Page 68 of Forced Alliance

“Everyone seems to want something that they can’t find,” she said. “What have you done with Lou Junior and Vanessa?”

He stared down his nose at her. “They are safe. They both have alibis for the night of the bomb explosion, so I can’t pin much on them.”

She didn’t believe that. “Did you start the fire, too?”

“I’m the one doing the interrogating here, Gilbert.”

She’d take that as affirmative. He must have been the shadow she’d seen on the stairs. “I wonder what all the fuss is about. What was in that garage?”

“You need to stop working and relax,” Sherwood said.

“What are you planning to do with me?” Josie retorted, her nerves twitching. She breathed in and out and told herself to stay calm. She might still be a rookie in this man’s eyes, but she wouldn’t sit here all meek and mild and let him intimidate her. He’d lost that right when he’d kidnapped her. Or maybe way before then, if she’d only seen the truth.

Connor tried to warn you.


“What have you done with Connor, sir?”

Sherwood’s chuckle hit the still, hot air. “Oh, him? Well, I hate to tell you this, Gilbert. But your man Randall is probably on his way here right now.”

“What do you mean?”

“He confessed to being in cahoots with Louis Armond.”

“I don’t believe you.”

“I don’t care what you believe. He confessed to me over the phone earlier. I think he’s the one who planted that bomb and that phony evidence we found.”

“Then why bring him here? Shouldn’t you turn him in to someone at headquarters?”

“I won’t be turning him in just yet. Maybe never. First he has to confess to what he’s known all along.”

Josie’s heart lurched to a stop. She’d trust Connor any day over this madman. But now it was too late for that. She might not ever be able to see Connor again. She’d be dead soon and Connor would be framed for crimes he didn’t commit.

But if she kept Sherwood talking, maybe she’d finally find out the truth. “And what’s that?”

“He knew what was in that garage. He also knew what was in that rickety old barn where the hidden car was located. In fact, I’m pretty sure he’s been in cahoots with Louis Armond for years now. I knew I couldn’t trust him, and now I can prove it. He did what a criminal always does, Gilbert. He played all of us.”

“You need to explain,” she replied, holding out hope while she prayed that Connor was still alive.

“No need for me to explain.”

The chair scraped across the floor again.

“He should be arriving here any minute. And when he gets here, you can be a witness to his confession. Not that it will matter much after today.” Sherwood leaned so close she could smell the stale coffee on his breath.

“After he confesses and I get what I need, you will both be useless to me.”

Josie knew what that meant. He would never let either of them see the light of day again.


Sherwood left the room.

Josie gave up on staying quiet and safe. He’d tied her hands behind her with a loose rope, but she’d already been working on that before he’d come into the room. With a little more twisting, she had the rope loosened enough to maneuver her right hand free. While she worked the ropes so she could make them look as if they were still tied, she studied her surroundings. The room was industrial, stark and empty, cold and damp, with only one door out. She got up and ran to the door, only to find it locked. No windows, no two-way mirrors. She glanced up at the ceiling. No cameras?

She thought about what he’d told her. Connor turning himself in, admitting he’d been working with Armond instead of against him, keeping her hidden away so she couldn’t question Armond. It made no sense. Connor had protected her, saved her, and he’d kept her on the run.

At whose request? Sherwood had agreed they both needed to stay hidden. Had he manipulated both of them?

Now she doubted everything and everyone. But she would take matters into her own hands from here on out.

If Sherwood had Armond hidden, Connor might know that and he might come after Sherwood whether he was on Armond’s side or not. She had to get a message to Connor.

Lenora Worth Books | Suspense Books |