Tea with the FBI
Next to him the lady from my study busies herself with the box of cookies George made for her. I nod in her general direction and take a seat opposite Marcus, waiting for George to serve me before I speak. The lady forces a thin smile while George pours tea and places cookies on a small plate for me.
“Marcus, it’s been a long time. What do I owe the honor?”
“Ella, the pleasure is always mine, I assure you.” Sipping the tea, he doesn’t seem in any rush to tell me the reason for his visit.
I nibble at a vanilla cookie and wish for a plate of eggs and bacon. Get on with it. Spring your surprise. Nobody speaks and Mozart soothes my anger. I close my eyes and imagine dancing with Ray, bodies twirling to flights of violins.
“I wanted to ask you about the apartment application you filed.” Marcus chews a cookie, pausing before getting to the point. “Why do you want an apartment downtown? That area…is a haven for violent criminals.”
“Maybe you should tell me about your friend.” I nod in the lady’s direction.
He smiles and traces a finger along the rim of his tea cup. “She’s in training. I asked her to create a profile of you without looking at the case file. Just Google and scraps of news from the internet.”
“You sent a trainee to me?”
Marcus laughs and leans back in the chair to allow George space to refill his tea. “You’ve been waiting to use that line.”
It’s my turn to laugh, but I keep my eyes on the trainee. “Tell me, what do you think you know?”
The lady clears her throat and places the tea cup on the saucer. “I know your husband isn’t dead. I got a court order to view his financial transactions for the previous quarter. Very successful I might add.”
I cross my arms and nod. “Go on.”
“Nobody I’ve interviewed has seen him. That piece of the puzzle escapes me. Is he not in Vegas with you?”
Instead of answering, I turn to Marcus. His eyes twinkle with mischief and I know soon he’ll reveal the surprise.
“Well, what of the apartment?”
“I managed to secure permission for you to live outside of Holden Farms…with one condition.”
My eyes find George, but he doesn’t give a clue if he knows what Marcus is about to say.
“You must share the apartment with Stella. She will be your roommate.”