Tabula Rasa

Chapter 15

Tabula Rasa

Chapter Fifteen

By the time they finished eating and arrived at the club they had heard so much about, it was just after the club opened and surprising, at least to Wes, there was a line of adults, as well as a few of the college students, waiting outside the door to get in, which wrapped around the building. Wes and Travis walked up to the bouncers that stood at the doors and Wes tried to talk his way in as he showed them his badge, but it eventually took Travis giving one of them a one hundred dollar bill before they agreed to finally let them inside.

As they slowly walked in and took a look around, Wes quickly glared at Travis as he shouted in order to speak above the music, "I can't believe you wasted your money like that. They would have let us in."

Travis shouted back, "Maybe eventually, but I got us in much faster. Besides, it wasn't my money I just wasted. It was yours. I borrowed it from your wallet when you were being checked out by the doctor this morning."

"You mean you stole it," Wes responded. "Damn it, Travis!"

"What?" he asked in a mocking tone. "I expected I was going to be coming here on my own seeing as I had no idea you were going to be getting out a couple of hours after you were admitted. I certainly couldn't have afforded to do that, but you could."

Wes shouted again as he looked up toward the office above that overlooked the main room, "Just stay out of my wallet from now on. It looks like the guy, I'm assuming is the owner of this place, is having a pretty heated argument with someone, wouldn't you say?"

Travis looked up and saw that Wes was right as they could see that the owner was arguing with another man, who suddenly raised his hands in defeat, then stormed out of the office and walked over to sit at a table with a group of what appeared to be students, followed by the owner. Wes looked over at Travis, who nodded, then together they walked up the stairs that led to the upper level of the place and began to approach the table in order to talk to the men and hopefully the students as well.

As they walked up, Travis noticed that Wes was pretty disturbed by the behavior of the men and woman that both worked at this place and the ones that came to the club to be entertained by the people that worked here, so when they finally arrived at the table, he spoke up first saying, "You'll have to excuse our interruption tonight, gentlemen and ladies, but I'm afraid we need to talk to whichever one of you is Todd Reynard. I'm detective Marks with the LAPD and this here is my partner, Detective Mitchell. Would you mind if we talked in your office?"

"You can call me Jafar and this is my palace," Todd answered. "Welcome to…"

"Cute," Wes cut him off before he could finish his greeting as he showed them his badge. "You stole your name from a Disney movie. Does this mean you're our villain?"

Todd only smiled and chuckled at Wes' comment, then looked over at Travis and asked, "Is your partner always like this?"

Travis replied, "Unfortunately, yes, but sometimes he has a good reason to be. Please, can we go and speak in your office, so that we can talk in private and without having to shout?"

"Very well," Todd responded as he bent down and kissed the young woman he was sitting next to on the top of her head, then led the detectives to his office, where he had been arguing with the other adult there at that table moments ago. "That young woman is my daughter and a few of her friends. What can I do for you, Gentlemen? Is there anything wrong?"

"We're investigating a couple of deaths, whom we believe were friends with your daughter out there," Wes answered solemnly. "Or least we're assuming she was friends with one of them, as Jacqueline Levitt did work here."

Todd poured himself a drink from his own mini bar in the office as he replied, "I can't believe that poor girl is dead. When she didn't show up for work yesterday, I just assumed she had gotten herself a little too drunk after going home with one of our regular patrons. It has happened from time to time. Who is the other person who died?"

As Wes shifted uncomfortably from one leg to another, as he had refused to bring his crutches in with him, Travis responded, "A Ryan Conway. He was a student at UCLA and we believe that he had had a fling with Jacqueline until she dumped him to be with other men."

"Please, forgive my manners," the owner said to Wes as he noticed that he appeared to be in some kind of pain. "Please feel free to take a seat, Detective. Are you all right?"

"My partner's just a little sore as he had a little run in with a suspect earlier," Travis quickly answered for Wes to help out a little. "He'll be fine, thank you."

Wes nodded and then replied, "Yes, I'm fine, but I'd prefer to stand. Did you know Ryan?"

Todd responded, "I'm afraid not. I don't know all of my patrons that come here. As you can see, we're pretty popular."

"Yes, we can see that," Wes answered with disgust evident in his voice. "I'm not really a fan of this kind of atmosphere."

"I can tell," Todd replied. "And that's okay. Not everyone is, but there are plenty of people that are, which is great for me. I am sorry that I cannot be of more help to you, Gentlemen. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to my daughter and guests. Did you have any more questions for me?"

Travis was about to turn to go until he stopped when Wes quickly asked the man, "Do you know of anyone around here that have been distributing drugs to any of your patrons, including the college students that come here?"

Todd's attitude darkened as he responded, "I understand, Detective Mitchell, that you do not like my establishment and that is fine, but it does not give you the right to assume that I allow anything illegal into my club. It is well respected night club, which I am very proud of and I would never allow anything such as drugs to ruin it for me. Now, if you will kindly leave right now, or I will call for my security to help you out."

Wes and Travis left the office and then out of the club, but not before they noticed Tony an Anna walk up to the balcony and sit down beside Todd's daughter, followed soon by Todd, who only glared down at the detectives until they finally left. As they both made it outside, Wes turned and noticed that his partner was glaring at him as well.

"What?" Wes asked as if he had no idea why Travis was upset.

"Are you crazy?" Travis asked angrily. "Why would you just come right out and bluntly ask him if he was distributing drugs in there? Why didn't you just go ahead and ask him outright if he murdered Ryan and Jacqueline, then set up Jeremy to take the fall?"

Wes answered, "I was curious to know how he would react to the accusation. If he was innocent, he would have answered my question calmly and show a bit more surprise. Instead, he blew up and kicked us out. He wasn't surprised in the least that we suspected him of giving out drugs. Now we know for sure that he's hiding something big. He's involved in this somehow. We just need to find out what that is and then prove it."

Travis smiled as he replied, "I've got to hand it to you, Wes. You're not dumb, at least not always. Why aren't you using your crutches? You're clearly in pain."

"The crutches are only making the pain worse and I need to build the strength back up in my legs," Wes responded as he got back into the passenger's side of his own car.

"You're more afraid to show that you're not up to one hundred percent capacity in front of our suspects," Travis retorted as he sat down beside him in the driver's seat. "I know you."

Wes nodded and then answered, "Maybe. I know I said I'd take it easy, but it's my job to make sure you don't get yourself killed. Also, I can't afford to let the bad guys think they can get away by extorting my weakness."

Travis understood how Wes felt and then replied, "That's not going to happen. You're tougher than they are. Besides, you've got me to look after you too."

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