She nodded with a condescending gaze. Dr. Campbell clearly thought he was chasing a dead end. But at this moment, every man who came in contact with her was a potential suspect. Especially the weird ones.
“He couldn’t have been the one to shoot that video,” Harper spoke up. “I saw Stevenson last night. He was shocked as all hell to run into her. I doubt he followed us out to her truck. Especially with his current wife in tow.” His words were firm, but Mason saw a flicker of doubt waver in Harper’s eyes.
Mason gave Harper a narrow look. “You might be in this creep’s sights now too. Whoever it was sure didn’t like that kiss.”
Dr. Campbell sucked in her breath.
“Are you saying our suspect’s got some sort of freaky attraction to Dr. Campbell?” Ray screwed up his face in thought. Mason could hear the wheels spinning in Ray’s head. “Maybe that’s to her advantage.”
Mason heard what his partner didn’t say out loud. If the guy had the hots for Dr. Campbell, maybe he wouldn’t kill her. Not right away anyway.
“Like it was to Suzanne?” Dr. Campbell spit out the words. She’d caught Ray’s meaning too. “Look what his attraction did to her.” She slammed both hands on the table. “Where’s the baby? How come I’m the only one concerned about the baby?”
“First of all we aren’t positive there is a baby. And second, that pregnancy scene on the DVD is old. The threat to you isn’t old. The threat is right now.” Mason fought the urge to point his finger at the dentist.
Dr. Campbell ignored his hints about her safety. “Maybe the DVD isn’t old. Maybe he held her captive for years before she got pregnant.” She was grabbing at straws.
Mason shook his head. “I briefly talked to the ME last night and he suspects she’s been dead close to a decade.”
“Did the report say she’d given birth?” asked Lacey. “The bones from her pelvic girdle would indicate a pregnancy.”
“They would?” Mason wasn’t too surprised. It never ceased to amaze him what anthropologists could tell from a pile of bones. “I don’t remember if it said anything about pregnancy.” He mentally reviewed the recent report. “I’ll double-check.”
He fixed his gaze on Dr. Campbell. “I want you out of sight until this settles down. This sicko has an unhealthy interest in you. Get away for a while, go on vacation or something.”
“Vacation?” she sputtered. “You want me to go on vacation while people are dying? Go lie on a beach and drink mai tais? I’m not going to hide! I’ve got a normal life that I worked long and hard for! I’m not going to let a ghost scare me back into a closet.” Her voice cracked and Mason glimpsed a hint of the hell she must have suffered through a decade ago. She’d probably jumped at every shadow for years.
“I’m not going anywhere.”
Mason studied the new glaze over her eyes. It hadn’t been there a minute ago. She projected a strong front, but an old crack in that wall was starting to widen. Mason didn’t want to see what she’d buried behind it.
Harper touched her arm. “He’s got a point. You should get out of town.”
She yanked her arm away, her face dark. “Don’t tell me what to do.” Harper jerked back at her bitter words, his face reflecting the irritation Mason felt.
She stood and wrestled into her thick coat, grabbing at her purse.
“I’m done here.” She headed for the hallway, avoiding all eye contact, and Ray opened the door for her. “Keep the DVD. I don’t want to see it again.”
Mason listened to angry boot heels click down the hall.
“She won’t go far. I’m her ride.” Harper stared at the door, his jaw grinding in frustration. He leaned in to Mason. “Is there anything you can do for her?”
“You mean protection?”
Harper nodded, his gray eyes grim. “He could yank her off the street or snatch her out of bed at any time.” He paused, bringing Ray into the conversation with a harsh look. “You both know he wants something from her.” Looking back at the blank TV, his tone dropped. “Can you imagine the hell her friend went through?”
Mason could easily imagine. And he could easily project Dr. Campbell’s face onto Suzanne’s swollen body.
“There’s not a lot we can officially do. This is all conjecture. But I feel like she does need to be watched 24-7. We can’t do that.” Mason held Harper’s gaze.
Harper slowly nodded back.
Jack’s breath caught as he stepped out of the police building and discovered he couldn’t see Lacey. He looked up and down the quiet city street. He couldn’t be more than thirty seconds behind her. Jack jogged through the packed snow toward the parking lot where he’d left his truck, hoping she’d blown off her steam as she waited for him. He glanced at the sky. Three more inches of snow were predicted in the next twelve hours. If he was going to convince her to leave town, now would be the time to do it.
Why was he making her his business? Didn’t he have enough on his plate?
He needed to focus on his company, save it from publicity hell. He didn’t have time to play big brother. After all, he barely knew the woman. Her wide smile popped in his brain, and it fired his lungs like a blowtorch. Whom was he trying to fool? Christ. There was no logic to his feelings. Attraction doesn’t follow logic. He only knew what he felt in his gut. He’d wanted to shield her from that damned video, hide her face against his jacket, and sink his hands into her hair. He couldn’t stand the pain and vulnerability he’d seen in her stricken brown eyes.