One with You (Page 131)
Moving closer to the table, I set my hand on Gideon’s back and felt the tension there. His skin was so warm beneath the soft cotton of his T-shirt, the muscles stretched tight.
Chris came in from the kitchen with a tray bearing four steaming mugs of coffee, a small cup of half-and-half, and sugar in a bowl. He set it down near Michna, since the rest of the dining table was covered in pictures.
The detectives thanked him and each took a mug. Graves took her coffee black. Michna added a splash of cream and a sprinkling of sugar.
I’d only seen Michna in the course of the investigation into Nathan’s death. I knew Graves more personally; I’d sparred with her during Parker’s Krav Maga classes. I believed Graves liked me or was at least sympathetic. And I was certain it was Gideon’s love for me that swayed her into closing Nathan’s case while she still had questions.
It comforted me to have them in charge.
“I want to be sure I understand,” I said, pushing through the grief that had fogged my mind all day. “This man was stalking Gideon?”
My dad shoved the photos away. “Was Hall targeting my daughter or Cross?”
“Hall believes Cross betrayed him,” Graves answered, “by getting married.”
I stared at her. She wore no jewelry or makeup, yet she was fiercely compelling. Pummeled by the realities of her job, she still had a passion for justice—even if it came outside the law. “If he couldn’t have Gideon, no one could?”
“Not quite.” She looked at Gideon. “Hall believes he has an ‘entwined destiny’ with you—some kind of cosmic pact—and that your marriage breaks this pact between you. Killing you is the only way to prevent his life from going in a direction he doesn’t want to go.”
“Is that supposed to make sense?” Cary asked, setting his elbows on the table and gripping his head in both hands.
“Hall’s fixation isn’t sexual,” Michna elaborated, looking rumpled and tired from pulling an all-nighter. Still, he was keenly and disconcertingly observant. His partner zeroed in; he assessed the periphery. “It’s not even romantic. He claims he’s heterosexual.”
Graves pulled another photo out of the file and set it atop the others. “You both know this woman.”
Anne. My palms were suddenly damp. Gideon’s body tautened like a bow.
“F**k me,” Cary muttered, his fisted hands dropping to the table with a thud that made me jump.
“I saw her last night,” Chris said, taking a chair by Gideon. “She was at the dinner. Hard to miss that bright red hair.”
“Who is that?” my dad asked, his voice firm and flat.
“Dr. Anne Leslie Lucas,” Graves replied. “She’s the psychiatrist who was treating Hall, although she met with him at a second office away from her primary practice, using the alias Dr. Aris Matevosian.”
Gideon’s breath hissed out between his teeth. “I know that name.”
Graves zeroed in, her gaze sharply focused. “How?”
“Just a moment. I’ll show you.” He pushed back from the table and headed down the hallway.
I watched him go, saw Lucky scampering after him. The puppy had been sticking close to me for most of the morning, as if he thought I needed him more than Gideon did right now. Something had changed. And since Lucky’s emotional barometer was more accurate than mine at the moment, I needed to pay attention to that.
“Will someone explain who Dr. Lucas is,” my father demanded, “and her relevance to Hall and Monica?”
“We’ll let Cross fill us all in on that,” Michna said.
“They had a sexual relationship awhile back,” I interjected, wanting to take the burden of telling the story off Gideon’s shoulders. He was ashamed of what he’d done, I knew that.
I pulled my knees up to my chest and wrapped my arms around them, trying to get warm. I knew I had to choose my words carefully. Telling the whole truth would be difficult, considering the unflattering picture of my husband my father would see.
“She got wrapped up in it,” I went on, “and wanted to leave her husband, so Gideon broke it off. She hasn’t been able to move on or get past it. She showed up at my building once, and tried approaching Cary a couple times, wearing a wig, pretending to be someone else.”
Graves watched me with a sharp, savvy gaze. “We reviewed her complaint. You and Cross confronted her, separately, on two different occasions.”
“Damn it, Eva.” My dad glared at me, his eyes bloodshot and red rimmed. “You know better.”
“Know what?” I shot back. “I still don’t understand what this all means. She was harassing my best friend and my husband. I told her to back off.”