They placed their orders, two separate checks of course, and got down to business.
“Yesterday,” Dara began. “Macy promised to put back a few items for me. She told me to come by this morning to pick them up. I picked up coffee and pastries, and got here around seven.” She folded and unfolded the napkin in front of her. “The front door was unlocked, so I walked in. I called for Macy, and when she didn’t answer, I went in the back and that’s where I found her.”
Chuck jotted down a few notes. “And that was the only reason you were there? Did you see anything suspicious?”
Dara ignored his first question. “When I arrived, nothing seemed out of place. No signs of a struggle. There was nothing to indicate what was waiting for me.”
Chuck snickered. “No signs of a struggle, huh? And what gave you the experience to determine that?”
Before she could respond, the slight waitress placed a large basket of food in front of each of them. The sautéed onions from Chuck’s Philly cheese steak sandwich smelled so good, that Dara had to close her eyes to keep from gawking at his basket.
They sat in silence, each in deep concentration on where to take the next bite of their delicious sandwiches. The loud voice from outside made Dara look over her shoulder. She knew the voice well. “You might want to head out now, before things get out of control.”
Chuck wiped his mouth, balled his napkin and threw it into his empty basket. He pushed his chair back. “Yeah, I need to get back over there so I can see if there are any new developments.”
Dara grabbed her small handbag and walked out with the detective. Nikki stood inches from the slight officer’s face. “You need to let me in there. I’ve got pri-vate prop-er-ty in there and you can’t keep me from it!”
“Ma’am,” he blocked the door. “You need to calm down and back up a few feet.”
Nikki pointed the battered wooden baseball bat at the front door. “Somebody better let me in there or else I’m gonna let myself in!”
“Meet Nikki.” Dara smiled as she saw the look of fear come over his face. “Maybe you should interview her first.”
“Are all of the stylist as…colorful as her?”
“Look,” she lowered her voice. “I can help you. I know these women. If you go over there with your face squashed up, thinking you’re going to bulldoze them, you’ll have a fight on your hands and will leave empty-handed. If we work together and solve this case, you’ll be a hero and I’ll see justice prevailed.”
Chuck looked at Dara, then back to Nikki. He reached into his suit jacket for a business card. “Okay.” He handed her the card. “But the moment you think you can do my job better than me, you’re done.”