Strong hand crushed raw cheek leaving it red and stinging. Sophia was so winded from the slap she stumbled back and looked up at her father.

“I hate him,” she thought.
“Get out of my head!!” yelled Sophia haunted by the unpleasant memory of her father, “I’m making a better life for myself. I am. Even if I have to crawl on my hands and knees to do it!”
She would beat the investigation and be put back on duty. She had too.


Todd Manning walked out of the shower while drying himself off with a towel. His naked body glistened as he took care of his personal hygiene. Today was going to be a busy day and his first priority was to get his penthouse back. He couldn’t stand living at Viki’s anymore. He cared for Viki, he always would, but her boy toy was an annoying, simpering piece of shit and she acted almost mindless next to him.

He splashed his cologne onto his chest. Téa’s niece had the deed to his penthouse. And she wouldn’t just give it up. No, he had to sweeten the pot. After all, Téa’s niece was a greedy little thing. She’d need something better, fancier. Moving expenses paid. It would cost him a pretty penny to relocate the gold digger but worth every penny so he could have his place back.

He slid his shirt down over his lithe body and reached for his cell phone. Who was he gonna’ call? He smiled, calling his financial firm. A lot his inheritance was tied up in stocks and bonds and while he was liquidating some to buy shares of the Sun under a “ghost” company, he would liquidate a few more. In fact, he’d take what was liquidated so far and use it to get his penthouse back.

Oh yes, Today was going to be a very productive day indeed. He smiled at walked out the door.


Sophia Pellegrino walked into the Llanview PD wearing her light blue police uniform determined to make it a productive day. Somehow, some way she had to find concrete proof connecting Perez to Téa and RJ but evidence wasn’t just going to fall in her lap and short of going to Puerto Rico, damn near impossible. She sat down at the dispatch desk and sulked watching Det. Sykes walk past her carrying a folder marked “Puerto Rico”. Immediately her radar was up. She watched him casually place it on his desk. Believing the normal hustle and bustle of the police station would cover her as she took a peek at the file.

There was a description of “Jane Doe” which seemed to match Téa’s description. “Jane” was deceased, however sperm samples could be obtained. Sophia squinted her eyes – DNA evidence? DNA could link Jane Doe to Perez. But was if it didn’t match? What if this was ‘hype’ and Miss Goodie Goodie was still alive? Being kept hostage in Puerto Rico. Sophia threw the file down on the desk and bit her lip. But how could she find out? Sophia went back to her seat to sulk and Antonio walked in. He took a seat opposite of her and they glared at each other.

“Well, spit it out Antonio!” she hissed.

“I don’t like being put in his position Sophia,” said Antonio.

“Well get over it,” she said crossing her arms.

“How do you propose we do that?” he asked.

“Prove our innocence,” she retorted.


“We need to find out what really happened to Téa when Perez kidnapped her,” said Sophia.

“Well we can’t just get on the next place to Puerto Rico, can we?” quipped Antonio.

“No, but we can find out where Perez was staying…” suggested Sophia.

“And go into his apartment without a warrant?” fussed Antonio.

“You wanna’ clear your name, don’t you?” retorted Sophia.

“You’re learning a lot of bad habits from your new friend Todd Manning, Sophia,” said Antonio with a disapproving tone of voice.

Sophia’s look was ice cold. She got up and left going down to the evidence room. Perez’s personal property was booked there. She would determine where he’d lived recently and screw if it were legal or not. She was going to prove what she did was right and she was going to find out once and for all if Téa Delgado was dead or alive.


While Sophia was in the evidence room Antonio watched Todd Manning walk into the police station and make his way to the holding cells. Interested, Antonio smiled.

The guard let Todd Manning into the holding cells and pointed to Perez’s cell. Like a wild beast consumed with fury he raced up to the bars, grabbed them and shook them.

“Get up you bastard!” yelled Todd.

Perez raised his eyebrow at the angry man and slowly got off the bunk crossing his arms across his tight black shirt, hugging his chest.

“And you are…?” asked Perez.

“Who do you think I am?” said Todd pulling back.

Use your head Manning… Get a grip…

“RJ sent you.”

“You did RJ dirty didn’t you?” sneered Todd.

“ RJ is a greedy bastard,” said Perez arrogantly, “I did RJ just as dirty as he did me.”

Furious and unable to control his temper Todd grabbed the bars again.

“What did you do to her?! Did you kill her?! Huh?!”

Perez jumped back, startled by his sudden outburst.

“Who, her, Delgado? The chick Gannon wanted?!” he muttered a bit confused.

“She was my wife!!” yelled Todd consumed by fire, “What did you do to her?!”

Perez grinned and boldly walked up to the bars, “Wouldn’t you like to know?”

“How did you know Téa?”

“From Antonio’s trial,” he simply said, “She was a tease back then too.”

Regroup Todd, regroup…He knew her…before Todd…knew her…

“Why did Gannon want you to take Téa?” spat Todd. He was going to move Heaven and Earth to get some answers.

“Gannon wanted his girlfriend back and hired me to kidnap her for him so I did. Only Gannon didn’t carry through with his part of the deal. So I took care of her.”

“You beat her?”

Proud of his handiwork he grinned, “Yeah. Still RJ wouldn’t pay.”

“Did you rape her?” pushed Todd.

Perez glared into his adversary’s eyes, “Yes. RJ I kept…upping the punishment until he’d pay…”

“You kill her?”

Perez paused.

“DID YOU KILL HER!?” Todd cried.

“Todd stop it!” came Sophia’s voice from the opening to the holding cells. She walked up to Todd, grabbed his arm and pulled him aside.

“What the fuck are you doing Sophia?!” exclaimed Todd.

“Hush!” she whispered, “Miss Goodie might not be dead but he wants us to think he is.”

“Why? What for?” said Todd lowering his voice.

“Just a hunch. I think he wants us to think she’s dead so RJ will…”

Todd expelled air, confused as hell.

“How do you… know?” he whispered.

“I’m trying to clear my name Todd. I’ll have more information for you tonight after I follow my hunch though…” she explained.

“Tonight. Meet me tonight…” she began.

“No. You meet me tonight. At my penthouse,” he whispered into her ear using a teasing tone of voice.

“You have a penthouse? I thought you were staying with Viki?” she asked.

“I will be living in my penthouse by the end of the day,” he said looking up, flashing Perez a foul sneer, “You will answer to me.”

And with that, Todd left. Todd’s stomach was in knots at the thought of that scrawny punk ass forcing himself on her. He went to the bathroom and threw up.


As soon as work was out for the day, Sophia changed into all black casual clothes, black leather jacket and headed to the sleazy motel that Perez put down on his booking papers in Angel Square. It was no surprise two rookie cops were posted at the motel but Sophia was a pretty slick chick herself and snuck into the room through a rear window.

Quietly she walked through the room observing that the police hadn’t gone through it. With the circumstantial evidence against him, they must be waiting for a search warrant.

Delicately, Sophia put a pair of laytex leather gloves and began to go through Perez’s things. She found and army light bag in his closet, pulled it out, silently went into the bathroom and began to go through it. After a few minutes, Sophia pulled out a small notebook, put the bag back and left out of the room the way she came.


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