April 10

“Hold it,” Kyle says. Not now, you overprotective mother hen! “Frannie didn’t do anything. She just opened it up.”
“Right,” I say. Dammit, I have no choice but to play along. If I look too eager to go into the back room with Bert, it will surely raise Kyle’s alarm bells. But if I resist too much, I’ll lose the chance to question Bert. “I’m innocent in all this…”
“That’s why I need to figure that out myself,” Bert says. “And, sorry, but it’s… policy to question suspects out of earshot of the claimant.”
Kyle fumes for a moment. “Fine,” she says. “I’ll just be in the bedroom…”
“It might be best for you to take a walk around the block a couple of times,” Bert says. “Just to be absolutely sure you’re not eavesdropping. That way, Miss Marvinade can speak with complete freedom.”
“I’ll tell you everything I tell him once we’re done, promise,” I say. I hate lying like that, but I comfort myself with the fact that it’s for her own good. “It won’t be too long, and if it clears my name, then I don’t see the harm…”
“Fine,” she says. “Five minutes. That’s all you get. You want anything from the Quick Stop, Frannie?”

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