24 ~ Felix

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Felix didn't know whether to be pissed off or embarrassed. She didn't have a real reason to be pissed off. Ryan had texted her. She just hadn't noticed it. So, embarrassment won out. Now, she faced the reality of her promise to rat out Andy and his gang, which had her hyperventilating as she yanked the towel off her head and pulled on her jeans. It was the right thing to do, of course. Those lowlifes needed to spend some alone time contemplating their crimes, and there was no sense thinking Andy might be spared. He was as guilty as the rest of them. The big, fat cheater.

When Felix returned, Ryan was setting up his laptop on the table. The baggie with the flash drive lay next to it, making her shiver, or maybe it was the red-faced cop checking her out from his chair.

"Okay, Miss. Let's get started." He pulled a notebook and a pen from his breast pocket and started throwing questions at her before she even got to her seat. "What is your full name?"

"Felicity Dawn Taylor."

"Birthdate and birth city."

"March twelfth nineteen ninety-three. Chicago, Illinois."

Fulton acknowledged her answer with a nod. "So, this is your hometown. Does it bother you that you'll have to say goodbye to it forever if you seek the assistance of the witness protection program?"

Ryan glared at the officer. "Let's stick to collecting the facts, Fulton. Felix, why don't you tell us how you met Andy."

Felix recounted the events of the last three years, starting with the six months she helped Andy develop the code, and culminating in her dropping out of MIT to move into a million dollar home in the Chicago suburbs with him.

"When Andy told me about his coding idea, he said it was hypothetical, although it was based on current hacking techniques," she explained as she played with a strand of wet hair. "He was considering going for his masters and he wanted to develop a working program for his thesis. It took him two years to get it to the point of practical use, which was about the time I found out he was working for criminals. By then, I had contributed too much to back out."

"So, he basically hoodwinked you," Ryan said.

Felix knew what Ryan was doing. He wanted her to see that Andy had been a schmuck from the get-go. Maybe she chose to ignore the schmucky Andy because of that singular act of kindness when he saved her from the schmuck with the knife. He had taken a severe beating to save her virtue.

"Yes, I suppose you could say that, but I'd like to believe it was not premeditated," she said.

"Can I see this elaborate code?" Fulton asked, pointing to the laptop.

Felix pulled up the information, knowing he wouldn't understand a single digit on the screen, but she was simply following instructions at that point. Her brain had been shutting down over the course of their conversation.

"Interesting," Fulton said as he looked blankly at the screen. "So, our victim, who found herself dead a few nights ago, was using this code to do what, exactly? Was she using it for her own gains, or was she working with these same jokers?"

"We haven't pieced that together yet," Ryan said. "But there's a collection of emails on the flash drive that still needs to be sifted through."

"Let's see them." Fulton motioned for Felix to do the honors of reliving her horror, and she pretended she was made of steel as she opened the email folder. She turned the laptop so Fulton and Ryan could enjoy themselves while she slowly slipped into a semi-coma.

"I take it Andrew M is your boyfriend?" Fulton said, without looking up from the screen.

"Former boyfriend."

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