Chapter 1

Wednesday, August 15

“This is the only way the two of you can stay in touch; Glenn passes Cam’s message to me, and I pass it on to you. Since Cam’s the one heading up the investigation into the charges against you, he has to keep his distance until it’s done.” Matt pulled on the leash. Roz, their Australian cattle dog, was dragging Matt along on their walk.

Lane had to move quickly to keep up to Matt who appeared to be about to fall after each awkward step. They turned off the sidewalk and down a trail just wide enough for them to travel single-file. Matt bent to let Roz off the leash. She lunged ahead.

The air was cooler in the shadow of the trees. Lane grabbed a mosquito out of the air and crushed it in his fist.

“Do you miss Harper?” Matt stopped in a clearing to sit on a toppled tree trunk. He rubbed his beard; a first attempt. It was black, the same shade as what was left of the hair on his Uncle Arthur’s head.

Lane sat down next to him. “Yes.”

“Glenn said that his uncle is pissed about Chief Smoke demanding an investigation of the lost Glock, but can’t do anything about it. Yet. Glenn told me to make sure I remembered to say yet with lots of irony. And he wanted you to know that Smoke is trying to do a number on both of you after your last case embarrassed him. Smoke wants Harper to look like he’s turning on his old partner.” Matt turned to study his uncle’s reaction.

Mctavish warned me to watch my back, Lane thought.

“He also said that Cam will do the investigation by the book,” Matt said.

Of course, Lane thought as he looked down the trail. Roz came galloping back to see what was holding them up. You can trust Cam, he thought. You trusted him with your life.Being investigated could turn out to be a stroke of luck, if you can survive all of the crap in between. “Leaving the Glock behind was a show of faith.”

“What do you mean?” Matt asked.

“We all put our guns down as a show of faith. We were all putting our weapons into a pile to be destroyed. It was a solution to ending the killings.” Lane watched as Roz scampered back; her tail tucked under her belly. She sat between them and looked back the way she’d come.

“Do you think Uncle Arthur’s biopsy will be okay?” Matt asked.

Lane looked at his nephew and saw the worry in the lines across his forehead. Lane tried to smile but found he could not. How do I explain this nagging sense of foreboding? he thought.

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