Sammi Evans and her husband, Detective Dave Patterson, delve into the world of murder and mystery as seen through the eyes of a Down's syndrome boy, who is horrified when his mother, Lily Caulkin, is acccused of murder. The clues all point to Lily, but Sammi, with her special hidden talent knows she is not guilty. Where do they begin to prove her innocence? In addition, one of Detective Patterson's fellow officers is accused of killing two young boys to prevent them from testifyg againt him. Can they solve this double dilemma? And how are all these people connected? The ending will surprise you.
There was a difference in the air that first day of April when Sammi Evans Patterson slowly opened her eyes. She didn’t know what it was immediately, but a feeling of impending curiosity entered her entire being and teased her with hidden facts just outside her realm of knowing. Her husband Dave had left for work earlier and she was trying to decide if she should treat herself to an extra half hour of sleep or arise promptly and have a chance to read the morning paper at leisure with that extra cup of coffee. The extra half hour of sleep won.
To be honest, she didn’t sleep actually, but enjoyed stretching out her comfortable, contented body as she lay there daydreaming about her life, how she ended up where she was at, and of course imagining thoughts about the universe that she felt had all the answers she’d ever need in her lifetime. As she stretched out on her more than ample-sized bed, she realized how far she had come from the early days when she had spent some time with Papa Logan on his farm. Her grandparents were her saviors in those days. They had the only home where she was welcomed that didn’t have constant active arguments and disagreements of every kind bombarding her day and night. She treasured her time with them and occasionally longed to go back and relive those moments. However, that wasn’t possible anymore; they had both passed on. Yet she felt they were always around her and that she could still enjoy them in a different way.
Satisfaction claimed her attention as she remembered the quick conversation she’d had with Dave before he left for work. He was a police officer and anxious to close up a few cases that were winding down because they were finally going on vacation. Every time they planned to take off for that week of fun and sun in Aruba, something came up. However, this time it seemed like a go.
“Don’t forget to pick up the tickets or do you want me to do it?” he asked from the doorway of their bedroom. He was shifting from one foot to the other, needing to rush on to work but also feeling the excitement of their approaching trip.
“I’ll pick them up; I’m a lot closer,” she answered. “We’re finally going to make it.”
“Can you believe it? Nothing’s going to stop us this time.”
He waved as he walked out the door and she was happy to see contentment completely cover his face. The last time they planned this trip was around Christmastime, but then a good friend, arrested for the murder of his wife was heavy on his mind and he couldn’t leave until it was solved. As their departure date came closer and the details of the murder scene loomed out in front of him, she could tell that Dave couldn’t get his mind and heart away from Scranton and its problems. In truth, neither could she. She was instrumental in all of the cases Dave worked on and utilized many times by the FBI as well. She had a special talent known only to a few of her closest confidantes – she could hear what other people were thinking. This gave her a major edge with criminals or anyone trying to lie and cheat their way through life. She didn’t know how she did it, but it had started when she was seven years old and it kept on throughout her life. It wasn’t anything she’d ever practiced, but her Grandpa Logan was the only other person she’d ever met who matched her ability. Their special bond helped her to strengthen her gift and use it responsibly.
Because they could be of assistance and felt a strong link to be here in an emotional and heart-wrenching murder case, they had postponed their honeymoon trip until later and luckily, it had concluded a short while ago reeling in a bizarre murder scheme against women. Now it seemed that finally they would get their vacation. They had been married well over a year and still hadn’t had a honeymoon. However happiness hadn’t escaped them and with their honeymoon trip less than a week away, they felt one of their goals would soon be met. Still, Sammi had a strange feeling since consciousness had flooded her mind this morning and she lay there trying to assess the nervousness that would not leave. She had a foreboding feeling and couldn’t deny it. And she couldn’t understand why. Usually when she entertained a premonition, along with it came an instant knowing. However, this time it was simply a feeling, an almost knowing, which was irritating. Possibly, it was the excitement of their upcoming trip. The mind had a funny way of playing tricks sometimes, usually when you least expected it.
Getting out of the shower brought her back to reality in her world and she felt awake and alert. Still, something in her mind wouldn’t let go. She hated the uncertainty that rushed through her thoughts. She had many things to do before they left on Friday and she couldn’t let her mind be sidetracked. However, at this moment she was distracted and didn’t seem to have any power to stop it. As she dressed she thought back to the time she had met some of her ‘clients’, as she referred to them. These were people she’d helped in the past, but they were sworn to secrecy. She remembered Father John Meyer, a Roman Catholic priest in Tecumseh, Ontario who had needed her help. Then, there was her college friend, Professor Harley whom she had known from Scranton University. He had been instrumental in getting her involved in solving a child trafficking ring, as well as working with the FBI at different times. It seemed there were always a few more cases, either from the police or from the FBI that needed her attention.
* * *
Suddenly she shook her head. Why am I thinking about all this now? There must be a reason, what could it be? She knew there weren’t any coincidences in life and so, she again wondered why her thinking was so targeted. Finally, another client that she hadn’t thought about in many years crossed her mind. He was Billy G. Simpson. She took a moment and enjoyed the warm feeling that caressed her body whenever she thought of him. He was a very special person in her view.
Her dog Kali barked suddenly startling her out of the daydreams. She looked at the clock and realized she had barely time enough to let her dog outside, put down some food for her and get to her job at the Citizens Bank. Some other day when she had more time, she could continue her daydreaming.
Working alongside some of her colleagues at the bank always gave her a feeling of belonging, although there were always a few who still wondered why she had so many special privileges. She could take extra vacation time with pay and have many more leaves of absence than anyone else did and yet, she kept her status as an advantaged employee. No one questioned her about this. It was a private matter between her and the president of their branch, which many attested a special relationship.
After returning from her morning staff meeting, she noticed that she’d received a phone call from Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. It gave her a moment of apprehension. She didn’t know anyone from Cuyahoga Falls and there was no message as with usual business calls. Although her mind dismissed it quickly, she came back to it several times in the next few minutes. She took a deep breath. She couldn’t believe what was happening to her today. She was definitely off track.
Her phone rang. She quickly looked to see if the call was from Cuyahoga Falls; it wasn’t. It was Dave.
“Hi, what’s going on?”
He laughed, “Nothing, honey. I just needed to hear your voice.”
“Right and I know you’re trying to butter me up before our vacation.”
“No, honestly, I always like to hear your voice. But,” he said and paused. Since he got no reaction he continued, “I need to know if you might have some time tomorrow afternoon.”
“Sure, what do you need?”
“We’ve got a new guy coming in from the 11th precinct who’ll be starting in our group soon. He’s been transferred around a lot and I have an uneasy feeling about him. He doesn’t have anything worrisome on his record, but ...”
“Not a problem, I can be around if you want to see if I’ll pick up something.”
“You know, this time, it’s not just me. Tom and Jim thought it’d be a good idea if you could be here.”
“Of course, what time?”
“I’ll let you know tonight. I’m hoping it’s nothing.”
“I understand. If the referees want me to listen in, I’m happy to do it.”
Dave, along with his friends Tom Harrington and Jim Mucci called themselves the three referees, but kept the reason mysterious.
“Thanks honey. And I do like the sound of your voice.”
“Okay,” she laughed as she hung up.
She smiled for a moment relishing the thought that she loved her Dave Patterson. It had taken her a while to find someone, but at forty years old, she’d partnered with someone who had been a close friend for years. And after almost two years of marriage, she was happy in her choice.
After a few more afternoon meetings, she returned to her desk to find another phone call from Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. Her phone gave her the city and phone number on her caller I.D., but not the name of the caller. Again, there was no message. She felt frustrated. Sometimes she could hear people’s thoughts over the telephone, but there had to be someone on the other end of the line. She’d have to wait again for another call, possibly another day or two and the wait was getting harder.
* * *
Sammi picked up the airline tickets for Aruba after work and still managed to beat Dave home. She had dinner almost ready by the time he walked in the door. He gave her a hug and a kiss as usual and then looked at the mail.
“How was your day?” she yelled from the kitchen.
“Rather quiet for a change. I like it that way.”
“Good, we need to keep it quiet this week. I don’t want you worrying about anything in Aruba.”
He laughed, “Well, I’m still going to worry about you.”
She peeked around the corner. “Me, why? Why would you worry about me?”
“Because I love you and I always worry about people I love. Just get used to it.”
Sammi made a slight grimace and returned to the kitchen.
Later that evening she told Dave about the two phone calls she’d received.
“Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. Where’s that?”
“Somewhere around Akron; that’s all I know.”
“Is there a bank branch there?”
“Don’t think so. It could have been a wrong number, but the person called twice so … oh well, maybe they’ll call back or maybe not. We’ll see.”
After another moment, she asked. “So who’s this new guy coming in?”
“Don’t know very much about him. I understand he’s late forties and has been a cop for maybe twenty years, but he was still a street cop until a few years ago. That gives me questions right there.”
“Street cop and walking the beat is the bottom rung on the ladder. Within two to five years there’s usually a promotion, so I wonder, that’s all.”
“What’s his name?”
“Roy Dawson, and no, I’d never heard of him before Sergeant Brady told us about him. Even Amilio’s never heard of him.”
She wrinkled her nose. “And Amilio does get around and hears a lot of things. Anyone know why he’s being transferred?”
“That’s a good question and we asked Sergeant Brady. He said that his precinct wants him to get more experience, which usually means that they want him out of the way. That comment is what made us suspicious.”
“And he comes when?”
“In a few weeks, I think.”
They were both quiet after that, reading the paper and enjoying quiet time.
Sammi broke the silence. “Did Randy and Denver move back to Kingston yet?”
Randy Baker’s acquittal on the charge of murdering his wife was one of the highlights of their efforts in the past several months. It took everyone’s talent working together to get him acquitted and capture the actual killers. In addition, his ten-year-old gifted son needed help in getting through the ordeal.
“No, not yet. They don’t have a place to stay and Randy wants to sell the house and buy another one. It would be too hard for them to move back there. Besides, this will give Denver time to finish this semester at school and have all summer to readjust to moving again.”
“Yeah, that sounds like a good plan. Jill said that he was doing well last time we talked. Sure is a bright little guy.”
Dave laughed. “Sometimes I feel like I’m talking to an adult inside a little kid’s body. Seems weird, but he’s so likeable and down to earth. He’s just a nice kid.”
She smiled. No one could disagree with that.
Later on, she felt Dave’s hand on her shoulder nudging her awake. “It’s time to get to bed, honey. It’s after ten o’clock.”
“My word. How long have I been sleeping?”
“I don’t know, about an hour I guess. You need more sleep than you get.”
She struggled to find consciousness, but relented and welcomed sleep.
Through a few involuntary yawns she said, “I think you could use more sleep, too.”
“Yep,” he said in agreement, “and I’m heading there myself.”
* * *
The next day Sammi arrived at the police station early for their three o’clock meeting. She’d given herself a little extra time to get the feel of the place, which made her more confident and strengthened her ability to focus. She wanted to pick up as much as she could in this short introductory meeting with Roy Dawson. She was also hoping for a moment with Julie Mucci, a friend of hers since high school who worked as an expert on the computer system. She was saddened at times when life’s demands seldom left time for that occasional lunch with someone important; and Julie had been significant in her life for many years.
“Well, you’re looking good,” said Julie as she gave her a slight hug.
“And you always look great,” she replied. Julie was quite gorgeous but had her memories of many dates who only wanted a lovely girl on their arm. She had finally met someone who appreciated her for other qualities as well. She made a good match with Jim Mucci.
“You’re here to check up on Roy Dawson, right?”
“Yeah, and I hope he’s straight. So many people are infiltrating the good guys these days.”
“But they’re lucky they have you to listen in. That goes a long way for them to be able to trust each other. Jim mentions that often.”
“I’m glad I can do that. Our guys have tough enough jobs and craziness to deal with. How’re the girls doing lately?” Julie’s husband had two daughters from a previous marriage.
“They’re great. We have a good relationship going. I really love them,” she smiled. “We’ve even managed to get a decent rapport with his ex-wife Kathy. She’s on the verge of divorce again and the girls stay with us a lot these days. She likes that, and it’s fine with us.”
“Jim used to say that she couldn’t seem to find what she really needed in her life. I hope she does.”
“Me, too. Life’s hard enough anyway.”
About this time, Dave wandered over to retrieve Sammi. Sergeant Brady was ready for his meeting with Roy Dawson and anxious to begin. He was insistent on her being there saying that he would explain her as a note taker of some kind, if necessary.
* * *
The three referees, Amilio and Sammi were already in Sergeant Brady’s office when Roy Dawson walked in looking rather cautious and slightly edgy as he glanced around the room. Rather handsome in an interesting sort of way, his tall, husky build commanded attention. He definitely thought he could match anyone in the room. His body language conveyed self-confidence and a knowing that he displayed for the world to see. Even though he was transferred to this precinct against his wishes, he wanted people to know it had been noted that he’d been a valuable asset to the other station as well. He took pride in his work and felt he could stand face to face with anyone in the room. Sammi was hoping to find out if he felt as confident inside as his physical demeanor was desperately trying to show. His thoughts were rather crowded at the moment.
“I wanted you to meet with your team ahead of time,” said the sarge as he introduced everyone in the room including Sammi, whom he said worked with the group quite often. “LeBron Harper and Tyrone Pittfield are out on assignment today.”
A tiny history of everyone and a few previous assignments topped the discussion list to give Roy a feel for the work policies utilized at this station. In an effort to let them know he was a cooperative type of person he said, “Yeah I like to be up front about everything, too, and I’m big on sharing information to help any case along.”
Amilio said, “That’s good, amigo. We need cooperation and support within our group. We’re all big on sharing around here.”
Roy nodded. He hated having to start all over again with a new group, but he couldn’t seem to satisfy many at the 11th precinct. He hoped to get the officers at this station to accept him. That would make his job a lot easier.
Then the sarge told him that he’d be working under the supervision of Dave Patterson. He almost wrinkled his nose, but stopped short of displaying a negative reaction.
Jim Mucci looked over and said, “Dave’s our leader, so to speak. It’s rather informal but he’s sort of the lead detective.”
Dave smiled as he said, “That just means that I get to do most of the paperwork. I consider us all on the same level.”
Amilio added, “But you’re sort of the big brother for all of us, right amigo?”
That made everyone smile and lessened the tension somewhat.
“I’m told I’ll be starting in two weeks so until then I have some loose ends to finish up at the 11th precinct. I’m looking forward to working here and I’ll do my best for all of you.”
That ended the meeting for the group, but Roy stayed behind to talk to the sarge a little longer. He had more questions for him and the sarge needed to settle a few more things with a new officer that at times seemed to have his own way of doing business, regardless of what he had said in this meeting.
* * *
On the way home Sammi was quiet as usual. She always took time to assess her thoughts and make sense of her findings in what she termed quiet conversations. That’s how she referred to her ability to hear what other people were thinking. She could feel Dave’s tenseness as he waited for her report. He was anxious to know what impression she’d received from this Roy person. Nevertheless, he knew enough to give her the time she needed to collect her ideas. When she was ready, she would begin the conversation; they both knew that.
It took quite a while before she took that deep sigh that was so familiar to Dave. It signaled she was ready to speak.
“Okay Dave, I know you’re anxious to hear what I’ve picked up.”
She saw him nod and knew he was a lot more than simply anxious. This guy had been tossed at them without any options on their part. Still, he knew this type of situation could develop in several ways. Maybe Roy would turn out to be an asset for them, maybe not. But he needed to know what his mind was thinking and Sammi could tell him that.
“He’s interesting, Dave. It’s for sure that he’s walked some shaky ground in the past. In fact, I get the impression that he believes his reassignment was because of cutting too many corners and working through too many leads by himself. He was certainly not a team player up until now, but he seems to have realized he caused himself many problems by acting as a loner. Bottom line right now is that he wants to change his luck and play by the rules, instead of keeping things to himself and trying to be a star along the way. His thoughts told me that he wants to change his ways, be a team player and hope he does better here. And he does love police work and wants a fresh start.”
Dave nodded a few times during her assessment. “So you didn’t pick up anything devious or underhanded that I should know about?”
“I didn’t and that’s what I always look for in people, especially at first. Now I do believe he did that in the past and although he wasn’t caught, the many innuendos about him caused people to slowly shy away, and he became the lone ranger. He really wanted respect and to become a leader of some kind, but it all backfired. To what I can figure out, this happened more than once, but I didn’t pick up anything criminal or illegal, etc., at least not yet. I’d like to get a chance to be around him again later on. This was a rather short meeting.”
“But you usually pick up things real fast, especially if they’re dangerous or illegal. Therefore, he might be on the edge and hoping to make a comeback. It’s happened before. Some get too anxious to make a name for themselves and dig a hole with no escape, but from what you’ve said, I’m willing to give him a chance. Let’s see what he does with it.”
“And remember people usually think a lot more in thoughts than they say in words. I didn’t pick up any thoughts of prior wrongdoings when he was thinking about his past career; that’s what I would have expected. Mostly he’s disappointed that he hasn’t done better and is trying to figure out how he can improve.”
“That isn’t all that bad,” said Dave, “as long as he becomes a team player. He does have a lot of experience in several areas, mostly from the streets, but that can be good. Time will tell, I guess.”
Dave was quiet for a few moments and then asked. “You want to stop for dinner at Archie’s or go home?”
“I’d like that. Then we can relax for a change. Our schedules have been so hectic lately. And I want to start packing tonight.”
“Already? We still have three days before we leave. Everything will get wrinkled.”
She laughed. “No, I meant I wanted to check clothes that I want to bring with me and make sure they’re clean and all. I might wash some stuff so if you’ve got anything…”
“Can you believe it?” said Dave, in a quick show of excitement. “We’re actually leaving for Aruba this Friday.”
Sammi sighed in anticipation and her thoughts were already on a greatly anticipated vacation. “Yeah, it’s about time we get away for a while. I’m not sure how I’ll be able to handle all this relaxation and sun and just being a carefree tourist.”
Dave laughed. “Well, it’s about time you get a chance to find out.”
* * *
Sammi welcomed having a hectic day at the bank on Wednesday. She was finally letting her enthusiasm for the upcoming vacation sink in and felt almost like a teenager escaping for an exciting spree. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d been on a real trip. It certainly wasn’t in the last few years since she’d been married. It must have been six or seven years ago. Oh, it was true that she’d planned many getaways, but something always happened and changed her plans. However, this time it was real.
“Sammi, we need you in a meeting at one o’clock. Mr. Marconey is requesting that you be there; it’s in the main conference room.”
That was one of the employees from the accounting department. Whenever Mr. Marconey invited her to a meeting out of her realm of activity, it meant that he had suspicions of his potential clients and needed her expertise. He knew she was a shrewd judge of character and could usually pick up trends and decipher the hidden meanings behind the words or speeches. She would be ready.
She planned to take a quick lunch at her desk to finish delayed paperwork, which she wanted completed before she left. She didn’t want anything overdue when she returned or postponed details on her mind in Aruba. After lunch, realizing she still had more than a half hour before her meeting, she decided on another cup of coffee and started making a list for her trip. She hated when she forgot something essential at home. Then her phone rang and the call was from Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. She felt a slight chill rise from the bottom of her spine and slowly inch its way upward. Here was that call she’d been subconsciously waiting for and it put her mind on alert immediately.
“Hi, Ms. Sammi, it’s been a long time; do you remember me; it’s Billy Simpson?”
She almost gasped into the telephone. She’d been thinking about him a few days before. He was part of those past memories that she couldn’t get off her mind. Her very sweet friend Billy was calling her, but his voice didn’t sound very steady.
“Of course I remember you Billy and sometimes I still think about you and the great class we took together at Scranton University.”
“You do? That’s nice. I was hoping you’d remember me.”
She heard him take a deep breath, which was shaky at best. He had a lot on his mind and felt that this was his one big chance with her and was nervous about asking his question. She decided to help him along. “Is something wrong, Billy? You sound somewhat upset.”
“You always know, Ms. Sammi. I knew you would.”
He paused for a long moment and that gave Sammi time to hear some of his unbelievable thoughts. He wasn’t simply upset; he was in great distress and needed her help. And she knew he was having a hard time asking for it.
“I’m kind of nervous, Ms. Sammi, just a moment, okay?”
“Sure Billy, but you don’t have to be nervous with me; you know that.”
“It’s been a long time since I’ve talked to you. I always pray for you, Ms. Sammi. You’ve been such a special person in my life, but I’m not sure if you’d be willing to help me now.”
Sammi felt the hesitance in his voice, but also heard the desperation of his thoughts. She had to get him to open up to her.
“Tell me what the problem is and then we can talk about it.”
Sammi already knew his problem as his thoughts were coming through loud and clear, but she needed him to tell his story. Shortly he began.
“I’ve got a real bad problem, Ms. Sammi. Do you remember Ms. Lily Caulkin? She was the one who became my mother when I was fifteen years old. I thought she was my mother for a long time before then, but that’s when she adopted me.”
“Sure I remember her. She loved you, took you in, and adopted you. And she did a good job with you.”
“Yes, she did. I consider her my real mother, because she is. She’s a nice, kind person,” he said and then he took another deep breath and blurted out what he had wanted to say from the beginning. “She’s in a lot of trouble, Ms. Sammi, a lot of trouble. And she’s in jail right now; that’s where she’s sitting. She’s accused of murdering someone and I have to help her, but I don’t know how. Could you come and help us? She didn’t murder anyone and she told me so. I don’t know why people are being so mean to her.”
The request shocked her. She’d picked up Billy’s alarming problem, but still wasn’t prepared when he put his request into words. Billy’s thoughts didn’t always translate like other people. Sammi was quiet for a few minutes; she didn’t know what to say. She would find it hard to refuse and, to be honest, she didn’t know how to deny him; he was so desperate.
“Ms. Sammi, please come and see if you can help Ms. Lily. She doesn’t have much money because she spent it all trying to take care of me. I need to help her now and I don’t know how to do it.”
Just then, someone stuck his head into Sammi’s office. The meeting was about to start and she needed to be there.
“Billy, I need your phone number and where you live, okay? I’ll have to call you back, because I have a meeting right now, but one way or another we’ll get help for Ms. Lily.”
She could tell he was half-crying and she knew his heart; a sweet, kind, humble little heart that didn’t have the anger and prejudice of ordinary people. He was one of the few truly loving souls she’d ever met. She’d have to talk to Dave and felt together they could think of something.
“Thank you, Ms. Sammi. Thank you so much. I asked a few people around here but they don’t want to help her. I asked them two or three times and, you know, they think I’m stupid, or at least not very smart, but I know she’d never hurt anyone.”
“Look, I’ve got to go right now, but I’ll call you later. This is the phone number where you live, right?”
“Yeah, I live right here where the phone is at. Please call me back and tell me what to do.”
“I will, Billy, I promise.”
And she put down the phone with lingering regrets, but she’d call back later.
* * *
Keeping her concentration on target for Mr. Marconey’s meeting was probably the hardest thing that Sammi’d had to do in a while. But she knew how to do it. She could control her thoughts and she knew how to focus, yet personal feelings could get in the way at times and create havoc in her thought atmosphere. Yet she realized, right now, in this moment, her job was to help Mr. Marconey. She couldn’t help Billy right now anyway, but she vowed to herself that she would.
As the meeting progressed, she got right into the thought atmosphere of a few people in the room. The new customers for the bank wanted to get operating rules determined so that no one would have any problems later. However, Sammi immediately picked up that one of these men wanted the bank to bend the rules in their favor and would continuously make an attempt in that direction. He had his own way of doing business and acted as if he was doing the bank a favor rather than the other way around. She eyed Mr. Marconey who caught her cautioned glance. In these circumstances, he usually avoided making a final decision until he’d talked to Sammi. Business seemed to move smoother that way.
“Well, I know they weren’t happy that I wouldn’t tell them yes or no today, but you had a curious look in your eye, Sammi. What bothers you about them?”
“Well, the young guy in the blue shirt, the one who was always the first to answer your concerns, I have reservations about him. Let me tell you how I see this group. The president is okay and he wants to play by the rules and his associate ah ….”
“Yeah, John Sharden, he seems to be a pretty straight player. Those two you can trust to be whom they say they are and what they seem. They will stand behind their words. But Kip Jordan was it …?”
Mr. Marconey nodded and smiled a bit. For all her smarts, remembering names was not her best talent.
“Right,” she smiled as she caught his look. Yes, she was bad at names; she was so much better at remembering thoughts.
“Anyway, he’ll try to play everyone against each other. Those other two will have problems with him, but I don’t think they know it yet. He’s out to make a reputation for himself and that’s okay, but he’ll eliminate anyone who gets in his way. And that includes everyone. Right now, he wants the bank to buckle under to all their requests and you’ll see, Mr. Marconey, at your next meeting with them, he’ll be more boisterous and mouthy and antagonistic in his behavior; that’s the way he believes he needs to go to achieve his goals.”
Mr. Marconi simply shook his head. “You know I picked up a few things, and the president is Rob Porter and I’ve known him for years. I talked to him before today and he had concerns about this Kip, whom they hired about three years ago. I may pass on some of this information to him. He’s very honest and wants to keep his company that way. He says in these modern days, it can be hard to find honest and loyal employees. I think he’ll be glad about your assessment.”
He caught the look on Sammi’s face.
“Don’t you worry? I’ll be very subtle and discreet. You must know that about me by now. I’ve never once asked you how you figure out all these things about people so fast. I know you’ve talents hidden to most of us, and that’s okay with me. If I get the benefit of them, I’m happy.”
Sammi was comfortable with the president of the bank. He’d realized many years ago when she first started working for his bank that she was a very shrewd judge of character, and as such was also able to pick up some hidden data easily. He didn’t know how she did it, but the FBI and police appreciated her and requested her help on many occasions. So she was given time off whenever anyone needed her. Sammi liked the fact that he had never questioned her. He left her alone and allowed her the privacy she wanted and needed. Because of that, they had been able to form a trusting relationship.
* * *
On the way home, she realized that she had a major problem on her hands. This was the third time she and her husband had planned their honeymoon trip and something always happened to delay or cancel it. Yet they needed this trip now, especially after all of the hard felonious cases that they’d worked on in the last few years. They certainly deserved it. Yet how could she deny the help that her friend Billy needed? Not many people understood him the way she did. She realized his tender and faithful heart, even to those who didn’t deserve it. Yet, she also had a loyalty to Dave. He was so excited about this vacation. How could she deny him? She took a deep sigh as she felt a tear run down her left cheek. She didn’t know what to do. Where was her first loyalty? She needed time to think about this. She’d talk to Dave tonight. He could help her straighten out her allegiance, and he had a caring heart. She knew that she’d need his support on this one.
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