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Authors: LS Sygnet

Tags: #murder, #mystery, #deception, #human trafficking, #corrupt cops

Always Watching

BOOK: Always Watching
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Always Watching

by LS Sygnet

COPYRIGHT 2013 LS Sygnet, Smashwords
edition.  All rights reserved.  No part of this book may
be used or reproduced in any manner without permission except in
the case of brief quotations.

 

This book is a work of fiction.  Names,
characters, places and incidents are fictional or used
fictitiously.  Any resemblance to actual events, locales or
persons, living or dead, is coincidental.  All rights
reserved.  No part of this publication can be reproduced or
transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or paper print,
without written permission from LS Sygnet. 

 

The Eriksson Series by LS
Sygnet

Daddy’s Little Killer

Beneath the Cracks

Forgotten Place

The Chilling Spree

Always Watching

Coming soon – book 6 – Sins of the Father

 

 

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

Chapter 40

Chapter 41

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 1

 

Today is the day that I finally understand
why Dad was right all along.  You see, today is the first time
that Johnny is honestly lying to me.  Ah the dichotomies of my
life – honest lies. Allow me to explain.  While I’m at home
cooling my heels, playing the good wife while he goes out fighting
crime wearing his cape, something has changed.  It’s not a
good change either.

I’m out of the loop.  No, I don’t like
the feeling one little bit.  So help me, if he tells me one
more time that he can’t discuss an ongoing investigation with me…
ME!  I may revert to my old ways. 

Scratch that.  I do love him. 
What I don’t love is two months of nothing to do but bake and
decorate the house, obsessively clean to the point that you could
perform surgery in my kitchen. I dawdle around in a life with
absolutely no purpose whatsoever.

Seriously.  I’m so bored that it’s
affecting my health.  I threw up three times this week. 
Ick.  I’d rather be shot than vomit.  Believe me, that’s
no exaggeration.

So Johnny is in his closet packing his
bags.  He says it’s business.  I feel like he’s leaving
me.  You’ve heard of a work wife.  Well, I’m the work
widow.  He won’t tell me why he has to go to Montgomery. 
He won’t even tell me when he’s coming home.  He’s “not
sure”. 

Do I look stupid to him?  Apparently
so, because he expects me to tolerate this patronizing pat on the
head like a good little lap dog and –


Helen?”


What?” I slammed my
journal shut and glared at the shadow in the doorway between the
anteroom to the master suite and my den.  Yes, the house is
mine again.  I feel like having the locks changed and the
remotes for the gate and garage reprogrammed the second he leaves
for Montgomery.


It’s time for me to
go.”

I rolled my eyes.  “Go then. 
Never mind me.  Never mind that your vague timetable alone
isn’t pissing me off.”


I’ve already explained to
Zack that I can fly home on a moment’s notice if the trial actually
starts as anticipated.  For all Danny Datello’s talk about a
speedy trial, his lawyer sure is proficient at filing motions for
delaying the damned thing.”


We both know why,” I
said.  “They’re digging up as much dirt on me as
possible.  I think they’ve forgotten that
I’m
not the one standing accused of
murder.”

He muttered something under his breath.


What was
that?”


Nothing,
sweetheart.  Do you want me to call you when I get to
Montgomery?”

My brain protested loudly: No, I want you to
send Darnell.  You need to stay here with me. 

Instead of speaking my mind, my muscles
shrugged, “Do whatever you like.”

He inched cautiously into the room. 
“You know I’m not happy about leaving.  I’m worried about
you.  Do you feel sick this morning?”


For God’s sake, do I look
sick?”


Ill-humored
perhaps.  I’m sorry, Helen.  It’s my job.”


I thought we agreed that
I could be with you wherever you went.”


You want to camp out in a
hotel in Montgomery while I’m busy with …”


You won’t even tell me
what the case is – you haven’t talked to me about work since Shelly
voided my contract with Downey Division two months ago.”


I know,” he oozed regret
and an unhealthy amount of remorse.  “Maybe I shouldn’t have
been so tight lipped about work.  You said you were tired of
chasing monsters.  How was I supposed to know if talking about
the job wouldn’t make you as miserable as doing the job
was?”

I rose and wiggled my way into his
arms.  “Tell me what you’re doing now.  So I don’t worry
every moment of every day.  I don’t like this, Johnny.  I
feel completely excluded from your life.”


Joe doesn’t want me
talking about this, not to anyone, Helen.  Believe me, I pled
my case harder than ever on this one.  He insists that it’s
simply too sensitive to risk having anyone outside the
investigation aware of what we’re doing. 
I
trust you.  If it were up to
me, you’d know every single detail.”


This isn’t fair,” I
whispered.  “We’re not supposed to have secrets
anymore.”


Remember what you said to
Tony Briscoe when he wanted you to tell him the truth about
Crevan’s sexuality?”

I nodded.


Well, this isn’t my story
to tell either, honey.  Trust me.  This trip is
business.  Nothing more.  The fact that we can’t be
together right now is a huge driving force behind wrapping it up
and getting back here where I belong.”


Promise me that this
isn’t a poker tournament.”


Not even stealing Joe’s
money would be enough to lure me away from home,” he said. 
“Cross my heart.”


There’s a pretrial
hearing later this morning.  I thought I might go sit in and
see what happens.”


Will one of the guys be
with you?”

It took all of five seconds for Devlin to
accept Johnny’s offer to join OSI.  Crevan endured two weeks
of Briscoe’s cold shoulder before calling it quits.  I
nodded.  “Devlin left me a message last night.  He’s
gonna be there, since at the time, he was one of the primary
investigators on the case.”


So were you.”


And Ned,” I said
softly.  “But Devlin thought at least one of us should be
there.  We wouldn’t want the defense thinking that just
because none of us are part of Downey Division anymore that our
commitment to Datello’s conviction has waned.”

Johnny kissed me leisurely.  “I’m gonna
call you when I get to Montgomery.  And probably ten times on
the way there.  Keep your cell phone on even if you’re in
court?”


Sure.”


Don’t look so sad,
baby.  It’s killing me.”


I’ll probably lose ten
pounds.”


Don’t you dare stop
eating, Helen.  I mean it.”

I shrugged.  The mere thought of food
made my stomach fist into a tight knot this week.  Was it
anxiety because Johnny was leaving me?  Probably.  I
haven’t completely regained my weight or physical strength since
the shooting last October.  It had been nearly five long
months since the injury to my left shoulder.  Damned limb was
still weak as a kitten.


What does that
mean?”


I’ll try to eat. 
Have you been so busy with work this week that you haven’t noticed
my appetite tanked?”

Johnny started to fumble through his breast
pocket for the phone.  “That’s it.  I’m calling Joe and
telling him that I can’t leave you right now.  Chris will have
to do this thing instead.”


No,” I rasped, stilled
his hand.  “You can’t do that.  It’s probably a touch of
the flu, or nerves.  I promise I’ll eat even if I don’t feel
like it.  You promise that you’ll call me so much I don’t
realize you’re gone.”


Deal,” he murmured. 
“I love you.”


I love you too,
Johnny.”

I watched his Crown Victoria disappear from
the driveway and let the emptiness in the house drag me to a dark
place.  Devlin’s call snapped me momentarily out of the
funk.


The hearing is at
ten.  Are you up and dressed?”


Sadly, I am,” I
said.


Good.  I’m on my way
over to pick you up.  When we’re done at the courthouse, we
can have lunch.”


Did Johnny call you
already?”

Some grins are audible.  “Maybe he
did.  Maybe he didn’t.  See you in twenty.”

A mere thirteen minutes passed before the
intercom at the gate buzzed.  I depressed the button. 
“Come on up, Dev.  I’m ready to go.”

He waited in the car while I locked the
door.


So what’s the purpose of
today’s hearing?” I asked.  “I thought they hammered out all
of the evidentiary stuff.”


They’re asking for
another delay.  Funny huh?  Datello was the one harping
about his right to a speedy trial.  They’re the ones dragging
their feet now.”


No surprise there. 
I hear that Celeste is due to deliver their first child any day
now.  He’s probably hoping for some special dispensation that
would let him be in the delivery room when the time
comes.”


Ain’t gonna happen,” Dev
said.  “Everybody knows he’s a huge flight risk, Helen. 
There are no judges for sale in Bay County.  I doubt they’ve
ever been for sale in the district court.  He can watch it on
one of those whatchamacallits.  Webcams.”

I chuckled.  “You think he couldn’t
find a way to use that to his advantage?  Seriously, I’d be
surprised if the judge goes along with many more delays.  This
nonsense was supposed to be underway four weeks ago.”


Don’t I know it. 
The guy would be better off cutting a deal with Carpenter that
gives him a shot at holding his grandkids instead of seeing them
through Plexiglas if he lives that long.”


Parole in 30 years,” I
said.  “Datello comes from a long line of men who rolled the
dice with the legal system.  They count on things like witness
intimidation and jury tampering.  All it’ll take is one
hold-out, and it’ll be a mistrial.  Maybe he’s counting on a
new governor that’ll grant him a pardon.”

BOOK: Always Watching
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