“Is that him?” the voice on the cell phone asked.
Reeves enlarged the photo on his computer. It could be. With no hair. Hard to be sure.
“What makes you think it’s him?” Reeves asked.
“Body language and voice,” said the man, a private pilot who flew rich Wall Street clients around in a Cessna Citation he doted on like an only child. He’d been at a bar in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, when he thought he saw Tom Oley, shaved clean as an egg. He took a picture and sent it to Reeves, his old college roommate. “I’ve met him, remember? The party?”
What constituted “the party” to the pilot meant “a party” to Reeves. He had no idea which party the pilot meant. Didn’t really care. Reeves tolerated him only because it was cool to know a pilot for the rich and not so famous.
“How long are you there for?” asked Reeves.
“A week. But could be longer. Or shorter. You know how these people are, especially this one I got now. Rich-bastard stock market day trader, which is a class of weird sons-a-bitches let me tell you. But this guy’s gotta be the weirdest. Arrogant as God and looks like trailer trash. Hangs out with a bunch of ugly mugs with stupid nicknames, like he broke ’em out of prison or something. Scares the hell outta me to get off the ground with these people in the back.”
Reeves didn’t care if the pilot hauled around angels of the Lord or Satan himself. But he sure wanted to find Tom Oley. He imagined the face of Pam’s father when he saw that bloody handprint on the back of her nightshirt. It could have gone either way for Reeves at that moment. Fortunately, it had gone right, and he would not squander his opportunity.
“See if you can find out anything about him,” Reeves told the pilot. “The name he’s using. Where he’s staying.”
“I might can do that.”
Reeves muttered his thanks and closed the call.
He leaned back in his office chair. If this turned out to be Oley, what would he do? Call in help? Handle it himself? He shook his head and sighed. No, he didn’t trust anyone else. He had more brains and drive than anybody he could find to hire, but not the right skills. That had its own risks. He shook his head again, unhappy with his lack of good choices.
His mind played again walking into Pam’s house after she didn’t answer the door. He saw the scene and froze. So much blood, Pam’s hair matted in it, her face ruined, ribbons of red spatter from the corner of the coffee table. A pair of empty shoes beside her body.
Reeves rarely examined his own emotions. Disliked emotion. Took pride in his lack of it. He didn’t rush to Pam’s side and try to resuscitate her. Too late for that. And it would disturb the evidence. Crime-scene investigators would want everything pristine. He stood listening for anyone else in the house. Maybe the murderer was still in the house, left his shoes and went upstairs to clean and change. He crept up the carpeted steps, careful to walk on the outside edges in case they held evidence he couldn’t see. But the place was empty. Oley had escaped. Killed Pam and ran, the gutless bastard. Reeves hated him from the moment he met him. Such the pet of Trevor Williams. He hoped the police found him and put him on death row. Reeves would gladly testify against him.
From the top of the stairs he looked at the scene, the normal everyday living room frozen in time with the imprint of murder. He pulled his cell phone to call 911, but changed his mind and dialed Williams instead.
When Williams saw the body of his only child, he reacted strangely. Said nothing, clenched his fists, his face reddened. “Oley,” he said.
“Looks like it.”
Short description for The G.O.D. Journal: After he accidentally kills his wife, Baxter runs. Hiding in his derelict boyhood home in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, he discovers a journal that leads to a treasure of gold. With the guiding hand of a deranged hunter and Wall Street financier, Baxter discovers true gold is concealed in the heart of a woman who helps him search for an Anasazi pictograph that is key to his family treasure. Read the full description….
Hot Water Press publications scheduled for 2013: Annie and the Second Anasazi (a trilogy set in the year 2054), and Soo Potter (an Anasazi historical novel). To find out when they’re available, sign up for notification by email here.