“Shouldn’t we go out the back way?” Marie asked as she followed Frost along the corridor to the main staircase.
“I don’t retrace my steps.”
At the top of the stairs, he offered his arm, but she didn’t take it. “You’re supposed to love me,” he whispered conspiratorially.
She arched an eyebrow. “Perhaps I’m in love with someone else.”
“Not tonight. Our lives may depend on this little charade.”
“I’ll play my part.” She rested her hand in the crook of Frost’s arm. “Can you play yours?”
He pressed his chin against her temple. “In a heartbeat,” he said, his voice slightly gruff. Before she could respond, he started down the stairs. With each descending step, she conscientiously shooed away the butterflies this German let loose in her stomach and embraced the role of enchanted girlfriend.
When they exited the building, Frost bent his head and sauntered away from the curious onlookers crowded around the broken body and shattered glass. Marie glanced over her shoulder and grimaced. A police officer shouted for the crowd to move back as ambulance attendants pushed their way through. She fought to maintain her character, but an unexpected gasp tore through her throat.
“Don’t look,” Frost whispered, increasing his stride. “Twist knew the risks. There’s nothing you can do for him now.”
Marie tightened her grip on Frost’s arm. She needed to think, to plan, and to bury her horror. At least until she was back in her own London flat. Not the dowdy dowager flat, either, but her own place with its tiny kitchen alcove, doily-covered tables, and leaded pane windows. In the comfort of that room, she could wrap herself in her soft terry robe, sink into her overstuffed chair, and warm her hands around a cup of steaming tea. Perhaps she’d even spike the brew with a drop of whiskey in remembrance of Twist.
Giving in to grief now would only increase her danger.
If Frost was telling her the truth about the SD, she had no choice but to trust him to get her out of Hatfield. If he was lying, then she needed all her wits to get away.
Remembering her interrogation training, she concentrated on what she knew. No, she shook her head slightly. What she thought she knew could be wrong. What were the facts?
A silhouette and a shadow had appeared at Twist’s window.
Twist fell, and now he was dead.
This stranger, this German, had forced her to go with him. He knew her name, had clothes for her. After burning the incriminating documents she carried, he had given her back the cash and her weapon.
She pressed her palm against the stinger, hidden again in her waistband. Aiming it at an actual person wasn’t at all like aiming at a wooden target. He was right—she couldn’t have shot him. She doubted she could ever shoot anyone.
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