[ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]
.What?”“I have no idea,” Jeremy said.Jeremy was being his normal uncooperative self.Ben managed to keep the last threads of his temper from fraying.“Did she say anything? Aren’t you always bragging that you have a nearly photographic memory?”“Okay, I’ll tell you exactly what she said,” Jeremy said.“Lexie and I were talking about one of Grandfather’s books.Water over the Bridge.Aunt Muriel had left a copy on the dining room table.”“I’m not actually reading it,” Muriel said.“I have too many other things to do before I die to waste time rereading one of Maxwell’s books.But Seth wanted to take a picture of me pretending to read it.”“Lexie said that you two had talked about Grandfather’s early books, including this one where the lawyer was killed by a shark.She thought Grandfather had probably chosen that fate as a play on all the jokes about sharks not hurting lawyers out of professional courtesy.” Jeremy was talking again.“Then she said, and I quote, ‘It was in, not is.’ I asked what she was talking about, but she just said she had to check something in the trust accountings and left.”“Thanks,” Ben said, hanging up.Lexie had no doubt thought of some issue related to the trust.She’d been in Trey’s office checking it out when he’d arrived.She’d wanted to talk to him about it, so they’d gone somewhere they wouldn’t be overheard by one of the beneficiaries.She’d left her phone in her purse, which is why she hadn’t answered.It made perfect sense.Being caged up was making him paranoid.He plopped down on the bed.Lexie was fine.# # #She had to focus, to figure out some way to convince Trey not to kill her.But Lexie was having trouble focusing on anything other than the gun he was pointing at her with his right hand as he drove away from Nevermore.The cold panic her heart was pumping through her veins had now numbed her brain in addition to her body.This man had killed Max.If she didn’t stop him, he was going to do the same to her.Surely Ben would worry when she didn’t answer her phone.Then what? Ben was stuck in jail.He’d also never suspect she was with Trey, let alone in trouble because of it.No one had seen them leave Nevermore together.And she’d never mentioned her suspicions about Trey to anyone.After a couple of minutes, Trey turned off the road and drove onto the grass, then into the pines and birch trees.He had barely enough room, and branches and needles brushed and scraped the vehicle.After several seconds he stopped and shut off the engine.“This seems an appropriate place, where we thought Max died.Get out.” He gestured with the gun.“Where are we going?” Lexie asked as she exited.They weren’t very far from the road, but the trees were so thick she couldn’t see the blacktop.Which meant no passerby would notice the dull gray SUV, let alone wonder if something was wrong.“This way.” Trey pointed his gun toward more pines and birches.Lexie stepped through them, then onto a leaf- and needle-strewn dirt path.“Stay in front of me.If you try to run, I’ll shoot you.“I’ll bet you didn’t know this path was even here,” he said as they trekked the gradual uphill.“Max had paths cut all over his land so he could walk and cross-country ski everywhere.Overseeing his land like he’s some kind of lord of it all.This will be a bit of a hike, but it’s worth it.The path goes to a cliff a couple of hundred feet above Forest Lake.It’s a gorgeous view, and I’m sure you’ll appreciate it.Since it will be the last thing you ever see.”The air was warm and muggy, but Trey’s words turned Lexie’s chest into a chunk of ice, making it hard to breathe.She was going to die unless she could talk her way out of this.“Why don’t you just leave me tied up here? That will give you time to disappear.You don’t have to kill me.”“Tie you up with what?” Trey asked.“With my belt,” she said.“And your belt, and—”“I really don’t want to disappear, and with you dead, there’s a good chance I won’t have to,” Trey said.“You know, this is all Max’s fault for getting you involved in the first place.And for living so damn long.The rate he was going, he could have made it to a hundred.I wanted to retire, especially after having triple bypass surgery.But I couldn’t until Max died.”“Why not?”“Because my replacement might have needed to check out something from a prior month or year and noticed the accountings I prepared for Max every month don’t match the actual financial statements.Or that the income shown on Max’s tax returns doesn’t match the accountings, since I didn’t dare cheat the IRS.Now that Max is dead, I’ll prepare a final accounting for the trustee with date-of-death values and the actual post-death transactions.No one will look at past accountings, because the trustee doesn’t have to get court approval of them, and no beneficiary is going to check out and second-guess anything Max did while he was in charge.The beneficiaries only care how much they get.”“Why didn’t you just disappear with your money?”“Because Max would have known something was wrong,” Trey said [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]