Each display was as thoughtful and beautiful as the last. It was impossible to choose one over the other. Emma couldn’t help the ooh and aws that escaped. “Wow! This is something I really have to capture for dad. One day he’s going to have to come visit and see this for himself. Even though there are literally hundreds of events and many he’s attended in Maryland, I’m pretty sure this one would hit home. He’d be in heaven,” Emma remarked on a wistful sigh.
“Here, try my phone. It has a really decent camera.”
Emma gratefully accepted the phone and retracing their steps she chose a half a dozen really spectacular displays. “These are the ones that will melt his heart. It will pitter patter and he’ll drool. Once he sees these, he’ll try to figure out which he can incorporate into the already healthy display he has going.” She laughed aloud at the thought. “OMG the work I’m in for!” She smacked her forehead, “Yikes! I think I’ve just added to the monster event.”
Nathan laughed at her expression. “Mine seems tame in comparison.”
“Yours is divine! You don’t need more lights. Besides that is one of the most spectacularly decorated trees I’ve ever seen. It has charm, character, and pizazz.”
It took them two hours to navigate all the sights but they were pleasantly enwrapped in a romantic glow. “I guess that’s what is so special, it the romance that makes it special.”
When they returned to the car, Nathan had two healthy sized mocha drinks waiting. “This should help warm you up.”
“Oooh thanks, perfect.”
Driving back to Nathan’s, Emma suggested they drop by her place so she could pick up a few more clothes. “Absolutely. We’ll head there now.”
They were within sight of Emma’s when Nathan suddenly swerved the car and parked a good distance from her home. “What? What is it?”
“Your lights are on. Someone’s in your place.”
Nathan immediately grabbed his cell and dialed 911. “I want to report a possible break-in at 59 Lincoln Street. It’s possible the perp is still inside so please run silent. Thanks, we’ll wait.”
“I’d go in, but I’m not about to risk your safety or contaminate possible evidence. We’ll stay here and watch, see if anyone comes out.”
Emma anxiously sat on the edge of her seat. It was all she could do to listen to Nathan’s sage advice especially when she wanted to catch the perp in the act. “What do you think they’re looking for? Marks’ notes?”
“Possibly. That or they are endeavouring to ascertain what if any information you have collected and or written about. You are a reporter, Emma. They’ll be scouring the papers daily for any follow-up you might do.”
Within five minutes, the cops had arrived. Nathan and Emma jumped out of the car and headed down the street toward her home.
Emma gave them permission to enter. It was obvious the place had been burgled as the cops tried the door and simply entered. Instructing Emma and Nathan to stand back, two cops entered the front door while another circled around the back.
Within minutes they’d returned. “Mam, you’ll want to take a look, find out what if anything is missing. They’ve left a mess I’m afraid.”
Emma was horrified when she entered. There wasn’t as much damage as disarray. Her chesterfield had been tossed, her books and papers had been thrown on the floor. The mess continued into each room, and the bedroom hadn’t faired any better.
Her colour was high and angry glints reflected her fury. “Now I understand why people say it’s a violation. It’s exactly how it feels.”
She bent to pick up some items on the floor but Nathan quickly interrupted to stop her. “Not yet, Emma. You have to inventory and the officers will have to fingerprint and take pictures of the area. It’s best we leave and return when they are finished.”
“Mam, you notice anything missing?”
“Not really. There’s such a mess I can’t tell. Mostly, it seems as if they searched thoroughly. I don’t see anything missing and there’s little damage from what I can tell.”
“Any idea what they were looking for?”
“I’m a reporter for the Gazette. I’ve been working on a story regarding a young woman’s death last year. Seems I must be getting close.”
“Who are the detectives on the case?” one of the officers inquired.
“Detectives James and Morris.”
“Yeah, good cops. They’ll be informed about this. Do you have anywhere else you can stay for now?”
“Yes, I do.” She looked hopefully up at Nathan.
“Emma will be staying at my home.” He offered his business card to the cop and continued, “Please let us know when you’ve finished. After a more thorough examination, Emma will know if anything is missing.”
The officer walked them out. “We’ll be here for awhile. If there’s a locksmith you prefer, we can call them in and have them change the locks when we leave.”
“I’ll contact strata immediately, see who they suggest.”
“Good let me know as soon as possible. We could leave it as it, it’s doubtful they’ll be back. Whether they did or didn’t find what they were looking for is a moot point. More likely they’ll be interested in getting to you.”
“I’m fine, officer, I’m not worried about my safety.”
“Ok then, call me with that number sooner than later.” He nodded and walked back inside.
“Seems I’ll need to impose on you for a few days longer.”
“You know it’s not an imposition. In fact, I’ll feel relieved. I know I can protect you and I have a competent staff who will assist in that.”
Hugging her close he commented, “I’m sorry for this, Emma.”
“I am too. I guess I should have expected reprisals of some sort.”