“Absolutely.” Asher glances back at the screen. “How the hell are we supposed to figure out where she's been taken, though?”
“I thought that was your skillset.”
He blows out a frustrated breath and shakes his head. “I've got to tell you, man, I'm hitting a dead end here.”
I pace as I sip my coffee. I ought to eat something, but my stomach is too queasy to be able to contemplate facing food right now. I turn suddenly to Asher. “Maybe we're looking at this the wrong way,” I say.
“What do you mean?”
“Only, we're looking for a clue as to which direction Don took our girl. Perhaps we should start looking at the other end, the destination.”
Asher narrows his eyes and looks at me as if I've grown a second head. “Great plan, Wilder. The trouble is we don't know their destination, so how do we go looking for something we don't know?”
I grin at him as the idea solidifies in my mind. “That boat can't carry that much fuel, right? I mean, the hold can't be that big. It’s not safe to have gallons and gallons of that stuff sloshing around. Presuming he must have a limited amount of fuel, there aren't that many places he could reach. So, we start by looking at the places he might land.”
Asher slaps his hand against his thigh as if in frustration with his own flesh. “Are you kidding me with this, Wilder? There are absolutely tons of places he could land that craft. He doesn't have to go to a registered marina. He could simply pull up to anywhere along the shore.”
“I still say it's worth a try. We contact all the small marinas and the places where he could dock for a few nights and ask if a boat with the nameSecret Truthhas landed. We can also try to gain access to the footage of any cameras along the opposite coast. Surely you can do that?”
“I can do it, but it's like looking for a needle in a haystack. But you might actually be onto something with the idea of starting to look at the other end.”
I cock my head to one side and observe him.
“Maybe we ought to be looking for the registration on Don’s car. I don't know...any rentals that have taken place in his name. Or any alias he uses. I've been spending so many hours looking at footage trying to figure out where the boat could have gone, and instead my time might be better spent trying to figure out where the hell Don is hiding out.”
I'm feeling useless in my inability to help Asher in his search, and it's making me bad tempered. “I just want that piece of shit found and dealt with.”
“I get it, big guy. So do I. You know, there's one thing that can buy almost anything, and that includes information.”
“Oh? And what’s that, great sage?”
“Limitless wealth. Limitless wealth can buy most people and things. Everyone has a price. And we have a lot of wealth.”
He's not wrong on the first part but is entirely incorrect on the second.Wedon't have that.
“I can see what you're thinking,” he says. “Rafferty is going to be in on this. Don’t you worry. He's going to be all the way in with us, wanting to find our girl. He feels the same way we do. The only one who doesn't is Brody.”
“So, what are you saying? We should throw Rafferty’s millions at this to try to solve the issue that way?”
Asher stands and stretches his arms, shaking them out as he steps away from the computer. “Think about it. A corrupt cop like Don, he's gonna have made a lot of enemies. There will be people who work in his department who can't stand the man. Hell, he might have friends, but I bet you anything even they can be purchased for the right price. That’s the thing about corrupt people, they like to hang out with other corrupt people. We must ask a lot of questions and throw money at it if needs be, and we will soon be able to find out what cars he owns, other than his main one, and where he likes to go on his boat, and if there is a part of the coast he particularly loves. We need to send someone down to his precinct to start digging around among his friends.”
“That could be a rather dangerous thing to do,” I point out. “So, I'll do it.”
“Nah, we're going to need you here. Your strength is going to be crucial if we come up against Don and some of his men in a fight. If anyone goes, it should either be Brody, because he's a fucking dick that caused all this in the first place, or me.”
“Well, first, because of my boyish charm.” He grins at me and snaps his teeth.
I can't help but laugh, despite the anxiety gnawing away at my insides.
“Second, though, it makes sense. I can take my laptop and phone with me, so any information I get, I can use to do more digging computer-wise on the spot. You might get information, but then what would you do with it? You’d need to relay it to me, anyway.”
I don't like it. We don't split up. Ever. It's not safe for us to with the pastor out there, always on the lookout for anyone from his past who might do him harm. We shouldn't even be alive, never mind searching for the man. What Asher is suggesting is fundamentally dangerous, for him more than us.
“We need to speak to Rafferty first,” I say.
“Speak to me about what?”