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Nathan 44

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As Nathan drove up to Sandra Fraser’s address, he parked out front on the road. Emma detailed what Mr. Wannabaker had explained regarding Robert Marks and Sandra Fraser.  His nod told her he got what she was about.

At their knock, the door opened almost immediately and Ms. Fraser was obviously prepared for their visit.  Emma noted a lovely young blond haired blue eyed woman, delicate in stature and just above 4 1/2 feet tall.  Noting the lingering sadness in her beautiful eyes, Emma reached out a hand to introduce herself, then Nathan.

“Please come in,” Ms. Fraser stepped back and gestured toward the front room.  As she entered, Emma was struck by the lovely mix the room contained.  Some antique furniture along with a few more modern pieces, but they contained a hint of by-gone years.

“Thank you very much, Ms. Fraser, for agreeing to meet with me.  I’m not sure how much Mr. Wannamaker has explained.. .”she left the sentence hanging.

“He said you are looking into Sylvia Westwood’s death,” after a shaky pause she continued, “and that you feel my fiancee’s death might be related.”

“I’m more inclined to believe that considering a recent ‘accident’ I was involved in.  However, it was Detective James and Morris who suggested the possibility.” At her nod, Emma continued, “I know this must still be painful for you and it’s my wish to cover the questions at hand as delicately if possible.”

“Please, ask.  Mr. Wannamaker is a considerate man.  I’ve been dealing with what happened, it isn’t as achingly raw as it once was.  What do you need to know?”

“I was wondering if Mr. Marks ever discussed this story, in particular with you.   If he might have said anything to indicate who he thought was involved.”

“No, not really.  Although a few days before the article went to print, and after as well, he was edgy, nervous.  I thought at first it was due to the excitement and wedding plans.  It was a daunting occasion as both families hold decidedly different viewpoints.  He even joked about running to Vegas to get married.”  She smiled when she said that.

“Did he leave any notes behind that might shed some light on the situation?”

“No, but he did say that in the unlikely event of his death, I should talk to Ed Harrison, a close friend of his from school.  He was to be our best man.” She coughed in an attempt to hold back the tears.  “I haven’t done so, because I didn’t see any relevance, but also because Ed’s hurting as much as I am.  Perhaps that’s cowardice but it is what it is.”

“Do you think that Mr. Harrison would be open to seeing me?”

“I phoned him right after you called.  He’s half expecting you now.”  She rose and picked up a piece of paper with his name, address and phone number attached.  “He said he’d be ok with talking to you about Rob.”

Rising, Emma walked to her and held out her arms.  Nathan was surprised when the woman walked into them and wrapped Emma up in a warmly firm hug.  “I was really dreading this moment, afraid it might overwhelm me again.  Somehow, meeting with you has had an alternate effect. Simply knowing someone else cares. . . ”

“I do care, Miss Fraser, because he deserves justice and you deserve answers. Everything I’ve learned about Mr. Marks suggests a dedicated reporter, uncompromisingly honest and fair.”

As she accompanied them to the door she said, “Ms. Banks, please take care.  If what happened to Robert was related to Sylvia Westwood’s death, then you could be placing yourself in grave danger.”

“I’ll be fine, Ms. Fraser, I have a secret weapon.”  She rubbed a hand up and down Nathan’s arm and smiled.

“Good luck to you both, then.”

“Would you, would you mind letting me know what you find?”

“Indeed, when I have answers, you’ll have answers, I promise.”

Emma leaned against Nathan as they returned to his vehicle.  “She strikes me as a very brave young woman, and a really great fit for Mr. Marks.”

“Yes, Emma, she does.  We need to find her answers and end this cycle of grief.  It may be only marginal now, but it’s there and it’s tainting her life.”

“I think so too, Nathan.”

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