David ran his hand through his slick black hair. There was something off about this whole thing. He couldn't put his finger on it, but something about this woman didn't seem right. She didn't look sad, nor angry. Almost as if she had no emotion. But David knew that was impossible. He assumed she was suppressing it and pushed on.
"So you threatened his life. How?" David asked.
Grace looked at him with perplexion. "I don't understand the question."
"Then allow me to rephrase it," David said. "You threatened his life, but I don't understand why he didn't just kill you right then and there."
Grace didn't respond for a moment. Her stare had become blank. David observed her carefully. There was something very wrong here. What was he missing?
"Grace," David snapped.
She shook away the stare and looked at him. "I had a gun," she said blankly.
David almost laughed. He couldn't imagine a woman like her holding a weapon, but he of all people knew looks could be deceiving. "Where was your son?"
"I don't have a son."
"How did you know about her?"
"Your doorbell," David said.
She nodded. "Well, she was upstairs sleeping."
Grace set her cigarette down. She hadn't smoked it much since the conversation began. This also made David suspicious. He had read many books about reading people, and one thing that was repeated countless times was that a person has a harder time multitasking when making something up.
David asked, "Why did you get a gun?"
"There were gangsters in my house! What else was I supposed to do?"
David raised his eyebrow. Not because he was curious, but to communicate a detection of deception. "You told me earlier you didn't know they were gangsters."
Grace's eyes shifted to him instantly. "I didn't at first. I went and grabbed a gun after that loud-mouth started talking."
David had her. For some reason, she was making up all of this. He intended to find out why. "I know how gangs operate. There aren't loud-mouths in gangs. And even if they were, they'd be kicked from the gang before they even had a chance to blink."
Grace opened her mouth, but then closed it.
David had won.
"You're lying to me, Mrs. Lust. Why?"
Grace swallowed. "I'm not lying," she said calmly.
"I'm not!" Grace said angrily.
David stood. "Can I have a chat with your son?"
The silence lasted but a second. "No! Of course not. He's sleeping---and he's much too young to talk to anyhow."
"You said you didn't have a son."
"I meant daughter," she said quickly.
She had a quick mind. But David's was faster.
"Just tell me the truth, Mrs. Lust. You'll feel better."
Grace looked at him. "The truth, Mr. Sorkin, has been sitting right in front of you plainly for quite a while now. I suggest you take this 'truth' that you seek, and put it to good use."
"I intend to," David said, his frown receding. "Who set you up to this?"
Grace's mouth opened slightly. "Are you suggesting---"
"You know exactly what I'm suggesting. Getting all riled up over it will get us nowhere. Please, Mrs. Lust, tell me what I want to know."
"And what is it that you want to know?"
Grace stood. "I have tried giving you the truth, Mr. Sorkin. But obviously you are much too paranoid to accept the truth. Now please, leave."
He did leave. Almost immediately. Usually, he wouldn't be so easy to get rid of. But he knew. He knew who had set her up to this. He knew who had made her lie to him this whole time.
David had arrived about fifteen minutes later, and had parked his car and entered the building within about five. He strode down the hallways, ignoring all of the loud noises that surrounded him. He knew where his brother's office was.
He took a left and walked quickly down another long and loud hallway. He approached a door and threw it open. He ascended up a flight of stairs and came to another door. Pushing it open, he made his way down a much smaller and quieter corridor.
David stopped. He glanced at the door. There was a shiny gold plaque on it that read, "Jesse Sorkin-Homocide."
David turned the handle and opened the door.
Jesse was sitting comfortably in an armchair, typing away on his laptop. When David entered, Jesse glanced at him curiously. At first, Jesse didn't even recognize him. Soon though, he realized who he was, and immediately shifted his gaze back to the laptop. "Dave," he said with a smile. "Of what do I owe the pleasure?"
David pulled up a chair. "Your pretty little girlfriend, Grace."
Jesse looked up from his computer. "Grace?"
"Don't play stupid with me," David said with a scowl.
Jesse's smile widened. "Come on bro! We haven't seen each other in a while. Can't we just get along?"
"Jesse!" David yelled angrily.
Jesse's smile vanished. "Okay," he said.
"I know what you're doing! And it's not going to work."
Jesse sat up in his chair. "Dave, you don't understand---"
Jesse sighed. "You have skills that could be of good use to me. I just---"
"I'm not going to 'be of good use' to you."
Jesse stood. "David, I promise you I won't ask you for anything ever again---"
"That's what you said the last time. Remember?"
Jesse said nothing.
"I'm not going to play games with you. I know you want me to join law enforcement, but tricking me is not the way to go."
"Then what is the way?" Jesse asked with a smirk.
David frowned. "There is no way. I'm never going to join law enforcement. Ever."
David stood and made his way to the door.
"Because you're scared?"
David stopped. "Nothing scares me anymore."
David didn't reply.
"Don't say her name," David snapped.
Jesse's smile weakened. "Wasn't going to."
David turned the handle and pushed the door open.
"If you help me, I'll help you," Jesse said quietly.
David froze. "Help me?"
"I'll help you find her."
"Why would I want to find her?"
"I don't know. But do you?"
David sighed. He turned around and looked Jesse in the eye. "What do you want me to do?"
Jesse's smile returned. "Come to my house tomorrow," he said. "We'll talk then."