Lilly climbed into the passenger seat and looked out the window. I drove us to Main Street Coffeehouse and went inside.
“I need two of your largest coffees.”
After the barista checked me out and handed me the coffees, I added cream and sugar and walked out to the car.
Lilly rolled down the window, and I handed her a cup. She blew on the hot liquid and took a sip.
“So, what do you think?”
I took a sip of mine and licked my lips. The air was humid and sweat trickled off my neck onto the collar of my t-shirt.
“The country club proves my theory that mankind is a lost cause. No one cares we’re headed into another recession, just so long as their prick is driving the bus.”
“Jesus,” Lilly said, “you’re in full-blown crisis mode, Konan. You’re faithless.”
We sipped our coffee and watched people walk in and out of shops. Kids played in the water park down the road, their shouts of glee filled the air. It was nice to hear their shouts instead of the racial strife that had torn our town apart six months ago.
“Yeah, well you can only do this job for so long and hold onto the faith that things will get better.”
The truth was I had given up a long time ago. My transfer from the 112th to the 117th had seemed like divine favor. Now, I wasn’t so sure.
My silver lining was I had met Lilly. We had our ups and downs like everyone else, but at the end of the day, she was my bright spot in an otherwise chaotic world.
Lilly must have known I was deep in thought because she tapped the door and said, “let’s go talk to the board members.”
Every business that had board members worked out of the Fredericks Building. The country club’s members operated from the top floor. The front door opened into an expansive foyer, large desks lined the walls, a representative from each company waited to serve their customers or merchants.
A wide hall led to the back of the building. Elevators waited on each side of the hallway. Lilly and I walked into the foyer. Fredericksburg Hunting and Country Club’s representative sat at a desk on the left side of the hall entrance. A large potted plant sat on each side of the desk.
Lilly walked up and flashed her badge to the woman sitting behind the desk. She put her hand up to Lilly and spoke into her headset.
“Yeah, I guess we can go to Sparky’s for lunch. I’m so tired of the same thing for dinner.”
She looked up at Lilly and put one finger up. Lilly cleared her throat and leaned toward her.
“Yeah, I know it’s close. Still…look, I have to call you back…there are cops here….okay, bye.”
The woman flipped her blonde hair from her eyes and raised her eyebrows at Lilly.
“Can I help you?”
I could see the veins in Lilly’s neck throb, and I stepped up to the counter.
“This is my partner Lilly Thompson, and I am Detective Thermopolis Konan. We’re here to speak to the board members.”
“Do you have an appointment?”
“No. I do have a dead Trinity member, and you are going to buzz us in.”
“Go to the top floor via the elevator. The receptionist sits at the end of the hallway. She will guide you from there.”
Lilly and I walked to an elevator and pressed the button. The doors opened almost immediately.
“The word could use less rude people in it,” Lilly said, as she punched the button for the top floor.
“She might have been busy.”
“Nah, she had the emotional range of a dead fish. She’s probably like that all the time.”
Lilly snorted and poked me in the ribs. “Faithless,” she said. The doors opened and we walked out into the hallway. The receptionist looked up and gave us a warm smile.
“Hello,” she greeted us. “How may I help you today?”
“Dead fish or no, her directions are on point,” Lilly whispered.
“How could she get it wrong,” I whispered back as we walked toward the receptionist. “If she was any closer to the lift, she’d sit in it.”
I nodded at the receptionist and said, “I’m Detective Konan, this is my partner Detective Thompson, we’re here to speak to the board members.”
“Of course. Sue called. The board members are waiting for you. If you will both, please follow me?”
“Sure,” I said, “I’d follow you anywhere.”
Lilly rolled her eyes, and I laughed. The arrogance of the country club was nothing compared to what waited in the conference room.
Faithless or not, I hoped to prove that feeling wrong. The secretary opened the door and gestured for us to go in. I gave her a nod and crossed the threshold.
Someone had some explaining to do.