[ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]
.Jessica groaned and said, “All right, all right.Head hurts.” Then she stood, and staggered toward the door of the cabin.As she stepped inside, Adelina sighed and whispered a prayer.For now—for the next few hours—they were safe.She leaned against the doorframe for just a second, staring in at her daughter, indirectly lit from the headlights of the car.Jessica had staggered in and fallen into one of the bunk beds.Anyone else who saw this scene would see a strung out kid who might be a drug addict or might be anorexic, a kid who couldn’t keep her eyes open, brush her hair or take basic care of herself.Adelina knew what they saw.She’d seen the looks, in the weeks leading up to their final departure from San Francisco.When Adelina had first returned home, switching places with Richard, she’d given Jessica plenty of leash.But it became clear, quickly, that her daughter was out of control.Conflict and rage.Sadness and grief.It was clear Jessica needed help and wasn’t getting it.In February, she had to drag Jessica out of the house when her daughter refused to even get dressed.They’d gone into the grocery store with Jessica padding behind her, wearing pajamas and flip flops, muttering and cursing at her mother all the way through the store.She’d seen the looks of curiosity and pity from the young mothers.Disgust from single men.Understanding and empathy from the older mothers and grandmothers.Nothing was as simple as it seemed.Adelina didn’t see an eighteen-year-old drug addict lying on the bare mattress in the cabin.What she saw was a three-year-old daughter twirling in her ballet shoes.She saw the daughter who seemed to take on the pain of her daring, sometimes reckless twin.She saw a young teen, fifteen years old at the time, serious expression on her face, as she played Paganini’s 24th Caprice for a packed recital at the Green Music Center.One of the most difficult pieces for violin, and Jessica had mastered it.Of all of her daughters, Jessica was probably the only one who had both the musical talent and discipline to match her mother, and until a few months ago, it had seemed likely she was destined for the San Francisco Conservatory.When Adelina looked at her daughter, she saw the four-year-old who had once followed Sarah around the house, both of them leaving a trail of chaos everywhere they went.Adelina walked out to the minivan.She looked around in the darkness.She couldn’t see anyone, so she reached far back under the driver’s seat and removed the thick envelope full of cash.She wouldn’t risk leaving that in the van.She removed the blanket and their bags from the back seat, then carefully locked up the van and went inside.She closed and locked the door, covered her daughter with the blanket, then curled up beside her in the darknessAdelina suppressed a tear.She didn’t have time to fall apart right now.She’d already done that too many times in her life.For now, she needed to hold it together.All the same, she missed her little girl.Bear.May 2.12:10 am.“Are we finished? I need to get my daughter to sleep somewhere appropriate.”When Carrie Sherman said the words, her daughter stirred in the sling.The baby had cried most of the last hour, finally drifting off into a fitful sleep.They were inside a sterile office in a building she’d never paid attention to before, a few blocks from the main State Department building.A stream of investigators, uniformed officers, and God only knew who else continued to demand answers.The noise had made for a challenging time, as the team of federal investigators asked questions and then asked them again, over and over.Where was Dylan? Why hadn’t he or Andrea come out with them?Why were drugs found in Andrea’s room?What did they know about their father’s career?Bear Wyden knew the questions wouldn’t get any answers, because he knew that the three sisters knew nothing.But her demanding, arrogant tone infuriated him.People were dying out there.“We’re done,” he said.“For now, we’ve got you in a safe house in Alexandria.I’m going to need to get clothes sizes for all of you.”“What?” Carrie asked.“We’re not going to a safe house.”“Just for a couple days.Your condo is a crime scene, Mrs.Sherman.”“Fine.I’ll need all new baby supplies then too.Diapers.Clothes.Formula.Bottles.Breast pump.Either we get that stuff from my condo or someone buys it.And where are my sisters?”Bear closed his eyes and heard the phone call with Leah in his mind again.Bear, is there supposed to be a relief team here?No, he’d said.There wasn’t time to say anything more, because the supposed relief team, led by Ralph Myers—an insider, a fifteen year DSS agent Bear had known for at least a decade—killed Mick Stanton and critically injured Leah.He’d been frantic.Two hours he’d attended to duty instead of running to the hospital.Two hours.And now he had to listen to this spoiled woman demand diapers and bottles.“Just in case you missed it, Mrs.Sherman, two of my agents died protecting your family.Leah Simpson is in the hospital.Don’t take that demanding tone with me.”Carrie wasn’t cowed [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]