What was the murder victim doing before he was shot? Divine Fury. Chapter 6

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Chapter 6

The voice on the line was young, female and tired.

“Is this Enzo Lee?” she asked tentatively.

“This is he,” Lee replied.  “Who is this?”

“I’m Sonia Moretti,” she said.  “Are you the one who…uh…wrote the story about Scott?”

Scott…Scott…Scott.  Lee wracked his brain, trying to think who ‘Scott’ was. Wait…could it be the shooting victim?

“Are you referring to Scott…ahh…Truman?” said Lee.

“Yes,” she said.  “Look. I’m out of the country.  I’m in Australia.  I just heard about this an hour ago.  I’m…just a…I’m just…I don’t know.  I just want to talk to somebody…”

“Okay,” said Lee.  “Hold on a minute.  Let’s slow it down a little bit.  Let’s start from the beginning.”


“Your name is Sonia Moretti?” said Lee.


“And how did you know Scott Truman?” he said.

“He’s…my boyfriend,” said Moretti.  “I just came over here two months ago.  It’s only for a year.  I’m from San Francisco.  Wait.  Are you sure it’s him?  I just can’t believe it.  It’s not that unusual a name.  Maybe there’s a mistake.”

“Did he work at the University of San Francisco Medical Center?” asked Lee.

“Yes,” she said it in a whisper.

“And did he drive a blue Toyota?  A Corolla, I think?”

“Yes.” Her reply was almost inaudible.

“Did he go to USC?  Or, at least have a USC sweatshirt?”

“Oh, god, yes.  Oh my god.  Oh my god.  Oh my god.”  She was sobbing and Lee could tell she was hyperventilating at the same time.  She put the phone down and Lee could hear her losing it completely, keening in high-pitched wails.  He pictured her, alone in an apartment far away.  Hands to her face.  Body convulsing with the sobbing.  He moved the phone away from his ear and stared across the newsroom.

It was impossible for Lee not to think of the death of the woman he’d loved.  It had been two years since Sarah Armstrong had been shot to death in a New York hotel where they had been hiding from the leaders of a criminal conspiracy who were desperate to keep it from unraveling.

The first year had been sheer hell.  He’d clung to the routine of work like a drowning man.  Life had slowly moved toward normal after that.  But hearing Sonia Moretti’s despair brought back his own anguish in a flood of feeling.  He felt himself tear up.  Lee covered his eyes with his hand for a moment and then wiped the moisture away with his bare palm.  When he glanced up, he saw Carr watching him from across the newsroom.  He looked away.

“I’m sorry…I’m sorry,” Moretti said, coming back on the line.

“That’s okay,” Lee said.  “I’m very, very sorry.  I don’t know what else to say except I’m very sorry.  I know this is a horrible thing to go through.”

“Yes.  Thank you,” she said, sobbing again and struggling to control herself.  “Do you know anything else about why this happened?  My friend just read the article you wrote.  That’s why I called.”

“I don’t really know too much,” said Lee.  “I haven’t talked to the police since the article.  I do know they were trying to retrace his steps over the weekend.  They think his car was moved from wherever…this happened.  Do you know what he did over the weekend?”

“Well, I know where he was until, say, 3 or 3:30 in the morning on Sunday,” said Moretti.  “He was talking to me.”

“He was?” said Lee.

“Yes.  He was using the line at work,” she said.  “He was going in late at night when no one was around and he’d call…and we’d just talk.  He missed me…it was so sweet.  And, so we talked early Sunday morning, your time, for an hour or so.”

“Listen, Sonia.  This could be important for the police to know this,” said Lee.  “I’ll pass it along to the detective working the case.”

Lee got Moretti’s phone number and email address.  They agreed to stay in touch in the days ahead.  Hopefully, one of them would find out something to explain why Scott Truman had lost his life.

When he said goodbye, Lee resisted the urge to tell her that eventually the pain would pass.  He knew the wound was way too raw for that.

Chapters of the serial are published Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

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