Elissa stood in the foyer with Cecil and handed him the document. “This includes your home…”
Cecil nodded slowly, eyes scanning the warrant before settling on her. “What took you so long?”
“Peter Hamilton’s murder wasn’t enough to worry you? It took another death before you came knocking down the doors?” Cecil closed his eyes and took a calming breath leaving Elissa blinking in surprise at his outburst. “Ms. London has been summoned. Your people need to move quickly. I strongly suggest starting with the lady of the house and her suite.”
She motioned the team forward towards the staircase, Elissa’s eyes never left Cecil’s. “What do you know?”
“Mr. Hamilton didn’t love her. He was changing his Will. Lady Zania was informed of possible… changes. ” Cecil looked behind him towards the staircase as a woman cried out in anger, fear and surprise. “Unfortunately I’m unsure of just how much was still in planning stages or actually implemented.”
“Mr. Hamilton told you this?”
“Yes. I know more than they realize…” Cecil stepped aside as the Hamilton family descended the stairs. Zania gripped the rail, her bare feet took the steps slowly one at a time. Her hair disheveled having been rudely awakened by the police. Cecil held out the warrant for Zania who snatched it from him.
Zania stared at it bleary eyed and handed it blindly towards her children while swaying slightly on her feet. Dennis reached the foyer moments after his mother - bare-chested sporting plaid pajama bottoms - and impatiently plucked the document from his mother’s grasp to hand it to his sister, the whole while his eyes danced with humor eyeing Elissa. “Good morning, Detective. If you wanted to see me again, you could have just called.”
“Denny, this is a warrant.” Tiana’s hair was pulled back in a high ponytail, her freshly washed face was alert, her eyes took in every detail of her surroundings. She looked as if she had been awake for some time and was fully dressed for a quick jog. She looked over the documents before staring at Dennis with wide eyes.
“Of course it is, Tia. Cecil wouldn’t allow a swarm of cops in the house without one.” Dennis’ amusement was dampened as he took the document from her, his eyes never leaving Elissa. “What do you hope to find, Detective?”
“Answers.” Elissa didn’t wane under his scrutiny. “Do you play baseball?”
“No, I’m into a more civilized sport. I row.” Dennis folded the warrant glancing at Tiana who was fawning over their mother. “Is there some where we can sit while this is progressing, I believe Mother will be falling over shortly otherwise.”
“Fascinating.” Holding up the plastic evidence bag, she eyed the contents with interest. “Anyone care to venture a guess as to what we found?” No one responded, yet they all looked up at her when she spoke. “No?”
Hector walked in as she was speaking and stood beside her, two uniformed policemen stand at the door. “I’ll play.” He was looking at each individual in the room, “Could that possibly be the bleeding screw taken from Peter Hamilton’s car?”
Elissa beamed up at him. “Why yes, yes it could be that very same screw that was missing from Peter Hamilton’s car, the same one that was tampered with causing his untimely death!”
Odette rolled her eyes, “Enough with the theatrics, leave that to the actors. If you have something to say, then I suggest you say it or let this family get on with their lives.”
Motioning to the two officers Hector steps forward, “If you insist, Ms. London.” He eyed her with a straight face so there was no mistaking his intent. “Zania Hamilton, you are under arrest for the murder of Peter Hamilton.”
Dennis pulled Tiana back and out of the way. Zania was shaking her head, half crying, half laughing. “No, no, no… that’s not… no, I didn’t do that…” Her words are semi-coherent ramblings. She backed away from the policemen until her back was against the wall, holding her hands out as if to ward them off. Tiana reached for her mother watching with growing horror as she was read her rights.
“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say or do can and will be held against you in a court of law.” Hector spoke clearly, slowly and carefully to ensure Zania was properly arrested.
“No! It wasn’t me! It was Travis!” Zania pulled away, rushing towards her son, her eyes wide and frantic. “I wouldn’t do that… I’d never!”
Hector continued speaking as the officers tried to contain the weeping, hysterical woman. “You have the right to speak to an attorney.”
Odette scowled. “Mrs. Hamilton, I advise you to keep quite.”
Without skipping a beat, Hector continued, “If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.”
“But I didn’t do it! Travis did it, Travis, it was Travis!” Zania stumbled as the officers tried to contain her. “He said it was for us, so we could be together, but it wasn’t me… I would never do that!”
Dennis pulled Tiana away, holding her in his arms as she cried. Hector’s voice cut through the pause. “Do you understand these rights as they have been read to you?”
“Yes, but it’s a mistake.” Zania groaned as her arms were pulled behind her, handcuffs clicked in place. “He said we would be free… he said with Peter gone we could be together. Then the bastard left me.” Her eyes were wild as she snarled at Hector. “You men, you’re all alike. They want you when you have something for them, but the minute your money is cut off ooh, their true colors show.”
“Mrs. Hamilton!” Odette tried to intervene.
Elissa stepped closer, her eyes narrowed as she peered at Zania. “Do you wish to speak with us of your own free will?”
Zania snapped at her, “You’re no better than me.” Elissa raised an eyebrow in surprise. “You’re just like her; you’re just a whore like her!” Zania lunged at her daughter, but was restrained by the uniformed policemen. “Take my Travis, you tried to take him from me… but I stopped you… now you can’t have him! He’s mine. Mine!”
Tiana stared wide eyed at her mother, “What did you do?”
“You can’t have him now.” Zania sneered at her daughter. “You think I didn’t know? Did you think I didn’t see how you flaunt yourself at him? You slut!”
Her voice hardened as she stands tall before her mother. Tiana asked again, “What did you do?”
“I fucked him!” Zania announced triumphantly. “He said he was leaving me for you. He said you’re younger and prettier, but I fucked him, oh that’s right… I got him drunk, I drugged him and then I fucked him!” Zania looked frantically at them. “He wanted it, he wanted me, he did, he said it and then he laughed…”
Zania tilted her head staring at her daughter. “I didn’t mean to, it was there. One minute he was walking away.” She shook her head slowly, her face showing her confusion. “Then he was bleeding and falling and I tried to reach him but I could still hear him calling your name… Tiana. Tiana…
“I…” Zania tries to pull away again. “Tiana?”
Tiana grabs her stomach recoiling and sobbing. “She killed Travis…” Dennis pulled Tiana further away from Zania, whispering to her to calm her tears. “What’s going to happen to us, Denny?”
“I’ll take care of you.” Dennis swallowed past the lump in his throat and looked at Elissa. “Officer Putnam, can you please escort this woman from my home?”