Elissa stands in the foyer with Cecil and hands him the document. “This includes your home…”
Cecil nods 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 closes his eyes and takes 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 motions the team forward towards the staircase, Elissa’s eyes never leaving 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 looks behind him towards the staircase as a woman cries 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 steps aside as the Hamilton family descends the stairs. Zania grips the rail, her barefeet take the steps slowly one at a time. Her hair disheveled having been rudely awakened by the police. Cecil holds out the warrant for Zania who snatches it from him.
Zania stares at it bleary eyed and hands it blindly towards her children while swaying slightly on her feet. Dennis reaches the foyer moments after his mother bare-chested sporting plaid pajama bottoms, impatiently plucking the document from his mother’s grasp to hand it to his sister, the whole while his eyes dance 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 is pulled back in a high ponytail, her freshly washed face is alert, her eyes taking in every detail of her surroundings. She looks as if she’s been awake for some time and is fully dressed for a quick jog. She looks 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 is dampened as he takes the document from her, his eyes never leaving Elissa. “What do you hope to find, Detective?”
“Answers.” Elissa doesn’t wane under his scrutiny. “Do you play baseball?”
“No, I’m into a more civilized sport. I row.” Dennis folds the warrant glancing at Tiana 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 eyes the contents with interest. “Anyone care to venture a guess as to what we found?” No one responds, yet they all look up at her when she speaks. “No?”
Hector walks in as she’s speaking and stands beside her, two uniformed policemen stand at the door. “I’ll play.” He’s looking at each individual in the room, “Could that possibly be the bleeding screw taken from Peter Hamilton’s car?”
Elissa beams 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 rolls 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 eyes her with a straight face so there is no mistaking his intent. “Zania Hamilton, you are under arrest for the murder of Peter Hamilton.”
Dennis pulls Tiana back and out of the way. Zania is 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 backs away from the policemen until her back is against the wall, holding her hands out as if to ward them off. Tiana reaches for her mother watching with growing horror as she is 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 speaks clearly, slowly and carefully to ensure Zania is properly arrested.
“No! It wasn’t me! It was Travis!” Zania pulls away, rushing towards her son, her eyes wide and frantic. “I wouldn’t do that… I’d never!”
Hector continues speaking as the officers try to contain the weeping, hysterical woman. “You have the right to speak to an attorney.”
Odette scowls. “Mrs. Hamilton, I advise you to keep quite.”
Without skipping a beat, Hector continues. “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 stumbles as the officers try 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 pulls Tiana away, holding her in his arms as she cries. Hector’s voice cuts through the pause. “Do you understand these rights as they have been read to you?”
“Yes, but it’s a mistake.” Zania groans as her arms are pulled behind her, handcuffs click in place. “He said we would be free… he said with Peter gone we could be together. Then the bastard left me.” Her eyes are wild as she snarls at Hector. “You men, you’re all alike. They want you when you have something for them but the minute you’re money is cut off ooh, the true colors show.”
“Mrs. Hamilton!” Odette tries to intervene.
Elissa steps closer, her eyes narrow as she peers at Zania. “Do you wish to speak with us?”
Zania snaps at her, “You’re no better than me.” Elissa raises an eyebrow in surprise. “You’re just like her; you’re just a whore like her!” Zania lunges at her daughter but is 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 stares wide eyed at her mother, “What did you do?”
“You can’t have him now.” Zania sneers 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 hardens as she stands tall before her mother, “What did you do?”
“I fucked him!” Zania announces 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 looks frantically at them. “He wanted it, he wanted me, he did, he said it and then he laughed…”
Zania tilts her head staring at her daughter. “I didn’t mean to, it was there. One minute he was walking away.” She shakes 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…” She tries to pull away again. “Tiana?”
Tiana grabs her stomach recoiling and retching. “She killed Travis…” Dennis pulls 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 swallows past the lump in his throat and looks at Elissa. “Officer Putnam, can you please escort this woman from my home?”