The Killing Game

The Killing Game by Iris Johansen Read Free Book Online

Book: The Killing Game by Iris Johansen Read Free Book Online
Authors: Iris Johansen
built on them and forged a bond they could live with. “Mom has never had a stable relationship before. She has a right to protect it. She's really hooked, isn't she?”
    “Yep.” He unlocked the door. “But she doesn't appear to mind.”
    “No.” Eve paused. “It will seem strange not to have Diane here.”
    “Why? You came here before I was married. Diane never really liked this place. She preferred civilization.”
    She glanced around and remembered how Joe's retriever had always bounded up to greet her. “Where's George? Is he in the city apartment?”
    “No, Diane has him. I'm never home. He's better off with her.”
    “That must have been hard.”
    “Yeah, it was. I love that dog.” He opened the door and gestured to a corner of the room.
    “Good God.” Video cameras, a computer, a worktable and pedestal. “Where did you get all this?”
    “I raided your lab in town and brought out all the equipment the insurance company replaced after it was trashed last year. I think I got everything.”
    “I think you did too.” She went inside. “You seem to have met all my needs.”
    “My goal in life,” he said lightly. “I stocked the house with food too. It's chilly in here.” He crossed to the fireplace and knelt before the logs. “I'll light the fire before I leave.”
    “You're not staying?”
    He shook his head. “Reporters are looking for you. It will be hard to trace the cabin but not impossible. I have to find a way to cast out a few red herrings.” He paused. “And I'm going to tell Sandra not to come up here until you've finished the job. She might be followed. If you want to catch up on everything, do it on the telephone. Okay?”
    “Okay.” He had mentioned everything except what was most important. “And when do I get the skull?”
    “Tomorrow. It's still at Georgia State with Dr. Comden, the anthropologist who did the report. I'll get a release from the department, pick it up tomorrow morning, and bring the skull with me in the afternoon. If there's any change of plan, I'll call you.” He moved toward the door. “In the meantime, try to get some sleep. You didn't doze more than an hour on the flight over.”
    “Okay.” She added deliberately, “But first I'm going to call Logan and tell him we've arrived safely.”
    “He won't expect it.”
    “But he'll appreciate it. I'm not going to shut him out of my life just because we're not together anymore. He deserves more than that.”
    Joe shrugged. “I'm not going to argue with you. Just don't let him upset you. You need to rest.”
    “I'll rest.”
    “I mean it. Neither one of us knows how you're going to react when you see that kid's skull. Exhaustion won't help. I don't want you going to pieces.”
    “I won't go to pieces.”
    “Get some sleep,” he repeated. The door shut behind him.
    She went to the window and watched him stride around the cottage toward the garage, where he kept the Jeep. A few minutes later it appeared in the driveway and then disappeared from view down the road.
    She was alone.
    The sunlight suddenly seemed weaker, colder, as it touched the lake. On the far bank, pine trees cast shadows that blended and formed a dark blanket. She shivered, then moved over to the blazing fire and held out her hands. The warmth was welcome, chasing away the chill that had attacked her.
    Imagination. Everything was as it was before Mom and Joe had left. Eve just wasn't accustomed to being alone any longer. On the island she had seldom been by herself. Even when she was working, Logan was never more than five minutes away.
    Face it. The chill hadn't come from loneliness but from dread and nervousness. She was no more sure than Joe of how she would react to having that skull in her hands. If she would be able to close out the horror and be totally professional.
    Of course she would. She owed it to Bonnie.
    Or whoever the little girl might be. She mustn't think of her as Bonnie, or her hands and mind might play tricks on

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