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"What were you doing last night, Shae?"
Her gaze flew to meet Cade's steely one. Although she knew her jaw was agape, it took a moment to summon the strength to close it. "You think I helped LeFrenz break out of police custody? That I killed someone to help him get away?" Astonishment and indignation mingled in her voice. "Are you crazy?"
"The entire hospital staff is being questioned. I don't have to tell you how serious this is. Another cop's been murdered, the second in the last couple months. Two different investigations, but the department is justifiably tense. So I'm going to ask you again, where were you last night?"
She swallowed, her indignation already fading at the thought of the silent officer she'd seen last night lying lifeless on the floor. "I left the hospital at five, went to the gym..."
His question reminded her that he'd check her story. The whole scene began to take on a surreal aspect. "Women's Fitness on France and Tulane. I left there at six-thirty, came home and didn't leave again."
"Did you have any guests last night?"
Leaving the bottle of water on the counter, he pushed away, began to stroll around her apartment. She didn't know whether to be glad to be released from that unwavering gaze or to be annoyed as he picked up the book she was reading, looked at it, laid it down again. She decided she could feel both emotions at once.
"What time did you go to bed?"
She shrugged impatiently. "I don't know. Eleven. Eleven-thirty."
He looked over his shoulder at her. "Which was it?"
Stopping to think, she said, "Eleven-thirty. Conan O'Brien had just started." Looking past him, she noticed he'd picked up the mail she'd dropped on the table inside the door. Annoyance definitely took precedence now. "Do you mind?" Striding toward him, she snatched the pile from his hand.
Eying her soberly, he asked, "Has LeFrenz contacted you?"
"No. Why would he?"
The twist of his mouth was mocking. "I don't know, Angel Eyes, why would he?" When she remained stubbornly silent, he went on. "He's got a thing for you. He wanted to see you yesterday. That's why he made your presence a condition of cooperating. He's still in serious condition. He'll need a doctor's care. Pick a reason."
"No, he hasn't contacted me." Her tone was icy. "He'd have to be crazy to do so. He has no reason to believe I would give him any help."
Tremaine studied her, as if he were looking for answers she hadn't given. "I can attest that he's crazy. He's also..." A small noise coming from the loft had both of them freezing. The chill that came into his eyes then had her shivering. "Who's here?"
Her mind didn't seem capable of functioning. It had been too long since she'd last had experience lying to cops. And yet somehow, not long enough.
Her answer had his mouth flattening. Turning, he began crossing to the staircase, drawing a gun from his waistband at the base of his back. Helplessly, she could only follow. "Detective. Tremaine. You don't have permission to invade my home like this." Her words didn't halt his progress. Taking the steps two at a time, she joined him in her bedroom, watched as his narrowed gaze took in the unmade bed, her nightgown tossed on top in a crumple of silk.
And then settle, as hers did, on the hinged set of bars swinging freely outward from the opened window. He went to it, looked at the pull down fire escape that had been released to clatter to the ground. Then, his face hard, just a little mean, he looked back at her. "Your 'no one' just jumped out your window and went down the fire escape. Better start giving me a name, Doc. Or be prepared to come downtown so we can do this more formally."
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