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Chapter Two

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One of the men on the porch was dressed in a faded black suit, worn but still professional-looking. The younger of the two wore a pair of blue jeans, a white button-down and a blazer. Both had on sunglasses and serious expressions. They were still waiting for my response, and finally I moved to the side and gestured for them to come inside.

I looked out the door at the space the men had just vacated and saw Scarlett sitting across the courtyard on a bench. She was by herself now, magazine in hand, head tilted up toward the sun.

I bet she wouldn't even get any freckles from it, either.

The California blond slowly tilted down the shades that had been covering her eyes, making it clear that she'd seen what had just happened. The look she gave me was irritating. A cross between shock and judgment.

The whole company will have heard about this before the next class. Emmy had two guys over to her apartment. Can you believe it? The rumors themselves would be sordid and not at all accurate in their details.

Because whatever Scarlett came up with in that active imagination of hers, it wouldn't compare to reality.

Which was...

Closing the door, I joined the suits in my small living room. The place was darker now without the sunlight seeping in from the door. I turned on a lamp as I passed it and then walked over to the second-hand armchair across from the couch. The men still hadn't said anything since showing me their badges, and now remained standing until I was seated.


We sat there in silence, the guys not-so-subtly looking around my apartment like they were judging my decorating skills, and me feeling embarrassed by the fact that I hadn't given the room a good cleaning in days. I was about to apologize for the mess—which truthfully wasn't all that messy to begin with since I was kind of a neat-freak—when they both turned their attention back to me.

Or more accurately, what I was wearing.

Suddenly I remembered that I was practically naked, and I pulled the robe tighter across my flat chest before leaning my legs to one side to make sure I didn't flash them.

"I was about to take a bath," I mumbled, offering them an excuse, even though they hadn't asked. "Um, what is this about officers?"

Wasn't that what you were supposed to say when the police showed up on your doorstep unexpectedly?

As if on cue, the two took off their sunglasses, folding them up expertly and placing them in the pockets of their jackets. Had they rehearsed that? Spent hours practicing to make sure they hit every motion like a pair of synchronized swimmers? It was sort of bizarre, and I glanced around the room almost expecting a judge's panel to appear, holding up a row of perfect 10s for the performance.

But we were alone.

The older of the two cleared his throat and then leaned toward me until his eyes were level with mine. "I'm Special Agent Landon and this is Special Agent Walker," he said, his voice gruff. It matched his weather-blown skin and scruffy face. Everything about him was rough. Right down to his hands, which he kept firmly on his knees. "And we're with the FBI. Are your parents around? We'd like to ask you a few questions."

"My parents live a few hours away," I responded. Though their faces remained mostly expressionless, I swore I could see a flicker of surprise in the younger one's eyes. "Um, I'm emancipated. You can ask me whatever you want...but are you sure you have the right person?"

"You're exactly the person we need to talk to, Emmy," the guy who'd been introduced as Special Agent Walker chimed in.

Again, I couldn't fight the feeling that all of this had been meticulously rehearsed.

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