Something About You Page 59

Grant crept through his apartment with the lights off, checking the view from every window. From his third-story perch, he looked down onto the street below for anything remotely suspicious—strange cars parked out front, a dog walker who just “happened” to be out at that time of night, a homeless person conveniently passed out in the alley behind his building.

He saw nothing.

For the second time in the two weeks since Mandy Robards had tried to blackmail him, he was furious. And now paranoid, too. Not a good combination.

Cameron Lynde wasn’t supposed to have come home from work so early. She also wasn’t supposed to have brought a friend home with her—not that he’d had any trouble getting him out of the picture.

He could’ve handled the police officers in the car out front. He had not, however, been ready for a standoff with Jack Pallas. The rage he’d seen in the federal agent’s eyes as he burst through the glass door was not something he’d expected. Nor had he been expecting the woman—who’d been relatively well-behaved up until that point—to try grabbing the gun out of his hand.

He’d been lucky, he knew, to have escaped when everything had gone so far awry from his plans. Thankfully, however, he didn’t need to count on luck in the future.

Satisfied that his apartment wasn’t under surveillance, Grant headed back to his bedroom and undressed. As he’d done a hundred times already that evening, he ran through the events of the attack and after, looking for the areas where he was most vulnerable.

No one had seen his face. Nor had anyone heard his voice, since he hadn’t so much as coughed during the entire attack. No prints left behind, thanks to the gloves. His getaway had been clean enough—he’d had to outrun those two worthless cops, one of whom had seen leaner days and the other of whom looked barely old enough to drive a squad car. Chicago’s finest. He’d lost them in an alley three blocks from the woman’s house and then high-tailed it a half mile in the opposite direction to the parking lot where he’d stashed his car. He’d swooped up the backpack he had left in a garbage bin along the way. By the time he got to the parking lot he’d shed the mask, the gloves, and the jacket, and was simply a man wearing black nylon pants and a long sleeve T-shirt while carrying his gym bag after a late-afternoon workout. Once he’d gotten back to his car and driven off, he’d pulled into another alley a couple miles away and changed into the suit he’d left in the car. The backpack, with the remainder of the black clothes and with the addition of a couple heavy bricks, was now sitting on the bottom of the Chicago River.

Grant walked naked into his bathroom and turned on the water to the shower. He studied himself in the mirror as steam filled the air.

There was one weakness.

He had no alibi. He wasn’t supposed to have needed one.

Sure, as soon as he’d dumped the backpack in the river he’d driven straight to his evening appointment—he’d met an old friend who worked at the Tribune at a bar in River West. Word had gotten out that a high-priced call girl had been murdered in one of the city’s most luxurious hotels and the unconfirmed rumor was that Senator Hodges’s name had shown up on her client list. The friend, who owed Grant several favors for all the times he’d given him early access to many of the senator’s political dealings, called to give him a heads-up and had asked to meet for drinks. Grant had been curious to know whether the senator’s name was being tossed around as a potential suspect, and how much his friend knew about the FBI’s investigation. As it turned out, his friend knew very little, and Grant got the feeling he was the one being pumped for information.

After drinks, he had returned to the senator’s offices and attended a series of meetings with the higher-level staff members and two of Hodges’s attorneys. The senator originally had planned to be back in D.C. by the following week, but given the FBI’s warning that he not leave the state, alternate plans needed to be discussed. First and foremost on everyone’s mind was how to explain the changes to the senator’s schedule without tipping the press off about his connection to Mandy Robards’s murder.

Secretly, Grant got a kick out of these conversations. The hushed tones, the tension-filled rooms, the worried glances over what the press and—gasp—even the killer might possibly know about the senator’s involvement with Mandy. They had absolutely no idea that the man they were talking about was sitting right at that table.

And he knew everything.

After the meetings finally ended, Grant had driven home, taking a few detours along the way to make sure nobody was following him. All in all, his day would seem like any other to anyone who might ask—except for that one missing hour. He’d have to come up with something to fill the void, just to be ready.

Grant thought back to the moment inside Cameron Lynde’s house when she’d first seen him on the stairs—the way she’d taken a step back and whispered, What do you want?

He wanted to stop looking over his f**king shoulder when he walked into his apartment, that’s what he wanted.

She said she didn’t know who he was. Although he liked to think people tended to tell the truth when feeling the cold steel of a gun barrel pressed against their heads, he wasn’t sure he trusted her. Fortunately, he didn’t have to.

For her sake, he hoped she was telling the truth. Mandy’s murder had been near perfect, almost artfully so. The best FBI agent in the city had been assigned the case, and still they had nothing on him. And they wouldn’t ever have anything on him as long as Cameron Lynde didn’t step out of line.

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