The Hacker Pushes Her Luck (Moonchuckle Bay 6)(9)

By: Heather Horrocks

How could Jade use that to her advantage?

As she neared the lot, she smiled. It didn’t matter. She could still get the information she needed off site, just like she’d broken in before. And she’d touched the little witch, so she’d have good luck.

She and Kelly could grab the witch again when it was time for the actual heist.

So, Jade would just let this farce play out. The little witch would muddy the waters while Jade would hack in from the outside again.

Besides, Walter Clemmons scared her a little. He was super smart and he probably had cameras set up around town with things like facial recognition. She’d have to be careful from here on out.

Later, around eleven that night, Sugar’s eyelids were drooping, but Walter poked her shoulder. “Stay awake, Sugar.”

She groaned. “I just want to sleep.”

“I know, but Dr. Johnson said to keep you awake, and after midnight, I’ll still need to wake you up every few hours.”

“I know.” She sighed. “I’m sorry for being so whiny, but my head is beginning to hurt worse.”

“It’s time for another pill.” They’d stopped and picked up the painkillers Dr. Johnson had prescribed. For some reason, she didn’t like the idea of taking pills, but in this case she’d make an exception.

Walter went to get her a pill and a glass of water.

She was currently sitting comfortably in Walter’s den. It was a lovely, cozy spot. Books surrounded her, and an exquisite antique ivory chess set was on display. He’d brought her an afghan and wrapped it around her. Despite the June heat outside earlier, she was cool now. The afghan was the perfect touch.

He returned and she swallowed the pill with a gulp of water.

He sat down across the chessboard from her. “Are you remembering anything yet?”

“Not really,” she said, then added, “except your neighbor’s cat.”

“What about the cat?”

“That white and brown cat when we got here. When I saw it, it was like some memory flickered, but I didn’t really remember anything. It just poked at my head and made it ache more.”

He nodded. “Everything will come back in a few days.”

She hoped so. Her head had cleared quite a bit since she’d hit the ground, but she still didn’t remember anything before hitting it.

Still, that pretty white and brown cat wouldn’t leave her mind. Did that mean she had a cat? A white and brown one? A white one?

When Walter had driven her to his house and helped her out, the cat had come up to her and meowed, weaving its way around her ankles. That had triggered something.

“Your website says you’re a chess master. Would you like to play a game?”

“Okay,” she said, looking at the board. She remembered the names of the pieces, mostly.

“You go first,” he said.

She leaned forward and touched the board. Picked up a piece and studied it. “These are exquisite.”

“Made from walrus ivory, and very old,” he said. “They’re from my childhood.”

They looked far older than that.

“I don’t remember how each piece moves.”

He tipped his head and smiled gently. “We can play checkers if you’d prefer.”

Carefully, she shook her head and set the pawn back on the board. Then she pushed it out a space.

He grinned and, oh, her heart fluttered a little. He had a grin that enticed women. He also pushed one of his pawns out.

Still thinking about the cat, she moved a knight.

They settled in, taking turns. She didn’t know, in her mind, what move to make, but her fingers seemed to know which way to push the pieces. When she moved her queen, Walter chuckled. “That’s a brilliant move! How’d you catch me by surprise with that one? You’ve just checkmated me. That never happens.” He shook his head. “I can see why you’re a chess master. You’re good. I need to sic you on Ty.”

“I won?” she asked, delighted. The pain in her head was subsiding and she was apparently good at chess. That was good to know. It had to mean something, right?

“Are you hungry? You didn’t eat much earlier.”

He’d had Chinese food delivered, but she’d felt kind of nauseated during dinner. “I am, actually,” she admitted.