Perhaps too well. What has Mahoney been telling her about me? Andy wondered.
‘I’m glad we won’t be seeing ourselves on the news tonight.’ Mahoney let out a good-natured laugh and pretended to fluff her red curls. ‘I wasn’t looking my best.’
Now Jimmy laughed, and Makedde too. Mahoney was a good icebreaker.
‘That could have been awkward,’ Mak said.
Andy had not told anyone he had been at the airport, and he wasn’t planning to spill the beans now.
‘ Skata! Those dickheads shouldn’t have known when you were coming in,’ Andy’s long-time police partner, Jimmy, added with his usual candour. He was built like a teddy bear, fur included, and he had a certain unrefined charm that endeared him to Andy, though not always to everyone else. ‘Oh, sorry,’ he said, looking at the ladies at the table. ‘Pardon my colourful language.’
‘ Scheisse, merde, mierda, skata, crap. It’s the same substance, no matter where you come from,’ Mak responded, not missing a beat.
Jimmy smiled broadly, clearly impressed that the girl could curse in German, French, Spanish and his native Greek. Gerry, on the other hand, seemed horrified, his fantasy probably shattered. ‘Yes, we should try to keep you as inaccessible to the media as possible,’ he said, at least seeming in control of his English. ‘There is a lot of public interest in the trial.’
When the waiter came over, Mak ordered a bourbon and coke, which made Andy smile and left the rest of the table speechless for a moment. The next twenty minutes consisted of mostly small talk, the alcohol providing the necessary social lubrication. They continued at the hotel restaurant—no one had wanted the responsibility of recommending a place—and surprisingly little was said about the trial. After all, Mak would have a full formal briefing with the prosecutor, William Bartel, QC, the following morning, and there had been nomajor changes in the way the case would be presented. ‘The prosecution has watertight forensic evidence and a cogent argument that Ed Brown is indeed the “Stiletto Murderer”—the man responsible for the death of all nine victims, and the same man who attacked you, Makedde,’ Gerry had said with his usual formality. He was a smart kid when all his blood wasn’t feeding the wrong part of his anatomy, though he was definitely a little awkward with personal relations. He’d even reeled off the names of the victims in correct chronological order—including Cassandra Flynn.
Luckily, Andy had been dulled enough by the bourbon and cokes that he had been ordering, one after another on par with Makedde, that he didn’t even wince when Gerry mentioned his late ex-wife. His partner, Jimmy, had given Andy a sideways glance to see if he was alright, and then wisely changed the subject.
Yes, there were many aspects to this case that Andy would rather just finish with and forget about. Many aspects of his life, actually.
Come to think of it, this case had practically become his life.
It was past eleven when Andy found himself face to face with Makedde in the hotel lobby, the rest of the group preparing to disperse after dinner.
‘I think Gerry’s in love with you,’ he said, smiling at her and wishing she would smile back.
Makedde didn’t laugh. Her arms were folded and her mouth was held tight. It devastated Andy to see just how unresponsive she was. If he didn’t know better he would think that he was a complete stranger to her.
‘Really,’ she finally replied, incredulous and seeming somewhat less tipsy than he was. ‘I see AA did you a lot of good.’
Oh, right to the bone every time.
‘The odd social drink, nothing more,’ he snapped. ‘You’re no teetotaller yourself.’
‘Not exactly. That’s true.’
Makedde looked past him to the others leaving the hotel. Jimmy was on his way home to his wife, Angie, and the kids. He waved goodbye, glaring in Andy’s direction before walking out the glass door. Don’t you do
Gay Hendricks, Kathlyn Hendricks