The innocent, p.59
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       The Innocent, p.59
 

           Harlan Coben
Chapter 58

 

  LOREN MUSE SAT across from Harris Grimes, the assistant director in charge who ran the FBI's Los Angeles field office. Grimes was one of the most powerful federal officers in the region, and he was not a happy man.

  "You realize that Adam Yates is a friend of mine," Grimes said.

  "It's the third time you've told me," Loren said.

  They were using a room on the second floor of the Washoe Medical Center in Reno. Grimes narrowed his eyes and chewed on his lower lip. "Are you being insubordinate, Muse?"

  "I've told you what happened three times. "

  "And you'll tell it again. Now. "

  She did. There was a lot to cover. It took hours. The case wasn't over. There were still plenty of questions. Yates was missing. No one knew where he was. But Dollinger was dead. Loren was learning that he, too, had been well liked by his fellow agents.

  Grimes stood and rubbed his chin. There were three other agents in the room, all with legal pads, all keeping their heads down and jotting away. They knew now. No one wanted to believe it, but the videotape of Yates and Cassandra spoke volumes. Grudgingly they were beginning to accept her theory. They just weren't liking it.

  "You have any idea where Yates would have gone?" Grimes asked her.

  "No. "

  "He was last seen at our Reno office on Kietzke Lane maybe fifteen minutes before the incident at Ms. Dale's residence. He checked in with a special agent named Ted Stevens, who'd been told to trail Olivia Hunter when she arrived at the airport. "

  "Right. You told me. Can I go now?"

  Grimes turned his back and waved his hand. "Get the hell out of my sight. "

  She stood and walked downstairs to the emergency room on the first floor. Olivia Hunter sat by the ER receptionist.

  "Hey," Loren said.

  "Hi. " Olivia managed to smile. "I just came down to check on Kimmy. "

  Olivia had suffered no real injuries. Kimmy Dale was finishing up at the other end of the corridor. Her arm was wrapped in a sling. The bullet had missed bone, but there was serious muscle and tissue damage. It would be painful and need hours of rehabilitation. But, alas, in this era of getting people out of the hospital pronto- six days after having his chest cut open Bill Clinton was reading in his backyard- they finished asking their questions and told Kimmy that she could go home but needed to "stay in town. "

  "Where's Matt?" Loren asked.

  "He just came out of surgery," Olivia said.

  "Did it go okay?"

  "The doctor said he'll be fine. "

  The bullet from Dollinger's gun had grazed the neck of Matt's femur just below the hip joint. The doctors needed to put in a couple of bone screws. Fairly minor surgery, they said. He'd be up and out in two days.

  "You should get some rest," Olivia said.

  "Can't," Loren said. "I'm too wired. "

  "Yeah, me too. Why don't you sit with Matt in case he wakes up? I'm just going to get Kimmy settled and then I'll be right up. "

  Loren took the elevator to the third floor. She sat next to Matt's bed. She thought about the case, about Adam Yates, about where he was and what he might do.

  A few minutes later Matt's eyes blinked open. He looked up at her.

  "Hey, hero," Loren said.

  Matt managed a smile. He turned his head to the right.

  "Olivia?"

  "She's downstairs with Kimmy. "

  "Is Kimmy. . . ?"

  "She's fine. Olivia's just helping her get settled. "

  He closed his eyes. "There's something I need you to do. "

  "Why don't you rest?"

  Matt shook his head. His voice was weak. "I need you to get some phone records for me. "

  "Now?"

  "The camera phone," he said. "The picture. The video. It still doesn't add up. Why would Yates and Dollinger take those pictures?"

  "They didn't. Darrow did. "

  "Why. . . " He closed his eyes again. "Why would he?"

  Loren thought about that. Then Matt's eyes suddenly opened. "What time is it?"

  She checked her watch. "Eleven thirty. "

  "At night?"

  "Of course at night. "

  And then Loren remembered. The meeting at midnight. At the Eager Beaver. She quickly grabbed the phone and called down to the emergency room receptionist.

  "This is Investigator Muse. I was down there a few moments ago with a woman named Olivia Hunter. She was waiting for a patient named Kimmy Dale. "

  "Right," the receptionist said, "I saw you. "

  "Are they still there?"

  "Who, Miss Dale and Miss Hunter?"

  "Yes. "

  "No, they hurried out the same time you left. "

  "Hurried out?"

  "Into a taxi. "

  Loren hung up. "They're gone. "

  "Give me the phone," Matt said, still flat on his back. She nestled the phone next to his ear. Matt gave her Olivia's cell number. The phone rang three times before he heard Olivia's voice.

  "It's me," he said.

  "Are you okay?" Olivia asked.

  "Where are you?"

  "You know where. "

  "You still think. . . "

  "She called, Matt. "

  "What?"

  "She called Kimmy's cell. Or someone did. She said the meeting was still on, but no cops, no husbands, nobody. We're on our way over now. "

  "Olivia, it has to be a setup. You know that. "

  "I'll be fine. "

  "Loren is on her way. "

  "No. Please, Matt. I know what I'm doing. Please. "

  And then Olivia hung up.

 
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