Both Sykes and Felicity waited by the elevator door watching the progress of the lift coming down to street level until they heard the ding forewarning the arrival of the elevator car.
The doors opened and Willy was standing back leaving room for them to join him
"Detective Sykes is it now?" Willy said as the doors closed.
There was a slight lurch before the elevator started its upward journey. Felicity thought it was straining considering the combined weight of her two traveling companions. Sykes could afford to lose 20 or 30 pounds before he had a heart attack, and the other man, Willy, well he was past the point of no return.
The car stopped at the fourth floor and they all got out. Willy headed for the bar at the other end of the room, while the other two follow more slowly, looking in the rooms they passed, till they came out into a large dining/living space.
She had expected an office but instead, it was a newly renovated apartment.
Sykes stopped not far from Willy, who had turned to look in his direction. "Drink?"
Sykes surveyed the array of bottles on the countertop, just about every type of alcohol there was, he thought, and, for a moment considered asking for a gin and tonic.
He was working, so no. He shook his head to indicate he didn't.
Willy swiveled to look in Felicity’s direction, on the opposite side of the room, beside a large, rather gloomy-looking painting of the Brooklyn Bridge almost lost in the fog.
It was an odd depiction of such a famous landmark.
Willy shrugged. "Suit yourselves." He turned back to the counter, and poured himself a generous serve of Scotch whiskey, then went to the refrigerator and loaded over from the door ice maker.
Satisfied his drink was right, he turned to face them. "Now what can I do for you, Detective?"
"Did Ned call you? I was there earlier it would be a shock if he didn't."
"No point saying, he didn't. But he's not doing anything wrong, Detective.'
"Who is employing him as a security guard and why?"
Willy took a sip of his drink and winced, perhaps the raw liquid not as smooth as he thought it would be. He turned back to the ice maker and this time added some cold water before turning his attention back to Sykes.
"I am. You know as well as I and a lot of others how unsafe it is down there. He's more or less doing the public service."
"Unsafe is right, Willy. Theo is a testament to that. Who would want to kill him?"
Willy's eyes strayed from Sykes to Felicity, then back to Sykes. "I heard it was a girl who done for him."
He nodded in Felicity's direction. "Wouldn't be her would it?"
"She didn't kill him, no, but if your brother had not startled her, it might have saved himself the indignity of getting a harmless flesh wound. Self-defence, against someone like Theo, is not a crime Willy. No, your brother was killed by a professional hitman, three to the heart one to the head. So the question remains, who did Theo insult so bad they wanted to make a point."
Sykes pulled an envelope out of his inside coat pocket, took it to the bench, and pushed it across towards Willy.
"Just in case you think that I'm lying, that's the medical examiner’s report on Theo's death. It means that if you are going after this young lady," Sykes nodded in her direction, "or any other woman you might think is connected, then I suggest you don't."
Willy glanced at the envelope, then Felicity, then back Sykes. "Why should I believe you?"
"Simply this. If you want to make trouble, that's fine, if you do then I'll come after you, and the first item on my agenda will be that so-called vacant block of dockland. I'll have it searched from top to bottom, on the ground and under it, and I'll make sure the media makes it very clear you're the reason we're doing it. I imagine that won't make your employer happy."
Willy's expression told Sykes all he needed to know.
© Charles Heath 2020-2021
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