He sat down. “Might not want to say that too loud.”
“He’s alive and breathing, but I do have a perfect alibi when the time comes.”
Mazur shook his head. “Read.”
She sat and opened the first file. She read for less than a minute before she looked up and sighed. “We’re partners, you know. You can tell me anything.”
He could feel her gaze. “Read.”
“I mean it. I’m not like the other assholes in this cowboy department.”
She muttered a curse. “Any phone number in particular that I’m looking for?”
“Lena Nelson. She’s the manager of their premier showroom and a big fan of his.” He rattled off the number.
“Like in ol’ Marty had a thing going on the side?”
“Kate got that vibe, too.”
Palmer rubbed her palms together. “Now it’s getting interesting.”
A few minutes went by. “What’s it like working with her?”
“Kate Hayden? She’s smart, objective.”
“I can’t get a read on her at all. For a fembot, she is actually likeable in a weird sort of way.”
“There’s a sense of humor lurking in there, which gives me hope.”
“I heard you’re looking for Bauldry,” she said.
“Kate and I checked his house, his brother’s home, and also the family farm. No sign of him. I’ve put a BOLO out on him with the deputy in Medina County. He’s sending a deputy to check out his house again as well as the Medina property.”
“You heard about Kate’s old man, right?”
“Murdered by Bauldry.”
“Did you know she was this big chess whiz and so was Bauldry? They played a tournament together and it didn’t end well for him.”
He looked up, knowing Palmer wouldn’t rest until her curiosity was satisfied. “You know a lot.”
She scooted forward on her chair a fraction and leaned forward. “Maybe I’m friends with a few of the ladies in records. And I bring doughnuts when I need a favor.”
“Why’d you look her up?”
“Curiosity. She’s not the first who went to work for law enforcement after a tragedy.” She glanced around and pulled a thick binder from her desk drawer. “Want to see the file?”
“You pulled the father’s murder file?”
“I did.” No hint of apology.
“Yeah, I’ll have a look.” He thumbed through the file, stopping on a picture taken of Kate at the age of seventeen. The light-brown hair was longer and the face a little rounder, but she had the same serious look as today.