Beneath These Chains (Page 69)
Hennessy climbed out of his car and barked some orders into his phone before ending the call and walking toward me. He surveyed the exterior of the building.
“Doesn’t look like the scene of a break in.”
I worked through the locks and opened the door before heading for the alarm panel to punch in the code. Hennessy followed me inside.
All of the other cars sat in their spots and so did the bikes. Nothing else was missing.
“Anything else gone?” he asked.
I shook my head. “Not a damn thing.”
“Looks that way.”
“Assuming it wasn’t your girl.”
My eyes cut to him, and I huffed out a laugh. “No. It wasn’t Elle.”
“Then your other employee—the kid?”
“Had to be.”
“You don’t sound too fucking surprised here, Lord.”
“Because I’m not,” I replied, meeting his narrowed eyes.
“Are you gonna fill me in here, or are you gonna make me pretend I’m a detective or some shit like that?”
His comment might’ve been funny on any other morning.
I considered how to tell him what I knew, and I decided the direct route was the only one worth taking.
“I think I found your murder weapon. For Bree and Jiminy and Denton Fredericks.”
Hennessy’s posture changed instantly. He was no longer relaxed; he was all cop.
“Tell me you took it in on pawn, man. Otherwise I got a really bad feeling about this.”
“Found your killer too.”
Hennessy’s eyes pinned me. “You better lay that shit out right now, or we’re gonna have a problem.”
“Let’s just say grand theft auto is a hell of a lot less prison time for him than murder.”
“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.”
I filled him in on everything I knew. Telling him about the gun—how Elle had no idea Mathieu must have been lifting it from her purse and replacing it—and about his motive. By the end, Hennessy’s face was set in stone.
“Just when I think I’ve heard it all. Nothing should shock me anymore. Not a goddamn thing. But fuck.”
“I know. Trust me—I know.”
“I need to get back to the station. I got a shit ton of work to do now. Where’s the gun?”
“He grabbed it when he ran. We need to report it missing, and I want you to be really fucking clear on the fact that when it’s recovered, even though it’s registered to Elle, she didn’t have a goddamn thing to do with this.”
Hennessy waved off my concern. “Of course. But she’s still going to need to come in and give a statement about where she left it and how she didn’t notice it was missing.”
I forced a laugh. “Have you seen that woman’s purse? Do you know how much shit she carries around? You could hide a goddamn puppy in the thing and she might not know it was there until it started howling for food.”
“Women,” was all Hennessy said. “But you be sure to let her know I’ll be in touch.”
We started for the door again, and I remembered something. “I might not have the gun, but I’ve got the round I test fired from it. It’s downstairs in the range.”
Hennessy stopped midstride and turned. “I don’t even want to know how this all unraveled, do I?”
I shook my head. “Does it matter?”
“Not as long as you’re telling me the truth.”
I met his stare and held it. “There’s nothing I’ve ever wanted to tell you less than that Mathieu was responsible.”
“I believe you. You know it’s not your fault, right? I see it all the time—some people are just wired wrong. No amount of saving is enough to set them right.”
I swallowed and shrugged off his comment. I had a long way to go before I’d feel absolved for my part in this. I locked up the warehouse and headed for the back door of Chains.
“I’ll be right back.”
Hennessy leaned up against his car. “I’ve got a shit ton of calls to make. Gotta track down the kid.”
It had to be done, but I still felt the words like a cheap shot to the kidney.
I unlocked the back door, punched in the code, and headed for the basement. I hustled down the stairs and hit the light at the bottom.
Mathieu sat in the folding chair, Elle’s gun held loosely in his right hand, barrel pointed at his face. An empty bottle was at his feet, and he clutched a half-full fifth of Wild Turkey in his left hand.
He looked up at me, and his eyes blazed with that crazy light I’d never noticed before last night. His knuckles were crusted with blood, and a deep cut sliced through his eyebrow.
“Shit, kid. You need a doctor.”
He laughed, and the rusty sound echoed in the cinderblock room.
“More likely gonna need a hazmat crew,” he said, lifting the gun and gesturing with it.
“There’s no need for that because you’re going to put the gun on the floor and kick it toward me.”
His chuckle was more muffled this time, because he was swigging from the bottle. When he pulled it away from his lips, he held it out toward me.
“You wanna share my last supper?”
“Mathieu, there’s no call for what you’re saying.” I kept my voice calm and even, thinking fast for a way to keep him from blowing his brains across the room. For the first time in a long time, I wasn’t carrying. My .45 was tucked in the glove box of the ’Cuda.