to stop myself from having a taste and leaving behind my DNA for the coroner’s office. Self-discipline was a bitch, but far be it from me to taint a crime scene with my own genetic evidence. In the last hour, I had disentangled myself from giving my official statement to the FPD and a copy of my notes on the Orange County Stalker habits—I had worked up a decent profile on her. Yes, I said her . Sherbet was going to try to pay me for my work from some grant money for crime tippers which was way cool in my book since my kids both had dental appointments coming up. My sister, Mary Lou, had the kids at her house tonight and I planned to see Kingsley for some growly R&R and a much-needed feeding. I didn’t have time for cheating spouses. I didn’t want to deal with cheating spouses. I hated cheating spouses. But despite all of that, and my growling stomach, I heard myself say: “I’ll help you. Tomorrow. The investigation on your husband should be a quick one.”
She thanked me profusely, and when she was done I asked why she thought her husband was cheating. As I wound my way to Kingsley’s massive estate, she told me the usual story. Husband was staying out later than normal. Showering immediately when he came home. His excuses were never very good and she knew in her heart that he was lying. Her husband, apparently, had never been very good at lying.
Mostly, though, she was confused and lost. Her husband had been such a good man for so many years. A great provider. A great friend. Always there for her, even as she now battled cancer. Hell, even more so. Every day, he told her how much he loved her. Every day, he made her feel like a princess. She asked me why would he do this to her and I didn’t have an answer, except to say that men were pigs. I immediately hated this one.
I gave her a checklist of information that I would need, including her hubby’s personal and professional info and up to five recent pictures. I gave her my email address and she said she would get right on it. Whoopee.
She hung up, but before she did, she thanked me again. As I clicked off and pulled up to Kingsley’s gaudy estate, I recognized the painful irony of the situation: She was thanking me to confirm her worst fears.
I had a helluva job.
The next day, I had thirty minutes to kill before my appointment with Jacky, my boxing trainer.
Sitting in my minivan in the blessed shade of a pathetic magnolia tree, I went through my emails on the iPhone and found an attachment from one Gertrude Shine. The old lady from yesterday, I was sure of it. Sighing, I opened it and found five pictures of an aged man with a thick mustache. Included with the pictures was the man’s personal information, and I was struck again by the intrusive nature of my job. The man in the photo was a complete stranger. But pretty soon he would be all too familiar, so familiar that I would be instrumental in the destruction of his marriage.
No. He was instrumental in the destruction of the marriage. I was just reporting the facts.
I closed my eyes, rubbed them. I didn’t have to take the job. I didn’t have to take any job. Except Danny had yet to pony up any child support, let alone alimony, despite making five times what I make.
Despite openly cheating on me.
I studied the son of a bitch in the photos. Two of the photos depicted him standing with a large woman with red hair—the same woman, I wasn’t too shocked to see, that I had seen in my thoughts.
I’m getting stronger, I thought. Indeed, my psychic powers now seemed to be increasing daily.
Anyway, the couple did not seem very happy, and I didn’t think that was a psychic hit. Anyone looking at the pictures could see that. They weren’t holding hands; in fact, they weren’t really standing close to each other. The man was dumpy, but looked strong. Probably in his youth he had been an athlete but had let himself go to hell. He had broad shoulders that were mostly
Louis - Kilkenny 03 L'amour