“No,” Jared insists as Liam slides into the driver’s seat, pulling into traffic. “He’d never leave Amy if he knew we were here.”
“At least now we know he drives himself to the bank,” I observe, running my hands down my legs and relaxing marginally. “A flat tire at the bank on Thursday would be well timed.”
“So you’re going to just steal her away from Liam?” Gia asks, her voice thick with disapproval.
“I’m going to do whatever feels right after I finish making my observations,” I reply.
“You can probably pay some kid in the area to stick a nail in his tire or pull some wires discreetly,” Jared suggests as if Gia hadn’t said a word.
“A stranger isn’t reliable,” I say, watching the computer screen as Tellar enters the elevator with Amy. “Fuck. The man is stuck to her like glue.”
“The coffee shop seems to be our best bet,” Jared suggests.
I axe that idea. “We need more time in between us and Liam and that means finding a way to reach Amy inside that building, while he’s dealing with his meetings and whatever car trouble we manufacture.”
“Sheridan probably has access to the building’s security,” Gia reminds me. “And it’s you he really wants, Chad. You have to be careful.”
“She’s right,” Jared agrees. “I should make the contact with Amy. They aren’t looking for me. I can go into the building Wednesday night and stay the night. I’ll wait in the doctor’s office, where there won’t be cameras. But we’ll need a distraction to get her out of the building.”
We all seem to contemplate that, tossing out ideas, and waiting for what seems like forever for Amy to appear again. Finally, she reappears on the footage and exits the elevator into the lobby. Tellar is by her side, laughing at something she’s said. He replies and she stops walking as she bursts into laughter.
“Looks like the hard soldier isn’t so hard after all,” I observe.
“He’s close to Amy, and he’s a bit of a clown with his friends,” Jared explains, “but don’t let that fool you. He’s dangerous.”
Amy grabs his arm, as if to steady herself, wiping away tears, smiling larger than life as she and Tellar begin to walk. She’s close to Tellar. She has friends, something she hasn’t dared in years. She’s happy, and if I don’t shatter her world again, Sheridan will. “Damn it, Amy,” I murmur. “Never let your guard down.”
“She can’t help it,” Gia replies. “She’s human, just like you, Chad.”
“No,” I say tightly. “Not anything like me. She deserves to be happy, but it can’t be here, like this, while she’s being hunted.”
“Which is why we’re going to end this, this time,” Jared promises.
Amy and Tellar exit onto the street, and he guides her close to the building, putting himself between her and us, and anyone else. Thirty seconds later, they disappear into the coffee shop and we turn our attention to the computer screen again, watching as the two of them order coffee and sit down together, laughing and chatting away. There’s absolutely no chance of getting to Amy with him on top of her this way.
I frown as an unfamiliar redheaded woman approaches the table, stopping to talk to my sister. “Who is that?”
“Her doctor,” Jared comments. “She was in the file.”
“No,” Gia says, her voice oddly raspy as she adds, “She wasn’t.”
I frown, realizing she’s right, which seems like an oversight that Jared doesn’t usually make. The woman laughs and turns slightly, giving us a look at her face. “Oh my God,” Gia murmurs. “Can you zoom in? I need to see that woman’s face.”
I twist around to look at her. “What is it, Gia? Who is she?”
“I think . . . I . . . zoom, Jared,” she orders. “Please. Now, before she leaves.” Jared does as she demands, and the minute the redhead’s face is fully in view, Gia grabs my arm. “The woman I said was visiting Sheridan. That’s her.”
“You said she was blond.”
“She was, but that is either her or her doppelganger. They’re using the doctor to try and get information from Amy about you and the cylinder.”
That icy cold I haven’t felt in days is back, and I am frozen inside. “The question is, who is ‘they’? Liam Stone, or Sheridan and his consortium? Rollin, maybe? All of the above, or someone else? I’m not waiting until Thursday. We get her now.”
Jared pops his door. “I’ll walk in and tell her I need to talk to her in private.” He doesn’t wait for a reply, exiting the SUV, and I curse, grabbing the beanie from my pocket and pulling it over my head. I quickly follow him, meeting him at the hood of the vehicle. “The back door of the coffee shop opens to Fifty-first Street,” he says as I step in his path. “Amy and I will meet you there.”
“How are you going to get her to the door?”
“I’ll figure it out. Just be there. Liam will be back any minute.” He dashes through traffic before I can stop him.
“Damn it to hell,” I curse, rushing to the driver’s door, and claiming the seat behind the wheel as Gia climbs into the front to join me.
“Are you sure this is a good idea?” she asks.
“No. No, I am not sure this is a good idea.” I start the engine. “Watch for Jared while I watch traffic. I have to get to the side door to pick up Amy. Tell me when Jared enters the coffee shop.” I look over my shoulder, trying to find a gap in the traffic to pull onto the road and seeing none.