The Sculptor followed the black Trailblazer as he had done for the past two days-at a distance, always just out of sight behind a buffer of six or seven cars. Unbeknown to Sam and Cathy, the blue Toyota Camry had been with them almost the entire time since they left the Manzeras in East Greenwich-had followed them the next morning all along the coast, had waited for them to come back from their stroll together in Newport, had accompanied them everywhere they went on their romantic Sunday sojourn. Yes, The Sculptor could tell Dr. Hildy and the FBI agent were an item by the way they touched each other-the way they held hands at the restaurant, the way the good doctor snuggled up to her male companion by the cement wall overlooking the ocean. This was good; this meant it would be easier for The Sculptor to catch them off guard. Indeed, had it been nighttime, had there not been so many people around that day in Newport, The Sculptor would have disposed of the happy couple right there on the cliff-walk.
But to do so in broad daylight would have been too risky.
Yes, The Sculptor would have to wait for fate to give him a better opportunity.
And so, early Monday morning, when The Sculptor saw the black Trailblazer emerge from the private underground parking garage in downtown Providence and then head for the FBI Resident Agency a few blocks away, The Sculptor knew that today was a day for business, not pleasure. The good doctor and her male companion were inside the FBI building for almost two hours. And when they emerged again, The Sculptor’s hand automatically went to his Sig Sauer.45, which lay next to him under his jacket on the passenger seat.
He had resigned himself to taking them today, but the timing must be just right-he had to tread ever so carefully along the fine line between fate and free will.
The Sculptor followed the Trailblazer all over Rhode Island, but only when he saw it pull into the East Greenwich Country Club did he understand just how close they were to finding him.
They’re following the old police report, The Sculptor concluded.
Oh yes, the FBI would most certainly want to question him about Manzera-just like the East Greenwich Police did ten years ago, when the tennis pro’s parents insisted their son could not have drowned by his own accord. However, luckily for the young man named Christian, the philandering Manzera had made a lot of enemies in his time at the country club. He had banged more than his share of married women, and thus the young man named Christian was only one of a slew of people, including Manzera’s ex-wife, who had openly admitted they were happy to see the tennis pro dead. And so, despite Mr. and Mrs. Manzera’s insistence to the contrary, with nothing more for the police to go on their son’s death was quickly ruled an accident.
But now things were different; now the FBI was on the case. They had video of The Sculptor himself and would make the connection between the figure in black at Echo Point Cemetery and his own physique as soon as they laid eyes on him. And unlike ten years ago-when the young man named Christian had yet to become The Sculptor, when the young man named Christian had yet to even begin remodeling the carriage house-now there was evidence everywhere: the van, the equipment, the lab-not to mention all the excess material scattered about.
No. There was no way of getting around it all now. Once the FBI set foot on his property, it would not take them long to put two and two together.
The Sculptor began to panic-felt his heart beating fast in his chest; he felt the urge to race home, gather up his things, and make a run for it before the FBI arrived. But a short time later, when he saw the black Trailblazer pull out of the country club and head off in the direction of his house, an inner voice calmly whispered to him of the opportunity that had just presented itself. That the black Trailblazer was driving slowly meant that the man formerly known as Christian was just one of many people the FBI had planned on questioning that day-just a name on a list.
That was good.
That meant there was still time.
And so The Sculptor sped off in the opposite direction-took the shortcut on a dirt road through the woods that he knew would bring him to his house well before the black Trailblazer arrived. Unless The Sculptor was mistaken, fate would deliver Dr. Hildy and her FBI boyfriend straight to his doorstep.
Oh yes. The Sculptor wanted to make sure he was there to welcome them.