Both Ends Burning (Whistleblower Trilogy Book 3)

Both Ends Burning (Whistleblower Trilogy Book 3) by Jim Heskett Read Free Book Online

Book: Both Ends Burning (Whistleblower Trilogy Book 3) by Jim Heskett Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jim Heskett
hefty surge protector outlet from the wall. Wrapped the cord around my hand.
    “What?” said the other one, from far away.
    “Weren’t they supposed to move these cubicles out already?”
    A flashlight clicked on. I heard shuffling in the next cubicle.
    “No idea,” called the voice of the other one.
    The back of a balding head appeared above me.
    I didn’t wait for him to find me. I grabbed ahold of the desk and yanked myself up, using my momentum to swing the surge protector by the cord. I cracked the man in the back of the head and he stumbled forward.
    As he grunted and moaned, I was on my feet, running.
    “What the shit?” he said. “Hey! We got an intruder!”
    I scrambled through the cubes toward the door to the back stairwell. Just had to hope that the other guy was not in my path.
    Footsteps and the shuffling of fat thighs in cotton pants filled my ears from two directions. I had the door in my sights, carpet blurring underneath me as I pushed my leg muscles to the breaking point. I leaped over a printer stranded in the middle of an aisle.
    I caught sight of one of them from the corner of my eye. Would they have guns? I didn’t see anything in their hands.
    “You! Stop right there!”
    I didn’t bother to turn my head, just lunged for the door. When I pressed the metal bar to open the door, a violent shock went through me. For a split second, I thought I’d been tased, but then I remembered the carpet. I’d been shocked by the metal in this office every day for the past few years.
    I barreled into the stairwell, then down the stairs so fast, I was practically falling down them. But I managed to keep my feet underneath me. At the second floor landing, the door opened, and a woman in a pink apron dropped the handle of her vacuum cleaner when she saw me.
    I winked at her. Or at least, I think I did. I didn’t stop to check her reaction, I kept on moving down the stairs, three at a time, sliding a hand along the railing for support. To the first floor, then out the door, screaming across the parking lot as snow began to fall in thick white flakes around me. A flake landed in my eye, and I blinked it away.
    Shouts drifted behind me through the air. I had the rental car keys out and ready to go by the time I’d reached it, and I jumped into the car, yanked open the door, and jammed the key in the ignition before I’d even shut the door.
    Shifted the car into reverse and peeled out of the parking lot as the two security guards skidded to a stop, halfway through the parking lot.

    I’d failed. I’d thought I could get some info from Alison’s office but came back with nothing. You’d think I would have been used to failure by that point since everything I’d done had ended in disaster, but it still stung.
    Maybe it had been a foolish idea in the first place, but I wasn’t exactly bubbling over with great ideas.
    I called Grace because I needed some consoling, but Janine answered the phone instead.
    “Rodrick?” she said.
    “Nope, it’s Tucker. Hi, Janine.”
    “Oh, hi. I can’t tell these burner phone numbers apart from each other.”
    “Yeah. Um, is my wife around?”
    “She’s in the shower right now. We’re just about to go to bed. What do you want?”
    Always so friendly, that sister of my wife. “I just wanted to check in and let her know I’m okay. I promised her frequent updates.”
    “What you’re doing,” Janine said, “running around, leaving us here all alone, it’s not right, you know? She needs you, and you’re off playing your games with these people.”
    “I’m not playing games.”
    “Sure seems like it to me. You’re doing everything but taking care of your family, and, to be honest, it’s selfish.”
    I gritted my teeth. Janine, always so brutally honest and straightforward. To a fault.
    She had a point, but I didn’t have time to go into the big-picture argument with her. “I’m doing this for her, so

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