Lane Diamond has asked me to stop in and talk once more about my dilemma: Mitchell Norton—murderer, destroyer of dreams, the monster who keeps me up nights. Damn you, Diamond! I’m trying to forget about this stuff, but you just won’t let me. Why won’t you let me forget?
June 7, 1995:
I hadn’t expected to see her—not now, not here. Special Agent Linda Monroe of the FBI decided to pop into Algonquin on the very day authorities released Mitchell Norton from prison. Not a coincidence.
She knows me too well.
We enjoyed a short reunion yesterday at Murphy’s Irish Pub, but it didn’t really go anywhere. Now we’re having breakfast, struggling to carry on a conversation, to engage in a little small talk, when we both know the unspoken reason she’s here.
I occasionally drop my eyes lower and linger for a few seconds. I know I shouldn’t stare but….
Why isn’t she wearing a bra, damn it? Look at— Uh-oh!
She catches me staring. I have no idea the proper reaction here, but I’m sure my rooster-in-the-henhouse grin is not it. She doesn’t appear upset, at any rate. In fact, I’d swear she’s rather pleased, if not at my staring, then at least at the “gotcha” moment, which she has the good graces not to mention.
Her smile fades and she glances around the dining room at nothing.
Keep your eyes up, Tony. Eyes up!
She takes a deep breath and exhales a heavy sigh, and returns her gaze to me. “It would be an awful shame if I had to put you in custody, if I had to be part of an investigation that lands you in jail.”
I’ve been preparing for this. “The real shame will be when you have to notify the next of kin that Mitchell Norton has killed again.”
She comes up short, and pauses to sip her coffee while she considers a response. I have difficulty reading her expression—sad resignation, perhaps.
She strains through a low voice, “It’s not that simple.”
“No. There are times when I wish it were, believe me, but the laws serve many purposes, and we mustn’t condone or encourage vigilantes.”
She rolls her eyes and looks at me as though…. Yeah, she knows.
Well, shit! What should I expect? Sure, I saved her ass from Ronald Allen Stegman, serial killer, in California three years ago. She owes me, or at least thinks she does. But she’s a special agent with the FBI! How much can I expect her to put at risk for me?
I must get to Norton. I must! The challenge lies in doing so while navigating around Linda.
This could get complicated.
Link to 1st 5 Chapters of: Forgive Me, Alex