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He got ready for bed, and when he walked into the bedroom, she was in the same position. She hadn’t moved all the while he’d been making a racket in the bathroom. He picked up the laptop and noticed what was on the screen. There were three names with a little information about each, and he could tell she had been doing a search for Will’s friends. He was surprised Will had any friends at all. He read the names again so he could check them out, then closed the laptop and put it on the dresser.

Allison was exhausted. There were deep circles under her eyes. And no wonder. She’d been putting in such long hours at the office with no end in sight. He pulled the covers back and tucked her in. She needed the rest. He didn’t trust himself to sleep in her bed again, so he grabbed a pillow with the intent of sleeping on the sofa. He made it to the bedroom door before he stopped, turned around, and went back to the bed.

I’ve got to be out of my mind, he thought, being so close to her. After moving the covers out of the way, he stretched out as far away from her as possible. Fifteen minutes later, he was finally drifting off to sleep when Allison rolled over and snuggled up against him. Her warm body pressed to his was driving him crazy. He wanted nothing more than to have her wake up and reach for him, but that was being selfish. She was exhausted, he reminded himself. He was not going to have sex with her. He repeated the declaration a good five times to fortify his resolve, but it didn’t make his struggle any easier.

Oh yeah, he was definitely out of his mind.

TWENTY

Allison had several ideas where Will might be hiding. She remembered the names of a few of the low-life degenerates he had hung out with in high school. Three in particular stuck in her mind. They were always in trouble with the law. When they had been around, she had hidden in her room. She wasn’t sure if Will still kept in touch with any of them, but finding out was worth a try. They were all long shots. Getting Liam to cooperate without calling in the troops was going to be tricky.

Liam was carrying his gym bag to the door when she walked out of the bedroom. "Going somewhere?"

She was dressed for the day in a short skirt and a T-shirt with an image of Tweety Bird on the front. Liam had to take the time to appreciate her long legs and promptly lost his train of thought.

"What did you say?" He quickly recovered. "Yes, I have to leave. However, there will be-"

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She interrupted. "How about you take me out to breakfast first?"

"I just ate breakfast."

"Okay, then how about taking a drive before you leave? It’s a beautiful day."

He studied her. "Want to tell me what you’re up to?"

"Nothing." She made the lie blacker by adding, "Honest."

Allison could see in his eyes that he knew she was lying. She smiled sweetly and said, "I’ll be happy to drive."

"Does this drive have anything to do with your search on your laptop last night?" 

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She was shocked. "You looked at my screen? That’s private . . . That’s . . ." She stopped when she realized she was sputtering.

"Yes, I did look. The screen was open."

"Oh . . . okay, then. Should I drive or do you want to?"

"I’ll drive. Will I need my gun on this scenic drive?"

"You always wear a gun. I’m assuming you’ll do so today."

"Allison?"

"Yes?"

"Am I gonna have to shoot someone?"

"I hope not." She walked past him and reached for the door. "Are you coming with me?"

"Sure. I’ve got a little time before my replacement arrives."

"What replacement?"

"Another agent."

"Why do I need an agent?"

"To go over the rules," he explained patiently.

"What rules?"

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He reached around her, pulled the door open, and waited for her to move. "Are we going or not?"

Frustrated, she put her hands on her hips and said, "What rules?"

"The rules in place until we catch Will and know that Bale has come to his senses."

"Do you really think I’m in danger from either one of them?"

"Just follow the rules," he reiterated.

Allison figured she could go to Phillips for answers, but then realized that wouldn’t get her anywhere. He liked to lecture and wasn’t one to share information. Ever.

She followed Liam to the elevator. He was putting her in a mood, she decided. It was odd that he hadn’t asked her where she wanted to go on their drive. She didn’t think Liam liked surprises in his line of work.

She was right. Liam didn’t like surprises, and he would have forced Allison to tell him exactly what her destination was if he didn’t already know. She’d had three names on her computer screen, and he ran all of them. One had joined the army and was overseas-he’d obviously turned his life around before it spun out of control. The second was doing hard time for an armed robbery. And the third was living in LA with his sister and her husband. He was currently trying to get disability for a bogus back injury.

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