A new Landon Connors serial: Leap of Faith
Landon Connors lit a cigarette, inhaling slowly as he sat back in the worn leather desk chair that had served his father and his father before him. The library was still; the sort of calm one expects just before a storm arrives. He opened the left top drawer of the executive desk and removed a plastic container, considering its contents: ground amanita muscaria, moistened with a slice of lime and a splash of DeLeon Leóna Añejo. Removing a pinch, Connors placed it in his mouth, packing it between his gum and cheek.
Closing his eyes, the detective savored the slow slide into an altered state of consciousness, his ears detecting minute sounds that would have previously gone unnoticed.
He was relaxed and ready for what was to come.
A woman’s heels clocked on the sidewalk outside, their clamor resounding like a herald’s trumpet. Up the short steps they came, shuffling nervously outside the door, before a gentle knock rapped against the weathered entry.
Connors heard another set of footfalls, light and barefoot, traversing hardwood and rug, then the equanimous creak of the door as it opened to greet the visitor to 208 West Hill Street.
Steeling himself, the detective rose and performed an abbreviated shield rite, addressing the quarters, then, straightening his suit as best he could, awaited the knock at the library door, which came in a fashion he had become more than familiar with. The door opened without his acknowledgement and his assistant, the lovely, though oft sullen, Alethea peeked her head inside.
“You’ve a visitor,” she said, her demeanor giving nothing away.
The poor girl had been out of sorts of late and despite Connors’ inquiries, she had chosen to maintain not only her secrecy, but her distance, at least as best she could and still serve her employer in the manner of which he required.
“Thank you, ‘Thea,” the detective replied. “Please, see her in.”
Landon Connors poured himself a shot of 21 year old Glenfiddich and let it slide slowly down his throat. With a shake of his shoulders, he was as facile as he was apt to get. He turned just as the library door opened wide, revealing a face altogether unexpected.
“Michelle Hawkes?” he said, taking a long drag off his cigarette and swallowing the pinch of fly agaric. “What fresh hell has caused you to darken my door?”
“I’m here…” she said, slithering across the room and taking the cigarette from his lips and holding it up to her own. She inhaled slowly, flashing her eyelashes as she drew him in. “…because I had nowhere else to turn.”
to be continued