At first, I didn’t recognise the figure I front of me, dressed in tails and a top-hat balanced above the curly black hair, but then I was looking at the person in the way I would look at a man. It was only the laugh and the pitch of the voice that finally alerted me to the girl; the spy in the enemy camp.
“So, I should welcome you to Tydeus, but it seems you already have been.”
“Well, I’m Charles here, but yes.”
Mike looked between us, his eyes wide in confusion.
“You know each other?”
We ignored him.
“Did your son come round after I phoned him?” Chloe asked.
“Yes, but now he’s angry at me for apparently accusing him of murder …no thanks to you,” I replied, biting at my lip to stop myself from snapping completely.
“No doubt he’s hiding something.”
“Oh, be nice to men for once!” I finally lost it and snapped at her.
“So, where did you get that suit?” I struggled to get over the shocks I’d had, but focusing on the little, and unimportant things, felt best at the moment.
“Any decent tailor will do you one,” Chloe shrugged, “But it helps to be in a clothing and costume industry.”
She stepped around Mike and me, and walked towards the double-doors that I had been moving to before I was attacked. What secrets lay behind them?
“Come on…” She called back, as she pushed through the double-doors, only to be stopped by a steel door with a keypad beside it. There was only one way in, and it was through those numbers.
“Oh… Now where did I put…?”
She rummaged around in a handbag (which I had not previously noticed and which certainly would not have belonged to a man) and finally pulled out of a little slip of paper.
She read off, and then typed in, the four digits, before turning to Mike and I, a sneaky smile creeping onto her face.
“Okay, now we picked a great day for ‘exploring’, a lot of the company have gone out on a business venture: selling the stock they make, talking to potential big clients, et cetera.”
“That explains why there’s almost nobody about…” I muttered. It sounded, to me, like Chloe didn’t actually know that much about Tydeus.
“Yeah. Anyway, some of the people here know me, and you-” Here she indicated Mike, “-Actually I don’t know your name…”
“Right, Michael, you’ll be my visitor. You run a computer firm or something. Mrs. Howard, it’s more difficult for you because you look like a woman. Just keep quiet and, if necessary, you’ll be Mike’s assistant. It’s the best way.”
“Hmm, okay…” I mumbled.
I despised being bossed around, but if Chloe knew what she was doing- and if it could fetch me some answers- I wasn’t going to say no. Besides, I doubted if I could exit the building now, what with that killer on the loose; injured or not, I was now definitely his least favourite person in the world.
I would need some ‘back-up’. And yet…
I really wasn’t convinced of this plan.