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Naomi Banker, the resident vibrational therapist, asks Quinn to look into an intellectual property rights claim. The request seems innocent enough - but boring. Things soon spice up when Quinn discovers that Naomi was romantically linked to Glenda's murdered husband. Soon, more bodies start to surface and like it or not, Quinn finds herself caught in a whirlwind of broken hearts and private alliances, all while trying to manage a few special secrets of her own. She’s convinced of Naomi's innocence and starts to dig for answers. But if she's not careful, she'll end up being added to the body count.
The day before, I’d told Jack about my disappointment in meeting Naomi. I wanted no part of her case. He didn’t push me to explain. I sensed that he wasn’t surprised.
“She said something about hearing noises and seeing strange lights behind her home.”
Jack straightened. “What kind of noises? What kind of lights?”
“She doesn’t describe it well. She just says that she sees eerie lights come from the trees behind her house and sometimes she hears voices. So, I thought if I went back there I could find a practical explanation. There’s a footpath just beyond the edge of her property. You won’t believe what I found. And, you won’t believe whose house sits on the opposite end of those woods.”
Jack’s brow narrowed. He’d reached in his pocket and withdrew a red and white peppermint, popped it into his mouth and stared off into the distance, thoughtful. He’d grown up in the Hills and knew every street.
“I’ll be damned,” he huffed. “It has to be the Penderherst home.” I nodded when he looked at me for confirmation.
“Exactly. There’s more, Jack. You have to see the place for yourself.” I could tell him about the tents. I could tell him about the heaps of trash and the footsteps that danced way too close to Naomi’s house but there was no substitute for a first-hand experience.
Instead of driving straight to Naomi’s house, Jack parked in front of the Penderherst home. Yellow and black police tape still covered the drive and stretched over the doorway. Jack and I followed the stone path around the house. The Penderhersts’ lawn needed to be cut. The edges were overgrown, and the grass could use a good dosing of fertilizer. Brown spots were peaking up through the weeds. Jack and I walked up on the patio. The wooden slats were warped. A few looked gnawed away by wear and age. After a moment, we descended the steps and headed into the woods. We’d barely walked a hundred yards when Jack turned and looked back at the house.
“They sure didn’t overspend on curtains,” he noted as we peered through the crossed arms of branches. “Someone standing here can see straight through the entire house at nightfall,” he said.
I tugged at Jack’s hand. “Come on, you have to see the rest.”
There was no way I ever would have gone back alone. My skin started to prickle just thinking about the sense of foreboding that had washed over me earlier.
We had started moving deeper into the woods again when Jack asked, “Did you seriously come back here alone?” The foliage was growing dense and the unruly branches darkened the space around us.
“Yes.” I sighed, knowing the complaint that was going to follow once Jack saw what waited inside the clearing.
A low growl escaped him.
K. S. David lives in the Mid-Atlantic with her husband, their three children and a menagerie of pets. New storylines are constantly running through her head. She keeps notebooks tucked in pockets of the car, the nightstand and makes voice recordings just about all day long. She's addicted to true life mysteries and crime shows, both of which marry well with a great romance. Some of her favorite things are long walks, reading in bed, baking and of course, writing her next novel.
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