Chapter 28

February 29, 2012 at 1:48 pm (The Truth)

Mack was in the hospital visiting Nelle when Betz called about his sting operation. Mack stepped outside so he wouldn’t disturb her. He and Pike had worked hard over the last several days to get everything in place. The call had gone out at two in the afternoon the day before and Betz had stayed with the housekeeper from that point on. Payton Ebersole arrived in the wee hours of the morning. She had a key for the house and she knew her way around.

A female police officer had been installed in the housekeeper’s bed. The housekeeper remained safely ensconced in the master bedroom. Pike had been positioned inside the housekeeper’s closet watching over the female officer. Betz had suggested that Payton would use a method that could easily be construed as natural, or she would go with suicide.

When she had stepped into the room, Pike had tripped an alarm to let Betz know that they had company. He hadn’t wanted to fill the house with cops in case Payton spotted one of them before she’d made her move. An officer had been left outside hiding in the bushes to ensure Payton didn’t just lob a firebomb at the place.

Payton had entered the room and approached the bed. She’d had a needle in her hand. Before Payton could get too close to the officer, Pike had stepped from the closet and aimed his gun at her head. “Freeze!” he’d yelled and Payton had whirled on him, the needle in her hand. Betz had slammed through the bedroom door, gun in hand. The female officer had whipped around in the bed and stepped up behind Payton, who hadn’t moved once she’d seen the gun in Pike’s hand. The officer had removed the needle from Payton’s hand and stepped back so Betz could cuff her.

Payton’s composure had crumpled once Betz had explained exactly how much information they had on her. She’d berated her husband for losing all their money, for snorting it up his nose and spending it on his whores. And she’d hated Carlton because he’d refused to help straighten his brother out.

“I did what I had to do, to see to my future,” Payton had said.

“Well, now your future is set,” Betz had replied. “Your expenses will be paid for by the Province of BC.”

Mack commended Betz on his efforts. He’d already talked to Pike and learned that Betz had done all the work. Convincing the housekeeper, getting the officers in place, determining hiding places; Betz had organized the hell out of that operation.

Mack walked down the hall and stuck his head into Mrs. Fishman’s room. William sat next to the bed. His mother was currently sleeping, but she’d come out of the coma. William shook Mack’s hand and stepped away from the bed so they wouldn’t disturb her sleep.

“She keeps trying to defend him,” William said.

“Danny?”

“No, my dad. She says he was under a lot of pressure in his job. What bullshit is that? He killed his own son and so many others!”

“Did she say why Danny was committing his crimes?”

“Yeah,” William shook his head. He still couldn’t wrap his head around his mother’s logic. “My dad called him Steven instead of Danny. Once Steven was gone, he somehow transposed the two boys into one. When he killed Steven, which my mom actually admitted he’d done, he convinced Danny that it was necessary. He’d made Danny watch as he took the other boys and hurt them. He was trying to teach Danny to understand that it was their calling.

“Mom said that Danny didn’t like it at first, but then dad switched from killing boys to killing girls. Danny liked that a lot more. Apparently my dad had this whole Surrey Slayer resurrection planned for years. He was waiting until Danny fully understood the method before they began.”

Mack couldn’t believe they’d managed to hide this for so long. And Mrs. Fishman had been aware of it for over twenty years. He could arrest her for aiding and abetting, but he sensed that Mrs. Fishman needed the services of a psychiatrist more than a prison sentence.

Mack returned to Nelle’s side and saw that she was sitting up and her eyes were open. She still looked a little groggy, but she was aware. Mack sat beside her and took her hand.

Nelle turned to him and smiled. “You got there in time,” she said.

Mack kissed the back of her hand and then leaned over and kissed her. He was happy to hear that she thought he’d made it in time. He’d been cursing his slowness for the past few days. He’d been torturing himself with a bunch of what ifs.

“I love you,” he whispered and kissed her again.

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