TITLE: THE LAST DEGREE
KK McKnaught stepped out onto her third floor French Quarter balcony, her long thick ponytail slipping over her shoulder as she stood on her toes and leaned over the wrought iron railing, craning her neck down St. Peter Street toward the Mississippi River. She was standing here against her better judgment. She’d suffered through many clandestine meetings in her career as an investigative reporter, but this was a first -- she was waiting for a dead man to show up.
The obituary in the paper this morning clearly stated that Senator Richard Langley had died yesterday from an unexpected respiratory illness. She had distractedly answered a call on her cell phone while she was reading it. A man whispered into the phone, a voice so low and so barely audible that she had to press the phone hard against her ear to hear what he was saying. Meet me at the entrance to St. Louis Cathedral at eight tonight, I have something important to tell you, he had said, then he hung up without waiting for a reply.
KK’s jaw dropped when she saw the name staring back at her from her caller id -- R. Langley. She knew the number by heart. It was his number. KK picked at her lower lip nervously, the smoke from her cigarette stinging her eyes, making her blink rapidly.