Darwin walked into the building and stopped just inside the entrance. She stood listening to the sounds of the building. Footsteps on the floor above, the closing of a door down the hall, and the muffled sounds of music in the other room mixed with muffled voices from the next room and a key turning in the lock.

She slowly started walking and she caught the sounds of footsteps echoing behind her. As she turned around, she saw Louis out of the corner of her eye. He was dressed all in black, with the hint of Perry Ellis in the air. When she turned fully around, he stood there staring at her.

“See anything, Darwin?” Louis asked.

“No, Louis, just listening.”

“For what?” he asked walking towards her.

“Anything, everything. You see the sounds in a building should be the same every day. When a sound comes that's different you should take note. This could be a robbery; a murder, anything happening, and you would have missed it. Come here, stand right at this spot, and now listen….What do you hear?”

Louis listened and said, “Nothing.”

“Listen again.”

“Soak in the sounds. There is a water fountain down the hall. You can hear the water through the pipes. There is a couple arguing upstairs right above this spot. Down the hall, there is a band, not yours, warming up. And here below, there is a box being laid on the floor.”

Louis looked at her amazed. “You could hear all that?”

“Sure, it's easy. You would too if you listened with not just your ears but your mind.”

Anyway, what office is yours?”

Louis said,” Follow me.”

The two walked down the hall, passing several open doors and turning down the hallway. The walls were a hideous green as if someone threw up on the walls. The doors were even less inviting.

They went inside the last door on the left. Inside was warmth, red walls, and plush carpet with cherry wood furniture in the outer room. As you passed through the archway, you notice that the chairs are 4 feet away from the window and the door equally. There is a chair next to the computer and space to pace the floor. As they walk through the door into the outer room, they hear music playing. Then silence as the two enter the studio. In the middle of the room were five stools each with a stand and headphones. To the side were a black matted wall and a door leading to a booth enclosed in plastic with another stool and headphones. To the right was a table with a glass pitcher and a stacked glass of paper cups. There was also a table with tea packets and coffee packets.

Darwin looked around and took it all in without a word. She stared particularly at the table with the tea packets. As she turned to leave, she saw a piece of clothing stuck on the door jamb. She went to take a closer look.

As Darwin was walking down the street her mind wasn't on where she was going but what was happening in the case. There were a lot of things that doesn't add up. First, how did the actual person who hit Mark on the head enter into the studio without him seeing him? Maybe he let him in. Maybe he left the door slightly ajar. There were a lot of maybes. Second, the time he was found was about the time that all of the security guards had gone home for the evening. The only way you could get in was by electronic key. All of the keys were coded. They all had a signature that was their own and only certain people in the building had it.

Still too many uncertainties and questions.  The investigation on Peluso’s side wasn’t giving up much promise either.  That was where Abdul seemed to be needed.  Judging from his jacket he was mostly small time-drugs and theft of money.  But he seemed to clean up the act about the same time he got back with Marisol and started working as a security guard where the band currently records their music.  Plus, he seemed to finally be getting back to his first love music.  Not that he wouldn’t be the first to throw the chance away.  She just hoped he hadn’t.

Still walking towards the city subway in the center of town, she stopped when she heard pebbles being thrown at her back. Turning she saw a friend.  Laughing she went to hug her. “Hey Li, how are you?  Where is your mother?  I thought you two were out of the shelter?”  Peppering her with questions she just stopped and said, “all right no questions. Take me to your mother.  I will ask her the questions.”  The little girl nodded and took her hand leading her to their apartment. 

Funnily enough, it was a tiny home on wheels equipped with a tub, shower, washer/dryer, and a minicomputer room.  Relieved when her friend locked the door behind her little girl Darwin hugged her and started to pester her with questions. Melli answered with patience.  Then she said, “I can’t stay here in this spot tomorrow.”  To this Darwin responded, come park in my parking spot that I am required to pay for.  I don’t think you will get in trouble. I will just give him your license plate” 

Seeing her uncertainty, Darwin continued, “You would take the final load off my plate that you were burned down and out of your lovely new home.  Stay with me. I can watch Li when you are working, and you won’t need another babysitter.  And you can help me with my current investigation like old times.

Looking at her, she said, “Wait.”  Signing to her daughter she asked what she thought.  Her daughter, Li, signed in response that it was okay.  But could she now invite friends over to the house?”

Looking at her friend, and shaking her head Darwin jumped in saying, “When you stay with me you can invite your friends okay.  But not to where you and Mommy live okay.”  She signed as she spoke.  Taking what she could get the little girl jumped up and down.

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