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“Yes. And that the illegitimate child had a descendent or descendents who grew up with feelings of hate and anger, believing that if Krakowski hadn’t died, their lives might’ve been different. That if he’d lived, he would have divorced his wife, married the pregnant mistress—if there was one—or…whatever,” Sean said. “It’s a wild card, but Oliver has an airtight alibi…and Helena is dead.”

“A legitimate child who didn’t grow up with any kind of stigma might recognize that Krakowski was a womanizer and an alcoholic,” Logan added, “but that he would never have divorced his wife.”

“Right. Benita learned that her great-grandfather was a cheat. That’s what she was told, at any rate. And as you said, maybe an illegitimate child would teach his or her heirs that they would’ve been legitimate and have everything—if their ancestor hadn’t been killed by carelessness on a set. Or murder…”

“Do you really think Krakowski was murdered?” Logan asked him.

“It’s a case that occurred well over half a century ago,” Sean said, “and it was generally accepted as an accident. We may never know—but what matters isn’t what really happened, it’s what a certain person believes might have happened. Hey, even Bogie thought it could’ve been murder. The killer seems to blame the Claymore studio, which did the special effects on the Sam Stone movie, not the Waterton film studio where the accident took place. And he doesn’t care that Eddie, who had nothing to do with any of it, now owns Claymore’s. At least, that’s the only alternative I can see at the moment,” Sean said. “It may be a long shot—and it may be the right shot. But there has to be a connection. Helena was obviously an accomplice. However, she’s dead, and I don’t believe she killed herself. There has to be a second suspect, and he—or she—has an agenda. There’s a good chance that agenda is connected to Krakowski.”

“I’ll get on the computer,” Logan promised. “I’m pretty good at research, but finding out who a guy was sleeping with…hmm.”

Sean grinned. “Jane will help you. She’s good at reading between the lines. I’m going to the studio now.”

“Yeah, you do that. And when you’re back at the hotel, maybe you can do some of your computer-whiz stuff and see what you can figure out, too. First, though, why don’t you drive Madison home—and maybe find out if Bogie knew anything about Krakowski’s sleeping habits,” Logan suggested.

“Will do,” Sean assured Logan.

He thanked Knox and the other cops and said goodbye, leaving the station. As he did, he called Madison’s cell number.

No answer. He tried Tyler’s phone next; he did answer.

“Everything all right there?” Sean asked.

“The employees are leaving. The day’s ending a bit early but it seemed to go fine,” Tyler said.


“Fine. Don’t worry. She won’t go anywhere without me. She had lunch with Andy, Mike and her assistant. All is well. Bailey is on the security desk, and the two cops are still in the building.”

“Great. I’m on my way.”

* * *

Madison managed not to scream. The creatures in the circular hallway display weren’t moving. Creatures didn’t move unless they were radio-controlled or fitted with batteries and run by remote control or manipulated by a puppeteer.

It was Alfie, just standing there.

“Alfie, what the hell are you doing?” she demanded. For the first time, she felt acutely uncomfortable. His curiosity about her relationship with Sean had been almost salacious.

“Waiting for you,” he said.


“Half the crew’s gone home. I’m…I’m not happy out there alone,” he said, wide-eyed. “Are we still working?”

“You do what you want, Alfie. I need to finish up that costume. I told Mike it’ll be ready for tomorrow.”

She didn’t know if he followed her or not. As she passed the guard station, she saw that Tyler Montague was there, watching the entrance, as if he was taking a tally of those who were coming and going.

She smiled at him and continued to her station.

As she neared her work area and sewing machine, she realized that Alfie was directly behind her. He shivered.

“What’s the matter with you?” she asked.

Madison wasn’t worried about being in the studio; Tyler Montague was on duty and there was a cop by the elevator on the first floor and another by the elevator on the second. Poor guys must be bored to tears, except that the cops switched shifts every eight hours.

Eight hours. They still had to be bored to tears.

“I just don’t feel right,” Alfie said. “Let’s go home. I’ll walk you to your car. Oh, wait! You’re not going home—you’re waiting for the studly FBI guy.”

“Alfie, I’m going to finish this costume,” she said again.

Alfie sighed. “Fine. I’m staying with you.”

She began to work on the shirt, and Alfie moved closer, holding the material tightly. He was good at what he did, a great assistant, sensing what she needed before she needed it.

Her cell phone rang. Alfie jumped. She nearly stuck the needle in his finger.

“Alfie!” she said, finding her phone, which she’d placed on the sewing machine. “Yes?” She saw Tyler Montague’s name on her caller ID.

“Madison, it’s Tyler.”

“Aren’t you still in the building?”

“I’m going out. Sean’s on his way here. Colin Bailey just got a call from him, saying that something’s going on in the cemetery. Bailey asked if he needed any help and apparently he wants me out there. But you’re fine. Bailey is on the security desk, and there are two cops in the building. Stay inside, okay?” Tyler’s voice was calm and assured. Madison felt her heart leap, but she made an effort not to let Alfie see that she was in any way concerned.

“I’m fine. Alfie and I are finishing Oliver’s costume,” she said. “Thanks for checking in.”

Madison hung up and looked around the studio, and noticed that Alfie was fidgeting and acting concerned. “We’re the last ones here tonight, huh?” she said.

“We shouldn’t be working so late. I’m losing it. I think I saw the rat moving,” Alfie said.

“The rat did not move, Alfie!” His unease was actually making her feel better. She laughed. “Hey, finding you in the middle of those mannequins by the conference room didn’t do much for my blood pressure.” She gestured over to the wall and smiled. “Once again, the rat didn’t move.”

“Who was that?” Alfie asked. “On the phone, I mean.”

“Tyler,” she answered. “He wanted me to know that Sean’s on his way back.”

“Good,” Alfie said. “When he gets here, can we go?”

“Alfie, you can go anytime you want.”

“Not without you.”

“I’m fine. When Sean gets here, I’ll go,” she told him, although she suspected that his concern was as much for himself as her.

He confirmed that a moment later, asking, “Madison, do you think the G-man who’s still here will walk me to my car?”

She hesitated. She wasn’t sure why she hadn’t told Alfie that Tyler had gone to the cemetery.

Was she afraid—of Alfie? And yet he seemed genuinely fearful.

“Help me for a few more minutes. Then Sean will be here, and we’ll all go.”

As she spoke, the studio was suddenly pitched into darkness.

Alfie let out a yelp of terror, and Madison gripped his arm. “It’s all right, Alfie. Give it a second. The auxiliary lights will come on.”

They did. They bathed the studio in a pale yellow that was deeply shadowed by the distorted shapes of creatures they’d constructed over the years. There were no windows in this interior section of the studio. No glimmer of natural light.

“What the hell happened?” Alfie whispered.

“I don’t know.” Madison bit her lower lip, fighting fear. In her drawer was a large pair of scissors. She slipped her hand in and curled her fingers around them.

“Alfie, we need to lie low somewhere,” she said urgently.


She thought quickly. Bailey should have been on the desk and there were two cops in the building somewhere. The question was—who else might be in here?

“Get into Oliver’s Sam Stone costume and hat. Then you can look like a mannequin. Everyone knows we’ve been working on this all day. Now!”

“They can see us! They can see us through the cameras!” Alfie wailed.

“Not if we’re on the floor. Drop down and crawl to the dressing area.”

“Where will you be?” he demanded.

“Right behind you,” she said. “Right behind you!”

* * *

Sean had loved living in L.A., but as he drove to the studio, he remembered one thing he’d hated about it.


The rush hour in California seemed to start at 5:00 a.m. and end at…5:00 a.m.

Annoyed by the traffic, he called Tyler again, using his hands-free device.

Tyler answered, sounding equally annoyed.

“I don’t know what the hell I’m doing out here, Sean,” he said. “There are still a pack of cops by the church. I’ve gone over there, but they say nothing’s changed. They’ve been watching the grass grow all day.”

“What are you talking about?” Sean asked.

“Bailey sent me out here—he said you wanted me at the cemetery.”

Fear shuddered through Sean’s heart. “I didn’t send you anywhere. I didn’t call him.”

“Ah, hell!” Tyler said. “I should’ve known! But Bailey said you called—it must’ve been someone pretending to be you, someone who wanted to make sure I went out. Dammit, I should’ve phoned you myself to confirm. I’m heading back, Sean. Oh, shit!”