“Liam told my sister to shop for you,” Derek explains before I can ask. “She’s an overachiever when it comes to spending money.”
When normally Liam spending money on me would be a concern, it’s the last thing on my mind at the moment. “You shouldn’t involve her. I don’t want her put in danger.”
Derek snorts. “My sister going on a wild shopping spree is just another day of the week. She was the perfect tool to get you what you needed. Believe me, nothing is suspicious and she’s not in danger.”
Liam plops a duffel-style bag on the table in front of me, and I'm surprised by the unfamiliar item I hadn’t noticed until now, my gaze lifts and connects with his. “What is this?” I ask and the pull between us is magnetic, or rather, more of a current dragging me under.
“Your things from your motel room.”
My brows furrow and I glance at Tellar. “Why didn’t you just use my suitcase?”
He makes a face. “Suitcase? There was no suitcase. There was no bag at all.”
“There was a suitcase,” I assure him and concerned about what its absence means, I am on my feet in an instant, digging through the bag to find nothing but a few clothes, toiletries, and that’s it.
“Not what you expected?” Liam asks.
I shake my head and sink back into my chair. “Everything I told you about was in the room. The notes. Weeks and weeks of research into my past. It’s all gone.”
Liam moves the duffel off the table and settles into the chair directly across from me. “We have months of research we’ve done too. We can recreate yours. Maybe we already have.”
“We can’t recreate the messages I told you about.”
Tellar grumbles a curse, scrubbing the back of his neck. “I’m sorry, Amy. My man said nothing looked disturbed so he assumed he was the first to get there. We’re tracking the PI’s activity before we came in contact with him. We’re hoping that leads us to answers.”
“I’ll take any answers I can get. And it’s not your fault. I was afraid to carry the documents with me and have them stolen from my backpack that wasn’t locked up. Obviously, that was a bad call.”
“It’s okay--” Liam begins.
“No,” I correct him, my voice lifting as I continue. “No, it is not okay. Stop saying everything is okay. It is what it is and what it is is not okay. The notes could have helped us track down my handler.”
“Handler?” Liam and Tellar both ask at once.
I sigh, and clearly, I’m not even used to communicating with other human beings. “It’s what I call the stranger who helped me hide.”
“The one with the tattoo?” Derek asks.
I gape at Liam. “I trusted you with that information. Just you.”
As unapologetic as ever, he doesn’t so much as blink at my irritation. “His cousin works for the Feds. He can run it through the federal data base and see if it gets any hits.”
“If I had the letters,” I conclude, “and now I don’t.”
“Can you draw it?” Derek asks, obviously unaffected by my inference of distrust. And honestly, if I trust Liam, and he trusts them...
“I can,” I confirm, “but I’ve researched it in libraries and the internet and I can’t find anything like it.”
Derek pulls a paper and pen from the folder and slides them in my direction. “The Feds operate in a whole different world of possibilities.”
A glimmer of hope forms inside me and I scribble down a drawing of the tattoo as best I can, drawing the triangle and the odd design in the center. Inspecting my work, I flip the paper around for Derek to view and announce, “That’s pretty close.”
Liam reaches across the table and drags the drawing to him, giving it a close review, and I don’t miss the muscle in his jaw that jumps. His steely eyes find mine. “The only thing similar about this tattoo and mine is the triangle. There is no connection and this means nothing to me. You know that, right?”
Shocked by his directness though I really don’t know why. This is Liam I’m dealing with, I nod. “I know.”
His jaw tenses, flexes. “Do you? Because I’m not sure I’m convinced.”
“I am. I know.”
His attention stays fixed on me, his eyes never leaving my face.
“Okay then,” Tellar mumbles, sliding the paper to look at it. “Means nothing to me either.”
“Ditto,” Derek agrees, “but we’ll see what my cuz has to say.”
Liam's gaze snaps to Derek and he taps the table. “Did you bring the papers I asked you to bring.” Derek pulls a bundle of stapled documents from the folder and holds them up. Liam motions to me. “Give them to Amy.”
Frowning, I accept the documents, not sure what to expect. “Travel records for me and Alex,” Liam explains. “I want you to see there isn’t a connection there between us and your family.”
“I...Liam I didn’t ask for this.”
“You didn’t have to, and you don’t have to ask to look at the research we did on your life. It’s your life.” And his expression tells me his choice of words is not by accident before he goes on to explain, “We put together a list of everyone who could be connected to you and your family and looked for anything suspicious. There’s nothing that connects the dots for us, but there might be for you.”