Sunday 9 – Monday 10 February 2014
The phone call between Harper Cahill and the mysterious Adelaide Danvers had lasted only a few minutes, but Harper had already established that she quite liked the woman. Having arranged a face-to-face meeting, she was fifteen minutes early. Danvers’ outer office was pleasant enough, with comfortable chairs, a polite receptionist, a self-serve coffee machine, and fresh pastries delivered just as Harper had arrived. She made a latté, and helped herself to an apricot danish while she waited for Danvers’ first meeting to conclude.
There were many questions that she had for the woman, but foremost, Harper wanted to know why Henry the behemoth, henchman-cum-minder to Robert Carter, had given her Danvers’ business card. Harper’s timing was perfect today. Just as she swallowed the last of the danish, the door to Danvers’ office opened, and two stunning women exited. She diverted her attention from the women, not wanting to be seen as eavesdropping on the end of their conversation, or awkwardly ogling their model good looks. Harper suddenly felt self-conscious, and cursed herself for not wearing clothing that was more professional. Her faded and torn blue jeans, classic black Doc Marten boots, white t-shirt, and black blazer didn’t exactly scream professional and employed.
Harper watched as the shorter of the women left the outer office, showing off her perfect teeth as she flashed the receptionist a goodbye smile.
‘Impressive, isn’t she?’
Harper’s attention quickly moved to the taller woman, who she assumed was Adelaide Danvers.
‘That’s one way of describing her, I suppose,’ Harper replied.
‘Of course, she’s had a lot of work done.’
‘Right . . . really?’
Danvers raised her eyebrows, and smiled as though it was a trusted secret that she had just let out. She offered Harper her right hand.
‘Adelaide Danvers,’ she introduced herself. ‘And you’re Harper Cahill?’
‘Yeah,’ Harper shook Danvers’ hand as she spoke. ‘Thank you for seeing me at such short notice.’
‘That’s not a problem. Come on through.’
Harper dropped the empty latté cup into the bin by the receptionist’s desk as she walked into Danvers’ office.
‘Have a seat,’ Danvers said as she confidently strolled around her desk, and sat down. Harper followed the woman’s lead. ‘Now, what can I do for you?’
Harper pulled out the business card that Henry the behemoth had slipped her as he’d escorted her from Robert Carter’s building. She slid it across the desk to Danvers.
‘I was given this, rather clandestinely, by a guy who works for Robert Carter.’
‘Ah, that would be Henry,’ Danvers replied.
‘Yeah. He gave it to me as he was shoving me out of the building.’
Danvers pushed the card back to Harper, who returned it to the back pocket of her jeans.
‘Again, what can I do for you?’
‘I’m not sure why he gave me your card, but I was trying to get Robert Carter to confess to his crimes, shall we say. I’m really not sure how you can help me.’
Adelaide Danvers studied Harper’s face for just a moment too long, making Harper feel awkward and uncomfortable. Danvers was a woman who exuded power and confidence without seemingly trying to appear that way. Judging by the office and its décor, Harper thought that maybe the woman was an attorney.
‘Why don’t you tell me what you know about Robert Carter as a start? Then perhaps I can fill you in on what we do here.’
Harper smiled. Finally, someone was willing to listen to her concerns and theories about Robert Carter, and business empire that spanned a multitude of countries.
. . . To be continued . . .