“You didn’t see the shooter?” Grave pressed.
“No. I heard Raúl shout and I got Eva on the ground. It’s protocol for the security team to evacuate at the first sign of trouble. They escorted us away in the opposite direction and I didn’t look back. My focus was on my wife, who was unconscious at the time.”
“You didn’t see Monica Stanton go down?”
Eva’s hand tightened on mine. I shook my head. “No. I had no idea anyone had been injured until several minutes after we left the scene.”
Michna looked at Eva. “At what point did you lose consciousness, Mrs. Cross?”
She licked lips that were starting to crack. “I hit the sidewalk pretty hard. Gideon rolled over me, holding me down. I couldn’t breathe, and then someone covered Gideon. They were both so heavy … I thought I heard two, maybe three shots. I’m not sure. When I came to, I was in the limo.”
“Okay.” Michna nodded. “Thank you.”
Graves unzipped the satchel and pulled out a file folder. Opening it, she pulled out a mug shot and set it on the table facing us. “Do either of you recognize this man?”
I bent closer. Blond with green eyes. A trimmed beard. Average looking.
“Aye,” Angus said, drawing my head around to look at him. “He’s the chap we ran off in Westport, the one who was taking pictures.”
“We’re going to need a statement from you, Mr. McLeod,” Michna advised.
“Of course.” He straightened, his arms crossing. “He’s the one who shot Mrs. Stanton?”
“Yes. His name is Roland Tyler Hall. Have you ever had contact with this man, Mr. Cross? Ever recall speaking with him?”
“No,” I replied, searching my memory and coming up blank.
Eva leaned forward. “Was he stalking her? Some kind of obsession?”
Her questions were softly voiced, her muted grief edged with an icy fury. It was the first spark I’d seen in her since I broke the news. And it came at the moment that I remembered what else I was keeping from her: her mother’s shadowy past. A tangled history that could be the reason Monica was dead now.
Graves began sliding out images, starting with the Westport photos. “It’s not your mother Hall was fixated on.”
What? The dread I felt reversed back into the fear that had plagued me all night.
There were so many images, it was hard to focus on any single one. Numerous pictures taken of us outside the Crossfire. Some from events, which looked like standard paparazzi shots. Others caught us out on the town.
Eva reached for the corner of one and slid it out, gasping at the image of me dipping her into a passionate kiss on a crowded city sidewalk outside a CrossTrainer gym.
The photo had been the first of us to go viral. I had responded to press inquiries with the confirmation that she was the significant woman in my life, and she’d opened up to me about Nathan and her past.
There was another widely seen image of us, capturing us arguing in Bryant Park. Another picture of us in the park on a different day showed us embracing. I hadn’t seen that one before.
“He didn’t sell all of these,” I said.
Graves shook her head. “Most of the photos Hall took for himself. When money ran low, he’d sell a few. He hasn’t worked in months and lives out of his car.”
Sliding the top layer of pictures around to expose the ones underneath, I realized that many of the times Eva and I had spotted a photographer, it had been Hall holding the camera.
I sat back, releasing Eva’s hand to put my arm around her and pull her close. Hall had been so near to my wife, and we hadn’t even known it.
“Let me see those,” Victor said.
I pushed them down the table, the top layer sliding over first. The images left behind had me straightening in my chair. I pulled out the highly publicized picture of Magdalene and me that helped trigger the infamous fight with Eva in Bryant Park. And another of me and Corinne at the Kingsman Vodka party.
My breathing quickened. I released Eva, sliding to the edge of my chair to sift through the images with both hands.
Cary leaned forward to look over Victor’s shoulder. “Was this guy just a really bad shot? Or did he confuse Monica for Eva?”
“He wasn’t stalking Eva,” I said tightly, the horrific realization sinking in. I pulled out the photo from the nightclub of me and two women. Taken in May, it preceded Eva’s arrival in New York.
Graves met my questioning gaze with a nod. “Hall is obsessed with you.”
Which meant I hadn’t just hidden what I knew of Monica’s life, I was also indirectly responsible for her death.