"Um hi?" Simon said awkwardly.
"I never realised you guys were friends." Claire said, the end of her sentence seemed like a question. Perhaps she was asking him to claim that he and Nathan weren't best mates since they were ten.
"Yes." Simon replied. "Friends for six years"
Claire nodded understandingly. "At least you aren't as weird as he is."
Simon didn't answer. Instead he looked at what she was drinking. It was a cup of chamomile tea.
"I'm Claire by the way." she said extending her hand. " Don't introduce yourself though. Simon Stone right?"
Simon shook her hand and nodded. "How do you..?"
"Oh I know you. You're that guy from the newspapers. superintendent Lawrence Stone's son. Helped him solve that case about the diamond heist. He'd written that he couldn't have done it without you. I do admire a bit of brain, you know, however unlikely it may seem." Claire pushed her chair back and stood up.
"Anyway. Cool meeting you, but I have to head back."
The old grandfather clock in the corner of the shop struck one. Simon looked outside. It was a bright afternoon, the street was deserted except a dark haired lady and a buff guy with tattoos.
"Claire, can you do me favour, please?"
Simon brought out a sheet of paper and a pen, that he always kept in the pocket of his trench coat.
"Could you sign this for my friend. You just met him"
Claire smiled, took the pen in her right hand, and quickly wrote out a message and signed.
"There ya go" she said thrusting the paper back in his hand. And then she walked out.
Simon sat there for a second, then paid his bill and followed her out. The dark haired woman was leaning on a lamppost, absorbed in studying a bird, and the guy with tattoos was looking in a map, standing in a shady corner of a street.
The reason that Simon remembered every detail of these people, from their position in the street to the brand of shoelaces that the woman wore, was because they were both suspects.
One of them shot Claire Danerson