The Billionaire Professor 2 (2015)

Chapter 13

 

Max

 

My, how my life had changed in the past couple of days, I thought. Here I sat, in my own multi-million dollar penthouse at the Plaza.

Instead of enjoying it by sipping champagne and eating some caviar, I’m sitting here covered in some prescription topical cream trying hard not to scratch and munching out on pizza and drinking beer.

I sighed. Who said life wasn’t full of surprises. And the most surprising element in all of this, was that I was more than content with the situation just as it was. I had the sleeping beauty of my life sitting next to me – covered in the same topical prescription cream – my brother who came to town just to save my sorry ass and Jazmin’s roommate busily at work finding the real killer.

I was nuzzled up as close as I could get to Jazmin, making sure our knees touched. It was all I dared to do while we were busy on this investigation. But even our bodies touching each other that much sent electrical shockwaves throughout my body. Now that I was confident in her unconditional love the effects of our bodies touching each other were heightened. Did she feel it as well?

With my mind clear and no immediate worries weighing me down, something in my mind clicked. I nearly knocked over my beer jumping up in excitement. “Barry O’Malley,” I exclaimed, startling everyone.

While it took Paul a moment or two to comprehend what I meant, I saw Carly waste no time in whirling around toward the computer.

“Up until last week,” she said finding data about him in record time, “he had been in a prison in upper New York doing time for being involved in the theft of the one of the rarest Monets.” She gave the title. Paul looked at me. I was hoping he wouldn’t mention it out loud. Up until he cleared out the living room to hang these informational notes, it had been hanging in my living room.

While Paul was quiet, Jazmin let out a small gasp. I turned toward her. She gave a small knowing smile. Who knew while we were busy making love that as we passed through this room, she actually paid attention to the paintings on the wall? All she said, though, was that particular painting was one of her favorites.

Barry went to prison. I got off Scott free and I kept the painting as well. ”Yup, if any person had a right to be pissed off at me, it would be good ole Barry. I really hadn’t intended things to end up the way they did. But I certainly wasn’t going to volunteer my involvement. The way I looked at it at the time, he knew the risks. He got caught and I didn’t.

It’s not like I testified against him or gave the police any information that would implicate him. I just laid low.

Go ahead. Call me a coward. Looking back on it, that’s exactly what I would call myself. And that’s exactly why I didn’t want Jazmin to know about my past. But looking at her right now, after she knows exactly what I did, I’m suddenly aware that nothing in my past could make her run. A woman who was sticking with me through a potential murder charge, would go to hell and back with me. As a matter of fact, she was going through hell and back with me.

 

Jazmin

 

Max closed his eyes for a moment. “Oh my God,” he exclaimed. “Oh no! How could I have been so blind? Why didn’t it register sooner?”

Paul prodded Max to say more than just a string of rhetorical questions. “When we were at the auction, I saw this man who gave me a very brief nod of recognition. I nodded back because I meet so many people – most of which I don’t remember.

“Now that I see him again in my mind’s eye that was Barry. I’m sure of it. He wore a beard the other day that he didn’t back in our . . . “ Max stumbled over his words, evidently unsure of what to call that period of his life, “In the old days.”

Paul grabbed his cell phone and placed a call. “Got an address for him?” he asked Carly as he waited for the phone to ring. She immediately handed him a scrap of paper. The pair worked together like a well-oiled machine.

The call he had placed was to the homicide division of the police department. After getting in touch with the proper person, he told them what we had found. When he had finished talking he reported that the police weren’t that enthusiastic, but had promised to follow up on the lead.

Carly expressed doubt that they would. Even before she could finish her sentence, Paul was busy dialing a second number. This time it was to Barry O’Malley himself. “He won’t answer,” Max said.

Surprisingly Max was wrong. O’Malley did answer the phone. And it appeared from hearing only one end of the conversation that he was answering the questions Paul was asking.

After he hung up, Paul agreed with Max’s description of his emotions. “Yeah, he’s one pissed off dude, bro, but he swears he didn’t kill Daphne.”

I laughed. “We really didn’t think it was going to be that easy to convict him, now did we?” I asked. “Let’s hope the police follow up on this and have a way of getting more information out of him.”

In a matter of minutes, Paul’s cell phone rang. He looked at the caller ID. “Speak of the devil,” he said, “it’s the police.”

“Really, already? Oh, I see. You haven’t actually arrested him yet, but he doesn’t have an alibi for the evening? Yeah, I can understand that part. Access to Max’s gun? That’s a tough question to answer.”

Max’s brother hung up. “They’re bringing Barry in for questioning, because he doesn’t have an alibi, but unless he confesses, there’s still the issue of how he got possession of your gun.”

The room fell silent.