"Mr. Weston, we are dealing with a psychopathic, sociopathic killer. While he is probably of great intelligence, logic and morality is not part of his mental capacity. He sees one thing, one sect of society, and he feels the need to rid the world of it. Right or wrong. If he sees your daughter as part of that group, he will come after her until he kills her, is caught, or dead himself."
"My daughter has no enemies..."
"Your daughter may not," Donovan snapped, cutting him off. "What you do not understand is that he's not after your daughter. He wasn't after Georgianne Sylvaine, Lana Leighton, Penelope Paige or Eleanor Routhier. He was after Molly. And in his eyes, Olivia Weston is Molly." As he spoke, he pointed back over his shoulder at the woman who he wanted to save.
He looked back to her, and the stark paleness of her cheeks caught him off guard. Good. Maybe a good old-fashioned shock was what she needed to understand the risk. His cell phone rang.
"Excuse me," he said as he snapped it from his belt and flipped it open. "Greer."
He listened to the voice on the other end of the line. Agent Mulroney informed him of the newest development in the case with a grave tone, and a knot formed in the pit of Donovan's stomach. Damn it. Too late again. He closed the phone and turned back to the Westons, hands at his hips.
"Well?" Mr. Weston demanded.
Donovan looked to Miss Weston. She watched him, a slender hand at the base of her throat.
"That was one of the teams I sent out. My suspicion that he would move to the Broadway performers was correct, but unfortunately we didn't act in time. Mrs. Brittany Callahan, the first actress to play Molly in 1996, was discovered murdered in her home."
"Damn," Mr. Weston mumbled behind him.
If at all possible, Miss Weston paled further and her arm reached out. Donovan stepped to her and gripped her elbow in one hand, steadying her, and moved his other hand to her side. She swayed against him, her fingers curling into the lapel of his suit jacket.
"Brittany," she said softly. "Oh, God."
Donovan eased her back until her calves bumped the edge of a couch and she sat. He moved with her, squatting in front of her. A half-empty bottle of water sat on a table at the end of the couch, he reached for it and handed it to her after removing the cap. She took a sip, and lowered the bottle with trembling hands.
"I regret that I upset you, Miss Weston," he said, leaning closer without touching her. "As much as I would like to be able to tell you you're not in danger, it would be a lie."
She stared at him for several moments before looking up to her father. Donovan followed her gaze. Mr. Weston stood nearby, his arms crossed over his chest and a scowl on his face.
"What do you want to do?" he asked.
"I would prefer the show be closed--"
Donovan leaned back on his haunches, resting his elbow on his bent knee to pinch the bridge of his nose. "Well, Mr. Weston, if you won't allow her to take a leave until the danger passes, I want to put someone on her twenty-four-seven. We don't know how the killer gets to his victims, but the profile indicates he isn't a stranger. He could be anyone. Until we know more, I want her guarded. This is the same protection we're giving all the potential targets."
"What do you mean? Someone watching the penthouse?"
"No. Someone in the penthouse."
"It's the best way to insure her safety." Donovan looked to her when he spoke of her, and once again found her watching him. When their eyes met, she didn't look away, but she dipped her chin in an almost indiscernible nod.
"One of your agents, then?"
Donovan stood, pushing off the balls of his feet. "No. Me."