“That wraps up this case,” Cliff said.
“I wish we could continue to hunt for this criminal,” Ivory said.
“With what? We have no trace of where he went. At this point, we have very little we can do. Red flags in the diamond industry are the next step. If the criminal tries to unload the merchandise, we should get alerts. But that is for another division, and we need to move on. Don’t worry, Ivory, he will mess up and he will be caught, it just won’t be us doing the catching, and it won’t be soon,” Cliff said.
“I can’t believe he got away with it.”
“It is never just one person; I am sure he had accomplices.”
“What if it was just one guy?”
“Then it will be much, much harder to get him.”
Cliff and Ivory had just stood up from their cubicles, where they were finishing up with all the red tape, when Brent saw Leo. Brent was in his glass-enclosed supervisor’s office, but he immediately walked over to Cliff and Ivory.
“Fuck me,” Brent uttered.
“What’s up, boss?” Cliff asked.
“It’s Leo Stephens. The insurance investigator, former cop, and former partner,” Brent said.
Brent sat down next to his assistants, away from his office and in essence hiding out until Leo found him.
“And you hate him because…?” Ivory asked.
“He just thinks he knows it all,” Brent said.
“We need to help him on the flying diamonds?” Ivory asked again.
“Yep. He’s the go-to guy for the insurance companies. What a hassle,” Brent said.
“Why?” Ivory asked again, now getting looks from Cliff and Brent.
“Whenever there is an unsolved case, the insurance companies have to pay up. So Leo, he tries to show us what we did wrong,” Brent said.
“And this guy is difficult?” Cliff asked.
“To say the least,” Brent said.
Leo Stephens walked down the corridor, dressed in an impeccable black suit with a matching thin black tie and a super-clean pressed white shirt. He looked more like a Secret Service agent than an insurance investigator, and a very well-tailored agent at that. His shoes were black leather, Bostonian style and Italian made. His tie, if one looked closely enough, was embossed with a stylized jaguar silhouette, followed by an identical but upside-down jaguar silhouette, in shiny black and shinier black. It was a Hermès tie worth over one hundred dollars. The suit was handmade to his exact size. He walked with his chin up and with purpose, looking as cocky as a human possibly can. He was a six-foot-three-inch, forty-year-old white male with shiny black hair and deep blue eyes. Ivory looked up and her mouth opened slightly. She felt like she was watching the pages of a magazine in three dimensions.
“Brent! There you are,” Leo said.
“Oh. Hi, Leo,” Brent said.
“I need everything on the Quayles Jewels case,” Leo ordered.
“It’s not ready,” Brent said.
“But we just…” Ivory trailed off, noticing that Brent was glaring furiously at her.
“Maybe we will have it by the end of the day,” Cliff said, saving Ivory.
“I hope you are not stalling me, Brent. I need to get this guy fast,” Leo said.
“That is very ambitious, considering…” Ivory paused.
“Considering? And who, pray tell, is this beautiful lady?” Leo said, half-mocking, half-serious.
“Detective Ivory Godwit.” Ivory stood up.
“Well, Ms. Godwit, I do need a copy of all the files you have on this perp. Everything,” Leo said, looking her in the eye.
“Ivory, Leo here was my partner back in the day. But he went private,” Brent said.
“Really, why?” Ivory asked.
“The short answer? Money,” Leo replied.
“And the long answer?” Ivory asked.
“I enjoy catching my prey. I have more resources, and the insurance companies never forget,” Leo said.
“I’ll have your file later today, Leo,” Brent reiterated.
“How about lunch?” Leo said to Ivory, ignoring Brent.
“I’m afraid I can’t. I am still writing my report on the flying diamonds,” Ivory said.
“The flying diamonds, huh. That is what you are calling it?” Leo asked.
“That is what happened,” Ivory said, blushing a little from his attention.
Brent and Cliff looked at each other and sat down again. Evidently Ivory had charmed Leo, and the small interaction became a courting.
“I wish you would grant me some of your time? I would love to hear your version of events, and I also think I would enjoy your company,” Leo added.
“Is that an invite?” Ivory clumsily responded.
“Maybe. How about dinner tonight? That is an invite,” Leo said.
Ivory had planned to see Cliff that evening after work for their usual fish and chips at Wahoo’s in Point Loma. She promptly blew Cliff off. “I would like that,” she said.
Leo grabbed one of Ivory’s cards from her desk.
“I’ll call you,” he told her.
“Five o’clock!” Leo reminded Brent.
He left as elegantly as he had arrived.
“Oh! I do hate him,” Brent said softly.
“He’s dreamy,” Ivory countered softly.
“I thought we were going to Wahoo’s,” Cliff said loudly.
“Count me out tonight,” Ivory said.
“If he calls you,” Cliff said.
“Oh, he will. I know it,” Ivory said.
“Ivory, grab the file and copy everything in it,” Brent ordered her.
“Yes, sir.” Ivory picked up the file with about one hundred pages and went off to the copy room.