The nondescript apartment building housed sixty-six homeless men and couples without children working to get back on their feet until they could afford a home of their own. Run by residents for residents, the halfway house ensured a safe place to sleep for people recently released from prison or working through the steps in their addiction program.
People like Marco Stein.
The background they’d pulled on the suspect indicated Stein had been through this particular home twice since his release three weeks ago. Styled, dark hair, bright blue eyes, muscular and well over six feet. Marco Stein could’ve been cast for the silver screen if he weren’t so rough around the edges. Or if he hadn’t been sentenced for manslaughter. His driver’s license had expired, but according to his parole officer, Stein hadn’t checked in for over a week. The warden at Sing Sing had been able to confirm Stein was a regular participant in the same group therapy as Charles Daggett, but they’d had no response from the psychologist about this particular patient. Didn’t matter. The arrest warrant had been issued. Now all they had to do was find him.
Olivia hiked up the two sets of stairs to the third level. She didn’t have to turn around to know Silas had followed close on her heels. Every cell in her body had attuned itself to every cell in his all over again in a matter of hours. She hated to think what might happen if they didn’t close this case soon, if he didn’t go back to New York City and his new venture into linguistics. He’d broken her trust as her partner all those years ago, but worse, he’d broken her heart. Despite knowing the consequences if they were to get involved—she a rookie, he a veteran agent—she’d fallen for him straight out of Quantico. Fallen for his idealism and view of reality. Silas Hart never considered failure when it came to a case. There was only the truth. “Stein is in apartment 310, at the end.”
“Grant Harvey came to Seattle because of Pearce.” A hit of the all-too-familiar soap Silas preferred tickled the back of her throat as they centered themselves in front of the apartment door. Cedarwood with a hint of spice. “Pearce’s SAC must’ve reached out when she was killed. Harvey would’ve recognized the MO. He would’ve wanted to confirm it himself. I just wish he’d reached out to me first.”
Olivia knocked on the door of apartment 310. Her gut knotted tighter. “And possibly gotten yourself killed in the process.” No answer from the other side of the door. No reverberating footsteps. She pounded her fist against the wood harder. “Mr. Stein, FBI. We have a few questions for you regarding the homicide of a federal agent. Open the door.”
Threading his hand between her inner arm and rib cage, Silas maneuvered her behind him. He hauled his heel into the space beside the doorknob. The door rocketed back into the wall behind it and released a wall of chemical odor that burned upon inhalation.
A thin layer of what looked like cat litter leading farther back into the apartment collapsed under her weight, past the galley kitchen, and into a door on the left. Unholstering her weapon, Olivia followed the trail.
All the way into the bathroom where Marco Stein had been murdered.
Log in or create an account to read the next chapter of "Caging a Copycat"
Every month we select a new title from one of our authors so that you can discover new stories, locations and genres for free.