Welcome to Tuesday Tales!
“Any luck with the butterfly?” Marshall asked, opening the door to a home office. The windows faced north to rolling hills and pine trees. The desk was angled to provide a wide view of the hillside. For a home office, the workspace was remarkably clean, like a photoshoot for a home decorating magazine. Everything had a place, from the magazines artistically stacked on the side table to the shelves containing a variety of cameras and recording equipment. She wondered if Hilde had taken care of it or if Marshall was naturally neat.
“It’s been too rainy to get out into the woods. A butterfly isn’t going to be out and about in these downpours we’ve been having.” She wandered over to the window. Views of the trees always mesmerized her. What animals prowled through their trunks? Which colonies of insects crept through the mulch and moss? “I don’t know how you can do any work here. I’d be staring out the window daydreaming all day.”
“As you can see my desk isn’t very productive. Not even a pencil on top.”
“I thought Hilde cleaned it up for you.”
“Clutter would definitely make her twitchy. But most of my work stays at my office. This room is to organize my hobby.”
Jaiden examined the room again, looking for a hint of what that hobby might be. A few sculptures dotted the book shelves. Non-descript shapes. A couple framed pictures, again of trees or woodland. The quality of the photographs was not particularly amazing or she realized as she moved closer— even very good. They were grainy and out of focus. Trees with dark branches and trunks, barely discernible through the foliage. She couldn’t find a clue to any hobby other than poor photography.
Marshall flipped a painting to the side to reveal a wall safe.
“You have a wall safe? I thought those were only in movies.”
“It’s easier to have the sensors tapped into the security system.”
Jaiden averted her eyes while Marshall punched in a code and opened the safe. It made as a hiss as the seal released. Jaiden tried not to be too nosey, but she didn’t know anyone who had a safe, let alone a wall safe and she was curious to know what was in it. A cache of jewels, banded stacks of Benjamins, or a Faberge egg?
Marshall’s head blocked most of her view as he shuffled through the mini-refrigerator sized space. “I could have shown you a picture first, but the real thing is so amazing…” His voice trailed off. He stepped back from the safe and scratched the back of his head.
“What’s wrong?” Jaiden moved away from the window and edged toward the desk.
“It’s not here.” Marshall moved back to the safe and removed a stack of papers to his desk. On top, he tossed the expected band of cash.
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