Numbers Page 98

’’We\ e tracking down the financials at the hospital. It\s going to take time, but the account linked to the payments where Candi was held helped us figure out where Christopher Chazel might have been living. We\ll make certain that information is correct, and if he is in fact deceased.’’ Garza looked at Candi. ’’If he\s not, we\ e going to move heaven and hell to get him brought back here to stand trial for what he did to you, the victims of Mercile, and for the double homicide he committed.’’ She wrote something on the folder and stared at Candi. ’’Would you testify against him in a court of law?’’

Candi nodded. ’’I would like to know if Penny lied to me about his death. I want him to pay for what he\s done.’’

Garza looked at Kat. ’’I\m trying to do the right thing, Perkins. Believe it or not, I wasn\ dancing with her. I feel bad. Everything I\ve learned substantiates what she said.’’ She looked at her partner. ’’Kether and I both agree on that. I\m just trying to cross all my t\s and dot all my i\s. Otherwise my boss is going to raise hell and question it.’’

’’He\s known for reassigning agents if they don\ file reports he likes,’’ the male muttered.

Kat winced. ’’Jorginson? I thought he was retiring.’’

The male agent snorted. ’’He changed his mind. Again.’’

’’Shit. He\s an asshole.’’ Kat leaned back, and relaxed in her chair. ’’Let\s play ball on the same team. How about it? What can I do to help make this work?’’

Garza smiled. ’’I heard you were a bitch, Perkins. You\ e not so bad.’’

Kether glanced at the camera. ’’Can you delete anything on that and make it disappear?’’

Kat nodded and lifted a hand, making a slicing motion. ’’They stopped recording. Only NSO is watching or has access to it. What do you want to say off the record?’’

Garza closed the file and stood. ’’Demand copies of all the evidence we collected. Justice North can get it done. There\s no way anyone can view what we\ve acquired and still think any charges should be filed for Pess\s death, or doubt why the NSO is stating she\s one of yours.’’ She looked at Candi. ’’I am sorry for all you\ve endured. I wish I could arrest some of the staff at that hospital for stupidity. Unfortunately, it\s not a crime to be morons.’’ She looked at Kat. ’’I\d sue the shit out of them. The NSO has lawyers. Use them to get a little payback for her. She\s owed it.’’

The agents left and Candi looked at Kat. ’’It\s okay now, right?’’

She smiled. ’’It\s all good.’’

Kit growled. ’’That wasn\ eventful.’’

Breeze snorted. ’’Were you hoping for a fistfight?’’

’’Perhaps.’’ Kit spun. ’’I\m out of here. It\s my day off.’’

Candi stood and glanced at both females. ’’Thank you.’’

’’Go find your male.’’ Breeze hung back and picked up the badge. ’’Where did you get this, Kat?’’

’’Trey Roberts was hanging out in Security. I told him I wanted to borrow it, and why.’’ She grinned. ’’He didn\ hesitate.’’

’’I\ll return it to him.’’ Breeze pocketed it. ’’Nice job.’’

’’I hate bullshit posturing. I hoped Garza would feel the same.’’ Kat walked past Candi and reached out, squeezing her arm. ’’You did great. I\m going to go talk to Justice North about pulling some strings to access everything the FBI has.’’

Candi walked out of the conference room and headed toward where she\d last seen Hero. She spotted him pacing in front of the double doors leading into the building, not far from where he\d parked the cart. He stopped as soon as he saw her. She smiled and he closed his eyes.

Candi was fine. Hero tried to let go of some of his anxiety. Her gentle hands took his and he looked down at her. ’’They listened?’’

’’They did, and believed me.’’

’’How do you feel?’’

She seemed to debate a moment. ’’Good.’’

’’They didn\ upset you at all?’’

’’No. They were mostly nice. Kat and the lead agent had words, but they worked it out. She said it\s all good.’’

’’They couldn\ have done anything to you.’’

’’I know.’’

’’Doc Trisha called me. The last of your test results came in.’’ He smiled. ’’You\ e good. She wants us to go speak to her about your nutrition though. She said I can\ feed you unhealthy things to get you to gain weight.’’

’’Do you have time before your shift? Otherwise I could ask someone else to take me.’’

’’I traded shifts. I wasn\ prepared to leave you alone if the interview went bad.’’

’’That was so nice of you.’’

’’You\ e my mate. You are my priority. You always come first.’’

’’In that case, can we go see Doc Trisha later? I\d like for you to take me home.’’

’’You are upset.’’ Anger surged. ’’Who upset you? What did they say?’’

She went up on tiptoe and leaned against him. ’’I want the canine experience. We should celebrate.’’

He wrapped his arms around her and his temper faded as fast as it had appeared, changing to amusement. ’’You\ e soooo bad.’’

’’I am. I\ll let you tickle me if we\ e naked.’’

He let her go and clasped her hand. ’’Let\s go.’’

Her laughter made him happy.

Epilogue

Two months later

Hero entered his apartment and flipped on the light switch. Nothing happened. A giggle sounded from the far corner of the room. He growled low and closed the door behind him.

’’What are you doing, Candi?’’

’’Waiting for you to come home. Do you remember playing hide and seek?’’

He gripped his vest straps, tearing at them. ’’Of course.’’

’’How is your eyesight in this light? It\s not as dark as our cell used to be.’’

He spotted her near the bedroom door. She was just a darker shadow in the room. He removed the vest and dropped it. His belt and weapon came off next. ’’You want to play?’’

’’I always want to play with you. We have more space in here than we used to have at Mercile. Can you see me? I tried to cover all the windows but it\s still lighter in here than I wanted.’’

’’What do I get if I catch you?’’ He bent, removing his boots.


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