It took Detective Jeff Barnes only about forty minutes to get to The House of Hope. He dropped by Rick’s office and saw that he was already talking to a resident. Rick looked out his office window and saw the detective. He opened the door for Jeff Barnes. “Good morning, Detective. I’d like you to meet Ian Faulkner. He is a long time resident of The House of Hope.”
Ian extended his hand to Detective Jeff Barnes and shook hands nervously. “Hello sir. Please to meet you.”
“You can smoke in my office for today only, Ian. I can see that you’re nervous and I want you to feel comfortable as the detective asks you a few questions,” said Rick.
“Thanks Rick. Could I have a coffee too?”
This made Jeff chuckle as he offered Ian a cigarette. Jeff had quit smoking a few years ago but always carried a pack of Player’s Light in his pocket. Like Rick Jennings, Jeff had learned that smokers usually have more to say when they are allowed to smoke. Rick got up to pour Ian a coffee from the Black and Dekker coffee pot he has in his office. “What do you want in your coffee, Ian?” asked Rick.
“A shot of International Delight coffee creamer and one Sugar Twin, please,” Ian replied.
“ You have International Delight, Rick?” asked Detective Barnes as he reached for his silver Parker pen and his leather bound pocket notebook.
“Yes, I do, Detective.”
“Then I’ll have a coffee too, Rick.”
“Two coffees with Sugar Twin and International Delight creamer coming up, Rick answered.
Jeff Barnes sat in a dark green leather chair close to a round table. He pushed the chair a little closer to the table and took out a Nicorette gum from a plastic sandwich bag in his trench coat pocket.
There was a faint scent of body odor emanating from Ian. He had probably not taken his daily compulsory shower yet. Ian looked down at his coffee as he stirred it with a plastic stick.
“Now I don’t want you to feel anxious, Ian. You’re not in any kind of trouble.
I just want some information about Bret’s two friends, Randy and Derek. By the way I’m sorry for your loss. I heard that you and Bret were pretty close,” said Detective Barnes.
Ian had a worried look as he lit up his cigarette.