Unfortunately, the warehouse was way out on the blue line. The snow wasn’t thick enough to close the above ground sections, but it was thick enough to cause delays. And the area around Van Dorn Street was a hybrid industrial mess…dingy apartment blocks, warehouses, and fast food hole in the walls.
It wasn’t a comfortable place to be, I decided. Not Southeast, but not…comfortable. I felt as if I needed a reason to be here as I trudged along the street. It curved quite a bit, but there it was.
Carlton Montana Shipping. Okay. I took a deep breath, walked up to the door and knocked on it.
“We’re not exactly open.”
“I’m not a customer.”
The door opened, and I came face to face with what was obviously Roderick Montana.
He was obviously not our man. Well, I would have been very surprised anyway. He would have made two of Mike horizontally, and was slightly shorter.
“Elean…” Then he peered at me. “No. You look like her, but you’re not her.”
I marked my face with disappointment. “I thought I might be…it’s a long story.”
“Come in. I have hot chocolate.”
I followed him inside. “I lost my memory. Haven’t been able to work out who I am.”
“The cops would have worked it out, I reckon.”
“DC cops? Most of them couldn’t catch a cold.” Most, because I didn’t want to say anything against Mike, and he wasn’t the only competent cop.
“Good point. But no. I’m pretty sure Eleanor’s dead.”
I nodded. “It was worth a try, I suppose. Did she dye her hair?”
“No. And she certainly wouldn’t have dyed hair like yours. She always wanted to be a blonde.”
Then it might all be a red herring, I thought. I’d half expected to find, thinking about it, that there was no Eleanor Carlton, that it was something Loki had planted.
But there was, and she was probably dead. “Did she have a boyfriend?”
“Not a boyfriend, no. I mean, if she’d ever said yes to him, sure.”
I frowned. “A stalker, then.” Maybe that was our man. Or maybe I needed to find another missing girl.
“He wasn’t that bad, but he promised to hurt anyone who tried to hurt her. And…” A pause. “Did you read the full story? You know her father was murdered, right?”
I tensed. “Murdered…no. Just dead.” Kanesha hadn’t passed on or hadn’t found that titbit.
“He was shot.”
Which might be a coincidence, or it might mean I had three murders to pin on this guy. “And you think stalker boy did it.”
“James was my partner. I never saw all of his flaws.”
A shudder went through me. I was going to find stalker boy and find out what was going on.