"I think you're right," Ricky said after reading my notes and listening to my explanation about why I thought Ben was the killer. "Are you going to show this to Detective Sharp?"
"He's probably already come to the same conclusions."
"But you don't know for certain."
I shrugged. "Nope. I'll stop by the precinct on Monday and give him a copy."
"Call him now. We're talking about a murderer here, not someone who runs red lights."
"Red lights?" I chuckled.
"You know what I mean," he grumbled. "This is serious. What if Ben decides to strike again? What if…if he's gotten a taste for killing now?"
"I'm working on that."
"Meaning?" He shot me a questioning look then shook his head. "Now what have you done?"
"Tried to light a fire under him so he'd show his face."
"Are you crazy?"
"Walt…" He glared at me. "Call Sharp. Now!" He even took out his phone and tried to hand it to me. "If Ben takes the bait you'll need protection."
"I can handle things."
"Famous last words. Call Sharp or…or you're cut off for the rest of what could be your very short life."
"Threatening me?" I asked with a slight grin.
"Not a threat. A promise. Damn it, Walt, I don't want him killing you."
"I'm not too partial to that idea either."
I knew Ricky was right, although I was just as worried that he could be the target. Not that I'd tell him. Of course, being the smart man that he is, he'll probably figure that out for himself any time now.
I used my phone to call Tom. He wasn't working but I asked the dispatcher to get a message to him that I needed to talk to him ASAP. The last time I'd done that was during the theft case. When he returned my call this time, about ten minutes after I'd talked to the dispatcher, his first words were the same one's he'd used then.
"This better be damned important."
"Ricky thinks it is," I replied.
"Meaning you've gone and done something stupid?" I could hear a trace of laughter in Tom's voice. "Okay, tell me." I'd barely started when he said, "Hold that thought. We need to talk in person. You're at home?"
"Okay, I'll be there in fifteen, give or take. Presuming my wife doesn't kill me first for leaving in the middle of supper."
I glanced at the time and realized it was still fairly early in the evening. What with telling Ricky everything, I hadn't even thought about the fact it was dinner time.
"Sandwiches," I said the second I hung up, heading to the kitchen.
Ricky got the idea and five minutes later we had what would pass for our dinner tonight. I'd just taken the first bite of ham and cheese when the doorbell rang. I went to answer, still chewing, and let Tom in.
"Now you know how I feel," Tom said dryly. "Got another one of these?" He tapped my beer on the coffee table as he sat in the chair across from the sofa.
I went to get him one and then we got down to business.