GIRL THREE, EXCERPT:
Michael struggled to keep his look steady. He took a swallow of his near-beer, wishing it had the maximum alcohol content now that he was face-to-face with Jessica Croft. He set the mug down
precisely on the dampened ring on his cocktail napkin. “That’s an unusual hello.” He almost smiled.
“Sorry,” she said. “The martini stole my manners. I’m Jessica Croft—”
“You’re Sam’s sister?”
“Was,” Jessie said ruefully. “And for some reason, I think you knew that. I saw you at her memorial last night.”
And remembered me.
He reached out to shake her hand. “Michael Gillette.” He’d considered using a fake name, yet knew that it would further complicate things. Jessie was already associating with people who knew him by name. If he hoped to gain any credibility with her, he had to be honest about his identity—even if he lied about
“How did you know Sam?”
He tipped his chin in Helena’s direction. “I was doing some security work for Helena and Ian a while back. I met Sam at Alden and Associates.”
He nodded. “Been my career since grad school—most of it in the Secret Service.” He traced an invisible design on the tabletop with his fingers. It helped to keep him from staring at her. “I’m a security consultant now. When Sam needed some security advice, Helena referred her to me.”
“Do you have a card?” she asked.
He took a business card from the pocket of the overcoat draped across the stool beside him, and handed it to her. “I’m really sorry about Sam. She seemed like a nice girl.”
“Thanks.” Jessie examined his card and put it in her purse.
Michael imagined the hell that would break loose if Croft somehow found it there.
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