Vanessa handed her the picture and letter.
“What does she mean Troy would know the baby wasn’t his?” Her eyes darted from one to the other.
“One of the things I wanted to ask him.”
“You like him for this?”
“Too early to tell. But it’s possible that he had a motive. One thing I’m very curious about, how did that letter get to his house, among Wendy’s things?”
“Can I go in?” Aiden asked.
“Absolutely not,” Lisa Stavros said. “What makes you think you could make him talk?”
“We have history. He hates me. He thinks I’m a punk kid, and it will make him angry.”
“You absolutely cannot be in that room. But I think we can arrange for him to see you. He’s in booking right now, but he’ll be in the interrogation room in a few minutes. When he makes that walk, we’ll put you where he can see you.”
“Devious,” Aiden said, nodding. “I like it. Tell me where to stand.”
She led him outside a few minutes later. Standing at the end of the hallway, leading to the holding cells, she engaged Aiden in conversation. They were some distance from where Troy would walk, but clearly visible. When he came out of the holding area, on the way to the interrogation room, he saw Aiden and started yelling. It wasn’t even words, he was so angry. He tried to break away and run down the corridor, but two big officers held him.
“You punk! I’ll get you, you cock sucker! You son-of-a-bitch!”
Aiden bridled at that. He could handle being insulted, but not his mother.
Lisa put her hand on his arm. “Don’t give him the win,” she murmured.
Relaxing a little, Aiden nodded. “Can I watch?”
Captain Stavros considered a moment. “Not in the booth. There’s a closed circuit TV in my office. Come.” She led him to her office.
Troy sat in the uncomfortable chair, chained to the table. His ankles were shackled and locked to the floor. He wasn’t going anywhere. He sat for quite some time before Vanessa went in. She had pulled her hair into a severe French twist and black framed glasses perched on her nose.
“She looks like the sexy librarian,” Aiden chuckled.
Stavros chuckled. She’d called Vanessa that from time to time, when she saw her done up interrogation style. “Don’t knock it, it works.”
“I’m not. But even if she’s a lot older, and married, she’s dangerously hot.”
“Don’t let her hear you say that.”
“Never. She’s a lady—who could kill me with extreme prejudice. She’s intimidating as shit.”
They laughed and settled into chairs to watch.
“So, Troy, why did you run?” Vanessa asked, not looking up from the folder.
He squirmed, shifting in his chair. “I figured you want to talk about Wendy. I didn’t do it.”
“I never said you did.” She folded her hands on the stack of pages. “I wanted to ask you questions. It’s been my experience, when a man runs, he’s got something to hide. What do you have to hide, Troy?”
“Nothing. I didn’t even know the bitch was in town.”
“Then why was this letter in your house?”
“Must have been left from when she lived there.”
“I doubt it. Look at the date.” She pointed to the letter. The picture was nearby. Troy ignored the letter and looked at the child. “He looks like that kid!”
“It’s a girl. That’s because he’s the father.”
“The f**k you say! That’s not possible.”
“But it is. She was pregnant when she left. But not with your baby. Did she get tired of you, Troy? Cast you aside? Is that why you killed her?”
“That can’t be his kid!”
“She’s certainly not yours. Did Wendy tell you that? Did she come by to see you, tell you about her baby? Did you lose your temper and kill her in a rage?”
“I don’t—you’re mixing me up!”
“But she did come by. Did she tell you about the baby, her baby—with Aiden. Did she tell you?”
“Yes! I mean no,” he sobbed, shaking his head. “I didn’t kill her. I loved her.” His face twisted in anguish. He looked furious with grief. “A baby?” his voice quivered.
“It’s not him,” Aiden said with confidence.
“He has means and motive,” Lisa Stavros said.
“Yeah. But listen to his voice. Look at his face. He’s hurting like I am. He might be a creep, but he loved her, too.” He looked away. “I thought this would feel better, but it hurts—” He rapped on his chest with his fist. “It hurts.”
© 2018 Dellani Oakes
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