“Tamara would you bring us some drinks? and hold all my calls, I don’t want to be disturbed”
“Of course Mr Steinmann” she turned to the gentlemen standing behind her boss “What can I get you?”
Granger asked for coffee, Valdez requested water. Tamara nodded and left the room.
Instead of going out to the bar, she headed straight into the ladies and locked herself in a cubicle. It was him, the man from the train, the one with his nose in the sports pages! What on earth was he doing here? Had he recognised her? Did Steinmann know what she’d done? Her heart raced as a million horrible possibilities flooded her mind. Breathe she told herself just breathe, you don’t know anything yet, he could be anyone. She took one last deep breath, flushed the chain just for good measure and went to get the drinks. A small light had followed her and watched her panic attack with curiosity. What on earth was that about Camomile wondered as she flew back to join the others.
Valdez smiled politely as a bottle of water was placed in front of him, he noticed how the woman’s hand shook slightly as she poured some into a glass. I know you he thought, you were on the train. Why was she so nervous though? What did she have to hide? Or maybe it was nothing..either way it was none of his concern. He had other business to attend to later and needed a clear head.
Tamara served Granger and Steinmann their coffee
“Is there anything else?”
“No, you may leave. In fact go home, take the rest of the evening off”
“But you wanted me to..”
“Go home Tamara. I will see you tomorrow”
“Yes Mr Steinmann, of course”
She closed the door behind her and cursed. Now she wouldn’t be able to find out why that man was here. Damn it. She’d have to discreetly ask the bar staff if they knew anything, it wasn’t like Steinmann to only offer his guests one drink after all.
“I don’t like her” muttered Chamomile
“Why?” asked Thistle “She seemed all right to me”
“It’s because she was making eyes at Chamomile’s man” snickered Bramble
“No it isn’t!” she told them what she’d seen in the ladies room.
“I have to admit that does seem strange.. but it doesn’t help us”
“Even so, I still think we should keep an eye on her” Chamomile said, glaring at the door.
“Shush!” Thistle pointed at Steinmann “What’s he got there?”
Steinmann had retrieved three large brown envelopes from his desk drawer and placed them in neat pile “I received these today”
“And what are they?” Granger enquired.
“Photographs of Jenna, Sabrina and Julianna, in, shall we say..compromising positions. There was also a demand for money”
“Blackmail? Why on earth would anyone want to blackmail them?”
“I really have no idea, but I would like you gentlemen to help me find out”
“I already work for Julianna so of course I’ll help”
Valdez shrugged “You know my terms”
“Indeed” replied Steinman “Granger, I will tell Julianna that I have hired you to work for me and that she need not worry about paying you”
“No you won’t” Granger said evenly “I agreed to work for her and the contract stands. No offence”
Valdez raised an eyebrow but said nothing
“None taken” replied Steinmann