"Do you live in Boston now?"

"No."

She waited for him to continue, and when he didn’t, she asked, "Where do you live?"

"Pretty much out of a suitcase these days."

It wasn’t much of an answer. She wasn’t going to press, though. What did she care where he lived? After tonight she probably would never see him again. "Any brothers or sisters?"

"One younger brother. Okay, now it’s your turn. Tell me about your family."

She was certain he knew all about her family. The background check Phillips and he had done had obviously been thorough, but she decided to play along. Better to humor the man than to alienate him.

"My aunt and uncle live in Emerson. It’s a small town about two and a half hours away from Boston. I have a sister, Charlotte. She’s older, but we’re very close."

He didn’t say a word. He simply waited for her to tell him more.

"My parents went up in a small plane with a friend. All three of them died in the crash. I was four years old when it happened, and Charlotte was ten. My aunt and uncle took us in. If they hadn’t, we would have had to go into foster care and probably be separated. I’m very grateful to them."

It wasn’t what she said but how she said it in a flat voice that revealed volumes, as though she’d said it so many times it was now an automatic response.

"I have a cousin," she continued. "His name is Will. He’s two years older than I am, and we aren’t close at all. You know that, too, don’t you?" 

"I do?"

Liam flashed a quick smile that nearly broke her concentration. He really was a sexy devil. She shook away the ridiculous thought and remembered what she wanted to say. "Now you want me to talk about him, don’t you?"

"Actually . . ."

"Yes, Will’s been in trouble with the law. More than once, as a matter of fact, and I’ll admit he can be really obnoxious, and yes, he does have a terrible temper, but he went to anger management classes and has a counselor to get help with that. Okay, so it wasn’t his idea. The court made him go. Still, I’m sure it will make a difference." She sighed then and said almost in a whisper, "No, that’s not true. I don’t think it will make a difference. Will has some bad habits. Running with a group of troublemakers is one of them."

"What’s another?" he asked.

"He’s not willing to work hard to get ahead. He’s after easy money and doesn’t care how he gets it and who he hurts," she answered. "He can justify anything," she continued. "He’s always got a get-rich-quick plan, and of course they all backfire. He’s bounced a lot of checks, but his parents always cover them. The truth is, Will hasn’t grown up, and I’m not sure he ever will. He’s been spoiled all his life. His parents live to please him. It’s disgusting, really-" She stopped abruptly, realizing she was sharing far more than she should. It was just that, once the feelings surfaced, she couldn’t stop them from spilling out.

"What about computers?" Liam asked.

"What about them?"

"How good is Will with computers?"

"He isn’t a hacker, if that’s what you’re wanting to know. Yes, he knows his way around a computer, and he thinks he’s good, but he isn’t. I’d rate him mediocre."

"Does he know what you can do?"

"I don’t think so, but I can’t be sure."

Allison stared at the passing streetlights, lost in thought. She had rambled on and on and didn’t have any idea what Liam was thinking now. Had she been disloyal to tell him the truth about Will? The irony was, she’d actually softened the truth. After mulling the question over, she decided she hadn’t told him anything he didn’t already know. She suddenly noticed she was crossing and uncrossing her legs again and immediately stopped.

"Allison?"

"Yes?"

"Are you always this uptight?"

"No, not always," she replied. "But when I’m with an FBI agent who won’t tell me what he wants from me, I do tend to get a little apprehensive."

Everything about this situation was bizarre. Here she was, riding in a car with a man she knew virtually nothing about, other than the fact that he worked for the FBI and held a great deal of authority. That was obvious in the way the agents answered to him. It was also undeniable that he was very attractive and charismatic. He definitely oozed animal magnetism. Women went weak-kneed over mysterious men like him, but not her. She would never allow herself to be so vulnerable. She didn’t have time.

Allison was so caught up in her musings she wasn’t aware that the car had come to a stop.

While she was sitting there pondering her circumstances, Liam had walked around the car to open her door. He waited a minute and then asked, "Are you about ready to get out?"