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Devil That You Know 20: Finding the Needle (Pt 1)

"We are always looking for a small number of very evil needles in a very large haystack. But what we don't truly realize is that sometimes, the haystack is also equally evil."


♙Kai Hamilton♙


"So.. what can I help you with?" Katarina says with a soft, almost gentle expression on her face.

Kai stood nearby the rest of his team while Jaivon took point in this conversation. Kai was actually quite thankful for that as he knows how bad he is being curious about the upper crust in this city. That and he could help the unnerved feeling creeping up his spine the more he watched Katarina passively. She vividly reminded him of a snake, seeming passive on the outer but there was a lethal, dangerous sparkle in her eyes.

"It is about our two victims, which I'm sure you already know of customers here." Jaivon details out his words rather casually, not giving anything away in his voice.

It wasn't like she didn't already know was Kai was certain anyone who was anyone in this city knew. She didn't hide her amusement as her eyes narrowed a bit as a small smile comes to her face.

"Hmm, I'm familiar with the two.." She said with a weighted pause at the end of her statement.

Whether it was a misdirect or not, Jaivon doesn't read into it and just continues.

"Did the two of them seem odd the nights before they died? Anything strange happen?"

"Hmm..." Katharine close her eyes in thought, even leaning back on that bar stool as if to show her "deep recollection".

She was obviously making fun of them as the rich tended to do when one was on their payroll. She turns her head before finally opening her eyes again.

"Hmm, well for the most part the two never really interacted with each other. Honda didn't come here often and Prince was always too stuck up for his own good. They never really interacted since most of the time they came on different days."

"And..?" Jaivon pressed.

"I don't know if it was odd necessary but it was something not in the usual. About 2 months or so ago, Price came in without his usual company of busty escorts. Not unheard of but him behaving like a spooked deer was."

Everyone latched onto that particular bit of information.

"Two months ago? He seemed scared?" Jaivon said, throwing only a slight glance back at his time.

Two months was well before the case had even started. All this confirms the that Price and Honda were connected in some manner prior.

"As flighty as a strung-out drug addict that one." Katarina jokes, chuckling a bit.

No one else laughed but that didn't seem to deter her amusement at all.

"He was pacing around and looking everywhere like he was expecting a jumpscare. He eventually scurried over to Honda to talk but it didn't last long. Like I said the two didn't seem to be awfully close."

"What happened exactly?"

"Not much, they only exchanged only a few words before Honda cussed him out. He then scurried out and that was the last time either of them came back."

"Do you happen to have a recording of that day?" Jaivon said as he had been eyeing the cameras around the area.

The smile that was on Katarina's face widened dangerously as she almost looked amused at the question.

"...You don't believe me, officer?"

It wasn't a question but Jaivon gives her a neutral smile and replied anyway.

"Of course, I believe you. Just seeing a vision of the situation would also be beneficial to our case. If you are amendable?"

There was a pause as Kai's team could see Katarina thinking carefully about the request and what it would imply. As Kai was certain that whoever gave the ok to have her speak with them, sure they didn't want to give away too much. But much to their surprise, she doesn't deliberate long before finally answering.

"Sure, I'll bring you to the control room for the cameras." She said casually.

A short walk brings them through a small portion of the club, nothing out of place or interesting there. The control room was a stale-looking room, with an array of computers and monitors. There were two employees there who quickly turned and nodded to Katrina as they entered. There was quite an arrangement of cameras that spanned over the whole club. However, one was greyed out and was reading static. Katarina mumbled a few words to one of the employees who nodded quickly and started typing in a few keys.

"They will roll back the camera to the front area for that day where Honda was here. Sorry I can't give more than that." Katarina said with an apologetic smile.

That was obviously bull but Kai and his team didn't call her out on it. They knew their place and took what was offered. The once-grey screen fizzled into life as the image of the club floor showed up. Just on the corner edge was seated Honda who looked to be relaxed without a care in the world. The club wasn't overly packed today, which wasn't too odd given that it was relatively early on a Wednesday from the date stamped.

"Honda was a mid-day drinker?" Jaivon asked also to notice the time stamp.

Katarine let out a laugh and a look that yelled "how the fuck would I know".

"Sorry, I'm not his mother, nor was I close to the man. He came in at random times, just how he was."

There was a small pause before Kai suddenly interjected.

"And Price?"

There was an almost odd pause before Katarina answered, too short to be awkward but long enough to know she wasn't sure if she should say it. Her eyes were narrowed on Kai, like a spider stalking its caught prey.

"...Price was usually here in the evenings. This was the first time he came this early." She said almost offhandedly like it was an unimportant fact.

Kai frowned a bit as his mind started to trace a few things. Katarina definitely knew more than she was letting on. Acting like she didn't know much was her first mistake, given how meticulous she was with details. On the recording, they see where Honda is approached by Price. He was quite nervous, looking like someone was hunting him. Wrangling his wrist even as he approached Honda. Honda, who didn't appear to be really concerned with him, kept the muted conversation was short. Honda gets upset at the end and yells something at Price to get him to go away. After that Price seems to sulk away like a kicked puppy.

"He leaves after that, only was there for like a half hour or so?" Katarina said in an almost bored tone.

"Did he seem like was waiting for Honda? Or anyone?" Kai asks.

She gives him a stiff smile and nods to her employee. They show another angle, just at the entrance of the club. The time was a bit before the confrontation with Honda, there were a few people coming and going. It was still relatively earlier in the day for the clubs so this wasn't something odd. There was Price, seated at one of the tables to the far right. He was looking around before looking down at his watch. He repeated this action quite a few times.

"..I honestly am not sure if he was waiting for Honda necessarily or someone else. Honda comes in about 10 mins afterward but Pirce doesn't immediately go to him." Katarina explains with a shrug.

And just as she explained, a beat later Honda enters in the club. He takes his seat where they had seen him prior. However, Price remained in his seat only giving the other man a quick glance.

"Honda then goes for a small meeting, And before you ask no I cannot tell you who." She said with a pointed look.

Kai holds back the urge to roll his eyes but he does clearly see Honda get up from his seat and walk over to the side area where the doors to the VIP rooms are. A quick exchange of muted dialogue and then he disappears behind the door. They sit and wait as time passes by on the recording. 20 mins afterward Honda exits from the VIP section, not looking any different than before, and then seats himself back at his usual spot. Then after was when Price gets up to walk over to them to once again be berated by Honda.

"And that's basically it." Katrina said.

"And you're certain there isn't anything else regarding this meeting? Neither shows up again on the same day?"

"No, Price never came back after that and Honda only came once or twice afterward."

"Can we see those times?"

Katriana's patience seems to be waning at its end as she glares at Jaivon for his continued questioning. Kai explained that maybe it might be a problem with those to be but then she just shrugs and nods to her employee. The camera rolls again this time it appears to be a month forwards, on a Wednesday evening. Honda seems to be having some kind of celebration as his table is crowded and it's obvious even without the sound that they were making quite a bit of noise.

"I believe this was the day he got that old apartment complex off on Park St down in the slums. Hadn't seen him in a while so I was expecting it to have been something big. Honestly, I would have rather he chose somewhere else for his little celebration but beggars can't be choosers."

It did appear rather rowdy given how everyone was acting on the recording. Given that the party lasted over an hour Katarina explained. So to save time, the recording was sped up slightly to get a general picture.

"Wait!" Jaivon called out as he noticed something.

The recording freeze-framed for a moment, a few minutes before the said parted was set to end. Honda seemed distracted as he was reading a note that had been handed to him by one of the waitresses. His facial expression is dark and there is a cold gleam in his eyes. However, as quickly as it came, the expression mulled out to his normal condescending looks. He does however become a lot more active, moving and quickly leaving the club.

"What was on that note?" Jaivon asks turning the attention to Katarina.

"I'm not sure.. guests have a tendency to send notes to each other. Mostly flirting or if they want a private meeting. We don't really keep track of that kind of stuff." She said with a frown.

She was lying, Kai couldn't tell but it wasn't in regards to this particular note, however. The expression on her face that came when the note was even seen as one of almost cold curiosity. Kai however didn't have time to really press on that and instead went a different route.

"Who was the waitress then? She would know who gave her that note?"

Katarina looks at him almost as if seeing him for the first time again. Her gaze still has a cold curiosity vibe to it. Kai was an interesting creature that had stubble into a lion's den. But she does grant his request and called for the waitress in question. It was a young woman, maybe in her mid-20s, with short bob-cut dark brown hair, and large mouse-brown eyes. She looks reasonably nervous as she is pinned by stares from both Katarina and Kai and his team. But she does explain what had happened.

"One of the partons headed me the note, a young woman. Um, she had dark-colored hair with bangs and a dark dress. There were so many people that night, I didn't really think much of it? Grant almost everyone was drinking and more or less flirty without care." She said with a frown.

Her story did check out with the information from the recording. There was in fact a lot of dance and less than savory things going on with this particular party. Not Katarina particular clientele given the rather annoyed look that came on her face as she both watch the recording and also listen to the young woman retell her story.

"And where was she? At the bar? One of the tables nearby Honda?" Rafeeqa asks her as she tries to look back at the recording.

The waitress then looks over at the recording and scans over the recording before her eyes light and she pointed at a section.

"There, right in the back."

There was a woman there, sitting by herself in a dark dress. Her bangs were very low and hung over one of her eyes. She was pretty far in the back of the club where the lightning wasn't quite as strong and her camera angle was great. They rewatch the recording to see the interaction with the waitress who was flagged down while running between tables. Muffled words were spoken quickly before she handed over the said piece of paper. The waitress does nod and takes the paper. She then walks off.

"Did you read it?" Jaivon asks plainly.

If she said she didn't, Kai knew that would be a lie. Katarina was too attentive to hire people who didn't make sure nothing was happening without her knowledge. That issue however probably had to do with what was said in the message. The waitress had a notably nervous look now as her eyes kept darting to Katrina for guidance.

"I did... read it. I just... didn't understand it!"

The "until now" was left unsaid but was obvious to everyone around.

"And what did it say?" Jaivon asks a bit impatiently.

She looks down for a second before looking back up.

"It said 'Know my truth'."

Her words echoed in the room like a gunshot as Kai and his team looked back in shock and a slow realization crept up.

This was the link they had been searching for desperately.

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