POLICE! OPEN THE DOOR, MS. DELEVIGNE."

Jasmine sighed. Again? What do they want this time?

She opened the door.

"Hey, I know you, don't I?"

DOWNSTAIRS IN THE LOBBY, GRACE LOCKED the door of the ladies' room. Removing her black wig and eyeglasses, she stepped out of her police uniform, folded it neatly and placed it in the toilet cistern. Only after she'd replaced the lid of the cistern and straightened her own clothes did she collapse onto the floor and cry.

No. Not Lenny. Not my Lenny.

With my own sister?

He couldn't.

She cast her mind back. Lenny and Connie had always gotten along. They were kindred spirits in a way, both tough, both ambitious. The opposite of me. She remembered the pair of them dancing at the Quorum Ball, deep in conversation. Connie arguing with Lenny on the beach in Nantucket, then storming off in tears. I thought he was comforting her, because of Michael. Because of all the money they'd lost. How could I have been so blind?

Grace didn't care about Connie. Her sisters were long since dead to her. But Lenny! Grace's memory of their marriage, of Lenny's love for her, was the one true thing she had left in this world. Without that, there was no hope, no meaning, no point to any of it. Without that love, the anguish was unbearable. She cried out to the heavens.

"Oh, Lenny. Tell me it isn't true!"

But Grace heard nothing, only the echo of her own words in the silence.

JASMINE SMILED AT THE HUNKY BLOND COP. Usually she only went for wealthy men. But in Detective Mitch Connors's case, she might be persuaded to make an exception.

"I'd like to talk about your relationship with Senator Warner."

"Certainly. Although I'm not sure how much more I can help you. I already told your colleague everything I know."

Mitch frowned. "My colleague?"

"Yes. She was just here."

She?

"She was asking me all about Jack, and what happened on Nantucket the weekend that Lenny Brookstein disappeared. Didn't you send her?"

Mitch's mouth went dry. He bolted for the elevator, pounding his fist on the call button. It seemed to take forever.

Should I wait, or take the stairs?

Fuck it.

He pushed open the emergency exit door and bounded down the stairs, three at a time. Bursting into the lobby, he looked around. Empty. He ran out to the street, frantically looking to the left and right. Fifth Avenue was busy. The street was choked with afternoon traffic and the sidewalk was full of people. Mitch weaved among them holding out his badge like a talisman, grabbing every petite woman he came across, scanning the features of every female he passed.

It was no good.

Grace Brookstein was gone.




Line : 25

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