The Ghost (Professionals Book 2)(4)By: Jessica Gadziala
“They offered to put me on the…” she trailed off, trying to remember the term.
“BOL list,” I supplied, meaning Be On the Lookout list. Which was a fancy-ass way of saying that a cop would drive past your house or business every once in a while. Being completely useless.
“Yes, that. I saw them drive past… once every three or four hours. Truly, it is shocking that this man managed to slip through such a rigorous safety net.”
“You could have gotten private security,” I suggested, putting my mug on the edge of Quin’s desk. She certainly seemed like she could pay for a decent crew to keep an eye on her.
“I did. Three separate firms.”
“Landers, Eccelson, and Heiro,” Quin supplied.
Those were good names, big names.
They were who you went to when you needed to guarantee your own safety. Celebrities and politicians used them. If they couldn’t do the job, the job couldn’t be done.
“What happened?” I asked, looking at Sloane even though her gaze was on the watch on her wrist, rolling it around, a small sign of nervousness in her otherwise very composed body.
Quin, however, answered.
“Landers took a bullet. Eccelson was fired when one of Cortez’s men got in her apartment while he was taking a call. She went back to DA to drop out of the case. But…”
“Cortez is a real motherfucker, and kept coming on principle.”
“Cortez got in through the fire escape outside my bathroom window while I was in the shower,” Sloane supplied.
“Show him,” Quin demanded, voice brooking no argument.
To that, even though it seemed completely impossible, her body went even more rigid as she slowly got to her feet, placing her purse back on the chair, turning toward me, reaching down, snagging the hem of her soft-looking shirt, and lifting it up.
At first, all I saw was the smooth flat skin. Until her shirt was up over her navel.
Then there it was.
A three-inch-long, nasty, stitched wound.
“Missed your liver by an inch,” I observed. “When was this?” I asked as she dropped her shirt back down, turned, picked up her bag, and carefully sat back down, back ramrod straight.
“Last night,” she supplied. “Mr. Heiro himself came to the hospital with me where he told me that this case was beyond their scope. That with a charge of first-degree murder on the table, Cortez was going to keep coming at me with everything he has. Even if I dropped my testimony. They were still looking at him.”
“He pointed you in our direction,” I concluded.
“You know what I do, duchess?”
“You ‘ghost’ people,” she supplied. “Mr. Baird said it is like ‘witness protection on steroids.’”
“Something like that,” I agreed. “It means all your ties, everything you have in your life, everyone you love or even just tolerate… they are dead to you now,” I told her, not one to sugarcoat it. What I did was harsh and permanent. Her life would never be the same again.
“I understand the process,” she said, but was telling Quin, not me.
“You’re going to be working with me, Miss Blythe-Meuller,” I said, tone maybe a bit sarcastic. “This might go better if you can at least look at me.” Clearly prideful, not willing to be talked down to, her head swiveled to me; those unique eyes of hers went to mine. “Did Quin explain to you how this process would go?”
“I thought I’d leave that to you,” Quin said, waving a hand.
“Alright,” I said, giving her the same eye-contact she was giving me, knowing mine was unnerving, so it said something that she could hold it. “Tonight, you will stay here. Upstairs. We have rooms for clients. While you do that, I will draw up a plan. You get no say in where you end up. Kick, scream, bite, scratch, but it won’t change dick. Your life is in my hands until you’re settled. Then you are on your own. But, if you sign the papers that Jules is no doubt drawing up right now, get ready to never get your own way again.”
“If something happened,” she said, tone still so damn composed. Especially considering she’d just been stabbed half a day ago. “Down the line. In the future. If he finds me…”