Nightshine, p.13
Larger Font   Reset Font Size   Smaller Font       Night Mode Off   Night Mode

       Nightshine, p.13

         Part #4 of Kyndred series by Lynn Viehl
Page 13


  As soon as Ortega left, Gracie turned her attention back to him. “I am instructed to tell you that Chief Ruiz has personally taken over the investigation. ” Her voice remained calm, but anger simmered in her eyes. “Our assistance, while appreciated, is no longer required by the department. ”

  “They’re kicking both of us off the case?”

  “So it would seem. ” She gathered up her files and replaced them in her suitcase. She glanced at him, hesitated, and then added, “I can recommend a reasonably priced hotel down by the water if you would like to rest for a day before returning to the United States. ”

  He took hold of her wrist. “What I would really like, Gracie, is to find out what the hell is going on here. To do that, I need your help. ”

  His touch seemed to shock her into stillness, and she stared at his hand as her face turned pink again. “I am sorry, Agent Frasier, but I am in no position to disregard the expressed orders of my superiors. ” She started to say something else, and then pressed her lips together and tugged her wrist free. “I hope you have a pleasant journey back to the States. ”

  “Wait. ” He got to his feet. “I think I will stay a day or two. You’ve got your own car here, right?” She nodded. “Great, then can I follow you to this hotel you recommend?” Before she could refuse, he added, “I get lost pretty easy, even in my own country. ”

  “Very well, Agent Frasier,” she said after a long, silent look. “Come with me. ”

  Chapter 5

  Watching Andrew Riordan while his former employee charmed Agraciana Flores was almost as tedious for Jonah Genaro as the time and effort required to have the PROFEPA agent removed from the case. It would have taken even more time to acquire the kind of leverage needed to bring Flores under his control, however, and Genaro already had the chief of police and most of his men to do his bidding. As for Riordan, after being exposed as a spy he never should have walked out of GenHance headquarters alive, but he’d preplanned his escape. That, combined with the extensive sabotage he’d committed just before escaping, had allowed him to do the impossible.

  Now Andrew was here in Mexico, unaware that he would never leave it alive.

  It had taken too much time to trace the stolen ambulance to Monterey, where the sniper had escaped capture again by charter boat. Genaro had replaced the only witness at the marina with one of his own men, primarily to stall the police and the media. Fortunately his operative had spotted and recognized Andrew Riordan before he had come to question him, and had called Genaro directly for instructions.

  “He’s talking to one of the cops in the parking lot,” the operative had said after snapping a shot of Riordan on his phone and forwarding it to Genaro. “Should I take care of him, sir?”

  Another man would have told the operative to kill the traitor, but Genaro was more interested in why Riordan would risk exposing himself in order to find Samuel Taske and Charlotte Marena. After spying on GenHance for years, Riordan had destroyed valuable equipment and caused irreparable damage to their database before successfully fleeing Atlanta and disappearing completely off the grid.

  “No,” Genaro had replied. “Tell him exactly what the old man said. Be convincing. ”

  Giving Riordan just enough information to send him to Mexico had created the bait. Now that he was here Genaro expected to reel in more than one catch.

  “He sounds like a federal agent,” Manzanillo Chief of Police Manuel Carasegas said as he watched Riordan through the two-way mirror. “I think you may have the wrong man. ”

  “No,” Genaro told him. “I don’t. ”

  “I did have his credentials checked, señor. ” Chief Carasegas shifted his weight from one foot to the other. “Agent Frasier is on active duty, and works for the FBI in Sacramento. ”

  “I have no doubt there is an agent named Frasier in Sacramento, but this man is not him. ” As Agent Flores accompanied Drew Riordan out of the interview room, Genaro turned away from the mirror. “My team is not yet in place. Send two of your men to keep them both under surveillance. ”

  The chief’s bushy brows rose. “You do not wish me to arrest this man for impersonating a federal officer?”

  “Not yet. ”

  Carasegas used the phone on the wall to call down to the squad room and dispatch two men. As he did, Genaro checked the time. He had brought with him several disposable cell phones, the purchase and use of which could not be traced back to him or GenHance, but the call he needed to make in five minutes also had to come from inside the police department, to add to the chain of evidence Genaro would use against Carasegas should the Mexican ever decide to run his mouth or otherwise renege on their agreement. “Do you have a secure line in this building?” he asked when the chief hung up the wall phone.

  Carasegas nodded. “You may use the private line in my office. ”

  Genaro knew Carasegas probably kept the line tapped so he could acquire whatever blackmail he used to stay in power. A quaint tactic, one that had been obsolete for forty years on the other side of the border, but that, too, would serve Genaro’s purposes.

  “Very well. ” He picked up the only bag he had brought with him from the States. “I’ll need the line and your office for the next thirty minutes. ”

  “I should tell you that this additional surveillance will be expensive,” the chief warned, his expression more calculated now. “For such sensitive work, I can use only certain men, and they expect to be paid well. ”

  “Here is five thousand U. S. ” Genaro removed two bundles of bills from his jacket and dropped them into the chief’s hands. “I will provide another five thousand when Taske and Marena have been recovered, and the final ten thousand when you place them and the man claiming to be Agent Frasier in my custody. ”

  “You are very generous, Señor Genaro. ” The money vanished into the chief’s jacket. “Come, I will show you to my office so you can make your call. ”

  Charlie’s legs didn’t want to stay vertical anymore, so she walked up to where the sand was dry and sat down, hugging her knees with her arms. After a moment Sam came to sit beside her, and they both watched the waves as they rolled in.

  “How long have you known who I am?” she heard herself ask.

  “I don’t know who you are. ” When he saw her face, he added, “Until a few moments ago, I thought you were an ordinary woman caught up in a scheme to abduct me, or that you had been brought along only to provide me with whatever medical attention I needed. ”

  A surge of bitterness made her smile. Of course he thought of her existing only to serve his needs. He probably thought the rest of the world did, too. “What changed your mind?”

  “The shooting on the bridge, being brought to this island, and the manner in which we’re being treated now suggest that we were both deliberately targeted for reasons other than my wealth and your skills,” he said. “This man knew we were Takyn. ”

  “How could he have known that?” Charlie demanded. “And if he doesn’t work for GenHance, then what possible reason could he have for snatching us?”

  “I don’t know. ” He picked up a shell and tossed it at the water. “But until we have those answers, we will have to be cautious. ”

  Samuel knew more than he was telling her. Charlie had spent years treating patients who deliberately concealed things out of embarrassment or fear; she knew when someone was holding out on her. At least she wouldn’t have to play friends to coax it out of him. As soon as the sun set she was going to find out exactly what Samuel Taske was thinking, and there was no way on earth he could stop her.

  “I’ve already met Aphrodite, Vulcan, and Delilah in real life,” Samuel said tentatively. “I doubt you’re Sapphira; I believe she lives somewhere in Canada. ” He leaned forward, trying to catch her eye. “Are you going to keep me in suspense?”

  She wanted to put him in traction for the next six months. “You were right about that new Melissa Ether-idg
e CD. ” She studied his face. “I loved it. ”

  At last he looked as stricken as she felt. “You’re Magdalene. ” Unbelievably his expression went from shocked to amused. “You’re nothing like I imagined you’d be. ”

  Her shoulders stiffened. “I expected you to be a little bald guy with horn-rimmed glasses and a pocket calculator. ”

  “Well, in my mind you were a freckled, ponytailed, much younger version of Julia Child. ” He tried to charm her with another of his slow smiles. “You are a remarkable cook. I could happily live on nothing more than your dessert recipes. ”

  “You’d just become a type-two diabetic. ” To keep from punching him in the face, she turned her head back to watch the waves.

  “Have you met any of the others?”

  “In real life?” She shook her head. “You’re the first, and if we get out of this, you’ll be the last. ” Disgusted with herself and him, she got up and dusted off her legs.

  “You’re upset,” Sam said as he followed her up to the stone path. “Am I such a disappointment in person?”

  “Not at all. You don’t have to impress me, Sam. Just help me get back home, and I’ll adore you forever. ” She stopped outside the front entrance to the villa. “Maybe we should try walking the beach, see if we can spot any boats out there. ”

  “I think we should first try to establish communications with our captor,” he said as he reached for the door latch. “I may also be able to pick up some information from the interior. ”

  “May?” She glanced down at his hands. “On the Internet you said you had to wear gloves to keep from picking up everything about everything. ” Or did you lie about that, too?

  “My ability isn’t working as it has in the past. Here it seems to be limited, or perhaps muted. I’m not sure. ” He didn’t sound concerned. “If it is fading, I certainly won’t complain, but I should use what I have left to see what I can learn about the man who brought us here. ”
Turn Navi Off
Turn Navi On
Scroll Up