Something About You Page 81

It took a second for the screen to open. What he saw threw him for a loop.

That can’t be right.

There were fifteen devices using Cameron’s Internet connection. Jack was aware of two—his laptop and Cameron’s desktop computer.

So what the hell were the other thirteen? It was possible that a neighbor could be stealing her signal, maybe even a couple, but thirteen neighbors using her Internet was extremely unlikely.

Then again, maybe it wasn’t thirteen computers, but something else. That was what Jack checked next. He pulled up the data stream for the first device.

Strange.

It was transmitting an audio signal.

But Jack heard nothing. He turned up the volume on Cameron’s computer. Still nothing. He moved onto the next device—this one was also transmitting an audio signal.

Again, nothing.

What the hell?

He quickly checked the other signals—all audio—and finally found something being transmitted through the eighth one.

It was the sound of a woman singing softly. A smoky voice he recognized well.

All the boys think she’s a spy, she’s got Bette Davis eyes.

Cameron. In her bedroom.

Jack could hear the sound of a drawer shutting, then a zipper, as she continued unpacking her suitcase.

Son of a bitch.

He deliberately began drumming his fingers on the desk—making enough noise for a test, but not too much—as he hurriedly checked the remaining devices. He knew what he would eventually find. When he got to the last audio signal, the sound of his fingers rapping against the wood echoed through Cameron’s computer, clear as day.

Jack would’ve sworn out loud if he could have.

The goddamn house was bugged.

His mind raced, dozens of thoughts all at once. The masked man . . . Thursday afternoon . . . they had assumed he’d been waiting to attack Cameron when she came home from work. Jack realized now that Mandy’s killer hadn’t been in the house at four thirty in the afternoon to avoid police surveillance; he’d been there because he was after something else entirely. He wanted to listen.

He wanted to know what Cameron knew.

Nowadays, microphones used for eavesdropping were smaller than ever—less than the size of a button. And all one needed was a computer, a wireless network, and the IP addresses of the monitoring devices. Not much harder than setting up a nanny cam, particularly for someone who knew what he was doing.

Jack pulled out his BlackBerry—luckily, now that they knew what the guy was up to, they could turn things around. Assuming Mandy’s killer was actively monitoring the bugs, they could back-trace the link to the IP address of the computer he was using to listen to them. And once they had that information, they could pinpoint the location of that computer—and the killer.

Jack started to type a text message to Wilkins—obviously, he couldn’t call him or anyone else from the house with it being bugged. Then he stopped, realizing it would be faster to simply take Cameron out to his car and make the call from there. He’d have to slip her a note explaining the situation, of course, because they couldn’t say anything that would tip the killer off—he could be listening to them right then.

Jack’s stomach twisted into a knot.

The killer could be listening.

Assuming he’d been monitoring them, the killer would’ve heard every word he and Cameron had said that evening. Fragments of their conversations echoed through his head:

I’m pretty sure the guy who killed Mandy Robards was wearing a gun the night he strangled her . . .

His name is Grant Lombard. He does private security for Senator Hodges . . . He matches the physical description of the guy we’re looking for . . .

By any chance does Grant Lombard have an alibi for the night of Mandy Robards’s murder? . . .

Perhaps I need to ask him if he has an alibi for the time of your attack.

Then Jack recalled a separate conversation, an earlier one, and his whole body went cold.

To disarm the alarm, you just enter the security code.

What’s five-two-two-five?

It spells “Jack” on the keypad. Should be easy enough to remember.

The killer knew the code to the alarm.

“Cameron,” Jack whispered, his heart leaping into his throat. He’d left her alone . . . he couldn’t hear her right then . . . the second floor was too quiet . . . Jack dropped his BlackBerry and reached for his shoulder harness—

“Don’t make a f**king move,” commanded a low voice behind him.

The distinctive sound of the slide of a gun chambering a round echoed through the room.

With his hand frozen at his harness, Jack looked over his shoulder. He took in the man standing in the doorway, aiming a gun right at his head.

“Lombard,” Jack growled.

“You almost had it there, Pallas. Almost,” Lombard said. “Now take the shoulder harness off. Slowly.”

The first thing Jack noticed was that Lombard didn’t have a silencer on his gun. Which meant that Cameron was still alive downstairs. Lombard had come after him first.

“I said take the shoulder harness off. Now,” Lombard said quietly.

Jack read the look on Lombard’s face and knew he wasn’t bluffing. He unhooked the harness and set it on the floor. He’d be no good to Cameron if Lombard blew his brains all over the office wall right then and there.

“Kick it over here,” Lombard said.

Jack complied. His eyes remained trained on the trigger of Lombard’s gun. One twitch and he’d be out of that chair. Dive to the floor, pull the desk over, and use it as a shield. It wasn’t the best plan, but it was something.

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