Page 30

“We’ll be discreet,” Jackson assured Sam. “No problems with the locals. We can just be your legs or eyes as needed—you can’t be everywhere at once. And we can send any questions straight to Jake Mallory. He can find out about any human being in the world, and he can do it legally. Most of the time. I believe.”

Will had given Jenna an affectionate kiss on the cheek, as had the others, when they had met. Sam was surprised to realize that he felt a twinge of jealousy—this was a team that was tight and supportive. He was accustomed these days to doing most of his own work in his head, arguing out plans and actions by himself, despite the fact that Evan Richardson was such a great assistant. He’d come up in the world; sometimes he missed the early days when he’d been in the D.A.’s office himself and he’d sat in a pool with others, all searching out legal histories and planning stratagem. Not to mention the larger group—being friends with the cops instead of being considered a thorn in their sides, as a defense attorney often was.

“Excuse me, I start right away,” Will said, rising and shaking Sam’s hand. “I have my cell, and it’s on buzz.” He hesitated. “I’m trying to get in for a guest performance at the school. We’ll see how that goes.”

“Maybe I can help with that,” Sam said. He hadn’t told Jenna, of course, but he believed her angry speech about law enforcement being open to whatever help there was might have given John Alden a twinge. Maybe John even believed—just a little—that he wasn’t in the right. Or, at least, that Sam’s involvement—and Jenna’s—could only help to prove Malachi’s guilt. And if he couldn’t pull this one off, he knew who could. “Jamie!” he said. “Don’t you still take cases from the school?”

“I do. But I’m assuming that I’m not particularly loved there at the moment,” he said. “They all know how I feel about Malachi—that he’s being railroaded.”

“Yes, but most people are basically decent, even when they’re swayed by a common concept,” Sam said. “I think you should go in first.” Jamie nodded.

“All right. I’m heading out,” Will said and left them.

Jackson asked Sam, “What about getting back into Lexington House?”

“I’ll talk to John Alden. He’s the lead detective on the case.”

“All right, what can we do?” Jackson asked.

Sam went over everything that he and Jenna had discussed the night before. Jackson listened attentively. “I have to ask this—do you honestly believe that the young man is innocent?”

“Absolutely,” Sam said.

“I believe in him and, Jackson, when you meet him, you’ll believe in him, too,” Jenna said. “There’s something…I don’t know. He’s special. And I don’t mean that in any kind of a negative way. His belief is so strong. And antiviolent.”

“I think,” Sam said, “that Andy Yates would definitely be someone to get to know better. He was interested in purchasing the house, and it’s his son who was involved in the altercation or whatever with Malachi. I still want to talk to his son, David Yates—and the friend, Joshua Abbott—who agreed that they’d seen Malachi rush out of Earnest Covington’s house. Their statements directly contradict those of the grocer.”

“I spoke with the grocer,” Jenna said. “And he’s adamant about what he saw.”

“So the boys are lying,” Jackson said.

“At the moment I’ve got them on hold, but this has to change now. However, Andy Yates’s wife threatened me not to get near the boy,” Sam said. “As the defense attorney I do have the right to speak with the witnesses. I’ve been trying to think of a way around that. I’d rather not walk in pulling out the official card, just yet.”

“Yeah, and we can’t compromise the case in any way,” Jackson said thoughtfully. “But it’s not compromising the case if it’s the law.”

“It is the law, and I can argue the issue—but only if the prosecution is calling him in. If David Yates is going to be a witness, I can get a court order for the kid to talk to me,” Sam said. “I was hoping not to force the issue, since people talk more easily when they’re not forced to do so. And then there’s this—so far, Malachi has only been accused of the murders of his family. If the prosecutor doesn’t press further charges and doesn’t intend on bringing further charges against Malachi and bring David Yates into court, I won’t have any standing. But, still, I’m hoping I could sway them to drop the prosecution if they can see the other two murders were done by someone other than Malachi. I think that should work.”

“The kids are always hanging out at the cliff park-that’s-not-really-a-park,” Jenna said. “Maybe I can show Angela the view, and we can hope the boys wind up there.”

“All right,” Sam said. “You two try the cliff after school. I’ll take Jackson with me. I’ll introduce him to Councilman Yates, then we’ll take a ride over to Beverly. I still think someone at the church Abraham Smith was attending might know something.”

“You’re forgetting something,” Jenna told him.

“What’s that?” Sam asked.

“Samantha Yeager.”

“Ah, yes, well, we definitely need to have our cards read!” Jackson said.

After they discussed arrangements to get Sam’s car and get everyone where they needed to be, Sam noticed Jenna seemed to be getting a touch antsy. “What are you going to do before you go to the cliffs?” he asked her suspiciously.

She arched a brow to him. “Ghost hunt!” she said.

“Ghost hunt,” he said. “Just like that—ghost hunt. I thought you told me that it wasn’t anything like dial-a-ghost?”

“It’s not. That’s why it’s hunting,” Jenna said. “Sam, we’re looking at similar crimes in the same place, different times. It might be good to see what we can find that attunes us to a similar energy. Trust me, please, on this.”

Jamie had already headed for the door. Jackson followed him and Sam started to do the same. Instead, he headed back. “Be careful,” he told Jenna. “Please, be careful.”

“Hey. FBI agents here, albeit on the weird side!” Angela said cheerfully. “But, just so you know, I was a cop in some tough areas of Virginia.” He nodded.

“And, honest, I’m capable,” Jenna said, smiling at him.

He hesitated, longing to walk over and kiss her goodbye. He didn’t quite know how she was feeling about them, at least in front of her team, so he refrained.

He took a step closer to the two women instead and asked softly, “Jackson?”

“We refer to him as Mr. Logic,” Angela said. “He has some intuition, but remember, at one time, he was one of the best profilers in the country.”

“Since it seems you’re looking more the he-man, man’s man variety!” Jenna teased.

Sam went ahead and walked on out of the house.

Ghost hunting….

What the hell had happened since that night he’d found the blood-drenched kid in the road?

He thought of the night gone by. Of Jenna.

Whatever it was, he wanted it to keep happening.


“So, tell me, did you know him before?” Angela demanded, grinning as she turned to look at Jenna, who was doing the driving.

“Yes. No. Not really. I vaguely remember meeting him when I was young. His mom was a doll. She had Sam, no other children, but I imagine she would have liked to have had a daughter, too. She’d kind of babysit area girls, let us have slumber parties and all at her house, so I saw him there. I think, once before, he yelled at me and I called him a jerk.” She grinned. “He’s still a jerk.”

“But your jerk now, I take it?” Angela asked.


“Hmm, I could have sworn… I mean, you were at his house when we got here? Still fairly early in the day… And he’s certainly impressive. Size alone. I mean height and shoulder breadth, of course…”

“Well, yeah, definitely he’s attractive. I was attracted, and I fought it for a while because of the circumstances, but then I started thinking about moments, and that we really only get moments out of life…but anyway, he’s a high-powered attorney in Boston—who really laughs at the idea that we actually communicate with ghosts—and I love what we do. I think it’s important. I think we’ve saved lives. And I don’t particularly care what kind of car I drive, and I grew up in a household that believed in magic, and…he’s a hard-core New Englander. Practical all the way.”

“Jackson is practical all the way,” Angela pointed out.

“True—but Jackson has also had his own experiences, so if he’s not as intuitive, he still knows for a fact that there is more out there. And I’m not trying to date Jackson.”

“So, in your mind, you’re looking at a dead end,” Angela said.

“Seriously, where could it go?”

Angela laughed. “You’ll never know if you don’t look through the forest paths at the end of the road. Whatever. I’ll try to stay out of it. So!” she said, her voice denoting that she was changing the subject. “I’ve been here before, and I’ve done all the touristy things in the center of town. What could we do that lies beyond?”

“What is now Danvers was once Salem Village,” Jenna said. “Rebecca Nurse lived out there—and her homestead is out there and, actually, it all started out there.”

“Let’s take a ride,” Angela suggested. “I’d like to reacquaint myself with all this, get a feel for it. Wasn’t Rebecca Nurse supposed to have been a really good person? But was caught up in it really quickly?”

“She was associated with the wrong family, or that’s the way historians see it. Just because the founders were Puritans didn’t mean they were saintly or that they lacked human emotions—like envy, greed and so on. It wasn’t just that. Remember, these people believed that the devil was very real, and they allowed their fears to take them on a roller-coaster ride.”