The Last Ending #TeamAbriana

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Chapter Twenty-Nine

Detective Lock

"A daughter, a friend, a sister," the priest said, cloaked in black with a crisp white collar, "Alexa Vega will be missed by everyone who ever knew this sweet child of God."

Scanning the cemetery, my eyes landed on hundreds of sobbing teenagers and their red-eyed parents. Funerals were a regular part of my job, but this had been the largest turnout I had ever seen before.

Hearing them cry tore my heart to pieces. They aren't supposed to go first. No matter how good or evil they are, children never deserve to go first.

As the priest went on about her childhood and how much her family would miss her, I stared at my shoes and thought about the events of the last few days.

I had received a frantic call from a police in a small town up north regarding the Vega case. She explained there had been an accident on a small isolated lake and that one of the girls had been airlifted to the hospital in serious condition.

Lights on and sirens blaring, I raced to hospital, but by the time I got there, she was already gone. My stomach clenched as my eyes landed on her motionless body in the small bed. Her skin had taken on a bluish tint and a deep bruise covered her cheek.

Abriana sat in the corner of the room. Her eyes were dry and face void of emotion.  I needed to question her, but was afraid of shattering her fragile state.

To my surprise, Abriana asked if I needed her statement. I had nodded and we found a quiet corner in the cafeteria to talk.

As she began her story, something immediately felt wrong. I couldn't quite put my finger on it. Is she in shock? Is she lying? Questions continued to race through my mind as I listened to Abriana explain the series of events that ultimately led to her sister's death.

She claimed that they both had been drinking and decided to go for a swim. She admitted to feeling the effects of the alcohol and drifting off. Abriana claimed to have woken up to Alexa thrashing in the water over fifty feet away. Before she could make it over to her sister to help her, Abriana shared that her head had gone under the water and she didn't resurface. With little emotion in her eyes, she finished by telling me she had pulled her sister's lifeless body out of the water and swam back to shore. She didn't have an explanation for the bruise, other then it must have happened when she was pulling her sister's body out of the water and on to the beach.

After asking a few more questions, I thanked Abriana and walked her back to the room where her sister's body lay under a thin white sheet.

Hot tears sprung to my eyes when I gave Mr. and Mrs. Vega my condolences. I considered myself a fairly tough detective. I had witnessed terrible crimes and even interrogated a serial killer. Nothing compared to this. Nothing came close to being in a room with a family who had experienced so much in such a short amount of time.

Unable to take any more, I excused myself and headed back to the station.

I read and reread the notes on the case. Did Alexa really have her sister kidnapped? Was there proof? Why would Abriana cover up for Alexa? Is she that selfless that she wouldn't let her parents think that one of their children tried to slay the other? And what about the lake? Had it all been an accident? Did Abriana bring her sister there to kill her or was it the other way around?

I waited two days and then called the Vega household. Mr. Vega explained that his wife hadn't gotten out of bed since coming home and that Abriana would not be able to come to the station for a second interview.

"It was an accident," he sobbed loudly over the phone. "Can't you see that she's been through enough already? Just leave our family alone! We want to grieve in peace."

After hanging up the phone, a sick feeling settled in the pit of my stomach. They were protecting her at any cost and it didn't look like they were going to let up any time soon.

Glancing up, my eyes landed on Matías, snapping me back into reality. He stood next to Abriana, holding her hand in his, and wore a solemn expression. He was like a son to Victor and his wife.

Shaking my head, I thought about everyone involved in the two cases. Easton Pierce was still clinging to life in the ICU and even if he managed to make a miraculous recovery, the doctors believed there was a high possibility of severe brain damage, the Vega parents were emotional wrecks, and then came Abriana Vega, sweet, sweet Abriana, the one everyone loved. Was she a cold blooded murdered or had she been a victim of her sister's evil ways? Would she ever admit that Alexa had been the one behind her kidnapping? Is that what really happened? Did Abriana know? If she did know, was she keeping it all to herself to spare her parent's feelings?

Shoving my hands in my pocket, I averted my gaze back to my shoes. One day I'll figure out what happened to the Vega girls. Come hell or high water, I will solve both cases!


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