Daniel made for the back door, but I could tell we weren’t going to get past the cop guarding the yellow tape across the alley. “Let’s go in the front,” I said. “We can check the back door from the inside.”
I told the cop on guard duty where I was going and why. Daniel led the way at his usual fast clip up the street and around the corner to the Center’s official entrance. My knee hurt, my hip had stiffened up from sitting in the police car, and I couldn’t keep up with him. I brought up the rear in a hurried half-limp.
“You say that you discovered the body and then someone attacked you?” Daniel asked me over his shoulder.
“Mmmph,” I mumbled. I was short of breath, and I wasn’t too fond of doing the three-step-behind submissive march. If he wanted to ask questions he could slow down.
When we reached the painted metal front door with its discreet brass nameplate, Daniel punched in his access code to turn off the alarm, first shielding the number pad with his body. Ever security-conscious, our Daniel. I had my own access code, what could I possibly want with his? I leaned against the wall and rested my sore hip.
An electronic alarm and two dead bolts later, we were inside the suite of offices. Daniel’s office and the data room ran along one wall, restrooms and lounge lined the opposite side. The large windowless expanse that remained had been divided into a maze of cubicles with only fluorescent fixtures buzzing overhead to illuminate the darkness.
If thieves ever succeeded in breaking in again, they’d wonder where the treasure was buried. Our computer equipment represented a haphazard collection of used hard drives, dysfunctional keyboards and ancient printers, and our office furniture would have made a poor showing at a garage sale.