Vanessa tries to talk to Coach Bullock, but ends up arresting him, after he gets aggressive. On the way to the station, he won’t stop talking, so she has a lot to enter into evidence against him. Jasper updates her on what he discovered about Wendy’s background.
“When are you going to talk to Bullock?”
“I want to read this file on Wendy first, then I’ll go in. You better back me up. I’m gonna be Bad Cop today, no matter what I do.”
Vanessa handed him the picture of Bullock grabbing Wendy.
“I can handle this, Ness, if it’s kicking up…. What’s that?” He pointed to the sticky note. It had come off the picture and stuck inside the folder.
“Dario’s handwriting.” She picked it up. “Oh, my darling man! Look!”
“I think we found a way to nail Bullock’s coffin shut. Thank you, Mr. Escobar!”
Aiden dutifully dropped his brothers at the school, but didn’t plan to stay. He went in with them, bought the car decal as he’d promised, and excused himself for the day. At eighteen, he could do that without his parents’ permission. That accomplished, he fed into the early morning traffic and drove out. The teacher at the gate didn’t even look at him. His father’s vehicle was well known, and they were enough of a size and shape, to look alike at a distance. Driving more cautiously, like his dad, he turned left onto Tenth Street and drove down to the satellite campus of Daytona State College. Taking a spot in the visitor’s section, he wandered over to sit on a bench under a tree.
Other students wandered in and out, milling about smoking cigarettes before class. He knew some of them from school. When they spotted him, they walked over, sitting beside him, or standing. Several were from the golf team, and still followed the matches. They chatted a little while until Fonda, who was team captain just before Wendy, noticed his preoccupation.
“This is about Wendy.”
“Inez, you stay. The rest of you, scoot, please. Private talk.”
No one argued. They suspected what the talk was, and didn’t want to be interfere.
“You know,” Fonda said.
“I always suspected,” Aiden said. “But now…. I know it’s horrible, and embarrassing, but you girls have to come forward. He can’t keep getting away with this.”
“We were going to,” Inez said. “Wendy contacted us a few weeks ago, begging us. Fonda was all for it, I took convincing.”
“What he did to us, it wasn’t right,” Fonda said sternly. “My folks convinced me not to pursue it. Dad plays golf with him, he didn’t want to lose his best partner for the club tournament! Can you believe? And Mother?” she rolled her eyes. “Don’t cause a scandal,” she quoted in an airy voice.
“I was too afraid,” Inez said quietly. “I didn’t even tell my parents. My dad would kill him.”
“I know someone who will listen. Her name is Detective Weinstein, and she’s investigating Wendy’s death. Troy’s in jail.” He dropped that bomb in their laps.
“For real? Like—stay there?”
“He assaulted a police officer, Detective Weinstein. And ran away when we tried to talk to him. But he’s in Port Orange, not here. His buddy can twist things here, but not up there.”
“What buddy?” Fonda asked, puzzled.
“He’s got a cop in his pocket, well placed, from what I can tell.”
“How do you know?” Inez asked.
“Because I listen and keep my mouth shut. In fact,” he leaned forward to share a secret. “From what I can find out, Troy is gay and it’s his f**k buddy.”
“What!?” both girls screeched.
Heads turned, but they ignored it.
“You’re serious? How did you find out?”
“Yeah, the exchange student from the U.K., the year we graduated,” Fonda explained to Inez.
“He hung around after graduation. He liked the climate—and I don’t mean the balmy summer breezes. He enjoyed a certain, peculiar lifestyle.” The girls frowned, not getting his subtle remarks. “He’s a cross-dresser and liked to visit the drag clubs in Daytona and Orlando. He managed to get a work Visa and he’s been performing at Pocket Pool.” Contrary to the name, the classiest, best drag club in the area.
“How do you know that?” Fonda shuddered.
“Despite his oddity, he’s a good guy. He was really there for me when Wendy took off. As a friend,” he emphasized, lest they get the wrong idea. “And I found out why she left like she did.” He could tell these girls, they would understand. No one else in the world would get it, except maybe his mother. “She had my baby,” he whispered. “A little girl. She named her Rowan.”
© 2018 Dellani Oakes