Nina refused to calm down or explain.
Sam had a sudden insight into her partner’s dislike of kids. She paced the small room for a moment.
“You know what? You can answer here or answer at the station. Up to you.”
Nina sat up, hiccupped, and blew her nose noisily on a roll of toilet paper that had been stuffed between the bed and the wall.
“S-sorry,” she said.
“From the top then. Is Laura Shoals your roommate?”
“When was the last time you saw her?”
“5:30 or so yesterday evening.”
Sam waited for the girl to go on. She didn’t and hid her face again.
Nina took a deep breath.
“She was going somewhere. I don’t know where, but I know that Woden paid her.”
“He paid her to leave?”
“Yeah, I think so.”
Sam sat again. “Why?”
Nina punched her pillow. “Because, she’d never let us have any privacy. So he said he’d take care of her. You know, get her out of the room for a while so we could, you know, have sex and stuff. So he said he’d take care of her.”
She started crying again.
A shout from outside and the sound of thumping made Sam jump up and go to the door. She caught sight of her partner racing away down the hallway.
“Stay here,” she said over her shoulder, and took off after her partner.
Woden, it turned out, was a runner.