Fallen by Leslie Tentler

Fallen by Leslie Tentler

Author:Leslie Tentler [Tentler, Leslie]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Left Field Press
Published: 2014-10-14T00:00:00+00:00

Chapter Seventeen

Ryan recognized Vanessa Parks as one of the women who’d been waiting for Lamar Simmons outside the precinct the night he had been brought in for questioning. She’d told them Simmons had cut her with a broken bottle and busted two of her ribs for refusing a john. Vanessa wanted retribution. Eyes bright with anger, she’d revealed from her hospital bed that she had been a passenger in his car the night he dumped LaShonda Butler’s body.

An addict herself, it was questionable whether Vanessa would make a credible witness, but at least they had enough now to charge Simmons with murder. Exiting the room alongside Mateo, Ryan carried her written statement.

“You see the tracks on her arm?” Mateo asked. “She’ll recant as soon as Simmons hooks her up again.”

“Or after he threatens to do to her what he did to LaShonda.” Despite his time in Homicide, Ryan hadn’t numbed to the violence. Vanessa’s injury was gruesome, the cut running nearly from her right eye to her jaw. But it also wasn’t lost on him that she had been blasé about the murder of eighteen-year-old LaShonda. She’d revealed what she knew only when it would benefit her. As they walked down the corridor, a uniformed officer exited the elevator.

“No one goes in except medical staff,” Ryan instructed him, indicating the room they had just left. “Simmons is a light-skinned African American, late thirties, six-foot-two with a snake tattoo on his neck. Be on watch.”

“You got it, Detective.”

They could keep Simmons away from Vanessa while she was here. Afterward, they would have fewer options.

“I’ll start the paperwork for the arrest warrant,” Mateo said as the officer took a chair outside the room. “The real bitch will be finding Simmons to serve it.”

“Even if we can’t locate him, he’s going to show up here eventually.”

With a grunt of agreement, Mateo dug into his pocket for his cell phone. “Let’s get a plainclothes on the floor, too.”

Ryan turned when someone called his name. Roe Goodman, one of the senior ER nurses, came toward him, her stethoscope bumping against her chest. She wore brightly patterned medical scrubs. They had known one another for years. He left Mateo to make the call and met her. “Roe.”

“Lydia must’ve called you, after all.” Appearing relieved, she shook her head, her short dreadlocks swinging. “Thank the Lord. I’ve been worried that woman’s lost her mind.”

“What’re you talking about?”

Her mouth fell open slightly. “You’re not here about the wasps?”

“I’m here taking a statement from a witness.” Concern filled him. “What about wasps—was Lydia stung?”

“She’s fine. She had a scare, is all.” Roe hesitated. “She isn’t going to like me telling you, but that’s just too bad. You need to talk to her, Ryan. Find out what’s going on. Someone sent her a box of wasps this morning, wrapped up like a present.”

Surprise and anger hardened his stomach. “Did she open it?”

“She thought it was a birthday gift from her sister.” Roe frowned, rubbing absently at her arms. “There was a mutilated mouse inside, too.


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