Chapter #3

Donald was surprised to see Theresa sitting on the couch. ''Hey. Something wrong?''

She looked at him, her eyes piercing. ''What confused me,'' she said, ''Was why kill Sonia?''

''Huh? What are you talking about?''

''Mr. Young's daughter,'' she clarified. ''Why kill her? It's not like she served a purpose to you. But I've figured it out now. She served a purpose to her father.

''We got it wrong; Mr. Young was killed after Sonia. You threatened her father when he wanted a bigger cut. Silas wasn't lying about that- Mr. Young was the leader of the ring. Until you stepped in, of course.

''You killed Sonia to show him who was boss, and that worked, but too well. He was going to the police. And you couldn't let that happen. So you and Mickey and Silas killed him and shoved him in that dryer. The heat from the dryer contributed to complicating time of death, which combined with us finding Sonia later made us assume she died after her father. But it was actually before.''

''I don't understand-''

''But things were still too complicated, because Mickey- poor Mickey!- went and got himself caught.'' Theresa shook her head. ''You hadn't planned on that. Silas sure didn't.

''Silas wanted out, so he ran, and took me with him. I'm sure you didn't know what to do when you had me and him bleeding to death in that scrapyard. But then another idea occurred to you. Something you'd been wanting to do for a longtime.

''Killing your wife.

''I knew Theresa. Not well. Spoken to her a few times at the market. She was Sonia's mother. That was her big crime. She hated you for killing her daughter. It was bad enough you took up business with the man she left, but killing her daughter…no, you had to kill her before she turned you in. Lucky for you, I'd hit my head one too many times.

''It was easy, wasn't it? Shove some pills down my throat, keep me in the dark like an animal. I think you kicked me a couple more times, just to be sure my head took a good beating, yeah? And let's not forget the genius of the pictures and fingertips. Probably burned em' all in the same fire, yeah?''

Donny stared at her. And then he clapped. ''Very good. What tipped you off? For two months you've been a perfect idiot. What changed?''

''Went back to 'Silas'' house, as you called it,'' Tessa explained. ''Saw how light it was from the building they knocked down. The building they only knocked down in March. If I'd been there on the third of February, it would've been dark. I now have a timeframe. And you have an alibi for the wrong month.''

Again, he clapped. ''Excellent, Tessa, excellent! Had you going for a while there though, didn't I?'' He laughed. ''Well, I know when I'm beat. You win this game, detective. But, doesn't really matter, does it? Because I'm going to kill you now.''

Tessa shook her head. ''Don't really think so, Donny.''

''Why's that?''

''Because I'm not a 'prefect idiot' anymore.''

The cock of a gun came from behind Donny. He rolled his eyes as he felt the cold barrel against his back. ''Hands in the air and turn around,'' Hayden ordered.

''I'm so glad you're alright!'' Tootsie exclaimed again, looking at Tessa as if she would disappear.

Tessa laughed. ''You don't have to keep saying it. I'm fine, I promise.''

''You're sure? Your head? Your memory?''

''It's all coming back now that I'm not on whatever the hell drug I was on,'' she assured the woman. ''I've got an appointment with an actual doctor, so I'll be back on duty in no time.''

''Let me know if you need anything, Tessa, alright?''

''You'll be the first to know.''

Tootsie smiled, and Tessa was aware of her watching carefully as she entered her apartment complex and went up the stairs.

In truth, she felt like crap. Her head and fingers ached in varying degrees, her mind was still spinning with the emotional reunion with her mother (who had actual cried, something Tessa had never seen before), and conversation with Malcom, who assured her all the leave necessary until she was well enough to come back to work.

Come back to work…Tessa was pretty sure work had been what brought her back in the first place. Being away from it seemed almost counterintuitive.

She entered her flat with relief, closing the door on the world behind her, relishing in the silence. God, her head hurt.

She was about to throw herself on the couch when something on the counter caught her eye. It was a plate of baked goods, a slightly scorched box of her's, and a card.

'Fisk salvaged some from the scrap yard.

Eat something.

See you at the office,

Your partner,

-Steve Hayden'

Tessa smiled.

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