According to Amelia’s info, Mr. Daniel Tuche lived in a gated community. So they weren’t surprised to see a guard sitting in a tiny booth in front of a large iron gate. He stood up and stepped to the car.
“Good evening, Miss, who are you visiting this fine day and what is your name?”
“It’s Ms. Doe and we are here to see Daniel Tuche.”
“Is he expecting you?” asked the guard, looking at his clipboard.
“Yes, of course,” said Louise.
“I’m sorry Ms. Doe, but your name doesn’t seem to be on the list and I can’t open the gate unless…”
Louise waved her hand in front of the man’s face and he said, “…go right in. I see your name just here,” he said, filling in the blank space with his pen, opening the gate. The man stepped back and smiled as they drove past.
“Can’t you teach me to do that?” asked Novak, for the tenth time, flapping his hand in the air.
“Shane poked him on the shoulder. “She said, ‘no.’
“I think that’s his place,” said Louise, heading toward a huge estate.
“Are you going to knock or just break the door down?” asked Novak. “I mean that’s what you usually do.”
“I never know until I get there.”
“I can shoot the lock out,” offered Shane.
“Graywing,” said Louise. “Scout.”
The pigeon flew out of the window and circled the building. It took her three minutes to case the joint, so to speak. “Coo.”
“Tuche is in his office talking to some guy in an expensive suit and a woman is in her bedroom packing. She doesn’t look like the woman in your painting.”
“You got all of that from, ‘coo?'” asked Novak, in amazement.
“It’s more like telepathy,” she said, kicking in the door.
“You just love doing that, don’t you,” said Novak.
“I do, actually,” smiled Louise.
“HONEY, WE’RE HOME!” yelled Shane.
“Daniel, come out, come out, wherever you are,” called Louise, heading toward his office.
“Hey,” called the woman at the top of the stairs. “Are you here to kill him?” When no one answered she sighed and said, “Please, say yes.”
“Are you his wife?” asked Matthew.
“Not for bloody long,” she said. “If you kill him I won’t have to go through a divorce, so good luck. I mean he was nice in the beginning. I have an MBA, so he let me keep the books, but after a few years we stopped having dinner together, you know how it goes. We didn’t work hard enough to keep whatever we had alive. If you want to kill him, and I truly hope that you do, he’ll be on your left. Second door.”
“Another happy marriage,” chuckled Shane as they moved forward.
“What do you want?” asked Daniel, stepping into the hall, looking at the broken door. “You could have knocked.”
“Tell the other guy to come out here,” said Shane, pointing Princess at his chest.
“Rog, out here, now.”
Once they were both in the hallway, Louise motioned them into the large living room. “Sit,” she said.
“What’s this about,” asked Daniel. “Did my wife hire you to kill me? It’s something she would do.”
“Does she have a good reason to want you dead?” asked Shane.
“Sure,” he said, putting his arms on the back of the sofa. “All women have good reason to kill their husbands,” he said seriously. “I mean think about it. We never listen and we always do the wrong thing, what’s not to kill? Now tell me why you’re here or get out before I get angry.”
“You hired Matthew to paint a picture of your wife, and I use that term loosely.”
“The pit demons weren’t included.”
“Yeah, about that,” said Daniel, leaning forward, arms on his knees. “There are people who are, let’s say, trying to infringe upon my territory. I though if I got a couple of demons to take them down, everything would be over quickly and no one would get hurt except for the guys I wanted dead.”
“Did he just say what I think he said?” asked Novak.
“If you think he said that he brought demons over to this side to knock out his competition then yes, you understood what he said,” answered Louise., turning back to Tuche. “How did you do it?”
“He gave me the canvas,” said Novak, staring at him. “He told me that it had to be a certain size and he would provide it.”
“Cute,” said Shane, “Can I disappear him now?”
Louise shook her head. “In a minute. The canvas was covered with a walk thru spell, wasn’t it?”
“No idea,” said Tuche.
“You kill him yet,” asked his wife, sticking her head in the room. “I didn’t hear any shots.”
“I’m still alive cupcake,” laughed Daniel. “Sorry to disappoint you.”
“There’s coffee in the kitchen,” she said. “My cab’s here or I would get it for you.”
“Thanks,” said Novak.
“Anytime,” she said. “Goodby you miserable, never hear anything I say, always late, never there…”
“Love you too babe,” he said, waving. “She’s crazy about me, she just needs a vacation.”
“About the demons?” said Shane.
“Yeah. I met this guy and he said he could take care of my problem. All I had to do was have someone paint a picture on the canvas he would give me and all my problems would be over. So, I gave him money, he gave me the canvas and Gregory passed it….”
“We know the rest,” said Novak.
“I don’t think it worked though. I’m still being…bothered.”
“Who’s he?” asked Shane, pointing her gun at the guy next to him.
“Him? He’s my brother. A little slow, business wise, but a nice kid, right Roger?”
“I’m not slow and I’m not a kid, I’m not interested in business. I’m a poet,” said Roger, in a way that implied he had said the same thing far too many times before.
“Yeah, the kid’s a poet. He has books and everything”
“Roger, did you know about any of this?”
“He doesn’t know anything about the business,” said Daniel. “He writes. He broods, then he writes some more.”
“Thinking is not brooding,” sighed Roger. “You should try thinking once in awhile.”
“Roger, did you know anything about this.” asked Louise.
“No,” he said.
“Novak, will you get us some coffee?”
“If you want me to leave just say so,” he said.
“Funny,” he muttered, walking away.