"I'll be right there." I followed Michelle to the door to the Hell House parking lot, pocketing the slip of paper and phone number. "I'll call you as soon as I know anything," I said as she paused on the threshold.

Michelle fumbled with the lock and I moved out of the way of the hall light to help illuminate her way. "Why did he come to look for me?" she whispered.

"Your husband? I suppose because Charlie got in touch with him."

"No. My son." She shuddered and like a contagious yawn, it made me shudder, too. Icy cold suddenly gripped me and I shuddered again. It was probably the effect of the nearby walk-in refrigerator. "Mickey hasn't seen me since he was nine years old. Why would he look for me?"

I thought of my family--my abusive and drunken father, my frightened but resolute mother. "He probably just wanted to see you and ask why you did it," I said without thinking. It was what I wanted to do sometimes. If I could face my father today, I would ask him why. Why did you kill Gloria? Why did you hate my mother so much? Why did you abuse her and try to abuse me? Why did you ruin our lives?

"I don't know if I have a good enough answer. I suppose I need to figure one out, though." Michelle jerked the door open and a fresh breeze smelling of October leaves and lake vegetation wafted into the space. She stepped outside and I closed the door behind her. I started to lock it when I heard an angry voice.

"You bitch. You told them."

I almost pulled the door open but the voice was so enraged I hesitated. Did I really want to get in the middle of an argument in a dark and deserted parking lot? I hesitated with my hand on the door knob then I heard Michelle.

"You're crazy. I wouldn't do that. Why would I jeopardize what I had? They found out because of the sale, that's all."

I relaxed. She sounded angry, not frightened. I reached behind me and turned off the hall light. There were no windows in the door or at this end of the building. I pulled open the door slightly and held my ear to the crack.

"If you didn't tell them, why did the police come looking for me?"

I widened the crack slightly and hazarded a peek. I recognized the bullet headed ex-sous-chef Mike Johnson, his hands clenched into fists and his back to the stoop. Michelle was in front of him, standing with her side to the steps as she stared at the Feed Bag where I heard people, their voices faint on the clear autumn air.

"Why should I know what the police are doing? Maybe T.J. told them you threatened him when he fired you."

"That bastard." His voice was so thick with hate I could barely understand the words. "If it wasn't for him screwing that rich bitch, I'd have this restaurant."

When I heard that, I almost pulled the door open to give him a piece of my mind. I restrained myself but I was so mad I could barely see straight.

"So now you don't have the restaurant and you don't have a job. You'll be lucky if you don't get sent to prison for what you did."

Holy crap. Was she talking about murder?