Even the Score(105)

By: Beth Ehemann

“Now, ma’am—”

“Oh, please. Don’t call me ma’am. It makes me feel old,” she said in an almost flirtatious tone, waving her hand playfully at him. “Call me Blaire.”

“Oh my God,” I mumbled under my breath. Andy laughed quietly, standing up straight.

“Uh.” He cleared his throat. “Why don’t we compromise on Mrs. Shaw. Mrs. Shaw, you’re obviously aware of your ex-husband’s company?”

“Obviously,” she answered with a roll of her eyes.

“Have you ever met any of his employees?”

She nodded.

“Who have you met?”

Blaire sighed and tossed her hands in the air. “All of them. We were married for many years.”

“Mrs. Shaw, I’m just gonna get down to it. Does the name Javier Delgado mean anything to you?”

Oh God, here we go.

Her eyes shot up to the ceiling, as though she was deep in thought. “Yes, I believe I know Javier. He did some carpentry work at my house over the summer.”

“Is he still working for you, ma—Mrs. Shaw?”

“No, I haven’t seen or talked to him in months . . . since he left my house.”

“Do you remember what work he did in your home?” Detective Larson asked as he scribbled something on his notepad.

“Uh, yes. He built a beautiful bar in my basement. What’s this about? Is Javier in some sort of trouble?” The tone of her voice was so fake and rehearsed that I prayed to God Detective Larson wasn’t buying anything she was saying.

“That’s what we’re trying to figure out. Do you remember roughly how much you paid Mr. Delgado to install this bar in your home?”

“Yes, it was five thousand.”

Andy’s forehead dropped to my shoulder as he groaned at the number.

“Okay. Have you ever placed a flower order, for any reason, with Debbie’s Floral in downtown Minneapolis?”

She pursed her plump red lips and narrowed her eyes at Detective Larson. “Not that I can recall. What would a flower order have to do with Javier, anyway?”

Detective Larson ignored her question. “Mrs. Shaw, have you ever met a woman by the name of Danicka Douglas?”

“Ugh,” she scoffed, rolling her eyes. “Yes, my ex-husband’s annoying business partner. She’s a real piece of work, that girl. Is she involved with Javier somehow? I wouldn’t be surprised. I’ve thought that girl was nothing but trouble since she started working with Andrew.”

I pinched my eyes tight, trying to keep it together as Andy’s arms tightened around my waist.

“Mrs. Shaw, would you have any reason to harass Ms. Douglas?”

Andy dropped his arms and stepped up next to me as my eyes sprang back open at Detective Larson’s question.

“Harass her?” She looked at him incredulously. “Please. No, I’ve never harassed her. What do I care what she does with her life?”

“She’s such a fucking liar,” Andy hissed as he widened his stance and crossed his arms over his chest. “I can’t believe she’s denying this.”

“Did you really think she was going to come in here and confess?” I leaned over and whispered, even though she couldn’t hear us.

“Have you ever spoken with Ms. Douglas?”

“Once, at Andrew’s house, and before you ask, no, I don’t remember what it was about. It wasn’t exactly a monumental moment in my life.” She uncrossed her legs and leaned forward. “Mr. Larson, are we done here? I have things to do today.”

“Just a few more questions, Mrs. Shaw. Would you have had any reason to pay anyone to harass Ms. Douglas?” Detective Larson continued.

Her mouth dropped open in offense. “Exactly what are you implying, Detective Larson? I have absolutely not paid anyone to bother that little tramp, or anyone else for that matter. I came here to help, not to have accusations thrown at me!”

“Mrs. Shaw, I want to ask you one more time, just so we’re clear . . . have you had any contact, any contact at all, with Javier Delgado since he finished the carpentry work at your house?”

She sat up and slammed both hands down on the table. “I already told you, no! Are you an idiot? Do you listen?”

Just as I thought she was about to fly across the table and jam her long, acrylic nails right into his eyeballs, the door on the other side of the room opened, and the female officer poked her head in. “Excuse me, I’m so sorry. Detective Larson, we need you for just one second. It’s urgent.”

He nodded and looked up at Blaire. “I’m very sorry about this. Please, sit tight, I’ll be right back.” Offering up a tight, polite smile, he stood and left the room.