CHAPTER SIXTEEN

“Where did you get this?” Hazel gasped. “When you said you had something to show me I never knew It would be this big.”

Keith glanced at John for a second. “Yeah that’s the thing I-” Keith started, but before he could finish, all of a sudden, there was a flurry of activity  in the graveyard. Men in uniforms flooded everywhere telling them to put their hands up. They obliged. The police handcuffed three of them.

“Not this again.” Hazel mumbled, as she was cuffed. “I am sick of you guys.”

“The feeling is mutual.” James said stepping forward. “You are under arrest for the murder of Carla Heathway.”

Thirty minutes later they were at the station.

“You gave us quite a chase Ms Stuart.” James said, as Hazel sat before him in the interrogation room. “I was surprised when you were not in school. Then I checked Carla’s phone. She has that find my friends and family app. And there you were with a known fugitive.With a possession only Thomas Bridges’ Killer would have.”

“What do you want me to say?” Hazel asked.

“What were you doing with that laptop?” James asked.

“Keith was showing it to me.” Hazel exclaimed. “You know, the fourteen year old boy you just arrested.”

“Oh, he has been released.” James waved his hands. “We called his mother, she came to get him immediately.”

“Why?” Hazel exclaimed. “He found the laptop.”

“Yes he did.” James said. “Just before he left with his mother, he said he found it behind the woodshed in the cemetery.”

“So why are you asking me what I was doing with it?” Hazel asked.

“Trick question.” James said. “Here is a real one, Is John Heathway staying at your house?”

“I am not answering that.” Hazel said. “I don’t know why I am still talking to you.”

“Yesterday, I talked with Carla’s Killer.” James said. “The location of that call was coming from your house. This was about Four. pm.”

“There you have it.” Hazel declared. “I was not even home then.”

“But John Heathway was.” James said. “You have been harboring him in your house since Wednesday night right?”

Hazel was silent for a moment. “Yes.” she finally replied. “But he is innocent.”

“Really?” James said. “Let me give you a recap. John and Jeremiah were drug dealers. Someone was supplying drugs to Jeremiah but he didn’t know who, that person happened to know his every moves, and where to leave him the drugs. John conveniently happened to be at his side through all that. That person finances were being represented by Moraine Heathway, who just happens to be John’s mother and lawyer. We caught Jeremiah. who claimed that person killed Carla Heathway. John saw Carla that night. Jeremiah committed suicide this morning, but I am beginning to believe your friend played a hand in that. Moraine Heathway was found yesterday. She had disappeared on Wednesday night the same night John did. She was buried alive but managed to climb out. She is in a coma now. Tell me, when John came to your house how did his clothes look?”

Hazel thought for a moment. “Muddy.” She finally said. “But-”

“There you go.” James said. “What else do you need?”

“John said he wanted to find put who was framing him.” Hazel argued. “That’s why we were in that graveyard. Keith said he found something”

“And that something happened to be Thomas Bridges’ Laptop.” James said. “Do you know Thomas gathered evidence of Carla killer on his laptop? It is password protected so we ares still trying to get into it, but did you consider he was only following you to destroy that evidence?”

“But if he killed Thomas wouldn’t he have the laptop?” Hazel retorted.

“Well maybe he killed Carla but didn’t kill Thomas.” James said. “Or maybe he did, but he stashed the laptop it somewhere and Keith found it. Let’s talk about the money Carla gave you. I assume John knows his way around your house?”

“Well yes.” Hazel said.

“There you go.” James said. “Did he ever come into your house during that time that money went missing?”

Hazel nodded her head tearfully. “He would come by often but-”

“There you go.” James said. “It has been him this whole time.”

“Detective would you listen to yourself?” Hazel cried. “You are suggesting that John Heathway not only killed sister, but also buried his mother alive.”

“Anyone who is sick enough to kill their sister, their own blood is capable of anything.” James snapped. He took a deep breath and regained his composure. “You are lucky we found you when you did. He could have been planning on killing you both after he destroyed that laptop.” He stood up. “Your parents are waiting for you outside. You are free to go.” He left the room. He left the room. He sighed a deep breath of relief. The case was over. They had caught the bastard.

*                                        *                                        *

“So what’s gonna happen?” Corbin asked James.

“Well, he lawyered up.” James said. “So It’s probably going to be a brutal trial, But we definitely have him.” James said. “As soon as we get into that laptop. We will have more proof.”

“How about Moraine Heathway?” Corbin said. “You think she would testify against her son?”

“Probably.” James said. “She was probably already going to, that is why John probably killed her.” They looked in the window where John sat. He was looking unremorseful with a stone cold expression on his face.

“Now that is the expression on a killer.” Corbin shuddered. “Why do you think he did it? The drugs?”

“Probably the high.” James said. “He probably felt like a puppet master pulling the strings.”

“So that sneaky guy was busy manipulating his friend while he looked around him for another face.” Corbin mused.

“You seem so upset about this.” James said

“Just expected it to be someone less obvious.” Corbin said. “How about our girl Hazel?”

“Yeah we are letting her go.” James said.

“Is that smart? I mean she might know something.” Corbin said.

“Highly doubt it.” James said. “It seems Heathway played her. The only thing she is guilty of is being naive.”

“Yeah, I heard your interrogation.” Corbin said. “You sure didn’t spare any feelings, huh?”

“That’s not my Job.” James said. He looked at his watch. “Gotta get some paper work done.”

“Ah, perks of catching a killer.” Corbin said. “I am heading to the hospital. I’ll call you if there are any developments.”

“Okay, sure” James said, walking away.

*                                            *                                                   *

“Jaz, have you seen this?” Toni asked Jasmine as she ran up to her. She showed Jaz her phone it was a text from Hazel.  It read ‘SOS’.

“Yeah I got one too.” Jasmine said. “I think I know what it’s about.”

“What?” Toni asked.

“I got a text from my mom.” Jasmine said. “She said, my brother got into some sort of trouble with Hazel. Told me to come home straight from school.”

“So you are going home?” Toni asked.

“I think I’ll swing by Hazel’s first.” Jasmine said opening her locker. “Why? Aren’t you coming?”

Toni held up a slip. “I have detention. Again. I think Mrs Glass hates me.”

“Because you are a smart mouth.” Jasmine said smiling. “What name did you call her this time?”

“I didn’t. I just said she was old.” Toni said.

“Toni.” Jasmine said reproachfully.

“It’s true.” Toni said defensively. “It’s not my fault she is overly sensitive about her age.”

“If you are in your thirties and not yet married you would be too.” Jasmine said. She looked at her watch. “I think I am going to cut last period. I don’t want my mom to know I didn’t come straight home.”

“You. Cut last period.” Toni laughed. “I thought I’d never see the day.”

“Yeah me neither.” Jasmine muttered. “I’ll text you the details.” She closed her locker and left.

“Yeah you do that.” Toni said. She watched Jasmine go before returning to her class.

*                                                 *                                                                *

“So this is it?” Jones said to James.

“Yeah, finished the last report.” James said.

“Have you resolved the security camera issue?” Jones said. “About Gates suicide.”

“We are still working on that.” James said. “But there is nothing from the ME’s report that says he didn’t commit suicide.”

“Hmm.” Jones murmured inspecting James work. “Good work.” He said looking up. “Any word from the FBI?”

“Not yet.” James said. “I sent word to Agent Stone that we found Moraine Heathway, but I didn’t get a reply.”

“There would be soon.” Jones predicted. “After all their suspect is a witness in this case.”

There was a knock on the door. Jakes peeked his head in. “Detective Ashwood. Ethan Heathway is here to see you.”

“That’s fine.” Jones said to James as he was standing up. “Let me talk to him.” He walked out the door. As James left Jones office his phone buzzed. James looked at the screen It was from Corbin.

“Hey what’s up?” James said.

“You should get down here now.” Corbin said. “Moraine Heathway is awake.”

*                                                                   *                                                                           *

“It was so messed up Jaz.” Hazel said throwing her clothes on the bed. “They were taking me apart like I was nothing.”

“So let me get this straight.” Jasmine said. “My brother found Tom’s laptop and he showed it to you? Why you?”

“Beats me.” Hazel said bringing out shoes. “He just called me and said he wanted to show me something. I can’t think about that right now.”

“So John is the killer?” Jasmine asked.

“That’s what they said, He and Jeremiah were selling drugs of some sort-I don’t know my brain is too muddled right now.”

Jasmine moved towards the window. “You said something about Carla’s mom.”

“Yeah, she was buried alive.” Hazel said throwing some clothes back in her closet.

“Buried Alive?” Jasmine exclaimed sounding shocked. “They found her body?”

“Not exactly.” Hazel said opening a suitcase. “She crawled. Out. Of. A. Grave” Hazel said punctuating each word. “She is in hospital right now.”

“Do you know which one?” Jasmine asked.

“No.” Hazel said. throwing clothes

“Where are you going?” Jasmine said eyeballing Hazel’s clothes.

“Ironic as it may seem, Newport.” Hazel said. “I can’t stay in this messed up town.”

“Maybe we should come with you.” Jasmine said moving away from the window.

“Yeah, maybe you should. Where is Toni?”

“Detention.” Jasmine said. “Is anyone else home?”

“It’s just me.” Hazel said. “My mom left.” Hazel stopped packing and froze.

“What is it?” Jasmine asked.

Hazel turned around. “The cops said, they were talking to the killer and the call came from inside this house.”

“Yeah well, John was in here right?” Jasmine asked picking up a hanger Hazel had dropped on the floor.

“Yeah he was hiding in the basement.” Hazel said. “The reception is terrible there.”

“Okay so?” Jasmine said.

“So, I am pretty sure John is innocent.” Hazel said. “I have known him almost all my life. He wouldn’t go homicidal on his whole family.”

“John is hardly innocent.” Jasmine said. “He was selling drugs remember?”

“I know, but what if someone else was here?” Hazel asked she diverted her eyes to the side of the room. “Who else was in here yesterday?” She asked, thinking hard. Jasmine bent down and picked something up. “My dad was here, you told me-” Hazel murmured and Idea starting to form in her head. “The laptop Keith found.” A horrific realization began dawning on her.

“Your suitcase is going to fall to the ground.” Jasmine said breaking Hazel out of her thoughts. Hazel turned towards her bed to put it upright and then, she felt a sharp blow on her head. Her head felt dizzy and she turned around to see Jasmine wielding her hockey stick. Jasmine struck again and then everything went dark.

*                                                             *                                                              *

She looked fragile and pale. Her head was bandaged. She  was laid on the hospital bed the heart monitor beside her bed beeping normally. James nodded to the two guards in front of the door. They let them in.

“Mrs Heathway.” James said gently. “Can you talk?” He asked. Moraine Heathway winced, and nodded. She tried to sit up but Corbin put his hand over her.

“Please don’t get up.” Corbin said. “We have a few questions.”

“Jasmine.” Moraine said, her voice hoarse. “Jasmine Green.”

“What are you talking about?” James asked confused.

“I was on my way to talk to you.” Moraine  said hoarsely. “She intercepted me. My head. The dirt. Cold.”

“Who intercepted you?” James asked.

“Jasmine Green.” Moraine Heathway said. “She killed my daughter.”

A wave of Ice washed over James. The killer was still out there. “Are you saying Jasmine Green is Zas?”

Moraine Heathway nodded. “I pieced it together after I talked to you. I made the mistake of confronting her about it.”

James nodded to Corbin. Corbin went outside and radioed it in. “Can you start from the beginning?”

*                                                            *                                                                   *

He picked up his phone and dialed a number. After a few rings someone answered on the other end.

“What?” Came Jasmine’s curt reply.

“You are blown.” He said. “Hide.”

“I already know that.” Jasmine said. “You should bring me more fresh news.”

“Well sorry if my spy skills aren’t enough for you.” He grumbled. “Where are you?”

“Taking care of something.” Jasmine said. “Hazel in particular.”

“She found out? Where are you taking her?” He asked.

“Somewhere private.” Jasmine said.

“No no no don’t kill her.” He said. “Do you hear me? Don’t hurt her.”

“Bye Ben.” Jasmine said. “It has been fun.” She cut the line.

Ben Adrian groaned in frustration. Things had gone from well to hell. He started his car. It was time to take care of number one.

*                                                    *                                                                *

“So it’s a chick that has been whacking people this whole time.” Corbin grinned as James sped towards the Green house. “Now that is much better.”

“You think this is funny?” James said. “There is a killer on the loose. Someone who looks innocent.”

“Relax. I mean she has been on the loose all this while right?” Corbin said.

“And look how many people turned up dead.” James said.

Corbin looked at James. “You seem really upset about this.”

James sighed. “I talked to this girl. I had no clue.”

“It is usually the person you least suspect.” Corbin said. “So are we just going to jump in there, guns blazing?”

The dispatch radio came on. James listened. “Damn.” He said after listening. “She isn’t at home.”

“You think she ran?” Corbin asked.

“Definitely.” James said. “How did she know anyway?”

“Well, her friend probably told her Moraine Heathway was alive.” Corbin reasoned.

“Damn. That’s right.” James said. “See if we can get in touch with Hazel Stuart or Toni Peters. Corbin dialed a number and called the station giving out specific orders.

“Done.” Corbin said hanging up. “They are dispatching officers to their houses now.”

“He was lying.” James said.

“Who?” Corbin asked.

“Keith.” James said. “When we asked him where he found that laptop. I bet you he found it in his sister’s room.”

“That’s why he took it to her best friend.” Corbin said as it dawned on him. “He knew she would protect her.”

“Exactly.” James said, as they arrived at the house. There were police cars already surrounding it. James and Corbin came down holding up their badges.

“Mrs Green.” James said as they came close to them. “We need to speak to your son.”

“I don’t think so.” Martha Green said. “And you don’t have a warrant so you can’t come in here.”

“Oh if you want one we can get it.” James said. “A warrant is being issued for your daughter’s arrest as we speak. Now if you are harboring a fugitive-”

“She isn’t here.” Martha Green said.

“Then why don’t you let us come in and search the house?” Corbin called out.

“It is best if you cooperate now.” James said. “And while you are at it, we’d like to speak to Keith.”

“Come in and search all you want.” Martha said. ‘But my son and I have nothing to say.”

*                                      *                                                *

The doorbell rang. “Alicia, door.” Toni called out. No reply. She sighed in frustration and got up from her bed. She walked down the stairs towards the door. The doorbell rang again, and this time accompanied with a knock.

“Coming, Jeez” Toni grumbled. She opened the door to find two officers outside. He heart jumped.

“Is there a problem?” She said fear creeping in her voice.

“I am afraid so.” One of them said. “Are your parents home?”

“No.” Toni said, shaking her head. “Is there anything I can help you with?”

“Where are your friends?” the officer asked.

“I don’t know.” Toni said. “I just got home, they were supposed to meet me here.”

“You need to come with us.” The officer said.

“Why?” Toni said.

“We will explain when we get to the station.” he said. “We can call your parents from there.”

“Okay fine.” Toni said. “Just let me grab some shoes.”

*                                               *                                                                 *

Jasmine secured Hazel firmly. Hazel was still unconscious. Her mouth was already covered with duct tape. She checked again to make sure she was still breathing. She was. Jasmine tied her legs firmly too.  Hazel began to stir. Jasmine checked all the windows and made sure they were airtight. She looked at Hazel’s phone. She had turned it off before they moved anywhere She put it in her purse. Hers was turned off too. Hazel was still trying to stretch. Jasmine re positioned her to make her more comfortable Hazel opened her eyes.

“You are awake. Just on time.” Jasmine said. “So I guess you must have a million questions?”

Hazel looked at her fiercely unable to talk.

“Oh right.” Jasmine said. “You can’t talk.” She went over to Hazel and removed the duct tape.

“So Hazel.” Jasmine said. “I guess you have a million questions for me. Go on.”

Hazel opened her mouth, and let loose a scream.

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