Darkest Fear Page 18


“He’s lying.”

“Probably,” she said again.

“And he’ll be found out,” Englehardt continued. “They’ll test his blood and see he’s a phony.”

“But when, Billy?”


“When will they do that? A day from now? A week from now? A month? But by then the damage is done. He’s going to appear at the press conference today with Greg Downing. The media will be there in force. Even if it ends up being false, no one remembers the retraction. They just remember the allegation.”

Englehardt sat back. “Jesus.”

“Let me be frank, Billy. A number of my colleagues believe him. I don’t. I smell a publicity hound. I’m having some of my best investigators dig into this man’s past. So far they’ve come up with nothing, and time is running short.”

“So what can I do?”

“I need to know it’s not true. I can’t stop it merely because I believe it’s not true. I have to know for certain.”


Terese chewed on her lower lip. Deep thought. “Your computer network.”

Englehardt shook his head. “The information in here is confidential. I explained that before. I can’t tell you—”

“I don’t need to know the name of the donor.” She leaned forward. Myron moved as far away from the action as possible, trying to be no threat whatsoever. “I need to know what’s not the name.”

Englehardt looked hesistant.

“I’m sitting over here,” she said. “I can’t see the monitor. Malachy is by the door.” She turned to Myron. “Your camera is off, Malachy?”

“Yes, Terese,” Myron said. He put it down for emphasis.

“So here is what I suggest,” Terese said. “You look up Jeremy Downing in your computer. It will list a donor. I give you a name. You tell me if the name matches. Simple?”

Englehardt still looked hesitant.

“You wouldn’t be violating anyone’s confidentiality,” she said. “We can’t see your screen. We can even leave the room while you look it up, if you’d like.”

Englehardt said nothing. Terese said nothing either.

Waiting him out. The perfect interviewer. She finally turned to Myron. “Grab your stuff,” she said to him.

“Wait.” Englehardt’s eyes slid left, then right, up then down. “Jeremy Downing, you say?”


He did another quick series of eye-slides. When he saw that the coast was clear, he hunched over the keyboard and typed quickly. A few seconds later, he asked, “What’s the name of this supposed donor?”

“Victor Johnson.”

Englehardt looked at the monitor and smiled. “That’s not him.”

“You’re sure?”


Terese matched the smile. “That’s all we needed to know.”

“You’ll stop him?”

“He won’t even get to the press conference.”

Myron grabbed the film case and camera, and they hurried down the corridor. Once outside he turned to her and said, “Malachy Throne?”

“You know who he is?”

“He played False Face on Batman.”

Terese smiled and nodded. “Very good.”

“Can I tell you something?”


“It turns me on when you talk Batman,” he said.

“And even when I don’t.”

“Are you trying to make a point?”

Five minutes later they were watching the tape in the van.


Mr. Davis Taylor

221 North End Ave

Waterbury, Connecticut

The social security and phone numbers were there too. Myron took out his cell phone and dialed. After two rings, a machine picked up and a robotic voice, the default greeting, asked him to leave a message at the tone. He left his name and mobile number and asked Mr. Taylor to return his call.

“So what are you going to do?” Terese asked.

“I guess I’ll drive up and try to talk to Mr. Davis Taylor.”

“Hasn’t the clinic already tried that?”


“But you’re more persuasive?”


“I have to cover the Waldorf tonight,” she said.

“I know. I’ll go alone. Or maybe I’ll bring Win.”

She still would not face him. “This boy who needs the transplant,” she said. “He’s not a stranger, is he?”

Myron was not sure how to answer that. “I guess not.”

Terese nodded in a way that told him not to say any more. He didn’t. He picked up the phone and called Emily. She answered halfway through the first ring.


“When is Greg doing the news conference?” he asked.

“In two hours,” Emily said.

“I need to reach him.”

He heard a hopeful gasp. “Did you find the donor for Jeremy?”

“Not yet.”

“But you have something.”

“We’ll see.”

“Don’t patronize me, Myron.”

“I’m not patronizing you.”

“This is my son’s life we’re talking about here.”

And mine? “I have a lead, Emily. That’s all.”

She gave him the number. “Myron, please call me if—”

“The moment I know something.”

He hung up and called Greg.

“I need you to put off the press conference,” Myron said.

“Why?” Greg asked.

“Just give me till tomorrow.”

“You have something?”

“Maybe,” Myron said.

“Maybe nothing,” Greg said. “Do you have something or not?”

“I have a name and address. It might be our man. I want to check it out before you make a public plea.”

“Where does he live?” Greg asked.


“You driving up?”


“Right now?”

“Pretty much.”

“I want to go with you,” Greg said.

“That’s not a good idea.”

“He’s my kid, dammit.”

Myron closed his eyes. “I understand that.”

“So then you’ll understand this: I’m not asking your permission. I’m going. So stop dicking around and tell me where you want me to pick you up.”

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