Kyle works on the files the next day while Adam does a little snooping on the stranger that seems to have a fascination with Sarah. Adam takes to the field, driving over to the first hotel to speak with the manager in private so that he can see the facial of the man or woman in person. Adam parks in front of the hotel, monitoring the other people to see if he can glimpse the man, but no one fits the description. He walks over to the front desk and in a few minutes in the back of the hotel in the manager, chatting with the manager about the man Sarah had seen following her around.
The manager, a spry older man, says that he will keep an eye out for the man, but no one at the hotel fits the description. Adam thanks the man for his time and then leaves to head over to the other hotel, fingers crossed that the man is there and not staying outside of town or in the next town over.
Adam has just parked in front of the next hotel when he sees the man he is looking for steps out of the hotel. He quickly climbs out of his car and rushes over to the man, stepping in front of him.
“Excuse me, sir, I hate to intrude but I need to ask you a few questions,” Adam says, not allowing the man to walk around him.
“I am sorry, but I am in a hurry,” the man says as he tries to push past Adam. He freezes when Adam pulls free what looks like a wallet and shows him that he is a detective. “Oh…”
“It won’t take long. Let’s go sit down in the hotel lobby and chat,” Adam smiles and puts his badge away, leading the man back inside.
They sit down and say their hellos, and Adam clears his throat. “How have you been enjoying your stay in our little town?”
“It has been okay so far, detective, but I do not have time for idle chat,” the man says, staring outside for a second then seems to deflate. “They have left.”
“My daughter and son-in-law,” the man says. “I have lost them again.”
Adam glances out the window before he looks back at the man. “You aren’t following, Sarah, then?”
The man looks at him, “Sarah? No, I have been following them around to make sure that they don’t do anything stupid, but they keep escaping me, like right now. They are mad about the insurance company here for causing them to lose their house 8 years ago. They also blame them for the death of their child because the insurance wouldn’t cover the hospital stay for their sick baby. But it isn’t their fault. Their baby was too sick, wouldn’t have survived.”
Adam writes everything down then looks up at him, “You don’t by chance remember who their agent was, do you?”
“No, I am afraid not and neither do they, so I am afraid they will do something stupid against the agents at Old Times Insurance. That is why I have been following them around but alas, like I said, I keep losing them.”
Adam raises his eyebrows, “And what are their names?”
“My son-in-law is Dameon and my daughter is Willow,” the man tells him.
Adam’s eyes open wide, “Willow? Did you say Willow?”
“Yes, my daughter is named Willow after my wife’s mother. She is a sweet girl just clouded by grief and anger all these last 8 years. I am trying to get her and her husband help, but they insisted they were fine. Then I found out that they were coming back here to this little town since they had once lived here but once they lost the house because they couldn’t pay and had it taken away and then the baby… they moved back in with my wife and I in Arkansas. Two years ago, my wife passed, and Willow just lost it, blaming the Old Times Insurance for her death, the baby’s death, losing the house. At first Dameon helped me try to persuade her differently, but then she got to him and corrupted his way of thinking.” The man shifts his weight in the chair, “That is when one day I found them gone and I instantly knew that they were coming back here. I got into town after the first two murders had already happened and I knew in my heart they were the ones who murdered them. But without evidence I could not call the cops on them, though I have told the police. But they laughed at me. And like I said, I have been trying to keep up with them to get the evidence, but I am an old man, I can only do so much.”
Adam stands up quickly, pocketing his notebook, “Well, I am not laughing, and I believe you. If you will excuse me, I need to call my partner. Thank you for all of your help.” Adam shakes the man’s hand hurriedly then races over to the wall to the left of the front door where a line of pay phones stand. He goes to the nearest one, pushes in his money after grabbing it from his pocket, and dials in the number to Kyle’s phone at the office. He waits for a while as it rings, growing impatient.
“Hello, this is Detective Kyle,” Kyle’s voice says on the other end.
“Kyle, you need to call Eric and get over to their house now! I think Sarah is in danger and I know who is killing the wives,” Adam says in a rush.
“Whoa, buddy, slow down, listen, I found a file in Smitherson’s boxes about a married couple who lost their house because of unable to pay for it. This happened 8 years ago, and the couple’s names are…”
“Willow and Dameon. Yea, I know. I found the old man following Sarah around. Turns out he is following the couple because he is Willow’s father. Willow lost it after they lost the house, they lost their baby at the hospital, and after her mom passed two years ago. They blame Old Times Insurance for everything but they can’t remember who their agent was so they are just killing any agent they think it might be.”
Kyle nearly drops his phone when he hears Adam, “I will call Eric, you get over to their house.”
“Roger that,” Adam shouts before hanging up and rushing out of the hotel, Willow’s father hot on his heels.
“Let me come too, please.”
Adam leaps into his car, shoves the passenger door open and straps in, and brings the car to life. Once the older gentleman is in the passenger seat and the door is closed, Adam slams his foot on the gas, sending the car lurching forward while sirens scream in the air.
Sarah washes her face and finishes getting ready for the day, Eric already gone off to work though it took Sarah promising repeatedly she won’t open the door unless she knows the person on the other side. And she promises to call him if anything weird happens or if the man shows up at their door. Once she paints her face a little, she heads back into the kitchen, turns on the radio, and sings while she cleans up from breakfast.
The doorbell rings, catching her off guard, and she drops a plate into the sink, the plate breaking into a bunch of pieces. She turns the water off quickly and places a rag in the middle so that none of the pieces can escape down the drain.
“Oh shoot,” she mutters as she cleans up the mess, tossing the broken pieces into the trash can for Eric to take out later after he comes home from work.
She wipes her hands on another dish towel before she walks towards the front door, the doorbell ringing again. “Coming,” she yells out and peers out the window to see who is standing in front of her door. She grins and opens the door wide. “I didn’t expect to see you here today.”