Without one, a random car accident causing a weeklong coma might result in Andrew awakening miraculously only to be arrested for murder. But the delay wasn't much longer than a week. Ten days, in fact. After that, Glykon would be arrested, jailed, and sentenced to death.
The prospect of relating this information to Glykon was what had Rusk's sphincter quivering. The moment that he unsheathed this "sword," the ground would shift beneath his feet. He and Glykon would become adversaries, even if they continued working together, which was by no means certain. Intellectual genius and ruthless efficiency had made Glykon the perfect collaborator, but those same qualities would also make him the most formidable adversary imaginable.
Rusk's fear disgusted him. The walls of his office were lined with photographs that testified to his virility: brilliant snapshots of a blond ex–fraternity president wearing every type of survival suit known to man. Rusk owned all the best toys, and he'd honed the skills to use them. Extreme skiing. Monster-wave surfing in Hawaii. He had a stunt plane that he flew like a barnstormer. He'd even climbed Everest last year, and during one hell of a storm (albeit with oxygen). All this he'd done before the age of forty, yet he still felt like a boy in the presence of Glykon. It wasn't just the age difference, because Rusk felt superior to most sixty-year-old men he met. It was something else. A set of factors, probably, damn few of which he could put a name to, but that was the state of things.
Rusk knew he'd made a mistake taking the Fennell case. The target's sister was an FBI agent, and her father had been a homicide cop. Rusk had planned to refuse the job, but he'd mentioned it to Glykon anyway, assuming that his paranoid partner would reject it out of hand. To his surprise, Glykon had taken the FBI connection as a challenge. By then Bill Fennell had offered a 50 percent bonus— 50 percent—so Rusk caved. What else was he going to do? As Oscar Wilde once said, the only sure way to get rid of a temptation was to yield to it. But now Rusk had Special Agent Alex Morse crawling all over his life. Somehow she had latched onto him, like a fucking remora to a shark. He'd expected her to give up after a while, but she hadn't. She was tenacious. And that kind of tenacity only led one place.
Rusk was sure that Morse had broken into his office. He hadn't reported this, of course, not to the police and certainly not to Glykon. He'd merely made sure that she would never get in again. But that was closing the proverbial barn door after the horse had bolted. What had Morse discovered while she was here? There was no obvious evidence to find. The case-related data on Rusk's hard drives was encrypted (even encrypted, it was a violation of Glykon's rules), but Rusk had a feeling that Morse knew her way around computers. Probably around business records, too. His discreet inquiries into her CV had revealed a law degree from Tulane and a year working in South Florida with an FBI/DEA task force. Perfect preparation for unraveling one side of his operation. Morse had also spent five years as an FBI hostage negotiator. This had surprised him, until his source explained that there were more female hostage negotiators in the Bureau than males. It seemed that women were better at peaceful resolution of conflict than men. That was a surprise. An experienced divorce attorney, Rusk had met women with the predatory instincts of velociraptors—females malicious and manipulative enough to give Machiavelli remedial classes in the provocation of wars.
Despite a promising start, Alex Morse had proved unequal to the job of hostage negotiator. Her father's death and her mother's cancer had evidently pushed her into a zone where her judgment abandoned her, and she'd gotten somebody killed. She'd almost died herself, Rusk thought wistfully, and her butchered face bore the evidence of her brush with death. But the bottom line was, her