“Agent Irene Pearce was killed in her apartment here in Seattle last month. Twenty-two stab wounds to the torso. Just like Harvey.” And all the others. Olivia entered the agent’s name into the database. “I should be able to access her personnel file.”
“There’s no need.” Silas shoved to his feet and rounded the back of his chair. Scrubbing a hand down his face, he shook his head, and her instincts kicked into overdrive.
Olivia noted the tightness between his neck and shoulders, his suit doing nothing to hide the rock-hard tension running the length of his spine. Her gut clenched, fingers automatically tightening on the surface of the desk. “You knew her.”
“Pearce was my partner on the Daggett case up until she transferred out of Violent Crimes a few weeks before you were assigned.” He stared out the glass walls of her office, seemingly lost in the haze of the past. Ringing phones pierced through the gaps in the windows, low voices breaking through the steady beat of her heart behind her ears. “She was a good agent. Smart. Dedicated.”
“Why’d she leave?” She didn’t need the answer. Because her gut had already filled in the blanks.
“Harvey had found out she was pregnant. Said the kind of work we did couldn’t be compromised by an agent who wasn’t focused on the job.” Silas shook his head as though only now seeing their former superior for the man he was. “Last I heard, she’d worked her way into one of the surveillance units out here. It gave her the hours she needed and lowered her risk of something happening to her and the baby. And now she’s dead.”
“I’m sorry.” Olivia pushed from the metaphorical protection of her desk and closed the distance between them. Hesitation gripped her from head to toe, but she gave in to her compulsion to touch him. The fabric of his suit hissed under her fingers as she urged him to face her, but the shot of heat arcing into her palm instilled regret almost instantly. It'd taken everything she’d had to leave DC behind, to leave him, after what had happened with Grant Harvey. She couldn’t put herself in that situation again. She couldn’t let him get under her skin again. It hurt too much. “If Irene Pearce worked the Daggett case up until her transfer, it’s possible whoever is doing this—”
“Is targeting agents who worked the investigation.” He lowered his gaze to where her hand rested against his arm, transfixed, and her heart rate ticked up a notch. Silas wrapped calloused fingers around her wrist and pressed his thumb into the center of her palm, and the investigation, her office, the world—it all blurred into a watercolor of illusions. There was only him. “I know why you left, Liv. I know what I did—the fact I didn’t stand up for you to Harvey—is something you might never forgive. But I need you to know, you’re my partner. You always have been, and I’ll do whatever it takes to make sure you don’t end up like them.”
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