Jenner didn’t comment.
“Ms. Fielding’s credit cards were used to purchase three tickets. One for you, one for her, and one for the little girl. It is Abigail, isn’t it? We don’t know what to call her.”
Again, Jenner kept his own counsel. He looked at the table. Will guessed his teeth were aching, especially the jagged bits where they’d been cracked in two.
Amanda asked, “Who did you hand Abigail off to, Mr. Jenner?”
Jenner gave a chest-rattling sigh. “Deputy Director Wagner,” he began. “Surely, you’re familiar with the law. You’re not allowed to question me once I ask for a lawyer.”
“As you are your own counsel, Mr. Jenner, I am speaking to you in the capacity of a law enforcement official to a legal representative. If you’d like for me to use more formal language, I’d be happy to oblige.”
He stared at her, his brow furrowed. Will guessed the man was more conversant with Cayman Island tax shelters than the loopholes of criminal law. Finally, he gave a crooked grin. “Very good, Deputy Director. It’s refreshing to speak to someone on your side of the law who actually has a brain in his head.” He corrected himself. “Her head.”
Amanda gave a tight smile. “What a wonderful compliment.”
He laughed. “You people think you’re so smart, but what’s really going to happen here? You can only hold me for twenty-four hours. You’ve got nothing concrete with which to charge me. It’s really rather pathetic.”
Amanda said, “Mr. Jenner, at this moment, your client—Mr. Jenner—is facing charges of child abduction, transporting a minor across state lines for the purpose of sexual activity, child trafficking, impeding a police investigation, evading arrest, resisting arrest, and assaulting a police officer.”
“Assault?” Jenner sounded outraged. “He attacked me. I was just walking toward the stairs, minding my own business.” He held up his busted watch. “This is a six-thousand-dollar Rolex.”
“We have a witness, a Mr. McGhee, who remembers it differently.” The Cowboy in the red pickup truck. Travis McGhee’s background check had been squeaky clean, but he’d told Will he’d swear on a stack of Bibles that Jenner had asked for it. That Will hadn’t gotten around to asking the man to lie was only mildly surprising.
“Witness, huh?” Jenner was still unimpressed. The smug look on his face made Will want to break the rest of his teeth. “Really, Deputy Director. You’re boring me at this point. Can’t you come up with something interesting?”
Amanda said, “Mr. Jenner, you realize your client was on camera from the moment he stepped foot inside the airport?” To send the point home, she fanned out the still photographs the techs had taken from the security footage. “This one is particularly interesting. See where your client is wearing a wig and glasses here?” She pointed to the photo. “And yet, here, it seems he took off the wig and glasses. And, of course, once we got him into custody, we learned that he’d reversed his jacket and changed his pants into shorts. What do you think a jury will make of that?”
“I doubt a jury will hear any of it.” He glanced down at the table again. “It’s always nice to have visual aids, isn’t it? Though who that man is in the bad wig is beyond me.”
Will followed his gaze. Jenner wasn’t looking at the photos. He was trying to see Will’s watch. Will resisted the urge to cover his wrist. The cuff of his sleeve obscured the dial.
Jenner said, “As I stated earlier, you can only hold me for twenty-four hours.”
“That’s correct,” Amanda told him. “But a lot can happen in twenty-four hours.”
“You’re right,” Jenner agreed. “Maybe my client will change his mind about that deal. You never know.”
Will told Amanda, “Maybe we should check on Ms. Fielding.”
Amanda had done this for so long that her face barely registered a change in expression. She said, “Yes. She seemed more talkative than our friend here.”
Jenner couldn’t hide his curiosity, though he tried. “Who’s Ms. Fielding?”
“Your partner in the black Mercedes.”
Amanda said, “I’m sure she’ll be more forthcoming. Ms. Fielding’s been in the system before. She knows a jury won’t look kindly on a second charge.”
“She’s invoked counsel,” Jenner said. A good guess, Will supposed, if they’d actually been able to find the woman. “You can’t talk to her without a lawyer present.”
Amanda stood from the table. “We’ll make sure you get your ice water, though I’m afraid it’s against the law for us to give prisoners any drugs, harmless as aspirin may seem.”
Jenner waved his hand, dismissing her words. “I’ll be here when you want to talk again.” He actually winked at her. “Shaking in my boots, as it were.”
She left the pictures on the table. Will followed her outside the room.
Amanda waited until the door was closed. Still, she kept her voice low. “He’s trying to see your watch.”
Will nodded. “There’s another hand-off. Fielding’s supposed to meet someone else.”
“It would make sense,” Amanda said. “He’s smug for a reason. You know he’s done this before. They trade these kids like used cars, moving them around the country so no one can track them.” Her tone held a low fury. “I’m sure Jenner’s been on the receiving end a few times.”
Vanessa joined them. She had a sheet of paper in her hand. “Nothing on our end. The Lake Spivey house is vacant. It’s been in foreclosure for two years. There was mail in the box addressed to Eleanor Fielding. The neighbor’s a bit nosy, says a black Mercedes comes by once or twice a week and picks up mail. The car is registered to that address, too.”
“Smart,” Amanda said. “She’s using the house as a drop.”
“Fielding’s last known address is a vacant lot. I’ve got a gal at Social Security who’s going to try to give us a hand, but I’m not sure how long that’ll take.”
“Did you get an address on Jenner?”
“He lives and works at the Residences at the Ritz-Carlton. We talked with the head of security there, but he wasn’t willing to play ball, even when we told him a kid was involved. We can’t search Jenner’s apartment or office without a warrant. The attendant at the front desk is retired Atlanta Police. He accidentally left his logbook open for us. No visitors with kids. Not seeing Jenner—not seeing anyone. It’s not a child-friendly kind of place. No other addresses listed for him, so that’s a dead end. What about you?” Vanessa nodded toward the room. “You get anything out of him?”
“Just that he’s an arrogant asshole,” Amanda admitted. “Will thinks there’s another hand-off. I’m prone to agree. Jenner’s waiting for something. His watch is broken. He tried to look at Will’s several times.”
Will guessed, “He’s going to try to make a plea deal when he’s sure the next hand-off has happened. He’ll tell us where to find Abigail. It won’t be his fault when she’s not there.”