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“Kelly.” Lacey shook her tied legs to stop Kelly’s work. “What’s going on?” Kelly pulled the rope loose from her ankles. Lacey’s spine prickled. Something didn’t add up here. A fuzzy memory of a younger Kelly talking to a slouching, silent boy outside a courtroom door slid into her mind. She blinked. “Did you know him? From before?”

“Let me see your hands.” Kelly wouldn’t meet her eyes.

As much as she wanted answers, Lacey wanted out of this prison more. She held out her tied hands and Kelly went to work.

“Damn it. They’re wet and swollen. I can’t get a grip on anything.” Kelly stopped her struggles, breathing rapidly. “Can you walk? We need to get out of here before he comes back.” She stood and roughly pulled Lacey to her feet.

“Ouch. Hang on a sec.” Lacey wiggled her legs and stomped her feet, trying to get the circulation going. Her feet felt like two concrete bricks. She tipped slightly in the dark and tried to move her feet to catch her balance.

She couldn’t.

Kelly grabbed her arm and shoulder to keep her from falling. Pain shot down Lacey’s arm and into her wrists, forcing tears from her eyes.

“I can’t feel my feet.”

“They’ll get better as we go. We’ve got to get out of here!” Kelly begged, leading her toward the door. “Come on, sweetie.”

Lacey carefully shuffled her feet. If she fell she was going to break a wrist. “I’m trying.” Visions of fishhooks flashed, moving her feet faster.

“Good. That’s better.” Kelly sounded supportive but continued to pull her frantically toward the door.

Lacey kept shuffling, trying to feel the uneven floor through her shoes. Kelly flipped off the dying flashlight. “Gotta save the light. I know where we’re going.”

“And where’s that, Kelly?” The voice was male and angry.

The women stopped. Lacey felt Kelly’s hands shake. She could see the silhouette of a male in the dark doorway, faint light reflected from the snow exposing his dark hair.

“You tipped him off!” Michael shouted.

The woman cowered at his shout, avoiding looking at Michael’s angry red face. He wanted to shake her. Shake her until she bruised her brain.

Michael and Sam had returned to the compound and cornered Linda/Lila again. Detective Lusco had told him the killer had vanished from the address Linda had given them. And Lacey was missing from the same scene.

Where the fuck had Harper been?

Michael had trusted the man to stick by her. He wouldn’t have left the city if he’d known Harper couldn’t take care of her.

Michael didn’t know whom he was madder at. The trembling woman in front of him or that former pretty-boy cop. Or the bumbling state detectives. Or Lacey for putting herself in danger. He should have shipped her off to Thailand or Norway. Anywhere.

Sam pulled at his arm, urging him to take it easy on the mother of the killers. He glanced at Sam’s face, her blue eyes frowning at Lila. Sam was cool and collected. He wanted to shake off her grip, but calmness flowed through her hand and into his chest. He took a deep breath and exhaled.

Sam didn’t know what he was going through. He hadn’t explained his relationship with Lacey. He didn’t know how to describe it. She was ex-lover and best friend all rolled into one.

“You called him,” Sam stated.

The woman nodded, keeping her eyes away from Michael’s burning green gaze.


She shrugged, glancing hopefully at Sam, and Michael remembered Sam had been more effective with the woman the first time. “He’s my son.”

Her voice was nearly inaudible, but her statement was firm.

“Where is he now?” Sam asked.

No answer.

Michael exploded. “Did you know he’s killing people? Murdering them in some of the sickest ways I’ve ever seen! And now he’s got someone I love!” He took two threatening steps, his calmness gone, his voice rising. “If something happens to her because you’re too fucking scared to…”

“Michael!” Sam pulled him back, stepping in front of him, her back against his chest. “Lila. Where else would your son go to hide? Where could he hold someone without the neighbors noticing?” Fury sounded in her voice, but Sam kept control.

Michael held his breath, every nerve rattled. If Sam hadn’t been here, he didn’t think the old woman would still be breathing.

Lila looked at Sam, pretending Michael wasn’t in the room. Her dead, empty eyes had flashed briefly when Sam asked about neighbors.

Michael knew she’d thought of something. “Where, Lila?” he growled.

She licked nervous lips. “You could try an old hunting cabin he’s got. I’ve never been there but I kinda know where it is.”

Was she fucking with them again? “That’s the only place you can think of?”

Her chin dropped. “It’s the only one that’s kind of isolated. You know he likes to…”

“He likes to do what?” Michael snapped, pulling out his cell.

“Out there he likes to practice with the weapons he collects.”

Michael’s fingers stopped before he could dial. “What kind of weapons?”

The woman stared at the floor and Michael had to lean close to hear her. “Anything military or unusual. Old grenades, guns, knives. And he makes his own explosives.”

“Like pipe bombs? Homemade stuff?” Sam sharply sucked in her breath.