A Blade in the Dark…the conclusion to Chapter 12…unedited…

Try as I might, I could not find anything on the surface of the financials of Caster or the Hendricks. This required a deeper probing, and given the laws regarding financial inspection by law enforcement, I would need to go outside of the law to learn anything deeper than what I’d already found. 

It was after 9 p.m. when we shut down the lights in the Murder Room. Lilly and I walked to the lift, taking care not to caress, touch, kiss, or give lingering looks to each other before we made it to our vehicle. Even then, we waited until we exited the parking garage and made it out of the township before we touched one another. 

“Where are we going? My place or yours?”

“Neither,” I responded. “We’re going to see an old friend of mine.”

“This is about the case?”

“Yeah, but Lilly you need to know these aren’t legal means. If you want out…”

“No, I want Ana Marie’s case closed already. Someone needs to pay for what they did to that baby.”

“I agree.”

“Tell me about your friend.”

“I will, just not now.”

I sighed and drove past the swamps and out onto highway 8, the same highway Ana Marie’s body was found, and kept going. On the outskirts of the small town of Angie, Huck Simpson, my friend and outlaw, lived in a sub-level house. 

Huck’s house sat on the corner of Main Street and First Street. I pulled into the driveway and shut off the car. “Wait here,” I told Lilly. “If everything is clear, I’ll signal you to join us.” Lilly’s brows furrowed, but she nodded her head in agreement. The curtain in the living room pulled back, and then closed when I stepped from the vehicle. I swallowed hard and walked toward the front door. 

Several years had passed with no word passed between me or Huck. Both of us had gone our separate ways upon our discharge from the military. Huck was dishonorably discharged from the Navy for carrying on a six-year affair with his Commander’s wife. That wouldn’t have been enough to kick him out. What led to his dismissal was the fact he had shared photographs of their adventures on the Navy’s website. Huck had coupled the photographs with an old Navy recruiting slogan: ‘It’s not a job, it’s an adventure.’ Due to his malfeasance, Huck spent six years in a military prison, one year for every year of the affair.

I had not seen him since the day of his sentencing. He had asked me to speak as a character witness, but I declined. At the time, I had my own career to think of in the Army, and I did not want to put a blemish on my record for standing up for wrongdoing. I was wrong to do so, and I should have stood for my friend-consequences notwithstanding-but I didn’t. 

Now, I needed his help. If he chose to return the favor, I had no grounds for complaint. He had needed me and I refused my hand when he needed it. There’s an old saying about turnaround is fair play. I stood at the door, took a deep breath and knocked. 

It was time to discover if Huck still held a grudge.

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