Something About You Page 47

“He looked when you were talking to me,” Amy said. “By the way, Agent Wilkins suggested that he and Jack go with us to the bar instead of those guys out front.”

Cameron pointed firmly. “No.”

“It’s too late. I already said yes.”

“Why in the world would you do that?”

“Because I’m curious to see how this all plays out tonight. I was standing on the stairs when Jack first showed up at the door, and I saw the way you looked at him, Cam.”

Cameron threw her hands up in frustration. “What is this so-called ‘look’?” Whatever it was, she was going to have to start taking extreme measures to guard against it.

Amy grinned. “You know the Tom and Jerry cartoon where Tom hasn’t eaten for days and he imagines Jerry looking like a ham? Kind of like that.”

“ABSOLUTELY NOT.”

Jack stood on Cameron’s front stoop, arguing with Wilkins. Partners or not, he had to draw the line somewhere. No more bachelorette party, no more games involving underwear, no more Cameron in that black sweater, gray silky camisole, and pencil-thin skirt that showed off many, many inches of her sleek legs. Any more of that, and he might start getting a little fuzzy on all the reasons why he didn’t like her.

“Too late. I already told Phelps and Kamin that we’d cover Cameron for the next couple of hours,” Wilkins said.

Jack checked. Their car was still parked on the street. “They haven’t left yet. I’ll tell them we’re going back to the original plan.”

“Have you ever been to Manor House, Jack?”

He scoffed at the question. “Our assignment here isn’t to get into some hot club.”

“I’ll take that as a no,” Wilkins said. “I’ve been there. Opened just a couple months ago. It’s big—three stories. Originally a mansion built at the turn of the century. You know those old houses. Lots of rooms and hallways. And dark corners, too, especially since the club keeps the lights low for the ambience. Tons of places for someone to hide. The club will be packed, and the music will be loud. It’d be really easy for a person to find herself in trouble in a place like that, if the right people aren’t watching out for her.” Wilkins expression was serious. “Cameron’s my witness, too. Kamin and Phelps are good guys, but this is the kind of assignment I’d rather handle on my own. If you don’t mind.”

Jack remained silent, needing a few seconds to finish chewing the big piece of humble pie he’d just been served.

“Caught you off guard with that one, didn’t I?” Wilkins grinned, back to being Wilkins.

“Let’s not make too big a deal out of it. Shockingly, once a decade or so, even I can be wrong.”

AT TEN O’CLOCK that evening, Grant waited in his car at the location Mr. Black had given him. The address had turned out to be an abandoned warehouse on the city’s west side. It took about five minutes of waiting before it occurred to him that the warehouse was the same one that had been in the news three years ago, the site of the legendary shoot-out between Jack Pallas and Martino’s men. Also, if rumor was true, the site where Pallas had been tortured for two days before escaping.

Grant grew uneasy. It was possible he was being set up. Then he discarded the thought, finding it more likely that Mr. Black had chosen the location as a reminder of what happened to those who betrayed Martino. Not that he had any such intentions.

He had killed a woman.

Grant wasn’t particularly bothered by this fact, if anything he was more annoyed by the inconvenience of having to clean up the mess he’d left behind. He had turned a corner—in his line of work he’d dealt with many an unsavory character, but doing business with the likes of Roberto Martino’s men was an entirely different matter. Unfortunately, it was a necessary evil given the FBI’s involvement in the murder investigation. He felt confident that he could’ve handled the situation had only the Chicago police department been involved. But he worried about Jack Pallas and whatever it was that the FBI agent knew.

He didn’t like having to worry about these things.

Grant heard the crunch of gravel and saw a black Mercedes pull up in front of the warehouse. He got out of his car and walked over.

The door of the Mercedes opened, and the driver got out. Grant grinned. Martino really did have friends in high places.

“Mr. U.S. Attorney. How ironic that we should meet under these circumstances.”

Silas Briggs glanced around, looking both annoyed and nervous. Martino must’ve kept him on a very tight leash.

“This isn’t how I usually do things, Lombard,” he said.

Grant leaned casually against the Mercedes. “It’s a first for me, too. But the senator needs your assistance, and I’ve been told by Mr. Black that you could be helpful.”

“What is it the senator is looking for?”

“Information. The FBI is hiding something, and we need to know what that is.”

Silas laughed scornfully. “So Hodges really killed that girl, huh? Hell, I didn’t think he had it in him. And you’re stuck with cleanup duty now, is that it?”

“Something like that.”

Silas looked Grant over carefully. “Hmm . . . or maybe it’s not the senator at all. Maybe you’ve got a mess of your own that needs to be cleaned up.”

Grant took a step closer. “Maybe you shouldn’t ask so many questions. Maybe instead you should just tell me about the Robards murder investigation.”

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