Fear for Me
people staring down their noses at me. Whispering. I’m
    Lauren didn’t blame her. She was surprised Stacy had stayed around so long. “Why haven’t you left before?”
    “My boyfriend didn’t want to leave. He had a job he was doin’, but it’s over, and we can go now.” Stacy pushed back her hair. “After my shift,
I’m free
    Stacy tried to slide around Lauren. Lauren moved a few inches to block her path. “He killed two people to escape, and he’s already killed a woman since getting out.”
    Stacy blanched.
    “He stabbed her, sliced her, and left her body broken.”
I’m so sorry, Karen.
Nausea rolled in Lauren’s stomach. “So think about this.
think about this. Has he called you? Sent you any notes? Have you seen him—maybe even seen someone who looked like him?” He would have tried to disguise himself after he got out of prison.
    “No.” Stacy straightened her thin shoulders. “Now I got to get back to work. I want you both to stay away from me.” She hurried away from them.
    The door slammed behind her.
    Lauren slowly turned to face Anthony. “Do you think she’s lying?”
    “I think she’s scared out of her mind.”
    So did Lauren. “She figured he’d never get out.” She pushed back her hair. “Now she’s running scared, and she’s about to run fast and hard.”
I don’t blame you, Stacy. I’d want to run, too.
    A very big part of her
want to run, but she couldn’t.
    “I’ll do a sweep around the bar, talk to the bartenders, the waitresses,” Anthony said as his gaze left her. “If Walker comes within a hundred feet of this place, I want to know.”
    Right. Sounded like a good plan.
    She stepped forward and found that Anthony’s assessing green gaze had come back to her. “You’re good at your mask,” he said.
    She was very much afraid her mask was about to break.
    “Good at playing it cool so no one sees what you really feel.”
    It had taken years to develop that mask, but when there was no choice, she’d learned to adapt. Clearing her throat, she managed, “I’ll have to tell the cops about the necklace.” Walker had always liked to take jewelry from his victims. Necklaces seemed to be his first choice, but if the vic wasn’t wearing a necklace, then he took earrings or rings. Something small. Easy to carry. “We’ll see if we can get a team to search for it—”
    “Like right now,” he cut through her words, “you’re still wearing the mask. I can’t tell if you’re angry or scared or if you don’t fucking feel a thing.”
    She didn’t so much as blink. “I guess you don’t know me well.” But then, hadn’t that always been their problem? He saw her surface, nothing more. The way most people did.
    The music rose again, and they swept back into the club. Lauren searched the crowd, and saw no sign of Walker. No sign at all. When they questioned the patrons, no one in Easy Street remembered seeing him.
    As she walked back out into the night, a small shiver slid over Lauren’s skin. Anthony was wrong. She felt—plenty. Right then, she was feeling very afraid. She couldn’t shake the feeling that the killer was close, too close, just playing with them as he waited for his vengeance, ready to strike at any moment.

    The marshal and the DA left the club. They skulked around, did their talking and questioning bit, and then they finally left. He noted the vehicle they were using because he’d be seeing it again.
    He had plans. So many plans.
    While he’d sat in prison, he’d had nothing but time on his hands. Plenty of time to figure out just what he’d do when he got out.
    He hung back, waiting in the shadows. And when midnight finally came, he rode his motorcycle closer to Easy Street. Not too close. He figured the marshal and his cop friends had probably ordered some undercover patrols in the place. He wasn’t stupid.
    Stacy was.
    She burst from the back of the club, rushing fast, nearly falling in her high heels.

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