behind the St. Paul cops.”
“I’m shocked that you’re behind at all,” Weather said.
“Me too,” said Letty. “Shame.”
“Thank you for your support,” Lucas said. “You’ll find me in the garage, sharpening my lawn mower blade.”
Letty looked at Weather and asked, “Is that a euphemism?”
“I hope not.”
Lucas ignored them, finished the orange juice, put the bottle in the recyclables, and went off to the garage.
They could taunt him all they wished; but Kidd’s scorchingly good-looking wife, Lauren, thought he was totally hot.
T aryn Grant came back from a campaign loop through Rochester, Wabasha, and Red Wing, and found Doug Dannon, her security coordinator, waiting inside the door from the garage. Her two German shepherds, Hansel and Gretel, whimpered with joy when she walked in, and she knelt and gave them a good scratch and got a kiss from each of them, and then Dannon said, “I’ve got some news. Where’s Green?”
Alice Green was a former Secret Service agent. She was not in the loop on the shadow campaign. Taryn said, “Alice is with the car. . . . What happened?”
“The word around the Smalls campaign is that there’s a new state investigator looking into the porn scandal,” Dannon said. “I don’t know if they’ve taken it away from St. Paul, but Smalls is pretty happy about it. He thinks something’s gonna get done. There are rumors that Smalls talked to the governor, but nobody knows what was said.”
“The governor? He’s supposed to be on our side.” Taryn bent sideways and gave Gretel another scratch on the head.
“Don’t know—don’t know what’s happening. Maybe Connie can get something.”
Connie Schiffer was Taryn’s campaign manager.
“What about the investigator, the new guy?” Taryn asked.
“I’ve been looking him up on the Internet. He’s a killer. His name is Lucas Davenport, he’s been around a long time,” Dannon said. “Works for the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. There’s a ton of newspaper clips. He’s killed a bunch of people in shoot-outs. He seems to be the guy they go to, when they need somebody really smart, or really mean.”
“But what could he find out?”
“Worst case, he could find the thread that leads from Tubbs to Smalls,” Dannon said. “Everybody’s looking for Tubbs, but they don’t know about the connection. We can’t do anything about it. They’ll probably come and talk to you, Taryn. If they think there’s something fishy about the porn, this campaign is where they’ll look. If they find out that Tubbs is connected, and Tubbs never shows up . . . then they’ll be asking about murder.”
“But Tubbs will never show up,” she said.
“No. No chance of that,” Dannon said.
• • •
T ARYN G RANT, D EMOCRATIC CANDIDATE for the U.S. Senate, suffered from narcissistic personality disorder, or so she’d been told by a psychologist in her third year at the Wharton School. He’d added, “I wouldn’t worry too much about it, as long as you don’t go into a life of crime. Half the people here are narcissists. The other half are psychopaths. Well, except for Roland Shafer. He’s normal enough.”
Taryn didn’t know Roland Shafer, but all these years later, she sometimes thought about him, and wondered what happened to him, being . . . “normal.”
The shrink had explained the disorder to her, in sketchy terms, perhaps trying to be kind. When she left his office, she’d gone straight to the library and looked it up, because she knew in her heart that she was far too perfect to have any kind of disorder.
• • •
N ARCISSISTIC PERSONALITY DISORDER:
Has excessive feelings of self-importance.
Reacts to criticism with rage.
Takes advantage of other people.
Disregards the feelings of others.
Preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, beauty, and intelligence.
• • •
E XCESSIVE FEELINGS OF SELF-IMPORTANCE? Did that idiot shrink know