Thursday, 11 February 2021

Case 2 - Episode 23 - Felicity drops in on Harry

 Harry ordered in.  Felicity was coming and he knew she liked either pizza or Chinese.  They had Chinese the last time, and she had made him feel bad when she displayed her dexterity with chopsticks, so this time it would be pizza.

He had made the acquaintance of the pizzeria owner just up the road very early on, mainly because he had a passion for authentic Italian pizzas, like those he had eaten on one of several holidays his mother had taken him and his brothers on.

The owner was Italian, and his pizzas were almost authentic.

He was musing on the idea of going back to Italy, and if she would go with him, he’d take Felicity.  She had yet to experience the charms of Italy herself, and there was a relative who lived in the heart of Tuscany who had recently issued an invitation.

After this case.

The front door rattled as Felicity closed it and flipped the lock.  There would be no more leaving the door open or unlocked in the wake of his previous experience.

Felicity had the pizza boxes in her hand.  “The delivery boy was outside the door when I got there.  These the famous Italian specials?”

“Salami, Cabanossi, pepperoni, mozzarella, chili, peppers, olives, and I forget the rest.  You’ll love it.”

The aroma had followed her into the room.  She dropped the boxes on his desk and pulled up a chair.  A plastic carry bag she had put beside the desk on the floor had a six-pack of Peroni beer, and she took two out and handed him one/

“Italian beer, we’re going all out,” he said, taking the bottle opener out of the top drawer and passing to her.”

“If we do this, we have to set the mood.”

“Wouldn’t we need a full moon?  You know, the moon in the sky is like a big pizza pie, etcetera, etcetera.”

“Is this your version of a romantic night in?”

“It could be.”  Harry hadn’t quite thought of it that way, but it was a possibility.

In fact, he hadn’t been thinking of her in a romantic sense because he was not quite sure what her feelings were on the subject.  It was not something they’d discussed lately.

She lifted the lid on both boxes and took in the aroma.  Having not eaten for hours, her stomach was rumbling.

They ate.

It was not a dish that could foster dialog while eating, and both wanted to get a few slices down before it got cold.  Not that there was anything wrong with cold pizza, it was just he preferred it hot.

Then, when one bottle of beer was gone, and another appeared on the table, it was time to talk.

“I got your cryptic message.  Evidently, my mother is a flirt?”

“She’s more than that with Florenz.  In my research, I found a picture of them together, back in University days, and they were a hot item.  I might be misreading the signs, but they still are.  Perhaps he bumped your father off.”

“I don’t believe I’m saying this, but I don’t think he would.  He’s never been a match for my mother, he just does as he’s told, so she’d just screw Florenz and forget to tell him.”

“If he found out?”

“I doubt they’d break up the gold foursome, though I could imagine some crackling conversations on the golf course.”

“You don’t sound surprised your mother is having an affair.”

“I doubt it’s one.  But no.  She’s rich, smart, and more sophisticated than he is.  I always believed she married him because he got her pregnant and was probably honorable once.  I don’t think we should discuss this in from of Corinne.”

“No.  I’m going to visit her again in the next day or so, and make sure she’s safe.”  She didn’t mention the boy who was tailing her, or that she had discussed it with Sykes.  “I just visited a lowlife Willy Blines brother of equally lowlife Theo, the guy I shot.  Seems they’re still mixed up with that plot at the docks.  At the moment the plot is the least of our problems.  How are you going with the missing father?”

“Slowly.  I’m going home to do some snooping, a task that can only be performed when my mother is not there.  But if she turns up later, I will ask her about Florenz.”

“Be careful with that.”

“I will.  I do know how to conduct interrogations.”

“She’s your mother, Harry.  Interrogation indeed.”

Yes, he thought, the thought of interrogating his mother was a little daunting, that was if he got her co-operation.

A change of subject, after another slice.  It was, she thought, excellent pizza, but, then, she had been starving.  “What do you know about Shawville and Argeter?”

“They are familiar names.  Dad’s golf partners, the other two of the four, with Florenz.  WE need to talk to them too, I guess.”

“I’ll find out who they are and where they are.  Now, no more work talk.  Let’s finish the pizza, have some more beer, and talk about where you’re going to take me for our anniversary?”

Anniversary?  What anniversary?  Like most men he hadn’t kept track of women might consider important dates, like when they first me, when they started working together, anything really.  It was the casual nature of their relationship.  Best to act as if he knew what she was talking about.  “Of course.”


© Charles Heath 2020-2021

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