"No one goes out!" Reign shouted when the people started panicking upon seeing a dead man on the floor and hurried away from the corpse, all except for the four people the man was with at one table who were looking at the body with a shocked expression.
She had her mask and cap on, making sure that no one would know her before she shouted. It was really a good choice to have this disguise since she didn't trust Martin that he might hire a paparazzi to expose them both, at least they wouldn't see that it was her once he did that, she might have a chance to deny.
Everyone looked at her in confusion, and that was also the only time that the three people realized what happened, one woman with short brown hair, wearing high waist jeans and a black crop-top, who was previously sitting beside the man crouched down and cried,
"Flora, what are you doing? Don't meddle with this!" Martin whispered, holding Flora's arm as she stopped her from walking towards the middle where the dead man was. "Let the police handle this. They already called them."
Reign rolled her eyes and pulled her arms away from his grip, "Then what are we going to do here? Stare at each other while we wait for the police to arrive which will certainly take too long than usual? No."
She walked towards the cold body and crouched down, carefully observing the body. She looked at the counter and raised her hand, "Excuse me, do you have any kind of gloves?"
"Who are you? What are you planning to do?" The woman standing on the side asked, her eyes and nose were puffy from crying. She was wearing simple white jeans, a yellow shirt tucked inside, her black face mask was also on her chin.
"Trying to lend a helping hand on the police." She replied casually, "Make sure no one gets out."
A waitress came to her with the gloves that she asked for, she immediately wore them and started delicately check the man's pulse to see if he's really dead, then proceeded on searching for something on his body. The chest, the underarms, and the back part of his green shirt were drenched, she might want to smell it but decided against it because...it's disgusting.
"Did he go to the bathroom?" She asked instead, looking at the three people standing at the side.
"Yes, he'd been going in and out of the bathroom because he's sick, he's coughing continuously which irritated us, he also had a fever going on for a long while."
Reign searched in his pocket, finding a white handkerchief in it, a small plastic bottle of medicine, and a green inhaler. She unfolded the cloth, and all of them were shocked by the red spots on it, she pulled one chair and placed the belongings on it. When she found nothing else, she stood up, taking out the gloves.
"Since when was he sick and what kind of sickness he had been feeling? Did he inform you about it?" She asked the four after she settled the gloves on the side. Her eyes caught Martin who was silently watching on the side and guarding the door.
They are five seated on the table earlier, two men and three women, the one seated beside the dead man was the one crouching beside him and crying, the other three were seated side by side with the other man in the middle.
"I think it was three days after his birthday party, he messaged me about having a fever. Then the next day, he was coughing, he also thinks he developed asthma that's why he had an inhaler, he was also always tired and drenched with sweats every time we're together which was disgusting and odd since he was not like that before, he was even hygienic, and to think that we're just sitting. He also complains about body aches often." The woman crouching down replied with a cracked voice.
"When was his birthday? and who attended?"
"It was a month ago, it was just us and his relatives."
"Who are you to him?"
"Wait, wait! Who are you? You are not even part of the police, why would we answer your questions? We're just wasting our efforts on you." The man interjected, her forehead creased as she was looking at Reign with scorn from head to toe. "Please call the real police!"
Reign rolled her eyes, she was about to answer her back with the same scornful look, but two people had stood up with a screeching chair which certainly caught everyone's eyes. It was one woman and one man, just the same age as Reign or older by one or two, but they were still in the twenties for sure. They were both wearing black polo shirts, the man had a black cap while the woman had a scarf around her neck.
"I am police detective Leira." The woman said, taking out her ID which the man also did, and showed it to them. "The other police are coming to get the body, in the meantime, we'll let this woman ask the questions on our behalf, we're taking note of them."
Reign raised her brow at them, especially the man who was smiling at him like a creep, he motioned him to continue as they both moved to the side where they would watch.
"Going back to my question, who are you to him, and what is your work?" Reign continued, facing back the four people, the previously crouching woman was now standing beside the other three.
"I am an office clerk. I'm his best friend. We grew up together, I'm his shoulder to lean on when he has a problem. I am also the one taking care of him when he was sick." The woman who has short hair answered, "I can't accept that he's... he's dead."
The woman who was beside the other man rubbed her friend's back and comforted her. She was the one who spoke next, "We are friends since high school. I am also Rue's girlfriend. I work as a librarian."
"I am an architect. James is my cousin, and by that, I need to tell his mom about this." The man named, Rue, said turning his back as he called James' mother.
"I am his girlfriend. Our relationship has been going on for five years since we're in high school. I am also a teacher like him." The last woman replied, he was looking at James with all sadness in her eyes, next to the best friend, it was her who was mourning a lot.
"What are you doing here at this shop this very late?" It was the policeman who asked it, so every eye was darted on the side, "Wild guess, celebrating a birthday?"
"That's not a wild guess, that's a good observation," Reign contest, walking towards their table as she put the four paper bags that were on the floor on the table.
She heard a snort from the police detective followed by a comment through a whisper, "I like her."
"I don't." The policeman replied sulkily because her Wild Guess thing had been put to nonchalant by this woman like how the police detective had been looking down on his wild guess thing. "Let's meddle in now, Ma'am Leira."
"Why? She's not yet done." She answered in confusion, looking at the lady who was opening the gifts one by one.
"This man was poisoned. She'll end up like him if she does it."
"Who is Elise?" The best friend of the dead man raised her hand, she was the one who had a birthday today. "I'll open their gifts."
"Sure, I don't mind-"
"No, don't." The policeman once again interjected, he stood up and walked towards them. "If you are not aware, this man was murdered, silently and painstakingly slow through the Anthrax poisoning which the victim showed the symptoms of, and I think the suspect also got it."
Everyone paid attention to the policeman, walking towards where Reign was, he took his handkerchief in his pocket and peeked at the gifts on the paper bags, revealing it one by one— there was a book, still in a bubble wrap, a notebook, a brand new cellphone, and a brown wool scarf.
"Ma'am Leira, may you check the man's bag and check if there is anything wool in there?" He asked the police detective while he closed the gift with a wool jacket, and checked who was it from.
Reign saw it was from the girlfriend. When she looked at her, she was already anxious, her eyes looking from left and right, as she was fiddling with the hem of her shirt.
"Here it is, Pierce," Leira said, taking out a brown wool scarf just exactly the same in the victim's bag. Pierce smirked and looked at the note on the paper bag for the name.
"Miss Erica, why?"
The three friends looked at the woman who was now pale. She stepped back but hit the chair on her back which made her flinched. She then started to cry, coughing and breathing heavily as she knelt on the floor and bowed continuously to her friends, uttering apologies for the thing that she did.
"Let's go." Reign said after she discreetly went out of the drama and made her way to where Martin was.
"Won't you interested to know what her reason is?" The man asked with his arms folded on his chest as he did not tear his eyes away from the scene.
"By how she plotted to give the same wool scarf with possible poison as well, it's something about unfaithfulness in a relationship which I do not really want to hear because that was so shallow to kill someone. Anyway, she's showing the same symptoms, she might probably get it too." Reign said, looking outside where the police cars arrived.
They both went out of the shop, walking to nowhere, in particular, Martin was silent until they got away from the shop and the place was dark, he stopped from walking which also made Reign stop as she confusedly looked at him, her brows raised when she found his face blank.
"Are you perhaps an agent?"