Vanessa Gray Bartal - Lacy Steele 07 - Icy Grip of Murder

Vanessa Gray Bartal - Lacy Steele 07 - Icy Grip of Murder by Vanessa Gray Bartal

Book: Vanessa Gray Bartal - Lacy Steele 07 - Icy Grip of Murder by Vanessa Gray Bartal Read Free Book Online
Authors: Vanessa Gray Bartal
Tags: Mystery: Cozy - Romance - New York
making it up. They hadn’t come
out and said as much yet, but their tones, their innuendo, and most of all their refusal to take notes told her they thought she
was lying.
    “Why would I make it up?” she tried
again. The conversation was circular and it had been going on for the last
couple of hours. Lacy was confined to a small interview room with the two
officers. Jason and Michael hadn’t been allowed to accompany her. They had
asked her to repeat her story over and over, as if she were the criminal, as if
they could make her trip up by wearing her down.
    “Why else?” Officer Anderson asked.
“Michael has always had a way with his women.”
    “Michael and I are not together,”
Lacy said. “Jason is my boyfriend. If Michael and I were together, why would we
bring him along?”
    “Some sort of service project, by
the looks of him,” the other officer said. His name was Andersen, too, although
the spelling was slightly different.
    Jason had retrieved his clothes and
boots from the destroyed motel room. They had multiple holes from the shrapnel
and smelled like smoke. “He doesn’t always look like this, as you know. You saw
him in his element. You know he’s a detective.”
    “We glimpsed him there; we’re
getting an eyeful here,” Andersen with an E said.
    “Regardless of his wardrobe
choices, Jason and I are very much together. Michael is our friend.”
    “You might be willing to lie for a
friend,” Anderson said.
    “I wouldn’t.”
    “You said you told Jenny you and
Michael were engaged,” Andersen pointed out.
    “I said anything I could think of
to keep her there. I was blabbing like the proverbial canary. She was unduly
interested in Michael. I was trying to stall.”
    “You and Detective Cantor are engaged
then,” Andersen said, pointing to her left ring finger. Lacy realized the ruby
ring was still there and ripped it off.
    “No.”
    “That’s a vehement denial for
someone who’s supposedly so much in love,” Anderson said.
    “What? Why are we talking about my love
life? Jason and I are dating, but we are not engaged.” She stuffed the ring
back on her right hand and gave it a twist so the ruby wouldn’t cut into her
palm.
    “I have to say, Miss Steele, that
it seems awfully coincidental,” Andersen said.
    “What does?” Lacy asked.
    “We arrest Michael for murder and
he comes up with some cockamamie story about Jenny being still alive. Then you,
a woman who trailed after him halfway across the country, suddenly corroborate
as a witness. How does one see a dead woman, anyway? Was she see-through? Did
she float?”
    “No, she was alive and hostile. She
threatened me, Michael, and Jason . She said she would
kill all of us, but first she wanted Michael to know what she had been up to.”
    “Hauntings and such?” Anderson
said.
    “Crime, detectives.”
    “Crime, huh?” Andersen said.
    “Crime,” Lacy repeated.
    “Like what?” Anderson asked.
    “I don’t know. But everyone agrees
it must be something big for her to have faked her death and stayed away this
long.”
    “Everyone who?” Andersen asked.
    “Flea, Bug, Louse, Larva,
everyone,” Lacy said.
    Anderson leaned in closer, checking
her pupils. “Miss Steele, are you on any sort of medication?”
    “What? No. I don’t take anything.
I’m telling you that Jenny Andrews is alive and up to no good.”
    “Did the insects tell you to say
that?” Andersen said.
    “You know, I’ve had about enough of
your condescending, disbelieving attitudes. I think I need to place a call to
Michael’s lawyer and see what he suggests I do next.”
    They sat up, their mocking laughter
giving way to concern. The name of Michael’s famous, high-powered attorney had
that effect on people. “The truth is that we’re concerned about you,” Anderson
said.
    “You have no idea the power Michael
has over people,” Andersen said.
    “Look, I know the police department
here sees Michael as some sort of mythic crime lord. Maybe you

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