“What the fuck are you wearing?” Jordan says, eyeing my leathers.
“What every goddamned biker wears,” I snap. He’s wearing a goddamned suit that looks like it costs as much as that car I left back at Rachel’s sister’s house.
“You rode your bike down here?”
“Long. Story.” I close my eyes to signal that I’m not in the mood to tell said story, and he takes the hint. Because he knows me just as well as I know him. “Why the hell am I here?”
He stares at me. Looks me up and down. A whole scenario flashes in my mind in the time it takes him to reach down to pick something up off his desk, where he says, I found her. Or, She found me. Or, You wanna go to dinner with us? Because we’ve got reservations at the Grant. And he means her and him, as in the whole thing about us that made us an us in the first place.
But of course, he doesn’t say anything like that. He says, “Here’s the job,” waving a large yellow envelope, handing it to me. “Everything’s in there. Just…” He sighs and pinches the space between his eyes—stupid fucking Jordan gesture—like I’m the one on his last nerve, and not the other way around. “Just do it, OK? And be super fucking discreet. This is all anonymous. You do not show your face. You do not make any sort of contact. It’s strictly surveillance. Got it?”
I rip the envelope open and take a peek. Two keys, two bound stacks of hundred-dollar bills, which should be twenty thousand dollars, and some paperwork. “Is it legal?” I ask, taking out the stack of papers.
It’s a dossier—female. Mid-twenties. Dark hair and gray eyes—for one Evangeline Rolaine.
“Of course it’s legal. Why does everybody always ask me that? I’m a goddamned lawyer, everything I do is legal.”
“Yeah.” I laugh, reading the woman’s short bio on the top page. “You’re a goddamned lawyer, all right. Why does this name sound familiar?”
Jordan eyes me, waiting to see if I’ll take that first comment any further, and decides I won’t—and he’s right. Because after the morning I’ve had, I can’t think of a single reason I need to rehash the past too. “She was famous once upon a time.”
“Child prodigy,” I say slowly, reading her bio at the same time. “Yeah, I remember this chick. She was all over the TV when she was a kid.”
“Right. And then she wasn’t. It’s your job to watch her. That’s it. Just watch her. You got it?”
“Watch her do what?” I ask, flipping through the pictures.
“Just… everything. Nothing specific.”
“Why am I watching her? Someone after her or something?”
“You don’t need to know why. You just need to take that money, buy the fucking equipment, go to that address, put up the fucking cameras, and then when she gets there, you watch her.”
“So I’m spying on her and she doesn’t know it?” My laugh is loud. Because… “That’s some creepy shit, dude.”
Jordan sucks in a breath of air. It’s cautious, that inhale. It’s long too. And it’s filled with all the things that we left unsaid between us after college. “She knows,” Jordan finally says. Carefully. Like he’s picking his way through a minefield. “Just… just fucking do what I tell you. You’ve got a week to get set up and then a few weeks of surveillance, tops. Then I’ll pay you.”
“I don’t need the money, asshole. You know that’s not why I’m here.”
I hear the unasked question. He hears it too. Then why are you here?
But he knows why.