“I called an ex-friend of Rollin’s when I figured out I was being followed. He told me everything.”
“Where did this person get this information?” I push further.
“He has a friend still close to Rollin who told him. Amy,” she pleads, going down on one knee in front of me, and snapping me back into the present. “I need help. I have no one but you to go to.”
“Help yourself, Meg. Give the CIA what they want and keep the people who mean you harm in jail.”
“I told you. Anyone who betrays these people will end up dead. And they have Jared, anyway. He knows more than I do, I’m sure.”
“What? Jared is in prison?”
“He’s working for the CIA, I think. Some kind of deal he made. He’s a fool. He’ll be dead in a heartbeat.”
I’m not sure if I should be relieved to know where Jared is or worried he’s going to become a problem anyway.
“I need help, Amy. I have no money and no resources. Chad was my only hope. Please. Help me. I’ve taken every step Chad taught me to hide and they still found me.”
“You lived in New York with Chad. Of course they’re looking for you here.”
“I didn’t hide here. I came to New York to see you.”
“You betrayed my brother.”
“I fell in love with him. It destroyed me to keep lying to him.”
“But you did.”
“I wanted to tell him the truth, but I knew he’d hate me and we’d both end up dead.”
“He is dead, Meg, and as far as I’m concerned you had a role in that. And the fire. You set the electrical fire at Liam’s house.”
“I had to do it or they would have killed me.”
“My family died in a fire. In a fire.”
“I’m sorry.” Her hand goes to my leg and I stiffen, fighting the urge to shove her away. “I’m so sorry,” she repeats. “I’ll help you avenge Chad. I’ll do anything to help you if you will just help me too. Anything.” She grabs my hand and thrusts a piece of paper in it, curling her fingers around mine. “This is a number you can reach me at. Leave a message and I’ll call you back. Please, Amy. Talk to Liam. Get him to help me.” She releases me and stands, and before I can blink, she’s thrown open the door and vanished into the hallway. Stunned, I sit there for a moment and have to shake myself. She knows things we need to know.
Leaping to my feet, I reach the doorway.
“Liam!” I scream, yanking up my long skirt and taking off at a run. “Liam!” She disappears into the store and I shout louder, “Liam!” I gasp as I smack into his hard body, and I grab his arms to right my footing. “Meg,” I pant. “That was Meg that just ran by. In the black wig and glasses.”
He presses me to the wall, blocking my body with his, and this time it’s him shouting. “Are you hurt?”
“No. I’m not hurt. We have to catch her.”
Betty appears in the hallway. “What’s happening? What’s wrong?”
“Call security,” Liam orders, offering no further explanation, shifting his attention back to me. “Was she alone?”
“I don’t know. I think yes. We have to catch her.”
“The only thing I have to do is keep you safe. She could be leading us into a trap.”
Tellar rushes to our side. “Why do we need security?”
“Meg was here,” I gasp. “She cornered me and then took off. Short black wig and thick glasses.”
“Is she alone?” he asks, clearly in the same mindset as Liam.
“I think so. She thinks someone is following her. I think there’s a gun in her purse.”
He eyes Liam with a silent question and Liam nods. “Yes. Go get her.”
Liam had barely finished the sentence before Tellar is on the move and Betty is claiming his spot next to us. “Security’s on the way. What can I do to help?”
“Secure the boutique,” Liam states. “No one in or out.” He glances at me. “Go change. I’ll be right there.”
I nod, eager to get out of here, but once I’m at the end of the hallway I can’t stand the idea of being shut inside the dressing room without knowing what’s going on. I go back to find Betty missing and Liam talking with a security guard. Seconds tick by that feel like hours before the guard makes a call on his radio and Liam turns toward me, motioning me into the dressing room, his long strides closing the distance between us.
I enter the room with him on my heels, and I quickly unzip my dress as he shuts the door. “What the hell did she want?” he asks.
“Confirmation that Chad’s dead,” I say, shoving the dress to the ground and stepping out of it.
Seeing my struggle with the dress and hanger, he takes over. “I knew someone would nose around, thinking that he’d set up his death again. I just didn’t expect it to be Meg.”
“She says Jared is helping the CIA.”
“How does she know that?”
“Someone close to Rollin. But that would mean that the Chinese turned Jared over to them. He’s a world-class hacker. Would they do that?”
“Did she say what he’s doing to help the CIA?”
I give a shake of my head. “No. She didn’t seem to know. If it was a witness protection program, she wouldn’t know, right?”
“Right. There could be any number of other options, though. He’s a double agent of some sort, or the two countries simply made a trade deal for something more valuable to the Chinese.”