[1015 Words – Inspiration Monday]Betty fumbled for a good lie to tell Felix – something that wouldn’t put Massey in the spotlight, but the Muse’s revenge was complete. The lie, a little white lie, slipped out of her mouth with shocking ease. Betty lowered her voice and stepped toward Felix. “I mixed up some of the evidence earlier. I screwed up really bad, Felix.”
Felix sighed. “I’m sure that if you explain your error to the lead FBI agent, they won’t file any formal charges on you.”
“The bag has my name on it, Felix. You saw how the feds came in and basically chased everyone away. I can lose my badge here. Come on, Felix, all I need is two minutes inside the office. Two minutes. I’ll be in your debt.”
Betty reached for Felix’s hand and gave his fingers a gentle squeeze. She knew he liked her, or at least he had since he asked her out a couple of times in the past few months. Their eyes had locked for a few moments before Felix’s shoulders slumped and Betty knew she had him.
“Alright. Make yourself busy and wait for my signal.”
Betty watched him stride off with his back straight, and his blond hair pristinely combed. On his way, he passed near his desk and left the evidence bags with the tapes there, something Betty was thankful for. She made a mental note to swipe those. Her brows knitted together when she saw Felix hurrying off to the coffee machine and filling two cups to near overflowing. Then Betty understood what he was about to do. She moved closer to her desk and stood over it feigning work while listening and watching out of the corner of her eye.
Felix gestured to the pair of FBI agents inside Massey’s office. He showed them the hot beverage and exchanged his pleasantries with them when they came out.
“I figured you might need some refreshments, Agents,” Felix said.
“Thank you, Officer Wallas was it? We are expecting the footage from the CCTV. We were told you were bringing them to us.”
“Ah, yes, well it’ll be just a few minutes. Our specialist Ray is trying to round up all the other footage you also requested. Our archive is a bit messy.”
The male agent had deep-set eyes that were pale and inexpressive and they watched Felix without blinking.
“This case has a priority marker on it Officer Wallas, make sure the tapes are here first. We can pick up the rest later.”
“Yes, sir I’ll make sure they are delivered immediately. Oh, let me first give you your coffees.”
Just as Felix was passing out the cups, Betty saw how his fingers slipped not accidentally, and the cup flew at the male agent, the hot substance splashing him square across the chest, soaking his white shirt in deep brown. The agent shrieked in surprise and pain, and Felix went on to apologize and push the agent towards the restroom while the female agent strode after them, worried for her partner who wailed and cursed until they were out of sight.
Betty spurred to action. She slipped inside the office and closed the door locking it. She knew she had minimum time, bare minutes before the agents returned, so putting on her gloves she started fumbling through the boxes in search of the Jensen file.
Soon enough rummaging through the boxes yielded nothing. Betty’s palms were getting sweaty as she rushed around the office. She was running out of time, and she had to make things work fast otherwise, the file was going to be as good as gone. Just as despair almost made her question her plan, Betty spotted the corner of something yellow sticking out from a black briefcase. It belonged to one of the agents, Betty could summarize as much. The thing wasn’t locked, and Betty pried it open pulling the file free. It was the Miles Jensen one. Betty grabbed it and made for the door but stopped. It would seem suspicious, Felix’s behavior and a file missing. It would alert the feds, and the blame of sabotaging the investigation would fall on Massey.
Betty retreated to the small photocopier and booted it up. She loaded with trembling fingers the four pages one by one and then hid the copies under her uniform shirt. Then when she was done Betty quickly fed the original pages into the shredder. It was risky. It was stupid. Though it wasn’t going to stop the feds from accessing the file, it was going to slow them down and give Betty enough time to hand the copies over to Massey. She quickly picked a random folder from the boxes, snatched its contents and stuffed it inside the empty Jensen folder. She then threw the replaced folder inside the case again, adjusting it so that the corner was still visible. Hopefully, that would fool them long enough for Massey to get the purloined papers.
She slipped out the door but was met with a bulking form that crashed into her. Betty looked up to see Special Agent Batiste wearing a smirk on his greasy face.
“Why the rush Officer Patterson? I hope I didn’t interrupt something in there.” Batiste looked past her shoulder and peered inside the office.
“No sir, I was just delivering the last folders to the batch.”
Batiste patted her on the shoulder. “Good, good. We’re all working for the same cause.” He winked, and tried to smile, but it ended up a crooked leer. “Stop the killings, catch the bad guys, right?”
Betty nodded and when Agent Batiste stepped out of her way she had to steel her nerves not to run as fast as she could. On her way out Betty briefly stopped near Felix’s desk and picked up the tapes. She could feel Batiste’s eyes on her back so she worked slowly and in such a way that he couldn’t see what her hands were doing. She slid the tapes inside yellow paper envelopes and hurried out of the building without a second glance back.