Short of throwing Persephone MacGillivray out of the apartment, I wasn’t going to be able to control her—or her mouth. She pushed out from behind my back and marched up to her ex.
“I asked you a question, Alo, and I expect an answer. What’s going on here?” She shoved into the man’s space.
“I don’t answer to you.” Spittle flew, but to Persephone’s credit she didn’t flinch. “And why the hell are you here anyway?” Alo demanded. “You and Doctor McDreamy?”
I’m watching the interraction between these two and am pretty sure I can learn more by staying quiet, at least for the moment.
“For your information ‘Doctor McDreamy’ is Detective McDrea… I mean Detective Sterling Spreadbury, and you do have to answer to him.”
“No, I don’t.”
Aloysius Everslam knows his rights. Interesting. I wonder where he obtained his education.
Without skipping a beat, Persephone leaned in even closer. Considering the guy’s proclivity to add moisture to the environment through his mouth I was pretty impressed. “What were you doing in my place this afternoon?” She jabbed his chest with her finger.
Another score for her. She didn’t give him a chance to weasel because she didn’t ask if he’d been there, just asked what he’d been doing when he was there.
Alo’s eyes shifted to the back of his apartment then to me, finally settling in a very unsettled way on his old girlfriend. “I uh, I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Don’t try and feed me your usual load, Al.”
“I swear, I wasn’t there. I gave you back your key.”
“Doesn’t mean you didn’t make a copy.”
Persephone laughed. Kind of a “gotcha” laugh with a snicker behind it. Even though I understood it was bad news for Alo, I found it strangely attractive. In an evil sort of way. I guess maybe because it wasn’t directed toward me.
“Speaking of screwing, you want to explain your relationship with Duncan? And why you never had the guts to tell me you were leaving me for a man? Who just happens to be a murder-victim’s ex son-in-law?”
Everslam’s confusion was apparent. Before the interaction I’d been observing gave way to accusation and blame, I intervened. “I have a question for you, and you need to think carefully before answering.”
Confusion gave way to wariness. “Yeah?”
“Are you an applesauce lover?”
“Huh? Wha… I don’t understand.”
“From what I can see, you’ve got at least three empty cans of applesauce sitting in the trash bag by your door. That’s a lot of applesauce for one guy.”
More noise came from the back of the apartment, like someone trying to force open a window.
“Duncan Meadows!” Persephone screamed. “Get your ass up here now!”
Everslam didn’t move. Resignation poured off him in waves.
I’d noticed the windows in the building when we drove up. While they were big enough to crawl out of in an emergency, we were five stories up and there wasn’t a fire ladder in sight.
Even though I couldn’t legally search the apartment, I could get all Authoritative Cop. “Don’t make me haul you up here, Meadows! I’m sure I could lay my hands on the paperwork from last month when you ruined my Saturday night by tossing the Blue Parrot.”
“Now would be good.”
Shuffling steps came from the hallway. A minute later a pony-tailed man moved into the room.
“Who the hell are you?” I asked.
“That’s Elton Fries,” Persephone answered. “Grumpy’s son.”