The sky was clear and the weather warmer than usual which Jenna took as a positive sign. Until her first client of the day showed up. Although adept at fighting her own battles, she was none-the-less pleased as she watched Manor’s unannounced arrival.
Jenna had never met either Ferguson before; they’d always dealt with Dr. Greg but she’d heard plenty about them; admittedly, the woman lived up to her half of the reputation.
Stacy Ferguson was angry at the bill, which Dr. Greg had already cut to the bone; a fact the woman was already aware of. It hadn’t stopped her from ranting and raving in a volatile fashion. Jenna was concerned about her health as her eyes bulged and her face reddened as she furiously ranged on, indisposed to see reason.
Jenna wasn’t willing to become her verbal punching bag and when she showed no signs of slowing down, reluctantly issued an ultimatum. Either she calmed down and proceed rationally, or she could leave and Jenna assured her she was welcome to return when she could behave in a calm and collected manner. Then she’d begun screaming she wasn’t leaving without Fifi, her precious teacup and Jenna didn’t have the right to take her hostage. That’s when Manor asserted his presence and flipping his badge, moved between her and Jenna then got right in her face. The woman continued spluttering and fuming as she backed away, “You haven’t heard the last of this!” she warned.
“Are you uttering threats against Miss Montgomery?” Manor’s voice was hard and cold, his expression commanding his eyes steely. The woman huffed and grumbled all the way to her car throwing nervous looks across her shoulder that included both of them. Manor didn’t move a muscle until she’d completely reversed back down the driveway and disappeared out of sight. Turning to face Jenna he asked, “What was that all about?”
Jenna explained the woman’s teacup pup hadn’t quite healed from surgery and required another twenty-four hours recovery time before it could be released. Ferguson had been warned in advance it was a distinct possibility due to the pup’s age and fragile health.
“You have many clients like that?” he asked in surprise.
“Thankfully, no,” she replied. Tilting her head to one side she asked, “You here for coffee?”
“Yes and no. I’d love a cup though. You sure you weren’t a barista in another life? Cause damn, you make great coffee!”
“Just one of my many hidden talents!” she smirked.
“I’m intrigued enough to ask what others you have?” he asked while leaning over the counter.
“Quid pro quo!” A mischievous grin appeared along with a delightful twinkle in her eye Manor found charming and appealing.
“I cook a mean steak and toss a hell of a fast ball!”
“Good to know!” she laughed, “I love a good steak!”
They chatted for a bit, kibitzing back and forth and then Manor delved into the real reason for his visit. “I have a sketch I’d like you to look at.” Without another word, he dragged the picture from the inside pocket of his suit jacket and dropped it on the counter between them. “Ever seen this guy before?”
Jenna stared at the picture and said, “Darn! He always dealt with Dr. Greg. I don’t remember him having been in more than once or twice in the last couple of years. He didn’t like woman and refused to deal with me so Dr. Greg took care of him. He owns a larger breed dog, ” Dragging her memory back through time she nodded, “A shy pit bull. I remember because it seemed so odd. The poor thing acted as though it carried the weight of the world on its shoulders. Unfortunately, I don’t remember much else and I can’t give you a name, but Linda will be back tomorrow and I’m sure she’ll be able to provide one along with any other pertinent data you might need. She’s a godsend.”
Finishing his coffee in one gulp, he rose, “I’ll leave the picture and perhaps you can show it to Jessica and Frank.”
“No problem!” She waited a heartbeat and asked, “Do you think this is the guy?”
“It’s possible. He had some of Dr. Greg’s property in his possession; sold it to a pawn shop who knew Dr. Greg and recognized it immediately. The young man who dealt with him described the guy to our sketch artist. He’s certainly a person of interest.”