Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap…
The sound was a brain numbing distraction, her pen bounced off the desk in rapid succession.
Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap…
The sudden thwack of his palm slamming her pen to the table made her jump. She looked up with wide eyes staring at him as if he grew a third eye. “What the hells, Hector?”
“I’m trying to get your attention. I called your name five times.” Hector searched her face. “Are you okay?”
Elissa pulled her pen from under his hand, jabbed him with the point to move him off her paperwork and left a blue dot. She huffed at her partner, “I was until you scared about 5 years off my life.”
He pulled his hand away and smirked at her before taking a seat at his desk. “How did it go with the Hamilton’s lawyer?”
“Exactly how you’d expect it to.” Elissa scribbled big circles on the paper, “I’m missing something. I don’t know what it is, but I’m missing something… somewhere.”
“Labs aren’t in yet, we could be wrong, this could have been an accident.” He shrugged when she smirked at him. Hector theorized, “It could be a huge conspiracy, but for the life of me I can’t imagine why. Sure Hamilton is a big name in Sunset Valley, but I doubt the rest of world gives a rat’s ass about him.”
“His last call was to Central Station; he was going to take the train. Kind of sweet if you think about it… a private box car for a long journey on the train to a romantic retreat…” She stole a glance at Hector and closed her eyes tightly. “Hector?”
“Yes?” Hector frowned when he noted her reluctance to speak.
The door flew open as if someone was expected, yet the disappointment on Evangeline Fredericko’s face clearly expressed that Elissa wasn’t who she wanted to see. Her eager smile turned to contempt and loathing, while her full lips curled into a sneer. “He doesn’t live here.” Evangeline’s words were cold and full of disdain. She folded her arms defensively across her ample bosom, thrusting her hip to the side as she shifted her weight.
“I know.” Elissa didn’t seem to be put out by Evangeline's attitude. The detective stood her ground against the open hostility thrust at her. “I’m here to speak with you.” She flashed her badge and announced her intention, “I’ve come to ask you a few questions. We can do this here or I can take you downtown in handcuffs. Your choice.”
Evangeline’s soft brown eyes narrowed and hardened. “You wouldn’t-”
Elissa flipped her identification back into her pocket and just as quick pulled her handcuffs. “Care to test me?”
With a huff, Evangeline walked away from the door and left it ajar as an unspoken invitation for Elissa to follow. Evangeline walked to the kitchen and grabbed her drink off the counter, purposefully not offering one to Elissa before she sat down at the kitchen table. “What do you want?”
“What is your current relationship with Peter Hamilton?” Elissa leaned back against the counter. Her face was without expression even though her insides were a coil of nerves anticipating Evangeline’s response.
“I spoke with the woman Peter Hamilton was allegedly going to Hidden Springs with…” She gave him a strange look and he shook his head slowly not understanding or not wanting to understand. “I was looking at the numbers on his cellphone; specifically at the ones the day before and the day of his death.”
Hector’s eyes widened a fraction, but his face staid neutral. His body stiffened as if he were punched in the gut. “Eva’s still with him?”
“She was… still… yes.” Elissa bit her lip when he flinched. “I’m sorry.”
Hector tore his gaze from her and shrugged a shoulder. He looked at something, nothing, anything, but at Elissa. “Yes well, she’s an ex for a reason…” His voice was forced and unsure. He took a deep breath running his fingers through his hair collecting his thoughts and reined them in. “So what did she have to say?”
Elissa took a page from Hector’s book by turning her attention to her notes rather than looking at him. “Evangeline claims Peter Hamilton called her Thursday evening to set up a get away for the two of them. The details and location were to be a surprise.” Elissa skipped past the more intimate details and description freely given to her by Evangeline. Her cheeks warmed in a furious blush at the memory of the other woman's words, the tone of her voice and the contempt on her face. Evangeline claimed her directions were to drop everything and be ready to go, that she ‘won’t need clothes seeing how they won’t be leaving the bed’.
That was more than Hector needed to hear at the moment. Staring blankly at the notepad Elissa straightened her back, strengthening her resolve. Hector needed her and Elissa needed to be there for him. “I really am sorry, Hector.”
“We’re past this. It is all history. Life moves on and I need to move on, too.” The legs of the chair scraped along the tiles as Hector pushed away from his desk shooting a glance at Elissa. He hesitated for a moment when their eyes met and he wasn’t sure what hurt more: his ex-wife was Peter Hamilton’s mistress, or his ex-girlfriend moving on, finding a man who could give her what he couldn’t.