Newly confident that he still had a shot at identifying the elusive Jack before the police followed their own lead further and either looked extremely foolish or got extremely lucky, Rue made his way to Jennifer’s apartment.
A social call, not a lead, he told himself firmly, well aware that when he was on a case it usually didn’t take a World Series of Poker Champion or Sherlock Holmes to look past at his face and conclude he was on to something. Thus politely dampening his interests, Rue Dobbs gained entrance to Jennifer and Preeta’s place, the cop outside barely giving his credentials a blink.
The sight of the PI didn’t exactly elicit a warm greeting from Dawayne’s girlfriend, something he’d encountered during their first meeting as well. At first nonplussed and more than a little hurt – he was trying to help after all – Rue soon realized that Jennifer had had very little to do with and, in fact, had little knowledge of Dawayne’s more unsavory dealings. And Rue Dobbs was a living, breathing reminder of all that had brought Dawayne to his tragic end, was the symbol of murder, mystery, and backstabbing drug-dealers, in her opinion.
“You’ve got the bitch?” Clearly she’d been brought up to speed on the case.
Rue shook his head and opened his mouth to speak, shocked at Jennifer’s opening line and struggled to not show it.
Clearly Jennifer was equally appalled by her own lack of decorum and blushed, hands rushing to her mouth, “I’m sorry, Mr. Dobbs. I’ve – it’s been so hard and…” Eyes brimming with tears, she stopped, accepting Rue’s offer of a handkerchief. “I miss him, I really do. I just wish I coulda changed him, gotten him outta that mess – away from those people,” she sobbed.
One one thousand, two one thousand… Rue counted aloud in his head, attempting a polite pause to allow the poor woman to gather herself before his planned onslaught of questions, grateful for his handkerchief, as it had apparently brought him some confidence and gave her something not his shoulder to cry into. “There there,” he stated, awkward and self-aware, “You did what you could, Jennifer. Dawayne knew that.”
She sniveled and looked up, eyes bright through her tears, “That’s what Jack said.”
He couldn’t help it, he glanced at her sharply for those words, as shocked by the woman’s incidental comment as the woman was herself at his reaction. Luckily Jennifer was still bathing in her tears and so paid Rue’s scrutiny little heed. But then, the poor woman had no reason to suspect she was incriminating this Jack fellow as she next explained, “He’s my brother.”