Shadow of Betrayal

Shadow of Betrayal by Brett Battles

Book: Shadow of Betrayal by Brett Battles Read Free Book Online
Authors: Brett Battles
her.”
    “So you left.”
    “Yeah.”
    “Where’d you go?” Quinn asked.
    Al hesitated.
    “You went to a bar, didn’t you?”
    Al moved his gaze away from Quinn, then nodded. “I needed a drink, you know?”
    “Why’d you do that?”
    “Mr. Monroe is not going to be happy about this,” Al said. “I was going to get the hell out of here, then I passed the bar, and decided getting drunk would be a first good step.”
    “You don’t seem drunk.”
    Al licked his lips like he wished there was a bottle nearby. “I stopped after three.”
    “Why?”
    “Got to thinking about that woman.”
    “You felt guilty and decided to come back and check on her?”
    “Something like that.”
    “Or did you decide you wanted to see if she had anything valuable on her you could hock?”
    Al pushed himself up on his elbows, his head shaking side to side. “No. That wasn’t it. Like you said before. I wanted to make sure she was all right. I may be kind of on a downswing, you know, but I ain’t a thief. Never been a thief.”
    “So what happened when you came back?” Quinn asked.
    “You hear me? I’m not a thief.”
    “I heard you. Tell me what you found when you returned.”
    Al bit his lower lip, then took a deep breath. “I… I could tellsomeone else had been here. There were lots of footprints in the hallway. They weren’t there before. When I looked down into the room, I didn’t see the woman anywhere. Figured someone had come and gotten her.”
    “So you decided then it was okay to stay? Your boss is still going to find out about the mess.”
    “I know that! I went back upstairs to pack my things. I was sitting around wondering if I could stay the night or should just leave. That’s when I heard you all down here.”
    Quinn stood. “You can get up, but I wouldn’t move around much.”
    Quinn nodded toward Orlando and Nate, then made the shape of a gun with his fingers, and moved his thumb back and forth a couple of times like he was shooting. The look in Al’s eyes told him the caretaker was going to be very cooperative.
    Quinn moved down the hallway so that he was out of Al’s earshot, then pulled out his phone and called Peter.
    “Find anything?” Peter said.
    “Your agent was a woman,” Quinn said.
    “I never told you otherwise.”
    Quinn was silent for a moment. “She was looking in the wrong room.”
    “What do you mean?”
    Quinn described the door Orlando found.
    “You think you can get in without tripping any explosives?”
    “There might be a way. But people will know someone’s been there. I won’t be able to cover it up.”
    Peter didn’t even hesitate. “Do it.”
    “Fine,” Quinn said. “Then what would you like me to do with the eyewitness?”
    “What eyewitness?” Peter asked, surprised.
    Quinn smiled to himself.
Didn’t expect that, did you, Peter?
“Says his name is Al Barker. Said he saw your agent go into the room just before the explosion.”
    “He was there?”
    “Says he left right after.”
    “Describe him.”
    Quinn gave him a quick snapshot of Al’s vitals.
    The tone of Peter’s voice changed from one of surprise and concern to one of controlled anger. “Hold him there. I’m sending someone to pick him up.”
    “All right,” Quinn said. “You can probably get a description of this Monroe guy out of him, but I doubt much more.”
    “Find anything else I should know about?”
    “No. That’s it.”
    Peter hung up.
    “Please,” Al said. “Don’t open it. We’ll die like that lady did.”
    They’d brought Al and Nate with them when they returned to the other doorway. Once Al saw where they were going, he’d tried to stop walking. But Nate’s gun in his back was enough of a prod to keep him moving forward.
    “Do you know what’s behind this?” Quinn asked the caretaker.
    “No,” Al said. “Always been locked. You should leave it that way.”
    “I’m planning on it.”
    Quinn picked up the two-by-four he’d left on the floor

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