Lexie patted herself on the back for thinking of this errand-running business.
She dropped the children off at daycare, picked up a cappuccino at the coffee shop and headed for the morgue. Strangely enough, it was one of her favorite stops. Old George was always ready with one of his sick autopsy jokes, which cracked her up.
The traffic was light, so she made good time. If the rest of the day was like this, she would be finished by noon.
"Here's your double-shot cappuccino, George," she said, pushing through the heavy glass doors of the Coroner's office.
The venti cup of steaming liquid hit the floor when she saw George slumped over his desk. She scanned the room, her eyes flitting from the ugly red wound on George's head, to the open file cabinet with its contents strewn across the floor and finally to the phone receiver in George's hand.
She had to call the police, but that meant taking the phone from George's hand.
Preserve the crime scene, she thought.
Running to the lab, she grabbed a pair of latex gloves from a box on the table and pulled them on, then hurried back to George's office.
He must have been dead for a while, because she had to pry his stiff fingers from around the receiver. Her hand shook as she dialed the number.
"911, what is your emergency?"
"Put the phone down, now!" demanded a deep and ragged voice behind her.
She lowered the receiver slowly and turned around.
He was a big man with a ski mask on his head and a gun in his hand.
"You got a car?" he rasped.
"Yeah," was all she could manage.
Five minutes later they were speeding toward the airport.
This was NOT the next errand on my list, she thought.