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Don West
Title: A Murder Mystery
First story in the 'Four Corners Detective's Mystery Series'
Author: Bernadette
Rating: PG
Fandom: The Magnificent Seven
AU: Four Corners Detectives
Genre: Hurt/Comfort
Summary: Detective's Standish and Dunne investigate a murder and find an unlikely witness.
Main Characters: Ezra, JD and the rest of the seven
Disclaimers: The guys are owned by CBS, MGM, Trilogy Entertainment Group, and The Mirisch Corp.
Beta: Not betaed
Notes: I was in the weirdest mood when I wrote this but I will not use that as an excuse for the way this turned out.
Spoilers: None.
Word Count: 8,330




Part Two


'What makes you think that?' Price asked.

'Please, I'm not stupid.'

Both Dunne and Garrett choked on a comeback.

Standish allowed his head to fall to the table. 'My life is hell.'

'Only a stupid person would do that,' Garrett said.

'Dunne, enough with the food. I want you to write this down.'

'Sure thing, boss.'

Garrett saw the irritated expression on Detective Standish's face and decided the time was right.

'Okay, boss,' Garrett said. 'I'm ready when you are. Ask away, boss. I'll tell you everything. I'm ready to squeal like a pig.'

'Why are you calling me "boss"?'

Garrett leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms. 'Because it's time and I'm ready to piss you off.'

'You're already pissing me off.'

'Junior.'

Standish turned to look at Price.

'Excuse me?'

'He doesn't like being called Junior. His Grandmother called him that all the time. He hated it.'

'DAD!'

'Thank you for the information, Mr. Price.' Standish turned back to Garrett. 'Okay, Junior . . . we can do this the easy way and drop the nick names or do it the hard way and try to outdo each other with the name calling. It's up to you.'

'Okay, boss, we'll do it the hard way.'

Standish stared at the boy then at the boy's father for help. He didn't get any.

'Before we start I want to inform you that neither of you are under arrest but I would like you, Mr. Price, to sign a form to waive your rights so nothing that is said here can be thrown back in our faces in court. Also you can have a lawyer present if you wish.'

Dunne left the room then quickly returned with a form and passed it across the table, the edge of the paper collected some syrup on the way. Price signed it with one of Dunne's pens then handed it back.

'Where do I sign, boss?' Garrett asked.

'You don't, you're a minor, junior. What you need is a parent, guardian or lawyer present. You're not under arrest and you're father is here to see to your interests. Start at the beginning, junior.'

Standish saw what would have been his own expression reflected on the boy's face when he called him junior. The kid did hate the nickname almost as much as he hated it when someone called him boss.

'Like Dad said, we were at the library and I was reading about the Pyramids of Egypt. They were interesting but not my type of thing because I want to be a computer game programmer, but we don't have a computer. Sometimes they let me use the one at the library but they cost money and Dad can't afford to pay for it very often,' Garrett watched Standish's expression go from frustrated to impatient but the man didn't tell him to hurry. 'We left at?' he glanced at his father.

Garrett's father began to talk, 'It was about eight-fifteen. I remember glancing up at the clock on the way out because the shelter closes at nine-thirty, and I wanted to get there before they closed their doors. They let us stay sometimes, not all the time though.'

'We were walking through the park and I was walking ahead of Dad. I like to look for money or wallets that people may have dropped . . . you know anything that may help us buy our next meal, that sort of thing.' He realised what he had just said. 'Did I get us in trouble?'

'No,' Standish sighed. 'Just keep talking about what happened and what you saw.'

'Okay, Boss,' Garrett smiled. 'Anyway I was off the path cause that's where people . . . well men and ladies . . . they . . . and I thought I saw something. I went closer and that's when I saw the lady--'

'What lady would that be, Junior?' Standish asked.

'The one that was dead. I could tell because her eyes were open. You don't sleep with your eyes open do you and she . . . didn't . . . '

Standish saw the boy's blue eyes fill with tears. 'I know what you saw Garrett and I know it's hard for you but I do need you to say it for our records. You don't have to give us a detailed description, just enough so we know that nothing changed in the crime scene from when you found her to when we showed up.' Standish almost grimaced when he realised he referred to the victim as "her".

'Okay, Boss.'

'We'll be finished in a few minutes then you can go to Mrs. Wells place,' Standish said, 'she has a computer and access to the internet. Tell her I said you can use both and that I'll take care of the cost.'

'Her jeans and . . . they were down around her ankles . . . '

Garrett's father interrupted, 'Can't I tell you this part. I caught up with him a few minutes later.'

'I'm sorry, Mr. Garrett, but I need Junior to tell me.'

'And her shirt was up around her shoulders.'

'Was she lying face up or down?'

'She was lying on her stomach,' Garrett answered.

'Did you touch anything?'

'No. I sort of froze until Dad found me and then we left.'

'Did you see anyone else in the area before you found the body or after?'

'No.'

'What about you, Mr. Price, did you see anyone?'

'No. When I saw what Garrett was looking at I grabbed him and pulled him away.'

'Why didn't you call us straight away?' Standish asked him.

'I know I should have but my first concern was for my son. I didn't want to lose him. I know I did the wrong thing by not calling you,' Price was babbling now, 'but I've already lost his mother and I don't want to lose him. If they take him away . . . I should have called you.'

'Yes you should have but it's too late now. If I was a bastard I would charge you with something but I'm not.' Standish was literally a Bastard, born out of wedlock. He'd never known his father, didn't even know his name.

'Did you get all that down, Dunne?'

'I did, Boss,' Dunne said.

'Mr. Price, we won't keep you any longer because Junior here is really starting to piss me off and you're not making me feel any better. We'll have someone type up his statement and bring out to you to sign.'

'Detective Standish,' Standish was about to stand up and leave but waited to hear what Garrett was going to say to him. He hoped it was something nice.

'You know, all you had to do was ask me not to call you Boss, and I would have stopped.'
Standish held his breath and anger. What the boy said was not nice. 'How long has your mother been dead?'

'Two years,' Garrett answered.

'Mr. Price, seriously, you're doing a very good job raising your son under the conditions that you're living in. Garrett, you're lucky to have a father like him. Now get the hell out of here before I kick both of you in the balls!' Standish stayed where he was until they had left the room then stood up and left. 'Dunne, see what's taking them so long with the finger prints and phone. I want that list of calls ASAP.'

'Sure thing, Boss.'

'And stop calling me Boss!'

-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-


Standish sat down at his desk, remembered he needed a new clip folder, got up, retrieved one and sat back down. He then noticed that the printer was out of paper. He got up, filled it and sat down again. Now his fingers were on the key board ready to start typing up the reports for the Blue Book.

He needed more coffee. When he got to the coffee table, he found that no one had made any. He returned to his desk, fingers reaching for the keyboard. It would help if he turned on the computer. He was ready to begin.

'Standish!'

'Shit.' What was Larabee doing in his office at this time in the morning? He stood up and walked into the Captain's office. 'Hey Boss, what are you doing in so early?'

'I'm always in the office at this time of the morning,' Larabee growled. 'You would know that if you came in before nine, and don't call me Boss, you know I hate it.'

Standish didn't believe the rumors that Larabee would hit anyone who called him Boss. Although the man was reputed to have a bad temper, Standish had never seen it in the time he had been in Four Corners.

'Is it my fault that the criminals in this lousy town are mostly nine-to-five guys,' Standish muttered.

'That's my lousy town you're talking about!' Larabee leaned back in his chair. 'Anyway, enough of the small talk. What have we got?'

'Shannon Bell, twenty-seven year old single Caucasian female. Raped and strangled. Nothing was stolen. A twelve-year boy, Garret Price and his father Ed Price found the body. We talked to the victim's mother who said that her daughter didn't have a steady boyfriend or many friends for that matter but that she did hang out at the same bar every Friday night.

'A place called Duncan's Bar on Montly Street. We're going to talk to the bar owner and any regular drinkers to see if she was there last night as soon as Dunne comes back. We're also going to check all calls in-going and out-going from her cell phone during the last forty-eight hours.'

'I understand that Mr. Price didn't call it in straight away,' Larabee said. 'That he waited a few hours.'

'You've been talking to Wilmington?'

'No, Wilmington has been talking to me,' Larabee said. 'He's got this gossip thing going where he keeps me up to date on all our cases, well case as it happens to be at the moment.'

'I've already talked to Mr. Price about it. The situation has been dealt with.'

'I also understand that Mr. Price and his son are homeless.'

Standish stared at Larabee across the table.

'Yes.' There it was. He had hoped that Larabee would have been more understanding. A person or person's unknown murdered Larabee's family five years earlier, the case was unsolved, and the trail had gone cold. Standish had looked into the case two months after his transfer but there had been nothing to go on. The explosion that caused their deaths left nothing, no evidence. The explosive device was homemade. The information required to make it was easily available on the Internet, the ingredients bought from the store shelf from any store in the country. Larabee should know what it was like to be separated from the ones you love.

'Boss!'

Both men answered, 'Don't call me Boss!'

Standish tuned around. Larabee looked up.

Dunne walked into the office and stood next to Standish. 'Got a list of numbers from the victim's cell phone.'

'That was quick,' Larabee said.

'There were only three calls, that's why it didn't take them long. They also got some fingerprints.

They're going to run them through the computer.' Dunne checked his notebook. 'The Victim received a call from her mother on Thursday at eleven-forty-five am, made one call to a Doctor Palmer yesterday at two-thirty-two pm and one at six-twelve pm to Duncan's Bar which is the bar the victim frequented every Friday night.'

'Frequented,' Larabee smiled, 'that's a big word for you, JD.'

'Thanks Bo . . . Captain.'

'I'll get Gray to start the Blue Book and we'll head out to Duncans Bar now.' Standish turned around to leave, hoping that Larabee had forgotten about Price.

He Hadn't.

'What are you going to do about Price and his son?'

Standish turned back to face Larabee, 'I sent them to the Widow Wells place. She'll take care of them for a while.'

'And after the "while" is up,' Larabee asked.

'I'm hoping that the "while" will be a long while.'

'Ezra, how long have you been working here now?'

'About six months,' Standish answered.

'Six months three weeks and two days,' Larabee corrected. 'I know this because you're an irritating son-of-a-bitch--'

'So I've been told,' Standish looked sideways at Dunne who was nodding in agreement with Larabee.

'And did I do anything during that time to cause you to distrust me?'

'You gave me JD here as a partner.'

'I thought I was a good partner,' Dunne protested.

'You are in some ways but in others . . . ' Standish shrugged.

'Do you trust me or not?'

'Of course I do.'

'Then you should know that I only have the boy's best interest at heart.'

'You're not going to call in Child Services are you?'

'Did you?'

'No.'

'Then why should I?'

Standish stood frozen on the spot. He noticed Dunned leaving and felt the tug on his sleeve. The younger man was telling him it was time to leave. He left.

-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-


Duncans Bar was just like any other. A large neon sign above the door read "Duncans Bar: the "n" was broken. Large tinted windows stopped any outsiders who were passing by from seeing inside the bar - the dust that covered them didn't help either. A thick heavy wooden door was the entrance and it screamed when you pushed it open. Darkness filled the inside making it difficult to see where you were walking.

Standish swore when he hit his knee against what he thought was a table.

'Hello! Is there anyone here?' He wasn't going to go any further until he could see what was in front of him. 'Hello.'

'I'll be with you in a minute,' a voice answered from somewhere in the darkness.

'How about you be with us right now!' Standish yelled back.

'You're an impatient bastard aren't you?'

The lights turned on and Standish blinked at the sudden brightness. The light didn't really help, it was still darker than it should be but he could at least see the things in front of him. One of those things was a man.

'Are you the owner?' The man nodded. Standish displayed his badge and introduced himself and Dunne the placed the badge back in his pocket. 'Shannon Bell, was she in here last night?'

'Just like every other Friday night.' The man walked behind the bar, turned on some more lights and started filling small red bowls that lined the bar with peanuts.

'What time did she arrive?'

'Always gets here about six-thirty but last night she was late.'

'Her cell phone tells us she called here just after six last night--'

'Yeah she did,' the man said, 'asked for some guy, can't remember his name but I do remember that the person she asked for wasn't here.'

'Did she leave a message?' Standish stayed where he was while Dunne moved forward and sat on one of the bar stools.

The owner shook his head.

'Did she spend any time with one person?'

'Never did and before you ask she didn't leave with anybody. She stayed until just before eight and left on her own.'

Standish nodded and went into defence mode. 'You know, it seems strange to me but if I were you I would be asking about Shannon Bell. She came here every Friday night and yet you haven't asked us why we're here asking questions about her. You haven't shown any concern for her well being.'

'I've only owned the place for a couple of months.'

Dunne stood up. He could tell by the tone of his boss's voice that something was about to go down. This was extremely quick. Usually they first got the evidence that would lead them to a suspect. They would then question that suspect, match any DNA evidence to them, question them again and get a confession. Sometimes this would take days, weeks, or even months, maybe years. It was rare for them to solve a case so quickly. Dunne could have been wrong though. It was still early for his Boss and his mood was still bad.

'A couple of months huh? That makes you new to town.'

'Yeah it does.'

Dunne took a few steps back. 'So you're name's not Duncan.'

'No,' the man said as his eyes took in Dunne.

Standish noticed that the man had stopped filling the bowls and the bar now hid his hands. He hoped that Dunne noticed also.

No, it couldn't be going down this way. Not this bloody quickly!

'What's your name?' Standish asked him.

'Josiah Sanchez.'

'You want to put your hands on the bar where we can see them, Mr. Sanchez.' Both Standish and Dunne had their hands resting on their holsters. Standish's gun was clipped to his belt behind his back. Dunne's was in a shoulder holster.

Everything happened at once. The lights went off and a few seconds later, there was gunfire. Standish dove to the right because he knew Dunne would go to the left but as he fell, he heard a grunt of pain. It was Dunne's voice. His partner was down.

'JD?'

'He's out of the game Detective . . . Standish was it? I didn't really take any notice. See, the only cop I like is a dead cop and I'm going to kill two cops today.'

Standish crawled to where he knew the bar was and felt it as his shoulder hit it. He leaned back against and looked up. He couldn't see much in the darkness but knew that Sanchez was still there: he could sense his presence. He wasn't going to be able to stand up. His body would be an open invitation for a bullet. Standish felt his way along the bar until he came to the end. He was about to go around it when he heard Sanchez leap over the bar. Standish spun around but it was too late.

He felt something slam against his right arm. He was unable to hold onto his gun, it left his hand and fell to the floor. Standish followed it when he fell to his knees. Another blow, this time to his back, found him flat on the dust covered wooden floor. His body was now unguarded. A knee pressed down into his back, the breath forced from his lungs.

'She wasn't the first one I killed,' Sanchez whispered in his ear, 'she wasn't the prettiest either but she did put up a good fight.'

Standish tried to use his arms to push himself up but his right arm gave out on him. The knee pressed deeper into his back as a result.

A few seconds later, the weight lifted and as he tried to get up, Sanchez continued to hit him with the blunt object. Blood flowed from his right cheek where a splinter of wood had torn through his flesh.

The third blow broke open the skin on the side of his head.

He had to do something before he was no longer able to and the only thing he could think of was to use his feet. He kicked out first with his right leg then his left. The left leg hit something soft so he kicked again. This time he heard a cry of pain.

Standish quickly forced himself to his feet but still had trouble seeing what was in front of him. His best hope was to find his gun: he had no chance of doing that. Dunne. If he could find Dunne then he should be able to find his gun. He moved quickly to the left and as he did so, he felt the breath of a bullet as it passed by his face. Standish threw himself to the ground again and slid to a stop against Dunne. He quickly found Dunne's hands but there was no gun, the gun was still in Dunne's shoulder holster. The kid hadn't even had a chance to get his gun out. Another bullet hit the floor next to him sending splinters of wood around him. Sanchez was playing with him. If the guy had any brains he would be on the run now and not hanging around knowing that back up would arrive - someone would have called the Police after hearing the gunshots.

Standish needed to see what he was doing. He looked at the large windows at the front of Duncan's Bar and saw no one on the street. He aimed and fired Dunne's gun, the bullet shattering the glass when it hit the right upper most corner of the window.

Sunlight streamed into the bar blinding both men for a moment. Standish's eyes adjusted quickly and he saw Sanchez bearing down on him.

'If you try to hit me one more time I'm going to shoot you.'

-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-


Standish was sitting on the examination bed allowing Doctor Jackson to bandage his cheek. He grimaced in pain when the man's fingers pressed against the wound itself.

'Sorry about that,' the Doctor smiled.

'If you're sorry you shouldn't be smiling about it,' Standish said.

'Hey, Doctor Jackson.'

Standish looked up at the sound of Captain Larabee's voice. Great. This was all he needed.

'Is that going to scar?' Larabee had reached the bed that Standish was sitting on, leaned forward, and tried to touch bandage on Standish's cheek.

'Don't touch it!' Standish swatted his Captain's hand away.

'Shouldn't scar,' Doctor Jackson answered. 'The wound isn't that deep. It just bled a lot. Same as the one on his head. Detective Standish was lucky the guy wasn't hitting him hard.'

'What?' Standish stared at Jackson. 'You've got to be kidding me? How could a guy that big not hit me hard?'

'If he had hit you hard, Detective, you would not be here now . . . '

'Oh,' Standish whispered.

Doctor Jackson turned and walked slowly out of the room. 'No, you would be in ICU right now . . . with a fractured skull . . . or perhaps your brain would be vegetable soup,' he was a man who enjoyed his job, 'at least then you wouldn't have to worry about the scar you're going to have on your cheek. Ooh, nasty.'

'What? But you said that--' he didn't finish what his was saying because the Doctor was no longer within hearing distance.

'You okay?' Larabee asked Standish.

'Yeah, I'm fine.'

'What about you, JD?' Larabee nodded to Dunne. 'Tell me, how does one manage to knock themselves unconscious while diving for cover?'

'Human stupidity,' Dunne was holding a small ice bag against the left side of his head. 'Someone shouldn't have put a table there in the first place.'

'But how did you do it?'

Standish answered for Dunne. 'Again human stupidity, his human stupidity.'

'Are you calling me stupid?'

'If the shoe fits, JD.' Standish stood up, moved to the bed that Dunne was sitting on and leaned back against it. 'You did well, JD. It wasn't your fault that you didn't see the table.'

'Yeah I suppose,' Dunne nodded, 'but I don't know how I got the bruise on my right side when I went for the left.'

Standish coughed into his hand, 'Um, that was me.'

'Did you say that--?'

'We got Sanchez down town,' Larabee spoke before an argument could start up between the two men.

Standish took the opening and dove for cover - this time verbally. He didn't want to argue with Dunne right now. 'Did he say why he opened fire on us, attacked me, and then gave up so innocently?'

Jackson interrupted their conversation when he stepped back into the room. 'I forgot to tell you that you can go, both of you. I don't think either of you have a concussion so you should be fine.' He smiled then laughed.

'Piss off.' Standish told him.

Jackson laughed again and left.

'Death by Cop,' Larabee shrugged, 'that was his explanation. We didn't get into it much. Thought I would leave that to you guys, it's your case. He has his lawyer with him but he's waived his rights and is ready to talk, so I would get going if I were you before he changes his mind.'

-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-


Josiah Sanchez greeted Detective Standish and Dunne with a simple, 'Ouch.'

'Thank you for your concern.' Standish pulled out a chair and sat down at the table. Dunne sat in the fourth chair that Standish had brought in early that morning when they had talked to Garrett and Ed Price. 'Mr. Sanchez, do you understand why you're here?'

'Yes I do, Detective.' Sanchez sat facing Standish. His right arm was hand cuffed to the table. His lawyer sat on his left, but the lawyer's body sat at an angle so he could also face Standish. It made it easier for the man to lean in and whisper into Sanchez's left ear.

'And why is that?'

Sanchez leaned forward and whispered, 'I killed someone.'

'Who did you kill?' Standish knew that the video camera and sound recorder were recording everything, because he had turned them on himself.

'A bitch called Shannon Bell.'

'Why was she a bitch, Mr. Sanchez?' He didn't like being nice to killers, rapists, or molesters but they talked more willingly when you treated like a normal person.

'I asked her out every Friday night and she always said no.'

'And that made her a bitch?' Dunne asked.

'Yes, I mean, why a woman wouldn't want to go out with me,' Sanchez smiled. 'What? Do they think I'm going to kill them or something?'

'Can you tell us what happened last night, which was Friday 21st November 2005?'

'Like I told you, she came in late had a few drinks then I asked her out. As usual, she said no but she wasn't very nice about it this time. I didn't like that. I got angry.'

There was a sudden silence when Sanchez stopped talking. Seconds passed, then minutes, before he spoke again.

'She left earlier than she usually did. I'd had enough. Decided that I was going to get what I wanted and went after her. She didn't go to her car. She went through the park instead.'

'What time did Shannon leave?'

'Just before eight,' Sanchez said, 'she usually left about eleven. I stopped her in the park, asked her out again and when she told me to fuck off I snapped.'

'What did you do when you snapped?' Standish asked.

'Forced her to have sex with me then I strangled her. I was angry, out of control.'

'It wasn't consensual intercourse?'

'Hell no.'

'How did you strangle her?'

'With my hands,' he lifted them up so the Detectives could see them. 'Big aren't they.'

'You told me earlier that Shannon Bell wasn't the first woman you had killed. Is that true?' Standish ignored Dunne's attempt at hiding his surprise.

'I don't remember saying that?'

Standish looked down at the table. It happened often. A suspect would confess a crime and then refuse to acknowledge it.

'You didn't tell me that Shannon Bell wasn't the first woman you killed?'

'No.'

'But you are telling me that you killed Shannon Bell.'

'Yes, and I would do it again.'

'Mr. Sanchez, would you allow us to take DNA swabs and hair samples? If not, we can get a warrant for them.'

'No, do you what you want.'

'Thank you.' Standish stood up and Dunne followed him out of the room. 'I would so like to beat the shit out of that guy.'

'What's this about him confessing that he'd killed others?' Dunne asked as they walked back to their desks.

'You were unconscious at the time so you didn't hear him and there's nothing I can do to prove that he said what he said.'

'At least he's off the street.'

'Yeah I guess.'

'What do you mean guess? He can't kill anymore.'

'I know, but what about the others that he mentioned. What about them.' Standish sat down in his chair and threw his paper work on the table. They now needed to complete the Blue Book and prepare the case so it was ready for the Prosecutors. 'They need justice and right now we can't give it to them.'


The End





Part One | Part Two


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Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
sivanshemesh
May. 27th, 2009 12:04 pm (UTC)
Great story, looking forward to read the next sequel of it.

That's good, Larabee hates when everyone calling him 'boss' sweet. Though it looks like Standish is the boss in it. So fit to him.

Thank you for posting,

*Hugs & Kisses*

Have a great day/night and keep smiling,

Sivan Shemesh
ex_egorstan
May. 27th, 2009 12:16 pm (UTC)
Thanks!

I had a lot of fun writing this story.

If you haven't already read the sequel (which I thought you had) it's here: http://egorstandish.livejournal.com/8371.html#cutid1

But then again, you may be talking about 'A Murder Spree'?

*hugs*


Edited at 2009-05-27 12:17 pm (UTC)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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