Mazur angled his head as he studied a very genuine expression. “That a truth or a lie, Kate?”
“Doesn’t matter. The job has to be done.”
Mazur didn’t speak to Kate as they drove across town to William Bauldry’s house. She was glad for the quiet and the time to process the press conference and settle her thoughts regarding Bauldry. Dealing with Bauldry again bothered her very much, but feelings had no relevance in her line of work.
They parked in front of a large adobe-style home. “I’m doing the talking,” Mazur said.
“But I know him. I should lead the conversation.”
“You know him too well. You’re not impartial regardless of how many times you say it out loud.”
“I’m objective and can handle myself.”
“This is my case. I do the talking.” Steel underscored the words, and it gave her enough pause to take an emotional step back and see his logic.
He walked up to the front door and rang the bell. The chimes echoed in the house. Footsteps sounded, followed by the click of several locks, before the door opened to a young woman. She was small, in her midthirties, and her blond hair was pulled back into a tight bun. She wore a black shirt and slacks.
“Can I help you?” she asked.
Mazur held up his badge. “I’m here to see Mr. Bauldry.”
“He’s in New York right now,” the woman said. “He’ll return in two weeks.”
“When did he leave?” Mazur asked.
“A week ago.”
“Do you have a number for him?” he pressed.
She stood ramrod straight, but the tilt of her chin betrayed some of her nerves. “I’m not at liberty to give out that information, but I can give him your name and number when he calls in.”
Mazur gave her his card. “Who are you?”
“Mr. Bauldry’s housekeeper. Elizabeth Lopez.”
“Have him call me as soon as you give him the message.”
“Yes, sir.” The woman moved to close the door, but Mazur blocked it with his foot. “Tell Mr. Bauldry he will not want to make me wait long.”
She paled, nodded, and closed the door, and Mazur turned from the entrance, his jaw pulsing.
He inspected the large home. “Looks like Bauldry landed on his feet.”
“It’s family money,” she said.
“Do you think he’s in New York?” Mazur asked.
“No. William hates crowds. He couldn’t handle the packed hallways of high school. New York would be the last place he’d go.”
“Where else could he be?”
“Bauldry has a brother, Jeb, outside town,” she said. “Jeb might know where William is.”
“That’s all he has in the way of family?”
“That I know of.”
“Let’s pay him a visit.”
Twenty minutes later they arrived at Jeb Bauldry’s house, located twenty miles outside of town on a sprawling ranch. Bald cypress trees lined an aggregate driveway that led through stone pillars toward an arched entrance.
“The family is more well off than I imagined,” Mazur said.
“The old man made his money in oil in Houston. Invested wisely in real estate. Jeb then took over and had his father’s knack for making money. He avoided the market meltdown in ’08, then bought stocks afterward for a song and rode them higher. If you have investments, he’s the man to see.”
“Only investment I have is my condo in Chicago, which I’m still trying to sell. If I can’t see it or touch it, I don’t want it. What about you?”
“I’m in the markets.”