Cruz chuckled sardonically. “According to Bernadette he’s kinda kinky.” He glanced at Kacy, reddened and stuttered to a stop.
Andy frowned at him, then continued. “But he’s got that funny name. Obi, right? I keep thinking about that Star Wars dude.”
The rest of them laughed.
“It’s unusual, I see why it makes you think of him. That’s kind of crazy though, they’ve been approached by buyers, too,” Deacon mused.
“That’s it!” Kacy snapped her fingers. “What’s the florist shop named?”
“Merle’s?” Deacon supplied.
“Exactly! Look at the last part of that name. Merl.”
“Aren’t you grasping at straws, Ms. D?”
“No, think about it. You need a name for a bogus company, you might think of something obvious. It’s Ob at the beginning and Merle at the end.”
“The middle part doesn’t fit your perfect little plan, Kacy,” Deacon interjected. “That Mil thing.”
“Oba-mil-merl,” she pronounced each syllable separately. “His mom’s name is Milly, isn’t it?”
Deacon’s mouth fell open. “Damn Skippy, you’re right, Kacy. We need to call Reyes.”
He whipped out his cell phone to call. Cruz stopped him by handing him his desk phone.
“That won’t work back here, Mr. D. It’s something about the cable or reinforced beams. You’ll get a lot of static, then it makes a really loud screech in your ear. It’ll give you a bitch of a headache. Use my phone.”
Deacon tried to rise to take the phone, but Kacy took it instead. Her conversation with Reyes was a little frustrating, circuitous and detailed. She gave their rationale and logical train of thought on it. He didn’t debunk the idea completely, but he didn’t seem sold on it either.
“Okay, let’s say I buy into this theory of yours. Why would this kid try to buy everyone out? What’s he gonna do with the land?”
“How do I know, Detective?” Kacy’s tone was a bit clipped. “That’s your job isn’t it, to see how it’s connected? As I see it, we’ve done our civic duty pointing this out. I’m surprised you’d not gotten that far on your own.”
“Kacy,” Deacon touched her arm gently, “be fair to the man. This does sound a little crazy.”
“It makes sense, Deacon,” Kacy had been distracted from her call. “You have to admit the man has a motive. That land must be worth millions. If he could buy it up cheap, and sell it at a tidy profit, he’d be set for life. Didn’t his dad leave recently?”
“Yes,” Reyes answered her, pulling her attention back to him. “He left them in a pretty bad financial fix, accumulated a lot of debt, and ran off with some twenty year old. Kacy, thanks for the call,” Reyes sounded suddenly very businesslike. “You’ve given me a lot to think about. Tell that kid if he wants a job with the force to call me. Bye.” He hung up before she could respond.
“What’d he say?”
“For starters, he’s liking the idea better than he did. He offered Cruz a job on the force.”
Cruz chuckled but Andy looked disgusted. “Everyone offers the geek the jobs, not me. I guess I went into the wrong line of business.”
“That reminds me, Andy,” Deacon interrupted his self-recriminations and career speculation. “I might have something for you. How you feel about moving to New York City? You could work in a professional shop up there? I’ve even got a place for you to live.”
“You can do that, Mr. D? That would be bad ass!”
“I know the owners. I’ll make a call later and set it up. Bernie owes me big!” He and Kacy exchanged a look full of meaning. “Meanwhile, we need to get going. My leg is throbbing. I think we’d better head home.”
Andy helped him out to the car. Kacy and Deacon rode home in silence. Deacon took a pain pill when they got home and Kacy helped him crawl into bed. Propping him with pillows, she got him comfortable, then went out, shutting the door softly behind her.
The phone rang as she was sitting down, she hurriedly picked it up so that it would not bother Deacon. She decided she would go in and unplug the extension in the bedroom as soon as she hung up.
Silence, a click and the dial tone. Puzzled, she hung up and quietly unplugged the bedroom phone, but kept the cordless kitchen phone beside her as she turned on the TV.
There was nothing worth watching on television, so she went through Dino’s extensive DVD collection. Settling on a good action adventure, she started her movie and fixed some popcorn while the previews ran. Snuggling up on the couch with her popcorn and drink, she watched in happy silence as Harrison Ford tried to outwit the Nazis and rescue the Ark of the Covenant.
The Ark had been opened and the Nazis were meeting their untimely end, when the phone rang again. She let it ring a few times before answering this time, then said nothing for a moment. Uncomfortable silence followed, but she could hear someone breathing on the other end.
“So,” the raspy whisper spoke sharply, “are you ready to sell yet, or shall I make an offer you can’t refuse?”
©2021 Dellani Oakes