Darkest Fear Page 47

Myron strolled, feigning interest. He stopped at a crystal statue with a marble base. Something modern or cubist or what-have-you. Symmetrical Bowel Movement maybe. Myron put his hand on it. Substantial. He looked out the one-way glass. Too low for much of a view beyond the hedges lining the front gate. Hmm.

The two blue-blazers did the Buckingham Palace Guard thing on either side of the door. Granite Man followed Myron, his hands clasped behind his lower back. A door on the other side of the room opened. Myron was not surprised to see Susan Lex enter, again keeping her distance. There was a man with her this time. Myron did not bother approaching.

“And you are?” he called out.

Susan Lex answered this one. “This is my brother Bronwyn.”

“Not the brother I’m interested in,” Myron said.

“Yes, I know. Please sit down.”

Granite Man gestured toward the lips-couch. Myron sat on the lower lip, waiting to be swallowed. Granite Man sat right next to him. Cozy.

“Bronwyn and I would like you to answer some questions, Mr. Bolitar,” Susan Lex said.

“Could you move a little closer?”

She smiled. “I think not.”

“I showered.”

She ignored the remark. “I understand that you occasionally do some investigative work,” Susan Lex said.

Myron did not reply.

“Is that correct?”

“Depends on what you mean by investigative work.”

“I’ll take that as a yes,” Susan Lex said.

Myron gave her a suit-yourself shrug.

“Is that why you’re searching for our brother?” she asked.

“I already told you why I was searching for him.”

“That bit about him being a bone marrow donor?”

“It’s not a bit.”

“Please, Mr. Bolitar,” Susan Lex said with that rich-people air. “We both know that’s a lie.”

Myron started to rise. Granite Man put a hand on Myron’s knee. It felt like a cinder block. Granite Man shook his head. Myron stayed where he was. “It’s not a lie,” he said.

“We’re wasting time,” Susan Lex said. She flicked her eyes at Granite Man. “Show him the pictures, Grover.”

Myron turned to him. “Grover is the name of my very favorite Sesame Street character. I want you to know that.”

“We’ve been following you, Myron.” Granite Man handed him a pile of photographs. Myron looked at them. They were eight-by-tens of him at the condo with Stan Gibbs. The first one showed him knocking on the door. The second one showed Stan sticking his head out. The third one showed them both heading inside the condo.


Myron frowned. “I have no knack for accessorizing.”

“We know that you’re working for Stan Gibbs,” Susan Lex said.

“Doing what exactly?” Myron asked.

“Investigating. As I stated earlier. So now that we understand your true motive, tell me how much it will cost for you to go away.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Simply put, how much will it cost to have you cease and desist?” Susan Lex asked. “Or are you going to force us to destroy you too?”


Brain click.

Myron turned his attention to the silent brother. “Let me ask you something, Bronwyn,” he said. “You and Dennis were both going to nursery school. You both disappeared. Two weeks later, only you came back. How come? What happened to your brother?”

Bronwyn’s mouth opened and closed, marionette style. He looked to his sister for help.

“It’s like he disappeared off the face of the earth after that,” Myron went on. “For thirty years, he’s totally off the radar. But now, well, it’s like he’s come back for some reason. He changed his name, opened a small checking account, donated blood to a bone marrow center. So what gives, Bron? You got a clue?”

Bronwyn said, “That simply cannot be!”

His sister silenced him with a look. But Myron felt something in the air. He mulled the feeling over and another thought hit him: Maybe the Lex siblings didn’t know the answer themselves. Maybe they were looking for Dennis too.

It was while he was lost in that thought that Granite Man punched him deep in the stomach. The fist followed through to the point where it seemed the knuckles must have reached the fabric of the couch. Myron snapped closed at the waist. He dropped to the floor, struggled to regain a breath, suffocating from within. He lowered his head to his knees, consumed with one thought: air. He needed air.

Susan Lex’s voice boomed in his ears. “Stan Gibbs knows the truth. His father is a disgusting liar. His accusations are totally without merit. But I’ll defend my family, Mr. Bolitar. You tell Mr. Gibbs he has not yet begun to suffer. What has happened to him so far is nothing compared to what I will do to him—and you—if he doesn’t stop. Do you understand?”

Air. Gulps of air. Myron managed not to throw up. He took his time, looked up, met her eye. “Not even a little,” he said.

Susan Lex looked at Grover. “Then make him.”

With that, she left the room. Her brother took one last look and followed.

Myron gathered his breath a hitch at a time. “Nice sucker punch, Grover,” he said.

Grover shrugged. “I went easy on you.”

“Next time, go easy when I’m looking, tough guy.”

“Won’t change the outcome.”

“We’ll see.” Myron sat up. “So what the hell is she talking about?”

“I thought Ms. Lex made herself very clear,” he said. “But because you appear to be a little vacant between the ears, I’ll restate her position. She doesn’t like people interfering with her affairs. Stan Gibbs, for example, interfered. You can see what happened to him. You interfered. You’re about to see what’s going to happen to you.”

Myron struggled to his feet. The blue-blazers stayed by the door. Granite Man started cracking his knuckles again. “Listen closely, please,” he said. “I’m going to break your leg. Then you’re going to limp your sorry ass out of here and tell Gibbs that if he sniffs around again, I will exterminate you both. Any questions?”

“Just one,” Myron said. “Don’t you think leg breaking is a tad cliché?”

Grover smiled. “Not the way I do it.”

Myron looked around the room.

“Nowhere to run, my friend.”

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