Innocent Bystander

Free Innocent Bystander by Glenn Richards

Book: Innocent Bystander by Glenn Richards Read Free Book Online
Authors: Glenn Richards
    He bent his arm to check his watch. “At ten o’clock?”
    “These guys don’t work nine to five.” She fished out her keychain and dangled it beneath his nose. “Let’s take my car.”

    Emma handled her Nissan Leaf with the precision of a Formula One driver. She drove fast, but not fast enough to attract attention.
    Burnett fretted over how the Leaf stood out. If the cops were trailing them, it would be easy to follow. He admired her commitment to the Green Movement, or whatever she called it. Right now, though, he wished they’d taken his car. If ever a car had been designed to blend in, it was the Toyota Camry.
    He kept his eyes riveted on the side-view mirror. He’d asked her to adjust the mirror on his side so he could monitor the traffic behind them. A pair of headlights insisted on lurking a hundred feet back.
    She turned right onto a busy, two-lane road. The vehicle behind them made a right and merged into traffic. Burnett kept his focus on the headlights. They kept pace with the Leaf.
    Is it the sedan that had been parked across the street?
    It astonished him how paranoid his thinking had become over the past twenty-four hours. Since Audrey had shown up at Henri’s apartment he hadn’t known what to believe, his mind questioning everything that had happened. This near constant state of uncertainty had begun to take a toll on him. He wasn’t sure who he could trust, except Emma. She remained the one constant in his life right now. Thank God she’d come by tonight.
    “Can you speed up a little?” he asked.
    Without asking why, she pressed the accelerator.
    The headlights behind them maintained their distance.
    Burnett squinted and tried to read the name of the upcoming side street. He recognized it. “Can you make a right here?”
    “It’s not the way,” she said.
    “Three more rights will bring us back.”
    “You think we’re being followed?”
    He nodded.
    Emma tapped the brake and made a cautious right onto the street. The headlights that had trailed them slowed, but continued along the main avenue.
    He twisted his body and stared out the back window. He clenched his teeth and prayed no other car would appear. The Leaf approached a stop sign. Behind them he saw only darkness.
    “They’re gone,” she said. She watched him. His curved body sat rigid, and he remained fixated on the street. She touched him on the shoulder. He turned and faced her. “I really think they’re gone.”
    She brought the Leaf to a stop at the intersection.
    “Stay on this street a little longer,” he said when he realized she intended to make the right.
    “Sure,” she said, her voice tinged with doubt.
    He knew her primary concern was getting to the PI’s office as soon as possible.
    Emma straightened out the wheel and the Leaf leapt forward. The road snaked through a suburban neighborhood. Mini-mansions with oversized yards lined the street.
    His attention returned to the side-view mirror. Only darkness, broken by an occasional streetlamp, filled the mirror.
    Then he thought he saw a vehicle behind them, its headlights out. Perhaps he’d imagined it. His paranoia seemed to grow by the minute.
    He twisted his body again and locked an arm around the headrest. After an interminable wait, a dark sedan coasted beneath a streetlight.
    “They’re still back there,” he said.
    She checked the rearview mirror. “I don’t see anyone.”
    “Keep watching.”
    She watched darkness behind them in the mirror. She must have seen it because she jammed the accelerator to the floor. The Leaf tore down the street. It screeched to a halt at a stop sign. She spun the wheel to the right and the Leaf raced down a windy street. Burnett, awestruck by how quickly the all-electric car accelerated and took turns, clutched the armrest.
    Two more rights deposited them back on the main road. He studied the numbers on the center console, the top one indicating how many miles the Leaf could travel before

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