Mark Terry

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

FLAT-FOOTED, Part 10

May 26, 2009

FLAT-FOOTED, Part 10

Holmby Hills was described as semi-gated, which meant if you weren’t paying attention you might get stopped getting in. Biz paid attention and had no problems getting into the wealthy enclave. Getting closer to the Fontaigne estate was more difficult, although he was able to park about a hundred yards away from the Mediterranean-style home. As much as Biz hated to admit it, it was gorgeous, all tan adobe, Mediterranean arches, palm trees...


And wrought-iron gates. Nobody walked in off the street and killed Del Fontaigne. Del either let the killer in or the killer knew the gate keypad combination.


Biz snapped pictures of the house using his digital camera and was getting ready to get out of the Mustang and take more when the passenger door opened and the leggy Detective Summer Rain slid into the seat.


“Well, Detective Rain. Are you stalking me?”


“Why are you here, Mr. Leightner?”


“Aw, call me Biz. All my friends do. And you want to be my friend, don’t you?”


She sighed. “Just answer... no, never mind. I’m not an idiot. You’re here either because you’re actually investigating Del Fontaigne’s murder out of some misplaced sense of devotion--”


“I don’t think it’s misplaced.”


“--or because you’re returning to the scene of the crime because you’re the killer and you get some sort of sexual thrill out of it.”


“Summer ... it’s okay if I call you Summer? Let me assure you that the only sexual thrill I’m currently having is because I’m in your presence.”


Her face flushed just a tiny bit before she slapped on her you’re-pissing-me-off mask. “Why are you here?”


“Just trying to get a sense of the place. Was the gate open when Shala Fontaigne came home?”


Summer nodded. “So she says. And the house has a good security system.”


“With digital video cameras that record?”


“No, unfortunately.”


Biz studied the house. “Are you aware Del Leightner was having an affair?”


Summer jumped slightly. He’d surprised her. “So we’ve heard. Delia Fox.”


“Married?”


“Good guess.”


“So her husband is a significant suspect.”


Summer shook her head. “With a nice alibi, being on business in France right now. With his wife.”


“Do you know much about IPOs, Summer?”


Summer seemed a little slower to respond to this question, thinking it through before she answered. Finally, “Where are you going with that?”


“I have some reason to think that ShalaVU was going public. I also have reason to think that Del and a guy named Sid Davenport had at least discussed the possibility of manipulating the stock opening.”


Summer blinked. Suddenly she turned sideways and glared at him. “How do you know that?”


“I’m a very good investigator.”


“I want your source. Now.”


He shook his head. “No, but I can give you all of Del Fontaigne’s e-mails over the last couple months. Did Del have a computer? You can go find them yourself.”


“He had a laptop and according to Shala Fontaigne, it’s missing.”


“Do you believe her?”


Summer shrugged. “Fine. Give me the e-mails.”


Biz had uploaded the flash drive’s contents to his own laptop, so he handed over the drive. “You’ll want to check out the e-mails from Sid Davenport. Get a forensic accountant to read them over, too. Oh, and if you want, we can read the e-mails to and from Delia Fox together. They’re hot.”


“Shut up.”


Biz grinned. “See you at seven for drinks. Bet I’ll have this case wrapped up before you do.”


Her eyes flashed. “Want to bet?”


Biz’s eyes widened. “Hmmm, what would the stakes be?”


Summer shook her head and climbed out of the Mustang, flashing her legs. “You’re impossible.”


“I’m challenging, Summer. Not impossible. Challenging.”


To be continued...

2 Comments:

Blogger spyscribbler said...

Ooh! A competition! I like. :-)

8:52 AM  
Blogger Richmond Writer said...

I'm slow. I was trying to figure out what his motivation for staying on the case was. Summer Rain. I might be reading it wrong though but she seems suspicious.

I like the story that is unfolding.

7:17 AM  

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