Heart and Haven #3 from Loose Id: Nick Truman’s story…
Nick had his car keys out and hit the fob for one of the last cars in the parking garage. He’d just left a session with the techs who’d investigated Alex Crow’s electronics and found nothing suspicious, to his surprise and relief. Nick had really thought he was guilty of being a part of his uncle’s murder, but had also started to like the kid.
The elevator doors opened and Dale Markham stepped out, looking around. Nick had never liked him—just a gut thing. He was a good agent, but something slimy shifted in his eyes at times, like a shadow behind a mask.
So Nick didn’t call out, just nodded when their eyes met, and opened the trunk to put his briefcase away. When he shut it, Dale was standing next to his car, smiling.
“Agent Markham?” A warning buzzed in his head—something off in Markham’s gaze.
“Hey, Nick.” The man put a hand to the inner pocket of his coat and drew out a thick envelope. “A friend needs a favor on the Vargas kid’s case.”
“I don’t take bribes, Dale,” he said as loud as he could in case Dale wore a wire. “What the hell are you thinking?”
“Hold on, there. I told him you’d say no.” Dale pocketed the envelope with a sly grin and pulled out a box from another pocket. “No one’s listening, and the security cameras are disabled. Open this.”
Nick put out his hand, temper rising, and Dale dropped the box onto his palm. Nick took the cover off. He stared in shock at the pale gray finger, naked in the loose plastic wrap except for purple nail polish smeared with blood.
“Look familiar? Look closer,” Dale urged him.
Nick rolled the finger slightly. His sister Jordan had a tattoo of the marriage equality sign on the ring finger of her left hand in support of her brother and sister. Recognition blinded him for the moment, a veil of terror over his eyes. Nick took a step toward Dale, who stepped back. Two men detached from the shadows where they’d been lurking and flanked Dale.
“What have you done, you bastards?” Nick shouted, his voice echoing around the empty parking garage. He reined in his anger and terror, shaking with the effort. “Where is she?”
(unedited version–photocredit: Pixabay)