Chapter Three: You, Me and He
...If you donít put an end to this we are never going to see Natalie alive again"
Bo and I turn at the sound of the office door opening and I immediately go on edge seeing Evangeline and Nora storm in.
"Whatís wrong Evangeline? Is it another note?"
She glances at Nora, who hands a clear sandwich bag to Bo. "She found it inside of her apartment, by the front door."
"Were you at home when it happened or was it there when you got home?"
"I walked in the door, turned on the lights, reset my alarm and slipped off my shoes, and thatís when I noticed it on the floor."
I walk over to Bo and we look at the note, trying to decide how to proceed with this new lead. I head outside into the squad room to give orders. When everyone has dispersed, I turn to face Evangeline whoís standing in the doorway of Boís office staring wide-eyed and playing nervously with the strap of her hand bag.
"Donít worry Evangeline, weíre going to get this bastard. And after we find out where Natalie is, he will pay."
"John, I want to go."
"No. No way! This guy is a lunatic, anything can happen. I donít want you anywhere near Capricorn when this is all going down."
She shakes her head adamantly. "I can take care of myself John. I want to look this bastard in the face. And maybe I can get him to tell us where Natalie is."
"Evangeline, youíre one of the bravest pepole Iíve ever known. You donít need to prove that to me. Iíll be able to do my job much better if I know youíre here safe with Bo and Nora. So just, please stay here. For me?"
She heaves a resigned sigh, but nods. "Fine."
I nod and give her hand a quick squeeze before leaving the squad room. When the task force and I get to Capricorn, we advance slowly and carefully, trying to make as little noise as possible.
I can sense movement behind one of the dumpsters and yell, "Stand and put your hands where I can see them! Put your hands where I can see them!"
To my complete and utter surprise, an attractive young woman stands with her hands raised and says, "I didnít do anything!"
Despite the nagging feeling at the back of my head telling me that weíve got the wrong person, being a cop has taught me to arrest first and ask questions later. So I read her her rights adn arrest her.
For someone who was just arrested, this suspect is eerily quiet. She makes no more protests of innocence other than her initial one. Which leads me to two conclusions. Either sheís really guilty or sheís really innocent.
We take her back to the station and attempt to process her, but surprise, surprise. She wonít tell us her name. All of the holding cells are full of drunk, underage college students since we just busted an out-of-control rave, so we put her in one of the rooms that we use for questioning.
"You know, youíre going to have to talk sooner or later."
"Iím not saying anything unless I have a lawyer."
"Not even your name?"
"That can be incriminating evidence, canít it?"
I roll my eyes. She is having too much fun and yet... not enough. This is not the behaviour of a sociopathic serial killer.
"Alright then. Whoís the best defense attorney in this town?"
"Evangeline Williamson." I glance at Cerutti, who shrugs sheepishly.
She looks at the both of us and smiles slightly. "Figures. Well, I want her."
And youíre about to get her. I can hear a commotion going on outside the door, and I would bet a million bucks that Evnageline is trying to convince someone out there that seeing this suspect isnít going to make her re-live being kidnapped. I go outside quickly and try to diffuse the situation.
"John. Thank God. Maybe you can talk some sense into Superwoman here."
"Whatís going on?"
"I want to see that suspect. I can help and we all know it."
Evangeline glares at me, daring me with her eyes to tell her not do this. But Iím not stupid. She would flatten me with a left hook to the jaw.
"Well, our suspect just asked for you, so if you think youíre up to it..."
Evangeline starts walking and I give Nora and apologetic look before leading Evangeline back to the interrogation room.
"Alright you slimeball! What do you want from me?"
The suspect stands and turns to face Evangeline with a smile. "Now Sis, what did Mom tell you about calling me names?
Cerutti and I can only gape. Alone they look nothing alike, but together, you canít miss the resemblance.
"This is your sister?"
"Oh yeah. My dead sister."
Cerutti asks the question Iím almost too afraid to ask myself. "Sheís supposed to be dead?"
"No! Nothing like that. Sheís dead as in Iím going to kill her dead right here. Layla, do you have any idea how much trouble youíve caused?"
"Me? Youíre the one that over reacted as usual. Imagine my horror and surprise when I realize that the man pointing a gun at me was none other than your former steady and someone elseís night in shining armour."
Evangeline and I flinch at this and Cerutti smartly slips out of the room.
"Layla, you knew what had been going on. Why would you have slipped a note under my door when last week I told you about the incident at my office?"
"Vange, Iím sorry. I didnít think."
Evangeline snorts lightly. "You donít do very much of that, do you?"
Laylaís mouth drops open and if sheís anything like her sister, a word bomb is about to drop.
"Look. If you were thinking, you would have realized that serial killers donít leave around hadwritten notes since that is incriminating evidence. Hello! And you call yourself a lawyer. I wanted to surprise you and none of this would have happened if people listened." That last part is obviously directed at me.
"Even guilty serial killers say that they didnít do anything when they get arrested. If you told us your name, you wouldnít have gotten arrested at all."
"Iím sorry. I really am. I was just trying to figure out a way to get out of this mess. I couldnít make too much of a commotion because I didnít want Antonio to come out."
Evangeline and I look at her in confusion. "How do you know Antonio?"
"Heís my new boss. How do you know him?"
"Heís a close friend. Layla, you got a job? Where are you going to stay?"
She gives Evangeline a charming smile and tries her best to look innocent. "With my big sister."
One would think that as tough as Evangeline is, and as mad as she just was, she wouldnít fall for it. But she does. "Fine. You can sleep in the guest room. Whereís your luggage?"
"In your lobby. Why canít I sleep with you? Itíll be like old times, when you were in college and you used to let me stay in your dorm on long weekends."
Evangeline laughs. "You canít sleep with me because the last time you did, you kicked me in your sleep and left a bruise in my ribs that didnít disappear for a month. And thereís an extra room. Use it or lose it."
"Okay. Hey, whatís the deal with super cop anyway? And why is he still here?"
I laugh and Evangeline blushes. "Layla, please donít be rude. He got enough from Mom to last a life time."
"Donít worry about it. I donít mind. Iím still here because I was hoping to be formally introduced to Evangelineís sister who she talks about all the time. I didnít mean to intrude."
"Layla Williamson," she says with a grin, holding out her hand, which I shake. "John McBain."
Still grasping my hand, she looks from me to Evangeline and back again. "Wait a minute.... yíall donít fool me! Vange you totally lied to Mom, you did get back together with John. I canít wait to tell her!"
Evangeline grabs her sister, whoís bouncing slightly between us. "Now why do you always have to create a big scandal about everything. You tell Mom this, and Iíll tell her you got arrested and Iíll let her get all worked up before handing the phone to you."
"I canít stand you!"
"I am so glad to have you here Lay, even if I didnít show it at first."
"Me too. Weíre going to have so much fun! Hey, do you have food in your fridge? Because I could eat a cow right now."
Is she kidding. "Oh, Iím sorry. Allow me to introduce you. Layla, this is Evangeline Williamson. Evangeline meet Layla."
Layla and I look at the indignant expression on Evangelineís face and start to laugh.
"You two arenít funny in the slightest."
"Sorry Evangeline. But this is payback. All of those jokes with Michael are going to come back to haunt you."
Evangeline covers her mouth as she yawns and stretches. "Alright, it is way past my bed time. Come on Layla, letís get you settled."
"John, itís been great," Layla says, turning to me with a funny look.
"Iím sure Iíll see you again very soon."
She leaves the room, nudging Evangeline on her way out the door.
"So thatís my baby sister Layla."
"Sheís funny. Confusing but funny."
"Hah. You know sheís probably watching through the window and we have absolutely no proof."
"Well then Iíll keep it chaste. Iíll talk to you later, okay? Go home and get some rest."
I kiss her softly and then she goes towards the door. "Night John."
She walks out the door, leaving me to ponder, ĎIs Llanview ready for the Williamson sisters?í