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Photographic Evidence
By Geonn


She caught up with him by the monkey house and tried not to smile at the irony.

She was getting sick of following this guy. Walking around the zoo with the department's bulky camera would make her stick out like a sore thumb, so to make things worse, she had to use a disposable camera she'd bought at the gift shop. Cost her an arm and a leg, too, damn thing.

Still, all she had to do was snap photos of Peter Dobbins meeting with Carl Humphries and they'd be done. The pictures didn't have to win awards, just had to show the money envelope switch hands. That would be enough to prove Dobbins had hired Humphries to kill his wife.

The only problem was they had no idea when the payoff was supposed to happen. Scribbs had asked for a personal day, so Ash had been by herself for the long, monotonous hours trailing behind Dobbins' little sedan. Surveillance was tolerable with someone to banter with. Just knowing someone else was sharing in your misery made it a little less monotonous.

She snapped a few pictures of Dobbins watching the monkeys and wandered toward the exit. How much longer could this guy wander aimlessly? There had to be a limit to his boredom. She sighed and checked her watch. As she turned to make sure Dobbins was still in the monkey house, she caught a flash of movement out of her periphery. She turned her head and focused on a familiar brown jacket.

Scribbs was standing a few yards away, leaning against one of the benches that lined the sidewalk. She was huddled against another woman, both of her arms wrapped around the mystery woman's waist. Ash raised an eyebrow and moved to one side, hoping the monkey house door blocked her from view.

As she watched, the woman pulled away from Scribbs and gestured to the bird sanctuary. Scribbs laughed and the woman slipped her arm free of Scribbs' grasp. Scribbs hurried to catch up and swatted the other woman on the ass.

Ash snapped a photo of Scribbs and her date, then turned her attention back to Dobbins. He was looking furtively around, hand in the pocket with the payoff envelope.

"Please," Ash murmured. "Go find your hit man and give him your money. I'm in the mood to take someone down right now..."

Dobbins left the monkey house and Ash, camera in hand, was twenty yards behind him. She was a bit farther away when he finally met up with Humphries, but she was close enough to get photos of the money changing hands. She smiled and said, "Nice knowing you, boys."

She tucked the camera into her pocket and walked towards the zoo exit. There was no need to follow Dobbins anymore; the photos were enough to hang the man.

The next day, Ash led the way out to the car. "Enjoy your time alone?" Scribbs asked. "Sure it drove you absolutely mad, right? Not having anyone to complain to? About traffic, about the guy..."

"It was fine," Ash snapped. "Would you get in the car, please?"

Scribbs blinked at the harsh tone, but got behind the wheel of her car. "What got into you? One day away from my smiling face and you go all grouchy!" She grinned at Ash, then let her smile fall when Ash didn't give in to it. "Seriously. What's the matter with you?"

Ash reached into the pocket of her coat and pulled out the photo she'd kept back from the evidence bag. She dropped it on the console and said, "Really, Scribbs, using your personal days to go on dates... it's really fortunate I caught you, rather than Sullivan or someone who didn't have your best interest at heart."

Scribbs frowned at the photo. "Dates?"

"Who is she, anyway? The tart." She crossed her arms over her chest. "Not that I care."

Scribbs smiled. "Her name is Ellen and I love her very much. Have for my whole life." She held up the photo. "This is my sister, Ash!"

"Your sister?!"

"Ellen Scribbs! Older sister, sous chef, visiting from France..." Scribbs laughed. "You thought we were... together?!"

Ash snatched the picture back. "Well... no, you know. Not..."

"You did! You got jealous!" She laughed and started the engine. "It's good to know how you really feel!"

Ash sagged in her seat and covered her face with her hand. It was going to be a very long day...

The End

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