Groundswell: chapter fifteen

“Why do you want an unregistered gun? Planning on murdering someone and covering it up?”

Logan looked into Candy’s eyes for some trace of evidence that the question wasn’t coincidental. He found none.

“Whatever,” she said, shaking her head. “Only guy I can think of that might be able to hook you up is Bonez.”

Bones?”

“Yeah, I know. Spelled with a ‘z,’ at the end. Went to high school with him, used to get my weed from him. Hell, everybody did.”

“And he has access to guns?”

She laughed and began clearing the booth he was seated in. “Holy shit you’re messy. Yeah, he has access to a little bit of everything.”

“Including you?”

She flipped him off.

“Well, can you text him or something?”

“Yeah, I think I still have his number in my contacts from back before dispensaries were a thing.”

She pulled her phone out of her pocket and put it right back when her boss, a short, stocky middle-aged woman with poofy brown hair and noticeably large breasts came shuffling out into the dining area.

Logan had seen her before, but he didn’t know her name. She winced as she leaned across a table to straighten its salt and pepper shakers, one hand on her lower back. Probably had lifelong spinal issues that had only gotten worse over time, he surmised.

Candy shrugged. “Sorry, have to get back to work.”

“No, no. I mean yes. Of course. Don’t worry about it right now, just whenever you get a chance. I still need to check out this Clancy guy, so that’s where I’m headed after this.”

Candy dropped the stack of syrup-covered plates she’d just picked up, and the big-boobed lady was there with a broom and dustpan within seconds.

“What the hell, Candy?”

“Sorry,” she mumbled.

Logan stared at her. She was visibly shaken, and it wasn’t because of the plates. She’d been fine up until he’d mentioned Clancy.

Clancy was a child molester. Candy got triggered when he was mentioned. It didn’t take a detective, private or otherwise, to put two and two together.

He put his hand on her shoulder when he knelt down to help the two women pick up the broken, sticky dishes. “Hey,” he said softly, and when their eyes met, he saw that she knew he’d figured it out.

She stood up and ran into the kitchen. Her boss, sweeping up what was left of the debris on the floor tilted her head at him. “Hell’d you say to that poor child? You tryin’ to drive off my good help?”

“I’m not sure.” He smiled, but she didn’t return it. “Sorry about that, though.”

She waved dismissively as she walked away. “Eh.”

He had to quit beating around the bush and start asking hard questions about Blake. He was getting so off track digging into this X-Files shit that he’d lost track of his primary goal: to find Chance Miller’s killer. And the answer was much closer to home than wherever he was going. After spending most of the night poring over conspiracy nut message boards and websites, he didn’t know what to think anymore. There was an abundance of wildly contradictory information on the subject, and no way of separating truth from fiction.

Chance’s family vehemently denied any involvement by his wife and Logan had been instructed not to investigate her. That didn’t sit well with him, but they were the clients, after all. He still had to remind himself, from time to time, that he wasn’t a cop anymore.

He had to get access to Blake’s personal items, somehow. Check his computer. He knew Candy wouldn’t go for it, though, and he didn’t want to do it behind her back.

Why, though? Was he developing feelings for her? Was that why he’d been so quick to put Blake on the backburner list?

He enjoyed her company, and having playful, comfortable conversations with someone made him feel like much less of a monster than he did when he was alone with his conscience. He just hoped he hadn’t pissed her off so much that she was planning to ghost him.

I killed that kid.

It was a thought that looped over and over in his head like a broken record.

I killed that kid.

He looked at his ticket. $4.76. He put a twenty on the table and left.

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