Tied With a Bow and No Place to Go (Tizzy/Ridge Trilogy Book 3)

BOOK: Tied With a Bow and No Place to Go (Tizzy/Ridge Trilogy Book 3)
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Tied With a Bow

and

No Place to Go

 

 

Ann Everett

 

 

Tied With a Bow and No Place to Go

 

 

Copyright 2014 by Ann Everett

All rights Reserved.

 

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and
incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.
Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons is entirely coincidental.
No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic
or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage
and retrieval systems, without the written permission of the copyright owner or
the publisher.

 

 

 

Cover stock photo purchase

By Ann Everett from Dreamstime.com

 

Cover Designer: Octagon Lab

 

Formatting by AnnMarie Stone

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

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

Dedicated to the girls from Brownsboro High School

 

 

Class of 1966

 

 

Linda Adair

Kathy Carver

Lena Dailey

Nelda Dodson

Linda Drexler

Sandra Hatton

Sarah Jobe

Virginia Franklin

Sue Kolaczkowski

Pattie McLean

Kay Moss

Gwen Owen

Mahlon Scott

Beverly Simmons

Marcia Taylor

Linda Wallace

Patsy Wyatt

Acknowledgements

 

 

My heartfelt thanks to Dagnee for suggesting the title of
this book.

 

Many thanks to my readers from thenextbigwriter.com. I truly
appreciate the time you gave my novel and the wonderful critique you offered.

 

Special thanks to Beta Readers, Cassidy Laine and Maggie
Banks.

 

Big thank you to Detective David Williams for taking time to
answer my many questions…and there were many!

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

 

Jay Roy Hobbs held the county record for talking women out
of their panties. At least that’s what Tizzy Cooper had heard. Rumor said
ladies ignored his lack of good looks and fell for his quick wit. Now, staring
at him through binoculars, she wasn’t so sure humor was his main appeal.

She swallowed the lump that’d been lodged in her throat
since arriving on the scene. It wasn’t the sight of a dead body that bothered
her. She’d seen plenty of those over the years. Her talent for talking to the
dearly departed made it a frequent occurrence. But while the rest of
Brownsboro’s citizens were having their first cup of coffee, she was five miles
out of town, at the edge of a field, swatting mosquitos. Not the way she
intended to start her day.

Sunlight filtered through naked limbs of an old tree and
cast shadows across colonies of Bishop’s Weed standing tall like lacy parasols.
The only thing ruining the spring array, Jay Roy’s lifeless body.

At first, Tizzy considered he might be asleep or unconscious,
but after calling out to him with no response, and given the color of his skin,
along with the buzzards overhead, she decided on a third choice.

Stepping onto an old stump to get a better view, she focused
the field glasses. About fifty yards away, the man lay naked, except for boots
and a bow, on a patch-work quilt, face toward heaven, arms outstretched.
Something twisted in Tizzy’s chest. Jay Roy and her mom had graduated high
school together which made him much too young to die.

A few feet to the right, Tizzy’s friends, Synola Harper and
Rayann Tatum, shaded their faces and squinted toward the dead man. Tizzy
stepped off the stump, adjusted the straps of her sundress and decided they
must be as surprised as she by the sight, because neither of them said a word
until she passed the field glasses to Synola.

“Lord, can you believe the size of that thing?” Synola let
the binoculars dangle around her neck. She tugged her red tank top against warm
mocha skin, tucked it into the slender waist of her jeans and smirked at
Rayann. “I don’t suppose you’ve ever seen anything that big.”

Rayann tossed her head, blonde curls bouncing with the
movement, then narrowed her green eyes and frowned. “Of course I have. I watch
HBO.”

“Uh-huh.” Synola went back for a second look. “Reminds me of
a wilted purple tulip.”

“It does, doesn’t it? Especially with the bow tied around
it.” Tizzy swiveled her head toward the road where clouds of dust billowed like
smoke signals.

Within a few minutes, two patrol cars pulled to the side of
the blacktop. She shook her head and laughed under her breath.

Nothing matched small town life, where every emergency
vehicle responded when they got a 911 call. From the first car, Henderson
County Sheriff, Dan McAlister, Tizzy’s older brother, climbed out. Next,
Rayann’s husband, police officer Dwayne “Bubba” Tatum ambled toward them.

“What the hell are you doing out here this early?” Dan asked
his sister.

His massive bulk blocked the rising sun and cast her in
shadow. “Don’t get bent out of shape, Dan. We’ve stayed away from the body, so
nothing’s been disturbed.”

“I’m not worried. You have enough sense not to upset a crime
scene.” He removed his hat, spit on the ground, and resumed his chew of tobacco
like a cow chewing cud. “Just curious.”

“Well, Rayann spent the night with me because Bubba worked
the graveyard shift and Ridge is still out of town.” The mention of Ridge made
Tizzy’s heart ache. Marriage to a Texas Ranger could sometimes be a bad thing
when he worked jobs that involved nights away from home.

“Fraidy-cat Rayann can’t be alone at night,” Synola said.

“Shut up, Synola,” Rayann said.

When Bubba moved to stand next to his wife and planted a
kiss on Rayann’s cheek, she backed away. Tizzy eyed them and then nodded toward
the house down the road. “Synola spent the night with her aunt. This morning,
they noticed those buzzards.” She pointed up at the sky filled with birds
gliding in a circle of ebony above Jay Roy. “Synola called us, I called 911,
and here we are.”

The shrill whine of sirens sliced the air as the ambulance
arrived, followed by the Justice of the Peace.

Synola shook her head. “Those EMTs love to use sound and
lights. You’d think with that swarm of birds overhead, they’d figure the guy’s
dead and it’s not an emergency.”

“Hey, he ain’t dead until the JP says he’s dead,” Dan said.

Tizzy ignored her brother’s sarcasm. A sudden breeze caught
long strands of her hair and blew wisps across her face. Summer came early in
Texas. Just seven o’clock in the morning and the middle of May, but the
temperature hovered at eighty. Thankful for the breeze, she pushed the locks
behind her ear and glanced at Dan. “Any chance Ridge will get this case?”

“What’s wrong? Feeling neglected?”

“Kinda. He comes in after I’ve gone to bed and leaves before
I wake. Sometimes he doesn’t come home. I’ve barely seen him in the last two
weeks.

“I talked to him earlier. Turns out he’s almost done with
the investigation in Gun Barrel City, so the local guys can finish. When he’s
done with paperwork, he’ll be home.” Dan put his hat back on and hooked his
thumbs in his pockets. “Wait a minute. You didn’t kill this guy to get Ridge
back in town, did you?” He broke into a rowdy laugh.

She punched him on the arm. “No. That guy, by the way, is
Jay Roy Hobbs.”

“No shit.” Dan looked toward the body, then at her and
laughed again. “Are you gettin’ something? A communication from him? It’d sure
be nice if he sent you a message from beyond to tell us what happened.
Oooo-ee-ooo.” Dan sang and wiggled his fingers toward heaven.

Tizzy punched him again. “Oh, you sound so spooky. And the
answer is no. No messages.” She decided there wasn’t a need to go into a long
discussion how her ability had taken a drastic turn. Ever since discovering
she’d passed her afterlife communication skills on to her four-year-old
daughter, Tizzy’s connection began to dwindle. She was still adjusting to the
surprise Gracie could hear dead people—and see them. Well, at least one so
far—her daddy.

“Appears the JP pronounced him, so I’ll take a gander,” Dan
said, and walked away with Bubba right behind like a kinder-gartener in a game
of follow the leader.

Within a few minutes the two men returned and Dan spoke.
“It’s Jay Roy alright. Nekked as a jaybird, dead as a doornail, and looking
happy as a lark.”

“So his tally-whacker really is that big?” Synola asked.

Dan swatted the air. “What? You think it’s fake?”

Synola placed hands on hips, rocked back on her heels, and
peered at the body one more time. “No, I thought the binoculars magnified it.”

“Nope, it’s that size. The blue ribbon is a nice touch,” Dan
wagged his head, then smiled and followed Synola’s gaze to Jay Roy.

“Looks like he won first prize in a Cock-a-Diddle-Do
contest,” Synola said and slapped her hand against her neck to kill a mosquito.
She wiped the spot and cleaned her finger on her jeans.

“Maybe it’s for presentation,” Bubba said.

“Could be, or somebody killed him and put it there. Oh, and
y’all shouldn’t mention the color of the ribbon to anyone,” Dan said.

Tizzy nodded and gave attention to the Justice of the Peace
as he covered the body. Someone needed to stay to keep Jay Roy from being
buzzard bait. “So it’s murder?”

“Gee, Tiz. Jay Roy’s naked, in a field at daylight, and he’s
got a ribbon tied around his Johnson. I don’t imagine he came out here,
stripped off, tied a bow, and died of natural causes. Do you?”

She frowned. “He could have been here for a rendezvous and
suffered a heart attack.”

Dan spit on the ground, then raked the wad of tobacco from
his mouth and hurled it across the road behind him and Tizzy grimaced. How he
chewed that stuff was beyond her. “I didn’t see any blood or visible wounds,
but according to the law, we have to treat it as foul play until the autopsy
says otherwise. If murder proves to be the case, Ridge is gonna have plenty of
suspects,” Dan said.

“Whataya mean?” Synola asked.

“The girls from Jay Roy’s senior class are in town for a
reunion, and the story goes he nailed almost every one of them their senior
year. I remember Dad telling stories how back in the day this was the place Jay
Roy brought his dates. With the women here, could be he hooked up with one
again for old time’s sake and got caught by someone who didn’t appreciate it?”

“That may be a good starting point, but Jay Roy was a legend
when it came to the ladies. Could be a recent conquest,” Bubba said.

Dan removed his hat and ran fingers through his brown hair,
then replaced the Stetson and fished car keys from his pocket. “There’s a
picnic basket, so it does appear he planned to hook up with somebody. In my opinion,
finding him this way, and a class of former lovers in town can’t be a
coincidence.”

“Wow, I bet those girls had interesting slumber parties. Did
any of them fall in love with him?” Synola asked.

“Hell, yeah,” Dan said. “He married three of’em. One of ’em
twice.”

Tizzy shaded her eyes with her hand and looked at the road
in both directions. “How’d he get here? I don’t see a car.”

“No sign of clothes either but he’s wearing boots, so he
probably walked. He lives right through those trees.” Dan pointed past the
crime scene.

“Well,” Tizzy said, “we’ve got to go to work. I imagine the
bakery will be buzzing with plenty of Jay Roy stories today.”

When they reached the car and slid in, Tizzy glanced at
Rayann. Barely a hundred pounds, long blonde hair framing a delicate face, her
appearance screamed fragile handle with care. While Synola, taller, but just as
thin, with bee-stung lips, had an attitude that rapped, back the F off. They
were childhood friends and today, something wasn’t right with Rayann.

Tizzy started the engine. “You’ve been mighty quiet and I
noticed something going on with you and Bubba. So tell me.”

Rayann remained silent for a moment, then burst into tears.

Synola leaned forward from the back seat. “What the hell,
Rayann? Jay Roy upset you? Were you even acquainted?”

“I am sorry Jay Roy’s dead, but it’s not him. It’s Dwayne.
I’m sure he’s having an affair.” She swallowed and babbled on. “Should I have
him followed? Bug his phone? I can’t imagine he’d do this to me.”

“Oh good God. You’ve jumped off the high-rise of insanity
and landed in the middle of crazy town,” Synola said.

Tizzy reached over and patted Rayann’s shoulder. “Synola’s
right. He’s been in love with you since high school.”

Rayann wiped tears and tried to catch her breath. “I’m a
terrible person. Poor Jay Roy is dead with his jiggly-bits exposed to the world
and I’m concerned with my own problems.”

BOOK: Tied With a Bow and No Place to Go (Tizzy/Ridge Trilogy Book 3)
12.83Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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