Beneath These Chains (Page 64)

I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong.

I pushed up from the chair and paced toward the empty hearth. What were my options?

I couldn’t call him.

But I could go looking for him.

Arnie was gone for the night. Margaux had left an hour ago. So … I could call a cab … or … my stepdad’s Porsche was parked in the garage.

Do I really want to do this?

Fear was growing inside me with every passing minute that something horrible had happened to Lord.

“Fuck it,” I said to the empty room. “I’m going.”

I hustled to the kitchen—directly to the key rack on the wall. There was only one Porsche key, so I snagged it and pushed open the door to the garage.

All silver and sleek lines, even I could admit that my stepdad’s car was really pretty.

And then I remembered I didn’t have my purse.

“Driving for the first time in over a decade and with no license. Way to be a rebel, Elle.”

But wherever Lord was, I’d find my purse. And he’d be so freaking proud that I’d clawed back this piece of myself.

If he’s okay … my brain whispered.

He had to be okay. No other alternative was remotely acceptable. My fears were totally irrational. I was not going to lose another important person in my life.

Tenacity flooded me as I opened the door of the Porsche and slid into the black leather seat. After adjusting the mirrors and locating the button for the garage door, I inserted the key into the ignition and turned it. The car purred to life. Sucking in a deep breath, I shifted out of park.

The car coasted out of the garage and onto the driveway.

See, just like riding a bike. I got this. I shifted into gear and followed the curving driveway out to the road. I didn’t even clip the mailbox—points for me. But where the hell did I start? The idea of going to Chains this late at night—driving a freaking Porsche—didn’t seem like the best plan ever. So I’d go to Lord’s first, and then to Chains if I couldn’t find him. I better freaking find him.

Within miles, I was calling myself a crazy woman for not getting over my hang up sooner. I loved how the Porsche handled and the freedom of it.

Hello, my name is Elle Snyder, and I’m hunting down the pieces of my life and putting them back together one by one.

I turned down Lord’s street and slowed as I neared his house, before pulling into his empty driveway.


I’d been so damn sure of how this would unfold—he’d be inside, fussing over what stuff I wanted him to bring me, and he’d be shocked that I’d shown up on my own, and then he’d be totally proud. But apparently that wasn’t how it was going to go down.

I guessed my next stop was Chains.

I looked up into the rear view mirror, my eyes catching on the apartments across the street—and the sexy black ’Cuda parked near the entrance—and my hand froze over the gearshift.

I stood at the door, guts twisted into knots.

I wanted to be wrong.

I’d done a lot of shit in my life, but accusing someone of murder … that was a first, even for me. It’d taken a good hour of sitting in the garage at Chains, thinking about how to deal with this before I’d finally pulled away.

The door opened.

“Come on in, man. You just gonna stand there on the rug and take up space? It’s been for-fucking-ever since you came over to shoot the shit,” Mathieu said.

The word shoot was sobering, and the gun tucked into the back of my jeans weighed down my mood even more.

Mathieu picked up on my unusually sober expression.

“Dude, you look like someone stole your girl. Everything cool?” He strode to the fridge and pulled it open, snagging two beers by the necks.

I studied him like I’d never seen him before. His T-shirt and jeans hung on his lanky frame, no visible ink, hair buzzed even shorter than mine. He’d come a long way from the kid who’d run into Chains and grabbed a guitar and tried to run out the door. I couldn’t get the words out. What if I was wrong? Then what?

But I wasn’t wrong. Except for Elle, there were no other suspects. I didn’t know where she’d been during any of the murders, but there was no way in hell I’d believe she could have done something like that.

No, Mathieu had killed at least two—likely three—people … with Elle’s gun.

The discovery I’d made in my amateur firearms ID lab in the basement of Chains had rocked me. Elle’s gun was a .32ACP, and the round I’d test fired had matched the striations on the picture of the bullet I’d snapped when Hennessy had left Jiminy’s file on the table during my last visit to the station for questioning. They’d already determined that the bullet from Jiminy’s murder matched the gun used in Bree’s. The ID wasn’t completed on the bullet from Denton’s murder, but I’d bet my pawnshop that Mathieu had killed him too. What I didn’t understand was—why?

He crossed the five or so feet between the fridge and me and handed me a bottle. I made no move to pop the top—or scold him for underage drinking. Mathieu stepped back and leaned against the counter.

“Seriously, man, what’s goin’ on?” Mathieu’s brow furrowed.

I started the only way I knew how. “Elle’s stepdad is dead.”

“That so?” Mathieu shrugged, completely indifferent. “Must’ve had it comin’.”

I held back the why the fuck did you do it? clawing out of my throat and decided on a different tactic.

“They’re looking at Elle for it. I had to talk Hennessy out of dragging her down to the station an hour ago to start questioning her.”