Recap:Vin and Drew were investigating the public menace known as The Smashmaster when Joseph shot Vin. Then Joseph’s brother, Sean, tried to kidnap Suzie’s son, Ben. Both men have red hair. For a long time everyone thought they were one man. Drew saw Sean and Joseph at a neighbor’s house, and tried to arrest them. He managed to shoot them both, but they got away when Joseph hit Drew in the back of the head with a baseball bat while he rescued Ben. Suzie ended up sending Ben away for his own safety. Suzie is determined to find Sean and Joseph to put an end to the case so her son can come home. Drew refuses to let Suzie help him with the investigation and even threatens to drop Vin from the case. Suzie went to Vin and Miranda behind his back and enlisted their help.
Miranda waited until the house was completely dark, which wasn’t hard for her since Vin tended to crash early now, and neither Suzie nor Drew were night owls. She had gone to her room at bedtime, but instead of changing into a negligee, she put on black leather pants, a black stretch-knit top, and a black cap. She considered black face paint, but decided against anything special, so merely used black eyeliner. She rather liked the new look.
She was going to go out and do a little investigating all on her own. This was her chance to do something right, and maybe even save the home she’d so carefully built in Suzie’s house. She’d find the killers, and have them arrested, then Ben could come home.
It seemed like every floorboard in Suzie’s old house creaked as Miranda tiptoed down the hall with her spike-heeled boots in hand. She tried to ghost her way down the stairs but the fourth step from the top groaned as if an elephant had stepped on it.
Maybe it was time for another diet.
Later. She’d deal with it later. Right now she had a hot lead on where she might find Sean and Joseph, the murderous redheads. All she had to do was get out of the house unnoticed, then head for the Caribou bar. Cindy said that’s where Christina had met them. Knowing the kind of guys who hung out at the Caribou, they were probably there right now.
She ignored the front door. Drew had put a new fangled alarm on it, and she could never remember the pass code. She crept into the kitchen, feeling her way in the dark. All the chairs had been pushed in around the table, of course. Suzie could never stand to have them pulled out where they would look untidy. She claimed it was because she tripped over them, but Miranda put it down to her neat freak tendencies.
The chair scraped along the floor, chattering in a hollow, wooden way, though Miranda tried to lift it enough with her free hand to keep that from happening. In fact, lifting seemed to make it louder. As soon as it was out far enough, she plopped down to put her boots on.
She had one boot on, and one in hand, and was stifling her curses when the kitchen light went on.
Miranda inhaled as if she were drowning. “Suzie! You just about gave me a heart attack!” Miranda clutched at her chest, feeling her blood racing.
“What do you think you’re doing?” Suzie marched determinedly toward her.
“I, I, I was going to the Caribou to see if I could find either of the red headed men because Cindy said Christina – that woman who was here two days ago, the day Ben had to move out – she said they hung out there. So I’m going. To the Caribou. Now.” Miranda waved helplessly. She felt like she was explaining herself to her mother.
“I… um… I didn’t think you still went to bars. I mean, I never saw you do it after that one time when your date threw up in your shoes.”
“That date was Rob.”
“Who is now an Ex-husband and clearly someone you should never have married. And he never took you to a bar again, did he.” Miranda emphasized the point with her finger, as if that would make her feel more like a teacher and less like an errant student.
“It doesn’t mean I wouldn’t want to go now.”
Something about the woe begotten tone made Miranda pull up short. Suzie wasn’t jumping on her. She just wanted to be included. Miranda could understand very, very well. She looked over Suzie’s attire, expecting to have to tell her to change, then realized Suzie wasn’t dressed for bed. She was wearing black jeans and a matching T-shirt.
“So. You want to come with?”
“Of course I do.”
“Good, because I forgot, Drew put an alarm on this door too. I don’t remember the code.” Miranda finished zipping up the other boot as Suzie fiddled with the number pad by the door. She tromped over, setting her heel into the stiff, narrow heel of her footwear as she went. “What’s the matter? What’s taking so long? Can’t you get it?”
“Hush! I’m trying, but I can’t remember the code either.”
“Then let me try.” Miranda elbowed Suzie out of the way.
She barely touched it, hadn’t even pressed a key on the pad when lights started pulsing and the alarm blared. She and Suzie both slapped at the thing, but no one could have slept through it.
“Oh my God! Drew!” Suzie put her hand over her mouth, eyes wide. “Don’t tell him I was here.” She made a dash for the dining room, then stopped to cower in the pantry as Drew’s heavy foot falls raced up the hall.
“What’s going on,” he demanded. Then, looking around the kitchen at the flashing lights and Miranda standing by the door, he crossed his arms and leaned against the wall. He wasn’t going to budge without an explanation, which Miranda didn’t have.