Something About You
Page 7

 Julie James

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“I think we all recall just fine what Agent Pallas said,” Cameron interrupted. Three years ago, his words infamously had been broadcast all over the national news for nearly a week. She didn’t need to hear them again, particularly not with him standing right beside her. The experience had been embarrassing enough the first time around.
Wilkins nodded. “Sure, no problem.” He looked between her and Jack. “So . . . this is awkward.”
Changing the subject, Cameron pointed to the coffee. “Is that regular or decaf?”
“Regular. I heard you had a long night.”
She took one of the cups from him. She’d been up for twenty-three hours and adrenaline wasn’t cutting it anymore. She took a sip, sighing gratefully. “Thank you.”
Wilkins took a sip of his coffee. “See, that’s all we are, just three people having coffee and talking. So what do you say—think you might want to stay and chat with us about what happened last night?”
That almost got a smile out of Cameron. Wilkins, at least, appeared to be a pleasant, reasonable man. Too bad he’d drawn the short stick in his partner assignment.
“That’s not half-bad,” she told him.
Wilkins grinned. “The coffee or the good-cop routine?”
“Both. If you would like to ask me some questions, Agent Wilkins, I’d be happy to cooperate.” Cameron brushed past Jack as she turned and headed back into the room. He and Wilkins followed her as she took a seat in front of the desk. She crossed her legs and faced the two FBI agents head-on.
“All right. Let’s talk.”
IF IT HAD been anyone other than Cameron Lynde, Jack probably would’ve found her attitude amusing.
But since it was Cameron Lynde, he wasn’t laughing. In fact, there wasn’t anything about the situation that he found even remotely funny.
He decided to let Wilkins take the lead in questioning her about the events of the night before. Not because she very clearly wanted nothing to do with him—he could care less about Cameron Lynde’s wishes—but rather because, not surprising given their history, she responded better to his partner than to him. The investigation was his focus, and he was not about to let personal issues get in the way.
When he and Wilkins had first arrived at the Peninsula and Detective Slonsky told them the name of the witness in room 1307, for a split second Jack had thought the whole thing was a setup, some sort of welcome-back prank for his return to Chicago. And he still had considered this a possibility when they entered the crime scene. There was no body, after all—Slonsky said the paramedics had taken the victim to Northwestern Memorial in an attempt to revive her.
Then he saw the videotape.
After that, it was pretty clear to Jack that the call he had received at 5:00 A.M. from his boss, asking him to check out CPD’s claims of what they thought they might have stumbled into, was indeed not part of some elaborate joke. And his first priority at this point was to determine whether the FBI had jurisdiction over the matter.
Cameron Lynde was the key to answering that question. If Jack believed her story, the FBI would have no choice but to conduct its own investigation. For that reason, as much as he might’ve wanted nothing more than to pawn her off onto Wilkins, as the senior agent on the scene he knew that wasn’t an option.
From his post in the corner of the room, Jack studied her. Not surprisingly, she looked exhausted. And for some reason, she seemed shorter than he remembered. Probably because all the times he’d seen her three years ago had been during work hours and she’d been wearing heels.
Yes, he remembered Cameron Lynde and her high heels . . . In fact, despite the fact that it had been three years since he’d last seen her, Jack was surprised at how accurate—and detailed—his memory of her had been: the long chestnut hair, the crystalline blue-green eyes, the attitude that he’d once—very briefly—found admirable.
Then again, he shouldn’t be surprised he’d remembered those things. After all, he was an FBI agent and it was his job to remember details.
And, he supposed, it didn’t hurt that Cameron Lynde was—some men other than him might say—fucking gorgeous.
Which, to Jack, only made it that much more annoying that she also happened to be a total bitch.
Thankfully, the long chestnut hair currently was pulled back into a ponytail, and the blue-green eyes had dulled a little given her lack of sleep. The yoga pants and Michigan T-shirt she wore were actually kind of cute, but because of the aforementioned bitch factor, he ignored this.
“So when they woke me up the second time,” Cameron was saying, “that’s when I decided to call Guest Services.”
“I want to step back for a moment.” Jack’s interruption from the corner of the room startled Cameron; it was the first time he’d spoken since she’d begun giving her statement.
“Tell me what you heard right before you fell asleep. Before the noises next door started up again,” he said.
Cameron hesitated. He knew she didn’t want to answer his questions—she probably didn’t want to say anything to him at all, in fact—but now that she’d started cooperating, she didn’t have much choice.
“I heard the door shut, as if someone was leaving the room,” she said.
“Are you sure it was the exterior door you heard?” Jack asked.
“But you didn’t check to see if anyone left at that time?”
Cameron shook her head. “No. Then the room went quiet for a while. For about a half hour or so.”