Home > Size 14 Is Not Fat Either (Heather Wells #2)(7)

Size 14 Is Not Fat Either (Heather Wells #2)(7)
Meg Cabot

“The Pansies do have a very important ball game tomorrow night,” the president begins worriedly, “against the Jersey College East Devils. We’re eight-and-oh, you know.”

To which Coach Andrews adds defensively, “And none of my boys had anything to do with what happened to Lindsay. I don’t want them dragged into it.”

Detective Canavan—not even sounding like he’s lying, which I know he is—says, “I sympathize with your dilemma, Coach. You, too, Dr. Allington. But the fact is, I have a job to do. Now—”

“I don’t think you understand, Detective,” Dr. Allington interrupts. “Tomorrow night’s game is being televised on New York One. Millions of dollars of commercial advertising is at stake here.”

I stare at the president, openmouthed in astonishment. I notice Dean Evans is doing the same thing. She meets my gaze, and it’s clear we’re both thinking: Whoa. He did not just say that.

You would think, considering we’re both on the same cognitive wavelength, she’d be a little more sympathetic about the remedial math thing. But I guess not.

“You’re the one who doesn’t understand, Doctor.” Detective Canavan’s voice is hard, and loud enough to make Magda and her fellow cafeteria workers stop crying and lift up their heads. “Either your people give me the name of the girl’s boyfriend now, or you’ll be sending more girls home later this semester in body bags. Because I can guarantee, whatever sick bastard did this to Miss Combs, he will do it again, to someone else.”

Dr. Allington stares hard at the detective, who stares even harder back.

“Mark Shepelsky,” I say quickly. “Her boyfriend’s name is Mark Shepelsky. He’s in Room Two-twelve.”

Coach Andrews slumps across the tabletop, burying his head in his arms. Dr. Allington groans, pinching the bridge of his nose between his thumb and index finger as if stricken by a sudden sinus headache. Dr. Jessup just looks at the ceiling, while Dr. Flynn, the Housing Department’s on-staff psychologist, smiles sadly at me from the table where he sits with the other school administrators.

Detective Canavan looks a bit calmer as he flips his notepad back open and jots down the name.

“There,” he says. “That didn’t hurt, now, did it?”

“But,” I say. Detective Canavan sighs audibly at my But. I ignore him. “Lindsay’s boyfriend couldn’t have had anything to do with this.”

Detective Canavan turns his rock-hard stare on me. “And just how would you know that?”

“Well,” I say, “whoever killed her had to have access to a key to the cafeteria. Because he’d need one to sneak in before the caf was open in order to hack up his girlfriend, clean the place up, and get out by the time the staff arrived. But how would Mark get hold of a key? I mean, if you think about it, Fischer Hall employees ought to really be your primary suspects—”

“Heather.” Detective Canavan’s already squinty eyes narrow even further. “Do not—I repeat, do not—be getting any ideas that you’re going to be launching your own personal investigation into this girl’s murder. This is the work of a sick and unbalanced mind, and it’d be in the best interest of everyone, yourself most particularly, if this time you left the investigating to the professionals. Believe me, we have things under control.”

I blink at him. Detective Canavan can be scary when he wants to be. I can tell that even the deans are scared. Coach Andrews looks terrified. And he’s about a foot taller than the detective, and about fifty pounds heavier…all of it muscle.

I long to point out to the detective that I would not have had to launch my own personal investigation into last semester’s murders if he had actually listened to me from the beginning that they were, in fact, murders.

But it’s pretty obvious he seems to get it this time around.

I should probably tell him that I have absolutely no desire at all to get involved with this particular criminal case. I mean, throwing girls down an elevator shaft is one thing. Chopping their heads off? So not something I want to involve myself in. My knees are still shaking from what I saw inside that pot. Detective Canavan so doesn’t need to worry about me doing any investigating this time. The professionals are welcome to this one.

“Are you listening to me, Wells?” the detective demands. “I said I do not want a repeat performance—”

“I got it,” I interrupt quickly. I’d elaborate—like how about no way do I want anything to do with headless cheerleaders—but decide it would be wiser simply to retreat.

“Can I go now?” I ask—I direct the question more at Dr. Jessup, since he is, in fact, my boss—well, Tom’s my direct boss, but since Tom’s busy trying to figure out if there are any cafeteria keys missing (a task he seems to relish, since it keeps him well away from what they found on the stove—and the fact that he’s been asked to look is also proof that Detective Canavan is right…the NYPD does have things under control), Stan’s the closest thing I’ve got nearby.

But Stan is staring at his boss, President Allington, who is trying to get Detective Canavan’s attention. Which is sort of a relief, since I’ve had all of Detective Canavan’s attention I can take for the moment. That dude can be scary.

“So what I hear you telling me, Detective…” Dr. Allington is saying, his careful phrasing illustrative of the training that had earned him his PhD. “What I hear you saying is that this unfortunate matter will most likely not be cleared up by lunch today? Because my office was planning on hosting a special function this afternoon to honor our hardworking student athletes, and it would be a shame to have to postpone it….”

The look the detective levels at the college president might have frozen lava. “Dr. Allington, we’re not talking about some kid barfing up his breakfast in the locker room after gym class.”

“I realize that, Detective,” Dr. Allington says. “However, I had hoped—”

“For Christ’s sake, Phil,” Dr. Jessup interrupts. He’s had enough. Finally. “Someone tried to fricassee a kid, and you wanna open up the salad bar?”

“All I’m saying,” Dr. Allington says, looking indignant, “is that, in my professional opinion, it would be best not to allow this incident to interfere with the residents’ normal routine. You’ll recall that a few years ago, when the school had that rash of suicides, it was the publicity about them that generated so many of the copycat attempts—”

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