{four}

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Alessandra looked over at him. This couldn't be good.

"What happened?" she asked.

"Possible crime scene at a hotel." He raised a brow in her direction.

"Nate can—"

Dylan shook his head and she stopped talking. "Chain of custody for any evidence having to do with this case starts and ends with you. Process everything and then it goes to us."

"I'll call Jim and confirm," Alessandra said before she turned to him. She wasn't about to just take his word on the subject. "And how am I supposed to get inside?"

He held up a badge. "Already been approved."

Alessandra groaned. Of all the days to be without her car. She had to suck it up.

"Mind if I ride over with you?"

"Sure." Once they were outside of the building, Dylan stopped her.

"Alessandra, wait." He reached for her arm.

She met his hazel eyes; her pulse quickened from the simple touch. Alessandra took a deep breath and swallowed. "What now?"

"We should talk about what happened last time I was here."

Now? They were on their way to the crime scene. As if she hadn't dealt with enough humiliation. "What for? I've erased it from my mind."

She hoped she could sell it. It was bad enough she could barely look at him without everything running through her mind in sharp focus. She couldn't let him ruffle her again like he had when she was at the empty lot.

He gave her a tight smile and she didn't miss the grip he had on his keys. "Let's go."

Alessandra wished she could get away from him. God knew what he—or anyone else—would think of her if she let something off duty rule her on the job decisions, no matter how embarrassing. She checked the GPS on her phone and breathed a sigh of relief with seeing the hotel was less than ten minutes away.

* * * *

The room located on the twelfth floor of the Mark V was nothing special. One king size bed with a large window and light-colored floors along with a small fridge, microwave, and safe on the right side of the room. The bathroom was off of the entrance next to the closet. Vanilla was the predominant smell along with the mix of cleaners that wafted in from the cart right outside next to the wall.

The heater hummed along with the refrigerator. Alessandra opened it with a gloved hand. Empty except for a bottle of water. Nothing inside the microwave.

"As soon as I walked in I saw the blood," the housekeeper was saying. "Then I noticed the purse. No woman I know leaves without her purse. Or her shoes. I called the manager who called you."

"Thanks for not charging in," Dylan said once he got off the phone.

Alessandra swabbed a couple of the blood drops on the nightstand and bagged the beige shoes by the bed. Dylan opened the gold handbag with a gloved hand and pulled out a matching wallet.

"Carissa Gladstone. Twenty-six," he said, then grimaced. "Pic looks like her. I'll get with Healey and speak to the family. Local address."

"Explains why there's not a suitcase," a red-faced officer chimed in.

"No cell phone." Dylan handed the bag over to Alessandra, who placed everything inside into separate evidence bags. "There's not much here but make sure you—"

"I know what to do," Alessandra said, barely able to hold her annoyance in check.

She put the largest plastic bag inside the box. Dylan stood there looking over her shoulder for a few minutes while she continued and it took everything for Alessandra not to say something. She knew it would be foolish and focused on finishing up, reminding herself he would be gone soon.

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