Stainless steel reverberated in her ears as Olivia hit one of the industrial drums.
She collapsed to the ground. Pain lashed across her midsection as blood soaked her blouse.
The killer advanced, her outline sharpened by the security lights positioned around the refinery. Bright lights reflected off the blade in her hand. Serrated. Just like the one recovered from Marco Stein’s apartment. “I’m only going to ask you this one more time, Director Branson. Who planted the evidence against Charles Daggett? You and I both know he was careful.” Dr. Farell fisted Olivia’s hair and forced her head back. “The only way that pen could’ve gotten to the crime scene is if you or one of your people placed it there. Now, you already know what I’m capable of, but you could stop this right now. You could save that handsome partner of yours. Agent Hart. All you have to do is tell me the truth.”
Silas. His name burned into the recesses of her mind.
“For a therapist, you’re a terrible liar.” Her heart threatened to beat straight out of her chest, the wound in her side pulsing in rhythm. Darkness webbed around the edges of her vision, but she’d never been one to go down without a fight. Charles Daggett had claimed he’d been set up from the beginning, but there was no fighting DNA. The bite marks on the pen’s cap had matched Daggett’s, and the DNA had come back positive. No one on her team would’ve planted evidence to get an arrest. Charles Daggett had made a mistake.
Olivia had studied and confronted some of the most violent, psychotic criminals America had ever seen. She’d gotten inside their heads. She’d seen the worst they could do and survived. Two could play this game. “He’s more than a challenge to you. Isn’t that why you’re doing this? He’s convinced you he’s innocent, that he loves you, but you could only be together if his case was reopened.” A humorless laugh escaped past her lips. “You’re smart, Dr. Farell. Graduated top of your class, positioned yourself at the top of prison reform and rehabilitation. Did you really think you were more than a tool to him? He’s had you steal the case file from Grant Harvey, set up Marco Stein as a fall guy and kill another agent for him. Charles Daggett isn’t capable of love, but you’re all too willing to spend the rest of your life behind bars for him. Why?”
“You want to lecture me about love?” Rage contorted Dr. Farell’s face, deepening the trenches of skin running from the base of her nose to her mouth. “Because from what I overheard while waiting for you in your master bedroom, you’re so afraid of people leaving you, you’d rather shut them out than take the risk of being hurt again.” The killer set the edge of the blade against Olivia’s throat. “Isn’t that why you’re still blaming your partner for someone else’s call after all this time? That’s right, Director. I did my homework on you, too. You and I both know you’re using Agent Hart’s betrayal as a shield so you won’t have to swallow the truth. You’re in love with him. Maybe you always have been. You’re just too stubborn to admit it.”
A pair of headlights swept across the scene.
Dr. Farell twisted to confront the uninvited guest.
“I’m not sure I can take your advice seriously, considering your taste in men.” Olivia kicked out, sweeping the killer’s legs out from under her, and lunged.
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