He unlocked the doors to the shed and stood back. This one wouldn’t take very long. It was packed with chopped wood and nothing else. Mercy glanced in and nodded. “Does he have a greenhouse?”

“A small one.” He led her around the woodshed to the small glass greenhouse. He’d helped repair two of the glass panes when he was a teen, since his baseball had been at fault. His gaze went straight to those panes; they still looked good.

Mercy stepped inside, inhaled the moist air, and immediately darted to some potted trees. “Lemon trees! And limes!” She couldn’t stop smiling. “Dwarf trees. You’ve got liquid gold here.”

Truman raised a brow, unimpressed. The trees she’d exclaimed over were squatty looking, their fruit barely showing. She poked around in the greenhouse for a few moments, examining leaves and muttering to herself. He waited patiently at the door as she looked her fill and then finally stepped out of the glass building with a sigh.

“Your uncle was a smart man. Where are his vehicles? I assume he has more than one? Maybe even a quad or motorcycle of some sort.”

She’d surprised him again. “He has a truck in the garage attached to the house. He also has an ancient Jeep that he used to let me drive around the property when I was a teen. And a motorcycle that I wasn’t allowed to touch.”

“Let’s see.”

They went back to the house, and Truman stopped to push the automatic garage door opener he’d fastened to the visor in his vehicle. As the double door rolled up, Mercy peered into the garage. It was exactly as he’d said. A truck, an ancient Jeep, and the motorcycle. She walked around the vehicles but wasn’t looking at them. He followed her gaze to the multiple generators lining one wall.

“Does he have a well?” she asked.

“Yes. The water tastes like crap.”

She smiled. “You shouldn’t sell this house. This is a great property. It’s a little too close to town for some people, but he’s set it up nicely to be self-sufficient.”

“I don’t want to live here.” He sounded like a whiner.

“Do you mind if we go inside?”

He pushed open the door between the house and garage as an answer. She walked past him and he got a whiff of fresh-baked lemon bars. Her shampoo? They silently walked the home. Truman had said everything he had to say the night before and didn’t feel the need to fill the silence with useless words. He caught her watching him a few times and wondered what she saw on his face.


A desire for revenge?

She stopped in the long hallway and pointed at a framed collage of faded pictures. “What goes through your mind when you look at this?”

Truman stepped closer to look, even though he knew each picture by heart. They were candid shots of his uncle and his friends. Most of them were from the 1970s. Avoiding her eyes, he pressed his lips together as he considered her question. “I think of my uncle living here alone. I think how much we butted heads, but deep down I always knew he cared. I always wondered if he missed me when I went home for the school year.”

“Did you ever consider attending school here?”

“Hell no. This was a good place to blow off some steam during the summer, but I didn’t want to live here.”

“Did you know kids your own age when you lived here?”

Memories flooded his brain. Some good, some shitty. “Yes.”

“What was hanging here?” she outlined a faint rectangle on the wall.

“A mirror. It was in pieces when I got here that morning.”

Mercy stared at the white rectangle the old mirror had left by protecting the wall from dirt for decades.

She took a few steps and looked in the bathroom they’d studied last night, but she wasn’t looking at the floor this time.

“The gunshots broke the mirror in here, right?”

“Yes.” Truman didn’t like how her eyes had widened as she’d studied the wall. “Why?”

She turned and strode into his uncle’s bedroom, scanning every corner. “Were there any mirrors in here?”

Truman scowled. “Not that I’m aware of.”

“Did you find any other broken mirror fragments in the house?” Her voice rose an octave.

He thought. “No. Why are you asking?”

She shook her head as she went back down the hall. She stopped where the broken mirror had hung. “It was knocked off the wall in the scuffle. It’s so close to the bathroom. Someone bumped it.”

“That’s what I assumed. What were you thinking?”

Her green gaze met his. “For a split second it reminded me of another scene.”

He didn’t know what crime she was talking about, but judging by the horror she was attempting to hide behind her gaze, he knew it’d been a bad one.

“I need to call Eddie.”

His antennae rose. “Why?”

“Maybe he noticed something I missed at Ned Fahey’s house.”

“Like what?”

“Like more broken mirrors.”

Mercy paced in the yard in front of Jefferson Biggs’s home, swearing at Eddie under her breath.

“Pick up, pick up. Dammit!” It went to voice mail. She left a message for him to call her right back and sent a text requesting the same.

Her heart hadn’t slowed since Truman had said a mirror had been broken.

Not the same. It’s not the same. That would be impossible.

Or could it be?


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