I followed Blake to the second floor where he turned immediately to the first room on the right. But when he slipped his key into the hole we realized quickly the door was already unlocked. Giving me a warning glance, I nodded and grabbed tight to my reticule, my handgun inside, then waited as he slowly eased the door open.
The lights were on and we heard movement coming from what I assumed to be the bedroom. I followed Blake as he made his way in that direction and I had to wonder if he had his own weapon.
Suddenly the door swung wide and I was surprised when my eyes met the doe-eyed ones of the woman from the funeral. Hers widened in terror as she backed into the frame and put a hand to her chest, clutching a handful of her black cotton mourning dress.
“Who’re you?” she asked on a pant, then, “I’m not a thief. I have a key. I’m not doing anything wrong.”
“Is that so?” Blake said, tone laced with accusation, “Then maybe you’ll tell us who gave you that key and why you’re in a dead man’s apartment?”
We all paused a moment, a three-way standoff, then the girl dropped her face into her hands and began to weep bitterly, shaking and wailing. Blake and I stood there staring at her before he glanced over his shoulder with an expression of panic. “You might have been a tad more gentle,” I scolded as I stepped in front of him to put an arm around the crying woman so I could lead her to the couch to sit.
NOTE: This is an unedited excerpt, so please forgive any errors.
When a top insurance agent dies in a boating accident, it’s a tragedy, but when the books for that agent turn up short twenty-thousand dollars, doubt becomes the name of the game…
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