Excerpt–Mightier Than The Sword–Novel-in-progress

Samson wanted to leave with Melandro, but Tiffany and Tyson quickly closed down the club and everyone had to stay put, including Samson. Tyson called for police reinforcements and Tiffany called in the Sheriff’s office. This was way too much for them to deal with. Traffic was blocked from entering the parking lot of Club Jazzy and for a three-block perimeter. Behind the club was the river so they weren’t concerned about anyone leaving in that direction.

“Tyson, make sure all of guests are comfortable and have the police collect every glass at every table and bag them. Battle, call the hospital and make sure everyone is x-rayed for needle pricks and their stomachs pumped. Swatere, check the bathrooms and collect all the garbage cans. Whoever is responsible for this, is not getting away again!” Tiffany thundered orders.

Pretty soon the place was packed with uniformed officers, interviewing guests and taking notes. All of the stemware bagged and all the eating utensils and food put aside.

Samson and the other owners were dumbfounded. They couldn’t believe this was happening on their opening night. Immediately, technicians were brought in to rule out food poisoning for which the chef was eternally grateful for them saying, the food was not tainted in any way.

When the stemware was bagged and tagged, another agent from the FBI took them directly to the lab where Katie was standing by.

When Tiffany asked Samson what Melandro had been drinking, she immediately became suspicious.

“I only saw her drink club soda. Then after we announced our engagement, she had a sip of the champagne. Ask the bar-tender if she had anything else.”

When Tiffany asked the bar-tender if Melandro had anything to drink, he just shook his head. “She came back here once, to fix what she was going to call a Jazzy special. I don’t know what she put in it and she washed the shaker as soon as she made it.”

“That figures,” Tiffany muttered. “What about the glass she used for the champagne toast, has that been cleaned as well?”

“No, in fact she never finished the drink so it’s on the counter—right where she was sitting before she collapsed.”

“Battle, get that technician over here to check the contents of this glass.”

The technician had brought specially formulated strips to test for poisons and he immediately put it in the glass. It turned blue—indication of a toxic substance.

“Okay, get that to the lab and I want results tonight, not tomorrow!” she barked.

Samson sat at the bar with his head in his hand, not knowing what was going on. “Samson, do you have a pen I could use? I don’t have one in this tiny little purse,” Tiffany explained.

“Yeah, sure. Let me get you one of the marketing ones from the office.”

“Franklin,” she called to a uniformed officer, “Please escort Samson to his office and bring him back here pronto.

Walking back to his office with his police escort, Samson’s heart sank. This was supposed to be a night to remember, but not because of three people being rushed to a hospital, but because he had decided to commit to one woman. When he unlocked the door, he sighed and went quickly to his desk and opened the drawer. Stunned, he picked up the syringe and the vial, wondering how they got there. Since Franklin was standing right behind him and saw the syringe and vial, Samson plopped into the chair, not saying a word.

“Agent Harangue,” he radioed. “You need to see this. I’m in the office near the back of the building. Don’t make a move,” he ordered, pulling his service revolver out and keeping it aimed at Samson.

“I’ll be right there,” she said, motioning for Tyson to follow her.

“I don’t know what this is or how it got here,” Samson stammered.

“Don’t say anything else until Agent Harangue gets back here,” Franklin ordered, stepping back from Samson, watching every move.

Tiffany and Tyson burst through the door.

“What is it?” Tiffany asked.

Franklin motioned with his gun at Samson. “Get up slowly and move away from the desk.” Turning to Tiffany, he said,

“There’s a syringe and a vial in the drawer. Samson here says he doesn’t know how they got there.”

Fortunately, Tiffany had brought a pair of latex gloves to the back with her and an evidence bag. She put on the gloves and gingerly picked up the syringe and vial, putting them into the evidence bag.

“Tyson, take these to one of the technicians and have it analyzed right away. If this is what I think it is, we’ve finally solved these murders and hopefully, those who are at the hospital will survive.”

“Franklin, read Samson his rights and take him in for questioning. He’s to be held until we get back from the hospital and no one, I mean no one is get back here. As soon as everyone has been interviewed and we have contact information, turn them loose and tape the place off.

Samson was read his rights, handcuffed and led out of the club, totally mortified by what had just happened.

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