Someone who didn’t understand her would call her OCD, but he understood the rigors of travel and the importance of simple routines that created a sense of home and familiarity in what was an endless stream of generic hotel rooms.
He sprayed a quick burst of her perfume on his wrist and held it to his nose. He would carry her scent with him for the rest of the day.
Meeting his reflection in the mirror, he wondered if she’d recognize him when they finally came face-to-face. Would she find him attractive or lacking? He wanted her to like him. Wanted her to need him.
They were meant to be together. They were two very smart people addicted to the chase.
Before he revealed himself, he had to show her he was the alpha partner. He had to show her, no matter how hard she worked, he would win in the end.
“Will you walk into my parlor?” said the Spider to the Fly.
San Antonio, Texas
Tuesday, November 28, 1:00 p.m.
Mazur and Dr. Hayden arrived at Lucky’s off exit 140 on I-35. He parked at the far end of the lot and took a moment to study the scene. The station had four pumps and a small convenience store. Midday, there were cars at each of the pumps, and he suspected they did a steady stream of business.
“This is very typical of the other gas stations targeted by the Samaritan,” Kate said.
Mazur nodded toward a small lot across a narrow side street. “Easy to park over there.”
Once out of his car, they walked to the vacant lot. Kate studied the vantage point of the convenience store. “Anyone parked here late at night would have a clear view of the pumps,” she said.
The gravel in the lot was fine and prone to tire impressions. Because the spot was well used, it had multiple tire tracks.
Kate knelt down. “The killer didn’t find this place by happenstance. Send a uniform to the area businesses and see who has cameras. Pull the footage from the last two weeks. See if there was anyone who returned to the spot more than once. My guess is he scoped this place out first and got comfortable with the location as he studied potential complications and victims.”
Mazur and Kate returned to the Lucky’s lot and pushed through the front door of the convenience store. Bells jingled above his head as he paused and allowed her to pass him. The place was small. A silver Christmas holiday garland draped the wall of cigarettes behind the cash register at the front of the store. Beer and soda coolers were along the wall near a unisex bathroom.
A young, thin Hispanic man turned from the register toward the door. His name badge read Tomas.
Mazur removed his badge from his pocket and identified himself. “I’m trying to retrace the steps of a woman who passed through here on Sunday night. Do you know who was working that night?”
“It was me,” Tomas said. “I own the place. Is this about the woman shot nearby?”
“I’ve seen her before. She stopped here whenever she drove to Laredo. She was always nice.”
“How often did Mrs. Sanchez come into your store?” Kate asked.