For a second, Kindred wondered why Castillo was still single. He was in great shape for a thirty-something and except for his full head of wavy hair, he was a dead ringer for Bruce Willis in “Die Hard.” The thought scared her, and she stuffed this observation down deep where it should never resurface. Suddenly in desperate need of a cough drop, she dug her little black bag out from under the seat.
“So, why does the beloved high school principal and hometown hero end up dead? And more importantly, how?” Castillo asked. She could almost see the gears turning in his detective brain.
Kindred popped the cough drop into her mouth and ruminated. “I hope we see a likely suspect at the café because I couldn’t find anybody that saw him before Nisha found his body. And I don’t see Nisha killing him.”
“Agreed. I’ve already asked the school district IT department to forward the camera footage to my email address as soon as possible. I hope we can look at it while we eat.”
Her stomach growled as they pulled into the parking lot and she smelled the heavenly scents of fresh coffee and grilled food. “I’m getting a chicken wrap and a scone. It’s early enough for me to burn it off.”
“A few extra pounds wouldn’t hurt you.” Castillo was parking the car.
“Spoken like a true Southern man.” Kindred’s face flushed as she exited the car and stalked toward the side entrance. They had been partners for months, but this was the first time she thought of him as a man instead of a teacher. And man he was, all six-foot tall, two hundred pounds of athletic, baby-faced hunter with green eyes and a deep dimple that she suddenly ached to touch. Was this some horrid spell? Did teenage hormones from the high school suddenly attach themselves to her and make her crazy? This man was ten years older than her. She’d just broken up with the guy she planned to marry since the academy, and she was lusting after the man in charge of making her the best homicide detective in the state? Starvation must have warped her brain. “I need food.”
“Oh, I told Nisha to try to send the head custodian our way in about thirty minutes. I think she’ll be more forthcoming in a neutral area. In my experience, janitorial staff know more than anybody, and I’m hoping she can help us wrap this up quickly. I have four texts from the chief so far, and I’m not looking forward to any more.” He pulled his wallet from his back pocket. “Want to find us a seat? I know what you want.”
“Really? How do I take my coffee?”
“Strong and dark with a sprinkle of cinnamon.”
Kindred arched an eyebrow. “You do pay attention, don’t you?”
“Watch and learn, rookie.”
Her naughty brain added, “What else can you teach me, Mr. Castillo, with all your age and experience?”