Two hours later Elliot and his FBI cousin were in her living room with equipment spread out everywhere. He had access to the city’s surveillance system and was pulling everything he could from the day they’d seen the mystery guy at Manny’s.
With the help of the cameras they were able to follow him to a hotel downtown. Jay hacked the hotel computer and found he was registered under Peter Hammond in room 1416. “We can get in there and rig up his room. We can also rig up his rental car.”
Quinn waggled his eyebrows at Kris. “Looks like we’re checking into the Hilton Garden Inn babe.”
“We go in as a…what? Couple on vacation because who the hell vacations in Macon? There’s absolutely nothing to do here.” And that statement was so true because no one vacationed there.
“How about we just tell the hotel the truth? We don’t have to keep any pretenses up then.” Jay suggested and everyone agreed. “We’re going to have to tell them because we’re going to have to get all of the equipment in and the only ways are the lobby and the service elevator. Which we’ll need their permission to access the service elevator because we don’t want to bring all of this through where everyone can see us.”
“I could always go get a job in housekeeping or maintenance.” Jonas offered without hesitation. “It’ll give us legitimate access to the rooms in case he comes back while I’m in there.”
Elliot smiled proudly as his team. “I’ll call the hotel and speak with the manager.”
It took a couple of hours to get everything set up. They were given a room next door to the man that was possibly Phillip O’Dwyer. Jonas was posing as a maintenance worker with full access to all of the rooms. Jay was able to get upstairs in the service elevator and into the room without being seen by anyone. Kris and Quinn checked into the room while Elliot stayed in the lobby to keep an eye out for their target.
Jay set up his equipment then hacked into the hotel security system. He studied a diagram of the room to pick out the best points for cameras and mics. Jonas was two floors down working on a toilet, waiting for Jay’s word.
“People are so disgusting.” Jonas said into his mic as the rest listened. “Jesus.”
Kris felt bad that this was what Jonas had to do even though he volunteered for it. “Sorry partner.”
Jonas smiled, not that the others could see it, but they could hear it in his voice. “It’s cool, whatever it takes to get the job done.”
Jay clapped his hands together and finally said. “Ok Jonas. Showtime.”
“Yes sir.” He’d been finished with the toilet for a few minutes so he packed up everything and took the elevator two floors up. “I’m going in.” He said to the team then he knocked on the door. “Maintenance. I’m here to fix the A/C.” With no answer he used his key card and walked in. “Guide me Obi-Wan.”
Jay chuckled as he gave Jonas the locations for the best places to set the mics and cameras so they wouldn’t be seen. “How’s it looking in the lobby?”
Elliot looked like he was reading a newspaper as he said quietly. “So far so good. How about up there?”
Jonas may fool people with his big goofy guy personality but he was serious when it came to his job. He had the cameras and mics up in less than ten minutes. “We’re all set.”
Jay punched a few buttons and everything popped up on the screen. “We’re live. Great job man, now get out of there.”
Jonas stepped out into the hall to find it empty so he stepped into the room where his friends were. “Damn. I’m pretty good at this. You’d think I was a professional or something.”
Kris swatted her partner but followed it up with. “Good job. The placement is perfect.”
Elliot folded up the paper with a big smile on his face. “Alright guys, I’m going to go get us some food. It’s going to be a long night.” An hour later he was back with enough food to feed a small country.
While he was gone their target had returned and was in the lobby enjoying the free coffee and newspaper. O’Dwyer sat in the lobby for almost an hour before going back up to his room. They watched as he turned on the TV and relaxed on the bed.
“Why don’t you guys head out, Quinn and I will call you if anything happens.” Kris suggested so that the others didn’t have to waste their night.
Elliot and Jay left right away but Jonas stayed. They had two beds so he stretched out and fell asleep pretty quickly. Kris was sitting next to Quinn and after a while she leaned against him. “Babe, go take a nap. I’ll be fine.” His husky voice said quietly so they didn’t wake up Jonas.
She couldn’t deny she was tired. “Ok.” She stood up and wrapped her arms around his neck. “I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
He wrapped her in his strong arms and held her close. “You’re never going to have to find out if I can help it.”
She smiled down at him as she cupped his face and kissed him. “You make me really happy Quinn. I just want you to know that.”
He smiled into the kiss. “You make me really happy too babe.” He kissed her again then gently pushed her towards the bed. “Now get some sleep.”
They were on their fourth day of surveillance before anything they considered significant happened. Kris, Jonas, and Quinn were with Erik at Vance’s apartment doing the recreation of the Vance crime scene. Jay was manning the cameras and mics while they were out.
Jay was eating out of a box of Pad Thai when a phone in the other room started ringing. He perked up when the man smiled as he looked at the caller ID then answered. “Hello?” He listened to the voice on the other end with a scary smile on his face. “Yes. Everything is going according to plan.” Another pause before he said. “No. I am certain that they do not know who I am.” He smiled the crazy smile again and said. “I am certain Thomas. I have found the daughter but she is always surrounded. I have people in place but it is going to take some time to carry out the plan.”
Jay yanked up his phone and called his cousin. “They have a hit on Kris. I’m not sure how legit this is but we can’t take any chances.”
“Kris will never go into any kind of protection.” Elliot said knowing how stubborn his best detective was. “Not even Quinn would be able talk her into that. I’m not even sure we should tell them about this.”
Jay growled at what he was suggesting. “That’s a really bad idea Elliot. Her life is in danger. She deserves to know.”
He threw himself into his office chair and closed his eyes. “She’s working on a cold case from 20 years ago right now. This is important to her. The victim, and I can’t believe I’m calling him that, may be her father. All she needs is a few more days then we tell her.”
“Fine. But I want it on the record that I strongly disagree with this.” His cousin agreed reluctantly. “You get three days and that’s only because we don’t know when they plan to strike.”
They did both agree to a federal protection detail because she knew everyone in Macon and most of the surrounding cities.
Erik set the scene up by the notes from the report. Dr. Cross even joined them to help them figure things out.
Erik set Hank up and started with the other things around the room. “I can’t tell you how bad I want to process this room again.”
Sophie agreed as she looked between the files and the room. “In my opinion from looking at the crime scene reports and the autopsy, this was personal. There were muzzle burns on his chest from being shot at close range.”
That bit of news was no surprise. Jacob Vance had more than his fair share of enemies. “Were any bullets recovered?”
The doctor pointed to the pictures of the body. “There weren’t any that were reported and I find that very odd. None of the shots were through and through’s according to the report so they should have retrieved all three bullets. I can’t believe the previous M.E. would just leave bullets in the body or throw them out. They were evidence.”
“I can believe it.” Kris said honestly as she looked at the report. “He was a corrupt cop that killed his own partner. No one cared what happened to him. His death was justice to them.”
Having worked with law enforcement for many years Sophie and Erik had to agree. “Let me show you with Hank.” He walked them through every step of the notes the responding officer made about the scene. “I’m definitely going to do a little work here. Back then there was no such thing as a crime scene cleanup crews so the manager probably had to do it himself. He most likely just steam cleaned the carpet. There could still be something in the carpet or on the walls.”
“Let’s get to it.” Jonas said as he clapped his hands together.
They helped Erik pull out everything he needed from his kit and they started processing the room by grids. Erik was surprised when they found blood on the wall beside the dining room table a few feet in front of where Vance had been sitting.
“I’ll head back to the lab and start processing all of this.” Erik said as he packed up everything. “I’ll call you as soon as I know anything.”
The guys shook hands with him and Kris hugged him. “Thanks.”
They thanked Sophie as well and they all left. Kris, Jonas, and Quinn headed back to the hotel. Two blocks away they called Jay to see if they were clear to come up. “You’re good to go guys.”
Jay understood that Kris didn’t need any more distractions but someone besides his guys needed to know what was going on. “How’d it go with the doc and your crime scene friend?”
Jonas sat down beside him and filled him in on everything. “How’s it been here?”
Jay motioned to the monitor. “As you can see he’s out now. His GPS has him at the mall.” He wrote a note to Jonas and slid it to him. We need to speak privately.
Jonas read it and gave him a thumb’s up to show he understood. Now he had to figure out how to get away from Kris so they could talk. “Why don’t we go out and grab dinner? We can introduce Jay to Manny’s.”
“I could use some pizza and a break.” Kris said tiredly. The past few months had really taken a toll on her.
Jonas smiled and agreed. “Pizza and beer sounds great. I’ll call the boss and he can meet us there.”
An hour later they were occupying a booth and taking the first real break they’d had in months. Kris finally wandered off to the bathroom.
She wasn’t far from the table when Jonas said. “We don’t have much time guys so tell us what’s going on.”
Elliot wasn’t happy about telling them but Kris trusted them more than anyone in the world. “O’Dwyer received a phone call earlier and we’re pretty sure from the tone of it that there’s a hit out on Kris. We don’t know the logistics yet but we have a federal detail on you guys.”
Quinn saw her walking back across the restaurant. “She finds out nothing. With the four of us and the detail she can be kept safe.”
Kris slid back in beside him. “You guys look way to serious. What did I miss?”
Jonas picked up the empty pitcher and said. “We’re out of beer.”
Their smiles didn’t quite reach their eyes but she let it pass. “Well let’s get some more.”
Manny eventually made his way to their table. “Hello my friends!” They all greeted him happily and introduced Jay. “You are family now. Welcome and I hope you enjoy our food.”
Kris turned on her charm; she wanted to get Manny to talk about the last time they were there. “Manny, do you have a few minutes to talk to us?” He looked around and nodded. “Great.” She smiled brightly. “We wanted to ask you about the man that came in the last time we were here.” Manny looked around again as if someone was listening and shook his head. “I know you’re scared Manny but you know you can trust us.”
He smiled nervously, the woman was right. “Ok.” He knew he could trust all of them. “That man, he is deceiving people. It has been many years and he was just a boy but I know it’s him.”
“Who Manny?” Jonas asked quietly so he didn’t scare him.
Manny told them about all those years ago after the Vance trial. He remembered seeing the young boy sitting outside of the courtroom with two older men. He told him how he’d seen them outside when they would come in for the day and in the evening when they would leave.
“They never came in. On the last day I think they sat watching as the court room cleared out and Vance walked away a free man.” They thanked Manny for talking to them and he left to check on his other customers.
Jonas and Quinn took Kris’s next bathroom break to strategize with Jay and Elliot about how to handle things without Kris finding out. Quinn had never kept anything from her the whole time they were together. “I don’t know if I can lie to her.”
Jonas understood because the reason Quinn and Kris were together was because Elliot had lied to her and she had broken off their engagement. “I understand, she’s my best friend and I don’t like it either. Quinn, I won’t ask you to. No one will.” He looked to the others and they nodded. “I’ll back you if you want to tell her.”
Quinn saw her coming back and answered quickly. “No. We’ll keep it between us for now.”
Kris slid back in the booth beside him. “You guys look way too serious again. What the hell is going on? We’re supposed to be taking a break tonight and maybe have a little fun.”
Quinn pulled her into his side and kissed her. “Nothing’s wrong babe, just thinking about our next move.”
Kris understood how they felt; there were too many unanswered questions. “We’ll figure it all out. Finding out what O’Dwyer is up to should be our first priority.” The men exchanged looks but she didn’t notice.
They enjoyed the rest of their night then Kris and Quinn went back to the hotel. Quinn was concerned that Kris would hear something. The others agreed they’d deal with it if and when it came up.
They let themselves into the room and Kris went straight to the monitors. “Looks like he’s out right now.”
“Good.” Quinn said as he walked up behind her and wrapped his arms around her. “We both need a break.”
They showered then settled on the bed to watch a movie. Kris fell asleep twenty minutes into it with her head on Quinn’s chest. He was relieved that she was asleep when O’Dwyer returned to his hotel room. Quinn carefully moved Kris onto a pillow and walked over to the desk. He slipped on headphones as he sat down.
O’Dwyer’s phone rang not long after and Quinn’s blood froze as he listened to his conversation. “She’s getting close to the truth. Her friends are helping and it’s only a matter of time. They have the FBI working with them now.” There was a long pause as Quinn assumed the other person was talking. “Thomas just let me deal with her now. Please.” He punched the chair he was in as he continued to listen. “I know she needs to know the truth and I can tell her as I’m killing her.” He was quiet again for a few seconds. “How much longer will I have to be here?” He grimaced as he listened. “Yes. No. I’m aware that you are the head of the family now. No. I will not question you again.”A few more seconds passed and then he hung up. “I hate him and I hate this place.” He said out loud to himself.
Quinn sent Jay, Elliot, and Jonas a text. “He’s taking orders from one of his cousin’s that is apparently running the family now. Still no idea when, where, or how yet.”
Erik called Kris the next morning to tell her that he had the results from the DNA test. “I can tell you over the phone or you can come down here when you get a chance.”
“The guys can handle things. I’m on my way there.” Kris told the guys about the call and left them at the hotel. They knew she had a security detail and Jay was following O’Dwyer around so they let her go by herself. Kris found Erik at his table when she walked in.
“Hey!” She greeted him happily. “What have you got?”
Erik held up an envelope. “I got the results. Do you want to open it or do want me to?” Kris nodded and he opened the folder. “Jacob Vance was your father.”
Kris had been prepared for that result. “Ok. Now I know. Do you have anything from what you took from his place?”
“Actually yes.” Erik said as he slid to the end of his table and back. “I spoke with the manager and he confirmed that he did in fact steam clean the carpet. Well he actually paid someone to have it done and they did a horrible job. I’m not really sure what they used but thankfully it wasn’t very good. I went back and the manager let me in. I cut away the carpet and I was able to get two blood types from the wood that was under it. One of course was Vance’s and the other one I haven’t been able to identify yet.” He looked worried but Kris just nodded so he continued. “I thought since there was someone else’s blood there that there may be more that was missed. I thought that maybe Vance got a shot off before they got to him.” He smiled like a little kid at Christmas as he held up two evidence bags with spent bullets in them. “This one was lodged in a crappy old painting right by the front door and this one was lodged in the trim across the room from where he was sitting. There was DNA on both bullets.”
“What databases have you run them through?” She asked as her heart rate picked up, an almost rushing sound in her ears at the news.
Erik typed a few things on his computer and pointed to the screen. “So far just local, state, and federal and nothing has come back.”
“Go international.” Her gut was telling her Ireland may have the answers they needed. “I think he may be one of the people from the O’Dwyer case.”
He smiled and started the process to send the types to Interpol. “This is going to take a while, probably a couple of weeks. I’ll do my best to get it faster.”
“And what about the bullets?” He shook his head and Kris clapped him on the shoulder. “Do what you can. I’ll see if Jay can help too.”
On her way to her car she called Jay and told him what Erik had found. He said he’d made a few acquaintances overseas so he’d see if he could help out. She called the guys and they met her at their favorite Chinese place for lunch.
“Hey.” Quinn kissed her cheek as he sat down. “How’d it go?”
“Hey guys.” She waited for Jonas to take the seat across from them. “Vance is definitely my father.” They gave their drink orders to their server then hit the buffet. “Erik has some results back from the apartment, Vance’s blood of course and an unknown donor. He went back to the apartment and found two rounds; one in the wall across from where Vance was found and the other lodged in a painting by the front door.He also cut up some of the carpet and found blood there. There was no match in local, state, or federal for the DNA. He’s going to go international and Jay is going to call in some favors to help out.”
“We should send Elliot a nice bottle of something for getting his cousin to help out.” Jonas said as he scooped fried rice onto his plate.
“Save some for everyone else man.” Kris laughed as she watched her partner attack the buffet. “And we should definitely get him a nice bottle of Scotch.”
After lunch they went back to the house to continue looking over the files. “It was very personal for whoever shot him. You don’t get up close like that unless it is.”
The guys agreed but there were just too many places to start. “Unfortunately there is a long list of people that he pissed off in his career.” Quinn waved a hand around at the files before him. “What if we don’t ever find out who it is? Are you going to be ok with that?”
Before taking on the responsibility of the case she’d thought about every possible outcome, good and bad. Kris knew it was possible that they might not ever find out but she had to try. “If we can’t get any more answers then yes, I’ll be ok with all of this. Because I’ll know we did everything that we could.”
Both men hoped she was right because they knew how stubborn she could be. Jay had been pulling a lot of long shifts at the hotel so Quinn and Kris took over for him. On the second night Quinn was nodding off so Kris made him go lay down. She picked up the headphones as she took his seat. She listened for a few hours until O’Dwyer fell asleep then she joined Quinn in the bed and he pulled her close.
“Hey babe.” He mumbled sleepily against her temple.
She smiled at his sleepy voice. “Hey. Go back to sleep big guy.Everything is fine and our guy is down for the night.”
“Ok.” He hummed and nodded. “I’ll take care of you no matter what you know that right?”
Kris laughed quietly. “Yeah.I know.”
He talked in his sleep sometimes and it was funny because he never remembered it the next morning. “I won’t let them hurt you. I don’t care who they are.”
“No one is going to hurt me Quinn.” She said soothingly as she ran her hand up and down his arm.
He snuggled closer and mumbled. “We don’t know what they’re planning yet but we won’t let them get to you. We’re all looking out for you.” Kris was extremely confused about who he was talking about until Quinn said. “The O’Dwyer’s won’t get to you. I don’t care what we have to do.”
Kris was utterly confused as she lay there thinking about why Quinn would say these things. She shook it off deciding she’d ask him in the morning and let sleep pull her under.