“Is it just her?” Relocating when a witness has a family can be very difficult.
“Yes, she doesn’t have any family and very few friends. She’s a college student who works part-time as a librarian.” If she doesn’t have anyone, what difference does being alone make here or in fucking New York? Some people are very peculiar.
“We don’t have a library in Steeleville,” I inform him. The town is on the way up, but time and money play a big part in building new businesses.
“Damn, my ex-wife would say that’s a travesty.”
Chuckling, I nod. “I agree, but there are so many other businesses that need to be built that actually make money.” There’s a light rap on the door, then Francisco walks in with a rolling cart and our coffees.
“Thank you. Can you prepare the Wilkins file for this week?”
“I’ll have it done before I leave today.”
“Fantastic.” He leaves the office, closing the door behind him.
“Anyways, I want to take her away from that. You know if they are going to go hunting for her, they’re going to check local libraries.”
“So what led her to need WP?”
“She witnessed a shooting after locking up the library. She was almost to her car when Serrano noticed her. The next day, he’d been waiting for her. She turned around and went straight to the police. It was the best option for her.” She’s got brains. It’s a no-win situation because guys like that. That accidental encounter sealed her fate. She had to run.
He’s got a very valid point. “How old is she?”
“Twenty.” Damn, she’s very young, but an idea strikes me. It’s one place they might not try looking for her at.
“Then I know that she’s not allowed to drink, but she can work at Panhandles. They’re looking for a bartender. It’s out of her element. There’s a bakery being built, but it’s not close to being ready. One of the Riders owns the bar, so we won’t have any trouble.”
“It might work. I think we can set that up. I need to move her today, so can you talk to your guys like right now?”
“I’ll give Boss a call. He’ll be discreet. But as to the matter of the apartment, I don’t know if there’s a place for her to stay.”
His face falls as he grunts out, “Damn.”
“You know, I have a spare bedroom in my house that I leave for one of the Riders should they need it. She can stay with me.” I don’t know why I offered; I’m not the type of person who gets along with strangers. Hell, even with the Riders, I’m still reserved. They know I’d help them out if necessary, but I don’t like people in my home. As a lawyer, I have cases I can’t discuss and having someone come in and start snooping around my place
He has a shit-eating grin on his face, giving him a much older look. “That can work. You’re a damn saint. I can’t thank you enough. The case should be coming up in January. After that, she can go back to her normal life, or so we hope.” That’s only three months away.
“What’s her name?”
He lowers his voice to reply. “Mary Stark. She’s agreed to change it to Mary Baldwin. Please give them a call over there and not a peep about it to anyone outside those you trust.” Sometimes it’s good to keep their first names, sometimes it’s not, but since she’s coming to Steeleville, I’m not worried about them finding her. The Riders are very protective of the town, and with surveillance systems in place, she would be more protected than anywhere else.
“Will do.” Spencer knows that I can be trusted because I have no skin in the game. I don’t owe anyone anything; that can’t be said by many these days. So many people are under the thumb of the drug and human traffickers that you can’t be sure who’s still clean.
I walk him out to the elevators, waiting for him to get on before I head back to my office to give Boss a call.
Using a secure line, I dial Boss’s secure line. We can’t have anyone listening in for this girl’s sake. “Hey, I need you to do me a favor. I’m sending in someone to take the job as a bartender. I can’t say more than that, but she has no experience.”
“Oh, okay. Work stuff?” he asks, knowing if it’s a “need to know” situation.
“Yes. She’ll be there in a little bit. I’m going to have her move into my guest bedroom that’s set up at the house.” I can’t shake the feeling that this favor may be a dangerous one. I know nothing about the woman, and I can’t really look her up because someone might be watching any record requests on her name.