An hour later, Vic was at his computer. It sat, with all the necessary peripherals, on a very modern oak and steel, U-shaped desk. A slow smile crossed his lips when he finally found what he was looking for and he said, "Got ya."
"Who?" Evan asked, leaning over his shoulder to look at the screen.
"Someone named Carl Peake."
"Who's he?" Paddy asked.
"Good question. Not anybody I've run into during my investigation, so I suspect he's another hired hand." As Vic spoke, he was doing a search on the man, using information gathered from what he'd learned about the phone number. "Lives on the south side of the city." He nodded. "Married. Owns an auto repair shop. Registered Republican. No mention of an NRA membership."
"And is pretty stupid, if you can find all that info in less than ten minutes," Evan commented.
Vic grinned. "Or I'm damned clever and know where to look." He sobered. "He was stupid, giving those men his real phone number. Or… someone else is using it."
"Meaning either he leaves it lying around, or someone stole it?"
"Both are possibilities. We need to have a talk with Mr Peake."
"Might I suggest that before you do, you change clothes," Paddy said. "You look as if you've been wearing what you have on for more than a few days."
Vic snorted in amusement. "Probably because I have been. Next stop, my place, and then on to pay Mr Peake a visit."
If Evan had been surprised at how modern Vic's office was, he was equally surprised when they walked into Vic's apartment. It was in an older building and the antithesis of his office. The living room walls had been painted medium beige, the floor was carpeted in brown. The drapes were dark brown, matching the sofa and two armchairs that faced a fieldstone fireplace. Despite the preponderance of the one color, it was very cozy and comfortable looking.
"Make yourselves at home," Vic told the others, before disappearing down a short hallway into his bedroom. He returned fifteen minutes later in a fresh pair of jeans and a blue button-down shirt. And he had shaved, which made him look much more businesslike.
Evan was standing in front of the long set of bookshelves. "You have very eclectic reading tastes—history, art, classic novels, mysteries and thrillers." He tapped one shelf, which held a selection of books on forensics, true crime, and criminal investigation. "Research?"
"Yep. It pays to keep up on what's new out there, considering what I do. Are we ready to leave?"
"No, I thought I'd spend the day here, reading," Paddy said, holding up a crime scene book he was glancing through. "That way I can pretend to be Archie Goodwin to your Nero Wolfe."
"The day I'm as big as Wolfe is the day I retire," Vic replied, heading to the front door. "If you all are going to compare me to fictional detectives, couldn't you at least pick ones who are more recent?"
"Harry Dresden?" Evan said with a grin. "You've got the supernatural thing going now, with Paddy and Dom hanging around."
With an exaggerated roll of his eyes, Vic waited for the others to leave then joined them in the hallway after arming the security box and locking the door behind him.