one…
11. Everything I do messes things up! Thomas hits me, and I hit him back, and I just can't deal with this anymore! No matter how many times I try and end this dreadful thing, he yells at me and calls me names! "You'll never find anybody better than me." "Nobody will want you after me." "You're so stupid. Who do you think you're fooling?" I can't do it! I can't tell Francis anything, because he's Thomas' best friend. But I can't do this alone! Who can I confide in now?
12. Michael is seriously the best person in the entire world.
13. Thomas says that if I wasn't so silly, then we would still be making marriage plans. That's not true, though. I know better, even if Thomas doesn't think so.
14. These past few days have been passing in one big blur. I can hardly distinguish one day from the last. This is horrible! I went to Thomas' and tried to end things with him again, but he stopped me again. I'm just glad he leaves the marks where clothes can cover them.
Francis paused and slowly lowered the notebook. His palms were clammy, and he could feel his stomach churn. This was… This was… sad. How could he have been so blind? Catherine was suffering from all this. Thomas was, too. Was this really what happened between closed doors? He looked down and flipped a couple pages, going to the most recent entries.
22. I barely made it home. I'm just glad Francis was asleep. I can't write right now. I have to explain later.
23. Okay, let's see if I can do this. I went to Thomas' last night. Worst. Idea. Ever. Thomas and Michael seemed to have been conspiring against me. I thought Michael was on my side! He was trying to end this whole mess! I have no idea what happened! I thought he was my friend, but it turned out that he was only Thomas' guinea pig. He told Thomas everything I told him. Everything I had told him in confidence! As soon as I stepped into the house and the door was shut, Michael grabbed my hair and dragged me through the house and into the kitchen. He shoved a drink down my throat… It tasted so bitter! It nearly made me sick, but when I tried to throw it up, Michael tugged harder at my hair.
Thomas came out of the bedroom, then, and he looked like a bat outta hell. It was so terrifying, and I tried to scream, but Michael put his hand over my mouth. Thomas walked over and began to insult me, throwing slurs and names at me, just like he used to when things got too real for him. He told me that he was going to kill me, and Michael was going to help. He said that I was only a reoccurring problem, and I had to be dealt with. Ending things with him wouldn't be that simple, he said. I had seen too much. Experienced too much. He knew as soon as I left home, I would go to the police and blab. He would go to jail, and Michael would, too. He didn't want that, so he said the only solution was to kill me. I couldn't believe it! In the beginning, Thomas was such a sweet guy! Boy, was I fooled! I feel like such an idiot.
Thomas went over to the knife drawer and grabbed their sharpest one. He walked back over and dangled it in front of me. He taunted me and pressed the blade against my face to scare me. It certainly did. I fidgeted and tried to scream, but Michael's hand was strong. I knew I had to figure a way out, and when Thomas was wrapped up in a monologue, I kicked him in the groin and elbowed Michael. I got the heck out of there, then! I knew I couldn't come back. I wouldn't come back. Tonight was the last straw!
I'm so glad Francis didn't see me. I was such a mess. He didn't ask about anything this morning, so I think I'm safe. I'll go to the police tomorrow, and this whole thing will end. I'll be free!
Francis shut the notebook and tossed it aside. He fell back and held his head in his hands. He let out a strained breath and curled his toes. He tried to hold in the tears, but the fact that Catherine thought she was safe brought a sick feeling to his stomach. He turned on his side, curled in a ball, and cried.
It was tough to get through the next day, knowing what his little sister had gone through. It was surreal, and everything felt like a dream. This was impossible. How could he have not seen the signs of abuse on Thomas, let alone Catherine? They lived together, for God's sake. He must have been blind to not notice it all. Thomas was his friend. How could nobody tell him about this? It didn't make any sense. Even if he wasn't directly involved, he was technically involved.
He contemplated confronting Thomas straight up about the whole ordeal, but he knew that he would deny it, even with the proof presented in the notebook. He thought about confronting Michael, too, but he didn't know him all that well, and he figured it'd be a tad weird. Finally, he decided that he would go to the police, presenting them the notebook and all of the evidence it contained. Francis would tell them that even though the skin cells didn't match Thomas, he was involved with Catherine's death. He'd tell them to bring in Michael, and then all of their questions would be answered.
So, on that following Thursday, Francis went down to the police department, the notebook clutched in his hands. He was confident, proud, and a little relieved. Before this whole mess, he thought Thomas wouldn't be capable of anything like this, wouldn't be capable of murder. But now, after reading the entries in the notebook, the entries telling of Catherine's terrifying experience, he viewed his best friend with a different light. He was no longer the innocent, wouldn't-hurt-a-fly Thomas he grew up with. He was now the dangerous, manipulative Thomas, who pulled his little brother into his web of deceit and persuaded him to kill his girlfriend.
He pushed into the building and stood in the doorway, looking around. He curled his fingers around the notebook and bit his lip. Soon, he saw Officer Williams approach him, his brows knitted together in a concerned expression. He stood in front of Francis and crossed his arms over his chest. "What is it, Mr. Santo?"
He opened his mouth to say something, but no words came out. He bit down on his lip again as he held out the notebook, holding it out for the officer.
The short man looked down at the object and slowly nodded. "Okay…" He reached out and took the notebook, examining it. He rifled through the papers, not really reading the contents. "What's this about?" he asked, glancing at him.
Francis took a deep breath and stood up a little straighter. He felt the rush of confidence hit him again. He smiled a bit. "I know who killed Catherine Santo."