Copyright © 2012 Dawn Brown
The frigid wind kicked up, sending a cloud of tiny snowflakes swirling around Andy, but he hardly noticed. He stood motionless, gazing through the glass into the dim restaurant. His attention fixed on the couple inside. He must have been gaping like an idiot, but he couldn’t seem to help himself. The sight of her with him left him dumbfounded.
How could he have been so wrong about her? He remembered her narrowed eyes, glassy with tears, the slight tremble in her voice when she furiously demanded that he stop wasting time and arrest Luke Summers.
“I want to know what happened to my sister,” she’d said, her voice quiet with a soft rasp. “And the only person who really knows what happened is that bastard she married.”
Good Christ, had it all been an act?
Andy watched her swirl the dark red wine in her glass. She lifted her gaze and fixed Summers with a soft, almost coy smile. His stomach twisted. How could he have misjudged her the way he had? Hell, he’d felt sorry for her when all this time she’d been stringing him along with one lie after another. He shouldn’t be so shocked. After all, this wasn’t the first time he’d fallen for a beautiful woman’s bullshit.
Slow fury rose inside him, burning through his blood and leaving him impervious to the cold. He wished to hell Phoebe Summer’s missing persons report had never landed on his desk—and that he’d ever met Ella Martin.
He had to give credit where credit was due, Ms. Martin was a damn fine actress. The thin layer of angry indignation, barely covering the fear and pain in those misty green eyes while he interviewed her had seemed genuine. She was convinced Summers had played a role in her sister’s disappearance, and Andy had agreed with her. Unfortunately, Luke Summers had an unbreakable alibi from the time his wife was last seen alive until her car—with traces of her blood on the seat and driver’s side door panel—turned up.
Summers had been at a conference in Chicago with nearly sixty of his coworkers. Still, that didn’t mean the man hadn’t paid someone to help his wife vanish. But Andy and his partner, Pete, had yet to find evidence linking Summers to his wife’s disappearance.
Inside the restaurant, Summers had paid the bill and stood, offering his hand to Ella. She accepted and allowed the man she had so vehemently accused of foul play to help her to her feet.
Again hot waves of anger rolled through Andy. What game was she playing? Had she helped Summers get rid of her sister so they could be together? The idea turned his stomach.
He considered himself a good judge a character, his ability to read people better than most, but watching Summers guide Ella to the exit, his hand pressed to the small of her back, Andy came to a sad realization. When it came to beautiful women, he didn’t have a clue.
As the couple came toward him, he turned away, pretending to read the menu posted outside the restaurant. Ella’s soft laugh drifted to him on the frigid wind, chilling him. He didn’t know what she’d done to her own sister, but, damn it, he planned to find out.