The powder blue steel door slammed shut with a hollow clang that echoed through the small cinder block room. Weather Rose sat up at attention at the small stainless steel table that was situated in the center of the room. Both her hands lay flat on the table in front of her, handcuffed together with the chain running through a small metal loop that was welded to the table.
She looked to the right and inspected herself in the wall to wall mirror adjacent to where she sat. She was wearing orange police issued cotton pants, and shirt, and disposable paper underwear as the police had confiscated her clothes as evidence.
Her face was bruised and still spattered with blood that had dried to a rusty brown color and was flaking off in places. Her hair was clumped together and she had deep purple bags under her eyes. She had a lump on the side of her forehead that had swelled to the size of a small egg. She looked like shit. She felt like shit, but mostly, she was in some deep shit.
The metal door swung open violently, bouncing off the wall behind it. Two tall men in plain, and slightly wrinkled, suits walked into the room. One of them came right at her. He was confident and acted in quick sharp movements. He grabbed the seat across from her and pulled it out from the table while simultaneously spinning it around and sitting down on it backwards with the back between his legs.
The other moved more slowly. Not quite lazily, but deliberately. He slinked along the perimeter of the room until he was against the mirror, then he leaned casually against the wall gazing at her with a curious expression. The three of them, Weather and the two suits stared at each other in silence and the heavy powder blue door clicked shut.
The situation was curious. She was terrified and confused. Normally in this kind of situation she would call the police, but that option was clearly off the table. She felt frantic and off balance and probably seemed a little crazy, but she was determined not to turn into a sniffling idiot, so she took a deep breath and tried to buckle down mentally.
She was under arrest for murdering a Federal law enforcement official and sitting in a city precinct jail, presumably waiting for the F.B.I. to arrive. There were two Chicago PD detectives with her, but they ultimately were just babysitting her until the Feds got there. There wasn’t much point in trying to convince them of her innocence since it wasn’t going to be their case anyway. They seemed to have the same opinion because their questioning was hardly what she would call rigorous. One of them, the one in the chair, was asking her questions in a bored monotonous tone. The other one was recording her answers in a small black notebook with a dull pencil.
“Ms. Rose, what were you doing at Special Council Grayson’s personal residence?”
Weather tried to lean back in her chair, but the chain between her wrists caught on the loop and tugged on her shoulders uncomfortably. She leaned forward and rested on her elbows. She gave a long questioning look at the detectives, let out an exasperated sigh and began picking at her fingernails silently.
“Ms. Rose, how did you know Mr. Grayson?”
Weather dug a small piece of dirt out from under one of her french manicured nails and wiped it on the table in front of her.
“Ms. Rose, were you having a sexual relationship with Mr. Grayson?”
This elicited a slight head cock from Weather, then she began working on the next nail.
“Ms. Rose, at the crime scene you said you were there to see someone named Gavin. Ms. Rose, who is Gavin?”
Weather stopped her nail cleaning and looked up at the detective. She didn’t remember mentioning Gavin, but she had to admit that the events in the apartment were pretty blurred and she couldn’t remember everything she had shouted at them through the mattress. She supposed she could have said something, but clearly nothing they found useful or this questioning would be very different.
She sipped the air through pursed lips, paused and gave a long exhale before returning to grooming her nails. The detective with the notebook scribbled something in shorthand, then set the pencil behind his ear.
“Ms. Rose,” the detective in the chair continued, “did you kill U.S. Attorney and Special Council Brandon Grayson?”
Weather wiped another piece of debris on the table.