“Your Chief Sellers didn’t argue about me going with you?” Declan asked. He stopped next to Jonas’s police vehicle and waited to hear the beep signaling it had been unlocked.
Jonas grinned at him as he got into the driver’s side. Once behind the wheel, he said, “I’m sure he would have if I’d told him. I have a lot of leeway all of a sudden, and it may be so I can hang myself, but in the interim I’m using that freedom as I need to.” He guided the car to the road, then glanced at Declan. “Lucas does much better when he gets to meet things head-on. He enjoys a good conspiracy theory as much as anyone, but really the best way with him is brutal honesty. You may be bonded to him, but I’ve known him a lot longer.”
“Ironic, isn’t it? You know Lucas better than I do, and I know you better than Blair does,” Declan said. He reached over and laid one hand on Jonas’s arm for a few seconds. “You need to tell Blair everything. Let him in.”
“It’s been over a hundred years. I’m not worried that problem will show its ugly head again. Blair thinks I’m some sort of hero. That’s something I’m not ready to shatter just yet,” Jonas said softly. “I need to concentrate on what’s been going on around here lately.”
Declan knew this conversation was over, but they’d pick it up again. Jonas had obviously given some thought to the dark spot that lived in them both. Patience was all Declan could offer at this time. They were quiet for the rest of the drive. When they pulled up at the main gate of the compound, Declan asked, “What’s our escape plan?”
Jonas shrugged. “Run like hell and vault the fence.”
“We really need to work on your escape-route planning,” Declan mumbled.
Jonas seemed to know where he was going. Declan knew Jonas had visited the compound several times in the past, each time with Lucas. He’d never been to the Coate compound, but then again, it wasn’t as if he and Lucas would be invited to the familial estate for Sunday dinner anytime soon.
Jonas pulled out his phone as they got out of the car. “Hey, Lucas. I’ll leave this on. Record for me, okay?” He carried his phone discreetly in his left hand.
The place was actually pretty. A wide, green lawn, decorative trees and shrubs, flower beds, and small groupings of outdoor furniture dotted the area inside the short stone wall surrounding the property. There was a gentle breeze off Lake Erie that carried an undercurrent of lilac and freshly cut grass.
Jasper Coate was coming down the walkway from what Declan took to be the main house, not that he expected a tour.
“I’d assumed you’d come alone,” Jasper said to Jonas. He gave Declan a look that could best be described as disdain.
Jonas stuck his hands behind his back, rocked back and forth on the balls of his feet, and gave Jasper that utterly snarky grin he was so proficient with. “Well, Jasper, you know that old saying about assuming. Makes an ass out of you.”
So it seemed Declan was once again in the role of good cop. Jonas had many skills and attributes. Diplomacy wasn’t among them.
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