Lawyer Trap - By R. J. Jagger




For Eileen




Two heartbeats after Nick Teffinger rang the bell of the expensive contemporary mansion, a naked woman walked across a marble vestibule toward the door, in the process of throwing a long-sleeve shirt over a perfectly tanned body. She had one button done when she opened the door, and looked a lot more like a movie star than a murderer.

Teffinger introduced himself as he shifted his 34-year-old frame from one foot to the other, explained that he was with Denver homicide and asked, “Are you Davica Holland?”

She said nothing and instead studied his eyes.

“One’s blue and one’s green,” she said. “I couldn’t figure it out at first.”

Teffinger shrugged.

“One of my many flaws.” He couldn’t look away. She wasn’t just attractive, but dangerously so, with hypnotic green eyes.

She turned.

“Come in.”

He followed her through a vaulted space with marble columns, exotic plants, and modern art. She appeared to be about twenty-seven or twenty-eight. A black tattoo wrapped around her right ankle, something in the nature of a tribal band. Her hair was damp and hung perfectly straight, about six inches below her shoulders. Right now it seemed light brown but no doubt softened to blond when it dried.

The white shirt was flimsy silk.

An incredibly muscled ass pushed it back and forth as she walked.

“You work out,” he said, raking his thick brown hair back with his fingers.

She looked over her shoulder.

“Nice of you to notice.”

“It would be pretty hard not to,” he said. “Did I say that out loud?”

She laughed.

“Yes, you did.”


She stopped and turned, so abruptly that he actually walked into her. “You’re here about Angela Pfeiffer, right?” she asked.


“Does that mean her body’s shown up?”

He nodded. “We found it yesterday.”


“In a shallow grave, near a railroad spur north of downtown.”

“How’d she die?”


“More than once?”

“A lot more than once.”

She retreated in thought and then asked, “Was she wearing any clothes?”


She exhaled. “So, it’s official then. She’s actually dead.”

“I’m afraid so.”

She turned, continued walking, and said over her shoulder, “I didn’t do it and don’t know who did. You’re wasting your time with me.”

They ended up in the kitchen, which had to be a thousand square feet or more, replete with granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and distressed-wood cabinets. A wall of floor-to-ceiling windows showcased incredibly landscaped grounds, including no less than three waterfalls cascading into an aqua blue pool.

Off in the distance, more than a hundred yards away, a couple of gardeners were hard at work.

The woman handed him a cup of coffee.

He said, “Thanks,” took a noisy sip and added, “Nice place.”

She studied him.

“It keeps the rain off my head.”

She reached into an upper cabinet and pulled out something that looked like a small cigarette. Then she stuck it in her mouth, turned on a burner, and lit it. The unmistakable odor of marijuana immediately permeated the air. After a deep hit she offered it to him.

“I better not,” he said. “You go right ahead, though.”

“Our secret, right?”

“I don’t see why not.”

She took another hit, paced back and forth, and then looked him dead in the eyes. “I didn’t do it.”

Teffinger nodded.

“The word is that you two were lovers,” he said. “You had a falling-out and she disappeared shortly after that. Now her body shows up and we see that she’s been dead for some time—months.”

She looked at him.

“Since our falling-out.”

He nodded. “Right. Since about then.”

She took another hit from the joint, sucked it in, held her breath, and then blew out. “I’m glad she’s dead. I’ll tell you that much.”

Teffinger paused midway through a sip of coffee.

“She was a major bitch,” the woman added.

He raised an eyebrow.

“How much of a bitch, exactly?”

The woman retreated in thought. “Enough that I hated her at the end.”

“Hated her enough to kill her?”

The woman didn’t hesitate. “Oh, yeah, easily.” She headed out of the room. “Follow me. I’m going to show you something.”

She led Teffinger into the master bedroom. Thick drapes covered the windows and kept the space so dark that he could hardly make out anything, except for the oversized canopy bed. Then, as his eyes adjusted, the vague shapes of dressers and lamps emerged.

She left the room dark and told him to lie down on the bed.

He hesitated.

She was only wearing the shirt, with nothing underneath.

She was high.

“I’m not sure that’s a good …”

She pushed him and he fell into the bed. “Relax,” she said. “I don’t limit myself to women, but that’s not what this is about.”

He stayed where he was, wondering what she