“Toast would be nice. Who were you talking to? I thought I heard Chief Drummond.”
“You did hear him,” he said. “He just left. White or wheat?”
“I can make my own breakfast.”
“You’re getting wheat.”
He didn’t ask her if she wanted orange juice. He poured a glass and put it on the table in front of her.
“As soon as you finish breakfast, we need to get on the road.”
He was leaning against the counter facing her, one ankle crossed over the other, looking absolutely gorgeous, and she was suddenly feeling overwhelmed by him.
The toast popped up. “Here we go.”
He put the dry toast on a plate and handed it to her. Cooking obviously wasn’t one of his talents. She picked up a slice and tore a corner off.
“Why are you in such a rush?” she asked. “We have plenty of time.”
“There’s been a change in plans.”
“What change in what plan?”
“We had a plan, and we changed it,” he explained. “Come on, Kate. Eat your breakfast. Did you pack a bag for tonight?”
“Yes. It’s in the foyer.”
“I’ll put it in the car,” he said, and as he walked out of the kitchen, he ordered, “eat.”
The second he was out of sight, she dumped the toast in the disposal, gulped the orange juice, and rinsed the plate and the glass.
The kitchen sink looked brand-new. Dylan had obviously scrubbed it. He may not be much of a chef, but he certainly knew how to clean. He’d be a good man to have around . . . for all sorts of reasons.
She ran upstairs to get her purse and laptop. She hadn’t had a chance to answer her e-mails in heaven knew how long, and she hoped there would be time this afternoon or this evening after the meeting. She slipped the laptop behind the cushioned divider in her briefcase and went back downstairs.
Chief Drummond was getting into his car. He had parked his Jeep behind Dylan’s rental in the drive.
“You should have told me he was waiting. I would have hurried.”
“I asked you to hurry,” Dylan responded.
“That was different.”
He wasn’t going to try to figure out what she meant. “The chief wanted to go over the car just to make sure there weren’t any surprises waiting for us.”
“You mean like a bomb?” she asked but didn’t wait for an answer. “Did he find anything?”
“No. We’re okay.”
“Is he coming with us?”
“No,” he answered. “But he wrote out instructions. We’re going to be taking some roads that aren’t on any map.”
Kate had grown up in Silver Springs and thought she knew the area better than anyone, and she’d driven to Savannah too many times to count, but several of the back roads Dylan took she had to admit she’d never seen before. Some of them weren’t roads at all. They were gravel ruts.
The drive was scenic, and every now and then Dylan would point out something he found fascinating. He loved the weeping willows and the wildflowers growing in clusters in untended fields. He didn’t know what any of them were called and was impressed that she did.
“How could you ever want to leave this?” he asked. “It’s beautiful here.”
“I won’t be leaving for a long time . . . if ever. I think I’m meant to stay here.”
“I could do it. I could live here.”
She didn’t want to get her hopes up that he might stay in her life, and so she tried to think of all the reasons he should leave.
“You’d be bored.”
“I don’t think so.”
“You’d miss Boston. There’s such energy there.”
“Yes, I would miss Boston,” he agreed. “But I’m ready for a change. Besides, Charleston is just down the road from Silver Springs, and it has all the big-city advantages and problems. You want energy, drive there. I certainly wouldn’t miss the traffic,” he added. “I wonder what the crime rate is in Silver Springs.”
“Before or after I moved back home?”
“Okay, we made it,” he said. “Read the sign. We’re officially in Savannah.”
Kate assumed they were going to meet at one of the Savannah precincts.
“I don’t want to sit in a police station until the meeting,” she said. “Couldn’t we go on to Anderson’s office? I could get some work done while I wait.”
“Good idea,” he said.
Fifteen minutes later he was pulling up in front of Smith and Wesson. “You were planning on driving here anyway, weren’t you? Does Nate know?”
“Yes, he does.”
“We can just walk in?”
As she asked the question, two police officers exited the building and waited for Dylan and Kate to get out of the car. Yet another officer came from across the street. “You can leave the car here,” he said. “I’ll make sure no one touches it.”
Dylan turned the motor off but left the keys in the ignition. He followed Kate inside, and once the door was shut behind him, he said, “Which one of you checked the building?”
“The bomb squad just left. The place is clean,” one of the officers said. “We’ve got a man watching the door and a couple of security guards, one inside and one out back. The two of us are assigned to you. Where do you want us?”
“Right here in the entry is good. Who’s in the building now?”
“Almost everyone is either at a funeral or on vacation. The receptionist’s here, and so is Smith’s assistant, a guy named Terrance. He’s upstairs in Smith’s office. You want him out, we’ll get him out.”
“He can stay.”
Terrance must have heard all the commotion. He came rushing downstairs. “Miss MacKenna, I’m afraid Mr. Smith isn’t here just yet. The funeral—”
“I know,” she interrupted. “We’re quite early. I was wondering if I might have a desk to use. I’d like to do some work until Anderson returns.”
He seemed nervous, and smiling at him didn’t put him at ease. She finally figured out why he was so jumpy. Dylan was making him apprehensive. Terrance was watching him out of the corner of his eye, acting like he expected Dylan to grab him.
“I’d like to see the conference room,” Dylan said.
Terrance led the way up the stairs and down a long hallway on the right. The conference room was one door down from Anderson’s office.
“I was just putting name cards in front of each chair,” Terrance said.
“Would you mind if I worked in here?” Kate asked. “If I could plug in my computer . . .”
“Yes, of course.” He pulled the chair out at the head of the table and showed her where the outlet was located.
Dylan left the door open and continued down to the end of the hallway. To the left was an alcove with a fire door wired to the alarm. A small red light was blinking, indicating the system was on. A wide metal bar crossed the door in the center. Dylan assumed that on the other side of the door were fire escape stairs leading to the ground.
The carpeted back staircase was to his right. He descended a flight to the first floor where a guard was stationed in front of the exit that led to the parking lot. Dylan showed him his identification and talked to him a few minutes before going back up.
Satisfied with security, he returned to Kate, who had her laptop set up on the conference room table and was answering e-mail. When they heard someone shouting Dylan’s name, his hand immediately went to his gun, and he took a protective step toward her.
Dylan recognized the voice when his name was shouted again, and he relaxed. A couple of seconds later Nate came running into the room. His face was flushed and he was smiling.
“It’s over,” he announced jubilantly.
“Over?” Kate asked. “Really over?”
“That’s right. You two can start breathing easy again and get on with your lives. The case is closed,” he added. “Or will be,” he qualified. “As soon as all the paperwork is done.”
“Tell me,” Dylan demanded.
Nate was enjoying the moment. His eyes lit up with excitement. “Roger MacKenna. Just as I thought. The bastard was behind it all. After seeing that video, I was sure he was the number one suspect. I had requested a search warrant, but now that’s not necessary. We have all the proof we need. Roger was quite the busy little planner. He had help, of course.”
“Yes,” he confirmed. “And Jackman had all the connections to get the job done. The loan shark didn’t really have a choice. He had to help Roger. It was the only way he would ever see the money Roger owed him.”
“How did you ever get Roger to confess?” she asked. “He doesn’t seem the type to cooperate with the police.”
“He didn’t confess. He killed himself.”
She hadn’t expected to hear that. Stunned, she said, “He what?”
“Killed himself,” he repeated. He looked at Dylan as he continued. “We had a tail on him, but our guy didn’t hear the gunshot. Roger lived in a high-rise,” he explained. “Our detective was in a parked car out front, and he’d watched him go inside. He told me he heard about it on the scanner. A woman called, said she heard a gunshot. He went inside then and found Roger on the floor. One head shot,” he added. “He also found incriminating evidence and lots of it. He didn’t touch anything, of course. He said it was all sitting out on the table in plain sight. I think Roger wanted the police to know that Jackman was involved. I can’t wait to get over there and have a look.”
“Is Crime Scene there yet?” Dylan asked.
“They’re on their way. Do you want to meet me over there? His apartment is only about a mile from here. Or I could drop you off. I’ve got to check in with Savannah PD first. Then I’ll head over.”
“Yeah, I want to see it, and I don’t want anything moved until I get there. Make that happen.”
Nate smiled. “FBI said the same thing. CSU will have first priority. The sooner we get over there, the better.”
“Yeah, okay. Where did Roger get the gun?”
“I don’t know yet.”
“He had a gun when he came to the reading of the will,” Kate said. “Remember?”
“The police wouldn’t have given it back to him,” Nate said. “Roger had just made bail. He was carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.”
“Did he tell the police where he got that gun?”
“Yes,” he answered. “He said Ewan gave it to him and that Ewan had bought it on the street.”
“Where’s Ewan now?”
“He’s voluntarily turning himself in. He’s on his way to the police station, no doubt with an attorney ready to bail him out. That’s why I’m headed there now. He’ll find out about Roger when he gets there. I checked on Bryce’s whereabouts, too. He’ll never hear about Roger. He’s slipping in and out of consciousness. His wife is by his side and will stay until the bitter end, which is going to be real soon.”
“What about Jackman?”
“FBI in Las Vegas picked him up for questioning. He’s their problem now.” Nate started toward the door as he said, “I’ll see you over there.”
“It’s really over, isn’t it? I still can’t believe it,” Kate said. Dylan was nodding, but she didn’t think he was paying attention. “Is something wrong?”
“No, but I want those policemen to stay until you’ve signed those papers.”
He walked downstairs with Nate, and together they checked in with the officers on duty, who assured them they would stay as long as Kate was in the building.
When Dylan came back into the conference room, she said, “I thought you wanted to look at the evidence.”
“Yeah, I do.”
“Go,” she said. “I’ll be fine.”
“Go on, and shut the door behind you. I’m not going anywhere.”
Kate hadn’t quite absorbed the news yet. The man who tried to kill her was dead, and his accomplice was in custody. And here she sat diligently answering her e-mail as though nothing out of the ordinary had occurred.
She would probably fall apart tonight when she was all alone. Dylan could very well be on his way back to Boston by then. She felt an instant rush of panic and became angry with herself. Why should she be upset? She’d always known he was going to leave. No surprise there. And she would get through it just like everything else in her life that had been painful.
But Dylan wouldn’t go until tomorrow, she decided. He’d drive her back to Silver Springs, spend the night with her, and early the next morning while she was sound asleep, he’d leave.
She knew he cared about her. It had taken a considerable amount of coaxing just to get him to leave her alone to work on her computer while he went to the crime scene with Nate. He’d even suggested she go with him.
She realized she wasn’t going to get any work done if she continued to think about Dylan. He’d only just left, and she was already missing him.
She forced herself to go back to work. She’d answered several more e-mails before she was interrupted by Anderson’s assistant. He timidly knocked on the door and stepped inside.
“Miss MacKenna, there’s a phone call for you on line one. The gentleman wouldn’t give me his name, but he insisted he was a friend.”
Who would be calling her at the law office? The only people who knew where she was had her cell phone number.
“Should I tell him you’re unavailable?”
“No, I’ll take the call,” she said.
Terrance picked up the phone from the credenza and placed it on the corner of the table. “Would you like me to help you with anything? Get you anything?”
“No, but thank you for asking.”
“If you need me, I’ll be in the library. Just push the intercom button.”
She thanked him again, and as he was pulling the door closed, she answered the phone.
“Is this Kate MacKenna?” a man asked.
She didn’t recognize the caller. The voice was pleasant, though.
“Yes, it is,” she said. “And who is this?”
“I don’t think it’s a good idea to give you my name. I want to help you,” he said. “And I mean you no harm. I have information for you,” he rushed on. “Will you please listen to what I have to say?”