Something About You Page 21

“It’s an angle we’re looking into,” Jack said. “What bothers me are the contradictions: the crime scene is clean—no physical evidence was left behind. That would suggest a professional, somebody who knew what they were doing or at least thought about it in advance. But the murder itself feels amateurish. Angry. Suffocation is a lot more personal than a bullet to the head. Something doesn’t add up. I think our first step is to talk to Hodges’s people and find out who knew he was having an affair.”

“I’m not sure Senator Hodges is going to like that idea. Or his attorneys,” Davis said.

“Perhaps when we make it clear that the senator’s continued cooperation is the only thing keeping him from being arrested for murdering a call girl, he’ll warm up to it,” Jack said.

“All right—let me know if you need me to run interference with Hodges’s lawyers. Last thing—what’s happening with our witness? Sounds like the senator caught a break having Ms. Lynde in the room next to him.”

“For starters, very few people outside this room know there is a witness,” Wilkins said. “We’re keeping that quiet for now. As a courtesy, Detective Slonsky sent a squad to drive by her house tonight, although the officers haven’t been given any specifics about the case. They called in just a few minutes ago and reported that Ms. Lynde returned to the house with a male companion and that everything looked secure.”

“Do we have a reason to believe Ms. Lynde is in danger?” Davis asked.

“Not as long as her identity is kept confidential,” Wilkins said.

Davis saw Jack hesitate. “You have a different opinion, Jack?”

“I don’t like the idea of our key witness’s security being dependent on our belief that everyone will keep her identity confidential. Seems like an unnecessary risk.”

Davis nodded. “I agree. And given Ms. Lynde’s position, I’d like to err on the side of caution here. Politically, it would be a nightmare if something happened to an assistant U.S. attorney as part of an FBI investigation.”

“We’ll set up a protective surveillance,” Jack said. “We can coordinate with CPD on that.”

“Good.” Davis pointed. “I also want twice-daily reports from you two. And I have a call scheduled for Monday morning to update the director on the investigation—I expect you both to be present for that. Now, Wilkins, if you don’t mind, I’d like to speak to Agent Pallas alone.”

Jack was not surprised by this. He’d had a funny feeling there was a lecture looming on the horizon ever since Cameron’s name had come up.

Davis waited until Wilkins shut the door behind him. “Should I be worried, Jack?”

“No.”

Davis watched Jack with sharp gray eyes. “My understanding is that Ms. Lynde has been very cooperative in this investigation.”

“She has.”

“I expect us to reciprocate.”

“Of course.”

There was a moment of silence, and Jack knew Davis was taking in the taut set of his jaw and the tension that rolled off his body in waves.

“I’m not trying to be a hard-ass here,” Davis said, not unkindly. “If it’s going to be a problem for you to work with her—”

“There won’t be any problem.” Jack stared his boss straight in the eyes. Cameron Lynde may have been a problem for him once, but that was not a mistake he’d repeat. “This is just another case, and I’ll handle it like any other.”

“Ms. Lynde should be made aware of the protective surveillance. I’d like her to feel comfortable with this. It’s going to be somewhat of an intrusion.”

“Not a problem. I’ll talk to her about it first thing tomorrow.”

After studying Jack for a moment, Davis appeared satisfied. “Good. Done.” He pointed in the direction of Wilkins’s office.

“Now—tell me how the kid is doing.”

Six

AS COLLIN UNPACKED the groceries, he heard Cameron start the shower in the master bathroom upstairs. From past experience, he knew this meant he had approximately twenty-two minutes before she made an appearance. Plenty of time to whip something up for breakfast.

It never ceased to amuse him, as it had earlier that morning when he’d first checked the fridge, how little her culinary skills—or lack thereof—had changed since college. Actually, what amused him most was just how predictable she was. After twelve years’ experience, he’d known exactly what he would find when he opened the refrigerator doors: one solitary unopened Egg Beater carton that had expired four weeks earlier; a bag of bagels and three tubs of different-flavored cream cheeses, all one schmear away from empty; and two dozen Lean Cuisine entrees in the freezer, neatly organized according to the four major food ethnicities: Italian, Asian, Mexican, and macaroni and cheese.

Which was why a trip to Whole Foods had been in short order that morning, if Collin had any intention of keeping his promise to make breakfast. Luckily the grocery store was only two blocks away. Even more convenient, it happened to be right across the street from an independent coffee shop, The Fixx, whose six-shot specialty latte, the “Smith and Wesson,” packed enough punch to knock the hangover out of even the sorriest of late-night drinkers. In truth, Collin knew he’d only get through about five sips of the stuff before throwing the rest out in disgust. But what could he say—he got a kick out of ordering a drink named after a gun. Another guy thing, perhaps.

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