Friday, April 8, 2016

The Colors of Hate – 6

Once they were seated Reid said, “I’m Detective Sutton, this is my partner, Detective Lasiter. What’s your last name, Malcolm?”

Malcolm sat rigidly, his hands resting on his thighs, as he replied, “Leads.”

“You’re one of the actors?”

“Yes. I’m playing King Arthur in the show. Ange… Ms Westcott was my co-star.”   

“You were at the Red Moon last evening. Did you see her there?”

“Briefly. She was dancing with someone.”

Reid saw a flash of anger cross Malcolm’s face as he answered. “I suspect it’s a stereotypical question, but was there more between you than just a working relationship?”

“Not at all!” Malcolm took a breath. “She was the kind of female who never settled on one man. Always looking to see who might be more interesting. I’m not into women like that.”

“But you are into women.”

“Detective, that is an even more of a stereotype than the idea that actors always hook up with their costars. I am straight, as are most of the men who work here. Well…” he shrugged. “As far as I know most of us are.”

Reid nodded. “You said she never seemed to settle on one man. Were there any of them who might have been upset about that?”

Malcolm glanced away. “Not that I’m aware of. I think we all understood what she was like. We’ve been a company for the last five years, with few changes in personnel.”

“Can you describe the man you saw her dancing with?”

“Tall, dark hair, well-built I suppose, though it was a bit hard to tell that for sure as Ange was wrapped around him like a…” Malcolm stopped talking, disgust limning his features for a second.

“That seems to bother you,” Detective Lasiter commented.

“Not really. It was her way. I think we’re all used to it. I guess, if I am bothered, it’s because he was a stranger, not one of the company, if that makes sense.”

“It does,” Reid replied. “It made you want to protect her.”

Malcolm shrugged. “I guess.”

“All right Mr Leads. If you can't think of anything else we should know, we’ll let you go for now. Please send in the next person if you would.”

As soon as Malcolm left, Reid turned to his partner. “Unless I’m reading it wrong, Kirby, Mr Leads definitely had a thing for Ms Westcott.”

Kirby Lasiter nodded. “I got the feeling he did, and might have been more than a bit upset to see her, how did he put it?” Kirby glanced at his notes. “‘Wrapped around’ the man.”

“Upset enough to want to hurt her, is the question. It seems to me he’d have gone after the man, not her.”

Kirby shrugged. “You know as well as I do, sometimes anger is misplaced with dire results.”

Reid was about to reply when someone knocked on the door. He got up to answer. A tall, nice-looking man stood there. He immediately introduced himself as James Eckert. “But please call me Jim,” he told them with a hesitant smile.