Angel's Advocate by Mary Stanton

Angel's Advocate by Mary Stanton

Author:Mary Stanton
Language: spa
Format: mobi, epub
Publisher: PENGUIN group
Published: 0101-01-01T00:00:00+00:00


Twelve

You’re breakin’ my heart.

You’re shakin’ my confidence daily.

—“Cecilia,” Paul Simon

She drove to the Marlowe’s out near the Oglethorpe Mall, and decided to ask for Chad Martinelli before she asked for Shirley Chavez.

Chad was a skinny, sullen kid with a postnasal drip and a long shock of black hair that hung over his eyes. He was also, to Bree’s mild astonishment, in charge of inventory. The very polite Marlowe’s greeter who met her as she walked in got a shade less polite when she asked to see Chad.

“In the office. He works with the computers.”

The administrative offices were behind the returns and exchanges area, immediately to the left of the front entrance. Bree walked down the wide, linoleum-covered hall and tapped at the metal door. There wasn’t any answer for a minute, then the door opened to a largish room packed with metal desks, a long rank of computers, and neatly arrayed filing cabinets.

“So what d’ya want?”

Bree glanced at the kid’s name tag, which indeed identified him as Charles “Chad” Martinelli. “You,” she said bluntly. “I want to talk to you.”

Chad looked over his shoulder. There were two other people in the room, both middle-aged women. He stepped into the hall and closed the door behind him. “So you’re talking to me,” he said. “Who are you and what do you want?” He ran his eyes insolently up and down her figure. “You look like a lawyer. You from my dad’s firm?”

Bree’s response was immediate and involuntary. “No way.”

A brief smile lifted the sneer, and for a minute, Bree caught sight of a shy good-looking kid behind the sullen façade.

“But I am a lawyer. Mrs. Chandler hired me to handle Lindsey’s case.”

The smile grew into a genuine grin. “You mean the cookie heist?” He punched the air with one hand. “Way to go, Lin!”

“Yeah. Well, it’s the way to go if you want to spend a fair amount of time making license plates.”

This appealed to Chad’s sense of humor. “Heh,” he said. “Heh-heh.” He bit his lip a little nervously. “She can buy her way out of it, right? People like the Chandlers can always buy their way out of it.”

“Maybe. Maybe not. I’ll be frank. It doesn’t look good. Not good at all.”

Chad rubbed the back of his hand against his nose. “No shit.”

“No shit.” Bree cocked her head to one side. There wasn’t any way that this kid was going to admit anything about drugs. But the look on his face when she’d mentioned Lindsey’s possible prison term gave her an idea about how to get into Chad’s head. “So. Are you and Lindsey seeing each other?”

Chad leaned against the wall and moved his shoulders up and down, scratching himself. “Maybe.”

“Madison Bellamy said you two broke up a couple of months ago.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah. And what I want to know is, did Lindsey break off with you, or did you break off with her?”

“Why don’t you ask Lin?”

“I will,” Bree said with deceptive cordiality. “But I’m asking you now, aren’t I?”

“Her folks did it,” he said abruptly.



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