The Cadillac Diaries: Episode 47

Rosalie looked away as Ray waited for an answer.

Still cradling the baby, he persisted, “Is this your husband’s child?”

Rosalie looked back at Ray and asked,

“What do you expect me to say?”

“Right now, your husband is in jail confessing to murder. . . ,” Ray paused.

Rosalie’s guilty, fearful countenance only angered Ray.

“. . .a murder that you committed!”

The baby’s soft cooing filled the silence as Rosalie held her breath.

“Didn’t you?” Ray pressed.

“All right. Fine,” Rosalie snapped in exasperation.

At her mother’s sharp voice, the child began to whimper.

Murmuring and gently rocking the baby, Ray tried to soothe her.

Rosalie reached for the bedside remote and rang for the nurse.

A few minutes later when the nurse entered the room, Rosalie quickly asked, “Please take her.”

Ray slowly slipped the crying infant into the nurse’s arms, and the woman turned toward the door. When she spoke to the child in a soft musical voice, the baby grew quiet.

“Damien and I used to be lovers. Okay? I was happily married, yes, but the feelings were still there,” Rosalie explained.

“One night I slipped up, and Damien and I shared a moment of passion. I regretted it right away, Mr. Slats. I love my husband. Later when I discovered I was pregnant, I knew it was Damien’s. I felt like he had the right to know. When I told him to keep it quiet, he said he was going to tell my husband. Seems he wanted nobody to be happy but himself. His plan was for David to divorce me so he and I could be together. I didn’t think my husband would divorce me, but I was too scared to risk it. That night just before Damien died, I tried again, begging him not to say anything. All I got was that cocky smile of his and a refusal. He said I had no right to be happier than he was. Yes, I stabbed him before he went out on stage, and I don’t regret it. He was going to ruin everything. I didn’t have a choice. But I never thought my husband would take the blame. He figured I had murdered Damien, so to protect me, he confessed before the cops could question anyone. I figured they would clear him and look for somebody else.”

Tears filled her eyes and ran down her cheeks as she continued.

“I was only thinking about my family. About the baby.”

Without a word, Ray turned and walked toward the door.

“I did what I had to do,” Rosalie insisted.

Ray looked back at her, shaking his head in disapproval.

 

 

*            *            *

Exiting the hospital, Ray slowly made his way through the parking lot toward the Cadillac. As he put the key in the door’s lock, Pete began barking furiously.

“Wait a minute, boy,” Ray instructed.

Just as Ray opened the door, Richard pulled up in his vehicle.

“Ray!” Richard called out.

Ray left the door of the Cadillac ajar and walked over to Richard.

“No need to take me in, Richard. I’m done with the case,” Ray said as Richard climbed out of his car.

“No, Ray. It’s not that. Darrin Chambers is dead,” Richard explained.

“What?” Ray asked surprised.

“Maintenance staff at the prison found his body lodged in a sewer drain. As soon as I found out, I came looking for you. Figured you might be here. Looks like he’s been dead for a while. I was about to head over there,” Richard said.

“Wait. You said you’re done with this case?” Richard asked when he realized what Ray had just said.

“Pena’s murder—it was Rosalie Cruz. She was trying to cover up that she was carrying Pena’s child,” Ray said.

 

 

*            *            *

From her hospital bed, Rosalie looked out the window and watched as the thin wispy clouds floated by.

“Soon Raymond Slats will go to the police and tell them I confessed, that I murdered Pena to cover up our affair. Means and motive. That’s all the police need,” she told herself.

When the door to her room slowly opened, Rosalie could sense who it was.

She had been frightened to look at him, even mention his name. But she knew he was coming, and now he was here.

“It’s done,” she said, her voice breaking.

“Good,” Alexander Kinsky, ‘the King’s Horseman’, said.

“As far as Mr. Slats and the police are concerned, I killed Pena. You’re not a suspect,” she assured him.

“Good,” Kinsky repeated.

Rosalie turned her head away and looked out the window.

“Don’t worry about your family. Insurance from the club fire should take care of them,” Kinsky said.

“You didn’t have to burn it down,” Rosalie protested. “The profits would have helped them more than the insurance.”

“It was necessary,” Kinsky replied.

Rosalie grew quiet as soon as she heard Kinsky lock the door. When she felt the barrel of the silencer pressed against the back of her head, she closed her eyes and thought of her husband and the last time she had seen him smile. She never heard the gun shot.

 

 

*            *            *

“Ray,” Richard said, “Rosalie couldn’t have killed Pena.”

“What?” Ray asked.

Ray moved closer to Richard, the Cadillac’s door still hanging open behind him.

“After her husband was cleared, I went back and questioned the band members,” Richard explained. “The night Pena was murdered, the bass player saw them arguing. Pena had just come off stage. When Rosalie said something to him, he turned back toward the stage, and Rosalie stepped in front of him. They started arguing, and then Pena stumbled on stage with the knife in his back. Given how little time he was backstage, it’s highly unlikely she had enough time to stab him.”

A look of confusion worked across Ray’s face.

“She just confessed to me,” he said.

“Then she’s lying,” Richard assured him.

“All right. Let’s go talk to her,” Ray suggested.

“Come on,” Richard motioned, turning toward the hospital.

“Let me close my car door,” Ray said and headed back toward the Cadillac. He was only fifteen feet away when he heard Pete barking.

As he stood by Richard’s car, Pete nervously paced around and barked.

“Come on, boy,” Ray said. “Get in the car.”

Pete refused to move. He just kept looking at the Cadillac and barking.

“What is it?” Richard asked. “Is something wrong?”

Before Ray could answer, the Cadillac exploded, throwing him through the air. He slammed onto the trunk of Richard’s car, rolled off, and hit the pavement.

Slightly dazed by the explosion, Richard pulled himself up then made his way over to check on Ray.

“Ray?” Richard called out.

Ray was bleeding and unconscious. Quickly, Richard pulled his phone free and dialed 911 as he checked Ray’s pulse.

“This is Detective Richard Clay. There’s been an explosion in the south parking lot of the Memorial Hospital. I need an ambulance right away.”

Richard gave the address and hung up.

“Ray?” Richard called again.

No response.

 

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