Chapter 18

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TWO HOURS AFTER I’D dumped the roses in my trash can, I was late. I’d dropped off the card at the police station, filed another report, and then hightailed it to the office. My meeting with Hannah Williams was in forty minutes and it was all the way across town.

I rushed down the hallway. My heels sounded funny on the marble floor, like horse hooves on pavement. I entered the common room and waved Joshua over. He was talking with some other interns. Then I entered my office. Someone moved from behind the door and grabbed my arm.

Acting instinctively, I yanked my arm out of the grip and elbow-jabbed him in the chest.

He cried out. Doubling over, he grabbed his chest, trying to catch his breath.  

“Dan!” I said. “Geez, don’t scare me like that.”

I think he was being overly dramatic. Joshua came behind me and looked over my head to see what was holding me up. “You did that?” he mouthed to me. When I nodded, he grinned.

“He surprised me,” I said unapologetically as I edged past Dan and went to my desk. I just had to grab my notes for the interview and then I’d jet out of here.

Dan finally straightened, wincing. “That’s going to leave a mark,” he said. I tried not to smile.

Joshua came to the desk and I handed him a list of things to do. I didn’t want to take him with me to Williams, Inc. I told myself it was because he had a lot of things to do here, but I knew it was really because I wanted him out of the limelight, to keep him safe.

I shoved the file in my briefcase and turned to leave. Dan was still blocking the door.

“Was there something you needed?” I asked with as much respect as I could muster. Which wasn’t a whole lot.

“I need an update,” he said. “This case is blowing up in our face, literally.” He looked down on me with a serious frown. That’s why I hated being short—everyone looked down on me. “What kind of evidence did you find at the barn? What plans do you have today? And why were you at the police station so early this morning?”

I widened my eyes, trying to look sincere. “I will catch you up on this case. On everything. But I really have to go right now—I’m late for a meeting with Hannah Williams and those aren’t easy to come by.” I held his gaze.

He sighed and stepped away. “Fine. But call me once you’re driving and fill me in, okay?”

“Okay,” I promised.

Joshua followed me, but I held up a hand. “You stay here. I’ll catch you when I’m back.”

His brow creased in worry and he opened his mouth to protest. I turned and walked out the door before he said anything.

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