A lot could happen in three days.
Or nothing could.
Running his tongue along the cut on his lower lip, he walked into the small apartment without knocking. He curled his nose in distaste as he walked past the mountain of old pizza boxes and empty soda cans piled in the hallway off the kitchen.
The apartment was dull. A light in the kitchen flickering as he walked past. The light in the long hallway was probably out, though he didn’t flick the switch to test it. Whining music with a heavy beat came from the back of the apartment, accompanied by the clicking of keys.
A thin man sat with his high backed computer chair facing the hallway. He clicked away at the keys, oblivious to the tall danger coming up behind him. Twee spun the computer around, unwilling to waste any of the precious time he had.
“You!” Panic and fear was evident in his face as he looked up at Twee, his hands held before him in surrender.
So weak, Twee thought. “I need you to find someone.”
Nodding vigorously, he swallowed the lump in his throat. “Yeah, yeah, of course man. Anything you want.” The fear had his hands shaking before him. “What type of information are you looking for?”
“You won’t find anything on her. I’m thinking traffic and security cameras to try and find her.”
He practically winced. “Do you have a picture of her?” When he didn’t get an answer his brow began to sweat. The pressure was on and he knew what would happen to him if he didn’t find the information he was being asked for. Clicking the keys, he pulled up a few traffic cams. “Is there a place you saw her last.”
“That dusty hotel on the way out of town.”
“There are no cameras out that way.” He frowned.
Twee tried to think. “Pull up cameras from two nights ago. The corner of Main and Broadway. 7:30PM.”
Five windows popped up on the screen after a few taps of the keys. He went through heavy one, spreading them out so they could see them all at once on his large computer screen. “These two are from the traffic cams, these two are restaurants on the corner, this one a convenience store.”
His eyes scanned the crowd. He saw Drie get in the car beside him and watched for any sign of Een. His heart was pounding, he felt like a wolf on the hunt, his prey so close but just out of sight. He knew she was here somewhere. She had to be, she had to have seen them here to follow them out to the motel.
Ten minutes of video played without seeing her. He practically snarled with disappointment and frustration.
“Go back a few days. Same area.” If she happened on the by chance, she must have been doing surveillance in the area. There has to be some sign of her. “Stop.” His heart leapt into his throat. “Go back. Here.” He pointed to one of the windows.
The thin man backed it up.
The video froze.
A woman with a burgundy hoodie on, the hood pulled up over her head and her hands shoved into her pockets. She had been moving effortlessly through the crowd, which was what had initially caught his eye. Now looking at her build, he knew without a doubt it was her.
Her face was almost completely hidden from the camera.
“Can you get a better view of this woman?”
He clicked through different windows. Letting out a frustrated sigh, he enhanced one of the images, enlarging it. “This is the most of her we can see. It’s almost as though she knows where every camera is. How is that even possible?”
For Een, it was.
She was a ghost. It surprised him they had been able to find a good shot of her at all. Her hood was pushed further back on her head than it had been in any other shot of her, her eyes across the street.
What are you looking at? He wondered.
“Show me the street opposite her at the same time.”
It appeared on the screen after a few clicks of the mouse and keys.
There weren’t many options, he realized looking at them. None of these people looked lavishly dressed, none worth killing… to him. Een was not in the same business as him, he realized. Looking everyone over, he tried to figure out which of them had caught her attention.
He didn’t know how her mind worked, he cursed under his breath. Her motives for the kill were vastly different than his.
“Try and see if you can find these people in any other cameras in the weeks leading up to this. The same general area.”
“That is going to take a while.”
“Work fast.” He demanded. “You have four hours. I can’t afford to give you any more than that.”
His fingers began moving with a desperation.
Twee smiled at the way he worked, fear was wonderful motivation. This guy was the best, but he couldn’t afford this not working. They needed to find her.
Both their lives depended on it.
As he looked at the familiar man with what he would be betting his life was the woman in the hood, he almost passed out with relief. Straightening in his chair, he rubbed his eyes and studied their faces more closely.
“I found her.” He was confident. After three hours and ten minutes, he had to be confident. This was her or he was dead, it was that simple.
Getting up, the massive ebony man stalked towards him. Bending over to examine the screen more closely, he leaned over him.
On the screen was a still of a guy in a button down shirt and his hands in his pockets standing next to a woman. No hood was on her head now as she walked out of the restaurant, him at her heels. He had watched the footage about five times through before he was positive it was her.
“Where is this?”
“Ten blocks south, one block East of Main and Broadway.” He pointed to the man. “This is Malcolm Hunter II. His father was murdered earlier that week. Single shot, long range. He was one the street across from her in the first video.”
“Where can I find him?”