A Gentle Reminder
“Please take a seat Detective.”
The pretty young receptionist motioned towards a green plastic chair in front of a translucent wall full of tiny circular images… Or at least he thought it was a chair. The plastic was in more or less the right shape for one, even if it did look more like a sculpture from where the detective was standing.
This was not Detective Monaghan’s world and they both knew it. He supposed that in his dirty old coat, battered shoes and crinkled open-collared shirt he must look like a museum piece to the receptionist who was barely in her twenties. With her asymmetrical haircut, thick rimmed glasses and well fitted designer clothes she looked as if they’d deliberately chosen the man’s polar-opposite and put her there to make him uncomfortable.
“Detective?” She interrupted his self-deprecation and looked over her glasses, “Mr. Devlin’s ready for you now.”
“Oh I doubt that sweetheart!” Monaghan muttered under his breath as he rose from his seat and headed in the direction she’d indicated.
The office he’d been shown into was much like the reception of the building, clouded glass walls gave the illusion of transparency while the high-end furniture reminded everyone who was in charge. The desk that the slight man sat behind probably cost more than the detective’s entire house.
“Ah, Mr Monaghan,” He beamed through a set of thin lips and perfect teeth, “Do you have a first name?”
“Detective.” Monaghan replied bluntly, it was a line he liked to use often, especially when dealing with the type of person who wasn’t used to people being so direct.
“Quite,” Devlin looked uneasy, “I understand you have some questions about a spate of burglaries in the area?”
“Actually sir, it’s a particular sum of money that’s brought me to you today,” He took out his cigar cutter absent-mindedly and began rummaging in his coat pockets, his host immediately chastised him,
“You can’t smoke in here detective!”
Monahagn held up his hands, as if cornered at gunpoint,
“Sorry,” He smiled, “Old habit. Do you mind explaining what it is you do here?”
Devlin’s expression immediately softened as he was offered the clearly familiar ground of a sales pitch. He rose to his feet and stepped out from behind his desk as he delivered a bunch of techno-babble the detective was hardly listening to. The detective wasn’t interested in Intellectual Property or any of the other corporate nonsense the young man was spouting, he was just waiting for the right moment…
As soon as Devlin was close enough the detective grabbed his arm. With speed and ferocity that belied his slovenly appearance, he forced the younger man’s arm up behind his back. Simultaneously leveraging himself upright and placing the other man firmly across his expensive desk.
“Now then,” Monaghan said from his new vantage point atop the smaller man’s trembling form, “I trust I have your full attention?” Devlin’s cheek made a squeaking sound as it scraped against the well polished desk in a desperate attempt to nod the affirmative.
“Great… Now I want you to pay close attention to what’s happening to your left hand,” Nervous eyes glanced over as the detective once again had his cigar cutter in hand. He slipped the device so that it was around Devlin’s thumb, “Hold still Mr. Devlin, we don’t want any accidents now do we?”
“What do you want?” He gasped through his pain and outrage,
“It’s not about what I want, it’s what my employer wants.”
“Santiago” Devlin suddenly tensed up beneath his grasp, nice to know they were on the same page.
“Now I’ve told Mr. Santiago that you’ll have his money after this little chat and if you make a liar out of me then I’ll have to come back here,” Monahagn leaned in close, causing the younger man to wince as his arm was forced even further up his back, “And you don’t want to see me again do you Mr. Devlin?”
A few moments later, Detective Monaghan was back in reception,
“Is everything OK detective?” The receptionist called over,
“Yeah, I just didn’t realise that thing with the dots over there made a picture of your bosses face.” He produced a cigar from his coat pocket and smiled at the stark contrast between Devlin’s smug expression on the wall and it’s current condition.
“I’m afraid I can’t let you smoke in here sir.”
“That’s OK, I was just leaving.”