Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Hope clutched the invitation. She had truly lost her mind. Was one party worth spending years of her life behind bars? If she got the story she wanted, you betcha. Besides, she thought, as she flipped it over several times, who would find out? She would go. Her mind was made up. When she opened her mailbox and saw the addressed invitation had been delivered to the wrong home, she had every intention of walking next door to hand it to Tonya. But after the murder, she figured Tonya wouldn’t need it anymore. Hope had no idea what Tonya had been invited to, but when she opened the envelope, she considered it a gift from God.
Kathleen Phillips cringed when the voice on the other end summoned her to the police station for “a few routine questions”. Should I bring counsel, my parents, someone for moral support? Bring anyone you’d like, was what she was told. It’s just routine. But there was nothing routine about being questioned after someone’s been murdered. She looked over at Winston. She was happy he’d insisted upon coming.
“Miss Phillips, I’m Detective Cruz. Please follow me.” Kathleen looked up. Her eyes focused on Danica’s service revolver.
“Uh, sure. Um, what about Winston?”
“He’s a big boy. I think he’ll be fine out here alone. This way please.”
She led Kathleen into a small interrogation room. One table with three chairs; one chair stood alone. Kathleen knew that was for her. Danica motioned for her to have a seat.
“Would you like something to drink—coffee, tea, water?” Chuck appeared from a corner of the room.
Kathleen jumped. She surveyed the room again to make sure no one else was lurking in the darkness. It was not a place she wanted to stay any longer than possible.
“No thank you.”
Danica walked around to her side. The chair scraped the floor when she jerked it away from the table. “Tell me about your relationship with Tonya Somers.”
“Relationship? Relationship?” Kathleen sat up in her seat. “Whatever gave you the idea we had a relationship?”
“Easy, Miss Phillips.” Chuck stepped forward. “It was a simple question. The sooner you answer, the sooner you’ll be out of here.”
“Rumor has it she took your man from you. We’re just trying to find out what your motivation may have been.” Danica took a sip of her lukewarm coffee. When she spoke, her voice was small and soothing. “Just tell me what happened at the party. I’m not here to judge you. I just need to find out who killed Tonya.”

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