The following is another excerpt from my work in progress, The Throuple Private Eye—Business is Booming, a Jen McDowell Series. This is the second draft. I’m at 49k words now. If you want to catch up, order the novella The Throuple Private Eye—Hate Crimes, on Amazon ($2.99). The link is https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084LTTHGN. Enjoy.
CHAPTER 12 (Cont.)
Molly picked up a stack of paper from the printer. “Ken and Kiera were together in Tampa in May. I scrolled through Kiera’s social media pages and she posted several pictures of herself in Tampa. She even wrote how beautiful it was. However, she didn’t mention Ken. Marty found out that Ken was there at the same time.”
Marty took the cue. “Affirmative. I checked the AFE website…”
“AFE?” Jen interrupted to ask.
“Sorry,” Marty said. “The Association for Facility Engineering. Their annual conference was held in Tampa at the same time. That’s when Ken got certified as a Facility Engineer. AFE posted a list and even a picture of all the candidates. Ken was in the picture.”
“They were smart enough not to stay at a hotel near the convention center,” Molly added. “but what are the odds. You know they slept together.”
“We’ll still need proof,” Jen added.
“I know,” Molly replied. “I already talked to Jonah. He said the case is still open and if they hooked up in Florida, that could be proof of motive. That’s all he needs to get a warrant to pull Kiera’s credit card history and telephone records. He called the hotel and confirmed that Kiera stayed there. He can get video confirmation. Ken had a room at the hotel by the convention center, but odds are he never slept there. We got her, Jen. I was right–the bitch lied to us. She never ended the affair with Ken.”
“Wow,” Jen exclaimed. “Now what?”
“I don’t know,” Molly answered. “I guess we wait for confirmation from Jonah. What did you find out about the mysterious Mr. Richard or Richardson?”
“I think his real name is Richardson,” Jen answered. “He has a family in the suburbs, a wife and two kids. He also engaged to a Asian woman.”
“What the fuck?” Molly said then glanced at Marty who scowled back. “That cheating bastard. What about Biyu?”
“No sign of her yet,” Jen replied. “No sign of her, but his fiancé isn’t Biyu. It appears he spends the week with his real family and the weekends with his new girlfriend. And get this… He met her through an agency that connects American men with Asian brides. I think that’s how he met Biyu.”
“Now what?” Marty asked.
“I plan to pay a visit with Mrs. Richardson,” Jen answered, “and the new girlfriend.” Just then a timer on Molly’s desk went off. “What’s that for?” Jen asked.
Molly jumped up. “I have brownies in the oven. Time to take them out.”
“You baked brownies?” Jen said, surprised. She had never known Molly to bake anything. A quick look from Molly told her not to question it. She glanced at Marty.
“I like brownies,” he said.
After Molly dashed out of the room. Jen walked over to Marty who stood up smiling. “Listen, Marty, Molly is my best friend in the whole world.” She poked Marty in the chest. “If you hurt her, I. Will. Shoot. You. In. Your. Good. Leg… Understand?”
The smile left Marty’s face. “Roger that,” he replied. “I would never hurt Molly. We just met. We’ve been dating for what” …One week? She told me what she has been through. I would never cause her any pain.”
“Just see that you don’t.”
“Don’t what?” Molly asked as she walked into the room with a plate of brownies still warm from the oven.
Jen turned around, “We’re just talking.” Jen had never seen this side of Molly. Of course, they never double dated or were around other guys except for Jen’s boys. Jen figured that that Molly was definitely flirting and wooing Marty. She had never seen Molly bake anything much less offer to bake. Jen decided that the less she said the better or she’d have to answer to Molly later. Jen had to admit that the brownies were good, and Marty scarfed down half the plate.
The next day Molly told Jen she had an idea on how to trick Kiera into confessing that her affair with Ken never ended. She showed Jen a photograph. It was of a clear plastic evidence bag. Inside the bag was a red thong and bra.
“Is this for real?” Jen asked. “That thong and panties sorta looked like mine.”
Molly laughed “I was pressed for time. I’ll buy you a new pair. I stole the evidence bag from Jonah.”
Jen laughed. “Remind me to lock my bedroom door. So, how do you see this going down?”
“I’ll show this picture to Kiera and say that a contact in homicide took then picture and gave it to me. I’ll ask if they’re hers. If she says yes, I’ll know she’s lying; trying to cover for Ken. I’m hoping she’ll confess to continuing the affair with Ken.”
“And if she says they aren’t hers?” Jen asked.
“Then I guess she’s telling the truth. I set up a meeting with her for this afternoon. Can you stick around as a witness?”
“Will you tell her you know that she hooked up with Ken in Tampa?”
“I’m not sure how to handle that. Let’s see what happens this afternoon.”
Jen agreed to hang around. When Kiera arrived, Molly showed her the photograph. “I asked a friend in homicide if there was any unusual evidence that indicated Ken was having an affair. He gave me this. It’s picture of a thong and bra. Are they yours?”
Kiera looked at the picture and turned it around a couple of times. “It’s hard to tell, but they’re not mine. Not my color.” Kiera showed little emotion.
Molly had hoped for a confession. “Are you sure?”
“Of course,” Kiera answered. “I told you Ken might being having an affair. He’s quite the playboy.”