Capitol Offense
irritation that only total acquiescence or pizza from Mario’s could fix. “I am not going to let you make sixty-two points for playing one lousy tile!”
    “There just happened to be an opening on the triple-letter space. I got lucky.”
    “It might be the last time.”
    “You mean I can’t play
    She closed her eyelids. “No, you innocent waif. That is not what I mean.”
    Ben normally looked forward to these evenings when no one was in trial and they were both home at a decent hour and they could unwind with a round of the greatest of all board games. But Christina seemed uncommonly stressed tonight.
    “Something on your mind?”
    She flopped around and lay down in his lap. “As a matter of fact, yes. I’m concerned about that client you saw today. Dennis Whatever. The professor.”
    Ben stroked his two young cats, Mellisandro and Dellisandro, and they curled themselves against his foot. Their mother, Giselle, watched from her cushy bed in the corner. The cats loved Ben, followed him everywhere, mostly to the exclusion of all others. Christina patiently tolerated their unmitigated partisanship. “He was a little creepy.”
    “He was more than just creepy, Ben. He’s planning to kill someone!”
    “He never actually said that.”
    “He didn’t have to. It was obvious. That’s why he was there.”
    “He said he was there because he wondered hypothetically if I would be able to arrange a pardon. Because he was researching a book. A work of fiction.”
    She took his hand. “Ben, I don’t want to see you get in trouble over this. Especially not when you’re planning a reelection campaign. Maybe you should report it to the bar association.”
    “If he had said he was planning to commit a crime, I would agree. But unless and until he does that, prospective client interviews are protected by privilege. Even though I didn’t help him, I’m still bound not to reveal anything I was told.”
    “Unless he says he’s going to commit a crime.”
    “Which he did not. The test is whether I believe he’s planning to hurt someone. And I don’t.”
    “And that’s based on what? Your profound understanding of human nature? Give me a break, Ben. You’re clueless when it comes to people. You couldn’t psychoanalyze a Barbie doll.”
    She had a point. He wanted to argue and defend himself, but unfortunately, he could never win an argument with her, especially when she was right.
    “I know what you’re saying. I’ve been agonizing over this, too. I just don’t know what to do.”
    “You have to protect yourself.”
    “I have to protect the victim. If there is one.”
    “That’s another problem. You don’t even know who it is.” She raised her hand to the side of his cheek. “Well, sleep on it. Perhaps in the morning it will all be clear.”
    “Good idea.”
    “Sleepy yet?”
    “Not really.”
    She sat upright and smiled. “Good. Let’s go to bed.”
    And then he heard the Blue Danube waltz. His cell phone. This sort of untimely interruption seemed to happen more frequently these days. Or perhaps it just seemed that way because, being newlyweds, something else was happening more frequently …
    He flipped open his phone. “Yes?”
    “Boss? Jones. Having a good evening?”
    “Still wringing your hands over whether to report that guy who might be planning to kill a cop?”
    “Pretty much.”
    “Well, you can stop.”
    “Can I now? Why is that?”
    There was a brief static-filled pause before Jones continued. “Because he just did it.”

    After Ben showed his ID, the uniform at the door allowed him to pass beyond the crime scene tape. The room at the Marriott Southern Hills was a spacious suite, but it didn’t take him any time at all to determine where the action was. Crime scene techs scrambled all over the site where the body was found. Videographers recorded everything. Two outlines had been drawn on the carpeted floor.
    Major Mike Morelli stared at

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