Something About You Page 31

It would be enough, Grant told himself. It had to be. It wasn’t like he had a lot of options. There were only so many scenarios one could explore when unexpectedly finding oneself in a hotel room with a dead hooker. Plan A: get the f**k out. Bonus plan B: pin it on someone else.

Grant reached into the pocket of Mandy’s robe and found the tape recorder. He slipped it into the back pocket of his jeans, making sure it was hidden by his blazer. He put the videotape and recorder back behind the television, then hurried to the door. He flipped up the hood on his T-shirt.

After all, one never knew who might be watching.

AND NOW HE needed to finish what he’d started.

Grant set his empty beer bottle off to the side and took out his wallet to add a few bucks to the cash Driscoll had thrown down earlier. As he left the bar and stepped outside, he flipped up the collar of his coat to guard against the crisp fall wind that came rolling in off the lake. An L train roared by on unseen tracks somewhere in the near distance.

Grant thought back to Driscoll’s orders.

Find out what the FBI knows.

He had every intention of doing just that.

It wasn’t going to be easy getting the information, he knew, but his mind was already working. Jack Pallas could potentially be a problem—if the stories going around about him were even partially true—but Pallas had made enemies with some people that no one should make enemies with, and Grant had a feeling he could use that to his advantage.

The FBI obviously had something. Although not enough to point them in his direction—yet—he didn’t like having any loose ends lying around. And as soon as he found out what the loose end was, he planned to take care of it. For nearly fifteen years he’d been covering up other people’s secrets and lies. He would handle this with the same objective precision. No more being played the fool. No more mistakes. From now on, he was in control.

And he would do whatever it took to keep it that way.

Nine

BY WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON, as Cameron headed off to court for a preliminary hearing, she could almost convince herself that her life was getting back to normal. Almost.

Fortunately, the police surveillance had turned out to be less intrusive than she’d feared. She barely saw the officers assigned to the day shift—they started duty outside her house at 6:00 A.M. while she was sleeping, nodded to her as she pulled her car out of the alley on her way to work, followed her downtown to her office, then had virtually nothing to do until they ceded all responsibility to the night shift at 6:00 P.M. She’d had several court appearances that week, but because the courtrooms for both the Northern District of Illinois and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals were located in the same building as the U.S. attorney’s offices, there’d been no need for the officers to accompany her. Not a bad gig for them, Cameron supposed, to be assigned to protect someone who worked in one of the most secure, heavily guarded buildings in the city. Maybe tomorrow she’d get crazy and make a run to Starbucks just so they could see a little action.

The guys on the night shift were a different story. They’d taken the time to introduce themselves the first night of their surveillance, and Cameron found herself warming quickly to Officers Kamin and Phelps despite the oddity of the situation. They’d established something of a routine over the course of the last three nights: they followed her home from work, checked inside her house to make sure all was secure, waited outside in their unmarked car while she changed into her workout clothes, then walked her back and forth the three blocks to the gym. Sure, it was a little strange, looking up from the treadmill and seeing two police officers watching her from the juice bar, but then she recalled that the alternative was getting herself murdered, and that pretty much got her past the awkwardness of the situation.

Countless times in her head she had replayed that moment when she saw the killer through the peephole as he left room 1308. And the more she thought about it, the more she was convinced there was no way he could possibly know she had been watching. He didn’t look once in the direction of the door, and nothing about his actions suggested he suspected she was there.

That being said, this certainly wasn’t a point on which she had any desire to be proven wrong. Generally speaking, when it came to any possible connection between her and a killer who smothered women with pillows, she firmly believed that an overabundance of caution was best. And until they caught the guy, she was more than happy to have the FBI and CPD watching out for her.

As expected, the preliminary hearing Cameron had scheduled that afternoon went smoothly. It was her first court appearance since her trial victory the prior week. It felt good to be back in court, although not necessarily for this particular case. The defendant was a cop from the Cook County Sheriff’s Office who had been charged with “freelancing” his security services in twelve purported drug transactions staged by the FBI.

It gave Cameron absolutely no pleasure to have to prosecute a police officer. Yet she’d insisted on taking the case nevertheless—if there was anything that offended her more than a regular criminal thug, it was a criminal thug who wore a uniform. The defendant was a dishonor to her father’s profession, and because of that Cameron had absolutely no sympathy for him. The case certainly wasn’t going to make her popular with the Sheriff’s Office, but she would have to live with that. If she took cases just to be popular, well, then she’d be no better than Silas.

“Any redirect, Counselor?”

Cameron stood up to address the judge. “Yes, your honor—just a few questions.” She walked over to the witness stand where Agent Trask waited. He was her final witness that afternoon and she sensed the judge was eager to wrap things up for the day.

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