While wanting to place trust in Logan, McKenzie searches for his sister's murderer. McKenzie doesn't believe anyone would harm her, but Logan feels it's his job to protect her from the threat.
It's Sunday evening. McKenzie and Logan have known each other 5 days.
Ending of Previous Post:
McKenzie tapped the phone. "Another question. I'm betting Megan's phone can be GPS tracked. So why hasn't anybody checked where she went? Is the phone still on? Maybe somebody has it." Before she entered the car, she paused and asked, "Is there any way we could stop for some ice cream on the way home? I sure could use a turtle concrete about now."
Laughing, Logan said, "Get in. One Ted Drew's coming up. Do you eat anything healthy?"
After he sat, she rubbed her tummy. "Why do you think I run every day? Tomorrow, it may be seven or eight miles instead of five. You up for it?"
"If you can, I'm good."
"The best I've done after a weekend is eight and a half. Let's try."
"Can Edger go eight?"
"Shoot, that guy could probably do ten without breaking a sweat. Don't forget you'll be toting Arlo."
Logan pulled into a parking slot in front of Simon's house. "You won't need to worry about Simon making interesting comments like Mom."
"I like your mom. She's what a mom is supposed to be. You're lucky you came from such a wonderful and supportive family."
"Any time you want to talk about anything, I'm a good listener."
McKenzie adjusted herself in the seat. "I know." She hesitated. "What did you say Simon's wife's name is?"
"Sheila. She's nice. You'll meet their two kids." He opened his door. "Ready?"
"Yep, let's do this."
After the introductions, Logan glanced around. "It's too quiet. Where are the boys?"
"They're with my parents," said Sheila as she patted her large baby bump. "I had a doctor's appointment late Friday afternoon and they offered to take them for the weekend. They'll bring them back sometime tomorrow. It's uncomfortable standing in the hall. Why don't we move to the living room."
As McKenzie sat in an overstuffed chair, she asked, "When's your baby due?"
Sheila handed them each a glass of lemonade and got comfortable on the couch before she said, "In two months, the end of September. I still need to go through the August heat."
Logan asked, "Do you know if it's a boy or girl?"
Simon put his arm around Sheila. "Nope. Since we already have two boys, we figure it'll be another boy."
McKenzie took a drink of lemonade. "What are your boys' ages?"
"Four and two. I've been pregnant or nursing for almost five years."
Simon held up his hands in a defensive way. "It's not my fault. Don't blame me."
Logan punched his buddy's arm. "Then whose fault is it?"
Sheila laughed. "Exactly." She paused. "Honestly, we like the idea of having them young together. I think siblings form a bond when they grow up that way. Mac, how many siblings do you have?"
"I'm an only child."
Logan winked at McKenzie. "She fully enjoyed not having to share her dad,"
"I did. I completely embraced the role of daddy's little helper."
Sheila attempted to stand. "I think dinner's ready."
Simon offered his arm for a brace as she rose and then asked, "Need help in the kitchen?"
"No, but we can all move to the dining room."
Logan held a chair for McKenzie and then sat beside her. "Everything okay? You seem a little quiet."
She nodded as the couple returned from the kitchen.
Simon carried in a pan of chicken enchiladas and set it on the table. "I'll be right back. I need to get the fruit bowl."
Sheila carried in a large bowl of salad and set it beside McKenzie. "I hope you like the enchiladas. I got the recipe from Logan."
McKenzie teased, "Betty Crocker himself."
As he placed the fruit bowl down, Simon asked, "What's she talking about?"
"Mac, isn't - doesn't do a lot of cooking. As you know it's one of my hobbies, so I do the cooking."
"I'm not as traditional as Logan would like."
Sheila patted McKenzie's hand. "Good for you. I understand you're a Private Investigator?"
Simon reached for Sheila's and Logan's hands. "Let's say prayer, and then we can chat and eat."
Sheila took McKenzie's hand, and Logan took her other hand. Prayer was said, and the food was passed.
Halfway through dinner Simon answered the ringing phone. "It's your dad." He handed the phone to Sheila.
After she hung up, she sighed. "Benjamin doesn't want to sleep with Matthew." She laughed. "He doesn't have a choice. There's only one bed available for them. Boys!" She handed the phone back to Simon. "I'm so glad Mom and Dad are able to take the boys for a few days." She faced McKenzie. "Do you still have grandparents in the area?"
"My father's parents died while I was in elementary school." McKenzie swallowed hard. "My mother's mom died just before I was born and my mom's father..." She set her fork down. "I haven't seen him since I was fourteen."
Simon sipped some lemonade. "I'm sorry to hear that. Does your mom live around here?"
"Mom and Dad were murdered about a year ago." McKenzie chewed her bottom lip. "Excuse me." She left the table.
Simon and Sheila stared at Logan.
"Her parents were murdered in their place of business. The man's still in jail. I really don't know much about it. Her mom's dad was a drunk. One night he beat her mom so bad she ended up in the hospital. Mac also was beaten that night. He did two or three years in jail and there was a restraint order against him. As far as I know, she's never seen him since."
"Is he still alive? Could he be paying somebody to harm Mac?" asked Simon.
Logan's eyebrows crunched together. "I don't think anybody's considered that. I'll have Bill check into it." He took out his phone and dialed Bill's number, but there was no answer.
Sheila stood. "Excuse me. I think it's time for some girl talk."
As Sheila knocked on the bathroom door, McKenzie answered, "Logan, go away. I didn't come from a perfect family and I'm not a perfect traditional woman like you're used to. I'm a horrible a cook. I hate cleaning house. I can strip an engine, shoot pool, and play poker. You and Bill won't let me play poker. You think it's too dangerous, but I can take care of myself."
Sheila again knocked on the door. "Mac, it's not Logan. It's me. You can't stay in my bathroom forever, so come out. We'll go to my bedroom and talk. How's that?"
McKenzie opened the door. "I sounded very childish, didn't I? I'm sorry."
Taking McKenzie's hand, Sheila led her to the bedroom and pointed to the bed. "Have a seat." She sat beside her. "I need to share a story. I think it might help. When I was eight and a half months pregnant with our second baby, I couldn't take it anymore. Simon had just returned from a four month deployment. I wasn't feeling well and had one still in diapers. We lived at Fort Bragg, so I had no family or support. Normally, when the guys come back the spouses and girlfriends meet the bus. I didn't this time. When Simon got to our apartment, I was still throwing his clothes and belongings into the hallway."
McKenzie covered her mouth. "Oh my!"
"Don't worry. As Simon and I look back, we laugh. Anyway, a few days later, Logan came by for a visit, and we had a long talk. He convinced me to talk with Simon. I took his advice, and we had one of the most honest discussions of our marriage. He understood that I couldn't sit home and worry about whether or not he was going to return while trying to hold our family together. It wasn't who I am. He agreed to get out of the Army to save our family. I'll never forget that. He loves me that much."
"Logan and I aren't a couple. We're just working on his sister's case together."
"Are you sure about that?"
"Completely. Why do you ask?"
"I see the way you look at each other." She released a deep breath. "I know Logan really well. He and Simon have been best friends since before I knew Simon. He was Simon's best man at our wedding."
"That explains why he called Simon to do my blood work. He trusts him."
"He does. Logan has dated, but nobody seriously. They never get past a few months. I can tell you're special to him."
"I'm not the old-fashioned female he's used to. I don't come from a normal family. My mom had emotional issues because of the abuse she suffered as a child. That's why I was pretty much raised by my dad."
"Why don't you try being honest with him and see where it gets you? I'm positive he'll be honest back. He's one of those guys who's honest to a fault."
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 local name for St. Louis
Simon Knight and Sheila Logan's former Army buddy and a Lab technician. Sheila
is his wife
Fan name for the St. Louis Cardinals - a major league
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
Kate Hartford Megan Nelson's friend they taught middle school
Donny A man Megan Nelson dated.
Mitch Gardner St. Louis Police Department detective who has
partnered with McKenzie's dad.
Ivan Smart A bad guy
Peter and Nancy Nelson Logan's parents