He drove once around the building, knowing that any more would be likely to draw attention from a police department that was already closing ranks. He noted with satisfaction that the flag before the building was flying at half mast. There was a rear entrance, a single door at ground level, as opposed to the imposing, official double doors at the top of the stairs in the front. Alex could not watch both doors, but he would be laying odds that she would use the rear door after the press conference in the morning.
He knew he couldn't park on this block. Even on a day when the police weren't paranoid, such action might draw attention, but on a day like this, it would be suicidal. He was not that person. He might be taking risks but he was not open to failure.
He found a small parking area on the roof of a building two blocks away, which would allow him to watch the rear door. He had binoculars, but he would not be able to use them much, as it would draw attention. Camping out in a parking lot was bad enough.
He put on several sweaters and cracked the windows to keep the heat from building up. He ate a granola bar and drank some water, emptying a container he could urinate in later. He had some No-Doz in the glove compartment, and he took two to stay alert. Later, if necessary, he would break out the harder drugs, stimulants that he had acquired through the years, for those rare stretches when he had to stay up past his normal threshold.
Periodically he would turn on the car to defrost the windshield. At those times he would quietly listen to news radio to see if there had been any developments. None were reported.
He did not have a wireless signal, but every so often he would open up his laptop and watch the press conference featuring Deputy Anderson. He would focus on one attribute of her, the way she talked, the way her lips moved, the way she used her eyes, the way she used her hands. Every time he did he was more reassured that she would be very special, one of his finest achievements.
The hours passed slowly, but he kept himself busy, entertaining himself with ideas of what was to come, as well as revisiting some of his greatest hits, notably Liz. He knew he would not be able to help but compare his experiences with the two women. Women rarely crossed his path, certainly not the way Liz had, and he knew that no matter the circumstances under which he took the Anderson woman, he would run as far as he must to insure that he could spend as much time with her as possible. Perhaps he'd load her up with drugs and make the three hour drive south to Vancouver and stay in the same cabin. The nostalgia appealed to him.
The No-Doz were wearing off and he was pondering moving on to something else, something to keep him alert, when it happened. There she was.
It could have been any woman from that distance, and he quickly checked through the binoculars, even though he knew in his gut that it was her. It had to be. It was his time. Sure enough, when the small figure snapped into view on his binoculars, there she was, the big eyes, the short hair, walking quickly across the space between the back door of the city hall and the waiting car. He looked briefly at the car, fixing it in his mind. It was a dark color, difficult to tell in the streetlights, he thought it might be dark green. It was a Dodge, he saw, a sedan, and that was good enough. He tossed his binoculars on the passenger seat beside him and quickly backed out of his parking space.
He only had two ramps to descend before pulling onto the street and he immediately moved toward the city hall. He made a left hand turn and was on the street the dark Dodge had been on and he saw it just as it was making its own left hand turn onto the main town thoroughfare. Even though he had perhaps taken a moment too long watching her, after he had known it was her, things were working out perfectly.
As he made his own right turn to pull in behind Anderson's car, he heard a siren offer a single whoop at him as another Dodge tore through the intersection, running a red light. As Alex made his own turn, he saw the second Dodge pull in behind the first, making a small convoy. Her police escort, Alex supposed. That was a close thing.
He followed the two cars and pulled in behind them at a light. At the next light, the convoy made to pull onto Highway 18, heading east, which would take them to I-5. He let the cars pull onto the highway without him and drove on. As soon as they were out of sight he pulled two quick U-turns, running one red light, and then pulled onto the highway himself. With several hundred yards between them, and exceptionally light traffic at 5:30 in the morning, he would have little trouble following them without being noticed.
After a few minutes the two cars merged onto I-5 heading south. Anderson was due to give a press conference back in Auburn in just a couple of hours. Where were they going?