The World's Finest Mystery...

The World's Finest Mystery... by Ed Gorman

Book: The World's Finest Mystery... by Ed Gorman Read Free Book Online
Authors: Ed Gorman
slightest gesture, the smallest twitch.
     
     
After people spoke to the blue-eyed cop in the office, they were allowed to leave. Exercisers were interviewed in the order in which they'd arrived. Obviously someone had kept very careful track.
     
     
What it meant was that by the time Patricia was called, the gym rats were gone, but most of the class remained. The aerobics instructor had called her boss, and he had come down to lock up. Patricia also got a sense that he wanted to speak to the police himself.
     
     
When the heavyset cop said her name, Patricia got up, legs wobbly. She almost forgot her purse and gym bag, and grabbed them as an afterthought. Then she walked past the mirrors to the office where she had only been one time: the day she had signed up. That day she had been carrying an extra eighty pounds and even though she had dressed to hide it, it had been painfully obvious in the small room.
     
     
This time, the room's contours seemed more suited to her frame. The blue-eyed cop closed the door, asked her if she minded if the conversation was recorded, and then asked her to sit.
     
     
"This is just routine," he said.
     
     
It didn't seem routine, but she didn't say that. She had promised herself out front that she would volunteer nothing, and if he spent more than five minutes asking questions— the average time he had spent with the others— she would call an attorney just on principle.
     
     
"How well did you know Tom Ansara, Ms. Taylor?" The cop sat behind the messy manager's desk and folded his hands on top of a pile of papers that clearly didn't belong to him. His blue eyes seemed even more intense in the small space.
     
     
"He was my spinning instructor."
     
     
"For how long?"
     
     
"Eighteen months."
     
     
"You know that number precisely?"
     
     
She nodded. "I started my exercise program with his class."
     
     
"Was it effective?"
     
     
"The program?"
     
     
"The class."
     
     
She shrugged. "It motivated me."
     
     
"I understand you lost a lot of weight due to Mr. Ansara."
     
     
She almost choked. She felt a flush climb up her neck, her face, and she couldn't stop it. It was as if this man, this cop, had seen into her mind, had read each secret thought, knew how Tom had inspired her.
     
     
Knew about the revenge.
     
     
"I don't know if you can blame Tom," she said at last.
     
     
Blue-eyes raised his eyebrows ever so slightly. The expression gave his face a warmth it hadn't had before. "Blame? I would think you'd be proud of the loss."
     
     
"I am," she said, and almost repeated " I am." But she didn't. She wasn't going to give anything.
     
     
"And Tom helped you."
     
     
"The spinning class helped me." The flush had receded from her cheeks. Now her skin was cold. She wondered if she had turned pale, and how he would read this.
     
     
"You haven't asked what happened to Tom."
     
     
"I figured you would tell me."
     
     
He studied her for a moment. "He's still in the workout room. Would you like to take a look?"
     
     
"God no!" The response came out of her mouth before she could stop it. What was this man thinking, offering her the chance to look at a dead body? Not just any dead body, but the dead body of a man she had known, and fantasized about, however inappropriately.
     
     
"How tall are you, Ms. Taylor?"
     
     
The question so startled her that she had to think before responding. "five-four." How did that relate to Tom's death? How did any of it?
     
     
She had forgotten to look at the clock, and now she was afraid to, afraid it would seem insensitive, afraid it would make her even more suspicious than she probably already was.
     
     
"All right," he said. "We're done."
     
     
She remained sitting for a moment, disoriented, as he probably wanted her to be. She opened her mouth once, then closed it.
     
     
"Although," he said, "you should probably tell me how to get ahold of you. I'm sure it's here in the gym's records, but it's easier if you tell

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