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Friday, September 1, 2023

F³ The Way to A Detective's Heart 28

The Fairhaven Club was just that, a club; well, they would no doubt call it a private society. Semantics aside, they didn’t do that much business. Even Nikki’s Blackthorn Club boasted a higher number of people that used the place. And no matter how much merch the Fairhaven Club had, no matter how much food and booze they consumed, they didn’t take in that much in deliveries, so there was no need for loading docks. But if the members were filling those storage rooms underneath, then they were using the place to smuggle stuff in. Antiques and artifacts, especially, would take up a lot of room, like on a freight truck.

The building with the loading docks had once been a furniture place with its own shop to actually make the stuff. But they went out of business decades ago, and, like lots of places that had been upgraded over time, the original building had been sliced into pieces with partitions put up, converting them all into little shops. The shop with the docks was the smallest of the bunch, and likely why it was just a kitschy souvenir shop.

            My jaw cracked as I yawned again, covering my mouth with the back of my hand. Stakeouts were very boring. It was even worse when I had only gotten a few hours of sleep. After I was done at the city planner’s office, I needed to be parked somewhere inconspicuous with an eye on the street accessing the Club’s loading docks. For once, something was in my favor.

Fairhaven was an old town. Not as old as those in my old stomping grounds of Boston, but old enough to predate cars. A lot of the streets were one-way because they were narrow; large trucks needed wide lanes in order to back into the docks. This street wasn’t that wide, but it did have signs that prohibited street parking on that particular stretch. However, I was parked on the connecting street with a clear view of where any trucks could turn into those loading docks.

Unfortunately, there was no way to know when, or how often, a freight truck would drop something off at the docks that the Club had appropriated. I spent all day watching and tracking the trucks. Mostly it was the usual suspects, UPS, Fedex, Amazon, DHL, and a couple of local places, Speedway, OnTime, etc., but I saw a few private delivery trucks, too. These were the smaller box trucks, but they could have the stuff I was looking for.

It was evening, and I swear I had only closed my eyes for a minute when there was a knock on my window. I thought I was going to have to explain to some cop why I was there, but instead it was Nikki, bearing coffee.

At first whiff, I said, “I love you.”

“Had I known I would receive your affections just for coffee, I would have provided you all that you asked,” Nikki said after passing me the extra-large cup.

“I was talking to the coffee,” I said.

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