Ria was curious when she found Eli standing in a hidden corner in the hallway watching the conference room. She peeked over. Cal was inside the glass enclosure with a white-haired couple. New clients? She turned her attention back to her colleague. Something in his stance told her there was something worth asking. "I didn't realize spying was part of your job description these days?"
"The truth, Torres, it's out there." He gave her a wink. "And it's our job to find it."
Understanding the pop culture reference, she teased, "Didn't peg you for an X-Files fan."
"Just because I like blunt honesty and unwavering facts in real life doesn't mean I don't indulge in make-believe sometimes." He was quick to return his focus to the conference room. He gestured with a slight nod in that direction. "Do you know who those two are?"
"Mm…no, but judging by Lightman's posture and the way he leans forward to listen intently when the couple is talking, he obviously respects them a lot. Who are they?"
"William and Mary Whitford."
"Whitford…" Ria repeated the last name under her breath. "Sounds familiar…"
"It should. You're looking at D.C. royalty." As it dawned on Ria who the couple was, Eli continued, "William Whitford is a fourth generation politician. The Whitford family is one of the most influential here in the capital."
"Right, yeah…I've heard of them. Their son…um…Gary Whitford was the mayor here for a while, wasn't he?"
Eli nodded. "Mmhmm…good job, Torres. Kept up with D.C. news even while on the west coast."
"Even when you're a baggage screener, you have to know your politicians. So, what are they doing here? You think they're new clients?"
He shook his head. "Nope. Well, clients, maybe, but definitely not new."
"What do you mean?"
"Not the first time I've seen them around here. I remember back when I first started out here, they came here once. I was an intern so, I didn't really get to go out into the field on cases. I only know they weren't clients back then."
"Ok…maybe they're just old friends of Lightman's?"
"Lightman being friends with politicians?" Eli looked at her incredulously.
She shrugged in defeat. "Ok, maybe not." Then she caught the slight curl-up of his lips. It had been subtle but she had caught it. "You know something, don't you?"
"Great thing about not being an intern anymore is that you get a lot more resources to work with. Like I said, the truth's out there, you just gotta find it."
Ria waited for him to elaborate. When he didn't, she placed an impatient hand on her hip and asked, "So what did you find?"
"Ok, I lied. Lightman is friends with them but it's why he's friends with them that makes this story interesting. Before marrying William, Mary was, by all means, from a prestigious background herself. Her family owns a lot of land in Connecticut and is well-known on their own, though they're quite a bit less in the spotlight than the political Whitfords. Marrying William simply joined together two powerful and extremely, ridiculously rich families. You know…the usual white-collar stuff."
"Ok…" Ria crossed her arms now. "Is there a point to all this?"
"Oh, I'm sorry," Something in his tone told Ria he wasn't actually apologetic, "I forgot to mention what Mary's maiden name was…"
"What's going on here?"
Before Eli could make his big reveal, he was interrupted by Gillian's voice down the hall. Both he and Ria looked up to find that she was now standing in the doorway of the conference room and you didn't need to be a deception expert to know she didn't look happy.
"Uh-oh…storm's o'brewin'…" Eli narrowed his eyes as he looked at the scene unfolding in front of them.
Ria's eyebrows furrowed. What is going on? She was as clueless as she was five minutes ago but she had a feeling she was about to find out all the answers to her questions very soon.