“Mm hmm,” she nodded. “He said he would find her.”
His fingers moved over the pages in the report looking for the exact wording. “He said specifically that? Called her by name?”
“No.” Melissa’s eyebrows scrunched in a way Mark had seen hundreds of times before and he had to bite back a smile. “He said, ‘I will find you. I promise you that.’”
His chest faltered for a moment, the breath caught deep inside. Mark knew this guy, better than he ever wanted to admit and there was no way Mann was talking about the victim. Without even thinking about it, he dropped the professional tone. “Melissa, did he see you?”
“Of course he did.”
“No,” urgency laced his command. “Did he see you? Did he stare at you long enough to see what you look like?”
“He stared down the alley, but I’m sure he was just looking for the woman, Karen. She’s the one he was talking about.” Mark closed his eyes and forced out a breath as the naivety of her words hit him. “Right?” he barely heard her ask.
There were moments Mark knew he was destined to be a cop, moments like this when his gut was practically screaming at him. They had a problem; every fiber of his being told him Johnny Mann had picked a new target. Stalking to the door, he flung it open calling for the two rookies. “I want any information of surveillance in and around the club.”
“Sure thing, Detective,” Officer Landrum replied. “But we all know there weren’t any cameras in the back. There’s no way he would have been there otherwise.”
“I’m not looking for that,” Mark ground out. “Just get me the information.”
The door was cool against his back but it couldn’t seem to battle the fire raging in his veins.
“Hey! Detective Cheat!” Mandy called out from behind him and he turned just in time to see Melissa softly backhand her friend in the arm as she bit back a smile. “You gonna fill us in or do we not get to know what’s making you pace like a crazy man?”
“Lis,” he practically whispered as he walked back towards both ladies.
“Don’t,” Melissa’s hardened voice ground out.
“You don’t get to call me that anymore. You lost that right a long time ago.”
Mark raised his eyebrows in confusion. He was so caught up in concern for what he was afraid would be a horrific nightmare for her, he hadn’t even realized his old nickname for her slipped out. “I’m sorry, Ms. Smith. I meant no disrespect.” She nodded her head and the vinyl of the chair crinkled under his weight as he returned to his seat. “I’ll be honest. I think you’re in danger.”
Both women exchanged quick glances “Of what?” they asked at the same time.