Discretion by David Balzarini

Book: Discretion by David Balzarini Read Free Book Online
Authors: David Balzarini
Tags: Mystery
throat. “I showed Natalie the tattoo on Arocha’s arm, and she opened up to talking, so it must have triggered some memory, at least that’s my best guess. Anyway, she’s not like these victims, as you noted—she’s alive—but I think she knows something that she’s afraid to remember.”
    “I bet she is,” I say, and then reach for my glass of water. “Why doesn’t this source come forward? Sounds like the key witness you’re looking for.”
    “My source has to stay private for protection, just like the women who escape the life.”
    “There has to be a way to protect a source while getting information.” I stand from my desk chair and walk to the window, just to change scenery.
    Jackson says, “The challenge is credibility. The people who profit from this business are well-to-do with a high-caliber front company—people you might think of as untouchable. To charge them with a crime, let alone convict, you’ve got to have a witness who can pass credibility testing.” He pauses a moment. “The last young woman who came forward faced drug charges, so it’s the guilty ratting out the guilty.”
    “Un huh. So if your source thinks this is the devil’s fault, then why not lock him up?”
    “I love the skeptic in you, Colin.”
    Get off the phone. Jennifer on approach.
    “Gotta go. Talk more later,” I say and set the phone on my desk. Jennifer is outside my door.
    I have work to do and no time to rebury my past.

    A light tap at the window and Jennifer Trigueiro appears, her five-foot-four stature enhanced by two-inch heels. According to her, they provide a commanding presence. She’s two years older than me and in the throes of buying a home and planning a wedding. A waft of her perfume hits me, and then the sound of her tiny frame compressing air from the leather seat. Her half grin and crossed legs under a red skirt imply she has something on her mind, though this comes as no surprise.
    She missed you.
    “So, do you want to hear the latest?” She pushes her long, dark hair away with her left hand to show off the two-karat diamond ring—a princess cut, no less. Her smile transitions to cheery and she leans forward, eager to update me on wedding plans. She can’t be more excited to get married in the fall, and she’s at my desk to share her adventure. She has girlfriends for this talk, but they offer advice; Jennifer wants a sounding board.
    “I’d be delighted. Do you have some famous recording artist playing? If so, I’d love the chance to guess who.” I fold my hands on the desk.
    “No, but I like that idea—if I could swing it. The plan is a quartet for the music. Booked them right after the photographer. But I’m going to tell you…”
    My phone beeps: a text message from Marisa, which can wait.
    “Continue,” I say, carefully. The overzealous brown eyes of my boss watch me, a few feet away.
    Jennifer talks with her hands wildly, explaining the details about her perfect dress by Maggie Sottero and the fit for her petite figure. I glance periodically at my calendar and itinerary for the day while I listen. Christel feeds me her thoughts, mostly sexual fantasies of me—it’s hard to listen to two women at once.
    “So what’d ya think? I’m the craziest bride ever?” Her giggles are like a school girl.
    “Six grand is a lot for a dress.”
    Her eyes widen. “Did I tell you how much it was? I didn’t think I did…did I? I must have…how…”
    I wave off her questions. “I guessed, I guessed. I have no idea how much it was. I’m sure it’s beautiful.” Another harmless test for Christel—once a doubter, always a doubter.
    Jennifer grins and sits back. “Okay. Whew. Well, between you and me, that was a lucky guess.”
    I act surprised. “Really?”
    She laughs, throws her hands in the air, enough so the pearls around her neck slide side to side. “Nuts, huh?” She doesn’t think so but I laugh since I’m playing along. My meetings with Jennifer are a mix

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