It was a diamond. She thought such luxury amusing.
She still carried the tattoo on her thigh. She’d had it because the woman who’d killed her family had it, visiting the same tattooist to glean what information she could. Laser treatment had never occurred to her. It was small, and would only be seen by those looking closely enough. Since her husband Adam, no one had.
She dressed in her cycling kit, locked up, and hit the road.
An hour later, approaching the small caravan that Holt had taken for himself, she was struck once again by how deserted it seemed. Holt fostered such an image, but she braked and paused by the small gate into the field, shielding her eyes and scanning the caravan and its surroundings. There were no signs of life.
She carried her bike across the ridged field. Its crop had already been harvested, leaving only sharp stubble.
‘It’s me!’ she called. It was unnecessary. He’d already know who was there.
The door was locked. She knocked, using their code. Two knocks, five, one. No answer.
‘John?’ He was John Williams. She was Jane Smith. In public, on the phone, anywhere.
Convinced that she was alone, she took out her bike’s toolkit and flicked open the small knife. It took fifty seconds to pick the caravan’s lock. She was out of practice. It was something she’d feared when they decided to settle for a few months, that they would become rusty, complacent, soft.
Door unlocked, she opened it a crack and peered through. The failsafe he used when he was inside was disconnected. Anyone breaking in when he was in residence would take a shotgun blast to the face.
Inside, she could already see that he’d left in a rush. Anger coursed through her. He wouldn’t have changed his mind so quickly, that was for sure, and even as she’d called him he must have been packing and preparing to leave.
‘Holt, you bloody prick!’ she muttered. Whenever she thought she was getting close to knowing him, she realised he was more of an enigma than ever.
She couldn’t help feeling hurt. He’d seen the reports and chosen to go on his own, not with her. They’d never really been a team, but she liked to think they had become friends, working together a few times since taking down the Trail’s UK cell. She trusted him as much as she would ever trust anyone again. She believed in him.
He’d lied to her, left without her, and that smarted.
A small note was propped on the table, beside an empty water bottle. Changed my mind, it said.
‘Yeah. Right. Bastard.’ She sighed and sat outside the caravan, looking across the fields at the farmstead in the distance, and the sweeping patterns the breeze made in dozens of acres of crops.
It took only a couple of minutes to convince herself that she had to follow.