Back in the archives the men shifted uncomfortably as Tim reentered the room. They slowly pushed Buster forwards to face Tim
“Hey, man,” he pulled Tim aside, “Listen, Tim, we all know you have to solve this case, we really do, God, I know I want to find out who killed Romo, but it’s late. Really late. We need to sleep.”
Tim sighed and ran his fingers though his hair. He knew Buster was right. His sleeping schedule was still irregular from all the traveling he’d done. He had only vaguely registered the clocks chiming half past 12. His only problem was trusting everyone to return. Buster seemed to read his thoughts.
“No one will go anywhere. It’d be as good as a confession of guilt.”
Tim was still feeling uneasy, knowing the guilty party would have the opportunity to destroy any evidence that may be left, but Tim didn’t have much choice. He escorted the men down the back hall, through the conference room and out the front door. Bochy lagged behind to talk to Tim.
“The police are stationed here all night. They have the building surrounded. I’ll see you in the morning.” He patted Tim on the back cordially as he started to leave, but Tim stopped him.
“Wait, before you leave, did you know anything about Romo’s ‘secret’ project?”
Bochy pondered for a moment.
“No, other than he was working with Zito and whatever it was it was investigative. He was hoping for a promotion and wanted to surprise everyone.”
Tim nodded and closed the double doors behind Bochy as he exited. Tim turned around and slouched against the doors, letting out a sigh. The body that had been across the way had been removed while he had been conducting hi interviews, but the large blood pool remained. It was weird thinking of the origins of the blood, because it wasn’t Romo. It was just a body.
Tim cautiously stepped around the blood and walked to the library. He examined the chair in which Zito’s body had been found next to. It was painfully ordinary and simple. It was a wobbly wooden chair that had no strange marks and had no hidden compartments. Tim glanced at the bookshelves in the immediate area. There was nothing that would have held Zito’s interest. He must have just gone there to get away from everyone else.
Tim tried to think back to the interview with him, brief as it had been. Nothing had stood out, except perhaps the self-blame.
It occurred to him that that was the last conversation he would ever have with him.
Tim sniffed sadly and headed back towards the offices. He decided to check Zito’s office first.
His desktop was tidy as always and so were his drawers.
Tim glanced at some of the article he had stacked on the desk. They were all about the opening of a market and the new businesses opening around the city. Nothing out of the ordinary considering Zito usually covered business interaction around the town. Tim riffled through the other drawers and the only peculiar thing Tim found was Zito’s key ring. It was hanging on the knob of one of the drawers. Most people working here had 4 keys: 1 to the main door, 1 to their private office, 1 to the archives and 1 to the front door. But, Tim noticed an extra key. It could be anything, a key to his house or mail box, but Tim didn’t think so. He grabbed the keys and put them in his pocket. As he did so, his hand brushed the things he had picked up from Romo. He pulled them out and laid them on the desk in front of him. He sat down in Zito’s chair and breathed deeply trying to get the faint smell of Zito that was still left in the room. Tim scanned the paper.
The date in the top of the corner said the paper was 3 months old. Why would Romo have such an old newspaper on him? He stopped and read the article more thoroughly. Something caught his eye. The headline: “LOCAL BLACK MARKET BUST.” Tim read the article. It contained a story about a black market that had been selling things stolen from various places, including the newspaper building.