Home > Say You're Sorry (Romantic Suspense #22)(10)

Say You're Sorry (Romantic Suspense #22)(10)
Karen Rose

“So he’ll be here tomorrow,” she said with a sigh. “Fabulous.”

Erin Rhee had gone still. The woman was normally quiet, although she could move incredibly fast when she needed to, according to Rafe. But most of the time she had this unflappable calm that was kind of eerie. At this moment, though, she was ominously still.

“What will he do when he gets here?” she asked Daisy, and her subtext was loud and clear even though he’d had to strain to hear her voice.

Daisy must have heard it, too, because she turned to Erin with a smile. “Nothing bad. He never, ever physically hurt us. Ever. He’ll just . . . fuss over me. And then he’ll insist I move to Maryland to live near him. And when I refuse, he’ll hire Jacob to follow me again.”

Erin nodded once. “All right. I just needed to make sure.”

“And I appreciate it,” Daisy said, reaching over to pat the detective’s arm. “I really do. But you don’t need to worry about my father. Or me.”

Erin’s smile was wry. “Considering that you’re here, we do have to worry about you, wouldn’t you say?”

Daisy frowned. “Yeah, I guess that’s true.” She turned to Gideon, that curious glint back in her eye, and he knew she was about to ask him about the locket again.

So he deflected. “We’ll need Jacob’s last name and phone number so that we can verify where he was tonight, since he’s followed you in the past.”

“His last name is Fogarty and his number’s in my phone. Last time I saw him, he was headed back to his parents’ ranch up past Weaverville. That was months ago, though.”

Gideon nodded. “What about work? Any issues there?”

He’d expected her to say no. He hadn’t expected her to drop her gaze back to the dog. He hadn’t expected her to draw a breath before looking up at Rafe, a guilty expression on her face.

“I didn’t think it was important,” she whispered.

Rafe’s confused gaze flicked from Gideon to Erin, then back to Daisy. “You didn’t think what was important?” he asked carefully.

Daisy was stroking the dog so fiercely it was a wonder the poor thing had any hair left. “I’ve gotten a few calls,” she admitted. “And e-mails. Tad said to ignore them. That he gets stuff like that all the time. I was handling it.”

“Who is Tad?” Gideon asked.

“And what kind of stuff?” Erin added.

“Tad is my cohost,” Daisy said. “At the radio station. KZAU. I work the morning show—you know, The Big Bang with TNT. That’s Tad.”

Oh. Now Gideon remembered where he’d heard her voice. He listened to The Big Bang with TNT on his way to work every morning. Mostly because of their new DJ. Which would be Daisy. Except she didn’t go by that name on the air. “You’re Poppy Frederick.”

“That would be me,” she said. “My father’s name is Frederick. His pet name for my mom was Poppy.”

That made sense. Rafe’s father, Karl, owned a number of businesses, most of them making money hand over fist. The radio station was the exception. Gideon knew it was perpetually in the red because Irina was always chiding Karl to sell it. Then the two would smile at each other because they knew Karl never would. It had been his first business and where he’d met Irina.

KZAU held sentimental value, pure and simple. That Daisy worked there was no surprise. Irina had told Gideon this when she’d first started singing him the praises of the “cute little blonde,” the daughter of one of Karl’s oldest friends.

Karl gave jobs to a lot of people starting out. Gideon’s first paycheck had come from Karl Sokolov’s radio station, as a matter of fact, and for that he’d always be grateful. That Daisy worked the morning show was a bit of a surprise, however.

“I thought you did sales,” Gideon said, because that was what Irina had told him.

“I did at first. But . . .” She shrugged. “Right place, right time.”

“Not true,” Rafe said. “Daisy was doing the vocals for some of the ads and the station manager liked what he heard. The old cohost had to take emergency sick leave about three months ago and Daisy’s been filling in. Ratings have never been higher.”

He didn’t doubt it. He’d tuned in just to hear her more mornings than he cared to admit. Her husky, sexy voice was perfect for radio. That she’d garnered unwanted attention was an unpleasant corollary.

“What kind of calls and e-mails?” Gideon asked.

Another shrug. “Just the normal, I guess. ‘You make me hot. You sound so sexy. Let me take you home with me. Meet me for drinks.’” She rattled them off quickly, her cheeks growing flushed. “Some were a bit more explicit.”

Gideon had to bite his tongue against a sudden surge of fury. He had no reason to be so angry on her behalf. She was nothing to him, just an acquaintance. Still, no one deserved to be the recipient of sexual harassment. Daisy had not initiated any of it. The morning show was not sexual in any way. It was drive-time morning banter, family friendly. Karl insisted on it.

Gideon blinked, abruptly appalled at himself. Daisy hadn’t deserved any of this. Even if she’d told dirty jokes, acted the part of a sex vamp on air, or even shown up stark naked for events, she wouldn’t have deserved any of the suggestive calls or e-mails.

Of course, the mental picture of her stark naked sent his mind in an entirely different direction, and he quickly tamped it down. Not now. Not now? What’s wrong with me?

“Why didn’t you tell the station manager?” Rafe asked, clearly biting back his own anger. “I’m not mad at you, Daisy. You get that, right? It’s just that we could have helped.”

“I get it. I do. But Tad said that everyone gets e-mails like that. The really explicit ones came and went. If they’d been steady or grew threatening, I would have told the manager. I was handling it. Or I thought I was.” She bit at her lip. “I didn’t put the e-mails together with what happened tonight. The man said, ‘They all do.’ I figured I was one of many, that tonight was a random thing. But . . . maybe it’s not.” She pointed to her cell phone on the table next to her enormous handbag. “I saved the e-mails and the voice mails. The e-mails came to my account at the station but I can access that on my phone.”

“The calls came to your cell phone?” Gideon asked, his own anger reemerging. “How did they get your number?”

“Wouldn’t be that hard,” she murmured. “I do events at a lot of the places where I’ve been volunteering for six months—long before I got the morning show. All of those places have my cell number. I imagine someone was either tricked or convinced to give it out.”

“That changes tomorrow,” Erin said grimly. “New cell phone. Nobody has the number but us. And your family.”

Daisy’s expression was glum. “I already figured that.”

“We’ll also check your phone for tracking software,” Rafe said. “It could have been embedded in any of the e-mails.”

“I never clicked on an attachment.” She drew herself up, her frown more than irritated. “I’m not stupid, Rafe.”

Rafe’s voice was even when he replied. “Never said you were. But I’m going to make sure that nobody has been able to track you using your phone. And I’ll be having a talk with Tad about what kinds of e-mails are reportable.”

“Good luck with that,” Daisy muttered.

Clearly Tad was not a cooperative coworker. Gideon filed that away for later inquiry. “Who had your number?” he asked now. “Where do you volunteer?”

Rafe smiled good-naturedly. “Where doesn’t she?”

Daisy’s chin lifted and, to Gideon’s surprise, anger sparked in her eyes. “I do a lot of work for local charities,” she said coolly. “For reasons of my own.”

Rafe held up his hands in surrender. “I’m not saying you shouldn’t. It’s just a lot.”

“I have a lot of time to make up for,” she said quietly, her anger softening to something Gideon couldn’t identify. “And amends to make.”

“It’s a twelve-step thing?” Erin asked, respect in her tone.

“Partly. It also keeps me too busy to want a drink. But mostly because I don’t yet know what I want to do. So I’m doing it all.”

Gideon wondered if those were all of her reasons or just the tip of the iceberg. Daisy Dawson had layers he hadn’t expected.

“Where do you volunteer?” he asked again, his pen poised and ready to make a list.

“The animal shelter, especially on adoption days. I got Brutus at a shelter.” She lifted the dog, dropping a kiss between her enormous ears, and Gideon found himself envious of the ridiculous animal. “I also work at the cerebral palsy rec center and at a few of the local nursing homes. I’ve done some fund-raising for a veterans’ group. Multiple good causes there.” A shadow flickered across her face, but she forced a cheerful smile. “And the radio station is sponsoring a 5K run for leukemia research, which I’m in charge of.”

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