Home > Curious Minds (Knight and Moon #1)(5)

Curious Minds (Knight and Moon #1)(5)
Janet Evanovich, Phoef Sutton

“You only think?”

“A conjecture. You went to Harvard. On a scholarship, I suppose.”

“You suppose right.”

“Then Harvard Business School. Then Harvard Law School.”

“You’re thinking I wasn’t in a hurry to get out into the real world?”

“On the contrary. The real world is where you find it.”

“Who said that?”

“A very wise man. How do you know the Grunwalds?”

“I got a ten-week internship at Blane-Grunwald last summer.”

“Is that hard to get?”

“Almost impossible. And almost impossible to get through. They run you ragged, day and night. You have to get a rabbi or you’re sunk.”

“A rabbi?”

“A mentor. An advisor. Like Obi-Wan Kenobi. Günter was my rabbi. I wouldn’t have gotten through the training program without him.”

“And now you’re working at Blane-Grunwald.”

“Yes, as a junior analyst. I guess I have Günter to thank for that, too.”

“Only you haven’t been able to thank him?”

“I’ve been at the firm for a week, and he’s been absent.”

“And Werner?”

“I only just met him this morning. He told me to visit you and set your mind at ease.”

“Why do you think he sent you?”

She could lie and say it was because she’d been trained by Günter. But her father had taught her that if you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything. “I really don’t know.”

“He probably thought I’d be distracted by a pretty face.”

“And?” she asked.

“And what?”

“Were you distracted?”

“Not at all.”

Riley slumped in her seat. It would have been nice if he was at least a little distracted.

“Not that you aren’t pretty,” Emerson said. “You’re actually very cute. It’s just that I’m not easily distracted.”

“I see.”

There was an awkward silence.

“I’m not especially good with women,” Emerson finally said.

“No kidding?”

“I find them confusing.”

She turned onto Third Street and circled around to Constitution Avenue where the chrome and glass headquarters of Blane-Grunwald took up almost a whole block of prime real estate. She swung into the parking garage, drove down the loop-de-loops to her assigned space, and stopped just short of pulling in.

“Darn,” she said. “I’m not going to fit. Your car’s too big.”

“Go back to the upper level.”

“I can’t go up. Executive parking is up.”

“Perfect. Go up to executive parking.”

Riley went up to where the executive parking spaces were laid out, and Emerson read the names on the parking spaces as she drove by.

“Here. This one,” he said.

Riley looked at the name on the curb. “This is Günter’s.”

“Exactly. And he’s not using it.”

“How do you know?”

“Because he’s not here.”

“But he might show up.”

“I don’t think he will.”

Riley pulled into the space and cut her eyes to Emerson. “If we get caught, I’m saying you were driving.”

“That would be a fib,” Emerson said. “You would be starting your day in a cosmic deficit for fibbing.”


“Of course you haven’t had to fib yet, so unless you’ve done something terrible that I don’t know about, you’re on safe ground.”

Riley blew out a sigh and got out of the car.

They took the elevator to the lobby, she carded them past the reception desk, and they rode the next elevator to the top floor, the exclusive domain of the senior executives. The average junior analysts had never even seen the seventeenth floor, condemned as they were to spend their days in the rat’s nest that was the fourth floor. Riley had visited this floor as an intern. That she had made it up here again, first thing on her second week of real employment, had seemed to her like a significant vote of confidence. That was at nine o’clock this morning, and now a little over two hours later she was thinking this might not have been a good career move.

Emerson left the elevator without the slightest hesitation, seemingly oblivious to the blindingly white high-arching walls or the huge, expensive abstract art that was hung there. The whole place reminded Riley of the inside of the Death Star after Grand Moff Tarkin had taken over. The interior of the Death Star, like the seventeenth floor of Blane-Grunwald, was designed to awe and subdue.

Clearly it would take more than the Death Star to subdue Emerson, Riley thought. Whether this was due to his privileged upbringing or his own basic weirdness, she couldn’t guess, but his attitude gave him an air of invincibility.

Emerson marched straight for Werner’s office, and Riley made an end-run around him in an attempt to head him off. She stumbled past Emerson, crashed into the door, and careened into the office.

Werner Grunwald looked up from his desk at Riley’s unexpected entrance. “Ah, Riley,” he said, with a smile, “did you take care of our reclusive client?”

Emerson breezed past her into the room. “Your client is right here,” he said. “And he’s concerned.”

If Werner was disturbed by Emerson’s appearance, his smiling face didn’t show it. He looked to Riley for an explanation.

“He wanted to see you,” Riley said.

“Yes, I did,” Emerson said. “And, by the way, Miss Moon has a very poor parking space. You should do something about that.”

Riley groaned inwardly but kept her professional demeanor. Werner made an effort to look appropriately horrified by the news.

“Of course,” Werner said. “I’ll personally look into it.”

Werner’s office occupied the entire west side of the building with a view of the Capitol filling the broad window behind his massive desk. It was furnished in Danish Modern, the only personal touches being photographs of Werner and various political and media celebrities hunting and fishing and generally killing things.

Werner had a full head of gray hair, cropped short on the temples, a little shaggy on the top. Riley knew it took a skilled barber to make a haircut appear that effortless. The result was that he looked like George Clooney crossed with Cary Grant, which, Riley had to admit, was a good cross. Today he was wearing a perfectly tailored dark blue suit, custom white shirt with his initials embroidered on the cuff, and a blue and silver silk rep tie that reeked of good taste and money.

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