Kitty and the Midnight Hour Page 45

"Hi, Kitty Norville? I'm Ben O'Farrell. Cormac says you need a lawyer." He had an average voice, but spoke with confidence and met my gaze.

"Hi." Tentatively, I shook his hand. I tried to get more of a sense of him. He smelled average. Normal. The jacket maybe needed washing. "I don't know if I do or not."

He shrugged. "Never hurts when the cops are around. Here's my card, my rates." He pulled a card out of one pocket, a pen out of another, tried juggling them and the briefcase, then set the briefcase down so he could write on the card, which he handed to me when he was finished.

That was a big number. It was a per-hour number.

"You any good?" I said.

"Cormac isn't in jail."

I smiled in spite of myself. "Should he be?"

When O'Farrell matched the smile, he looked like a hawk. It made me feel better; at least, it would so long as he was on my side. It made me glad I hadn't pressed charges against Cormac that night he barged in on the show.

"Can you stick around for tonight? Hopefully I won't need you any longer."

He nodded and went to the door.

"Wait." I winced, only starting to realize the kind of trouble I was in. He was letting the cops in. I wanted to run. Wolf started itching, and I didn't need that now. "I don't want to tell them what happened."

He looked thoughtful a moment, then said, "Okay." He glanced out the still-open door and gestured someone inside. Detective Hardin.

O'Farrell took a seat at the table and looked busy with his briefcase. Hardin closed the door and remained standing by the wall, arms crossed, grouchy.

She said, "What was that hit man doing in your apartment?"

That wasn't a good place to start the conversation. Was there a good place to start this conversation?

I glanced at O'Farrell. He shrugged, noncommittal, and continued shuffling papers. Did that mean it was okay to talk or not? I could refuse to answer. Mainly because I didn't know what to say, and not because I was hiding anything.

"I called him. I was pretty beat up earlier, and I needed help. We've been in touch. Professional consulting."

"No hard feelings over what happened last month, then?"

"I guess not."

"What was the dead guy doing at your apartment?"

I swallowed, my throat dry. O'Farrell said, "Could we get some water in here? Thanks."

With an even more surly frown, Hardin leaned out and called to someone. A moment later a couple of cups of water arrived.

This all just wasted time.

"You going to answer me?" Hardin said. Her hair was sticking out in all directions, and her eyes were shadowed. She hadn't gotten any sleep either.

"He—he was waiting," I said, stammering. "For me. He wanted to hurt me." I took another drink of water and ducked my gaze. I was having trouble talking.


I couldn't answer that. I couldn't say it. It would take too long to explain.

"Then can you tell me who else was there?"

I couldn't answer that either. Once again, I looked at O'Farrell for help. Hardin looked at him, too.

He said to Hardin, "I'm assuming she hasn't been Mirandized? She doesn't have to answer any question she doesn't want to. She's here as a voluntary witness." Voluntary? Nominally .

"At this stage," Hardin said. She turned back to me. "It wasn't a wild dog that bit that guy's head off, and I'm pretty sure it wasn't you. They found blood under the victim's fingernails and in his mouth. I'm willing to believe that it's yours and that part of your story checks out. If it does, it means you were there and you probably know who did it. Was it that rogue werewolf you've been telling me about? The one we've been looking for in the mauling deaths?"

"No," I said, forgetting myself. "This doesn't have anything to do with the rogue." This was all inside the pack and none of her business."

Hardin started pacing. "Ms. Norville. Kitty. Right now you're a witness, not an accessory to murder. Don't make me have to change that assessment."


"If you know who did it and you don't tell me, I can charge you with being an accessory to murder."

"That's a bluff," O'Farrell said. "The most you could charge without more evidence is obstruction of justice."

What the hell were they talking about?

Hardin plowed on, ignoring him. "If you're trying to protect whoever did this, you're guilty of a crime."

"It wasn't… like that. Zan made the challenge; he was asking for it—this isn't… this isn't… criminal."

"Ms. Norville." O'Farrell made a calming gesture. I sat back.

Hardin said, "A man has been murdered and you're saying there's nothing wrong with that?"

"No, it's just—" It's just that yeah, within the law of the pack, it was all right. T.J. was the dominant wolf and Zan had overstepped his bounds. I wanted the double standard, now that it would benefit me. "He did it to protect me. Zan attacked me first, and—"

"Ms. Norville." O'Farrell's tone was cautioning.

I was doing everything I could to not say the name. And really, it wasn't defensive. Zan had backed off. T.J. killed him anyway. In the eyes of human law, T.J. was a murderer.

I curled up in the chair and pressed my face to my knees.

O'Farrell stood up. "Detective Hardin, could I have a word with you?"

The lawyer and detective moved to the opposite corner of the room and spoke in low whispers. They didn't seem to know I could still hear them.

"Ms. Norville is cooperating to the fullest extent of her current ability. She's been injured, hasn't had any sleep, and is in no state to answer your questions at this time. Let her go home and get some rest. You can talk to her later. She'll probably be more helpful then."

"Let her go so she can get together with this other guy and straighten out their stories?"

"Look at her record—she's not even a flight risk. Clean as a whistle."

"Except for being a werewolf."

He shrugged. "Not her fault."

Hardin looked away with a huff. She pulled a cigarette out of her trousers pocket, patted the other pocket for a lighter, but didn't find one. She pointed at O'Farrell with the unlit cigarette. "If I let her go, promise me you'll talk some sense into her. I don't want to have to arrest her for anything."

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