Wake Up Maggie(6)By: Beth Yarnall
“I’ve been watching you,” he said, his words careful and testing.
“You’re my assignment.”
“I’m your…” And then the anvil hit. “Well, isn’t that stalkerific. I am so out of here.” This time he didn’t stop me. Tears burned behind my eyes, and I was so intent on putting him behind me that I didn’t realize he’d followed me until I got to my car.
“Maggie, wait. Let me explain.”
He clamped a hand over my mouth and backed me up against my car. “Don’t do that. People are watching us,” he whispered.
I blinked up at him with wide eyes. His explaining skills could use a lot of work. So now it wasn’t just him watching me, but a whole passel of unseen stalker agents. What had I done and to whom to have this landslide of good fortune?
“We’ve had the senator under surveillance for months. At first, we thought you might be involved. I was assigned to monitor you. I know you didn’t kill the senator because I was following you. You were home watching a movie until the senator called and invited you over. He was already dead when you got there.”
I tried to talk around his hand. He really needed to stop muzzling me.
“Promise not to scream again?”
I nodded and he removed his hand.
My words came out in a rush of relief. I was saved. “You’re my alibi. Tell the police. They’ll listen to you.” I was so giddy about having an alibi that the creep factor of kissing the guy assigned to shadow me took a few seconds to click in, then, “Oh…eww.”
“Back at the church when you ki—”
His annoying hand was back.
“Not here. People watching, remember?”
I glared up at him. He was in severe danger of losing a digit.
“Get in the car and I’ll tell you everything.”
We were finally getting somewhere, but it sure wasn’t any place I’d ever wanted to visit. Super Agent spun me a web of deceit, double agents and doubling down. Gambling, that is. Apparently, Chuck Puckett had his fingers in more pies than a professional pie-eater. I sat and listened, all the while trying to reconcile what Super Agent was telling me with the Chuck Puckett I knew. His tale just didn’t jibe…if you overlooked the Asian cowgirl thing.
“Are you sure we’re talking about the same guy? Tall, blond, talked like Madonna? Wouldn’t eat anything that grew underground or walked on two legs?”
“You’re the super agent here; why would you need my help? It seems to me you’ve got almost everything figured out. Oh, except who really killed Chuck Puckett. It would be ever so nice if you could riddle that one out.”
“Did he ever give you anything to hold for him?” he asked.
“You mean like a bag of money or the passwords to his offshore bank accounts? No.”
“What about presents?”
“Just the obligatory Valentine’s, birthday kind.” Chuck Puckett bought me things all the time. Sometimes little things, sometimes big things, but nothing that sent up any flares for me.
“And you’re sure you’d never seen Trinh Pham before? Maybe in the senator’s office or home?”
“Keep saying her name and I’ll do to you what I did to Chuck Puckett.”
He clamped his legs together. “Sorry, it’s just that you’re the only one who’s ever seen her.”
“And more of her than I’d ever want to.” My thoughts skidded to a halt and rewound. “What do you mean I’m the only one who’s seen her? You know I don’t have a cat and probably know what movie I was watching when Chuck Puckett called, but you don’t have any surveillance footage of Slutzilla?”
Embarrassment tinged his cheeks again. I’d never thought a guy blushing could be so sexy, but Super Agent was making it work for me…big time.
“No. And you’ve seen her twice. That makes you an exception we think she’ll want to rectify.”
“Rectify as in…?” I made a slicing motion across my neck.
He nodded. “We don’t know who she is or how she fits into the equation. Our best guess is she’s a hired assassin who went rogue, but we’re just not sure. We think she might not have known you’d be there the night she killed the senator.”