"Hello boys." Lilly smiled and looked at a group of police officers headed toward the desk she had parked herself at. "And girls! Girls too! Well, girl. Don't see much of that, ever."
"Hello, miss." The young, and slightly smaller looking man greeted her. "Who are you? And how did you get in here?"
"Her name's Lilly. Out of the chair." The average looking one said groaning, trying to kick her out of the chair. "She's a profiler gone PI. Brass approved her for the Macintyre case."
"Henderson! Nice to see you!" Lilly greeted the curly haired man with glasses. "Will you tell him that I was here first!"
"She was there first." Henderson did a little wave at Lilly. "But you know him. Hi Lilly."
"Hi Lilly." The blonde man nodded acknowledgment. "You're going to hit the floor if you don't give up now."
"I still have to try!" She gripped the chair. "Hi Jones. Life's good?"
"Irvine! Stop that!" The woman commented, not entirely sure of what to make of this. The average man tried a slightly more forceful tactic of picking up the chair from under her. Like an avalanche made of human spirit and gravity, she fell onto the floor with a 'thump'.
"I'm sorry." Lilly looked at the woman from the floor. "Which Irvine are you referring to? Me or John?"
"Which...?" The woman and the small man looked up at the average man in shock.
"Everyone who doesn't know, this is my sister, Lilly." John said taking back his seat. "You can sit there." He gestured to chair on the outside of his desk.
"But that's for victims and witnesses!" Lilly protested getting off the floor.
"Yes, and you were just assaulted by gravity and saw the floor hit you the face." He glared. "Now sit down."
She groaned, sat in the chair, and checked her text messages. Desmond had texted that he had finally asked out a girl and she had said yes. As a result, the plans for video games, soda, and random internet videos had been moved till sometime later. He promised.
Good. Great. Wonderful. She thought. See, Lilly? He likes some other girl. God, I hope I don't know her.
Fine, she texted back, but let it be known here and now that she got 'I told you so' rights when it turns out she's a lesbian, like the last four girls he liked. He didn't think that it was funny. She thought it was hilarious. Did she at least want to know who she had to be nice to? He asked. She closed her phone and looked at two very shocked police officers staring at her. "You going to introduce me?" She asked her brother, who scrambled around his desk for something to do other then meet their glares.
"You've already figured out who they are, why do I have to tell you?" He glared at his sister.
"Dad said it was polite if I at least pretended I didn't know."
"Right..." John groaned. "Dad." He picked up a pencil and pointed at each of the four people. "You remember Henderson and Jones." Henderson and Jones peaked over at the side of her head that had made contact with the floor first. Jones poked at the sore spot. "She's Maria Torres and that's Markus Walker."
"Nice to meet you." Torres and Walker said with some apprehension.
Henderson disappeared for a moment before retrieving a copy of the Macintyre case file and handed it to Lilly. She told them how the owner of the restaurant had showed up at her door last night.
"No offence Irvine, but when did you get a sister?" Walker said without taking his eyes off Lilly.
"About twenty years ago, after nine months of my mother being pregnant." John answered "July 13th, I believe. About...10:54 in the evening?"
"Very funny." Torres said glaring at John. "Why didn't you ever mention her? We've both known you for couple years. You used to tell us that your family died in a home invasion followed by a house fire."
"There's no reason to bring her up." John said. "She's just my wickedly smart, pain the ass, troublemaking little sister."
"Any other siblings we should know about?" Walker asked.
"They died in a house fire after a home invasion." John insisted.
"That's terrible." Lilly said to her brother with a smile." I would at least like to be shot to death protecting a baby or something."
"You're not going out in a hail of gunfire, Lilly." He said "It's easier if I just say it was a mass murder and all the evidence was burned up."
"Oh c'mon, I tell people during the holidays that you are an accountant." She smiled and pleaded with her brother. "And that you died a hero during the war."
"Now that's terrible." He looked at her. "How does an accountant die a war hero?"
"I never specify which war." She leaned back into her chair. "War on the Wealthy." She lowered her voice to mimic a movie trailer. "In a world where no one can do math and some mega rich corporation is embezzling millions of dollars blindly, only one man with a pencil and a sheet of paper can stop them. This summer John Irvine is The Accountant."
"And I die at the end of this movie?"
"Totally. No fun otherwise."
"Okay people, enough goofing off, back to work!" A large man with heavy footsteps said as he marched by, who Lilly recognized as Captain Hudson. "Hello Lilly. You take John's chair?"
"It was my chair. I was sitting in it, Cap'n." Lilly glared at her brother as the captain signaled all the six of them to follow him into a conference room
"A very long time ago, Lilly." Captain Hudson sat down at the table, everyone else followed and set up a presentation.
"Wasn't that long ago." Lilly slumped in a chair, and looked at the projector. "Aww...you putting on a show? For little old me?"
"Well, you need to be let in on the-" He watched Lilly raise an eyebrow. He groaned and fell back in his chair. "How about tell us what you know."
"Sir?" Torres asked as Lilly stood up in front of the room
"Torres, Walker, you're about to see why Irvine's jealous of his little sister." The Captain smiled. "And why a twenty-something is considered one of the best profilers in the state."
"The world, sir." Lilly corrected
"Don't get a big head, sis." John said "It's more like the city."
"Hey!" Lilly snarled at her brother as the captain gave them a glance that told them both to knock it off. "Oh, alright. The victim is a thirty five year old David Macintyre, formerly a grocery store manager, he was happily married, had three kids, and was suffering just as much from the recession as anyone else in this country. He was shot in the back of the head at close range by a woman and had planned to kill him in the restaurant kitchen owned by a very sweet old man named Leonard. He, David, was possibly considering having an affair with this one, too bad the woman was only seducing him she needed a mark to kill at the back of the restaurant because Leonard is not as faithful as his wife likes to think of him as. Now you should compare notes who exactly was at the restaurant the next morning, because she was sitting at the second table from the window at some point or another during the next day."
"Now, how can you know any of that?" Torres asked, arms crossed as Walker flipped through the case file. "You're just making stuff up!"
"Actually, I'm not." Lilly said moving her case file in front of her and opened it. "The case file says right here. Macintyre, grocery store manager, thirty five, married, three kids, shot in the back of the head at close range by a small hand gun. Everything else tells the story."
Torres glared at Lilly expectingly, with the subtle hints that Torres wanted more then just that.
"Um...okay." Lilly began again. "What exactly do you want to know?"
" 'Happily married'?"
"Look at his wedding ring." Lilly flipped through the case file for the close up of his hand. "It's old, but it's been polished on the outside and never left his finger. And look at that finger. It literally looks like his fatness grew around the ring, meaning he couldn't get it off if he tried, and he's probably thought about it with that fatness of his. So why would anyone keep wearing a ring too small on and keep it polished other then he really liked what it symbolized?"
"Suffering from the recession?"
"Look at his shoes." Lilly flipped through the photos again and produced a series of photos. "They aren't new, they've been shined to look like new. You can catch glimpse of rips and tears in his clothes that have been mended. He needed good clothes but couldn't afford new ones."
"Maybe he's just cheap."
"Cheap people look cheap, mismatched cheap clothes, fake jewels, fake gold. No..." She shook her head. "His ring was real. A good diamond on real gold, that would have been the first thing to go on any cheap person's list of things to get rid of. But he was trying to look good for what he was."
"Shot by a woman?" Walker asked this time, which made Lilly smile. She walked over to Walker touched his shoulder. "Would you ever..." She slid her arm around the his back and to his other shoulder. "...let a man..." She pressed up against him. She could feel his heart racing. "...get this close to you?" Walker could suddenly feel two of Lilly's fingers pressed against the base of his skull. "Boom!" She said and backed off.
"How'd you know she planned on killing him there?" Torres asked, with her glare increasing in intensity.
"It's a restaurant. It has knives in it. Cleavers. Forks. Maybe a blowtorch. Why shoot him? Unless you plan on it. And if you're going to bring a gun someplace with you, you plan on killing someone with it."
"You mean defending yourself." Torres said with some certainty.
"If that's the euphemism that you want to use, sure." Lilly started to glare back at Torres.
"And the rest of it Lilly?" Henderson asked, he suddenly had a dollar under his hand, as did Jones.
"Yes, well..." Lilly paused trying to remember what she had said. "He was alone with a woman on a Saturday night, dressed rather nicely, but not date worthy nice. I want to give him the benefit of the doubt and say he was considering cheating on his wife, not actually doing it. And considering that fact that she had somehow gotten him into the back of a restaurant he had no business being in without a fight, I would say seduction was involved. She seduced then killed. In a very small time frame. He was a mark. Oh, and Leonard stopped by my apartment last night, shaken, asking for my help for this case."
"Of course he did." Torres groaned.
"An old man that spoke ill of no one except for his wife. The only 'enemy' he could think of to do this." Lilly shrugged. "It was kinda funny, actually."
"But could you know he was unfaithful?"
"He was hitting on me and my friend by the end of the interview." Lilly then shivered. "That was disgusting. He's old enough to be my grandpa, ya know?"
"How do you know she was there?" Walker asked, shaking off the mental image also. "You said she was there the next day."
"Oh yeah." Lilly nodded. She flipped through photos of shoe prints they had gathered all over the restaurant. "You guys pulled this one. An incomplete shoe print because it was taken off the rubber mat with all the holes in it, right about where the killer would be standing." She put a series of pictures beside that one. "You can still clearly see void through the heel though, right? Now look at these photos." She pointed a streak of dirt trailing to the second table from the window. "It's very, very similar void, now filled with mud, walking to the second table from the window."
"That might just be someone who works there." Torres said
"Yeah...it might be." Lilly said. "But who eats where they work on their day off? I mean, they came through the front door, not the back where employees can go straight to work, and decided to eat there, meaning they had time. And they spent it at work, now their free time too? Yuck..."
"Or you could just be straight up wrong about all of this." Torres glared at Lilly with a passion that had surpassed all her other glares up until now
"I...maintain that right." Lilly said "But remember, I know four out of the six people in this room, and it's not just because my brother's a cop. This isn't by first party, Torres."
"Torres. Walker." Captain Hudson leaned over and looked that them. "Check her story out."
Walker quickly scurried out the door to his desk while Torres kept her eyes locked with Lilly's, backing out of the room and into the hall, and out of sight.
"What the hell are you trying to pull?" John asked as his sister returned to her seat.
"I don't know what you're talking about." Lilly said gathering up all her materials put back in her case file.
"C'mon Lilly, we both know that we are both smarter then this conversation." Captain Hudson started tapping his fingers on the table. "I wouldn't bring you in on a case that's barely a day old. What do you take me as?"
"So, just to be clear, why am I here?" Lilly said leaning forward. The case file was pushed even closer to her.
"What you see is what you get Lilly." Captain Hudson leaned forward and opened her case file back. "I know you know who this man is, and it isn't David Macintyre. So you're about to answer the question of why did you spend the first five minutes of this case staring at his picture his case file?"
"How about you answer how you know that I know." Lilly answered. She looked at her brother's eyes, seeing nothing but that same question that was in the Captain's eyes. "This all sounds like really bad paradox, and the universe doesn't work well with paradoxes."
"Lilly, for old times sake..?" Jones pleaded
"You smell like cinnamon." Lilly growled "So does the Captain. Kinky."
"Lilly..." softened John
"Don't get me started on you, John." Lilly grit her teeth at her brother. She took a good look around. Jones and Henderson were standing near the door. The Captain was to her left and her brother was to her right. The windows had no latches, made of bullet proof glass. Standard mix of plaster and wood, reinforced with cement beams. Two video cameras, one in front of her, and one behind her. She smiled and relaxed.
"Who is he Lilly?" Captain Hudson asked, noticing her smile
"Before I answer that, John, thanks for the heads up." Lilly smiled.
"No problem sis." John leaned back in his chair. Lilly pulled out her phone, punched some things into it, and set it on the table.
"What are you two up to?" Captain stood up from his chair and looked around.
"When I knew him, he was a thief." She shook her head. "He stole something so important that when it was found and the story ended, it became the stuff legends. It made many men and destroyed just as many."
"That tells me nothing, Lilly!" Captain shouted and glared at her
"That tells you everything." She smiled. She reached over, grabbed her phone, tapped a button and then jumped under the table with her brother as every possible alarm went off in the room. Lights blinked, the sprinklers started pouring buckets of water, sirens blared and she held her breath as a gas intermittently was let into the room. Jones, Henderson, and Hudson all ran out of the room. She punched some more code into her phone to make the hallways do the same thing.
"C'mon, we have about five minutes before we're knocked out cold." John said pulling her toward the door. Lilly nodded, grabbed the case file off the table, saluted the camera, started running down the hallway and out the door. She started breathing heavily when she was out in the open air, catching her breath.
"Took you long enough for you to figure out we just installed a wireless threat response system." He said pushing past the crowd with his sister. "How'd you what would trigger that little glitch in the system?"
"You mean, your little glitch in the system." Lilly said as they got to his car. "You told Torres that my birthday was July 13th, at 10:54 pm. I was born on a awful morning in October." He smiled as they got in the car. "That means you either forgot my birthday in a huge way, or you were giving me a string of numbers that, in the end, turned out to be the passcode to security system that triggered that response from the system." She watched as they pulled out of the parking lot and far away from the station. "7J13S2254MT."
"Very good." John reached back behind the seat while he was driving and produced a towel. "You even figured out that I was looking for military time and what day that was that year." He shook his head with pride. "No one puts my sister in a corner and gets away with it."
"Your boss is going to be pissed."
"Oh, it's not like it's the first time you've pulled this stunt. And what's he going to tell others? He cornered the twenty year old girl that has solved more crimes since she was thirteen then he has in his career, didn't read her rights, and refused to let her leave until she told him something?"
"That doesn't sound like it would fair well." Lilly said ringing out her hair and smelling her clothes for foreign chemicals.
"It won't. But they are dealing with you, so there's that." John snagged the towel from her and dried himself off at a red light. "The Captain is just having an off day, ya know. We ran David MacIntyre's name through the database and came back flagged, your name was attached and the FBI were called."
"That sounds about right." She said stealing the towel back as he continued driving. "He is a very dead thief."
"What so special about this dead thief anyways?" He asked
"It's a matter of what he stole, John." She smiled as she could see their destination in sight. "He stole me."