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   Chapter 35 No.35

My Sister's Keeper By Bill Benners Characters: 10128

Updated: 2018-05-28 11:04


I COULD SEE THE BEACH HOUSE from a half mile away, a crystal castle rising out of the darkness. I cut through to the beach where I rode the bike along that strip of firm sand at the edge of the water, then killed the engine, and hid it in the dunes within fifty yards of the house. If I needed to get away quickly, I'd have a better chance on the beach than on the highway. I opened the saddlebag, retrieved a pair of binoculars, and settled down in the dunes to watch the place.

No one was outside. I panned the binoculars window to window, switched my cell phone off, and moved along the dunes toward the back of the house. From there, I could see into the lighted rooms on the first and second floors, but curtains were drawn across a brightly-lit chamber on the third floor. Three women were curled in chairs in the screening room watching a movie on the giant TV screen.

I made a wide arc around to the house across the street from where I could see up under the beach house. There was a black Cadillac Escalade parked under the house, but the Corvette was not there so I figured John-Boy was probably not there either. I pulled the cell phone from my jacket, turned it on, and called Martha. "It's me. I'm here. Write this down." I pulled a piece of paper from my pocket and read her a phone number.

"What's that?"

Holding the phone with my shoulder, I ripped up the sliver of paper. "It's Sydney's phone number. I forgot to leave it at home and I don't want to have it on me if anything should happen."

"Do you see a house number? I can pull up the county GIS map and find out who owns it and where they live."

"Not from here. I'll have to get closer."

"Please be careful."

The black Corvette I'd seen before came into view, slowed, and turned up the driveway across the street. "He's back."

"Who?"

"The guy I followed down here before. I'll call you later."

"Richard?"

"What?"

"Please be careful."

"I will. Got to go. I'll call you later." I turned the phone off and moved closer to the house staying out of sight. The Corvette was there, but John-Boy had disappeared. As I approached the car, a sliding door upstairs opened and two sets of shoes shuffled awkwardly across the porch above and started down the stairs. I sprang back into the shadows and watched as two men stumbled toward me carrying the body of a young woman. Her right arm dragged the cement as they scuffled toward the Cadillac SUV. One of the men was Fat Albert. The other, Latino, supported the girl's legs as they slung her onto the back seat. They closed the door, shared a private laugh, and disappeared up the steps.

I crept up to the vehicle and through the window I could see that she had red hair. Easing the car door open, I leaned in, and saw that it was Angie. I pressed a finger against her neck but, before I could find a pulse, I heard voices, closed the door with my hip, and crouched behind the car.

"Don't speed, " an older man was saying to a younger man as they came down the stairs. "Don't ru

d dialed 9-1-1. When the operator answered he panted wildly and shouted, "A man on a motorcycle just dumped a woman's body behind Lloyd's Seafood Restaurant at Wrightsville Beach. Hurry! He's still there!" He pressed the button to end the call and looked back at the restaurant when the phone in his hand rang. Feeling exuberant, he answered the call dragging his voice. "Yes?"

After a second of hesitation, a female spoke. "Richard?"

Bonner smiled. "Sorry sweetheart. From the looks of things I'd say Richard's a little busy right now." He looked back in the mirror waiting for the motorcyclist to emerge from behind the restaurant. "But I'll be glad to give him a message for you."

Waiting for the woman to respond, he chuckled aloud. Then she said, "Scott?"

Looking down, he saw the number showing in the window. Shit! He ended the call and tossed the phone out the window.

I SET THE KICKSTAND ON THE BIKE and charged into the pile of empty boxes tossing them aside and milling into them in search of Angie. It didn't take long for me to realize she wasn't there. Vaulting to one of the two large metal garbage containers, I hoisted one of its lids and was engulfed by the odor of rancid food. Holding my breath, I shoved the cover back and there, immersed in table scraps and rotting meat, lay Angie—her legs twisted at awkward angles and her eyes gazing through me in a death stare.

Startled, I drew back, then sprung forward, leaping onto the side of the container, reaching into the opening to touch her neck.

"Angie!"

As I leaned farther, balancing on the lip of the opening checking for a pulse, two cars skidded to a stop behind me. I bounded back from the hatchway as the doors on both police cars flung open and cops dived out of each crouching near the ground with their revolvers trained on me.

"Freeze!" they shouted in unison.

I raised my arms and, twisting, pointed toward Angie. "There's a girl in there! I was checking to see if she's still alive."

"On the ground. Now!"

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