I USE THE service elevator in our building, in case Captain happens to be watching the cameras. I’m not sure where all of them are in this building, but I have a good idea. I dressed in all black and boots, trying to blend in. I avoid the cameras as much as possible, sidestepping down the hall where I know the blind spots are. I know this building is a fortress, but every palace has its weaknesses. I slip out through the basement garage and then haul ass up to Osborne Corp.

I don’t know how much time I have, and I’m basing it on the assumption Captain will show up on my doorstep around bedtime to check on me. If I know him like I think I do, I need to be back home and in my bed before that happens, because he won’t take no for an answer. Mallory is merely being used to slow him down. I’ve probably got an hour before he’s kicking in the door. Tops. The thought makes my stomach flutter. He’s probably so concerned and worried about me, and I’m here doing this behind his back. Worse, I’m using him.

Mallory had told me Miles had a late meeting, so she would be good until midnight. I was hoping Captain would be on his detail and I wouldn’t have to lie, but he wasn’t. McCoy was. But I have a feeling Miles will somehow get out of his meeting earlier, to get home to Mal as soon as possible. Either way, the pressure is on to do this fast. Our guys are crazy, so I’m not leaving anything to chance.

When I get to the building, I use the side entrance by the garden that Miles made for Mallory. There’s an emergency exit there, and it’s an access point. Only three people have clearance to use this door as a way to enter the building: Miles, Mallory and Ryan. I take the badge from my back pocket and scan it, watching as the light turns green.

I didn’t want to steal Captain’s badge, but it seemed the only way. I don’t want to be caught on camera getting into the building, and if the scans are done on all the entrances, it will show that Captain’s badge was used. It may ruffle some feathers, but no harm, no foul, right? As the head of Security here, he comes and goes at all hours. I don’t think anyone will even notice or question that he’d come late in the evening.

When he grabbed my arm earlier today, I broke free and made a show of being irritated that he was trying to grab me. It was the only way I could think of to distract him so he wouldn’t see I lifted the pass from him. I’ll leave it in his desk tonight, so he’ll think he left it at work. He’s going to be pissed, but as long as he doesn’t find out it was me, I’m covered. Maybe he won’t hate me then. I don’t like lying to him, but it’s better for both of us. It doesn’t put him in the middle of anything if he doesn’t know any better. Everything can fall on me.

Making my way up the stairs to our floor, I avoid the cameras in the stairwell. I know there’s no way to do so in the elevator, so this is my best bet. When I get to our floor, I secure the entrance behind me and go over to Jordan’s desk. I sit down and click a few keys, bringing his computer to life. I unzip my backpack and take out my laptop and some cords, linking the two computers together. I enter all three of Jordan’s passwords, remembering exactly what they were from the day he showed me. Once I’m in, I open up the software to copy everything I’m seeing to my laptop. If someone digs, the searches will come up on Jordan’s computer and it won’t lead back to me. I’ll wipe all the information after I’m done and I get what I want, but it will show that his was the one accessed tonight and not mine. Sorry, buddy, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

Once I’m all set up, I pull everything I can find about my father. Miles has a folder of information about him. I mainly need locations, phone numbers, emails, and things that will lead me to him. Or lead me to a weakness he might have. He’s gone off the grid since Miles took a lot of his companies out of commission. Those companies that were fronts for a lot of his dirty dealing, and he’s hiding, letting the dust settle. There are files here that can be accessed only by encryption software, and I use that to go in and pull up Miles’s files, as well. They could be love notes to Mallory for all I know, but I’ve seen Captain looking at them, and I want to have them copied onto my personal drive, too. I can look through them thoroughly when I get back home, but tonight is about gathering as much information as I can. I have a feeling that after my little break-in, I won’t get this opportunity again. Captain will watch his badge more closely, and Jordan may suspect someone was on his machine. Worse, I may get caught and never be allowed in the building again, and I need as much as I can get on my laptop.

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