Gloria heard the screaming outside so she rushed into the gardens to discover what the terror was all about. The music had stopped, and the band was quickly packing their equipment so they could get away from the cursed beach. “Lady, you have big problem, maybe someone is angry with you but we are gone. No more do we play music at your hotel.”
Diego tried to talk sense into the man but it was to no avail. “Gloria, they are convinced that there is a bad spirit here. If this kind of idea gets out, we are going to have real trouble with the guests.”
“I’m calling the policía now. Get all the gawkers inside, Diego. We’ll handle this and everything’s going to be fine. Nothing but positive talk, you hear? Your job is to settle the people down, and then come out here to help. Call your boys now and get them to secure the body. When the comandante gets here, show him to my office.” She stormed off with body language that screamed at anyone who might try to approach her. What the hell is going on, is someone targeting me? She’d never in all her years had anything like this happen at one of her hotels, or any of the other holdings. Back in her office, she began making a list of people she’d crossed during her career. There were lots of names on the list, but staring at them didn’t help. Murder? None of these people would do something so sick. Wishing Emma was with her to help settle down the guests, Mori’s face popped into her head. She’s tough, maybe her timing is good. Yes, she and Jimmy might even have more names for her list.
The comandante was ushered into her office, and she told him what she’d been doing. “Could this be a deliberate aim at the hotel?” She stood to greet him, and handed him her list. “I’ve tried to think of anyone that might want to hurt my business.” And then she shook her head, “I’m sorry Sergio. That was such a selfish thing for me to say. How long until we know the identity?”
“No, I do not think badly of you, Gloria. These are the things we must consider. Please sit, because I have news that is hard for you to hear.” The expression he was carrying made her insides sink, and she let him help her to the couch. “The boy was Pablo. Since he is missing for so many days, we have looked into his life. We have only good things that we find about this boy. He doesn’t hang around with bad people, this boy is not into drugs. His family is not rich. There is nothing that fits the profile of someone these monsters will prey on.” He pulled a chair close to the couch so he could sit across from her. “It is not easy to judge where a body will wash up on a beach, Gloria. And yet, there are now two within a one week time period. The chances of this happening naturally are almost none. Can I take this list with me? We need to check out all peoples that might want to hurt you.”
“How do you know his identity, Sergio? We still don’t know who the first man was, so tell me how you know, please.”
He hesitated for a moment, as if trying to decide what she should know. “What I tell you must not go beyond this room. I am very serious about this.” He pulled a plastic bag from his breast pocket. Inside, she saw the wallet. “We are supposed to know, Gloria. The people who do this want us to know. I can keep this from becoming public knowledge, but this is the truth. They want us to know that the young man is Pablo. We still need to verify if this belongs to him, but I believe that they want us to know.”
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