She had left the ring on the dresser, with the diamond necklace. She wouldn’t need them anymore. They had been gifts. Promises made. Promises now broken. Her heart had once again been broken.
She had once again walked out of a house that had been her home. She took nothing. Not even his debit. She loved him too much to do that to him.
She walked down the sidewalk, headed for the only place she knew. The French Quarter. And the Lonely Hearts Pub. She had no idea where she was going to go, or where she was going to stay. She just knew that she needed a drink and maybe something to eat.
As she walked, his memory began to fade. Her mind, being on getting to somewhere safe, had already let him go. She had even forgotten what the detective had said. By the time she reached the pub, Dom had become nothing more than a man without a name. All she could remember was that, for a year, he had loved her like no other man had loved her. He had loved her, but had vanished with her heart.
Now, she needed somewhere to go. Homeless, anyone could do anything. She could end up dead. She could end up being pimped out as a hooker. She didn’t want either to happen.
Walking into the pub, she found a booth and sat down. Putting her head in her hands, she began to cry. The server came over. Waiting for her to finish her sobbing, the server just stood there. Then she looked up.
“Can I take your order, Miss?” the server asked.
“Yes,” she replied, “what is your special today?”
“Fish and chips, Hon,” the server replied, “Or soup and salad.”
“What’s the soup?” She asked.
“Cheddar Broccoli,” the server answered.
“I am hungry, so I will take both specials,” she replied.
The server nodded and wrote down the order. “Anything to drink?”
“Sex On The Beach,” she replied.
The server nodded and added it to the ticket, then left to place the order. She sat there alone, then. Lost in her thoughts. Waiting for her meal and drink.
Michael was still trying to wrap his mind around the note. It contained a name. the name of a man shot for trying to help his future wife as she was being raped. It was a first person account of the vicious assault that their Jane Doe had gone through, but it was not her handwriting. It was helter-skelter. Hap-hazard.
Forensics had determined that it had been written in blood. Most likely, it was the missing man’s blood. Who wrote it was a mystery. Why was even more of a mystery. Was it a confession? A memory from someone else? Or had it been left to taunt his Jane Doe?
The forensics team had found that the mattress had been slashed by a knife in places that supported a murder by stabbing. Bloody sheets and blankets had been found in the washer. But no weapon. No trace of any other person.
The blood belonged to the missing man. This meant that the victim was definitely dead. But they still had no body. They had searched the whole house, and no body. If they could find his car, they would find Dominic.
But that was the problem. They had no idea where Dom’s car was. They had no idea where to even start looking. None of the neighbors knew anything. No one had seen him, or it, leave.
So there they had it. A mystery with no answers. A murder with no body. Again. Just inconclusive evidence that led them nowhere.
With the close of the Nelson case, they had ruled him out as Jane Doe’s stalker. He couldn’t very well kill himself and then begin killing others. Sure, he had been her original attacker, but he was not able to do anything anymore. Not dead.
Michael put his head in his hands. How many others would they find missing? How many more would die? Who really was behind all this? The questions swirled in his head.
Morgan Le Grue was one of New Orleans’ wealthiest land developers. Since Katrina, he had rebuilt half the lower part of the city into condos for wealthy clients who were willing to pay plenty for either a place for their families to vacation or to hide their mistresses. Or to hide themselves from both their wives and mistresses. Either way, he made money from their dalliances.
And he liked it that way. In recent years, he had begun to branch out. He had invested in the Lonely Hearts Pub, but had been paid back double his investment. this had inspired him to invest heavily in the city’s clubs. the nightlife brought in huge revenues. In fact, he had even opened his own club, in the lower half of the city, for those who rented his condos. Their money made him smile. Who else would spend money to find other mistresses to tuck away in another two or three condos? Or better, yet, who else would find some sweet young thing to become their prize for a night?
He didn’t care, just as long as he got their money. He didn’t care if his condos became the next thing to a rich man’s brothel. Doxies were a dime a dozen. Hell. He’d had a few in the past himself. But not now.
He frequented the clubs and the pubs, it was true, but he was no longer on the prowl. Not that he wouldn’t take on a lover if one presented herself to him. But he was not actively trying to hook up.
He liked the freedom of being single. He liked making friends outside his wealthy circle. Those on the street were more real than those in ivory towers. You didn’t have to pretend with street people. You didn’t have to have high standards. You just had to be you.
Now, he entered the Lonely Hearts Pub seeking shelter from his life for a while. His eye immediately sought out her. She had been here a couple times before, but had been away for a year. Somewhere, he had heard that she was to be married. Maybe that had been just a rumor. Right now, she had his attention. No Lady should be drinking alone.