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"St Louis"


Prologue
Prologue

By barbara.wilkey

St. Louis

CHARACTERS:

McKenzie 'Mac' Morgan is a 27 year old private investigator. She's a tough lady but struggles with trust issues. She will over compensate to hide those issues. Her two best friends are a male black and tan dachshund, Arlo, and a Rottweiler, Edger.

Background information: McKenzie was named after her father, Mack Morgan. She joined her father's P.I. practice upon graduating college and before he died. Her mother, Helen, is also deceased. Both parents were murdered a year ago in a double homicide in Mack's Private Eye Office.

Major Logan Nelson is 34 years old and an active duty soldier. He's in the Army and stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and is a member of the Army's prestigious Delta Force. He took thirty days of leave to come to St. Louis to help solve Megan's, his younger sister's murder. He believes her abusive boyfriend, George Whitney, murdered her.

SETTING:

July 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri.

PLOT:

Questions to be answered:
1) Can McKenzie solve Megan Nelson's murder?
2) Can Logan protect McKenzie from the person/people threatening her life and discover who and why?
3) Will McKenzie learn to trust Logan or anyone?
4) Will Logan and McKenzie find romance?


Author Notes Sorry, I meant to post this yesterday, but a stomach virus kept me in bed with numerous trips to the bathroom. These is only a condensed version of my notes. As the characters grow they will change and cause changes to the story.


Chapter 1
St. Louis Chapter 1 part 1

By barbara.wilkey

CHAPTER 1 PART

Logan Nelson rang the doorbell of Morgan's P.I. office. Whoever heard of a P.I. working from home? Why doesn't he have a real office? Why'd Dad hire this guy? Between him and the police we'll never prove Whitney murdered Megan. Hurry up! I don't have all day! I need to get this guy in jail before he murders somebody else's baby sister. He paused and listened to a dog barking. Figures there's a yapping dog. Why do people have yapping dogs? They're a nuisance. He rang the doorbell, again.

Next, he heard a female voice yell, "Arlo, be quiet. It's all right."

Great, a little old lady receptionist. Just what I need. This isn't going very well. I'm too busy for this.

McKenzie Morgan answered the door, holding a miniature black and tan dachshund. "Hello, how can I help you?" She put her hand over the dog's muzzle. "Shhh. It's all right."

"I want to speak to Mack Morgan about a case he's working on."

"Come in. Sorry it took so long. I was in the back yard." McKenzie pointed to a traditional black office chair. "Please, have a seat." She walked around the small wooden desk and sat, holding the dog. "Exactly what case would you like to discuss?"

Logan scanned the tiny office area. "If Mack Morgan's here, I'll wait for him. There's no sense repeating myself."

"I'm Mac Morgan. How can I help you?"

With eyebrows raised, Logan said, "My dad said he hired an old friend's firm to bring my sister's murderer to justice. I'm pretty sure you're not Dad's old high school buddy."

McKenzie brushed a brown strand of hair from her cheek. "You're correct. I'm his daughter. Let's start with what's your name?"

"No disrespect, I understand having your daughter as a receptionist, but I really need to speak with your dad."

"That's impossible, he's--"

"When will he return?" interrupted Logan as he stood. "I'll come back later."

"You're welcome to come back later, but it'll still be impossible to speak with Dad. He died a year ago."

Logan sat. "What? I don't understand."

"Let's start over and maybe I can help you understand. I'm guessing you must be Megan Nelson's brother. Your parents mentioned you might be coming by. Could I please have your name?"

"Yeah, Logan Nelson. You're?"

"McKenzie Morgan. People usually call me Mac. I was named after my dad. Dad trained me, we worked together, and I'm more than capable of doing the job. Your parents hired me yesterday."

"You're a P.I.?"

"I am. I'm licensed and everything." McKenzie pointed to the framed license hanging on the wall behind her.

"But how? Why? I wasn't expecting..."

"A female?"

"You could say that." The tips of Logan's ears tinged pink. "I've really made an ass of myself, haven't I?"

"I'm used to it." She grabbed a pencil. "What can I do for you?"

"I'm wondering if you've made any progress finding my sister's murderer."

"Since I was hired yesterday afternoon about four o'clock, I've barely had time to get a good start. This morning, I did meet with the police department and got what information I could. But to be honest, right now I have nothing new to report. Do you have any information you'd like to share?"

"I believe her on-again-off-again boyfriend, George Whitney, murdered her."

"Why do you think that?"

"He used to knock her around. It's a small step from assault to murder. I believe the stats show a lot of abused women end up getting killed by their abusers."

"Did you ever see him hit her?"

Logan frowned. "Do you think he's dumb enough to beat up my sister in front of me? Hell no! There's no way that loser would live to tell about it."

McKenzie tapped her pencil. "Then why do you think he abused your sister?"

"Because when I'd come home for holidays I'd see healing bruises and black eyes. When I'd ask what happened, she'd make up some excuse about falling or bumping into something. Nobody's that clumsy. Some bruises looked like hand imprints, but she'd never admit to it."

"So you don't live around here?"

"No. I'm in the Army. I'm stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. I've taken thirty days leave to help solve Megan's murder. I'm not going back until there's justice for my baby sister." A small amount of moisture welled in Logan's eyes.

Glancing at her watch, McKenzie set the pencil by the pad of paper. "I have somewhere I need to be. When I have information, I'll call your dad." She stood.

"How about if I come by tomorrow after lunch, then you can fill me in on the new information you have?" Logan turned toward the door.

*****
Outside Logan found a shade tree to stand under while he called for a taxi. There's no way that petite female's going to get enough evidence on Whitney to prove he murdered my sister. I'm going to have to do it myself. He grinned. She was a looker though. Maybe we can work together.

Outside Logan found a shade tree to stand under while he called for a taxi. There's no way that petite female's going to get enough evidence on Whitney to prove he murdered my sister. I'm going to have to do it myself. He grinned. She was a looker though. Maybe we can work together.

About forty-five minutes later, the taxi parked and waited for Logan to enter, he stood with one foot in the car and the other remained on the curb. He watched McKenzie open the door, chase the little dog around the yard, before putting it back inside and locking the townhouse door. I wonder where she's going. He sat and said, "Follow that purple Dodge coupe."

"You sure, sir?" asked the taxi driver.

"I'm positive."



Characters:

McKenzie 'Mac' Morgan a 27 year old private investigator
Major Logan Nelson 34 years old and an active duty soldier Arlo McKenzie's black and tan dachshund
Megan Nelson Logan's younger sister - murdered






Characters:

McKenzie 'Mac' Morgan a 27 year old private investigator
Major Logan Nelson 34 years old and an active duty soldier Arlo McKenzie's black and tan dachshund
Megan Nelson Logan's younger sister - murdered


Author Notes Thank you google images of a black and tan Dachshund, mine is red. I am so happy about the reviews I received on the prologue. Many of you can't wait to see what part the dogs play in this. They often take over the scene. Thank you for the encouragement.


Chapter 2
St. Louis Chapter 1 part 2

By barbara.wilkey

Ending of Previous Post:

Outside Logan found a shade tree to stand under while he called for a taxi. There's no way that petite female's going to get enough evidence on Whitney to prove he murdered my sister. I'm going to have to do it myself. He grinned. She was a looker though. Maybe we can work together.

About forty-five minutes later, the taxi parked and waited for Logan to enter, he stood with one foot in the car and the other remained on the curb. He watched McKenzie open the door, chase the little dog around the yard, before putting it back inside and locking the townhouse door. I wonder where she's going. He sat and said, "Follow that purple Dodge coupe."

"You sure, sir?" asked the taxi driver.

"I'm positive."


TODAY'S POST:

ST. LOUIS CHAPTER 1 PART 2

Logan watched McKenzie parallel park. Not bad for a female. I wonder where she got that classic muscle car. It's too much for her to handle. Total waste of machinery.

He stared as she went inside an Irish Pub. So she has a date or maybe she's a drinker. Logan paid the taxi driver, stood across the street, and watched. Now what? "DUH". I wait. He scanned the area. There's a food joint with outside tables. I'll grab something to eat. Maybe they'll have toasted ravioli.

Leisurely eating, Logan didn't move his stare from the pub's door. I wonder what she's doing in there. After paying the waiter, he walked back to his original spot and waited.

He glanced at his watch. She's been in there a couple of hours. Nope, exactly two hours and seventeen minutes. He ran his hand through his brown, military cut hair and muttered, "Why's my gut telling me she's gotten herself in trouble?" He released a deep breath. "I've only known this female P.I. maybe ten minutes. So I don't really know her, but she's affecting my gut. How can that be? Oh, all right. Damn, women anyway." He crossed the red brick street.

Inside the pub, Logan paused a few moments and allowed his green eyes to adjust to the dark, smoke-filled room. He scanned it for McKenzie. When he found her, her head was lying on the bar and two men were lifting her limp body from the bar stool. So she can't hold her liquor. I'd better rescue her before she gets herself in trouble. I'm sure those two are up to no good.

He walked up to them. "Excuse me. That's my date. What are you doing?"

The taller of the two faced Logan. "She's here by herself. She didn't say anything about waiting for anybody."

"I got hung up at work. She's probably pissed." Logan glanced down at her. "She never could hold her liquor. I'll take her home." His eyes met the taller one's eyes. "You can leave now."

Whispering to each other, they walked away.

When the bartender came over, Logan asked, "How much do I owe you and what's she drinking?" He put his arm under McKenzie's arm pits and tried to help her to her feet.

"Nothing, and water with lemon. I'm glad you got here. I think those two were up to no good. I don't think she knew them."

"Is she a regular?"

"Nope, I never saw her before."

Giving up on helping her stand, Logan reached inside her jean's pocket, retrieved the car keys, and picked her up. "It'll be easier this way." He glanced at the bartender. "Thanks for the information."

I'm glad I saw where you parked and in which pocket you put your keys. If I would've had to search for them, he wouldn't have believed I was helping. Logan unlocked the passenger door and helped McKenzie inside the car. "I'll take you home." After he sat behind the wheel, he said, "If I wouldn't have come along, how would you have gotten yourself out of this mess?"

At McKenzie's townhouse, Logan parked. "I'll unlock the door and come back for you." He shook his head. "Why am I talking to her? She's passed out." He hesitated on the first step. "I can already hear that yapper. Good thing he's not big enough to cause any trouble."

As Logan unlocked the door, he jumped back. "Whoa!" He shook his head and re-locked it. "I know that yapper didn't grow. How'd I miss him this afternoon?" He walked back to the car and crawled in. "I'm taking you to my hotel. There's no way I'm going inside your house."

In the hotel room, Logan laid McKenzie on one of the queen size beds, removed her shoes, and put a blanket over her. "I'm glad this room comes with two beds." He watched her lifeless body. "Can't wait to hear your story."





Characters:

McKenzie 'Mac' Morgan a 27 year old private investigator
Major Logan Nelson 34 years old and an active duty soldier Arlo McKenzie's black and tan dachshund
Megan Nelson Logan's younger sister - murdered

Author Notes Thank you google images of a 1970 plum crazy Dodge Coronet Super Bee 2. I struggled deciding on dividing this next part. I went ahead and did it. So you get about 650 words instead of about 1350 words. Please let me know if you want the longer posts. I am also still working on the book summary. I don't have it the way I want it yet. Thank you for the encouragement.


Chapter 3
St. Louis Chapter 1 part 3

By barbara.wilkey

Ending of Previous Post:


At McKenzie's townhouse, Logan parked. "I'll unlock the door and come back for you." He shook his head. "Why am I talking to her? She's passed out." He hesitated on the first step. "I can already hear that yapper. Good thing he's not big enough to cause any trouble."

As Logan unlocked the door, he jumped back. "Whoa!" He shook his head and re-locked it. "I know that yapper didn't grow. How'd I miss him this afternoon?" He walked back to the car and crawled in. "I'm taking you to my hotel. There's no way I'm going inside your house."

In the hotel room, Logan laid McKenzie on one of the queen size beds, removed her shoes, and put a blanket over her. "I'm glad this room comes with two beds." He watched her lifeless body. "Can't wait to hear your story."


TODAY'S POST:


ST. LOUIS CHAPTER 1 PART 3 post 3

A few hours later, McKenzie moved and groaned.

Logan put a trashcan next to the bed. "You're probably going to need this. I don't understand how anyone could get drunk from lemon water." Dummy! "She's not drunk. She's been drugged."

As McKenzie began to gag, Logan helped her lean over the garbage can. He held her long, brown hair as she vomited.

Once her stomach emptied, McKenzie opened and closed her eyes a few times. "Where am I? What happened?" Again, she leaned over the garbage can and heaved.

Again, Logan assisted with her hair. "I haven't seen anybody this sick since I had to get one of my young troops from the drunk tank. What happened?"

"You?" McKenzie scanned the room and slurred her words as she said, "How'd I get here?" She attempted to stand but fell onto the bed.

"I don't have a lot of answers. I'm hoping you can fill in the blanks. I'll tell you what I know." Logan waited until she finished vomiting before he continued, "First what were you doing at that pub?"

McKenzie wiped her mouth. "I got a lead that it's a regular hangout for that guy, what's his name?"

"George Whitney," offered Logan.

"Since he doesn't know me, I was hoping to observe him for a while."

"Did you see him?" Logan paused. "Didn't anybody ever tell you not to drink while you're on a stake-out?"

"I wasn't drinking. All I had was water with lemon. I don't know what happened. And no, I didn't see him. Why am I in here? What are you doing here? Were you following me?"

"The bartender said the same thing, lemon water. I tried taking you home, but Goliath met me at the door. He wasn't going to let me in the house."

McKenzie tilted her head "Goliath? Oh, Edger!" She grinned. "He's a little protective."

Logan released a deep breath. "Yeah, when he glared at me I saw reflections of steak in his eyes. He planned on having me for dinner. You need to feed him better. When you're feeling up to it, I want you to have some blood work done." Her blue eyes widened, but he continued, "I think you were drugged."

"Why would somebody do that? I didn't know anybody there."

"Unless there's something you're not telling me or something you don't know about, let's try you're a beautiful young lady who was at a bar by herself and some jerk spiked your drink. Have you ever heard of the date rape drugs?"

"But?"

"But nothing," interrupted Logan as he took out his phone and searched for a number. "A former Army buddy is a lab tech for some place here in The Lou. He owes me a favor. We need to know what drug you were given and possible side effects."

"Just a minute." She checked to make sure her clothes were still intact. "You still haven't told me why you followed me. How do I know you didn't drug me?"

Logan stared at her. "I only removed your shoes. I didn't touch anything else. What motive would I have? We're on the same team. I want to know who murdered my sister."

"Why were you stalking me?"

"I wasn't stalking you or even really following you. I was curious about where you were going and why."

"What? That's a bunch of bull."

His eyebrows crunched together. "Not really. I was getting inside the taxi when you came out. I thought maybe you had a lead on my sister's murderer and thought I could help. So I wasn't following you, per se." He held up his phone. "I found my friend's number."

After he spoke with his buddy, he said, "He'll meet us here in about fifteen minutes."

"I didn't know lab techs made house, no hotel calls."

"I told you he owes me a favor. To be honest you're in no condition to move. You can barely sit up."

"How do I know he's not part of this conspiracy to drug me, hold me captive, and do who knows what with me? You could've got the drugs from him." McKenzie attempted to stand, staggered a few steps, and started to fall.

Logan caught her. "Because, if I didn't care, I'd let you hit the floor." He led her back to bed.






Characters:

McKenzie 'Mac' Morgan a 27 year old private investigator
Major Logan Nelson 34 years old and an active duty soldier Arlo McKenzie's black and tan dachshund
Megan Nelson Logan's younger sister - murdered
The Lou is an area name for St. Louis


Author Notes Thank you google images of a common hotel room. It seems it was a tie for longer or shorter posts. This post is a little over 700 words and the end of a chapter. I'll see about making the next post longer. I am also still working on the book summary. I don't have it the way I want it yet. Thank you for the encouragement.


Chapter 4
St. Louis Chapter 2 part 1

By barbara.wilkey

Ending of Previous Post:

"I wasn't stalking you or even really following you. I was curious about where you were going and why."

"What? That's a bunch of bull."

His eyebrows crunched together. "Not really. I was getting inside the taxi when you came out. I thought maybe you had a lead on my sister's murderer and thought I could help. So I wasn't following you, per se." He held up his phone. "I found my friend's number."

After he spoke with his buddy, he said, "He'll meet us here in about fifteen minutes."

"I didn't know lab techs made house, no hotel calls."

"I told you he owes me a favor. To be honest you're in no condition to move. You can barely sit up."

"How do I know he's not part of this conspiracy to drug me, hold me captive, and do who knows what with me? You could've got the drugs from him." McKenzie attempted to stand, staggered a few steps, and started to fall.

Logan caught her. "Because, if I didn't care, I'd let you hit the floor." He led her back to bed.


TODAY'S POST:

ST. LOUIS CHAPTER 2 PART 1

Almost twenty-five minutes later, a knock sounded on the hotel room door. Logan answered, "Hello." He shook hands with his old Army buddy. "Sorry, we have to get together like this. I hope your wife didn't mind you making a house call." He motioned toward McKenzie. "I'd like you to meet my PI friend, Mac Morgan. She got herself into some trouble tonight."

"Simon Knight." He offered his hand and then his eyes met Logan's. "I see you're still rescuing ladies in distress. Where'd you find this one?"

"An Irish Pub. All reports are that she was only drinking lemon water. When I walked in, two men were attempting to help themselves."

"Figures." Simon opened a black bag and removed some instruments. "I'm going to give you a quick check-up to make sure you don't need to make a trip to the ER. Can you describe your symptoms?"

"Confused and groggy."

"Her speech has been slurred, and she was unconscious when I got there," interrupted Logan. He glanced at his watch. "She was out for about two hours that I know about."

Simon nodded. "Continue, Mac, do you mind if I call you Mac?"

She shook her head and focused on the garbage can. "Vomiting. I have no memory of what happened."

"Okay. First, I want a urine sample. Can you make it to the bathroom?" Simon handed her a specimen jar.

Nodding, she said, "I think so."

Logan moved beside her. "I'm here if you need me." He offered his arm. "She hasn't been successful at standing." She stumbled, so he put his arm around her waist and helped her into the bathroom. "Let me know when you're finished."

Before long the men heard the door handle jiggle. Logan asked, "You need help?"

"I can get it."

The door opened, and McKenzie attempted a step but grabbed the door jamb to keep from falling. "When's the room gonna stop swirling?" She glanced at Simon.

"Depends what they gave you." He waited until Logan helped her back to bed and held up a stethoscope. "I want to listen to your heart, your pulse, and take your blood pressure."

After that was complete, Simon grabbed an elastic band and syringe. "I'll need some blood." His eyes met Logan's. "Did you notice her drink? Did it have any color or smell to it?"

"No color, and to be honest I didn't think to sniff it. Why?"

"My gut tells me it was GHB. It's colorless and odorless. We'll know more when I get the results back."

"How long will I feel like crap?" asked McKenzie.

"If it's GHB, it normally leaves the body in about twelve hours. But..." Simon released a deep breath. "It's often manufactured in home labs so we don't always know what's in it."

"Great." McKenzie closed her eyes.

Simon packed his bag. "I'm done. She's going to feel like shit for a few more hours, but she should be all right. I'll have the test results back in a couple days. I'll try by end of business tomorrow, but can't promise."

He glanced at McKenzie. "As long as she doesn't show any other signs, she should be fine. If anything at all shows up, don't hesitate to take her to the ER." He placed his hand on the door knob, and then turned around. "I doubt I need to tell you, but I wouldn't leave her alone until you're sure the drug's out of her system. Oh yeah, even though she's been communicating with us, she may struggle remembering it right away. She may never remember the pub."

"I won't leave her." Logan patted his buddy's back. "Thanks for helping."

"Anytime. You two need to come to dinner. I'll get with my wife and give you a date when I call with the results."

"She's only an acquaintance." Logan shook his head.

Simon grinned. "My gut says different. Us Special Forces types always listen to our gut, right?"

McKenzie managed to open an eye. "Did he say I'm stuck with you in this room for hours?"

Glancing at his watch, Logan replied, "I don't know when you ingested the drugs. To be safe I'd say you're stuck with me for another eight hours."

She attempted to sit. "I could really use a drink," she slid down, "of water."

Logan unwrapped a hotel glass and filled it with water. "I'll get you one." She held out her hand, and he grinned. "There's no way, I'm giving you this without help. You'll spill it. Then I'd have to give up the dry bed. I doubt you want us sharing a bed." He used his free arm to raise her so she could drink. "Go slowly until we know if you're going to keep it down."

After she took a few sips, she closed her eyes. "Thank you. You're a little bit nice."

"Yeah, right." Logan chuckled as he grabbed the remote control. "I hope there's a game on. I'm sure the Cards are blocked. Wait, they're playing in Atlanta." He turned his head to check on McKenzie. Good, she's asleep. I wonder what mess she's gotten into. Since Dad hired her yesterday, I doubt it has anything to do with Whitney. What else is she working on? I'll never find out tonight. She probably wouldn't tell me anyway.

A few hours later, Logan heard a commotion in the hotel hallway. He glanced out the peephole. It's only people checking-in. I guess I'm a little jumpy. He returned to his chair. Nobody would expect her to be here anyway. "Good, Yadi's up." He watched the first pitch. "Come on, we need a hit." Again, he glanced at the door. We could've been followed. I got careless. I never checked to see what those two jerks did. Tomorrow I'll visit the bartender and see what he knows about them.






Characters:

McKenzie 'Mac' Morgan a 27 year old private investigator
Major Logan Nelson 34 years old and an active duty soldier Arlo McKenzie's black and tan dachshund
Megan Nelson Logan's younger sister - murdered
The Lou is an area name for St. Louis
Simon Knight Logan's former Army buddy and a Lab technician.
Fan name for the St. Louis Cardinals - a major league baseball team.
Yadi's Fan name for Yadier Molina - Cardindal's all-star catcher.

Author Notes Thank you google images of a common medical bag. This post is a little under 1000 words. I am also still working on the book summary. Starting March 11th, I'm on spring break, maybe I can get the summary under control then. I don't have it the way I want it yet. Thank you for the encouragement.


Chapter 5
St. Louis Chapter 2 part 2

By barbara.wilkey

Ending of Previous Post:

McKenzie managed to open an eye. "Did he say I'm stuck with you in this room for hours?"

Glancing at his watch, Logan replied, "I don't know when you ingested the drugs. To be safe I'd say you're stuck with me for another eight hours."

She attempted to sit. "I could really use a drink," she slid down, "of water."

Logan unwrapped a hotel glass and filled it with water. "I'll get you one." She held out her hand, and he grinned. "There's no way I'm giving you this without help. You'll spill it. Then I'd have to give up the dry bed. I doubt you want us sharing a bed." He used his free arm to raise her so she could drink. "Go slowly until we know if you're going to keep it down."

After she took a few sips, she closed her eyes. "Thank you. You're a little bit nice."

"Yeah, right." Logan chuckled as he grabbed the remote control. "I hope there's a game on. I'm sure the Cards are blocked. Wait, they're playing in Atlanta." He turned his head to check on McKenzie. Good, she's asleep. I wonder what mess she's gotten into. Since Dad hired her yesterday, I doubt it has anything to do with Whitney. What else is she working on? I'll never find out tonight. She probably wouldn't tell me anyway.

A few hours later, Logan heard a commotion in the hotel hallway. He glanced through the peephole. It's only people checking-in. I guess I'm a little jumpy. He returned to his chair. Nobody would expect her to be here anyway. "Good, Yadi's up." He watched the first pitch. "Come on, we need a hit." Again, he glanced at the door. We could've been followed. I got careless. I never checked to see what those two jerks did. Tomorrow I'll visit the bartender and see what he knows about them.


TODAY'S POST:

As the sun rose the following morning, McKenzie began to stir. "Argh, I have a massive headache."

From his bed, Logan rolled toward her. "Do you remember anything about last night?"

She studied him. "What are you doing in that bed?"

"It was either this bed or the one you're in. I figured you didn't want me in your bed. So I slept over here. It seemed the right thing to do." Logan stood. "Besides the headache, how are you feeling? What do you remember about last night?"

"One question at a time, and what's your name again?" She squinted. "You're...wait. I know this...you're Nelson, but what's your first name?"

He sat on the edge of the bed. "Logan. You're still a mess. I'll shower while you get yourself together." He pointed at the door. "Don't open it. You could be in danger."

"None of this makes sense."

"You're right about that. After I finish in here, you can get in. Over breakfast, we can try to sort it out. Just rest for now."

After Logan finished his bathroom routine, McKenzie watched him for a few moments. "I want to go home. It won't do me any good to shower. I need clean clothes."

"Can you walk?"

"What do you mean?"

"Try standing."

McKenzie sat on the edge of the bed and attempted to stand. "I'm up." She took a wobbly step and plopped down on the bed. "What happened?"

"Do you remember going to the Irish Pub last night?"

"Yes, one of the police detectives working on the case said George Whitney frequented that place. I thought I could observe him."

"Was he there?"

She thought and then shook her head. "I don't think so."

"Do you remember talking to any men there?"

"No." McKenzie released a deep breath, before she added, "Wait, there was a man who kept coming to the bar. He never really said anything but he gawked at me. I have no idea why."

"Did you know him?" After she shook her head, Logan asked, "What did he look like?"

She studied Logan. "Could you stand for a second?" He did, and she said, "Tall, but a little shorter than you. How tall are you?"

"Six-two. So maybe six foot." She nodded, and he asked, "How much did he weigh?"

"I didn't put him on a scale or really pay that much attention." McKenzie scanned Logan. "Less than you. He was skinnier. Not as muscular."

Logan grinned. "I just felt I was in a meat market. Remind me not to do that to women." He rubbed his chin. "I'm about two hundred pounds, so maybe a hundred seventy-five." He waited a few moments before he asked, "Can you describe him? Hair color, eye color? Maybe you can give the police sketch artist a description."

"He had blondish light brown hair. I'm not sure of his eye color, I didn't look that close." McKenzie held up her left arm and pointed to the inside of it. "He had a tatt here. I remember because it was a snake coiled and a scorpion next to it. I thought that was strange."

He tossed some blankets further onto his bed. "You have a good start on a sketch." After pausing a moment he asked, "Could you draw the tatt?"

"I'm not a good artist but I could try." McKenzie accepted a small pad of paper and a pen from Logan and grinned. "I guess it doesn't matter if it has the hotel's logo on it."

A few minutes later, Logan studied the drawing. "Not bad. I'll hang on to this in case we need it for identification. Since you don't want to shower now, how about some breakfast?"

"No way! My stomach's jumpy. I do want a shower." She studied the Band-Aid on her arm. "What's this from?"

"You don't remember much, do you? A buddy of mine came by. He's a lab tech. He took some blood to see what drug you were given."

McKenzie closed her eyes and thought. "I do remember that. His name started with an 's'."

"Yes, Simon Knight." Logan scanned the room. "Let's get you home. Think you can walk?" He shook his head. "Never mind. I'll help." He stood beside her. "Use my arm to steady yourself."

She studied her feet. "My shoes. Do you know where they are?"

Logan walked over to the dresser. "I put them over here last night." He noticed her eyes widen. "They're the only thing I touched." He brought them to her. "Let me help."

"I think I can." She bent over to try but closed her eyes. "I'm dizzy."

"Not surprised. Simon said it'd stay in your system for at least twelve hours."

"What time is it?"

Glancing at his watch, Logan said, "Eight-thirty."

"It's got to be over twelve hours, doesn't it?"

He fastened the last heeled sandal. "One would think so. Ready? Here's my arm." He held it out for her to take. "Those heels are pretty high. You sure you can walk in them? I don't want you hurting an ankle."

After a few wobbly steps, McKenzie released a deep sigh. "I guess it's bare feet for me."

Logan handed her the car keys. "Hold these." He put his arms under her. "I carried you in, I'll carry you out."

"How'd you get my keys?"

"You couldn't drive, so I helped myself. You have a nice ride by the way. Matter-of-fact, I'm driving you home. You're in no shape to drive."

"I don't like the idea of you taking over my life."

He set her in the parking lot. "Last night I rescued your butt from probably being raped or worse. Now, I'm keeping you safe until the drug wears off. If you don't want my help, I'll leave." He started to walk away.

McKenzie took a step and stumbled a little. "Logan, please stay." She held up the car keys. "I guess I've been ungrateful. Will you accept my apology?"




Characters:

McKenzie 'Mac' Morgan a 27 year old private investigator
Major Logan Nelson 34 years old and an active duty soldier Arlo McKenzie's black and tan dachshund
Megan Nelson Logan's younger sister - murdered
The Lou is an area name for St. Louis
Simon Knight Logan's former Army buddy and a Lab technician.
Fan name for the St. Louis Cardinals - a major league baseball team.
Yadi's Fan name for Yadier Molina - Cardindal's all-star catcher.

Author Notes Thank you google images of a snake tattoo. This post is a little over 1000 words. I am also still working on the book summary. I'm on spring break!!!! Yeah!!! Maybe I can get the summary under control then. I don't have it the way I want it yet. Thank you for the encouragement.


Chapter 6
St. Louis Chapter 2 part 3

By barbara.wilkey

Ending of Previous Post:

Logan handed her the car keys. "Hold these." He put his arms under her. "I carried you in, I'll carry you out."

"How'd you get my keys?"

"You couldn't drive, so I helped myself. You have a nice ride by the way. Matter-of-fact, I'm driving you home. You're in no shape to drive."

"I don't like the idea of you taking over my life."

He set her in the parking lot. "Last night I rescued your butt from probably being raped or worse. Now, I'm keeping you safe until the drug wears off. If you don't want my help, I'll leave." He started to walk away.

McKenzie took a step and stumbled a little. "Logan, please stay." She held up the car keys. "I guess I've been ungrateful. Will you accept my apology?"

TODAY'S POST:

ST. LOUIS CHAPTER 2 PART 3

After parking at McKenzie's townhouse, Logan went around the car and opened her door. "You're going to have to go first. Goliath hates me."

"Who's Goliath?" McKenzie frowned. "Oh, you mean Edger. He's a pussy cat."

"Maybe to you, but he hates me. He told me that last night. Ready?" After she nodded, he carried her up the stairs. "The yapper's at it again."

"I'm sure they both want out and probably a walk. I run every day with Edger."

"I can help let them out, but there's no way I'm running with that dog. Are you sure he's a dog?" Logan still held her. "Can you get the door unlocked?"

"You're really worried about this, aren't you?"

"You didn't see the glare he gave me."

"Set me down. I'd better go first." McKenzie unlocked the door and opened it. She steadied herself with the doorknob, but one hand remained on Logan's arm.

At the door, stood Arlo and Edger. Arlo wagged his tail and jumped up against McKenzie's legs. Edger wagged his stubby tail, rubbed his head against McKenzie's hand, but kept a watchful eye on Logan.

"I told you he hates me." Logan was careful to stay away from the dog and close to the door. "Is he a rottweiler?"

McKenzie knelt and rubbed the sides of his large head as she hugged him. "He is and a big baby, but he tends to be suspicious of strangers." She struggled trying to stand as she glanced toward the stairs. "I need to shower. Are you going to wait around?"

He offered his hand. "Let me help." Once she stood, he continued, "As long as Goliath will allow me, I won't leave until I'm sure you're back to normal." Logan watched as she crept toward the stairs. "Can you make it up?"

"We'll see." She took a step. "If I go slowly, I should be all right."

Logan nodded. "I'll wait down here. Take him with you."

"He usually follows me everywhere. They both do." McKenzie hesitated. "I forgot. They need out." After she completed that task, she attempted the first step and then looked back at Logan. "I might be awhile. So don't worry."

"Why would I worry?"

"You look like the worrying type."

I meet this broad, Logan did the math in his head, seventeen hours ago. I've ready rescued her and then played nurse-mate so nothing else happens. Why would I worry? He searched through the refrigerator and kitchen cabinets. She must not be much of a cook. I need breakfast. He yelled up the stairs. "I'm going out for groceries." He shook his head. "I'd better let Goliath in. Who knows what trouble she'll get into while I'm gone?"

Edger studied him a few moments and then he followed Arlo up the staircase.

*****
Hours later when McKenzie entered the kitchen, Logan smiled. "You clean up nice. Your eyes tell me you're feeling a little better."

"I soaked in the tub for a while." Her cheeks tinged pink. "I think I fell asleep." She scanned the kitchen. "It looks like you've been busy."

"I was hungry and didn't see much in the way of food so I went to the store. I hope you like omelets and coffee."

"I do." McKenzie sat on the kitchen stool. "They smell great. Thank you."

Logan took a few bites. "Any idea who did this or why? Could it be case related?"

"I don't think so. I'm working a few cheating spouse cases, checking out a witness for the District Attorney, and then your sister's murder. Things are slow right now."

"Question, why do you have your office out of your house?"

McKenzie avoided his eyes as she sipped black coffee. "Dad's office was right downtown, only three blocks from the stadium. Mom helped part-time with the paperwork. As they were closing after dark, June 12th, 2018, they were both murdered. I was doing surveillance on a cheating husband or I probably would've been killed too. Anyway, I closed down that office. Every time I walked inside, it brought back too many memories."

"Did they catch their murderer?"

McKenzie nodded. "Yes, John Benson was arrested but died in prison before the trial, actually only a few days ago. He and his family claimed his innocence."

"What was his motive?"

"He worked for a large contracting company. Dad worked with the police and found evidence he embezzled from the company. He also laundered drug money for the 49 BAD Bloods street gang. They transport drugs from Phoenix to St. Louis. Dad was going to be a witness at his trial." McKenzie set her fork on her plate and drank the last of her coffee. "I don't know that much about it. Dad tried to keep me away from that part of our business. I really need to get busy. I can't sit here and talk all day."

"Do you mind if I hang around? I'm still not sure you're a hundred percent."

"You're using that as an excuse to be a pain-in-the-butt, aren't you?"

Logan grinned.







Characters:

McKenzie 'Mac' Morgan a 27 year old private investigator
Major Logan Nelson 34 years old and an active duty soldier
Arlo McKenzie's black and tan dachshund
Megan Nelson Logan's younger sister - murdered
The Lou is an area name for St. Louis
Simon Knight Logan's former Army buddy and a Lab technician.
Fan name for the St. Louis Cardinals - a major league baseball team.
Yadi's Fan name for Yadier Molina - Cardinal's all-star catcher.
Edger McKenzie's black and tan rottweiler

Author Notes Thank you google images of a Rottweiler . This post is just under 900 words. Spring break is over and I never found the time to work on the book summary. It takes me forever to finish a novel so I have plenty of time. I'm sure something will come to me. It has been brought to me attention that I have my characters looking often, I have been working on that and still don't have it under control. Any help will be appreciated. Thank you for the encouragement.


Chapter 7
St. Louis Chapter 3 part 1

By barbara.wilkey

Ending of Previous Post:

McKenzie avoided his eyes as she sipped black coffee. "Dad's office was right downtown, only three blocks from the stadium. Mom helped part-time with the paperwork. As they were closing after dark, June 12th, 2018, they were both murdered. I was doing surveillance on a cheating husband or I probably would've been killed too. Anyway, I closed down that office. Every time I walked inside, it brought back too many memories."

"Did they catch their murderer?"

McKenzie nodded. "Yes, John Benson was arrested but died in prison before the trial, actually only a few days ago. He and his family claimed his innocence."

"What was his motive?"

"He worked for a large contracting company. Dad worked with the police and found evidence he embezzled from the company. He also laundered drug money for the 49 BAD Bloods street gang. They transport drugs from Phoenix to St. Louis. Dad was going to be a witness at his trial." McKenzie set her fork on her plate and drank the last of her coffee. "I don't know that much about it. Dad tried to keep me away from that part of our business. I really do need to get busy. I can't sit here and talk all day."

"Do you mind if I hang around? I'm still not sure you're a hundred percent."

"You're using that as an excuse to be a pain-in-the-butt, aren't you?"

Logan grinned.


TODAY'S POST:

ST. LOUIS CHAPTER 3 PART 1

As McKenzie checked her calendar and prepared to walk out the door, her phone rang. "Sure, Bill. I can check an alibi. I can do it right now. It shouldn't take long." She took notes. "I'll call you back, in let's say forty-five minutes." She paused. "Okay, I'll come by your office. See you then."

"Who's Bill? And why are you doing work for him? Does he pay?"

She shook her head. "You're a real pain. This is none of your business. I won't do anything on your sister's case until later this afternoon. You can leave until then." She released a deep breath. "You're not going anywhere are you?" After he grinned, she continued, "I might as well answer your questions. He's a lawyer and yes, he pays. I'm on retainer. I get a monthly check whether I work or not."

"I'm still hanging around. I might come in handy."

"I doubt it." McKenzie started out the door. "Can I have my car keys back?"

Logan tossed them to her. "Maybe this Bill guy can help with the men who drugged you."

"We won't know for a fact I was drugged until we get the results from your friend. Plus I won't be able to do anything because there's not a reliable chain of custody with the evidence."

"My friend's very reliable. I trust him with my life."

"I'm sure you do, but will a court?"

Logan tilted his head. "I see your point." He opened the driver's side door for her. "This seems a little strange. It's hard to be a gentleman when you're driving."

"Get used to it." She waited until Logan was seated before she pulled from her parking slot.

McKenzie studied the dilapidated building before her and then checked the notes she'd taken. "This is the address Bill gave me." She took out her phone. "I think I'll check."

After verifying the information and describing the scene to Bill, McKenzie hung up. "This is the address the suspect gave the police. I'm supposed to speak with a Marcie Kirks. Unless Marcie's a rat, I doubt we'll find her."

Before McKenzie stepped from the car, she removed her 40 caliber Smith & Wesson semi-automatic pistol and checked it.

"Nice pistol. You know how to use it?"

"Yes." She replaced the gun in the back of her waist band. "I have a real permit and everything. Do I need to show it to you? Have I mentioned you're a pain?"

"You have numerous times. To be honest; I've lost count." Logan grinned. "And I believe you have a permit, so we're good. Just pretend I'm your bodyguard."

"Only I don't need a bodyguard." McKenzie walked up to the building. "I can take care of myself, really I can."

Logan touched her arm. "What do you know about Bill? Could this be a set up?"

"Bill and Dad were friends. Your dad knows him too. They all went to high school together. You should ask him. There's no way it's a set up. I'll agree it looks suspicious. This is definitely an abandoned building. Nobody lives or works here." McKenzie took her Nikon camera and began snapping photographs. "If you're coming, let's go and look around."

As they searched inside, numerous rats, mice, and squirrels scampered into hiding.

Logan kicked over torn newspapers and fast food wrappers. "Looks like some junkies and homeless use this place for shelter."

McKenzie pointed to some empty bottles. "Don't forget drunks." She paused, held up her hand, and whispered, "Listen."

Logan nodded, turned toward the noise, and motioned McKenzie to take cover. He darted behind a rotting door and peered out.




Characters:

McKenzie 'Mac' Morgan a 27 year old private investigator
Major Logan Nelson 34 years old and an active duty soldier
Arlo McKenzie's black and tan dachshund
Megan Nelson Logan's younger sister - murdered
The Lou is an area name for St. Louis
Simon Knight Logan's former Army buddy and a Lab technician.
Fan name for the St. Louis Cardinals - a major league baseball team.
Yadi's Fan name for Yadier Molina - Cardinal's all-star catcher.
Edger McKenzie's black and tan rottweiler
John Benson Man who murdered McKenzie's parents
Bill Abbot A D.A> and McKenzie's God-Father; he was a high-
school friend of McKenzie's father. Joanie is his wife.

Author Notes Thank you google images of a dilapidated warehouse . This post is right at 600 words. I wrote this in July and have edited it over and over again. As I posted it, I made numerous changed. I hope I haven't made it worse. Any help you can offer will be appreciated. Thank you for the encouragement.


Chapter 8
St. Louis Chapter 3 part 2

By barbara.wilkey

Ending of Previous Post:

"Bill and Dad were friends. Your dad knows him too. They all went to high school together. You should ask him. There's no way it's a set up. I'll agree it looks suspicious. This is definitely an abandoned building. Nobody lives or works here." McKenzie took her Nikon camera and began snapping photographs. "If you're coming, let's go and look around."

As they searched inside, numerous rats, mice, and squirrels scampered into hiding.

Logan kicked over torn newspapers and fast food wrappers. "Looks like some junkies and homeless use this place for shelter."

McKenzie pointed to some empty bottles. "Don't forget drunks." She paused, held up her hand, and whispered, "Listen."

Logan nodded, turned toward the noise, and motioned McKenzie to take cover. He darted behind a rotting door and peered out.

TODAY'S POST:

ST. LOUIS CHAPTER 3 PART 2

After Logan identified the sound as a car's engine, he ran from the building and stared at the taillights. "Shit!"

McKenzie came up behind him. "Did you get a good look? There was no car around when we arrived."

"I know. It was a black crossover. I didn't get the model, probably two thousand sixteen or seventeen. The license plate started with 'ST' and maybe a three or eight. I couldn't tell for sure and didn't get the rest."

"Great. You just described ninety percent of the vehicles in the greater St. Louis area." McKenzie headed toward her car. "Let's go. I need to talk with Bill."

As they walked, Logan asked, "You need to find out who knew you'd be here. More information about this Marcie person, and..."

"I know what I need to ask," interrupted McKenzie as she opened her door. "I am a professional, regardless of what you believe."

"You took that wrong." He stared at her over the car's roof.

"I know you think you're trying to help." She sat behind the steering wheel. "Get in." She inserted the key and paused. "How long were they here?"

"Couldn't have been too long. I don't really know. Why?" asked Logan.

McKenzie opened the door. "They may have planted something on the car." She knelt, felt, and searched around the tire well.

Logan checked the passenger side.

After she finished her side, she lifted the hood. "I doubt they had time to do anything in here."

Logan leaned in for a better look. "This baby's clean. I never expected a 426 V8 Hemi." He shook his head. "I should've. It had some pick up. Where'd you get this beauty?"

"From Dad. His favorite past time was working on, no, restoring cars. Ever since I could walk, I toddled after him." McKenzie smiled. "I was his favorite helper." She closed the hood and checked both the front and back bumpers. "I guess they didn't mess with it. I wonder what they were doing and why they didn't stay."

"Maybe they didn't have time to complete their task. Or they wanted you, and my being here screwed up their plans."

McKenzie tilted her head. "I'll give you that you were a big help last night, but I'm pretty sure you didn't have anything to do with what just happened." She opened the driver's door. "Let's go."

*****
The traffic was light and it didn't take long before they had parked in front of a red brick, two-story building and stood at the receptionist's desk.

"D.A. Abbott, please," said McKenzie, "he's expecting me."

"I'm sorry, ma'am. He's very busy." The young lady checked a schedule. "I don't see your name or any name on the schedule. It looks like he's free next Wednesday afternoon at two o'clock. Give me your name and I'll write you in."

McKenzie smiled and checked the name tag. "Ms. Smith, please tell him Mac's here. He'll see me."

A lady in her early forties walked into the room and hugged McKenzie. "Hi! I've been on vacation and have missed your visits. How have you been?"

"No complaints, Rachel," answered McKenzie. "I need to speak with Bill, but..."

"He's busy," interrupted Ms. Smith. "I offered to set up an appointment."

Waving her hands, Rachel walked over, rapped a few times, and opened the door. "Bill, Mac's here." She faced the young receptionist. "I know you just started two days ago. Mac, Ms. Morgan, is welcome in Bill's office anytime."

Immediately, his arms surrounded her. "Mac!" He motioned her to enter. "Who's your friend?"

Introductions were made and Bill grinned. "Logan, I know your dad. He speaks highly of you. Thank you for your service. What do you do for the Army? How long you been in?"

"Twelve years, Sir. I'm stationed at Fort Bragg."

Bill shook his head. "Never understood why anybody would jump from a perfectly good airplane." He studied Logan for a few moments. "You're special forces or something, aren't you?"

Logan tilted his head. "Or something."

"You're..." Bill used the heel of his hand to tap his forehead, "black ops or Delta Force?"

"Sorry, Sir. I can't answer that."

McKenzie smiled. "You aren't the run-of-mill-pain-in-the-butt, you're a special one."

With a chuckle, Logan said, "You could say that."

"Now I understand where your cockiness comes from."

Bill smiled at the banter. "I see you two get along perfectly." He pointed to a couple of chairs. "Have a seat. Did you find anything useful?" He sat.

McKenzie searched her camera for the photos she'd taken. "I doubt Marcie Kirks lives or works here. Your suspect says he was with her at the time of the robbery. I doubt he's being truthful."

After studying them, Bill rechecked his notes. "Something's definitely wrong. I need to get back with the officer who gave me this information." He started to dial his phone. "He was a new officer. I think he just graduated the academy last week or the week before."

"Wait, before you call," interjected Logan. He filled Bill in on the black crossover and the license plate. When he'd finished, he explained last night's events.

Tapping his fingers on his desk, Bill's eyes met McKenzie's. "Why didn't you call? And don't say, you didn't want to bother me. I promised your parents I'd look after you. My wife and I are here for you any time of day or night."

"I know that, but..."

"To be honest, Sir, she was in no condition to call anybody. I didn't know about you so I couldn't call. If I did, I would've."

"Okay, that makes sense." Bill released a deep breath. "I'm glad your gut told you she was in trouble." He faced McKenzie. "I hope you thanked him."

"Of course, I did." Her gaze dropped to the floor. "But probably not as well as I should I have." After releasing a deep breath, McKenzie's eyes met Logan's. "Thank you for being there when I needed help. I do appreciate it."

Logan reached over and touched her arm. "Anytime. Although, I hope there's not a next time."

Bill reached for his phone. "I never did get that call made." He listened as the phone repeatedly rang and then hung up. "I'll have to get back with you. I'll follow up on the crossover and find out what Ms. Kirks is up to or even if she's a real person. I should have answers before close of business today."

McKenzie stood. "I better let you get back to work. I have a busy day, too." She glanced at Logan. "You coming?"

"Of course." Logan offered his hand. "Glad to meet you Mr..."

"Bill," he interrupted. "Anybody who helps my God-daughter calls me Bill." He leaned a little closer. "She's a handful."

Logan grinned. "I've already figured that out."

"If you two are done discussing me as if I'm not even in the room, we need to leave." She kissed Bill on the cheek. "We'll talk later."

He returned the kiss. "As soon as I get answers, I'll call. You can expect a call from Joanie later. You and Logan need to come to dinner this weekend." After McKenzie agreed, Bill walked them to the door.

In the reception area, Logan said, "I take it Joanie's his wife."

"She is. I can't imagine what we're going to do with all these dinner invitations." McKenzie kept walking. "That makes two."

"You do remember Simon."

"A little."

Once they arrived at McKenzie's home, Logan walked her inside and scanned the townhouse. "It looks safe. I think I'll visit my parents. I have a few questions for them."

"I can give you a ride."

"A taxi will work. I need to do some thinking anyway. What time should I be back?"

McKenzie's eyebrows crunched together. "I have no idea. I don't work on a schedule."

"Okay." He ran his hand through his hair. "I guess you wouldn't. I'll return when I'm done. How's that?"

"Okay, I guess, but you don't need to hang around. I can handle this."

Logan walked out the door and called over his shoulder. "I'll be back."

"I know you will." McKenzie paused. "Logan, wait a minute. I have a question." Once he came closer, she continued, "Bill said something like; I never understood why anybody would jump from a perfectly good airplane. What did he mean by that?"

"Fort Bragg is home of the 82nd Airborne Division. Their mission is within 18 hours of notification to strategically deploy, conduct forcible entry parachute assault, and secure key objectives for follow-on military operations."

"So it's part of your job to jump out of airplanes and put yourselves in danger?"

Logan grinned. "Yes, Ma'am."

"Why?"

"Somebody's got to do it." He turned to leave. "See you later."



Characters:

McKenzie 'Mac' Morgan a 27 year old private investigator
Major Logan Nelson 34 years old and an active duty soldier
Arlo McKenzie's black and tan dachshund
Megan Nelson Logan's younger sister - murdered
The Lou is an area name for St. Louis
Simon Knight Logan's former Army buddy and a Lab technician.
Fan name for the St. Louis Cardinals - a major league baseball team.
Yadi's Fan name for Yadier Molina - Cardinal's all-star catcher.
Edger McKenzie's black and tan rottweiler
John Benson Man who murdered McKenzie's parents
Bill Abbot A D.A> and McKenzie's God-Father; he was a high-
school friend of McKenzie's father. Joanie is his wife.

Author Notes Thank you google an image of a 1970 crazy purple super bee, McKenzie's car. Bill's comment, 'Never understood why anybody would jump from a perfectly good airplane.' is because Fort Bragg, NC is home of the 82nd Airborne Division and their mission is within 18 hours of notification, strategically deploy, conduct forcible entry parachute assault and secure key objectives for follow-on military operations in support of U.S. national interest.

This post is a little under 1400 words. I hope you don't mind the length. As with any of my novels this one is taking on a life of it's own. OH MY!!! Any help you can offer will be appreciated. Thank you for the encouragement.


Chapter 9
St. Louis Chapter 4 part 1

By barbara.wilkey

Warning: The author has noted that this contains the highest level of sexual content.

Ending of Previous Post:

**A reviewer had a great point, so I changed the ending of this post slightly. My husband is retired military. I forgot that not everybody knows what the 82nd Airborne Division does.**

Bill returned the kiss. "As soon as I get answers, I'll call. You can expect a call from Joanie later. You and Logan need to come to dinner this weekend." After McKenzie agreed, he walked them to the door.

In the reception area, Logan said, "I take it Joanie's his wife."

"She is. I can't imagine what we're going to do with all these dinner invitations." McKenzie kept walking. "That makes two."

"You do remember Simon."

"A little."

Once they arrived at McKenzie's home, Logan walked her inside and scanned the townhouse. "It looks safe. I think I'll visit my parents. I have a few questions for them."

"I can give you a ride."

"A taxi will work. I need to do some thinking anyway. What time should I be back?"

McKenzie's eyebrows crunched together. "I have no idea. I don't work on a schedule."

"Okay." He ran his hand through his hair. "I guess you wouldn't. I'll return when I'm done. How's that?"

"Okay, I guess, but you don't need to hang around. I can handle this."

Logan walked out the door and called over his shoulder. "I'll be back."

"I know you will."

TODAY'S POST:

ST. LOUIS CHAPTER 4 PART 1

McKenzie read the notes concerning Megan Nelson's death she'd taken yesterday. I really need to see the autopsy report. Just as she picked up the phone to make a call, it rang. "Hello." After she listened and wrote down an address, she said, "Sure," and glanced at her watch, "I'll meet you in about an hour. I'll stop by the police station, park my car, and then catch the bus. See you then." She hurried to her room. Undercover's always fun. Jose's great to work with.

After she changed, put on make-up, a few fake tatts, and curled her hair, McKenzie glanced in the mirror. "I think I look slutty enough. This should work." On the way out, she grabbed her cue stick. "Those years hanging around the billiard hall with Dad will come in handy."

Once her car was parked in a secure lot, McKenzie found a seat on a city bus headed toward the address Jose had given her.

Outside the billiard parlor, McKenzie adjusted her blouse and jeans so the maximum amount of skin and tatts showed and finger brushed her hair. No matter what, nothing to drink. I've learned my lesson. She opened the door.

Jose walked up to her, put his arms around her, and plopped a sloppy kiss on her lips. "Hey, sweetthin', what took you so long? I thought you were meetin' me thirty minutes ago." He glanced toward three men. "This is Sammie, my gal. Sammie, meet the guys. The one wearin' the Cards' t-shirt's George; next to him is his brother, Tommy, and then cousin, Joey."

Each man raised a hand as Jose identified them. George grinned. "What can I get you?"

McKenzie pointed her cue stick at him. "Nothin', hon. I don't drink when I'm winnin'."

"You ain't winnin' at nothin'," said Tommy as he added chalk to his cue stick. "Joey, make sure there ain't no cheaten'."

"Keepin' my eyes on her won't be hard. She's a looker that's for sure."

"What is it best out of three? Who goes first?" McKenzie's eyes met George's but she pointed to the bartender. "How about he flips the coin, and you, big guy, call it?"

George called to the bartender, "Jake, okay with you?"

Jake lifted it up for all to see. "And I have a new shiny quarter. Call it in the air." He tossed it.

"Heads. I always call heads." He rubbed his crotch as he watched the quarter fall into Jake's hands.

"It's tails. Jose breaks."

McKenzie leaned over and kissed Jose. "Sugar, why don't we let the losers go first? I'm feelin' generous, right now."

Jose pulled her closer. "Sure, as long as I can get more of that." He kissed McKenzie and rubbed her rear-end. "George, break. I'm busy."

George's glare darted from the pool table to Jose and McKenzie as he hit the cue ball, but scratched as it rolled into a pocket. He took a long gulp of beer.

Jose glanced at George. "Sammie, I think he's already had too much brew. This should be an easy win."

Jose placed the cue ball in the area between the edge and the second set of diamonds. "I'll put it here." He eyed George before he said, "Do you mind if I let Sammie take my turn?"

"Hell, no. Let the lady go." George grinned. "But she can't change the cue ball's position. It's already been set."

McKenzie walked up to the table and leaned over, allowing a large portion of her breasts to slip out. She readied her stick, wiggled her rear-end a few times, and hit the cue ball. The six, eleven, two, and seven balls went in. "I guess we're goin' for the solid balls, all right with you?" She pecked Jose's cheek.

"Shore is. You takin' your next shot?" asked Jose.

"Why don't you?" She adjusted the knot just below her breasts. It held the front of her blouse together. "I think I'll watch." She stood beside George. "You don't mind if I stand here, do ya?"

"Shore don't." George's gaze followed the butterfly tattoo down her breasts to the knot. "Hmm..."

As George continued to stare at McKenzie's breasts, Jose pocketed the three, one, five, and four balls. "All I need is the eight ball in the side pocket," he motioned to the left side pocket, "and we win, sweetthin'."

The eight ball easily went into the pocket. "One down. One more game, and we're winners." Jose lifted McKenzie up and held her as she wrapped her legs around his waist and kissed him.

When the repeated kisses stopped and McKenzie was placed on the floor, she said, "Tommy," she rubbed his arm, "those are some muscles. Why don't you break?"

George lifted up his t-shirt sleeve. "Those ain't nothing. Try these."

McKenzie rubbed and squeezed his muscles. "Wow! You must work out." She leaned her head against his arm.

Jose grabbed her arm. "Sammie, now don't get all dreamy eyed, you're mine."

Tommy pocketed the seven along with the eight ball and hung his head. "I guess it ain't our night."

"Sammie, can you break yourself away from George long enough to play?" snapped Jose.

"Maybe." She bent over with her rear-end facing George to adjust her stiletto heel. "Just a minute."

George breathed heavily and reached toward the butterfly tattoo on the small of her back.

Joey slapped his hand and whispered, "Don't."

"I'm ready. Want me to finish this game?" She grinned. "I'm putting the twelve ball in the corner pocket." She pointed to the corner. It went in. She continued until she put the eight ball in the called pocket. She glanced at her watch. "Boys, I need to fix my momma dinner. It's been fun."

"Can I come by after your mom's asleep?" Jose drew her into his arms.

"Sure can. I promise not to be too loud." She giggled. "We wouldn't want to wake momma."

Jose walked her outside. "I'll stay to make sure you're not followed. I'll come by your place before I go home. Good job. Be safe."

"You too." McKenzie continued to the bus stop.


Characters:

McKenzie 'Mac' Morgan a 27 year old private investigator
Major Logan Nelson 34 years old and an active duty soldier
Arlo McKenzie's black and tan dachshund
Megan Nelson Logan's younger sister - murdered
The Lou is an area name for St. Louis
Simon Knight Logan's former Army buddy and a Lab technician.
Fan name for the St. Louis Cardinals - a major league baseball team.
Yadi's Fan name for Yadier Molina - Cardinal's all-star catcher.
Edger McKenzie's black and tan rottweiler
John Benson Man who murdered McKenzie's parents
Bill Abbot A D.A> and McKenzie's God-Father; he was a high-
school friend of McKenzie's father. Joanie is his wife.
Jose Lopez Chicago Police Department undercover police
department.

Author Notes Thank you google an image of a lady teasing as she plays pool. LOL This post is a little over 1000 words. I hope you don't mind the length. As with any of my novels this one is taking on a life of it's own. OH MY!!! Any help you can offer will be appreciated. Thank you for the encouragement.


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