KrisBee spent no time in getting him and Gache on the move. Bakewell Street was a long street with many small avenues and alleyways leading off it. Even though each of these had their own names, most were found only on official maps or old tax reports. To most Bakewell Street now encompassed the street it self and a majority of the surrounding area. This was due, in part, to Madame Pomme and her insatiable appetite for power and prestige. Of course she had help, both KrisBee and Gache once being counted in that small group. KrisBee knew that Gache could not be seen on this street, at least not for long. An Inspector such as Gache had enemies all over Cake Stand City, but the densest concentration was by far located here.
Still, it was funny walking the many winding paths of his once stomping ground once again. He had always been a police officer while he lived here, at least officially. KrisBee had not walked alone that tight rope of good policing and criminality. The only difference was that Gache had found his way back to the law whereas KrisBee had fallen deep into the other side. When he thought back on it he could see the exact moment he had risen and KrisBee had not, and could see how close he was to slipping beyond redemption. It would surprise no one to learn that Madame Pomme had been the reason for his fall. What would surprise everyone is that it was her that saved him also.
“In here” KrisBee said.
They entered through a nondescript door on a side street in the nicer part of Bakewell Street. Gache recognised the area as a place known to attract artists, wastrels and criminals on the way up the ranks of the more organised crime syndicates. What took him awhile was to recognise the door, the stairs and indeed the room.
“This is my old room” Gache said.
KrisBee said nothing in return.
What may have once been his room was his room no longer. He had had, and still had, very minimal taste. Everything he owned had a purpose. He was not one for trinkets or trophies, niceties or knickknacks. A room needed a bed to sleep, a desk and chair for work and very little else. His room had looked like that, this room was floor to ceiling of useless comfort, pomp and a myriad of potions and paints younger cakes used to hide their imperfections.
“This was her room?” Gache said.
“IS her room, is.” KrisBee said.
The emotion in the frosty doughnuts voice startled Gache for a moment. He raised an eyebrow, asking KrisBee if she was his daughter too. The doughnut sighed and shook his head. Still it was clear the two were close. The thought they could be lovers flashed across his mind, but the thought of KrisBee being lovers with anyone was too horrible to contemplate so he let it slide.
As Gache looked around the room KrisBee just stood back and watched. The doughnut had never been one for the actual police work. Gache looked at many things as he searched the room but none caught his attention for more than a second. No, what got him was what was missing. There were things here, a lot of things, but there was nothing personal. It looked more like a store room than a living space. It was not just a few weeks that this daughter had not been staying here, it had been months. Yet she clearly had kept KrisBee and Madame Pomme believing she still lived here. What had this daughter been keeping from these two, and more importantly, why?
“What was, sorry, is, her name?” Gache said.
KrisBee shifted uneasily.
“Her name is Bara, Bara Brith.”
Of course it was, and now the connection to the Slicer seemed clear as day. Gache felt a range of emotions but showed none of them, now was not the time. The Slicer left clues so his targets could be saved, and this one needed to be saved. The fact she was not here made it harder to do that, but it must also mean it would be harder for the Slicer to find her, unless he truly had taken her sometime ago. Heck, that evil son of a cake tin could have been working on Bara for years! But it didn’t matter; only follow crumbs you could see.
“Who was her boyfriend?” Gache said.
“She had none, her mother forbid it.”
And that is why she kept it a secret. That is why she let her mother and KrisBee believe she still lived here, when in reality she was clearly shacked up with whomever this lover was. It meant he had to find this lover first and then track down Bara. It would complicate matters and he just hoped it was not just for him.
“I will need to stick around and ask questions around here…” Gache started, but KrisBee quickly cut in.
“No one will talk to you here, not even if I or Madame Pomme say they have too. I can get answers, but you need to trust me. What do you need to know?” KrisBee said.
“I need to know who Bara was seen with, I need to know who she was interested in or rumoured to be involved with, and most importantly I need to know where she has been living for at least the last couple of months. On that last one I would start by finding out who has been using this place as storage and how they knew they place would be empty.”
KrisBee looked shocked but simply nodded.
“And I need to talk to Pomme, alone.”
“Now that one might be tricky.” KrisBee said.