(To read from the beginning go Here.)
Anne glanced back toward the door. Still some twenty-five or thirty feet to go. She edged backwards seeking more cover, more anything between her and that voice.
“So where is she?” Faux bonhomie rang in his voice, the forced joviality booming and out of place in the other wise silent office.
Erik stopped motioning for her to come forward. His shoulders stiffening into rigid, alert lines. “She had to step out to the ladies’ room. Time to remove the wire so we can get the tape. Mr. Anderson will be going behind bars for a good long while.”
“I didn’t authorize a wire.” The brash amiability slipped a little.
Erik surreptitiously waved her away now. Anne nodded though he couldn’t see her and continued to back away towards the door. Thank heavens she’d worn loafers. The tap of high heels would have given her away for sure.
“Your policy has always been to use the best equipment for a job. Anyway, no harm, no foul. It wasn’t injured and we’ll have it back in a few minutes.” Erik’s voice was casual, holding no hint of the tension that seemed to radiate off the back of his stiff neck.
Twelve more feet.
“So you caught Anderson?”
“Yep.” Despite the continued insouciance of his tone, Erik squared off, spreading his stance oh so slightly, torso forward as if bracing for an attack. “This thing was much bigger than I dreamed too. I believe the counterfeiting was part of a larger communist plot to destabilize the economy.”
“Hoo boy.” An avuncular chuckle rippled through the quiet office. “You sure you’re not getting paranoid? That sort of story, well, it’s not going to look good to the powers that be.”
“I disagree.” Erik’s quiet response had the directness of a challenge. It hovered in the air between them.
Anne’s fingers brushed the cold steel of the doorframe and she groped for the knob.
“How long do you think it’ll be before the girl gets back?”
Erik jerked his head her direction. “Why don’t I go check on her?”
“No, no. You just stay here with me. I’m sure she’ll be back any minute.”
“I ought to go check that Anderson has arrived.”
“Nah. It can wait. I want to hear more about this hair-brained communist theory of yours.”
Anne twisted the knob slowly, so slowly. She couldn’t make a sound.
Erik’s voice had grown impatient. “It may be even worse than that. I believe there is a traitor in this office.”
Whispering a prayer that the door wouldn’t squeak, Anne eased it open.
“You don’t say.” The wry tone made her shiver in a way that angry never could have.
She glanced back just in time to see Erik make a move for his weapon.
“Nope. Don’t even try it. Hands up. I’ve got you covered, and don’t think for a minute that I won’t shoot you.”