The Plot Thickens (for Kishiseta)
Monica Barrus stood outside the building, trying to compose herself. She ran her hands down her arms and sides, smoothing out her jacket as she took a few deep breaths. She dug into her purse quickly, looking for the business card her co-worker had given her. Discovering the card, she quickly pulled it out, and studied it again. Looking back at the sign next to the door, she nodded to herself resolutely. This was the place. If they couldn't get the answer for her, no one could, had said her friend. She reached for the door handle, but hesitated, her hand hanging in the air.
Monica was a small framed woman, barely over 5 feet tall. Now in her mid 30's, she looked younger than that, due to her size and her youthful facial features. Medium length blonde hair was presently pulled up and back in a professional style, as she was fresh from the office today. Her blue eyes trying to keep from tearing up as she thought about why she was here in the first place.
Finally, sighing heavily, she finished reaching for the handle. Now or never, she swung the door open, and stepped into the foyer of the PI firm. She looked around at the modestly decorated, but tasteful furnishings. There was a desk by the back wall, with filing cabinets behind it. A couch, some chairs, an ottoman, and a coffee table in the center of the room took up most of the space in this front room. On the far left wall, was a single doorway with "Private" stenciled on a frosted glass window in its center. Next to the doorway, stood a small craft table, where a coffee machine was percolating away. Also on the table was a stack of disposable cups, and a few packets of sweetener, and a bowl of hard candies.
But, there didn't seem to be anyone here. The door was unlocked, but she didn't notice anyone present. "Um... Hello?" She called out, somewhat tentatively. And suddenly, from behind the desk, came the sound of a filing cabinet slamming closed. A young man popped up from behind the desk. Having been there the whole time, he hadn't noticed the sound of the door opening, over his focus on getting the filing cabinets back in order after a few weeks of neglect.
"Oh, Hi there!" He spoke quickly. "My name's Colin. I guess you're here to see the ladies? Hang on just a second, OK?" The guy couldn't be but barely out of his teens, and in fact, he wasn't. At 20 years old, Colin appreciated the ironic humor of a lady detectives having a male clerk, and him becoming her junior partner. Certainly different from the old movies, but he was fine with it. He was a pretty progressive kid, and besides. The lady he worked for was probably the best detectives he had ever met, police included. He was learning so much more working for her, than he was in his criminal justice and law classes in college. Working on a career as an investigator himself, he found the experience he got here to be his best teacher. Espcecially since she had been taking him out on jobs with her recently. He'd proven quite instinctive at researching and drawing conclusions when it came to investigative workk. He reached over, and punched a button on the phone on his desk.
"Miss, there's a potential client out here. You got a minute for a consult?" He spoke his question aloud into the speaker, so that the lady would hear him ask the question on her behalf, but then picked up the receiver and held it to his ear to await the answer, so she wouldn't hear the reply. He nodded quickly, as he listened on the phone. "Alright then. I'll let her know."
Looking back up to Monica, he set the receiver back down on the phone unit. "OK then. We'll see you in the back. Just go right through that door there, and it'll be the room at the end of the hall. I'll join you shortly" Monica nodded, stepped to the 'Private' door, and walked through it. Through the door was a hallway, with another small conference room at the end of it. She walked past two other closed doors, the private offices of the detectives themselves, each of whose names were printed on the doors with a pair of well cut plaques. The room she was headed to however, wasn't sealed by a door. It was a lounge, but they used it primarily for consultations like this, because it was found to be more comforting to clients than either of the offices, and more private than the lobby. She made her way through the open threshold, and smiled a nervous smile, giving a tentative glance around at the furnishings. Two pretty comfortable looking chairs sat in the center of the room. Across from them, was a loveseat, to which Monica made her way. She sat down, nervously, waiting for the young man who had spoken to her earlier, and whomever he had spoken to on the phone, to join her.