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Salacious sent the officers inside to check everything out while he gave her this stern look as if she had done something wrong.
“What problem do you have with me, Lieutenant?” Chon asked at his negative scrutiny.
He wasn’t the spitting image of Onyx, but those familiar cold black eyes gave her the shivers.
“Should I have a problem with you?”
“If you’re related to Onyx Heart you probably do.”
He shifted uncomfortably. “If you know Onyx and you have a problem with her, then I feel bad for you.”
“So you are related to Onyx Heart?”
“She’s my cousin if that’s what you’re asking, but I don’t have a problem with you because she has a problem with you.”
“What problem do you have?”
“How do you know Walter Stoepel?”
The name abruptly jogged her memory. She wasn’t expecting him to be asking questions to her about that. “Walter? The engineer?”
“So you knew him?”
“He’s dead, Chon Tolbert, and you were the last person to see him alive.”
Salacious pulled out his phone and showed her video of her vehicle stopping in the parking structure right in front of Walter Stoepel. Just like she remembered, the strange man looked around nervously and then walked away dropping his notebook. The next video was her getting out of her vehicle and picking up the journal and then driving away.
“That wasn’t planned?” Salacious asked suspiciously.
“I planned to hit him?” she asked ridiculously.
He ignored her sarcasm and asked another question. “When you got out of the car, you didn’t see anyone else around?”
“No, I didn’t. Was I supposed to?” she exasperated. “I was leaving work late. I was shocked someone else was around. He jumped in front of my car all of a sudden and I braked in time. We didn’t say anything to each other and he kept walking as you can see. I saw the notebook at the last moment and thought it was strange he’d dropped it suddenly. I know how creatives value their notebooks and journals.”
“You should. You’ve worked with a lot of them, haven’t you, Ms Tolbert?”
“Yes, I do.” She had a feeling Salacious knew more about her than he let on. “I’ve worked with a lot of creatives. It’s my specialty.”
“Including your current client Dorian Zane?” he said with disgust.
Knowing he was aware that Onyx Heart, she had a feeling he knew a lot about Dorian Zane. “What about him?”
“I’m asking the questions here. Are you sure there was no one else in the parking garage with you? No one you want to identify right now?”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“I mean, you aren’t covering for someone else?”
“Austin?” she asked incredulously. “Why would I be covering for my ex-boyfriend who’s about to get married to someone else?”
“I always find it amazing what women will do for men they love, but I wasn’t talking about your ex-boyfriend although I will take note that he works with you too. I was talking about your current or the one you try to pretend is not your current beau.”
So he did know about Dorian Zane and her? That meant Onyx Heart suspected they were an item? “Let’s not play stupid.”
“Are you speaking to yourself out loud?”
The man could frustrate Mother Teresa. “Say what you mean,” she ordered.
“I know you and Mr. Zane are an item You are his type.”
“Innocent. Untouched. I can smell you like a newborn baby. He was attracted to you like white on rice.”
“If you’re trying to accuse me of covering for Dorian Zane? Why on earth would he be in the parking lot that night?”
“Following Walter,” Salacious said apparently. “Walter wrote a lot of emails before his death to a fellow eco designer in Chicago who was also his college roommate. It seems it was the only friend he had he felt close enough to say that he felt someone was stalking him. Walter felt someone was trying to kick him off a lucrative project so they could take the money all for themselves.”
“And you think Dorian is the person? Wait, are you accusing Dorian of murder?” she asked incredulously.
He raised a brow. “It wouldn’t be his first.”
“What are you talking about, Lieutenant?”
“Obviously you don’t know anything about Dorian Zane, and you should listen to my cousin when she gives you a warning.”
“How do you know Onyx is jealous?”
“Because I know Dorian Zane would do anything to make sure he has a perfectly controlled life. He’ll make sure that no one takes that control away. I’ve questioned him personally and once a killer always a killer. Just because I didn’t catch him the first time, doesn’t mean I won’t catch him again.”
The revelation to what Lieutenant Heart was revealing was blowing her mind. “Dorian Zane has actually killed someone?
“Yes, Ms. Tolbert. He killed the last girl he got pregnant. Maybe you should research your beau before you just throw your legs wide open for him.”
Anger by his insults and the fact that the man was only on Onyx Heart’s side, she didn’t know what to believe. The man she knew as Dorian Zane wasn’t some killer.
“Maybe you should check your facts. Dorian was nowhere near that parking lot, and perhaps you should investigate just a little bit better before you come and try to scare me away for your cousin. She’s a maniacal bitch, and she runs his girlfriends away. I wouldn’t put it past that she did something to his last girlfriend. She’s threatened me with blades, and I should press charges against her just to piss her off.”
He smirked. “You don’t want to do that.”
“Why? Because she’s going to kill me?”
“Onyx doesn’t want to kill you. She just wants you to suffer. I know my cousin, and I know she wouldn’t do something like this to his girlfriend or Walter. He wasn’t worth her attention, but he was worth Dorian Zane’s attention. That project is going to make him a wealthy man, and with his name only on it and his penchant for not sharing, I would say getting rid of Walter would be beneficial to him. Most killers like to stick with what works.”
She could barely swallow at the thought of what he was suggesting. “His girlfriend and Walter died the same way?”
“Yes. Tied to the seat of their vehicle and pushed in the Detroit River. Funny how they died the same way, and both knew the same man.”
Chon backed away and leaned against her car still not sure what to think or what to believe. Her legs felt wobbly, and her head felt like it was spinning. She wanted to sit down, but she didn’t want to show Salacious how this information had affected her.
The officers came out of her home.
“Everything’s clean,” one of the officers said and looked at her suspiciously as if she had rifled her own house. “Nothing is taken. The house has been gone through thoroughly, but nothing valuable seems stolen.”
Salacious looked at her suspiciously. “Maybe what they were after wasn’t here.”
“What were they looking for?” she asked.
“Walter’s notebook. What you picked up. That would be the only thing.”
She gripped her purse and then remembered she didn’t have the notebook anymore. “I don’t have it. I-I… “ She faltered because she didn’t want him to know she was digitally saving everything and the exact current location.
“What? Where is it?” Salacious demanded.
“In a safe place. Besides, Dorian Zane doesn’t even know I have that notebook.”
“If he was in that parking lot, chasing down Walter, I think he saw what I saw on the video – You.”
“Dorian would have asked for the notebook from me if he wanted that notebook. Plus, he was with me all weekend.”
“Are you sure about that? Was he with you all the time?”
“He wouldn’t lower himself to riffle my house. You’re reaching, sir,” she said annoyed. “And you aren’t sure if that whoever riffled my house was looking for that notebook.”
“When you give me that notebook, then I’ll know for sure if it was valuable enough to do this and to kill Walter.”
She didn’t mind giving him the journal. “Fine. I’ll bring it to you tonight as long as when this is over with you bring it back to me. It’s in a safe place, and I have to retrieve it.”
The lieutenant nodded and handed her his card after writing a police report number on the back. “I look forward to your call.”
Without another look, Chon went to her house calling her insurance company to come to change her locks, while she would hurry and clean this mess up. No use sitting out there worrying over if Dorian Zane actually killed someone when it seemed this cop had a vendetta for Dorian.
Even she had to wonder how had Walter died the same way as Dorian’s former girlfriend?
Walking into her bedroom, she couldn’t believe the mess made. Salacious was right. This wasn’t a regular burglary. Someone had been looking for something specific.
A burglar wouldn’t have torn up her bed, pulled out her clothes from her closet and then even knew about the secret space under her shoes.
“You know who did this, don’t you?” a familiar voice said from the bedroom doorway.
Startled, Chon glared at Onyx Heart for scaring the crap out of her. “What makes you think that?”
“I can see it on your face.”
“Why are you here?” she asked exasperatedly.
Onyx moved from the doorway and came into the bedroom, but didn’t move to Chon. “You better tell Dorian if you want him to be able to defend himself against Salacious. This looks like he did it.”
“And you know he didn’t, too?”
Onyx smirked. “Of course I know. He was with you all weekend, wasn’t he?”
Chon stiffened not wanting to tell Onyx anything that happened the weekend. “Why are you here again? Are you trying to help Dorian?”
“I’m a bitch, not a witch. He didn’t kill his girlfriend, so I know he didn’t kill this silly Walter. Whoever did this, killed Walter.”
Looking at the secret space in the closet, Chon frowned worriedly. “A killer? Why would anyone go that far for a notebook?”
“Because whatever is in the notebook is worth a lot of money,” Onyx said apparently.
“How do you know?”
“I saw the notebook. Don’t think I didn’t rummage through your room at Newman’s house? I just didn’t feel I needed to take it. Thought it was in a safe place. Is it still safe?”
Onyx cut her off. “Give it to Dorian after Salacious returns it to you. No one else.”
“Is that why you’re here?”
“Actually, no,” Onyx answered. “I just confronted Dorian about Walter’s death. I needed him to know what’s going on because I knew Salacious was on his way over there after speaking with you.”
“And you’re here to tell me that?”
“Nope. I’m here because I’m mad as hell at Dorian. I know he fucked you and he thinks he’s just in control of this whole situation. You’re in it with your eyes wide open, and he thinks he has nothing to worry. No pregnancy, no drama, nothing.” She shrugged. “It’d be alright if I did want his life to be perfect.”
Chon was getting an overwhelming sense of fear running through her veins. “So you’re here to hurt me?”
Onyx chuckled wickedly. “Nah, what fun would that be?”
Chon was tired of this silly woman’s games and asked in exasperation. “So what are you-”
Unfortunately, that was the last thing Chon remembered saying as pain shot through her face and blackness hit her like a bullet.
Why the hell did Onyx just knock her the fuck out?
All Rights Reserved. 2016 (c) Sylvia Hubbard
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