Something About You Page 17

She stirred this time, and Jack set her down on the stoop, quick to put space between them. She stood there for a moment, groggy and uncertain, and peered up as if seeing him for the first time.

“You.”

“Me.”

She blinked, then threw an arm into the air, slurring her words tiredly. “Go. Pish off.”

Now Jack was more than happy to pish off, but first he needed to make sure she was safe. She was his key witness, after all. He tossed her the purse, which she barely caught, and set her suitcase inside the front door.

“Your keys are in the lock—don’t forget them. Are you alone here?” He asked this last question solely out of professional responsibility. “You’ve had a strange night—you might not want to be by yourself.”

He watched as she pulled her keys out of the lock and put them back in, then pushed on the door and stared in confusion when she found it already open.

“Yeah . . . now I’m thinking you really shouldn’t be here by yourself,” Jack said.

Despite being out of it, she had no problem managing to throw a dirty look his way. “I’ll call Collin,” she mumbled. Then she stepped inside her house and slammed the door in his face.

So.

There was a Collin.

Jack did a quick check to make sure the house looked secure. Then he headed back to the car and climbed in.

Wilkins held out his hands. “Well?”

“We’re good to go,” Jack said.

“You sure we should just leave her here alone?”

“She’s going to call Collin.”

“Oh, that’s a relief. Who’s Collin?”

Jack shrugged. “No clue. All I know is that she’s his problem now, not mine.”

“Ouch. That’s a little harsh.”

“Actually, I was going for a lot harsh, but I might be off my game,” Jack said. “Been a long night. Don’t forget the coffee on the way back into the office.”

Wilkins grinned as he threw the car into drive. “You know, I think I’m gonna learn a lot from you, Jack.”

Jack wasn’t exactly sure where that was coming from. But of course it was very true. “Thank you.”

“You’re a man who speaks his mind—I respect that. And I bet you respect that in others, too.”

Ah. . . . now he saw where this was going. “Just spit it out if there’s something you want to say, Wilkins.”

Wilkins stopped the car at a four-way intersection. “Your problems with her are your business. I just need to hear you say that those problems aren’t going to affect the way we handle this case.”

“They won’t.”

“Good. And for my own personal edification—do you plan to be grumpy and taciturn every time her name comes up?”

Jack studied his partner silently.

Wilkins smiled. “I pushed it with that one, didn’t I?”

“Common rookie mistake. The one question too many.”

“I’ll work on that.”

“See that you do.” Jack turned back and looked out the window, enjoying the familiar view of all the sights he hadn’t seen since leaving Chicago three years ago. After a few moments, he broke the silence. “And another thing: you’re not supposed to actually tell witnesses about the glowering thing. It ruins the effect.”

“So you do that intentionally?”

“Oh, I’ve been working on my glowering skills for years.”

Wilkins looked away from the road in surprise. “Was that actually a joke there?”

“No. And keep your eyes on the road, rookie. Because I’ll be really pissed if you crash this car before I get my coffee.”

Five

“I STILL CAN’T believe you didn’t call either of us from the hotel.”

Cameron could tell from the tone in Collin’s voice that he was vacillating between being concerned about her in light of the events of the night before, and pissed that this was the first he’d heard about them.

In her defense, after Jack and Wilkins had dropped her off at home, her first plan had been to call both Collin and Amy. The three of them had been friends since college, and normally she told them everything. But then she’d remembered that it was Saturday, which meant that Collin would be working and Amy would be knee-deep in wedding-related tasks, especially since her big day was only two weeks away. So instead, Cameron had shot each of them a text message asking if they wanted to meet for dinner at Frasca that night. Then she’d crawled into bed and passed out for the next six hours.

At the restaurant, as soon as the hostess had seated them, Cameron began to tell Collin and Amy about the occurrences of the night before—omitting any mention of Senator Hodges’s involvement, since the FBI was keeping that under wraps. From across the table, she’d watched as Collin grew more and more agitated as her story progressed. And a few minutes ago, he’d run his hand through his sandy brown hair and folded his arms across his chest—his usual gesture when working through something that bothered him.

To Cameron’s left was Amy, who looked as sophisticated as always in her tailored brown shirt-dress and shoulder-length blonde hair cut in an angled bob. She was more diplomatic in her response than Collin. “It sounds like you had a pretty intense night, Cameron. You shouldn’t have had to go through all that alone.”

“I would have called”—Cameron said pointedly to Collin—“if the FBI hadn’t restricted my calls.” She turned to her left. “And yes, it was an extremely intense night. Thank you for your concern, Amy.” She started to go for her wineglass, but Collin reached across the table and grabbed her hand.

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