“Ahh.” Brianna awoke on Nadia Hollister’s couch not remembering how she got there. Cops walked in and out of the front door. Someone barked orders among overlapping voices. Cameras snapped in the distance. People trudged through the halls.
An ice pack slid from underneath her when she lifted her head. A spasm traveled through her neck. Goosebumps covered her brown skin.
“Detective Morris?” A female officer bent over her. “You okay? Don’t move too fast okay?”
The lady’s high-pitched tone multiplied the agony in Brianna’s head.
“Mmm. What the?”
“You’re at Nadia Hollister’s. Don’t you remember? Are you in a lot of pain?”
“No.” She touched her head. “Just, just dizzy.”
“We’ll get you to the hospital. We were gonna take you there when we first got here but Detective Kemp said it was best not to move you yet.”
“Steve?” Brianna sat up. "Steve’s here?” She focused on Nadia’s computer desk.
“Yeah he’s with Detective Matthews.”
“Jayce is here?”
If Jayce is here something terrible has…
“Detective Kemp said you were supposed to meet him earlier after you left here and when you didn’t show up he came looking for you. And that’s when he saw what happened.”
“What happened? Is something wrong?” Brianna grabbed the lady’s shirt. “Where’s Nadia?”
“What happened?” Brianna shook her. "Where’s Nadia? Where is she?”
“Let me get Detective Kemp.” The lady pulled Brianna’s fingers from her shirt. “I think it’s best if he explains it to you.” She ran out.
Officers drifted in to check on Brianna. She fanned them away, lying that she felt okay.
Detective Steven Kemp squeezed between the forensics officers at the doorway. Humidity forced his short blond hair into small spikes. His turquoise-blue pupils zeroed in on Brianna as if he expected answers she couldn’t give.
“Oh, Bree.” He adjusted his gun belt and sat beside her.
“I’m fine.” She massaged her temples. “Just tell me what’s going on.”
“I’m just so glad you’re all right, baby.” He kissed her forehead.
“I feel like someone ran over my head then came back, saw that wasn’t good enough and decided to pound it with a brick.”
“The medic checked it. There’s no lump or anything.” He combed his hands through her hair. “Just need to get you to the hospital for tests to make sure everything is okay.”
Someone had taken down her ponytail. Her neat curls had dissolved into kinky ringlets.
“I don’t need to go to the hospital.”
“I don’t care what you say you need. You got hit in the head with that thing.” He pointed to the canister on the floor.
“I’m fine, Steven.”
“Get up without wobbling then.”
She got up. "Oh! Oooh.” She fell back down.
“See, you’re going to the hospital.”
“What happened? Why is Jayce here?”
He lowered his head. “I’m so sorry, Bree.”
“What?” She put the ice pack on her head. "Steve spit it out.”
“Nadia was murdered.”
“What?” She dropped the ice pack. "You…that’s impossible.”
“No wait a minute! We were just together tonight,here. We were gonna watch a movie.” She felt her head. “This can’t be true. It just can’t be.”
“It is. We believe whoever attacked you killed her.”