Today's Reading

Raider looked down at the cracked concrete floor and shook his head.

"We're supposed to paint that next," Brigid said, coming up on his side.

Wasn't that the plan? Though she probably wouldn't be left in place that long. She shivered and tried to stay in the moment. "I think there's art coming, or screens that show outside scenes." The basement headquarters were a step down from depressing, even with the fresh paint. This evening, the big room was eerily silent.

Three doors in the far wall led to an office and two conference rooms, while one more door, a closet for the shrink, was situated to the west.

A German shepherd padded out of the far office, munching contentedly on something bright red. It coated his mouth and stained the light fur around his chin.

"Roscoe," Brigid breathed, her entire body finally relaxing. Animals and computer code, she knew. It was people who threw her.

The dog seemed to grin and bounded toward her, his tail wagging wildly. She ducked to pet him. "What in the world do you have?" Close up, she could see that the stuff was thick and matted in his fur. She frowned and tried to force open his mouth. "Roscoe?"

As if on cue, Angus Force stepped out of the second conference room, also known as case room two. "Hey, you two. How was Boston?"

Brigid looked up. "Roscoe has something."

"Damn it." Angus made it through the desks in record time. "Is it Jack Daniel's?"

Brigid craned her neck to see. "No. It's red." The dog had a well-known drinking problem.

Angus glared at his dog. "Drop it. Now." The command in his voice held absolutely no patience.

The dog sighed and spit out a gold-plated lipstick.

Brigid winced. "That looks expensive."

The dog licked his lips.

Angus sighed. "I told everyone not to leave makeup around. He likes the taste."

"No, you didn't," Brigid countered.

Angus pierced her with a look. "Well, I meant to. Roscoe, get back to the office. Now."

The dog gave her a "what a butthead" type of look and turned to slink back to Angus's office.

"You two, come with me." Angus turned and headed back to the case room, no doubt expecting them to follow.

Raider motioned her ahead of him. Yeah. Like she'd return to that death trap of an elevator. Though it was preferable to dealing with Angus Force. The former FBI profiler now headed up this ragtag division of the HDD, and he seemed almost able to read people's minds. Was he reading hers? Did he have one clue that she wasn't who she was supposed to be? How much had he guessed? More importantly, why had he sent her to Boston?

She crossed into the case room to face a whiteboard across from a conference table. Several pictures of men, aged twenty to seventy, were taped evenly across the expanse. "New case?" she asked.

"Yes." Angus gestured for them to sit. "Did anybody recognize you in Boston?"

It took her a second to realize he was talking to her and not to Raider. "Me?"

"Yes," Angus said.

What the heck? "Why would anybody have recognized me?" she asked, her senses thrumming. Was she being set up? Again?

Raider eyed her and then Angus. "Nobody recognized her. My best suit, which you asked me to wear, did get some attention, however. And I left that business card as ordered. I take it somebody will be calling soon?"

Angus nodded. "I've already read the Boston police report, and yes, somebody will be calling your new ID, which we're still creating."

Curiosity took Brigid as she sat down with Raider beside her.

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