My heart sinks. “That’s true. And it gives the police a tool to manipulate and scare us.”
“They can only do those things if we let them. We won’t, and neither will David.”
“Did Mark say anything helpful when you talked to him?”
“No, we only spoke for a minute—speaking of which, I need to leave for my meeting with him. Call me if you need anything, and don’t leave there without Jacob.”
“Try not to stress too much, baby. David’s good at his job. He’s arrogant, loud, and obnoxious, but it works for him, and he’s working for us.”
“Keep knowing, and I’ll see you soon.” He lowers his voice. “I know a certain window that has your name on it.” He hangs up and I let the phone slide away, a smile touching my lips, but it’s a sad smile. I love that man. I want to marry him. I just don’t want to do it in the middle of this nightmare and I have to do anything I can to make it end. We know the ending isn’t going to be a happy one, but at least it will be an end.
Pushing to my feet, I head out into the hallway and decide to start my search in the supply room, where I look for file boxes or security records, but find nothing. I search Mark’s barren office for the security feed and find nothing. Maybe it streams directly to his computer? I suddenly realize then that the feed will show me sitting in his office and searching around the gallery, but I shrug. The worst he can do is fire me.
An hour into my exploration, I call Jacob and check in. Afterward I search the four offices used for interns, then the cabinets in the break room. Next up is Amanda’s desk, then I spend a long time scavenging Ralph’s files.
Finally, I end up back in my office. I’ve already searched the files and desk, and my gaze now lands on the bookshelf. I settle myself onto the floor and turn on the radio on my cell phone, the music making the emptiness more bearable.
I start flipping through books, looking for notes or any other clue that might tell me something of importance. A name. A number. Anything. I don’t know. As I search I pile up the books, making sure nothing’s underneath them on the shelves. Just as I’ve restored order to the mess, the door to the outer office buzzes and I freeze.
Holding my breath, I wait for who will appear, and a crackle of familiar energy stirs in the air a moment before Mark fills the doorway. I’ve barely had a moment to blink from the impact of his power and devastating good looks before his steps swallow the space between us.
He towers above me, pinning me with an unreadable steely gray stare. “I wasn’t aware that breaking and entering was one of your skills, Ms. McMillan. What are you doing?”
Either he didn’t meet with Chris, or he’s just trying to put me on the spot. “Your staff was freaking out over a reporter who’d parked himself outside for two hours, and Amanda almost quit. I rushed over, but Ryan beat me here. He did his Magic Mike routine on her and she stayed.”
“It’s from a movie that has a lot of naked men and dancing, so it’s probably not your thing.”
He holds out his hand. “Get off the floor, Ms. McMillan.”
He pulls me to my feet and I’m suddenly toe-to-toe with him.
“Thank you,” I pretty much croak out, and the slight narrowing of his eyes tells me he notices. It’s power to him to affect me, another game—and I’m very tired of games.
I tug my hand away and step backward. “Did you meet with Chris?” I ask.
“And I’ll let him tell you.”
I sigh. “Of course. Why would you tell me, since you’re standing right here? But okay.”
He looks amused, I think.
“In case he forgot to mention it,” I say, “you’ve rehired me. Well, technically Crystal did, and before you get upset with her, she did it because she cares about you.”
“I’m not even going to ask how you presume to know what Ms. Smith feels, since you barely know her.”
“She told me.”
He just stares at me. “Is that how you know Chris cares about you, Ms. McMillan? He tells you?”
I’m not sure what he’s implying, but I’m pretty sure it’s a slap to Chris, and I don’t like it. “Show and tell, Mark. It’s a good combination.”
Something dark flickers in his eyes, gone in a blink, but his probing questions are not. “How exactly does he show you?”
My lips purse. “In my book, privacy is like a great pair of high heels. To be cherished.”
“Good answer, Ms. McMillan. I’m sure Chris would approve. It means he can trust you, and trust is not an easy thing to give or receive.”
Is his remark about Rebecca? Or Ava? Maybe Ryan? Or perhaps it’s deeper. Perhaps it’s about what made him who he is today, the way Amber is a part of what made Chris who he is today.
But his eyes shut, and he inhales deeply, emotions he rarely allows anyone to see rippling over his face. He abruptly turns and exits the office, leaving me staring after him. Then the song playing on my phone insinuates itself into my ears. Say something, I’m giving up on you. Say something, I’m giving up on you. I’ll be the one if you want me to . . .
“Say Something” by A Great Big World is always haunting, but gut-wrenchingly so tied to the months of silence from Rebecca. I can only imagine how much Mark must crave the sound of her voice, how much hope he must hang on to the possibility she might still return. How much he must wish he could tell her what he never dared—that he loved her.