“You have good instincts.”
David looked up from his cereal at Sylvia standing in the kitchen doorway holding some papers in her hand. He sighed, not in the mood to play one of Sylvia’s guessing games. His dreams had been restless last night, filled with shadows, and he had awoken earlier than usual with a vague sense of uneasiness. Having Sylvia interrupt his breakfast wasn’t a great start to his day, even though it was coming on one o’clock.
She sauntered over to the table, eyeing him like a cat who had just eaten the prize canary. She tapped the papers on the table. “His full name is Jared Quinby.”
Without answering, he snatched the papers from her hand. “That was fast work.”
“I had it expedited, and boy was it worth the extra cash.” She walked over to the coffee pot and poured a cup, smiling at him over the rim before she took a sip. “You’ll enjoy reading this.”
“What’s going on, Sylvia?” David put down his spoon and glanced at the papers.
“You’ll see. Read it out loud. I only skimmed it.”
David cleared his throat. “Jared Quinby, age 40. Undergraduate degree from George Mason University, graduated in 1992. Medical degree in psychiatry from Georgetown University, 1996. Got top honors in his class, so he must be a bright boy. Let’s see.” He ran his finger down the page.
“Interned at DC Clinics 1994 to 1996, then joined the staff at the clinic until 2000. Started working at Capital Preventive Care, an inner-city clinic that has a charity component of serving the indigent and homeless in Washington, D.C., in 2000 and became a partner in 2003. Got the head job of chief of staff for the psychology department in 2005. Currently on leave from the practice.” He looked up. “So he’s a psychiatrist who loves to help the poor and needy. Typical doctor complex—out to save the world one soul at a time.”
“Keep going. Page two has the interesting bits.” She perched on the counter and watched him flip the page.
“Consulted with the Federal Bureau of Investigation on cases starting in 2007.” He raised his eyebrows. “He has FBI connections?”
She nodded. “Apparently so. Keep reading.”
David returned his attention to the page. “Worked with FBI Special Agent Will Fulton on several cases, including one that broke up a prescription drug ring being run out of two inner city clinics in southern Maryland. Supposedly severed all ties with the agency after he was shot in the leg during a bust gone wrong. The FBI investigated his role in the death of a woman he had been romantically involved with, who had been shot during the same bust. Quinby was subsequently cleared of all wrongdoing. Still recovering from the leg wound, which was severe.”
David raised his eyes to met Sylvia’s gaze. “How did you find all that out?”
“It pays to have sources inside certain federal agencies.”
“And he’s wormed his way into Mary’s life again.”
Sylvia pointed to the papers. “It does confirm that the two lived next door to each other for several years as children and attended the same grade school, so it’s possible that his meeting her again after all these years is a coincidence.”
“But we don’t believe in coincidences, do we?”
“At least not the ones we don’t have a hand in creating.” She put her empty coffee cup in the sink and moved to the door. “If Jared has any inkling on what we’re up to, I’d say bag the entire thing, but the techies say nothing unusual has been happening out in cyberspace. I’d say it’s time you stepped up your game with Mary before the valuable bird flies away.”
David picked up his spoon to finish his cereal. He had a hard time convincing himself that Mary was just another woman. Maybe it was that her chats, while showing loneliness, never had that desperate edge to them. But he couldn’t afford to let a soft spot for Mary impinge on the master plan. “Have I ever let one slip away before?”
Her eyes hardened. “No, but nor have you talked about any other mark like you do Mary. Don’t let your feelings interfere in business.”
“Mary might be different, but she’s still a pigeon for the plucking.”
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Phantom Love is copyrighted and cannot be used in any form without permission from Sarah Hamaker.