Saturday 6 October 2012
For all of William Fairmont’s hysteria, Detective Sue Lennard was wary of the man. It bothered her that Fairmont had appeared unperturbed when informed of his wife’s stalker, but here he was, practically hysterical after having received a text message possibly from the same stalker.
‘I know overcompensation when I see it, Ricketsen.’
The lapping of the water against the side of the pool calmed Lennard, allowing her to think more clearly.
‘Andy, I’d put money on the husband being involved in all of this. I just don’t quite know how,’ she spoke in hushed tones as she had when talking with Missy.
‘You thinking he might have set this up? Hired some guy to terrorise his wife, and clean up anything or anyone who might be able to expose him?’
Lennard nodded. ‘It’s a start,’ she replied.
‘What makes you think he’s up to something?’
Lennard turned her back to the pool and faced the Fairmont home. She examined each window for movement; she was sure Fairmont was watching them. Catching a glimpse of a minute sway of the vertical blinds in what she guessed to be his home office, Lennard turned back around fearing that Fairmont might be able to lip-read her words.
‘It’s nothing based on anything tangible, the man just gives me the creeps. Straight up. Now, I don’t know if he’s hiding something to do with his company, maybe he’s embezzled a little money here and there, or if it’s personal and he’s screwing his secretary, I just don’t know.’
‘Okay,’ Ricketsen said, ‘why don’t you tell me what you do know?’
‘I know he’s watching us from his office window. Be casual about it, Andy. Don’t drawn attention.’
Ricketsen stretched his arms above his head, making out that it was only a simple stretch. As he did so, Andy rotated at hips, first to the left and towards the house, then to the right. He repeated the manoeuvrer five or six times, each time stealing a glance at the first floor windows.
‘Yep, you’d be right about that,’ he agreed. ‘What else have you got?’
‘Missy confirmed that he’s been acting a little out of character of late. She couldn’t put her finger on anything in particular, but she said something’s not right. They’ve also been having difficulties in the marriage. Arguments where they’d never had them before. The whole arriving home early scenario, I don’t buy it. The guy crapped his pants when we burst in.’
‘Yeah,’ Ricketsen jumped in, ‘but that’s understandable. It’s not like he was expecting the police to come bursting through the door. You’d crap yourself too.’
‘Not like him, Andy. The look on his face when Seaborn was talking to him, it went from being terrified to being pissed off, and he rounded that off with that look that perps get when they realise they almost got caught doing something they shouldn’t have been doing.’
They stood in silence by the pool, each pondering Lennard’s thoughts. It was Ricketsen who broke the silence first.
‘Say you’re right, and he’s in this up to his eyeballs . . . she’s not safe here with him. Look at it. If he has the guy attack her while the good ol’ husband is present and accounted for, hello alibi. I think we need to move her to a safe house, but don’t give him the right place. Set him up.’
‘I like it. If only Fairmont and us know the fake address, we can get him red-handed. I’ll talk with Hunt and set it up. Ricketsen, I’ll make a detective out of you by the end of this case.’
. . . To be continued . . .