Tabula Rasa

Chapter 4

Tabula Rasa

Chapter Four

Wes and Travis drove to the address they had been given by Jeremy. The apartment complexes were in the slums of Beverly Hills. This was the area where a lot of the more gangster type or punk kids lived so that they could claim that they lived in Beverly Hills, but the apartments were small and trashed.

"I feel like I'm going to get mugged as soon as we go in there," Wes spoke up as he parked the car and stepped out.

"You just might," Travis agreed. "Perhaps if you didn't carry yourself so proper and always dress like you're loaded, then we might not have this problem."

Wes glared at his partner and then responded, "Let's just go. We're looking for Apartment 3B."

As they walked up the stairs to the third floor, Travis asked, "What were the names of the kinky couple we're here to see?"

"Anna Jessup was Jeremy's date and her boyfriend's name is Tony Richards," Wes answered. "Maybe we'll get lucky and they'll be able to give us what we're looking for. It'd be nice to get a little cooperation for once."

"And you think we're going to get it from a couple, who are into bizarre, twisted sex games and possibly drugs, who go to a club full of others just like them?" Travis asked sarcastically.

Wes thought for a moment as they finally made it to the right apartment and then replied, "Good point. You knock."

Travis nodded as he stepped forward and knocked loudly on the door. After knocking a second time, a young woman still dressed in a nightgown, who appeared to have been sleeping moments before, finally answered, then quickly shut the door in order to pull off the chain and reopened it to get a better look at the men standing outside the door. After Wes and Travis introduced themselves, the young woman stepped aside to let them in and waited for them to speak first.

Travis spoke up as he said, "Forgive us if we woke you up, Miss. Are you Anna Jessup?"

"Yes, that's me," she responded as she walked into the kitchen and poured herself a cup of coffee. "What is this all about, Detectives? I haven't done anything wrong."

"Why would you assume we were here for you?" Wes asked skeptically as he observed the young woman's mannerisms as she appeared to be getting nervous. "We're only here to ask you a couple of questions."

She quickly answered, "I'm sorry, but as I'm sure you can imagine, we get a lot of cops coming around here for many different reasons. What would you like to know?"

Travis replied, "We understand you had a date last night with a college student from UCLA named Jeremy Walker. Is that right?"

"Yeah, I believe that was his name," Anna responded. "He was sexy and a great kisser. I liked him."

"You mean, even more than your boyfriend?" Wes asked smugly. "Is Tony really okay with you sleeping around with other men?"

She glared at him as she answered, "We both sleep with a number of men and women. Everyone, who goes to the club we hang out at every night do. We get that it's twisted for plain, boring people like you, Detective, but for us, it's our very own palace."

Travis couldn't help but smirk, as Wes just nodded in unbelief at her attitude, then Travis replied, "You'll have to ignore my partner, Anna. He is very plain and boring just as you said. Did you and Jeremy come back here last night and then stay until this morning until he rushed off to class?"

"That's right, he did," she responded. "He was great. He's come to the club a few times now, but I've always passed by him. However, something made me give him another chance last night and I'm glad."

"What about Tony?" Travis continued. "Jeremy said that your boyfriend walked in on you two this morning with his own friend. Do you know where he was last night?"

Just then, Tony walked into the room as he answered for himself, "I went back to my date's place not too far from here. Her dad owns the Harem. If you want to know I'm telling the truth, you can ask him. He was there all night with his own women."

Wes felt disgust as he looked at her and asked briskly, ""Women, as in more than one? This is just… just wrong. You didn't happen to see Jeremy's friend, Ryan Conway, there last night by any chance, did you?"

"No, Ryan wasn't there last night, but he was the night before, or the night before that, I'm not really sure," Tony replied and then leaned over to kiss Anna tenderly. "Anyway, he and this other woman that works at the Harem, Jacqueline, got into a big fight. A few weeks ago they hooked up and Ryan seemed to really like her, but when Jacqueline said that she wanted to experiment with other guys too, he lost it and he beat her a bit. It wasn't bad. He left before he got too rough."

"Ryan was new to this kind of life," Anna continued. "He didn't really fit in with us and he felt really uncomfortable, at least until he met Jacqueline. I guess that's why he went nuts like he did. He was a good kid, but was too good for me. I like the darker men."

Wes skeptically responded, "You keep referring to Ryan in the past tense. You already know that something happened to him, don't you?"

Both Tony and Anna looked at him nervously as she asked, "Wait, what are you saying? Do you think that we did something to him? Is he dead?"

"Yes, he's dead," Wes answered. "He was stabbed several times in his dorm room. It was pretty gruesome, but I have a feeling you already know that."

"No, I… all right, yes, I do know that he was killed," Anna replied fearfully. "I was sent a picture text showing his body from a number I didn't recognize. Tony got one this morning too, but I have a feeling that a ton of people got it, seeing as he was found in his college dorm room. A number of students could have sent the texts. You know how students can be."

Wes shook his head as Travis spoke up saying, "All right. Tony, we're going to need the number and address of your woman from last night, as well as Jacqueline's if you have it and the number from that picture text you were both sent. What was the name of this club?"

Tony responded, "It's called the Harem of the Forty Thieves. You know, as in Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves?"

"Got it," Wes answered as he wrote it down, followed by the information they had asked for. "Oh, I've got one more question. Do you know about any kind of drugs that have been spread around the club, you know, in order to help loosen up those that aren't so comfortable with whatever it is that you do? "

"No way, Officer," Tony replied. "What goes on there may be strange to a lot of people, but it is a respectable night club. The owner would never dream of allowing drugs of any kind to be spread around."

Travis nodded and then said, "Thanks for your time. You've been pretty helpful. We'll see ourselves out now."

After they left and headed back down the stairs of the building, Wes spoke up saying, "I don't think either one of them were responsible for killing Ryan, but they were definitely hiding something. How on earth does a night club like this exist? It's disgusting and just wrong."

"You've said that already," Travis responded. "Wes, this is Los Angeles. I'm sure there are plenty of places just like this that your dull, unimaginative mind would be offended by."

"And you think a club like this is cool?" Wes asked as he was becoming agitated.

Travis shook his head as he answered, "Of course not. I never said I did. In fact, I agree with you, but it's not like I couldn't think up a place like it. Let's head back to the station before we head over to the club to let our captain know what we know so far. Then, we can stop and eat. I'm starving."

Wes replied, "You're always starving. Why can't you just say you're hungry? At least that I can understand, but you're not starving."

"Man, you are such a killjoy," Travis said. "You need to loosen up and learn to stop being so Wes. "I am amazed you got Alex to like you; and Kendall too. Something has to be seriously wrong with those too."

"Now, you're just being hurtful," Wes responded mockingly. "Let's get out of here before anything happens."

Travis answered, "Scaredy-cat."

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