"Somebody paid cash for it." Anya told them, when Buffy first showed her the stake. "This sculpted handle is a cheap copy of an Aztec idol. It's the Goddess Coatlicue. If Loretta's beating heart was ripped out, and replaced by this joystick, that means she was sacrificed to Coatlicue; and she is now partying in the Aztec Paradise."
Anya appeared to be around the same age as Buffy and Willow. She had neatly set brown hair, and wore a modest, blue, shopkeeper's outfit.
The were inside the Magic Box. The sign on the door said "Closed". The curtains were drawn shut. In the rear of the dimly lit establishment, the usual ancient manuscripts, describing supernatural phenomena, were piled high as always on the old round wooden table. Xander, Anya and Buffy were perusing the manuscripts.
Willow sat with them, perusing related material on her laptop.
"Here we go folks." She said, "Our usual Saturday night in Sunnydale. It's 10 PM. Do you know where every other Sunnydale U. co-ed is? She's out partying; getting drunk; getting naked; getting laid and getting away with it. I on the other hand, am trying to figure out why Loretta didn't get away with it."
Buffy asked, "What do these books and websites have to say about the Aztecs?"
There was moaning and groaning from everyone. "Too much!"
Willow said, "Millions of websites."
Buffy asked, "Can we narrow it down?"
Xander asked, "Narrow it down to what?"
"To what someone who worships this Aztec Goddess...What's Her Name?"
Anya told her, "It's pronounced 'Quah-tlee-quay'."
"Well what does her supplicant, or supplicants expect to accomplish, by ripping the beating heart out of a teenage girl?"
Xander said, "Some people were getting their rocks off."
Willow shook her head, "No. There was more to it than that."
Xander said, "If you want to know why, just ask Anya. She's the only one here, who's ever worshipped the Aztec Gods."
Everyone at the table, turned to look at the Shop Manager.
Xander told them, "Never forget for a minute, that my fiancée is Anyanka the Vengeance Demon, who has just celebrated her 1146th birthday; and I have no idea, how she ever blew out all those candles."
Anya spoke nervously. "I know what you're all thinking. It wasn't me. I was here all night. Very busy. Tons and tons of customers, who can all verify that I never left the Shop."
"We believe you Anya." Buffy said, "Can you tell us, why someone who wasn't in the Shop, performed a Sacrifice to an Aztec Goddess, here in Sunnydale?"
"It might be," Anya speculated, "that he or she wants to restore Coatlicue to Power; but that sacrifice alone can't work. Coatlicue cannot return to this dimension, without having secret incantations read aloud, from certain Sacred Writings that were hidden at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Those Writings have never been found."
"Maybe they have," Willow said, "by Loretta's killer."
"There's one way to find out." The Shop Manager told them, "I'll have to close up shop for a few days. I'll go on down to Mexico, then check the hiding place, and see if the Sacred Writings are still there."
Willow asked, "You know where the Sacred Writings were hidden?"
"I know exactly where they are." Anya told everyone at the table. "At the time of the Spanish Conquest, I was an Aztec Princess. I lived in the City of Tenochtitlan; which is now Mexico City. My name was Anyanctla. I was a Handmaiden of King Moctezuma, and I was the one who hid the Sacred Writings."