“Let’s go hear what pitiful excuse Carlyle has for the booby trap and if there are any more
surprises we should be aware of,” Emily snapped, then smiled apologetically to
Sven and Brett.
Sven walked over to her and wrapped an arm around her shoulder. He looked down at the worried expression in her eyes. He had no choice. Being six five and two fifty and she at five foot one and one twenty-five. “We’re big boys. At least I am.” That brought a chuckle from both her and Brett who was just an inch shorter then Sven. “We can take it.”
“Yeah, don’t sweat it boss. Let’s just finish up here and get back. I’m betting Dakota has given her a good piece of his mind.”
Laughter was shared by all three, fully aware of the kind of things Dakota, would and could do to someone he didn’t like.
With that impetus in mind they quickly finished collecting the evidence but left the flood lights for later and headed back the way they’d come.
As they reentered the room Emily looked around, actually, more down. Carlyle was still sprawled out on the floor, hands secured behind her. She noticed Dakota was lying at her
head, teeth slightly bared in a warning not to move. The only recognition she
saw of her being in the room was a twitch of an ear in her direction.
At first she wasn’t going to take pity on the woman but changed her mind when Carlyle looked up at her. A pitiful, please help me look in her eyes. But before Emily called Dakota
off she showed Annabelle the evidence bag holding the pistol. She watched as
her expression went from her current pleading to one of wondering surprise.
“That’s not mine,” Carlyle struggled to get out, not sure what if anything her guard would do if she spoke.
Emily looked first at her, then back to the weapon. She figured she’d better get Dakota back to her side. The sweat marks on the back of her shirt was a good indicator that the woman obviously had suffered enough. “Dakota, come.”
He flicked his ear on hearing his name, then slowly rose to his feet. After a fur resettling
shake, with one eye on his prisoner, the other on Emily, he strolled triumphantly to her side. He walked around behind her coming to rest at his partner’s left leg. He felt her hand rest lightly on his head, his response was to lean heavily, as if he did it any other way, onto
Seeing the pistol bagged in her hand, Dakota gave a little whine, then reached his head toward it. This was his way of asking to see what they held.
With a questioning gaze, Emily looked into Dakota’s deep brown eyes, then held the bag near his nose. “Is this what you want little guy?”
Emily took that as a yes and stepped away before she unsealed and peeled the plastic back. With the bag at his level she, with a subtle hand movement, gave Dakota the ‘come’
command to sniff the pistol grips.
It was Carlyle who stood, mouth agap at what was unfolding before her. She turned to Wallie and in a soft voice asked, “What’s going on?”
With a humorous smile on her face she turned. “Simple really. We all have our specialties. Including him,” she cocked her head toward the individual in question. “as you can see,
his is smell. Several times we’ve had a subject and were about to release them
when Dakota there indicated to us that we were right in our suspicions. And we
know it’s impossible to get fingerprints from the checkered grip and maybe the
weapon. Somehow he knows that and that’s why he’s smelling it. You say the gun
isn’t yours and he’s the best way to prove it.”
Emily watched as Dakota lifted his nose from the evidence bag and with an arm signal indicated he should check out their chief suspect. Instead, in surprise she watched as he
lay down. She looked over to Annabelle and Wallie, a relieved twinkle in her
eyes. “Release her. I apologize Master Sergeant for having placed you under
arrest. You have to admit though that at the time you appeared to be the prime
suspect in trying to kill us.”
Annabelle, now free of the handcuffs, rubbed her wrists in the hopes of easing the pain. She could feel an anger start to well up in her but forced it down. “Your apology is
accepted. Now, can we, or you all, find out who put that,” pointing to the
weapon, “in the secret passageway? Of which, I should point out, I nor my
husband had a clue existed.”
“Hey Boss,” everyone turned to Brett. “What do you think the odds are of there being more of those passages and maybe even a secret room or two?” Now, instead of addressing the
room of people, he settled his gaze on Annabelle. “You wouldn’t by any chance
have blueprints of the house would you? Even newish one’s but the older the
“Yeah, I think so. Just can’t remember where they are,” Annabelle’s brow furrowed as she paced around the room. Occasionally her head would lift as she looked at a section of
bookcase, only to move on. Suddenly, she paused, turning to everyone. “Sorry. I
thought they were in here,” she shrugged in disgust.
Sven looked over to her, “Don’t-”. The sound of vehicles approaching cut him off.
Emily ran out in the hall and toward the front door. “Damn, I forgot all about them.”
“Who? What?” Sven said from behind her. Easily, he looked over her head to the transport van with a Humvee right behind. “Oh!”
Emily looked back at everyone. “My fault. I’ll take the heat. You all stay here.” She gave her left thigh a pat and felt Dakota’s wet nose rub against her hand.
Emily didn’t give them a chance to exit their vehicles before she was on them and explained the mistake. Even taking a little extra heat from Cindy, whom she promised would get forty-eight hours off even if she had to pull one of her shifts.
While she’d been conversing with the two MP’s, the First Sergeant had talked with Carlyle.
Satisfied everything was as it should be, he headed back to the base, the
others following in his wake.