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"Monica"


Chapter 1
Monica Chapter 1

By Roxanna Andrews

(This is a sequel to A Light in the Darkness found in my portfolio). A stranger, (Monica) is about to invade the world of Rob and Sarah, newly weds who met on the job while working as detectives. They have moved to Big Sky Montana, where Rob has become the Sheriff and Sarah now owns a bake shop.
*************

Monica sat outside on her master suite balcony. A magnificent view of snow-capped mountains and green forest land was on display behind her, but she paid it no attention. She was not impressed by such things as scenery, so sat drinking her coffee and watching her domestic help make her bed. Her mind was on what items she needed to finish her decorating.

Monica's generous allowance from daddy, afforded her the means to hire domestic help. It took three tries but she finally came upon the treasure that was Anna Roberts, housekeeper and cook in one. Monica was willing to pay her generously to keep her, so could only afford her alone, but she was well worth the price.

"Anna, I'll be going into Bozeman, so I won't be having lunch or dinner at home. You can have the rest of the day off."

"Yes, miss. Thank you," Anna replied. She finished up in the bedroom, then went down to straighten up the kitchen before leaving.

Monica finished her makeup and brushed out her thick, dark-brown hair, that fell just below her shoulders. She wore it straight and parted in the middle. It often fell across her artificially tanned face, so she'd tuck it behind an ear.

She put on jeans and a pink silk blouse, pushed her feet into sandals with four-inch heels and grabbed her purse and car keys.

Monica drove the fifty-eight minutes to Bozeman, most of it well over the speed limit. She made it in forty-five. Parking downtown, she headed for her favorite cafe.

She chose a table outside in the sun. It was a chilly day. A shadow fell across her, and thinking it was the waiter she asked for wine.

"Hello, Monica."

She shaded her eyes and looked up to see a man standing across the table from her.

"Hello, William. What are you doing here?"

"I live here now. Remember when you destroyed my life? I had to leave town. I live in Bozeman now." William stared at her with hate-filled eyes.

"I didn't destroy your life, William." She dismissed him and went back to her menu.

"What do you call telling my wife I was cheating on her? You're a sick, twisted..."

"Listen, William, I think it best you leave now before I call that policeman sitting at the next table and tell him you're harassing me." The waiter had walked up by then, and with one last contemptuous look, William turned and walked away.

Monica smiled. Poor William. It must be hard to have to support himself without daddy's help. She didn't feel a bit sorry for him. He deserved all he got and worse.

William ran to his car. There was a parking place a few down from where Monica had parked and he wanted to grab it so he could follow her. She was a sick and dangerous woman and he wanted to find out where she was living now.

He pulled his car into a place three cars down from Monica's silver 2020 Jaguar F-Type coupe. It was a sixty-one thousand dollar car. He couldn't believe all the goodies her daddy bought her. He didn't seem to care how destructive his daughter was. Didn't he know she had serious mental health issues? How could he not?

As William waited he thought back over the past six months to the day his world fell apart. He cursed the day Monica Landers ever walked into his firm.

She said she needed a lawyer, not for anything specific, just to have on retainer in case there was a need. She wanted a lawyer independent of her father's. But of course, it was daddy's money that paid all the fees. He realized in a short time that she wanted her own lawyer so daddy wouldn't know how often he was needed. It seemed every few months someone was threatening to sue the psychopath.

She began making monthly visits to his office, making no secret of the fact that she was interested in him as more than just her attorney.

William Myers, of Myers, Wilson, and Evans, had worked for his father's firm for eight years. He had met his wife, Debora, there. She had hired on two years after him and it was love at first sight, for William anyway. It took a bit of convincing on her part. She wasn't keen on dating a fellow attorney working in the same firm. But his boyish charm and intelligence soon won her over. They were married within a year and had a child four years later.

William was happy, he loved his wife dearly and adored his little girl, Hope. But Monica had destroyed it all. When he rejected her advances she set about systematically dismantling his life.

She started by spreading rumors they were having an affair.

He so regretted not addressing the problem as soon as he knew, but he didn't want to draw more attention to the situation and was afraid of what his father would think. Of course, it wasn't long before his father heard the rumors himself. He called William into his office.

"Are you out of your mind? Carrying on with a client right under the noses of the staffers and partners. And what about Debora and little Hope? Don't you care about them at all? This stops right now or you're out of the firm." His father never even took a breath, allowing William to explain. His face was almost purple with rage. He feared his father would drop dead from a heart attack right there.

"Dad, calm down. I would never cheat on Debora. You have to know that. This woman is sick. She has been coming on to me and is not happy that I haven't taken her up on her offers. I don't think she has ever been told, no. I haven't so much as brushed her shoulder let alone had an affair. She started the rumors herself."

William looked pale and exhausted. His father began to realize what a toll all of this was taking on him.

"I should have done something right away, said something, but I didn't know what to do. She has been calling my clients, telling them what a cad I am and not to be trusted. Saying I'm a terrible attorney and she's fired me. I've lost three clients. I'm getting worried, dad."

William's father took it on himself to try to save his son's reputation and career. He reached out to Monica's father hoping they could reason together as fathers wanting what was best for their children. But Mr. Landers was not a reasonable man. Within minutes of his phone call, the senior Myers was told to mind his own business and hung-up on.

Things only got worse after that. William continued to lose clients, then the partners began losing clients. William's father felt sure Mr. Landers, Monica's father, had a hand in that. They had to make the hard choice of asking William to leave the firm.

His marriage began to suffer as Monica continued her vendetta against him. William came home one day to find Debora in tears.

"Are you having an affair with her?"

"No! I would never do that. You have to believe me. I would never hurt you like that. I love you."

Monica sent texts to his wife, with pictures of them at restaurants, in parking garages, embracing or kissing. All staged by Monica, some were meetings, most were ambushes. She must have had a friend taking pictures.

Debora asked him to move out. He'd lost his job, now his family. He thought about hiring a hit-man, but knew it would come back to him and he'd spend his life in prison. Not that he would ever do it, but it was nice to fantasize.

William moved to Bozeman and went to work for a firm run by a good friend of his father's. He talked with Debora at least once a week and face-timed with his daughter every day. He was slowing making progress with his wife and she agreed to spend the next weekend with him. He was thrilled and relieved. He knew that she still loved him and they were close to reconciling.

Monica got into her car about thirty minutes later, but just drove to the Mall and William realized it was going to be an all-day event to keep track of her and follow her home.

He was sickened to think she was living so close. If he talked Debora into moving here, would they run into her? Would she ever be out of his life?


Chapter 2
Monica Chapter 2

By Roxanna Andrews

From Chaper 1 - William moved to Bozeman and went to work for a firm run by a good friend of his father's. He talked with Debora at least once a week and face-timed with his daughter every day. He was slowing making progress with his wife and she agreed to spend the next weekend with him. He was thrilled and relieved. He knew that she still loved him and they were close to reconciling. 

Monica got into her car about thirty minutes later, but just drove to the Mall and William realized it was going to be an all-day event to keep track of her and follow her home.

He was sickened to think she was living so close. If he talked Debora into moving here, would they run into her? Would she ever be out of his life?

*****************

The sun had been down for hours before Monica finally finished her shopping spree and started her trip home.

William had been ready to give up, but he couldn't. He had to know where she lived. He didn't know what he was going to do when he found out. What could he do? But somehow it would make him feel better.

William assumed she lived in the city but when she took the exit for Big Sky, he realized she didn't live in Bozeman. He couldn't imagine her living in a town like Big Sky. It was so small and offered none of the things Monica craved in her life. What was going on? Maybe she was visiting someone, but it was late for that.

After about thirty minutes of driving, Monica pulled her car to the side of the road. William drove past her wondering what she was up to. Maybe something was wrong with her car. He'd like to just leave her stranded, cell service along this route was spotty, but his upbringing wouldn't allow him to do that. He pulled over and stopped. Getting out, he stood by the driver side door.

Monica leaned against the bumper of her car. She'd had plenty of time to formulate a plan. "Are you following me, William? You're not very good at it. I've known you were behind me since I left the cafe. What do you plan on doing?"

The roadway was pitch black, no lights and almost no traffic at this time of night. He could kill her and no one would see him. Who was he kidding? He'd never do it, he wasn't cut out to be a murderer.

"I was just curious as to where you're living. I'd heard you'd left town shortly after I did. When I saw you at Perry's Cafe, I thought you were stalking me."

"Don't flatter yourself. I wouldn't waste my time."

He saw the flash of her white teeth in the darkness and knew she was laughing at him.

"What are you doing here, Monica? Did you find another victim? Someone else to ruin? I can't see any other reason for your living in Big Sky."

The clouds parted and the moon illuminated Monica in the darkness. The look on her face told him he hit a nerve. "You are here because of someone aren't you? Who is the poor slob? Whose life do you plan to destroy this time?" William's hands balled into fists at his side. "I won't let you ruin someone else, Monica. Even if I have to hire a team of private detectives to follow your every move."

Monica took out the gun she'd been hiding behind her back and pointed it at William. Her father had bought it for her two years ago and made her take lessons to learn to use it. He knew as many people as his daughter tended to enrage, she might need it one day.

"Monica don't be stupid..." He saw the muzzle flash. The bullet hit his heart within a millisecond of leaving the barrel. He collapsed on the roadside. His unseeing eyes stared up at the star-filled night sky, its beauty wasted on him now.

Monica threw the gun on the car seat. She grabbed William by his feet and dragged him into the bushes. He was heavy, which she hadn't accounted for, so it took her almost ten minutes to drag him far enough off the highway to be completely hidden. Her plan had been to put him behind the wheel of his car, start it and let it run into a tree or rock formation. She realized now she'd never be able to get him in his car.

She worried about her car being seen by the occasional passing vehicle. It wasn't one you'd forget. There was a small grouping of trees just off the road. She decided to chance driving the coupe into the grove, fearing a flat or it getting stuck, but it had to be done.

Starting William's car, she drove it over the shoulder into the empty field that bordered the highway. Pointing it at a tree about a hundred yards from the road, she got out while it was still running. There was a downward slope and she watched as the car accelerated, narrowly missing her foot and smashed into a tree.

She then went back to where William's body lay in the bushes and began the long process of dragging him to his car. Doing this in four-inch heels became impossible and she had to remove them. She was grateful for the slope that made the pulling and tugging a bit easier.

It took her almost an hour to drag the body to where the car had crashed. She was planning on setting it on fire, but wished she could get the bullet out so it would be thought just an accident. Digging her fingers into William's still chest, she gagged as her fingers probed the hole. She felt nothing.

Pulling the body into a sitting position she leaned it against the open driver's side door. The body fell forward against her and she saw blood on his back and a hole in his jacket. The bullet had gone all the way through. She pushed the body back, hoping it looked natural.

Wiping her hands on her pants, Monica retrieved her shoes on the way back to her car. She always carried a five-gallon gas can in her trunk since moving to Big Sky, afraid of running out of gas on the barren highway.

The gas poured out over William and the car like a toxic rain. Trailing the gas out so she could be away from the car when the fire started, she used the lighter kept for the occasional cigarette to set fire to the gas trail. Monica watched, mesmerized by the flame licking up the gas trail and igniting the pool around the car. William's body was the first to be consumed, the interior of the car was next.

Monica ran to her car, knowing she would leave blood and gasoline on the inside of her beautiful new Jaguar. She'd be home in fifteen minutes and would wash out the car and burn her clothes. Throwing the gas can in the trunk, she got behind the wheel, praying it wouldn't get stuck.

She didn't turn on her lights and used the glow cast by the fire to show the way. The coup had plenty of horsepower and made it out of the grove easily. Making sure no cars were coming, she reentered the highway. Turning on her lights, she accelerated as she sped from the scene of her crime.

Stupid William! Look what he made her do. It was his fault. She couldn't allow him to ruin her chances with Rob. Beautiful Rob who would be home tomorrow from his honeymoon. She had such plans.

Author Notes I don't doubt there are many punctuation errors as well as others. I did so much rewriting here and didn't run it thru my Grammarly program. You guys will have be my grammar program today and pretty much every time. Sorry. =}


Chapter 3
Monica Chapter 3

By Roxanna Andrews

From chapter 2 - The gas poured out over William and the car like a toxic rain. Trailing the gas out so she could be away from the car when the fire started, she used the lighter kept for the occasional cigarette to set fire to the gas trail. Monica watched, mesmerized by the flame licking up the gas trail and igniting the pool around the car. William's body was the first to be consumed, the interior of the car was next.

Monica ran to her car, knowing she would leave blood and gasoline on the inside of her beautiful new Jaguar. She'd be home in fifteen minutes and would wash out the car and burn her clothes. Throwing the gas can in the trunk, she got behind the wheel, praying it wouldn't get stuck.

She didn't turn on her lights and used the glow cast by the fire to show the way. The coup had plenty of horsepower and made it out of the grove easily. Making sure no cars were coming, she reentered the highway. Turning on her lights, she accelerated as she sped from the scene of her crime.

Stupid William! Look what he made her do. It was his fault. She couldn't allow him to ruin her chances with Rob. Beautiful Rob who would be home tomorrow from his honeymoon. She had such plans.

*******

Rob and Sarah were met at the Bozeman International Airport by Sarah's brother, Nathan and his wife, Janelle.

"Hawaii was wonderful. Beautiful weather every day, breathtaking scenery, and so relaxing," Sarah told them. "Our condo was right on the beach, so incredible."

"I'm glad you had a wonderful time. But you're not very tan for having been right on the beach," noted Janelle.

"Well, I got a bad burn the first day, so had to cover up the rest of the time. I did tan, but it peeled away, so disappointing. I wanted to be the envy of Big Sky."

"I told her to wear a suntan lotion with a higher SPF but she didn't listen. I was the smart one and used SPF 30," said Rob.

"Yeah, and you don't have any tan at all," Sarah teased.

"I'll get one soon enough working outside this summer. Seems we have to be outside all the time in Big Sky compared to Kalispell."

The couples stopped for dinner at a popular diner in Bozeman before getting on the road back to Big Sky.

"Look at that," Nathan said as they passed a fire burning up to the highway. "Do you think it's been reported yet?"

"I don't have any cell service. Let's pull over and check it out," Rob suggested.

Others had pulled over as well. "It's a car fire." A bystander told them. "Everything around it is going up, the brush, trees. I sent my wife down the road to get cell service and call the fire department. I think there is a person in there." The man shook his head. "What a way to go."

They all knew if a person had been in the car, there would be no saving them now.

Back on the road, the couples were rather subdued by the fact that a life had been lost. "Such a horrible way to die," said Janelle.

As they got closer to Big Sky, two fire trucks passed them, lights on and sirens blaring.
***

Monica pulled into her garage and hit the remote to close the door.

Getting out, she peeled off her jeans so she wouldn't smear blood anywhere else. She went into the house and threw them into the fireplace along with her blouse. Pulling on sweats and a t-shirt, she grabbed the upholstery cleaner the Jaguar dealership gave her, and a rag. She spent thirity minutes scrubbing the leather. There were only a few spots of blood and it all came out. She threw the rag into the fireplace and lit it.

She showered, getting the blood and gas smell off of her. Putting on a robe she poured herself a drink and went to sit by the fire. Her hand shook slightly as she brought the vodka to her lips. She soon steadied and pushed the murder out of her mind as she did with all the unpleasant things she had done in her life. She wouldn't think of it again after that night.
***

Rob didn't have to start work until Monday, but he went into the station after church on Sunday. He wanted to see if there was anything about the fire they had seen Saturday night.

The bakery was closed on Sundays but Sarah went to check on how things looked for Monday morning.

The bakery was pristine. Everything looked clean and neat. She was very happy with the assistants she'd left in charge, her cousin and a college student who worked part-time. She turned on the laptop and saw they had even made a profit and had a large order for a party. Sarah was thrilled.

She took a few leftover cookies to give to Rob and locked the shop.

Rob found the official report on a fire just outside of Big Sky along the highway. It had been a car fire and a man's body had been found next to the car. It looked like he tried to get out, and collapsed. An autopsy was being done and the body had not yet been identified. The car's license showed it was registered to a William Myers of Kalispell.

The brush had caught and spread the fire out about three hundred yards from the car. It had burned right up to the highway. The quick notification of the fire department had kept it from becoming a major forest fire.

Rob wondered what had caused the car to run off the road and burst into flame. It wasn't common for a car to start on fire after a crash, it happened, of course, but was not the norm. The fire department would, no doubt, look into it. He'd have a talk with the responding officer as well.

He was going out the door to leave when he saw a Jaguar coup pull into the parking lot. A beautiful young woman got out and walked up to the door. Rob pushed it open for her.

"I want to report some suspicious activity around my home," she told him. She flashed brilliant white teeth as she smiled at him.

"I'm not on duty right now, but you can report it to the desk sergeant and someone will go out to your home and have a look," Rob explained and left.

Monica was very disappointed that Rob wasn't on duty, and even more so that he hadn't paid more attention to her. Her only reason for being there to report the fake crime was to get Rob to come to her house.

She stood in the reception area debating what to do. Should she just go home or make a false report? Deciding to go home, she watched Rob leave, and went back out to the parking lot to her car. She sat there for a while thinking about her next move. The only way she could think to get Rob to her home was in an official capacity, investigating a crime. But he was the Sheriff, he might send someone else. Maybe this would require a bit more planning.

When Rob got home, he told Sarah the details he'd learned about the fire. "I wonder what made him drive off the road. Did he fall asleep, have a flat and lose control? People always drive too fast along that stretch."

"It's very sad someone died. That's the third accident along that route this year. Maybe they need to lower the speed limit."

"I'm sure people would obey it." Rob smiled.

"You could station a patrolman there, have him hide behind a billboard like in the old days. Think of all the tickets you could write. It would be a great source of revenue for the town."

Ignoring Sarah's attempt at being funny, Rob grabbed a bag off the table. "Hey, you didn't tell me you brought home cookies," Rob said, shoving one in his mouth.

"I didn't want you to ruin your appetite. We're going to my folks for dinner."

"I have never had a cookie ruin my appetite in my entire life." Rob put his arms around Sarah and kissed her neck, then went to change.

Monica stood in the shadows outside Rob and Sarah's home. She could see them through the window and cringed when she saw Rob kiss Sarah. What does he see in her?

After thirty minutes of watching, the garage door opened and a car pulled out. Oh, what luck. The house will be empty.

Monica waited until she was sure they wouldn't return and used the key she had made to open the front door. She smiled. It is amazing the things you could get people to do for the right amount of money. A payoff to the builder's assistant and she now had a key to her beloved's home.

She stood in the foyer and took a deep breath. It smelled like earthy musk, just like Rob. She looked around the living room, touching things as she made her way to the master bedroom.

Author Notes Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) involves a pattern of self-centered, arrogant thinking and behavior, a lack of empathy and consideration for other people, and an excessive need for admiration. Others often describe people with NPD as cocky, manipulative, selfish, patronizing, and demanding. This way of thinking and behaving surfaces in every area of the narcissists life: from work and friendships to family and love relationships.

People with narcissistic personality disorder are extremely resistant to changing their behavior, even when its causing them problems. Their tendency is to turn the blame on to others. Whats more, they are extremely sensitive and react badly to even the slightest criticisms, disagreements, or perceived slights, which they view as personal attacks

Monica-a spoiled narcissist obssessed with Rob
Rob Mitchell-Sheriff of Big Sky, Sarah's husband
Sarah Mitchell-Wife of Rob, ex-detective, now a bakery owner
Nathan-Sarah's brother
Janelle-Nathan's wife


Chapter 4
Monica Chapter 4

By Roxanna Andrews

Ending of Chapter 3 - Monica stood in the shadows outside Rob and Sarah's home. She could see them through the window and cringed when she saw Rob kiss Sarah. What does he see in her?

After thirty minutes of watching, the garage door opened and a car pulled out. Oh, what luck. The house will be empty.

Monica waited until she was sure they wouldn't return and used the key she had made to open the front door. She smiled. It is amazing the things you could get people to do for the right amount of money. A payoff to the builder's assistant and she now had a key to her beloved's home.

She stood in the foyer and took a deep breath. It smelled like earthy musk, just like Rob. She looked around the living room, touching things as she made her way to the master bedroom.

******

Looking around the master bedroom Monica sneered. Sarah had no taste at all.

She went to the dresser and started opening drawers. It upset her to see Sarah's underwear so close to Rob's. She pushed Sarah's undergarments further away and took a pair of Rob's. Folding them into a tiny square, she put them in one of her purse pockets and zipped it shut.

A picture of Sarah and Rob sat on the nightstand and Monica took it as well, holding it close to her heart. She could always cut Sarah out of the picture.

She wandered into the bathroom, opening the medicine cabinet. There was nothing of interest, but she couldn't resist the urge to rearrange the shelves, exchanging the top row for the bottom. Sarah would think she was going crazy.

She went into the kitchen. It was so neat, not a dish out of place. Sarah must be a neat freak. Over the stove was a magnetic strip with different size knives stuck to it. Rearranging them, she took a small knife with a wicked-looking curved blade. Wouldn't it be ironic if she stabbed Sarah with her own knife? She dropped it in her purse.

Measuring spoon and cups also hung on the wall and she put them in reverse order. Opening the refrigerator door, she examined the contents. A rather pathetic display. Sarah must do all the cooking. Poor Rob.

Opening a door just off the kitchen, she found herself in a small office. Going to the desk, she looked through the drawers. She found the letter from Michael Lawson, telling of the money the family was giving Sarah. A million and a half dollars was a nice amount of money but it was chicken feed compared to what her daddy made every year. She replaced the letter and turn on the desktop computer.

Monica had a high IQ and had excelled in her tech classes at Harvard University. She had been sought after by different firms upon graduating, wanting to hire her as a programmer. But Monica was above such things as making a living. She had no wish to be saddled with a mundane job as she had seen happen to so many of her peers. She was too important to be a run of the mill computer programmer. They had to be joking, seeking her out for such a job.

Getting past the security program and cracking the password was a piece of cake. She did a quick search to see what kinds of things Rob liked to look for on the internet. Most had to do with crime, boring, recipes had been searched, even more boring, and decorating ideas. Dear little Sarah wanting to make her home a showpiece, no doubt. She seemed a wee bit pathetic to Monica. She saw they had a security system and a camera had captured her tour through the house.

She erased the footage that featured her and shut off the camera so she could leave the house without it triggering the motion activation.

Another picture of Rob and Sarah sat on the desk and Monica help herself to it as well. She left the office, turning out the light and shutting the door.

The sun would be down in minutes and Monica wanted to leave before it got dark. She couldn't risk turning on lights. Going out the back door, she locked it behind her.

Monica walked home, staying in the shadows as much as possible. She had to pass three houses on the way to hers and didn't want to be seen. It was dark now and she reached her home undetected by the neighbors.


"Hey, did you move the picture I had of us on the nightstand? The one we used for our engagement photo?" Sarah asked. She was getting ready for bed and noticed the missing picture.

Rob came out of the bathroom and crawled under the bed covers. "No. Never touched it."

"Maybe it fell." Sarah looked under the bed. "It's not down here. Where would it be?"

"I'm sure it will turn up. How come you rearranged the medicine cabinet? You didn't like the way I had it?"

"The medicine cabinet? I never touched anything in there. What are you talking about?"

Rob stared at her. Sarah went to look. "I swear to you, I didn't do this. I left it just the way you had it. I don't care how the medicine cabinet is arranged. This is just too weird. What's going on?"

"Maybe we have a gremlin. That's why the house was so reasonably priced, it's haunted."

"This isn't funny Rob. The picture is missing, things have been moved around. Did you move all my underwear over like this?" She opened the dresser drawer so he could see. Rob got out of bed to look.

"Not that I remember." He and Sarah stared at each other. "Let's look at the rest of the house."

They scanned the living room and saw nothing missing or out of place. Sarah went into the kitchen. She did a full turn looking at all the counter-tops and walls. "Rob, come here. Look at the knives, they're all rearranged and one is missing. And the measuring spoon and cups are in the opposite order. Who would have done this? Who could have gotten in?"

"I don't know, but the picture I had on my desk in the office is missing and I think someone was on the computer. I'm looking at the security tape."

Sarah followed him into the office. There was no footage of a stranger in or outside the house.

"Someone has erased this," Rob said. "It's been turned off."

Sarah sat down. "You've got to be kidding me. David Lawson is dead, isn't he? I saw his body, I know he was dead. Who's doing this?"

Rob knelt in front of Sarah and took her by the shoulders. She was shaking. "It's okay. We'll find out. Don't worry." He pulled Sarah into his arms. She stared over his shoulder, feeling sick. Please, Lord, I can't do this again.

"You don't think it's connected the human trafficking ring Don Russell is working on? Could someone think we're still working with him?"

"I don't see how it could be related. Why would they come in and move stuff around and take our photos? They'd be a lot more direct I'd think, like beating me up in a dark alley. No this doesn't have anything to do with that. This is personal. I'll have things dusted for prints, maybe there's DNA. I'll bring the guys over tomorrow. For now let's go to bed."

Sarah laughed. "Yeah, like I'm going to sleep."

"I doubt I will either, but you have to be up and at the bakery by five. You need to try to get some sleep, but let's get our guns out just in case."

They put their guns on the nightstands and got into bed. Rob pulled Sarah close and held her through the night. They finally fell asleep in the wee hours, but it was a restless sleep. Sarah kept jerking awake, visions of David Lawson in her head.

Author Notes Monica-a spoiled narcissist obssessed with Rob
Rob Mitchell-Sheriff of Big Sky, Sarah's husband
Sarah Mitchell-Wife of Rob, ex-detective, now a bakery owner
Nathan-Sarah's brother
Janelle-Nathan's wife
David Lawson-Sarah's stalker, now deceased.
Don Russell-Sarah's partner when she was a detective. He is working to bring down a human trafficking ring.


Chapter 5
Monica Chapter 5

By Roxanna Andrews

chapter 5
Ending of Chapter 4 - They put their guns on the nightstands and got into bed. Rob pulled Sarah close and held her through the night. They finally fell asleep in the wee hours, but it was a restless sleep. Sarah kept jerking awake, visions of David Lawson in her head.


**************


Early the next morning Rob had his officers out to the house, doing forensics. They didn't have a CSI team. No one was an expert in forensics, but the men took classes every year to keep up on all the latest techniques and discoveries in the world of forensic science.

"I got some prints, we'll run them through fingerprint analysis and see what comes up. I swabbed the computer keys for DNA, but I wouldn't get my hopes over that. It's going to be mixed with yours and Sarah's. I'll send it off to Bozeman DNA lab. It will take weeks, maybe months to come back. Hopefully, the prints will tell us something," Martin Robinson told Rob.

Martin was one of Rob's best men, well-liked and respected. He had the occasional problem with the locals. He was black and some of the older ranchers didn't like a black man telling them what to do, but those same ranchers asked for Martin when cattle were missing. He was an excellent tracker.

"Thanks, Martin. Let me know as soon as you find out anything." Rob gave him a pat on the back. "I meant to ask about the woman who came to the station yesterday. She told me there was suspicious stuff happening around her house. Did you send someone over to check it out?"

"No one reported anything yesterday. I was on duty from one to eight and no lady came in."

"Really? She was young, attractive, drove a Jag. She didn't report anything?"

Martin shook his head. "I didn't see anyone like that. It was so boring yesterday, I'd have remembered an attractive young woman."

"I guess she changed her mind. That's strange."
***

Sarah had gone to work at the bakery. She wanted to stay at the house, but Rob wouldn't let her. "You're not a cop anymore, remember. Go to work. I'll come by later, but we won't know anything for a while."
***

"Hi." Sarah's cousin, Nadine, said as Sarah walked into the bakery, causing the bell over the door to ring. She gave her a big hug. "Welcome home. How was Hawaii?"

"It was beautiful. We had a wonderful time. Our condo was right on the beach. It was amazing."

"I'm trying to talk Kenny into taking me there for our tenth anniversary. I think I've earned it." She gave Sarah a big smile. "I'm kidding. Kenny's great, wouldn't trade him for Tom Cruise. Brad Pitt, maybe, but not Tom."

Sarah laughed. "I'm not going to tell him you said that."

"Is Rob back at work?"

"He is. I'm not sure Big Sky is going to be exciting enough for him. He's used to bigger cases. But being a Sheriff will look good on his resume."

"No, there's not too much excitement in Big Sky. We have had a few murders, but I'm not going to wish for one just to keep Rob busy."

"No, don't do that. I want to thank you for the great job you and Sadie did while I was gone. I came in yesterday and the shop looked great. I saw we made a profit, and we have a party booked."

"You can thank your grandma's cinnamon rolls for the profit. The party is a kid's birthday and they want cupcakes instead of a cake."

"Sounds easy enough. You know, we had a weird thing happen at the house last night."

"Oh yeah, what do you mean?" Nadine walked back and forth between cupboards and the large island where they mixed up all the baked goods. She was getting a large batch of dough ready for cinnamon rolls. She punched down the raised dough in one huge bowl to raise a second time and dumped out the ready dough. Sarah watched as she rolled it out on the parchment-covered marble and slathered it in melted butter. Next, she spread the cinnamon mixture over it.

"That smells so good," Sarah commented.

"Doesn't it. The cinnamon rolls have become very popular. Words getting out. I've had to double the batches. Anyway, what about the weird stuff happening at your house?"

"Last night I noticed the picture of Rob and I was missing off my nightstand. I can't find it anywhere. We looked through the house to see if anything else was missing. Nothing was gone except another picture and a knife from my magnetic board in the kitchen. But stuff had been rearranged. It freaked me out."

Nadine looked at her with a startled expression.

"What is it? Why are you looking at me like that?"

"Well, there were some weird rumors about that house."

"What do you mean?"

"The builders said they would come in the morning and find their equipment moved, footprints in the sawdust that weren't the construction workers. Nothing was ever taken, but there were things written on the walls."

"What kind of things?"

"YOU BELONG TO ME. The construction guys thought someone just wanted to buy the house. But it was still weird."

"Yeah, that is weird. No one told us about it." Sarah had a worried look on her face. "It's like deja vu."

Rob stopped by the bakery on his way to the station. Sarah gave him a dozen cinnamon rolls to take back to the men.

"The guys are going to be so happy that I'm married to a baker."

"Nadine told me some things about the house."

Rob could see Sarah was more upset now than when she left the house. "Like what?"

She told him what Nadine had told her. "I don't like it that they never said a word to us about this. Maybe someone wanted the house and are getting back at us for buying it."

"We took fingerprints and swabbed for DNA, but it takes time to get that back. We'll see if the fingerprints tell us anything. Martin had the guys look all around outside to see if there are any footprints, but there's none. Martin thinks they got in by the front door."

"How? The lock didn't look tampered with. They had a key?" Sarah's eyes widened.

"I'm calling the real-estate agent to see if anyone could have a key. They usually change the locks right after a house sells, so even if another agent had a key, they shouldn't be able to use it. Maybe they didn't change the locks. I'll look into it. Try not to worry." Rob held her a minute, gave her a kiss and left.
***


"Miss Landers?"

"Lonnie?" Monica said on the other end of the phone. "What do you want?"

"The police were here. They're asking if there was any way someone could have gotten a key to Mitchell's house." The voice on the other end sounded panicked.

"Mr. McGovern, there's no need to panic. I didn't do anything. Nothing was taken...do you want more money? Is that what this is about?"

"Maybe you should leave town. Sooner or later they're going to find out it was you."

Monica kept her cool. "Not if you don't say anything. Why don't we meet, say, at nine tonight at the park? I'll make it very worth your while to keep your mouth shut about this."

Lonnie McGovern's hand shook as he held the phone. If he could get enough money, he could maybe leave town for a while until it all blew over. Why did he give her a key? He was a sucker for a pretty face and for the money she offered. He had gambling debts.

He cleared his throat, but his voice still came out in a squeak. "Okay, I'll meet you, but no more going in that house." He was so stupid. Why did he give her that key?

"Don't worry, Lonnie. Everything will be fine. Meet me in the park at nine."

He agreed and hung up. He paced his office, nervous and worried about getting caught. It had been the Sheriff's house, after all. He'd done some shady things in his life, but he was getting too old for this kind of stress.

Monica paced as well. She was going to have to get rid of Lonnie. She knew she shouldn't have trusted him. He was a little weasel of a man with no backbone at all. She hoped he'd keep it together until tonight.

Author Notes Monica-a spoiled narcissist obssessed with Rob
Rob Mitchell-Sheriff of Big Sky, Sarah's husband
Sarah Mitchell-Wife of Rob, ex-detective, now a bakery owner
Martin Robinson - Sheriff's Deputy
Nadine-Sarah's cousin and employee at the bakery
Sadie-Asst Baker, part-time employee
Lonnie McGovern-builder's asst.
Nathan-Sarah's brother
Janelle-Nathan's wife
David Lawson-Sarah's stalker, now deceased.


Chapter 6
Monica Chapter 6

By Roxanna Andrews

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

Ending of chapter 5 - Lonnie McGovern's hand shook as he held the phone. If he could get enough money, he could maybe leave town for a while until it all blew over. Why did he give her a key? He was a sucker for a pretty face and for the money she offered. He had gambling debts.

He cleared his throat, but his voice still came out in a squeak. "Okay, I'll meet you, but no more going in that house." He was so stupid. Why did he give her that key?

"Don't worry, Lonnie. Everything will be fine. Meet me in the park at nine."

He agreed and hung up. He paced his office, nervous and worried about getting caught. It had been the Sheriff's house, after all. He'd done some shady things in his life, but he was getting too old for this kind of stress.

Monica paced as well. She was going to have to get rid of Lonnie. She knew she shouldn't have trusted him. He was a little weasel of a man with no backbone at all. She hoped he'd keep it together until tonight.
******


Big Sky Recreational Park was only about a quarter mile from Monica's home. She decided walking there would be best. The Jag was too easily reconized. Carrying a tote bag, she brought a hammer, a rag, and her gun in case it was needed. There was also a knife, the one she had taken from Rob's home. If she had to dig out a bullet, she didn't want to have to use her fingers again.

The moon was behind a cloud most of the time and the stars were a no show. Monica used a flashlight with little fear of being seen. People went to bed early in Big Sky.

She was dressed in all black, a hoodie jacket and jeans. On her feet were tennis shoes and she wore gloves. A black woolen scarf was wrapped around her neck. It was a cold night, snow had been forecast before morning. She just hoped it didn't start until after she returned home. Pulling the hood up on the jacket to cover her hair and part of her face, she walked the distance with little effort.

Lonnie McGovern pulled his beat-up Lincoln into the park and quickly found a parking place. He could afford a much nicer car on his salary, but most of his paycheck went to his bookie. Lonnie was not a lucky gambler.

He sat in his car waiting for Monica. Figuring she would be there before him, he wondered where she was.

"Lonnie!" Hearing his name, Lonnie looked around, but saw no one. He got out of his car.

"Lonnie! Are you there? I seem to have lost my way. I guess it wasn't the smartest thing to take a walk in the dark."

Lonnie walked down the path that led through the middle of the park. "Monica? Where are you?"

"Over here! Lonnie, I'm so glad you showed up. I can't believe I got lost. I'm so dumb." She laughed, flashing her brilliant white teeth. Even on such a dark night they could be clearly seen.

Lonnie felt warm all over. "Where's your car," Lonnie asked her.

"I decided to walk, it's such a nice night. I just live up the road... oh no, I seem to have dropped my scarf somewhere. My grandmother gave it to me. I'd hate to lose it." She sounded quite distressed.

Lonnie searched the ground and spotted the scarf. "Here it is."

Monica had slipped the hammer out of her bag and as Lonnie bent to retrieve the scarf, she hit him hard in the back of his head. The blow knocked him to the ground and Monica continued hitting him. Blood flew up covering her face and much of her clothing. Her gloves were soaked.

When she was certain he was dead, she got his wallet out of his pocket and emptied it of money and credit cards. Dropping the wallet beside him, she searched his pockets to see if he had anything of value. Finding his cell phone, she took it as well, along with his coat and shoes, hoping to make it look like he had been murdered and robbed.

Using the rag, she wiped the blood from her face and cleaned off the hammer. Pulling off the blood-soaked gloves, she threw them in the bag along with the hammer and everything she had taken.

Monica knew her clothes were covered in blood, but the black hid most of it. She scrubbed the soles of her shoes in the dirt to clean off any blood so not to leave tracks. Straightening the hood on her jacket, she made sure it covered her hair and part of her face. She grabbed the tote and hoping no one else was out roaming the streets, she began the short walk home.

A family of raccoons hiding in the bushes were the only witnesses to the murder. Monica could see their eyes illuminated in the dark.

"What are you looking at?" she asked.
*****

Rob walked into the station. "I come bearing gifts," he announced.

It didn't take long for the cinnamon rolls to disappear.

"This, I could get used to," Martin said, filling his coffee cup. He raised it toward Rob. "Thanks, boss."

"Thank Sarah, she sent them. She also told me something about the house we bought." Rob asked Martin about the rumors surrounding the house. "Did you ever hear any of them?"

"Yeah, in fact, they had us look in to it. We set up cameras, but never saw a thing. They had either done all they wanted to do, or knew we set up cameras, so quit coming around. It was weird, but no one was hurt and nothing was taken. We doubled up on the rounds we made of the site, but never saw anything suspicious."

"Well, Sarah is freaked out. She had a stalker, you know."

Martin nodded.

"He did some of this kind of thing. Getting in her place, taking things, moving stuff around. It's just a little over a year since he kidnapped her. This whole thing has her pretty upset."

"We'll patrol the neighborhood. We put the word out asking about any strangers seen in the area. I'm hoping Mason will come up with something on the fingerprints soon." Martin checked his phone to see if there was a text.

"Let's hope the guy isn't too intelligent and left prints everywhere."

"I'll check with Mason again, find out how close he is to putting the prints in the database."

"Thanks."

The phone rang at the sergeant's desk. "Sheriff's station. How long has he been missing?... Yeah, okay, I'll tell the Sheriff. We'll try to get someone out to his place as soon as possible."

"What's going on?" Rob asked.

"Lonnie McGovern didn't show up for work. He didn't look good yesterday. Lonnie's not answering his phone. He has heart problems and his boss is afraid he might have died in his sleep. Wants one of us to check it out."

"I'll go," Martin said. "I called Mason. He is about ready to upload the fingerprints. I told him to call you with the results."

"Thanks, Martin."

Martin was glad the weather man had been wrong about it snowing during the night. He hated driving in the snow. He was halfway to Lonnie's house when a call came for him to get to the Park. A worker had found a body.

Author Notes Monica-a spoiled narcissist obssessed with Rob
Rob Mitchell-Sheriff of Big Sky, Sarah's husband
Sarah Mitchell-Wife of Rob, ex-detective, now a bakery owner
Martin Robinson - Sheriff's Deputy
Nadine-Sarah's cousin and employee at the bakery
Sadie-Asst Baker, part-time employee
Lonnie McGovern-builder's asst.
Nathan-Sarah's brother
Janelle-Nathan's wife
David Lawson-Sarah's stalker, now deceased.


Chapter 7
Monica Chapter 7

By Roxanna Andrews

Ending of chapter 6 - "Lonnie McGovern didn't show up for work. He didn't look good yesterday. Lonnie's not answering his phone. He has heart problems and his boss is afraid he might have died in his sleep. Wants one of us to check it out."

"I'll go," Martin said. "I called Mason. He is about ready to upload the fingerprints. I told him to call you with the results."

"Thanks, Martin."

Martin was glad the weather man had been wrong about it snowing during the night. He hated driving in the snow. He was halfway to Lonnie's house when a call came for him to get to the Park. A worker had found a body.

*****

Martin pulled into the park to find the coroner had gotten there ahead of him. 

A deputy was securing the area with yellow crime scene tape. Another was taking pictures.

Martin exited his vehicle and went up to the young man who didn't look old enough to be out of high school let alone the medical examiner.

"What have we got, Doc?" Martin stared down at the bludgeoned corpse of Lonnie McGovern.

Dr. Grant Young was squatting next to the body, touching the skull with his gloved hands. "Well, I just got here myself, but it looks like this poor fellow was beaten to death with the always handy blunt object. His skull is pretty much pulverized. I'd say he was attacked by a hammer. I've seen this before."

He looked up at Martin with clear blue eyes. "Did you know more people are killed every year by hammers and knives than guns? No one believes it, but it's true. He's been dead, give or take an hour or two, due to cold temps, ten hours. That would put the time of death around nine, ten last night."

A deputy handed Martin the dead man's ID. "This was found lying next to the body."

Martin took the blood-stained wallet secured in a plastic evidence bag. "Well, Mr. McGovern. It looks like your boss was correct in being worried you might be dead. But I don't think you died in your sleep."

"Take Farris and go see Mr. Duncan at Duncan Builders," Martin instructed the deputy. "He called in a Well-fare check for McGovern this morning. Said he didn't show up for work. It seems awful quick to call in a missing person. Find out where Duncan was last night and why he was so worried about Mr. McGovern."

"Sure thing, Lieutenant."

"His shoes are missing, and I'm guessing he had a coat," said Dr. Young. "That's missing too. This may have been a simple robbery, but this seems like overkill, pardon the pun, for a robbery. It feels personal to use this level of violence. Someone may have had a beef with the deceased and is trying to make it look like a robbery."

Martin nodded, agreeing with the Coroner. The liuetenant looked up to see Rob Mitchell pull up and get out of his car.

"What's going on?" Rob asked.

"Would you believe we have a very deceased Mr. McGovern," Martin informed him.

Rob's eyebrows went up. "The same Mr. McGovern we got a call about this morning?"

"The very same. I know Lonnie. He's a heavy gambler and I've had to question him a few times about unsavory goings-on in the world of gambling."

"Is there anything but unsavory goings-on in the world of gambling? This is kind of a coincidence, don't you think?"

Martin nodded. "I don't believe in coincidences. I sent two deputies over to Duncan Builders to question Mr. Duncan on his whereabouts last night. Coroner puts the time of death at around nine last night. The guy was beaten to death, Doc thinks the perp used a hammer. He said more people die from hammers every year than guns. Do you think that's true?"

"If Doc Young said it then it's true. What else did he say?"

"It looks like a robbery, but Doc thinks it's a bit excessive. The guy's skull is pulverized."

"Do you think it could be connected to his gambling?"

"It could be. From what I've heard, Lonnie had more bad luck than good. I'm sure he owed people that no one wants to owe. They took his shoes and maybe his coat. That doesn't sound like something an enforcer would do."

"No, it doesn't. If they're sending a message, I don't get it. Whoever did this would be covered in blood, I'd think."

"Yes, the cast-off would be all over them. You don't do this kind of damage and walk away pristine," Doc Young interjected. "I don't see any footprints in blood, so they either took off their shoes or cleaned them off."

Rob nodded. "Can you tell me anything else, Doc?"

"Not until I get him on a table. I don't think there is much more to the story, but I'll give him a good going over." The coroner signaled for his assistant to help get the body on a gurney to be loaded into the Coroner's wagon.

"Keep me posted," Rob called after him. Dr. Young nodded.

"Did you see anything laying around that looks like evidence?" Rob asked Martin.

"I was just going to start looking when you pulled up. I'll have the guys go through the dumpsters and see if the shoes or murder weapon got tossed."

"There aren't any cameras here by any chance?"

Martin shook his head. "I've been trying to get the town council to give funds to get some installed. Parks are always a magnet for all kinds of unsavory goings-on. It would be good to have some installed."

"Yep, we want to be able to catch all that unsavory behavior on camera."

Martin smiled and nodded "Yes we do. I'm going to do a little investigative police work now, and see what I can find."

"Okay lieutenant, I'll leave you to it. I'm going back to the station. If you need more help, and if you find anything, let me know."

"Will do, boss."

****
Monica turned off her flashlight when she got into her neighborhood. The street lights were on and she stayed in the shadows as much as possible. She managed to slip into her home without being seen.

She quickly took off her blood-soaked clothes and threw them in the fireplace along with the bloody rag and all the things she had taken from Lonnie. Jumping in the shower, she scrubbed away the blood. The water turned a brownish red as it went down the drain.

Monica filled the sink with bleach and put the hammer in to soak. She smiled, remembering she had taken it from a neighbor's garage. She wondered if they had missed it.


Lighting the fire, she used the poker to stir the flames, making sure they spread to consume the clothes and other articles she placed in the fire. Almost forgetting her tennis shoes, she put them in at the last minute, pushing them into the flames.

Pouring a drink, she sat in front of the fire and went over all the details of the killing in her mind, making sure she hadn't forgotten anything and had covered her tracks. Satisfied that she had, she put it out of her mind, not be thought about again.

Knowing she wouldn't sleep, she turned on the TV and binge-watched all the Downton Abbey episodes she'd missed.

Author Notes Monica-a spoiled narcissist obssessed with Rob
Rob Mitchell-Sheriff of Big Sky, Sarah's husband
Sarah Mitchell-Wife of Rob, ex-detective, now a bakery owner
Martin Robinson - Sheriff Lieutenant
Doc Grant Young - County Coroner
Lonnie McGovern-builder's asst.


Chapter 8
Monica Chapter 8

By Roxanna Andrews

Ending of Chapter 7 -She quickly took off her blood-soaked clothes and threw them in the fireplace along with the bloody rag and all the things she had taken from Lonnie. Jumping in the shower, she scrubbed away the blood. The water turned a brownish red as it went down the drain.

Monica filled the sink with bleach and put the hammer in to soak. She smiled, remembering she had taken it from a neighbor's garage. She wondered if they had missed it.

Lighting the fire, she used the poker to stir the flames, making sure they spread to consume the clothes and other articles she placed in the fire. Almost forgetting her tennis shoes, she put them in at the last minute, pushing them into the flames.

Pouring a drink, she sat in front of the fire and went over all the details of the killing in her mind, making sure she hadn't forgotten anything and had covered her tracks. Satisfied that she had, she put it out of her mind, not be thought about again.

Knowing she wouldn't sleep, she turned on the TV and binge-watched all the Downton Abbey episodes she'd missed.


************

"What have you learned, Doc?" Sheriff Rob Mitchell asked. He and Martin Robinson stood in the medical examiner's autopsy room. The body of Lonnie McGovern lay on a table covered in a sheet.

"Well, other than the fact that he died from blunt force trauma and his last meal was spaghetti and meatballs, I think there's some garlic bread in there too." The doctor held up a bag of Lonnie's stomach content. "Not much."

"I don't need to see what Lonnie had for dinner," Rob said.

"Ed's Diner has a spaghetti dinner every Monday. You get a salad too, but it doesn't look like Lonnie had any. I'd say from the shape the man was in, he wasn't big on eating his veggies. It's a pretty good dinner, only about six bucks."

"Thanks, Doc, for the critique of Ed's. Anything else?"

"Nope. No fibers, no hairs, no foreign DNA. It was a clean crime scene."

"I'm pretty sure Lonnie knew whoever did this. Why else would he be in the park? He wasn't there for the swings. The person had to get close to use a hammer. Or it was an ambush, someone jumping him. But my gut tells me he knew his assailant," said Martin.

"Okay, lets go to Ed's and see if one of the workers knows anything helpful. Thanks Doc. "

"Maybe we can have lunch while we're there. I'm hungry," Martin said as they left the autopsy room, and the smell of disinfectant behind.

"How can you be hungry after seeing what Lonnie had for dinner last night?"

"I've seen worse."

Rob and Martin got a booth at Ed's and ordered burgers and fries. They asked their waitress if she knew Lonnie and if he had been in on Monday night.

"Yeah, I know Lonnie. I waited on him Monday. He was here at around six o'clock. Hard to believe he's dead."

"Did he say anything about going to the park or meeting anyone?"

"Not to me and I didn't see him talking to anyone else."

"Okay, thanks."

"I'll get your order in. It should be right up."

"Thanks." Turning to Martin, Rob shook his head. "This isn't going to be easy. We don't have any suspects, no witnesses, no evidence. It's like a ghost committed the murder."

"It's early days. Things go a bit slower out here in Big Sky. You just got to be patient. Someone saw something. They just don't know to connect it to the crime. We need to go public. Ask if anyone saw anything or anyone going to or leaving the park. We'll get it figured out."

The waitress brought the sodas the men ordered and the conversation turned to small talk and other cases.

"Did I tell you that they found a bullet at that car fire out towards Bozeman? It had the victim's DNA on it, human tissue. Looks like the car fire wasn't an accident after all," Martin told Rob.

Rob raised his eyebrows. "So who has jurisdiction? Bozeman?"

"Yeah, they're going to take it but may ask for our help. The guy was a lawyer. Just moved to Boseman. He was separated from his wife, but they were working on patching things up. She was pretty devastated according to my cousin. He's on the case. They had a three-year-old."

"Rough. How many family members do you have in law enforcement? Every time we talk about a case, you have a cousin working on it."

"There's about five of us. Might be a few I don't know about and there's more coming up. I have a nephew in the academy."

"Well, if they are all half the cop you are, we're lucky to have them."

"Thank you, Boss. They're all good."

Their lunch arrived and conversation ceased as they dug in.

****

Monica watched the news as Rob asked for help in the murder of Lonnie McGovern. "If you saw anyone going to or coming from the park between the hours of eight o'clock to after nine Monday night please contact law enforcement. We need the public's help to solve this crime."

Monica switch off the TV and poured herself a drink. She smiled. She was confident no one had seen her and wasn't the least worried.

"Dinner is ready, Miss Landers."

"Thank you, Anna."

Monica sat down to an exquisite dinner of beef medallions and mushrooms in red wine sauce. Anna was worth every penny she paid her.

Monica chewed slowly, her mind on Rob Mitchell and how she could manage to spend time with him. Maybe a neighborhood party. She hated the thought of having so many of the clodhoppers that lived around her in her home,  but it was a sacrifice she was going to have to make. Perhaps a smaller dinner party would be better. How else would Rob find out how special she was. When he saw her beautiful home and what an excellent hostess she was, he'd be impressed.

She would work up a menu with Anna and get the invitations out.

Monica smiled at her plan. Rob would be so wowed by her. Poor Sarah, she paled in comparison. What did he see in her? She was such a little nothing. I have to think on what to do to get dear little Sarah out of the way. 

 

Author Notes Monica-a spoiled narcissist obssessed with Rob
Rob Mitchell-Sheriff of Big Sky, Sarah's husband
Sarah Mitchell-Wife of Rob, ex-detective, now a bakery owner
Martin Robinson - Sheriff Lieutenant
Doc Grant Young - County Coroner
Lonnie McGovern-builder's asst.


Chapter 9
Monica Chapter 9

By Roxanna Andrews

Ending of Chapter 8 - Monica chewed slowly, her mind on Rob Mitchell and how she could manage to spend time with him. Maybe a neighborhood party. She hated the thought of having so many of the clodhoppers that lived around her in her home, but it was a sacrifice she was going to have to make. Perhaps a smaller dinner party would be better. How else would Rob find out how special she was. When he saw her beautiful home and what an excellent hostess she was, he'd be impressed.

She would work up a menu with Anna and get the invitations out.

Monica smiled at her plan. Rob would be so wowed by her. Poor Sarah, she paled in comparison. What did he see in her? She was such a little nothing. I have to think on what to do to get dear little Sarah out of the way. 
****************


Three people called the Sheriff Station to say they had seen someone leaving the park at around 9:30 Monday night. The person appeared to be a woman, dressed in jogging clothes. They couldn't see her face. A hoodie pulled up coering it. They didn't recognize anything about her. She carried a tote bag that had the local supermarket's logo.

The desk sergeant took the messages into Rob. Martin sat across from him as they went over several cases they were working on.

"Got another call about the McGovern murder, Boss. The callers all said they saw someone walking toward the Green Bluffs housing complex." The sergeant laid the form he'd filled out on Rob's desk.

"Thank you, Sergeant. Three calls and all say they think it was a woman. Do you think a woman could do that kind of damage?"

"Lonnie wasn't a big man, so I'd say it's possible," Martin said.

"The witnesses say the woman wasn't all that big, thin, but tall. She could have distracted him or maybe surprised him from behind."

"Don't you live in the Green Bluff complex?" asked Martin.

"Yes, I do. I can't say I know my neighbors too well yet. Most of the houses were empty when I moved in, some still are. Maybe we need to send some of the guys over to look through the dumpsters and trash. See if we find the tote. Could have the murder weapon in it, and Lonnie's missing clothes."

"I'll get on it." Martin pushed himself up and left the office.

Rob sat back and let his mind go over all the people in his neighborhood who fit the description of the woman. Clara Donaldson for one. She was tall, thin and in good shape. She looked like she could take on Lonnie without much problem. But why? Could there have been a dispute over something to do with the house? He'd check into it.

Rob concidered a few more women who fit the description and added them to the list. He turned to his computer and started doing background checks.

******

Sarah sat in her office at the bakery, going over accounts. They were doing well. Better than she had hoped. They were the only bakery in town, but so many of the women in Big Sky were wonderful bakers. Wives were her biggest competition. Her biggest block of customers seemed to be men on their way to work. She had no doubt their wives had no idea they were stopping to get coffee and a sweet roll.

Sarah heard the bell over the door ring, signaling a customer had come into the shop. After a moment there was a knock on her door.

"Come in."

Nadine opened the door. "Hey Sarah, there's a woman out here who wants to talk to you."

"Okay, I'll be right there." Sarah shut down her laptop and went into the bakery.

Monica Landers stood gazing into the display cases.

"You wanted to speak to me?"

"Oh, my. A person could gain twenty pounds just looking at all these fattening things. Hi, I'm Monica Landers." Monica held out a hand.

Sarah took it. "It's nice to meet you, Monica. I've seen you a few times in the neighborhood. At least driving by in your Jaguar. It's a beautiful car."

"A birthday gift from daddy." Monica handed Sarah an envelope. "I'm having a little get together at my place. A way to get to know the neighbors. I'd love for you and Rob to come."

"Well, that sounds very nice. I'm sure we'd love to."

"My email address is on the invitation. You can email me your acceptance or regrets. That way my chef can keep track of how many to prepare for. Maybe sometime soon we can have lunch together and get to know one another. Maybe next week sometime?"

"That sounds nice."

"Okay then. Goodbye for now." Monica turned and left the shop as quickly as she had come.

Sarah watched her go and a chill went down her spine. There was something about Monica. Something familiar and frightening. She appeared friendly, but her smile never reached her eyes. They held a hint of malice. It was as if she secretly hated Sarah.

"Well, you must be one of the elite. She doesn't talk to just anyone." Nadine came over and stood beside Sarah. They watched as Monica got in her Jag Coupe and sped away.

Sarah shook her head. "She's going to kill someone. What do you mean, I'm one of the elite?"

"There's been some talk about her. She is very snooty, ignores most of her neighbors. She talks to the Donaldsons and the Myers. They are in the right income bracket, I guess. It will be interesting to see who she invites to this little get together she's having."

"I wonder why Rob and I are invited. Maybe she heard about my trust fund money."

"I think it's more like your husband is the Sheriff. It's always good to be friends with the your local Sheriff."

"I don't know. There's something about her. Her smile never reaches her eyes. I get a strange feeling she hates me. I didn't want her to have my personal cell number, but she didn't ask for it. Why does she want to have lunch with me?"

"I have no doubt she hates me. She treated me like the hired help, which I am, but she was very cold and rude." Nadine crossed her arms across her chest.  "I agree she's a creepy one. I don't think you should have lunch with her."

"I'm curious now." Sarah fanned herself with the dinner invitation. "Once a cop always a cop you know. I'll see what kind of vibs I get. Try to find out what's really going on."

"Just be careful. You're not a cop anymore, you make donuts now."

Author Notes Monica-a spoiled narcissist obsessed with Rob
Rob Mitchell-Sheriff of Big Sky, Sarah's husband
Sarah Mitchell-Wife of Rob, ex-detective, now a bakery owner
Martin Robinson - Sheriff's Deputy
Nadine-Sarah's cousin and employee at the bakery
Sadie-Asst Baker, part-time employee
Lonnie McGovern-Murder victim


Chapter 10
Monica Chapter 10

By Roxanna Andrews

Ending of Chapter 9 - "I don't know. There's something about her. Her smile never reaches her eyes. I get a strange feeling she hates me. I didn't want her to have my personal cell number, but she didn't ask for it. Why does she want to have lunch with me?"

"I have no doubt she hates me. She treated me like the hired help, which I am, but she was very cold and rude." Nadine stood with hands on hips. "I just don't understand it. I'm so wonderful."

Sarah laughed.

Nadine's face turned serious. "I agree she's a creepy one. I don't think you should have lunch with her."

"I'm curious now. Maybe I'll go, just to see what she's really after." Sarah fanned herself with the dinner invitation.

"Once a cop always a cop."

*************

"Look at this," Sarah handed Rob the dinner invitation from Monica when he got home. "I don't know how we made it into her little circle."

"Who is she?" Rob asked after reading the invite.

"She's that woman who drives the Jag - like a maniac most of the time."

"A woman came to the station last week in a Jag. She said there was some suspicious stuff around her place. I was leaving when she came in. But she never filed a report. I thought that was weird."

"Maybe you can find out if it was her at dinner."

"Do you want to go?"

"Not really, but I am curious as to why she invited us. Nadine says she is very exclusive about who she associates with. She invited me to lunch next week too. She acts friendly but the look in her eyes says she is not fond of me. I can't figure out what's going on."

"Maybe she's just lonely, wants to make some friends. Maybe your imagining the look in her eyes."

"I don't think so and she doesn't strike me as the type to get lonely. I want to find out what she really wants."


Monica sat in her favorite spot out on her balcony with her back to the mountains. Anna, her housekeeperand chef, couldn't understand how she could keep her back to such a magnificent view. She had not yet realized that to Monica nothing but her reflection was magnificent.

Anna watched her as she stared into space.

Monica was preoccupied with thoughts of her and Rob together. Once she had him to herself, they would have to move. She could never continue to live in this tiny town. They'd move to Bozeman near Daddy. She was sure he could help Rob get on the police force there. He'd never get anywhere in this town. It was a dead-end for his career. But in Bozeman, he could become Chief of Police and from there, the Mayor. Then on to Congress. She felt she'd make an excellent congressman's wife.

Sarah was such a plain little bumpkin. She would never push Rob to further his career like he needed to be. He needed a strong, confident woman at the helm. One who would steer him in the direction to becoming a great man. Once again she wondered what Rob could have seen in Sarah.

Monica picked up her cell and put in the number for the bakery. Sarah answered on the second ring.

"Elaine's Bake Shop."

"I'd like to speak with Sarah,"

"This is Sarah."

"Oh, hi Sarah. This is Monica Landers. I wanted to set a time for us to have lunch. Would tomorrow at noon at Olive B's be doable for you?"

"Okay, sure. That's fine."

"See you then."

Monica disconnected and smiled. Poor Sarah. She didn't want to kill Sarah. She just needed to be sick the night of the dinner party. Then Monica could have Rob to herself.

Sarah hung up and turned to Nadine. "Her highness has summoned me to lunch tomorrow at Olive B's. That's the top restaurant in Big Sky. I'll have to rob my piggy bank for this."

"I don't know, Sarah. It makes me uncomfortable to think of you being alone with her. If you don't think she likes you, what would be her reason for wanting to have lunch with you? I don't like it."

"Well, I'm going to find out I guess. I want to know what her game is. Why she's so anxious to have lunch with me. I feel like there is more behind it than just wanting to get to know me."

"Just be careful."

The next day at 11:55 am, Sarah left for Olive B's. She felt a bit nervous. She pulled into the parking lot at noon on the dot. Monica's jag sat in the parking lot. It glistened in the sunlight as if it had just been waxed.

As she approached the door, it opened and a smiling hostess greeted her. "Welcome to Olive B's"

"Thank you."

Monica had gotten a table and waved to her when she entered.

"Hi, Sarah. I took the liberty of ordering an appetizer. It should be here any minute."

Sarah settled into her chair and pick up the menu that lay on her plate. "Thank you, Monica, that sounds great. I'm hungry."

Sarah looked through the menu. The prices were steep, even for lunch. She looked for the cheapest item she could get.

"Please order anything you'd like, it's my treat."

"Oh, I can't let you do that."

"I insist. It was my idea, so my treat." Monica touched the back of Sarah's hand, leaving a drop of water behind.

"Oh, I'm sorry. My water glass in wet. I had them fill your glass as well and I put a bit of lemon in it. Hope you don't mind." Monica smiled sweetly, but again the smile didn't reach her eyes.

"That's fine." Sarah picked up her glass and took a drink. She was more nervous now that she was with Monica.

She was a stunning woman with her dark hair and vivid blue eyes. So blue, Sarah wondered if she wore colored contacts. She was dressed in a silk dove gray blouse with jeans and black, high heeled sandals. She looked like a model and Sarah felt a bit underdressed.

"Hum, this water has a strange taste." Sarah put the glass down.

"Oh no. I'm sorry, maybe it's the lemon. I'll have the waiter bring you another."

They ordered and made small talk until their food arrived. Monica dominated the conversation, telling of her growing up years, bragging about her father and her trust fund allowing her to live a lavish lifestyle without the inconvenience of having to work for a living.

Sarah marveled at her complete lack of humility and filter on how much one should brag about themselves. By the end of the lunch, Sarah knew much more about Monica but still had no idea as to why she wanted to have lunch with her. She showed no interest in Sarah or her life. She did ask several questions about Rob, but her interest in Sarah was minimal.

After they parted, and Sarah thanked her for the meal, she couldn't help but smile when alone in her car.

Returning to the bakery and finding an anxious Nadine, she filled her in on everything, including what she had for lunch.

"I can tell you with certainty that Miss Monica has no problem with her self-esteem. She has an extremely high opinion of herself. I still have no idea why she asked me to lunch, except to talk about herself. I think I was just an audience. It seems I was more nervous then I wanted to admit. My stomach is a mess now."

Sarah wasn't the only one who smiled when alone in her car. Monica was very pleased with how easy it was to poison Sarah. She wouldn't die, but she would be sick for the next few days. She now had to make sure Rob would still attend the dinner party without Sarah.

Author Notes I have been stalling on the book as I'm going through my usual, 'okay what do I write next phase.' Sorry it's been so long. I know you are just dying for the next chapter. =}

Monica-a spoiled narcissist obsessed with Rob
Rob Mitchell-Sheriff of Big Sky, Sarah's husband
Sarah Mitchell-Wife of Rob, ex-detective, now a bakery owner
Martin Robinson - Sheriff's Deputy
Nadine-Sarah's cousin and employee at the bakery
Sadie-Asst Baker, part-time employee
Lonnie McGovern-Murder victim


Chapter 11
Monica Chapter 11

By Roxanna Andrews


Ending of Chapter 10
"I can tell you with certainty that Miss Monica has no problem with her self esteem. She has an extremely high opinion of herself. I still have no idea why she asked me to lunch except to talk about herself. I think I was just an audience. It seems I was more nervous then I wanted to admit. My stomach is a mess now."

Sarah wasn't the only one who smiled when alone in her car. Monica was very pleased with how easy it was to poison Sarah. She wouldn't die, but she would be sick for the next few days. She now had to make sure Rob showed up to the dinner party even without Sarah.
*********************



"Do you think you have the flu?" Rob asked as Sarah threw up for the tenth time.

"I don't know. Maybe." Sarah crawled into bed and curled up in the fetal position.

"Well, if you don't stop throwing up, I'm taking you to the ER, You're going to get dehydrated."

"Okay," was all Sarah could manage. She fell into a fitful sleep as Rob sat on the bed beside her.

He got out his phone and text the number given on the invitation that Monica had given Sarah.


Sarah is sick. Won't be able to make it to the dinner party. Rob & Sarah.

Rob called his Lieutenant next.

"Hey, Martin, I won't be in but you can reach me on my cell if you need me. Sarah is sick so I want to stay home in case she needs to go to the ER."

"Okay, Boss. Sorry, she's still so sick. Let us know if you have to go to the ER."

Rob had no sooner hung up than his phone rang. It was Monica.

"Hi, Rob. This is Monica. I see you canceled for the dinner party. I'm so sorry that Sarah is not feeling well. Are you sure you can't just come for a little while? It will give you a chance to meet some of your neighbors and Anna is preparing a wonderful meal. We'd hate for you to miss it."

"I'm sorry, Monica, but Sarah is sick. I may need to take her to the ER. I hope you understand why I don't want to leave her. We can perhaps have dinner some time to make up for tomorrow night." Rob was appalled that Monica would want him to come to the dinner and leave Sarah home alone sick. No way was he doing that.

"Well, I'm just so sorry. Do tell Sarah I said to get well soon."

"I will, thank you."

Monica disconnected and threw her phone down. The poison was only supposed to make Sarah slightly sick, not send her to the ER. Obviously, she had gotten incorrect information. She'd have to deal with that soon. She couldn't have her source connecting Sarah getting sick with the poison she had purchased.

Now she was stuck entertaining a group of people she could care less about. Well, she'd just have to make the best of it.
**************

Rob sat beside Sarah in the triage room at the ER, She had continued to throw up and Rob had insisted they go to the ER. Sarah didn't argue. They determined she was dehydrated and put her on an IV saline drip. Blood was taken and tests run to see if it was the flu or food poisoning.

Sarah lay back against the pillow, looking pale and sweating. Rob's worry increased. She didn't look good at all, and he had a feeling this wasn't the flu.
**************

Monica slipped into the back door of the herb shop. Matthew Whiting sat behind his desktop computer updating his inventory. He didn't turn when Monica quietly walked up behind him. He could see her in his desk mirror that he used for just such occasions. He didn't like people coming up behind him. He smiled when he saw Monica. They had developed a close relationship since her first visit to the shop.

Monica touched the back of his neck.

"Hey, your fingers are wet." He wiped off the back of his neck with his palm.

"Sorry, sweetheart. I just had a coke, guess the condensation was still on my fingers. How are you?" 

Matthew pulled her close. "I'm great." He kissed her neck, working his way to her lips.

Monica returned the kiss and smiled. "I have a feeling you won't be feeling so great in a minute or two," she said sweetly.

Matthew gave her a puzzled look. "Why are you wearing gloves....?" He grabbed the edge of his desk as pain shot to the top of his head. "What did you do?" He just got the words out before he fell to the floor and went into convulsions.

Monica watched him until he went still. She stepped over the body and left the way she had come.

Author Notes Monica-a spoiled narcissist obsessed with Rob
Rob Mitchell-Sheriff of Big Sky, Sarah's husband
Sarah Mitchell-Wife of Rob, ex-detective, now a bakery owner
Martin Robinson - Sheriff's Deputy
Nadine-Sarah's cousin and employee at the bakery
Sadie-Asst Baker, part-time employee
Lonnie McGovern-Murder victim
Matthew Whiting-Herbalist


Chapter 12
Monica Chapter 12

By Roxanna Andrews

Monica touched the back of his neck.

"Hey, your fingers are wet." He wiped off the back of his neck with his palm.

"Sorry, sweetheart. I just had a coke, guess the condensation was still on my fingers. How are you?"

Matthew pulled her close. "I'm great." He kissed her neck, working his way to her lips.

Monica returned the kiss and smiled. "I have a feeling you won't be feeling so great in a minute or two," she said sweetly.

Matthew gave her a puzzled look. "Why are you wearing gloves....?" He grabbed the edge of his desk as pain shot to the top of his head. "What did you do?" He just got the words out before he fell to the floor and went into convulsions.

Monica watched him until he went still. She stepped over the body and left the way she had come.

**********

Chief of Police, Rob Mitchell's, cell phone rang.

"This is Rob."

"Hey, boss." It was Martin Robinson, his lieutenant. "We got another dead body. This one's at the herb shop on main. Matthew Whiting, the shop owner, was found dead by an employee this morning."

"Okay, Lieutenant. I'll meet you there. The body count in this town has gone up lately."

"That it has, boss."

Sarah was doing better and sleeping. He told the nurse how to get a hold of him if needed. He'd be out on a call and be back as soon as he could.

He kissed Sarah on the forehead and left.
**

"What do you know so far, lieutenant?"

"Coroner seems to think it's poison. It could be accidental. Some of the herbs here are poisonous. He's been dead about an hour."

"Anyone see anything? Anyone coming or going? Any cameras?"

"We've just started canvasing nearby shops to find out if anyone was around. There is a camera, but no video, so nothing to look at. How is Sarah?" Martin inquired.

"She's doing better. They think it could be food poisoning. She had lunch yesterday with Monica Landers, she's the Jag lady. We are supposed to go to her home for a dinner party tonight. When I told her Sarah was sick and may need to go to the ER, she asked if I could come alone. I thought that was insensitive. Who does that?"

"I've heard she is pretty self-centered. Spoiled rich. She hasn't made a great impression on most of the townsfolk."

"Well, I'm not too impressed myself."

"Speaking of Miss. Landers, I heard she was seeing Matthew. Kind of weird that Sarah had lunch with her and is sick and now Matthew may be dead of poisoning." Martin placed his hands on his hips and stared at his boss with a look that said. 'This needs looking into.'

"Maybe you better have the hospital check Sarah for poisons. Ask the Doc which kinds. I also found out that Miss. Landers was in the office of our dead guy in the park, Lonnie, several times. And the guy in the car fire, William Myers, who it turns out was shot. Seems he is connected to her too. He lost his job because of her. She seems to be involved with a lot of dead people."

"You gotta be kidding me."

"Nope, not kidding, boss."

"How did you know about the lawyer getting fired? No, don't tell me. Your cousin on the force in Bozeman."

"Comes in handy having law enforcement in the family."

Rob smiled and nodded. "Find out everything you can about Miss. Landers."

"Already on it."

Rob returned to the hospital and found Sarah feeling much better and talking to the doctor.

"Hi. The doctor is telling me I was poisoned. And not food poisoning. I'm a bit freaked out. I hope it was nothing in the bakery. Just what I'd need, to poison a bunch of townspeople."

"I don't think it's in the bakery. I was just at the herb shop. The owner was found dead this morning. It seems he was poisoned and he dated Monica Landers."

Sarah's eyes got wide. "You don't think she poisoned me? I've had the feeling she doesn't like me, but would she try to kill me? That's crazy."

"I think we may be dealing with a crazy. Every dead body in the past few weeks is in some way connected to her. Even the guy in the car fire between here and Bozeman. She got him fired from his job. Martin's cousin is on the force in Bozeman and told him."

"What is wrong with me that I seem to attact crazy people?"

Rob took her hand. "Thank God you only got sick. Martin's digging into Monica's life to see what else we find. You don't just all of a sudden start killing people."

"You need to request a raise for Martin."

Rob nodded. "Did they say when you can go home? If you have to stay another night, I'm posting a guard at the door and spending the night."

Author Notes Monica-a spoiled narcissist obsessed with Rob
Rob Mitchell-Sheriff of Big Sky, Sarah's husband-Monica is pursuing him.
Sarah Mitchell-Wife of Rob, ex-detective, now a bakery owner
Martin Robinson - Sheriff's Lieutenant.
Nadine-Sarah's cousin and employee at the bakery
William Myers-Monica's lawyer and murder victim. She shot him and set his car on fire.
Lonnie McGovern-Murder victim-beat to death
Matthew Whiting-Herbalist- murder victim-poisoned


Chapter 13
Monica Chapter 13

By Roxanna Andrews

Ending of previous chapter: Rob returned to the hospital and found Sarah feeling much better and talking to the doctor.

"Hi. The doctor is telling me I was poisoned. And not food poisoning. I'm a bit freaked out. I hope it was nothing in the bakery. Just what I'd need, to poison a bunch of townspeople."

"I don't think it's in the bakery. I was just at the herb shop. The owner was found dead this morning. It seems he was poisoned and he dated Monica Landers."

Sarah's eyes got wide. "You don't think she poisoned me? I've had the feeling she doesn't like me, but would she try to kill me? That's crazy."

"I think we may be dealing with a crazy. Every dead body in the past few weeks is in some way connected to her. Even the guy in the car fire between here and Bozeman. She got him fired from his job. Martin's cousin is on the force in Bozeman and told him."

"What is wrong with me that I seem to attact crazy people?"

Rob took her hand. "Thank God you only got sick. Martin's digging into Monica's life to see what else we find. You don't just all of a sudden start killing people."

"You need to request a raise for Martin."

Rob nodded. "Did they say when you can go home? If you have to stay another night, I'm posting a guard at the door and spending the night."

****************

Rob planned to dispatch officers to Monica's home, but he wanted to be prepared with as much background info on her as he could get.

He and his lieutenant, Martin, dug in. It seemed tragedy and mayhem followed Monica everywhere she went.

She had attended three colleges, and been asked to leave each, until graduating first in her class from Harvard University. It was amazing what daddy's money could buy. Harvard never heard about her three previous attempts.

"Monica graduated first in her class at Harvard, so she's a smart girl. Must be the classes there were challenging enough to keep her attention or maybe daddy threatened to cut off her trust fund. At any rate, she seemed to stay out of trouble," Martin scanned the computer records.

Monica had left a path of destruction at the other universities and colleges she had attended. Ruining the reputation of several professors, destroying their lives and careers, not to mention their marriages.

Though the men had received large settlements and signed non-disclosure agreements, they were willing to speak in vague terms to Rob about their harrowing experiences with Monica. They couldn't be used to testify or even referred to at trial, if it came to that, but it gave Rob and Martin confidence that they were looking into the right person and a serial killer.

One of the deans referred to a student that had disappeared while Monica attended his University. An investigation turned up a witness that had seen Monica arguing with the young man, but no evidence was ever discovered that she had anything to do with his disappearance.

The dean, in his dealing with her, saw a cold, calculating sociopath and he had no doubt she had everything to do with the student's disappearance.

"She sounds like a real piece of work, but none of what we've turned up is hard evidence, not even enough for a warrant to search her place." Martin sighed in exasperation. "Can you believe she doesn't even have a parking ticket?"

Rob ran a hand over his face. "That doesn't surprise me. Between daddy's money and her brains, there's not much to go on. But I know she's who we are looking for and if we don't get her, she will continue to destroy lives and kill." Rob tossed his evidence book on his desk. "I doubt we can get her to confess or admit anything. We could never trick her into it. She will lawyer up as soon as she thinks we suspect her."

"Maybe we need to do a sting. Get one of our guys to feign interest in her, date her. Get her drunk." Martin smiled at his boss and ran his hand threw his close cropped hair.

"You know, that's not a bad idea," Rob smiled back.

"Are you kidding? She'd eat any of our guys alive. Who could we get? I don't think anyone here could pull it off. I know for sure she'd never go for me."

"What about me?"

"You?"

"Yeah. I've been thinking. She made sure Sarah was sick so she couldn't attend her dinner party, but went out of her way to try to get me to go. Why? I think Monica is attracted to more than just money and looks. She likes power too. She sees me as a person with power. The Chief of Police."

"She was at my wedding, I didn't invite her, I know Sarah didn't know her. You know, there is something familiar about her."

Rob got on the phone and asked permission to access his old reports from when he was with the Kalispie P D. In ten minutes he had permisson and got on his computer and signed in.

"Look at this." He turned his monitor so Martin could see it. "I have run into her before. Turns out that when I was a patrolman, I helped her when her car broke down. I made a report complete with a photo. I remember she wanted a picture with me and sent it to me. I put it in the report. She was younger but I don't doubt just as dangerous. She's a patient and very calculating person."

"This is too small-town for her. I can't see her staying here for long."

"If Monica has her sights on me, I'm sure she has big plans for me, and her daddy seems to get things done. She probably sees me becoming the President one day. President Robert Mitchell. Has a nice ring to it." Rob laughed.

Martin shook his head. "I don't like it. She is *bat, you know what, crazy. She's used a gun, fire, a hammer, and poison. Who knows how many guys she's killed. I don't like the thought of you being in the same room with her let along dating her. Sarah is going to have a fit."

"I'll deal with Sarah. We have to stop this nut-case or Sarah could be her next victim."

Martin shook his head again, but gave in. "You wear a wire and I'm there for everything."

Rob nodded. "First, let's have Doc go over all the forensics again with a fine tooth comb. Make sure nothing was missed. We just need one hair, a fiber, a partial fingerprint, anything."

"I'll give him a call, but you know Doc. He's already done that."





 

Author Notes *bat, you know what, crazy refers to the common term: bat sh*t crazy. I don't cuss and Martin doesn't either so said it this way. =}

Monica-a spoiled narcissist obsessed with Rob
Rob Mitchell-Sheriff of Big Sky, Sarah's husband-Monica is pursuing him.
Sarah Mitchell-Wife of Rob, ex-detective, now a bakery owner
Martin Robinson - Sheriff's Lieutenant.
Nadine-Sarah's cousin and employee at the bakery
William Myers-Monica's lawyer and murder victim. She shot him and set his car on fire.
Matthew Whiting-Herbalist- murder victim-poisoned


Chapter 14
Monica Chapter 14

By Roxanna Andrews

Ending of Chapter 13: "If Monica has her sights on me, I'm sure she has big plans for me, and her daddy seems to get things done. She probably sees me becoming the President one day. President Robert Mitchell. Has a nice ring to it." Rob laughed.

Martin shook his head. "I don't like it. She is *bat, you know what, crazy. She's used a gun, fire, a hammer, and poison. Who knows how many guys she's killed. I don't like the thought of you being in the same room with her let along dating her. Sarah is going to have a fit."

"I'll deal with Sarah. We have to stop this nut-case or Sarah could be her next victim."

Martin shook his head again, but gave in. "You wear a wire and I'm there for everything."

Rob nodded. "First, let's have Doc go over all the forensics again with a fine tooth comb. Make sure nothing was missed. We just need one hair, a fiber, a partial fingerprint, anything."

"I'll give him a call, but you know Doc. He's already done that."

*******************************************

"Monica." Jonathan Landers said Monica's name as a statement, not a question. There was a coldness in his tone.

"Hello, Daddy," Monica said. She noticed the coldness but chose to ignore it.

"What have you gotten into now?" he demanded.

"What do you mean?" Monica's hand that held the phone shook.

"It seems the Sheriff's Department in Big Sky, as well as the Kalispell County Police Department are doing a background check on you. Do you know why they would be looking into your past? I got a call from one of your college professors at Stanford saying he got a call from Big Sky PD asking about your behavior while attending there."

Mr. Landers had indulged his daughter to the point of her literally getting away with murder. He knew about the student who had disappeared while she attended Stanford and he knew she had been involved somehow.

Jonathan Landers had spent a small fortune getting his daughter out of trouble. It seemed to follow her wherever she went.

She was very high spirited, much like himself. She had never been shy, but always aggressive and people didn't understand her. He always had an excuse for her, even when he knew she inflicted pain on others. His generous settlements, that were just between him, the injured party and his lawyer, helped heal the wounds, or so he thought. Money could buy anything, couldn't it?

But even he had his limits when it came to indulging his only child. He had let her know she had better stay on the straight and narrow or else.

"Monica, what have you done that they feel they needed to look into your past? I told you no more bad behavior. One day my money won't be able to save you from whatever you have gotten yourself into. I'm coming close to cutting you off."

Monica felt her heart race. If he cut off her funds, she'd be destitute. She might even have to get a job.

"Daddy, I promise, I haven't done anything. I did get a new gun. Mine disappeared somehow. Maybe it's just a background check. They do those when you buy a gun."

Why did she always sound like a ignorant child when speaking to her father?

"Yes, I am aware of background checks done when you purchase a firearm, but this goes way beyond that. And what do you mean you lost your gun? You are so irresponsible! The police are looking for something more and I want to know why?" His voice had an edge of steel in it. Monica knew that voice and it didn't bode well for her.

"I really don't know, Daddy. I just have no idea why the Sheriff's Department here at Big Sky would feel the need to look into my past. Maybe they don't have enough to do. This is such a tiny town, maybe they conduct background checks on all the citizens to keep busy."

There I go, sounding like an ignorant child again.

Monica, of course, knew exactly why they might be looking into her background. They must have somehow connected the dots and found she was involved in some degree with all three men she had murdered. She was afraid she might be pushing her luck a bit killing *Matthew Whiting. Maybe he was one death too many. Monica did something she had never done in her life. She hung up on her father.

Hurrying to her closet, she pulled out her largest suitcase and began throwing clothes into it. She would have to leave the country.

"Anna!" The housekeeper hurried into Monica's room. "There is an emergency at home. I have to leave within the hour. I don't know how long I'll be gone, but I want you to keep an eye on the house while I'm away. I'll let you know when I plan to return."

Anna nodded and helped her mistress pack. Monica told her she could leave for the day, then she got two passports and cash from her safe. Calling the airport, she made a reservation for a flight leaving for Europe. From there she would catch a flight back to South America under her assumed name. Investing in a second passport under a fake name was proving a wise decision, she feared it may come in handy one day, today was that day. She could have asked for her father to send his private jet, but she was afraid of the questions she would have to answer.

Feeling a pang of regret over leaving Rob, she wished she could have met him as he had asked. He had called her the night before. Feeling bad about having to miss her dinner party, he wanted to make it up to her by taking her to dinner without Sarah. She had been so excited. She knew he'd eventually fall victim to her charm and beauty. Now she suspected it was a ploy. No doubt a police sting to try to get her to confess to murder.

Her regret soon turned to anger. He never cared about me, he just wanted to solve a case. Something to show what a great policeman he is. A check-mark on his resume.

Well, maybe she would give him another case to solve, one close to home and his heart.

Raging with anger and letting her impulse take control, Monica grabbed her gun out of the safe. She dragged the heavy suitcase to her car and wrestled it into the trunk, slamming the lid closed. She had two hours before her flight left. Pulling her car into the street, she pointed it towards Sarah's bakery.



 

Author Notes Monica Landers-a spoiled narcissist obsessed with Rob.
Jonathan Landers-Monica's Millionaire Father.
Rob Mitchell-Sheriff of Big Sky, Sarah's husband-Monica is pursuing him.
Sarah Mitchell-Wife of Rob, ex-detective, now a bakery owner
Martin Robinson - Sheriff's Lieutenant.
Nadine-Sarah's cousin and employee at the bakery
William Myers-Monica's lawyer and murder victim.
*Matthew Whiting-Herbalist- last murder victim-poisoned


Chapter 15
Monica Chapter 15

By Roxanna Andrews

Ending of Chapter 14: Feeling a pang of regret over leaving Rob, she wished she could have met him as he had asked. He had called her the night before. Feeling bad about having to miss her dinner party, he wanted to make it up to her by taking her to dinner without Sarah. She had been so excited. She knew he'd eventually fall victim to her charm and beauty. Now she suspected it was a ploy. No doubt a police sting to try to get her to confess to murder.

Her regret soon turned to anger. He never cared about me, he just wanted to solve a case. Something to show what a great policeman he is. A check-mark on his resume.

Well, maybe she would give him another case to solve, one close to home and his heart.

Raging with anger and letting her impulse take control, Monica grabbed her gun out of the safe. She dragged the heavy suitcase to her car and wrestled it into the trunk, slamming the lid closed. She had two hours before her flight left. Pulling her car into the street, she pointed it towards Sarah's bakery.
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Monica's Jaguar sped toward downtown Big Sky to Main Street where Sarah's bakery was located. Traffic was busy as it was quitting time for most businesses and workers were on their way home. Monica weaved in and out of lanes, her sleek Jaguar Coup narrowly missing the bumpers of the cars she cut in front of. She passed drivers, paying no attention to the dirty looks they threw her way.

After a time she slowed, knowing it wasn't wise to draw attention to herself. She took several deep breaths to calm herself and drove on at the speed limit.

Parking a few shops away behind the Dollar General, she walked to the bakery. Making arrangements to be met and Ubered to the airport, she kept her head down as she walked and worked her phone.

The sun was just setting and shadows were deepening along the tree-lined street. Monica stayed in the shadows as much as possible, her coat pulled up to hide part of her face, a knitted cap pulled down to hide her hair, her pony tail tucked up inside.

The lights inside the bakery allowed her to see a long line of customers getting a last snack or dessert for after dinner.

Monica watched as the line moved quickly. She fingered the gun hidden in one coat pocket, an illegal silencer in the other. As the line shortened, Monica made her way to the back of the shop, attaching the silencer. Trying the back door, she found it was locked. She debated whether to wait at the back of the shop or go through the front.

She knew by now Sarah was aware that she had poisoned her and would be watchful and on guard. She decided to wait in between the front and back exits so she could see the lights go out or hear the back door open. Monica leaned against the wall, not moving a muscle and staying quiet as death. The sun had gone down and she waited in the dark.

She had only an hour before the Uber driver would arrive and twenty minutes had already passed. Hearing the back door open she moved quickly. Rounding the side of the building she saw a blond woman carrying a trash bag to the dumpster.

Imagining Rob's reaction when he heard his precious Sarah was dead, Monica pointed the gun and pulled the trigger.

Walking quickly to her car, she pulled her suitcase out of the trunk and waited for the Uber out of the lights. When the driver arrived she asked him to please hurry, she was going to be late for her flight. She had a pang of remorse over leaving her beautiful new Jaguar behind. No doubt the police would find it and tear it apart looking for evidence, but she would be long gone by then.

Police cars and an ambulance, with lights and sirens blazing, passed as Monica's driver sped her to the airport.

"Something bad must have happened," the Uber driver commented.

Monica wanted to ignore him, but not wanting to draw attention to herself or cause the driver to look at her in his rearview mirror, she felt it prudent to answer.

"Yes, it would seem so. I hope it's nothing too serious."

She knew it wouldn't take the police long to figure out she had been driven to the airport. She had given a false name to her driver but it was a small town and the Uber business was small as well.

She had him drop her in front of the wrong airline, paying him in cash with a generous tip.

Walking into the airport terminal, she hurried to her gate after going through security. She had just minutes before they began boarding her flight to France.

Sarah waited inside the bakery for her cousin and baker's assistant, Nadine to come back after throwing out the day's trash. They had been busy much of the day, which was unusual. Today everyone was buying donuts for the office and desserts for after dinner.

She wanted to talk to Nadine about tomorrow's menu and started the dough for the scones as she waited. After ten minutes she began to wonder what was taking so long.

"She must have found someone to gab with," Sarah said aloud.

Going to the back door she called Nadine's name. Not getting a response she walked toward the trash dumpster. The motion sensor light came on, illuminating Nadine lying on the ground in a pool of blood.

"Nadine!" Sarah knelt beside her and pulling her phone from her pocket, dialed 911.

Author Notes My grammar program showed no errors, so it must be broke. I'll have to depend on the you, the reviews to point out my 101 errors. You never disappoint me. =]

Monica Landers-a spoiled narcissist obsessed with Rob.
Jonathan Landers-Monica's Millionaire Father.
Rob Mitchell-Sheriff of Big Sky, Sarah's husband-Monica is pursuing him.
Sarah Mitchell-Wife of Rob, ex-detective, now a bakery owner
Martin Robinson - Sheriff's Lieutenant.
Nadine-Sarah's cousin and employee at the bakery


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