Back at the condo she changed into a pair of jeans, finished gathering what she needed, then zipped everything up in Bryan's carry-on. Back and shoulders still too sore to heft and carry it, she dragged it down the stairs, each step producing a teeth-rattling jolt. She parked the bag at the bottom and closed all the blinds. The handle from the duster was already in place, though she couldn't remember doing it.
A wry smile tugged at her lips. No big surprise, considering.
She took one last look around, besieged by an onslaught of memories. In some ways, being back actually felt pretty good. Almost normal.
Whatever that was.
Resisting another crying jag, she grabbed her purse from the counter and slung its strap over her shoulder. It weighed a ton with its extra cargo. Was keeping the gun in there a bad idea? The last time she'd tried to get something out of it while driving hadn't ended well.
Not thrilled at going back up the stairs, she did, nonetheless, and retrieved another one of Bryan's belts and a long sweater, then came back down and got the gun situated in the holster.
Maybe she should get a concealed carry license. If she intended to keep it on her, she probably should. Would that send some sort of alert as well? Would they confiscate it if she were on a watch list? Definitely a question for her father.
She extended the carry-on's handle and dragged it outside the door. Locked the deadbolt, put the bag in the backseat, then got in and guided the seatbelt around the gun. She started to head for Boulder, but before reaching Highway Thirty-six, it dawned on her she should go by Bryan's work, too.
No telling what might be there. If not the information itself, maybe some clue regarding where it might be. What if the information was on the credit union's server? How would she get to it, much less explain the situation to his boss? Finding out he'd been hacking into secure sites on company time much less using their equipment would not be well-received.
A few minutes later she parked in front of the Denver City and County Employees Federal Credit Union. She turned off the car, a sick, empty feeling in her chest. How many times had she come by like this to pick him up for lunch?
The meltdown she averted at the condo broke cover and made a soggy exit from her eyes. A few sniffles later, the rearview mirror revealed substantial mascara runoff complementing the Shiraz-sponsored bags under her eyes. She was not only a grieving widow, but definitely looked like one. She wiped it clean, braced herself, then went inside.
As soon as she entered the lobby the manager, David Tompkins, rushed over and escorted her to his office. She guessed him to be a few years younger than her father. His full head of curly red hair was ticked with grey, but he had a runner's build. Bryan had mentioned he ran marathons all over the world, including weird places like Antarctica.
True concern colored his voice and posture as he offered her a cup of coffee. She declined and sat down stiffly. He got settled behind his desk and folded his hands on its polished surface. "How are you, Sara?"
A sigh escaped unbidden. "It's been hard. But I'll get through it. My family's been wonderful. I have some friends out at the cabin, too."
"So where are you staying? Back here in town or out there? Some of us dropped by a while back to see how you were doing, but your place looked deserted."
"I've been out at the cabin since the accident. This is the first I've been back, mainly to my dad's in Boulder. I decided to go by the condo to pick up a few things, and now I'm heading back. But I thought I'd stop by to thank everyone for the kind words on Facebook, the cards, and to see if Bryan had any personal items from his desk that I should pick up."
The man's expression shifted, eyes questioning. "Bryan's belongings? Uh, well. Hmmmm. As I recall, someone who said he was his brother came by and got them a few days after the accident."
Sara's jaw went slack. "Are you kidding? Bryan doesn't have a brother."
His expression froze. "I'm sure we have some record of it. Hold on." He got on the phone and asked to see the receipt for Bryan's personal effects. A short while later, a middle-aged woman came in and handed him a sheet of paper. He looked at it, then handed it to Sara. "Does this signature look familiar?"
Even her doctor's writing was better than that. "No." She handed it back. "There's a timestamp on there. I don't suppose you still have security footage from that day?"
Tompkins shook his head. "No. Sorry. That was almost eight weeks ago. We keep it for a month and that's it. I'm so sorry, Sara."
She gritted her teeth, mind racing. "You didn't ask for ID?"
"No, I'm afraid not. We had no reason to consider that anyone other than a relative would want his personal items. We went through it to make sure there was nothing there of a confidential nature. You know, work-related. Like passwords and such."
Her thoughts raced.
Did any of that "confidential" stuff include the hacked information? But how could she bring up such a thing? Should she even tell him about the sinister circumstances associated with the wreck?
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