Ricky touched my cheek gently. "Please don't go on the stakeout tonight."
"No choice, babe. I have a job to do." Then I lied to him, something I rarely do unless it's to calm his fears. "The thing they thought I had? It was a necklace being held by a local antiques dealer. Bailey Philips. It's now safely stored at his bank and this afternoon I'm going to—very overtly—pretend to take it to his appraiser. That way if anyone's watching they'll know neither he nor I have it any more."
"Uh-huh." Ricky looked dubious, and a bit pissed off. "Why do I have the feeling you've got more planned than just that? Like… Yeah, got it. You pick up the necklace—supposedly—but somehow you never actually go to the appraiser's office."
"Oh I'll go. I just won't do more than walk inside, wait long enough to make it seem I left it there and then leave."
"Do you expect the people who want it will try to break-in there?"
"Walt!" Ricky said tightly.
I sighed. I was almost never able to keep a secret from him, no matter how hard I tried. Of course I already blew it when I said I'd make it seem as if I'd left it there. "What I'm hoping is, one of their people will call the appraiser, probably posing as Philips, to be certain he got the necklace. Of course since he didn't, he'll say so."
"Setting it up for them to come after you again," he said angrily.
For a moment I was afraid he was going to get up and leave, although for him to do so I'd have to move. I was after all sitting on the outside of the booth's bench. Luckily it didn't come down to a clash of wills. He took a deep breath and calmed down. Some.
"You think it'll happen at the building you're staking out."
I nodded. "It's the logical place. That's where they found me last night."
"You'll be armed this time."
"I told you this morning I would be."
"That was before everything else happened." He chuckled low. "You've had a busy day so far."
"And it ain't over yet."
"Are you ready to order?" That came from the waitress who finally appeared, not Ricky. We were and told her what we wanted without having to consult the menu. As I said, it was one of our favorite eating places so we knew it almost by heart.
When she left, I looked at Ricky. He was frowning. The kind of frown that said he was thinking about something and wasn't happy about it.
"What?" I asked.