Dara was having a decent day. Her workload had been light, the weather was good, and she had enough in her bank account to buy a new car, if she chose to. She often worried about days that were smooth. In her universe, something always happened to balance things out. She shut down her computer, grabbed her bag and closed her office door.
The inside of her handbag buzzed. A wide smile crossed her lips. She hoped it was one of her friends calling to ask her where she wanted to go to dinner. Dara clicked open the phone. “Hello, this is Dara.”
“Dara, this is Detective Thomas. Would you be available to meet me for coffee at the Coffee House in about half an hour?”
The universe had done it again. The back of Dara’s head fell into the headrest. “Um…sure. That’ll be fine.”
The Coffee House was crowded, as usual. The smell of coffee beans, flavored syrups, and the overall atmosphere usually perked Dara up. But when she saw the detective already seated at a table in the back of the room, she knew this visit would be anything but pleasant.
“Hazelnut, right?” Chuck pushed the large cup toward her. “I hope I didn’t tear you away from anything.”
“It’s fine. Thank you for the coffee.” She adjusted herself in the seat. “Are you close to solving the case?”
He looked at her over his cup. “Funny you should ask. I have one more interview, and I’m sure I’ll have it locked down. But I need something from you.”
Dara immediately regretted offering her assistance.
“I’m following up on another lead. Very promising, in fact. But what I need from you,” he slid a key across the table. “Is to take a look around the salon. See if you see anything out of the ordinary. Be my fresh set of eyes.”
She was stunned. She was speechless. Did he really just give her the key to a crime scene and ask her to not only be a fresh set of eyes, but go in the salon alone? “I, uh…I don’t think that’s such a good idea. What if I get caught?”
He pushed the key closer to her. “You won’t. And when this case is closed, maybe I’ll take you out on a real date.”
Dara dropped the key in the small pocket of her handbag. “That won’t be necessary.”