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"He wanted you... dead."

I close my eyes, don't open them for a long time.

"I don't know... " she says. "Bobby thought... bringing you in was a bad idea... but then he realized he could frame you."

"For Sam Ho's murder?"

She just nods. "And once... that happened... other ideas emerged."

"What other ideas?"

"Oh Victor... " she sighs. "Victor... it's all been a setup. Even in New York... that girl who died... that DJ..."

"Mica?" I ask.

"Whoever... you went to meet at Fashion Cafe... for a new DJ. Do you remember?"

I nod dumbly even though she's not looking.

"She was killed the night before... I saw a report."

"Oh Jesus oh Jesus."

"It was all a setup."

"Whose side are you on, Jamie?" I'm asking.

She smiles and when she smiles her upper lip splits open but there's no blood.

"Who do you work for?"

"It... hardly matters... now."

"Who did you work for?" I scream, shaking her.

"I was working against... Bobby," she mutters. "To do that, Victor... I had to work for him."

I pull back, panting.

"I worked for the group... Marina worked for... and I worked for the group Bobby worked for... and I worked for Palakon... just like you do-"

"I don't work for Palakon."

"Yes... you do." She swallows again with great difficulty. "You have... ever since you met him." She starts shivering.

"Jamie, how's Lauren Hynde involved in all this?" I'm asking. "Look at me-how's Lauren Hynde involved? She gave me the hat. I've seen pictures of her with Bobby."

Jamie starts laughing, delirious.

"You remember Lauren Hynde from Camden, right?" I say. "She knows Bobby. She gave me the hat." I pull Jamie closer to my face. "They set me up with her, didn't they?"

"That wasn't... Lauren Hynde, Victor." Jamie sighs.

"It was Lauren Hynde," I say. "It was, Jamie."

"You didn't pay... attention." She sighs again. "That girl was not Lauren-"

"Jamie, I know that girl," I say. "She's Chloe's best friend. What are you saying?"

"That was someone else." Jamie keeps sighing.

"No, no, no..." I'm shaking my head adamantly.

"Lauren Hynde died in... December 1985... in a car accident... outside Camden, New Hampshire."

She leans into me, lowering her voice, almost as if she's afraid someone is listening, and I'm thinking, She's just a shell, and something huge and shapeless is flying over us in the, darkness, hanging above the courtyard, and a voice says, You all are.

"I've gotta talk to Bobby," I gasp. "Where's Bobby?"

"No, Victor, don't-"

"Where did he go, Jamie? Tell me."

"He went to-" She gasps, rolls her head back. "He was on his way to..." She trails off.

"Where is he?" I scream, shaking her.

"He... went to Hotel Costes," she gasps. "To see... Chloe."

I stand up and start moaning, the wind stinging my face, and Jamie's saying "Wait, wait, don't" and holding on to my arm, gripping it, but I yank it away.


"I'm leaving." Panic bursts through me, spreading "What do you want, Jamie?"

She says something I can't hear.

Hurriedly I lean in.

"What is it?"

She mumbles something.

"I can't hear you, Jamie," I whisper.

Her last words as she drifts off. "I'm... not... Jamie Fields," is all she says.

And on cue a giant eruption of flies swarm into the courtyard in one massive black cloud.


I run back to the hotel.

I burst through the entrance doors and force myself to walk calmly through the lobby and into an elevator.

Once I reach Chloe's floor I race down the hallway.

I start pounding on her door.

"Chloe? Chloe-are you okay?" I'm calling out, my voice high and girlish. "Open up. Chloe? It's me."

The door opens and Chloe stands there, smiling, wearing a white robe.

"You changed," she says, glancing at Bobby's clothes. "Where's your stuff?"

I push past her and shamble into the room, running through the suite, panicked, not knowing what I'd do if I found him here.

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