The only way I can make this up to her is to ensure that she never has to hear this scumbag’s name again.
As expected, he’s gone when I pull up in front of the convenience store. Walsh pulls out the full color eight by ten mug shot, and we wave it in front of the clerk’s face.
“Ex con, huh? I didn’t get that vibe from him,” the young man says. He scratches a pimple at his chin. “Paid with a card and had a sweet piece on his arm. Big rack.” He taps his chest. “I guess it’s true that women like the ex-con thing.”
“Which direction did he go? Left or right?”
“Neither. He crossed the street.” The clerk points toward a five-story aged brick building about a hundred yards away. “Disappeared into that building.”
Walsh lays a hundred bucks on the counter, and we speed out.
“A woman?” Walsh questions as we hurry across the street.
“A prison guard, maybe?”
“Could be.” There are a lot of jailhouse hookups, sometimes between prisoners, but a lot of abuse between guards and inmates. Usually it’s the guards taking advantage of the imprisoned because of the power differential, but I wouldn’t put it past Adam to have seduced some woman into doing his bidding. From his history, he had an easy time with women, which is what likely led him to fixate on Violet’s disinterest. She was the only woman who turned him down, and he couldn’t stand that.
Near the front door of the entry to the apartment building, a metal plate is affixed to the brick. There are twenty-seven names written in pen on yellowed paper that is protected by plastic. Beside the names are small ivory buttons. In the third row, two down is “J. Adam.” The outer door is locked. Walsh produces a gadget and has the lock disengaged in ten seconds.
“Security’s shit here,” he says, tucking his equipment away. “Guess they can’t afford Turner Securities.”
“Sucks to be them.” The outer door didn’t tell us what apartment Adam was in, but the interior mailboxes indicate he’s in 3C. We take the stairs to the third floor and knock when we arrive at 3C. There’s no answer.
Walsh jiggles the door. “It might take a while.”
I knock again and listen. The door’s wood and so is the frame. “Move aside.”
Walsh steps behind me, and I jack the heel of my boot to the side of the doorknob. The wood gives way, and the door swings inside.
Violet’s stalker is on the couch, his legs up and his arm around a woman. She jumps to her feet and sweeps her hand to her side, but there’s no gun there. Her utility belt with her stun gun, stick, cuffs, and badge are lying on the coffee table an inch away from Adam’s feet.
“Turner,” drawls Adam. “I thought you’d never come.” He tips his bottle back and takes a nonchalant swig.
“You know him?” says the cop.
I don’t know if she’s talking to me or Adam.
“I told you, baby, I got fans.” Adam chortles. I can’t wait to mess up his smug mug again.
“What’s your full name?” the cop directs the next question to me. “I’ll need it for the breaking and entering charges.”
I ignore the cop and pin a hard stare on my target. “You tell your new woman why you were in prison?”
“You mean the false charges that Miles King, billionaire, had made up against me because his baby sister showed some unhealthy interest in me? Yeah, she knows all about it.” He smirks.
“What the hell are you talking about? You’ve been stalking that poor girl for months. You kidnapped her,” Walsh bursts out.
“See? I told you they had paid everyone off. The rich live in a different world than us, and they get to write all the rules,” Adam says. He shakes his head pitifully, and the sap of a cop stares at the top of the asshole’s head with fondness. The absurdity of this situation would be almost laughable if it wasn’t for the fact that Violet’s life was in danger.
“Here’s a new rule for you,” I say quietly. “You make one wrong move and you’re a dead man.”
“Did you just threaten to kill someone in the presence of a cop?” bursts out the outraged fool.
“It’s not a threat. It’s a promise.” I turn on my heel and walk out. Walsh follows, sputtering about the audacity of Adam.
Down in the car, Walsh asks, “What are you going to tell Violet?”
“The truth.” I start the car.
“What are you going to do about Adam?”
“Get rid of him.”
I swing a cold stare to Walsh. “You don’t want to know.”
“Damn it, Vi, open your damn eyes!” My eyes open to see my brother looming over me. He closes his eyes for a long moment, relief showing on his face. Even though I’m focused on him, I can still hear whispers from someone behind him.