The closer I ventured to the house, the darker the windows seemed to be – the lights hadn’t just been turned off, something else had filled the space left behind by the light.
I eased the front door open and closed it quietly behind me. I edged across the floor towards the stairs.
A dark shape appeared at the top of the staircase, making me jump out of my skin.
But there was no immediate attempt to kill me. Instead he turned and disappeared.
I hurried up the stairs after him.
He loomed in the room I’d been using as a study, his head nearly touching the ceiling. He grasped a manuscript in his gloved hand – one I hadn’t got around to working on yet.
“Where did you get this?” he growled.
“I found it on my desk,” I shrugged. “Like I always do. It came from him – the same as all the others.”
The hitman’s expression was grave.
“No. It didn’t.”
I stared at him dumbfounded.
“What do you mean – it didn’t,” I uttered.
“This didn’t come from him,” the hitman snapped. “Someone else broke in here and left it for you.”
“Why would they do that?” I blurted.
“I don’t know.” The hitman slammed the manuscript back on the desk, making papers and books spill onto the carpet. He gave me a murderous dark scowl. “There’s something about you they find special.”
“I haven’t found what the detective left,” I blurted.
“I know.” He strode out of the room. “Looks like you’re too important to kill – for now. You’d better get on with it.”
I studied the mystery manuscript. I scrolled through hours and days of security footage. I found nothing. No one could have got in, left the manuscript and got out again without us knowing. But someone did.