His jaw tightened. “Gove wants to start moving some of Blake’s assets over to me and you, in case things get worse.”
“No,” I said simply.
His lips thinned. “Do you want to have faith, or do you want to start planning for the worst-case scenario?”
“Neither. I want to fix this.” I paused and faced him. “And I will.”
“Let Gove do what he needs to—”
“You want to motivate me, Heath?” I looked up at him, my jaw resolute. “Then tell me no. Tell me I can’t, or that I shouldn’t.”
“All I’m saying is that I know that more than anything Blake wants you safe and taken care of.”
“If he wants me taken care of, he can come home and do it himself. Otherwise, I’m taking care of myself, and I’m going to get to the bottom of this if it’s the last thing I do.”
Before he could respond, my phone dinged from my pocket. I pulled it out. A text came in from a local number I didn’t recognize.
I have what you’re looking for. Park Street station.
I read the text over, my heart racing. Was it Daniel?
Heath finished making our tea, while I contemplated what to write back.
One hour. I’ll find you.
I checked my watch. As long as we didn’t hit traffic, Clay could get me there on time.
“I have to go,” I said suddenly.
Heath frowned. “Where are you going?”
I ignored his question and went toward the door. “Tell Catherine I’m sorry. I had to run.”
I hurried home, packed an overnight bag for Marie’s, and directed Clay to drive us into the city. He pulled us up to the Park Street station with five minutes to spare.
“Wait for me here,” I said.
We made eye contact in the rearview.
“You need me to go in with you?”
“No, I’ll be fine.” This wouldn’t work with Clay hovering.
He turned in his seat, eyeing me cautiously. “I’ve known you long enough to know the look you get when you’re doing something Blake wouldn’t want you doing.”
“If it were up to Blake, I’d never leave the damn house. I’m just going to meet someone quick. I’ll be fine. I promise.”
He hesitated. “It’s my job to keep you safe, Erica.”
That was the second time he’d used my name. Both times had gotten my attention. I appreciated his concern but I couldn’t let it get in my way right now. “It’s a busy station, Clay. If I’m not back in ten minutes, you can start worrying, okay?”
He turned back and dropped a hand on the steering wheel. “Five minutes.”
I rolled my eyes but didn’t waste another second booking it down to the trains. Park Street was a busy station, even busier at the lunch hour. How would this stranger find me in the crowd?
I stood awkwardly, trying to seem natural, which was impossible when two trains came and went without me. More people crowded on the platform, waiting for the next train. I scanned faces and froze when I landed on one I recognized.
Shit. I turned and started walking toward the stairs that would bring me back out of the station. I wanted to run but moved slowly enough to seem natural. This could not have been a worse time. I silently prayed that he hadn’t seen me and I could escape unnoticed.
The man’s voice was barely audible over the screaming of the approaching train.
I kept walking, until a hand came around my wrist and kept me from going any farther. I looked up into Detective Carmody’s eyes, shaded under a baseball cap. He was in street clothes, but there was no mistaking his face. My heart pounded wildly. I yanked my hand back, feeling something small and hard against it. Opening my palm revealed a tiny black thumb drive. I shot my gaze back up to the detective, but that quickly he was gone.
A rush of warm air blew through my hair as the train pulled away.
They’d moved me to a county jail that afternoon. The almost ritualistic process of moving me from place to place and room to room helped keep my thoughts off this morning’s events. The vision of Erica’s face, so hurt, was imprinted on my mind. But now all I had was time and I couldn’t get her out of my head. I felt like someone had ripped out half my insides and told me I could live without them.
Except I couldn’t fathom how I’d live without Erica for any extended period of time. I could live without money, possessions, or success. But I couldn’t live without that woman.
At lunchtime I sat down at an empty table and moved my food around the tray. It wasn’t so much disgusting as completely inedible. I dropped my fork and opened the small carton of milk that reminded me of a hundred school lunches I’d endured.