Romance Fiction posted May 12, 2019 Chapters:  ...11 12 -13- 14... 


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MacKenzie has a weak moment.

A chapter in the book St Louis

St. Louis Chapter 5 part 2

by barbara.wilkey




Background
While wanting to place trust in Logan, McKenzie searches for his sister's murderer. McKenzie doesn't believe anyone wants to harm her, but Logan feels it's his job to protect her from the threats.
Ending of Previous Post:

"If I were you, I'd be extremely careful." Simon put his hand on her shoulder. "I'm personally glad Logan has decided you're his new pet project. I'm confident he'll keep you safe. I know first hand how persistent he can be." He faced Logan. "How about you two come to dinner Sunday evening?"

Logan eyed McKenzie. "How about it?"

She nodded. "It'll keep you from cooking."

As Simon's eyebrows rose, Logan said, "She doesn't cook."

"Good then. I'll text you my address. I need to get back to work. I wanted to check on the patient myself. She's looks like she's doing fine. See you about seven o'clock."

After shaking hands, Simon left.

McKenzie grabbed her purse. "I need to be going. I'll see you later." She paused, opened a desk drawer, and removed a spare key. "Here. You might need this." She walked out the door.

So Simon's report must've gotten to you. I wonder if you know more than you're letting on. We'll talk later.


TODAY'S POST:

ST. LOUIS CHAPTER 5 PART 2

About a third of the way to the middle school where Megan had taught, McKenzie pulled into a vacant parking lot as tears rolled down her cheeks. Who would want to hurt me? When I get home, I need to make a list of every case. The answer might there. I doubt any of Dad's cases would cause problems now. He died over a year ago. I need to pull myself together. It's not like me to be upset. I'm not the type. After a silent pause, she dried her tears and continued to her destination.

As she entered the school's front office, a slightly graying secretary asked, "Welcome. How can I help?"

"I'm McKenzie Morgan. I'd like to speak with Mrs. Barkley, please."

"Do you have an appointment?"

"Sorry, I don't." McKenzie showed her documentation. "I'm a Private Investigator. I'm investigating Megan Nelson's death. I'm sure Mrs. Barkley isn't involved, but she might be able to lead me in the right direction."

"I'll see if she's available. It'll only take a minute." She went into another office. Moments later, she returned. "Mrs. Barkley will speak with you. Please, follow me."

Mrs. Barkley stood and offered a hand to McKenzie. "Hello. I'm not sure how I can help."

McKenzie accepted her hand. "I'm wondering if you can tell me who Ms. Nelson's friends were. We really don't have any leads right now. She might have confided in a friend." She paused. "I understand the confidentiality of this situation, but it is an ongoing murder investigation. I'm sure you want to find the murderer as much as her family does."

After sitting, Mrs. Barkley offered McKenzie a chair. "I'm not sure who Ms. Nelson hung around with after school hours." She paused and adjusted her glasses before searching her computer. "Ms. Middleton may know. They're about the same age and spent a lot of time together while here." She picked up a pen and then wrote down the contact information. "Let me call her and see if it's all right if I give it to you." Once she completed the call, she gave it to McKenzie. "She's expecting your call."

McKenzie stood and offered her hand. "Thank you. I know Ms. Nelson's family appreciates your help."

"I hope you find who did this."

*****
Sitting inside her car, McKenzie tapped the paper on the steering wheel. The only thing I'm sure of right now, is I need to figure out how to get an air conditioner in this car. It's just too hot not to have one. No matter how good this car looks.

She called Ms. Middleton and set an appointment for two o'clock the following day at a coffee shop.

McKenzie drove aimlessly around St. Louis before she stopped in a parking garage by the Gateway Arch. I need a break; from life. She locked her car and walked toward the Arch. Maybe getting my mind off work for a little bit will help.

She sat on a bench not far from the Arch and watched people milling around. Today's a typical July summer day in The Lou, hot and humid. It must be close to ninety degrees with ninety percent humidity. She smiled. Even the pigeons are panting.

Standing, she walked toward the Mississippi river. "Maybe a street-vender will have some water or tea."

As she walked, a man bumped into her. "Excuse me, Ma'am."

McKenzie's eyes widened and her heart pounded, but she said, "It's okay." She turned toward the parking garage. I'm not safe anywhere. She stopped and took a few deep breaths. Don't be ridiculous. The sidewalk's crowded. It was an innocent accident. What's got into you? Pull yourself together. Simon could be wrong. It was probably just some good old boys wanting to have fun, and I was stupid in a no stupid zone.

As she returned to her car, tears rolled down her cheeks. I never did get my drink. I'm not ready to go home. She dried her eyes. Why am I crying? I'm not a crier. This isn't me. Get a grip, Mac. Running always helps. She glanced at her watch. I have a few extra hours. There's plenty of time. Logan's probably at the house any way. I'll buy some thrift shop running clothes. Next to it is a sports store. I needed new running shoes. It'll work out.

After her purchases, McKenzie changed and went to a park and ran.

*****
When McKenzie walked through her front door, she saw Logan. "What are you doing?"

He turned off the vacuum. "What does it look like I'm doing? I'm painting a wall." He turned it back on and continued.

She stood beside him. "What are you really doing?"

Logan's eyes met hers, again he turned it off. "I'm glad you're back. I was starting to worry. In another few minutes, I'd have called." He glanced at his watch. "Dinner will be ready in about forty-five minutes." He studied her. "You're not overly domestic. So I know you could care less about me helping. What's really bothering you?"

"My scheduled day to clean is Friday. If my house cleaning bothers you that much, you can leave. I'm showering and changing." McKenzie turned and walked upstairs.

*****
Staring at McKenzie, Logan asked, "What's bugging her?" He glanced around the living room and petted Edger. "I think it looks nice. Don't you agree?"

"I'd better start the grill." Logan turned and faced the stairs. "She's probably close to Megan's age. If I learned one lesson from my sister, it was better to leave her alone until she's ready to talk. Of course, if I'd have kept digging at her, maybe she'd be alive today."

When McKenzie returned, she wore blue jeans and a light blue tank top. Logan glanced up from setting the table. "More comfortable?"

"Maybe."

"I'm glad you're in a better mood. I'm barbecuing chicken for dinner. I hope you like it."

"I do. What do I need to do?"

"Nothing. I got potato salad and coleslaw to go with it. It should be done in maybe ten minutes."

"Okay. I'll do the dishes when we're done. I want to leave," McKenzie glanced at her watch, "in about forty-five minutes. According to his wife, Mr. Whitmore leaves his house every Thursday at seven o'clock. I need to see where he goes."

"What excuse does he give his wife?"

"She says she asks, and he just walks out the door."

"That's strange." Logan set the potato salad and coleslaw on the table. "What'd you have for lunch?"

"You're nosey. I don't appreciate you prying into my life."

Silence continued through dinner.




Characters:

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


Recognized


Thank you for your patience over last weeks late post. My doctor gave me an option of one or two weeks off of work. I took one. As I prepare for tomorrow, I am rethinking the wisdom of that decision. If I can't do it, I'll take the rest of the week off. LOL

Thank you google images for a photo of St. Louis's Gateway Arch. This post is a little over 1100 words. I have completely rewritten this post 3 times. I hope I convey what I want to this time. Thank you for the encouragement.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.


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