Early the next morning, Jimbo crouched behind the motel, under a bush, camouflage cap pulled low, and a torn branch resting on his back to hide his silhouette. A spider crawled onto his cheek. He did not notice.
“Got it,” Jimbo whispered into his smart phone before giving the license plate number to Aidan. “Call you again after I have a look inside.”
He looked at the motel windows one more time. All the curtains were drawn except one set and he had seen people leave that room an hour ago. It should be safe to peek inside that maroon SUV.
Jimbo crept out from under the bush and squatting, he made his way to the vehicle. Just as he was about to peek inside, he spotted a couple leaving their room. In one swift movement he was back under his bush, the loose branch pulled over his back. He lowered his eyes and adjusted his cap to cover the top of his shaved head.
Jimbo heard the couple as they moved toward the SUV and opened the rear door.
In fact, he could not help but hear. The woman was screaming. “You incompetent little weasel. If you’d gotten that package back in New Mexico, we wouldn’t be in this mess, so man up and stop sniveling.”
“But the Buchanans got away from me. I couldn’t even get close. Besides, there were two of them and just one of me.”
“Yah, well even you could have killed that cripple.” Jimbo heard someone slam the rear door before the woman continued, “If I get my hands on that bastard Red, I tell you, I’ll slice that gringo ear to ear. Same goes for his wife.”
Jimbo wanted to get a picture of the couple but he knew he was too close. Even the slightest movement could be noticed. He stayed down until he heard the two front doors slam and the engine start up. A minute later the SUV pulled out. Jimbo raised his head and watched as it drove onto the road and then to the diner at the intersection.
He texted Aidan. “Perps left. C u in 10.”
Kian awoke with a start. Lucky nudged her with his cold wet nose. “Too early to get up, Luck-monster.” Her new bed was much too comfortable, so Kian snuggled further under the sheets. Lucky had other ideas and started scratching. Afraid he’d rip the new comforter, Kian peeked out and her eye caught the alarm clock. Past nine. She swung her feet over the side of the bed before she remembered the trauma of the past two days. Pushing the memory firmly aside, she grabbed a pair of khaki cut-offs with a bright t-shirt and went into the bathroom to change.
As she descended the steps, she expected to find Aidan working at his computer, but he wasn’t there. She caught the scent of coffee and turned to the kitchen where she found Aidan holding two steaming mugs. “Jimbo just got here,” Aidan said. “He’s got some news. You comin’ out?”
Kian quickly made herself a cup of coffee, fed Lucky, and joined the two men. “So you guys, what’s up?”
Aidan stood, offering her the most comfortable of the mismatched deck chairs. “Jimbo found our perps at the motel this morning. We ran their plates.” Aidan sat down.
“Yes, and according to their IDs, their names are Mary and John Weber from Santa Fe,” Jimbo added. “Does that mean anything to you?”
“Do you know anyone in New Mexico?”
“Don’t think so.”
“Kian, you got a package from New Mexico, then these two show up from there,” Aidan reminded her. “That’s too much of a coincidence for my blood.”
“There’s more,” Jimbo continued. “We pulled up their licenses. Take a look at the woman.” Jimbo turned his tablet computer so Kian could get a look. “Recognize her?”
Kian snorted as her eyes widened. “Cheez, that woman needs to lose that wig. Sandra Dee on steroids. Who can tell under all that hair?”
“Then try this one.” Jimbo took the tablet and brought up another picture. “Do you recognize him?”
“What reality show is that guy from, Swamp Monster TV?” Kian asked before taking a closer look. “Bring up the woman again.” Jimbo did and Kian studied the tablet again, this time more closely.
“It could be fake Stephen and his wife, but I really can’t say for sure.” Turning to Jimbo, she asked, “Where are they now?”
“According to the bug on their van, they are still in town.”
“So what do we know about these Webers?” Kian asked.
Jimbo sipped his coffee before answering. “Not much really, but that woman’s some hellcat, I’ll tell you that. All she did was scream at John about how he was supposed to grab that package from your parents back in New Mexico.”
Kian, lunging forward, grabbed Jimbo’s arm. “My parents? What do they know about them? What did they say?”
Jimbo turned to Aidan, confusion registering on his face. “Her parents disappeared 18 years ago,” Aidan explained. “Nobody has heard from them since.”
“No shit.” Jimbo turned back to Kian. “John was supposed to have grabbed a package from them, that’s all I know.”
Kian sat absorbed in her own thoughts. Were her parents really alive? Had they sent that package? Why were they in New Mexico and why hadn’t they called? “Did they say anything else?”
“The woman called Red a ‘gringo’ and made some serious threats, some about your mother, too.”
Kian shivered. Aidan took her hand. “That’s gotta be why your parents never came home. These people were after them.”
“So why aren’t you guys arresting them or something?”
Jimbo leaned back crossing his beefy arms over his chest. “Yes, Scotty, why aren’t we arresting them?”
“There’s not enough to go on.”
“Bullshit,” Jimbo replied as he leaned forward. “Bullshit. And you know it.”
“Look,” Aidan said, “I can’t make the locals do anything and Power wants more to go on. He doesn’t think we have enough yet. Power wants to wait and see what happens.”
“These fucking guys shoot at Kian and Power wants to wait?” Jimbo pounded his beefy fist on the table.
Aidan leaned back, took a deep breath and shook his head. “He says he needs more to go on, Jimbo.”
Aidan’s tablet pinged. Jimbo picked it up and looked. “Power says he needs more to go on? Okay, our perps just pulled in on the other side of the ridge. I’m on it. Buddy, I’ll get you your shit!” With that Jimbo turned as he grumbled, “Man, you are too trusting,” and disappeared into the woods.
Kian picked up Aidan’s cell and punched in some numbers.
“Who are you calling?”
“The Police. I want that van picked up and off my property now,” she said.
When she completed the call, Aidan squinted into the sun that had just reached over the top of the trees. “Okay, kiddo,” he said, “get something on those bare feet of yours. Let’s go find those wings.”
Photo Credit: By U.S. Navy photo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons