Linda Atwood tapped her foot impatiently. Ordinarily she would have relished all this: her children staying with her mother, a chance to relax on her own, a trip to Los Angeles. She had loved living here and Tucson had never come close to satisfying her. But ever since Peter Glades and that woman had walked out of the office, she had been troubled.
She certainly knew Lionel and what he was capable of. But the police had sounded so sure when they had spoken with her. And then after the two had left she’d looked up Holly Woods and remembered why the name had sounded so familiar…she’d seen it brought up several times on gossip sites in connections to Peter. The poor girl was probably just seeing murder everywhere now. Peter was just being supportive. He was one of the good ones after all.
But it was odd for them to come all the way out to Arizona on some silly wild goose chase. Of course they were actors. They could drop several hundred on an airline ticket and never think twice about it. She crossed her arms, starting to feel angry.
Though Holly had mentioned that Lionel had been arguing with someone and if he really had been trying to…
Linda looked up at the bank clerk. “Yes?”
“I’m ready for you. Please some this way.”
She was led into a private room with a table and chairs. The clerk showed her to a seat and said, “I’ll just need the safe deposit key and two valid forms of ID. You say your name is on the account, correct?”
“Yes. It should be. I don’t believe Lionel took it off after the divorce.”
“Then it should just take a few minutes. I’ll be right back with your box.”
Left alone, Linda sighed and shook her head. She wondered briefly where Lionel’s copy of the key had gotten to. Clint had said it wasn’t in the safe…not that it mattered much. Lionel had probably just misplaced it. He was a slob and always losing everything.
The door opened and the clerk reentered, safe deposit box in hand. “Here you go Ms. Atwood. Please take as much time as you need.” He placed the box and key down on the table and left.
Linda stared at the box, curiosity finally replacing her nagging doubt. She picked up the key, inserted it into the lock and turned it. She heard the click and lifted the lid.
She stared inside for several moments, trying to figure it out. It didn’t make sense. Perhaps Lionel-, but why? He had always said…
Pushing her chair back she stood up and went to the door. She stepped out into the hallway and looked around, catching sight of the clerk who smiled and approached.
“Are you done already mam?”
“I was wondering. Do you keep a log of every time someone visits a safe deposit box?”
“Yes we do.”
“Good. Do you think you could get me a list for this one? I need to know the last time it was opened.”
The man frowned but nodded. “Alright. It’ll take a little while though. You can wait back in there.”
Linda returned to her seat and stared at the box, trying to figure it out. Of course he could have done it out of spite. Who knows he might have done it right after she left him. But he had given her the extra key himself the first time they could stand to be in a room without screaming at each other. It had been when their youngest had wound up in the hospital with appendicitis. And even Lionel wouldn’t…
The clerk returned and handed her a folded piece of paper. She took it, opened it and stared.
“Are-are you sure this is right?” she asked, glancing up at him.
“Yes,” he said, surprised. “We keep very reliable records.”
“I see. Thank you.”
“Will that be all?”
“Yes. I’ll just be a few more minutes in here if that’s alright.”
“Of course.” He went out and left Linda staring at the paper.
Lionel had come here the night he died.
Linda kept staring at the date written on the page, checking and rechecking the day, month and year, trying to find some mistake she was making.
There was nothing.
She pulled out her phone and dialed quickly without taking her eyes off the paper.
“Is this Clint Morgan?”
“This is Linda Atwood. I’m sorry to bother you but I need to see you. Do you think you could meet me at Lionel’s apartment?”
“Sure,” said Clint. “You’re in town?”
“Yes. I’m in town.”
“Alright. I can meet you there in about an hour.”
“I’ll be there.” She hung up, put her phone back in her purse and folded the paper. She lifted the lid of the deposit box once more, as if hoping there might have been something she missed.
It was still completely empty.
But Lionel had come here the night he’d died. He wouldn’t visit an empty box. He must have emptied it himself. But why? And what had been in there?
She let the lid fall with a loud thud.