Fear for Me
land.Despite its off-the-beaten-path location, the small club boasted a packed parking lot, one full of trucks, motorcycles, and a few tricked-out cars. Music blared from inside the club, seeming to reverberate from the slanting roof that covered the place.
    Anthony was beside Lauren, his hand light on her arm. He kept getting too close to her. Touching her far too often. His touch made her nervous, and with Walker out there, she was already nervous enough.
    They edged toward the entrance. The bouncer gave them a bored look and waved them inside.
    Only Anthony didn’t go inside. Instead, he pulled out a prison photo of Walker and held it in front of the bouncer. “You seen him?”
    Another bored glance. “No.”
    “
Look
at the photo.” Anthony’s voice snapped with command. “Have you seen this guy?”
    The bouncer stood. Maybe that move was meant to intimidate, but since Anthony was an inch taller, it didn’t exactly work. “You a cop?” the guy demanded.
    “Marshal.” Anthony kept holding the picture. “And this man enjoys slicing apart women.”
    The bouncer’s gaze snapped back to the photo. This time, he looked. Under the flickering fluorescent light, he seemed to pale. “Nah, I ain’t seen that freak here.”
    Anthony tucked the photo back into his pocket and pulled out a small, white card. “If you see him, you call me.”
    The card disappeared in the bouncer’s fist.
    Then they were inside. The music was even louder and the alcohol was flowing freely. The scent of stale beer and sweat filled the air. Bodies were smashed together in the dark spaces—and Lauren noticed that there were plenty of dark spaces.
    When she’d come to Easy Street before, it had been during the daytime. She’d interviewed the staff, talked with Stacy Crawford—all when the bright lights were on.
    Now, the place seemed so different. With the dark bayou waiting just beyond the small windows, the club held an air of menace.
    “How many times did you talk to Stacy Crawford?” Anthony asked.
    “Too many to count.”
    “Then when we see her, you get things started. Maybe she’ll respond better to you.”
    Highly doubtful, but she’d sure give it a try. Since Stacy had actually threatened to kill Lauren at one point, she didn’t particularly think they were headed for bosom-buddy territory.
    You bitch! You ruined my life!
    It hadn’t been the first time Lauren had been called a bitch. Not the last either. Not with her job.
    Her gaze scanned the crowd and lit on the familiar figure of Stacy Crawford. Stacy’s hair color had changed since Lauren had last seen her. Instead of the blue black, Stacy’s hair was now an almost white blonde and she seemed thinner, paler.
    Lauren pushed her way through the crowd. The waitress was leaning over the bar, slapping her hand on the counter as she tried to get the bartender’s attention.
    “Stacy?”
    Without looking back, Stacy said, “Be with ya in a minute—”
    “It’s Lauren Chandler.” She had to raise her voice to be heard over the blare of music. “I’m the—”
    Stacy whirled toward her. “I know who the hell you are.”
    Stacy’s hair color had changed, but the hate in her brown eyes hadn’t.
    Lauren cleared her throat. “Is there some place we can go to talk?”
    “I don’t have a damn thing to say to you!” Stacy tried to shove past her.
    Lauren caught her arm, her grip light. Anthony was silent, watching. “Walker escaped. He’s in the area.”
Killing.
She didn’t say that. Stacy had never believed Walker was a killer.
    A tremble ran over Stacy, but she locked her jaw and gritted, “I know. The damn cops called me and I told them just what I’m telling you—
fuck off
.” Then she yanked her arm away and stormed toward a door marked STAFF.
    Lauren stared after her. That had pretty much gone as expected.
    “So much for you getting witnesses to cooperate,” Anthony murmured.
    He had
not
just said that. Lauren knew her eyes had just narrowed to

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