“You were previously estranged until this year, correct?”


I closed my eyes a moment. “Yes.”

“Why would you participate in his campaign if you barely knew him?”

Good question. Blake would want to know that answer too.

“He’s my father. When I found that out, I wanted to help.”

He glanced down at his notes, scribbling something. “Okay. So you helped with marketing. Anything else?”

“No.”

“What about Blake? He has even more resources than you do. How was he involved?”

I sent a tired look in his direction. I knew what he was doing, and I was sick over it. “He wasn’t involved at all. He didn’t even want me involved.”

Carmody lifted an eyebrow. “Really. Why is that?”

Gove cleared his throat. “I think we’re getting off topic here. Let’s stick to the facts. Mr. Landon’s feelings toward her involvement in the campaign have no bearing in this meeting.”

“I’m not sure about that.”

“Then you can take it up with him. Erica, you don’t need to answer that. Move on, Detective.”

Carmody scribbled more in his notebook. “Were you involved with the campaign work leading up to election day?”

“I just got back from my honeymoon. We’ve been out of the country for a month, so no.”

“What about Blake? What was he working on?”

Nothing was the answer on the tip of my tongue. He wouldn’t do this. He couldn’t do this to me.

“Nothing that I know of. We agreed to unplug and pick up with work when we got back home.”

“Are you certain of that?”

Was I certain? No.

“I’m certain,” I lied. “We were together all day every day. If he was working on something, I would have known it.”

Carmody stared at me. His eyes were an odd color. Dark blue with amber around the irises. My heartbeat quickened. I didn’t know what any of this could mean, but at least to the FBI, it pointed to Blake’s suspected guilt. Something inside told me that Carmody knew I was lying. But I’d lie all day long for Blake, if it kept him out of harm’s way. There wasn’t anything I wouldn’t do for him now.

“When was the last time you spoke with your father?”

“It’s been a couple months.”

“Any reason for the gap in communications?”

I released a heavy sigh. I’d never feel comfortable discussing my relationship with Daniel with the authorities after what he’d done. This situation was no different.

“He didn’t want to see me anymore.”

“Why is that?”

I closed my eyes, remembering the last time we’d spoken.

You’re my daughter. My only child. I love you, but it’s time for me to go now.

My heart broke when he’d said the words. The same empty kind of pain seared through me now as it had then. Pain that I’d kept under the surface, believing it didn’t deserve oxygen. But everything about his rejection still hurt.

“After I was shot . . . he thought it would be better if he kept a distance.”

“He shot the man who tried to kill you.”

I nodded. “I know.”

“How does that make you feel?”

Gove cleared his throat. “Is this all you have, Carmody? We didn’t come here to discuss Erica’s feelings about her father.”

Carmody finally turned to acknowledge Gove. “Seems relevant to me.”

“It might be, if you had any evidence against my clients, which you apparently don’t.” Gove tucked his notebook away and stood. “Where’s Mr. Landon now?”

“He’s speaking with Agent Evans.”

Gove pointed at him with a glare. “If this was a ploy to get him alone with the FBI, I’m going to have your ass.”

Carmody winced. “I’m not working with Evans.”

Gove cursed under his breath. “What a fucking circus. Show me to Landon, and let’s move on.”

The detective’s jaw tightened and he rubbed the stubble on his jaw. “Fine. You’re free to go, Erica.”

I stood, no less numb than I’d been moments ago. The fog had only thickened. I was sinking under the weight of everything being said. Gove caught my elbow and led me out of the room, through a few hallways, until we were in the busy lobby of the police station.

“I can wait here,” I said.

“You should go home. Blake let me know Clay would take you. I’ll swing Blake back home as soon as we’re done here.”

I glanced past him, as if I’d see Blake at any moment. I didn’t want to be here, but I didn’t want to leave him here either. “I’d rather wait.”

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