Maverick walked over and kissed his wife on the cheek. “I’m sorry, sweetheart.”
“I know, you have to go into work for a little while,” Cleo said knowingly.
“Will you be all right?” he asked. “You’re not planning on having this baby without me, are you?”
“Absolutely not!” But if all else fails, I can always take Noah with me. I’m sure he’ll be a big help in the delivery room.”
“Oh, gross!” Noah said. “So not happening! You can take Hannah.”
His parents laughed. Maverick squeezed Cleo’s hand. “I promise I’ll be back just as quick as I can,” he told her. Placing his hands on her stomach, he leaned over. “You can just wait until I get home, do you hear me?”
Maverick changed clothes, drove to the office first to check on a few things, then headed to the Rattlesnake Bar in Oasis Springs.
Nancy and Malcolm were already sitting at a table when Maverick arrived. “Mrs. Landgraab, I appreciate the two of you meeting me like this,” he said as he sat down.
“Certainly, Detective Armstrong,” Nancy said. “I’m always happy to do anything I can to help the police.”
Maverick doubted that was true. “Why don’t I get us some drinks?” He stood up. “Malcolm, would you mind helping me carry them back?”
“Um, sure.” After taking Nancy’s order, the two of them went to the bar and requested the drinks. Maverick made small talk with Malcolm, who seemed bored.
Taking the drinks back to the table, Maverick was slightly annoyed when Malcolm took his chair, but remained quiet. He sat down. “I’m very glad to hear that you’re willing to help us, Mrs. Landgraab. I have a couple of pictures that I’d like to show you and your son. We hope that you can help us identify the people in them.”
“Are these people wanted for something? Did they kill someone?” Malcolm said eagerly.
Nancy glared at him. “Really, Malcolm, the loss of human life is nothing to get excited about.” She turned to Maverick. “We’ll be glad to take a look, Detective. I’m not sure how much help we can be, though.”
Malcolm pulled out his phone, pulled up the screen captures he had taken from the video, and handed the phone to Nancy. She looked at them, then at Maverick. “Is this a joke?”
“Am I laughing?”
Tossing the phone on the table, she took a drink before answering. “Very well, that is my son and I. What interest is that to you?”
“What were you two doing at the Strangerville Lab? That place is off-limits to everyone, especially civilians.”
“We were looking for…” Malcolm started to say before his mother cut him off.
Sighing, she took a deep breath. “We were just looking around. That’s all,” she told Maverick.
“Why?” he replied.
She shrugged. “Curiosity, I suppose.”
“A rather odd place to go to satisfy your curiosity, Mrs. Landgraab, especially in the middle of the night.”
“All you have is a trespassing charge, Detective Armstrong,” Nancy said, standing up. Malcolm downed his drink, noticed his mother hadn’t finished hers, and drank what was left. “I’ll be glad to pay whatever fine the courts deem appropriate.”
“I’m not done yet,” Maverick said.
“Then we can finish this discussion at my lawyer’s office.” When Maverick didn’t take her up on that, she smiled. “I thought not. I’m sorry we couldn’t be more help, Detective. If you’ll excuse us, we have things to do at home. Good day.”
Maverick watched them get in their Lexus and drive off. Nancy was wrong; she had been helpful. He knew they were looking for something…or was it someone?
Nancy made a call as they drove home. “We were just questioned by the police about our late night visit to the lab,” she told Andy. “Don’t worry, we didn’t say anything.”
“I need you to go back to the lab,” Andy said. “I want you to rescue the man in there. And I want it done quickly.”
“Who is this guy? Why is he so important?”
“Again, that is none of your business, Nancy. Get the job done. Failure is not an option.” He hung up.
Asshole, she thought. This guy must be pretty important if Andy wanted him so bad. Maybe she should have a chat with the man before she turned him over to Andy. Perhaps she could get some useful information to help get rid of the boss…and take over his position herself.
Andy better watch his back. Nancy is after it.
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