Jason will be released into FBI custody. They will protect him, as well as make sure he doesn’t get away. Hardly ideal, but preferable to his current circumstances.
“We’ll see. I can’t make any promises. I coordinated this thing and I’ll be around some, but I’m not the one in charge.”
“Taylor Driscole. FBI Special Agent in Charge.”
“Fancy title for the boss, huh?”
“So it seems. Driscole and some others will be picking you up. Mostly Americans at this point, but we’ve got the UK interested, as well as France, Germany, Canada….”
“Canada? Never even been there. What do they want me for?”
“Who knows? They aren’t about to let this slip by without getting into the action.”
“That’s five, with the US. You said fifteen.”
Kyle shrugged, smiling. “Out of curiosity, how many jobs have you pulled?”
Jason looked suspicious and cagey. “I don’t think I’ll say, if you don’t mind. I’d rather not pin anything else on myself. The statute of limitations hasn’t expired on all of them. Suffice to say, I’m surprised it’s only fifteen countries wanting to get involved. Though, mind you, I did some of my best work in the ones you’ve mentioned.” He looked smug and confident for a moment, then the veil dropped behind his eyes once more. “What have I got myself in for?” He rubbed his face with his palms, suddenly looking very young and vulnerable.
Kyle took pity on the young man. Leaning forward, he spoke reassuringly. “It’ll be okay, kid. You’ll see. It’s better than going to prison for a crime you didn’t commit.”
“I hope so, Mr. Tourney. I sincerely hope so.”
In her chambers, Judge Walker met with her staff in a conference room. She stood at the head of the table, inviting her people to sit down. Taking a deep breath, she closed her eyes.
“If you would, join me in a moment of silence for my husband, Albert Walker.”
They stayed silent for just over a minute. Inhaling slowly, Judge Walker thanked them with a smile.
“I didn’t realize until today how special and supportive you’ve all been these last few years. Even you new folks who didn’t know Bert, have been so kind and concerned. Through it all, I haven’t thanked you properly, and I feel terrible.”
Sam put his hand on hers. “You’ve been preoccupied, ma’am. We don’t expect you to worry about that.”
“But I do, Sam. So I wanted to take this chance to thank you all for your loving support, kind words, thoughtfulness and your help. Each of you deserves a personal thank you.”
She proceeded to thank them by name for their help, naming specific incidents where they had helped her. When she was done, the bailiffs saw her to her car.
Shortly after she got home, Kyle Tourney came by. She met him in the library. He was sitting at Bert’s desk with the same file folder in front of him. He looked up with a friendly smile.
“Interesting boy you’ve got here. Have you looked over his file?”
Honoria shook her head as she sat slowly in one of the overstuffed, wing back chairs. “A bit, but not everything. I was more interested in the particulars of the case than his background.”
“Fascinating boy. His first crimes were committed as a juvenile, but I was able to gain access. He had quite the crime syndicate going there for awhile. Yes, an enterprising lad. His first arrest was for petty theft when he was twelve. He got better as time went on. Pick pocketing, shoplifting, stole a few cars and sold them to chop shops. When they tried to rip him off, not paying the worth of the cars, he got even by robbing them! He got a dozen teenagers, all around his age, and they broke in and stole the cars and gave them back to their owners. Can you imagine the balls that took?”
“Are you serious?”
He showed her the file. Honoria Walker started to laugh.
“The unmitigated gall of it! The audacity! Bert would have loved this boy.”
“Indeed he would have. It gets better. For a time, he worked with an alarm company learning how to install alarms as well as circumventing them. He also worked for a safe company and moved on to testing the security systems on businesses after they were installed. He had quite a flourishing business there for awhile, until he decided he could make more money breaking in and stealing things. Which he did for the first time when he was nineteen. Couldn’t pin a thing on him, though everyone was fairly sure he did it. He’s slick, that boy. Until this job, he’s never been caught. Suspicions follow him from Morocco to Amsterdam and as far west as California, but no one has even gotten his face on tape. He’s in and out like magic.
“His plan for this robbery was flawless,” he continued. “Except for his partner. One must admit, she has quite a racket going herself. Seduce an expert thief, use him to plan and complete the robbery, then kill him and the witnesses. Messy, but effective.”
“Is there anything on her?”
“Suspicion there as well. Some hazy faces on tape, but she’s good at avoiding cameras. No one has gotten a good look at her and lived—except for Jason. There simply are no leads on this woman. She’s very careful. We’ve got an edge with Jason. And who knows, he might be right. She may come to us.”
“Only if she’s desperate or stupid,” Honoria replied distractedly as she glanced at Jason’s file. “She doesn’t strike me as the kind of woman to make that kind of mistake. If she’s smart, she’ll hightail it to parts unknown.”
“Let’s hope she’s not smart then.”
© Dellani Oakes