Welcome to the Mid Week Tease brought to you courtesy of Sandra Bunino. This first week of May has been great so far. We actually have baby leaves on the trees and flowers growing in the gardens. The winter was hard on my plants and I lost a great deal of ground cover, something I thought indestructible, but since we didn’t have as much snow to insulate them, they suffered from the cold. Since it’s early yet, now that we have sun and warmth, maybe they’ll recover.
Here’s the premise:
The last person disgraced reporter Faye Lewis wants back in her life is Detective Rob Halliday, the man she blames for ruining her career and breaking her heart. But when she finds an old friend murdered, he’s the one she calls.
For the past year, Rob and his team have been hunting the Harvester, a serial killer who ritualistically murders new mothers and vanishes with their infants. What Rob doesn’t need is another case, especially one involving his ex-fiancée.
Then Faye is assaulted, and Rob realizes the cases are connected. She may hold the answers he needs to find the elusive killer. But the more they investigate, the more complex the situation becomes. Can they set the past aside and work together, or will the Harvester and his followers reap another prize?
The White Carnation is available for purchase from several retailers. Find links at http://www.mhsusannematthews.ca/
Faye raised the cup of spiked tea and swallowed a mouthful of the scalding liquid, letting the burn of the Irish whiskey warm her. Even after her shower with the hottest water she could stand, she was cold—not her limbs, where a blanket might have helped, but deep inside. Her heart ached. Damn Rob for invading her space once more. No doubt calling him had been a knee-jerk reaction. The last thing she ever wanted was Rob Halliday in her life again. She needed him now on a professional level alone, and that’s all it was or would ever be. Someone had to pay for what had happened to Lucy Green.
“Okay, Detective, start your inquisition.” She took another sip of her tea.
“Faye, it doesn’t have to be like this. We can be civil—do this as friends.”
“Friends?” she exploded, all the emotions coursing through her colliding in a cataclysmic outburst. “The last thing you and I can ever be is friends. We burnt that bridge long ago. I don’t want a friend. I need a detective who will move heaven and earth to find out who did this. I found her. I saw what that animal did to her. I want him caught! I want the son of a bitch to rot in hell for it. I saw him. He knocked me down. If I’d been on time, he might have killed me, too.”
The sudden image of herself lying on the floor next to Mrs. Green made her tremble and drained the last bit of anger and defiance from her. She felt empty, alone, and scared. Tears pooled in her eyes. “She never hurt anyone. What am I going to tell Mary?”
“What do you mean you saw the killer?”
The barely controlled emotions in his voice—concern, fear—surprised her. You only worried about the people you cared for, and from the way their relationship had ended, she knew he didn’t care and probably never had.
“I didn’t get a good look at him, but he was wearing a hoodie from O’Halloran’s and ran into me, almost knocking me down the steps. The bastard broke the strap on my peacock purse. That’s why I dropped it.” Her voice caught at the memory of her bag lying in Lucy’s blood, and fresh tears threatened. She swallowed. “There was an O’Halloran’s take-out bag on the dining room table. Her wallet was there, too, and there was money on the floor beside her. I’m not an idiot. This wasn’t a robbery. Any junior reporter can see that.”
“You’re right,” he conceded. “Whoever committed this crime was looking for something, and we need to figure out what it was, and whether or not he found it. Why were you there?”
He stopped talking when his cell phone rang. He pulled it out of his pocket, looked at the call display screen, and frowned. “I need to take this.” He walked into the kitchen, keeping his back to her, no doubt to muffle the sound of his voice.
Why did I ever think we could’ve made it work? Their jobs had been stumbling blocks in their relationship from the onset. They’d had some dandy arguments over what he saw as the confidential nature of a case and what she believed was the right of the people to know what was happening.
Faye watched him through the opening above the breakfast bar. The familiar scent of his aftershave stayed with her. She took another sip of her potent tea. How many months had it taken to get that smell out of the apartment? It wasn’t a heavy cologne, but it had clung tenaciously to the drapes and furniture—or had it just lingered in her mind, a ghost of what she’d lost? She frowned. There’d been an odor this afternoon, too—something unpleasant but vaguely familiar—not quite as bad as Jimmy’s deer musk, but close. She couldn’t remember, couldn’t concentrate. She sipped her tea and focused on the man in the kitchen.
Now take the time to visit the other Mid Week Teasers.