[ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]
.James finally arrives, but he’s not much help.He’s far too worried to be a comfort.On the bright side, at least he called Jillian before he left.When she comes into the room, the whole mood changes: the doctors and nurses know who she is, so they’re on their best behavior.She quickly relegates James’s bubbling nonsense to the far corner of the room and she takes a seat by my bed.“How are you feeling?”“Been better,” I say.She pulls out her notepad and a pen and looks back at me.Apparently, she’s expecting more.“I’m sore,” I start, “I’m in pain, and this was not my fault.I didn’t have anything to drink, and I don’t do drugs.The car just went—I don’t know.I couldn’t steer, and the brakes went out.”“They went out?” she asks, making a note in her pocket tome.“Well, not exactly.There was still a little bit of grip, but it wasn’t enough to stop the car.”“I see,” she says, tapping the point of the pin against her lip.“Do you think that your vehicle was tampered with?”“No,” I say.“That’s insane, who would want to kill me?”“Who says they wanted to kill you?” she asks.“It sounds like you had just enough control to prevent a worse accident, but not enough to avoid one altogether.Can you think of anyone who might want to harm you?”“Why isn’t the officer asking me these questions?” I ask.“Because he thinks you’re a drunken addict who was driving about twenty-miles-per-hour too slow to get what you deserved.Have you received any threats? Has anyone intimated that you might be on their bad side? Anything?”“No,” I start.“Wait.Last night I got a text from a number I didn’t recognize.”“A text?”“Yeah,” I say, trying to sit up but being held back by a few different restraints.“It said, ‘Back off.’”“Back off,” Jillian repeats, writing the words down on her pad.“Where is your phone now?”I chuckle as much as I can given the fact that I’ve managed to seriously piss off my body.“Somewhere in what used to be my car, I guess.”“Do you remember seeing anyone strange near your car over the last couple of days?”“No,” I say, “well, I didn’t see anybody.Last night, I thought I heard a car door open and shut, so I got up to check it out.I heard the noise again, but by the time I looked outside, nobody was around.I don’t even know if it was my car that I was—”“I think it’s pretty safe to assume that it was,” she says.“Now, here’s what I’m thinking.You just got released from jail having been falsely accused of killing your boss.I think that someone wanted to keep an eye on you after you got out, and whatever it was that you did during that time, you pissed them off.They tamper with your brakes, possibly your steering and you end up in here, too scared to share what you know.”“What I know?” I ask.“The only thing that I know is that some crazy woman in my office made up a story about me killing Mr.McDaniel.”“Do you think it could have been her, trying to finish what the court wasn’t willing to?”“I really don’t—”“Ow!” the tip of Jillian’s pen goes into her bottom lip.“Oh my god,” I say, stupidly trying again to sit up.“What?”“Could it have been a pen?”“Could what have been a pen?”“The murder weapon,” I say.“What they killed McDaniel with.”“I don’t know,” she says, leafing back through her earlier notes.“I guess it could have been.The vein was pretty torn up, so they weren’t able to deduce what the tip of the weapon would have looked like, only the entry wound, perfectly circular, not very thick, but more than enough to get the man to bleed out in a matter of minutes.”I slap my knee hard.“That’s it.It was the pen! That’s why he looked at me so strangely yesterday when I showed it to him.”“Who?” Jillian asks.“Mr.Waite,” I say.“He saw me with the pen, he saw me with Melissa.He even saw me leaving with her last night!”“That’s a great theory,” she says, “but I already took a look at him.I mean, as far as motive goes, the man who takes over for the recently murdered CEO would have a lot to gain, but he has an alibi.”“Where was he?” I ask, completely incapable of accepting the fact that I could be wrong.“He was at a fundraiser,” Jillian answers.He was there from about an hour before the killing to just after it happened, when the news hit that McDaniel was dead.”“That has to be some kind of mistake,” I say dismissively.“It had to have been him.” I want to believe that I’m wrong, but right now I don’t see how that’s very possible.“Well,” Jillian says, “it’s going to be your speculation versus about fifty blue bloods who say that he never left other than to go to the bathroom.”“The bathroom,” I say, trying to figure out a way he could have worked it out.“I don’t suppose he was in the bathroom long enough to drive over to Opulence, sneak into the office, kill Mr.McDaniel and get back before anyone noticed, was he?”“No,” Jillian chuckles.“I think someone would have mentioned that.”“Yeah,” I say.It wasn’t him.But who else had the motive?“What about that Stokes woman?” Jillian asks.“Melissa.”“I don’t think she could have killed him,” I say.“Someone would have seen her going to his office.”“I mean in regard to your vehicle’s mechanical issues,” Jillian says slowly enough to be condescending, but quickly enough to give me just enough doubt that that’s what she’s trying to be.“I don’t think so,” I say.“When I left her house last night, she was pretty out of it.”“Out of it how?”I sigh.We’re not getting anywhere.Unless we can get a trace on that text or someone finds fingerprints that could only indicate foul play with my car, I don’t see how any of this is going to make the slightest bit of difference.“Where was he?” I ask.“Mr.Waite.I know he was at a fundraiser, but do you know which one it was?”“Let’s see,” she says, going back through her notepad.She finally sets it back in her purse and pulls out another.“How many of those do you have?” I ask, chuckling.“I average about three per client,” she says.“Right here,” she points to the paper, “it was Lou Gehrig’s Disease.”“Now that can’t be a coincidence.”“What do you mean?”“Lou Gehrig’s Disease is ALS.One of the partners gave me a pen that he was given from an ALS fundraiser a few years ago.Mr.Waite had one too, but said that it broke.I wonder if that shard could be—”“Don’t tell me you’re back on Waite,” Jillian interrupts.“I told you, guy’s got an alibi [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]