Teresa spread the pictures of three murder victims across the coffee table of the dark hotel room once more. She stared at them in the flickering blue light cast about the room by the television. There was a pulsing pain in her head. And she thought illuminating the crime scene pictures would only make it worse. She closed the manila folder to hide the pictures and stared vacantly at the Spanish-language game show that had just started. She thought, perhaps, that yoga would be a good way to relax away her headache, but she just couldn’t force herself to get off the couch. Instead, she sunk into the pillows once more, closing her eyes briefly.
The vibrating cell phone on her coffee table brought her back into the room.
“They just finished with the interview.”
“She’s a real firecracker that one. The agent said she commandeered the entire interview, even tried to walk out before they were dismissed.”
“That is Ayanna Sanchez in a nutshell. What about Aiden?”
“Before I forget, they introduced themselves as ‘Senter’.”
“Really? Wow. I thought maybe that was just a wrestling thing. That’s interesting.” Teresa was now sitting up on the couch. She turned the light on next to the desk and pulled out a fresh pad of paper and an inky pen. “SENTER” she wrote across the top.
“Well, Aiden, apparently just sat there. Seems, though, that there was something between him and one of the girls.”
“Trina. And the sweatshirt she was found in was his. She had taken in the night before.”
“Talk about a calling card.”
“No kidding. Without those sweatshirts, they would have just been three bodies turned up in the Mexican desert. And I’d be willing to bet good money that Ayanna and Aiden Sanchez never would have looked for them or claimed them as employees if their pictures made the news.”
“That’s a bet you would win quite easily.” Teresa moved from the desk back to the coffee table, setting the phone to speaker and placing it next to her files. “Anything about why they would send the girls through Mexicali? Or what they were supposed to be doing.”
“Well, Ayanna claims that it was a mileage issue because the cars are leased. And to pick up costumes was the reason given.”
“Costumes? Oh, costumes. For the wrestling, I presume.”
“Yup. Apparently, Miss Sanchez broke down several times saying that it could have been her who died and that she used to do all of this work herself when she and Aiden started.”
“Well, she kind of has a point.”
“Teresa, are you crazy? She’s nuts. There’s no way she would have done that work herself. And even she was, you know damn well, she wouldn’t have been transporting costumes…”
“Stop fucking around, Teresa. This woman is dangerous. And if you’re not careful, she’s going to figure out what you’re doing just hanging around all the time.”
“I’m not fucking around.”
“You know what I mean. Ayanna is a suspect. And you need to treat her as one.”
“I think you’re wrong,” she said slowly. “It’s not her.”
“No, Teresa, no. We’ve watched him. For years. It’s not him. Maybe it’s not her either, but it’s definitely not him.”
“Fine. We’ll just see.”
“I guess we will. I just hope we don’t find out when Ayanna has you locked up in her basement.”
“Very funny, Donny. Very funny. But you know. We might need to get Ayanna some protection. A guard, maybe. I take it they’re not canceling any fights over the deaths of three of their little minions?”
“No, of course not,” Donald stopped. “But I will tell you this, Teresa Jordan, I’ll be damned if the LAPD is going to pick up the tab on a bodyguard for an international drug trafficker.”
“And when Ayanna’s body turns up with a sweatshirt tied around it, don’t fucking come crying to me.”
Teresa hit the end button on her phone. She picked the pen up once more and started to fill in some blanks. Costumes. She would need to take note of the costumes during the match.