The doorbell rang at the exact moment Sara’s left thumb touched the inkpad. For a moment, her brain instinctively tried to make sense of the coincidence. She looked doubtfully at the detective.
He smiled back, but kept pressing her fingers one by one onto the squares on his paper. “Why not let the constable answer?”
“I guess.” Sara pushed back her hair with her unmarked hand. “It’s probably a neighbor wanting to know if I’m okay.” She watched the uniformed patrolman open her front door with latex-covered fingers. A tall man flipped a wallet at the constable and walked in like a conqueror. His eyes passed Sara as if she didn’t exist.
“Miss Martelli, let me introduce you to James Preston,” said the detective. “Our new electronics and telecommunications expert. James, Miss Martelli purchased the suitcase in question.”
James Preston took Sara’s hand in his long, tanned fingers, but she could tell his mind was on the battered beige case beside her. “You opened it?”
“And nothing went boom?”
Sara shook her head.
“Not even tick-tick-tick?”
Sara shook her head again.
“Well, there’s probably nothing there for me. But we’ll have a look all the same.”
Sara sighed at his lame attempt at humor. Sure, buying a Louis Vuitton Pegase 60 online was a bit ostentatious for someone on her salary, but it hardly warranted this much attention from the Fashion Police.
Opening: Jeb.....Continuation: Anon.