Rarities Unlimited 04 - The Color of Death

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back to looking at the computer.
    Peyton kept reading over her shoulder while his hands slid farther down her collarbone. “I didn’t know you were doing off-site security for Branson and Sons.”
    “New client.” Her breath hitched as his fingers curled around her nipples. “This is our third run for them.”
    “Rough or polished goods?”
    “Both.”
    “Nice catch,” he said, tugging at her nipples and memorizing the courier’s arrival time.
    Smiling, Sharon closed the computer and set it aside. “Speaking of nice catch…”
    “Hmmm?” He nibbled at her neck.
    “You feeling like pitching?”
    He pulled her hand inside his robe. “What do you think?”
    “Hardball.” She smiled slyly. “My favorite.”

Chapter 14
    Scottsdale
    Tuesday
    10:30 P.M .
    Sam watched while Gavin Greenfield entered the lobby of the hotel with three other mildly drunk conventioneers.
    Finally. I was beginning to think he went with the guys to a whorehouse for an all-nighter.
    When the men headed for the elevators, Sam put away his newspaper and followed. Two of the men got off on the eighth floor and one on the ninth, leaving Sam and Gavin alone in the elevator. When the doors opened onto the tenth floor, both men stepped out.
    “Gavin Greenfield?” Sam asked as soon as the doors closed behind them.
    “Yes?”
    Sam pulled out his credentials. “FBI Special Agent Sam Groves.”
    Gavin looked curious rather than alarmed when he saw the gold badge. “What’s this about?”
    A photo appeared in Sam’s other hand. “Do you recognize this woman?”
    “Sure. That’s Katie.” For the first time Gavin looked anxious. “Is she all right? Has anything happened to her?”
    “She’s fine. Do you have a last and middle name for Katie?”
    “Her full name is Katherine Jessica Chandler. Katie to her family. Kate to everyone else. Look, what’s this—”
    “Excuse me, sir,” Sam interrupted without raising his voice. “How long have you known her?”
    “Since she was eight. I’m an honorary uncle. Why are you asking about her?”
    “Just routine,” Sam lied easily. “Her photo came up in connection with a background investigation we were running. We needed to match it with a name. You’re sure about the identity?”
    “Absolutely.”
    “Do you have an address and telephone number for Ms. Chandler?”
    Gavin hesitated, looked again at the badge on Sam’s palm, and gave him the information.
    “Local address,” Sam said, recognizing the name of a nearby bedroom community. “Is she staying at the hotel?”
    “I don’t think so. It’s only a short drive from her house and the rooms here are pricey.”
    “Thank you, sir. If we need anything else, I’ll be in touch.”
    Leaving a bemused Gavin behind, Sam got on the elevator and went back to the front desk. Ten minutes later he found out that no Kate or Katie Jessica Chandler was registered under any variation of the name. He looked at his watch and decided it was never too late to catch a con artist at home.
    And this time he wouldn’t take no for an answer.

Chapter 15
    Glendale
    Late Tuesday night
    Kate heard her doorbell ring, looked at the clock above her workbench, and shot to her feet.
    Lee!
    Even as the thought came, she tried to control the wild rising of hope inside her. She had a lot of business associates in the immediate area. It wouldn’t be the first time that someone with a handful of good rough gems was too impatient to wait for normal business hours to talk to her. It was one of the downsides of working and living in the same place.
    With a caution that came from handling small, very valuable, easily portable goods, Kate looked out the expensive peephole in her sturdy front door.
    Not Lee.
    The Fed.
    How did he find me?
    Kate flipped on the intercom and left the locks as they were. “Sorry, wrong number.”
    “Not according to Gavin Greenfield,” Sam said.
    “What—how—is he all right?”
    Sam found it interesting that both of them were so

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