Identity Crisis

Identity Crisis by Grace Marshall Read Free Book Online Page A

Book: Identity Crisis by Grace Marshall Read Free Book Online
Authors: Grace Marshall
bag neatly onto one shoulder and gave a crisp rap on the door.
    She waited.
    When there was no answer, she knocked again. And when there was still no answer, she cracked open the door and stuck her head inside. There was a small waiting room decorated in clean lines and Zen colors, fronted by a desk, to the right of which was another door. Kendra’s pulse jumped. Was the woman herself behind that door? And where was the secretary? Certainly for someone who guarded her privacy so fiercely, having the secretary as the vanguard was essential. Where was Mr. Rose?
    She cleared her throat loudly and stood in front of the desk, shifting from foot to foot. It wouldn’t do for Tess Delaney to think she’d been late. She paced the length of the waiting room a couple of times, then made an executive decision and knocked gently on the door by the desk.
    Had she been stood up? Had Tess Delaney gotten cold feet? Quickly she checked her iPhone to see if she’d had any last-minute messages from Gary Rose or Don Bachman. But there was nothing. She shoved it back into her bag, cleared her throat a little louder this time, and was just getting ready to knock a little harder when the door burst open and she found herself almost nose to nose with Garrett Thorne.
    ‘What the hell are you doing here?’ they both said at the same time.
    Then he grabbed her by the arm, hauled her into the office, and closed the door behind them. ‘I’ll ask you again,’ he said between barely parted lips, his chest rising and falling like he’d just run a fast mile. ‘What are you doing here?’
    ‘What do you mean what am I doing here? What are you doing here?’
    ‘Look,’ he said, glancing down at his watch nervously. ‘I’m expecting someone at any minute now, Kendra. I don’t know how the hell you got here or what you want, but you have to leave. Now.’ He tried to push her back out of the door, but she turned on him and glared up at him. ‘There must be a mistake. I have an appointment with Gary Rose, set up by Donald Bachman, from the Bachman Agency, and if this is some kind of a joke, it’s not funny.’
    ‘Hold it, hold it.’ He ran a hand through his hair and the way it fell over one eye would have made her forget about why she was here if the reason had been a little less important. ‘Don sent you?’
    ‘You know Don Bachman,’ she said.
    ‘Of course I know him, he’s my …’ The laser stare they gave each other probably would have been deadly if they hadn’t cancelled each other out. ‘Jesus, Kendra. You’re … You’re not …’
    She held his gaze. ‘I’m here to see Tess Delaney.’ She glanced around the room, but there was no one else there. ‘Where is she?’
    ‘You’re the one Don chose for the job?’ He stepped back and shook his head further mussing his bedroom hair. ‘That can’t be right. That can’t possibly be right. He promised me that the Ryde Agency never failed. He promised me that Ryde had found me just the perfect person for the job. He promised me that –’
    Suddenly she felt like the floor was tilting, and her heart raced. ‘Wait a minute, he promised you? You ?’ She stepped back and grabbed at the door knob to steady herself. ‘There has to be some mistake.’
    Her denial was mirrored by his own. ‘Don said the Ryde Agency was the best. Don said Ryde would send me the perfect person, and then Ryde sends you? Is this a joke, is this the man’s idea of a joke?’
    Kendra took a deep breath and stepped forward, using all of her self-control to keep from punching the jerk. ‘I am K. Ryde, you asshole, and you’re a fine one to talk to me about a joke. Now, what the hell is going on and where’s Tess Delaney?’
    It was Garrett’s turn to step forward, once again nearly nose to nose with Kendra, his breath hot on her cheek. ‘You’re looking at her, and if you tell anyone, I swear to you I’ll –’
    ‘No! No fucking way can you be Tess Delaney!’ She pushed past him

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