Chapter 19

Liz Murphy arrived at her desk around 2. After meeting with Susan, she did feel a little better about Brian. She still had reservations but trusted her friend who was typically a good judge of character. But it was her job to verify facts before passing judgment.

She pulled out her mobile and looked for Brian’s number. Then she picked up her desk phone and called the Telecom team. Her friend Matt answered.

“Hey Matt,” she said.  “How’s it going?”

“Good Liz,” he answered. “What’s going on?”

“Oh hey, not a lot,” she said. “I just need an address for a mobile number.”

“Ok,” he said. “What’s the warrant number?”

“This is a personal thing,” she said. “I just want to verify a number a guy gave me.”

“Again?” he asked, a bit condescendingly. “What kind of guy gives you a bogus number? You need to raise your standards to someone, say, like, me,” he said with a laugh.

“Yeah, I know,” she replied. “But I like guys who actually go out and socialize with people.” She laughed, to show she was kidding, of course.

“Ha, very funny,” he said. “What’s the number?”

“480 551 1212” she replied. “I just need the name and address.”

“Yeah, well, that’s at VOIP number, so I can’t help you with it,” he said.

“Oh, really, what do you mean?” she asked.

“It’s a number assigned by Google, in this case, and it gets forwarded to a real mobile device, or even a landline, or both,” he said.

“Ok,” she said. “So how do we get the number it’s forwarded to?”

“Well, you’ll need a subpoena for that,” he said.

“Damn,” she said. “Is there any way around it?”

“No, probably not,” he said.

“Ok,” she said.

“But hey,” he said, “you can always have my number.” She could hear him grinning through the phone.

“Oh, I have your number,” she said. “I’ll call you. Thanks.”

“You’re welcome,” he said. Then he heard her hang up.

“That sneaky son of a bitch,” she said, looking down at the number on her mobile.

She tapped his number.

“Hello,” Brian said.

“Hey,” she said. “Why didn’t you give me your real number?” she said.

He could tell she was angry again.  “I did,” he replied. 

“But it’s not,” she said. “It’s a forwarded number.  Why did you give me this instead of your real number? I thought we were building trust here.”

“I gave you that number because it rings on all of my phones,” he said. “I thought that would be best.”

“Well, okay,” she said. “Guess you’re right.”

“So, did you try to trace it or something?” he asked.

“Of course,” she said. “It’s my job, right.”

“Umm, sure,” he said.  “Do you want my address or something?”

“Well, sure,” she said.

“You cant have it,” he replied.

“What!?” she said.

“You want some deniability, right?” he asked.  “Also, I don’t think it’s a good idea at this point. I just met you today and you tried to beat me up. In fact, I was wondering if I should file a complaint. Can you transfer me?”

“Go to hell,” she said and hung up.

Continue to Chapter 20
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