Van lights a cigarette as hes driving down the 212 and exits on Corson to head towards the police station. He starts thinking more about what Rachael had reminded him of earlier, it comes to him, suddenly hes feeling kind of uneasy.
"I need a damn drink."
He mutters to himself while contemplating what Coleaman could want to talk to him about.
Van arrives at the police station and Briggs is waiting outside almost like he knew exactly when Van would show up. It might be one of those childhood friend sixth senses Van thinks to himself they were always pretty close but this still kinda surprised Van.
"Its like you knew when I was gonna show up Cole."
"Not really Ive been out here waiting for you since I called."
"Oh, I apologize, I would have hurried if I knew"
"Chasing some girl again I assume?"
"Shut up asshole."
Van said as he shook Briggs hand laughing as the handshake turned into a hearty hug.
"So whats so important that you had to call me and have me drop what I was doing in order to come here?"
Van asked while hoping that it wasn't what he thought.
"We have a lead on Lucy, Van."
Van's face immediately darkened.
"I was thinking it had something to do with that."
"Call it intuition, we know each other well enough"
Briggs responded with a serious tone.
"Van, we tracked down one of the men that was associated."
"Where is he I would love to get my hands on him"
Said Van with a slight flash of anger.
"Well that's just it buddy, hes dead, thats how we stumbled upon him."
"Whats the guys name?"
"The guys name was David Fade, we found him dead in a house in Newport Beach."
Van responded contemplativley.
This meant that there was a large possibility that someone with money was involved in this. Van found this unsettling because lots of money always complicated things, and when things got complicated that means Van had to work harder. In this case Van didn't mind however, this case was personal, and he wanted to see this to the end
"Van snap out of it! I thought I was giving conversation not a monologue."
"Well then tell me more, if you found this guy dead how do you know that is associated with Lucy Reed?"
"Well that's just it man, the way we knew is that we found a picture of her in his apartment. Her's along with a half a dozen girls close to her age, well they seemed to be, its not like they were head shots with names and ages printed on them."
"Did the chief open the case again?"
"No, not enough evidence, however he is counting this as a new case and we are looking into the evidence right now. The victim was one David Fade, not in the system, means hes got no priors."
"Do you have any other intel. on this prick?"
Van asked teeming with curiosity.
"We have barely any information on the guy. No family, no relatives, just his driver's licence which might even be fake since nothing turned up on the guy."
"So you don't have shit! Then what the fuck did you call me for! This is useless!"
"Whoah man, you told me to contact you ASAP if anything on the case ever turned up again, don't go getting pissed at me buddy."
Said Briggs calmly examining Van a bit closer.
"Are you hungover? Its almost 3 pm Van I thought you didn't drink like this anymore?"
"I had a rough few weeks, business has been slow and old memories are a pain to deal with sometimes."
Van turned away as he said this.
"I understand, I just worry about you sometimes man, shit, we're pretty much brothers you know. Come talk to me if you need to."
"Thanks man but I'm fine I just got a bit carried away last night is all, was listening to George Thorogood and felt like drinking no big deal."
Briggs knew to drop it, Van was good about composing himself after a night like that, and he knew that he only had a night or two like that in a year, just when he felt really down.
"I have a present for you, I made a copy of the key to Fade's apartment, I figured you would want to go there and take a quick look yourself. We are done with the scene until tomorrow morning, try not to move anything, photos have been taken of the scene and it might get back to me if you fuck up."
"Thanks a lot Cole, I dont know what I would do without you sometimes."
"You wouldn't be able to find your dick when you're pissing without me Van."
Briggs laughed, Van joined in the laughter, They both realized that they hadn't seen each other in a while but at the same time whenever they get back to talking its like they were the same 15 year old kids they once were. Those were some happy times for both of them, smoking grass for the first time, dealing with school and even some young romance in those days to talk about. They started reminiscing a bit, both noticing they were doing it and got back on topic.
Van said modestly
"No problem, I would pursue this with you but if the Chief finds out it could mean my ass. I will try to help as much as possible so keep me informed, I want to find out what happened as well."
Their conversation is interrupted by a phone call. Its a number Van doesn't recognize.
"This is Van"
"Mr. Matsumoto, I'm so sorry to call you so soon, I hope I'm not interrupting anything."
It was Rachael Valentine, Van was really tempted to spout something flirtatious but didn't.
"Hey, no problem what can I do for ya."
"I called the hotel where my father was taying and the front desk said that he never checked out. The books for the week were taken by the night manager to log into their database because they were having network problems at the hotel. When is the soonest we can get together and go over any evidence I have."
Van was confused at her statement.
"Well I just need to know a few key things and I can start tonight if you would like."
"No, part of the deal is that Is that I get to go with you, I flew here from Seattle and took time off work so I could do this with some professional help."
Snapped Rachael, Van was a hairs breath away from saying, "lady you need some professional help if you think I'm going to agree to that," again he held back.
"I always work alone, I don't think I can agree to that."
Van responded calmly.
"I am willing to pay whatever it takes, I will double, no, make that triple your normal fee."
Van is very strict about his policy of never working with a client, it puts them at risk, its not good for business, and emotions are are always abundant in these cases. Van however was hurting for money, and since he was positive this was going to be an open and shut case he reconsidered almost immediatley.
"I never work with clients on cases, its too risky."
Van decided to give some resistance to not appear desperate.
"Listen Mr. Matsumoto, You told me that you would take my case, I expect you to own up to your word and do so. I know you are a well respected as an investigator I did my research but I am not above harming your reputation to get my way."
She said very as a matter of fact-ly.
"Are you threatening me miss?"
"You bet your ass I am, I was told you were going to take my case, and since you agreed without knowing the full details of the case I assumed you would be OK with any requests that I might have while you were in my employment. Or are you telling me that you aren't a man of your word."
Van was getting a bit irked at this response, she had him cornered in this conversation. "Man, what is it with me and being surrounded by strong willed women" He thinks to himself.
"You drive a hard bargain, I pride myself on my integrity I did in fact take your case so I will be following through with it. I assume you would want to meet as soon as possible?
"Yes, now would be great."
Responded Rachael briskly.
"Very well then, Lets meet at Pie'n Burger, its a diner on the corder of East California Boulevard, and Cornel road, can you figure out how to get there?"
"I can I have GPS in my rental, it shouldn't be a problem. I can meet you there in thirty minutes, I will bring things related to my dad."
"Be there in thirty"
Van hangs up, he doesn't even consider that she might not be used to his lack of phone etiquette until after he had done it, or that Briggs was still there.
"Sorry buddy, I got a pushy client and I really need the money I gotta run."
"I need to get back to work as well Van, It was good seeing you, we should get together for a beer or two soon."
Briggs said as Van was starting to walk off.
"Sounds good man I'l be in touch."