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Claudia walked away from her daughter's room with a heavy heart. Guilt consumed her form as she tried desperately to appear unaffected by Tiffany's lack of trust. She expected it, though, as her family were famous for keeping secrets from one another, but nevertheless it still hurt.

As she walked down the hospital corridor, Claudia noticed how dead the place was. The rooms she passed looked free of patients and there were no staff buzzing around the halls, frantically tending to those seeking medical attention. It appeared as though the only person who needed medical attention that night was her daughter. It seemed strange for a town that was famous for its bad occurrences, but Claudia realised that most of the bad things that happened in Lakefield View usually left the victim dead. It's the morgue that would be busy, not the hospital.

Claudia pushed through a set of doors as a woman shoved past her hurriedly. Claudia didn't get a look at her face but the stench from the woman burned her nostrils. Claudia felt disgusted that the unknown woman touched her expensive clothes and wanted to shout at her for doing so. This night, Claudia was saving her strength for far more important matters.

The second floor waiting room was brighter than Claudia anticipated. Several people were lingering here, including a nurse who appeared to be on her break judging by the Angry Birds noises from her phone. Claudia spotted Winifred Tremaine, in the plain smart clothes she seemed to always wear, talking to the woman who found Tiffany in the street. Her dog lay obediently in her lap. The woman seemed fed up and desperate to leave.

"I don't know how much more I can tell you," the woman sighed. "I found her on the sidewalk and phoned an ambulance. I accompanied the young lady to the hospital and I'm here now."

"So there was nobody in the area when you found her Miss Stanford?" Tremaine asked. "Nobody walking away? Leaving the street? Leaving a house? Was there nobody outside at all?"

"Everyone knows nobody lives in any of the houses on Locklear Drive anymore."

"Then what were you doing there?"

Miss Stanford huffed. "Oh my God, walking my dog. Jesus Christ, have you listened to a word I said?"

Claudia took the opportunity to interrupt. "Detective Tremaine, my daughter's awake."

Tremaine turned to look at Claudia, staring silently for a few seconds, before turning back to Miss Stanford. "Thank you for your time. You've been a big help." Tremaine's monotone voice suggested otherwise.

Miss Stanford grabbed hold of her dog before standing. She threw Tremaine a funny look before leaving the hospital. Tremaine turned to Claudia.

"Has she said anything?"

Claudia hesitantly responded. "Yes. Frederick Valentine attacked her outside the Baptist Church in the Town Square."

Tremaine pulled a notepad out of her pocket and a pen and began scribbling. She waited until she finished writing before walking towards the corridor leading to Tiffany's room. Claudia exhaled loudly, almost laughing. Tremaine heard it and spun around.

"Is there anything else?" Tremaine asked impatiently.

"Some manners would be nice. You might have let the power of being Lakefield View's lead detective go to your head, but you need to lower your opinion of yourself so it isn't miles higher than everybody else's."

Tremaine's facial expressions remained the same. Claudia couldn't tell whether she was affected by her words or not. Tremaine finally spoke, "I'm here to do my job Mrs. Hawkins."

Ashes of the Innocent (Abyssal Sanctuary #2)Read this story for FREE!