Page 51

A doctor? That tiny woman was a doctor?

“She has a doctorate in fashion? As in fashion design?” Melody stared at Sheila.

“No, no.” The woman primped her highlighted French twist, eyeing Jack with a gleam in her eye that put Melody in vigilant big-sister mode. “She’s a dentist. It’s her first name that escapes me. Something like Calico or Indigo. You know, kinda fancy.” She snapped her fingers. “That’s it. Lacey. Lacey Campbell. Her father’s the state medical examiner. I saw him around here earlier.”

Melody watched the divorced woman’s interest refocus to finding James Campbell as she flittered away. For an older guy, he’d be a good catch. Handsome, rich, and widowed. Even Melody had eyed him at one time, only to decide the age difference was too much. But Sheila was ten years older than her. At least ten years.

Melody watched her brother kiss the blonde on the forehead. Hmm. Jack wasn’t one for public displays of attention. A dentist? That explained why the woman was here tonight, but didn’t explain why Jack couldn’t keep his eyes and hands off of her. Had her little brother finally found a good woman? Melody tipped her head a bit as she studied the couple. They truly did look happy as they danced. Melody caught Jack’s gaze and gave him a discrete thumbs-up. His returning grin lit up his face.

Lacey rested her temple against his jacket and smiled. He smelled good. Completely male and warm. His hand slid up her back and down again, stopping lower down than it had before. Any lower and he’d figure out she wore nothing under the dress. She couldn’t. Every undergarment she’d tried on showed some sort of obvious line or came up too high for the low back. Thankfully, the dress had built-in support for the front, but lower down was a problem.

He positioned her closer as the music slowed and she let her eyes drift shut, reveling in the sensation of feeling safe and protected. The music was lovely, the man was dreamy, and she was the happiest she’d felt in a long time. Maybe they were on to something good.

A new hand on her shoulder broke open her reverie. Michael.

“Lace, can I talk to you a minute?”

“Later,” Jack growled at him.

Michael’s shoulders snapped back but he leaned closer to Jack’s face. “I need to talk to her now.”

Afraid one of these temperamental men was about to throw a punch, Lacey pushed away from Jack and made Michael back up a step. “Knock it off. The next caveman who growls will get my heel jammed in his arch.” She crossed her arms and gave her attention to Michael. “What’s so important you need to tell me this very second?”

Michael took a deep breath. “I need to tell you what I found in Mount Junction.”

“Now?” She was skeptical. “Why didn’t you tell me on the way here? I asked about your trip, but you changed the subject.”

“I just got a call I’ve been waiting for.”

“Right now? Here?”

Michael nodded. “I managed to convince the police down there to take another look at some old cases. When I told them what I believed about Amy’s death…”

“Who?” Jack cut in.

Lacey shushed him. “Just a minute.” Her eyes were all for Michael. “What did they say?”

“It wasn’t easy to convince them, but I dug up two other deaths down there that had been classified as accidents. In both, the victim was a blonde female and ended up with broken legs. Each time the breaks were attributed to something sorta normal occurring at the time of death. Like saying Amy’s breaks were from the rocks in the river or the accident impact.”

“Who in the hell are you talking about?” Jack’s tone was frustrated.

“A gymnastics teammate of mine.” Lacey instinctively put out a hand to stop Jack from moving closer to Michael. “She died in an accident when she drove her car into a rough river in Mount Junction, but Michael doesn’t think it was an accident.” Lacey’s words came slowly. They were hard to say and even harder to believe.

“And now the police believe there are more murders like Suzanne Mills? In Mount Junction?” Jack sounded stunned.

“Yeah. You like visiting Mount Junction, Jack?” Jack lunged toward Michael, and Lacey stepped directly in front of him to brace him with her body. “Stop it! Both of you! Michael, knock it off! That’s not funny!”

She ignored the nasty words Jack was muttering under his breath about Michael’s parentage. “He’s got a condo in Mount Junction, Lace, at the ski resort.”

“What?” Her stomach clenched as she caught Michael’s line of reasoning. He was way out of line.

“Jack. He owns a condo at the resort. It’s been in his family for two decades. Right up the mountains from Mount Junction. He skis there several times a year.”

“That doesn’t mean a thing.” Lacey warned Michael with her eyes.

“No. But it’s one more damn coincidence linking him to this mess.”

“You sack of shit! What’re you trying to say?” Jack spit the words. “Are you going to print it on the front page? Try to insinuate me into another girl’s death?” His voice rose to a shout. “Ruin my business? The company my father started?”

Jack stepped around Lacey and strode forward at Michael, who took two rapid steps back and bumped into the wall. Jack pressed him against the wall with a hand on his chest. “Who do you think you are to mess with people’s lives?”