Luke Hathaway scanned the surveillance
monitors set up in the non-descript Washington, D.C. office building's
underground security headquarters. The wall of television
screens showed every inch of public area and private offices of
the financial firm on the eighteenth floor.
He and partner Adam Wright had flashed a fake subpoena ten minutes
earlier. The official-looking paper convinced the guard to give
up his comfortable seat and call someone in charge for guidance.
That provided Adam with just enough time to slide into the chair,
tap into the system and send the feed directly back to Luke's office
Luke put his palm on the console and leaned in close to the monitors.
The move blocked the guard's line of sight and gave Luke a good
look at every angle of the business on the small screens.
"Seems only the bathrooms are sacred in that place. Every other
square foot has a camera hidden somewhere."
"Yeah, no paranoia there," Adam said.
The security guard covered the phone's mouthpiece. "What
are you two doing? You can't touch the equipment."
"Just looking." Luke smiled over just how easy
it was to infiltrate a company in supposed lockdown.
Adam had tried to tap the computer's hard drive from back at the
office but needed direct access to the financial company's internal
system. One cover story and a stack of forged documents later,
they were in. Just proved Luke's theory that when the backdoor refused
to budge, you used the front. He found that most people with
something to hide spent their time covering all the tough routes
to information and missed the obvious ones like an overweight fifty
year-old security guard who nearly wet himself at the sight of a
sheet of paper with a big seal on it.
"Now there's something worth watching." Adam let
out a low whistle and hitched his chin at the screen to Luke's right.
"The lady with the fine-"
Luke saw the flash of jeans out of the corner of his eyes.
"Yeah, I can see."
Adam laughed. "It's your lack of enthusiasm that has
Even in black and white Luke saw long dark hair and an impressive
shape. Still, he needed Adam to focus on the job so they could
get out of there before the guard hung up the phone and figured
out what was going on.
"Drool on your own time." Luke returned to memorizing
the area around the receptionist's desk in the financial office
upstairs. But a prickling sensation at the base of his neck
pulled his attention back to the image of the woman at the elevator.
There was something familiar about her. Something about her
perfect posture with shoulders back and her chin lifted high, almost
daring anyone to question her. That curvy shape, from her
slim waist to the way her dark jeans hugged her hips.
Just then she turned around and stared straight into the security
camera. Didn’t even pretend not to notice the device in the
black bubble hanging above her head. Big eyes. Flirty
smile. Hands resting on her hips in a way to sure to highlight
the rocking body underneath that slim-fitting t-shirt.
The hair was darker but Luke would know that face anywhere.
Hard not to recognize the woman who dumped him right before their
wedding two years ago. The same woman now on the run and wanted
"Is that-" Adam came up out of the chair and pressed
his face close to the screen.
The woman always did have the worst timing. "Yeah."
"Man, it can't be."
Luke fought off the urge to throw something. "Definitely
The security guard dropped the phone and joined Adam at the desk.
"Who is she?"
Adam shook his head as if trying to believe his eyes. "Claire
Luke mentally skipped ahead to his next move. Analyzing how and
why Claire had dropped right in front of him could wait. Catching
her was the priority here.
He reached into his jacket pocket, grateful that he wore a suit
and brought the microphone just in case. "Got it."
"What are you doing" Adam asked.
"Washing my car. What do you think?" Luke slipped
the tiny disc in his ear and tapped it to test its strength.
"We're good to go."
"Care to fill me in on where?" Adam asked.
Luke pointed at the screen. "You are staying here and
watching her. I'm going to get out there and grab her before
she runs again."
The guard looked back and forth between them. "Isn't
she an escaped convict or something?"
"The official term is person of interest. Luke-"
Enough talk. "Adam, your job is to tell me
exactly where she goes. If she moves, I want to know it.
You're my eyes on this."
The guard shook his head. "Her photo's been all over
the news for the last two weeks. We need to call someone...or,
wait. Are you the guys we call?"
Luke knew better than to sit around and debate this issue.
The one thing he was an expert in was watching Claire leave.
Give her a couple minutes head start and she would slip into a crowd
Adam grabbed Luke's arm before he could take off. "She
clearly knows you're on site. She wants your attention."
Oh, she had it. "Looks that way, yeah."
Even now while working this other job, watching an idiot businessman
who made his chief financial officer disappear, Luke had been thinking
about Claire and where she might be. About how he could drag
her back to Virginia and put her in jail.
"It isn’t our job to go after Claire. We're on
this..." Adam shot the guard a scowl before lowering
his voice. "We have another assignment, Luke. We
need to stay here and let the police handle Claire."
Luke had tried that. He had sat back and watched law enforcement
lose her trail. No way was he letting her walk out on him
again. There was only one reason for her to be in this building,
a place she didn't belong, on this day. She was following
him. She wanted him to notice and come after her. He
was happy to oblige.