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49

It wasn't long before three squad cars arrived at the restaurant kitchen and Mary gave the cops a brief statement, then insisted on Paige and her being taken down to the Roundhouse. Mary wanted to see Captain Walsh and bring the whole case to light. En route she called Jack on Paige's cell phone, at the hotel number he'd left on Paige's answering machine. She couldn't reach him but left a message telling him to meet them at Captain Walsh's office. This time she didn't care how she looked. Okay, maybe she did.

She pressed the END button, stumped. She wasn't sure she should go to Walsh without Jack, but they were in the back of the squad car. She couldn't wait any longer anyway. Trevor was trying to kill her and Paige. She let the cruiser whisk them to the Roundhouse, where she was ushered in to see Captain Walsh for the second time that day. He greeted her with 'long time, no see,' and their meeting went downhill from there. She'd told him the whole story, from Paige's drugged memories to Trevor shooting at them, but he wasn't having any.

'Look,' Captain Walsh said, from behind his bare desk. He looked more exasperated than he had earlier that day, if that were possible. 'We'll do for you what we'd do for anybody, Ms DiNunzio. Somebody chases you down the street with a gun, that's attempted murder, and we're on it.'

'Not somebody. It was Trevor.'

'You're not listening.' Captain Walsh looked at Mary, his dark eyes frank and concerned. 'We'll investigate, question witnesses, canvass the neighborhood, and see if anybody

saw anything. We'll tell you as soon as we know anything about the shooter.'

'But it was Trevor. It had to be.'

'How the hell do you know? The shooter was wearing a ski mask, you said.'

'Who else would it be? It's not like he tried to rob us. It was target practice, for God's sake. Right out in the open.'

'Like I said, we're on it, but that's no proof it was Olanski. You know how many knuckleheads run around this city with guns? Did you see the last amnesty day? They turned in enough weapons to arm a small country.'

'But he was shooting at us. It was directed, not random.'

'We get that once a month. Guy takes a shot for no reason, drunk or high. In summer, it's the fish and gun club. Last week we had a guy, you must've read about it, takin' shots at people he thinks are Hispanic. We got him on ethnic intimidation.'

'This wasn't a hate crime, take my word,' Mary said angrily, and the captain's eyes hardened.

'I took your word once already, Ms DiNunzio, when you told me Paige here killed her mother. But she didn't. Now you're tellin' me the boyfriend did it and she just thought she did it.' Walsh hunched over the desk, his shoulders powerful beneath his shirt, which had lost its starch. 'How the hell do you expect me to believe you? You can't tell a straight story one minute to the next. You think this is some kind of game?'

Mary took it on the chin. 'Look, I was wrong, I'm sorry. I thought Paige knew the truth, but she didn't. Now she does. We both do.'

Paige raised a hand like a schoolgirl. 'Captain, it was Trevor. He had a body like Trevor. The way he ran was like Trevor, too. I've seen him play lacrosse.'

'Thank you, Ms Newlin, but we can't rely on that. This is what I have to go on.' The captain held up the police

incident reports, shaped like common traffic tickets. 'All it says here is that the shooter was around six feet tall. We don't know if he was white or black. We don't even know if he is a he or a she. I can't pick up anybody because he plays lacrosse.'

'Why not?' Mary broke in. 'Not to arrest, just to question/

'Ms DiNunzio, you of all people should know that. You're a criminal lawyer, right?'

'Of course.' Mary figured she qualified by now. Not only had she studied, she'd been shot at.

'This kid has one of the highest-priced lawyers in the city, after you. The lawyer got him bail when they had him redhanded, pushing powder. You think he's gonna let me talk to the boy on this evidence? No way.'

'You won't even try? He just tried to kill us. He did kill her mother.'

Walsh's gaze shifted from Mary to Paige and back again. 'With respect, we have the man who we believe committed that crime. He's Jack Newlin and he's going to trial for it.'

'He didn't do it!' Mary cried, fighting the urge to pound the desk. She was in danger, Paige was in danger, and it was all her fault. 'He'll explain it to you. I phoned him and he should be here any minute.'

'Well, he isn't, and I have real work to do.' Walsh squared the incident reports at the corners. 'I think we've talked enough for one day, Ms DiNunzio.'

'You won't wait?'

'No.' Walsh stood up behind his desk. Thank you very much for your time. It's always a pleasure to talk with you. You have any more theories, feel free to call.'

'Are we being thrown out?'

'Don't take it personal,' the captain said, as he came around and showed them the door.

A sea of reporters surged toward Mary and Paige the moment they set foot outside the Roundhouse. They had

undoubtedly picked up the news of the attempted shooting on police scanners and were waiting in force. 'Ms DiNunzio, any comment?' Paige, Paige over here!' 'Were there any injuries?' 'What did he look like?' 'Come on, gimme a break, Mary!'

There were TV cameras, microphones, steno pads, and handheld Dictaphones hoisted high above the crowd. Strobe lights seared through the darkness, temporarily blinding Mary. She felt paranoid, unsteady, and her eyes swept the crowd. Could Trevor be out there in the throng? Was he pointing a gun at them even now? He wouldn't be that bold, would he?

Mary grabbed Paige's arm and pushed their way through the parking lot to the curb on Seventh Street, where they ran into a wall of parked news vans. WPVI-TV. KYW. WCAU-TV. She couldn't see the street and shoved between two vans to reach it. She waved her arm frantically. They had no hope of getting a cab in this part of town and the buses ran few and far between this late.

'Mary, do they have a suspect?' 'Mary, who do you think it was?' 'Paige, does this mean the end of your career?'

Mary pumped her hand wildly in case a cab appeared in the traffic trickling onto the expressway. Suddenly a small dark car shot from the line and sped right toward them. Mary's breath stopped and she jumped back in fear. The car skidded to a stop right in front of her, and just when she was about to scream, she saw that it was a black man at the wheel. She wasn't afraid of black men, only white preppies. Then she recognized the driver, despite his cowboy hat and sunglasses, behind the wheel of an ancient black VW Beetle.

'Get in!' Brinkley called out. 'Now!'

Mary grabbed Paige and they ran around to the passenger side and practically leapt inside, with Paige hopping into Mary's lap. Strobes flashed as they slammed the door and sped off, with a news van giving chase. Reporters rushed to their vans and cars, taking off after them into the night.

'All right!' Brinkley shouted. The Beetle accelerated toward the expressway. 'Now where to, Newlin?'

'Let me think,' Jack answered, popping out of the backseat. 'The press is probably at my hotel and they staked out your house and Mary's office.'

'Dad! You're here! Hey, what happened to your face?' Paige turned around, grinding her back into Mary's nose, and Jack leaned forward in the speeding car to give his daughter a quick kiss. Mary hid her shock at his being there and tried to look attractive with a sideways nose. She couldn't see his face because of his daughter's back but she knew he was the handsomest beat-up guy ever.

'I'm okay. Had a small problem at the prison, but I'm fine now. I'm so glad you're safe, honey,' Jack said, but Mary figured he was talking to Paige.

'Thanks to Mary, Dad. She saved my life.'

Mary flushed, glad of the plug, then struggled for breath. Models were heavier than they looked. All that Evian weight.

'Hold the lovefest, people!' Brinkley said, as the VW tore up Callowhill. 'Where we goin'? Any ideas?'

'How about Jersey?' Jack offered. 'We can lose ' em in Cherry Hill. '

'Too far. I know where they won't find us/ Mary said, with difficulty, since her mouth was buried in Paige's leather coat.

'Where?' Brinkley asked, and Mary pointed around Paige.

'Turn left at the next light.'

'Yeehah!' Brinkley shouted, and the Beetle bucked forward.


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