“They’re waiting for the medical examiner.”

I couldn’t imagine it. I went to my desk, sat heavily in the chair. My gaze went to the photos of Eva on the wall.


“The detectives have been told that you and Mrs. Cross will be here at home when it’s time to get your statements.”

I nodded, and prayed for them to wait until morning to make that house call.

“I took the phone off the hook in the kitchen when we arrived,” he said quietly.

“I noticed. Thank you.”

There was a knock at the door. Tensing, I expected Eva to walk in. I exhaled in relief when it was Angus instead.

“I’m going to head back,” Raúl said. “I’ll keep you posted.”

“I need Eva’s purse from the car. And Cary. Get him here.”

He nodded and left.

Angus settled into the seat Raúl had just vacated. “I’m sorry, lad.”

-- Advertisement --

“So am I.”

“I should’ve been there.”

“And have someone else I love in the line of fire?” I pushed to my feet, too restless to sit. “It’s a blessing you were at the Lucases’.”

He stared at me a moment, and then his gaze dropped to his hands.

It took me a second to realize what I’d said. Another to know that I hadn’t told him I loved him before now. I hoped he’d known anyway.

Taking a deep breath, his chin lifted and he looked at me again. “How’s Eva?”

“I have to check on her. She’s taking a bath.”

“Poor lass.”

“She doesn’t know.” I rubbed the back of my neck. “I haven’t told her.”

“Gideon.” His eyes were wide with the same dismay I felt. “You cannae—”

“What good would it do?” I snapped. “We don’t have answers. Her mother’s gone. I can’t have her going back to the scene and seeing … that. Why torture her or put her at risk? Christ, it could’ve been her! It could still be her if we don’t keep her safe.”

He watched me pace, with eyes that had seen—and still saw—too much.

“I’m going to make some calls.” I pulled out my phone. “I need to get a handle on the situation before I tell her. Try to cushion the blow as much as I can. She’s been through so much—” My voice broke. My eyes burned.

“What can I do to help?” he asked softly.

I pulled myself together. “I need a jet available for Eva’s father. I’m going to call him now.”

“I’ll see to it.” He stood.

“Give me a few minutes to break the news to him, then text him the info when you have it.”

“Consider it done.”

“Thank you.”

“Gideon … You should know my search of the Lucas residence was successful.” Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a flash drive no bigger than a dime. “She kept this in a bedroom safe, buried beneath her jewelry in a box. She scanned all his notes.”

I looked at him blankly. Anne and Hugh were the least of my concerns at the moment.

“It’s all lies,” he continued. “He mentioned nothing of what really went on. What you may find of interest, when the time comes, is what he had to say about Christopher.”

Setting the drive on my desktop, Angus left the room.

I stared at it. Then I went to my desk, opened a drawer, and swept the drive into it with a brush of my hand.

Turning my phone back on, I saw that there were texts and voice mails from Cary, Magdalene, Clancy, Ireland, Chris …

Overwhelmed, I went to the home screen.

I pulled up Dr. Petersen’s office in my contacts and dialed. Going through the automated menu, I selected the after-hours emergency switchboard and told the answering operator that it was very much an emergency—a death was involved and the doctor needed to call me back as soon as he could.

The entire interaction was cold and clinical, especially for something so desperately personal. The grim process seemed like a terrible insult to the vibrantly beautiful wife and mother who was no longer with us. And yet I found myself wishing the next call I had to make could be accomplished with so little emotion.

As the line rang on the other end, I sank into my chair. The last time I’d talked to Victor had been the call I had placed from Rio de Janeiro, when I explained that the photo of me with two women was taken before I ever met his daughter. He had received that information with chilly reserve, letting me know without saying it that I wasn’t good enough for Eva. I couldn’t disagree. Now, I had to tell him that the other woman he cared for had been taken from him again—this time, forever.

-- Advertisement --