Konan and Lilly left the station and drove to the park. They walked to their table and sat on top of it.
“Someone was with her. Who?”
“Who owned the bunker that the victim was found in, Lilly?”
“Ownership of that area belongs to the Fredericksburg Hunting Club. The club is chaired by a trinity of overseers. Hank Wallace IV, Cheyenne Thomas, and Clayton Franks III.”
“Let’s go talk to them.”
Fredericksburg Hunting Club, or the FHC, was a hunting club for the elite of the town. It wasn’t so much a ‘hunting club’ as it was an expensive hangout. The members were more likely to show off their ‘hunting rifles’ as they were to ‘hunt.’ The FHC was a gated off community so that the elite would not have to deal with the riff-raff.
Konan brought the unmarked sedan to the closed gate and rolled down the window. A lone guard sat at the booth by the gate and looked up from the monitors.
“Help you,” she said in her smooth Southern accent.
Konan and Lilly pulled out their badges and showed them to the guard. She gave a half-hearted smile and said, “help you?”
“Yeah.” Konan said. “We’re investigating a murder. Open the gate please.”
“There’s been no murder here, sir. Why do you need in?”
Konan met the guard’s eyes and gave her a small smile. Apparently, he was speaking a language the guard could not understand. He put the car in park and opened the door. Konan got out and walked to the window from which the guard looked out from.
“My partner and I are investigating the murder of a woman who was eaten by rats. They ate her neck, thighs, and ankles. This ‘club’ owns the property where she was found. Open the gate. Do not make me ask you again.”
Konan turned and got back in the car. The gate began to open, Konan put the car in drive. Lilly waited until they pulled into an empty parking space before she asked what he said to the guard.
“Nothing. I told her what she needed to know.”
Together they walked to the front door of the club. Two doormen manned the front door. Both were older black men. One was short and built like a tank, the other was rail thin and had a grey goatee. Both nodded to the detectives.
“Good afternoon, sir and madam. May we see your invitation?”
“Sure thing gentlemen,” Lilly said as she produced her badge. Konan flipped out his badge as well.
“Oh,” said the short man. “That’s not the right kind of invitation. This here is a private party. You have to show us an invitation or you can’t get in.”
“Gentlemen, you’re impending our investigation. If you do not open the door and let us in, we will arrest you for obstruction of justice,” Lilly said. She pulled her blazer back and revealed the sidearm attached to her belt.
“Or, you could page Hank Wallace, Cheyenne Thomas, and Clayton Franks to the front door. We could ask our questions here.”
“I’ll get our supervisor,” the rail thin man said.
He disappeared behind the door. The short man took the invitations from the throng of people that had gathered behind Konan and Lilly.
The rail thin man reappeared with an elderly woman. Her white hair was immaculate. She gazed silently at the two detectives. Her nose went into the air, and she said huffily, “Bring them into the library. They will have their audience.”
“Follow me,” the rail thin man said.
Lilly trailed behind him. Konan walked slowly through the expansive room. Everything in the room looked expensive. From the furniture to the high-priced escorts, everything reeked of greed. Konan greeted a few of the members as he passed by.
“Hi, how are you doing? I’m Detective Konan. I’m with the 117th.”
The elderly woman stared at Konan coldly. Lilly watched Konan and suppressed her chuckle, her escort walked to Konan and firmly led him to her side.
“This way, detective – if you don’t mind.”
“Don’t mind at all,” Konan replied.
They were led to an expansive room filled with mahogany bookshelves. The shelves were full of books. Mahogany tables and chairs were placed every nine feet from each other. Large, stained glass windows were in place.
“Wow,” Lilly said.
Konan looked up. A large skylight covered most of the roof. A bar was stationed at the far end of the room. The trinity of the FHC sat at a table and watched them approach.
“How can we help,” Cheyenne Thomas asked.
Her reddish-blond hair hung about her shoulders. She had smoky grey eyes and full lips. She sipped her drink and looked over the pair.
Hank Wallace and Clayton Franks sipped whiskey and watched. Neither said anything to the detectives.
“I’m sure you know about the body that was found in a bunker. A bunker that this club owns. Ring any bells,” Konan asked.
“It does. However, we no longer own it,” Cheyenne Thomas answered coldly.
“Oh? Who owns it?”
“We sold that piece of property to the City of Fredericksburg.”
“When,” Lilly asked.
“Four or five years ago, detective.”
“Do you have a Bill of Sale,” Konan asked.
“Yes, but not here. This is a private party…”
“One that you and your partner has ruined,” Clayton Franks said. Konan turned and looked at him.
“Look at that, Lilly. He does know how to open his mouth. Here I was thinking he was going to let Ms. Thomas do all the talking.”
“I know, right. Maybe it’s the alcohol.”
“Ha-ha,” Franks said.
He went back to sipping his whiskey. Cheyenne Thomas forced a smile.
“Our bill of sale is filed with our attorney. I can have them send over a copy of it.”
“Thank you, Ms. Thomas. That would be most helpful.”
“Is 9 tomorrow morning, okay. Do you need it sooner?”
“9 will be fine. Enjoy your party.”
Cheyenne Thomas nodded coldly and sipped her drink. The escort from earlier led them out. Konan waved at the people he spoke to on his way in. They stared at him incredulously.
“You enjoy making the elite uncomfortable, don’t you, Konan?”
“I do. These type of folks are why I don’t vote.”
Lilly turned and looked at Konan. She peered into his eyes. Her lips pulled back into a ‘are you kidding me,’ kind of scowl.
“You don’t vote?”
“You saw all those folks in there, right? The snooty, holier than thou, bunch of narcissistic pansies? Those are the people that run for office. I will not be complicit in their rise to power.”
“You’re aware that voting is how we get them out of power, as well as put them in power.”
“Yes. I am aware of that. Let me ask you something, Lilly. When was the last time that a politician did anything for the little man? When was the last time you saw a politicians’ kid go to war to defend this country?”
“I don’t know, Konan.”
“Therein lies the issue. Everybody thinks it’s this parties fault, or this one, or maybe it has to do with the lobbyists. It has to do with power. Once they, the politicians, get a taste of power, they’ll do anything to keep it and get more of it.”
“So, you just ignore the world around you?”
“No. I have a theory. The Republicans and Democrats fight over who is in charge, while the world burns to the ground. Then, they fight over who rules the ashes. Do you honestly think there is a difference between them? The only difference is that one party lies the way we like it, and the other party doesn’t.”
“Okay. I’m tired of talking about that. Do you think Cheyenne Thomas was telling the truth?”
“Why would she lie about something that is easily checked?”
“Good point. Let’s head to City Hall.”
“Sure thing, Lilly.”
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