“In the middle of the night. Twelve-oh-three.” He tapped his pen against the table. “Why’d you do that?”
Her heart raced in her chest. “Because I wanted to see him.” She tucked a lock of hair behind her ear.
His eyes narrowed on her. “And it couldn’t wait until morning?”
He wasn’t going to buy her story. Wasn’t going to understand that she’d needed to act. Needed to get out of that house. Needed Zander.
Only Zander wasn’t the man she’d thought.
Fool me once…
“No, it couldn’t wait until morning.”
He arched one brow.
The door opened. Softly. A creak of sound. Even before she turned her head, Alice knew…
Zander was there. He stood in the doorway, filling it with his broad shoulders and muscled build. He still wore jeans and a black t-shirt, but a badge was now clipped to his waist. His hair was tousled, as if he’d raked his fingers through the thick mess a few times. He looked rough, dangerous, and sexy.
He looked like a damn liar.
Zander rasped, “Alice…”
Her gaze whipped back to Randall. “What other questions do you have?”
His stare drifted between her and Zander. Then back to her. “When you returned to your house this morning, what did you do?”
“I went straight upstairs. I was planning to shower, but when I got to my room, I realized that—” Fear. She’d walked into her bedroom, and frozen with fear. The scream had seemed to echo distantly around her. Alice swallowed. “I realized that someone had been inside. Someone had destroyed my clothes. My furniture. Everything in that room.”
“And who do you think did that?” Randall wanted to know.
She barely bit back…You’re the FBI agent. You tell me. Her temples were throbbing. Her stomach in absolute knots. “It’s the anniversary of Hugh’s death. If I had to guess who’d done it, I’d say it was one of his crime groupies. Someone who wanted to make sure I didn’t forget Hugh’s twisted legacy.” She focused on breathing. Nice and slow. “It’s not the first time I’ve had my home broken into. You can check the police records in Savannah. When I lived there, I had a few break-ins.”
Zander marched toward the table. The space was already small, and he made it feel even smaller. He stopped right next to her. “But you haven’t experienced break-ins since you moved up here?”
She didn’t want to look at him. Looking at him hurt. Obviously, the guy had been doing undercover work. She got that. And, obviously, she’d been his target.
Why? Probably because the FBI still mistakenly thought she’d been involved with Hugh’s crimes. How many times did she have to tell them they were wrong?
“Alice?” Zander pushed.
She licked her lips. “No, there haven’t been any break-ins here. I thought I was safe.” Her shoulders rolled back. “Guess I was wrong.”
Randall’s sharp eyes swept over her face. “Did you see anyone when you went inside your house?”
“No. Didn’t see anyone, and nothing seemed to be touched—at least, not downstairs. And I only got to see my bedroom really before I was pulled out.” By an agent. My new lover—the agent. Shit. “So, uh, if more rooms were ransacked, I don’t know—”
“It was just the bedroom,” Zander cut in. “From what we can tell, the perp focused there.” He paused. “There seemed to be a whole lot of rage in the attack.”
She’d thought the same thing.
Randall cleared his throat. “Tell me, Ms. May, do you feel a lot of rage?”
It took a moment too long for his words to register. When they did, she leapt to her feet, sending her chair topping behind her. “What?”
But Randall nodded. “I’ll take that as a yes.”
No, no, this wasn’t happening. “You think I did this? You think I destroyed my own stuff?
“That is one possibility,” Randall allowed as he stroked his chin.
Her hands slapped down on the table. “It’s not. I didn’t do it. I—”
“You could have destroyed your room before you went to visit Agent Todd last night. After all, as you said, it was the anniversary of Hugh’s death. Maybe you got emotional. Maybe your fury took over. Maybe you had to let the rage out. You destroyed the room, and then you went on your little trek through the woods. Perhaps you planned out a whole, dramatic scene.”
“You could have planned to bring Agent Todd back to your house. Maybe you were going to create a dramatic scene where you screamed, and he came rushing to your rescue.”
Her heart was pounding far too fast. “I don’t want anyone to rescue me.”
Randall shrugged. “Then maybe you just wanted to throw the FBI off your trail. Is that what happened? You realized we were watching you.”
God, how long had they been watching?
“You realized we were going to tie you to the murder of Julianna Stiles.”
“And you wanted to make Agent Todd believe you were innocent. A victim. So you set the scene and—”
Her gaze snapped to Zander. “I didn’t know you were FBI.” That betrayal was still too fresh and painful.
“Alice—” Zander began, voice rough.
But she’d already turned her stare back on Randall. “Who is Julianna Stiles?”
“Oh, she’s just the Secret Admirer’s latest victim,” Randall told her, waving his hand vaguely in the air.
That…wasn’t possible. Hugh was dead.
But Randall had opened a manila file. No, God, not another one of those! The agents in Savannah had loved opening their files and making her look at crime scene photos. Must be some kind of FBI protocol shit because, sure enough, Randall proceeded to pull out some photos. He shoved them across the table at her, and Alice automatically glanced down.
A brunette woman. Heart-shaped face. A woman who looked so similar to Alice. A woman who had a knife sticking out of her chest. There were close-up shots of her body—of the slashes on her arms. On her neck. On her face.
“You just had to pick up where your lover left off, didn’t you?” Now Randall had risen to his feet.
Alice backed away from the table. “I didn’t—I’ve never hurt anyone!”
“So, what, you just watched before?” Randall hammered at her. “Watched while Hugh killed the others, but when he died, you decided to finally step it up with Julianna? Decided it was your time to—”
“No!” Alice practically screamed. It can’t be happening again. “I never knew! And I didn’t do this!” She pointed at the victim’s pictures with a shaking hand.
But Randall just smiled at her. “Really?”
Her legs were shaking. Her whole body was shaking. This couldn’t be happening. Could. Not. Be.
She’d woken up in bed with Zander that morning. She’d been happy. Finally, things were turning around for her.
Then she’d seen her bedroom.
And her past had sucked her right back in.
“Alice?” Zander reached for her arm.
She flinched away from him. She could feel a tear sliding down her cheek. “You think I killed that woman?” Alice made herself stare into his eyes.
He didn’t answer her.
The man who’d made love to her the night before—he thought she was a killer.
But, then, no, he hadn’t made love to her. He’d fucked her. There was a difference. Right?
“I didn’t hurt anyone,” Alice whispered. She sucked in a deep breath and tried to hold herself together for just a little while longer. “And if you want to charge me, then do it. Otherwise, I’m walking out of this place right now.”
A muscle flexed in Zander’s jaw.
“You’re free to go,” Randall told her. “For now.”
Alice could only shake her head. She rushed toward the door, making sure that she didn’t touch Zander on her way out. She felt like her body might shatter into a million piece
s. She needed to get out of that station. Needed to get some fresh air. To breathe.
A hard hand closed over her shoulder. She was pulled back, and Alice whipped around to find Zander staring down at her.
“Get your hand off me,” she ordered. “Right now.”
His hand fell away.
They were in the lobby of the sheriff’s station. People were watching them. Straining to listen. Uniformed deputies. FBI agents.
“You lied to me,” Alice said, her voice thick with anger and pain.
“I was doing my job.”
That jab went straight to her heart. “That’s what you were doing last night?”
He flinched. “Alice—”
“I didn’t hurt that woman. I never hurt any of them.” She wouldn’t break down in front of him and all of the others there. She’d get out of this place. She’d walk back to her cabin if she had to do it. “Stay away from me, understand?”
But Zander shook his head. “That’s not going to be possible. We have to investigate the break-in at your cabin.”
“Get another agent to do it. I want you far away from me.” Because he’d hurt her, damn him. She’d opened up and trusted someone.
Only to find herself betrayed…again.