Page 24 of Just Me


Guy took a deep breath, and the tension Cami had been feeling, all the way in the core of her being, eased very slightly.

He’d broken. She sensed it. And he was ready to talk. Now, what would he say? Was the crime about to be solved?

Guy cleared his throat, and Cami waited, feeling riveted that this entire scenario was playing out right here, in his home territory. In this very living room, he was now about to spill what Cami was sure would be a confession.

But what Guy stammered out next, shocked her.

“Last night, I…I was at home. But I can prove it. I was gaming. All night.”

Now, finally, Cami thought she was ready to say something. She wanted to come across as hardcore. To pressure him as intensely as Connor had done. But she didn’t think she would be able to come across that way. She was starting to realize that it had taken years, in fact decades of experience, to engineer the showdown she’d just witnessed.

She didn’t have that, but she did have the ability to point out a potential lie when she heard one. This was, after all, her area of expertise. Especially since those threatening texts he’d sent were surely evidence of a murderous mindset.

“There’s no guarantee that it was you, personally,” she said politely, seeing Connor’s gaze immediately swerve her way. She hoped she was doing the right thing. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to overstep her mark. She still seethed with resentment when she thought about the stupid, bureaucratic rules that underpinned this entire useless organization.

But right here, right now, all she cared about was pointing out this potential loophole, without compromising the tense atmosphere that Connor’s questioning had created.

“What do you mean?” he said.

Hoping she would hit the right note, Cami replied, “You could have gotten someone else to play for you. Gaming is done under an avatar.”

She glanced anxiously at Connor, hardly moving her head. She just wanted to check his reaction. He was expressionless, though. She couldn’t tell if he was angry that she’d spoken or if it was the right thing.

Not the right thing for the FBI, she didn’t give a minute of her time for them, but for Adriana. For cool, fun Adriana who could have been a friend. With her beautiful hair and her bird tattoos, the feeling Cami had was that she was a free spirit.

For Adriana, Cami wanted justice. And for Adriana, she hoped she was getting this dynamic right.

At least Guy seemed to be eager to reply to her. She’d touched a chord, clearly.

“I would never have done that!” he said, sounding horrified. “Let someone else game in my name? That’s like, like sacrilege!”

“But it’s possible. Especially if you needed an alibi. You could have gotten someone else in here. You could even have written a program to fill in for you, if you were really clever,” Cami suggested.

“I’m not that clever,” he muttered.

“So, I guess it’s impossible to prove that this was you gaming last night.” Now, in a stern voice, Connor took over.

“Yeah. I guess,” he shrugged.

“We need other proof.”

Now, Guy was starting to look seriously stressed.

“Look, from last night, I don’t know what to say now. You’ve thrown me. You’ve thrown me because you’ve, like, dug holes in my truth!”

“Then give us a better truth,” Connor said. “Give us more detail. Did you see anybody last night?”

“Not in the real world.”

“And we’re not taking the virtual world as being a sufficient alibi. So, let’s go back further.”


“How about two nights ago? Sunday night?”

That must have been the date of the first murder. Did they have an accurate time frame for it? Cami wondered. Perhaps they did, within a few hours at least. She guessed it would depend on a whole host of things and she had no idea how accurate it was. It might have been in the case file somewhere, but not in what she’d had time to read and take in so far.

Tags: Blake Pierce Mystery
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