This week’s words are: ban, cane, angle, firm, mind
“Sorry to bother you,” the receptionist said, sticking her head into his office, “but there’s someone here to see you.”
Carter looked up from the set of blueprints spread out on his drafting table and frowned. He didn’t have any meetings scheduled for that morning, so he had no idea who might be waiting for him. While he didn’t mind the occasional drop-in visit, he really wished people would learn to call and at least let him know they were on their way.
“Who is it, Tara?”
Frowning, she glanced over her shoulder in the direction where her desk was. “A police officer,” she finally said, giving Carter a worried look. “He’s a detective, actually.”
“Did he give you his name?” Carter picked up his scale – a type of architectural ruler – and fiddled with it aimlessly. He knew a couple of detectives, but they were both in homicide. Neither would have any reason to come visit him unless something awful had happened.
“He gave me his card,” she said, extending her hand and holding it out for Carter. A smile lit her face. “He’s adorable, too.”
Carter felt his heart lodge in his throat. It was almost too much to hope but hope he did. Taking a deep breath, he glanced at the card. It read: Andrej Zeklos, Homicide and Carter grinned. “Send him in, he’s a friend of sorts.”
“You’ve got it,” she said, returning to her desk.
“Andrej,” he said, unable to hide the joy that came from seeing the detective again. “It’s been too long.”
“Indeed,” Andrej said, accepting the hand that Carter offered. “Your new office is very nice. I am happy to see you found a new job after what happened with your last one.”
“What a mess,” Carter said, frowning. “One particular firm lobbied to get my license revoked and ban me from working in the state again, but thankfully the police were able to prove I had nothing to do with the shady stuff my previous boss was involved in. I’m not sure what I would have done if I couldn’t continue to do what I love.”
“I can understand that,” Andrej said. He’d been in law enforcement for so long, he wasn’t positive he could do something else, even if he wanted to try.
“Where’s your partner,” Carter asked. “Isn’t he glued to your hip most days?”
The teasing sparkle in Carter’s eyes told Andrej that he knew, or at least suspected, that he and Zayne were dating. How he had that information, however, was a mystery. “Most days, yes,” Andrej said. “He stays close in case there is a promise of food.”
“Sounds like the Zayne I know,” Carter said. Remembering his manners, he pulled out a chair and motioned for Andrej to sit. “So, what can I do for you,” he asked once Andrej was settled.
“Zayne and I need some help with a case,” he started. His eyes were drawn to the set of plans on Carter’s desk. It looked like an office floor plan to his uneducated eyes, all crisp angles and bold strokes defining what would eventually be someone’s workplace. It impressed him how someone could take those lines and turn them into a physical presence.
Carter folded his hands together on top of his desk. “Not sure how I can help you.”
“We are trying to acquire the blueprints for a building where our victim was found. The building department is being difficult and is saying we need authorization from the original architect to view them.” He smiled at Carter. “You are the architect of record for the project.”
“Ah,” Carter said, rising to his feet. “Understood. I’m guessing you have the address for me?”
“I do,” Andrej confirmed. He held out a piece of paper with all the information needed. “Can you give us the authorization so we can obtain the blueprints from the building department?”
“I can do you one better,” he said. “I can print you a set to take with you now. Let me find them on my computer first.”
While Carter found the building on his project list, Andrej looked around the office again, taking it all in. Wide, open windows that let in as much natural light as possible surrounded them. A high ceiling and light-colored paint on the wall rounded out the friendly feeling space. If police stations were built like this, they’d probably be a lot more productive.
“Your brain is whirling,” Carter laughed. “I can hear it.”
Andrej shook his head. “I was just thinking that if my office looked like this, I would get a lot more accomplished during the day than I do.”
“Or you’d be too distracted by the outdoors.”
“My office is in the middle of downtown,” Andrej reminded him. “There is not much worth my attention down there.”
“Good point,” Carter agreed. “Okay, I’ve sent the drawings to the plotter and it’ll take a few minutes for them to print. So, tell me what’s been happening since we last talked. Please tell me that some old lady hasn’t whacked Zayne with a cane yet.”
“Not yet, no,” Andrej said. “Although I believe it is only a matter of time before it happens.”
“I wouldn’t be surprised, to be honest,” Carter chuckled.
“Carter?” A young, redheaded kid poked his head into the office. “Are these yours?” He held up a neatly wrapped set of drawings, secured by rubber bands on each end of the roll.
“Yes, thank you,” he said. Getting up, he took the prints from the intern and held them out. “Here you are, Detective. Anything else you need from me today?”
Andrej shook his head. “No, but I do really appreciate you doing this for me.”
“Anything to keep you from having to hit up the building department again. That’s a stress you don’t need.”
“I owe you dinner for this,” Andrej said, holding the plans up for emphasis.
“And what would your partner say about that?”
“Likely something inappropriate and embarrassing,” Andrej confessed. “However, he gives me a lot of leeway if there is food involved.”
“Why am I not surprised?” He waved Andrej out the door. “Just catch the murderer and we can call it even.”
“I can do that,” Andrej promised. “It was why I came after all.”
He watched the detective leave the building, heading for his car, and hoping he could keep his promise.