Awash (The Forgotten Coast Florida Suspense Series Book 6)

Awash (The Forgotten Coast Florida Suspense Series Book 6) by Dawn Lee McKenna

Book: Awash (The Forgotten Coast Florida Suspense Series Book 6) by Dawn Lee McKenna Read Free Book Online
Authors: Dawn Lee McKenna
have all the details. They met at a frat party and left together. The girl had had a couple of drinks. He was supposed to be taking her to some club, but they ended up at a city park. She thought maybe he’d roofied her back at the party, because she didn’t remember much about the ride. The kid raped her in the car, then dropped her off at her dorm because he’s a gentleman. She couldn’t make it to the front door, just passed out on the sidewalk, so some other students helped her in.”
    “Nice.”
    “Yeah. At any rate, the mother whined at the girl and her parents about her son’s mental health issues—”
    “What mental health issues?” Maggie asked.
    “Depression, therapy since the age of twelve, we don’t care.”
    “Okay,” Maggie said.
    “The girl and the parents agreed not to press charges as long as the kid left school and went back to therapy. He’s not yet chosen to continue his career as a C student anywhere else, though the complaint is a matter of record and he probably wouldn’t get accepted anywhere anyway.”
    “Is he back in therapy?”
    “No idea,” Evan answered. “He’s working for a motorcycle parts place over in Panama City. Today’s his day off. I asked one of the patrol cars to do a drive-by just before you got to the office. His Nova was in the driveway.”
    “A Nova?” Maggie asked.
    “Compensating, no doubt,” Evan said.

    Gina Martin’s home looked like most of the other homes on her small side street: neat without having much curb appeal, painted a faded light green. There were a few small hibiscus bushes near the front walk, but the grass looked wan and crispy and could use a mow. An old Buick Skylark and a primer-colored Nova sat in the driveway.
    Maggie pulled in behind the Nova, and she and Evan walked to the front door.
    “I’ll just be window dressing,” Evan said. “It’s all yours, unless you need me.”
    “Okay,” Maggie said.
    Gina Merritt answered the doorbell. She was a plain woman, a good thirty pounds overweight, wearing lavender scrubs and flip flops. Maggie flashed her badge.
    “Ms. Merritt? I’m Lieutenant Redmond with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office. We spoke on the phone yesterday.”
    The woman’s facial expression changed from quizzical to worried instantly. “Yes?” She glanced over at Evan.
    “This is Detective Caldwell with the Port St. Joe Police Department. He’s just here as a courtesy,” Maggie said. “May we come in for a few minutes?”
    “What is this about?”
    “We’d like to speak with you and your son for a few moments,” Maggie said.
    “He’s asleep. What is this about?” she repeated.
    “I just need to clear a few things up, get some more information,” Maggie said. “We can do that now, or you and Stuart could come into the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office if that would be more convenient for you.”
    “I don’t understand. What does Stuart have to do with anything?” the woman asked, but her eyes were frightened.
    “I’d prefer to discuss that inside, with both of you, ma’am, if you wouldn’t mind,” Maggie said, her tone almost friendly. “It’ll just take a few minutes.”
    The woman hesitated, seemed to consider her options, then stepped back and opened the door wider for them. Evan followed Maggie into a combination living and dining room, clean and orderly, but decorated in early cat-lady. There was a glass of tea next to a small flowered recliner, and a home shopping channel was on the TV.
    “I—do you want me to wake Stuart up?” the woman asked.
    “Yes, thank you, ma’am,” Maggie answered kindly.
    The woman seemed to flutter for a moment, then picked up a remote from the arm of the recliner and muted the volume. Maggie and Evan watched her walk down a hallway, then stood there and waited, looking around the room.
    There were quite a few school pictures of Stuart Martin on the wall and perched on a small bookcase in one corner, but no other artwork. A gray cat sauntered

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