The Murder Business…new writing, incomplete…unedited…

“Did you find anything,” Lilly asked as Konan drew near. He nodded.

“Yeah. We need to find the blond-haired man Traylor told us about. I need to find Billy.”


“This is the second or third time we’ve heard about political consultants. Billy mentioned it. Traylor also brought it up. Now, Traylor is dead, Watkins is dead, God only knows about the kid. Something wicked is happening here in Fredericksburg.”

“Yeah. We need to be updated by Manson and Rankin.”

Forensics had finished their sweep of the scene, when Tia Mathers showed up at the scene. She walked up to Lilly and nodded at the building.

“How did it go down,” she asked.

“Traylor was at the storm door, a single shot hit her in the right eye and killed her.”

“Was there any evidence that would give us a clue as to who did it?”

Lilly looked at Konan. He shook his head no. Lilly looked at the building and then met the eyes of her superior.

“I’ve been right here, Tia. Konan might have found something. He found the sniper’s nest.”


Tia motioned for Konan to come over. He walked up and raised his eyebrows.

“Did you find any evidence that would identify the shooter?”

“No. I found the nest. That’s it.”

“You didn’t find any brass?”


Konan looked at Tia. She was dressed in black pants, heavy boots, a crème colored blouse, and a black jacket. Her boots and knees were dusty.

“I spoke to an officer who said you found a cartridge, something about a .308?”

Konan held up his hands and grimaced. Tia glared at him. Konan forced a grin.

“Right. Sorry, it’s been nuts today. Yes, I found a lone cartridge on the hill. I have it in my pocket to turn in to evidence.”

“Un-huh. Give it to me. I’ll make sure it gets turned in.”

“Sure thing.”

Konan reached in his pocket and handed it over to Tia. She nodded and shoved it into her jacket pocket.

“Well,” Tia said. “Keep me informed.”

“Will do.”

Lilly waited until Tia was out of earshot and then tore into Konan.

“Why would you lie to her? Don’t you think she knew that you had the brass? Are you trying to get fired?”

“Did you not notice that her boots and pants were dusty?”


Konan raised his eyebrows and waited. Lilly looked at Konan.

“You think Tia was the shooter?”

“Probably not, but it makes one wonder why she needed the brass in the first place.”

“What are you thinking?”

“Nothing that I can prove yet.”

They finished up at the scene and left. Konan drove Lilly to the police department and she got out. Konan gave her a nod and went home. He needed to catch a nap.
He stretched out on his couch and quickly dozed off. At 2 a.m. he drove to the town square and walked to the bench he sat on a few nights before. Billy came out of the shadows and sat on the bench with him.

“We’ve got to stop meeting like this, Konan.”

“Yep. Who’s the blond-haired hitter?”

“Excuse me?”

“Your shooter. Who is he? Why kill Traylor?”

“I told you, Konan. I left that business beh…”

“Don’t screw with me, Billy. I want the killer. Give him to me and get out of town.”

“Or what?”

“You know dang well what is going to happen if you don’t.”

Billy smiled. He looked like a wolf sizing up a sheep for dinner. Konan didn’t back down.

“And you know that nothing happens without the consent of Cartwright.”

“Cartwright is here?”

“I didn’t say that, Konan. I said that pieces don’t move without his permission. You know, we had a name for you, Konan.”

“Oh yeah?”

“Yeah, we called you point-and-click. Cartwright always said that as long as you had a reason you would kill anyone, including your own mother.”

Konan balled up his fist. He wanted nothing more than to punch Billy in his smug narrow face. Instead, he unclenched his fist and smiled at Billy.

“Well, the jokes on you fools then. I had a reason for every kill, not because of the material you gave me. I did my own assessment, I made up my own mind. I’ll tell you one last time. Get your junk and get out of my town.”

“That’s not how this works, Konan. That’s not how any of this works. What do I get in exchange for the hitter?”

“What do you want?”

“I want to finish what we started here. These plans have been in motion for a long time. You get the killer, and I get what I want.”

“I’ve got a better idea. You give me the killer. Take Cheyenne Thomas and her partners with you when you leave. Don’t come back.”

“No. That doesn’t compute. I’ll give you the name of the killer. He is Ric Terrace. Finding and arresting him is now your problem.”

Without another word or look, Billy left the square. Konan watched him go. Arresting Billy would get him nowhere. There were bigger issues at play.

Cartwright was in town.

Fredericksburg had become a lot more dangerous with the arrival of Cartwright. Konan and Lilly needed to wrap this up and put a stop to whatever devious machinations he and Billy had dreamed up.

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