I got my first look at Cameron Davis. There was a family resemblance. He was lean and straw haired, like a more powerful version of Skinny Alan. His eyes were ice blue, and without mercy. For a full minute, he looked at me. If we met in Hell a thousand years from now, he would remember every detail.
So would I.
He said, “Follow the car,” and motioned. The window went up, and the car went forward. I followed. When I thought I had gone far enough, I stopped.
It was no longer a matter of rifle range. Davis wasn’t going to shoot me. Not now. There was no need. In his eyes, I was already dead. It was just a matter of choosing the time and place.
I waited, standing calmly as if the sun were not baking my brain. Minutes passed. If he sends his driver again, I thought, we are at an impasse. If he comes himself, it’s a done deal.
The Lincoln started up again and swung a wide arc that brought it into the shade of a tree, about fifty feet closer to where Ed waited. The door opened. Cameron Davis got out and leaned against the side of the car. I walked over and leaned up against it myself, arms crossed, about four feet away from Davis. The young black man stood off thirty feet with his hand inside his windbreaker.
“You could still have a long range mike,” Davis said. “You know, like they use at football games.”
“How do I know that?”
“You’re recording this, of course.”
He didn’t reply.
“You don’t have to talk,” I said, “just listen. You probably know part of this story, but you don’t know it all.”
So I told him the whole thing, from his sons’ attack on Raven, to the firebombing of the motel. I told him what I knew, and what I suspected about Harvey Jacks. I didn’t tell him that I had killed his son James.
“I know you were back of part of this,” I said, “particularly at the end. But I don’t think you were in on the beginning. I don’t think you are that stupid.”
“No, I’m not stupid.”
“Other than that, I’m not asking what part of this business you had a hand in.”
“That’s good,” he said carefully.
“Will you agree that it should never have begun?”
“Of course this is all news to me, but I can say that it appears to have been a mistake from the beginning.”
“And now it can end?”
Suddenly, his mask of civility dropped away. “Do you stand in front of a landslide and shout, ‘Stop!’ Some things, once begun, have to carry through to their conclusion.”
He knew about Venice. I could read it in his face. Susyn must have called him.
There was death between us.
“Can it end for Raven Cabral?”
“Why should it?”
“Because if it does not, we will destroy you. You have the list we sent you. You know we can do it.”
“We? Who is we?” more tomorrow