Maximillian Heatherton, attorney and now murderer, lived in the richest part of Fredericksburg. The locals knew it as The Yards. Maximillian had built a home on the largest lot in the center of the neighborhood. Lilly pulled the vehicle into the circular drive.
“Do you get the feeling Maximillian was overcompensating for some reason or other?”
“What do you mean?”
“Look at the size of this house. He lives alone; besides the country club, he isn’t social. Why do you need something like this?”
“Ego. He wanted to make an impression on someone, I’d guess.”
“Yeah, I reckon he’d need it to sell his image as a hip, successful attorney to the almighty Wilson Figueroa.”
Lilly glanced at her watch. It was 2 pm. I nodded.
“Let’s get this hammer and get you back for your appointment.”
We opened the garage door. A black Cadillac was pulled in one of the three spaces. A key box hung on the wall. Lilly took the set of keys marked ‘Caddy’ and unlocked the trunk. A blood-stained hammer lay uncovered on the mat. I bagged it and put it in our car. Lilly drove us back to the department. We dropped the hammer of at the crime lab, the tech told us it would take some time to get the results back.
“No problem,” I said. “The murderers won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.”
Lilly tapped me on the shoulder. I turned, and she tapped her watch. I gave her a small wave.
“Have a good one, Lilly.”
She walked out and drove to Dr. Phil Walker’s office. Lilly sat in the parking lot for a long moment. “You don’t have to do this. Time will heal the wounds.” As she was about to start the car, her phone rang.
“Hey, go in.”
“How did you know I wasn’t going to go in, Konan?”
“I’ve been there. Go in. You deserve to heal.”
She grabbed the door handle and pushed it open. Dr. Phil stood in the doorway and watched as Lilly made her way toward his office. He held a cup of coffee in his hand. Lilly gave him a small smile. Dr. Phil was 5’7 and weighed maybe 135 pounds soaking wet. His face was soft, so was his manner. His white hair was cut short, his beard neatly trimmed.
“Hello, Detective Thompson. Come on in.”
“Would you like a cup of coffee?”
“I would love some.”
They stopped by the small kitchenette and made her a cup of coffee. Then, he led her to a warm, bright room and motioned for her to have a seat in front of his desk. She blew on the coffee while he opened his notebook.
“So, you are here for some trauma you’ve gone through recently. We will get to that, but first, are you suicidal?”
“Okay. Are you self-medicating with drugs or alcohol? Or a combination of both?”
“No, I had a few drinks the night of…”
Dr. Phil looked at her, his eyes soft with compassion. He waited for Lilly to compose herself.
“Go ahead, detective.”
“My partner got fired, and I was lost. To blow off some steam, I went to a nightclub. Why? I have no idea. I met this guy. He was handsome, charming, well-educated. He was the opposite of what I’d lost. One thing led to another, and I ended up back at his place.”
Lilly took a deep breath. Hot tears wet her eyes; her breath quaked in her chest. Dr. Phil gave her space.
“He offered me a drink; I took it. I guess it was drugged. We…when he was done, I could barely make out what happened. But he waved more people in the room. I ended up pregnant and had a son. His name is Gareth. I have no idea who the dad is, and I don’t want to have a DNA test done.”
“You were raped, Detective Thompson. Everything you feel is normal. The anger, the white-hot rage, it’s normal.”
“I know. I want to move past the trauma, but I see it play over and over in my mind.”
“Time won’t heal the wounds. It will help you to talk about it. After some time passes, you will realize that you are stronger than the trauma. Did you have a rape kit done?”
“No. My peers would not understand.”
“So. They weren’t raped. You were. What about your partner? Does he or she know about the rape?”
Lilly nodded. “Yes,” she muttered. Tears slid down her cheeks.
“How did they take it?”
“I love him, doctor. I dumped it on him on the side of the road as we traveled to investigate a murder. How did he take it? He listened to what I said, and said he was on my side.”
“Sounds like a nice guy.”
“What is your support structure? Parents? Religious center?”
“My parents, my partner, I quit church some time ago.”
“Why did you quit church?”
“I could never understand how a good God could allow bad things to happen to innocent people.”
“I see. Well, I need the names of those who support you and their telephone numbers.”
“That’s it? No smart remark about my lack of faith?”
“Why would I mock your lack of faith? I personally believe that God gave humanity free will. We get to choose to be good or bad, and our choices lead to consequences. Sometimes, humanity makes bad decisions, and the consequences impact good people.”
“It’s that simple, huh. God is free and clear of blame.”
“God made us in His image, detective. Then, he gave us the power to make choices. Not everything needs to be complicated. He gave us the power to become something other than what we started out as. It’s up to us to use that power responsibly. Perhaps, you might give your faith another chance. Just see if it helps.”
“I’ll think about it. Here’s my parents’ names and numbers. My partner, Thermopolis Konan and his number as well.”
“Thermopolis is your partner?”
“Yes. Do you know him?”
“Yes. I know him.”
“It’s a small world, doc.”
“Indeed. What bothers you the most about what happened?”
“I don’t know if I would have fought them off even if I wasn’t drugged. I was so angry at Konan. I feel like I’m a woman of ill repute.”
“Because of a decision you made. You had no idea you were going to be raped, Lilly. You went home with one guy, and he betrayed you. He got what he wanted and then violated your trust.”
“It doesn’t change the fact that I was though.”
“No, but you need to realize that you are a victim. These people took advantage of you. That’s all there is to it.”