Darkest Fear Page 44

Myron was holding his breath. “That’s a hell of a theory,” he said.

“You want more?”


“Why won’t he answer any of our questions?”

“You said it yourself. First Amendment.”

“He’s not a lawyer or psychiatrist.”

“But he is a reporter,” Myron said.

“What kind of monster would continue to protect his source in this situation?”

“I know plenty.”

“We spoke to the victims’ families. They swore they never spoke to him.”

“They could be lying. Maybe the kidnapper told them to say that.”

“Okay, then why hasn’t Gibbs done more to defend himself against the charges of plagiarism? He could have fought them. He could have even provided some detail that would have proved he was telling the truth. But no, instead he goes silent. Why?”

“You think it’s because he’s the kidnapper? The moth flew too close to the flame and is licking his wounds in darkness?”

“Do you have a better explanation?”

Myron said nothing.

“Lastly, there’s the murder of his mistress, Melina Garston.”

“What about it?”

“Think it through, Myron. We put the screws to him. Maybe he expected that, maybe he didn’t. Either way, the courts don’t see everything his way. You don’t know about the court findings, do you?”

“Not really, no.”

“That’s because they were sealed. In part, the judge demanded that Gibbs show some proof he had been in contact with the killer. He finally said that Melina Garston would back him.”

“And she did, right?”

“Yes. She claimed to have met the subject of his story.”

“I still don’t understand. If she backed him up, why would he kill her?”

“The day before Melina Garston died, she called her father. She told him that she lied.”

Myron sat back, tried to take it all in.

Eric Ford said, “He’s back now, Myron. Stan Gibbs has finally surfaced. While he was gone, the Sow the Seeds kidnapper was gone too. But this brand of psycho never stops on his own. He’s going to strike again and soon. So before that happens, you better talk to us. Why were you at his condominium?”

Myron thought about it but not for long. “I was looking for someone.”


“A missing bone marrow donor. He could save a child’s life.”

Ford looked at him steadily. “I assume that Jeremy Downing is the child in question.”

So much for being vague, but Myron was not surprised. Phone records probably. Or maybe there had indeed been a tail when he visited Emily’s. “Yes. And before I go on, I want your word that you will keep me in the loop.”

Kimberly Green said, “You’re not a part of this investigation.”

“I’m not interested in your kidnapper. I’m interested in my donor. You help me find him, I’ll tell you what I know.”

“We agree,” Ford said, waving Kimberly Green silent. “So how does Stan Gibbs fit in with your donor?”

Myron reviewed it for them. He started with Davis Taylor and then moved on to Dennis Lex and then the cryptic phone call. They kept their faces steady, Green and Peck scratching on their pads, but there was a definite jolt when he mentioned the Lex family.

They asked a few follow-up questions, like why he got involved in the first place. He said that Emily was an old friend. He wasn’t about to go into the patrimony issue. Myron could see Green getting antsy. He had served his purpose. She was anxious to get out and start tracking things down.

A few minutes later, the feds snapped their pads closed and rose. “We’re on it,” Ford said. He looked straight at Myron. “And we’ll find your donor. You stay out.”

Myron nodded and wondered if he could. After they left, Win took a seat in front of Myron’s desk.

“Why do I feel like I was picked up at a bar and now it’s the next morning and the guy just handed me the ‘I’ll call you’ line?” Myron asked.

“Because that’s precisely what you are,” Win said. “Slut.”

“Think they’re holding something back?”

“Without question.”

“Something big?”

“Gargantuan,” Win said.

“Not much we can do about it now.”

“Nope,” Win said. “Nothing at all.”


Myron’s mom met him at the front door.

“I’m picking up the takeout,” Mom said.


She put her hands on her hips and shot him her best wither. “There a problem with that?”

“No, it’s just …” He decided to drop it. “Nothing.”

Mom kissed his cheek and fished through her purse for the car keys. “I’ll be back in a half hour. Your father is in the back.” She gave him the imploring eyes. “Alone.”

“Okay,” he said.

“No one else is here.”


“If you catch my drift.”

“It’s caught.”

“You’ll be alone.”

“Caught, Mom. Caught.”

“It’ll be an opportunity—”


She put her hands up. “Okay, okay, I’m going.”

He walked around the side of the house, past the garbage cans and recycling bins, and found Dad on the deck. The deck was sanded redwood with built-in benches and resin furniture and a Weber 500 barbecue, all brought to being during the famed Kitchen Expansion of 1994. Dad was bent over a railing with a screwdriver in his hand. For a moment, Myron fell back to those “weekend projects” with Dad, some of which lasted almost an entire hour. They would go out with toolbox in tow, Dad bent over like he was now, muttering obscenities under his breath. Myron’s sole task consisted of handing Dad tools like a scrub nurse in the operating room, the whole exercise boring as hell, shuffling his feet in the sun, sighing heavily, finding new angles from which to stand.

“Hey,” Myron said.

Dad looked up, smiled, put down the tool. “Screw loose,” he said. “But let’s not talk about your mother.”

Myron laughed. They found molded-resin chairs around a table impaled by a blue umbrella. In front of them lay Bolitar Stadium, a small patch of green-to-brown grass that had hosted countless, oft-solo football games, baseball games, soccer games, Wiffle ball games (probably the most popular sport at Bolitar Stadium), rugby scrums, badminton, kickball, and that favorite pastime for the future sadist, bombardment. Myron spotted Mom’s former vegetable garden—the word vegetable here being used to describe three annual soggy tomatoes and two flaccid zucchinis; it was now slightly more overgrown than a Cambodian rice paddy. To their right were the rusted remnants of their old tetherball pole. Tetherball. Now, there was a really dumb game.

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