Convicted, стр. 72

FYI—LEAVING 1ST THING IN THE MORNING—BUSINESS.”

He entered Amber and Liz’s names and hit SEND.

One last computer search—Harry entered Catherine’s current full name—Catherine Marie London. Very little information surfaced, not even a reference to her one time husband or his last name. As he was about to exit the search, something caught his attention:

Executor of Anthony Rawlings estate, effective: September 18, 2013—fourteen days after the disappearance of...

The short article described the efficient and unaffected running of the Rawlings’ estate, due in essence to Ms. London’s ability to oversee day to day operations. It was a small counter article to one about the ramifications of Anthony Rawlings’ disappearance in relation to Rawlings Industries.

Hmmm...maybe Harry should visit Iowa City? Did he want to see Rawlings’ estate—the place Claire lived—was held captive—and returned to? He shrugged—the past was what it was. Closing this case was his number one priority. First, he’d see how things went in Boston; then, he’d consider Iowa—a definite possibility.

His phone vibrated. Looking to the screen, he saw he had two text messages. The first one was from Amber:

NEW INFORMATION? WHAT? WHERE ARE YOU GOING?”

Harry shook his head and replied.

LOVE YA SIS. I’LL LET YOU KNOW WHEN I’M BACK.”

The second text message was from Liz:

TOMORROW MORNING? DOES THAT MEAN YOU’RE STILL IN TOWN TONIGHT? COINCIDENCE, SO AM I!?”

He smiled—they’d been through a lot, but finally, Liz seemed to understand the whole work and personal life separation, and maybe, just maybe, he was starting to understand what it meant to have that special someone in his life—someone who supported you, no matter what. Harry replied.

“YOUR PLACE? I’M SICK OF THESE FOUR WALLS!”

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Phil was thankful Rawlings had projects for him to research. Sophia Burke continued to be uneventful. Honestly, Phil sensed his assignment would soon be over. Ms. London hadn’t shared her reasoning for his reconnaissance; nevertheless, with the information from Rawlings, it wasn’t difficult to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

Ms. London requested to know Sophia’s habits and schedules. Once she did, she purposely intertwined their lives. Suddenly, Ms. London’s routine included lunch at a deli near the University of Iowa, visits to art galleries in the Quad Cities, and frequenting art museums in Cedar Rapids. At each encounter, the women appeared more at ease.

Phil had no reason to believe Ms. London had revealed her true identity to Sophia. She hadn’t shared it with him either; nonetheless, his job was to help arrange their coincidental meetings.

Although the Rawlings had internet, the jumping through servers, private networks, and shell accounts slowed things down considerably. It was much easier for Phil to do the internet surfing for him. Phil’s current project was Nathaniel Rawls. He knew Rawls’ basic information from Claire’s research, and from Rawlings, he learned Nathaniel was married to Ms. London when he died in prison. Numerous news articles discussed Nathaniel’s demise from natural causes—a heart attack—only two months prior to his release. Rawlings wanted to learn more about Nathaniel’s medical records—especially while in prison. His inquiry was in relation to the civil case awarded to Samuel Rawls. The case claimed mental incompetence and undue influence and resulted in the successful voidance of Nathaniel’s marriage to Catherine London.

Rawlings admitted he never saw his grandfather as being mentally incompetent. He wanted to know if there was any evidence which aided the court in its decision. To Phil it seemed irrelevant—the man was dead—the marriage was voided. What good would it do now to learn if he were or weren’t off his rocker?

Then, Phil would walk into another gallery, see tin cans glued together with paint splashed over it, and remember—research! Infiltrating the records of a state penitentiary as well as the state and federal court systems was much more fun than deciphering art.

Phil sent his latest findings:

To: ARA

From: PR

Re: Research

Date: November 25, 2013

Nathaniel Rawls medical records are indicative of person with heart condition: history of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, depression, vitamin B12 deficiency, and nicotine addiction. Nathaniel took several high blood pressure medications, a cholesterol medication, and an anti-anxiety medication. According to the records, he smoked a half of a pack of cigarettes a day until he died. I’m not well-versed on medicines, but I can send the list if you want.

Records indicate that Samuel Rawls was listed as medical power of attorney. It doesn’t appear that this changed after Nathaniel and Catherine were married. That’s strange?

There were no specific instances of mental instability listed in the records that I’ve accessed thus far. I will continue to dig as well as access the court’s records for the justification of their verdict.

Surveillance—nothing new, Ms. Burke and Ms. London appear to be becoming friendlier. They have now started to meet for lunch once a week.

PR

Phil reread the email. He couldn’t help but smile at the ARA. It was his secret way of saying Anthony Rawlings Alexander. Having something—anything—private with Claire, made Phil smile. He wondered how she was doing, if she and the baby were well. He didn’t feel right asking, but if Ms. London ended this ridiculous assignment, Phil knew he was taking a long flight back to paradise.

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Time passes by so quickly...change happens all around us every day whether we like it or not. Enjoy the moment while you can, one day it will just be another memory .

—Unknown

Days passed. The sun rose bright and yellow in the East and set like a ball of orange fire in the West. As their candidness grew, so did the strength of their bond. The world was present, they could see it or read about it, yet they were separate and safe. Tony’s offer to cooperate with the FBI in exchange for an one year reprieve received Agent Jackson’s approval, as well as whoever needed to sign-off from above. The bureau’s stipulations were clear—Tony must remain outside of the United States—stay in contact with the bureau—and not contact anyone from his past life. There were very few people who knew Anthony Rawlings was actually in a strange state of witness protection/fugitive status. To the world, he was simply—missing.

Agent Jackson promised Tony leniency regarding possible sentencing and preferential treatment regarding the court system as long as he fully cooperated; he agreed. Before Tony would allow the FBI to speak with Claire and receive her assistance, he secured their promise of full immunity. Tony didn’t want any possibility of his wife being charged with aiding and abetting a fugitive. They agreed. During the course of multiple short, untraceable calls, Claire disclosed all she knew first hand and through Tony. When the FBI requested her testimony against Catherine, if the case were to go to court, Claire replied, “There’s nothing that can keep me away from her trial. I want to see her face when she’s sentenced. When she’s in prison—like I was—I want her to remember that I helped put her there!”