فصل 13

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فصل 13

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Chapter thirteen

Eva

Leah didn’t see the man at the supermarket at first, but then she turned and saw his green eyes staring at her. She calmly walked away. Minutes later, she saw him again, hiding his face but watching every move she made.

She was frightened, but remained calm as she walked through the store. She saw him once more in the store, and then saw him walking through the parking lot, carrying nothing. She paid for her groceries as calmly as possible, but her hands shook as she took her change.

She got in her car and drove in the direction of the beach house, though she knew she could never go back there. After a kilometer, she turned quickly and saw him three cars behind her. She desperately wanted to see Patrick so she could scream at him. This was not part of their agreement.

She drove on, remaining calm as Patrick had taught her. The man with the green eyes wasn’t following her now, but she knew others would be watching. An hour later, she entered the airport in Pensacola and bought a ticket for the next flight, which went to Miami.

In Miami, she bought a one-way ticket to Sao Paulo. Why not visit her country? The agent at the passport checkpoint had seen an announcement that the FBI was looking for a young Brazilian woman, age thirty-one, and pushed an alarm. A manager appeared and said, “Could you step in here, Ms. Pires?” He pointed to a row of doors.

“Is there a problem?” she demanded as they walked.

“Not really. Just a few questions.” When they entered a small room, he asked about her reason for going to Sao Paulo. Then he asked, “Where’s your baggage? According to our records, you entered the country eight days ago. Eight days, and no baggage. Seems odd, doesn’t it?”

“Is it a crime to travel without baggage?” she asked.

“No, but it is a crime to use a false passport in the US. Do you know a person by the name of Eva Miranda?”

Leah’s heart stopped, her face fell, and she knew the chase was at an end.


The long table was piled with papers and files, and the Aricia box sat empty in a corner. Patrick and Sandy were looking through the files when Cutter walked in.

“I thought you’d want to know that we have Eva Miranda. We caught her at the airport in Miami, on her way to Brazil.”

Patrick stopped, shocked. “Where is she?” he asked.

“In jail, in Miami. Just thought you’d want to know,” Cutter said with a smile, and left.

Patrick sat down. At least Stephano and Aricia hadn’t caught her; she was safe with the FBI. But he couldn’t believe she was returning to Brazil without him.

“She was fine when I left her,” Sandy said. “She didn’t mention Miami or Brazil. She told me she rented the beach house for a month.”

“Then she got scared. Find a lawyer in Miami, Sandy. And quickly. She must be extremely scared.”

Eva had never been in jail before. She thought about her father and prayed that they weren’t hurting him. And she prayed for Patrick. She found comfort in the money. Tomorrow she’d demand a good attorney. She’d be released soon and would be home to find her father. She’d hide somewhere in Rio; it would be simple. This was a safe place, she decided. The men who hurt Patrick and now had her father couldn’t touch her. She knew the FBI would tell Patrick that they had her, and he’d have a plan.


Sandy called Mark Birck, a criminal lawyer he knew in Miami. At nine the next morning, Birck was at the jail. “Patrick sent me,” he told Leah. “Are you OK?” “I’m fine. Thanks for coming. When will I be released?” “Not for a few days. Patrick’s very concerned about you.” “I know Tell him I’m fine. And I’m very concerned about him.”

“Now, Patrick wants a detailed account of exactly how you were caught.”

She smiled and relaxed. Of course Patrick wanted details.

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