It was the next day before Luke returned to the police station where he looked at the records that Garcia placed in front of him. The amounts of money that Laura had paid to Damian added up to a considerable sum. Where had she gotten that much money? Oh, he could have given it to her himself, but she'd never asked, never intimated that she needed it.
"So you know nothing about this?" Taggert asked, watching as Luke read the information. "You realize that this makes a firm case against Laura for the murder of Damian."
"You might as well drop that one," Luke told them sick to his stomach for what he saw revealed. Fortunately, the law officers didn't know the extent of Laura's lies, and fortunately, Luke knew the truth. Or, he mused, at least he thought he did. "You can't try her for that again."
"True, but we can use this information to make very sure that nothing you or your slick mob lawyer does will spring her from jail while we finish building the case."
"Speaking from the perspective of the slick mob lawyer," Justus smiled as he entered the office, "I beg to differ. We've had the handwriting samples analyzed, and our consultant, the same one that the PCPD uses has decided that the suicide note is a forgery. Since it's very unlikely that Laura would have forged a note implicating herself, we felt very comfortable asking the district attorney to drop the charges against her. It is very clear that somebody has been trying to blacken the good name of my client, in order to frame her for the killing."
Dara nodded ruefully. "This is an obvious forgery, and as it is our only evidence linking Laura to the case, we are dropping the charges for now."
"That means that we're still looking for a suspect," Garcia reminded Luke. "Which reminds me-Kat was a very wealthy woman. Who inherits her estate?"
Stefan and Nikolas sat quietly in the offices of Kathryn's attorney while the lawyer scanned the documents that he'd drawn up only a few months previously. "It's very simple," he said, finally. "With the exception of Deception, which Kathryn chose to leave elsewhere, and five million to the Nurse's Ball Fund, Nikolas is the heir to her entire estate. Her holdings were not extensive, but there are multiple savings and investment accounts and you are now a very wealthy young man." He quoted a sum that seemed staggering to Nikolas, in spite of the fact that he had been brought up in wealth.
"All that is mine?"
"Except for what taxes take, and even at that, you're still quite wealthy."
Stefan looked at the young man who had suddenly become financially independent of him, and felt Nikolas slipping farther and farther from him. It was both saddening, and disheartening. "Kathryn thought very highly of you."
"And I of her," Nikolas replied. "She has given me the means of righting a few wrongs, and the first one will be to bring her killer to justice." Turning to the attorney, he said, "But I do want to make arrangements to settle some of this on my family. I would like you to draw up some papers for me..."
A little later, Lucy looked at the attorney and asked, "Are you kidding me? She left me Deception?" Lucy studied the papers, which returned her first company to her, her hands shaking. "Are you certain?"
"Quite. Seems that Ms. Bell thought that at some point she wanted you to have it back. She enclosed this note in explanation." He handed the envelope to her, and said, "it's for you."
Lucy opened the letter, and read quickly, recognizing the handwriting as Kat's. For a few minutes, she recalled the brief moments of camaraderie that they'd shared, those few occasions standing out in sharp relief against the rivalry which had been all consuming for the rest of the time they'd known each other. The letter was brief and to the point.