Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Girl Sleuth-Chapter 32

(To read from the beginning go Here.)

Anne sucked in a breath. No, it wasn’t worth the risk of losing Rick altogether. As casually as she could, she raised her hand and tugged on her ear lobe. Rick pulled her down the stairs. In the hush of a midnight street the click of her high heels, and the slap of Rick’s wingtips were the only footsteps she heard. Where were the agents? Shouldn’t pounding footsteps be coming closer?

She pulled against Rick’s grip on her arm and made the signal again. Maybe they just hadn’t seen her movement. Please, Lord.

Rick jerked savagely on her arm. She stumbled forward. Her throat constricted. Something must have gone wrong. What was she going to do now? Goosebumps prickled along her arms.

What would he do when he found out there were no papers hidden at Grand Central? Even if she did have them to hand over, he’d probably kill her.

She breathed in through her nose. She would not throw up. She would not.

Rick dragged her alongside a non-descript Ford sedan and shoved her in the front seat. He entered behind her and she had to scoot quickly across the bench seat to the passenger side.

Rick released her arm. “Don’t try anything funny.” He fumbled the keys from his pocket.

Across the street the headlights of a car flashed on and then off again.

Anne straightened and bit her lip. Had that been a signal? Rigid as a ruler, she waited.

Rick inserted the key and the Ford grumbled to life. He shifted and began to maneuver the car out of the too short space. With cars nearly kissing his bumpers, both before and behind, he was nearly penned in.

Once more the lights flashed. Surely it had been a sign. Anne swallowed and settled back into her seat. She was still wearing the wire. Now, if she could just get Rick to admit to something.

Somehow he managed to steer the car out of the space. He pulled out onto the empty street and settled in his seat. His gun had been put away somewhere for the time being. That was a good sign, wasn’t it?

Anne’s eyes locked onto the rear view mirror. No headlights appeared. None of the other cars on the street moved. She wiped sweaty palms against her skirt. They would follow. They had to. They just wouldn’t want Rick to be suspicious, so they would give him a good head start.

“So what makes these papers worth killing for?”

Rick merely grunted.

Anne tried again. “Wouldn’t it have been easier just to move the operation, rather than risk a murder investigation?”

“Stop fishing.” His words warred with the note of satisfaction in his voice.

She might as well press her luck. “Why? We both know you’re not going to let me survive the night.” She paused for just a second. He didn’t protest. Just her luck. Oh, well. In for a penny…

He smirked and said nothing.

“You have a mole in the police office.” As she said it, it became obvious. No wonder there had been so much resistance to investigating Carol’s death. But how had he managed to buy a police officer. How well financed was his operation? If there was that much money flowing then there had to be someone else behind it.

Tom had said that he already made several sets of plates. But Rick had wanted even more. What could he possibly do with so many?

A niggling suspicion began to grow at the back of her mind. She tried to tamp it down. It was too crazy, even for one of her theories. But it would make sense of everything.

The light in front of them turned red and Rick slowed to a stop.

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