Taking a moment to close the door and make the glass opaque, I followed Angus to the seating area and dropped into a chair.
“You’ve had a busy few days, lad,” he said, his lips twisted wryly.
“Never a dull moment.” I exhaled roughly, fighting off fatigue. “Tell me you have something.”
Angus leaned forward. “Little more than I had to start with: a marriage license with a fictitious hometown and Jackson Tramell’s death certificate, which has Lauren Kittrie listed as his spouse. He was dead less than a year after they wed.”
I homed in on the most important information. “Lauren lied about where she was from?”
He nodded. “Easy enough to do.”
“But why?” Studying him, I saw the tension in his jaw. “There’s something else.”
“Manner of death is listed as undetermined,” he said quietly. “Jackson took a bullet to the right temple.”
My spine stiffened. “They couldn’t decide if it was suicide or homicide?”
“Aye. It couldnae be determined conclusively one way or the other.”
More questions without answers, with the biggest issue being whether Lauren had any relevance at all. Maybe we were chasing our tails.
“Fuck.” I scrubbed a hand over my face. “I just want a photo, for God’s sake.”
“It’s been a long time, Gideon. A quarter of a century. Maybe someone from her hometown would remember her, but we dinnae know where that is.”
Dropping my hand, I looked at him. I knew the inflections of his voice and what they signified. “You think someone went through and tidied things up.”
“It’s possible. Also possible that the police report of Jackson’s death was truly misplaced over the years.”
“You don’t believe that.”
He confirmed my statement with a shake of his head. “I brought in a lass to pose as an IRS agent looking for Lauren Kittrie Tramell. She questioned Monica Dieck, who said she hasn’t seen her former sister-in-law in many years and to her knowledge, Lauren is deceased.”
I shook my head, trying to make sense of it all and getting nowhere.
“Monica was scared, lad. When she heard Lauren’s name she went white as a ghost.”
Pushing to my feet, I began to pace. “What the fuck does that mean? None of this is getting me any closer to the truth.”
“There’s someone else who might have the answers.”
I came to an abrupt halt. “Eva’s mother.”
He nodded. “You could ask her.”
“Jesus.” I stared at him. “I just want to know that my wife is safe. That none of this poses any danger to her whatsoever.”
Angus’s features softened. “From what we ken of Eva’s mother, protecting her daughter has always been a priority. I cannae see her putting Eva at risk.”
“Her overprotectiveness is exactly my concern. She’s been tracking Eva’s movements for God knows how long. I assumed it was because of Nathan Barker. But maybe he was just part of the reason. Maybe there’s more.”
“Raúl and I are already working on revised protocols.”
I raked a hand through my hair. In addition to their security duties, they were dealing with the problem of Anne and finding whatever records her brother had kept, as well as trying to identify the photographer who took the photo of me and unravel the mystery of Eva’s mother. Even with their auxiliary teams, I knew they were stretched thin.
My security detail was used to managing only my affairs. Now I had Eva in my life, which effectively doubled their duties. Angus and Raúl were accustomed to rotating shifts, but lately they were both working nearly round the clock. They had standing orders to hire whatever support they required, but what we needed was another security chief—maybe two. Experts whose sole charge would be Eva and whom I could trust as implicitly as I did my existing team.
I’d have to make the time to get that done. When Eva and I returned from our honeymoon, I wanted everything in place.
“Thank you, Angus.” I exhaled harshly. “Let’s head to the penthouse. I want to be with Eva now. I’ll figure out the next steps after I get some sleep.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
I looked at Eva as I stripped out of my clothes. “I thought you’d like the surprise.”
“Well, yeah. But still. That was huge.”
I could tell she was happy about the interview. The way she’d tackled me when I came home had been a good indication. She was also talking fast and hopping around all over the place. Which, come to think of it, wasn’t too different from Lucky, who was darting under the bed and rolling out again, yipping happily.