Divorced, Desperate and Dead(4)

By: Christie Craig

Cary frowned. “No, I don’t. And I’m . . . fine.” He was going to say ‘happy,’ but it wouldn’t slip off his tongue.

Then, because he refused to have this conversation with his two sisters—especially when it involved his ex-wife—he grabbed his phone and looked at the time. It was almost five. “I have to go. See ya.” He turned to leave and almost tripped over the pint-sized dog at his feet. He picked him up and passed him to Beth. “Hold this before I accidentally step on him and make it into a smear on the patio.”

“Oh, hell,” Kelly seethed and snagged her daughter’s water gun.

Cary took off, but right before he made the door, he felt the spray of water on his back. He stopped and turned. “I’ll get you for that.” The spray got him right in the face this time. As he stopped to wipe the water from his face, he saw Bucko at his feet lifting a leg.

“Damn it,” he muttered.

Five minutes later, he drove windows-down, to dry his shirt and pissed-on jeans, toward Mason Road and the abandoned warehouse. He’d met Tommy Fincher, a snitch, here before, but for some reason today, Cary got a bad feeling. He slowed down and looked left to right. If the guy wasn’t exaggerating, he had info on who’d killed Marc Jones, a sixteen-year-old kid, who, after resisting joining the local gang, had taken a bullet in the head.

Cary could still hear the kid’s mother sobbing when he’d knocked on her door with the news last week. She’d already lost Marc’s brother to a gang. And now, if she was right in her suspicions, and he thought she was, Marc had been killed because he refused to get involved. How unfair was that?

While he couldn’t do anything to help Marc, or take away his mother’s grief, he could find the idiot who’d killed him to give the family a little peace.

Cary suspected it was gang related, but couldn’t prove they had been involved—not yet. But damn if he’d stop trying.

The hair on the back of Cary’s neck prickled. He slowed his car down, debating if he should call anyone for backup, like his partner, Danny, at Glencoe Police.

It wasn’t that he didn’t trust Tommy, the snitch, but he had a big problem with a lot of the guy’s friends.

He turned down another row of warehouses and spotted a couple of teens skateboarding. They shouldn’t be here. Too many bad people hung out here. And on the way out, he’d tell them to take their boards elsewhere.

The next row, he saw Tommy’s old Honda parked at the side of building fifty-six. He stopped thinking about danger to himself and thought of Marc’s mother. The woman deserved peace of mind.

He stopped his SUV and looked around. Only when he didn’t see anyone did he get out of his car. The big metal door to the building stood ajar. He unhooked his holster, so he’d have fast access to his gun. He’d started for the door when he noticed a spray of red on the passenger side window of Tommy’s car.

“Shit,” he seethed, knowing what it was before he glanced down to the see Tommy, a fifty-year-old full-time alcoholic and part-time drug addict, slumped over the wheel of his car, part of his head missing.

Cary’s gut knotted. He drew his gun, and reached for his phone to call it in. Before he got the words out, he heard the roar of an engine. He looked up and saw the black pickup coming right at him. The vehicle had no front license plate, and the driver wore a black ski mask.

Cary dove over Tommy’s car. The pickup missed him, but the bullet didn’t.

• • •

“No.” Chloe Sanders said without looking at her friend, Sheri Thompson, who power-walked beside her. The view of the quaint storefronts of Old Town Hoke’s Bluff, Texas—one of which belonged to her—lining the streets usually made her regular Sunday morning, five-mile exercising regiment enjoyable. But not with Sheri beside her, trying to interfere in her life.

Chloe didn’t need interference. She could make a mess of her life all by herself. She’d proven that when she’d let Jerry slip an engagement ring on her finger. Oh, it hadn’t seemed like a bad idea at the time, but a year later, a week before the wedding and . . .

“Look, Dan’s good-looking and a nice guy. A cop. Detective Dan Henderson. Even his name’s hot. He might even be willing to help you out with a couple of those parking tickets.”