"Why do you want to hire me, Drew?"
"To consult. With the protection of confidentiality."
"Shit. You don't have to hire me for that."
He pulls his wallet from his pants and takes out a twenty-dollar bill, which he pushes at me. "I know that. But if you were questioned on the stand later -- as a friend -- you'd have to lie to protect me. If you're my lawyer, our discourse will be shielded by attorney-client privilege." He's still pushing the bill at me. "Take it, Penn."
"This is crazy -- "
I wad up the note and shove it into my pocket. "Okay, damn it. What's going on?"
He sags back in his seat and rubs his temples like a man getting a migraine. "I knew Kate a lot better than anyone knows."
Kate Townsend again? The sense of dislocation I felt in the boardroom was nothing compared to what I feel now. Again I see Drew sitting at the table, weeping as though for a family member. Even as I ask the next question, I pray that I'm wrong.
"Are you telling me you were intimate with the girl?"
Drew doesn't blink. "I was in love with her."
Copyright © 2005 by Greg Iles.
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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